Showing posts with label Functional. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Functional. Show all posts

June 10, 2019

Long Nails

Ran into this lady in South Florida. 

Couldn't help but notice the nails. 

She told me she's been growing them like this for 29 years!

I asked if she had any difficulty typing, driving, or anything. 

And she told me she does everything with them.

No, I don't think that I want to touch these things. 

I'm only getting as close as the camera. ;-)

(Source Photo: Andy Blumenthal)
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January 10, 2019

Hyundai's Great All-Terrain Concept Car


Very impressed with the Hyundai concept "Walking Car."

It can drive, walk, and climb. 

I heard that this thing can even climb over walls and jump over gaps!

(Ah, I'm not going to say anything about border security with this--let's just hope the bad guys don't get this). 

This is the closest that we've come to Hollywood's Transformers.

This is much more than a vehicle for search and rescue--this is ALL-TERRAIN!

Great job Hyundai--I'd love to test drive this beauty!  ;-)
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December 5, 2017

Trendy - Shoes and Bag In One

I thought this was a very creative ladies bag.

It combines two things that many love--shoes and bags!

No, you're not putting your shoes in the bag.

And you're definitely not wearing your bag on your feet (that's another blog on innovation).

In this case, the shoes (and legs) are the design on the bag itself and make up the shoulder straps to carry it. 

Creative and fun thinking, right?

Also, I like the design of bold colors of the red and white sneakers and the blue jeans on the black bag. 

This is both functional and cool, and I like the trend of "mixing it up."

The straps are the legs and shoes--pretty smart! ;-)

(Source Photo: Andy Blumenthal)
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August 15, 2017

Happy Summer Shoes

Summer is generally a sunny and happy time of year. 

People throw off the thick winter coats and  heavy boots and wear some nice sandals.

I saw this one lady wearing these happy, colorful sandals on the Metro. 

I'd expect to see these more in Florida or California than in stodgy Washington, D.C. 

They were pretty awesome--trendy, stylish, even comfortable looking. 

Fashion is self-expression and freedom.

It's also artistic and a reflection of our culture and our desires. 

We need more color, more chance, more futurism from our fashion.

The clothes can shape not only our bodies, but the times we live in. ;-)

(Source Photo: Andy Blumenthal)
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July 31, 2017

Gorgeous Border Wall

Hey, I'm not for erecting walls when there is no need for them.

Who instead doesn't love to build bridges--full of peace and brotherhood, definitely. 

But after 9/11 and the ongoing, endless wave of global terrorism and serious threats that we are confronting (including from WMD), let's face it...we need secure borders.

This is called common sense security, and it's been highly regarded and employed throughout history and all around the world. 

That doesn't mean that good people don't come in...only that we have a thoughtful and effective way to work to filter the bad people out. 

Anyway, it seems that the bake-off of border wall prototypes has yielded this brilliant design.

If it's truly rugged and includes intelligent border security mechanisms such as sensors, surveillance cameras, biometrics, and so on, then this could be an awesome looking and functional option.

Time to stop the bickering and time to start moving forward with security. ;-)

(Source Photo: here with attribution to True Pundit) 
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June 14, 2016

The Continued Softening Of Microsoft

Microsoft should not be acting old and grey.

Yet they are throwing away another $26.2 billion dollars in purchasing the relative revenue and profit weakling, LinkedIn, the professional networking social media site (where odds are you have your high-level resume-type information). 

Have you ever paid a dime to LinkedIn or have you ever paid attention to  single advertisement on LinkedIn (I can’t even remember if there is advertising on there—see I pay it zero attention!)?

Unfortunately Microsoft is following suite with it’s worthless purchase of Nokia in September 2013 for $9.4 billion that was all written off and then some with yet another ridiculous, desperate move.

Microsoft has been living off their legacy product suites of Windows, Office, Outlook, and SharePoint for years…and apparently, aside from the regular forced upgrades, they seem to have virtually nothing in the innovation hopper. 

Hence, loser acquisitions of things like Yammer in 2012 for $1.2 billion (anyone use that BS Facebook-like service for inside their organization—work is not social playtime folks!).

