Entries tagged with: toyota

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*notcot in tech - 2 Notes

2014 Toyota Tundra Adventures in PA

tundra0.jpg It’s been a crazy summer of trying new things, which has inevitably lead to more unexpected travel, surprise encounters, and non-stop summer inspiration. Well, adding to the list of firsts ~ Toyota just brought me out to Farmington, PA for the last two days to play with the new 2014 Tundra, which has meant: my first time shooting a shotgun (and getting a taste of “golf with a shotgun”) as well as my first time properly playing with trucks (towing large things and off-roading in lots of water!)… So fun, so exhausting, and while somethings are embargo’d till next week, i did get the ok to share the experiences and design details with you now! It is definitely more angular and more aggressive visually… and designed right in socal at Calty!

So, take a peek on the next page to see my adventures at the bizarrely epic Nemacolin Woodlands Resort (which has everything from shooting, fly fishing, golf, spa, LIONS, airstrip, casino, classic car collection, ziplines, dog sledding, and so much more…) to our quick visit to Frank Lloyd Wright’s Kentuck Knob, to off-roading and exploring with the new 2014 Tundra, as well as a few of my favorite details!

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*notcot in tech - 2 Notes

Hatsune Miku in LA

miku0.jpg Toyota invited me tonight to Hatsune Miku’s Los Angeles concert. (It sold out in 2 hours?) Apparently it’s “her” first time outside of Asia and this j-pop 3D holograph superstar has been rumored to be like the next Gaga… how could i say no to this experience to see if vocaloids could take over?

Well, first impressions. I thought she was bigger. Rumors were floating around that she’d be 20ft tall! She was little asian girl sized it seemed. And she felt like a 3D holo-mime in a big screen/box on stage (particularly when she pounded her fists forwards). And things really looked best when you stared at the giant screens that perfectly captured/optimized her 3D look (aka, you might be better off watching the official vids of concerts online). Though i must say the crowd’s energy was something else ~ while everyone was seated (it felt as if we were watching her amazing band play behind a cartoon) ~ there was non stop high pitched screaming ~ and there weren’t nearly as many young girls as i would have expected in the audience. And everyone seemed to know exactly what to do with the glow sticks ~ waving them in sync with certain wrist actions at just the right moments. So, honestly, the hype had me hoping for more, but my curiosity about the tech and real life experience had me fascinated. Where this is heading is definitely curious ~ but Hatsune Miku definitely doesn’t have enough stage presence to pull me in quite yet… perhaps she should have interacted a bit more with humans during the dance numbers to really mix it all… her band members stayed in their respective spots all night. Take a peek at pics of how it felt to watch it in real life on the next page ~ as well as a vid from one of her other shows!

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*notcot in tech - 0 Notes

Toyota Ideas For Good: The Video

ifg0.jpg 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…

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*notcot in playful - 1 Notes

On Press Trips + Fire Trucks

ft0.jpg There are so many possible stories to come out of the weekend in Pittsburgh at CMU with Deeplocal and Toyota for the Ideas For Good project. There are the ones in press kits, the ones marketing/pr folks go through the motions of giving you info for, and then the best ones - the one’s you discover BEING THERE. Forgive the rant, but this one’s been long over due and i just wanted to clear the air.

PRESS TRIPS. Yes, they pay for airfare, hotel, food, essentially babysitting you from door to door. Have they BOUGHT a post? Certainly not. Not even close. In fact it could be more dangerous bringing people RIGHT into the mix of an event, what if it all goes wrong? What if they find out more than you are ready to share? Do some people see it like a “free trip”? Sure. But honestly, that’s not how i see them here on NOTCOT, because lets face it… If i wanted a “free trip” i could fly somewhere and feed myself and NOT work. An amazing press trip is more like being invited and escorted to the party you were scheming about crashing. It’s about getting an opportunity to get right in to the thick of it and EXPERIENCE something that few will ever get to. And then the real responsibility comes in sharing what YOU find noteworthy about the experience ~ your words, your pictures, your angle. Afterall, if they could just BUY a story, isn’t a lot cheaper just to throw some cash around and a prewritten story and pics?

