*NOTCOT in tech -

Augmented Reality

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And to follow up on the last post about Lego’s new Digital Boxes by Metaio ~ here’s a roundup of Augmented Reality as collected up on NOTCOT.org! Most of these end up linking you to videos and picture where you can see augmented reality digital “pop up books” ~ and playful puppies who run to other card/markers that are water dishes, 3D graffiti painting in a warehouse, adorable monsters, xmas cards, and my favorite is the zoo ads you aim your cell phone at and see animals… So much potential with the technology, i’m super excited to see what people will come up with next to push the boundaries further!

*NOTCOT in tech -

Lego’s Digital Box

lego0.jpg Augmented Reality ~ its a quickly growing trend currently ~ and honestly, i’m thrilled! It was such an art/research buzzword about 5 years ago when i was in college studying technology in the arts, and sure it’s taken some time, but i’ve been absolutely fascinated how its been translating into commercial and more aesthetically interesting uses ~ particularly in the case where you have prints/objects you can hold up to webcams and cellphone cameras to see magicaly digital beings and objects appear which you can manipulate.

Metaio, out of Germany, seems to be leading some of the innovative commercial uses of this technology, and their latest project is a very fun one for LEGO! From the press release: “Munich, December 2008 - From November, the Danish toy manufacturer will test launch its “DIGITAL BOX” in selected toyshops and LEGO® stores worldwide. This interactive terminal will utilize innovative technology supplied by metaio in the form of a software program specially-developed for the LEGO Group by the Munich-based experts in
augmented reality solutions. Together with a camera and display screen, the software lets LEGO packaging reveal its contents fully-assembled within live 3D animated scenes.” How much more fun does that make going to the toy store? Of course even cooler would be watching it build up in your hands piece by piece in full rotatable 3D when you hold it up ~ but i know, baby steps… See more preview pics of these new Digital Boxes on the next page!

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*NOTCOT in me - 01.21.09 -

Back from vacation…

back.jpg Back in LA! I must say it was nice to step outside of my world a bit and experience seeing/being amongst millions descending upon DC for such a historic event (and explore DC for the first time) this last week. I’m sure everyone walked away with something different from the experience, for me, a big one is that it was a nice and much needed head clearer! Anyhow, back in LA again, and wanted an excuse to post this random picture from the flight home.

*NOTCOT in travel - 01.20.09 -

The 56th US Presidential Inauguration

inaug1.jpgWow. Well, today was quite a day. We are now in the era of President Barack Obama ~ and we’re quite anxious to see what happens in this first 100 days… Currently curled up in a hotel room watching CNN, getting a peek at the many balls taking place throughout DC and the country tonight… and i’m exhausted! I can’t even imagine how the Obamas must feel! Beyond the info you can get just about anywhere ~ on the next page you can get a peek at what our experience here was like today ~ from the 4am vendors setting up shop ~ to the humvee outside the window by 7am ~ to the masses of people traversing the city streets to and from the ceremony ~ to an inflated spiderman! One thing that definitely stands out today ~ i do not think i’ve ever been in a crowd of so many people in my life ~ and there was something incredibly moving about the energy of it ~ everyone so excited and literally from everywhere! Seeing them all come together, being in the midst of the cold for hours, and having millions sing taunting good-byes to Bush and come together with hopeful screams for what the future holds… it was quite an unforgettable day.

… and we’re headed back to LA tomorrow ~ so back to regular random postings in no time!

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*NOTCOT in travel - 01.18.09 -

We Are One: The Obama Inaugural Celebration

crowd0.jpg Curiosity meant i couldn’t resist seeing what the scene was like at today’s concert at Lincoln Memorial ~ We Are One: The Obama Inaugural Celebration. NPR had exclusive live broadcasting of the concert ~ and they have a great photo gallery (of things close up that i wasn’t able to see in person!) ~ with a star studded line up and the national mall filled with jumbotrons ~ we wandered over towards the end and caught barack obama’s speech from a nice spot near the washington monument ~ the real spectacle was the sheer number of people as we looked out from the massive obelisk down toward the teeny tiny lincoln memorial (live view 10x helped me see what was actually going on down there through the 5D!). It was pretty incredible how tens of thousands of people became dead quiet as he spoke. Silly as it sounds, just being a part of the masses was a fascinating experience ~ even the national park rangers were giddy about how many people were there! So here are some pics from our perspective to give you a feel of the (incredibly civilized!) crowds ~ and some fun tech amusements ~ from the awesome star wars feeling “ICx Tactical Platforms” police cherry-picker like high tech viewing towers, to the masses climbing on the jumbotron generators, to the people in trees… it was a pretty insane number of bodies out there! I can’t even image what Tuesday is going to be like…

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*NOTCOT in travel - 01.17.09 -

It’s Real Change in DC

change1.jpg “It’s Real Change” ~ really! At the “real change exchange” - aka the US Mint! This truck cracked me up when we were wandering around the national mall today… wasn’t sure what to call this post ~ but basically on the next page you can see a range of pictures from our adventures in the cold on foot today ~ some fun ones of the Capitol with tons of chairs and jumbotrons set up out front ~ plastic bags frozen into a the reflecting pool ~ carousels ~ people freezing and jumping up and down behind Spike Lee and the MSNBC team that basically lit the WHOLE of the national mall with blinding lights ~ the washington monument and its circle of flags ~ and more!