Anyway, I like Microsoft products--they are functional, which is what I want from email, creating and editing documents, spreadsheets and slides, as well as sharing files--it's great for bread and butter tasks--nothing sexy.

But every attempt that Microsoft makes in desperation to expand beyond their core competencies comes up soft and a big money loser. 

Innovation and success is not bred by acquiring virtually worthless properties in terms of high-technology with no synergy to who they fundamentally are.  

It is almost heartbreaking to see a once great company like Microsoft continue to drown in its own excess cash and strategically hollow ideas.

Microsoft will only be successful by thinking beyond the boxed in windowed organization that they have imprisoned themselves in. 

I hope they can break a few windows and escape to some new technological thinking again soon--but the big question is whether they currently have the talent to make it so. ;-)

(Source Photo: Andy Blumenthal)

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June 3, 2015

What Smart Glasses Are Really All About

Sorry, but Google botched the Smart Glasses it called, Google Glass. 

Why?

- Geeky-looking
- Privacy issues (e.g. videocameras in bathrooms)
- Apps lagged with practical applications

However, I am certain that computers wearables or implants will take off--although probably not through this first iteration of the Apple Watch either--still don't know a soul who bought into this!

Until then, what about really smart glasses?

No, not the type that will provide apps and virtual reality superimposed over everything you see.

But rather, glass that medically allow you to see under any and all conditions. 

- It's a "one time prescription"--that adjusts with you as your eyes change. Like the machine the optometrist uses to change the prescription this way and that asks you which is better, only these glasses automatically adjust to whatever your prescription is that moment, day, or year. 

- Autofocus and zoom--want to see what's going on from the bleachers at the game or can't see the sign in the distance, simply focus on the person or object and voila you can see in zoom. 

- All Terrain--and no more bifocals--wherever you look--near or far--that is where the prescription adjusts to.

- All Weather--sunny days or cloudy skies--the glasses adjust to the light and conditions automatically--no more polarized shades. 

If you ask me, these are functionally smart glasses--and you don't need to go to the likes of Pearl Vision and get gouged on new glasses every year. 

Hey, and if your fashion conscious, you can still pop 'em out and fit them snuggly into another new frame with some designer's name on it, all made in China for about a buck. ;-)

(Source Photo: Andy Blumenthal)
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April 3, 2015

Lauding Over A Toilet Brush?


Not sure about this video on the SimpleHuman Toilet Brush

On one hand, it's funny to have such a serious video lauding the functionality and design of a toilet brush.

But on the other hand, the video is pretty darn convincing:

- Slim for easy placement and accessible for quick use. 

- A magnetic collar for picking up the brush and housing with one hand--no messy spills.

- With a stainless steel rod for stability and durability.

- Specially innovative design crescent-shaped brush for those hard to reach areas under the rim.

- Easily detachable brush for when you need replacement. 

- Comes in black and white--so fashionable. 

Ok, so now I have to admit that I ordered one of these today.

I'll let you know if it really works (Uh no!) ;-)
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February 2, 2015

Design Is Cool

I took this photo of this Design logo on the side of a bag this guy was carrying. 

It is from the Cooper-Hewitt National Design Museum in NYC (and if I am ever back in town there, I'd like to go there).

I like this logo a lot...everything from DE*SIGN to all the descriptions of design and why it's so important to us.

- "Design is art people use." (Design is artisitic and creative)

- "Design is communication." (A picture is worth a thousand words)

- "Design is the stuff around us." (It's practical and functional)

- "Design is a verb." (Design is something we do from coming up with the concept to creating the end product)

- "Design is systems." (Design is how we format and package and is integral to making the content easy to use and come alive)

- "Design is a way of thinking." (Design is big-picture thinking that connects the dots)

- "Design is problem-solving." (Design uses visualization to understand and think through process and problems). 

A good designer is invaluable and design is absolutely cool. ;-)

(Source Photo: Andy Blumenthal)
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October 14, 2014

Not Exactly A Genie

Okay, we all like a genie in a bottle (with G-d's help) to grant us our wishes for the good. 

