Entries tagged with: unboxing

25 result(s) displayed (1 - 25 of 157):

*notcot in design - 0 Notes

Unboxing: hmbldt bliss dose pen

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It’s no secret i’ve been fascinated researching the current state of the Cannabis Packaging/Branding world lately (as is apparent from this ever-growing post from January!) It’s so fun to watch a whole new category work towards legalization… it opens up so much potential from a design/user experience side!

One of the most unique brands/products I found was definitely hmbldt - from concept to product design, packaging to scientific approach… even down to the experience of what a dose is, and how to help new users understand (and trust) a more consistent result and quality as they figure out what cannabis combinations work for them. While their first products are discreet disposable vaporizer pens, it sounds like they are working on a metered-dose oral spray as well as a rechargeable pen specifically for hmbldt formulas. Their initial offerings include 4 hmbldt formulas for Bliss, Sleep, Calm, and Relief - and just in time for Valentine’s Day, they’ve also added Arouse and Passion. For more on the scientific and future sides of hmldt - our friends at Cool Hunting have an interview with hmbldt’s Chief Scientist Samantha Miller that is a fascinating read.

So between all the pictures and information online, we got too curious, and had to play with it in person… and the packaging, the product, and the experience is impressive. Take a look at the details up close on the next page.

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*notcot in tech - 0 Notes

Linksys Velop Unboxing

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Full disclosure - Daniel Frysinger works on the Linksys Velop, and he also founded NOTCOT with me and we’ve been friends for nearly 20 years! Weirdly enough, that means instead of being positively biased, we’ve been even MORE critical of the product (what else would you expect from designers?), and have let him use our home and studio space as testing areas, and turn us into UX guinea pigs while working through the design process! So when it finally made it to store shelves, we had to share unboxing it with you!

So that being said - i’m totally in awe of how good my internet connection finally is in the garage workshop and the pergola/deck… and every corner of the yard/driveway… even the furthest bedrooms are solid now! Mesh networks are definitely a hot trend/evolution in the home wifi router space, and they all seem to advertises how many nodes you need based on the size of your home to properly reach ALL the spots we hang out - both inside and out! With 4-5 Linksys Velop Nodes we cover ~13,000 sqft inside and out amazingly well, and it’s nice that you just need a power cord and close enough proximity to another node to expand coverage. Each node has 2 ethernet ports, so you can easily hook up an ethernet drive or other hard wired accessories where needed. Also, all nodes are equal - no master/slave situation, so they are completely versatile. In other words, if you move and find you need less nodes, you can always share them with a friend, or use them for better wifi at your vacation home.

The other fascinating wifi router trend is an industrial design one! They are finally getting prettier and more interesting as designers help consumers display (instead of hide) their routers. It makes perfect sense, the more exposed and centrally located they are, the better signal you get! Yet somehow, many of us have had them stashed in closets and behind objects on shelves and more. So while the Linksys Velop Nodes aren’t the tiniest, they are filled with thoughtful design details. (Also, when it comes to my wifi, i’ll take slightly larger router with WAY better signal any day.) While most press photos show you the plain, solid, white side with a logo, my favorite view is actually the back at an angle. There’s something almost sculptural with the perforated white square/squircle (?) tower with the cut out corner!

On to the unboxing and up close with the design details! To the next page!

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*notcot in food+drink - 1 Notes

SPYTAIL Ginger Rum

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SPYTAIL Ginger Rum!!! The most stunning press kit just arrived from our friends at Biggar & Leith - you know, the folks behind the delicious and beautiful Malfy Gin we tried last March. Well SPYTAIL Ginger Rum taps right into all my childhood loves of Captain Nemo’s Nautilus, Tintin’s Shark Submarine, Bathyspheres and undersea adventuring (and the amazing gear that goes with it)… It blew my mind to open up a box and see a porthole staring back at me! Of course with a stunning bulbous bottle of rum staring out from within.

Sipping it straight while i work on this post, it’s deliciously warming, with quite the gingery punch. As for the story ~ “SPYTAIL Black Ginger Rum - Caribbean Rum blended and bottled in Cognac, France. SPYTAIL is based on a 19th Century traditional recipe of aging fresh ginger root and spices in barrels of Rum - resulting in a rich, spicy and complex spirit. SPYTAIL is named after a legendary submarine - plans for which were discovered by our distillers. The first mechanical submarines in the world were invented in France - and tested on the Charente River which flows nearby our distillery. These were the submarines which Jules Vernes used as the inspiration for his famous novel - 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea.” From a packaging standpoint, the bottle is so beautiful, even those who don’t love ginger might want it on their bar!

