October 10th, 2013 – A few years back Parrot teamed up with designer Philippe Starck to create a set of next-gen “Zik” headphones; noise canceling, hands-free calling and Bluetooth capabilities with concert hall-quality sound and a hyper-intuitive touch panel located on the entire right earpiece. This week, Parrot has announced an expanded range for the popular headphone collection with the launch of the Zik “Gold Collection”. The new collection includes three variations of the Parrot Zik, offering something for every taste and style: yellow gold – matte white with a yellow gold skeleton, rose gold – matte white with rose gold details, and black gold – Sleek black monochrome.
The Zik “Gold Collection” offers the same innovative technology as the Parrot Zik “Classic” – noise canceling, hands-free calling and Bluetooth capabilities with concert hall-quality sound and a hyper-intuitive touch panel located on the entire right earpiece.
To change a song, you just swipe your finger left or right against the right panel; to change volume, you move your finger up or down; to pause, you simply remove them from your ears. A free dedicated app, Parrot Audio Suite, enables users to personalize their sound.
Parrot Zik hosts the most advanced technologies in the Bluetooth wireless audio and telephony headphones. Designed as an extension of your Smartphone, it is equipped with a touch panel on the surface of the right headset for volume, music tracks or phone calls control with a touch of your finger, and one of the many powerful functions is their Active Noise Cancelling system that can capture and reduce noise.
The Parrot Zik “Gold Collection” will be available in November 2013 for $399 at retailers including Brookstone, Barneys, Bloomingdales, Fry’s Electronics, Apple, Ron Robinson and Parrot.com. The classic Parrot Zik, designed in black with silver accents, will continue to be an option for consumers as well.
June 28th, 2013 – Do you want the good news first? Or the bad news? Good news is that British Airways is leaping ahead of the airline pack by creating a highly innovative Electronic Bag Tag, so you will always know where your luggage is. The bad news is that with the deteriorating and desperate state of most other airlines outside of British Airways, it’s doubtful the e-bag-tags will be implemented into other airlines in the near future – if at all. UK-based creative agency Designworks have partnered with British Airways to develop the Electronic Bag Tag, which will make it’s debut next month. British Airways is to trial the state of the art electronic bag tag that could do away with the need to have a new paper tag every time you fly.
Once checked in, customers just need to hold their smartphone over the electronic tag, which automatically updates with a unique barcode containing their flight details and an easy-to-see view of their bag’s destination. Designworks have provided insights, design and engineering expertise to deliver fully functioning bag tags for the live trial to evaluate the effectiveness of this new concept. Lewis Freeman, Designworks lead designer for the project said ‘this step into digital tagging of luggage is a huge leap forward enabling your luggage to become a connected object, providing a seamless experience for frequent travelers with British Airways.’
Not requiring a traditional paper tag to be printed and attached, customers can then save precious time by having their electronic tag quickly scanned at the bag drop, going straight through security to relax before catching their flight. It is intended that the patent-pending hi-tech tag can be used time and time again.
Frank van der Post, British Airways’ managing director, brands and customer experience, said: “This is a fantastically simple, yet smart device that gives each customer the choice to have their own personalized electronic baggage tag that changes with the swipe of a smartphone – every time they fly. “As the saying goes, ‘good things come in small packages’, and this innovative device is no exception. Have a nice flight.
May 22nd, 2013 – Swedish born industrial designer Victor Johansson’s new Ceramic Stereo seamlessly merges the physical and digital to create interactions with improved sensory richness. Using the Ceramic Stereo is simple; connect your smartphone device via bluetooth, place your phone on the wooden center, then move your phone towards a specific edge of the speaker where the phone will detect a command (play, pause, radio, etc.).
Johansson constructed the Ceramic Stereo during his final year at London’s prestigious Central St. Martins University, to illustrate a cohesive way of human interaction with digital design.
“The Ceramic Stereo is one of three outcomes from my degree-project at Central St. Martins. This means that there is about 6-months worth of research and design work preceding the concept,” Johansson explained. While building the Ceramic Stereo, the designer seemed to breeze through the technicalities of constructing the device, but molding the ceramic was a different story. “What took the longest was to create the ceramic bowl itself, I had no prior knowledge to working with ceramic so this was quite a challenge, luckily the amazing technicians at CSM helped me.”
