This is a fascinating idea that was developed by a research group at Japan's Keio University. By applying optical camouflage technology and using recursive reflectors, which "[reflect] light back in the direction of incidence," the researchers were essentially able to render the back of a Toyota Prius invisible, at least from the driver's point of view. Take a look:
What we found fascinating is their proposal that this could be applied to all 360 degrees. And aside from average motorists trying to back passenger cars into parking spaces, imagine what a boon this would be to folks driving delivery trucks, tractor-trailers, construction machinery and other bulky, blind-spot-laden vehicles.
Unfortunately, the technology may never come to pass. The concept was put forth in 2011, and there's been no word on an update since the video above was released in 2012. But tell me this thing wouldn't get Kickstarted in a heartbeat.
Via DigInfo TV
Posted by Sam Dunne
| 30 Sep 2014
'Design Week' season is very much upon us here in Europe. As things wrap in London, we've jetted over to the slightly more sedate and astonishingly grandiose (seriously, Paris ain't got nothing) Vienna—capital of Austria—to hit the trail of Vienna Design Week, running from September 26 to October 5.
We're delighted to see the return of the awesome 'Passionswege' platform—the program in which the city's design department pair traditional manufacturing companies still surviving in the region with emerging international design talent, the partnerships sharing skills and often creating some truly inspiring objects and interventions.
First stop in Vienna this year, world -eknowned crystal manufacturer Lobmeyr—who took part in the Passionswege last year— invited the public to their showroom and workshop to see the fruits of their pairing with design duo BCXSY.
Editor: This design school story comes to us from Eddie L., who along with two fellow ID students had an eight-week assignment to design a commuter bike. The project started off with a bang....
Crashing your bike at night totally sucks. It sucks a little more when your laptop flies out of your bag during the crash and smashes into the pavement. And it sucks the most when that laptop turns out to be so badly damaged that the data on the hard drive is unrecoverable, and what was on the hard drive are the only existing CAD files for a project that you and two of your fellow design students have been slaving over.
Ironically we were designing a bike, so in that one calamitous moment both a real-world bicycle and the designs for what was supposed to be a sweet future bicycle both got trashed.
I'm not looking forward to winter, because the ex-manufacturing space I moved into last year is brutally cold and drafty. I spent last winter making futile attempts to caulk this and shrink-wrap that, only to achieve zero perceptible gains in thermal efficiency; the space is simply too deteriorated on all six sides for me to determine where I can best make a dent.
What I need is a focused plan, a way of determining where the largest heat leaks are so I can tackle those first. And I think I've found my solution in this awesome-looking Seek Thermal Smartphone Infrared Camera.
The tiny, three-inch, half-ounce, $199 device brings something close to military- or industrial-grade thermal imaging to the common man with the common paycheck. (A commercial infrared camera would run you four figures.) You plug it into the bottom of your smartphone and bang, you've got an image on your screen that can accurately display a range of temperatures from -40° Celsius (-40° Fahrenheit) up to 330° C (626° F).
Here's a demo of it in action from Android Police's David Ruddock, and you can skip the first 30 seconds of pitch-blackness:
We've seen drones used or proposed for package delivery, elaborate selfies, action sports capture, movie promotion, and even weather control. But a recent creative collaboration points to the possibility of a more domestic usage that we think could be the killer drone app of the future: How about floating lamps? Which is to say, just the lampshade and a light source, no stem, no cable, hovering in mid-air, able to follow you around the room if need be.
In the video below you'll see what it would look like, but before it becomes domesticated, there are just a few (completely solveable) technological hurdles to clear:
Noise. To cancel out the incessant whining of a hovering drone, a small on-board speaker could project a noise cancellation frequency.
Power. During the daytime, the drone could dock itself, perhaps to something attached to the ceiling, where it would recharge the batteries required for both the light and its own sustained flight. (Ideally the power would come from solar, so you're not wasting a bunch of coal-fired juice on an admittedly frivolous technology.)
User Interaction. Remote control, gesture control or voice activation could turn it on and off, adjust the brightness and hue, and ask the lamp to follow you around or focus light on a particular area.
