Aston Martin’s Rapide touts itself as “The World’s Most Elegant Four-Door Sports Car”… while it is certainly entering a growing market of 4 door luxury sports cars… and you can read quite a bit about it all over the web, what struck me most about it in person were the tiniest details. Some found on quite a few Aston Martins, others quite Rapide specific… if you’re ready, take a peek at the details that grabbed my attention… most notable are definitely the tiny sphere of a trunk opening button and the +/- cut matte metal and leather paddle shifters… and what an aggressive face it has when you look at it straight on! Also while from the exterior it doesn’t actually look all that much bigger than the others, yet once you’re inside its ridiculously spacious ~ and the rear seats fold flat! Anyhow, take a peek at all the best details on the next page from my tour at the Aston Martin Factory!
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Ok. I’m super excited about this one. I got a little obsessed with Flexicords when i ran by and saw their booth as CES 09 was closing then they finally made it into production and sent a few over… and they have been in my bag no matter where i end up ever since. They are bendy! They come in nice short sizes, and super long ones… and they have fun cables for everything: all forms of USB, HDMI, S-Video, RCA, and more. Apparently Flexicords are a big a fan of NOTCOT as i am of them ~ and they’ve given us 5 bundles of their popular cables to give away to you!
Additionally, Craig and Linhchi have been working hard on a new contest platform for us to play with, so we thought this would be the perfect chance to test it out! SO, this becomes one part contest, one part testing out a new experiment we’ve recently been playing with! Ready to enter to win a Cable Makeover? Help us debug and poke around with this new section?
Here’s the deal ~ To win one of the 5 Flexicord Bundles [Each one containing: - 1 6ft HDMI, 1 10ft CAT5e, 1 6ft RCA, 1 6ft S-Video, 1 6ft USB 2.0 A male to mini-B male, 1 6ft USB 2.0 A male to B male, 1 6ft USB 2.0 male to female, 1 6ft USB 2.0 A male to A male, 2 12in USB 2.0 A male to A female, 2 12in USB 2.0 A male to mini-B male, and 2 12in USB 2.0 A male to micro-B male.] SUBMIT A PICTURE (up to 3!) OF YOUR CABLE MESSINESS! Have your friends come vote for your entry! See all the details HERE!!!
Also see more close ups of the fun packaging and goodies to be won on the next page!
I’ve been thinking of a million and one ways to start this post over the last year… So, here goes! In Nov 2008, i was in talks with Aston Martin’s London agency and it came up to have a post looking for someone UK local to go to the Aston Martin Factory in Gaydon for NOTCOT. That was supposed to happen a month or two later… and between scheduling and the economy shifting and Aston Martin’s tumultuous year… a lot changed for them, and for the winner… and so, it’s been a year and a bit, but they happened to have a last minute opening around their customer tours, and we were finally able to squeeze in a visit to the Aston Martin Factory while i was in London. And Tom, thank you for being so understanding!
Ok, so all that aside ~ how sexy is that curve where the One-77 body flows to the side mirror? Putting the iridescent color shifting periwinkle/grey aside, there’s something very batmobile aggressive to the look of the One-77… even more so in person than those initial press shots. Not yet in production, and already sold out for its limited run of 77 customizable supercars priced at $1.5-2 million a piece… it was fun to get to take a look at some of the design details of this prototype up close… take a peek at my favorite details on the next page… as well as a video of it in action!
Going through pictures from the London trip… i have so many i’ve been meaning to share from Aston Martin. Sadly, i wasn’t able to take pictures inside the actual factory other than some super glarey diagrams on the walls… and the lighting for most of the cars was a bit difficult, but lots of details and overviews to share! Unsure of where to start, this saddle jumped out at me when i was going through the pics… it’s like a picnic basket meets a horse saddle… for the hump in the backseat of your Aston Martin DBS… Apparently each saddle is individually handmade by Robin Coleman in Warwickshire. Each saddle takes two craftsmen 28 hours! It has room for everything including your bottle of wine! See more pics on the next page.