UPDATE! Just found out that the “It’s Real Change” Truck was part of - “United States Mint Introduces Native American $1 Coin to Open National Museum of the American Indian Multicultural Festival” ~ where you could switch 1$ bills for the new 1$ coin! Unfortunately when we wandered past they were parked and closed up!

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*NOTCOT in design - 01.16.09 -

Manifest Hope: DC ~ The Art!

mh0.jpgManifest Hope: DC ~ as you already know, i was at the opening tonight (and luckily got to sneak in a little early and get some nice people free pics before it turned mob scene!)… so i’ve already shown you the overview - with looks at some pieces of art, the spaces, the goodies, and more… and as promised here’s a post filled with *most* of my favorites complete with closeups! That means another 30 pics or so on the next page! Unfortunately no names/titles, because 1) its 3am 2) sooooo many works of art 3) had trouble keep track of everything, but no worries, Yosi said it will all be up on the Manifest Hope: DC site! So enjoy the art, in this post you can see it from my perspective! ~ and if this at&t usb internet card we’re trying out allows, gallery of everything i’ve got (unedited) will be up soon for those who want to see it all and in more detail!

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*NOTCOT in design -

Manifest Hope: DC First Look

manifesthope00.jpg Wow. Yosi Sergant (along with his whole team at the awesome Evolutionary Media Group) and Shepard Fairey sure know how to put on a hell of an art show, raise spirits, and pull off this ridiculously nonchalant, humble adorableness. To both of them, CONGRATS!!! It’s been an absolute honor to be able to watch such influential folks put their powers to use for good in the election of Obama from such a close distance, and personally, their ability to bring the creative community together so strongly and visually has been mind numbing. Tonight was no different, as i come back to the hotel, mind spinning, and CF card loaded with over 150 amazing pictures i want to share with you from Manifest Hope: DC! So i’ve been sitting here trying to make sense of what to show you and how, without completely overwhelming you! So for starters this post gives you an overview of the space, the art, and the pins/stickers/posters… and more to come soon.

Manifest Hope: DC is absolutely incredible, regardless of how you may feel about Obama, or the visual idolization of our new icon ~ the quality of art in this show, and the amount of art in this show is absolutely stunning. The focus of Manifest Hope: DC is three themes… Manifest Change - Health Care Reform, Manifest Unity - Workers’ Rights, and Manifest Opportunity - The Green Economy ~ in fact 15 of these works were picked from over a thousand submitted in the online contest! So here we go… see the first 25 pics on the next page… and closeups of my favorites and a gallery of all of it coming up soon ~ baby steps, people!

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*NOTCOT in travel - 01.15.09 -

Obama’s Inauguration Parade Booth

pres.jpg Firstly, omg its so cold… so when we headed over to Old Ebbitt’s Grill for dinner we couldn’t resist wandering by on the walk back to the hotel. (Ebbitts was established in 1856, and has a Beaux-Arts facade, mahogany and velvet booths and bars set in marble, brass and beveled glass.)… when we wandered across the street seating and portopotties were all set up, and it looks like they just got the huge booth for the Obamas to view the parade from up! The cop/guards were telling us that they even take the whole thing down the day of! So here are some quick pics we snapped with the little point and shoot, where we were sooooo cold we didn’t even want to take our gloves off… Although this is a few blocks from the hotel, unlikely we’ll get this close again on inauguration day, but pretty interesting to take a look at up close! Also see some pics of the white house behind it as well all on the next page…

p.s.
I’m also taking this week in DC off from most work/email ~ so posts from me might be lighter, but i’m still editing posts on the other sites like usual…

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*NOTCOT in tech - 01.13.09 -

Flexicord

flexi1.jpg Flexicord! On silly products that seem so simple ~ its amazing what some awesome packaging, clean simple product displays, and an instant “why didn’t i think of that” reaction can turn into! These Flexicord cables are your usual HDMI, Cat5, S-video, USB, etc… only you can bend them, and they’ll hold their shape! I love their “Clamshell-free” imagery ~ and the idea that it basically comes with a paper towel tube as a “coiling tube” feature… just crack me up. But really, i still want one, it could serve as the ethernet cable that doubles as a cable wrangler, coiling itself around it, or bending it into various shapes to hold/sort the mess behind my desk? Read more about Flexicord here… and I’ve included all my pics of their booth and product sheet on the next page!