But on to the press kit ~ through the porthole ~ and into all the packaging details on the next page.

p.s. On amazing little details - hidden within the bottle porthole are the co-ordinates of the final resting place of Jules Vernes.

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*notcot in playful - 0 Notes

Art of Play Curiosity Box 2016

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The Art of Play Curiosity Box 2016 is a magical and wondrous thing that promises “unique & clever amusements” - just what you need to help kick off your 2017! Especially the 3D Card Star of laser cut magicalness designed by mathematician George W. Hart (father of one of my favorite youtubers - Vi Hart)! There’s nothing like a good puzzle to get me out of a funk - though of course all the good ones drive you a bit more mad and frustrated to make solving them THAT much more satisfying. Also the Curiosity Box has delectable dark chocolate - that is ALSO a puzzle (though one that doesn’t last long.) Oh and the spring! So elegant, so pretty… then i handed it to Shawn and he solved it in seconds - reminding me the puzzle is basically a problem he’d accidentally run into when working on cars…

2016 was a funny kind of year, and while 2017 is full of uncertainty thus far - i’m feeling hopeful. And silly, fun amusements like these definitely help - so thank you, Art of Play for the surprise box of hopeful happiness! Ready to dive into the unboxing and details? To the next page!

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*notcot in tech - 0 Notes

Power Practical Luminoodle

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The Power Practical Luminoodle! Essentially an LED strip that you can power via USB - and before you just buy a basic LED strip and hack it together yourself, they’ve already done the work to make this waterproof with a nice light diffusion, attached adjustable magnets, included straps to attach it to things, and a little white stuff sack that can turn into a lantern. Basically - it’s an awesome stocking stuffer and gift for your campers, road trippers, cyclists, and more. Also, being USB powered, its easy to plug it in to anything from a USB wall or car charger, computer, or even that back up battery you probably carry for your phone… and for those who don’t already have somewhere to plug it in, you can also buy the Luminoodle Plus that includes one. (Ooh and for last minute shoppers, they are available and slightly cheaper with Amazon Prime!

While skeptical at first, i got curious while black friday shopping and impulse bought one… and i’m delightfully impressed with it! Such a simple idea, executed so thoughtfully, they’ve really elevated the LED strip in a lovely, functional way. Also, nice packaging! Take a peek at the details and unboxing on the next page.

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*notcot in design - 0 Notes

Designed By Apple In California

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It’s been a very Apple filled 2 days. Macbook pro arrived last night, Designed By Apple In California today. My macbook air has been long overdue for an update, but waiting for the new macbook pros has taken far longer than most rumors the last year! So, while many are complaining, i’m actually kind of loving the new macbook pro. Sure, the keyboard and mouse will take a little getting used to (and as far as loudness while typing, it doesn’t bother Shawn much compared to the noise when my nails would clink on the old one!) - and the touch bar is actually kind of fun - as for USB-C dongles, sure its a smidge more work, but i’m finding i don’t need them THAT much (other than for photos) - basically i’ve been ready for some newness, and i’m ready to adapt my workflow a bit to try it out… but not ready to jump to having a windows machine be my primary.

Anyhow - love when their shipping arrives a day early and surprises you! And while playing with the new machine, i was reading about the Designed By Apple In California coffee table books - a compendium of beautiful imagery of apple products from 1998-2015 as photographed by the amazing Andrew Zuckerman (behind Creature, Bird, Flower, and more). It’s a pricey coffee table book that comes in small (10.20” x 12.75”) and large (13” x 16.25”), and i can’t imagine a designer who wouldn’t welcome it into their design library. It’s rather over packaged, but unlike coffee table books from amazon, there’s no way it will get dented or dinged en route. And flipping through it, it’s stunning - and full of designer nostalgia. So much tech i’ve used from high school through the last decade of NOTCOT is in there. I’m tempted to scribble in the dates of the various machines i’ve owned that are no longer with me, just to remember all the tools that have helped get me where i am today when i look back on it all in a few decades. It’s a beautiful tribute to Steve Jobs and the stunning designs of Apple in its prime.

