I think this is one of my favorite pictures from CES. Just something so fun about that glow. This was actually a backlit display on a concrete little table on their big grassy courtyard with little concrete stools all around it (you'll see more of the Belkin booth soon). But i just love how this picture blacks out the insanity surrounding it. Anyhow, the Belkin Rockstar is a super splitter of sorts ~ only it doesn't split, it actually has a chip inside to make sure the sound quality isn't dropping with each added connection. And most interesting thing is you can have TWO INPUTS... so yes, you can put two ipods together and live dj! While also having a few other people listening in, or hooking up some speakers... targeted at the 12-17 set, but world of opportunities here... imagine daisy chaining a few together? More images after the jump!
Entries tagged with: gifts
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That is a giant hand held switch. They call it a remote, but i think giant powerstrip switch works a bit better... especially since it even comes with a wall plate where you can magnetically dock it like a light switch. As mentioned in my Top 10 CES Cravings ~ this is the Belkin Conserve Surge Protector. As we've all been hearing,even when off, plugged in electronics are still slowly sucking energy... so here's one way to actually cut off power to the tv, laptop/phone/mps chargers, etc when not in use. The interesting thing here (besides the awesome switch and magnetic mount) is that there are two plugs on the power strip which will stay on regardless (perfect for alarm clocks, tivos, etc), and the others are controlled with the switch. And if you have multiple ones of these? Well they wont interfere with each other since you can set the channel on the back, but if you have more than 6, be careful. Also, i worry about wandering over to a neighbors and turning their lights on and off... or vice versa... but Belkin seems to think that would be a luxury problem... although after watching the TV-B-GONE in action at CES, i'm not sure. I'd hate to have a desktop lose power because of an incident like this. How about some more secure pairing technology? See more images of it in action and close up after the jump!
Joey Roth's Sorapot has come a long way, and after years of waiting we can finally all get our hands on one in 2008! In fact, Joey Roth is officially the *first* reader from NOTCOT i ever met in person ~ we met about 2.5 years ago when i was in NY doing our NOTed photoshoot, and he's been a great friend and supporter to NOTCOT since! Well, you should be caught up on all your Sorapot news by now, and if not check out the video of it in action after the jump, but what this post is really about is the gorgeous new teacup design to match it! So why this design? Joey says "I designed this teacup to emphasize the the beauty of tea on glass while insulating your hand and tabletop from heat." I must admit my favorite part was the base... at first it looked like a mercedes logo ~ perhaps a cute idea for a future mug is a peace sign base that leaves peace sign water marks when left on paper... See more close ups of his new Teacup below!
"Mottainai Furoshiki" has been created by Yuriko Koike, Japan's Minister of the Environment, as a symbol of Japanese culture to reduce waste. Furoshiki is a Japanese traditional wrapping cloth which is used repeatedly in a stylish way. "The utilization of this "Mottainai Furoshiki" will contribute to reducing household waste from plastic bags. The Minister presented the "Mottainai Furoshiki" at the Senior Officials Meeting on the 3R Initiative held in Tokyo, Japan on March 6-8, 2006."
In the words of Minister Koike herself: "I've created what you might call a "mottainai furoshiki". The Japanese word mottainai means it's a shame for something to go to waste without having made use of its potential in full. The furoshiki is made of a fiber manufactured from recycled PET bottles, and has a birds-and-flowers motif drawn by Itoh Jakuchu, a painter of the mid-Edo era. The Japanese wrapping cloth known as the furoshiki is said to have been first used in the Muromachi Period(1392-1573), when people spread it out in place of a bath mat or wrapped one's clothes with it. The furoshiki is so handy that you can wrap almost anything in it regardless of size or shape with a little ingenuity by simply folding it in a right way. It's much better than Plastic bags you receive at supermarkets or wrapping paper, since it's highly resistant, reusable and multipurpose. In fact, it's one of the symbols of traditional Japanese culture, and puts an accent on taking care of things and avoiding wastes."
Perhaps what i need isn't a reusable bag... well i'm not sure how well i could do this for a BAG of groceries anyhow, but certain for gift wrap it opens up my options! Time to stock up on everything from Hermes scarves to fabric store scraps? See the chart of how to fold the designs after the jump. (Thanks, Craig!)
This is not your usual list of Top 10 CES picks ~ here are 10 products that are actually relatively attainable (either out now, or soon, and aren't concepts), that made my wishlist far too quickly - and don't fall under the cliche mobile, tv, pc launches you've probably been reading about and seeing everywhere.
Freshly back from CES, and i can barely feel my feet. As can be expected - it was one insane 36 hour vegas trip filled with more gadgetry than you can imagine, taxi lines longer than those at amusement parks, bright lights, tacky hotel rooms, the drone of slot machines pinging away, camera crews/bloggers/businessmen everywhere, booth babes galore, 150" tvs, robots, giant dancing/singing frogs with waterfall projections at the wynn, etc... But before i get into all of that, i need some sleep! ~ So, see below for the full list, and rest assured i'll have some up close and personal pics/posts to show you some design details of these products and more probably in the next few days!
