Category: Technology

Design

The Nomad Key is an incredibly-designed minimalist charging cable

Nomad Goods has got a very impressive portfolio of top-notch smartphone accessories featuring everything from leather wallets to iPhone cases. And their philosophy of "owning fewer things, being resourceful and working hard together," really shines through with the Nomad Key for iPhone & Android. Crafted out of ultra-rugged polycarbonate and rubber, this space-saving little thing replaces that tangle-prone charging cable you've got lugging around. Thread in your keys into the provided keychain and you're good! Now, I was skeptical about the Key's durability at first - considering some awful past experiences - but this has held up surprisingly well in the last month. The rubberized USB to smartphone connection lets the Key bend at 180-degrees without issue and thanks to some clever design choices, the smartphone end points away from the keys. This is my go-to charging cable now! In the future, I'd like Nomad to create an extendable...
Design

Kinsa’s Smart Stick is the world’s smartest thermometer and it’s crazy fast!

Tech savvy parents, this one is for you. The Smart Stick by Kinsa Health is a thermometer that hooks up to your iOS (or Android!) device's headphone jack to provide accurate temperature readings. The device carries a slim form factor is made out of a soft, rubbery material so that it stays put. It can be used orally, rectally, and of course, underarm. Simply fire up the fun-looking app, choose how you want to take the reading, and there you go! Floating bubbles that the app makes you pop while you wait is a nice touch. I was amazed at how fast the readings are! When you're done, it tells you if you have a fever and lets you log any symptoms you may exhibit. Record-keeping of your past readings is big here and the fact that it's all integrated via Apple's Healthkit makes glancing at your past symptoms a cinch. Now, considering the now-diminishing headphone jack, I'm sure a wireless, Bluetooth-enabled version is on its way! The Smart Stick joins Kinsa's amazing line...
Design

This LED bulb lets you set the perfect ambiance at the flick of a switch

Dimmable lights may not be quite as important as light temperature, according to international survey data from Ipsos, which says that 55% of people want the right light for each task. Philips has the answer to that with the innovative SceneSwitch, an LED bulb that combines three light scenes into one. Simply install and flick the light switch on/off to cycle through different temperatures including bright light (blue), natural light (soft white), and warm light (a calm, orange hue) perfect for bedtime reading. Luckily, yours truly has had some hands-on time with it and thinks it's a phenomenal step forward for traditional, non-connected lighting. The bulb remembers your last setting to save you the inconvenience of having to cycle through each time. And it's stupendously bright! Check out the video below to see it in action. The SceneSwitch is available pretty much everywhere now! ...
Design

Spire tracks mindfulness, activity, and is the most elegant wearable ever!

Spire is perhaps the most elegant wearable I've ever seen and it actively tracks your breath. Coated with a luxurious sandstone texture, the Spire comes in the form of a small pebble. Pair it to your phone via bluetooth, clip it onto an article of clothing closest to your stomach or chest, and now you're able to view your respiratory rate in real-time through a gorgeous app. The device charges wirelessly when sitting atop an included, beautiful, metal plate. You can even charge your phone through that same charging base. I was floored when I saw it in action. It really is a complete package for someone who is into meditation, yoga, or anyone looking for an activity tracker that isn't wrist-worn. The free app comes with a number of mindfulness exercises that help you achieve a state of calm during a streak of tense minutes. One caveat, though, is that the Spire does not track sleep. This is something I'd like to see in a future iteration given that you...
Art

Planetarium show becomes art exhibit as it shines light on ‘sun’light

In The Sun Placed in the Abyss, an art exhibit currently underway in the Columbus Museum of Art, the main star (pun intended) is the Sun. Through various films and photographs, the sun is depicted in both direct and indirect ways. But this is more than just an artsy move - the collection aims to go deeper into the social, historical, and even technological implications of the sun in terms of photography conditions and human interest. The museum also partnered with COSI to provide the programming of the exhibition. Over 50 artists participated in the project, all focusing on very powerful images of the sun. The collection explores the "science behind the sun" - how it influences all life on earth, as well as its influence in our art and culture. The exhibit is in the form of a planetarium show, now available to be seen at COSI. It will run until January 2, 2017. ...
Design

