There is no denying that the Nocs NS2 Air Monitors are stunning. Beautiful, elegant computer/small room active speakers with built in AirPlay tech, making it ridiculously easy to throw your music around the house… and with AirPlay’s multi-speaker set up being so easy, it’s been fun hooking up the speakers in every room - from laptop to kitchen to living room to bedroom to be in sync, so music follows us around the house and NOTlabs! But back to aesthetics, these are designed in Stockholm (assembled in China) and have hand-built soft touch rubber coated cabinets (feels SO good!), Kevlar reinforced woofers and silk dome tweeters. I’m smitten by the way the red pops - they also come in black, white, grey, orange, and yellow. The set up is relatively easy (but also easy to forget, lest you need to reset and do it again - but you can ping the website for that too) - you basically plug it in, press setup on the back, and connect to its personal wifi network, hitting the usual 192.168.1.1 to set it up to attach to your network. You can also use AirPlay Direct Mode, which allows you to play to the temp wifi network it will create, perfect for wifi-less scenarios (simply double click the setup button till it turns amber.) Ready to take a peek at the details and setup? See the full unboxing on the next page!
Let’s start this off with an important lesson i just learned - puppies can not be trusted… they really will sneak off with things even if you turn your back for just a moment… and then they will curl up somewhere and hide and destroy it… like these pretty awesome HD Spy Camera Glasses from Photojojo! Random upside? While i don’t have many videos to share, luckily i tried quite a few and got pics of it all for you before Bucky got to it… and now we have a “puppy teardown” to show you the guts of what is inside and how it works!
The officially named, HD You Vision Video Glasses from Photojojo, come whiteboxed with a very oakley-esque camera case, usb charger, and 4GB micro SD. As for the fit, they are a bit wide and super light plastic (no real lenses and all), and i had a bit of trouble not looking pretty silly in them, but that being said, the video and audio quality was better than i expected! Full HD, pretty fun, good camera angle (third eye spot)… not great in the dark, and not high quality audio, but it will do for fun adventures that need documenting. And when i tried them out on a walk with Bucky, he didn’t seem to pleased to see them on my face (perhaps that’s why they got sneakily targeted later?) They are surprisingly easy to use - plug in to charge, click the button on the side to start recording, hit it again to stop! Take a peek at the unboxing (and unfortunate puppy tear down) on the next page!
From the adventures last week with Land Rover, so far you’ve seen the stunning off roading, now take a look at what is inside the 2013 Range Rover! This cutaway model sat outside the entrance of Amangiri during our press trip, and amidst the desert landscape, looks like a carcass that has been partially picked apart by vultures. What’s especially fun is the chance to get an up close peek at what is under the skin of the 2013 Range Rover - from the aluminum body to the pillowy air bags that make up the seat massagers, cut away wheels and tires to the Meridian sounds system and more! Take a look at it all on the next page…
Everyone (that didn’t learn to anthropomorphize cars from Cars) knows that the headlights are the eyes of a car. Especially in the dark! As a car zooms up on your rear, the glow of their lights in the rear view are all you see… and more often than not, that’s enough to distinguish them.
Well when you see the double V, four eyed headlights appear - you’ll know a Mercedes-Benz 2014 E-Class is coming up on you. While at the Mercedes-Benz Research & Development Studio in Carlsbad, CA yesterday - we joined the #MBRT13 (Mercedes-Benz Road Trip 13 global blogger group going from LA to Detroit) to see the unveiling of the new 2014 E-Class. The first detail to grab you is certainly the lights (even before the unveil it!). “The front end has been completely revised with new headlamps that incorporate all light functions within a single lens, while flowing light elements within the headlamps help to retain the “four-eyed” appearance that is such a distinctive E-Class signature. When it comes to light and sight, the E-Class sets the benchmark - low beam and daytime running lights both come with partial LED as standard, while full-LED headlamps are available as an option for the first time in this class,” says the press release. When you turn the blinker on, the ice cube like units above the swipes of white LEDs light up yellow in sequence, much like playing a piano scale. The effect reminds me of the concept style coupÃ©. Take a peek at the details on the next page! As well as a peek at the crazy basket in the trunk…
Happy almost 2013!!! The final weeks of 2012, i have been giving Windows 8 a real chance. I’ll admit, i’ve been a mac girl for years now, avoiding windows whenever possible… but with the addition of NOTlabs the last year, i’ve had to get back on windows for some of our modeling/lasercutting software and it’s been a bit of an adjustment (even on Win 7). Well, VIZIO convinced me to give Win 8 a proper try when they sent their stunning looking All-In-One Touch PC. It’s so pretty… so sleek… and so much more than just an all-in-one super touch screen. (Side note: we also tried out one of Vizio’s notebooks, but i quickly found that windows 8 is much easier with a touch screen, and stuck to the All-In-One while getting to know the many quirks of the OS… which is another conversation for another day.)
