JBL was kind enough to surprise me with some JBL J46BT Bluetooth Headphones. I’ve been curious about Bluetooth earbuds for some time, but this is the first time test driving some in real life… perfect for workouts, running around the house/yard/after the dog untethered, and probably for airplanes so i don’t trip over the cord when getting in and out of the seat! First impressions ~ sound quality isn’t the greatest, it certainly lacks range. BUT i’m fascinated by some of their design details - especially the way it charges with a little clip to two contacts to the ear buds. See the full unboxing and details on the next page…
Entries tagged with: unboxing
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Packaging isn’t everything, but gorgeous, playful, happy graphics, branding, and simple inforgaphics never hurt… and with Skoop it definitely grabbed my attention ~ enough for a post on NOTCOT.org and a few inquisitive tweets. Well one thing lead to another, and next thing i know, a box of Skoop goodies arrived on the doorstep! And as far as supplements go, compared to what you find in a look at GNC or Whole Foods, these will definitely stand out and make you look twice!
Though the graphics were the first things to grab my attention, the proposition of the Skoop A-Game “Super Simple Superfoods” are intriguing in their own right. These powdered supplements you shake up mixed with anything from water and chocolate (almond) milk or oatmeal or yogurt are being positioned as a playful path to SUPER you! It’s less about diets or meal supplements but that extra something to help boost your potential… and nothing says that like comparisons to fueling up with premium… or a cape on a human icon. For those years when it felt like i was living on airplanes and in hotel rooms, i used to always have some Macro Greens on hand to help balance things out. They were the best tasting at the time… though that wasn’t saying much. So i was skeptical and curious about how Skoop would taste! First reaction, definitely sweeter and more palatable than expected, yummy even in the chocolate milk combination. So far we’ve only tried milk, chocolate milk, and almond milk - all not bad with both variations.
Also fun, they included some of our favorite Blender Bottles in the surprise package! The design of the BlenderBall, which is a springy, spherical wire whisk has always made me smile - and they work wonderfully when shaking things up. So this week we will be taking the Skoop 5-Day-Challenge to get SUPER and it couldn’t be better timed with the endless projects and sleepless nights, i can use all the boosts i can get! Take a peek on the next page for all the unboxing and details!
Whiskey Barrel Coffee! So many things i love in one thing i don’t even know where to start. I love beautiful packaging (and a good skull graphic! and a well designed glass bottle!) I love good whiskey… and i’ve been learning to appreciate and love good coffee. I love good dark chocolate. Artfully combine them all, and you have Espresso Smith’s Whiskey Barrel Coffee ~ and chocolate covered coffee beans ~ in wax sealed glass bottles… the idea alone makes me swoon… but the deliciousness and beautiful branding make me need to share the details with you!
Two and a half years in the making, Espresso Smith now ages green coffee beans in authentic bourbon barrels in Colorado prior to roasting to create a coffee “the goal was not to create a whiskey flavored coffee… the goal was to create an experience that starts with coffee and finishes with bourbon.” Mind you, there’s no alcohol (though you can add your own back in) in the final product but the aromas are definitely present and delicious. Take a peek at the unboxing and details on the next page!
UPDATE: Eep! Bad news ~ though a NOTCOT first? I’ve never had to do a REboxing! Just heard from MakerBot that we’ve got to box the machine up and send it back to get it sorted…and thank you so much to the super nice guys over at MakerBot support for being so patient with us while working on this!
SO excited to get our hands on the MakerBot Replicator 5th Gen Desktop 3D Printer ~ it’s amazing to see how far things have come since the Cupcake, Thing-O-Matic, and even the early replicators! (You can see our Replicator 1 unbox here.) We are definitely getting closer to having 3D printers feel closer to the inkjet (2D printers?) of today… unfortunately, it’s still a bit more complex than popping it out of the box and popping out objects! New features we’re excited about include the optimized setup for PLA printing, camera (to keep an eye on your progress via app/mobile), magnetic extruder head, spring loaded nozzles, easier build plate leveling and more! And luckily, the arrival of this new machine is perfect for one of our big NOTlabs project deadlines!!! Take a peek on the next page for a full unboxing and some of our first experiments with it…
Excited to try out the new and improved Dyson Cool Desk Fan. Favorite details ~ it is far quieter than it’s predecessor! And there’s a remote (that magnetically attaches to the top of the desk fan like the floor models always had) - and a new super subtle digital display in the fan base, as well as a sleep timer! They also say it’s 75% quieter, and consumes 30% less power! Take a peek at the full unboxing on the next page!