At any rate, a floating lamp would give you one less thing to vacuum around, if replacing a floor lamp, and free up some table space if replacing a desk lamp.
Maybe it sounds silly but it looks beautiful in practice. Check out this sweet video created in a collaboration between performance group Cirque du Soleil, the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology Zurich and drone developer Verity Studios:
With the cheeky tagline "Our competitors are giants," the confident development team behind Chargerito introduces their new object. Billed as the world's smallest phone charger, the diminutive device is just 53mm × 33mm × 18mm (2.1" × 1.3" × 0.7"), featuring flip-out power prongs and your choice of a micro-USB or Apple Lightning plug. And it's an exercise in minimalism, with just barely enough meat to get your mitts onto.
Developers Alex Andon, Nick Velander and Drew Hauck set the Chargerito up through crowdfunding—Tilt, not Kickstarter, for a change—offering it at a pre-order price of $19 a pop (it's expected to retail for $39). The sharp-discount strategy worked, as they've exceeded their $50,000 target with $76,716 in backing. At press time there was just one day left to get in on the pre-order price, so if you want one, hurry!
Posted by core jr
| 30 Sep 2014
Necessity is the mother of invention, or in this case, authorship. We at Core77 believe that everyone who loves design, regardless of experience or background, shares a bond of appreciation and curiosity that leads them to seek out what's new, different and surprising. Too often, however, we find "design books" that cater exclusively to one view of practice or theory, ignoring the global perspective, and, more unfortunately, the common spark of excitement that drives us all to bring creative projects to life. With this in mind, we created Designing Here/Now, a powerfully inspirational anthology of the most interesting projects happening today, rendered with insight and depth that makes it simultaneously a perfect snapshot of contemporary design trends and a permanent reference of their impact. It is a singular resource that honors the intention behind great design and presents it in a manner that everyone can appreciate.
Like the Core77 Design Awards competition from which the book originated, Designing Here/Now documents the contemporary practice of design providing a reference point to both casual observer and seasoned pro. It documents an organic and shifting profession by showcasing a broad range of the application of design; by including projects by the next generation of designers, students; and by distributing the editorial process of inclusion across independently organized groups of professionals from around the globe.
What's more fascinating than watching the progression of a talented artist or designer's work? Also, Creative Dads is becoming a thing. First we saw Michael Chou devising a better way to serve up ice cream to his kids. Now we see Nathan Shields, father of toddlers Gryphon and Alice, devising increasingly sophisticated methods of creating pancakes with aesthetic and representational value.
Using a plastic squirt bottle filled with pancake batter, in early 2012 Shields was drawing primitive forms to amuse his kids, with a hot non-stick pan as his canvas:
However, at some point he discovered that whatever streams of batter were "drawn" first would of course cook for longer, meaning they'd be darker brown upon flipping.
With this understanding of how to create tonality, Shields' drawings swiftly grew more sophisticated and defined:
This technique led to his popular Beatles Pancakes YouTube video:
The currently fashionable way to "debate" is to start with your conclusion, then seek only facts that support your conclusion, and ignore everything else. (See the commenters on our first phone-bending post who single out Apple while ignoring the bent phones from other manufacturers.) It is essentially the opposite of the Scientific Method. Thankfully, the first item in our update on the overblown "Bendgate" brings a little much-needed science into the discussion.
1. Consumer Reports' Stress-Testing Comparison of Six Models of Smartphone
Consumer Reports subjected the iPhone 6, iPhone 6 Plus, LG G3, Samsung Galaxy Note 3, HTC One, and iPhone 5 to a three-point flexural test:
And there you have it. One could argue that the point of contact of the Instron testing machine ought be shaped more like a human butt cheek rather than a focused line, but at the very least this will hopefully inspire others to conduct similarly scientific tests.
2. Veracity of Original Bendgate Video Called Into Question
Redditors took a close look at Lewis Hilsenteger's original Bendgate video, which is now up to some 45 million hits, and found a disturbing discrepancy: The clock times displayed on the phone during the "test" do not jive with the sequence of events as portrayed in the video.
