Showing posts with label new technology. Show all posts
Showing posts with label new technology. Show all posts

The Entertainment Robot That May Just Transform Your World: The Keecker.

Created by former Google employee, Pierre Lebeau, it looks like a Roomba on steroids and acts like a mobile projection theater, security camera, concert hall, internet and wireless game console all in one. It’s like having your own little Robot that provides you with Google services, streaming entertainment, gaming apps, web-cam and more - it's a Keecker.

Looking For Great Tech Product Design and Packaging? Go Full TYLT.

above composite image by if it's hip, it's here

Every once in awhile a new brand comes along that has it all going on. Impressive product design, packaging, branding, even a well designed website with functioning e-commerce, good photographs and plenty of useful information. That's the case with TYLT, a California wireless accessory design and development company that has combined innovation with style. Their current product offerings include power products, audio products and protective cases.

above: examples of the package design for TYLT by NewDealDesign

Established in 2011, TYLT focuses on the world of mobile devices, providing you with about 20 convenient products for your mobile phones and tablets. Like many of you, I'd never heard of TYLT until they sent me three of their hip products to review with the understanding that if I did not deem them worthy, they would not be featured on this blog. No money was paid to me in exchange for a review, and believe me, none was necessary. A big thank you to TYLT for the three awesome products reviewed later in this post.

above: TYLT's home page

When the POWERPLANT portable battery pack, the YCHARGE, a dual USB Car Charger and TUNZ, a rechargeable bluetooth speaker arrived at my doorstep - one look and I knew they were gonna be blog-worthy. Once I got past the beautiful packaging created by NewDealDesign LLC, and tried out the products, my enthusiasm only increased.

I'm not alone, TYLT already boasts 3 CES Innovations Award winners at CES 2013 including: the Y-CHARGE Car Charger, the BAND Car Charger and the BAND Travel Charger. And reputable tech blogs such as Engadget, Slash Gear, CNET Asia and Tech Crunch have all lauded various products from TYLT.


Small (smaller than my iPhone), portable, lightweight (just over 5 ounces) and stylish, this is a 5,200 mAh battery back-up charger that has the capacity to fully charge your smartphone twice.

And with multiple ports (Universal USB and either Apple Lightning, Apple 30-Pin, and Micro USB versions available) it can charge more than one device simultaneously.

It packs the power it claims to and works with all Apple mobile products and Android mobile products. The appearance and functionality of the TYLT Powerplant do not disappoint.

Tylt Powerplant video:

Prices $69.99- $89.99, buy it here

The Y-CHARGE (2.1 AMP):

This little lightweight device is intelligently designed to charge two smartphones at once (or one tablet) in your car. The split Y-shape places the USB ports on each side so that the driver and passenger can each easily plug in their mobile phones and charge them simultaneously.

The silicone covered device weighs less than an ounce and comes in the four colors (bright apple green, bright red, bright blue or black) that appear on several of TYLT's products. The Y-CHARGE is also available in a 4.2 version and with a two foot Syncable.


Price $24.99 Buy it here

The TUNZ Rechargeable Bluetooth Speaker:

A nice looking compact wireless Bluetooth speaker equipped with two x 3-watt drivers and a passive radiator for exceptional bass, TUNZ has a built in noise cancelling microphone making it perfect for phone calls as well as music. The 2800 mAh battery takes about 6-7 hours to charge and can chat or play music (with the volume at 50%) for 20 hours -that's 10 hours more than the Jawbone Jambox. The design allows you to seamlessly switch from music to hands-free calling and the touch-free controls for Volume, Play, Pause, Answer & End Calls are very convenient. The speaker comes with three different colored (black, blue and red) vibration-cancelling silicone bands that also function as an attractive stand. And with a 1Amp output Universal USB charging port you can use it to charge other external devices.

The sound is impressive, delivering volumes up to 80dB. It's also NFC Enabled - includes Tagstand NFC launcher App for Android. TUNZ is priced less than the MSRP for the comparable Jawbone Jambox, a $180 speaker that helped create the portable category the new Beats by Dre Pill, a $200 model from the popular headphone brand, making it even more desirable.

Tylt Tunz video:

Price $149.99, buy it here.