On fun surprises, the nice folks at Mophie just sent over their new Mophie Space Pack! And honestly, it’s kind of magical! As is expected from Mophie, it boosts your battery life ~ but now it’s also adding an additional 16GB to 32GB of storage! And by storage, i mean that more like an external harddrive or flash drive that both your computer and a compatible iPhone can read. It isn’t exactly letting your iPhone fill up and then automatically use the space on the Space Pack. Their Space App enable you to browse files, take photos straight to the Space Pack, listen to music and watch videos (with airplay!), airdrop files to other iphones, and more. It’s definitely an easy way to transfer photos from your computer to iPhone to then open in Instagram, etc.
In the past we shared our unboxing of the rugged Mophie Juice Pack Powerstation Pro, which we still carry around to events, on trips, etc and use regularly. What i love about that one is that you can charge anything via USB and it’s easy to share. Similarly with the new Mophie Space Pack, as long as your friend/colleague/etc has a compatible iPhone and grabs the Space App, you can share both power and storage easily. In fact, i love that this sample came preloaded with all of the press photos and documents, far more efficient than additional print outs or another USB key! Take a peek at the unboxing and details of the Mophie Space Pack on the next page!
Oakley’s performance eyeware turned 30! And to celebrate and launch the beginning of even more fun in the next era of their company they threw a #DisruptiveByDesign party last night. In the goodie bags? These special edition Disruptive By Design Oakley Eyeshades. These are part of their Heritage Collection which “salutes the evolution of a revolution by bringing back vintage rarities for a limited time.” In the collection are Eyeshades, Razor Blades, and Frog Skins. And while these resemble the classic Eyeshades, they have been updated with an improved nose pad, and come with both curved and straight ear stems… and details like the 2014 inside the frame, and ‘Disruptive by Design’ etched into the bottom of the lens! The special Microclear bag for storage/cleaning has a special sketch of the original design on them, and the packaging and bag have fun retro Oakley logos. They also look pretty amazing on NOTpuppy, Bucky! Check out all the details on the next page…
In the “wish someone told me this earlier” category ~ you should have 3D printing material test kits on hand before your client has to decide which to use! We’re currently crunched on time for a big project where we need to order a few hundred 3D prints sooner than later… and as we shop around various 3D printers, you forget how many types of materials and colors and options exist! Even if some places have the same materials/printers - they will all vary depending on whether they are dyeing or polishing them… you just can’t do big orders without getting test prints… and before even deciding which material(s) to test print in… samples of various materials are extremely helpful! Beyond simply how it looks and feels in real life - it’s great to test how flexible they are, how light shines through, how they dye, etc etc etc… And on a time crunch, i’m still getting used to how slow printing and shipping for projects can be ~ especially in this spoiled Amazon Prime world we are in…
So, I wanted to share these amazing Materials Sample Kits from Shapeways. They have three kits, the Color & Finish, Basic, and Metals, and each kit comes with samples on a 3D printed safety pin of sorts and coordinating trading cards with stats on each material as well as images of some prints using them. I also appreciate that they encourage people to explore and understand the various materials by including a $25 Shapeways credit with the basic kit, which ultimately sets you back $5 if you were planning on ordering something anyhow! While these kits don’t cover ALL of their materials, it’s a great start. Take a peek at the unboxing and details on the next page.
Happy Chinese New Year! As we celebrate the new year ~ and also start working on some hardware projects… fun fact i learned this week is that Chinese New Year not only shuts down a lot of businesses in asia, but if you’re trying to get things shipped or manufactured, this is a bad week to do it! So long story short, our order of Microduinos should have been made 24 hours before… and we could have had them NOW instead of a few weeks from now. Luckily, thanks to the power of the internet, the very nice folks at Microduino met up with us in person yesterday to get us a few modules to get the project going!