A colleague told me that if he had a genie in a bottle, his first wish would be to have infinite wishes; his second wish would be for all his wishes to come true; and his third wish would be that all the wishes would be free of ambiguity such that the intent would be fully clear--nice!

But this here is no genie...this is an umbrella in a bottle. 

Twist the top (handle) and pull it from the bottle (case) and whoola, an umbrella. 

Cute design, but when I tried to open the umbrella, it felt functionally, like a piece of garbage (IMHO). 

Oh genie, how about an umbrella that actually works and who cares if it's in a bottle or not. ;-)

(Source Photo: Andy Blumenthal)
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June 7, 2014

A WOW Wheelchair

Absolutely loved the article and video in Bloomberg Businessweek on the Tankchair.

Brad Soden makes these amazing ruggedized wheelchairs for wounded veterans and other disabled people in need of getting around some rougher terrain. 

They are customized for each user and cost about $15,000 each. 

They are built on tank-like treads and can go up stairs, through fields, across streams, and over snow.

"Basically, it's get off the couch and go enjoy life!"

They are tough and can last 15-20 years!

He first made one for his wife who was paralyzed from the waist down in a car accident and was having difficulty keeping up on a family camping trip. 

Soden is truly inspirational--he produces these not too make money, but too help people. 

"The body can't keep up, so we're gonna fix it."

This is an awesome man making an extreme machine. ;-)

(Source Photo: Tankchair)
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December 20, 2013

Prosthesis Anyone?

This was a picture I took from the office of an orthopedic surgeon. 

The surgeon is listed as a top doctor in Washingtonian Magazine. 

Next to the medications, bandages, and splints was this statue of a sailor with a wooden leg. 

I suppose the message is clear--if only he had a good orthopedic surgeon, he could have a modern functional prosthetic instead of this old wooden leg. 

Well, thank G-d for modern medicine, and hopefully it will only get better and better with time. ;-)

(Source Photo: Andy Blumenthal)
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September 1, 2013

Do You Really Want As-Is?

Classic enterprise architecture is figuring out how to move from the current/as-is state to the target/to-be state. 

Generally, anything "as-is" is viewed as legacy, old hat, probably not in the best condition anymore--and it's going without any implied warranties or guarantees as to it's condition.

Hence, at the local IKEA store, when I saw the "as-is" section for 50% off, I was like hey that's right, the "as-is" is good if we want a bargain, but there is usually something wrong with it, and that's why "all sales are final". 

If we want "the good stuff," you don't generally go to the "as-is," but you want to buy stuff for the "to-be," the target state, that you want your place to look like or what you really want to have--and guess what--that is full price!

You can architect your enterprise, yourself, or society for the momentary as-is--but is doesn't last long, because it's outdated, shabby, worn, and maybe even missing some critical parts already. 

That's why you want to architect for the future--for the to-be--with all the working parts, new and shinny, and geared to tackle the market conditions with innovation, functional strength and a design that is ready to turn heads. 

You can save money staying with the as-is, but you'll be getting what you paid for and will be falling behind for another cycle--if you survive. ;-)

(Source Photo: Andy Blumenthal)
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April 7, 2013

The Great Big Apple Donut

Some people think the new Apple HQs (or Apple Campus 2) looks like a flying saucer or spaceship--but to me, it looks like a great big donut. :-)

In all seriousness though, the planned Apple HQs is so cool--I love it!

Bloomberg BusinessWeek (4 April 2013) has a terrific article about this awesome design project. 

Some of the facts about this planned facility:

- Houses 12,000 employees
- Has 4 concentric rings.
- 2.8 million square feet (2/3 the size of the Pentagon)
- 176 acres of trees, including the vast courtyard in the center which will have apricot, olive, and apple orchards. 
- 40-foot high walls of concave glass
- 700,000 square feet of solar panels (enough to power 4,000 homes)
- Climate-responsive technology such as window treatments that automatically open and close
- Costs about $5 billion (1.1 billion more than the new World Trade Center)
- Move in expected 2016
- Just 2 entry roads
- 4-story underground garage
- 2 R&D labs
- Fitness center

While some think that this building is vanity, I think it is a work of art, and perfectly suits the innovativeness nature of the company.