So, this is just a little ramble for all the people i’ve run across in real life lately ~ outside of these experiences ~ who asked the simple (and totally reasonable question) of WHY do these brands and groups fly you all over the world to write about them? And i’d like to think the answer is because they LOVE you guys (the NOTCOT readers) and trust me enough to come along on their ride to find the fun and unexpected to share and inspire us!

Also, on NOTCOT philosophies on press trips and products that come through ~ the overarching question is never was it “free” (hate to break it to you, but nothing is free) ~ the first question is always “IS IT AWESOME?” and second is “Would I write about it regardless of whether i purchased it/went on my own?” And the third test - was it as amazing as i’d hoped in person? If it passes these three tests, you’ll probably be hearing about it here. The ones who don’t… we can quietly ignore. And if you have more questions on the subject, feel free to leave a note below!

Ok ~ now on to the firetruck. My inner 5 year old is back in full force ~ though the fireman Gary didn’t quite let me climb around on the ladder while extended, it was still a blast getting to wander around and take pics from the TELE-SQURT (awesome name in great typography!)… go see the pics on the next page, they make me happy. Also, how awesome is watching Slim Pictures at work? They were like the secret stars of the show… can’t wait to see all they’ve been hard at work capturing in all of my pics this weekend! SO, for now ~ Firetruck! Next page…

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*notcot in tech - 0 Notes

Ideas For Good: Day 1 Prototyping

ifg0.jpg YES. They are in fact up on a firetruck. Wow. What an inspiringly energetic day it’s been here in Pittsburgh in a huge Carnegie Mellon Robotics workspace ~ playing with Toyota, Deeplocal, Carnegie Mellon researchers, and the Toyota Ideas For Good winners. What they are trying to achieve this weekend is no easy feat ~ the artists/engineers/makers of Deeplocal promised (before even knowing which concepts the internet would vote to win) to take the 5 winning concepts from the Toyota Ideas For Good contest, where Toyota asked how you would use their vehicle technology in a unique way to “do good,” and along with the winners themselves, turn them all in to working prototypes during the weekend. This would be a challenge even without the time limit… but now add on the frenetic circus of 3 camera crews, media, agency folks, and MORE circulating and flitting about throughout the process! Being part of that chaos watching in fascination, i spent the day trying to stay out of the ways of the engineers and camera crews ~ focusing on the great energy and capturing my view of the impressive productivity everywhere i turned… Inevitably, staying out of the camera crew’s way meant a new found fascination with watching and capturing how they work as well!

Ready for a sneak peek at the progress that has been made? And the reality TV like setting of the weekend? From impressive rubberband/plexi/wood ipad keyboards ~ to a FIRETRUCK ~ to a cute mod shelter that will be cooked in tomorrow… check it out on the next page!

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*rugenius in tech - 2 Notes

2011 Prius/Deeplocal Rollercoaster

rollercoaster.jpg Remember that Toyota “Ideas for Good” ad where that guy with the almost 4 year old in the back seat talks about how the hybrid synergy drive would be awesome for the “world’s first self-sustaining amusement park”… Well, in a warehouse in Pittsburgh, they’re DOING it - Toyota teamed up with our favorite engineering crew Deeplocal to build a roller coaster from a 2011 Prius. The team of 5 gutted a Prius, using the engine, wiring harness, batteries, and Hybrid Synergy Drive system in a custom designed and fabricated coaster car… and a 70 foot coaster track out of steel. Drop it from the 10 foot high platform, and it reaches speeds of 15mph. When braking, the cart gave readings of 30 amps of 200 volts from the braking system, with a single drop generating as much as 6,000 watts! This was sufficient to light real amusement park signs and lights, as well as strings of LEDs along the track. This is only the start of their collaboration for the Toyota’s Ideas for Good… Check out the awesome video of the Prius coaster in action and more photos on the next page - it’s pretty amazing!