THEY ARE SO SMALL! Impressively small in fact… and stackable! While i can’t tell you what we’re working on (yet!) i had to share how adorably tiny they are! They are even open source and Arduino compatible. Microduino started on Kickstarter and were successfully funded back in October, and are steadily growing their module capabilities. Take a peek at them up close on the next page!
Hands on and unboxing of the new Equil JOT Smartpen! We get an up close look at the gorgeous packaging and design details, as well as checking out how you can take notes and sketch on just about ANYTHING and have it immediately viewable/editable/shareable on your iPhone/iPad and more!
Wow. Here is the unboxing of the first edition of CONTAINER from ARTOMATIC. “A new publication about the nature and culture of objects — a magazine that takes the idea of varying content from different contributors beyond the standard format of a printed book.” This first issue , #1: Hot&Cold is a fascinatingly fun theme, and all the artists/contributors took varying twists on the theme in a variety of mediums! The result has been my desk covered in fascinating objects that i seem to notice new details in every time i poke at them further… and all encased in… a CONTAINER, in this case, a styrofoam mini ice chest of goodies (how appropriate?)
This first edition of CONTAINER is limited to 200, and each is individually numbered and signed by each contributor. While i’ve been fascinated by this collection for some time now, the hardest part about writing this post is how much there is in here! Truly this new publication has held my interest (and helped inspire me) far longer than most print mags which i often read through in a few minutes. And beyond what is in the box itself, the digital side is equally fascinating - there is a whole CONTAINER development tumblr, which is an AMAZING look at the random thoughts, design details, and prototypes that lead to the objects in the box now, as well as the CONTAINER blog, with even more stories! The truth is, seeing, feeling, playing with the objects is only the tip of the iceberg to these though provoking pieces. This one contains objects from Accept & Proceed, James Bridle, Daniel Eatock, Malcolm Garrett, David Hieatt, Leila Johnston, Mother, Rebecca and Mike, Nic Roope & Violetta Boxill, John V Willshire, and each piece is manufactured in the UK exclusively for this edition of CONTAINER. The unboxing definitely had that magical Christmas morning feeling, of endless wonders to unwrap, so go take a peek at the unboxing on the next page, with the assistance of the (not so small) puppy!
A fun package arrived from the nice LA based guys at Ignoble. We’ve been quite a fan of their Cora Classic Rucksack for a few years now ~ the elegant simplicity with such nice modern details in all black gets me every time. Now, i think i’ve fallen for their new “wallets” even more! It doesn’t even seem fair to call them wallets, they are more like smart, simple little zippered pouches made of fully lined 400D nylon and closed with heavy YKK zippers, with their lovely signature leather zipper pulls. The larger Rutledge Travel Wallet happens to be perfectly passport/iphone sized, and the smaller Sternwood Card Wallet perfectly fits american bills/cards/etc. However nothing about the pouches dictates what you use them for, and as soon as i unboxed them, i easily found endless uses for them to ease the mess in my current monstrous wallet, purses, travel set ups and more! Also, it’s hard to resist how lovely their greytoned colorways look together, offered in white, silver, charcoal, and black. If i were to pick just one, the white with black zips are definitely the most striking solo, but if going for more than one, they all look fantastic together! Take a peek at the details of them on the next page… i kid you not that they are surprising in how useful they can be!
