Author Archives: Nora

Trends in Quieter Cities and Pro Sports

Cathi Bond and Nora Young are back in Nora's COVID-compliant backyard with looonnng mic cables! This time, Nora talks about this Scientific American article on research into noise cancelling tech for bigger spaces, so you can open the windows (amen!) in urban environments and still have peace and quiet. Meanwhile, Cathi talks about speculation that Major League Baseball will use drones to police mask wearing in the stands, if/when fans are allowed in the stands again (via Gizmodo).   [iframe style="border:none" src="//html5-player.libsyn.com/embed/episode/id/15990068/height/100/width/480/thumbnail/no/render-playlist/no/theme/standard/tdest_id/237069" height="100" width="480" scrolling="no" allowfullscreen webkitallowfullscreen mozallowfullscreen oallowfullscreen msallowfullscreen] Download MP3

Summer Travel Special – Pandemic Edition

Cathi and Nora are in Nora's backyard again for a couple of takes on how to enjoy summer vacation when many of our conventional travel plans have been disrupted by the pandemic.

Cathi Bond brings you the Luno Air Mattress, an inflatable mattress designed to fit in the back of your vehicle, so you can camp in your car in comfort. Cathi and Nora reminisce about old timey camping with terrible gear!

Nora Young talks about Drive and Listen, a charming website that lets you virtually drive around various cities around the world while listening to local radio from those cities. They chat about the indie internet and VR.


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Astounding Skyscrapers and the Real Future of Augmented Reality

Cathi Bond and Nora Young are back for another physically distant podcast in Nora's backyard.  This time, Cathi has an update on architect Moshe Safdie's eight skyscraper development in Chongqing, topped by a horizontal skyscraper called The Crystal. Now you can go and tour the development and take a 50 second ride to the top. See Cathi's previous look at Raffles City Chongqing here. Find renderings of the development here. Meanwhile, Nora mentions Stacey Higginbotham's podcast and newsletter. Recently, Stacey weighed in with some thoughts on the real use case for Augmented Reality: in the workplace, and in particular, in helping workers in the field do repairs or complete other production processes. The thought is that this can help address the shortage of skilled, experienced older workers by using AR to walk employees through a complex process using the visualization capabilities of AR. Perhaps, in the COVID era, older workers can work from home, coaching younger workers with AR.  [iframe style="border:none" src="//html5-player.libsyn.com/embed/episode/id/15265388/height/100/width/480/thumbnail/no/render-playlist/no/theme/standard/tdest_id/237069" height="100" width="480" scrolling="no" allowfullscreen webkitallowfullscreen mozallowfullscreen oallowfullscreen msallowfullscreen] Download MP3

COVID and Tech Behaviour; Gym Rats are Losing It

This time, Cathi drops by Nora's backyard for a physically distant recording. Nora mentions this survey suggesting, unsurprisingly, how much take up there's been for online shopping during the pandemic. Nora talks about how COVID is changing tech habits, including hers. Cathi argues for the value of in-person shopping for community. Cathi has been a hard core gym rat for many years...like, *many* years. She's dying for the gym to open again, and talks about the impact on people's well being. Will folks in small spaces be able to have home gyms? What will we do when the long dark winter returns? What are your health strategies (mental and physical) during the pandemic? Share your thoughts in the comments. [iframe style="border:none" src="//html5-player.libsyn.com/embed/episode/id/15121070/height/100/width/480/thumbnail/no/render-playlist/no/theme/standard/tdest_id/237069" height="100" width="480" scrolling="no" allowfullscreen webkitallowfullscreen mozallowfullscreen oallowfullscreen msallowfullscreen] Download MP3

Robotic Health Care and AI Musicians

This time on our remote podcast, Cathi Bond talks about Boston Dynamics' work to bring robotics into front line health care. Nora Young talks about Jukebox, Open AI's neural net that aims to create pop songs in the style of popular artists. She also mentions Spark's coverage of the impact of Spotify on music. [iframe style="border:none" src="//html5-player.libsyn.com/embed/episode/id/14816423/height/100/width/480/thumbnail/no/render-playlist/no/theme/standard/tdest_id/237069" height="100" width="480" scrolling="no" allowfullscreen webkitallowfullscreen mozallowfullscreen oallowfullscreen msallowfullscreen] Download MP3