Detractors have suggested that the video is cooked. One claims that Hilsenteger is profiting from the millions of hits and another goes so far as to hint that he is actively manipulating Apple's stock price. Defenders suggest that the time discrepancy is merely to do with video editing, and one suggests that he began shooting the video at 2:26am and again at 1:58pm the next day.
Posted by core jr
| 29 Sep 2014
Advertorial content sponsored by Dassault Systemes
News about a bad product experience travels quickly. Maybe it's because of the fact, according to a white paper "Designing for the User Experience," that five times as many people will tell a friend about a bad experience than a good one, or that social media makes it easier than ever to share that negative message, but news of design shortcomings and failures spread fast.
"If I'm buying a pair of headphones and the sound is good, but they're not comfortable, they're too small for my head, they are too foamy... I'm not going to have a good Second Moment of Truth with that," explains Stuart Karten, Principal and Founder of Karten Design. The same goes for a bottle of laundry detergent you may have purchased for its swanky packaging: If your clothes don't come out smelling clean, you probably won't buy it again. That Second Moment of Truth (SMOT) often relies on the user experience, what happens when a consumer actually uses the product. As more and more of those products move towards the digital space, that experience comes down to a digital interface, the intuitiveness of those interactions and ease of use. Karten elaborates:
In general, there are multiple trends that are happening in the consumer electronics arena. One is that things are becoming rectangular boxes with user interfaces. The "stickiness" and the appeal and the connection are moving into the digital space. That puts a lot of challenge on—not only the overall form factor of the product on that first level—but the second level of that digital engagement.
Last week Argentinian director Fernando Livschitz released this video titled "Rush Hour," shot using some clever film trickery:
What's interesting is that if all cars were autonomous, that scene could one day actually be possible. Maybe the motorcycles are a stretch, and the humans and cyclists travling at such perfectly measured paces that the cars could accurately predict their timing; but at a minimum self-driving cars could certainly be programmed not to hit each other, and to thread the needle at intersections.
The hardest part would probably not be the technology, but garnering human acceptance. As safe as I knew it was, I'd have a hard time not having a heart attack while riding in any of these vehicles.
If you want to call your friend Jim, you can say "Call Jim" into your phone and it dials him. Five years ago you'd click on the name "Jim" in your phone and it would dial him. Twenty-five years ago, you'd call Jim by punching his number into a touch-tone phone. Fifty years ago you'd dial Jim's number on a rotary dial.
Before that is where it gets interesting.
Sixty years ago, you'd lift your telephone receiver and be met with silence. (There was no such thing as "dial tone" yet.) You'd tap the hang-up mechanism a few times and an operator—an actual human being sitting in a room waiting for just this moment—would come on the line. You'd then say "Please connect me to [two-letter district code followed by five-digit phone number]." The operator would then plug freaking wires into a switchboard and connect you to Jim.
So when Bell Systems started incorporating this amazing new interface called a "rotary dial" into their telephones, they needed to show consumers how to use them. Watch and be amazed:
Posted by Moa Dickmark
| 29 Sep 2014
Over the past few years, since I've started researching education, learning spaces and social education projects, my network has expanded exponentially. This was to be expected, considering how much time I've spent on various platforms trying to find out what is going on out there. Another thing that was expected was to see just how small the education circle really is. Everyone knows everyone in one way or another, or is just one degree removed from them.
In the beginning of my research, when I had just started my master studies at Aarhus Architecture School, I got in contact with Rosan Bosch and her work at Vittra School at Telefonplan in Stockholm, Sweden. This is where I first got into contact with Jannie Jeppesen, then headmaster of Vittra Skolan, now head of of Rebel Learners.
An unexpected meeting on the subway
Rebel Learners is a new initiative created by Rektorsakademin Utveckling (RAU), who also arranges SETT, Scandinavia's biggest education conference, and are the creators behind the podcast Skolsnack (School Chat) and Learning Narratives, a new game developed to build future learning environments.
The short version is that Rebel Learners is a course for teacher-students developed by teacher-students to upgrade and gain knowledge that they feel that they are not learning at their current institutions.
