2012 GM Advanced Tech Window

On the heels of Samsung’s touchscreen windows is this concept demonstrator from the GM Advanced Technical Center.

The Windows of Opportunity (WOO) Project was inspired by psychological studies indicating car passengers often feel disconnected from their environment, GM asked the Bezalel students to turn car windows into interactive displays capable of stimulating awareness, nurturing curiosity and encouraging a stronger connection with the world outside the vehicle.

One more step towards never talking to each other but through a screen.

Samsung’s Smart Window

More demonstration than something you will be installing in your home, Samsung’s Smart Window is nonetheless an interesting step forward in our march towards ubiquitous computing. Perhaps transparent devices aren’t that far off after all. One quibble which has been pointed out extensively is their blatant copying of other software UI. Surely there is more than one way to design a weather widget.
People love these demos, it’s been so heavily reported that I bet my mother will asking when she can install this in her kitchen.
*Best experienced with audio off.
Via OhGizmo!

Fuse Local

Fuse Local
Fuse Local
From fuseproject – a new kind of bike for modern urban needs.

LOCAL is the bike version of the practical pick-up truck: transportation you can live with – it’s utility and function isn’t limited to carrying a laptop or a sixpack. The sturdy, flexible front platform carries the groceries, surfboards, lumber and kids creating an ideal vehicle for a self-powered life. Inspired by the pick-up truck, a uniquely American vehicle that roamed the countryside in the same way that the LOCAL bike roams the streets. This is not a specialized commuter getting you from point A to B, it’s a real workhorse that you can use for nearly anything.

Fuse Local

Eric Topol: The wireless future of medicine

Filmed in Oct. 2009, Eric Topol says we’ll soon use our smartphones to monitor our vital signs and chronic conditions. At TEDMED, he highlights several of the most important wireless devices in medicine’s future — all helping to keep more of us out of hospital beds.
This future is already upon us. Unfortunately, like so much of modern medicine it’s reactionary and doesn’t address the reasons we need help in the first place.
Apologies if you are viewing this on a mobile device. TED is one of the few sites that, while having apps. to view their content, still rely on flash embeds for the web.
See also: Medicine’s future? There’s an app for that

Braille iPad

Braille iPad
A wonderful idea that transforms the iPads flat surface into Braille. The Omnifer concept seeks to make the iPad accessible to the visually impaired, thereby making them more accessible to the internet, on the go. When not in use it makes for a functional protective cover for the iPad.

Cycling Cities

Cycling Cities
Designer Jun Kwon’s submission to this years ISTD International Typographic Awards.
The brief was to create an information system for cyclists to find their way around cities with fresh thinking on what cycling in the city can offer and how the city can expand the potential for residents and visitors to cycle. And the solution should be Typographic skill.
Jun’s solution was to give cyclists a direction code with four colour schemes that they can immediately recognise the direction of where the cyclist is heading. Also the nearest points like underground stations or landmarks are shown with the direction code to help cyclists draw a mental map in their mind making cycling more predictable, efficient and enjoyable.
Cycling Cities

Bike Light by Fraser Mort

Bike Light by Fraser Mort

Bike Light by Fraser Mort is an LED dot matrix, where the cyclist can design and download their personalized graphics, animations or phrases to use as their rear light.
Bike light is milled out from one solid piece of aluminum, which encloses the 8×8 LED dot matrix. The bike dock is made from ABS plastic, and connects to the bicycles dynamo via a USB socket in the back of the light. The light is designed to look at home either on a bike or plugged into a home computer. Bike Light can be programmed with still graphics, animations or words and phrases via web-based software. Here you can exchange designs through an online community, posting them on networking sites like Facebook, Twitter or Flickr.
Love this idea but not a fan of the boxy form factor.

Nokia: HK Honey

Oh, how I miss Nokia’s concept videos and cameos by their research thought leaders. I guess with their ‘acquisition’ by Microsoft those days are gone forever.
Here’s a nice piece marketing their E7.

