Hey trendwatchers! This time, Nora Young talks about PredictGaze, software that can be incorporated into electronics such as TVs. It tracks your eyes so that you can, for instance, stop the TV when you walk out of the room. Also, marketers could use its facial recognition capability to see how you’re reacting to what you watch (via Digital Trends) It brings together several trends: facial recognition technology, ‘relationships’ with our technologies, and non-touch interfaces.
Meanwhile, Cathi Bond talks about [Y/N] Design Studio’s concept plan for London’s old canal system: turn it into lanes for swimming! (Via Gizmag) The charmingly wacky idea reminds Nora and Cathi that here in Toronto, we often lose sight of our history, in spite of attempts like the Distillery District. Nora herself just discovered “The Ward“. Who knew?
Cathi Bond is just back from the Venice Architecture Biennale, which features the latest thinking about architecture and development. This year’s show is called Common Ground, and Cathi finds it an apt term, as she finds themes of sustainability and community enliven the mind and boost the spirit.
Nora Young talks about the new Kindle Serials plan (via Fast Company), and wonders whether this is good for writers and readers. If you’re a writer, what would you make of this? As a reader, would you contribute to the critique of a writer you like? Update: We had a problem with the original audio file, which will be the one you have if you got it on the evening of Sept 16th. New file in place now. Thanks!
Hey trendwatchers! In today’s podcast, Cathi Bond talks about a gorgeous – and tiny – portable home by Leaf House, and a fellow named Laird Herbert. Small houses are picking up as a trend; could you see yourself living in one? (Via Jetson Green)
Nora Young mentions Springwise’s story about the Clarion Hotel in Stockholm, which now accepts art by artists as barter payment for a night’s stay in the hotel. It has Nora wondering whether the barter economy could make the leap from peer-to-peer, to individual-business bartering. More on the barter economy from Business Week, here.
Finally Meagan Perry has created this very cool project called Stationary Groove. It maps what music people at different Toronto subway stations are listening to and offers up a playlist.
On today’s trendwatching podcast, Nora Young talks about a new entry to the Knight News Challenge (which is a funding contest to help re-invigorate news for the 21st century). The proposal is to engineer online news feeds so that you can access the perspective of people who are UNLIKE you. It’s to combat the problem of the social media echo chamber that we encounter when we just read the news our like-minded friends read (via The Atlantic)
Cathi Bond brings us a cool project in more sustainable architecture. It’s a social housing project near Madrid. Cathi likes it because it’s designed with ‘flow through’ in mind, and because it uses “cogeneration” as a power source, which allows the waste heat generated to be used for things like heating water (via Architecture Today).
Finally, for history buffs out there, check out Orbis, a project from Stanford University which is best thought of as “Google Maps for Ancient Rome”. Once you get to the website, just click on “Mapping Orbis”. How would you get around? (Via Ars Technica).
On The Sniffer this time, Cathi Bond looks at trends in solar power, in particular carbon nanotubes as a way to add solar generation capabilities to windows. (Read more at Flinders). Nora Young points to Lisa Rochon’s article on the energy loss problems of today’s glass tower condos. Could this be a solution?
Meanwhile, Nora talks about a pilot project in Japan to allow motorists to pre-order their drive-through meals via two-way navigation systems. Convenient, sure, but what about distractible driving? (Via Trends in Japan).
In this podcast episode, Nora Young gets her rant on about new trends in tech-flavoured advertising. Sure things like QR Codes are cool and all, but are you really interested in using your phone with them to get yet more ads? Tell us, would you interact with Coca Cola’s polar bears online? Read more at CNET
Meanwhile, Cathi Bond talks about the CHIP house, an experimental prototype in building a net zero energy house that competed in the Solar Decathlon in the US. Interesting design – could it be the house of the future? As an aside, Nora mentions all the cool things people are using Microsoft’s Kinect for, from research projects to art installations. (Interaccess featured a piece by David Rokeby that used the Kinect to allow visitors to interact virtually with gallery goers in Europe. I wish I could find video documentation).
And, just for fun, via Swiss Miss, this wonderful look at British coffee culture. Check it!
In today’s trendwatching podcast, Cathi Bond looks at the news that IKEA is creating a development in east London. The neighbourhood will have about 1,200 homes, and will be mostly car-free. What do you think? Would you live in a development like this? Is this the ultimate in ‘extending the brand’? You can read more about it here.
Meanwhile, Nora Young is back from New York, and finds the city still in retro mode, at least as far as cool bars and eateries goes, from the 70s vibe of Marshall Stack, to older aesthetic throwbacks. Still, nothing felt as fresh as the steampunk vibe of a few years back. Cathi points out that the retro feel is found far and wide these days, from the return of vinyl to Toronto spots like The Communist’s Daughter and Commute Home, to the ‘rumpus room’ aesthetic you find in videos like this one, from Real Estate: