It’s no surprise that one of the sleekest most unique looking iPad cases i’ve run into yet ~ is by our friends over at Hard Graft. The simplicity of the concept, and the beautiful workmanship of the Hard Graft Tilt iPad Case are amazing ~ a nice clean felt/leather sleeve to protect your iPad, and simply fold it back to get the required viewing angle, rolling it up to tilt it further! My only question? As the leather and felt age, will your viewing angles decrease? Still confused? Or just want to see more images of this beauty? Video and pics on the next page!
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On fun long weekend emails ~ friends over at Cool Hunting sent over some pics of their new collaboration - “We partnered with Speck to produce 15 one-of-a-kind cases to giveaway along with the iPads we’re giving away to celebrate our Cool Hunting iPad app.” Fun thing? All the 15 limited edition cases can be combined to make the tree image! So whoever their 15 winners are, someday, somehow, Cool Hunting will need to get them all together to hold them up just like in the image above! Also the cut corrugated cardboard box these come in looks pretty sweet! See all the details on the next page!
You’ve now seen the Nike Golf Oven Testing Facilities, and the awesome Putting Lab… i’d be remiss not to show you some of the fun machinery in the Nike Golf Oven Grind Shop, Machine Shop, Tour Shop, Engineering Labs, Durability Testing Labs and more! Personally, the manufacturing/prototyping/testing phases of industrial design have always fascinated me so ~ and there is some of the cutest iconography on the warning labels! So take a peek at fun machinery, labs, close ups into microscopes, prototypes and more on the next page!
On geeking out at the Nike Golf Oven ~ i love their Putting Lab! (You saw the rest of the Nike Golf Oven Testing facilities in the last post!) A super lit platform to test putters ~ surrounded by video cameras from above, beside, in front all capturing every moment as the striped ball rolls from the moment of impact… determining the exact amount of skid, rotation speeds, and more. The physics lessons learned during Nike Golf were so fun, if only someone had explained it to me in those terms when i was younger, understanding how putters differed would have made far more sense! (The gist of it ~ minimize skid, to get it rolling faster, faster it’s rolling the more stable it is.) So take a peek on the next page of the multiple camera set up, as well as the custom software made in collaboration with Vertex Golf to handle and process the various feeds. Thanks to Dusty from Gear Patrol who is the putting model in all of the shots and footage (and yes, the putt did go in)! So check out pics of the set up, the UI, and close ups of the Nike Golf Method Putters on the next page!
This post is a sponsored series that takes a fun peek at the gorgeous details of modern life. The irresistible design details that enhance our lives… Gillette is the sponsor… but, as always, the post and ideas are 100% NOTCOT
Fun on so many levels ~ let’s start with the packaging on the latest Jawbone bluetooth headset ~ the Jawbone ICON! Touted as the World’s First Intelligent Headset ~ it’s been great having it able to literally TELL me how much talk time is remaining, who’s calling, etc ~ i can even change voices and add apps! Their new MyTalk system allows you to Personalize & Update your headset. But back the packaging ~ seldom does packaging tell you about itself and its creation process like this one… apparently “Jawbone ICON’s compact eco-friendly package is 100% recyclable, and took many months of research, design, & engineering to perfect.” And when you see the close up pics of the way it unboxes, it’s impressively efficient with space and materials, and an incredibly beautiful box! From nice matte sleeve, to the box “lid” of molded paper holding the various ear piece options… to the pull tab to free the charger/cable from the paper lining below… it’s fascinating to see how it all unfolds. See the details on the next page as well as a peek at the Bombshell itself! Tiny, golden, functional jewelry of sorts…
Firstly, Incase ~ THANK YOU. (They were so incredibly nice, and while i was chatting with them about ipad cases and where all this touch goodness is heading, upon hearing my ipad might travel naked to NY/London, they just messengered over a sample Convertible Book Jacket case to help protect it before tonight’s flight!)
