Archive for the 'ideas' Category

SquidSoap: Dirty hands for cleaner hands!

Sunday, August 6th, 2006

Do you wash your hands properly? Have you seen people flick their hands in water with a dab of soap, dry themselves off, and consider their hands CLEAN, without ever really scrubbing their hands?

Well, I’ve seen wayyy too many people do this and can’t stop thinking how dirty their hands are while eating. I’ve seen people walk out of restrooms without washing their hands! It’s makes me sick sometimes. YUCK!

Anyhow, Seth Godin points out to SquidSoap that proves that going a few steps backwards can make one huge step forward. SquidSoap is a simple idea that frankly makes tons of sense for kids and probably for us rushing think-we-know-it-all adults. Basically, the soap dispenser has an ink marker that stains your hand once you pump out some soap. The stain marks your hand until you thoroughly scrub and wash your hands clean of all germs including the new stain(which acts as a layer of germs). This somewhat forces your to actually SEE something and scrub it away. Most kids and some adults think getting their hands wet will get rid of most germs.

This reminds me that seeing dirt or even making things dirtier before we clean then can be good. Dyson made us all happy by letting us see what we vacuumed up with a clear collector. Toilet paper is white, letting us see when we are clean. Hands are considered dirty when they have crap on them, but bacteria is transparent, and not many acknowledge this. We need a soap that just stains your whole hand until you scrub for at least 8 seconds.(Yar, I’m looking at my keyboard now…time to clean it)

update: a mouth wash that stains plaque on your teeth so you know where to brush.


Friday, August 4th, 2006

Did you ever want to figure out where people clicked on your GUI webpage and where people did not? Clickdensity documents a users every click on your webpage allowing you to monitor and understand your audience more in a information visualization format (heat map). What is clicked on the most, what is not, where do users come from, how long are they on, what are usability issues, etc. You can filter the clicks by browsers, screen resolution, dates, time of day, source, and a few other things. It’s the digital finger grease!

This reminds me of my post on Google Eyed and how Googles changed the way we view webpages. It’s also much like those elevator buttons that obviously show major use on certain floors. Same for cellphones, keyboards(the shiny f1-f10 buttons seem untouched), remote controls, etc. We’ve all seen the heat maps on weather channels, but why not turn your webpage into a weather channel of usage! Be a fun piece to make art out of from your website.

Thursday, August 3rd, 2006
lulu web publishing

Lulu is the web’s premier independent publishing marketplace for digital do-it-yourselfers. It’s the only place on the web where you can publish, sell and buy any and all things digital — books, music, comics, photographs, movies, and well, you get the idea”Lulu was founded by Bob Young, who was also the co-founder of Red Hat, the world’s leading open source company.

One of the great things about LuLu is that you can get your very own professionally printed and bound books for fairly cheap, considering that is in short print. All Lulu asks in return is 20% commission over your customized royalty rate which you set. This is waived if you decided to make your content free to download. Otherwise, you are getting 80% of the royalties which is considerably better than the 15-20% margins you’d get at most major publishers.

I wish I knew about this in college, when I ink-jeted tons of books then hand binded them which took FOREVER and cost well over $60 for a 50 page book.(Kinkos was an option, but they seriously screwed up many deadlines) On Lulu you can upload a 50 page book, have a hardcover, have it professionally printed(it won’t bleed), and you’ll save tons of time. In a matter of days, you’ll have that great book to your house for a mere 12-20$! Otherwise, you can make it available digitally and make a handsome royalty out of it even if you only get say 100 downloads.

The idea behind is Lulu is to print or buy on demand. Major publishers print thousands of books which sometimes just sit around for years. Lulu creates books when needed. No wasted prints are ever made. The cost is a bit more, but for retailers, there is no dead storage space which costs money. This is a direct connection from creator to buyer, and no one in between to ramp up the prices more. Rock on Lulu!