Philips’ Hue Go makes colored smart-lighting portable and affordable

Philips has been in the smart lighting game for a while now and the Hue Go is a just another brilliant way they're working to solidify their place in the market. The Hue Go is a portable lamp that carries the power of Philips's 16-million-color connected, vibrant-as-heck, LED light bulbs within its bowl-shaped form. There's a groove at the bottom that lets you set the lamp up at 45-degrees. And since the on/off switch is located underneath, keeping it tilted is the better option. That same button is used to cycle through colors and scenes, so it can be problematic at times. To compensate for that, you have the option of pairing the Go with a Hue Bridge. This lets you play around with Philips' awesome scenes with your phone. You can go wireless, but for some reason the Go only lasts three hours on a charge, leaving that Netflix binge session in the dark, unless of course, you're not big on portability. Now, I will say that for $79.99, this...
Design

Healthy Home Coach is an air-quality monitor that’ll make you a good parent

An Internet of Things-infused home isn't incomplete without a smart air quality monitor. And Netatmo's Home Coach is my favorite. We've covered Netatmo before (previously) and now they're out with the Home Coach, a Homekit-compatible air-care device that actually tells you how to improve it. It sophisticatedly monitors temperature, noise levels, air quality (measured in CO2 ppm), and humidity. You can even dial back in time to see how your environment has changed via a nice, clean app. In addition, you can set different profiles, so if you've got one installed in a baby's room, the device will adjust its metrics. A space-saving design makes it an elegant showpiece of sorts. For now, it's only available in rose-gold and that's the only gripe I have. I'd love to see a space gray or silver version! At $99.99, the Netatmo Home Coach pays for itself within days with its intelligence, elegance, and relevance for today's smart-home builders. Check it...
Design

Eero blankets your home in speedy, reliable WiFi through an elegant form factor

Considering the many WiFi range-extending devices out there, Eero takes the effort out of the equation and replaces it with simplicity and reliability. The Eero WiFi system can be placed throughout a large apartment or multi-story house to ensure internet access inat every corner. An intuitive companion also lets you set up, update, and manage all Eero units easily. Personally, I'm not only impressed by how effective it has been during my last few weeks of usage but more so how unobtrusive it is from an aesthetic point of view. From no angle does it look like a modem, thanks to a slick form factor. I will say, however, that Eero is most effective when it replaces your current system completely. This is critical for smart-home enthusiasts because you don't want your smart lights not responding because of internet-issues. All in all, the designers behind this system have thought of it all and have reached a WiFi solution that caters to all and not just the tech-savvy....
Art

French artist uses projections to shed light on Amazon deforestation

Philippe Echaroux has been using his skills in transmedia art to shed light on the rapid deforestation of the Amazon forest. The French photographer and street artist projected the faces of Brazilians indigenous to the area onto foliage, establishing the deep connection that exists between the rainforest and its inhabitants. The tribe, Suruí of Brazil, led by Chief Almir Surui Narayamoga, invited Echaroux to help bring to light the issue amidst government efforts to replant sections of the forest wiped out by logging and animal agriculture. Photographed pieces of the works will be part of an exhibition called, “The Crying Forest” at Galerie Taglialatella in Paris from Nov 11 - Dec 15, 2016. Check out video featurette below and find more of Echaroux’s work on his website, Instagram, and Facebook.  ...
Digital

Tron-like bikes leave behind trails of neon lights in fantastic video

Imagine whizzing about on a bike leaving behind streaks of light straight out of Tron. Filmmaker Mike Gamble and VFX artist Tom Wood took that idea and brought it to life in an amazing two and a half video titled, "Light Cycles." They rigged up a few mountain bikes with LEDs and went to town with their filmmaking and visual effects skills. The final video is an amazing compilation of live action and post-production effects in which the bikes leave behind neon light streaks in 3D space. Check it out below! ...
Digital

