On awesome tech + hotel collaborations, latest one i’m loving is the Ace Hotel NY and Google teaming up to put Chromebooks in EVERY room and in the hands of lobby folks to experience them throughout their visits. Sure it’s great that they provide them for use both in and out of the hotel throughout your stay, but even cooler? The custom felt cases designed by Ace x Google that they come in! AND the Superfuture powered “Ace Hotel New York Field Guide” they’ve created as well! And bonus? “For guests, we’re laying out an extra gift: an Ace x Google designed notebook - with real paper - wearing a John Milton quote from 1634.” So whether you’re a guest staying at the Ace, or just hanging out for some Stumptown in the lobby - feel free to ask to borrow a Chromebook next time you’re in there! And take a peek at all the fun little details of this collab ~ all the details from the case to the guide are on the next page as experienced in one of the lovely Ace Hotel NY lofts!
The latest intervention by Kyle McDonald is causing quite a stir… with the Secret Service (and Apple?) - People Staring at Computers. It’s exactly what it sounds like ~ and not so different from what i’m seeing (and looking like) now as i co-work over vidchat. All of those moments when he or i are lost in our work or other windows, there’s that fixated stare that glazes over us all as the screens suck us in… As for Kyle’s project ~ the most interesting aspect is HOW and WHERE he got the images.
So if you happened to wander into an Apple store in NY last week, odds are you may have stumbled right into his exhibition. As you played with one of the machines, you might have a moment where the computer took your picture, showed it to you by fading your image in full screen, and the proceeded to show you those others than came before you. A selection of the pics were published to the People Staring at Computers tumblr, as well as a little video documenting the intervention/exhibition. While it clearly brings up issues of privacy and legality ~ i love the way it shifts our perspectives to see how computers see US ~ and it ain’t pretty. Are all our screens making us zombies? Apparently… So flip that camera on and perhaps start capturing what YOU look like when working/staring away unknowingly at your screens, it may surprise you! Check out the video and more info on the next page!
Toyota invited me tonight to Hatsune Miku’s Los Angeles concert. (It sold out in 2 hours?) Apparently it’s “her” first time outside of Asia and this j-pop 3D holograph superstar has been rumored to be like the next Gaga… how could i say no to this experience to see if vocaloids could take over?
Well, first impressions. I thought she was bigger. Rumors were floating around that she’d be 20ft tall! She was little asian girl sized it seemed. And she felt like a 3D holo-mime in a big screen/box on stage (particularly when she pounded her fists forwards). And things really looked best when you stared at the giant screens that perfectly captured/optimized her 3D look (aka, you might be better off watching the official vids of concerts online). Though i must say the crowd’s energy was something else ~ while everyone was seated (it felt as if we were watching her amazing band play behind a cartoon) ~ there was non stop high pitched screaming ~ and there weren’t nearly as many young girls as i would have expected in the audience. And everyone seemed to know exactly what to do with the glow sticks ~ waving them in sync with certain wrist actions at just the right moments. So, honestly, the hype had me hoping for more, but my curiosity about the tech and real life experience had me fascinated. Where this is heading is definitely curious ~ but Hatsune Miku definitely doesn’t have enough stage presence to pull me in quite yet… perhaps she should have interacted a bit more with humans during the dance numbers to really mix it all… her band members stayed in their respective spots all night. Take a peek at pics of how it felt to watch it in real life on the next page ~ as well as a vid from one of her other shows!
Almost exactly a month ago ~ i shared a peek into my insane days in Pittsburgh with the Toyota Ideas for Good teams ~ a combo of Toyota, Saatchi & Saatchi, Deeplocal, and CMU folks to name a few ~ making the ideas of winners to apply Toyota technologies to other purposes ~ all in the name of GOOD! The ambitious weekend of going from ideation to fully functioning prototypes was one of the most inspiring whirlwind trips i’ve had the pleasure of being pulled into.
So as a recap ~ what have you seen so far? The ROLLERCOASTER Deeplocal made from prius parts! Day 1 chaos! Adventures with the Firetruck! And if you recall ~ throughout the amazing experience, i found myself dancing around the various film crews doing their thing, constantly shuffling to stay out of shots while sneaking a few of my own, till i realized my shots were ultimately documenting their process! So finally, here it is… the awesome recap video to tie that weekend together that Slim Pictures did a great job on. And for a bit more silliness? More sneak peeks at the inspiring weekend… See it all on the next page…
Technology is AWESOME. I love that moment where it becomes SO easy for just about anyone to capture things we couldn’t even fathom/experience fully without it… like all these tiny everything-proofed action cams that are becoming more and more easily available and create incredible imagery/video ultimately reminding us how amazing humans are… or mounted to things like RC flying magines to create incredible aerial flyover vids of Venice Beach. Why tradeoff between living the action and capturing it on camera? With these Mini HD action cams, you can capture and even stream your activities live and in HD. There’s something for surfers, divers, cyclists, drivers, and just about any other use if you get creative! Whatever your activity, they make a mount for it and a housing tough enough to withstand it. So grab a cam, a mount and get out there! See some of our most enticing finds on the next page!
