Remember just a few years ago when Apple was lambasted for shipping a one-button mouse with its Macs, and there was constant speculation as to why the company stubbornly refused to offer a multibutton option? The given reasoning was that more buttons would confuse people, even though PC users seemed to do just fine with them. Not that Apple has always shied away from a bit of complexity in the mouse arena--just look at the first Mighty Mouse--but still, there has been something about one-button products that Apple has consistently liked; both the iPhone and iPad have only one button … Read more
A life-size replica of the Bloodhoud SCC was unveiled at the Farnborough International Airshow on Monday. The organization, which uses the supersonic car as a teaching vehicle to promote science education throughout schools in the U.K., also uploaded an animation of the Bloodhound's 133,000-hp propulsion system.
The Bloodhound will attempt to break the … Read more
Let's say you want to take public transportation to a meeting in the 'burbs, but your destination is about a mile away from the train station. Sure, you could call a cab, wait around for a bus, or break a sweat walking. But if you don't have the time to spare or don't want to wrangle with bus schedules that match up to train schedules, you might be tempted to scrap the whole plan and just drive.
That's the problem Treadways aim to solve.
Treadways are motorized shoe attachments that can be used as a last-mile transportation solution that you strap on where public transit drops you off. Designer Peter Treadway recently entered his personal mobility solution for the James Dyson Award (namesake of the famous vacuum cleaner reinventor), a competition for newly minted design engineers who have invented a product that solves a problem.
Less bulky than a skateboard and easier to transport than a bike, Treadways are ideal for covering longer walking distances. The advantage of motorized shoes over current portable transportation solutions such as scooters, Treadway says, is that you can easily carry Treadways with you and don't have to worry about locking them up or babysitting them all day. In fact, Treadway, who also designs a line of messenger bags, is working on a bag specifically designed to carry his motorized shoes. … Read more
Check out these great illustrations from the 1960's, possibly done by Henry Drefuss' office, envisioning how the aesthetics of the electric grid can be improved. These are from a little-known book called Power Styling, commissioned by United States Steel. The book introduces the concepts this way:
“The problem of locating electric power structures and lines is becoming increasingly difficult. The public is sensitive to and critical of the appearance of such facilities which traditionally have been designed on a function-reliability-safety-initial low cost basis with little consideration given aesthetics. Remedial measures taken during or after erection are usually of limited … Read more
Vehicle wraps are no longer just for cheapskates offsetting their car payments by advertising a flavor of Cheetos; they're the latest way to customize a car.
Joining Ford and Mini, Smart unveiled a new line of removable vehicle wraps in its Smart Expressions program to customize its ForTwo vehicle. Owners of the micro-car can select from 27 predesigned full or partial vinyl wraps or design their own. Wraps start at $1,350 plus installation and have a warranty for three years against fading, peeling, and cracking.
The less graphically inclined can select from 93 environmentally-friendly new paint colors, or, … Read more
I used to think of dirty car windows as, well, dirty car windows. Now, thanks to Scott Wade, I think of them as blank canvases awaiting an artistic touch, masterpieces in the making. While most people would be content to etch a simple smiley face or "Wash me!" onto a grimy rear window, Wade paints painstakingly detailed drawings, including classics like da Vinci's "Mona Lisa," Botticelli's "Birth of Venus," and Vermeer's "Girl With a Pearl Earring."
The man known as the "Dirty Car Artist" lives in Wimberley, … Read more
I hope you are sitting, and not standing. For this is in fact the final episode of Gadgettes. Yes, it sucks. But the show will always live on in the archives. Before you start re-listening to every single past episode, enjoy our final sendoff where we (appropriately) cover nearly all of the segments from the show.Subscribe: iTunes (MP3) | iTunes (320x180) | iTunes (640x360) | RSS (MP3) | RSS (320x180) | RSS (640x360)… Read more
Whatever you may think about Apple, there is no denying that it continues to set new standards for its craft. Craft? Yes, that seemingly old-fashioned word that many confine to quilting, scrap-booking, and other pursuits often disparagingly categorized as women's activities. My alma mater, the California College of the Arts, dropped the word craft from its name years ago, feeling that it was dragging the image of the school down. But craft as a concept has made something of a comeback in recent years, and no company in the mass-production realm is doing it better than Apple.
That's … Read more
As we're inundated with hero shots of the iPad every day, on every billboard and the back of every magazine cover, it appears to be a good time to rethink the relationship between advertising and product, between marketing and innovation. It's not that Apple doesn't spend any money on advertising--no, it was pouring a whopping $500 million into its launch campaign for the iPad. But what is different is that Apple's marketing doesn't have to be clever or utterly creative. In fact, it is stunningly not so. No major social media campaign needed to be sparked, no user-generated content contest needed to be held. And while the ongoing tongue-in-cheek anti-Microsoft ads are undeniably cute, they are not really an advertising revelation. Gone are the days of the bold "1984" campaigns. Today, Apple earns enough attention to forgo any ostentatious marketing, in fact, so much that a cleverly orchestrated campaign would distract from the brand rather than boosting it. The company simply displays its products--that's all it takes. Apple's products are viral without any viral marketing.… Read more
For this week's concept car Friday, we're taking a step back from the supercars and luxury sports sedans that we normally feature and take a look at the People's Car of the future. It's no secret that Volkswagen's New Beetle is at the end of its life cycle and that a major redesign is just around the corner. But what will this Newer Beetle look like? We hope not nearly as bland as the new Jetta, but VW isn't talking.
Meanwhile in Brazil, where the classic VW Beetle (or VW Fusca, as it is … Read more