On fun packages that just arrived… We’ve seen pictures online of the Alite ultra-lightweight chairs for some time now, but it wasn’t until trying them all in person at OR that we truly understood how awesome they are… and how incredible the tiny design details are! For starters, i thought my 13” macbook air was light (not even 3lbs)… their three chairs range from 1.1 to 1.6lbs! With their butterfly logo and the sling style of their chairs, it’s hard not to have the iconic butterfly chair come to mind. With a similar single piece fabric sling and a collapsible thin metal frame, merged with the materials/tech from outdoors goods like aluminum tent poles and ripstop nylon, the result is a collection of incredibly versatile, ultra-lightweight, sling chairs that are perfect to pop up just about anywhere! They have used them on kayaks and canoes, rocky waterfalls and paddleboats, and more! I felt like Goldilocks as i tried each model out, the Monarch, Mayfly, and Mantis, my favorite is definitely the MAYFLY! While the Monarch is lightest, you’re constantly on your feet and rocking… and the Mantis gives you the stability of a traditional chair with it’s 4 feet firmly planted on the ground, but no rocking… the Mayfly gives you the best of both! You’re stable on the ground, you can tilt back and rock, AND you can even remove the front leg for a rocking-only Monarch style seat! From most of the pictures i’ve seen online, it has been easy to overlook just how tiny and lightweight these things are since they support full grown folks (up to 250lbs) with full back support. So, take a peek at my unboxing of the Alite Mayfly on my DESK (alongside my 13” macbook air and bulleit water bottle) to see all the design details on the next page! (As well as their fun video! and a peek at the other models!)
p.s. These would be amazing at music festivals!!!
On new goodies that just arrived for Bucky, the super sweet folks at Petswag Inc. sent over one of their Lucky Dog Swag Bags. Every month means a new selection of surprises that make for perfect dog gifts packaged up a lovely silk screen canvas drawstring pouch. This month’s includes a Jax and Bones Good Karma Lobster Rope Toy (choice of small or large), Burt’s Bees Breath Drops, MetroPaws Poop Bags, Cloud Star Grain-Free Chicken Buddy Biscuits, and a Petswag coupon. And a nice bonus… this month (every month differs) Petswag is partnering with Best Friends Animal Society and donating all Lucky Dog Swag Bag profits to help them! Ready to take a peek into the unboxing and details? To the next page!
p.s. The Petswag instagram is one of our favorite dog (and black lab!) filled feeds.
SPY Optic and the Happy Lens! Thanks to the magical box of goodies that arrived from SPY today, get close up with Happy Lenses in the Helm in matte blue (designed with drift/rally driver, Ken Block), the Crosstown Haight in dessert tort, and the new Fold in matte black (created for professional surfer, John John Florence)! While i’ve been super curious to try out the magic of the Happy Lens, first things first, the packaging and awesome design details worked into their products are delightful!
If you’re ever unsure of whether your lens is happy… just look for the teeny tiny happy face in the top corner of your lens. Want to run out without a wallet, no worries, because the carrying case for the Fold glasses once folded up, also has a slot in the back ready for credit cards/id. The Crosstown case is quite a unique button sleeve that protects only the lens section of the glasses. Even the bright blue Happy Lens sleeves have a smiley face on the drawstring. And as for why the Happy Lens is so happy, “The SPY Happy Lens lets in the good rays that promote balance in the body, increase alertness, and have an uplifting effect on mood, while simultaneously blocking the bad rays. As an added bonus, it’s also a polarized and color contrast-enhacing lens, giving you the best visual experience possible.” Intriguing, right? I’m excited to try them out properly, but first, take a peek at all the awesome tiny design details on the next page, as well as the playfully animated SPY Happy Lens video!
Fun surprise of the day ~ package from RMJ Tactical arrived with a Loggerhead Tomahawk! Beyond being just a tomahawk, there’s a skull crusher on the base that unscrews to give you access to the sharpening stone (which you could also probably use to hide other things)… Also the warning it comes with is pretty epic and a funny read! Their cautionary tales are no joke. When shawn did his research, these guys are the best of the best when it comes to design, quality, and functionality. This present was ordered 7 months ago, but was worth the wait. Made in Chattanooga, Tennessee, this father and son team have been making tomahawks for over 24 years, and have a nice balance between incorporating the designs of historical reproductions and utility/camping axes with the modern needs of a tactical tomahawk user. (A good thorough read on their “Our Tomahawks” section.)