YES. They are in fact up on a firetruck. Wow. What an inspiringly energetic day it’s been here in Pittsburgh in a huge Carnegie Mellon Robotics workspace ~ playing with Toyota, Deeplocal, Carnegie Mellon researchers, and the Toyota Ideas For Good winners. What they are trying to achieve this weekend is no easy feat ~ the artists/engineers/makers of Deeplocal promised (before even knowing which concepts the internet would vote to win) to take the 5 winning concepts from the Toyota Ideas For Good contest, where Toyota asked how you would use their vehicle technology in a unique way to “do good,” and along with the winners themselves, turn them all in to working prototypes during the weekend. This would be a challenge even without the time limit… but now add on the frenetic circus of 3 camera crews, media, agency folks, and MORE circulating and flitting about throughout the process! Being part of that chaos watching in fascination, i spent the day trying to stay out of the ways of the engineers and camera crews ~ focusing on the great energy and capturing my view of the impressive productivity everywhere i turned… Inevitably, staying out of the camera crew’s way meant a new found fascination with watching and capturing how they work as well!
Ready for a sneak peek at the progress that has been made? And the reality TV like setting of the weekend? From impressive rubberband/plexi/wood ipad keyboards ~ to a FIRETRUCK ~ to a cute mod shelter that will be cooked in tomorrow… check it out on the next page!
Just in from the UK ~ Justine just checked out Clerkenwell Design Week!
One of the highlights of Clerkenwell Design Week is Jaguar’s C-X75 concept car. Jaguar will produce 250 of the striking hybrid supercars in association with Williams F1. As for design inspiration - “The C-X75’s designers found inspiration in the innovative engineering and functional design elements of cars like the 1950s C-Type and D-Type racers and unique 1966 XJ13 Le Mans prototype.” Additionally it’s leather is sourced from the Scottish Bridge of Weir, one of the most environmentally efficient leather producers in the world… and up to 50% of the C-X75’s structure is made of recycled aluminium! Stunning, right? Especially in contrast to the old industrial, woody setting of the Farmiloe Building that was once home of Victorian lead and glass merchants! Despite how much the display tries pull you in to photograph it, it’s pretty irresistible. But enough talk, more photos after the jump!
I might have some C63 lusting happening since spending the week with that Louboutin Mars Red 2011 Mercedes-AMG C63… and when i was going to show you pics of that one, i ended up getting sucked in to the design of the new 2012 model on the way… particularly the Coupe. Something about panoramic sunroofs fascinates me… imagine all the fun and unexpected photo angles you could have through that! Design wise, liking the simplified grill design and body updates, as well as the interior dashboard design that’s evolving nicely. From a tech perspective, this latest model finally gets the driver assistance systems from the S/CLS lines too - adaptive high beam assist, attention assist, parktronic, lane and blind spot assists ~ and even incorporates 3D virtual city views and eco routes built in to the nav. As far as driving tech… first with a new telematics generation, and with the development package you can get it up to 481 HP @ 6,500 RPM… fun, right? Anyhow, while diving into all the details and pictures ~ Mercedes was nice enough to send over some design sketches so we can see where the car evolved from! Take a peek at all the details on the next page!
It has definitely been a car themed month? But what more can i expect when i put a one month travel ban on myself? Inspiration comes through finding other toys to keep me running around a bit… more locally! I played with the Acura MDX recently, and after that i couldn’t help noticing EVERY time an Acura came through a shot while watching Thor! Perfectly timed with all of this fun ~ the Acura/Thor press kit designed by Dead As We Know It (also behind Kraken, NotVentures and more!) arrived! Beautiful, playful designs for everything from branded Pulse Smartpen to sugar cube and scorpion in jars, keys, switches, Rorschach test, and more… all disguised as a playful S.H.I.E.L.D. Assessment Kit. The Strategic Homeland Intervention Enforcement Logistics Division - you know, that marvel government agency that deals with superheroes?) Being a perfect excuse for yet another Car Unboxing, take a peek at the kit, the components, and Acura MDX details on the next page!
Amazing. Justine has has me laughing so hard with this latest London discovery of hers at Selfridges! Check out part one of her adventures below!
A WHALE RODEO! and a black light lit aquarium of confiscated coral! It’s hard not to love the new campaign, Project Ocean at Selfridges a huge collaboration between the renowned department store, the Zoological Society of London and more than 20 environmental and conservation groups “to celebrate the beauty of the ocean, highlight the issue of over-fishing, help us all understand the threats to the ocean and make positive choices about the right fish to buy and eat.” This is one of a series of posts on the exhibition, which runs from 11 May - 12 June 2011.