We set up the All-In-One alongside the monstrous NOTlabs Laser Cutter to run the laser cutter software, modeling/graphics software, and more… Veering outside of the purely digital, i’ve quickly been learning that physical fabrication requires much time and patience. Thus, there has been lots of waiting… hours and hours of waiting at times when running larger projects where we end up babysitting the machine… so the All-In-One Touch PC’s HDMI portsessentially turning into a TV at the push of a remote button has been awesome! We’ve been plugging in our DirecTV receiver, PS3, Co-Star, etc. to relax while still keeping an eye on things! And best part, when flipping over to use it like a TV, the computer keeps running, so we don’t lose anything that is in progress and can flip back and forth easily. Verdict? If i’m going to have to have a windows machine around NOTlabs, i’m loving the versatility of the big 27” All-In-One Touch PC. Take a peek on the next page for more details, our unboxing, and a peek into some laser cutting/call of duty multitasking in NOTlabs.
Mercedes-Benz Ener-G Force Concept Car - it’s like the cartoon super hero car that someone between the Fisher Price Rescue Heroes/Team Fortress/Duke Nukem would drive… with an Xterra-esque rear, an FJ like feel, and the illustrations remind me of Kimberly Wu’s JOY concept from 2008. While I was intrigued by the concept images that have been floating around when it surfaced on NOTCOT.org, i didn’t expect to love it as much as i did in person! The sketches are stunning. The attention to details - fascinating! And in person, in the glow of sunset, it really is hard to take your eyes off of. I love that they created the concept and sketches situations of it for Desert, Polar, and Jungle situations using camel, penguin, and monkey icons - even on the tires, which sadly didn’t make it into the final model. However, they did slip in the side view mirror warning: “Penguins, camels, and other wild animals in mirror may be closer than they appear.” Mercedes, please make this into a toy car model - or an R/C car - or a 3D printable R/C car shell… because it is adorable, and would make for some ridiculously fun photoshoots with action figures.
Take a look at the sketches, details, teaser video (the video is pretty epic) - then the unveiling of the full sized model at Mister C in Beverly Hills tonight. There are a LOT of pictures, but there was too much fun not to share! See it all on the next page…
This week we popped by the Sonos Space to see “Missing” created by The xx in collaboration with new media producer Aramique Krauthamer, media artist Kyle McDonald and engineer Matt Mets. The installation is created around the song of the same name from their new album “Coexist” and features 50 robotic Sonos players following the movement of visitors as they pass through… The first thing you notice is the glowing cube in the center of the space filled with Sonos speakers hanging inside, all rotating to face the listeners as they move around. They only let a few people through at a time - and with the opening night crowd, it quickly starts to look like a glowing catwalk as people sashay through.
As for how it works - each speaker is suspended from cables and uses a small circuit board and stepper motor to rotate around. Two Microsoft Kinects are mounted in the upper corners that track peoples movements. A computer uses that data to control the direction of movement for each speaker by creating a vector between the person and the closest speakers. The system constantly sends commands to the motors creating the effect that each speaker is tracking you. Even with 10+ people crowded into the installation the system work remarkably well.
See more of the installation and details on the next page!
Here’s the latest from our London based editor, Justine Aw.
Today I popped down to Worship Street to visit The Digital Dissection Dining Room, “a virtual reality future laboratory” created in a Shoreditch showroom for just 12 hours. The project is the latest from Something & Son (the team behind FARM:shop) and Inition (who we met at the 3D printshow) and will act as the venue for tonight’s Lush Prize Awards, which brings together scientists, researchers and campaigners to celebrate research into developments to reduce the need for animal testing. More photos of this fascinating project on the next page!
Oakley Airwave Goggles with built in Heads Up Display are launching on Halloween! And we had the pleasure of trying them out when we were in SF… i kid you not, the heads up display is gorgeous! Watching full color video in the little prism screen to the bottom right of your periphery was better than you’d expect. And i’m sure in due time, you stop finding yourself tilting your head down and to the right, as if you’d get a better view of it as i did… especially when you have stunning slopes filled with powder visible through the rest of your goggles!
