Thursday, December 23, 2010

ID tag combines online and offline tools to help get lost pets home

ID tag combines online and offline tools to help get lost pets home: "

We've seen a few different high-tech methods of keeping tabs on roaming pets--through GPS and RFID, in particular — but Canadian Blanket Online ID takes a different approach. Its BlanketID tag taps into the web to facilitate just about everything that could help a lost pet get home.

Pet owners begin by purchasing a Canadian-made BlanketID tag for CAD 24.99 and then registering it with the British Columbia-based service. The tags come in a wide variety of colours and patterns, and CAD 3 from the sale price of each tag goes toward the company's fund for animals in need. Included in that price is also the owner's first year of membership in the BlanketID service. As part of the registration process, pet owners create an online record of their contact details as well as photos, medical notes and other details about their pet; that information is available for editing and updating as it changes over time, so new tags need never be ordered if an address or phone number changes.

Should a pet with a BlanketID go missing, the owner simply notifies the service, and it will automatically send a broadcast email to the local SPCA, animal hospitals, shelters and other local BlanketID members. Included in that email is a link to the owner's online data so that everybody has 24/7 access to all the information they might need to help identify the lost pet. Owners, meanwhile, can print a “Lost Pet” poster from their account. When the pet is found, the finder can enter the BlanketID tag number at the company's website to gain immediate access to all of the information they need to care for and safely return the pet.

Traditional, engraved pet tags have room for limited information and can only help while they're still on the pet, while the BlanketID's online information means that shelters and vets can watch out for and identify a pet even if its collar is gone. Currently, the BlanketID broadcast service operates only in North America, which leaves plenty of opportunities for distributors in other parts of the world.



Spotted by: Jamie Mollas


RachelFDCooper: RT @MikePress: Personal Manufacturing - will it lead to a new wave of digital manufacturers? @NESTA_UK event

RachelFDCooper: RT @MikePress: Personal Manufacturing - will it lead to a new wave of digital manufacturers? @NESTA_UK event "RachelFDCooper: RT @MikePress: Personal Manufacturing - will it lead to a new wave of digital manufacturers? @NESTA_UK event"

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Monday, December 20, 2010

Announcements posted on Blackboard

Dont forget to start checking your university emails and Blackboard for announcement updates, several messages have been posted today to all students.

ideo: RT @shoshinproject: Great interview with @ideo founder David Kelley on creative confidence, innovation, and the power of a child’s mind: ...

ideo: RT @shoshinproject: Great interview with @ideo founder David Kelley on creative confidence, innovation, and the power of a child’s mind: ...

TikTok/LunaTik update: The clock winds down on the watch that kept winding up

TikTok/LunaTik update: The clock winds down on the watch that kept winding up: "


The Kickstarter pledging period has ended on Scott Wilson and MNML's TikTok/LunaTik iPod Nano watch kits, announced with the understatement of the century: 'This project successfully raised its funding goal about 11 hours ago.' The funding goal was $15,000. The pledged amount was $941,558, so it was overshot by, oh, $926,558, and it's the most successful project in Kickstarter's history.

You'd think Wilson would be somewhere in Mexico by now sporting a fake moustache and a huge suitcase--maybe I'm just projecting my own fantasies here--but instead he's on the ground in Hong Kong, getting the manufacturing ready to go. (Read our earlier Q&A with Wilson here.)

Your correspondent has received an advance edition of the LunaTik (seen above and yes, I pledged) and viewed up close, this thing is suh-weet! The hot-stamped and CNC'd aluminum has an air of precision that seems like it should cost a heckuva lot more than the $69.95 it's going to retail for, and pledgers are getting it for a steal at just $50. With any luck the final production units will soon be making their way onto airplanes, cargo ships and wrists. Congrats again to Scott and MNML!

By the by, now that the pledging period's over, the watch kits can be ordered at their permanent website here.


IDSA's IDEA Awards 2011 - Call for Entries

IDSA's IDEA Awards 2011 - Call for Entries: "


It's here. The annual awards program that represents the best in industrial design by the organization that's helped shape the industry for longer than anyone else. IDSA is now accepting entries for it's 2011 International Design Excellence Awards , and it's your time to select and submit your best in-production work from the past year. With categories spanning every aspect of the field, your product has the chance to garner international business and design acclaim from audiences that matter. This is more than a chance to show off amongst your peers, but an opportunity to let the world know why our work makes a difference.