I especially appreciate their design philosophy. From their FAQ - “It takes more than an aggressive look or a gray and black finish to make a tomahawk a tactical tomahawk.” So true… also, “A tactical tomahawk should be easy to use and carry. A well-designed tomahawk feels like a natural extension of the arm. The use of it should be intuitive. It is interesting to note that people throughout history have been naturally inclined to “hack” with a bladed object. As for the tomahawk scabbard, it should securely hold the tomahawk in place while making it easy to draw the tomahawk out. Also, the modern scabbard should have multiple carrying options. Finally, the modern tactical tomahawk should be able to perform as an efficient tool and weapon for the many tasks soldiers and officers encounter. We are proud to make tomahawks that meet these requirements. It is not by chance; it comes from many hundreds of hours of design time, customer input, customer requests, and testing, testing, testing.” Take a look at all the details and unboxing on the next page (as well as making of and demo videos!)…
WOW. On technological/product design advances in the work out/training space… 110% Play Harder is doing interesting things combining both compression wear and portable/modular ice therapy. Essentially creating compression leggings, shorts, socks, sleeves and more with special pockets to target just about every muscle paired with special ice packs (which are impressively thin and flexible once filled/frozen)… Beyond the design and materials used (70% Polypropylene/30% Spandex, Antimicrobial Silvertech Fabric, Superior moisture wicking, and 360Â° 4 way stretch) ~ the branding is fun and striking, the copy is playful, and using the thermal bag as packaging is just smart! Not to mention the details, like having a branded carbiner on the thermal bag, and giving it a nice easy ziploc like top to keep your ice packs cool inside and your stuff dry outside. Whether you’re a hardcore athlete, or simply need a better solution to icing your soreness… this is definitely something to look into. It seems that some people work out in the compression wear, others wear it later to recover, some combine it with icing post workout instead of an ice bath and manage to run errands/pick up the kids in them… and while using it during workouts (without ice!) you can use any of the many pockets to hold your phone/etc as well. So many options… and the packaging is pretty fun. Take a peek at all the details and unboxing of the Juggler Knickers on the next page.
So, to be totally honest, i was shopping for a soft water bottle that could be easily hidden in the hydration pack section of my pack… whether to hold ice, other liquids, etc. I remember having one of the simple, cheap feeling, water pouches with a pull cap top that screwed on and a little carabiner from Volvo from frankfurt autoshow years ago, and while exploring i was excited to find Vapur’s sleeker, updated design - the Vapur Eclipse!
With darker colors and a matte finish, it is definitely far stealthier. And i love the updated cap that feels far more solid, has a nice o-ring to keep it from leaking, and the cap is easy to flip open and drink from. I still feel skeptical about how the plastic holds up over time, but they are part of their Explorer Series, which also includes a water filter you can add on, and they have quite the team of adventurers using them, from arctic explorer to rock climber, kayaker to skier and more! When it arrived tonight, i was also smitten by the graphics and simplicity of the packaging ~ especially with details like the soft touch coating ~ so i couldn’t resist sharing an unboxing/detail peek with you! Check it all out on the next page!
HAPPY EARTH DAY! (And the start of Earthling Month!) To celebrate this crazy box just arrived… and upon opening it smelled like… lasered cardboard! (Yes, we’re VERY accustomed to that distinct scent lately.) And inside was Whole Foods’ “PINEAPPLE Ambassador of the Earthlings” which resembles an armadillo… and it TALKS. Seriously. This fun press kit to celebrate Earth Month of April is all about what Whole Foods is doing for the month of April - “transforming itself into a hub for Earthlings — or humans inspired by the earth’s beauty and bounty — to meet up, share ideas and celebrate our planet online and in stores.” You can learn more about what they’re up to at EarthlingMonth.com, but for now, back to this crazy box - which is the “official vessel of the earthling ambassador”… I love that their creature is actually built from food-safe ceramic and recycled electronics, the packaging is reused cardboard, and the impact from chipping has been offset with verified emission reductions purchased from Renewable Choice Energy… and it goes without saying that the pineapple can be consumed… in fact the TALKING ambassador commands you to “Eat Me!” as you’ll see in the video on the next page! So, if you’re ready to see the full unbox and stab the ambassador parts into the pineapple and hear him talk, head to the next page!
p.s. Just updated the post with a peek INSIDE the electronic guts… and he has a HEART!
