Category Archives: Design

Try Google’s “Mystery Animal” game (and why silly stuff like this matters)

Through your browser or Google Home, you can play a “20 Questions”-style game to guess the name of an animal.

Silly, right? But in “Voice Technology is an Opportunity to Make Weird Stuff,” creative technologist Nicole He explains yhy it’s time to experiment with voice, and she offers some technical tips on how to do it.

We’re in what I’m going to call The 1996 Web Design Era of voice technology. The web was created for something practical (sharing information between scientists), but it didn’t take very long for people to come up with strange and creative things to do with it.


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Demo: Adobe XD looks slick & powerful

Adobe’s ambitious XD app has recently added a raft of new features, and here Khoi Vinh shows a compelling demo of instantly-updating artwork & on-device prototypes. (If for some reason the demo isn’t already queued to the right spot, jump to 8:21.)

A hardware glitch forced Khoi to (figuratively) tap dance during the first portion, and he offered a detailed peek behind the curtain, describing the demo team’s relentless pre-game preparation—and its limits. It’s so nice to see people really giving a damn.


BMW plans wireless charging for cars

Where phone have led, cars will follow—first becoming malleable, software-centric platforms (e.g. Tesla rolling out Autopilot, improving cars’ acceleration, etc.), integrating voice assistants, and now adopting contactless charging. Sure, poking a plug into my car takes all of 15 seconds, but I’ll admit to being a touch jealous:

When approaching the pad, the 530e’s sensors and internal screen will navigate the driver to the necessary point above the charging pad. Once in position, the pad’s integrated coil, alongside a secondary coil found inside the car, generate an alternating magnetic field that will charge the car’s 9.4kWh battery in 3.5 hours with 3.2kW of power. The entire process can even be monitored via an app.



Sonic sculptures in space

Augmented reality beauty from Zach Lieberman:

Elsewhere there’s the ethereal Presence 3.1:

Presence is a circular four screen video installation. The screens show moving abstract forms against a black background, the motion of these forms reveal a human presence. These life-size abstract forms have been created by motion captured performances of dancers Julia Eichten and Nathan Makolandra from Benjamin Millepied’s LA Dance Project. 


Design: A Game of Thrones pop-up book

Given the show’s iconic titles, Game of Thrones: A Pop-Up Guide to Westeros (Amazon) seems kind of inevitable, no? Still pretty neat:

It features a total of five stunning spreads, which fold out to create a remarkable pop-up map of Westeros that is perfect for displaying. The book also contains numerous mini-pops that bring to life iconic elements of the show, such as direwolves, White Walkers, giants, and dragons.



“Nutella Unica”: Algorithmic hazelnut artwork FTW

Warhol painted dozens of identical Campbell’s soup cans. Now, thanks to algorithmically driven printing, every consumer object can be unique:

With the help of Ogilvy & Mather Italy, seven million Nutella jars were made, each donned in a one-of-a-kind label. The packaging design for the ‘Nutella Unica’ series was brought to life using an algorithm that combined colors and patterns to create millions of dissimilar arrangements. 

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