// Blog Archive
Think about how many cumulative hours you’ve wasted with pens in your lifetime. You’ve spun them; you’ve drummed them; you’ve unscrewed them and launched their tops off like little rockets. And when it comes to fiddling, this magnetic pen is a quantum leap beyond your standard plastic Bic.
Polar, as the wonder pen is called, is a writing implement made of 12 neodymium magnets. But according to Andrew Gardner, the man behind the design, distraction was never the goal. “It wasn’t intended to be something to fiddle with,” he says. “I don’t like calling it a toy.” Indeed, the unique design does offer some functional benefits. It allows for a stylus tip to be hidden in the body itself, for one thing. It also lets the owner customize the implement to his or her desired size. The pen, which can be preordered for about $40, was intended to be a “modular platform where you can add new tips and new cartridges,” Gardner explains. It’s “a really organic platform for creativity.”
Gardner, who works as Indiedesign in Waterloo, Ontario, has been fascinated with magnets since a young age. He’s been an avid disassembler of pens for just as long. When those two passions converged earlier this year, he knew he was onto something right away. “You’d think it was more of a progression, but it wasn’t actually,” he says. He found it to be an elegant solution even before he figured out all of its, erm, extracurricular potential; the magnets hold everything together, so it requires no screws and no glue. “When I first came up with the design,” Gardner explains, “I actually did a lot of looking around, like, ‘how has nobody ever done something like this. This has to be done by somebody, so I better go do it.’”
Save your pets from loneliness! Watch, talk and play laser games with your furry friends through the mobile app anytime, anywhere.
Long distance relationships rarely work out. It goes with people, the same applies to pets. When you have that special bond with your cat or dog it’s heartbreaking to lose touch with them. Petcube brings people closer to their furry loved ones. As long as there are some bars on your smartphone you can check on your pet from any part of the globe. Through the built-in wide angle camera you can see your pet. You can have a conversation with her using speakers and microphone. But Petcube goes much further. It gives you a controlled laser pointer to bring the fun times with your pet to a whole new level.
It’s quite simple: we love pets and pets love lasers. And us, of course. It’s not all fun and games though. Petcube is a perfect tool to keep your buddy fit in case you don’t have enough time for long walks and special training. Support Petcube on Kickstarter.
Traditionally fruit gets stored in a bowl leaving them to get bruised and moldy as you forget about them over time. Now there’s Fruit-Wall, a minimal wall shelf that takes your fruit from the bowl and displays and stores it neatly on the wall. The Fruit-Wall gives you unlimited options and space to lay everything out so not only can your fruit breathe, it can add a beautiful bit of natural color to your kitchen.
The simple shelves give you and your family easy access to healthy fruits and veggies because they’re at eye level and easy to grab. It also makes it easy to see at a glance what you’re out of and might need to stock up on. As much as I love how handy and functional it is, I must admit I really love the ways you can display your food having all the vibrant colors arranged neatly. It’s like a constantly changing art piece for your kitchen!
Two students with a passion for jewelry and hacking did the impossible: They built a ring that doubles as a subway farecard and got legal clearance to use it on the Boston T.
Edward Tiong and Olivia Seow’s 3-D printed Sesame Ring features an embedded RFID chip compatible with the Boston MBTA’s CharlieCard (a rechargeable farecard similar to existing ones on the Washington D.C. Metro, the New York/New Jersey PATH, and the San Francisco/Oakland BART). Instead of fishing a farecard out of a wallet, pocket, or bag, a user simply swipes their ring at a turnstile and refills it either online or at a vending machine. The pair are students at the Singapore University of Technology and Design who developed the MBTA ring as exchange students at MIT.
Tiong and Seow’s company, The Ring Theory, recently raised $19,000 (well over the designers’ initial $5,000 goal) on Kickstarter, offering customizable rings for $17 each. Ring Theory’s initial design, shown above, is likened by the creators to a “wearable CharlieCard.”
In order to add money to their transit ring, users simply press their accessory to an MBTA vending machine, which adds rides as if it were a normal farecard. Tiong says in promotional materials: “We are not inventing anything new or cutting edge. We are looking at the most common technology that has been around for a long time, and saying, hey maybe we can do something different with this.”
