There are at least two big challenges with creating wearable technology. The first is to actually design something that people will want to buy and use, and the second is to keep the device in juice. Here we're going to look at the second.
The battery design and function of a wearable device is anything but trivial. We need to develop batteries that are flexible, thin, long-lasting and durable...a huge set of requirements that is very difficult to achieve. But one startup, Imprint Energy, thinks it's got a leg up with a printable, durable battery.
Ever more powerful portable devices increasingly enable our always on-the-go lifestyles, yet even the fastest microprocessor needs a power supply, and we find ourselves tethered to outlets in moments of repose, and (mis)managing the wires, cables and cords that serve as veritable lifelines for our power-hungry handhelds. It should come as no surprise that the backup battery industry is booming, but what about the way we reboot at home?
Instead of attempting to achieve invisibility through reduction, Youmin Vincent Kim has seen fit to hide a charger in plain sight. Jury captain Naihan Li and her team recognized the Korean designer's SOAK Charging Side Table as the winner of the Furniture & Lighting category of the 2014 Core77 Design Awards.
Like many of us, Kim was frustrated by ad hoc solutions. "When I see designers try to combine furniture with technological devices—like cords hanging from the center of a work conference table—it ceases to look like furniture to me, or at least it's not something you would want in your home," Kim says. "It's messy and unconstructed." The only thing that betrays SOAK's embedded functionality is its proximity to an outlet, which peeks out from a half-leg that appears to be melting into the wall.
It's not just for show: the back leg conceals a power cord, which is connected to a wireless charging plate embedded in the tabletop. Although the plug itself fits neatly into the hollowed-out dummy leg, a short length of cord offers the flexibility to accommodate different outlet heights. Similarly, Kim is also considering international standards. "There are several types and sizes of electrical outlets depending on what country users live in. I have been working on making the plug universal so that it will work anywhere."
If you asked me a year ago which famous persons are advocates of drones, homemaking maven Martha Stewart would not have topped that list. But after receiving a camera-outfitted drone for her birthday last year, she became enamored of it while flying it around a New England beach and observing the vantages from her iPad. Pronouncing herself "hooked," she continued using the drone to capture subsequent parties, nature hikes and outings.
Earlier this year, a member of Stewart's security team purchased a similar drone, and was given permission to learn to fly the thing over Stewart's expansive Bedford, New York farm property. Stewart became so enchanted with the subsequent photos that she posted an entry on her blog entitled "Amazing Aerial Photos of My Farm."
With captions like the following...
This beautiful aerial shot of my home, which I call the Winter house (center), includes the flower room, carport and studio in the one long structure to the left, the Summer house to the far right, one of the horse paddocks and my beautiful peony garden in full bloom below.
...it's easy to see why media outlets, perhaps unfairly, began to skewer her. Even before the blog entry was released, Vanity Fair caught wind of her new kick and allowed her to explain her drone attraction before giving her a gentle ribbing:
[As Stewart explains,] "You can control the altitude, you can control the speed, you can control where it's going. It's easy to use, actually. You can really control it, it's gentle. It's lightweight, too; it's very beautiful."
Have the neighbors called the authorities, reporting a U.F.O.? "No. I don't have any neighbors," she said, laughing.
The latter statement, of course, is in reference to the fact that yeah, a 153-acre farm doesn't subject you to a lot of Joneses peering over your fence.
Posted by Ray
| 30 Jul 2014
The airport security line is the kind of universally despised ordeal that extraterrestrials, should they exist, would dread; even a seasoned traveler will bristle at the thought of the rigmarole of boarding pass / I.D., uncooperative scanners, doffing footwear, unwieldy bins, more scanners. At best, it's a mildly demeaning nuisance, but what are you going to do about it?
Well, it turns out that the TSA wants to know—they recently announced an Ideation Challenge soliciting proposals for expediting the process, specifically for TSA Pre✓ passengers but ostensibly for us plebs as well. "America's Next Generation Checkpoint Queue Design Model" may not roll off the tongue, but, hey, that's what we're up against (...and, as we saw a couple of weeks ago, this is what the TSA is up against).