Apple's HQS is a reflection of itself, not just another building. The beautiful, sleek, and high-tech building melds with the company's design philosophy and vision for great consumer products.

Just like Apple's unique positioning in being able to integrate hardware and software solutions for their customers, their new HQS is a unification of their physical work environment with their internal vision for themselves as a company and the amazing products they put out. 

Unlike some organizations which are foolishly tearing down all their walls and working as if they in sitting in Starbucks, Apple understands how to marry the need for a social and collaborative work environment with a proper and respectful functional space. 

Apple's building will be beautiful and functional just like their computing devices...and they remain true to themselves and us. ;-)

(Source Photo: here with Attribution to Cupertino Government)
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July 21, 2012

Stark Raving Internet Crazy

An article in the Daily Beast/Newsweek called "Is the Web Driving Us Mad?" postulates that we are addicted to the Internet by virtually every definition of the word. 

Physically:
- "Americans have merged with their machines"--literally starring at computer screen "at least eight hours a day, more time than we spend on any other activity, including sleeping."
- Most college students are not just unwilling, but functionally unable to be without their media links to the world."


Psychologically:
- "Every ping could be a social, sexual, or professional opportunity" so we get a (dopamine) reward for getting and staying online.
- Heavy internet use and social media is correlated with "stress, depression, and suicidal thinking" with some scientists arguing it is like "electronic cocaine" driving mania-depressive cycles. 


Chemically:
- "The brains of Internet addicts...look like the brains of drug and alcohol addicts."
- Videogame/Internet addiction is linked to "structural abnormalities" in gray matter, namely shrinkage of 10 to 20% in the areas of the brain responsible for processing od speech, memory, motor control, emotion, sensory, and other information,."
- The brain "shrinkage never stopped: the more time online, the more the brain showed signs of 'atrophy.'"


Socially:
- "Most respondents...check text messages, email or their social network 'all the time' or 'every 15 minutes.'
- "Texting has become like blinking" with the average person texting (sending or receiving) 400 times3,700 times!
- "80% of vacationers bring along laptops or smartphones so they can check in with work while away."
- "One in 10 users feels "fully addicted' to his or her phone," with 94% admitting some level of compulsion!


At the extreme:
- "One young couple neglected its infant to death while nourishing a virtual baby online."
- "A young man bludgeoned his mother for suggesting he log off."
- "At least 10...have died of blood clots from sitting too long" online. 


These are a lot of statistics, and many of these are not only concerning, but outright shocking--symptoms of bipolar disorder, brain shrinkage, and murderous behavior to name a few.

Yet, thinking about my own experiences and observations, this does not ring true for the vast majority of normal Internet users who benefit from technology intellectually, functionally, socially, and perhaps even spiritually. 

Yes, we do spend a lot of time online, but that is because we get a lot out of it--human beings, while prone to missteps and going to extremes, are generally reasoned decision-makers

We aren't drawn to the Internet like drug-abusers to cocaine, but rather we reach for the Internet when it serves a genuine purpose--when we want to get the news, do research, contact a friend or colleague, collaborate on a project, make a purchase, manage our finances, watch a movie, listen to music or play a game and more. 

These are not the benefits of a drug addict, but the choices of rational people using the latest technology to do more with their lives. 

Are there people who lose control or go off the deep-end, of course. But like with everything, you can have even too much of a good thing--and then the consequences can be severe and even deadly. 

Certainly people may squirrel away more often then they should for some un-G-dly number of hours at a computer rather than in the playground of life--but for the most part, people have taken the technology--now highly mobile--into the real world, with laptops, tablets, and smartphones being ubiquitous with our daily rounds at the office, on the commute, walking down the street, and even at the dinner table.  

Is this a bad thing or are we just afraid of the (e)merging of technology so deeply into every facet of lives?

