This research inspired us to use Jacquard technology to create a soft, interactive patch or sleeve that allows people to access digital, health and security services with simple gestures. This woven technology can be worn or positioned on a variety of surfaces and locations, adjusting to the needs of each individual.
We teamed up with Garrison Redd, a Para powerlifter and advocate in the disability community, to test this new idea.
I was such a die-hard Apple dead-ender in the 90’s that I’d often fruitlessly pitch Macs anyone who’d listen (any many who wouldn’t). My roommate would listen to my rants about the vile inelegance of Windows, then gently shake his head and say, “Look, I get it. But the Mac is like a monorail: it’s sleek, it’s beautiful, and it’s just stuck on some little loop.” Then off he went to buy a new gaming PC.
This funny, informative video explains the actual mechanics & economics that explain why such “futuristic” designs have rarely made sense in the real world. Check it out.
“A strange mixture between Futurama & Evil Los Angeles… The worst of urban planning and capitalism, plus some slavery for good measure. Welcome to Dubai, everyone.”
This darkly funny piece presents some eye-opening info on a petrodollar playground literally sinking into the sea. Along the way it draws comparisons to past misallocations of every sort of capital (e.g. as in Communist Romania, “Smooth-brained dictator + construction = dumb shit.”
I should hasten to say that I have never visited Dubai & don’t know of any connection with anyone connected with it.
A few years ago I found myself wasting my life in the bowels of Google’s enterprise apps group. (How & why that happened is a long, salty story—but like everything good & bad, the chapter passed.) In the course of that we found ourselves talking with IT folks at Ocado, a company that’s transformed from grocery shopping into the provider of really interesting robotics. Check out this rather eye-popping demonstration of how their bots fulfill orders at crazy speed:
It’s a little OT for this blog, but I really enjoyed this article as a discussion of design—of using art to solve problems.
I told Jerry, “It sounds more like a sound design issue than a music assignment. So, how about this? We treat the Seinfeld theme song as if your voice telling jokes is the melody, the jokes you tell are the lyrics and my job is to accompany you in a musical way that does not interfere with the audio of you telling jokes.
Warren Littlefield had the unfortunate job of telling Larry, “I don’t like the music. It’s distracting, it’s weird, it’s annoying!” And as soon as he said the word annoying, Larry David just lit up. Like, “Really? Annoying? Cool!” Because if you know Larry, if you watch Curb Your Enthusiasm, that’s what he loves most, to annoy you! That’s his brand of comedy.
What I didn’t know until now is that he collaborated with the folks at Bot & Dolly—who created the brilliant work below before getting acquired by Google and, as best I can tell, having their talent completely wasted there 😭.
OMG—I’m away from our brick piles & thus can’t yet try this myself, but I can’t wait to take it for a spin. As PetaPixel explains:
If you have a giant pile of LEGO bricks and are in need of ideas on what to build, Brickit is an amazing app that was made just for you. It uses a powerful AI camera to rapidly scan your LEGO bricks and then suggest fun little projects you can build with what you have.
Here’s a short 30-second demo showing how the app works — prepare to have your mind blown:
Netflix and Adobe are partnering to introduce The Great Untold; a short film competition meets a road trip across America. The next generation of creators are invited to submit their story idea in the form of a movie trailer via TikTok, for a chance to win a cash prize and have their work produced in their hometown with the help of Hollywood experts. Submit now: WhatsYourGreatUntold.com
LEGO has officially announced the new LEGO adidas Originals Superstar (10282) which will be available starting on July 1. The shoe has 731 pieces and will retail for $79.99. In the ongoing collaboration with adidas, LEGO has recreated the iconic Superstar sneaker in brick form. Instead of the regular LEGO packaging, the set will actually come in a shoebox for authenticity and even the laces on it are real.
I’ve always said that when—not if—I die in a fiery crash alongside Moffett Field, it’ll be because I was rubbernecking at some cool plane or other (e.g. the immense Antonov An-124), and you’ll remember this and say, “Well, he did at least call his shot.”