Rebel Learners came about after Fredrik Svensson, former principal and now CEO for RAU, met a former student of his on the subway in Stockholm. She told him that she was studying to become a teacher, but that she wasn't satisfied with the education she was receiving from the university. None of her teachers were actively working outside of the university world, which left her feeling that they were lacking the sort of practical knowledge that she was going to need when she started working.
Sweden has a lot of challenges ahead: Amongst others, the country will be 40,000 teachers short of its needs by 2020; in Stockholm alone, the amount of students will increase from 60,000 to 90,000 Moreover, people who decide to study to become a teacher often are looked upon as if they only chose their field of studies due to lack of any other decision.
Instead of complaining and whining about obstacles, RAU decided to do something about it, they created Rebel Learners as a way to bring a positive and professional voice to the discussion about education as well as to support and lift teacher students, and active teachers, with the help of a vast network of professionals and partners as well as courses, seminars and other events.
Posted by Coroflot
| 29 Sep 2014
Do you like getting ready? Or maybe just inspiring others to? Remington Products is looking for an experienced Color, Materials, and Finishes expert to join their award winning creative team in their new global headquarters building in Madison, Wisconsin. (Consistently ranked in the top 10 cities to live!) As the Senior CMF designer, you will be helping to develop their extensive line of personal care products: from strategy to concept to implementation.
Your story telling skills will dazzle their regional stakeholders and inspire their confidence in your design expertise. Their multiple product offerings and quick development times will keep things challenging and fresh. And your 5+ years of experience (preferably in consumer products) and unbeatable skill at trend interpretation, color palette definition, and inspired product specifications will get you recognized and hired. Apply Now.
Posted by core jr
| 28 Sep 2014
Artist Hanna Hedman wearing her own work, Loss. Photo: Sanna Lindberg
"Wear it Loud," a bold contemporary art jewelry exhibition at beloved Reinstein Ross's new R|R Gallery in New York's Meatpacking District, is dedicated to exploring the ongoing conversation between fashion and jewelry. Timed to coincide with Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week, "Wear it Loud" (on view through October 16) is curated by Bella Neyman and Ruta Reifen, of Platforma. The show presents over 50 pieces of studio art jewelry by sixteen emerging and renowned international artists.
While each piece represents a unique, one-or-a-kind wearable works of art, the show is divided into five categories: artists who reinterpret vintage jewelry through the use of nontraditional materials (the kind often seen in fashion editorials); artists who are inspired by the portrayal of jewelry in fashion magazines; artists who use photography to create their own editorials and act as their own models or brand ambassadors; artists who subvert the logos of popular fashion houses to create original work; and artists who create jewelry that's an extension of the garment.
The concepts behind the work represent a wild range, exploring materiality, politics, gender roles, fashion and personal identity, and the artists present their work in non-traditional materials: silicone, concrete, PVC, found objects, synthetic hair, resin and 3D printed nylon.
Everyone loves to bash corporations, but few talk about how much good they can do in this world. Their immense fortunes and longevity means they can undertake radical, expensive experiments that smaller outfits simply couldn't sustain.
A good case in point is Walmart and their Advanced Vehicle Experience concept truck. Built earlier this year as a testbed for their fleet efficiency program, it features a 53-foot trailer whose roof and sidewalls are made from single-piece 53-foot-long panels of carbon fiber. This confers a weight savings of some 4,000 pounds, meaning it can carry an extra 4,000 in cargo to burn the same amount of fuel, or carry the same weight of cargo as before and save a tremendous amount of fuel.
Creating carbon fiber panels of that length is fiendishly expensive, and a company would have to ship a lot of cargo indeed before they'd make their money back on fuel costs. In other words, you'd need a Walmart to do something like this. With 6,000 trucks crawling our continent and logging millions of miles, the overall, long-term impact would be substantial.
With the goal of "revolutionizing the watersport industry," Swedish company Radinn has released their first product: an electric powered wakeboard. The carbon fiber craft carries onboard lithium batteries and is controlled via a wireless handheld remote, allowing the rider to cruise at up to 30 miles per hour.
The coolest thing about having a self-propelled board is that it frees the rider from the beach. With an EPW one could navigate rivers, lakes, public fountains in Stockholm...
