*notcot - , 13:17 -

Belkin at CES

I must admit, it feels great to wake up and not be in vegas, it just isn’t my kind of city… also i had dreams/nightmares of gadgets and the madness that was the last few days all night… and STILL couldn’t decide where to start with sharing CES with you. So from a designer standpoint, we are going to go in order of what is MOST memorable to me.

BELKIN BOOTH. If i had to pick one standout booth, they are it. This one was fit to be at the Salone even… gorgeous concept and execution… from the bird/tree black and white motifs for wallpaper, to all the leaf silhouettes for the labels/stickers/etc. and notice the style of their minimalist furniture. If anyone had a great feel for design trends now, this was it. They even had a seriously tastefully pimped out convertible silver mini, and a tool themed display for the ipod accessories. Room by room, even while packed with hundreds, this was the booth i felt most at home at. They even had various “lifestyles” being demonstrated by the man and women in the window… Below is my little tour of the belkin booth.

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*notcot - , 00:56 -


While we all oooooh and ahhhhh about the iphone, and start to save up now for the 600$ + cost of changing services fee we will be faced with come june… just wanted to do a quick post of the MOTOMing. It’s quite cute… but the main reason is just, part of my name is Ming. Also just to let you know that i spent Mon-Weds in VEGAS at CES, and can no longer feel my legs. It was exhausting, overwhelming, and like disneyland, only filled with geeks and pornstars, 108” tvs, windows vista, programmable roombas, keyboards worth splurging on, technological anthropologists, pcs for every child, weather units that show you how to dress, a tord inspired belkin booth, and practically paper thin oled screens to name a few. So for tonight, i leave you with this - and will try in the morning to catch you up on what i found inspiring at CES 007.

*notcot - 01.05.07 , 10:25 -


Just a quick update - been a little quiet/all over the place this week… because last week i got bored and drove up to SF for what ended up being a week (freshly back in socal now) - and well, on the way up, happened upon a target that had wii’s and Shade Elaine (and everyone we know in SF) and i have been having quite a bit of fun with that. If you haven’t tried it yet, get one! I hate to admit its much sweeter than i thought (although i must say nintendo was brilliant to stick it on that slanted stand, but if you put the wii lying down, it really is JUST another external drive… with a blue glow) So yes, between all the bowling, boxing, rabbid rabbiting (best game EVER), zeldaing, and mii-making… we are big fans of the wii here at notcot. [Oooh, and if you haven’t seen the wii site, the videos of “real people” playing are great. And i love these stills that the penny arcade boys did for Raving Rabbids.)

SEND US SOME Miis! I know you guys are a creative bunch, so, feel like sharing some miis? email/comment us.

Also on the technology note… will be heading over to vegas Mon-Weds for CES… and will update you on what gorgeous goodies i find. Will probably be avoiding posting the 100”+ lcd tvs, etc etc… but they are certainly drool worthy in person. Anyone else coming?

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*notcot - 12.01.06 , 23:54 -

Ora Ito Huby

Huby = the USB/Firewire version of what would happen if you mixed the Ogo bottle with the Power Squid? It’s like a white bomb of techy goodness. With the guts by La Cie, and the designer styling of Ora Ito… i need the Huby…

“Designed exclusively for LaCie by Ora-Ito, the Huby’s round shape, glossy white polycarbonate finish, and flexible cables give it a distinctive, modern look. Add 4 USB ports and 2 FireWire ports to your computer system and connect up to six devices simultaneously*. Bundled with 8 flexible, twistable cables (5 USB 2.0 & 3 FireWire 400), a USB fan, a USB light, a USB extension cable and a FireWire 400 extension cable” $79, ready for pre-order, shipping end of Dec. La Cie Huby (noticed it on Uncrate!)

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*notcot - 11.23.06 , 21:40 -

like & retrievr

I spend a lot of time obsessing and researching methods of discovery, search, and browsing lately… and two new sites have been getting a lot of coverage the last few weeks: Like.com which allows you to shop by searching shape, color, price, which can be selected by cropping a section of an image, and Retriever which will search images in flickr’s interesting pool based on a doodle/sketch or upload an existing image. Both introduce new ways to find similar objects, and its exciting to see these working fairly well for certain situations… watch closely to see how these scale in the upcoming months, and whether it could completely change the way we look for and catalog things. It’s only a matter of time before we’re all visual, right?

