On fun packages to kick off the week ~ i love that HBO and Cornerstone Promotion have teamed up with Mimoco to promote their new new shows. As we saw on .org, The Official Vanache Blog received a Life and Times of Tim Mimobot earlier ~ and i just received “Vicky Pollard” from the freshly launched Little Britain USA (the american version of the extremely successful BBC comedy) that just started last night. This little USB is filled with videos introducing a few of the characters!
On noteworthy things from a creative/marketing perspective, i love that Mimobots have managed to really up the standards in giveaway USB drives filled with content, and that companies like HBO and Cornerstone are thinking outside of the box, designing collectible limited edition characters. In the case of the Little Britain USA characters, only 4000 of each were made. See more images on the next page!
I interviewed a fictitious house! Ok, well that’s the one liner i’ve used for people who either don’t know Twitter, Sci-Fi’s Eureka, or both. For those who know ~ I twitterviewed a self actuated residential automated habitat! (aka S.A.R.A.H.)… and perhaps the most unexpected and exciting part of the whole experience was getting a sneak peek at the creative background for this television wonderhouse ~ while twitterviewing, S.A.R.A.H. shared some blueprints, set photos, and early sketches of what the house was planned to look like. Definitely some fun creative food for thought…
So first, here’s a little background ~ Eureka has been one of my tv indulgences for some time now… there’s something so playful and creatively inspiring about how they’ve managed to mix some very smart, sciencey ideas with some very pretty, glossy, innovative gadgetry in their magically hidden town of geniuses (you can watch full episodes on the Eureka site now if you want to see what i mean). Much of what shows up, often reminds me of crazy designer concepts and prototypes we dream up and read about constantly… So when i found out they decided to go all web 2.0 and have both a twitter (written by the house AI) and a tumblr (Eureka Unscripted - the behind the scenes blog), i couldn’t resist reaching out to see if they were willing to take it one step further and let me interview the AI over twitter! Afterall, we seldom do interviews here, and definitely focus more on design than people, so how perfect is it to interview the design versus the designer? So as you can see, the idea quickly blossomed, and last night turned into a fun hour long ramble between us over twitter, which even exposed some visually inspiring behind the scenes sneak peeks (including one of my messy desk)!
See the full transcript as well as some of the reactionary tweets on the next page ~ and if you need some catching up first - jump to the background of S.A.R.A.H. and a quick visual overview!
I’m sure by now you’ve heard about Esquire’s 75th Anniversary Cover ~ limited edition of 100,000 ~ with real E-Ink embedded in the cover. Over at Esquire, they’ve even opened up the discussion about whether you can hack it… and even show you where it all came from… So as a random Sunday amusement, couldn’t help picking it up from the newsstand, and as much as i resisted, i lasted a few minutes before i HAD to rip it apart and poke at the digital guts. So on the next page you can see video of it before and after, pictures of how it works, and scans as well!
Muji’s Arm Massager - on totally random Parisian discoveries, ran around with Ami and Seth of Cool Hunting in Le Marais, and when hiding from the rain in Muji, found this silly arm massager that actually feels awesome, and looks… well it looks bizarre enough i had to pick it up when i saw it. And upon playing with it, couldn’t help but wonder if it would help all of us keyboard addicts to avoid some carpal tunnel issues or relieve some stress pains which may occur… fun idea for random stocking stuffers… More pics on the next page!
So traveling Veuve Clicquot style is quite a trip, they started us out on the yacht, flew us around in the helicopter… and now here’s the most impressive car… Who knew a 1960’s yellow and purple Bentley S3 could be so appealing? I love fast cars, i love beautifully designed cars, and apparently i love the vintage woody not at all discreet Veuve Clicquot Yellow and Purple Bentley? I couldn’t resist taking two rides in it with Stephane Gerschel as we drove around Reims… and every time i sat fascinated not only by the tiniest details (from the jeweled fuel light to the insane speed of the windows to the amusement of seeing a GPS in a car of that vintage)… You have to check out the rest of the pics!
You would never believe how hard it is to cull from the hundreds of pictures from each day to figure out what to post!
NOTCOT Note: While i’m running around france learning about champagne at hyper speed, it’s hard to get much time or a good connection to work from… so good thing Anna has my back, and found this super awesome Band in My Pocket!