Siggraph: Day 3

Thursday, August 3rd, 2006
krakow electronic weaving

This was my last exhausting day walking around Siggraph2006.

Pictured above is a textile piece by Joanna Berzowska.

“The KraKow weaving is an electronic, color-changing Jacquard weaving that integrates conductive yarns, thermochromatic inks, and custom control electronics. The weaving illustrates a scene from Joannas childhood in Poland. Over time, the ink overprinted on the figures in the weaving changes color from black to transparent. Like our memories of them, the people in the textile disappear over time. As populations are displaced, the traces of their presence in place and time are similarly erased.

More pics and projects after the jump. (more…)

Siggraph: Day 2

Wednesday, August 2nd, 2006
EON touchlight

Day 2 at Siggraph2006 was another round of animations, techy art, some weird music, and a return to the emerging arts gallery. The exhibits hall also opened up, but, it was just a mini version of CES.

Pictured above is EON Realities Touchlight system, which was very much like Jef Hans Multi-Touch screen, but different technologies and some applications. The cool portion was the ability to transfer any image onto the screen simply by pressing the image up against the screen for about 8 seconds. Zooming in, rotating, moving, and other actions were pretty intuitive, though glitchy. The resolution was not the greatest, but the system had a magical air like feeling.
More projects and pics after the jump.


Catch your own sushi experience!

Tuesday, August 1st, 2006

catch your own fish restaurant experience“At the restaurant Zauo you can help yourself, no really, you HAVE to help yourself.

The middle of the restaurant is shaped like a boat and there are plenty of rooms alongside where catching can be a satisfying if unnerving experience for those will little experience fishing.

In the water are 10 different kinds of fish from lobsters to mackerel.

And once you get it on board, there’s the waitress and now the fun really begins.

Your catch of the day is whisked to the kitchen where no time is wasted turning that swimming critter into a sushi delight.

In minutes it’s gone from fish to a fancy course that costs more than $30.

So here even the most dedicated city dweller can learn what every fisherman knows the pleasure of the catch is often equal to the pleasure of the meal when you re angling for the freshest fish there is.”

Sounds like fun! yummm.

via cbs (watch video!)

SIGGRAPH 2006 Boston: Day 1

Sunday, July 30th, 2006
siggraph 2006 boston Siggraph lights

Siggraph 2006 kicked off today with some great animations and a peek at some emerging art and interactive technologies. In short, Siggraph is a super hub conference of computer graphic animations, interactive techniques, and lots of computer related robotic tools and applications. It’s where technology meets creativity. For a glimpse at what Siggraph has to offer, check out these video briefs: Art Gallery, Emerging Technologies, and computer animations.
I watched a bunch of great animations today and had a peek at the galleries. As usual, I was asking a bunch of questions as these kind of conferences are more about what’s possible, rather than whats desirable. More Pics after the jump.

Unusual Hotels of the World!

Saturday, July 29th, 2006
ice bar hotel

Did you ever think those ice hotels in James Bond flicks were real? Well, the answer is yes, and yes for many more unusual adventure-some hotel destinations throughout the world. Would you like to stay in a Cave tonight, perhaps stay up in the trees, better yet closer to the woodpeckers, a popular night in a Freighter Plane, a hotel that you must scuba dive underwater to enter, or would you just like your classic ice hotels. I’ll give the ice and treehouse a try someday, but for now, I’ll stick to the comfy basic rooms that probably suit my budget for the time being, though the polished up fancy ones are always nice to lounge in.

ilove Magazine Water Bottles

Thursday, July 27th, 2006

ilove water bottleCall it a magazine, call it a bottle of water, or just plain call it a refreshing idea in between. “ilove” is the first gossip magazine for women on a bottle of water. Each month several 32 page issues are attached to bottles which allows women a quick update on several topics while they enjoy their beverage….it’s somewhat like a daily blog on a bottle of water. Their hopes are to make these monthly issues weekly, hence, 6+ issues a week, with a version targeting the male audience soon.

