The first new Urbanears headphone design launched at CES this year was the Turncable which i just showed you. Second ~ Humlan! Interesting part of this design… there is a metal headband (love the detail of the urban ears tag actually being cloth sewn through a slit in the metal!) with MAGNETIC ear-speakers? pads? poofs? what would you call them? The simplicity and the satisfaction of feeling them snap into place and slide to adjust feels great ~ and i supposed when not using the headphones, you could even use it as a headband in their rainbow of colors… or even mix and match the usually monochromatic Urbanears. These are launching in fall of 2012! See more pics of the details on the next page!
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Urbanears always has beautiful color palettes for their monochrome headphones and the most stunning photography/layouts for their lookbooks/displays. This year at CES they showed off two innovative new designs… the first: ZINKEN w/Turncable. These premium over ear DJ headphones have a cable with a 6.3mm adapter (perfect for your turntables/guitars/etc) on one end and a standard headphone 3.5mm plug on the other… and depending which you need, you plug the other into the headphone! Interesting alternative to simply using an adapter to go from 3.5mm to 6.3mm? Take a peek at more pics on the next page…
As a little girl, i always figured someday i’d grow up and have one of those awesome red metal cabinets with lots of drawers for all my tools in the garage. Well wandering into the Craftsman booth at CES ~ OMG. Matte black. With glossy black logo. It’s so beautiful! Now i want that. Apparently they are taking cues from the automotive paint world ~ and starting to play with the matte trend ~ rumors were flying that they are also testing matte metallics. Supposedly they will be available limited edition ~ but will have to find out more from them about that soon. Additionally they launched a new cabinet series that is POWERED. As in charging stations and speakers (bluetooth of course ~ afterall, bluetooth/airplay speakers are everywhere and in everything this CES) and a work table all built in!
Unexpectedly fun and addictive ~ the Fling and Fling Mini suction joysticks from Ten One Design for touch screens are great. There’s something unbelievably satsifying about the way the action of the joystick movement feels ~ also the design is ingeniously simple. “Fling is constructed from silky-smooth anodized aluminum, and an incredibly tough, perfectly clear, and unusually flexible engineering-grade resin. It’s nearly indestructible, and will give you years of precision gaming.” Take a peek at more pictures on the next page…
RAM-Mounts are my favorite mounts ever ~ they have the most incredible ball joints and you can piece them together for just about ANYTHING (seriously, check out their line up of modular pieces to pick from). They have the best suction mounts i’ve found ~ and while i’ve dreamed of making crazy sculptures, etc out of them ~ it was awesome to turn a corner at CES and run into a life size johnny5-esque RAM-Mount BOT! Made of HUGE RAM-Mount units! See more pics of him on the next page!
ZIK Parrot by Starck: the Bluetooth touch-activated headset. There are a LOT of headphones (often with celebrities attached to them now) at CES ~ but these actually surprised me! It feels amazing, and i was fascinated by the user experience of it… in a nutshell, you bluetooth pair or NFC tap your phone to connect it to the headset, you swipe the capacitative touch panel (left/right for song flipping or up/down for volume), it pauses the song if you take it off and instantly picks back up when you put it on, has 3 microphones and a bone conduction sensor for your calls and active noise cancelation, and even has an app to control it all. 4 years of work has gone into these ~ and the prototype was surprisingly fun to play with at CES ~ take a peek at lots of design detail pics on the next page!
On fun CES finds ~ love these Inova USB Rechargeable LED Flashlights from Nite-ize. The new Inova X3R and T3R are lithium ion high grade aluminum bodied LED flashlights that have a mini-USB charging port hidden in the neck. By simply spinning the cap to extend it, you expose the usb charging port… and with nearly everything charging via USB these days, it’s perfect for travel, the car, etc… The LED lights feel great ~ take a peek at the latest on the next page!
Did you know Griffin Technology is from Nashville? And turns 20 this year? Those were the unexpected fun facts we learned at their CES booth this year. Their booth has a fun reclaimed wood/found objects painted in uniform colors kind of look to it… and lots of new products to poke at… but i strangely fell in love with some Premium Flat Aux Cables! Pretty, clean, simple, nice colors, and feel great… the design details of the cables (they are flat! and have a really nice transition to the cable heads) as well as the packaging are beautiful! Take a look at it all on the next page!
