Electricity-Conducting Paint

Super cool video about paint that can conduct electricity. For people who want to be really creative with lighting fixtures, here’s your next home project! I’m curious about this being applied to wearables like clothing. I don’t know how safe it is for continuous skin contact, but it seems like the technology could evolve pretty quickly in the sports industry especially.

Virtual Retail Showrooms

I’m not a big watch person. I bought my current one on Amazon for about $35. It gets me through the day, tells the time, and looks decent. That’s all I need.

But for people who are really into watches, and are making a hefty purchase online, the last thing you want to do is buy something that doesn’t end up fitting properly or looks completely different than the photos. Insert the company Chrono24. They take 3D modeling software of each watch they have in their catalog, and can superimpose the watch (with exact dimensions) onto your wrist.

I personally think it’s a little ridiculous, but hey, if this is something that people actually use, it’s a great idea. Who knows, maybe online clothing stores will start having virtual app try-ons. It’s uncharted territory for the most part, so it could be a new big thing sooner thank we think.

Watch the video below if you want to know more:

A watch that doesn’t tell you the Time

@doppel

Is anyone else sick of Apple watches? Quite honestly, I’ve never felt they were anything to write home about. I mean, technically I’m writing about them here, but I ain’t going home with one.

Watches have one purpose: to tell the time. Call me old fashioned, but I don’t need a gadget strapped to my wrist to tell me where I should eat for dinner, and what astrological sign my friend who just texted me is. I’m exaggerating for emphasis, don’t worry. But, I only need a watch to tell time. Plain and simple.

I may eat my words here a little bit, because there’s one watch-like product that intrigues me enough to actually try it. The company is called Doppel, and they produce “watches” that can help with mood. Now, before you call this some voodoo bullshit magic, check out the website that tells you all about the psychology and science behind the wizz-bang devices.

I’m serious, they actually whizz. Check it out below:

The mechanism inside the watch device is supposed to mimic heartbeats. Placed directly against the inside of the wrist, it sends almost unnoticed vibrations to your body. Considered one of the most instrumental rhythms to humans, the heartbeat can influence mood by simply slowing down or speeding up. When the (completely silent) mechanism slows its beat, the wearer is said to experience a more calming sensation. When sped up – again, completely silent – the beat is said to induce a music-like excitement within the body.

Doppel applies research in psychology and neuroscience which shows how humans respond intuitively and naturally to different rhythms. Research shows that slower tempos result in calm and positive emotional states while we associate fast rhythms with emotional states such as joy, excitement and surprise.

This is extremely fascinating to me. Amongst the largest opioid epidemic plaguing the United States, you see initiatives like this to create something completely natural, bio-memetic, and successful.

The company was showcased in the Nature Scientific Reports in 2017. In the article, they delved into a scientific report (duh, Sydney) that concluded participants (in a private study including over 50 adults) wearing the device were found to experience less stress and be more productive in nervousness-inducing situations than those who didn’t wear the watch. Pretty amazing, scientifically backed, stuff.

Now, I’m not saying this watch can replace opioids. But, I have heard horror stories from friends about their battles. A doctor shouldn’t be signing off on a prescription after one visit with someone who is struggling with mental health issues. A doctor shouldn’t be shelling out pills to hopefully patch up someone who quite honestly has no control over anything at that time. There should be efforts to create things, like Doppel has, to at least attempt to deter the use of medical drugs. I’m not an expert on these situations, products, medications, etc. but I can tell you, I’m really happy there are people out there trying to change the norm – one heartbeat at a time.

Treasured Waste

@gomi.design

Beauty is in the eye of the beholder, right? I’ve previously posted about garbage becoming art, and how transformative the hands of an artist can be. Although there is a special and significant role of fine art in this world, some may argue that art – just for art’s sake – is a form of consumption that cannot necessarily be repurposed. Art pieces are meant to prosper, but what comes of it when the life cycle is over? Unfortunately it becomes trash, just like any other product.

Insert a design company called Gomi. They’re currently still on Kickstarter (check it out here), but they are selling portable speakers made out of 100% recycled plastic. Not only do they look mesmerizing, but they are all handcrafted – every single piece is completely unique. In this day and age, it’s inevitable that we all have clothing, accessories, tech gadgets, and more, that are all mass produced. As someone who despises matching other people, I avidly seek out thrift stores and original-esq pieces that are curated to my lifestyle. So, me, being someone who clearly has individuality issues, this company speaks to me in many ways.

Not only is their philosophy of sustainability fantastically refreshing, the process of their work really speaks to their passion and craft. Exhibit A: they hand collect all of the flexible plastic (plastic bags being one of the worst cases of non-recyclability today) around their city in Brighton, UK; once collected, they melt it down (about 100 bags per speaker) and press it in their molds; each piece is then signed by the artist that creates it, adding, yet again to the uniqueness factor.

I really hope this company succeeds in their fundraising goal. It’d be amazing to see this product shake up the art and design industry!

Delivery Robots could be the cutest new tech idea of 2019

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@amazon

I love Amazon. I’ve used Prime for almost 6 years now, and even after my half-price student discount ends in the near future, I will continue to use it. A teacher of mine who is an avid book worm (he owns thousands of books, and I mean, thousands) told our class he saved almost $5,000 in the first year since getting his Prime account.

The mailing system in our country (and the world for that matter) still amazes me to this day. Yes, certain packages can take weeks to be delivered, and we’ve all had something disappear in the mail at one point or another. But 9 times out of 10, it’s within a few days (in the case of Prime, only 2!) that something – even from across the country – gets to your door.

