Exploring Lowe’s the other day to pick up epoxy, rope, and do some power tool “research”… i came across this pack of pencils… with a DRILL BIT PENCIL SHARPENER! The C.H. Hanson Pro-Sharp™ Finishing Pencil Carpenter is apparently the “world’s first chuckable drill powered pencil sharpener” and “produces a fast, consistent pencil point every time”. And so far it has lived up to its name. Honestly, it’s falling quickly into the, “how have i not had this my whole life?” category… it’s so FUN. It makes me want to sharpen through the whole box… totally understand how that reviewer on Amazon went through 144 pencils in less than 15 minutes. Anyhow, it’s fascinating, so stupidly simple, and has given my drill a whole new usage… pencils don’t stand a chance. See more on the next page, as well as a video of it in action!
I was curious. I couldn’t resist. And my dad has fallen for the iPad. So how could i not upgrade him today? Luckily we unboxed and got it all set up together! It really is fantastically thin. and there’s still something kind of magical about playing with vidchatting on such a portable (yet nicely sized) screen. And i’ll admit, the magnetic case was a draw… interesting to see how it worked, though in real life, it doesn’t work as well as i’d hoped. While playing with it and using the ipad normally, it awkwardly came off a few times! Anyhow… the form factor is the most fascinating change… i couldn’t help stacking it with the original iPad and my beloved Macbook air as usual! For some reason in a black and white kind of mood today… go check out the close ups and unbox on the next page!
There is a trend of impressive projection advertising going on in Germany ~ through both Mercedes-Benz and BMW. I love that both are not simply about being larger than life, but about eco-friendliness (in the case of BMW, the projections are mainly powered by wind energy) and environmentally aware (the Mercedes one helps you SEE through walls, at bikers, skateboards, and unexpected things coming around the corner) ~ both make fascinating and beautiful uses of the spaces around them. AND! Of course, videos of each on the next page to see them in action!
Hotels are where real life happens… and sometimes it’s dressed up like an escapist fantasy from your reality, but bottom line, they are a great way to explore the usability of objects and spaces… it’s like extended shopping? Staying in hotels begins to feel more like that childhood fantasy of hiding out/living in a department store or museum (From the Mixed-Up Files of Mrs. Basil E. Frankweiler, anyone?) ~ i’m waiting for the moment when i can buy the furniture, wallpaper, faucet fixtures, etc as easily as the bed, robe, and alcoholic minis… Hotel stays are experiments in living. Imaging designing experiences from the furniture to the layout to the closet filled with clothes (like The Tourist when they check into Hotel Danieli and open the closet door) to a living room and desk with gadgets for the perfect party (or meeting)… A way to slip right in and try on what your life could be like. And of course everything is purchasable. It’s one thing to have artists paint a mural… but another to create, could-be-real experiences…
A perfect example is this weekend’s adventure with the Four Seasons Los Angeles and Jawbone Jamboxes! This is the only location in California where you can live with a Jambox before you buy. While Jamboxes have made quite the splash over the holiday season across the design/trend/gadget sites ~ and the packaging is beautiful (see the full poolside unboxing here!) ~ it is a fascinating partnership that Jawbone and the Four Seasons Los Angeles have. Upon checking in to a suite, you are offered one to play with for the duration of your stay. They will even show you how easily it pairs and what you can do with it when you get up to the room! (Seriously, i’m impressed how easy pairing was with my various devices!) And it boosts an impressive 85 decibels ~ perfect for everything from relaxing on the patio, to blasting tunes from your laptop, or watching youtube videos from your phone… all via bluetooth (or headphone jack)… or you can use it as a super speakerphone when bluetoothed to your phone, since it has a mic too! It’s a fun way to try it before you buy… or in my case, fall for it and buy during my stay… luckily the front desk has them in a few colors ready for guests who decide they need one too!
Now… interesting from a design side, they had custom cases made for the Jamboxes, a simple discrete little zip pouch carrying the Jambox and all its cables, as well as instruction manual… take a peek at the Jambox in Four Seasons’ context on the next page!
There is a beauty to twitter’s ability to connect you instantaneously with people/brands that fascinate you… it’s almost magical. It’s how i “met” Jawbone, who then introduced me to Four Seasons Los Angeles… which led to chats about the Jamboxes being available to their suite guests… which has led to me curled up in a big suite bed tonight having one of my first little vacations in Beverly Hills. (Silly as it feels to be a few minutes from home!)
