Tag Archives | Display

The Global Pursuit of Happiness, or: The Army of Luck

The Global Pursuit of Happiness, or: The Army of Luck

“The Global Pursuit of Happiness, or: The Army of Luck” is an impressive piece of installation art by Boris Petrovsky, Georg Nagel, and Nina Martens.

The work is based around the Maneki Neko (aka Beckoning Cat; aka Lucky Cat/Money Cat), a common Japanese figurine which is believed to bring luck, attract customers and bring prosperity.

520 of the shiny, golden, XXL Lucky Cats are arranged in 40 rows and 13 columns on a ramp-like stand made of aluminum.

The Lucky Cats form a dot-matrix display, which consists of 520 waving paw grid points as its pixels. A servo motor in each cat controls the paws, and moves them exactly in position and speed.

Words and sentences up to 40 characters long can be entered into an attached keyboard, and are displayed with the paws, letter by letter, as a sliding text marquee. The Lucky Cats are also able to perform spontaneously as well, showing 25 different salutatory and signalizing gestures, as well as mass movements like the Mexican Wave or an ecstatic hyperkinesis.

It’s something that truly must be seen to be believed:

[The Global Pursuit of Happiness, or: The Army of Luck via Laughing Squid]

…Apple’s MacBook laptops are a perfect design study?

MacBook Pro

It’s no secret that Apple has mastered the art of design, and with every iteration of their product line, they continue to wow with small and often subtle changes that contribute to an overall feeling of amazement when interacting with their computers. Each and every piece and part has its own place in the end result, and everything feels like it should be there, rather than needed to be there.

Unibody

With the latest MacBook and MacBook Pro, Apple “Redesigned. Reengineered. Re-everythinged.” their way into one of the most stunning laptops ever built thanks to a new unibody construction that begins life as a single piece of aluminum, and ends as a computer that has been machined down to the micron, thus reducing size, weight, complexity, and opportunity for failure.

MacBook Pro Screen

Even things like the thickness of the display don’t escape the watchful eye of Apple’s designers, as they opted to use LED backlight technology across their entire notebook line, rather than the CCFLs that are standard for the industry. In addition to the fact that they take less space to create the same amount of light, LEDs reach maximum brightness instantly, unlike CCFLs, which take time to warm up.

MacBook Pro Trackpad

It’s also no secret that Steve Jobs has a thing for buttons, and specifically the removal of as many buttons as possible, so for the latest version of Apple’s trackpad, they’ve removed the buttons entirely and replaced them with a trackpad that is itself the button. Users can click anywhere on the trackpad and it will register as a click, allowing for new ways of interacting with the computer through Multi-Touch gestures that had never before been possible.

MacBook Pro Thumbscoop

Think no part is too small to escape revision? According to Apple, designers worked on hundreds of versions of the thumbscoop (the indentation that allows you to open the display) before they got it right.

If the scoop is too deep, you put too much pressure on the display to open it. If it’s too shallow, you struggle to open the display. It may seem incidental, but if the thumbscoop is well designed, it makes the difference between a bad experience and a good one.

How important was it for Apple to get the thumbscoop right? They examined their options under an electron microscope until they were happy that they had gotten it just right.

MacBook Pro Sleep Indicator Light

The sleep indicator light?

During the CNC process, a machine first thins out the aluminum. Then a laser drill creates small perforations for the LED light to shine through. These holes are so tiny that the aluminum appears seamless when the light is off.

A light when you need it and nothing when you don’t?

That’s what I call attention to detail.

And don’t think that just because Apple is obsessed with perfection that they’re willing to let the environment take a hit as a result of their designs.

Green Apple

In addition to being brighter and thinner, LED backlighting is also mercury and arsenic free, and uses 30 percent less power than a CCFL display. The circuit board? Now polyvinyl chloride (PVC), brominated flame retardant (BFRs), bromine and chlorine free.

Even the packaging has been optimized, with a reduction of 37 percent when compared to previous generations. Fewer trees used for boxes and less fuel used for transportation means a healthier environment, and when all is said and done and it’s time to upgrade to the latest and greatest, almost every part of the new MacBook line can be recycled.

Is it perfection?

Probably not, since I’m sure they’ll find ways to improve their products and their processes in the future, but until then, Apple’s laptop line is a design force to be reckoned with.

[Apple – MacBook Pro Design]

[For Designer Daily – Design You Love: A Group Writing Project]

…It’s Tuner Tuesday: Iconic Motors GTR?

Iconic Motors GTR 1

The Iconic Motors GTR is the Cobra that Carroll Shelby would probably build today if he had the time and the wealthy client list.

For $600,000, buyers get a carbon fiber supercar that features an 800 horsepower, 420-cubic-inch V8, a very beautiful/custom interior, a display with “military strike fighter” technology, and a “computerized gas cap that slides open like the glass on a moon roof”.

Iconic Motors GTR 2

Fancy!

[Iconic Motors]

[Via: Jalopnik]

…Iron Man was awesome?

Iron Man

I AM IRON MAN!!!

Ok, so maybe not, but after watching Iron Man, you’ll want to run down the street yelling that too.

Thanks to TechCrunch’s invitation, I was able to get a sneak peak at Iron Man Wednesday, and I can whole heartedly agree with the 96% that this film is currently rocking on Rotten Tomatoes.

Rotten Tomatoes Iron Man

It’s the summer blockbuster that you’ve been waiting for, and probably beyond what you’re expecting from it.

Sure, it’s got a great theme song, and the commercials look great, but that’s just the Hollywood Hype Machine running on overdrive, right?

Wrong.

Iron Man is a solid film with a plausible (futuristic) story line, fantastic acting, and top notch tech ogling.

First: Robert Downey Jr. is a bad ass. His role as a billionaire weapons manufacturer that likes fast talk, hard liquor, expensive women and cheap thrills is perfect, and he says each line with a bravado that will surely be emulated by everyone for the next few weeks.

Second: The action doesn’t stop. Sure, it’s a CGI film with plenty of additional special effects; but keep in mind, this is a comic book based movie after all. As is expected with a summer blockbuster, the explosions are over the top, the battles drag out, and the eye candy is ever present, but it’s always done in a way that lends itself to the story line, and never seems out of place.

Third: This is a tech head’s dream flick. From 3D holographic displays and futuristic UI to a sassy computer and robotic assistants, it’s a look into the future at what everyone hopes the world will become.

If you have a chance, then go see this movie, because you won’t be disappointed.

Grade: A
Theater Worthy: Yes


[Iron Man]

[Rotten Tomatoes – Iron Man]

[IMDb – Iron Man]

…Harry Winston’s Opus 8 is amazing?

Harry Winston Opus 8

As if mechanical-digital watches weren’t already cool enough, Harry Winston has created a watch that uses mechanical pixels to display the time at the push of a button, and called it the Opus 8.

Even the back features a second time display, with a power reserve indicator to tell you when your awesome is running low.

Only 50 were made, and apparently they all sold before the watch was even unveiled, so if you want one, then get the house on the market and start checking eBay, because these aren’t exactly going to be cheap.

[Harry Winston]

[Via: The Watchismo Times]