Nanoleaf’s “Ivy” lights offer unique design and controls for connected homes

Smart lighting is an essential part of a connected home and with a plethora of them in the market, it can be difficult to decide which one is right for you. I stumbled upon startup Nanoleaf's Smart Ivy connected light bulbs recently, and their unique aesthetic immediately caught my eye. They look like puzzles fit together with LEDs protruding from each pentagonal surface. The lights easily pair with the provided 'smarter hub,' which is compatible with Apple's HomeKit platform. This means you can control the lights via Siri and the 'Home' app. Each bulb is not only dimmable but amazingly bright at 100% with a life of approx. 27 years. I've been using these for a couple of weeks now and they've turned me into a believer in the connected home movement. If you're looking for smart lights with an extra 'oomph!', this is it! [caption id="attachment_72768" align="alignnone" width="950"] The Nanoleaf app lets you easily set up the 'smarter hub' and pair additional...
Design

Gamevice turns your phone into a sleek handheld gaming console

Mobile gaming is huge and with Nintendo revealing their latest console, Switch, it's obvious that portability is key. Another player has just been introduced to the game of handhelds with Gamevice! There are lots of gamepads out there for mobile devices but Gamevice stands out from the crowd thanks to its phenomenal design choices. It's compatible with iPhone/iPad and snaps into the devices' lightning port. The two halves simply snap and lock onto each side. It's lightweight, sturdy, and feels great in the hand. The only apparent design flaw that I can see is it feeling uncomfortable after a few hours of continuous play since there's little to no curvature at the bottom. Aside from that minor hang-up, the device features an array of sleek features such as shoulder and action buttons, triggers, analog sticks, a handy D-pad, and of course, a pause button! Also, there's a built-in battery, so if your phone's plugged in, both devices charge simultaneously!...
Industrial design

Netatmo’s AI security camera combines brains and beauty

Netatmo is establishing itself as a brand-name in the connected world and their latest  AI-powered surveillance camera cleverly called, ‘Presence,’ is phenomenal. In a market saturated by connected security equipment, the Presence stands out as an all-in-one package that is both affordable and has a few neat tricks up its sleeve. With a weatherproof build, Presence boasts a 120-degree field of view and is able to identify just about anything in its view including animals, people, cars etc. in real-time and in full 1080p HD. There’s even a floodlight that turns on when something suspicious moves in close. Its expandable storage is always being overwritten by recorded footage and can also be used to create a one-minute time-lapse of recordings in the last 24 hours. Head on over to here to learn more!    ...
Design

Med students design sleek hydration monitoring wearable

If you thought monitoring your heart rate was the most important part of fitness, LVL gives you a reason to think again. Medical student, Dustin Freckleton, MD, over at the University of Texas is trying to highlight the importance of staying hydrated with LVL, the first wearable that provides instant, real-time insight into the user's hydration levels. The wrist-worn device also triples as an activity, sleep, and mood tracker. Apart from its health benefits, LVL boasts a gorgeously-designed display that boils down health insights into perceptible icons bolstered by animations. Watch LVL in action below and back it on Kickstarter if you'd like!  ...
Creativity

Tile redefines bluetooth trackers by introducing thinnest one ever

Most everyone these days is a sucker for small but well-designed objects that can do big things. Tile's latest offering is just that! The San Mateo, California-based company defined what personal Bluetooth trackers can do for people who constantly lose things. And now they're at it again with the Tile Slim, which is "as thin as 2 credit cards," the company touts. The Slim connects to your phone via a handy app that will not only locate the tracker for you but also help you find your phone, should you happen to lose it, thanks to a pushable button in the center. The battery lasts up to a full year and replacements can easily be ordered through their useful reTile program. Check it out! ...
Design