All in all, TYLT products are well-designed small, lightweight and portable, but feel substantially made. Both the packaging and the product design are visually appealing, and the products feature the latest in technological innovations and compatibility. Priced neither outrageously nor dirt-cheap, they receive consistently favorable reviews from tech gurus. You can find several video reviews on youtube, almost every single one of them favorable. Therefore, my advice is to go full TYLT.

Here's a peek at a few other beautifully designed and packaged products from TYLT (shown in green for consistency):

TYLT is dedicated to shifting consumer expectations through best-in-quality accessories which innovate briskly to stay a step ahead of the fast-paced smart product launches. They have several more products including the impressive Energi Backpack.

See more and shop for these fine products at  TYLT.

Shoes With A Built-In GPS System. There's No Place Like Home by Dominic Wilcox.

Designer Dominic Wilcox has created a fully functional prototype pair of shoes that will guide you home no matter where you are in the world.
"I was commissioned by the Global Footprint project in Northamptonshire*, a place famous for shoe making, to create some shoes. I decided to make a pair of shoes that can navigate you to anywhere you wish to travel to. I thought about the Wizard of Oz and how Dorothy could click her shoes together to go home. After uploading your required destination to the shoes via a piece of custom made mapping software and a USB cable, the GPS, which is embedded in the heal, is activated by a heal click. It then communicates to the wearer via a ring of LED lights to point in the required direction. The shoe with the GPS wirelessly communicates with the right shoe that has a progress bar of lights to show how close you are to the destination." - Dominic Wilcox

Wilcox etched little illustrations onto the sole and chose a red calf leather for the inside as a small reference to Dorothy's red shoes in the Wizard of Oz:

The progress bar starts with one red light at the beginning of the journey and ends on the green light when you arrive.

The correct direction to walk is shown by the illumination of one of the LED's on the circle:

A little piece of software was created to plot your preferred destination on a map. This is then uploaded via USB to the shoe. The GPS is powered by a battery similar to those found in mobile phones. The data from the GPS in the left shoe wirelessly communicates with the right shoe which shows the progress made on a row of lights:

The perforated arrow detail is a nice touch:

The red tag at the back contains the GPS antenna which is positioned to point upwards. The shoes are built around two microcontrollers called Arduinos:

A magnet in the right shoe and sensor in the left shoe detects when the magnet is near and tells the microcontroller in the left shoe when the heels have been clicked to start the GPS.

In order to create the fully functioning prototype shoes Wilcox worked with interactive arts and technology expert Becky Stewart and local Northampton shoe maker Stamp Shoes to create the bespoke leather shoes.

The bespoke made GPS prototype shoes are currently on display at Dominic Wilcox's solo exhibition at KK Outlet, 42 Hoxton Square, London, until the 26th September.

*Global Footprint delivers an innovative and ambitious countywide programme of contemporary ‘living heritage’ events and exhibitions, using visual and digital arts to showcase and celebrate Northamptonshire’s defining cultural heritage and identity: its boot and shoe industry.

The industry will be brought to life by a series of special commissions, exhibitions, events, trails, projections and talks that utilise a range of new digital technologies to explore the boot- and shoe-making’s continued importance to the national and international economic, creative and cultural profile of the county.

Key partners include Northamptonshire County Council, Northampton Museum and Art Gallery, the University of Northampton, Fishmarket Gallery and numerous independent museums and heritage organisations.

images courtesy of Dominic Wilcox and inhabitat

Hi-Tech Goes Old School. IMPOSSIBLE Turns iPhone Images Into Instant Polaroids!

On their journey toward inventing a new analog instant camera, Impossible, who took over the last remaining Polaroid film factory in the Netherlands in 2008, has created the incredible Instant Lab. This revolutionary device is based on the new Impossible FPU and bridges the worlds of digital and analog photography, turning pixelated iPhone images into unique and real analog instant photos on Impossible film.

The Impossible Instant Lab is designed to transform any digital image via your iPhone into an instant photo that is exposed using only the light from the display, then processed and developed by chemicals. A photo that exists physically – in real life. A photo that is a one-of-a-kind original that can be shared, exhibited and preserved. A photo that no longer needs an electronic device to be seen.

Determined to reinvent instant integral film for vintage Polaroid SX-70, 600 and Spectra cameras, the Impossible Project continues to come up with new ideas and products for a new generation of analog instant film lovers.

