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Category Archives: Design
In today's podcast, Cathi Bond talks about the Nano Membrane toilet, designed for use in situations where there are currently no toilets. It's an inexpensive solution that doesn't require water, and yet produces (grey) water and power (via Gizmag). Meanwhile, Nora Young mentions the MyMe camera and personal digital assistant, a sort of Siri-meets-Google-Glass device that you wear unobtrusively around your neck or on your belt (via New York Times). Would you wear something like this? Leave us a comment! [iframe style="border:none" src="http://html5-player.libsyn.com/embed/episode/id/4099348/height/100/width/480/thumbnail/no/render-playlist/no/theme/standard" height="100" width="480" scrolling="no" allowfullscreen webkitallowfullscreen mozallowfullscreen oallowfullscreen msallowfullscreen] Download MP3
Happy New Year! This time, Nora Young talks about what she observed on a holiday trip to New York, including bathrobe chic (hello Julian Schnabel!), visiting the new Whitney at the foot of the High Line. She also mentions the current obsession with Marie Kondo's The Life Changing Magic of Tidying-Up. Cathi Bond discusses Mark Zuckerberg's New Year's Resolution to build an intelligent personal assistant to run his home. What intrigues Cathi the most is Zuck's approach to setting goals. She's going to try to apply it to her life. Nora mentions this article on speech recognition tech, and design approaches to life. [iframe style="border:none" src="http://html5-player.libsyn.com/embed/episode/id/4076774/height/100/width/480/thumbnail/no/render-playlist/no/theme/standard" height="100" width="480" scrolling="no" allowfullscreen webkitallowfullscreen mozallowfullscreen oallowfullscreen msallowfullscreen] Download MP3
It's a holiday tradition here at The Sniffer: our picks for super cool Christmas treats we'd love to have. This year, Nora Young picks this fantastic dining pavilion by Zaha Hadid and Patrik Schumacher (via Design Boom). It's one of a series coordinated by a developer named Robbie Antonio. Check out the whole series here. Cathi Bond, meanwhile, has her eye on a special drone which can be used on the farm, in particular, for crop dusting (via PSFK). Have a wonderful holiday, and all the best for 2016. Thanks for listening! https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dT6x9Aullek [iframe style="border:none" src="http://html5-player.libsyn.com/embed/episode/id/4037215/height/100/width/480/thumbnail/no/render-playlist/no/theme/standard" height="100" width="480" scrolling="no" allowfullscreen webkitallowfullscreen mozallowfullscreen oallowfullscreen msallowfullscreen] Download MP3
On this podcast, Cathi Bond talks about Next Future Mobility, a concept for the future of transit (via Gizmag). The idea is for a modular train-like system where individual cars would pick you up and join up with the bigger train. Nora Young talks about emcee-ing the B3Dimensional conference in October, and some of the cool stuff she saw, including a replica of the Erebus Bell. One of the speakers, Tatjana Dzambazova talked about the use of 3D scanning and printing in a museum context. Check out the scanned work The Smithsonian has here. [iframe style="border:none" src="http://html5-player.libsyn.com/embed/episode/id/3951436/height/100/width/480/thumbnail/no/theme/standard" height="100" width="480" scrolling="no" allowfullscreen webkitallowfullscreen mozallowfullscreen oallowfullscreen msallowfullscreen] Download MP3
Algramo is a Santiago based company aiming to deliver inexpensive, healthy food to low income people in Latin America via vending machines (via PSFK). As in many parts of the world, food deserts mean people in urban low income areas can't get access to healthy food at reasonable prices. A solution for lots of communities? Cathi Bond weighs in. The future of virtual reality has long promised that we'd hang out together with our friends virtually, from the comfort of our separate living rooms. Maybe now that VR headsets are nearly ready to go, the time has (nearly) come! AltspaceVR is designing social hangouts for the VR future (via Technology Review). Would you do socialize with pals virtually? Go to concerts together? Or would you miss the meatspace connection? Plus, Cathi mentions TextBlade. If you don't like tapping things out on your mobile touchpad, this may be for you! [iframe style="border:none" src="http://html5-player.libsyn.com/embed/episode/id/3534063/height/100/width/480/thumbnail/no/theme/standard" height="100" width="480" scrolling="no" allowfullscreen webkitallowfullscreen mozallowfullscreen oallowfullscreen msallowfullscreen] Download MP3
We are back after a bit of an absence! On this podcast, Cathi Bond talks about the Plant Sex Consultancy, a design concept for helping plants pollinate in an era of problems like bee hive collapse or changes brought about by commercial breeding (via PSFK). With a wink, the Plant Sex Consultancy aims to protect plants from STIs, give plants vibrators to shake pollen loose and more. Underneath it all, they seem to be making a point about the problems we humans create, and our anthropocentric approach to solving those problems. Meanwhile, Nora Young talks about composer Keiichi Shibuya's plans for an all-robot performance (via The Globe and Mail). It got Nora thinking about all the tech innovation happening in live performance now, such as the play Helen Lawrence, which was recently in Toronto. You can watch a sample from Shibuya's previous opera, The End, which featured the virtual pop star Hatsune Miku and computer-created music. You can watch a sample here. Nora also mentioned this post about public wifi insecurity. Hat tip to her colleague, Dan Misener.