Now, before i get to the Jawbone Jambox service at Four Seasons Hotel Los Angeles at Beverly Hills, you first need to see the poolside unbox! Slightly out of order, i had so much fun playing with the in-room Jambox, i decided i needed to own one to bring home, and since you can buy them from the front desk, i had one sent up to the room! And being Jawbone, of course the packaging is physically, ecologically, and graphically gorgeous ~ so naturally an unbox was called for! The Jambox made quite a splash this holiday season, and it claims to be “simply the smallest, best sounding wireless speaker and speakerphone on the planet.” And while that sounds bold, it does in fact sound impressively awesome, and it’s ability to be shared with hotel guests proves just how easy it is to pair! But more on that later, for now ~ unbox! Click on to the next page…
Since i’m missing the screening in NY tonight, surprise DVD just arrived from the lovely folks at Bentley, and i just lost about an hour totally engrossed in their factory process. Who doesn’t love Ultimate Factories on National Geographic Channel? There’s something beyond mesmerizing about the tiniest details of how these larger than life objects are made! Tomorrow’s episode focuses on how the Bentley Mulsanne is made, and takes you from the sketching, to the clay, to the wood shop, paint shop, leather shop, details of how the engine is assembled and tested, to the assembly line, customization shop, on the road and more. It really is quite incredible how much detail goes into each step, and how many facts and digits they manage to throw at you in a mere 50 minutes, and nice to see how much pride their craftsmen take in their work!
I couldn’t even figure out which parts to show you pics of… so decided to show you a sneak peek of my favorite part! The WOOD! From 3’ diameter root-balls of nearly hundred year old trees… shaved paper thin… to show some incredible marble like patterns, which are then cut and hand matched (magical stacks cut perfectly and mirrored to blend together)… before going through being fused to the panels… Anyhow! Check out the Bentley Mulsanne Ultimate Factories on National Geographic Channel tomorrow night, and take a sneak peek into it on the next page!
Ah, nothing like a nice dose of morning car lust. Porsche always has such dreamy photos of their cars, for some reason this one feels like it fell out of a Hardy Boys cover. I’m also a sucker for Porsche special editions, especially in black… this is the latest limited special edition with 320 hp - Only 987 cars: Porsche Boxster S Black Edition! “The colour concept of the Boxster S Black Edition is consistent in every detail. The rear side air intake grilles are painted in black as is the twin tailpipe of the exhaust system. The model lettering painted in black on the rear luggage compartment lid identifies the Black Edition as much as the embossed Black Edition model designation on the side of the fabric hood. The roll-over bars are painted in black, too.”
Also noteworthy, their microsite for the car is a fun take on automotive photography. It allows the viewer to step behind the camera, tweaking settings to take the perfect shot of the stunning car with a beachy backdrop and big lights… See screenshots and more of the beautiful pictures on the next page…
Sorry i went quite a few days here, internet has been a bit frustratingly spotty, and between all the snow and running around catching up with people, this week has been a little bit more working offline than on! BUT, this post is a fun unboxing of the new Jawbone Era in my Bowery Hotel room! As always, beyond their product design and engineering mastery, the packaging of all things Jawbone never ceases to amaze… this one practically unboxes itself and presents the new headset to you! I had to make a little video to show you just how fun it is! New in this latest bluetooth headset model, shake and tap controls ~ the latest in Noise Assassin technology ~ ability to listen to music/calls and more in HD ~ and more apps and updates to play with through MyTalk. Check out the video on the next page as well as more details!
Wow. On fun packages that arrived this weekend… i’m currently fascinated by the Dyson Digital Slim DC 35 Multi Floor… it’s a cordless vacuum, it embodies my favorite parts of all of things Dyson, and is an evolved version of my most used cleaning tool, the old DC 16 hand held. It’s like a smaller version, with more sucking power (dual power modes even!), has a removable battery, an extension tube, and a ball jointed, motorized head with carbon fiber bristles like the full vacuums. I won’t deny i’m more of a fan of the matte metallic blue accent vs the old glossy yellow as well. Ready to see the unboxing and details up close? Take a peek at the next page… there’s also a comparison shot of it to the old DC 16.
P.s. This is definitely replacing my poor old DC 16, and seems to be doing a pretty good job on carpet with the motorized head as well… so perhaps it will take over my other vacuum as well…
Mmmmm. Another late late night (4:30 already?), but bubbling with inspiration and giddiness, i had to share these pictures with you before sleeping. Spent about 6 or so hours cruising around with the Mercedes-Benz CLS 63 AMG today… from Rancho Santa Fe wandering east into the mountains to Julian (mmm pie) and down and around through more rolling hills right up to the border of Mexico before looping into downtown San Diego for lunch at the Andaz, a quick jaunt through Coronado… and then i couldn’t resist and raced over to my absolute favorite car/beach spot from my college days (you used to find me there listening to music and curled up reading in my car), where you can pull right up to the sand and nearly touch the sea… the ideal sunset spot to make everything in your mind seem irrelevant in an instant.