When you think about how the first few years of the postal service were serviced with horse and buggy, it’s mind-boggling to think of the millions of letters, parcels, packages, and more that are all delivered each day. And not to mention the data the average consumer can get their hands on nowadays. With the Delta app, I get a notification when my suitcase is loaded onto the plane. I know that’s a little different than your average delivery, but with a simple tracking number, I can see one of my packages being delivered tomorrow only has 12 stops until it gets to my apartment building. How is that not crazy incredible?!

I hear people complain about having a shipping confirmation tell them it’ll take 3 days for their order to get to them. 3 DAYS?? C’mon that’s nothing. I understand there are things you can’t wait for, or maybe even need ASAP, but 3 days. The amount of infrastructure, organization of people and places, etc. to get you that fidget spinner you have. to. have. right. this. minute. Give me a break.

So, after this brief gush about one of the modern marvels of the world, let’s insert the latest of the greatest technology (that’s not the saying, but oh well). Amazon is now testing delivery bots. Now, they are completely adorable. And quite honestly I’d love to get a delivery from one of these lil guys; but they do look pretty…dopy. Here’s a short video:

Amazon just started testing these buggers about a month ago. But, Door Dash – a food delivery service from restaurant to home – has been doing research and development of this since early 2017. I honestly haven’t heard much about it, even though this Buzzfeed video had more than 8.7 million views. Guess I’m out of the loop. This short video actually shows the articulation of the three wheels (it’s actually pretty wild!) over curbs, and the camera and sensor systems in place.

Now, my main critique of such a service was actually the possibility of theft. Not necessarily the food (although that would be terribly unfortunate for any hungry person waiting anxiously) but rather the bot itself. One of the Door Dash techs said that they are coming up with ways to deter the thefts however. So the video above kind of debunks my short-lived theory.

I will say, stealing and damaging property were some of the things I thought would ultimately destroy the city scooter phenomenon (back in Portland last year, and now Detroit). But all of the scooter companies seem to be doing great, with most, if not all, of their assets still up and running to this day.

I have to say, I’m kind of excited to see what happens with this. The next revolution of delivery is heating up people! If only Paul Revere could see us now.

The Tattoos of the Future

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@mc10

I’ve always admired, and wanted tattoos. Unfortunately, I find myself to be too spontaneous for such a permanent decision. Being in the art and design world too, my tastes and aesthetics end up changing very frequently. Especially when it comes to typography (which would inevitably be my first type of inking) my favorite font from last month, is now repulsive to me. So, I’ve deliberated for years on tattoos, but can’t seem to figure out what I want to do.

Insert the temporary options. I’ve drawn on myself with pens, sharpie, paint, henna, etc. (much to the chagrin of my father), and it always fills the flippant temptation for an actual tattoo.

MC10, a tech and medical research mogul, created flexible circuit “tattoos” that aid in bio level readings. Though they aren’t main stream yet (they’ve partnered with a couple of companies and schools since the original drop in 2015) I have a feeling this sort of application will be extremely useful (and inevitably fashionable) in the future.

Wearables – especially watches – were the majority of “hit products” at CES this year. But these flexible, tattoo-like patches completely blow those gadgets out of the water (in my humble opinion). I’m not looking to slap these patches everywhere on my body to replace a normal tattoo, especially since these are primarily medical at this point in time, but tech like this is really intriguing for a few reasons.

If these patches had the capability to monitor bodily functions (heart rate amongst the more obvious reasons) and then send that info/data to a user’s app, it would be pretty cool. In a day and age where data collection is becoming more and more popular (and accessible) for the average person, the seamlessness of this technology would be incredible.

There’s been luminescent, projection mapping, and audio-file tattoos. But imagine being able to ink yourself, and have it serve an actual function.

when being the same is popular, do something different

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@android.police

Samsung is one of the biggest tech companies in the world right now. They have been the benchmark for many products in the past, and they just made history this week, bringing out the first foldable phone ever.

Now, I am an avid Apple supporter – mostly due to the fact that I love how efficient the seamlessness is between my iPhone and Mac. Quite frankly, I’ve never been a brand enthusiast. I’m not very particular when it comes to staying true to a company. I like what I like, and what I purchase reflects this – brands typically don’t have a big influence on that. So my current Apple monopoly isn’t necessarily out of respect for the brand, more so the necessity of work flow.

I currently have an iPhone 6 and a 15″ Macbook from 2014. So I’m clearly not concerned with having the latest and greatest gadgets either. My point is, the product development of Apple hasn’t excited me recently. I had no urge to run out and get the iPhone X, and yet, I have no urge to shop around for other brands. Nothing has caught my attention. Apple tends to stick to the same proportions, aesthetic, and materials. I understand it’s a coherent product lineup, but their over-enthusiasm for the “redesign” of the camera from a horizontal orientation to a vertical one, is ridiculous. They could add 1 GB of storage and say it’s a whole new phone with “revolutionary capabilities” and people would eat it up.

I’m being cynical, but as someone who has been directly influenced by the evolution of phones (I had the Motorola Razr and the LG Envy in middle school) it seems ridiculous that nothing has been extremely progressive in the past few years.

Insert Samsung and their most recent Galaxy release. We don’t know the exact name of the phone yet (rumors have dubbed it the X, F, or Fold), but the technology itself seems revolutionary. There’s a slew of problems that will become extremely apparent after consumers get ahold of it, but design isn’t necessarily supposed to have all of the answers in the beginning.

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@cnet

Innovation starts out with an idea. I had an Apple Shuffle iPod a few years after it came out. It didn’t have a screen, you had no idea what song was coming next, and you had no chance to choose. But, the idea behind it – the most compact music device of the time – was the priority.

I’m trying not to be overly critical about Samsung’s ability to change the phone game – that has been completely stagnant for at least the past 6 years – and frankly, I’m more excited about the prospect that big companies are willing to risk not only their reputation and profitability, but design capabilities, on a new concept.