As for what you can control and see in the Heads Up Display - there is everything from GPS/Navigation (routes for a lot of the best slopes around the globe are pre-programmed in), Buddy tracking (you can even find your friends who don’t have goggles, so long as they have the app), Music controls, Speed, Jump Analytics, and more! Of course, via bluetooth you can also pair it with your smartphone and view incoming calls and texts and access your playlists… all controlled by glove friendly wrist remote. The HUD itself comes from Recon Instruments, using “innovative prism technology to display information perceived by the wearer to be the size of a 14-inch screen that is five feet away, so refocusing the eye is not necessary.” And it really is surprisingly good in person. The accompanying app will be available on both Android and iOS, and no worries, even when your phone isn’t connected (or the battery dies) the goggles have built in GPS, Accelerometer, etc so all your data is stored locally until you connect to your phone.
For the best explanation of how it all works - take a look at the video on the next page! And for now, i’ll just keep dreaming about when Oakley takes this further and integrates the fun HUD into more products for every day life!
p.s. It’s worth noting that there’s a HUD SDK available - so if you can dream it, you can make it happen!
We just spent the last week playing with the Mercedes-Benz 2013 GL450 - fully loaded with designo package and all the tech add ons! I must say, after driving it (and the other cars all stayed in the garage - all week!), it’s no surprise that it just won Motor Trend’s SUV of the year… having grown up in/driving SUVs for most of my life, i must say this beast of a car handles amazingly, and is surprisingly comfortable as a passenger (in any of the seats) And the new Active Curve System is magical - “to help control body lean during cornering maneuvers, electrohydraullically variable stabilizer bars for the front and rear axies increase roll stiffness based on driving speed and lateral acceleration, as well as the Adaptive Damping System’s Sport Mode.” Oh, and Sport Mode is a must when not off roading…
But the one detail that blew me away (and that i miss now that the car is gone) - the Surround View System. Anytime you are driving below a certain speed (maybe around 15mph?) you can click into the 360 Camera in the System menu and see the views around the WHOLE car - in various merged super views as well as seeing what each camera (one below the front mercedes logo, one on the bottom of each side mirror, and one that pops down above the license plate in the back) is seeing… while i’d like to think i’m pretty good with the parallel parking and lining up nicely between the lines… there is no question here when you can pop the camera on and see EXACTLY where those lines are. Also as you turn the steering, lines appear showing exactly where your car will go. It is a nicely implemented feature, and beyond pictures, we made some videos for you to see it in action on the next page!
p.s. Now, if only someone could hack it so you could record video out of them…
Since my first visit to the Mercedes-Benz Museum in Stuttgart, i’ve been hearing about the Mercedes-Benz Classic Center that is nearby in Irvine… we finally made it over there yesterday, getting a peek not only at the pristinely restored cars both on display and for sale in the lobby, as well as a look at what’s waiting in line in the garage and what is currently being worked on in the workshop… and WOW. It is beyond breathtaking. The curves. The colors. The multiple generations of history all in the same room… and to see the wealth of knowledge and incredible attention to detail, as the technicians and engineers inspect not only every part of the car, but also the vehicle’s legitimacy - from verifying its history, and tracking down exact paint colors down to the original chemical mixtures used, to spending years reviving barn finds into “authentic, as-new” conditions. With a small team of around 21 men, it was great to hear that the Irvine Mercedes-Benz Classic Center is a mix of seasoned Mercedes-Benz technicians as well as a few newer apprentices, coming from McPherson College’s Auto Restoration Degree (which is the first degree program in the world available in auto restoration founded in the 70s, and Mercedes-Benz has been a big supporter of it over the years.)
On the next page, take a walk through the garage as well as the incredible Classic Center Workshop and get a peek at what is currently being worked on or in line to be next!
Here’s the latest from our London based editor, Justine Aw, sharing her discoveries at the first London 3D Printshow - she came back with lots of pics, and our NOTlabs director, Shawn Sims will help explain it all below!