AppSeed lets you take your sketches and make them into functioning prototypes, bridging the gap between pen/paper and digital, through computer vision. It allows you to sketch your designs as you normally would and then manipulate your sketches directly on your phone. Unlike similar products, the use of computer vision speeds up the process and understands your sketches. AppSeed can identify an enclosed space in your sketch, allowing you to make it into a button, input text, map, or another UI element. Making your sketch into a functioning prototype running on your phone.
AppSeed uses computer vision to make the process of going from a sketch to a prototype faster and smarter. Using OpenCV, AppSeed:
- Captures your sketched design
- Identifies contained areas of your sketch and allows you to make them into a number of UI elements, including: Buttons | Maps | Streetview | Form text inputswith more to be added based on your feedback
- Allows you to run the prototype on your mobile device
- Allows you to share the prototype as an HTML5 prototype with others
- Send the designs to a layered Photoshop file for editing
Sketch your designs on paper as you normally would. Capture your designs through your phone camera. This is where AppSeed starts to do some of the heavy lifting. It uses computer vision to automatically crop your design to the designated area, and isolate each drawn element. With your elements now isolated, you can interact with them. You can move them or make them function as the UI element you want them to be. Test your design on the phone and edit it in Photoshop through PS Connection. This creates a Photoshop document that has all your drawn elements on their own layers, giving you the pixel perfect control to move your design into the next stages of production.
Pre order the app on Kickstarter now.
How could you not be happy when writing with these Rainbow Pencils created by designer Duncan Shotton? I dare you not to smile as you sharpen these and create your very own rainbows. These are not only super fun, they’re practical (hello, we all write stuff down, don’t we?) and they’re made from layers of recycled paper so no new trees are cut down. Win-win!
Each pencil has a six-layer core made up of rainbow colors and finished in either black or white. Each set comes with five pencils and you can get your very own by jumping in on his Kickstarter campaign right now. They don’t write in rainbow colors and instead your standard pencil color making them usable for all occasions.
It’s a morning ritual: The alarm goes off, we groggily open our eyes, and promptly forget everything that passed through our brains during the night. It’s estimated that we forget 95 percent of our dreams within five minutes of waking up, meaning we lose the bulk of the the weird and potentially insightful stuff we think about while asleep. There are ways to abate that, but none are ideal. Dream journals are high-maintenance and just a little too new age, and the apps available leave much to be desired from an interaction and design standpoint. But Shadow, a new app recently launched on Kickstarter for funding, could be a convenient and beautifully designed solution to the problem of forgetting our dreams.
Created by designers Hunter Lee Soik and Jason Carvalho, Shadow is an app that makes recording and remembering your dreams extremely simple. On its most basic level, Shadow is an alarm clock/digital dream journal, but the designers ultimately hope to create the largest dream database in the world. Users set the clock before they go to sleep at night, and in the morning, gradually escalating volume and vibration gently rouses you awake. Most of the time, alarm clocks abruptly blast through your consciousness, ripping you from the depths of sleep. In contrast, Shadow’s alarm system gradually transitions users through their hypnopompic state, that not-quite-asleep, not-quite-awake phase, which has be proven to help you better remember your dreams.
A Glaswegian family-run business has come up with an innovative solution to smartphone battery life: OnBeat – solar-powered headphones that recharge your phone on the go. ”People are listening to music on their phones and draining their batteries,” says 25-year-old Andrew Anderson. “So why not have your headphones, which you’re using to listen to the music, charge your phone up again?
His father Frank Anderson came up with the idea in June 2012. They created their first prototype using an off-the-shelf solar phone charger and have since worked with Centreline Design to develop their idea further. Flexible solar panels on the headband connect to two lithium ion batteries — one in each ear cup. Your iPhone or iPad, or any USB chargeable device, then connects via USB and receives charge.
But Anderson, who is also a music producer, hasn’t scrimped on audio quality. ”We don’t want to create a novelty [product],” he says. “We want to create a good quality set of headphones”.
A Kickstarter project launched on 3 July aims to raise £200,000 and has so far raised just over £2,500. The headphones are currently at the prototype stage and are expected to retail at £119 — Kickstarter backers can get an “early-bird” discounted price of £69. Anderson expects to begin shipping by February 2014.
- Graphic Design
- Industrial Design