The press release:

New York, USA, 10 September 2012. – After 18 months of intense research and development, Impossible today introduces a groundbreaking module for analog instant photography: A high precision platform named “Impossible FPU” (Film Processing Unit), that processes and develops Impossible instant film. This highly advanced device is the basis for a range of new analog instant cameras and hardware concepts to be introduced in 2013.

above: The first prototype, handmade in the Enschede factory from salvaged parts by Henny Wanders and the first test shoots.

When Polaroid discontinued camera production in 2007, all know-how, machinery and components linked to analog instant camera production were being disrupted. With Impossible being dedicated to today’s creative market of analog instant photography by re-inventing new instant film materials, the development of a new analog instant hardware was the next major ambition. Impossible reinvented the FPU from scratch, based on today’s available components and materials and new expectations and demands.

The IMPOSSIBLE FPU (Film Processing Unit)

The Impossible FPU will serve as the high-precision heart and modular platform of new analog instant photography instruments. All 48 components have been newly developed, including a new gear system, and unlike classic Polaroid hardware the FPU features a modern and ecological rechargeable battery. This allows the use of new, dedicated Impossible film packs that will no longer contain a disposable battery.

Prof. Achim Heine, designer of the FPU and Impossible R&D team member explains: “Classic Polaroid cameras were not much help when facing the challenge of developing a new instant camera concept. We had to rethink and develop innovative ideas for the future to make this possible. Today we are very excited to present the FPU as a new basis that will allow for a range of exciting and affordable analog instant instruments.”

The Impossible FPU was developed by the Impossible R&D team in partnership with DHW of the former Rollei Factory in Braunschweig, Germany. First concept studies based on the new FPU will be introduced at Photokina 2012.

The Specs:
• Dimensions (metric): collapsed 148mm long x 111mm wide x 62mm tall; expanded 176mm tall
• Dimensions (english): collapsed 5.8" long x 4.3" wide x 2.4" tall; expanded 6.9" tall
• Micro-processor-controlled film development unit with Smart Charger
• Li-Ion rechargable battery – 150(!) development cycles with one charge
• Cradle for iPhone4/4S and iPhone5 – have an Android device? Click here
• Compatible with instant film for Polaroid 600 and SX 70 cameras
• International Patent Pending

The first hardware concept based on the FPU is the IMPOSSIBLE INSTANT LAB, presented in a Kickstarter campaign launching today. This innovative tool turns digital iPhone images into real analog instant photos on Impossible film, using an accompanying Impossible iPhone app.

Florian Kaps, founder of Impossible explains:
“The Instant Lab is the Impossible answer to a question that we have been posing for a long time: Is there a convenient but truly analog way to transfer our everyday’s iPhone images into these unique, real and magic photographs we love so much? The experience of now finally merging the digital with the analog world of photography using this Impossible machine exceeds our wildest expectations."

The Instant Lab will see its first life appearance at TechCrunch Disrupt SF 2012.

Today they are launching a Kickstarter campaign running until October 8 and looking to raise a minimum of $250,000 USD - the necessary funds to turn their working prototype into a final product. If successful it is planned to introduce the Instant Lab in February 2013.

They have carefully planned a timeline for the mass-production and delivery of the devices approximately 22–24 weeks after Kickstarter funding, starting mid-February 2013. Orders are processed in the order received. Kickstarter is the only place they will offer the following for pre-sale. With your support they can make the Impossible possible.

Visit them on kickstarter here

Pinstagram, The Ultimate Mash-Up. Your Instagram Photos In Pinterest Format.

above composite of instagram and pinterest logos ©iihih

I was wondering how long it would take for the ever-growing Pinterest platform to combine with the incredibly popular Instagram app. Not long as you will see with Pinstagram, a new site by co-founders Brandon Leonardo and Pek Pongpaet.

Below is a reprint of the article "Pinstagram: How Instagram Should Look On the Web":

We have all seen those mythical hybrid animals, like the zeroed, a mix of zebra and equine, or perhaps the more commonly known beefalo, a mix of buffalo and cow. You may even be familiar with the leopon, the result of breeding a male leopard with a female lion. Hybrids are real. And there are others too, mind you. But it's not all fur and feathers; many such hybrids live on the Internet. Especially sites like Pinstagram, a "Pinterest for your Instagram images," as co-founder Pek Pongpaet describes it. In an increasingly visual Web, it's a wonder that this hybrid didn't come about sooner.