*notcot - 11.22.06 , 13:22 -


I can’t stop watching this Blackjack Cingular ad… its so so gorgeous. Sure those original iPod ads were amazing too, but they made you lust for the lifestyle… not directly for the product. This ad shows off the design to such a beat, you can’t help craving the Blackjack for a few moments, even if you don’t know what it is. By Shilo, via ComputerLove

p.s. For anyone who isn’t a SciFi Eureka Fan ~ Shilo also did their incredible intro… now if only we could figure out who did the Weeds intro!

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*notcot - , 00:18 -


Just announced, the final character in the upcoming first set of Star Wars Mimobots, and it does seem amusing to see R2D2 with arms and legs, and just seems oh so character like, and less of that iconic shape i associate him with. Adorable none the less, get your pre-orders in early, these could be the fun gifts for the holidays, that come january 8th~ so as the holidays wear off, and people have to get back into work mode… there will be something fun to look forward to. Oh, and i can only imagine what goodies these come preloaded with! Imagine if these made star wars noises when you plugged them in. (long day ~ and then been moving furniture for a few hours, for some reason the idea of the chewy one making that signature groan as you behead him and plug in the USB, makes me smile)

*notcot - 11.16.06 , 23:01 -


Pleo ~ he’s not just a robot. And yes he’s real (contrary to those blasphemous rumors that were flying around earlier this year).

Met up with Pleo (and Ugobe CEO, Bob Christopher) as they made their way through Beverly Hills ~ at the Peninsula Hotel Bar. This one week old Camarasaurus is a robot that pushes the bounds of emotional AI. I’m not a big “awwwww how cute” kind of girl, especially when it comes to my tech. But as much as i love the look and style of my vicious RoboRaptor, there was SOMETHING about this little guy that made me need to poke/pet it as soon as i sat down with it… and i only got to play with the prototype, whose skin isn’t even as perfect as in the production models!

For the skeptics ~ i can’t explain it ~ there’s something about the experience of the interaction that they’ve nailed. With a camera in his nose, various programed play patterns (he can do a body wave, shake hands, downward dog!, and more) which will even mix themselves up and evolve over time, he even responds to various voice fluctuations… the key with robots and these user experiences is to work so well, you never stop to wonder how it works, or why it isn’t working. And for a robot, his skin and motions (very quiet motions due to custom designed gears!) ~ really contribute to this surreal experience. Granted he’ll never replace your puppy… he kind of feels more like a jim henson character come to life, and really brings out the wide eyed kid in you. [loads more pics and a few more thoughts below]

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*notcot - 11.13.06 , 00:18 -


Pitotubes “It’s Rocket Science for your Packing”. Been testing these new packing tubes out lately, which are perfect for anyone flying, trying to deal with that under 3oz’s/only what you can fit in a 1 quart ziploc rule. Pitotubes was founded by Alisa Caviness-Driscoll, who grew up living and sailing in the Caribbean and worked as a flight attendant to feed her passion for travel. The unique aspect of these bottles is that they are airless (and leakproof!) ~ much like the ones you’ll get in some higher end cosmetic products… as you pump the contents out, the base rises up. My one issue, is that aesthetically, the images looked as if they might be glass/metal, but they are plastic - if there was a more understated model, that might be nice.

*notcot - 11.08.06 , 16:33 -


Ever get the feeling that the good inside joke started to die with the internet? Ok ok, maybe i’m reaching a bit, but between myspace and email forwarding, private just isn’t private anymore! With the onslaught of google crawling/caching secret webpages and images hardly stay that way. And as much as having a public space like NOTCOT has been fun for me, i’ve been quietly loving Radar.

What is Radar? Its a simple service to bring back the fun of those inside jokes VISUALLY…. think NOTCOT.org for just you and the elite few of your choosing… that while you wander the world, cameraphone in hand, you take those snap shops, add a witty comment, and beam it over to your Radar Channel… and only those with permission can see it. Not to mention, beautifully clean UI that is both mobile and computer accessible…

In a world of broadcasting yourself (myspace? blog?), your images (flickr?), your videos (youtube?), etc across the world ~ gorgeously intuitive personal invite only playgrounds are hard to come by. Their site falls into my “it’s so easy” category of usability. They create easy playfully memorable emails to send the photos to, and you can set your own password to have your friends join. Simply adding a ‘p’ before your subject line will make it completely private when it gets uploaded. Had a conference call with John Poisson, founder and ceo, yesterday ~ and conceptually i’m in. Screenshots and more below!