TSA is looking for the Next Generation Checkpoint Queue Design Model to apply a scientific and simulation modeling approach to meet the dynamic security screening environment. The new queue design should include, but not limited to the following queue lanes:
· TSA Pre✓™
· Premier Passengers (1st class, business class, frequent fliers, etc.)
· Employee and Flight Crews
· PWD (wheelchair access)
The Challenge is to provide a simulation modeling concept that can form the basis to plan, develop requirements, and design a queue appropriately. The concept will be used to develop a model to be applied in decision analysis and to take in considerations of site specific requirements, peak and non-peak hours, flight schedules and TSA staffing schedules. Solvers are expected to provide the concept and provide evidence that it works as described in the requirements.
As in the MTA's 2012 "App Quest" competition, the Transportation Security Authority is offering a total of $15,000 as, um, Innocentive. (I know it's a portmanteau of 'innovation' and 'incentive,' but I can't help but read it as 'innocent'—see also Rapiscan; cf. Dr. Tobias Funke's business cards.)
Posted by core jr
| 30 Jul 2014
This weekend saw the unveiling of the collaborative bicycle designs that are going head to head in the third edition of the Oregon Manifest, in which five teams in as many cities set out to create and craft the best urban utility bike. As of Monday morning, the public is invited to vote on their favorite one, which may well be produced by Fuji Bikes in the near future. We are pleased to present exclusive Q&As with each team so they have a chance to explain why their bicycle is the best before the voting period closes this Sunday, August 3.
Yesterday, we spoke to Industry × Ti Cycles of Portland; today, we've got San Francisco's own HUGE Design × 4130 Cycle Works on EVO.
Core77: Did you and the team at 4130 know (or know of) each other before the collaboration? What was the matchmaking process like?
Chris Harsacky (Huge): We didn't know of 4130 but after interviewing several builders we knew he was a great fit. Tom's background in product development made for an easy collaboration. He was also the builder that seemed most open to doing things different. From the outset, we knew our concept would be a departure from traditional frame design.
By its nature, the design-fabrication relationship for this collaboration is far more intimate than your average designer's relationship with a contractor or manufacturer. To what degree did you educate each other on your respective areas of expertise? Has the collaboration yielded broader lessons?
It was certainly different from other partnerships. The very first meeting was more like a Q&A. Tom is a trained industrial designer so it made it a lot easier. The two major areas where we needed educated on were bike geometry and fabrication techniques/ materials. While we set out define a fresh gesture with new functionality, we wanted to make sure we were following acceptable ride geometry and using practical build techniques.
Transitioning into fabrication was pretty fluid actually. We had a CAD database that we based the build on. Things fell in place remarkably well. The hardest part was trying gauge how much time it would take to finalize the final bike. Its basically and appearance model that needs to function like a production unit.
I'm a heavy Apple user and I love their products, but I'm bewildered by some of their design decisions. The one that drives me the most nuts is that my Thunderbolt Display's USB ports are on the back. As someone who is frequently connecting and disconnecting things, this gets super-annoying.
So I was excited when I saw this little gizmo by BlueLounge, the Jimi USB extension:
There's something singularly rewarding—magical, even— about sketching an idea, taking stock of materials on hand, crunching numbers on backs of envelopes, and then actually making it into a real thing... which is why we're always excited to see the projects in the DIY category of the Core77 Design Awards. And while many of the honorees seen here can be reproduced, with a bit of time and effort, by any maker out there, Awards duly recognize the folks who came up with them in the first place. Moreover, these projects are fun—which, as well all know, is as one of the most important aspects of DIY culture.
Led by Ayah Bdeir of littleBits, the jury team selected eight projects, which they felt best manifested the vitality and enthusiasm of the DIY community, for top honors this year.