Google enters AI market with gorgeously-designed ‘Home’

Artificial intelligence is undoubtably the highlight of 2016's final quarter, all thanks to Google. Google Home was announced recently by the California-based tech giant to applause from IoT (Internet of Things) enthusiasts. The smart-home assistant was big news in that it's first in a line of Google-designed tech introduced this year. With Google-themed animated lights on the top and a touch-sensitive surface, the demo showed off real-world scenarios to prove just how intelligent it is. The hub is set to compete with the critically-acclaimed Amazon Echo. Google's offering, however, is not only more aesthetically-pleasing, it has the world's most advanced search engine built right into it. Your move, Apple. Home hit shelves for $130 on November 4th, 2016. Check it out! ...
Creativity

A levitating cloud that plays music. What more could you want?

That's right, there's a levitating cloud out there that plays music, and it's amazing. Richard Clarkson Studio and Crealev teamed up for this fluff of awesome. It's a floating cloud that plays your favorite music and lights up in response to the beats to mimic a storm. The cloud called Making Weather is fitted with a Bluetooth speaker, LED lights, and a magnet housed inside of a polyester cloud. The device's mirrored base repels the magnet within making the cloud appear as if it's floating. Making Weather is currently in prototype form and will be available for consumers in the future. (fingers crossed!) ...
Architecture

Breathtaking projection of the universe adorns ceiling of Paris cathedral

Saint-Eustache Church in Paris is the setting for a fantastic light show by Miguel Chevalier. Created as part of Nuit Blanche 2016, the projection-based installation is housed inside the church in Paris and is called, "Voûtes Célestes." The light show cycled through 35 colored networks, lighting up the ceiling in a variety of patterns including a breathtaking sky chart with swirling universes. The backdrop is then accentuated by Baptiste-Florian Marle-Ouvrard's dreamy scores on the organ. Watch the production work below and find more from Chevalier on his website.  ...
Digital

Microscopic plant spores and insects captured in stunning detail

Macro is the way to go if you want a fresh look at the many mysterious creatures nature has to offer, and Igor Siwanowicz has been doing it for a while! The photographer's work as a neurobiologist at the Howard Hughes Medical Institute’s Janelia Farm Research Campus has led to a collection of microscopic photos that will leave insect enthusiasts in awe. Excruciatingly detailed, the photos were made with a confocal laser-scanning microscope, an instrument capable of capturing details far beyond the traditional DSLR. The resulting images show minute facets of barnacle legs and the alien shapes of plant spores. Check them out below and find more of his photography here. ...
Creativity

Nanoleaf reinvents connected lighting with innovative ‘Aurora’

Nanoleaf defined what smart lighting could bring to a connected home with the Nanoleaf Ivy. And now they've reinvented it with the Aurora. Available now, the Aurora gives users ultimate freedom when it comes to connected lighting. The studio describes it best, saying that Aurora was "inspired by self-expression and freedom of control for the user. It is a fixture-less RGBW color changing and tunable white light that can be customized any way to make your space, your home." This is made possible with brilliantly designed triangular panels that can be moved around to suit the creative genius in you. Check out the amazing lighting system in action below and pick it up from your local Best Buy or head on over here. ...
Art

Ukrainian chef uses 3D-printed molds to design outlandish cakes

We've grown accustomed to looking at a cake and determining what its flavor might be thanks to its color. Chef Dinara Kasko brings a fresh new take on the baked goods. The Ukrainian pastry chef uses experimental techniques and principles like the Voroni method to 3D print unique silicone molds, which she then uses to make cakes that are at once delicious and unfamiliar in shape. Some of them look like they might be from another planet! Some of the ingredients she often finds herself using include sponge cake, chocolate mousse, berry confit, shortcrust dough, and meringue. Below are some cakes featured in the February issue of So Good, check them out and follow Dinara on Instagram for more. ...
Creativity