Suffice it to say I’m a huge plane nerd with a special soft spot for exotic (to me) ex-Soviet aircraft. I therefore especially enjoyed this revealing look into the Tu-22, whose alcohol-based air conditioning system made it a huge hit with aircrews (that is, when it wasn’t killing them via things like its downward-firing ejection seats!). Even if planes aren’t your jam, I think you’ll find the segment on how the alcohol became currency really interesting.
On an epic dog walk this morning, Old Man Nack™ took his son through the long & winding history of Intel vs. Motorola, x86 vs. PPC, CISC vs. RISC, toasted bunny suits, the shock of Apple’s move to Intel (Marklar!), and my lasting pride in delivering the Photoshop CS3 public beta to give Mac users native performance six months early.
As luck would have it, Adobe has some happy news to share about the latest hardware evolution:
Today, we’re thrilled to announce that Illustrator and InDesign will run natively on Apple Silicon devices. While users have been able to continue to use the tool on M1 Macs during this period, today’s development means a considerable boost in speed and performance. Overall, Illustrator users will see a 65 percent increase in performance on an M1 Mac, versus Intel builds — InDesign users will see similar gains, with a 59 percent improvement on overall performance on Apple Silicon. […]
These releases will start to roll out to customers starting today and will be available to all customers across the globe soon.
For what seems like forever, Adam Lisagor’s Sandwich crew has been lovingly adding more great visual jokes & well-crafted copy than just about anybody in the game. Their recent work for the Mighty app is just as delightful as you’d expect:
I’ve long loved the weird mechanical purring of those flappy-letter signs one sees (or at least used to see) in train stations & similar venues, but I haven’t felt like throwing down the better part of three grand to own a Vestaboard. Now maker Scott Bezek is working on an open-source project for making such signs at home, combining simple materials and code. In case you’d never peeked inside such a mechanism (and really, why would you have?) and are curious, here’s how they work:
And here, for some reason, are six oddly satisfying minutes of a sign spelling out four-letter words:
“What if you could hear color?” asks with Play a Kandinsky, an interactive machine learning experiment created by Google Arts & Culture and Centre Pompidou. “Explore Vassily Kandinsky’s synesthesia and ‘play’ his pioneering masterpiece, Yellow-Red-Blue, with the help of machine learning.”
Visitors are guided to click on different colors in an animated canvas. There, they’ll learn what each hue represented to the artist—yellow sounded like trumpets to him, red was the color of violins playing, and looking at blue would elicit a melody of organs in his head.
One of my very earliest interactions with Adobe—in 1999, I believe, before I worked there—a PM called me with questions about how my design team collaborated across offices. Now 20+ years later I find myself married to an Adobe PM charged with enhancing just that. 😌
Check out some of the latest progress they’re making with PS, AI, and the mobile drawing app Fresco:
Invite to Edit in Photoshop, Illustrator and Fresco
The Invite to Edit feature in Photoshop, Illustrator, and Fresco allows asynchronous editing on all surfaces across the desktop, iPad, and iPhone (Fresco). Now collaborators can edit a shared cloud document, one at a time. Just save your .PSD or .AI files as cloud documents and send invitations for others to edit them. You can also edit files that have been shared with you. In addition, you can access your shared cloud documents on assets.adobe.com and the Creative Cloud Desktop app.
Collaborators will not be able to work on the file live alongside you, but they will be able to open up your work, make changes of their own, save it, and have those changes sync back to your machine. If someone is already editing the file, the new user be given the choice to either make a copy or wait until the current editor is finished. It’s not quite Google Docs-style editing for Photoshop, but it should be easier than emailing a file back and forth.
During the course of 400 hours, Mitsui snapped together 50,000 cobalt and white LEGO into an undulating wave that mimics the original woodblock print.
