The geeks (and I mean that in the nicest way) at Squidder have combine their favorite things; t-shirts, Papervision and Twitter, to create this live status t-shirts. The shirts have fiduciary markers, translatable by webcams or camera phones. The markers are encoded with your user name, to look up and display your latest Twitter post in a movable 3D format in front of your chest.
Nike has come up with an interesting concept for a worldwide 10K run that they are calling The Human Race. The race is scheduled to take place on August 31 2008. In 25 cities, such as Vancouver or Madrid, there will be organize race routes. But participation is not limited to these cities. Nike is encouraging anyone with the Nike Plus software and hardware to also take part. Their website offers training routines where you can track your progress.
I'm always looking for great examples of hardware and software coming together. SenseSurface got me very excited. It is real physical turn dials being applied to laptop screens to control software. The knobs are magnetic and promise to be gentle on your screens. The sensing knobs have a custom designed movement sensor to determine position within approx 180 degrees with a 10 bit digital output, linearity typically 1%. Designed by Lyndsay Williams.
I stumbled across this Starbucks Quick Order application for the iPhone or iPod Touch. I believe the application is just a concept, but I hope it becomes a reality. Quick Order allows you to select your desired beverage using your phone, with detailed information such as size, type of milk, and any desired extras. The application then produces a 2D barcode for you to scan yourself in the store to avoid the line. You can save your favorite drinks for an even faster order process next time. Quick Order also includes a Quick Pay feature, with a predefined amount of credit, to complete the process. This application is well though out with great graphics and a nice overall Starbucks feel to it. This concept was created by multimedia designer Phil Lu.
Robotlab is a future thinking group of Germans who create social interaction experiments between people and robots in public spaces. One of their more recent projects is entitled Bios [Bible]. It is a museum exhibit where an industrial robot is writing out the Bible on scrolls in a calligraphic style as monks have traditionally done. If the idea of this makes you gasp a little, that's a good thing. The project is meant to make people question their thoughts on faith and technical progress.
I saw the new iPhone commercials today and my excitement has been renewed. I've gone through a few phases in my opinion of the iPhone (thus far). When I first saw it I wasn't that impressed. Yeah it's a nice design. Minimal buttons and a big touchscreen, but so what? Lots of other companies can/are doing that. Then I watched Job's keynote introducing the phone and I was totally hooked (you had me as scrolling). But that was a while ago. In the past few months every iPhone wannabe that has been released has made me less and less excited about the iPhone. These commercials today reminded me about what made me so giddy watching the initial keynote. That thing that Apple does so well; combining useful functionality with innovative user interfaces and housing it a sleek outer package. It's about putting equal importance on hardware and software (and packaging for that matter), bringing them together to complement each other, trying to perfect every aspect of the experience.
If you haven't already heard, Nike and Apple have teamed up to create a training system called Nike +. It consists of a insert for your Nike + shoes and a receiver that attaches to your Apple Nano. Data from your run is transferred onto the Nano, tracking your pace and run time. Data can monitored through the headphones as well as tracked over time on your computer. iTunes has also put together special playlists to optimize your training.
Not only is this a powerful partnership but what I really like about this system is that it is the kind of great idea that designers come up with as concepts but never make it to production.