Take a look at the unboxing on the next page.

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*notcot in food+drink - 1 Notes

Bon Puf Cotton Candy

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The Original Bon Puf Cotton Candy has an online store now! For those who have been trying to taste the candy floss fluffiness through instagram for years, but haven’t been close enough (or managed to make it to an event the adorable cart has popped up at) - you can now had organic sugar cotton candy in fun flavors like Champagne Sparkle (edible glitter and all!), Pop Puf (pop rocks!), Sugar Cookie, Salter Caramel, Watermelon, Mango and more show up right at your doorstep. I’ve been a bit slow writing this post, because my fingers keep getting sticky as i taste the various flavors and type right now…

If you haven’t peeked at the Bon Puf Instagram yet, you must. Let’s face it, sadly, a picture is worth more than a thousand words (and perhaps more than the experience itself at times) today. And while Bon Puf has mastered the instagrammable, happy, fluffy, colorful deliciously playful world of cotton candy digitally - i was so curious how the organic cotton candy fluff actually is! So… yes, it’s super tasty! Can i taste the difference of organic sugar? I’m not sure - but if definitely tastes better than that county fair vendor stuff! Also, it’s so adorable with the subtle toppings sprinkled throughout and I’m still excited to one day see the super cute cotton candy cart in person! But for now - it makes a fun surprise to send to a friend (or to yourself) now that you can order Bon Puf Online! And if somehow you end up with too much - clearly you can use it as a topping, or in lieu of sugar in things like my espresso in the gif up top!

Take a look at the unboxing and some of my favorite pics from their feed on the next page.

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*notcot in design - 0 Notes

Unboxing: Saint James Press Kit

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Oooh a surprise arrived from Saint James - and to be honest, i knew little about them until this fun (and very informative) hands on box of goodies arrived. The branding, illustrations, and playfulness of the kit let you play with the various stages of wool (from raw to washed to combed) while learning about how their sweaters are made and what goes on in the french atelier… since 1889. There’s even a canvas scroll of their historical timeline!

Fun facts from the timeline - “From the mid 17th century, fishermen from Brittany and Normandy would go to the Channel Islands and to England to sell vegetables during the fishing off-season. They traveled the England countryside to mostly sell garlic, and wore these long wool shirts, often dyed indigo (one of the only shades resistant to sea air). As soon as they reached a hamlet, they shouted out for auction, “Marchand d’ail! Marchand d’ail!” (Garlic seller) but the locals only held on to the word “chandail”. As time passed, this wool shirt took on the name “chandail”. Fascinating! It went on to become the iconic striped sailor shirt/sweater we imagine today.

Ready to take a peek inside the fun press kit? To the next page!

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*notcot in design - 0 Notes

Unboxing: Kleenex Facial Cleansing

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So, it seems Kleenex is branching out… to new Kleenex Facial Cleansing, which is currently only available on their own online store. Firstly - this post is about PACKAGING. (Because i’m not feeling the cleansing products so much. I even made Shawn try the wipe - and I tried the rest… and well, anything that isn’t cleanser free has a bit of a chemical scent/feel. So now that that’s out of the way… back to the packaging!) When i first saw pictures of this new line, i thought it was a student branding/packaging concept. It was so pretty - and it just didn’t seem like what i’d expect from Kleenex. So when i realized it was REAL, i had to poke at it all in person.

The Kleenex Facial Cleansing line has 5 products: exfoliating cushions (just add water and scrub), moist facial wipes, cotton soft pads (huge!), moist eye makeup removers, and shine away sheets. The branding is lovely and clean/fresh, and the products and packaging show that quite a bit of design and thoughtfulness went into each one. It’s cute that the exfoliating cushions, wipes, and eye makeup removers come in solid clear/white plastic containers (complete with o-rings to keep moist things from drying out!) - each is refillable by popping in a fresh pack. In reality - the refillable boxes are of much higher quality than i expected. Biggest surprise of all - the bottoms all have holes! If you expected to use these containers later for anything else, think again! (Though you could keep an empty plastic refill pack inside.)

Take a look at the unboxing and product details on the next page!

