The super sweet folks of Ultimate Ears (an irvine based Logitech company) ~ reached out and invited me to visit them at NAMM ~ and little did i know that when i arrived at their booth, i’d be sat down in an ominous white leather chair, while Dr. Noy in white lab coat and all would make me bite down on a piece of foam while he filled my ears with mysterious blue quick drying goo. Ok, so to be fair, that’s the creepier way of wording it, basically they took impressions of the inner workings of my ears for some custom fit earphones by Ultimate Ears - while i’ve never been much of a headphone connoisseur, they’re catching me up quickly… i’ve been using their 700s since the unboxing and the sound quality has been awesome… but people can’t seem to stop raving about the customs… not to mention i’m fascinated by the idea that they can be customized to your heart’s content (color, graphics, etc) and they fill fit perfectly into your ears (and only your ears! unless you find an ear twin?)… more to come once i actually figure out how i want to customize my customs (any suggestions?) ~ but for now, take a peek at the fun Ultimate Ears NAMM booth! It had quite the crowd, but i tried to sneak a few fun pics of the ear molding process and some of the examples that were out!
Popped by NAMM (think CES of Music Making) on Saturday ~ it was so fun to explore and discover some great visual (and auditory!) inspiration. Besides, how often do you get to check out a structure made of orange amps… Check out this great unmissable booth setup. And i’m loving the iconic Orange Amps look and crest design…
Leave it to Belkin to understand me well enough to be the ultimate tease and torture me just enough. I always love their booths, the design is above and beyond ~ becoming this fabulous, beautiful experience, with such fun logical user flows as you navigate it… this year, no booth, but they emailed saying that there is a suite, and invited me to come check it out. BUT, they aren’t inviting media in. AND the majority of the products won’t be launched until spring 2010, so no writing about those, yet. BUT, they trust me, so i can take pics to my heart’s content ~ and then stare at them. In my computer. For months. So now i’m finding ways to share the really cool displays and carpet and paths and installations… cropping strategically not to give anything away that i’m not allowed to. SO, here is one post filled with everything BUT products (except a few! which are out ~ and quite awesome!)… so take a peek at the very fun subway map themed suite of Belkin at CES 2010! It’s a beautiful room ~ they really did a number on it to make it feel more like an awesome science museum exhibit instead of the big box of a hotel suite it is. You have to see the way the paths flow from hardwood to carpet and up the walls so nicely. So take a peek inside at this collaboration between the Belkin team and Commonwealth… a few products to share… and many more to come (2010 has some REALLY fun stuff coming from Belkin. AGH. The agony. I promise i’ll show you more when i can.)
You know my favorite parts to show you from CES aren’t the products (we can all read press releases everywhere), but the bizarre exhibition design details that are so strange and fascinating? Well camera booths (by booth i mean humongous expo spaces you can lose a friend in within seconds) ~ always have these random setups for you to try their cameras on… sometimes it is a wintery toy train set up going round and round or some women wrestling in the center of the pit or a toy rollercoaster… well Canon’s was like Mr. Wizard… and friend… in this crazy colorful, tv show styled science lab! (i say tv show, because while it feels classroom, it feels staged classroon with the giant foot and ear as well as lots of HUGE beakers with colorful liquids that all look gorgeous.) None the less, it was too cute a set up, and since it was there just for taking pictures, i couldn’t resist. Check out more pics on the next page!
Wow. Possibly the coolest UI to play with at CES this year ~ with all of these spinning cubes of links, you can touch any of them and details will pop up. the Intel’s Inside Scoop blog gives us the specs: “Two - 7x7 - 1920x1920 resultion - double-HD, double-touch touch screen glass walls. Each wall is powered by a single all new 2010 Core i7 processor w/ Intel Hyper-Threading technology and Intel HD graphics. Its rendering 576 live links of information, pulling from 20,000 different content sources and over 20 live feeds from global news sources and networks like Flickr, Twitter, YouTube and intel.com.” It was quite a thrill to watch people walk up to this enormous touch screen cube ~ touch it ~ have a huge grin spread across their faces… and it all made perfect sense. It could even handle dozens of people browsing at once! Take a look at more pics and a video on the next page! (While the pics are mine ~ i had a bit too much fun playing with it ~ sorry i got too distracted to make a video at the time!)