We’ve been following 3D printing closely as it picks up momentum faster than ever the last year… I made my first 3D print back in 2006 at Pratt, and have been fascinated since. We printed the F.U.C.K. Adapters with an Objet which uses a method called Stereolithography, also known as SLA. This particular process uses a photosensitive resin or liquid that is hardened into place by ultraviolet light. Recently we unboxed the Makerbot Replicator which uses a technique called Fused Deposition Modeling or FDM. It works by squeezing out a thin heated filament, usually plastic, which hardens once extruded. These two methods make up nearly all of the DIY and desktop 3D printers that you have been seeing. This week has been quite the week for 3D printing, with both the Shapeways Factory of the Future opening in NYC as well as the London 3D Printshow!
The 3D Printshow is a unique mix between a hardware trade show and an art gallery of selected works from sculptors, jewellery designers, animation and interactive artists all working with 3D form. We even got to see the much anticipated Form 1 3D Printer from the Kickstarter superstar FormLabs of MIT in person. It is great to see how they are bringing the art of 3D printing to the masses, helping it transcend being a prototyping/manufacturing level tool… perhaps it could truly become a reality for every home to have one much like an ink printer in the near future. Check out the variety of 3D printers and art pieces we saw on the next page!
This super picture loaded post is made possible by our awesome friends, artists and designers, Che-Wei Wang & Taylor Levy of CW&T, who went and brought back lots of pics from the opening of Shapeways’ new factory in Long Island!
Shapeways has been on the forefront of creating what many have dubbed “the kinkos of 3D printing” - the go to spot to send your files and objects will appear at your doorstep! You can see the unboxing of our interlocking cubes here, and it’s super exciting to see in the pics on the next page where our prints will be coming from in no time!
As Taylor shared with us, “The space is HUGE, as you’ll see in the pics. It is empty now, but it will be awesome down the line. They are prepping for 50 industrial 3d printing machines. You can see the bright green spray painted plots on the floor to show where machines will go. They are running a couple machines right now in small adjacent spaces, doing strong white and flexible and FUD until the new machines arrive. They spoke a bit about interfacing with the community, giving tours, and workshops. And of course how important it was for them to pick a spot to open that was close to the majority of their customers. Both to lower their carbon footprint, but also to be close to the community. I hope that happens. Our dream of course is to be able to send them a file and then bike over from our studio (it’s 10 mins away) to go pick it up! Mayor Bloomberg was there to speak and cut the ribbon. There was lots of talk about how exciting it is to bring in a new wave of hi-tech manufacturing into the city.” Exciting stuff!!! Take a peek throughout the space on the next page… we can only dream (and hope to pop back) about what it will look like when completely filled with 3D printers!
3D printed light bulbs that play with the way light is distributed… a 3D printed toy that’s responsive to a little girl with its digital eyes… LEDs embedded right into your 3D print while printing… 3D printable sensors, buttons, and switches… even a mobile 3D display created by projecting on internal bubbles within a 3D printed model. These are all possible now ~ and demonstrated in the latest project to come from Disney Research Pittsburgh - “Printed Optics” by Karl D.D. Willis, Eric Brockmeyer, Scott E. Hudson, Ivan Poupyrev.
Changing perspectives on how 3D prints works, this project both interrupts the printing process (to insert electronics), and also plays with the capabilities of the 3D printing itself to manipulate the way light behaves within the final print, turning a 3D print right out of the printer into “unique display surfaces, novel illumination techniques, custom optical sensors, and robust embedded components can be digitally fabricated for rapid, high fidelity, customized interactive devices.” While the material they are printing in isn’t your makerbot/consumer level printing (yet!) - this combination of UV cured resin and a special completely clear resin designed specifically for optical uses, creates the ability to create “light pipes” which function much like fiber optics. The possibilities with the direction of this research add a whole new level of interactivity to 3D prints! (Read the full paper here!) See them in action in the video and images on the next page…
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On fun and unexpected surprises, a Reebok FitList Box just arrived in the mail! For the launch of the Reebok FitList App on Spotify, the folks at DeepLocal created limited edition sneaker cases containing portable stereo speakers and sound reactive LED lights that glow in reaction to music, ambient sound, and even touch. (It’s oddly mesmerizing to tap the case and watch it light up and fade!) Most impressive is the fun video they created with athletes working out alongside a wall of these LED shoe boxes, and as they jump and run and work out. They’ve created 100 limited edition Reebok FitList boxes holding a pair of RealFlex Transition 2.0 shoes featuring an exclusive colorway (black with red soles!) just for the occasion. See the video, making of, and a peek inside the actual Reebok FitList Box and what powers it on the next page!