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*notcot in home+decor - 0 Notes

Rumpl Down Puffy

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Wow. The Rumpl Down Puffy is SO WARM. The kind folks at Rumpl sent one over last week, and taking it up to the Cowboy Cabin in Julian, CA was the perfect test! At a “trekking size” of 54”x80” (like a slightly short twin) with 600 fill duck down insulation - it weighs in at a mere 1.12 lbs. And it is WARM. I overheat curled up with it on the couch at home, but in the cold rainy mountain night in a 1940’s cabin… it was perfect! I ran around outside in a tank top wrapped in the down puffy and stayed cozy. I curled up in it as we got the fire going, and it felt SO good! And when we needed an extra layer on the bed at night - it warmed us up fast! Though being made of 200 Ripstop Nylon (like a sleeping bag) is it incredibly slippery, so we had to retrieve it from wherever it would slide off to in the night. We’ll be tossing the Rumpl Down Puffy in the car for future road trips and adventures for sure! Check out the pictures and unboxing on the next page!

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*notcot in food+drink - 1 Notes

Unboxing: Malfy Gin con Limone

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Mmmmm… a beautiful press kit just arrived from Malfy Gin, a new spirit from Biggar and Leith. Did you know that Gin was invented in Italy - In the 11th Century?!?!?! Italian monks in Salerno infused alcohol with Juniper berries and gin was born. Over the years, my friends tend to fall in the gin lovers and the not-a-fan of gin folks… Hendrick’s was one of the first to start converting the not-a-fan group (myself included)… but Malfy Gin! It’s so… zesty? refreshing? delicious! Beyond the branding and colors that just scream summer - my first sip tasted like summer too! The crisp refreshing lemon filled flavors hit you long before you realize you’re sipping gin.

It brought me right back to being 20 in Cinque Terra. Distracted by glistening ocean views, we hiked up the trail further than we realized without packing water (i blame the last night’s activities)… and luckily came upon an older Italian man tending to his garden, who offered us a huge lemon that he cut up with his pocket knife. In any other situation, i can’t imagine devouring it as easily as we did, and while it was tart, it was incredibly sweet and juicy! That first splash of Malfy Gin on the rocks tasted just like that. Italian Riviera Summer… in a bottle? Honestly, while it looks lovely with a twist - it certainly doesn’t require it!

So back to this delicious new gin… or delightful lemony liquor (for your “non-gin” friends) - “MALFY G.Q.D.I. (Gin di Qualita Distillato in Italia) is distilled by the Vergnano family in Moncalieri, Italy, using a traditional stainless steel vacuum still. Malfy Gin’s is made from 6 botanicals including Juniper (Ginepro in Italian) and lemon sourced from the Italian Coastline,” says Biggar and Leith. I’m fascinated by the story, delighted by the branding (those colors!) and packaging (the stopper is Italian Oak!), and reaching to refill my Malfy on the Rocks as i write this.

Take a peek at all the details on the next page!

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*notcot in design - 1 Notes

Made by NOTCOT: Nextbit Robin Press Kit

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You know you’re a designer when… watching people unbox something you MADE is even more of a thrill than unboxing incredible packaging and designs? Those following along the last decade already know that i love unboxing great products in great packaging - especially mind blowing press kits! So, NOTCOT has jumped to the other side (again) and we put all that press kit love to work for Nextbit!

Shawn and I are so excited to finally share the Nextbit Robin Press Kits we designed and built! You’ve seen the teasers and making-of post… now see the actual press kit, delivery, and a peek at some of them in the wild! Made of wood, foam, SF Fog paint, and a piece of elastic, these boxes present the stunning phone, sheep mascot vinyl toy (which we unboxed earlier), charger/cable, and sometimes cases to prominent media outlets. The beautiful design and branding of Nexbit set the bar high - just where we like it. Ready to see all the details? To the next page!

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*notcot in playful - 0 Notes

Unboxing: Nextbit Black Sheep Toy

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Surprise from Nextbit just arrived! An adorable BLACK SHEEP! When you hear Nextbit, you probably think of the Nextbit Robin - that rockstar kickstarter of a phone that’s all about smart, magically efficient use of the cloud - and it’s coming really really soon to all the backers and buyers! While i could easily delve into all the fun details of the phone… that’s not what we’re here about. In addition to the Robin, Nextbit also turned its cloud logo into an ADORABLE SHEEP MASCOT… then had our friend, Andrew Bell turn him into a vinyl toy! In fact, if you couldn’t afford or didn’t want the phone, but wanted a sheep toy - that was even an option on their kickstarter. Take a peek at some of the fun, playful branding and an unboxing of this adorable sheep on the next page.