Secondly, this case is awesome! (I posted it as the most tempting case i’d seen so far on notcot.org earlier.) Feels great, super solid quality of course ~ and their signature topographic pattern in the microfiber lining! Best part of all, is after having the ipad around for a bit. i’ve found its great to leave around the house and in the kitchen when friends stop over and either need toys to play with, or start talking about some website ~ so much easier to have them use that to pull it up, rather than hand over my laptop or try to view it on a tiny phone… only problem has been not having a nice way to tilt it ergonomically to share and poke at it simultaneously, so definitely needed a case that allowed for the different viewing angles! While it does add a little heft to the ipad, i actually like it better with the case, versus how it feels naked, its just so slippy and uncomfortable to hold/use in most situations! Anyhow, need to pack and get to the airport soon, but take a peek at close ups of the Incase Convertible Book Jacket for iPad on the next page!
p.s. while preparing for #ObjectHunt ~ and cutting sooooo many stickers the last few days, couldn’t resist adding a little NOTCOT one to the spine of the jacket!
Another incredible installation at the Porsche Museum in Stuttgart (first i showed you the sliced up porsches)… I stood and watched this wall a few times over. Mesmerized. It’s a wall with the outlines of 7 models of 911s overlayed. And that is QUITE the jumble, but then the projection fills in one outline at a time, and you can watch the evolution between the models overlaid. It’s amazing… to see how things tweaked, expanded, shifted, and more over time… See the video as well as pics on the next page…
… as well as a peek at the spinning platforms of 911s and this absolutely stunning 356 on the next page!
While it seems almost sacrilegious ~ this is in fact, a post all about a sliced up Porsche. Or a few. Or a few in various stages, demonstrating the design process of a Porsche in the Porsche Museum in Stuttgart, Germany. “How very Damien Hirst!” ~ is the first reaction i got showing the pics to a friend… it’s also one of the most beautiful and concise ways i’ve seen car design summarized! Mixed with videos at each station about the process as well of course too! And fun that they managed to fit in 3 stages of clay refining in one slice even… absolutely mesmerizing to see even the seats and first aid kit all sliced straight through… and even more fascinating to look at the way it made people of all ages stare in wonder… see images of the installation on the next page!
Wow, what a week it was last week ~ volcano, Eyjafjallajokull, threw a little kink into what started to feel like a never-ending adventure across asia and europe, and early on in the trip, i decided to travel with only my blackberry curve, no data plan - only sms and international email - also, no iphone… and figured i’d be so busy, i’d survive just fine. Somewhere while i was diving in Indonesia, HTC contacted me and offered to send over an HTC Legend to try out (knowing i’d been lusting to try out the unibody phone and opitcal trackball in person)… they were even kind enough to send it over to my hotel in italy, along with an italian SIM card… with data! After 3 weeks traveling without using maps/internet/etc on my phone, i thought i was fine… good to disconnect a bit!
HTC Legend shows up ~ pop sim card in ~ start playing with maps and internet and gps and twitter and youtube videos and more… i’ll admit it, it made life 110% easier, nearly instantly. I’ve learned my lesson. Super snappy connection to the digital world 24/7 - it’s not an addiction… its convenience… like being able to go get lost and not need to ask for directions b/c your phone always knows where you are… or being able to go out to drinks, and keep checking in on the status of closed airports and volcanic eruptions and ash clouds and book/change flights while in the middle of an insane italian club? Excessive, but it certainly helped keep the panic of being stranded in europe indefinitely to a minimum… so, THANK YOU, HTC, for reconnecting me to the digital world when i needed it most! Things got a little stressful as people were hopping 22 hour consulate bus rides to London, rushing on packed trains to madrid and rome, booking private 737’s from newark to heathrow… but it’s good to be home!
