Category Archives: Design

ZOMG: A life-sized Lego Westy

Ladies & gentlemen, we are approaching Peak JNack…

Using 400,000 LEGO® bricks, two experienced LEGO® model makers have built what is probably the world’s biggest camper from LEGO® bricks. The full-size T2 was revealed at the f.re.e leisure and travel fair in Munich. Visitors young and old to f.re.e (20 – 24 February) will be able to admire the 700 kg Bulli up close. The vehicle that served as the blueprint for the model was the T2a camper van, built from 1967 to 1971 – to this day the truly iconic camper for globetrotters.

See more photos & details here.

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[Via]

Wacom’s teaming up with Magic Leap for collaborative creation

Hmm—it’s a little hard to gauge just from a written description, but I’m excited to see new AR blood teaming up with an OG of graphics to try defining a new collaborative environment:

Wearing a Magic Leap One headset connected to a Wacom Intuos Pro pen tablet, designers can use the separate three-button Pro Pen 3D stylus to control their content on a platform called Spacebridge, which streams 3D data into a spatial computing environment. The program allows multiple people in a room to interact with the content, with the ability to view, scale, move, and sketch in the same environment.

Check out the rest of the Verge article for details. I very much look forward to seeing how this develops.

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Giant artificial flowers at Google react to your emotions

Our sister team makes the machine learning-powered library driving this large installation now populating our lobby. It’s to enable this sort of thing that we released ML acceleration tech the other day:

The flowers are built using Raspberry Pi running Android Things, our Android platform for everyday devices like home speakers, smart screens and wearables. An “alpha flower” has a camera in it and uses an embedded TensorFlow neural net to analyze which emotion it sees, and the surrounding flowers change colors based on the image the camera captures of your face. All processing is done locally, so no data is saved or sent to any servers.

Better still, the code has been open-sourced.

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Designers, engineers: Come work on After Effects

Here’s a rare opportunity to team up with one of the rarest of things—a super friendly, gifted, and yet humble team building a beloved app that makes the world more beautiful. The AE team have long been some of my favorite folks in the industry, and they’re looking to expand their ranks:

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Google & MIT researchers create 3D sculptures from human motion

Around here there’s carpentry & there’s alchemy. I do the former; these folks, on the other hand…

Given an input video, the system first automatically detects 2-D key points on the subject’s body, such as the hip, knee, and ankle of a ballerina while she’s doing a complex dance sequence. Then, it takes the best possible poses from those points to be turned into 3-D “skeletons.”

After stitching these skeletons together, the system generates a motion sculpture that can be 3-D-printed, showing the smooth, continuous path of movement traced out by the subject. Users can customize their figures to focus on different body parts, assign different materials to distinguish among parts, and even customize lighting.

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[YouTube]

Summon the Bots: “Waymo One,” for hailing self-driving cars, has arrived

Hola, future: Google’s (okay, Alphabet’s) self-driving unit Waymo has introduced Waymo One, an Uber-like service for requesting self-driving cars, in the Phoenix area. The intro vid about building “the world’s most experienced driver” is charming…

…but I’m more intrigued by some of the design & technical details touched on in this vid that celebrates Waymo’s 10,000,000th self-driving mile. (And side note: my team is now collaborating with these folks, so I hope to share other fascinating details down the line.)

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[YouTube]