Just launched today ~ Bluelounge MiniDock! This magical little contraption means you can now charge your Apple gadgets directly from the wall socket, saving counter/floor space and cables. Perfect for hotels, sitting in airport lounges, bedside charging… you name it! As usual with Bluelounge the product feels great in your hands, the details are perfectly simple ~ as the press kit cover says “Everything should be made as simple as possible, but not simpler,” quoting Albert Einstein. Take a peek at the unboxing as well as examples of it in use (and video!) on the next page!
Entries tagged with: technology
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Love this Robo Mimicry from Shawn Sims + Karl Willis at CMU. There’s something magical about those huge robotic arms we always run into in manufacturing plants ~ big bright colors, mesmerizing to watch them assemble, paint, and do just about anything more powerful and precise than a human can… consistently… but there’s a lack of the fluidity and possibility within them… and since Shawn Sims showed me what initially looked like lightwriting pics on his iphone that were already visually mesmerizing… i was even more pulled in upon realizing they were 1) created by those awesome robotic arms 2) they were mimicking in z-space what a human had initially shown it through moving a hand around naturally… and using a Kinect as it’s eye…
The playful potential of taking the precise, programmable motions and actions of these robotic arms ~ and exploring their artistic and more “human” or organic motions ~ opens up a whole world of robotic lightwriting graffiti, painting, or a synchronized visual display (whether multiple robotic arms in one location, or across the globe) ~ the ability to explore ways that others may interact or control these robotic arms and have beautiful visual/motion captured results just send my head spinning with ideas… and perhaps that’s exactly why Shawn and i are teaming up for NOTlabs to see where else we can go with this space where art, technology, and culture are constantly overlapping… (While NOTlabs is in quiet incubation mode at the moment ~ feel free to follow us on Twitter as we figure out where we’re headed!) But for now… take a peek at the videos and images of the beautifully organic movements of the awesomely orange ABB4400 robot that is tucked away in CMU’s Digital Fabrication Lab as it fluidly dances and mimics with light on the next page!
Warning: This is totally mesmerizing and addictive, and in screenshotting for this post i lost more time than i’d like to admit exploring the world through their lens.
That being said - check out Rorschmap by James Bridle ~ a playful use of the Google Maps API, creating kaleidescopic views of the world… you can flip from satellite to street map view, type in any location you desire, spin it around, zoom in and out… or just press GO! in the top right corner and let it do it’s thing… or be your screensaver. And trust me, it is a time suck! So fascinating seeing how places you know and love or want to visit are… see some screenshots (and see if you can recognize some of the spots i picked) on the next page!
On surprising Comic-con discoveries, i had a great chat with the LA based, PenGo. Their latest tablet apps for painting/drawing and their new Brush Pen with three swappable tips (thick, thin, and brush!) were available to demo before launch, and they are more impressive than any others i’ve played with! As you can see in the pic above, they’ve managed to create Wacom-like pressure based sensitivity in their latest version of their app which hasn’t been released yet. It was such a tease to get to play with their app and brush without being able to buy it yet! The ability to draw and doodle was incredibly fun! Take a peek at their newest product the Brush Pen on the next page… and keep an eye on their site for the official product launch!
On awesome tech + hotel collaborations, latest one i’m loving is the Ace Hotel NY and Google teaming up to put Chromebooks in EVERY room and in the hands of lobby folks to experience them throughout their visits. Sure it’s great that they provide them for use both in and out of the hotel throughout your stay, but even cooler? The custom felt cases designed by Ace x Google that they come in! AND the Superfuture powered “Ace Hotel New York Field Guide” they’ve created as well! And bonus? “For guests, we’re laying out an extra gift: an Ace x Google designed notebook - with real paper - wearing a John Milton quote from 1634.” So whether you’re a guest staying at the Ace, or just hanging out for some Stumptown in the lobby - feel free to ask to borrow a Chromebook next time you’re in there! And take a peek at all the fun little details of this collab ~ all the details from the case to the guide are on the next page as experienced in one of the lovely Ace Hotel NY lofts!
The latest intervention by Kyle McDonald is causing quite a stir… with the Secret Service (and Apple?) - People Staring at Computers. It’s exactly what it sounds like ~ and not so different from what i’m seeing (and looking like) now as i co-work over vidchat. All of those moments when he or i are lost in our work or other windows, there’s that fixated stare that glazes over us all as the screens suck us in… As for Kyle’s project ~ the most interesting aspect is HOW and WHERE he got the images.