Visit IDSA for complete details on registering and entering. The deadline for entry is January 28th, 2011.


julian mayor: intersect task light

julian mayor: intersect task light: "
crafted from three pieces of tinted acrylic the task light slots together without any additional fasteners and uses
a flat panel LED matrix as the light source.
read more"

alex bottle

alex bottle: "
with the rise in portable drinking vessels, there have been a number of new bottle types launched in recent years. the alex bottle takes a slightly different approach with a stainless steel modular design that opens up in the middle for easy cleaning and can be compacted to half size when travelling.
read more"

fujitsu design award 2011 : ross lovegroves comments

fujitsu design award 2011 : ross lovegroves comments: "
the award is composed of two categories: the LIFEBOOK Category that studies what PCs will be like in 2013, the near future; and the LIFE DESIGN Category that studies what next-generation computing devices will be like (including
service concept) ten years from now in 2020.
read more"

Friday, December 17, 2010

Instead of Styrofoam, milk proteins and clay

Instead of Styrofoam, milk proteins and clay: "

All the many environmental offenses that have been committed by Styrofoam over the years have made it a prime candidate for replacement by an eco-friendly alternative. That's a big part of the motivation behind Ecovative's Greensulate, which we covered back in 2008, and it's also a key factor underlying the creation of AeroClay.

AeroClay is a Styrofoam substitute that's formulated using an eco-friendly, water-based chemistry incorporating clay and polymer blends. Known for its extremely low density and high air content — it's roughly 95 to 99 percent air by volume — AeroClay is based on a patented technology developed at Cleveland's Case Western Reserve University. First, clay is dispersed in water and mixed with milk-based polymers; then, it's poured into a mold and freeze-dried. In addition to being lightweight and made from readily available materials, AeroClay is also biodegradable. After being compressed, it springs back to its original shape.

Perhaps best of all is that by manipulating the manufacturing processes and materials used, AeroClay products can be produced with a variety of different properties and a wide range of possible uses. One to test out for your next green-minded venture...?



Spotted by: Ken Green


omri barzeev: starlight

omri barzeev: starlight: "
starlight is an LED table lamp by israeli designer omri barzeev.
read more"

marlon darbeau: peera

marlon darbeau: peera: "
a re-interpretation of a traditional small bench from trinidad and tobago, 'peera' extends the function of the seat by also acting as a cover for a large wooden toolbox container.
read more"

celsius: leDIX

celsius: leDIX: "
described by its designers as a 'functional objet d'art,' the combined cell phone and mechanical timepiece sets the fast pace of modern technology to the backdrop of the ticking of time's passing.
read more"

The Studley-est chest you've ever seen

The Studley-est chest you've ever seen: "

If Henry O. Studley had lived 150 years later, he'd be designing circuit boards. As it stands, Studley was born in 1838 and worked as a piano maker, carpenter and mason. Sometime in the 1890s he designed this amazing tool cabinet, which has become known in woodworking circles as the Henry O. Studley tool chest.


God knows how many years it took him to perfect this thing, but it holds 300 tools in precisely-fit locations, measures just 40 inches tall, 20 inches wide and 9 inches deep, and is so heavy it requires three men to lift.


Studley made the chest while he was an employee of the Poole Piano Company in Massachusettes, and presumably acquired the cabinet's materials from piano-factory cut-offs: The chest is made from mahogany, rosewood, walnut, ebony, and mother-of-pearl.


lekki phones

lekki phones: "
lekki is a french company aiming to buck the trend of ever-improving mobile phones, by refurbishing vintage handsets.
read more"

Thursday, December 16, 2010

martyn_evans: Future vision of communications in 2030=smart everything! (via @rachelfdcooper)

martyn_evans: Future vision of communications in 2030=smart everything! (via @rachelfdcooper): "martyn_evans: Future vision of communications in 2030=smart everything! (via @rachelfdcooper)"

martyn_evans: Revisiting the seven principles of universal design: (via@IDSA)

Revisiting the seven principles of universal design: (via@IDSA): "martyn_evans: Revisiting the seven principles of universal design: (via@IDSA)"

david lee: the continual chair

david lee: the continual chair: "
with no established form of its own, the structure of this chair constantly changes based on user interaction.
read more"

SkyLifter hopes to build a better blimp by going round

SkyLifter hopes to build a better blimp by going round: "

Most dirigibles are roughly cylindrical, which makes them susceptible to crosswinds. This can make it tricky to, say, lower a heavy load with precision when the wind is not cooperating.