Hi! This time, Nora talks about QuantifiedToilets.com, a project she encountered while at the recent CHI conference in Toronto. Art project? Provocation? What do you think of it? Meanwhile, Cathi discusses the Dean Street Express, a London UK clinic for testing for STI's that free and stylish (via Gizmag). Can it encourage more people to get tested for sexual health?
Apologies for the absence, but we're back! This time, Nora talks about Ring, a very cool project on Kickstarter (via Core77). You tap the side of the ring, then use finger gestures to control your various devices. Check out the video and let us know if you'd use this. Are Minority Report style gestural interfaces the future, or will we stick with our phones and purpose-built devices? Cathi brings you the story of "selfie money" (via PSFK). Artist Jonathan Keats has an ironic proposal for saving cash money: appeal to our narcissism by printing bills with 'selfie' images of individuals on it! Nora also mentions Duolingo, the fun, free online language learning website she's been using. Check it out!
Hi there, Happy Holidays! Time for our annual Christmas Special full of lots of whimsical toys. This time, Nora Young likes Urbio, a cool looking modular set of plates that you mount on the wall, then attach sleek white pots of various sizes to using magnets. Nora likes the mix-n-match quality of it, and the space saving aspect for those of us without a lot of counter space or window sills. You can use it for planting kitchen herbs or for general storage of small items in a home office. Also, cool: Beer! Nora talks about Collective Arts Brewing, a new craft beer company that features artists of all stripes on the beer labels. They select a curated crop of artists to put on the labels, and you can use the augmented reality app to learn more. Neat-o. Cathi Bond is thinking about experiences and travel this time, and has found two wild places. First is Kulturinsel Einsiedel (Culture Island) a whimsical, huge park near the Germany-Poland border. It features a series of treehouses (you can even spend the night) windmills, and all sorts of fantasy architecture (via Gizmag). She also showcases a wonderful art installation in Russia by Estonian architects Salto: a 170 metre trampoline road. See pics of the road in action over at The Guardian. Fun! And, because it wouldn't be a Sniffer Family Christmas without it, the Christmas Eve scene from The Thin Man:
This time around, we do a bit of a debrief about Cathi Bond's book launch. Nora Young talks about an upcoming episode of Nora's show Spark, on the future of work, and wonders what are the jobs that humans - for sure - can do, that A.I. programs can't down the road. She mentions this New Scientist article on A.I. taking on some functions traditionally performed by judges. You can find some of Spark's past coverage on this issue here and here. So, what do you think? Based on how A.I. is progressing, what would you advise young people to go into as a career? Cathi's obsession with nests, cocoons, and tree-houses continues. This time it's a model rainforest in Cornwall that includes a very cool tree-house where you can stay over amongst the trees! (Via Gizmag) Nora's obsession with data continues as well. This time, it's a neat project launched by Intel's R&D wing and some TED fellows: We The Data is a platform for thinking up democratic approaches to data use (via Technology Review) Along the way, Nora refers to research at MIT, and practical uses of feature phone data.