On more fun things i’m excited to finally see in person at CES tomorrow ~ Cubelets! The robotic building blocks from Modular Robotics, a spin-off from Carnegie Mellon University (they started as RoBlocks). I’ve been hearing so much about this venture while visiting the CMU Computational Design Lab the last few months of random adventures in Pittsburgh, it’ll be nice to finally get my hands on the Cubelets and make some fun robots! But first ~ had to share their hilarious new video introducing the cubes and how they work! Just try not to get distracted by the snake skins on the wall behind the wacky guy in the video… “We shot the video last Summer at Oli’s cabin in Conifer, Colorado. It was an epic day of fliming, Cubelets fiddling, and snacking on Edam.” OK ~ go see it and fun screencaps on the next page!
On things to look forward to at CES… i’m currently lusting after this Samsung Series 9 Monitor. Looking sleek and thin (and matching my favorite super thin Samsung TVs) ~ it’s actually pretty comprable to the Apple 27” Studio display (though definitely need to play with it in person in a few days!) Both tout resolution of 2560x1440, contrast ratio of 1000:1, and viewing angles of 178/178. The Samsung however has a 300cd/m^2 whereas the apple has 375, and the Samsung is priced at $1199 while the apple is $999… though the Samsung has 2x 7W speakers built in as well as this interesting feature: “By linking their Android MHL-compatible smartphone, users can enjoy content from their mobile devices directly on the much larger screen and with the benefit of rich, built-in stereo audio. Users can also keep an eye on their smartphone, seamlessly browse to it and even charge the device for added convenience.” See a few more pics on the next page!
Les Merveilleuses De Ladurée is coming according to Fashion Press ~ yes. That Ladurée. The famous french macaron maker is branching out in to cosmetics. These will only be available in Japan, and are in collaboration with Albion Cosmetics ~ the collection will include blushes, foundations, and lip colors inspired by their sweets. Take a peek at the upcoming collection on the next page!
Theses beautiful Fulton’s Clip Joint Playing Cards designed by Brad Fulton arrived from Dan and Dave’s. Take a peek at this video to get into the mood and world they evoke… The details on the box are stunning ~ and the joker cats will mesmerize you.
“Fulton’s Clip Joint Playing Cards celebrate our fascination with cinema, history, and the art of the grift. Taking inspiration from vintage Los Angeles and Film Noir, Fulton’s captures a time and place where men were men, women were dames, and the next deal could be your last. These limited edition playing cards feature original artwork by Dan Phillips and are beautifully encased in a linen box with embossed ornaments and foil stamping.”
See close-ups on the next page! (As well as a peek at the uncut sheet!)
It’s as if my Moncler jacket got eaten by my Rimowa suitcase… and somehow fused into a strange luxurious chimera of sorts… It doesn’t look the most functional ~ yet i can’t stop staring. And wondering what else it would transform into if we fed it some other branded goodness… my Macbook Air perhaps? Or Louboutins?
Here’s how Moncler describes it on their site: Rimowa x Moncler Go On Holiday “Moncler is travelling - with the new Moncler Rimowa costumized suitcase. The German travel case producer completely reinterpreted its classic cabin trolley ‘Classic flight’. The result is a light and functional case, essential in its design, versatile in its usage possibilities. Ultraresistant, chrome-plated aircraft aluminium exterior including a brushed Moncler logo, padded handles and a special Moncler address tag.The Moncler trolley comes with typical padded black laqué interior including a unique set of soft accessories: shoe bag, laundry bag, utility bag and a small beauty case. Roomy, handy and compact. Perfect, in its dimensions, as air travel hand luggage and with two TSA combination locks. The world of Moncler in a trolley case.”
See more images of the new suitcase on the next page. The soft accessory bags are tempting…
I’m not sure which part is more fun right now ~ the idea of a Pancake Plate (where, of course, the syrup flows down the slope into its special syrup reservoir to avoid over soaked pancakes!) or the Pirate Chef logo by John Wye, who designed the pancake plates. I could have used these when tackling these pigs in a blanket at the Pancake Pantry last week ~ they ended up a delicious soggy mess when i was slow with consuming them! Love that these are an UncommonGoods exclusive ~ bummer that there aren’t any with the Pirate Chef logo on them ~ see more details (and other pirate chef goodness) on the next page!
Whispers, the new flocked wallpaper design collection from Marcel Wanders for Graham & Brown. The Whispers Flock wallpaper collection is comprised of four patterns: Key muses, Forest muses, Braile Chester and Rose beds. So fun ~ check out the four patterns larger on the next page!