So. PERFECT sunset. PERFECT beach spot. And PERFECT car. Driving the CLS 63 AMG is absolute bliss. The growling purr of the engine can’t help but make you grin… and it seems to have solved my dilemma where cars have been one of my hardest design objects to shoot passionately. Apparently i just hadn’t found the right one to inspire me. But after an incredibly fun day of driving and exploring rural east county goodness and reminiscing about my san diego past, pulling up to the sunset at my favorite car/beach zen spot… and catching sunset by mere moments… the glow was utterly magical to say the least. And the way the sunset lit and reflected off the cars curves was mind blowing. Naturally, i couldn’t help taking a bunch of pictures… take a peek on the next page!
After a lovely dinner and some macallan, most wandered off to sleep before tomorrow’s adventures begin… i couldn’t help having a little midnight photoshoot alone on the croquet lawn with the CLS 63 AMG… the cut away of the engine block is so beautifully lit in the night. Isn’t it gorgeous inside and out? Anyhow, 1am, and i really ought to sleep, but figured i’d leave you with some lustworthy pics… explore the next page, and i’ll keep you posted on pie tomorrow (we’re wandering out to the delicious Julian!)
This CES content is sponsored by BestBuyOn.com. Thanks, Best Buy!!!
I have no idea what type of data i’d have that would need to be kept this securely. Or if i did, i probably shouldn’t tell you! But somehow, everyone’s inner bond must secretly have something worth protecting, or just love the look of a hard drive that just screams “top secret information”… When i saw the Rocstor booth, there was a gravitational packaging/soft touch/designy hard drive pull i instantly succumbed to. Then i saw keypads and pass keys and usb keys, and i was hooked. And the RocSecure line is filled with encrypted portable hard drives! My favorite is definitely the new RocSafe MX, with real time hardware encryption, and the need to authenticate via a pin number (and a card!) on the hard drive itself before the computer can even see it. Others look sleek and have usb key tokens that are required to boot the drives… Regardless of whether you are hiding secrets, or just your family photos and music, doesn’t it just seem more fun? Take a peek on the next page at the booth, packaging, gorgeous hardrives, and more details on these super secure devices!
We first looked at Urbanears a while back when their stunning color themed ads started circulating… then, their CES booth was hard to resist. Well now, in the same beautifully colorful, minimalist design… i couldn’t resist showing you the origami like unboxing experience and product details. So much attention to detail, and clean playful designs! It literally unfolds and presents itself to you. Love the matte boxes, and the soft touch details… the extra connectors… and the built in microphones mean you never need to miss a call! Take a peek at the unboxing of their Tanto and Plattan models on the next page!
This CES content is sponsored by BestBuyOn.com. Thanks, Best Buy!!!
There’s something irresistible about a matte black wall covering glowing cubby holes… with ears in them… and gorgeously colorful headphones/earbuds… Such a visual and tactile wall of goodies at the Urbanears booth at CES! You can see their Tanto and Plattan over heads, their Medis that you twist to lock into your ear, and a peek at the new Bagis! They are also behind the much circulated Marshall headphones and earbuds, and had a fun amp display as well… A close up look at the smart packaging and products here… but first, check out the booth on the next page!
This CES content is sponsored by BestBuyOn.com. Thanks, Best Buy!!!
Walking the show floor with Acquire Mag ~ he started describing how there’s this square thing over at Sony and it has shapes show up on it, and its on a bunch of slate… and of course i’m making fun of his vagueness as we wander towards it. Until we get there. Then there’s that moment of… oh. I see. Square mirrored thing… on a bunch of slate shards… and, oh, wait! Shapes. It’s a screen. Oh, it stopped… basically, only to realize his descriptions were pretty good, considering! Honestly, this monolithic mirrored screen object was begging to intrigue curiosity and frustration from all who stood there confused and mesmerized. I was half expecting someone to throw a piece of the slate into it, or knock it over. Instead, everyone just stood and stared and circled.
So, i’ve been stuck in CES land the last few days with minimal web… have YOU heard anything more? Sounds like the Gizmodo guys were confused too… i mean it IS next to a row of stunning TVs… the ones that sit so elegantly like a painting on a stand… is THIS the next TV? Is a pile of slate with no cables showing the stand? Is it an art piece? What do you think? See more pics on the next page…