I've always found the most intriguing puzzles to be those that look beautiful as objects and cause people to over think the solution. And this Bubble Trouble glass puzzle fits that perfectly. The goal is to move the single air bubble into the center chamber of this glass vial. It's elegant in design and solution, and i love the typography on the packaging as well. Tempted to purchase this one to leave on my desk and watch people tilt it up and down and all around in hopes of achieving their goal. Ok, and if you simply can't stand not knowing, solution is below.
Although this post trilogy on Cup Noodles started out in good fun, and we found ourselves giggling and amused by the 20 ads as well as the custom Cup Noodles... we became inspired by the innovative thinking behind this brand when stumbling across a pdf from Nissin Foods about how "Cup Noodle Looks Ahead", where President Komori sat down with Koki Ando, president of Nissin... For the most noteworthy excerpt first:
Making the impossible possible. One of my plans for our company is to double the number of 'eccentrics' in Nissin Foods. As a manufacturer, we must continue to make new breakthroughs. We must 'make the impossible possible,' and common-sense individuals often can't accomplish this. Breakthroughs can only be achieved by those who are a bit eccentric. organizations, however, necessarily aim at efficiency, and eccentrics, who may only work one week out of a year tend, to vanish from the organization. When the chips are down, though, these people are capable of great feats. Corporate leadership must find and keep these valuable human resources. By 'encouraging eccentrics' we can achieve our impossible dreams.
Isn't that an inspiring thing to hear someone in a corporation say? That passage has given me a whole new level of respect for Cup Noodle - don't get me wrong, i'm also slightly horrified to find that the noodles are deep fried for efficiency, and are really mostly fat and salt... so luckily we don't indulge in the college staple often! As for the sweet Eco Style Cup Noodle Refill pack? Read more below...
On bizarre 4am spontaneous research projects... we just got inspired to learn far too much about Cup Noodle (or Cup O' Noodles). Best thing we found? Ok well there's a tie, but we'll show you the other part in the next post... there is a Momofuku Ando Instant Ramen Museum! And in that museum that is in the factory in Osaka ~ you can make CUSTOM Cup Noodles, where you draw on the cup, fill it with your noodles, choose your toppings and flavors (including cheese, curry, corn, the usuals), seal it up, plastic wrap it... and then even put it in a crazy inflatable bag! Anyhow, watch the videos below to see the custom Cup Noodle Bar, as well as how those noodles came to be as kids work with the factory workers (think crazy happy ikea meets wonka factory look) to make the noodles from scratch!
Koren Shadmi is the most inspiring thing i've seen today. Particularly his live journal, which gives us all a peek into the madness that comes before the final illustrations, and a chance to see how things evolve from rough sketch to pencil to brush to photoshop and beyond. My exploration through his work today started with his great illustration in the NYTimes today for the article "Putting Your Best Cyberface Forward" about who we are, and the bizarre behavioral adaptations to show our better sides and alter egos on the internet, be it dating sites, facebook, or just emailing. See some of my favorite pieces of inspiration from his work below... and for the Koren Shadmi's portfolio here.
Browsing Oh Joy, i noticed Wickle and their simple, pretty line of perfumes... while i have no idea what their scents are like, the packaging is sweet, in that old fashioned girly feeling way. Fig & Mace sure sounds like a strange one though... their usual come in scents like Muskmallow, Periwinkle, and Scented Tea Leaf with various limited edition packaging - The limited edition line with Katie Brinsley features a delicate chain with porcelain objects hanging from them and Takako Copeland editions come with pure silver silhouette pendants.
I gave in the day after xmas and finally went over to the Red Monkey store/workshop in West Hollywood, played with all their beautiful leather goods, and ordered one of their camera straps (i wrote about them before and featured them in the photography gift guide!)... what i didn't know was how sweet the packaging was, with the strap in bubble pack, with sticker and warranty, in a black matte plastic chinese take out container with the logo pressed into it! Also the store itself is pretty sweet as well, if you're anxious, jump ahead to the store pics here, with guitars hanging from the walls, chandeliers, mirrors, motorcycles and more. The quality of their workmanship is really high, and their service and really fast turnaround for custom jobs was quite impressive (they got this one ready for me in half the expected time)... Anyhow, browse the many pics below!
Negativity Refuse Bags would have been the *perfect* New Years gifts! Although merely a Positive* Branding/Campaign Concept... still would be a pretty fun gift, particularly for placing all that baggage emotional and otherwise into before burning at a bonfire? The bag states "Here at Positive, we believe that a physical action can reflect your emotional state. We encourage you to dispose of your pessimism and mental demons in a physical manifestation, to help purge your mind. So throw away that photo of the ex, or that poor performance report, and forget about it."