Usually on my birthday, i have a fun wishlist gift guide of things i’m lusting after. Well, i’ve decided to mix it up a bit this year, and answer a frequently asked question of what i actually use, love, and bought that i’ve discovered lately… So here it is… in huge collage form… there’s more than what you see above on the next page! Click the images to jump over to read more about them… and while it’s 2am before i have a morning flight… there are also links below with some brief descriptions of why i love them at the bottom (though, i’m fading fast, so this might be added in, or fleshed out a bit, after i land!) Anyhow ~ go explore it all on the next page!!!
I’ve always had a fondness for the high gloss all in one audio boxes of Swiss Geneva Lab. They just look stunning! And the way the digital displays always illuminate from behind the speaker grill just makes me smile. So of course i couldn’t resist featuring the new tiny clamshell bluetooth, alarm clock, radio speaker ~ Geneva Sound System XS… and when they offered to send one over so i could check out the audio and packaging first hand ~ i couldn’t resist! So full unboxing on the next page… all the tiny design details in the packaging and design…
Bronze Bones! I don’t think dominoes have ever made me swoon… until now. Leave it to The World’s Best Ever’s Dave to dream up something so spectacularly lust worthy! “The first collaboration between The Principals and The World’s Best Ever looks to redefine the domino as a unique geometry, crafted from a more substantial material: bronze. The weight, shape and numbering have been refined, resulting in an original design that retains the spirit of the domino while capitalizing on its serial potential as an artistic object.” From the naming (Bronze Bones!) to the packaging (who doesn’t love anything hidden away in a BOOK?) to the material choice (bronze!) to the thoughtful inclusion of a pencil, sharpener, and paper to keep score (white pencil + black paper of course)… it’s all incredible. Take a look at the details on the next page!
HA! That’s the first impression i just had unboxing this surprise from Intel that just arrived. Second impression was… wow, someone got to have a lot of fun laser etching! In a big box is tucked a laser etched Intel plastic box… which had what looked like a HUGE laptop in it. I’ll admit it, i was half awake, opened it, and thought, “WTF? I thought this was about super lights!” Then i opened the giant battery-less laptop and literally laughed. They hid the Acer S3 13” Ultrabook INSIDE it. Cute, silly, unexpected, and totally proved their point. Oh, and quickly back to the laser etching fun ~ they etched the screen of the “fake” big laptop… and also the whole cover of the ultrabook!
Anyhow, the 11” macbook air changed the way i work and travel a few years back ~ and i’m seldom far from it. I have loved that i can even pop it in my purse on the go. I never thought i’d convert from 15” macbook pro’s to it! So i’ve been intrigued by the windows machines that started going down the same path ~ and there’s been a lot of buzz floating around the “ultrabooks”, especially the prices sliding down this holiday season (this one actually slides under the 1k mark!)… There’s something fun about grabbing a laptop that feels like a magazine in size practically ~ and having barely touched a windows machine in a while, but needing it for the randomest of tasks lately (including playing with/installing Logitech security systems to monitor the crazy backyard creatures of the night), this is perfect to complement my macbook air… just playing around with it, it feels silly that carrying both of them together still feels lighter than my old macbook pros!
Anyhow ~ while i experiment with the world of Windows ~ take a peek on the next page at the fun unboxing of this Intel package ~ and side by sides between the giant faux laptop case it came in, the ultrabook itself, and my 11” air on the next page!
Remember the Crumpled City Maps we first found at Selfridges? Now Palomar have created a new series of Crumpled City Junior Maps featuring illustration from Alvvino and designed by Emanuele Pizzolorusso! The soft, light, waterproof maps for young urban explorers currently come in 5 cities: Amsterdam, Berlin, London, New York and Paris… what does that mean? These maps have lots of fun young must see destinations from monuments and parks to circuses and more! See more photos of these great crumpled maps on the next page!
Beautiful packaging ~ and when it comes to the holiday season, one of my favorite things is to see all the fun gift set packaging skincare/cosmetics brands do! This year Aesop went with a Daring Cases in Favour of Science theme! Each set has the products are housed in a black case with a sturdy zip ~ easily reused for whatever your science lover deems fit. There is the Theory of Evolution, Accelerating Universe, States of Matter, Special Relativity, Laws of Motion, Centre of Gravity, and Celestial Mechanics. Of course the hardest part will be shopping by theme… versus shopping by contents! Take a peek at the fun packaging graphics on the next page!