Innovation in a Pandemic

Hi all, Nora here. Hope you're faring as well as possible in the circumstances. Cathi and I have been missing our Sniffer sessions, so we decided to record remotely, with Cathi recording herself in the country, and me recording myself at home in Toronto. This time, we look at some examples of the amazing speed of innovation in the midst of the pandemic, and how some people are re-imagining innovations to respond to the crisis we find ourselves in. We look at research into a washable fabric that repels liquid, for potential use in PPE, and an idea for an antimicrobial coating for high touch surfaces.  Cathi talks about innovation from a friend's company, Signifi, which is launching a plan to make disinfectant lockers for workplaces. How are you faring through all this? Are there aspects you're finding particularly tough, or maybe things you're learning that you want to take into your future life? Let us know in the comments. [iframe style="border:none" src="//html5-player.libsyn.com/embed/episode/id/14546885/height/100/width/480/thumbnail/no/render-playlist/no/theme/standard/tdest_id/237069" height="100" width="480" scrolling="no" allowfullscreen webkitallowfullscreen mozallowfullscreen oallowfullscreen msallowfullscreen] Download MP3

Retrofuturism and Jetpacks

On this podcast episode, Nora Young talks about this PSFK article on retrofuturism as a major design trend.

Cathi Bond, who has always wanted her very own jetpack, loves the Jetman personal jetpack (via New Atlas) Watch the full video here. It really 'takes off' around 2:30.

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https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nj-Iwv5NJKg&feature=emb_logo

Cool Streetwear Shopping and Harbingers of Failure

On this podcast, we talk marketing strategy. Cathi Bond loves her Stan Smith footwear (like, a lot!) so she was intrigued when she came across Stockx, a streetwear social shopping platform. Read more at PSFK. Meanwhile, Nora read an interesting article on so-called Harbingers of Failure: people who tend to pick products, and even political candidates, that don't succeed (via BoingBoing). Nora thinks they could be seen as niches to target rather than signals of 'failure'. [iframe style="border:none" src="//html5-player.libsyn.com/embed/episode/id/13108130/height/100/width/480/thumbnail/no/render-playlist/no/theme/standard/tdest_id/237069" height="100" width="480" scrolling="no" allowfullscreen webkitallowfullscreen mozallowfullscreen oallowfullscreen msallowfullscreen] Download MP3

Stress-Busting 2020 and Smart Glasses

This time, Nora Young continues the conversation about living smarter in 2020 with this Fast Company article on handling stress better as a key to resiliency. She also refers to Kelly McGonigal's book The Upside of Stress. Meanwhile, Cathi Bond talks about Bosch's upcoming smart glasses, which offer an augmented reality display that aims to be non-intrusive. Use cases include cooking with recipe instructions in front of you, instead of referring to a book, or driving directions. Cathi points out how distracting today's car dashboards are. [iframe style="border:none" src="//html5-player.libsyn.com/embed/episode/id/12809258/height/100/width/480/thumbnail/no/render-playlist/no/theme/standard/tdest_id/237069" height="100" width="480" scrolling="no" allowfullscreen webkitallowfullscreen mozallowfullscreen oallowfullscreen msallowfullscreen] Download MP3

Happy New Year: The Resolutions Edition!

Happy New Year, all! Hope your year is off to a great start, and thanks so much for listening to The Sniffer.

This time on the podcast, Cathi Bond and Nora Young share their resolutions for the year ahead. 

Cathi has decided to try out the Wim Hof method, which combines breathing exercises and fffffreezing cold baths, with an eye to greater health and wellness. Cathi talks about her personal experiences and will report back. You can read more about the method, as well as some of the controversies, reservations, and questions some researchers have in this Discover article. See also Wikipedia's entry for a good overview.

Meanwhile, Nora points out that unlike most years, 2020 has seen very few tech predictions for the year(s) ahead. She talks about this great, short article by Kara Swisher, where she builds a business case for tech innovation.


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