Friday, July 31, 2009

A new iPhone application offers to help you understand how happy you are

A new iPhone application offers to help you understand how happy you are, and what makes you happy, by tracking what factors are associated with your personal happiness.

The TrackYourHappiness application is actually part of psychology research being performed by Matt Killinsgworth at Harvard. The site identifies the mission of the project as a

“new scientific research project that aims to use modern technology to help answer this age-old question. Using this site in conjunction with your iPhone, you can systematically track your happiness and find out what factors for you personally - are associated with greater happiness.”

Upon signing up for the program, you report a slew of personal information to give the software (and researchers) an idea of who you are; how satisfied you report being with your life, income, marital status, political leanings, etc. Your iPhone periodically reminds you throughout the day to answer a short one-minute survey, asking how happy you are and what you’re doing. 50 complete survey answers later, you receive a Happiness Report, which will help you understand what factors most affect your levels of happiness.

Via Noah Briar

Joy's law: Most of the smart people work somewhere else... :)

Thursday, July 30, 2009

Production process

“Organic Net” Boutique by Sako Architects: A Design that No One Can Copy

Home to many of the richest Chinese businessmen and officials, Hangzhou is known as a leading “leisure city” of China. To stand out in Hangzhou’s luxury retail market, the female clothing brand Romanticism asked Japan’s SAKO Architects to design a store that “no one could copy.” The result is an organic net theme that covers both the exterior and interior of the store.

Developed on the assumption that there's no such thing as too much choice, Coca-Cola Freestyle is a new self-serve soda fountain that can dispense up to 100 different drink flavours. The machine is being tested this summer at fastfood restaurants in California and Atlanta, with the intention of rolling out units across the US early next year.
Flavoured teas, waters, juices and soft drinks will all be available from Coca-Cola Freestyle, letting customers select drinks based on brand, calorie content or caffeine levels, all through the system's touchscreen interface. Combinations will be pre-set, meaning Raspberry Coke and Peach Fanta are available on tap, but frat dares combining tea and Sprite won't be possible. Many of the flavours on offer are new to the US market.
RFID tags will keep track of the syrup the machine uses, telling retailers when to refill, and providing Coke HQ with insight into popular flavours and locations. By tracking sales, Coca-Cola gains valuable insight into which drinks would be most successful if offered bottled or canned. Which means the intelligent technology doesn't just offer a new level of choice for customers, but also streamlines supply chain management and informs new product development.

Out to help those looking for a quick relaxation fix, a new drink from Canada offers ‘an acupuncture session’ in every can. An antidote to energy drinks like Red Bull, Slow Cow was developed to help people de-stress.

Under the premise that caffeine-packed drinks tend to increase anxiety, Slow Cow contains theanine, chamomile, valerian, passiflora and other ingredients known for their calming effects. The beverage is meant to increase mental awareness while improving relaxation, without the post-hit dip that caffeine and other stimulants cause.

Slow Cow, whose tongue-in-cheek logo apparently did not amuse Red Bull, might have found a gap in a market saturated with energy drinks of every possible variety. It's not the only beverage to position itself as a relaxation drink, mind you, (Drank is another), but Slow Cow gets our vote for best branding. Seems like a natural fit for spas, hotels, airlines—or anywhere else consumers could use a serving of relaxation.


Photo tarpaulins transform garage doors

On even the most tastefully appointed of houses, garage doors tend to be drab and monochrome eyesores, designed apparently without even the smallest nod to aesthetics. A German company aims to change all that, however, with large-scale posters that transform the doors through highly realistic 3D images.'s photo tarpaulins are available with a variety of motifs and images that are sure to cause neighbours, friends and passers-by to stop and stare. A photographic version of trompe l'oeil, some are designed to give the impression that unusual contents can be found in the garage, such as an airplane, race car or monster-sized kitty. Others aim to provide a glimpse of the world beyond the garage door, such as a Tuscan landscape or what seems to be the home's very own golf course. Another series, meanwhile, aims to give the garage door itself another look altogether, such as through a rustic wooden appearance. Consumers can also upload the digital image of their choice and have it turned into a customised photo tarpaulin. In fact, invites consumers to submit ideas for new designs as well, and promises a share of the profits if their idea gets accepted.


Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Bokode: Beyond The Bar Code

The MIT Media Lab has developed a new type of data tag called Bokode, which has the capacity to hold thousands of times more information than the traditional barcode. The name is a combination of barcode, and the Japanese term Bokeh, which refers to the blurred area around a photographer’s point of focus.
Bokodes are circular in shape and much smaller than a barcode -about 3mm wide- and consist of an LED along with a mask and lens. Information is stored in the light that shines through the mask, and can be read by taking an out of focus photo from meters away- a much farther distance than a standard barcode would require.
A Bokode has the potential for a wide range of different uses. It could provide information on products in a grocery store or exhibits in a museum, or serve as a gateway to accessing pertinent documents or multimedia in an academic or business environment.
A video presentation on Bokode, provided by MIT Media Labs:


New Virgin Atlantic


Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Mammut iPhone application for Alpinists

Scholz & Volkmer brings Mammut to the iPhone. A new application developed for the cult Swiss alpine sports brand will in future help to make things safer when on the mountain. The application helps wintersports affectionados to evaluate the gradient of the slope and therefore help to assess the current risk of avalanches. Furthermore, the application allows direct access to online avalanche warning systems and displays the current altitude via GPS tracking.

Sourse:Scholz & Volkmer

Coke light Karaoke

Karaoke fans are now able to fully enjoy themselves on the Italian Coke light website. As part of the new website a Karaoke application has been developed allowing the female user group to perform their own version of the song "I’ve gotta be me" the theme being: "Sing yourself free from the daily stress." Just as Duffy in the accompanying TV ad, the user indulges in a well-earned break from the daily routine by visiting the site. The performances of the song will be linked together and will result in the world’s longest TV spot created by users. For anyone who fancies to follow Duffys example and prove their own singing abilities can do so here.

YouTube Adds Support for 3D Videos

YouTube recently added 3D options for their videos, seizing on the growing trend to bring 3D content into our everyday lives. Whether in our online interfaces or in new cameras, three dimensional content is becoming more accessible. YouTube’s library of 3D videos is understandably sparse, but they have embedded options to suit your preferred viewing style.

The move brings 3D technology possibilities into a new arena and hopefully YouTube videos will surface that are actually enhanced by the third dimension such as this flower experiment, rather than otherwise flat videos like this example from Engadget. We don’t suggest viewing videos if you don’t have the appropriate glasses, but feel free to imagine the possibilities as explained by YouTube staff:

Source: PSFK

Monday, July 27, 2009

Treasure World Sends Gamers on Mobile WiFi hunt

As gaming systems become increasingly integrated with the physicality of the gamer, developers are seizing upon the intricacies of our actual environments for new ways of having fun on-screen. Aspyr’s Treasure World for Nintendo’s DS and DSi handhelds is one such attempt to bridge the gap between the real and the pixelated, launching players on a virtual treasure hunt that requires exploring one’s surroundings for actual wireless networks. Real-life WiFi spots are converted into in-game “treasure,” which can be traded in for items. The game can even be played with the handheld closed—at which point one is literally just wandering around waiting for their DS to grab hold of a network. If this sounds like it could be dull, you’re in good company—Treasure World has garnered a highly mediocre cumulative 67% on Metacritic—but the effort to make the actual part of the virtual is an essential movement in advancing video gaming beyond the living room, though somewhat poorly executed this time around.

Source PSFK via USA Today

iPhone App Tests Sobriety By Asking Users to “Walk the Line”

hort of integrating a breathalyzer into the body of the iPhone, Dutch brewing company Grolsch might have figured out the next best thing with their new “Walk the Line” app. Utilizing the iPhone’s motion-sensing accelerometer, the application tracks a user’s ability (or lack thereof) to refrain from weaving when attempting to walk a straight line. A final score indicates whether you’re inebriated or not.

Source PSFK

Friday, July 24, 2009

The energy giant

ung von Matt and FIDO did an impressive work to tell the story about building the sustainable future for RWE. As explained on Motiongrapher, the project was originally conceived as an in-house corporate video, but the clip will premier in German cinemas to mark the launch of the new Harry Potter film.

