Entries tagged with: technology

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*notcot in tech - 0 Notes

MakerBot Replicator Unbox + Toy Project

makerbot0.jpg It has been quite the (educational) adventure joining our NOTlabs director, Shawn Sims, and Golan Levin as they launched their Free Universal Construction Kit project… from learning about toys and 3d modeling, to the different 3D printing techniques and materials, to Intellectual Property and Patent law! One of the most exciting and interesting aspect of the project to me personally has been what the average person without access to top of the line manufacturing machines can really 3D print at home, and how does it work? Thanks to the amazing folks at MakerBot, today we got to find out through their Replicator (with dual extruders)!

Anyone can download the variety of Free Universal Construction Kit pieces on Thingiverse, send them to their 3D printer, and shortly after have toy adapters to play with! Of course depending on the resolution of the printer and the printing technique, some pieces will work better than others, so it was thrilling tonight to get to try them out on the MakerBot (the originals were made on an Objet) ~ on the next page you can see a full unboxing and the preparation of the MakerBot Replicator as well as our first “home” printing of some Free Universal Construction Kit toys! (And yes, this is the kind of project that has kept us busy in the NOTlabs till 4:30am!)

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*notcot in tech - 1 Notes

Sonos Studio LA & SUB

sonosmain.jpg There’s a new way to experience Sonos! Previously, it was difficult to get the full experience of a synced Sonos system without installing it at your home/work, or trying it at a friends. Now, they have launched the Sonos Studio an “acoustically-designed gallery that celebrates music listening. The space serves as the best place in Los Angeles to experience Sonos, with events designed to explore the intersection of music, art and technology through creative collaborations.” When Sonos shopping, it’s great to get a chance to play YOUR music and test out the various systems and combinations in their acoustically optimized space (you’ll notice the installation of foam pyramids lining some walls and the ceiling as well as various slanting walls!) I popped in the other day to check out the new SUB in action (you have to go see the nickel they balance on top not move as the sound blows your mind!)… it’s a fun setup, and there seem to be events, musical performances, and art exhibitions filling the space regularly! Definitely pop into the bathroom to check out the skateboard lined walls too! Take a peek at all the fun on the next page!

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*notcot in tech - 1 Notes

U-Socket USB Outlets

socket1.jpg It seemed like a good Sunday afternoon, home alone activity… i’ll install/upgrade a few outlets i impulse bought at Dwell On Design! Moans and groans and installing in spots other than i had planned… i’m wondering if these were just a novelty or truly adding a much needed convenience. So in theory, with SO many things charging via USB (and i love the USB charging ports in cars!) ~ having some added to outlets is a wonderful idea! And theoretically easy enough to switch! Right… and wrong. How old your home/wiring is will make a difference… i just learned which parts of my house have older outlets from probably 50+ years ago, and which parts have brand new ones… the electrical boxes are different sizes, and these new USB ones nearly fill newer ones… and don’t fit the older ones. Also, when they cut your countertops/backsplashes, if it doesn’t line up EXACTLY, these may not fit. (argh!)

On the upside ~ these U-Socket USB Power Outlets are supposed to reduce energy costs and minimize that vampire power issue when you leave things plugged in that don’t need to be sucking power. And it is like turning your 2 outlet into a 4… (or a 4 into a 6, but those don’t seem to be available yet!) So i’m still debating whether i need more… or whether a power strip does the trick in most spots… but i am totally charging my phone via USB outlet next to me as i type this! See more pics on the next page!

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*notcot in tech - 0 Notes

LED Glühbirne Nature Bulb

bulb1.jpg I fell in love with these LED Glühbirne Nature Bulbs at Dwell On Design today. Designed by Process, they were spotted in silver painted wood crates over at the Design Prize Switzerland booth. “The LED NATURE BULB combines the most up-to-date energy-efficient lighting technology with the form of the classic bulb. The ventilation opening in the centre of the luminous body carries a worldwide patent, and lends the product an independent and iconic character. Its 360 degree dispensation of light has also been patented and guarantees ideal functionality. The balanced form of the lighting unit means that it can also be used without a lampshade and will fit harmoniously into any kind of interior. Other advantages are the extremely long life of the bulb, its efficient use of electricity (just 4.5W) and the non-toxicity of the materials.” They are stunning in person! See more pictures as well as a pic of what’s inside it on the next page!