Both the Whale Rodeo and Ultralounge are located downstairs in the home section of the store. The Ultralounge houses a large quiet, cinema room with a large screen showing video footage of the ocean. It’s dark walls are filled with small aquaria containing beautiful corals on loan from the aquarium at ZSL and are specimens which have been confiscated from traffickers at Heathrow airport. So pretty! It is also home to a cute shop selling goods whose proceeds support ocean conservation.
The Whale Rodeo is located just opposite the Ultralounge and yes you can give it a ride. More pics and a video of its operators who very obliging demonstrated for you on the next page! Seriously, you have to see this robotic beast in action…
Remember that Toyota “Ideas for Good” ad where that guy with the almost 4 year old in the back seat talks about how the hybrid synergy drive would be awesome for the “world’s first self-sustaining amusement park”… Well, in a warehouse in Pittsburgh, they’re DOING it - Toyota teamed up with our favorite engineering crew Deeplocal to build a roller coaster from a 2011 Prius. The team of 5 gutted a Prius, using the engine, wiring harness, batteries, and Hybrid Synergy Drive system in a custom designed and fabricated coaster car… and a 70 foot coaster track out of steel. Drop it from the 10 foot high platform, and it reaches speeds of 15mph. When braking, the cart gave readings of 30 amps of 200 volts from the braking system, with a single drop generating as much as 6,000 watts! This was sufficient to light real amusement park signs and lights, as well as strings of LEDs along the track. This is only the start of their collaboration for the Toyota’s Ideas for Good… Check out the awesome video of the Prius coaster in action and more photos on the next page - it’s pretty amazing!
It’s been fun watching the new Porsche angle of it being for “Every day”… the ads are adorable. Check out the videos on the next page ~ and the Porsche Every Day site! Additionally, today i spent a few hours out at California Speedway with the Porsche World Roadshow test driving the “every day” side of the cars as well as playing with them around the track. Nothing makes you forget what day it is, what’s going on in your life, or how blisteringly hot it is out quite like a few turns out on the track and doing 120 on the straight aways…. ok, so maybe that part wasn’t quite “every day” driving, but it was definitely fun to get to know how the cars handle and just barely start to push them to what they were designed for… and that they can also serve as pickup trucks, pet carriers, school buses and more ~ take a peek at the ads and some pics from the day on the next page!
This all started with capturing special moments ~ but ALL moments are special! (And if not, you’re doing it wrong.) And as i tried to figure out what special moment to share, i found myself sitting outside on the grass… macbook air in hand, various cameras next to me, and started exploring with the usb microscope plugged in… turning the macbook air into my microscope screen! And as i played, i found this tiny flower of flowers… and kind of got lost in that moment exploring every little bit of it ~ when suddenly something RAN BUY. Yes, horror movie style. At 200x zoom, the tiniest things seem pretty huge. And i started trying to find it again! They must be teeny tiny aphids or spiders or something… and as i came up out of this random adventure with a bunch of pics all over my desktop, it hit me, how amazing it is that just playing around its so easy for us to capture images like these now! So take a peek at my little microscopic adventure on the next page, and don’t forget ever moment is special for some reason, and even the most mundane of things can become an adventure to share in pics! Ok go see the mini beasts!
On weekend adventures ~ the timing couldn’t have been more perfect with the GoPro HD Hero and Bentley arriving at the same time. So, while cruising around, mounted the GoPro upside down suction cupped to the center ceiling console and took off. Tested out photo still mode (making pics like above!) as well as video mode for the majority of the drive… took about 40 minutes of driving and compressed it 20x into about 2 minutes. Ready to take a lightning fast tour from the tops of Malibu’s canyons down to the ocean, along pch, through the tunnel, on to the 10, to the 405, to Sunset and back around to Pacific Palisades? It’s a fun drive ~ pieces of many of my favorite roads in LA. Video on the next page ~ see it in HD even!
p.s. I left the audio unaltered ~ it sounded like a crazy video game…
Though almost TOO hot and sunny with santa anas and a heatwave passing through, it did look like quite the glorious LA weekend. And the perfect time to joy ride with the flaming orange 2012 Bentley Continental GT up the coast. So far i showed you some of my favorite little design details, and as promised, here’s a look at the exterior. The glowing orange in the bright sun definitely highlights the crisp lines beautifully… and something about that orange with the endless blue of the sky and ocean coupled with the green of Malibu Canyon made for the perfect backdrop for an impromptu photo shoot… between the glowing car and the serene view, it took the roar of the engine to snap me out of how gorgeously mesmerizing it was! But as soon as i heard that roar, i remembered instantly why i love driving… more to come on the mini roadtrip around LA, but first, take a peek at the 2012 Bentley Continental GT exterior shots on the next page!