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*notcot in travel - 0 Notes

Prius 10th Anniversary in Malibu

prius10MAIN.jpg 10.10.10 was the perfect day to celebrate 10 Years of Prius! Hosted by Toyota, along with Shift.com, WIRED Magazine, Outstanding In The Field, and Reverb ~ up on the Wright Organic Resource Center in the hills of Malibu, home of grandson of Frank Lloyd Wright, Eric Lloyd Wright - architect and founder of the center. Firstly, there couldn’t be a more stunning Los Angeles day ~ sun beaming, clear skies, and the s-curves up to the house were stunning… and at the center, being surrounded by mountains and the whole of Santa Monica bay to look down on… they set up a series of sustainability workshops, live music, talks, and the coup d’etat ~ a special Outstanding in the Field dinner (remember i wrote about them recently?) As you can imagine, with such a stunning celebration underway, i ended up with hundreds of pictures, all of which could easily become many a post… or one huge epic one… so here’s the plan. On the next page ~ check out the pictures for an overview ~ think of it as a day in the life… walking through 2-10pm with me! And i’ll have more to show you on the stunning Outstanding in the Field dinner HERE! Absolutely incredible day, so nice to have a beautiful day outside surrounded by the sea, the mountains, music, food, drink, tech, and great people ~ coming together to celebrate 10 years of the Prius! SO! If you’re ready… check it out on the next page!

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*notcot in design - 2 Notes

Toyota Calty Design: Sketch Demo

sketchdemo.jpgCurious how the magic happens? I have always been mesmerized watching master marker renderers and sketch artists at work... While visiting Toyota Calty Design Research, i had a chance to see Project Chief Designer, Ian Cartabiano, show us how it's really done on a huge apple monitor and wacom tablet (he's old school, and likes having the tablet while seeing the screen, versus those who love the Cintiqs).

So you can see one of my little home videos (one of these days with some combination of time, energy, extra pair of hands, etc i will make proper videos with real editing and maybe even music?) ~ giving you a quick skip through the presentation ~ from initial stages, to some highlights, to a flip back and forth between finished and initial sketches, and the crucial signature!

But honestly, if you want to learn how to sketch cars properly, you should probably go take Ian's class at Art Center ~ after graduating Art Center, he got pulled right into Toyota and has been there for 11 years... while simultaneously teaching... keep an eye out for his latest exterior design, the 2009 Venza!

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*notcot in design - 9 Notes

Toyota's Calty Design: Clay Modelling

toyotaclay.jpgYesterday Toyota (for the first time) opened up it's Calty Design Research doors to a tiny group of journalists (Core77, KCRW/NPR, Architect Magazine, Dwell, Inhabitat, DesignMom, Zaproot, and i was honored to be included in the group)... and as we all know, security and secrecy in the car industry is nearly impenetrable, with design secrets that manage to be kept under wraps for years before the public even gets wind of the concepts, it was an honor (and SO much fun) to get an inside look at Toyota's studios and their work flow... AND to be able to share it with you!

So first off, my favorite part ~ really it brought out the kindergartner in all of us, get handed a tool, and a HUGE (yes, life size car sized) piece of clay, and are told to go to it. And then sat down at a bench with mini's to carve away at your own car? Ok so perhaps that only slightly over simplifying it, but i'm sure you can imagine the delight of poking at clay... while assisted by some of the most talented car designer and modelers... who with a quick flip of their wrist and a few slashes with a pairing knife, off fly a few pieces of clay and you're staring at the dream sportscar you never knew you wanted. Then you see what my unplanned mohawked/finned masterpiece turns out like after more effort and less finesse. Let's just say we fully understand and were quickly humbled by how skilled these modelers and designer are...

So take a look inside the Toyota Calty Design Research modeling space on the next page, and our experience hands on with the clay!

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*notcot in travel - 6 Notes

Toyota & Montage Laguna Beach

montage1.jpgOn feeling too giddy not to share ~ i just popped down to the Montage Laguna Beach for the night thanks to Toyota (i can't wait to tour Calty - their design studios in the morning and learn more about the new Toyota crossover car the 2009 Venza!) ~ and the views here were far too breathtaking not to share quickly. Also the bed and bathtub too ~ you know how i can't resist posting quick hotel pics. Anyhow, if i get a bit quiet tonight/tomorrow you know where i am...

p.s.
Even just an hour here, i can't stop staring out at the ocean ~ in contrast to paris, this is definitely confirming i'm far more of a calm, rolling oceans, beach kind of girl than a city girl.

p.p.s.
I've updated this post four times now ~ so images of bunnies, sunsets, and their insane mosaic pool at night... and 6am shots of moonlight peeking through the clouds... on the next page...

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