Innovation

Google Glass Weapons System.

TrackingPoint, the worldwide leader in advanced firearms technology, has released a video from their Labs department that demonstrates the use of wearable technology along with a Precision Guided Firearm (PGF). PGF technology makes use of a bevy of sensors to make highly accurate ballistic calculations, taking into account wind, elevation, pressure, and more in real time.

It was only a matter of time before google glass would help you shoot around corners, have your superior officer pull the trigger remotely, or hackers disable or adjust your aim. Welcome to the tomorrow of today.

New York's Horseless E-Carriage.

An electric car that proponents hope will replace horse-drawn carriages in New York City has also been revealed at the auto show. (Apr. 17)

Important Facts about the Horseless Carriage

  • The electric Horseless Carriage will generate $33 million annually -- nearly double the current carriage industry.
  • Monthly expenses for carriage drivers will drop from $3,000 per month to $1,700 month.
  • Authentically styled and constructed to replicate turn of the century cars with a target build date of 1909. 
  • Ergonomic body design provides comfortable and safe 8 passenger seating. 
  • Cars will be propelled solely by electric power. Lithium-ion batteries provide cutting edge, clean energy. 
  • Raised "stadium" seating, "parasol" convertible top and lowered driver cockpit area provide 360degree viewing. 
  • All-weather driving: Heated seats and roll down clear sides provide comfort in cold weather, snow or rain. 
  • Suspension and steering designed to provide authentic "turn of the century" drive experience. 
  • Up to 10 hours of drive time per charge. 
  • Cars will each be personalized to create a palette of unique and aesthetically pleasing cars. 
  • Regenerative deceleration charges batteries whenever car is slowing down. 
  • Cars will travel at a low 5mph in the park and will be able to keep up with city traffic on the street. 
  • The 21st Century Horseless Carriage will be manufactured locally in one of the five boroughs, creating jobs and bringing a new industry to the city. 
  • It was designed by the team at Creative Workshop.

 

Gif89a Banner Ads from the late 90's

A few weeks ago, I had the pleasure of hanging out with the team that I worked with in 1997, at a company called k2 Design Inc. The firm quickly grew from 30 to nearly 100 people while I was there. Because it was so new, and there was so much innovation, the whole thing was sort of exciting an frustrating at the same time.

One area that was growing, was digitaldisplay advertising, or online banner ads. The most economical way of producing and distributing display ads continues to be the animated gif, or GIF89a. When I was an intern at Agency.com I completed a research project on the GIF, in order to understand animation, compression, and palettes.


When I started working as an Art Director out of school in (1997-1998), one of the biggest challenges was translating brand advertising into the paid media formats of the time. The file size limits were closely controlled as not to ruin the user experience. So 468x60 banners had to be under 12k, sometimes if you were lucky you could get 15k.  Below are some tests that I did to demonstrate some ideas.

 3 frames / 10k / 9 colors – Fire

3 frames / 10k / 9 colors – Fire

 6 frames / 11k / 13 colors - Random Attention getting banner.

6 frames / 11k / 13 colors - Random Attention getting banner.

 9 frames / 12k / 32 Colors- VolksWagen

9 frames / 12k / 32 Colors- VolksWagen

 10 frames / 11k / 16 colors - Mitsubishi Motors

10 frames / 11k / 16 colors - Mitsubishi Motors

 132 frames / 10k / 16 colors - Financial Services

132 frames / 10k / 16 colors - Financial Services

A House as Portable as Furniture

Architect Camino Alonso wanted to create a small, portable, prefab homes, but she didn't want it to feel like a shipping container. Camino, along with her husband and siblings (also architects at their firm Ábaton), created ÁPH80, a tiny home that ships like furniture, but has the style and usability of a smartphone.

 ©Abaton

©Abaton

 ©Abaton

©Abaton

Searchlight - A Technical Projection Study.

Urban Screen  is a group of 8 contributors based in Bremen, Germany who have backgrounds in Architecture, Music, Stage Design, and Media art.   They create custom made large scale projections of urban surfaces. This video documents an experiment that they are working on called Search Light. The projector is on a gimbal that is connected to a realtime 3d map of the room, allowing for amazing dynamic projections and for experimentation around artful and purpose driven use cases.

Amazon Prime Air - Drone Delivery

Prime Air is a service that Amazon is developing who's goal is to get customer's deliveries to them in 30 minutes or less. The R&D team at Amazon is working on using drones to deliver small packages, up to five pounds, which accounts for 86 percent of the items sold on amazon. 

Amazon is working with the FAA to advance the rules and regulations to make this possible, which they say will take some years, with a goal as early as 2015. They also mention safety as their top priority. 

 

UPDATE:

Wired debunks this Cyber Monday Hoax.

 

 

GoldieBlox - Go Girls!

It's sorta sad that the Beastie Boys are going after Goldie Blox for use of their song. Goldie Blox is a Small company, now, and it's likely the 7.2 millions plays will spern people to buy "Girls" from the Beastie Boys.

To think that it took until 2013 for this to happen. Thank you Debbie Sterling. The work that you are doing here is the most important kind. Creating a generation of future citizens that are interested in how things work. Making it desirable and competitive amongst the sexes, is truly inspiring. To see a future where there are rooms of engineers that are equal parts male as they are female will ensure a future that has less disease, less poverty, less war, and higher standards of living for all. Girls! Let's do this.

As the legal battle ensues between the Beastie Boys and Goldie Blox, I suggest that you buy from both sides of the argument.

 

WILD CAT

WildCat is a four-legged robot being developed to run fast on all types of terrain. So far WildCat has run at about 16 mph on flat terrain using bounding and galloping gaits. The video shows WildCat's best performance so far. WildCat is being developed by Boston Dynamics with funding from DARPA's M3 program.

I have been following this project for a while, and am really excited to see where it's headed. 

3d Printed Dresses.

   ©MichaelSchmidt  - Dita Von Teese

 ©MichaelSchmidt - Dita Von Teese

Michael Schmidt collaborated with architect Francis Bitonti to create the first articulated 3d printed dress for the Ace Hotel, Swarovski  with help from Shapeways.  

The amazing Michael Schmidt Studios designed this 3D gown made with SWAROVSKI ELEMENTS for the lovely Dita Von Teese. Learn more about the design and creation at www.michaelschmidtstudios.com.

The Human Hand Can Only do so much
— Michael Schmidt

©De Zeen Magazine

Francis Bitoni, created a workshop to help participants uses computational design techniques to create new means for wrapping the human form. Two teams merged two designs to create the final form that was critiqued by design, architecture, and 3d printing heavy hitters.

Jet Packs and Flying People.

Jet packs are coming. Some of the same technologies that are pushing the quadcopters into the air are making it easier to put a human in the air. This one from

Martin Aircraft

is pretty special.   

Evolo is a company using multiroto technology and electric motors to put humans safely into the air.

 

JetLev

uses water pumps and an umbilical cord to drive it's pilot into the air.

Still is far from the form factor of the

Rocketeer.

 

Jetman

is bar far my favororite, in terms of aestetics.

GEN Corporation's

*full electric* helicopter R&D prototype, is pretty sleek, but doesn't seem to have the potential to move very fast.