Data is beginning to flow from of everywhere these days. As mobile devices continue to spread we’ve slowly and steadily begun mapping our world, through our own eyes. We’ve got geotagging and image sharing networks, but what about the stuff we can’t see, abstract things like electromagnetic fields? Anthony Dunne and Fiona Raby have taken this idea and created these beautiful visualizations, which are like spatial holograms of bubbling information. I find the idea of visualizing things we can’t see an extremely interesting field. It’s like when you see maps of wind currents, we know it’s there but you can’t quite see it. There’s also the idea of emotional cartography, a term I think that was coined by Christian Nold, which can tell you things like the emotional states of people in a certain geographic area.
For the last 2000 years we’re a people who’ve relied upon geographical maps to determine our next location, but what if that changes in the next 100 years? What if instead you navigate based on your personal interests? We’re soon approaching a breakdown between the physical and digital worlds, so much so that I think one day we may have to come up with a new word for it all. It’s fun to dream up potentials for the future, and important to start making them reality.
Browsing through Dribbble earlier and came across the designer of the new Pay with Square icon, Robert Andersen. I was simply going to tweet “OMG MY BRAIN EXPLODED” but I feel like Robert’s work deserves more love than that.
The image is detailed beyond belief, I can’t imagine where he even started with this. Referencing the holograms you find on credit cards, Robert has created a piece of art that I would absolutely frame on my wall. What’s wonderful to me is that he put so much detail and love into this icon, something that most people (non-designers) won’t give a second thought to. So please take a second, click the image above to see the large version, and soak in the details in this labor of love.
Technology is allowing us to push the boundaries of how we do common tasks like using a calculator, as evidenced by Rechner, a gesture based calculator app for the iPhone. Designed by Berger & Föhr, Rechner allows you to swipe left and right to add and subtract, swipe down to open a menu for options such as multiplication or division, and swipe up for equals. It seems almost counter-intuitive to the way we currently do math, with dedicated buttons for each of these tasks. But when you watch the video it’s actually quite remarkable how easy it is to use this app, and how you could potentially work faster on it. It’s great to see people experimenting like this, shifting paradigms of how we normally work.
Continuing the idea of sound design a bit further from the previous post about Leg Bound, is “a movie from the point of view of the Solid Rocket Booster with sound mixing and enhancement done by the folks at Skywalker Sound.” You know how there’s no sound in space because it’s a vacuum? Well whatever the hell the cameras and recording devices are picking up on this video is something pretty strange and fantastic. I found the sounds to be rather soothing, you know, once the rocket has been detached and all that. It might not be the most engaging thing to watch, it takes about 8 minutes for the rocket booster to fall back to Earth, but strap on some headphones and take a listen to something you’ve never heard before.
Since then I’ve been wearing the FuelBand every day, testing it and seeing if I liked it or not. To be totally clear, I don’t owe Nike anything, and I wasn’t paid. If you’re unfamiliar with the what the FuelBand is, here’s Nike’s description of it.
Nike+ FuelBand tracks your activity through a sport-tested accelerometer, then translates every move into NikeFuel. Nike+ FuelBand tracks running, walking, dancing, basketball – and dozens of everyday activities.
The FuelBand has joined the class of lifestyle workout products along the lines of Jawbone’s UP and Fitbit. The idea is that these devices track your life, and help you live better. But there’s a huge distinction between the UP/Fitbit and the Nike FuelBand, and that’s accuracy. The Fitbit tracks your steps, your calories, the amount of time you sleep, and the UP does roughly the same thing. The FuelBand though tracks your movement, but the accuracy doesn’t really matter. What Nike has done is turn staying fit into a game.