So if you happened to wander into an Apple store in NY last week, odds are you may have stumbled right into his exhibition. As you played with one of the machines, you might have a moment where the computer took your picture, showed it to you by fading your image in full screen, and the proceeded to show you those others than came before you. A selection of the pics were published to the People Staring at Computers tumblr, as well as a little video documenting the intervention/exhibition. While it clearly brings up issues of privacy and legality ~ i love the way it shifts our perspectives to see how computers see US ~ and it ain’t pretty. Are all our screens making us zombies? Apparently… So flip that camera on and perhaps start capturing what YOU look like when working/staring away unknowingly at your screens, it may surprise you! Check out the video and more info on the next page!
Almost exactly a month ago ~ i shared a peek into my insane days in Pittsburgh with the Toyota Ideas for Good teams ~ a combo of Toyota, Saatchi & Saatchi, Deeplocal, and CMU folks to name a few ~ making the ideas of winners to apply Toyota technologies to other purposes ~ all in the name of GOOD! The ambitious weekend of going from ideation to fully functioning prototypes was one of the most inspiring whirlwind trips i’ve had the pleasure of being pulled into.
So as a recap ~ what have you seen so far? The ROLLERCOASTER Deeplocal made from prius parts! Day 1 chaos! Adventures with the Firetruck! And if you recall ~ throughout the amazing experience, i found myself dancing around the various film crews doing their thing, constantly shuffling to stay out of shots while sneaking a few of my own, till i realized my shots were ultimately documenting their process! So finally, here it is… the awesome recap video to tie that weekend together that Slim Pictures did a great job on. And for a bit more silliness? More sneak peeks at the inspiring weekend… See it all on the next page…
Technology is AWESOME. I love that moment where it becomes SO easy for just about anyone to capture things we couldn’t even fathom/experience fully without it… like all these tiny everything-proofed action cams that are becoming more and more easily available and create incredible imagery/video ultimately reminding us how amazing humans are… or mounted to things like RC flying magines to create incredible aerial flyover vids of Venice Beach. Why tradeoff between living the action and capturing it on camera? With these Mini HD action cams, you can capture and even stream your activities live and in HD. There’s something for surfers, divers, cyclists, drivers, and just about any other use if you get creative! Whatever your activity, they make a mount for it and a housing tough enough to withstand it. So grab a cam, a mount and get out there! See some of our most enticing finds on the next page!
It has definitely been a car themed month? But what more can i expect when i put a one month travel ban on myself? Inspiration comes through finding other toys to keep me running around a bit… more locally! I played with the Acura MDX recently, and after that i couldn’t help noticing EVERY time an Acura came through a shot while watching Thor! Perfectly timed with all of this fun ~ the Acura/Thor press kit designed by Dead As We Know It (also behind Kraken, NotVentures and more!) arrived! Beautiful, playful designs for everything from branded Pulse Smartpen to sugar cube and scorpion in jars, keys, switches, Rorschach test, and more… all disguised as a playful S.H.I.E.L.D. Assessment Kit. The Strategic Homeland Intervention Enforcement Logistics Division - you know, that marvel government agency that deals with superheroes?) Being a perfect excuse for yet another Car Unboxing, take a peek at the kit, the components, and Acura MDX details on the next page!
One can’t deny that delicious room service is a fantastic luxury to wake up to in a hotel. Well, with our new Tasteologie features, i sent our editor, Jackson, to the newly opened Mondrian SoHo in New York for their press staycation… and we found they do breakfast deliciously! You can take a peek at the sketches and initial looks at the Mondrian Soho in our previous post. One feature takes a look into breakfast in the green garden like space of their Imperial No. Nine restaurant… the second feature takes you inside the room - and the in-room first gen iPad, on which you can do everything, including order breakfast! Delicious and gorgeous, check them out here.
Amazing. Justine has has me laughing so hard with this latest London discovery of hers at Selfridges! Check out part one of her adventures below!
A WHALE RODEO! and a black light lit aquarium of confiscated coral! It’s hard not to love the new campaign, Project Ocean at Selfridges a huge collaboration between the renowned department store, the Zoological Society of London and more than 20 environmental and conservation groups “to celebrate the beauty of the ocean, highlight the issue of over-fishing, help us all understand the threats to the ocean and make positive choices about the right fish to buy and eat.” This is one of a series of posts on the exhibition, which runs from 11 May - 12 June 2011.
Both the Whale Rodeo and Ultralounge are located downstairs in the home section of the store. The Ultralounge houses a large quiet, cinema room with a large screen showing video footage of the ocean. It’s dark walls are filled with small aquaria containing beautiful corals on loan from the aquarium at ZSL and are specimens which have been confiscated from traffickers at Heathrow airport. So pretty! It is also home to a cute shop selling goods whose proceeds support ocean conservation.