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*notcot - 11.04.06 , 15:13 -

Fiat 500

Wow, is the Fiat 500 really getting a retro makeover? How very mini-like. I have an on going love affair with the classic fiat cinquecento… my first time in Milan, i was wandering the Duomo square one sunday morning and there were HUNDREDS of classic cinquecentos filling it. It was AMAZING to say the least, ran off to find a disposable camera, or ANYTHING (this was before i learned to carry cameraphone, waterproof digicam, and the rebel around)… came back and they were all GONE. I wasn’t dreaming, i just happened to catch the last half hour of the Fiat 500 Club meeting. It was completely surreal.

So, i’ve spent this morning indulging in all the toys over at the Fiat 500 countdown site (only 314 days left!) Where you can design your own, even submit your own ideas to them… and check out DesignBoom’s competition with them… judges are giorgio armani, fashion designer, luca cordero di montezemolo, president of the fiat group, jasper morrison, industrial designer, gabriele salvatores, film director, and luca trazzi, designboom.

*notcot - 11.02.06 , 18:37 -

O Rokr + Thump 2 Reviews

You’ve been hearing that wearable tech will be the next big thing for a while now, and some impressive design projects come out, but its certainly not something we see/use everyday yet. On the forefront of wearable electronics, Oakley’s Thump 2 and O Rokr have made some waves, and after hearing all the hype and grumbles, we have a pair of them in the studio… (lots of pictures of packaging, details, etc below!) - and they are really fun. With the holidays around the corner, these definitely fall into the category of perfect gifts for the active tech savvy one that has everything… The Thump 2 I’ve tried out holds up to 1gig of music, top secret files, etc. (connects via USB). The O Rokr is the Oakley/Motorola collaboration which “gives you absolute wireless freedom, digital stereo fidelity and patented optical clarity.” in other words it’s both your bluetooth headset and streams music from your ipod, while still having the high quality of Oakley’s optics. More below for my impressions of the two.

First design detail to jump out at me? The ear buds have T-rex arms! Not sure how else to describe them they are surprisingly flexible, and with 3 joints with the ear buds on the ends, they really will fit in your ear, hang just outside of it, rotate away when you want to hear something else…

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*notcot - , 11:45 -

Saint USB

“Computers as a new religion… Oh Maria Keep my data safe! A USB Virgin that you plug into your computer and hope for the best.” 2004 RCA Student project by Luis Esalva Aloy is too funny. I’d keep her between my Mimobot and my parking goddess.

*notcot - 10.31.06 , 23:45 -

Diablo Spectrum

“In a time where identity is cause for prejudice, and individuality is sacrificed to the mind-numbing power of the Gods of Generic, new champions will emerge, bearing with them hope for an increasingly faceless world.” Can’t you hear that as a voice over to the latest network tv show? I think these guys can take on Heroes. Newest line from Podstar (see NOTCOT Review) are these Diablo Spectrum skins ~ add some colors to your ipods! With names like Matadork for the red with lime green wheel, you can help but smile as you roll over them.

*notcot - 10.26.06 , 13:09 -

Vaja Treo Case Review

I’ve been testing out the Vaja Treo Case for a few weeks now (of all the iPod cases, the red vaja case has remained on my ipod still) ~ and i must admit, as a treo user, i already found the phone a bit big, so the idea of adding a case to it that would make it even the least bit thicker i was slightly appalled at. But low and behold Vaja has changed my mind on that, after all, its not like i’m the kind of girl who could ever fit a treo into the pocket of tight jeans, and if i’m already carrying a big purse, what’s a little more padding on the phone? (and no, i don’t do that tech tools around my waist thing.)

Seriously it feels amazing. There is something about the way holding my now black molded Argentinean leather that feels great in your hand, against your face, and less slippy when you go “no hands” and can’t find your handsfree. And it really was the ultimate makeover for my very scratched up treo, looks better than new. And all the important parts are still accessible, but it literally fits like a glove, a gorgeous leather glove. See all the Treo Case colors and options.

Additionally, you have to check out the gorgeous packaging Vaja products come in (see the pictures after the jump)… also their pouches come in such vibrant, lush colors (pick a pantone, almost any pantone) for those who’s phones or gadgets want a more discreet case.

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