To recreate this iconic work in three-dimensions, Mitsui studied videos of waves crashing and pored over academic papers on the topic. He then sketched a detailed model before assembling the textured water, three boats, and Mount Fuji that span more than five feet.
I’ll admit that for some reason I didn’t pay much attention to this new set (the largest-ever by sheer number of bricks) when it emerged a few weeks ago. My history-loving wife took a shine to it, however, and the short vid below shows off an incredible level of detail (those columns tho) and thoughtfulness:
Hey gang—I hope you had a great Thanksgiving. I really enjoyed getting away from the computer & spending time shivering with the fam out in gold country. 😌
Anyway, to ease back into posting, here’s a beautiful piece of work from creator Phil Letorneau:
Of the piece he writes, “100 stainless steel mirror-finish spheres suspended by nigh-invisible filament. Each sphere can be positioned independently to 0.05mm precision.” For more details check out this interesting Twitter thread:
The electric wingsuit is equipped with a rig on the chest, which provides an output of 15kW. This delivery is then split among two 7.5kW carbon impellers that can spin at the speed of 25,000 RPM and produce a thrust for around five minutes.
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Among the many delights of parenting young Lego-loving boys is that they hip me to what is honestly truly impressive filmmaking with miniatures.
I don’t know where to begin with this WWI tank battle. From the in-scene muzzle flashes, to the varied custom faces (including a tank driver’s iron mask!), to the shrapnel & “hand-held” camera effects, it’s all so lovingly crafted.
“Pulling Power from the Sky: The Story of Makani” chronicles the thirteen-year quest of an eclectic band of scientists, artists, sailors, pilots, and engineers as they team up to design and build kites that can efficiently harness energy from the wind.
“Man, I thought this was gonna feature some Swedish Meatball-printed bricks, but it’s just boxes? Hmm.” — Finn Nack, who at age 12 is now deeply hard to impress 😌
Skepticism of tweens notwithstanding, this seems like a fun, simple way to upgrade storage for kids, and who doesn’t want to yell “BYGGLEK!” (a la Vonnegut’s “Gilgongo!”) from time to time?
The BYGGLEK collection will hit stores worldwide with a variety of sizes, from a three-box set priced at US$10 to a US$15 huge box, from October 2020. There will also be a LEGO brick set with 201 pieces sold along with the boxes.
“I realize I’m likely doing the very thing the video creators wanted me to do after watching,” says my old friend Michael, “but I can’t help but share the most overtly over the top ad I’ve ever seen.” Take it away, breathless announcer-stud guy!
I know 2020 sucks a whole lot of ass (just this morning we learned that the beloved Swanton Pacific Railroad for kids may have burned up, JFC…), but it’s good to remember the amazing bits of human progress that sometimes come to life—like this one:
Building on the helpfulness of Pixel Buds’ conversation mode translate feature, which helps when you’re talking back and forth with another person, the new transcribe mode lets you follow along by reading the translated speech directly into your ear, helping you understand the gist of what’s being said during longer listening experiences.
Launching initially for French, German, Italian and Spanish speakers to translate English speech, transcribe mode can help you stay present in the moment and focus on the person speaking.
And your headphones can even detect a crying baby (!) & lower volume:
If your dog barks, baby cries or an emergency vehicle drives by with sirens ringing, Attention Alerts—an experimental feature that notifies you of important things happening around you—lowers the volume of your content momentarily to alert you to what’s going on.
Back in the day (like, when Obama was brand new in office), I was intrigued by Microsoft’s dual-screen tablet Courier concept. Check out this preview from 2009:
The device never saw production, and some of the brains behind it went on to launch the lovely Paper drawing app for iPad. Now, however, the company is introducing the Surface Duo, and I think it looks slick:
Fun detail I’d never have guessed in 2009: it runs Android, not Windows!
The prices is high ($1400 and up for something that’s not really a phone or a laptop—though something that could replace both some of the time?), and people are expressing skepticism, but we’ll see how things go. Congrats to the folks who persevered with with that interesting original concept.