Estimote is the creator of iBeacon devices that can be used in a variety of settings to make digital interactivity in the physical world. From retail spaces to museum appilcations, Estimote has created smaller beacons that can attached to different objects in your house. Placing one on your bike can show you where you rode it and notify you if someone moves it. Attaching it to your a flower pot can remind you when it was last watered. Since Estimote is releasing their Software Development Kit, the possibilities are endless as other developers will find new purposes for these small smart devices. Smart dog? Sure. Smart coffee mug? Why not. It may be too early to tell the true value of smart everything, but Estimote is getting us there in style.
A quick note about this section
Our passion for designed objects is the direct result of our passion for well made things. We are always on the lookout for smart and well made products that are physical manifestations of a daring spirit of adventure; new ways of thinking about the world. Outfitter is where we share our current favourites along with a little window into how they came to be.
We’ve all heard of wearables, but nearables might be the next device that empowers your life.
Giving Out Helping Hands
The inception story of the nonprofit, e-NABLE, which is little more than a year old demonstrates what happens when strangers meet and collaborate, their collective skills creating something revolutionary. It all started when American Ivan Owen shared a video of a mechanical hand he had made for a Steampunk convention. Across the world, in South Africa, a carpenter named Richard Van As saw it as a solution to his plight. He had lost a few of his fingers in carpentry accident. He reached out to Ivan, asking for his help. Ivan agreed and together they went to work on creating a prosthetic.
Our First Venture
Ventures Update is a recurring feature that tracks the progress of one of our own creative projects. The inaugural Venture is the design and development of a Canadian Icon: The Tuque.
It's the hardness of the land that makes people soft. Newfoundland is an unforgiving landscape. It denies the pathetic fallacy, but at the same time reinforces an irrational love of the place.
Forming Robots From DNA
Fighting cancer effectively means attacking only the effected cells. DNA Robots seem to show great progress.
Where There’s Sunshine Underground
Major cities are centres of construction. Condo after condo, new office towers, sports centres and more each take their own slice of the city, each evolving it and sharing it with their own footprint. Eventually, land runs starts to thin and we realize we've missed one important thing: public green space.
The Not-For-Profit Sculpture
Rick Lowe was creating political art, works infused with messages of social change. This is not new. Many artists have done it. From the likes of Shepard Fairey to Eugene Delacroix.
Collaborative Ice Cream
Ice cream will never be the same. With flavours that include ‘Black Olive Brittle & Goat Cheese’, ‘Sea Salt with Caramel Ribbons’ and ‘Toasted Coconut with Candied Macadamia Nuts’, an ice cream company is changing the way we think about this dessert. On Yelp, one customer wonders, “How do they pair such perfect flavours together?”
Itamar Kubovy believes that ignorance can be a powerful ally. The Executive Director of Pilobolus, a New York based experimental dance troupe, constantly works to redefine the company and how they approach their craft. In recent years they have paired up with non-choreographers to push the practice forward, working with dance outsiders like illustrator Art Spiegelman and illusionists Penn & Teller.
The Humanity in a Factory Robot
Baxter is a red robot with two large arms and a screen featuring two eyes. "Not a week goes by when somebody doesn't comment to me”, told Jim Lawton, Chief Marketing Officer at Rethink Robotics, “‘Wow, I love working with your robot. They're so engaging and friendly and I just love the smile".
What Does Data Sound Like?
Brian House effortlessly flows from data to code, artistic expression, music, and back again. This intersection of skill and understanding lends uniqueness and exacting clarity to his art. It's evident that only someone of his multifaceted nature could come up with his work; he is an artist who is helping us feel data.
In the early grades of school, we learn about explorers. We hear about their journeys: how they traversed the Atlantic, pushed through heavy North Pole snow and planted their feet on new soil for the first time.
Reimagining something familiar is one of the most ambitious things a designer can do. The chair is one of the most difficult of all. Despite the diversity of chairs out there, how can you improve on the basic design?
One such instance is the Seaboard. What first looks like a wonky George Foreman grill turns out to be a musical keyboard. But unlike traditional pianos, all its keys are black and, even more unusual, they are made out of a malleable material. That makes the keys soft and creates a continuous playing surface. This […]
Mini Mobile Robotic Printer
Jonathan Stein noticed something about printers. The ubiquitous devices that sit on our desks were, in fact, quite simple. In effect, he realized that it was just a box that moved from side to side and “printed” the document.
Kids these days. They play on iPads and iPhones tapping on fake birds in slingshots and skeuomorphic drums. Adults might lament and wonder if kids are gaining anything from all that tapping. Whatever happened to turning a cardboard box into a car?
“Don’t you think it’s strange”, comments Nicholas Roope, Founder and Design Director at Plumen, “that the lightbulb, an object so synonymous with ideas, is almost entirely absent of imagination?”