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*notcot in tech - 0 Notes

Triggertrap Mobile Packaging

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I played with the Triggertrap Mobile App a while back - and it’s pretty fun! You can use it to control your phone camera in timelapse mode, sensor modes (clap, move, whistle, face recognition, etc!), HDR modes, remote modes (wifi! wearables!)… and if you buy the cable adapter to your proper camera you can turn your phone into a remote trigger/shutter controller for all kinds of cable release modes! To be honest, i played with it for a while, totally intended to buy a cable to try it with my Canon 5D MKIII… and one thing lead to another and i forgot.

… until i was over at Photojojo the other day, and shopping around, i stumbled back across the Triggertrap camera cable and decided it was time to play with it! And yes, it’s so so fun! It also arrived crazy fast and with a surprise toy dinosaur (Thanks, Photojojo!) But what REALLY surprised me, was how awesome their packaging is! How had no one shown me that part first… i probably would have impulse bought it even earlier. It’s also such a cute, easy stocking stuffer! It actually reminds me a lot of the Teenage Engineering Pocket Operator Unboxing. What i love most? It’s JUST A CABLE… but they’ve packaged it to feel like so much more as you “Rip it like it’s hot” to get inside to the nicely molded case… and even then there’s info printed inside the sleeve and a sticker inside. Nice details. Fun colors! And a simple, powerful, easy to use app UI! Awesome experience all around!

Packaging aside for a moment - i like that Triggertrap sells additional connection cables. So when you have the basic set, but buy a new camera, you just buy the piece you need. Also open source licenses! They are sharing the Triggertrap v1 and Triggertrap Shield for Arduino source code, schematics, and even eagle files.

But pack to the packaging… see the details on the next page!

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*notcot in design - 0 Notes

Unboxing: Parabo Press Engineer Prints

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Parabo Press recently launched from the folks at Photojojo, and of course the whole experience has the same fun, happy vibe. Through an app on your phone, Parabo Press lets you pick phone/instagram photos to turn into things like engineer prints (the big black and white architectural floor plan type pages), risograph prints, newsprint, accordion zines, shaped prints and more. So far my favorite thing to turn phone pics into have been Social Print Studio’s Tiny Books, and with Parabo Press’ unique offerings of larger, lower res prints combined with magnetic wood poster rails, i had to try it! They were nice enough to offer me a $30 coupon, and i just wanted to make something HUGE to see how it all comes out… so found my favorite pic of the NOTFZJ with roof top tent popped open on its first camping trip and turned it into a 3’x4’ engineer print paired with wooden rails.

As for the experience - the app is pretty straight forward (though not as robust as Social Print Studio… yet?) and about 2 weeks after ordering, a fedex arrived direct from Mumbai with print and rails! In those anxious two weeks - i finally told Shawn what i ordered (his inner architecture student came out and reminded me that those are the types of prints we could make easily and quickly!) and i saw far too many DIY Engineer Print options… basically you can get a 3’x4’ engineer print at Staples for about $7! And while doing so much milling and playing with wood while waiting… once they arrived, we were instantly dreaming up other variations of magnetic wood poster rails we could make even from the gorgeous hardwood scraps and lots of rare earth magnets lying around NOTlabs! So all in all - fine, it probably would have been cheaper and faster to DIY for a similar outcome - but it was still fun to have Parabo Press send me down an internet rabbit hole about Engineer Prints and Wooden Rails… and for a customized gift, it’s a nice set up! See all the details and unboxing on the next page!

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*notcot in tech - 0 Notes

Unboxing: Teenage Engineering PO-12

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So far we’ve loved everything Teenage Engineering for years… from afar… or through the internet. The design, photography, and ideas are always incredible! But between getting in to SF and meeting friends for dinner, we managed to squeeze in a few stores in the Mission, one of them being the unmissable Dijitalfix. Drawn in by the Freitag pop up in front, and sucked further in by so many design brands we adore… before i knew it, i lost Shawn. Turns out he ended up in the backroom completely engrossed by all the Teenage Engineering toys. And while he was busy pushing buttons and learning how they all worked, i couldn’t stop staring at the products themselves… and the packaging… and the displays! So that was settled… we had to buy one! While it was tough decide, we’re starting with the PO-12 rhythm

And of course, in the small amount of time between procuring the PO-12 and meeting for dinner… we couldn’t resist buying batteries, parking, and unboxing it in the car so we could play with it! So here’s a first for me… an iphone camera unboxing in our car parked on the street at night. Ready to see how awesome it is? See the pics on the next page!