It is scary in a way to become so tied to our technology that it is everywhere all the time--and that is one major reason why cyber attacks are such a major concern now--we are hopelessly dependent on technology to do just about everything, because it helps us to do them. 

From my perch of life, the Internet does not break people or attract broken souls except on the fringes; more typically it puts people together to achieve a higher individual and social aggregate capability then ever before.

If the pressure to achieve 24/7 would just come down a few notches, maybe we could even enjoy all this capability some more.

Now I just need to get off this darn computer, before I go nuts too!  ;-)

(Source Photo: here adapted from and with attribution to Cassie Nova)

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June 10, 2012

The H2O Coat


Awesome coat called the Raincatch that catches/stores rainwater and purifies it for drinking.

Designed by students at the Copenhagen Institute of Interaction Design (CIID). 

The collar of the coat catches the rainwater. 

The water passes through a charcoal and chemical filtration system. 

Purified water is then stored around the hips of the coat where it can be distributed and easily carried. 

A straw is built in and provided for easy drinking. 

I like this for its functionality as survival gear and its practicality as a user-centric product.

One thing I would add is a place to put the Coca-Cola syrup to give it a little extra pick me up. ;-)

Very cool--good job!

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November 20, 2011

The Moses Bridge, A Design Inspired By G-d

Really love the design for this "Moses Bridge" located in Holland.
The bridge is stretched out across a moat to reach a historic fortress built in the 17th century to protect against French and Spanish invasion.
It allows people to cross the parted water and reminds me of when the Jewish people left Egypt and crossed the Red Sea parted by G-d through the hands of Moshe.

The amazing design makes it hard to spot from a distance making it part of the fort's defensive camouflage.
I am not sure how they prevent the water flooding in over the walls when the water rises and drowning the proverbial evil Egyptian armies of yesteryear.
I think the greatest designs are inspired by the hand of G-d and this is one of them.

Source Photo 1: here and Photo 2: here

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November 1, 2011

Replacing Yourself, One Piece at a Time

Here is a wonderful idea to help people who use prosthetics--a smartphone built right in to the artificial limb.

What was once a challenging task to hold a smartphone and make calls, write emails and texts, or just search the web is now just a push of a button or voice command away.

This is a user-centric and functional integration of technology with medical science to help those who have either lost limbs or been born without them.

While a step forward for the disabled, perhaps this is also a move towards future technological augmentation of regular body parts as well.

What was once a tattoo or body piercing on the periphery may soon become an implanted smartphone in the body part of your choosing.

The concept reminds me of the MTV show "Pimp My Ride" where run-of-the-mill cars are completely made over into new awesome vehicles by stripping them and rebuilding them with better, cooler parts.

Is this where we are going with our human bodies--where one day we are an old beat-up minivan only to have our parts swapped out and replaced with biotechnology to become a new hotrod convertible once again.

Now we are moving from leveraging technology for medical purposes to tinkering with our our physical bodies, using technology, for preference.

Yes, this is already being done with facelifts and other cosmetic surgery, but how about replacing entire body parts not because they are diseased, but because you want or can afford an upgrade?

Lot's of exciting and scary implications to think about with this one--as our body parts become replaceable almost like legos--snap on and off.

In the future, becoming a better, stronger, faster person may not be just a function of what you do, but how much you can afford to replace.

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October 16, 2011

This is One Super-Charged Bikini

This bikini, by designer Andrew Schneider is solar-powered.

It can charge all your iDevices and why not your MacBook Air.

The material is flexible photovoltaic film strips sewn together ending in a volt regulator and USB connection for a steady flow to all your devices.

So whatever happened to a simple get-a-way day at the beach?

The male solar version of the swimsuit is the iDrink--so called because it can chill your beer or soft drinks.

Plan for swimsuits to be only the beginning of a long line of solar-clothing to charge up your life.

Maybe that's why everyone wants to sit near the window at the office. ;-)

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October 15, 2011

Your iPhone Deserves To Stand

This is the nicest iPhone stand I have seen--by Rokform.

Industrial aluminum and overbuilt -- a work of art.

I like the black and red one the best.

$169 is pricey, but wow your iPhone deserves it.

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