Winner: NeoLucida, by Pablo Garcia and Golan Levin
Inspired by the 19th century Camera Lucida, NeoLucida is a drawing aid that helps artists reproduce subjects by tracing a superimposed image from a prism. The jury was most impressed with Pablo Garcia and Golan Levin's ability to update a historic tool into a modern and functional device: "There is something beautiful about art that allows other people to make art. It takes an old technology that is obsolete, revitalizes it and makes it open and accessible to people everywhere to make for themselves."
» Learn more about Neolucida
Runner Up: Tri-Horse, by Brian Campbell
On a search for stability, woodworker Brian Campbell designed a three-point sawhorse design fro Fine Homebuilding Magazine that faired much better than the quadruped designs out there. Tri-Horse is made completely from plywood and serves a myriad of purposes—from miter saw and table saw stands to a general catch-all station for your portable workspace. The jury appreciated the way the design encourages DIY spirit: "The Tri-Horse takes a very common tool whose flaws we have come to accept and re-engineers it in a simple but effective way. Like the Neolucida, we like tools that empower people to make their own DIY objects."
» Learn more about Tri-Horse
Posted by Coroflot
| 30 Jul 2014
3M captures the spark of new ideas and transforms them into thousands of ingenious products. As a 3Mer, you'll have opportunities to make a substantial impact, fueled by competitive pay, comprehensive quality benefits and recognition of your achievements. They are currently looking for an enthusiastic Graphic Designer to join their Global Design Lab who will develop, create and execute upon concepts and visual ideas for product, packaging, and various communication vehicles.
With a bachelor's degree in graphic design and at least 3 years of experience, you'll possess exceptional attention to detail in graphics, layout, and typography, demonstrated flexibility in multiple task assignments while maintaining a high level of accuracy and a knack for translating business objectives into creative solutions. If this sounds like you and you want to be a part of what's next, Apply Now.
Vikings loved to brawl, with both their enemies and with each other. Viking sagas are filled with tales of even longstanding friends happy to settle disagreements with steel. But as they piled onto their longships to go pillaging, their boarding process was a good deal more civilized than the melee that is modern air travel. For one thing, their storage was one-to-one; when 30 Vikings got onto a ship, there were 30 places to store things.
That's because they carried their seating on board with them, and their seating doubled as their storage. Prior to boarding, the decks of a ship were bare. Each Viking plunked his chest down at his own rowing position.
Enough Viking chests have been found, and replicas made, that we can take a look at their design. It's both intelligent and purposeful. The first thing you notice is that the tops were rounded to shed water, and perhaps to provide a modicum of comfort.
Posted by core jr
| 29 Jul 2014
This is the latest installment of our Core77 Questionnaire. Previously, we talked to IKEA creative director Mia Lundström.
Name: Todd St. John
Occupation: Designer/illustrator/animator. Founder of HunterGatherer.
Current projects: We are doing some ongoing work with Pilgrim, which is a surf shop in Brooklyn run by a friend. We just finished up some animation for AM Labs, which is a cleaning-product company based in Denmark. And we're working on our own product designs.
Mission: Striving to make designs that seem inevitable
From Photo-Graphics, an ongoing series of cameras rendered in wood
Cover images for a Money Mark LP and the New York Times Magazine
When did you decide that you wanted to be a designer? When I was younger I was interested in too many things. At some point in school, when I understood what design could encompass, it really appealed to me. Since it was so expansive, you could do quite a number of things and still call them "design."
Education: My degree is in graphic design, from the University of Arizona. Later I taught a design class for 10 years in Yale's graduate program, and I feel like I learned quite a bit from the faculty and students there. I also absorbed a lot about woodworking and engineering from my father.
First design job: In school, my first "design" internship was in Hawaii, where I grew up. I worked for a small agency, doing illustrations for a local ice cream shop and coffee packaging and things like that. Out of school, it was for a small firm in San Diego, doing identities and packaging.
Who is your design hero? The answer to that question changes. But I recently read a Jim Henson biography, and I've always thought really highly of him and how he combined communication and fun and visual innovation in ways that do great things for the world.
Inside HunterGatherer's studio in Brooklyn