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*notcot in wearable - 1 Notes

Leatherman Tread - Wearable Multitool

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The Leatherman Tread in real life! I’ve been far too curious and excited to check out this “wearable multitool” in person since it was announced - and it’s here! Leatherman just sent this over, and we’ve been test driving it the last few days. First impression? It feels great, and definitely attracts a lot of attention. As a hefty (somewhat heavy) stainless steel linked bracelet with up to 29 tools that you can get through airport security (or into Disneyland with - which inspired the Tread!) the more you wear it, the more useful you find it. So far i’ve opened many a bottle at the 72U Pop Up Park launch party, tightened a few hex screws (IKEA sizes on your wrist!), popped the sim card out of my iPhone, cut paracord with ease, and popped sockets onto it. While i have been using my Original Leatherman Wave since the late 90’s and added the matte black New Wave with Bit Kit to my purse a few years back - the Tread complements them nicely.

Bottom line - it’s basically the ultimate functional charm bracelet. You can remove and rearrange links as needed. I had to give up 2 links/6 tools to get the fit right! People who noticed and asked about it either wanted to have it, or buy it for their significant others. Those who didn’t notice, probably only saw a chunky metal bracelet.

Take a look at the full unboxing and detail shots of the Leatherman Tread in action on the next page.

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*notcot in tech - 2 Notes

Unboxing: Roland MODELA Pro II MDX-540S

rotest0a.jpg There’s a CNC mill in NOTlabs! While Shawn has been playing with (and missing) the full shop of 6-axis robots, huge CNCs, Objet 3D printers and more in his grad school days - i’ve been catching up and getting my hands dirty with it all through our NOTlabs projects! So when the awesome folks at Roland offered to lend us their Roland MODELA Pro II MDX-540S desktop mill, we were ecstatic! While we’ve been doing a lot of 3D printing (remember the Nescafe Alarm Caps and Free Universal Construction Kit?) - as crazy as you can get with additive processes, there’s a lot that subtractive can do (and in some cases, do better!)

We’ve been in the getting-to-know-you phase with this “desktop” beast of a CNC recently, but to catch you up - here’s the unboxing of what two shipping palettes in the driveway is like. We definitely needed to bring in an extra pair of hands to help move the machine itself. In addition to the Roland MODELA Pro II MDX-540S main mill, there is the case, the automatic tool changer, the rotary (4th axis!) and then a starter set of various bits… and of course, Roland’s software to get to know. Ooh and then there’s also various materials to try!

First impression? SO MESMERIZING! We’ve been spending hours and hours working alongside the machine to keep an eye on things, and experimenting with a few models to test out how it handles various types of curves, materials, and details. See the full unboxing and a peek at our experiments so far on the next page!

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*notcot in travel - 1 Notes

Leef iBRIDGE

leef0.jpg The iBRIDGE from Leef just arrived! Mobile memory for your iphone/ipad! This little gadget ranges from 16-256GB, and has a USB 2.0 on one side and an Apple Lightning connector on the other. Think of it as a super USB key.

Just like the Mophie Space Pack we tried out before, you need to download an iOS app to be able to interface with iOS 8. This basically means you can transfer photos between the iBRIDGE and iOS device with ease, take photos straight to the iBRIDGE, and even play music and videos off the iBRIDGE!

There’s a very specific use i’m most interested in the iBRIDGE for… transferring a few photos between my phone and laptop for posts! Currently my options are… Airdrop (it works once in a while, but not consistently enough not to be a pain), syncing all photos into iPhoto/iCloud (but i like Lightroom to manage photos - and if i plug in and import from lightroom, it takes forever to scan 10,000 photos), emailing myself (ugh), dropbox/google drive (slow), and ultimately i end up messaging myself (which still needs wifi/data! not always possible traveling or on a plane)… so ideally, i’d use the iBRIDGE to choose travel photos to transfer on to the stick to my laptop! So far for that - it is AWESOME. Also as a USB key to fill with movies/music for travel and sharing across iOS devices, it’s perfect!