What we want to know is how these have changed and what success means today. Check out what we’ve found so far and then share your success story with us so we can help you make it happen.
Hong Kong is a hive city home to more than 7 million people. It’s here among the high rise apartments that product designer Michael Leung has created his own space bringing nature back into the metropolis one box at a time.

Project Aura: Bicycle Safety Lighting System

Riding at night can be a daunting and dangerous task; many biking commuters are faced with the issue of being obscured when riding on the streets. Visibility at night is a vital component of biker safety, hence the need for reflectors and attachable lights. However, some of these devices are not always effective especially from the side.
We created a system that requires very little rider input and maintenance, while increasing the visual footprint of bikers from all directions especially from the side. We accomplished this by expanding the surface area of light emitted through the use of RGB LEDs inside the rims of the wheels that change from red when slowing down to white when at cruising speed.
It should be noted that Project Aura is a lighting system which allows a rider to be seen, but does not replace a forward facing headlight to illuminate the roadway. By law (in Pennsylvania, the laws vary state by state) a front headlamp and rear reflector are required, use of a rear blinky is up to the rider’s discretion.

More here.

The WVIL Concept Camera

concept camera

Smart ideas. This would be a great niche for an Android based device.

The WVIL camera is a concept camera envisioned by Artefact’s award-winning design team. It answers the question: “what’s next for camera design?”
The patent-pending WVIL system takes the connectivity and application platform capabilities of today’s smart phones and wirelessly connects them with interchangeable full SLR-quality optics. It is the inevitable solution for photographers who expect the power of modern mobile devices but who also demand uncompromised quality.

More info. here

Rick Borovoy’s Junkyard Jumbotron project

Rick Borovoy’s Junkyard Jumbotron project, allows you to take laptops, tablets or phones in close proximity, arrange them in a layout of your choosing, to form a large singular display.
A project from the MIT Center for Future Civic Media. Via Core77.

UN01 – iPhone4 Photography Kit

UN01 - iPhone4 Photography Kit
Wonderful concept for a iPhone 4 case featuring design cues from traditional cameras. It’s a good fit I think; many people like to associate old analog conventions to modern devices and interfaces (hence the disease of superfluous references to the past in many iPhone app interfaces). Photography has been for me one of the primary use cases with my iPhone – the ability to shoot, edit and publish in one device is amazing. So it’s perhaps only natural to consideration a case that is an extension of that usage.
From their write-up:

We looked at the iPhone4, it was a camera hooked to a mobile network that allowed instant sharing of pictures and videos with friends and family. Clearly with this combination, the iPhone4 is potentially one of the most advanced cameras in the World but we feel this capability and potential hasn’t been fully celebrated or realized.
Starting with the camera function, we wanted to do something to enhance the photography experience, so by simplifying design cues from traditional cameras, a modern camera cover design emerged. Next was how to design this cover so it would remain tight and secure and could not snap off, hence we developed the two piece sliding design with locking ring mechanism. Finally, how could it be readily accessible and handy at all times for those instantaneous spur of the moment pictures, and for this we borrowed from the neck strap design of professional cameras.
The result is UN01, a functional cover designed to bring to life the iPhone4 as a camera.

Read more

Gesture Sharing for Smartphones and Tablets

Gesture Sharing for Smartphones and Tablets
Amnesia Razorfish has replaced the typical ‘send and receive’ interface with a more natural ‘gesture-based’ interface. A smartphone owner can now move their content freely between two devices by simply dragging content off their phone onto a Microsoft Surface Table and back onto another device instantly.
The iPhone and iPad become small windows to a larger system. A natural evolution of what Hoccer is doing with their app.
From FastcoDesign:

Part of me wishes all our devices worked like this — afterall, a mini-version for iPad could conceivably work too. The app currently works with iOS devices and is being updated for Android and Blackberry compatibility. In any case, we totally agree with Amnesia Razorfish’s creative director Iain McDonald when he says that “the previous barriers which stood in the way of getting content on or off your phone have been completely removed with this software.” Now if only we could get rid of the necessity for the Microsoft Surface altogether.

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