The Whale Rodeo is located just opposite the Ultralounge and yes you can give it a ride. More pics and a video of its operators who very obliging demonstrated for you on the next page! Seriously, you have to see this robotic beast in action…
This all started with capturing special moments ~ but ALL moments are special! (And if not, you’re doing it wrong.) And as i tried to figure out what special moment to share, i found myself sitting outside on the grass… macbook air in hand, various cameras next to me, and started exploring with the usb microscope plugged in… turning the macbook air into my microscope screen! And as i played, i found this tiny flower of flowers… and kind of got lost in that moment exploring every little bit of it ~ when suddenly something RAN BUY. Yes, horror movie style. At 200x zoom, the tiniest things seem pretty huge. And i started trying to find it again! They must be teeny tiny aphids or spiders or something… and as i came up out of this random adventure with a bunch of pics all over my desktop, it hit me, how amazing it is that just playing around its so easy for us to capture images like these now! So take a peek at my little microscopic adventure on the next page, and don’t forget ever moment is special for some reason, and even the most mundane of things can become an adventure to share in pics! Ok go see the mini beasts!
On fun surprises that arrived ~ little package came from Duncan Shotton a designer at Kinneir Dufort… inside the adorable little stamped box? Denzel! A prototype of the ambassador they designed for their Revive Concept Phone - that gets better with age. Take a peek at Denzel’s unboxing, a video of the concept in action, and more on the next page!
An “Orange Flame” 2012 Bentley Contintental GT was dropped off for the weekend ~ and it is one seriously bright car. It is especially gorgeous in the stunning sunshine this weekend! If you recall, the Continental GT even inspired the shape of the case of the 007 Carte Blanche Limited Edition. Having peeked into the Bentley Factory via Ultimate Factories, it’s been fun to leisurely poke at all the tiny details… with Imperial Blue Leather and orange contrast stitching, logos hidden just about everywhere you may not have even imagined, fun knobs and compartments, there’s much to explore, and so many beautiful details as you dive deeper. SO! I thought i’d share my favorites with you ~ take a peek at the little design details tucked all around this new 2012 Bentley Contintental GT on the next page!
p.s. The image above ~ i adore the way the windows create such a sleek opening when down…
On fun toys that just arrived… i think i’m in love ~ some things just flood your brain with ideas and it’s the best high. So tiny. So simple. Yet does SO MUCH. With a massive dslr and decent mobile pics these days ~ it’s hard to figure out what else is a car/purse worthy photography gadget. Well, i can think of a million ideas of where to stick, hang, clasp, dunk, strap, swing, launch it… this teeny tiny GoPro HD Hero Camera has infinite mount options, waterproof housing is a default, windproof audio, wide angle views, 1080p HD, super low-light sensitivity, interval photo modes, an awesome sounding battery life ~ and so much more. AND - with the LCD BacPac, i can check the pics on the go… So before the fun begins ~ wanted to share the unbox, because on top of all the features packed into the stealthy little cam… it’s well packaged and designed too! Take a peek on the next page…
Thermochromatic goods seem to come and go and never quite disappear… remember when American Apparel brought it back and AZFN did their version too? Well latest to run into is Stone Island’s Heat Reactive Jacket “A hooded bomber jacket in cotton nylon canvas with thermosensitive liquid crystals, the garment changes colour according to the temperature. The fabric of the heat reactive jacket is treated with a thermo-sensitive coating that changes colour at high temperatures. Beginning at 27 degrees the molecules within the micro- capsules of the external strata undergo a rotation modifying the light course. The colour of the garment gradually begins to morph from the dark colour of the surface coating to a much lighter and brighter surface colour. When the garment returns to a normal temperature it recovers to its original dark coating colour.” It is available in black that turns Green or Blue. Check out the dramatic video and more pics of it in action on the next page…
Spotted in Milan, the mesmerizing Flylight, by Lonneke Gordijn and Ralph Nauta (Studio DRIFT) in collaboration with engineers Klaas van der Molen and Luuk van Laake. It is a beautiful light installation composed of 160 glass tubes. The tubes light up and respond to the viewer and was inspired by the movements of a flock of birds. Each light is programmed with digital DNA and responds individually to the presence of viewers. Ultrasonic sensors detect the distance between viewers and installation, causing the ‘flock’ to react differently as visitors come closer or approach the installation in different configurations. To make sense of it fully you have to check out the video and pics on the next page!
Who doesn’t love brains and microchips? Especially extra large as coffee tables and ottoman like objects? And it was hard to resist a display with large brain scans mesmerizingly projected above the objects… These are the limited edition Brain and Microchips by Daniel Rohr! See more pictures of them (and a pic of them next to a person for some scale!) on the next page…
Rapid 3d printing in the real world! Love this video that Justine found… i’ll let her fill you in on the rest!