And beyond the awesome functionality of the phone ~ the internet browsing seems FAR snappier than my iphone and i’m in love with the screen and trackball! Also, every designer i ran into at design week couldn’t help but comment how the phone was nearly more mac than a mac! It feels SO good in your hand, and the single piece body of the phone is just lovely… take a peek at the bunch of pics on the next page of it compared to my mac book pro at my last lunch in Milan at a cute little cafe in brera…
Ok, i kind of freaked out a little when i saw the new Freitag Reference collection Limited Editions over at 10 Corso Como, and instantly needed the laptop sleeve. This feels like a classier more refined Freitag than what we’ve become accustomed to over the years. I had a Freitag wallet that was worn pretty thin through high school, and let’s just say that was about a decade ago… The messenger bags were usually pretty heavy and not so lined… still truck tarps though! These SILVER limited editions pulled me right over… and they are lighter and lined with a nice light yet sturdy canvas. The Laptop sleeve also fits my requirement of no zippers… and has a magnetic clasp! Also the metal logo is darling… So it turns out that this is part of a limited edition series, 34 numbered silver pieces for 10 Corso Como, and gold pieces for Colette. How i never heard about them till now, is honestly, a little embarrassing. Apparently they dropped mid January… But better late than never? And i’m grinning and playing with the sleeve as i write this! Also incredibly tempted by the overnighter bag… and i’ve been scouring the net to find more pics to see what else is in the collection, and came across HopeHope’s post mentions that this is a sneak preview of the collection to appear in Fall 2010. In addition to the laptop sleeve and overnight bag, i saw a larger tote, two wallets, and two ipad sized handbags… from the HopeHope pics it looks like there are messenger bags, vertical totes with pockets, and more. See closeups of the laptop sleeve and a peek at the overnighter… the details are stunning.
The Mercedes-Benz Museum houses an incredible amount of automotive history, unexpected surprises, and is in and of itself an absolutely mind blowing architectural space. That being said there are a million and one different posts i could write about it, and none would do it justice fully. So, let’s do this my way and start with my favorite detail… the ELEVATORS are amazing! When you enter the space, you can see straight up to the roof (and a peek at the sunlight coming in) as floors spiral all the way… you could even say the ceiling has a Mercedes-Benz star inspired shape… and then you notice what look three like vertical tracks going up… and these awesome metal pod (with abstract ghost like eyes/shape) moving up and down… it’s surreal. A bit overly concrete feeling (gave me a similar vibe to Oakley HQ’s entrance)… there was something very sterile/scifi feeling about the entrance space. I could have stood there and stared up at the mesmerizing symmetry of it all for ages. So see more close ups of it in action on the next page!
p.s. Also amazing are those giant panels… the ones that look like concrete? they arent. That’s how they move cars into the various floors.
p.p.s. Additionally, when it comes to ventilating the space and quickly dealing with a fire/etc… this building is the official world-record holder for the World’s Largest Artificial Tornado! It’s over 100ft, generated from the center of the roof… i’ve just updated the post with a few videos on the next page…
As with most car design studios, Mercedes-Benz’ Stuttgart Design Studio has a room with huge lustworthy displays, their Powerwall ~ which allows for 1:1 scale high res imagery of car images and renders, video conferencing with their studios around the world, and more. The most unique and beautiful aspect of their setup is their custom physical interface for Autodesk Showcase, which allows you to control the 3D renders! A light table with objects each encoded on the bottom… you can swap cars on the table to change colors, spin the car to spin the model, zoom/pan/tilt, and even change the clear acrylic blocks to swap the scenery… amazingly fun and beautifully executed! See more images of it on the next page.
p.s. Sadly, photography isn’t allowed in the studio (yes. they took our phones and cameras!), but we did have one awesome photographer indulging even some of my randomest requests… So images courtesy of Mercedes-Benz…
Andrew Bell’s DYZPLASTIC Android toys are finally here, and i’m a little obsessed. They are ADORABLE. And oh so detailed in all the right ways… and that glow in the dark radioactive one… just stunning. And how some have arm tattoos… or cufflinks… or tramp stamps… or awesome logos… and swirls in the eyes… you really must see them all! Also as much as i can’t stand blind box toys conceptually, i do adore that 5 year old feeling of joy when you sit and tear through a case of little boxes and their foil wrapped innards. Take a peek at all their close ups on the next page! Including two of the secret chase characters!
p.s. as i play with these, i can’t help but wonder, why don’t more OS’ have awesome little mascots?
p.p.s. Soooo, it sounds like demand has FAR exceeded expectations ~ which is awesome! Unfortunately that means these little guys are hard to get your hands on. However, Andy wanted me to assure you that there will be more Series 1 available this summer ~ which really is just a blink away… so sit tight, and/or grab some when you see them!
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!
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…