My one problem so far… my phone had ~11,000 photos on it. So testing out their backup took quite some time! (Make sure your phone is fully charged, since you can’t charge and transfer simultaneously.) Also now when i try to load up the photos in their app to see the photos in the backup - it takes quite a bit of time (likewise to load up the photo preview of the ones on my iphone). The backup function doesn’t currently copy videos over, though select/transfer does move videos. I assume i need to either not use the backup function, or if i backup and move the file off the iBRIDGE, then it loads up pretty fast. It’s also nice that you can ‘move’ files from iOS to iBRIDGE and have it delete them… so maybe it’s really time for me to clear off a few years of photos from my iPhone?

Take a look at all the details on the next page!

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*notcot in travel - 0 Notes

Packaging + Design of BioLite

biolitemain.jpg Ok, so by now, it’s pretty well known that BioLite with its “Energy Everywhere” tagline - has everything you need to not only survive, but charge your gadgets whether you’re camping or weathering inclement weather. With their first product, the CampStove you can get things heating with twigs - no fuel needed! AND the energy can be used to power your devices via USB. The Portable Grill is the perfect add on to expand its capabilities… and my favorite, the KettlePot is a brilliant multipurpose piece that not only serves as a pot and kettle, but also a brilliant case/space saver for the CampStove itself! As they keep expending the line - there is now also a Base Camp stove, as well as the KettleCharge for those times when your power goes out, but you can still light the stove - simply boil and charge!

So yes, they are all incredibly functional for a multitude of situations. And our NOTFZJ80 Land Cruiser feels just a bit safer with them packed - just in case! But what i love even MORE than that about the line - is the packaging and design details! Everything is so thoughtfully created… from the minimal recycled packaging that just pops off the shelf (making them extra awesome holiday gifts!) to the playfully elegant color choices, and smart details that make them intuitive to use. They were kind enough to send over the CampStove and Portable Grill before our epic Alberta Adventures, and we had to add the KettlePot into the mix too! Check out all the packaging and design details on the next page!

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*notcot in playful - 0 Notes

The Original Grab Bag

ogb0.jpg For those who love fun surprises in the mail - you’ll love The Original Grab Bag. They just sent a fun box filled with goodies I both knew about (but hadn’t yet indulged myself with) and things i’ve never seen! Which is basically the perfect combo of surprise gifting… I believe the perfect gift to be things that the recipient wants (or will want) but wouldn’t buy themselves. Also fun, i totally forget what options i checked when they asked what i was interested in, although i have a suspicion that they know more about what i’m into than most having reached out as NOTCOT fans…

None the less - the box is filled with awesomeness… from Omnivore Salt that i’ve been dying to try, to Herb Lester awesomeness… a map of how to find old LA (where i was surprised how many of our usual favorites are listed) to Secret Audio Club Wax Packs and more! Take a peek inside this super curated grab bag on the next page.

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*notcot in travel - 1 Notes

Nomadix Towels

nomadix0.jpg Just home and jetlagging after my first completely work free vacation in some time to Tokyo! Arrived to this adorable orange wooden mini crate from Nomadix, a local Southern California based startup that has created the ultimate versatile, stylish pack towel that can be used for everything from camping to yoga to beach adventures and more! I’m used to the usual boring single color pack towels - lightweight, absorbent, quick drying towels for camping/backpacking… i even used to leave one in the car for beach and other spontaneous adventures. The dimensions however were never quite right to lay out on. So far, beyond the stylish designs (even the bottom has a lovely print!) these Nomadix towels are 100% recycled and rigorously tested to hold up for years. Love their motto - “Own less. Do More. Buy one towel that does it all, instead of three that don’t.” They had a successful Kickstarter funding, and now you can purchase Nomadix Towels on Indigogo! Take a peek at details of the unboxing on the next page, and you can be assured that this towel will be packed for our NOTFZJ80 adventures!