I think i now feel for any ant that gets stuck in a kaleidoscope. While often CES has a slew of ginormous booths with pyramids of TVs… Samsung got a little more creative this time… and… WOW. That picture above is just one view as it kept changing colors… i literally couldn’t help standing inside the huge booth spinning around in awe of the experience. I would have made a video for you, but i think i may have fallen over as people kept bumping into me (it was a sheep feeling kind of day at CES… if you stand still for too long the crowd just moves you)… also their rainbow wavey stripes for the netbook/laptop displays (the GOs looked so adorable mounted!) are fun to take a peek at too! See more pics on the next page…
It’s always hard after a full day of racing around the show floor at CES to decide what to share first - as my body wants to dive in a bubble bath and my brain is getting ready for drinks, dinner, etc. SO, don’t laugh, but the first thing i have been craving since i saw the adorable minimalist mod booth… Mint: Automatic Floor Cleaner… think swiffer meets roomba, but with a design treatment by Yves Behar’s Fuseproject… and hyperintelligent guts by Evolution Robotics, Inc. This feels like my Method oMop’s futuristic robotic relative. So yes, stunning, wicked smart, cleans with popular we/dry cleaning cloths (think swiffer/pledge/etc), AND charges upright!
Also fun? Besides the booth design and beautifully designed product? They throw coffee on the floor… let it dry a little… then demo the machines. And i love how versatile the concept is, you can use any cloth ~ and the panel that they attach to is MAGNETIC! More pictures of the details and a video on the next page from my CES discovery of Mint! (It officially launched at midnight!)
On exciting CES launches to poke at in person next week ~ Liquid Image (who started with the scuba goggles with integrated digital still/HD vid cameras) ~ is announcing the Freestyle Series Swim Camera Goggle and the Summit Series Snow Camera Goggle. So now you can use their handsfree wide angle still/video cameras in the pool or in the snow… and actually with the goggles, you can use them anywhere as a wearable handsfree camera since you won’t have to breathe through your mouth if using them out of the water! See more images and details on the next page!
Joey Roth takes us behind the scenes of his new Ceramic Speakers! 4 years in the making, these beauties started as an idea in college, only to be further developed in 2008, and now they are a reality! While i have yet to hear these myself, Gizmodo and Wired are already commending their “audiophile-worthy sound” ~ and personally i’m smitten by the combination of ceramic, wood, and cork ~ yes CORK! the way the plugs go into the cork before the ceramic is my favorite detail of all. Take a peek at the feature on the next page, including a super cute stop motion video ~ and he’s also giving away a set of these lovely speakers to one lucky reader! Giveaway details are here.
FLEXICORDS!!! My tech packing isn’t complete without these. I’m addicted to how fun and bendy they are ~ and thus, tangle free too! I first found these at CES 2008 (so about a year ago!), and they are now shipping and totally ready to stuff stockings with. Fun simple packaging, although to keep it so green and “clamshell free” it’s not easy to clip the two teeny little zipties that hold each cable to the cardboard. But it has fun design and copy ~ complete with “Cable Origami” ideas on the back! And you’d be surprised how nice it is as part fidget toy, part useful cable, and part cell phone holder… check out more pics of them up close on the next page!
I showed you my dad’s experience at the Mercedes AMG Driving Academy at the Laguna Seca track in Monterey… but as i went through his pictures, this carbon fiber wrapped Mercedes AMG SLS really deserved a post of its own. It’s stunning! It’s so overwhelmingly carbon fibered! Biggest downer for anyone lusting after it enough to try to purchase one, they aren’t for sale, but i’m sure you can get someone to get it done for you, or even DIY it yourself if you’re feeling handy. I can’t seem to stop staring at the pics on the next page… see for yourself!