I love when design sites/magazines/writers venture from not only covering inspiring design to helping bring it into the real world! In this case, our friends at Stilsucht, have just launched the Cliffhanger by Thomas Schmitz! A brilliant little hook that slips in between two pipes/slats/etc and lets gravity lock it in place… it was designed with a German “Altbau” in mind (think high-ceilinged, warehouse/loft like pre-war apartments that often have pairs of water pipes running vertically!) “The first batch comes in five different colors and each is an ode to the heart of cities. Berlin is represented by an urban Kreuzberg gray, Munich is a friendly Schwabing blue, Cologne has a sunny Ehrenfeld yellow, Frankfurt hails with a cordial Bornheim red and Hamburg shows a maritime Schanze blue.” I love that beyond helping designs become a reality, these are made in Berlin (also home of Stilsucht!) in the Stephanus workshops Berlin, a non profit workshop for social and vocational integration and rehabilitation of disabled people.
I had the pleasure of getting a pre-release Cliffhanger from Stilsucht when i ran into him in France last weekend ~ and i must say it feels nice and solid, with a rubbery coating that keeps it from slipping through the cracks, so to speak. While i may not have the same vertical pipe set up, i have actually found it quite useful hanging from my puppy gates (yes, they are basically the same as baby gates) and even between the back of the emeco navy chair! Take a peek at the details on the next page.
Hangar 1 Vodka has always been deliciously, locally, hand-made in… a hangar in Alameda, CA! And to celebrate their stunning redesign (beautiful new scientific/graduated cylinder feeling bottle complete with rubber stopper by Stranger & Stranger!), they’ve sent over a Tasting Tour in a BOX! (designed by Dead As We Know It!) Inside the box is a peek into the world Hangar 1 vodka comes from via postcards and a fun booklet ~ of course, there’s one of the new vodka bottles and dropper bottles of the various flavors ~ and a pipette! The pipette is clearly marked for “cocktails” and not marked for “shots”, but naturally we had to try tasting from it… take a peek at the hand-made vodka deliciousness and the beautiful packaging details all on the next page!
There is no denying that the Nocs NS2 Air Monitors are stunning. Beautiful, elegant computer/small room active speakers with built in AirPlay tech, making it ridiculously easy to throw your music around the house… and with AirPlay’s multi-speaker set up being so easy, it’s been fun hooking up the speakers in every room - from laptop to kitchen to living room to bedroom to be in sync, so music follows us around the house and NOTlabs! But back to aesthetics, these are designed in Stockholm (assembled in China) and have hand-built soft touch rubber coated cabinets (feels SO good!), Kevlar reinforced woofers and silk dome tweeters. I’m smitten by the way the red pops - they also come in black, white, grey, orange, and yellow. The set up is relatively easy (but also easy to forget, lest you need to reset and do it again - but you can ping the website for that too) - you basically plug it in, press setup on the back, and connect to its personal wifi network, hitting the usual 192.168.1.1 to set it up to attach to your network. You can also use AirPlay Direct Mode, which allows you to play to the temp wifi network it will create, perfect for wifi-less scenarios (simply double click the setup button till it turns amber.) Ready to take a peek at the details and setup? See the full unboxing on the next page!
Learning to make room for the NOTpuppy, Bucky, in our world, i keep browsing dog bowls and wondering why so many are so painfully gaudy (it’s not like a dog can read “dog” or will drink/eat from it because it has pictures of dogs on it, right?) And also, what’s so different about using human bowls for dog dishes? (Quickly figured out the shape/weight distribution/spillage/etc problems with many those!) So our biggest priorities were quickly, heavy enough not to be pushed all over and shaped well enough to be less spillable…
We recently shared Waggo’s Dipper Bowls on NOTCOT.org, and they offered to send some over for Bucky to try out. A nice simple splash of color, dishwasher safe, and FDA approved - these hand-dipped ceramic bowls are a nice, minimalist solution to simple dog bowls that fit well in any environment! They are also subtle and not so dog-bowl like that they could easily fit into your home as a cereal bowl, fruit bowl, etc as your pup outgrows it… They also sent over one of their Bubble Placemats that are made of 100% Silicone - upside: no slipping, downside: static grabs all the dog hair. Take a peek at their fun packaging and product details on the next page!