Yamaha has teamed up with au Design to create Band In My Pocket - a series of cellular phone prototypes that also function as musical instruments. Depending on the prototype you use, you can turn your phone into a brass instrument, drum sticks, piano, string instrument, etc. The au Design website is in Japanese, but be sure to check out the videos that showcase each design (click on the black box with the arrow beneath the diagrams). Also worth checking out are videos of Band In My Pocket in action over at Bola Sociology’s blog.
Check out the individual phones and their uses on the next page!
UPDATE: a winner has been chosen and emailed! Thank you for all of your entries!
Jimmyjane launches their new Form 6 massager and you can win it! Just leave an amusing comment as to why you need this $185 designer massager more than anyone else, and i’ll pick someone to send to the nice folks at jimmyjane once i have free time in Paris this week (hopping a flight at 3:30 today!).
This new Jimmyjane Form 6 massager is now completely waterproof, completely re-engineered with super subtle protruding buttons making the massager completely seamless/handle-less, and the gorgeous carrying case also acts as its storage/travel case and charger all in one! The original Form 6 picked up an IDEA award from BusinessWeed and the Industrial Designers Society of America, and honestly, i think this one far surpasses the original in design. So see a full unboxing and closeups of the details to this gorgeous new design on the next page, and don’t forget to leave a comment to WIN IT!
Unexpected excerpt from the press release, “FORM 6 has been embraced as the gold standard by the sexual wellbeing market, where it is the product of choice for leading retailers and sex columnists. It has also been a crossover hit, performing as the best-selling premium handheld vibrating massager in top retailers for therapeutic massagers in the US, tripling their sales expectations.”
On random Sunday posts ~ just got back from tagging along with some friends test driving at O’Gara Coach - Lamborghini Beverly Hills to play with the Lamborghinis, Bugattis, Bentleys, Aston Martins, Rolls Royces, etc - being such a warm gorgeous day out brought the camera, and some of the colors and details were far too inspiring not to share… so check out some of the imagery on the next page!
Ok, you know when you have some ridiculous idea, and you need to tell someone to see if its super silly or possibly functional, and no one seems to be online and not super busy working right now… so unfortunately for you, here’s my silly idea this late friday afternoon!
So many of my cubicle dwelling friends have either got or toyed with those rear view mirrors for their desks, monitors, etc. And really, regardless of whether you’re using it for fixing your hair, keeping an eye on who or what is behind you at all times, staring at yourself, staring at your cubicle mate across the way, spying on others around corners… does it have to be SO OBVIOUS? Especially when it is taking up so much of your precious teeny tiny desk space? So i couldn’t help myself and picked up some cheapy sunglasses that are pretty similar to the matthew williamson acrylic aviators i posted to NotCouture last night ~ and when i sat down at my desk i rested them up on my monitor.. and since they’re slightly mirrored, honestly it works far better than those silly mirrors (and there are TWO!) and seems far more understated for your workplace spying… If for some reason you have no clue what i’m ranting about today, go see the other products on the next page and then come back…
DEAL for NOTCOTers - 20% off all Hulger Products until Sept 14th! (just click through, they’ll take care of you.)
Next up ~ on the next page i have a full reverse unboxing of the Hulger Penelope*Phone and USB Base in Black and classic P*Phone & USB Base in Red… While the Penelope is sexy and classy and oh so modern designy retro… i couldn’t resist the red P*Phone… ok this is going to sound pretty silly, but i was wondering whether having an “official work phone” on my desk would somehow make me more professional on the phone… something about wandering around the house on the cell phone, i just have a tendency to get far too casual + friendly… It’s like the new NOTCOT Hotline! Less in that Moscow-Washington Cold War sort of way, and more in the playful Powerpuff Girls from the Mayor’s office to Pokey Oaks Kindergarten sort of way. I guess for NOTCOT, its more like ad folks to me hotline… So have been messing with the vinyl cutter and at the moment i have it filled with a black notcot logo texture inside and a little notcot on the front, have considered covering it with random textures or some fun pirate dinos…
Oh, and for those curious why i went corded over bluetooth ~ i’m terrible with charging, and the Hulgers are already far too large to get away with for the driving/talking handsfree laws, so this makes for a really fun desk phone, whether plugged into my monitors via USB, or into my curve. Anyhow, see a full unboxing of how awesome the packaging is on the next page! (And some old 80’s red phone ads as well…)
yes, i do seem to feel more serious when on an old school phone, especially a red one, how silly is that?