I love products to play with during breakfast. Perfect way to start the day? I had a chance to poke at Ultimate Ears (recently added to the Logitech family, and locally based in Irvine!) over breakfast at King’s Highway with a guy who works for Logitechin Palm Springs at the Ace and he let me keep them to play with (especially after they’d been in my ears!) and just to be super clear, no, i’m not writing about them because of that! As for why i’m including them in the netbooks section ~ every netbook totally needs a good pair of headphones to go with them ~ since often when netbooking, you can be somewhere pretty public (be it at the cafe or in an airplane)!
On top of the nice sound quality ~ it’s the design details of this particular set that grabbed me. I love how subtle, tiny and pill like these Ultimate Ear 700s are ~ they totally reminded me of my chill pill necklace and capsule pills in general when i saw them. So tiny! Not the kind of headphones that basically end up looking like funky earrings… Also while the packaging leaves a bit to be desired (bit too much plastic and not all too interesting box graphic design) ~ the case is perfect to protect your buds in your netbook case or bag and at the very bottom in the inside has the cutest little infographic showing you to wrap the cord around your fingers. Silly, but someone clearly spent a bit of time on the details! Also extremely subtle, the right side earbud is red, the left is black! Take a peek at the unboxing and design details on the next page!
I’m jealous. Above is a pic of what my dad just told me is the “US-Spec AMG SLS for us to play with on the drag strip, slalom course and time trials.” So, while i was traveling, my dad (i blame my jetsetting inclination on him) took off to the Laguna Seca Raceway up in Monterey for the Mercedes AMG Driving Academy. He got to drive the brand new AMG SLS and was lucky to be one of the first to experience the new AMG Driving Academy launched in the USA. 16 cars were specially flown in from Germany to accompany the 20 full time cars availble for the course. Luminary driver/instructors included: Tommy Kendall (USA), Bernd Maylander (F1 pace car driver) and Susie Stoddart (Mercedes DTM team driver from Europe). Basically i came home to emails of his incredible adventure… from giddy stories about how mindblowing the drives were (teasing me how much fun i would have had going 160 around the track in one of those beauties) to tales of the chef grilling alongside the track for lunch to inside looks at the stunning carbon fiber drive shaft to the amazing friends he made on the trip and stories he heard… bottom line? The course was totally worth it, and he’d do it again in a heartbeat… in fact, there are 5 levels of courses happening around the US as well as Europe… i think he’s caught the bug, since he’s already dreaming about Sweden. I think i might have to try and convince him to take me along next time! But for now… i’ve convinced him to let me share his pictures with us ~ take a peek on the next page to see the experience!
There is also the amazing carbon fiber wrapped car that looked amazing ~ pics to come of that one soon!
Joby Gorilla Mobile for iPhone 3G/S ~ perfect for those who want the versatility of both a simple black matte/rubbery case and the ability to mount their phone just about anywhere for any reason… whether that is on the steering wheel of your car (look! handsfree!), the handlebars of your bike, wrapped around a pole, or perched on the table as a tripod… or in my case, i wrapped it around the nearby bottle of scotch as a tripod. As you can see on the next page, the packaging for this one got far more apple styled with the matte white box ~ and i do love that the signature ball jointed gorillapod legs are ALL black this time! Take a peek at all the details on the next page…
The Dyson Air Multiplier Fan is inescapable since its launch two days ago ~ and to be honest, i’m a huge dyson fan (honestly, smart innovative tech/science for everyday products with gorgeous design and sleek packaging, what’s not to love?)… so instead of showing you the usual press photos, how about a peek into the really fun launch! You know Dyson, they don’t overlook any design details, so as expected, everything from the custom tees on the all black tee/pants dressed fan plug-in-ers to the adorable mini BLT branded mini toasts to the bottom lit displays with cable captures (think half cable turtles) for perfect length cords when displayed… also, when it comes to a product like this, while the object itself and the technology are fascinating, there is something truly awesome about being able to watch a crowd of people respond and react to it for the first time (or perhaps that is just my voyeuristic inner user experience junkie!)… So take a peek at everything from the stunning sunset river views to launch reactions to the munchies to the beautiful displays and Dyson Air Multiplier Fans on the next page!