Innovation

More Than Just Vodka.

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Swedish Vodka maker Absolut has tapped into the “Maker” movement with a new mobile innovation lab built from shipping containers and other recycled materials. The Absolut Creative Space  was designed by architects Astrid Skog and Charlotte Stuveback for Abslout earlier this year as a venue for creatives and innovators to produce unique with tools they might not have access to, in a collaborative environment. Inspiration was taken from Absolut’s production process and applied to each of the four individual spaces. The goal was to inspire and enable different types of work with limitless variations on the creative process.

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Creative Space was first placed outside Färgfabriken in Stockholm Sweden. The containers occupy enough space to hold all four containers and create a common area in between. That space is a “Semi-Official Zone” according to the architects that designed the Creative Space, which is designed to welcome visitors and encourage them to come closer and get involved. In addition the area was softened with landscaping creating an even more relaxed and inviting space for the creatives using the space as well as guests.

creative_space_bar-610x408 I really hope Absolut brings this to the USA for a tour. I think it would be a blast to participate. The first link above takes you to the Absolut site with case studies of projects already completed.

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An area of pallets with plants with meeting places surrounds the four containers.

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The Current Table Charges Your Toys via Solar Power.

Talk about solid innovative thinking. The video below showcases the “Current Table” designed by Marjan Van Aubell in conjunction with Solaronix. The table uses Dye Sensitized Solar Cells to create electric current for the work surface. Dye Sensitized Solar Cells can work with diffused light and do not need direct sunlight to create electric current. The process is similar to the way plants create energy through photosynthesis. The entire glass table top surface is in essence a large solar panel attached to the frame and legs which contain connectors for all of your electronic devices. This makes Current Table the first piece of furniture that is harvesting energy indoors where utility and aesthetics are combined in everyday objects. The innovative table has a triangular base made of wood, that neatly holds the bold colored tabletop with a simple, natural based. Great aesthetics combined with high-tech functionality. This is right up my alley.

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Razorfish Helps Shopping Go a Little “Minority Report”.

This is a little bit cool, a little bit creepy, and a little bit “Minority Report“. Razorfish Emerging Experiences group has prototyped a next gen retail experience that uses Bluetooth Low Energy (BLE) indoor location-based tracking to serve up content to your smartphone, or live screens in proximity to you as you shop. By taking advantage of your smartphone’s connectivity, Razorfish was able to see movements and identities of smartphones throughout retail environments. With this information they were able to gather data on who you are, when you entered, where you went, where you lingered, and when you left. Using this data, they were able to serve up relevant content to the shopper.

Razorfish is exploring using Bluetooth Low Energy (BLE) indoor position tracking to help integrate mobile experiences into a physical retail space. While the idea of pushing advertising, and other content to my phone is a bit creepy, there are other uses that Razorfish points out. Things like wayfinding systems to help guide shoppers through a crowded store or to less crowded checkout lines. In addition they point out that you could use the service to signal for in-store assistance.  For a full breakdown on the project click here to go to the Razorfish site.

Henry Wang and Chris Curro Reinvent the Cardboard Box.

This is probably old news, although I just came across this today. I say old news because the YouTube video already has 3.5 million views, none the less this is a great idea from two students at Cooper Union’s Invention Factory. The premise is quite simple, build a better shipping box that uses less paper, recycles easier, and can be assembled and shipped without tape. The video below shows it in action. Deceptively simple, simply ingenious. I hope these two land their patent, license this out to USPS, FedEx, and UPS, and get rich so they can invent more stuff.

Razorfish Emerging Experiences’ “Flight Deck” for SFO.

Last week I was traveling through San Francisco International airport so I had the privilege of seeing this first hand. It’s pretty amazing in person and the photos do not do it justice. Razorfish has created an immersive experience that tries to recapture the golden age of travel, before jetliners became the Greyhound busses of the skies.

There are three total components to the entire experience; an interactive and real time large scale projection, the multi-touch kiosks, and the mobile  component. “Flight Deck” Featuring massive digital displays customers can see real-time flight information and updates, and interact with 6 touchscreen kiosks that feature interactive content about the San Francisco bay area, and the destinations the airport serves world wide.The entire service is connected to a mobile service allowing travelers to be connected even on the go.

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While the primary experience lives at Terminal 3, with the projected visualization functioning as a beacon calling on all SFO guests to contribute to the global SFO travel story, the total experience extends beyond SFO in the end. If you are traveling through San Francisco and have the time, I highly recommend stoping by to see this. For more info on Flight Deck, click here.

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Phrophets and iBeacon Extend the Museum Experience.

When Apple introduced iBeacon my first reaction was “Oh great yet another way to try and force feed me offers, coupons, and ads I don’t care about”. After seeing the way Prophets used the technology to extend the interaction of a museum experience my opinion has changed. The video below shows how Prophets working with the Rubens House Art Gallery in Antwerp created an extension of the museum experience by  using location based beacons that interact with visitors directly as they navigate the museum. As visitors pass by works of art, the beacons the tablet is sent a variety of interactive actions that stimulate and extend the viewing experience. The example is pretty straightforward, and shows the potential the technology has beyond simple advertising and offers.

Frameri Plans to Change Your Eyeglasses Experience.

As a designer that wears glasses I have always liked the idea of being able to switch my frames out depending on my mood. I have never understood why manufacturers and designers of frames have never done a modular design that allows you to quickly and easily update your frames. Actually I do get it, frames are expensive and they’d prefer you to spend loads of money on multiple pairs. That doesn’t mean I have to like the idea, or the business model.

Frameri is a start up that launched on indigogo earlier this week that plans to stand the whole glasses industry on it’s head. Their concept is simple, one set of lenses, many frames, loads of looks. They havecreated he world’s first interchangeable prescription frame and lens system. Based on the video below it looks like they have a winning idea, and one that could be just as lucrative as the current eyeglasses world. Frameri knows all too well how limiting one single pair of glasses can be to an ever evolving wardrobe, so they decided to give us options. The frames are hand made in Italy from Zyl acetates, and will be offered in a variety of colors, styles and patterns. In just 3 days, they have raised just under $18,000 of their $30,000 goal. Based on that I think Frameri is going to be a success.