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*notcot in tech - 0 Notes

Unboxing the BIG Jambox

bigjam1.jpg The BIG Jambox from Jawbone is here! and much like its tinier predecessor, the Jambox, (which we unboxed poolside over a year ago) - if you order it from Jawbone themselves, the packaging is FAR more fun than what you’ll see in retail stores… playful graphics adorn the cardboard box vs the clear plastic cases that showcase the product in stores. So, what’s fun about the BIG Jambox vs the Jambox? As the name says, it’s bigger ~ but also has bass, 15 hours of battery life, play/pause/skip buttons, and their new LiveAudio. While we love having the little Jambox for running around and even in the bathroom to bluetooth music while in the shower… the BIG one, is perfect for the kitchen or outside in the yard… and they both make for the perfect conference call mic/speaker!

Head to the next page to see the full unboxing and a size comparison between the BIG and small!

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*notcot in tech - 1 Notes

Pear Square One: The Unbox

pearmain.jpg Newest experiment, we’re playing with the new Square One from Pear Sports. It’s been interesting to play with and track the increase of technology to track, motivate, and train us through workouts from systems like Nike+ and Adidas MiCoach, to the FitBits and UPs ~ should be interesting to see how things shift more in this space! Pear Sports puts a coach in your ear as you run with their Training Intelligence. And it’s all about listening… their coaches listen to your heart rate and speed/pacing/etc through the heart and foot monitors… and provide SMART biofeedback and motivation to train you to meet your goals.

Simply put: Plug in your music, start running, and they provide a super-smart coach to whisper (or shout) motivations in your ear! It can be everything from your couch-to-5k coach or your marathon coach depending on what goals you set. You do an initial 20 minute Heart Rate Zone Assessment, which helps the system set up your fitness zones to customize the workouts to your level. Take a peek on the next page at what’s in the box, and the web UI…

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*notcot in tech - 0 Notes

Logitech Cube Unboxing

cube.jpg Logitech Cube. I couldn’t resist… when these two adorable black and white little cubes came, a smile just spread across my face. They are so cute! And the unboxing was fun, as things got exposed layer by layer. Adorable packaging and product design… it’s all about the details. As for the eraser sized little presentation mouse device itself, i am not sure if i have much use for it regularly… but it feels great in my hand and i can’t stop playing with it… plug the usb in, turn it on, and sliding it around on the desk its a mouse with scroll… picking it up you can start a presentation and flip/click/etc to change slides. Though the little case for it strangely reminds me of a finger brace… anyhow! Adorable black and white cubes, fun packaging details and more on the next page!

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*notcot in food+drink - 2 Notes

KitchenAid: A Culinary Odyssey

odd-main.jpg The latest from our London-based editor, Justine Aw.

This evening I had the pleasure of attending “A Culinary Odyssey” with Bompas & Parr and KitchenAid to celebrate the launch of the new KitchenAid 6.9L Artisan Stand Mixer. The event was filled with science fiction inspired cocktails from the Experimental Cocktail Club (ECC), Kubrick inspired sets created by designer and prop stylist Rhea Thierstein, a levitating food device from Poietic Studio and futuristic menu created by Andrew Stellitano. Bioluminescent lollipops, a rum cola cloud chamber and cricket pasta were only a few of the incredible offerings. See lots of photos on the next page!

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*notcot in tech - 6 Notes

Unboxing the Pentax/Marc Newson K-01

pentax1.jpg Thank you, Pentax for sponsoring us to play with your awesome new Marc Newson designed K-01! This is the first in a few posts of our experiments with it ~ first up the UNBOXING of course!