An Australian company called SkyLifter has realized a circular shape would be a better design decision; the wind hits it and goes around it like water flowing around a smooth pebble in a stream. Thus they're developing an eponymous and gi-normous circular blimp that will reportedly be able to haul 150 tons over a distance of 2,000 kilometers without having to set down. That means the SkyLifter could conceivably transport a miniature hospital to a disaster site inaccessible by roads, among other heavy stuff. These things could put the Ice Road Truckers out of business.


Another cool design feature, beyond the circular shape, is the novel Voith-Schneider propellers they use to provide thrust and steering. They're closer in design to paddlewheels than standard fan-style propellors and can change the direction of thrust almost instantly. You can briefly see what they look like in this vid:

SkyLifter is currently in the testing phase, starting with scaled-down versions of the design and gradually ramping up the size.


Understanding design's return on investment

Understanding design's return on investment: "


In 2009, respondents to the European Commission's public consultation on 'design as a driver of user-centred innovation' were asked about the most serious barriers to the better use of design in Europe. The most significant obstacle was considered the 'lack of awareness and understanding of the potential of design among policy-makers' (78%). The second most important barrier was considered the 'lack of knowledge and tools to evaluate the rate of return on design investment' (64%).With regards to the first barrier, design is increasingly being recognised as a tool for innovation across policy levels in Europe, and in October 2010, the European Commission included design as a priority in its new 'Innovation Union' strategy.

As design climbs the policy agenda, the importance of addressing the second barrier of evaluating the return on design is more relevant than ever. Evaluation is a vital part of the evidence to support decision-making and in the context of government cuts needs to be able to stand up to rigorous scrutiny.

A new SEE Policy Booklet seeks to provide an overview of current practice in design evaluation, on micro and macro levels in both the private and public sectors.

> Download booklet


Wednesday, December 15, 2010

audi R18 le mans

audi R18 le mans: "
audi opted to go with a closed canopy design for it latest le mans prototype, the R18. for the first time since 1999, the automaker abandoned the open top design to improve aerodynamics and reduce driver fatigue.
read more"

scott wilson's kickstarter iPod nano watch project

scott wilson's kickstarter iPod nano watch project: "
'tiktok' and 'lunatik' are perhaps the most thought out iteration of turning the iPod nano into a multi-touch watch. scott wilson's desire was to create a collection that was well designed,
engineered and manufactured from premium materials, complemented by the quality of apple products.
read more"

Animalask cuckoo from Westergaard Designs

Animalask cuckoo from Westergaard Designs

Atari wall stickers

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Black+Blum launch design process videos

Black+Blum launch design process videos: "

I love that in just a few years, YouTube has gone from cute things your cat did to being able to look inside a popular product design studio. Cheeky London-based design house Black+Blum

(you'll recognize the name from their High & Dry dishrack, above) have recently released a series of videos describing what they do and touching on the process behind some of their products, narrated by founders Dan Black and Martin Blum. Here's a few to get you started:



egg shaped mobile home

egg shaped mobile home: "
measuring six feet in height, the egg shaped home is a response to beijing's soaring rental prices.
read more"

atelier thomas pucher: sinfonia varsovia concert hall

atelier thomas pucher: sinfonia varsovia concert hall: "
the floating wall inhabits the symphonic hall and all rehearsal areas. it floats above
the foyer – thus a seamless extension of the surrounding park.
read more"

BBCClick: Scalextric comes to iPhone/iPad today & Android Q1 2011. Not GT5 but you can build ur own track - if you can find all the pieces! :)

BBCClick: Scalextric comes to iPhone/iPad today & Android Q1 2011. Not GT5 but you can build ur own track - if you can find all the pieces! :)

Copic Markers