I’m somewhat skeptical of this idea, but I’ll admit, I was a sucker for those laffy taffy wrapper jokes, those snapple wisdom caps, games on the back of cereal boxes, and those many fun facts and stories on several other food+beverage products. Adding this content might be a nice way to jazz up the value in this competitive world of bottled water, and infact, I’d probably spend a few extra pennies if the content was good, fun, addictive, and useful. Promotionwise, I’m sure they can strike up some other incentives, much like soda cans did with amusement parks ($10 off, when you still have to spend 65$). Anyhow, for sure in this world of time management it’s always great to get snippets of news on the go anywhere!

Cursor Kite!

Wednesday, July 26th, 2006
cursor kite burning man

I love it when things in the digital world are brought back into the physical world. There’s the Scroller Scarf, The Mario Brothers Coin Boxes, The Bubble Project quotes, Unnecessary Censorship Shirts, character costumes, the Sims floating diamond, tons of others, and now perhaps my favorite, the Cursor Kite!!! Fly this bad boy over your cityscape and navigate your virtual physical world. It would be cool if you could actually click or drag objects much like that one cursor commercial some years ago, but I’m sure you can easily crash this huge kite into standbys only to knock them over. Perhaps latch on to the tip a fake body and drag them throughout the sky!
Anyhow, I love it when the digital meets the physical world…keep them ideas rollin out!! buh yeah!

“Get your Name in the Song” Experiment

Friday, July 21st, 2006
jessica simpson a public affair

First there were those t-shirts, hats, golf balls, and other objects that you could embed your name into and give as great gifts. Then came the ipods with the etched personalizations. Then came the “create it yourself” trend in making your own designs and looks in products. Video games also allowed people to map their own faces onto basketball players, though they looked like contorted lego heads. Now comes a rather interesting twist to the world of MP3’s with the experimental trial run with artist Jessica Simpson’s “Your Name, Your Song”. You pay $1.99 and get your very own personalized version of Jessicas smash hit single “A public Affair” featuring you!(and the other thousand people that have your name)

Is it worth the extra price, I’m not sure, but for some fan fanatics, I’m sure it’s a dream. You can hear a sample of the customized song on yahoos webpage which uses the name “Yahoo” which makes for a rather interesting song since “yahoo” also somewhat means, bozo. These new MP3’s are also unrestricted, meaning, anyone can copy them once purchased.(I guess someone can buy all 1000 names and sell them for 50 cents now) Anyhow, the day that you walk into a movie theater, pay an extra 50$ to get a body scan and have James Bond replaced by none other than yourself might be a fun experience.

This somewhat reminds me about the post I made about the paradox of choice. Soon when you want to buy a song, you’ll also be asked in what tempo, which remix, which words, which language, which quality, and which pitch. This is very much comparable to how you use to be able to just buy a pair of jeans, though now you are asked, what kind, what length, ripped, stained, washed, buttoned, zippered, etc. I’ll still debate the question if choice is good or bad, but as far as I know, choice is always going to increase.
via paidcontent

Blender: Open Source Cinema/3D Program

Monday, July 10th, 2006


Elephant’s Dream is the world’s first open source movie created with Blender, a completely open source 3D modeling animation program, so, if your complaining about expensive 3D software, you can get this one completely free. As for the Cinema portion of the movie, all the production files are available online for FREE (Whoohoo!)- free for interpretation and manipulation. Re-edited versions of the film are already starting to appear on the web.
I love the idea and power behind Open Source. It just plain rocks! There’s Wikipedia, Firefox, instructables, music mash-ups, and now Blender. (Here’s an explanation of Open source with more examples) The only problem with most open source programs is that only programmers really understand how to manipulate and add/change content. Hopefully one day Open Source will make everything as intuitive and as productive as possible for anyone to use just about anything.