On new shoe technology i gave in and had to try… Kenneth Cole’s 925 Technology was too fascinating not to pass up when i knew i’d be running around in inclimate weather through NY and London the next week… And i DID need some basic black pumps… and they feel crazy comfy/bouncy and are filled with things like Memory Foam, Cork, Flaxseed, and Sheepskin even! (See the dissected diagram on the next page!) The rubbery sole means really being able to bend in ways my pumps have never bent before… which after the last few days i’m a little mixed on the overly bendiness, it’s as if you have to hold yourself up even MORE in a way… though when i slipped back into my favorite louboutins they felt like i was in a thin padding free shell… if only i could get that memory foam in all my shoes?
Oh, Incase, you’ve done it again. Your surprise packages always blow me away… and now i’m terribly jealous of your amazing TAPE!!! Matte black with the Incase signature topographic pattern in gloss… you’ve taken packing tape lust to a new level! AND its on a soft touch rubberized feeling matte black BOX. Yes, i couldn’t help rubbing the box before i even got to opening it.
Of course, once inside the box, there is one of the 3 new Evan Hecox (Incase curated by Arkitip) sets of iphone cases and laptop sleeves ~ this one is the Tokyo edition (there is also London and New York!)… Beautiful details, take a peek at the artwork and unboxing on the next page…
And as always ~ love the Incase motto “A better experience through good design.”
On cell phone obsessions ~ i love a great button. I used to love my old Sony Ericsson joystick. There’s something about my blackberry’s trackball thats just so fun to spin. That indentation of the iPhone button just feels good to click! Latest button lust? On the new HTC Desire and HTC Legend phones launching today… they feature a brand new OPTICAL TRACKBALL! In the conference call announcing them they said trackball, in the press release it says joystick… really you can call it what you want, basically they’ve described it as a little optical sensor ever so slightly depressed in the center of a single solid ring of a button. I can’t wait to try this physical interface in person!
Perhaps one of the most enticing aspects of HTC, beyond their hardware that feels SO good in your hand… is their dedication to great UX ~ above and beyond what is provided through Android and Win Mobile! At the Mobile World Congress today, they are not only announcing new phones, but also the latest iteration of HTC Sense - “HTC Sense is a user experience focused on putting people at the centre by making phones work in a more simple and natural way. This experience revolves around three fundamental principles that were developed by observing and listening to how people live and communicate. These core tenets of Make It Mine, Stay Close and Discover the Unexpected continue to be the key to the new HTC Sense experience.” The new version adds more features that are focused around your most important people with the HTC Friend Stream (pulling in from facebook, twitter, flickr, and more). See more details on the next page!
They are finally nearly here! Andrew Bell teased me with sneak peeks of toys in the making on his phone over lunch a few months back ~ so long as i promised to stay quiet. Well, it’s been hard! Because, we all know as fun as the Google Android phones and UI are… i’m pretty smitten with the adorable mascot. And here they finally are! A series of blind box toys bringing that adorable little Android to life!
The details? Illustrator and toy designer Andrew Bell has teamed up with a few friends at Google’s Android project to bring their green mascot to life. Presenting Android mini collectibles series 01! Each 3” vinyl figure sports one of 12 different possible designs and features a rotating head and arms. Packed in “blind boxes” so you don’t know which design you get until you open it up. Pick one up and take a chance or grab a case for a near-complete set. Available in an initial limited release later this month from dyzplastic and specialty retailers.
If you’re ready, see more details on the next page! (And notice he says “Series 01”… will there be more???)
Fresh in from Artecnica, the latest in their Design W/ Conscience program with MAL / Media Arts Lab part of TBWA\, Artecnica to find designer solutions to recycling their large format billboards. Remember their Artecnica + TBWA\ Recycled Stretch Bag? Well, these new Laptop Cases are lined with black neoprene to add softness and protection to the case, and come in 13” and 15” sizes. See more images of the case on the next page.