Like most things on the Internet, Pinstagram happened fast.

"We were joking one evening about how Instagram is worth $1 billion and how Pinterest's valuation might already be in the $500 million range," says co-founder Brandon Leonardo. "And we were thinking about the idea of a Twitter for Facebook, what that would be like. Then I could tell Pek started thinking about it. The gears started turning; he was visualizing a Pinterest for Instagram."

Not more than 24 hours later, Pongpaet had already coded and designed it. This sort of fast turnaround is pretty natural for Pongpaet and Leonardo, who come from a hackathon "get stuff out as fast as possible and ask questions later" type of background.

above: Pinstagram on the iPad

If this sort of idea had popped up within a larger company setting, for example, it would have "taken months," says Pongapaet.

Since Pinstagram's debut just a few weeks ago, the site has already seen about 6,400 Facebook likes of Instagram images, thousands of tweets and a few hundred pins.

Pinstagram: An Indicator of the Evolving Visual Web

Services like Pinterest and Instagram are integral to the future of the visual Web. No longer do people send photos to document memories; they are lifestreaming as it all happens, with pictures telling the story. It's no wonder that Facebook snatched up Instagram while it still had the chance.

above: my own pinstagram page

"The visual medium has always had international appeal," says Pongapaet. "Sending pictures is very common. If you stick to English, you'll alienate a lot of people. Visual mediums let you transcend all barriers. It takes seconds to process a photo."

What about Webstagram, the Instagram Web viewer? Isn't this a sufficient way to view Instragram images on the Internet? For some, it's perfect. But like many news Web sites, Webstagram is organized around "popular," "my photos," "liked," "hot," "photo of the day" and more. It feels more like a news website and less like a glossy, Pinterest-like magazine.

"The reason I built Pinstagram is because this is my world view of how Instagram should look on the Web," says Pongapaet. "Our core focus is to recreate the Instagram experience on the desktop and to be able to extend that to our users."

Not everyone wants to see their Instagrams in a Pinterest-like layout, however, and Pongapaet acknowledges that.

"There are always different interpretations," he says. "That's what great about art, about having different APIs - people all have different interpretations."

Pinstagram just integrated into Facebook Timeline. As the Instagram-Facebook integration continues to rollout, so will this nifty Pinterest-Instagram hybrid beast.- by Alicia Eler on May 11th, 2012 for ReadWriteWeb.

Below is a video interview with Pongpaet about Pinstagram:


LED Surfboards Light Up The Ocean.

Pukas, who has the biggest surfboard factory in Europe, designed some special awesome colored LED surfboards. Along with Juan Mari Indo, they developed the technology and aesthetics of the lightweight glowing boards and sent them off to some surfers to try them out.

Some of the “Leds by Pukas” were sent to Portugal for Tiago Pires’ joy. The second surfboard was pro-surfer Joan Duru’s new toy. And the third, well, the third didn’t last too much as Aritz thought surfing on a solid 6ft. barreling swell on Hossegor’s beachbreaks would look great. It looked amazing indeed, but it was a 5’6 meant to be ridden for airs or less heavy stuff. No photos or videos for his attempt and that board ended up broken (sad face).

In the video below you can listen to Juan Mari Indo’s thoughts on the surfboards, a decorator-adventurer-artist who has been key on the development of the LEDs, along the whole crew at the Pukas factory, specially Johnny Cabianca:

Nike 6.0 launched a huge campaign for The Chosen featuring 22 year old Biarritz surfer Naum Ildefonse surfing with the “Leds by Pukas”, directed by Surface to Air:

Naum Ildefonse with his LED by Pukas:

Surfers Tiago Pires and pro-surfer Joan Duru were filmed surfing on the LEDs by Puka in the following video:

So if you feel like ordering the most special surfboard you could ever imagine, send them an e-mail at because you might be able to own one…

About Pukas Surf:
Their surfboard factory is the biggest in europe, placed between Mundaka and Hossegor in the nearby area of San Sebastian and Zarautz, Spain's Basque Country. The shops and the surfschools are part of a group that employs close to a hundred people.


Thanks to Pukas and Fitenia Surf Shop for additional images

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