Animals. Cars. Amazing illustrations. Ok i’m pretty much swooning already. Just in the inbox, Zoom Zoo from Mike Yamada, a designer/illustrator, artist at Dreamworks Animation, and an Art Center Graduate. These flashcards are his take on the classic Richard Scarry’s animals piloting retro 60’s type vehicles. (Anyone else picturing that worm driving an apple?) While sure these could be for kids to learn the alphabet, what adult wouldn’t have fun dreaming up the stories and worlds behind these creatures in their fantastic automobiles while teaching kids the alphabet? As adorable little works of art ~ they are playfully inspiring! I can’t wait to see the full alphabet… You can buy the Zoom Zoo Flashcards here. Take a peek at more details on the next page!
Fresh in from our London-based editor Justine Aw.
We were honored to receive bottle 1/100 of Saint beer, a British made craft lager from The Saint Brewing Co. The gorgeous green bottle came in a cozy box snuggled up against a wintry Nordic Knit Scarf from You Must Create (YMC). Once chilled to perfection, the lager was crisp and hoppy without being too bitter or too bubbly. If you too “…want to go down in history as one of the first 100 people in Britain to experience Saint, please enter your email address below.” ~ well, not quite below, but on their website… you can also see some of the bottling pics at Selectism. Take a peek at the beautiful design and handwritten note up close on the next page!
Just noticed these cute DWR exclusives, Moderne Wood Animals, designed by Linnea Gits and Peter Dunham. The description reads, “The founders of the Chicago design firm called Uusi, Linnea Gits and Peter Dunham are graphic artists who have produced work for Herman Miller®, Sharpie and Prismacolor. Their Moderne Wood Animals (2011) are crafted from American black walnut and white oak veneer that’s finished with nontoxic, odorless mineral oil. The designers selected these woods for their beautiful grain and because they are materials that have a rich history in the production of American-made objects. A lot of attention goes into how the direction of the wood grain falls across the form of each animal, making each sculpture a unique piece. The Bear, Bull and Horse were inspired by the Chauvet Cave paintings discovered in France and believed to be artwork from 30,000 to 33,000 years ago. Each animal is packed in a box featuring an illustration of what’s inside. Very simple assembly required; the animals are comprised of a few pieces that need to be slotted together. Made in U.S.A.” ~ I love the shapes! It’s like the simplified/modernized version of those old wood toy skeletons of dinosaurs and such that you’d pop apart and slot together! Take a peek at the details on the next page!
Of all things i’ve unboxed, the Jawbone UP (see the unboxing here) has lead to SO many questions over im, twitter, facebook, phone, in person lately… and i’ve been doing so much random research, compiling it and privately linking people to it ~ finally decided to just post it. As all the posts come out about people who love or hate their UPs ~ and after many discussions about how long it will take before someone (or everyone) makes the “croc charm” biz model happen accessorizing the UPs… even Brit wrapped her’s in brass wire… which i have to admit makes it feel far more tesla coil than fashion accessory… So what do i ACTUALLY think about the UP?
LOVE THE ALARM CLOCK. It vibrates to wake you (and just you ~ not your neighbors, whoever is in bed with you, etc.) ~ also meaning not jumping up to a jarring noise. It uses its approximation of your sleep cycles to wake you at the best time with in a half hour before your set alarm time. And in all honesty, i’d been sleeping terribly, and have been waking refreshed since i started trying it. Is it a coincidence? I’m not sure, but it’s been a noticeable enough difference that i’m intrigued enough to keep trying it.
I CUT THE RUBBER OFF WITHIN 24 HOURS. I tried to wear it around, but it just didn’t feel good… rubber on the skin 24/7? It was even more comfortable with just its minimal tech guts. Experimented a bit ~ and in the end decided to pull out the old little kid string from friendship bracelets ~ and friendship bracelet-ed it. It’s SO much more comfortable to sleep with now, and far thinner/more discreet than the original (and yes, no longer shower proof, but working great.)
I ONLY USE IT WHILE SLEEPING. The truth is ~ the food part, i’m not really going to take pics of everything i eat. The activity monitoring feels more like INactivity monitoring ~ great to let you know if you need to move more (you can have it buzz to remind you to be more active). And unlikely i’m really going to do the group thing and team up against friends to work out more.
BEST SLEEP TRACKING/ALARM I FOUND. Going through all the other options with my priorities being size/comfort, optimal wake up alarm based on sleep cycle, and vibration alarm ~ even throwing in price… the Jawbone UP is the best option i’ve found. Chart and links to all the others (devices, apps, etc) i looked into on the next page.
Anyhow, i think that answers the questions everyone’s been asking a lot… check out the next page if you want to see the actual guts of it, my experiments, and the comparison chart of other sleep monitoring options on the next page.