Souvenirs are way more fun when you make them yourself. I loved pressing pennies as a kid, but never dreamed I might be able to make a 3D print of myself! Love this project called Be Your Own Souvenir from Barcelona based blablabLab.
The project uses custom software developed using openKinect and openFrameworks. To create an army figurine style souvenir, visitors use 3 kinect sensors to create a 360-degree scan which creates input pointclouds. Meshlab then uses these combined pointclouds to create a Poisson reconstruction, which is cleaned up via Blender and Skeinforge before being fed into a cnc machine (Rapman 3.1), which prints out the souvenir. Voila! Now, seriously, check out the pics and video of it in action on the next page!
While here in Berlin, tonight I joined Nespresso to celebrate the launch of the Nespresso Pixie (tiniest Nespresso machine yet) and Clemens Weisshaar & Reed Kram’s The Heart Is A Machine: 2 rows of 18 stripped down Nespresso Pixies straddling a 50L trough of water for high speed, mass espresso making… While admittedly, i wish it did a bit more, there is something fun about seeing the guts of these super crammed compact little machines… as well as 36 of them chained together. Take a peek at the machine up close and in action ~ as well as the guts of the tiny pod espresso making machines on the next page!
Let’s face it, there are a lot of girly looking ipad cases out there. And if they double as a bag they often get a bit too man-purse like. And it’s really not a good look - regardless of gender! So, in light of the new iPad 2 (see our unbox here), we decided to take a peek at what new options are out there (and which old ones are iPad 2 updated)… From machined wood and thick hand-stitched constructed leather to stamped and CNC metal to ballistic nylon and even water repellent twill and tough canvas, there are so many well crafted gadget protector options these days. And most importantly, It should age well, do its job and make you look good! Browse over a dozen options on the next page!
In a TV near you, there is an upcoming TV show, National Geographic Expedition Week. Far, far away in a room… there is a tiny train track - that goes through the Himalayas, London, Ancient Rome, and Papa New Guinea… and on this track, is a tiny train… with a tiny camera. A camera that YOU control through the internet. And when you find artifacts while driving this tiny far away train… you can take pictures. Then a person in the far away room with the tiny train looks at your picture, and decides if you found something. And he tells you through the internet, and if you DID… he pulls a REAL life-sized artifact off the shelf, and packages it up, and it appears on your REAL doorstep. Where you might be sitting on the couch, watching National Geographic Expedition Week.
PHEW ~ did you follow that? so that’s… digital - physical - digital - physical - digital - physical - digital? How many layers of real world/digital interaction is that? I love Deeplocal. Oh, and if you do win a real world artifact, and then proceed to photograph it, and feed it back to the internet… bonus interaction layers?
So, to recap, National Geographic Channel and Deeplocal, the team behind GAP’s Project Reindeer, have teamed up to create Mission Expedition where viewers can go on a photo safari using telepresence cameras to explore miniature sets… and it’s AWESOMEly fun! See more about the project, the artifacts, and behind the scenes on the next page.
p.s. OH, and to know its real, when i had a call with them this morning pre-launch ~ they even waved their giant hand at me via the tiny train’s tiny camera while we were talking!
Photo credit: Tom Swain
On more awesome London window discoveries, Justine has been working on this post all week ~ but we got a bit distracted while running around in Paris!
“The craftsman’s heart rate will be monitored while he works and transferred to a computer, which will in turn convert the data into commands for a sewing machine.” Interactive installation art from Fendi over at Harrods! I spotted these gorgeous windows at Harrods and was intrigued by the intricate leatherwork and prominently featured machinery. While many of Harrods’ other windows are under construction, window number five features the work of British artist-designer Rowan Mersh and artisan Cyril Letellier. The collaborative performance and is a part of Fendi’s global project, ‘Fatto A Mano’, which translates to hand made. From leather to heart rate to machine to more machines… the out put is a fascinating sculptural form of sorts… see it all in action on the next page!
Teeny tiny elevators… which of course open and close and make all the corresponding noises… except actually moving up and down. (Though i’m still secretly hoping, if you put something inside one, it disappears, or pops out in the other.) Discovered the Liliputian “Lift” by Maurizio Cattelan while checking out the legendary Galerie Emmanuel Perrotin in Paris. See more pics of it on the next page!
Since Lowe’s gave us an excuse to dive deeper and explore the world of home makeovers, remods, etc ~ we decided to kick it off by exploring the designer side of power tools! Thing we want, things to come, things i can’t imagine life without! And these certainly aren’t your usual power drills, sanders, saws and more… and to spice things up, have you ever thought of using your power tool as a regular instrument in your kitchen? Or in your bar? Or how about just to sharpen loads of pencils? Gorgeous, fun power tools await on the next page!