This post is the last in a series of 4 posts sponsored by Syfy’s Caprica focused on Future Technologies. As usual, our fun advertisers enable us do our thing around a theme by trusting us when it comes to content! OH! and it starts tonight! (I’m excited!)
So on future possibilities ~ perusing DesignBoom this morning, i became totally fascinated by the possibility of living in a turbine… or vacation in one… as a floating island… just imagine the views! And the bizarre potential of such a structure? On Office has been researching and visually exploring the potential of Turbine City to perhaps live off the coast of Stavanger, Norway. Apaprently Norway has the best conditions in the world for utilizing offshore wind power with its longest windiest coast! Don’t mock, but this world feels very Waterworld meets scandinavian design meets dubai architecture at the moment… See more images on the next page!
Popped by NAMM (think CES of Music Making) on Saturday ~ it was so fun to explore and discover some great visual (and auditory!) inspiration. Besides, how often do you get to check out a structure made of orange amps… Check out this great unmissable booth setup. And i’m loving the iconic Orange Amps look and crest design…
Sure its 4am, but i couldn’t go to sleep before showing you the magic of the Macallan Ice Ball “Machine”. Did you know it runs on GRAVITY? Yes, high tech stuff… also the magical frictional heating of copper also comes in to play somehow just perfectly at room temperature. Really you stick a roughly right sized chunk of ice in between the two heavy pieces, and let gravity go to work on it. And with in moments ~ right before your eyes ~ it melts down to a perfectly glossy sphere. It’s magical really. This incredible device was discovered in japan (side note: where the macallan team also discovered japanese taking straight razors to carve perfect spheres of ice) ~ and they have exclusive rights to the device for a few years! I’m secretly wanting one to play with at home… See the pictures on the next page…
Leave it to Belkin to understand me well enough to be the ultimate tease and torture me just enough. I always love their booths, the design is above and beyond ~ becoming this fabulous, beautiful experience, with such fun logical user flows as you navigate it… this year, no booth, but they emailed saying that there is a suite, and invited me to come check it out. BUT, they aren’t inviting media in. AND the majority of the products won’t be launched until spring 2010, so no writing about those, yet. BUT, they trust me, so i can take pics to my heart’s content ~ and then stare at them. In my computer. For months. So now i’m finding ways to share the really cool displays and carpet and paths and installations… cropping strategically not to give anything away that i’m not allowed to. SO, here is one post filled with everything BUT products (except a few! which are out ~ and quite awesome!)… so take a peek at the very fun subway map themed suite of Belkin at CES 2010! It’s a beautiful room ~ they really did a number on it to make it feel more like an awesome science museum exhibit instead of the big box of a hotel suite it is. You have to see the way the paths flow from hardwood to carpet and up the walls so nicely. So take a peek inside at this collaboration between the Belkin team and Commonwealth… a few products to share… and many more to come (2010 has some REALLY fun stuff coming from Belkin. AGH. The agony. I promise i’ll show you more when i can.)
You know my favorite parts to show you from CES aren’t the products (we can all read press releases everywhere), but the bizarre exhibition design details that are so strange and fascinating? Well camera booths (by booth i mean humongous expo spaces you can lose a friend in within seconds) ~ always have these random setups for you to try their cameras on… sometimes it is a wintery toy train set up going round and round or some women wrestling in the center of the pit or a toy rollercoaster… well Canon’s was like Mr. Wizard… and friend… in this crazy colorful, tv show styled science lab! (i say tv show, because while it feels classroom, it feels staged classroon with the giant foot and ear as well as lots of HUGE beakers with colorful liquids that all look gorgeous.) None the less, it was too cute a set up, and since it was there just for taking pictures, i couldn’t resist. Check out more pics on the next page!