Instructions for use:
Place items within bag
Dispose of bag in nearest trash receptacle
Take a deep breath
Think Positive thoughts.
IMPORTANT: DO NOT RE-OPEN ONCE SEALED. HIGH RISK OF EMOTIONAL RELAPSE. Contains items of personal significance.
Wow. Yay for emails with new products that blow my mind as i wake up. Just im-ed these images over to Shade Elaine (aka Linhchi our NotCouture/scissor loving editor) and the response is a definite "OMG I WANT IT". Gogo of Toy-Me just gave me a sneak peek at one of the latest pieces from their upcoming collection, and knowing our thing for scissors (remember our sticker collection?)... is taunting us with this incredible silver scissor cuff bracelet, that can be worn two ways! Incredible that it actually opens, now the real question is: can it actually cut? I think we need two each, one for each wrist! More close ups below! And the full collections will be presented at Pitti Uomo next week.
Here's the teaser: "Paris designer Thomas Jaillot together with Marco De Michelis will introduce a Silver Scissor that wraps around your wrist and mixes with paper art transformations into silver, Origami earings and a Paper Windmill charm and earing."
Q-BA-MAZE - you may have noticed this new designer twist on the old school 3d wooden marble mazes on the gift guide. Well i played with it a bit before then, but only had enough free time on my hands tonight to build more silliness with it and take a few quick pics... I must say there is something calmingly mesmerizing about playing with all the ball bearings ~ and the quality of the pieces are far nicer than i expected just looking at images ~ my only complaint would be that sometimes they dont hold together as well as i'd hope, and in building my silly nearly 5ft tall twisty single helix/staircase tower some of the core center pieces weren't clicking together and it came tumbling down once... Also, some of the best packaging ever, i love that they managed to put the packaging together so that you can actually flip the box over to reset the balls to roll down the maze in the box! It's fully functional to play with before it even gets opened! Anyhow, take a look at the huge images below, and to find out more, go watch the videos at Q-BA-MAZE!
So we've been through quite a few reusable shopping bags here on NOTCOT, and now when i find new unique ones, i just can't seem to help myself. Latest interesting simplistic luxury variations come from Porter that was featured on HighSnobiety. Their replacement for the standard plastic bag-The Porter x Club King Shopping Bag in nylon (and it seems to have nylon lining layer as well, looks much like a baggu with flaps to secure things) and there is The Porter Grocery Tote replacing your paper bags, only this one is decked out in leather and cotton! And its as brown as your paper, but with a sky blue interior. Honestly i can't believe this is the 14th reusable shopping bag post... thanks dan implementing tagging and forcing me to start tagging things i can actually know that now... although of the nearly 2000 notcot.com posts, i've only tagged everything from 2007 so far, so 2 years to go when i have free time!
On upcoming things to look forward to at CES ~ Liquid Image ~ the ultimate underwater third eye cam? A new level of strap-on waterproof wearable tech? But this really would be pretty fun for everything from diving to playing in the pool, bathtub, hot tub, fish tank? And the images aren't bad with the camera coming in a 3 and 5 megapixel option for pictures and videos! See examples below!
Another option? How about they have strap on bluetooth camera/headset in my mask/regulator? and then my phone can just come with in a drysack? With voice activated "email image to..."? And while we're at it might as well add a heads up display in the mask? and google maps with gps and instead of traffic it could have current tracking? with a dot for where i am and where my boat is? Ok ok, so maybe getting a bit out of control here, since my favorite part of scuba diving was always that serene relatively tech/internet free peacefulness of the vast unknown under the surface.
Brains + Shiny + Puma Urban Mobility + instant gallery thanks to the Serpentine for $1,400? This new collaborative Reality Bag project looks great. "The Reality Bag is an exciting new product, adapted from the PUMA Urban Mobility Edition Bag, which launched last season. The Reality Bag is designed to reflect the world inside and out through a clever use of innovative materials and design detail. To develop the concept of this original accessory, the Serpentine Gallery invited artist John Armleder to create its look and feel. Armleder also created the concept of the content and invited young artists to create artworks to go inside each of the 1000 Reality Bags. This makes The Reality Bag an original, multiple artwork containing original pieces by the artist himself and by invitees including John Trembley and Philippe Decreuzat. Many other artists will contribute books, DVDs, or anthologies, as Armleder plays with the idea of the bag as a portable gallery. The result is a truly individual work of art."