“The interaction-design paradigm of the moment is being centered around swiping our fingertips on glass. May it be phones, tablets, computers, in-car systems, or even refrigerators.” Johansson wanted to reach further, and create objects that humans can interact with in a less tangible way, such as voice commands and waiving your hands in the air.
More tangible options do exist. These options often offer more natural interactions with greater tolerances and error margins and that stimulate a wider range of human abilities than it’s screen counterpart. However, more often than not these tangible interfaces end up having very few functions and limited in terms of adaptation and customization. The Ceramic Stereo is Johansson first stab at creating an interactive product containing user friendly commands that act upon movement.
May 15th, 2013 – It’s about time. The past fifty years have been dominated by large clunky headphones that don’t cater to female form. Somebody needed to solve this acoustical travesty, and that somebody is Sweden-based industrial designer Maria von Euler, founder of the female-friendly headphone company Molami. Von Euler combined quality audio with avant-garde design, incorporating a function meets fashion ideal with their latest Twine Headpiece – headphones truly designed with the contemporary individual in mind.
Twine is a soft headpiece made of silk-satin and chiffon blends that comfortably wraps around your head with 18K gold accent pieces – giving you a unique listening experience. The headphones are designed from a fashion standpoint, worn as a selected accessory and tailored for the style savvy individual. Von Euler has meticulous attention to detail that can be seen in each pair of Molami headphones – from the tailored silhouette of each model down to the braided textile-wrapped cords and discreet accents plated in gold and silver.
Photography By Molami
“It’s signature crown still provides an effective means for changing the hour while its hidden e-ink screen shows off the vivid color bands with exceptional definition, ultimately maintaining an analog aspect while also providing a longer battery life.”
Hinting toward the arrival of more e-ink reading technologies in flexible devices, the ‘Swatch’ Ring Watch concept is cool stepping stone for the wearable technologies industry and will surely be the inspiration for more creative and visually pleasing wearable gadgets.
Photography By JVG
December 30th 2012 – A team of designers based out of the charming little surf town of Encinitas, California think headphones should be as gorgeous as a piece of fine jewelry. Frends, (a suitable name for the creative team who are a tight knit group of comrades) created dainty earbuds that are the audio equivalent to a pair of classic stud earrings transformed into a genius sound machine. The Ella Earbuds are crafted out of materials that are usually reserved for luxury goods and the team has used particular jewelry-making techniques for the construction, causing detailed form to meet function and high quality.
Frends recently released two pairs of headphones; the Taylor, a larger yet feminine pair of headphones, and the Layla, the mini version of Taylor – both designed to be a more feminine solution to clunky headphones. Ella is the third addition to the collection; a meticulously handcrafted metal design that comes in Gold, Rose Gold, or Silver. The soft touch fabric cord comes with an easy three-button mic with volume, music and phone control. We owe a massive thank you to these southern California creatives who are giving the world a stunning alternative to the traditional over-sized chunky headphones!
October 23rd, 2012 – Massoud Hassani grew up in Afghanistan. As a child him and his brother used to build small toys that rolled. The two boys would take the small toys out in the hills to play with them, but as the wind would pick up the toys would roll faster than their little legs could carry. Eventually the boys would have to let the wind take their toys, because the land was covered in millions of land mines. Hassani explained that some kids, would attempt to get their toys, but the consequences to that choice was fatal.
Hassani has been riddled with concept after concept of how to detonate the mines to allow the local people to use the land safely for the past twenty years. during his graduate studies at Design Academy Eindhoven, the 25 year old was able to experiment with his theories on a grander scale. He took the same idea that he had as a boy, a device that could roll over the land, but he needed to make it strong enough to withstand the power of the explosion.
Early prototypes of the Mine Kafon would explode to pieces along with the detonation of the bomb. Now, Hassani has designed a GPS integrated Mine Kafon Ball that will not explode when the mine goes off – the ball will continue to roll to the next mine to release the detonation. The ball is constructed of three parts, the spherical core, 70 bamboo legs that stick out from it, and black round surfaces for the feet. Check out the landmine seeking device in action in the video below.
