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Tag: DESIGN

Woodland Contraption Plays Bach, Peddles Phone

This gorgeous commercial -- conceived by Morihiro Harano, the award-winning creative director of Drill, Inc. -- features a sort of sloping marimba, down which a wooden ball rolls, producing an unadorned rendition of Bach's Cantata 147. "We did not add any artificial music at all," Harano tells the New York Times. The things people do to sell a wood-encased phone! Are we philistines for kinda...

Electronic Drum Trousers Take Young Engineer Prize

Drummer and engineer Aseem Mishra got tired of lugging his drum kit to gigs. Naturally, he fashioned a pair of musical jeans to take its place. The pants -- sorry, trousers -- have eight sensors woven into the fabric, and are hooked up to a backpack with circuitry and speakers. Each sensor corresponds to a different drum, and hitting them duplicates the sound of their real-world equivalents....

Artificial 'Clouds' Could Cool World Cup 2022 in Qatar

Although perhaps less prone to absurd extravagance than the neighboring United Arab Emirates, Qatar always seems to have some project up its sleeve that would bankrupt most countries of its size. It landed the 2022 World Cup by promising to air condition the open-air stadiums it built for the games. To accomplish this difficult (and incredibly wasteful) feat, Qatar is constructing a fleet of...

Video Turntables Make Picking a Flick More Social

The Video Turntable is a unique installation that debuted at the Encounters Film Festival in the U.K. this week. The display uses QR codes to lead participants to a website on their smartphones, where they pick the trailer of one of the films being shown at the festival. Once selected, the trailer is projected onto a round bar table that viewers can gather around and watch together, allowing...

This Interactive Laser Harp Doesn't Sound Like a Harp

Moritz Waldemeyer, the designer who created a 'Home Disco' out of lasers and a smoke machine, has unveiled his latest installation: a laser harp. Consisting of a black obelisk surrounded by a cage of laser beams, Waldemeyer's harp uses light sensors and an Open Frameworks app to create sounds whenever a person interacts with the laser field. Waldemeyer's "weird and wonderful" soundscape is...

Cornell Roboticists Print Tiny, Flapping Ornithopter

Rapid prototyping and 3-D printing continue to find new uses, the latest neat-o product being these tiny ornithopters (machines that fly by flapping wings). Cornell roboticists printed themselves a minuscule 3.89-gram ornithopter -- a creation that would normally take days to design and build, but took mere minutes with the 3-D printing equipment. Check out the video above of the...

All-In-One Gadget Stand for Apple Fanboys (and Girls)

Sorry, Apple fanatics -- it's just a prototype. But if Andrew Kim is as clever as this all-in-one iPad/iPhone/iPod stand suggests, you should be able to get your iLoving hands on it soon enough. The plastic on plywood PolyPly lets you snap your devices into place, and even leaves room to connect their cords. It's beautiful in its simplicity and matches Apple's minimal designs without just...

Now, Even Your Lunch Box is Watching You

The LunchCommunicator, developed by Japanese researchers, packs a camera and touchscreen PC that automatically records the person making lunch and plays it back while the other party is eating it, and vice-versa. Maybe it'll make school kids more appreciative of their mothers' efforts, but it just kind of makes us uncomfortable. We figured the one place we didn't have to check for a spycam...

EaTheremin's Noisy Forks: Because Utensils Weren't Already Annoying Enough

Do you wonder if the urbane baritone who narrates those DigInfo News spots ever has to record multiple takes because he's laughing his (possibly) Australian ass off at those consistently wacky Japanese inventions? I do. Because I'm not sure I'd be able to say "chicken skin can generate vibrato effects" without breaking into some kind of fit of giggling burp-ups. Anyway, these are forks...

Sci-Fi Movie Interfaces: Why Transparent Screens Are Miserable to Use

Yesterday, we sat in on the excellent 'Made it So (Interface Makers in Movies)' panel at SXSW with Chris Noessel, Mike Fink, Mark Coleran and David Lewandowski, some of the designers behind the on-screen interfaces in movies ranging from '80s classics 'Blade Runner' and 'WarGames' to modern day blockbusters 'Avatar' and 'Tron: Legacy.' The panel followed a simple question and answer format,...

Yves Béhar's $10K Phone for Æsir Doesn't Scream Classy

Yes, it's a $10,000 phone. Why? Why not! Do we question man's desire to set forth and conquer new lands? Do we question our strive to push our bodies to heretofore unknown limits? We are human! This is what we do! A €7,250 cellphone that is sort of ugly as sin, lacks a touch screen, and has a memory on par with your first PC? You guys, that is basically like walking on the moon. ...

Google Previews Updated Blogger Interface at SXSW

Tumblr and Twitter may be the hot sharing sites in 2011, but millions of bloggers got their start on Google's free Blogger, a site that hasn't had major visual refresh since 2004. Google previewed Blogger's redesign at SXSW, and it looks like the classic blues and oranges are out in favor of whiter and wider writing tools. No word on launch date, but Google says it's coming in 2011....

Nils Ferber's Motorcycle Runs on Screwdrivers

Occasionally function should take a backseat to form. Take this three-wheeler, resembling, ever-so-slightly, a medieval torture device. Built by German designer Nils Ferber, the vehicle hits (a likely dangerous) 18.5 mph. It's powered solely by a pair of 18-volt-screwdrivers. The driver, doubtless possessing balls of steel, sprawls across the length of the vehicle and steers by leaning to...

Electronic Music Gets a New Weapon With the 'LinnStrument'

The fellow that brought us the drum machine -- that 1980s game-changer -- is still at it. Roger Linn's LinnStrument, which you can hear in the preview video after the break, is a marvel of a modern music-maker. Arrayed in grid form, the touchpad of notes adjusts pitch, timbre and expression according to finger movement and pressure. Geeky? No doubt. But it sounds roughly like a theremin on...

London's W Hotel Snaps Photos of Environment, Screens Them On Its Skin

One of the more impressive lighting design projects we've seen lately is this installation by Jason Bruge Studio, which appears on the facade of London's W Hotel and manages to be that rare mix of high concept, high tech, and lovely execution. Cameras mounted on the hotel's roof record the surrounding landscape. A software program then converts the images into panoramas, compresses the...