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*notcot in playful - 0 Notes

Defy Bags Otis Dog Collar

defy0.jpg Bucky is now 2! Here’s hoping that everyone’s right that 2 is the magic number where labs chill out a bit. Then again, the 2.5 week road trip all over the US and Canada seems to have helped him learn a lot and relax a bit too. Lucky dog just came home to some surprises, including the hardcore, super stealthy Otis Dog Collar from the nice folks at Defy Bags based and made in Chicago, IL. Throughout their bags and accessories, their signature is definitely the AustriAlpin Cobra Load Bearing Quick-Release Buckle, “which can support 2,000 lbs. These are the same solid steel & brass imported buckles used by U.S. Special Forces. There is no finer buckle on earth,” says the tag. Excessive for a dog collar? Most definitely. Awesome looking and feeling? Indeed. As they say, “Life’s too short for cheap buckles.” Ready to see the details? (I’m also a fan of their branding and tape!) To the next page…

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*notcot in tech - 3 Notes

Unboxing: Formlabs Form 1+

formlabs0.jpg I’ve been curious to see a Formlabs desktop stereolithographic 3D printer in action since they blew up on Kickstarter back in 2012. Since that time they have now launched the second iteration, The Formlabs Form 1+, and i’ve been learning far more from Shawn with our NOTlabs experiments and projects about the trials and tribulations of consumer desktop 3D Printing - so it has been quite a treat to spend the last few weeks experimenting with the new Formlabs Form 1+!

Physically, the design of the Formlabs 3D printer is a stunning iconic object that you can’t help but be drawn in any studio. It’s a piece of art! That glowing orange acrylic cube, that opens and closes so nicely (I particularly love how precisely tiny the gap is between the cover and the build plate when you open it!) and there’s a single button on the front - all the details are so well thought out! And the quality of the prints - wow - the resin layers can get down to 25 microns now! So thin, they are nearly undetectably smooth. The prints are lovely!

Before we jump into the unboxing and look at the printing process and outcome - I just want to address a few key things i’ve learned as i’ve been playing with the consumer 3D printers and the questions that keep coming up. Yes things always go wrong, prints will fail, tweaking is always needed - be it in your file, the hardware, some tiny overlooked detail (from the tape you put down to the resin you poured in) - there is ALWAYS something. I’ve accepted that as just part of it at this stage in the maturity of consumer 3D Printers. But they are getting there! Every new machine we play with impresses me more and more - but for something to get plugged in and have everything consistently churn out perfection - I know that patience and learning with each print is key. We’ve played with a slew of printers for various projects - from Objets to Makerbots, Z Corp to Stratasys, and more… so just know that going into this review, i’m approaching it with patience and curiosity!

That being said - to the unboxing and test prints on the next page!

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*notcot in wearable - 0 Notes

The David Kind Eyewear Experience

dkmain.jpg So the last few weeks has been quite the learning experience for me - decades of over computer usage seem to have caught up with me and my occasional eyeglasses for late night driving/etc are being used a bit more frequently. So when i got my new prescription and needed new lenses, an email from long time NOTCOT reader, Dave Barton of David Kind, seemed perfectly timed! Beyond the stunning cork packaging (swoon) and the high quality, luxury frames, what has been most exciting is learning about the advances in eyeglass lens technology! When i got new lenses in my old glasses updated to the new prescription, there was no question about what type of lens i wanted besides anti glare, transitions, etc… I didn’t even know what to ask about! Shawn on the other hand, has been in pretty thick glasses since he was 4, and is never without his glasses/contacts. While in Nashville we even found his stash of old glasses and how the lenses have been slowly evolving and getting thinner/lighter, from glass to polycarbonate and now on to High Definition and Trivex.

Luckily for us, David Kind is based right here in Venice, CA! With years in the eyewear industry, Dave Barton spent a lot of time at Spy+ and Oliver Peoples/Luxotica as well as starting another eyewear company before launching, David Kind - so it’s been great getting caught up on the options. From first touch - it’s easy to see and feel the quality of the frames and the attention to detail on designing and perfecting every little thing. But it wasn’t until i just got my glasses in my prescription that i understood the clarity i’d been missing with my old lenses. While the frames and process may feel like other online ‘try at home, then buy’ eyewear stores - what has surprised me the most is how much attention to detail and how knowledgable the team at David Kind has been along the whole process. They work with you to find the right pair, make sure to find the best lens for your prescription, get everything aligned and adjusted and customized as needed… and the packaging is just awesome too. Take a peek at what i’ve learned and all the details on the next page!

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