I've been a big fan of diesel for years now ~ and honestly as much as i liked their clothes, i've always LOVED their branding, packaging, graphics/interaction design! But what really blew me away was how horrendous their Fuel For Life customization ended up being. I must admit i'm relieved to see that there are *some* decent packaging/product offerings in this space that aren't embarrassing... Before i get into this sweet new limited edition ~ i've updated the Fuel For Life Customization post with images of the finished product... its more expensive AND uglier than i ever imagined. I had assumed that the mediocre flash imagery would be made up for by the usual diesel packaging/product quality, but instead the result is something i would probably be accused of peddling a bad fake and slapped for if i tried to sell it on ebay or craigslist.
Anyhow, excited to see that they came out with some edgy fun limited editions this season! The limited edition black lacquered box is beautiful and the packaging/bracelet idea with refillable minis is adorable for a gift, but doesn't it seem redundant to have a clasp when it already opens where the bottle goes? And can't you think of many different things you could put in that? The main bottles are a bit overly bling'd out for me, but playful and giftworthy none the less.
The Pingmag holiday delights post had these crazy little Kaomoji characters from Yojin on them, and i had no idea what to expect when i clicked through... one thing's for sure though, i didn't see the super crazy animation coming! These Kaomoji are part ascii art, part emoticon, and part crazy japanese toy character... more images of them below!
Twilight Turtle is another baby/toddler toy i came across the other day. Made by Sleep Sheep and Friends or Cloud B ~ this turtle is cuddly under its shell, lights up in various colors, and projects the night sky on to the ceiling (or your tent, fort, etc). "Choose from three soothing color options – blue, green, and white – to create magical, tranquil environments that are ideal for helping children of all ages ease into a restful sleep." And it projects 8 constellations for kids to learn. Also interesting is their Sheep Sleep, which plays 4 sounds that comfort babies ~ Mother's Heartbeat, Spring Showers, Ocean Surf, and Whale Songs. You can actually control the volume and it auto times out after 23 minutes. This one even now has a stroller/to-go version. More images of all below!
Honestly, with both of these being priced in the 25-40$ range, they've totally made my list for new parent gifts!
PeekABoo Stuff makes these seemingly simple PeekABoo Bags which are pretty brilliant, especially when it comes to keeping kids quiet... assuming of course that the kids don't have sharp objects (or teeth... or razor sharp claws) such that they can tear it open and ingest the bits... But basically, its a clear bean bag pouch with plastic pellets and random objects that the kids can try and find, and each bag comes with a list of all the objects inside so you can challenge them to find them all. For the creative ones, there is certainly a DIY project here waiting to happen, just make sure you double/triple those seams to keep those beads in! Close up images below, and video with a super perky demonstrator.
For pen lovers, I just received this new alternative to space pens and INKA pens ~ that can write upside down, under water, in space, etc due to the pressurized ink cartridges! Tombow (whose markers and glues i've loved since childhood) have their own version, the Object XL that we found over at adorable Tortoise Life on Abbot Kinney last night. The although a little larger than my INKA Titanium that has been on my keychain for some time, i love that with one action you can extend the top which makes the pen tip appear, and makes it the perfect length to comfortably write with... no caps or little pieces to lose, or clickers to accidentally help a pen scribble in the innards of your purse/wallet. Apparently you can even put a Fischer PDA Stylus in. Full unboxing images below ~ it makes a gorgeous gift!
A box full of RayD8s just showed up ~ they are the stocking stuffer of choice for my NOTCOT team this year... and i can't stop playing with it... and watching the videos (great interviews with suckloard and poykpac right now!) in Mimozine 1 that comes loaded on him! Also really cool screensavers, icons packs, music, wallpapers... these little guys really are TOYS with some digital depth to them... and you can use them as the 4gig USB keys they are too. And more reasons why i'm obsessing on RayD8... he GLOWS in the dark and has a split personality... and he actually has FEET on the bottom! You can see all my favorite parts in his photoshoot below... the kids over at Mimobots even sent them over ready for this cold weather with their furry jump suits (different colors so we can keep track of who's who).
As you know, i've played with Mimobots before (remember my ramona?) ~ and they were one of our gift guide sponsors (had SO much fun making that guide) ~ but somehow i hadn't gotten the chance to fully explore the Mimozine till now... i wish all usb devices came with fun content/magazines to enjoy! It's been an honor to have them as such strong supporters of NOTCOT!
You're running out of time! For all the xmas shoppers out there ~ good luck with the crowds and madness in the real world. It seems like you only really have today left to be ordering online where you can still cross your fingers and hope for it to show up with
Santa Mr. UPS and/or Ms. FedEx by xmas day. SO here's an insane collage of all 30 gift guides to date... with over 350 items. *phew*. Last one drops tomorrow!
Gift Guide Day 2 ~ the second to last of our 31 Days of Gift Guides! So today's is all about Photography! Unexpected mounts, tripods, suction cups, lens distorters, look around corner adapters, sd-usb sd cards, rockstar guitar straps.... you know, the fun stuff your camera needs! Afterall, what fun are the holidays without lots of pictures to document it with?