(Video By Callum Cooper )
September 24th, 2012 – It might be time to kick your movie watching experience on your mobile into high gear with the new Mini Cinema for iPhone 4/4S. This fully non-powered device will not only magnify the screen, but also has a pair of epic speakers thanks to the cone shaped sound amplifier. You’ll get a much larger display and a louder sound without batteries, cords, power or any constraints! ($68.00)
(Photography: Mini Cinema For iPhone)
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August 28th, 2012 – Hailing from good ol’ Californ-i-a we know firsthand that the average surfer really doesn’t need anything more than a board and a decent swell (with the exception of a comfy Lazy Boy during intervals of couch surfing). But that doesn’t stop surf innovators from tirelessly striving to enhance the sport. With that in mind, we couldn’t help ourselves from digging a little deeper past the root beer scented Sex Wax to see what’s happening in the surf industry around the world – beyond simply the beach and the board. What did we find you ask? We’ll tell you.
We found Chris Garrett diligently shaping a new, cutting edge (literally and figuratively) Finless Board in Indonesia. We also found the pro team at Volcom hanging out on their new Half Pipe Boat off the coast off Hawaii. Another great find? Over in France, Nixon has debuted their Supertide Watch which will track the tide levels. After a closer look at these surfing innovations we knew we needed to call upon some expert advice. We caught up with master chef, art gallery owner, and the funnest guy to have a laugh with on a night out in Santa Barbara, Oliver Parker. Why is he our expert? Oh yeah, because he’s also a professional surfer. Parker chimed in on some of these gadgets, even adding tips on how to make your own homemade versions. Enjoy beach babes!
Brooklyn, NY - Boutique bag company Baggu came up with a simple, yet clever idea for carrying your board. Throw your board over your shoulder with the Surf Sling, then fold it up and pack it away once you get to your surf spot.
Oliver Parker: This is totally cool and very useful. I find that many longboards these days , are not only heavy, but also too wide to fit under many peoples arms. This seems like a stylish answer to the long haul to any beach.
Hawaii – Volcom made one of their dreams come true recently. They had an idea to build a half pipe on water, after some sketching and schematic planning, the team constructed their first Half Pipe Boat. The boat floats outside the break, and can be used to mesh the worlds of skateboarding and surfing!
Oliver Parker: I wonder if this half pipe comes with a scuba diver? or did they design skateboards that float as well…
Bali - Ok, the name says it all… It’s a finless board. Surfboard shaper Chris Garret originally designed a similar version of the Finless Board for a close friend of his, but has now designed a newer version for Deus Ex Machina – to release to the masses.
The new board has a fuller nose entry that flows into a double tit swallowtail with all sorts of channel bottom goodness, more grip than slip. Built for carving rail turns, giving you hold, while allowing you the freedoms of a spinning turntable. you really got to ride it to believe it.
Oliver Parker: I love that there is a movement towards alternative wave riding vehicles. It seems like these avant garde trends are coming and going though, probably because in order to have a good session you need to get really Cosmic! check out this video of Derek Hynd the original preacher of the finless foam board.
France – Time your surf sessions right and you don’t even have to think. And who wants to think? Dissolve your brain in saltwater. Get lost in the explosion of a backside bash. Or a frontside slash. Escape life on land and head for the water. With the rhythm of the tide displayed in high-resolution detail, The Supertide Watch syncs you up with the motion of the ocean so you know exactly when to go!
Bengkel - The talented team of surfers, shapers, and motorcycle makers at Deus Ex Machina took an ol’ 76 Honda C70 and completely re-worked it a beach bum’s dream. The team say’s “The old engine, all 70 cc of it, ran a 6 volt system electric system, something almost unheard of today. Add two parts of just plain ‘old’ and stir in a generous portion of ‘unreliable’. Fold into the mix that sourcing parts was proving to be a bit of a bastard. And you got a recipe for change.”