Ok packaging lovers… you will definitely want some AIAIAI headphones, iphone/curve headsets (headphones + mic/button), and the new laptop sleeves (but more to come on that in a future post!)… These danish designers don’t mess around, their gorgeous headphones (you have to feel these cables to realize how nice the quality is) come in these incredible thick plastic tubes (think perfect for pens/pencils/paint brushes) where the ends aren’t just plugs but little containers with their own caps (they are like little pill boxes) with alternative ear pieces! As you can see, they have great attention to detail ~ and the Y-com model is named so for its signature Y shaped center piece where the L and R are labeled… some even have a playful behind the ear coil…
As for how they work ~ well i tried them hooked up to my blackberry curve for the 5.5 hour drives up and down to/from SF/LA this weekend, and it was great (driving with only one side in of course, since both sides in the sound is so good you can’t hear the world around you). Also, see the fun flashy page flipping AIAIAI Catalog here! See pics on the next page to get the full experience!
Our favorite felt/leather technology carriers, Working Class Heroes, has evolved and is now known as Hard Graft. And honestly, nothing has changed, other than their moniker, and the quality and designs are, if anything, better than ever! So i’ve got an exclusive sneak peak for you of the latest line (and quite possibly my favorite yet)… here’s
The Dapper Collection!
I’ve always loved their leather pockets on felt, which my original laptop sleeve from them had, and now they’ve brought the motif back as the signature feature in
The Dapper Collection. Also, they’ve mastered the Kindle case (see pics of a prototype i’ve been playing with on the next page), and it has a pocket which perfectly fits the iPhone. Honestly, its the perfect little bundle to grab when you’re off to read in the park or at the beach. They’ve also got an adorable iPhone case, which has a pocket for some cash/cards… and a revival of the laptop wallet with top buttons and a new larger pocket also perfect for iPhones! So check out more pics on the next page, and see the full collection for purchase at Hard Graft!
Fun packages to come home to ~ the new Sidekick that just launched today! Now with customizable skins that you can design yourself with black, white, or pink plastic as the base. So on the next page i have a full unboxing for you, and close ups of some of the fun details… and then some REALLY close up (like 200x) views of the new keyboard as well, which is my favorite feature. Overall, i’m loving the new design, its sleek, nice and matte in the center, and the font and non-chicklet like keyboard keys are so nice to use… also check out what the phone looks like with and without the new skins…
Yes, Game Libratory = Library + Laboratory. And yes, games - meaning everything from those historical ancient emulated DOS PC games to low cost edu-tainment products to the latest PS3, XBOX 360, and Wii games… It’s really something that all our current libraries are missing, and there aren’t nearly enough (if any) great labs organizing the history of gaming as it flies by us - in such a way that people could someday check them out like microfiche and catch up on some games of the past that are no longer accessible other than to a few who snatch them up from ebay or at a garage sale! Also, imagine how much history there is in simply watching people play these various games, and seeing how the usability and interactions have evolved over time… and when you someday tell your kids, “back in my day, we used a JOYSTICK”… well you can drag them down to the Game Libratory to experience some historical gaming first hand.
So, when this brainchild of NOTCOT friends (from the pre-notcot the site even existing days), Daniel Rehn, Derek Lomas, and Jeremy Douglass, who hooked up with the Software Studies Initiative, Center for Research in Computing and the Arts (CRCA) at Calit2, UC San Diego, launched, it was literally just an idea that is quickly growing out of the tiny lounge space they received from CRCA. They have been accumulating some incredible collections from donors (and shopping on ebay) and contributing their own gaming resources… and students and researchers internationally have been eagerly joining in to explore previously unavailable research opportunities! So while the space is quickly filling up, and they’re hopefully expanding to a new home soon - i convinced Daniel to let me take a few shots of things that intrigued me, from their set up, to some of the many crazy gadgets i’d never seen before! So take a peek on the next page ~ and if you’re not sure what to do with all your games and systems, but don’t want to simply sell them off to anyone… the Game Libratory is a good home for them to take their place in gaming history!
things to look forward to? How about across game comparisons of the ways characters die? Or comparisons of the evolution of button mashing across controllers? And don’t you think the future Game Libratory needs to have Toledano’s Video Game Faces mixed with gorgeous screenshots framed on their walls?