Ok, so i’m sure you’ve seen this camera floating around all the design/tech sites. The new Pentax K-01 been hard to avoid… after all, it’s a new hybrid of dslr-like cameras ~ mirrorless, yet uses most of the Pentax lens line up ~ it has a 100-25600 ISO range, shooting amazingly in the dark ~ it even does HDR IN CAMERA ~ shoots 1080p video ~ oh, and it’s designed by Marc Newson. He even designed the super crazy thin pancake 40mm lens that goes with it! Ready to take a peek at our first look? To the next page!

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*notcot in tech - 0 Notes

Mimomicro USB Drive/MicroSD Reader

mimomicro1.jpg While exploring the Toy Fair, we ran into our old friends from Mimoco! They’ve come a long way since we first started posting about them in 2005! From a variety of artist Mimobots series, licensed characters, hoodies, and more… they have now veered into Mimomicros! These are new characters that have a flip out USB plug and you can put in any sized microSD card to use them as usb keys… or just use them to transfer info from phones/cameras/etc that use microSDs. Take a peek at the fun Mimoco toy fair booth (How fun are the turntable/record like displays you can really spin? Sadly no music plays though!) as well as close ups of the new Mimomicros on the next page!

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*notcot in playful - 1 Notes

Toy Fair: Toys to Travel With!

toy0.jpg This post is presented by HomeAway. Discover the world’s largest selection of vacation home rentals with HomeAway.com. Let’s stay together.

While i’ve seldom had the traditional “family vacation” as a kid ~ talking to NOTlabs director, Shawn, i found out that he knows HomeAway well! Apparently his mom’s been booking everything from houses in the Rockies, French Quarter in New Orleans, and Utah Ski trips on the site ~ and they often associate family vacations with insane jigsaw puzzles and toys… so when HomeAway asked us to share some awesomeness around family travel… adventures at the NY International Toy Fair seemed like a perfect fit! There were SO many random toys in every genre you can imagine, so to narrow it down, here’s a selection of our favorites that are perfect to keep kids (both actually young and young at heart) occupied in the car/plane en route or curled up by the fireplace/dining table when just hanging out! Ready to see some crazy puzzles, fun magnetic building toys, turtles, mazes, paper animals, electronic experiments and more? To the next page!

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*notcot in tech - 0 Notes

CES: Belkin's New Logo + Booth

belkin0.jpg Flipping through lots of CES pictures, had to share the new world of Belkin. First you can’t miss their glowing new logo and white tree atop their two story “booth”. Their booth was more of a house or visiting various parts of different homes… from the vintage modern living room and office ~ to baby monitors ~ super thin TVs showing the remote garage door camera/openers ~ digitally controlled front door locks ~ kitchens equipped with various ipad stands ~ essentially every room was represented in an awesomely cozy way (when it wasn’t completely packed with fascinated CES-goers)… and there was even an upgraded retro photobooth i had fun in! The new WeMo system they were previewing definitely lead to a fun app controlled home of the near future… take a peek at their world within CES on the next page!

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*notcot in tech - 5 Notes

Unboxing (+installing) the NEST

nest0.jpg Perfect timing ~ the NEST thermostat just arrived today ~ a chilly LA day in need of heating… that i can control from my phones, laptop, etc. (aka from bed when i wake up and before i get to the shower?) It really is a beautiful object, with an incredibly easy and intuitive interface (spin and push to click!)… and it has gorgeous packaging as well… and the coolest little screwdriver you didn’t even know you needed! While you can see tons more about the ins and outs of NEST on their site ~ the unboxing and installation was too fun not to share… so many details to see! So head to the next page and see the rest…

p.s. should be no surprise that the UI is by Mike Matas (who we’ve been following since icons/delicious library/apple/etc) and ID by Bould Design (of roku and a lot of the logitech squeezebox goodness)…