USA – The HD HERO2: Surf Edition is the most advanced GoPro camera yet. Amazing new photographs are being captured in surf photography as the HD HERO2 grabs up 10 frames per second. Wearable and surfboard mountable, waterproof, capable of capturing professional full 170º wide angle 1080p video and 11 megapixel photos! ($300)
Florida – The new Darkfin Gloves are webbed gloves that make swimming, surfing, snorkeling and scuba diving a great deal easier. The durable latex rubber is seamless, with amazing flexibility and superior grip capabilities. Word on the street is that it takes a little while to get used to, but once you are accustomed to the gloves it will give more strength as you paddle out. ($25)
New York – One of the surfing community’s favorite artist Joe Hodnicki created a new series of hand crafted Hand Boards for those who like to body board. The series of Hand Planes were created for the Surfing Heritage Foundation, Hodnicki refers to the boards as ‘Guppies’, adding that there are “plenty of “guppies” in the sea.”
Oliver Parker: So you’re going on a business trip near a good wave or a honeymoon in Hawaii and don’t want to lug around your surfboard. With one of these little bad boys, and a pair of swim fins you will find yourself body surfing like never before! If you are caught in a bind with good waves approaching and no board you can always use a plastic cafeteria tray found at taco bell or In-N-Out.
Venice - Hand Shaped by Todd St. John, the Indoek Wax Kit, is a beautiful and functional case to hold our sticky bars. Indoek says the “unique design is reminiscent of surfboard shaping planes.”
The container well is approximately 2.75 inches and is a perfect fit for most circular wax molds, and the comb tines are on the bottom edge and the scraper is a detachable lid! ($105)
San Diego – The Wheel Bicycle Surfboard Carrier makes lugging your oversized surfboard to the beach a breeze. The trailer attaches and detaches to any bike quickly and easily, and comes equipped with a handy luggage area to carry wetsuits, gear and other beach supplies hands free! ($200)
Italy – Our favorite reason to keep out the rays; SUPER’s new VISIVA series! Revisiting the hand-crafted prints seen in Spring taken from 70’s and 80’s beach postcards, scientific illustrations and tropical-themed photos. The Summer outing of the VISIVA range sees the same retro-kitsch prints revived on a top-notch resin crystal acetate. ($295)
Australia – On summer’s eve, 17 Strongbow surfers descended on Bondi Beach in custom made glow-in-the-dark surfboards + wetsuits as an official “welcome to summer.” Hundreds of onlookers lined the beach & the Bondi Icebergs balcony to catch a glimpse of the spectacle.
UK – Orlebar Brown is celebrating their 5th anniversary with a series of photographic swim shorts, these ones titled Bulldog! The shorts are a limited edition collaboration with the Getty Images Archives, with vintage pictures hand selected by a panel including people from Getty and Orlebar Brown. Our favorite part about the collection is that 10% of all proceeds going to the Blue Marine Foundation.
Oliver Parker: These shorts are Rad, also check out the line of shorts Niel Barrett designed for Sundek! The trend seems to be moving towards a cleaner simpler design for shorts these days. I must say shorts that stop right before my knee are always more comfortable than the super baggy shorts of the 2000′s.
New York & California – Admit it ladies, wetsuits never looked so good! We’re not just seeing this Cynthia Rowley / Roxy collaboration pop up on the beaches, we are seeing it on the cover of international fashion magazines. The Geode Wetsuit is the latest of woman’s wetsuit shorts, where Rowley used a patchwork technique to add strength and style to the garment. ($195)
June 28th, 2012 - Lindsay Windham, co-creator of the Snooze iPhone Dock say that she is “tired of fumbling for our iPhone alarm in the morning.” So are we, and I’m sure you are too! Windham along designers Adam Printz, and Nate Justiss make up Distill Union, a Charleston based creative company. The trio were determined to fix this iPhone alarm issue – their solution came in the form of a clever bedside stand with a big snooze bar. The dock is constructed of solid, American-grown maple, ABS plastic, and a little bit of rubber to act as a sort of safety cushion for your iPhone. At night, slide your phone inside the dock, and when it goes off in the morning you get to take a little aggression out on your alarm by slapping the big snooze button (try not to go overboard with the aggression though). Get yours here.
(Photographs: Distill Union)
This year, Apple is making sure you are having no tech problems during your holiday travels! The tech company has put one of their stores smack-dab in the center of Grand Central Station! (well, actually it’s a little to the side, North-East side to be exact). As of last week, the store opened up on the mezzanine of the famed station, open air to the historical painted ceiling and bustling holiday foot traffic. Smart location for an Apple store considering how many people zoom through the station on a regular basis, giving travelers a perfect opportunity for last minute gift shopping!