Wow. Possibly the coolest UI to play with at CES this year ~ with all of these spinning cubes of links, you can touch any of them and details will pop up. the Intel’s Inside Scoop blog gives us the specs: “Two - 7x7 - 1920x1920 resultion - double-HD, double-touch touch screen glass walls. Each wall is powered by a single all new 2010 Core i7 processor w/ Intel Hyper-Threading technology and Intel HD graphics. Its rendering 576 live links of information, pulling from 20,000 different content sources and over 20 live feeds from global news sources and networks like Flickr, Twitter, YouTube and intel.com.” It was quite a thrill to watch people walk up to this enormous touch screen cube ~ touch it ~ have a huge grin spread across their faces… and it all made perfect sense. It could even handle dozens of people browsing at once! Take a look at more pics and a video on the next page! (While the pics are mine ~ i had a bit too much fun playing with it ~ sorry i got too distracted to make a video at the time!)
I think i now feel for any ant that gets stuck in a kaleidoscope. While often CES has a slew of ginormous booths with pyramids of TVs… Samsung got a little more creative this time… and… WOW. That picture above is just one view as it kept changing colors… i literally couldn’t help standing inside the huge booth spinning around in awe of the experience. I would have made a video for you, but i think i may have fallen over as people kept bumping into me (it was a sheep feeling kind of day at CES… if you stand still for too long the crowd just moves you)… also their rainbow wavey stripes for the netbook/laptop displays (the GOs looked so adorable mounted!) are fun to take a peek at too! See more pics on the next page…
It’s always hard after a full day of racing around the show floor at CES to decide what to share first - as my body wants to dive in a bubble bath and my brain is getting ready for drinks, dinner, etc. SO, don’t laugh, but the first thing i have been craving since i saw the adorable minimalist mod booth… Mint: Automatic Floor Cleaner… think swiffer meets roomba, but with a design treatment by Yves Behar’s Fuseproject… and hyperintelligent guts by Evolution Robotics, Inc. This feels like my Method oMop’s futuristic robotic relative. So yes, stunning, wicked smart, cleans with popular we/dry cleaning cloths (think swiffer/pledge/etc), AND charges upright!
Also fun? Besides the booth design and beautifully designed product? They throw coffee on the floor… let it dry a little… then demo the machines. And i love how versatile the concept is, you can use any cloth ~ and the panel that they attach to is MAGNETIC! More pictures of the details and a video on the next page from my CES discovery of Mint! (It officially launched at midnight!)
Black and White. Angel and Devil. Fun illustrations. Hilarious how to on the back, showing how this egg topper (with the three little blades inside) can even double as a napkin ring (won’t it slice up your napkin possibly? if used right?)… and brain sperm logo. And it’s both the egg decapitator AND the holder. Genius. So of course you understand that i couldn’t resist this adorable german pair of Brain Stream Cregg & Cregg while in Stockholm… and i only just got around to testing them out ~ pictures of the experience and details on the next page!
On exciting CES launches to poke at in person next week ~ Liquid Image (who started with the scuba goggles with integrated digital still/HD vid cameras) ~ is announcing the Freestyle Series Swim Camera Goggle and the Summit Series Snow Camera Goggle. So now you can use their handsfree wide angle still/video cameras in the pool or in the snow… and actually with the goggles, you can use them anywhere as a wearable handsfree camera since you won’t have to breathe through your mouth if using them out of the water! See more images and details on the next page!
Joey Roth takes us behind the scenes of his new Ceramic Speakers! 4 years in the making, these beauties started as an idea in college, only to be further developed in 2008, and now they are a reality! While i have yet to hear these myself, Gizmodo and Wired are already commending their “audiophile-worthy sound” ~ and personally i’m smitten by the combination of ceramic, wood, and cork ~ yes CORK! the way the plugs go into the cork before the ceramic is my favorite detail of all. Take a peek at the feature on the next page, including a super cute stop motion video ~ and he’s also giving away a set of these lovely speakers to one lucky reader! Giveaway details are here.
