The Sniffer takes a serious turn this time around. Cathi Bond, like so many of us, has been thinking about the nature of behaviour on social media, in the wake of Amanda Todd’s suicide. She was bullied online and in person, but we wanted to know: Do people behave differently online, or is bullying simply bullying regardless of where it occurs?
Nora Young’s been noticing some new examples in the ongoing push to capture something like “human expertise” online. She talks about a number of services, including Quora, Sulia, Branch, and Swift River. Where do you go to get expert advice?
In today’s podcast for trendwatchers, Nora Young talks about Indochino, a service that provides custom-made suits by getting the customer to do their own measurements. Cathi Bond and Nora think it furthers the trend toward mass customization, and using the internet to create personalized experiences for lower prices. It continues a trend they’ve talked about before, in products such as Styku.
Meanwhile, Cathi Bond discusses this PSFK interview with Digital Art Director Dhani Sutanto, who has created the Oyster Ring – wearable tech that he can use to access the London Tube. Cathi and Nora discuss whether the app-loaded cell phone has taken the wind out of the sails of wearable tech, or if there will be new life in good looking wearable gear.
UPDATE: Bit of a problem with the podcast for a day. Should be fine now. Thanks Encaffeinated ONE
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!
Welcome back to a new season of The Sniffer: Decidedly Odd Since 2005! This time around, Cathi Bond talks about the Joggobot, a fitness coach project out of RMIT in Australia. It’s a drone (via Gizmag)! Check out the videos below. Have you seen a drone in action? Let us know!
Meanwhile, Nora Young talks about a very cool IKEA hack by designer Andreas Bhend (via Core77). Do you know anyone who hacks their IKEA products? Also, Nora mentions Asana, a productivity tool she started using recently. What are your fave productivity tools?
Today, trendwatchers, Nora Young mentions research from Rice University into creating Lithium Ion batteries that can be applied to surfaces via thin layers of paint! (Via New Scientist).
Meanwhile, Cathi Bond has all manner of exotic transport lined up. There’s The Transitioncar that converts to an airplane! How about The PAL-V gyrocopter? And then there’s Kahuna Creations’ long board, that allows you to paddleboard, but on land! Check out the videos below, and tell us which one would you pick to tool around with this summer!
Hey trendwatchers, in this podcast Nora Young talks about a possible move to push back on our info-overload online lives. New York Times journalist (who has also contributed to Spark) Anand Giridharadas writes about two trends in services: the immersive spend-your-time-behind-a-screen experience, vs. a move to quick check-ins that help manage your offline life. Designer Jack Cheng advocates for The Slow Web, making a similar call to keeping our online tools in check, serving us instead of the other way around. It squares with my (Nora’s) own sense that the real push in a market crowded with streams of information and apps galore, is in creating tools that give you real utility, and offer the space for you to create meaning in your life.
Cathi Bond this time brings you Terminator Pants! No, seriously, Delta 415 jeans feature a protective pocket in the front of your jeans so that you can store your cell phone and access it all the time. The design is inspired by fighter pilots’ G suits, apparently. Definitely a sign of the times in terms of the advance of 24/7 wearable tech. Would you wear them?
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).
In this trendwatching podcast, Cathi Bond expands on the POV video and video-sharing trends (see her related coverage on Spark, here) with a look at Vergence Labs’ Kickstarter project in social video eyewear. It combines video-enabled glasses with a video sharing service. Are we all going to be capturing everything that goes on around us all the time?
Meanwhile, Nora Young looks at another quirky example of passive monitoring: tracking your pet! Fujitsu is set to release a device that attaches to your dog’s collar, which will allow you to monitor your doggie’s exercise. Cathi and Nora ponder what data their pets would reveal (via Technology Review).
In today’s trendwatching podcast, we look at a couple of intriguing developments in tech hardware: more DIY, and tools built on top of other tools. Nora Young talks about Styku, a virtual fitting room (via Fast Company). Interesting enough as a potential solution to online clothes shopping and customization, it interests Nora because it’s yet another example of tech built on top of the Kinect. Could designing tools that include the power to have other tools built on top of them be as powerful in the hardware world as it is in the online platform world?
Meanwhile, Cathi Bond talks about MIT student David Mellis, who built his own fully functional, D-I-Y cell phone out of about $150 in parts. Is this kind of stuff purely for the lab, or are we about to see D-I-Y electronics really take off beyond the hobbyist fringe? Check out the cool phone at the MIT Media Lab.