This Multi-Touch Glass Keyboard and mouse combo is the first with a touch-sensitive glass interface. The tempered glass touch surface is easy to wipe clean, and by design it’s immune to those crumbly bits of scone that somehow always find a way to get between the cracks of your keys (Okay, okay, by ‘scone’ we mean apple fritter). There are no moving parts that will wear out or snap off, you know after the abrasive typing that only comes with a doughnut-induced sugar rush. The keyboard has a metal base and printed keys on the back of the glass. Plus, these braniacs also kept in mind pesky, unsightly cords – both the keyboard and mouse are wireless and rechargeable. The touch technology is what they call ‘FTIR’ – for those of us non-geeks out there it stands for “Frustrated Total Internal Reflection.” We’ll brak it down for you guys. Basically, infrared lights in the glass are reflected with the touch of a fingertip, a camera picks up the reflection, and software sends the appropriate info to your computer. Pretty snazzy, right?
Industrial tech engineer and inventor, Jason Giddings says he “loves the process of making new products,” and when it came to the Muli-Touch Keyboard he used a wide range of disciplines during the developing and designing process.
To ensure that the keyboard markings do not rub off, Giddings designed them to adhere to the back of the glass where it will avoid all traffic.
No longer is a ‘Klingon’ simply a snaggle-toothed villain from Star Trek. Nope, there’s a new definition and it’s far less threatening. The newKlinggon is the brainchild of Gustavo Leon and Francisco Garcia , who became increasingly frustrated with their headphone cords getting tangled into a hot mess while they were exercising. Without speaking for everyone, I think we can sympathize with their frustration. We’ll we’re happy to tell you that listening to your sweet tunes while running, cycling, skateboarding, or using your Shake Weight (Hey, we’re not here to judge) is all about to change. The dynamic duo explains, “The concept is to fasten the cable close to your body thus allowing us to fully enjoy your activities without constantly maneuvering around the earphone cable.” Knstrct touched base with Gustavo and Francisco to gather additional insight on this new solution to the pesky headphone cables. 3D Printing was used to create the soft silicon and rubber device that is infused with neodymium magnets. “The magnets are commonly used in computer hard drives and have tremendous pull force,” Leon explained. The duo has been researching prototypes and materials since November of 2010 and is now heading into production to get these bad boys off the drawing board and into your hands. Head over to Kickstarter to view out their video and check out our interview with Gustavo and Francisco below!
1. How did you and Francisco partner up for this project?
We both share a background of graphic design, marketing and advertising combined with an avid and constant desire to solve problems beyond the digital and print world. Despite we have known each other for years we had never worked together in the past and I guess the gravitating factor was a mindset of constantly looking to improve and invent upon and around existing gadgets We embarked in this project with a clear and simple vision, lets work towards delivering an unprecedented exquisite and refined device to solve a simple problem, and in this way the klinggon was born.
2. How did you come up with the idea for the Klinggon?
After being tired of fighting around the earphone cables at the gym, running and biking we kind of had an epiphany and after a few casuals chats on product development and design, boom all of a sudden we both coincidentally stumbled upon the same idea and almost instinctively we knew this was the right idea to fully invest ourselves into the project.
3. Out of all the prototypes you created, what was it about the final one that made it the final one?
Ooooooh that’s a tough one to answer, ok we go back to a few abstract concepts in design we had been trying to understand and it goes like when you see a product instantly the perception is one based on form and function, the surface and how it feels but not the thought process leading to the end result itself. After many prototypes we were simply not satisfied, in retrospect yes the form and function was ok but something was missing and we were running low in creativity so we kept on going back to the basic elements of the idea, I guess here is where trying to think out of the box helps so we said lets take a break and evaluate it with a fresh set of eyes. As a matter of fact we said lets switch tasks and evaluate each others contribution with a critical eye and yes you can guess what happened next, all of a sudden you take a pencil draw and there it is that “Ahha moment” when all of it falls into place and kind of gives you that “love at first sight” feeling. In hindsight it has been to an extent an exhausting intellectual exercise but also very rewarding from a learning standpoint.