Let me level with you. It was my birthday and i totally tried to take the day off a little. Got some extra sleep. Went for a walk and caught up with a friend on the beach ~ a beach walk complete with ice cream and taco truck tacos (in that order of course!) ~ did super chill dinner and… met up with Linhchi for the most ridiculous microwave experimenting we’ve done in a while… People claim i’m hard to shop for, but really you just have to keep in mind that i’m pretty easy to amuse? Besides, this little as seen on TV number even has CORE FUSION TECHNOLOGY!!! (Ok, so to me, it feels more like magical gravity weighing down on my poor explosive marshmallow) AND she brought adorable marshmallows that are products of israel covered with adorably anthropomorphized illustrated mallows that would make the sanrio crowd squeal. The cuteness does make it easier or harder to consume them (depending on how you react to the cuteness!) Impressive? Their mallow jumping and squishing the barcode. LOVE IT. But i digress… we microwaved up a few of these babies, watched them mushroom up, and then the MICROSMORES machine (read: plastic container with weighted platform on a stick that you don’t even get to PUSH) did its thing, making magical smores. Now if only there was some liquid smoke or fire involved in the process, you’d truly recreate the campfire smore experience…. ok even then, a bit is still missing, but that didn’t hold us back from sticking whatever else we could find in there!
I know i have SO many things i want to post and show you that i’m behind on this week (that life balance thing kicked in ~ you understand, right? this week life won a bit more than usual ~ but don’t work, workaholic me will be back, and might need some assistance, but more to come on that soon perhaps)… but figured we should start with the fun crazy stuff first… anyhow! Check out these awesome marshmallows and the MICROSMORES magic on the next page… good times!
PLEASURE TO THE PEOPLE! Who can deny pleasure? Jimmyjane recently teamed up with Yves Béhar to create the new FORM 2. Great design + pleasure? That’s pretty irresistible. Jimmyjane has just released FORM 2, the first launch of PLEASURE TO THE PEOPLE, a groundbreaking new series of waterproof, rechargeable vibrators designed by Yves Béhar and Ethan Imboden. So for this latest holiday feature Jimmyjane founder (and designer!), Ethan Imboden, has decided to take us behind the scenes, sharing some amazing pics and confidential sketches, of how this pleasure object came to be.
GIVEAWAY! They really aren’t kidding around when it comes to spreading Pleasure To The People ~ they have generously given us a FORM 2 for you as well! So for a chance to win, leave us a pleasurable limerick (if you are limerick challenged, be creative and pleasurably poetic?), in the comments of the feature, and i’ll pick a winner on December 16, 2009.
FLEXICORDS!!! My tech packing isn’t complete without these. I’m addicted to how fun and bendy they are ~ and thus, tangle free too! I first found these at CES 2008 (so about a year ago!), and they are now shipping and totally ready to stuff stockings with. Fun simple packaging, although to keep it so green and “clamshell free” it’s not easy to clip the two teeny little zipties that hold each cable to the cardboard. But it has fun design and copy ~ complete with “Cable Origami” ideas on the back! And you’d be surprised how nice it is as part fidget toy, part useful cable, and part cell phone holder… check out more pics of them up close on the next page!
My iPhone has been clothed in the new Incase Perforated Snap Case the last few days, and i’m loving how incredibly light it is, yet nice matte black feel… and the perforations actually give it a little bit more grippiness! Well, for this feature and giveaway they’ve given us a little more insight into their inspiration as well as how much goes into the tools and manufacturing of these super thin simple solutions to iPhone cases!
Oh, and you get a chance to win the whole trio of Incase Perforated Snap Cases too! There is gloss white, matte black, and matte pink… details and feature all on the next page!
Loving these holiday features, it’s been SO much fun to get a look into the worlds of some of NOTCOT’s favorite brands and designers this year. They’ve been awfully kind to pull together pictures and stories to share with us amidst the crazed holiday season, AND add giveaways too? All of these folks are pretty special to us! Today James over at Hard Graft gives us a visual peek into a Day in the Life of Hard Graft. I want their life! We couldn’t bear to tarnish the amazing pics they sent over with text ~ the pictures certainly speak for themselves, so take a look into their stunning Austrian studio on the next page!
Also ~ today is the debut of their brand new X Sleeve + Add-On Pouch! Isn’t it stunning? Guess what? You can also WIN IT! They have one to giveaway to us!