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Biome by Samuel Wilkinson

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Okay, this is amazing. I want one.

London based designer Samuel Wilkinson has designed a flora terrarium that links to your iPad.

Biome is a flora terrarium that’s works a little like a live tamagotchi – with a smartphone or iPad as its key to controlling its climate, water level and nutrients.

The idea promotes ‘digital downtime’ by finding an alternative use for smartphones and encouraging their owners to consider a slower life. The control and nurturing of a real mini eco-system takes patience and care, contrasting with the immediacy of messaging or tweeting that is so characteristic of the smartphone generation.

This smart garden has low energy lighting that can replicate sunlight and contains sensors that link back to the device when connected. It is designed to incorporate different types of environment – tropical, desert, even herb garden – and can be easily controlled by even the least green-fingered of users.

The design was developed for an exhibition titled ‘Slow Tech – Designs for Digital Downtime’ at trend agency Protein’s exhibition space last month. The exhibition was curated by Henrietta Thompson of Wallpaper fame.

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Lelo’s Sense Motion Technology

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Swedish designer brand LELO is at it again. They recently announced what they call “A revolutionary development for the intimate lifestyle market…” It’s called SenseMotion, and it’s a line of high design couples’ massagers. Boasting motion-sensor technology more familiar to the iPhone and the latest video game consoles than sex toys, this is a first for this industry, and the first time vibrations in remote-controlled massagers can be changed via movements alone.

Lelo, no stranger to this site, and certainly to the integration of sophisticated design and strong technology have done it again. Remote controls work from up to 39 feet away, for what can only be described as a very adventurous time.

A Touch of Code

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Yatzer has a great inside look at the newest Gestalten book called A Touch of Code. It’s an exploration of the colliding worlds of art, design and technology. Fascinating and beautiful. Check it out.

Thanks to the omnipresence of computers, cell phones, gaming systems, and the internet, a broad audience has traded its past reservations against technology for an almost insatiable curiosity for all things technical. Against this background, unprecedented new tools and possibilities are opening up for the world of design

Google Art Project

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Oh hi, I didn’t see you there. I was just visiting the Van Gogh Museum in Amsterdam. Afterwards I’ll be visiting the Palace of Versailles in Paris, the Tate in London, MoMA in NYC and The State Tertyakov Gallery in Moscow, all from the comfort of my living room and without the jet lag. Thanks Google Art Project!

QR “Built Codes” For Frisk

QR “Built Code” using Frisk mints in Japan.  Check it out.

SET is now promoting the use of what we call “built” codes. We believe that these codes offer brands a unique opportunity to connect the real world to the online world. In the coming months we will be looking to incorporate these “built” codes not only into print media but also into outdoor stunts and events that allow the consumer to truly interact with the code in fun and exciting ways.

Studio FRST

If you have an HDTV, you’ve noticed the wasted screen space when you’re on certain television channels. That’s a little inconvenience that Studio FRST has remedied with their Double Aspect Ratio 16943 concept, a TV with a slightly odd shape that can handle two viewing formats: a 16:9 format for films and 4:3 for television (hence the name). The clever design makes it clear why it is referred to as a ‘technological sculpure in levitation’. The black screen rests on a clear glass base, giving it the illusion of floating, and the 120mm thickness surprisingly conceals a DVD player.

Italdesign x Namir hybrid

The image of hybrid cars as boxy, efficient little travel pods is getting a makeover. At the Geneva Motor Show, Italdesign unveiled the Namir prototype, a 370-horsepower space rocket that can travel over 1,200 miles on a single charge. Namir is the world’s fastest hybrid to date, with a top speed of 187 mph, and releases lower emissions than any sports car on the U.S. market. We’re not sure if this particular whip is going to be available stateside, but it’s nice to see this trend forming.

Via Inhabit

RITHM

When an aeronoautical engineer puts his mind to work on a speaker system, the finished product is no less than an audiophile’s wet dream. Danish designer Paul Schenkel, through his Davone project, brings us floor speakers that produce sound so refined it takes a master’s degree in acoustics to understand the ear pleasure you’re experiencing. While the RITHM speakers were the talk of CES 2009 for their performance, that’s not the only punch they pack. RITHMs appear outlandish and futuristic–yet warm–in their wooden exterior. This isn’t just a sound system, it’s architecture.

TED 2009: Day 2

The morning got off on an artistic note and included Ed Ulbrich who showed some dazzling film special effects from The Curious Case of Benjamin Button. Elizabeth Gilbert, author of Eat, Pray, Love wooed the audience with an “a cappella” (read: no slide support) walk-through of her creative process while Margaret Wertheim amazed people with her crocheted great barrier reef art installation, which strangely and coincidentally unlocked mathematical secrets. Later Daniel Libeskind took us through a juxtaposed architectural vision and thoughts behind the new Freedom Tower. Shai Agassi who abruptly left SAP to follow a vision on shifting the world to non-petroleum transportation showcased his recent partnerships with both Renault-Nissan and various governments. Sarah Jones brought her multiple personalities to the stage and entertained everyone while poking a little fun at highbrow TEDsters.

Later in the day, TED 2009 Prize Winner Jill Tarter, introduced remotely by Sir Richard Branson and Al Gore, asked everyone to collaboratively find extraterrestrials which was actually rather well received. Sylvia Earle who is collaborating with Google Earth to map the world’s oceans gave everyone a good scare showing that fish populations have been depleted by 90% because of pollution and commercial fishing since 1900. Between Jeremy Piven’s mercury poisoning and this revelation I am going to reduce my sushi intake starting today. Accordingly she asked all of us to ignite public support for a global network of protected marine areas. The response was overwhelming. Jose Antonio Abreu in Caracas who created El Sistema and helped musically inspire impoverished children and bring them out of poverty also received acknowledgment today.

So while the elbow rubbing and hob-knobbing continues, there is clearly an underlying level of tension on the many global crises that exist right now. The good news is that the TED community is pretty powerful and may just figure out how to crack the code on some of these enormous issues

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