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*notcot in tech - 1 Notes

CES: A Peek Inside Cubelets

cubey0.jpg So, you’ve seen the AMAZING video of the dutchman in the woods introducing Cubelets (if not, you must). Well, i finally had a date with Modular Robotics Cubelets ~ and got to explore and create with them over beers and bruschetta while at CES. Fun part? Building autonomous robots that can drive themselves, run away from me, run to me, spin lights around, and beep away… all while navigating around the place settings and deliciousness. There’s something undeniably satisfying about the way the magnetic blocks snap together and just start DOING things! And their natural ability to pique the curiosity of people of any age to just get lost exploring the possibilities… truth is, you definitely need a table full to properly explore the overwhelming amount of options… and i love that it feels like true object oriented programming ~ in that you literally connect blocks that have various functions… like the light sensor block to the inverse block to the flashlight block and add a battery block and things just start happening!

Anyhow, these fun robotic cubes have been getting written up everywhere ~ but are you ready to take a peek INSIDE? When popping by the booth the next day, the Modular Robotics team broke out the leatherman and let us take a peek inside an inverse block ~ granted it’s one of the less filled cubes ~ but I love the design of how it opens (and is held together with two little screws!)… also if you ever want to hide things in your robotic cubes……… see more pics on the next page!

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*notcot in tech - 0 Notes

CES: Urbanears Humlan

turncable5.jpg 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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*notcot in tech - 0 Notes

CES: Intel Interactive Lifeform Generator

intel1.jpg On interesting interactive installations at CES, Intel had an interactive lifeform generator called the Connect to Life Experience, which was a 168-foot-wide interactive 3D virtual life simulation designed by Stimulant and Foghorn Creative.

Stimulant explains it as follows: “Conference attendees can use any of six stations around the perimeter of the booth to create a shape using their hands, phone, keys — pretty much anything — and the silhouette of that object will be used to generate a unique bioluminescent lifeform on the massive projection surface overhead. The animated lifeforms interact with one another in playful ways, dancing with one another or chasing other lifeforms around the ecosystem.

The system renders approximately 30 billion triangles per second to deliver a 17.6 megapixel image at 60 frames per second, all powered by Intel Core i7 technology. This image is displayed over a 2200 square foot, non-uniform projection-mapped surface using 24 projectors.

Take a peek at more of my pictures from the experience on the next page ~ there was something very Flow like about the digital ecosystem created ~ and my favorite part ended up being the structure they built where you input the shape/handprint…

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*notcot in tech - 0 Notes

CES: Urbanears ZINKEN w/Turncable

turncable1.jpg 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…

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*notcot in tech - 0 Notes

CES: Fling Joysticks - Ten One Design

fling1.jpg 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…

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*notcot in tech - 0 Notes

CES: RAM-Mount BOT

rambot1.jpg 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!

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*notcot in tech - 0 Notes

CES: Zik Parrot by Starck

ziknew0.jpg 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!

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*notcot in tech - 1 Notes

CES: Inova USB Rechargable LED Flashlights

inova1.jpg 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!

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*notcot in tech - 1 Notes

CES: Griffin Flat Aux Cables + Booth

aux0.jpg 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!

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*notcot in design - 1 Notes

CES: Motorola Facade of Projection Tubing

moto1.jpg On more fun CES booth designs, i liked Motorola’s excessive use of tubing to create the surface around their booth… you could pass through the tubes easily, and they served as a huge projection surface. More pics on the next page…

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*notcot in tech - 4 Notes

CES: Audi's Crazy Lights

audi0.jpg Remember Audi’s 2011 CES booth of overlit white glowiness? Well this year Audi actually took it even further and created an equally stark white super bright booth that not only pulled everyone into the light… but trapped them in their infinite kaleidoscopic florescent tube grid of dizzying madness. Then again to be fair i had just walked the show floor all day and could barely feel my feet anyways. Regardless ~ it makes for awesome pictures ~ and some insane reflections on the many reflective surfaces in the booth…

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*notcot in tech - 0 Notes

CES: Samsung Series 9 Monitor

samsung1.jpg 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!

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