The 64-pound board's batteries can provide 30 minutes of runtime. Currently in its final testing stages, it's expected to go on sale next year. And no, it won't be cheap, but if you've got twenty grand to throw around, you could do a lot worse.
Posted by Carly Ayres
| 26 Sep 2014
Anyone who has had to empty out the entirety of her suitcase's contents on the floor of airport check-in knows the plight of overweight luggage. Sure, you can buy suitcase scales and other devices, but they often get misplaced and—somewhat ironically—can't account for their own weight. Enter the TUL Suitcase, which has its own built-in weighing scale.
Pisan Kulkaew came up with the idea for TUL after watching his mother struggle to weigh her suitcase following a surgery. Unable to lift heavy objects, she incurred excess baggage fees of around $100. Kulkaew, a PhD student at the University of Queensland, Australia, started thinking. "I asked myself, What do I see suitcases looking like in ten years' time?" he says. "To which I answered: Definitely something along the lines of a smart suitcase. Even the cheapest suitcases would at least have the self-weighing function."
With degrees in mechanical and aerospace engineering coupled with mathematics, the Brisbane-based student is no stranger to challenging problems. Kulkaew began by brainstorming with his mother around the functionality this futuristic suitcase would have. After connecting with an electrical engineer who believed in the idea, he used the yellow pages to call up suitcase factories, meeting with owners and trying to convince them to help make TUL a reality.
Due to limited resources, Kulkaew opted to modify an existing suitcase mold instead of designing his own from scratch. With a first prototype in hand, he cracked open his digital bathroom scale to understand its underlying electronics and mechanisms. For Kulkaew, the bathroom scale was a perfect model for TUL, as it removes its own weight from the final calculation. "I'd say that this technology is there for a long time, just that it hasn't been adapted for this application," he says.
Posted by Sam Dunne
| 26 Sep 2014
What with all the pomp and ceremony, prolonged exposure to design shows and festivals these days can, on occasion, cause a slight feeling of disease— a symptom perhaps of a perceived detachment from reality amongst the shiny objects and chair redesigns. What an oasis of perspective then, on our week-long tour of London Design Festival 2014, to stumble on the humbling sight of a scissor-making workshop in the heart of Shoreditch.
Craftsmen from century-old Sheffield-based Ernest Wright & Sons (fifth-generation family-owned no less) set up shop at The Saturday Market Project, giving demonstrations of blade hand-sharpening and scissor assembly in their mini-workshop. (Some of you may recall that Cliff Denton, a lifelong 'putter' at Ernest Wright & Sons, was recently the subject of a short documentary.) Whilst spending the day working up some intricate bird-like embroidery scissors, the guys also had an impressive selection of their hand-made tools on show—the owners are still passionate about the role of hand crafting in an age of mass-manufacturing when much production has moved out of British towns, like the once industrial powerhouse Sheffield.
We were particularly enamored with the cutting potential of the enormous large bolt 13" tailoring shears—a hell of weight to them! A pair of these hand-crafted monsters will set you back a cool GBP 130/USD 212
As our debate over whether iPhone bendage is a design issue or a user issue continues, yesterday an Apple spokesperson released an interesting fact: "Through our first six days of sale, a total of nine customers have contacted Apple with a bent iPhone 6 Plus."
Nine. Considering they sold ten million units in the first six days, that means a little less than 0.000001% of iPhone users have reported a problem.
Even if there are more cases that went unreported--let's say the problem is 100 times worse, but 99 people chose to remain silent for every one person who complained--that still means that less than 0.0001% of iPhones got bent.
The video posted by Lewis Hilsenteger in the last entry on this topic clearly shows that you can bend an iPhone while trying to. (That entry also shows photos of a variety of phones from different, non-Apple manufacturers that can also be bent.) I could probably bend my aluminum laptop if I tried, too, but because that object is so important to my livelihood I don't put cups of coffee or any kind of stress on it.
Similarly, if I owned an iPhone 6, after seeing Hilsenteger's video I'd simply place the phone in the "sunglasses/delicates" category of things I own, and care for it accordingly.
Anyone think a YouTube video of me using an undamaged iPhone would get 25 million hits?