Design studio creates its own particle accelerator to explore light

Design Exchange in Toronto, Canada this July was full of mind-bending installations, but this particle accelerator took us all by surprise. Castor Design created a “Particle Accelerator” as part of their installation. Although it's not exactly  CERN-level, the studio was in fact inspired by CERN’s Large Hadron Collidor. With the accelerator, Castor aims to explore the nature of electricity and light. Their work is based on research by physicist JJ Thomson at Cambridge in 1897. Castor explains, "When electrical current is activated and enough of a vacuum has been formed within the tube in order for electrons to travel without striking a molecule of gas, low­mass particles accelerate to 30% of the speed of light. These electrons strike other atoms and give off light as they settle to their original energy levels." Check out the video showcasing the piece below! ...
Art

Go behind-the-scenes with Kubo and the Two Strings’ animators

Kubo and the Two Strings is out and it's being met with extreme praise at the box office. So, here's a behind-the-scenes look at some of its talented crew at work. Laika, the cutting-edge stop-motion animation studio who brought us Coraline, The Boxtrolls, and ParaNorman, is back at it with Kubo, which also happens to mark the directorial debut of Travis Knight, the lead animator on Laika’s past projects. The BTS video below profiles the talented crew hard at work. Intricate stop-motion has always been Laika’s hallmark to the point where the audience mistakes it for top-notch CGI. Check it out below, and click here for a longer version. ...
Architecture

There’s now a robotic system to maximize your apartment space

Are you suffering from the woes of a cramped apartment? A breakthrough robotic technology will solve those problems in the blink of an eye. Ori Systems' robotic organizational units fold and unfold effortlessly before your eyes, turning small spaces in completely different rooms in just seconds. The transformation seems magical, as you move walls and furniture with the touch of a button and bedrooms become living rooms or  walk-in closets. See more of this ingenious system on their website, twitter, or vimeo. ...
Architecture

10,000 solar panels in Nevada captured brilliantly in sunset photos

Solar panels make for some serious eye candy when arranged so neatly. Conserving energy never looked so beautiful. Chicago-based photographer Reuben Wu photographed the Nevada SolarReserve, which groups together over 10,000 mirrors and serves to power nearly 75,000 homes day and night. The brilliant colors during sunset are made so much better with the reflective panels in view. Wu recently won a grand prize in Photo District News’ The Great Outdoors Photo Contest for "Lux Noctis." Check out some of his latest photos below and find more on Instagram and Facebook. ...
Creativity

Electrical circuits bring new life and energy to LEGO bricks

Two physicists were inspired to develop this awesome improvement on building bricks. They are compatible with regular LEGO bricks, so with just the very same very basic building technique, you can add light, sound, proximity sensors, motor blocks and even connect it to your smartphone via Bluetooth. They conduct electricity through their coat of chrome, eliminating any need for wiring, making connections just by contact. This project was funded on Kickstarter and  Indiegogo.Check their website, Facebook, and YouTube for more information. ...
Creativity

Nimb: the portable panic button

Introducing Nimb, the portable panic button. Thanks to this handy ring, whenever you are in trouble, experiencing a health emergency, or feeling unsafe, Nimb will send an alert message when you hold a button down for three seconds. The message will go to the contacts in your “safety circles”. Safety circles can include emergency numbers, your family, or just your friends. Nimb will send an alert via smartphone technology out to your contacts to let them know you need help. This ring works everywhere in the world where cellular networks are available, and it will notify you if you are too far away from your phone. It’s hypoallergenic. It can withstand rain, and uses Bluetooth signals to send and receive alerts. On top of this, the ring has been shaped so accidental alerts don’t happen. Nimb won't come out until May 2017 but until then, check out their fully funded Kickstarter campaign to find more. https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/1629204423/nimb-a-smart-ring-that-keeps-you-safe-and-sound?ref=21.go2.fund&utm_medium=referral&utm_source=21.go2.fund...
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