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*NOTCOT in playful -

Skip Hop’s Wishbone Bike 3 in 1

bike1.jpg Wishbone Bike from Skip Hop ~ with thoughtful, beautiful design for such playful, fun kids products, Skip Hop has yet to disappoint! Their latest addition is gaining distribution rights to New Zealand designed: Wishbone Bike, a 3 in 1 starter bike that grows with kids… from the stable lightweight tricycle, to pedal-less running bike, to normal bike for kids up to 5! It is also environmentally sustainable design and a Juvenile Products Manufacturers Association 2008 Innovation Award Winner! See more pics on the next page!

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*NOTCOT in design - 01.11.09 -

The Standard Hotel 2009 Staff Calendar

standard1.jpg As you know by now, there is nothing standard about The Standard ~ their logo likes to be upside down, their decor unexpected, their store schwag designer… is it any surprise that their Staff Calendar this year resembles a retro yearbook? Well, a yearbook where everyone is incredibly attractive and calling out all the stereotypes… from the prom queen and the stoner to the jocks and nerds… which were you?

Well while you ponder that ~ jump over to the next page where you can watch a fun little video where all the characters unfold ~ followed by a candid “making of” the video and calendar shoot!

There are only 500 copies of this 4th annual calendar available, and while traditionally they were only sent to say thank you to their most regular guests… this year and they can be found in The Standard Shop! “Shot at on location at The Standard, Downtown LA by Michael Elins, this year’s is perhaps our favorite yet. Staff flew to LA from each of the Standards’ home towns after being cast for the shoot. Designed as a desktop or bookshelf calendar, it measures 7.5” tall by 3” wide when folded, and about 6” wide when assembled.”

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*NOTCOT in design -

Coraline ~ 50 boxes + MORE!

corall.jpg Now you’ve seen Coraline Box #21… So, where are all of those other 50 Coraline boxes? And what is inside them? What else are people finding around the internet? Around their neighborhood shops and on buildings? I have been fascinated exploring them all for the last few hours, so i’ve rounded up previews of all of those i’ve found so far on the next page… and really they are just teasers, explore the many links to see what all these incredible designed boxes hold!

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*NOTCOT in design -

Coraline Box 21/50 “WIGS”

coralinemain.jpg Have you been following the crafty animation filled horror-fairytale based on the Neil Gaiman book, Coraline, that is taking the internet by storm? Well, taking the internet on both digitally (the Coraline site is pretty mind-blowing to explore being filled with secrets all around as well as goodies like videos, posters, downloads and more) and via snail mail with some very very awesome packages landing at the doorsteps of 50 of the Laika Animation Studio’s favorite blogs, and then even more paper wrapped packages from your “Other Mother” to other sites as well… Is it no wonder that a studio founded by Phil Knight (co-founder and Chairman of Nike) and based in Portland, Oregon, is creating a mastermind campaign creating incredible one off pieces, as well as mysterious surprises throughout the world? From these 50 boxes, to mysterious button keys appearing in various shops and hanging from abandoned buildings… Well, before i share with you my last few hours of scouring the net with curiosity…

Of those 50 boxes circulating… i’m honored to share Coraline Box #21/50 which arrived while i was in Vegas the last few days… in it, you’ll see an assortment of wigs from the “other” father, the real father, and Coraline herself… It’s packaging as art, props as marketing, pieces of the animation process as education… all in all its brilliant, playful, personalized, and the whole search throughout the world and internet to find out more is invigoratingly engaging! So without further ado, see the gallery of images of Box #21 on the next page (as well as other goodies of course!)…

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*NOTCOT in tech - 01.10.09 -

Miniwiz Solarbulb, POLLI-brick, miniNOTE

solarbulb1.jpg Few can say they took packaging design cues from fast food burger containers… although Miniwiz’s Solarbulb has been making the rounds this week due to their CES presence, and the very interesting concept of a solar powered light that can screw on to your standard plastic water bottles, or on their POLLI-brick bottles that are interlockable to build larger structures… not nearly enough attention has been paid to their packaging prototypes and iconography on them! Basically these solar/wind powered portable device designers make incredible use of cardboard! Also noteworthy is their miniNOTE ~ a cardboard mailer/postcard with a solar panel and battery built in for your recipient to charge and use instantly! Such a beautiful gesture ~ can you imagine sending “power” to a bunch of your friends? Take a peek at close up pics of their designs and CES booth display on the next page!

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