Source: adverblog

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Custom Interactive Projections On Buildings

This time, NuFormer Digital Media from the Netherlands brings a video demo of custom made 3D projections made to fit each building.

Projection on Buildings from NuFormer Digital Media on Vimeo.

Source: PSFK

Google Earth 5.0 Contains Lunar Atlas

Google Earth launched the 5.0 version of their software containing an interactive 3-D atlas of the Moon.

The clickable map contains a wealth of short stories, photography and video about the different Apollo missions, and in-depth information about the Moon’s terrain.

Source: Google

Apps Market As Big As The Web

The application market could grow to be as large as the web and that we shouldn’t be wondering when the ‘boom’ was going to end. Now, commentators on a panel at the VentureBeat’s MobileBeat conference have suggested that the number of apps will grow by 100,000 a year and that in ten years we may see 10 billion mobile applications. The BBC reports:
“Apps will be as big if not bigger than the internet,” according to Ilja Laurs, chief executive of GetJar, a leading independent application store. They will peak at around 100,000 by the end of the year. That will be a tipping point and after that there will be a gradual fall in the rate of development. The full blossom will come in ten years and mobile apps will become as popular as websites are today with consumers,” Mr Laurs told BBC News.

Source: PSFK

Zaha Hadid’s Flowing Building Design in Beijing

Beijing, home to some of the most grand and experimental architecture over the past 5 years, is set to add another unique building to its landscape. Chaoyangmen SOHO III is designed by Zaha Hadid and located in the upscale SOHO area of east Beijing.

The buildings inside the 334,000 square meter space are inspired by the traditional Chinese courtyard design with an open area surrounded by a building that envelops the visitor in a 360 degree manner. The uniquely fluid design has no hard corners or angles, which is a sharp contrast from the Soviet-style buildings common to Beijing.

Source: PSFK

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

BBQ Retail: Local Designers Create Pop-Up Boutique

It would seem like one of the year’s biggest understatements to say that consumers are hesitant to go shopping at the moment. Not only are the fashion conscious set reluctant to spend any money on new threads, but there’s a general sense that it’s irresponsible to be thinking of one’s wardrobe while the entire country appears to be teetering on the verge of financial collapse. So how can retailers take some of the sting out of spending?

By making customers feel like they’re at a BBQ with friends.

This past weekend in Greenpoint, Brooklyn, designer Mary Meyer teamed up with local brands such as Costalot Sunglasses, Round Designs , newly opened Parlour Salon, and Facade Vintage to throw a free BBQ featuring produce from Rooftop Farms and music by Mirror Mirror and Patrick Thomas. The event, which was held on the back patio of The Parlour Salon, beckoned passersby with balloons and the promise of free bang trims, beer, and a good time. Inside was a well curated collection of vintage clothing, and Mary Meyer was on hand showing her new menswear line. Meyer, who created the event as a way to showcase the talents of her fellow designers and friends, also acted as host to those curious about what goes on behind the makings of an indie fashion line.

Source: PSFK

The HiCan: Bed and Entertainment Sensory Isolation Chamber

While you don’t float in a soundproof salt-water filled tank like the original isolation tank, the HiCan bed is essentially the modern equivalent. It is a modernist bed with a built-in projector, game and entertainment systems and controls for your room. For some, this may be one step closer to a utopia where the only reason to step out of bed is to fulfill the basic caloric requirements.

Why leave the HiCan? Even if you live in a luxury penthouse overlooking a skyline, as the publicity images suggest, blinds can be drawn on all sides so you can enjoy your entertainment in private. The design is certainly sleek, but what do all these features crammed into a bed say about where the role of entertainment in our lives is headed?


Solar Power From Solar Flowers

Toyota has planted several 18-foot high solar-powered daisies in front of the Prudential Mall in Boston as part of their launch for the 2010 3rd-generation Prius, which will utilize solar power for inner ventilation if parked in the sun. The flowers provide free Wi-Fi, cellphone and laptop charging, and seating for 10 people at a time. The installation also includes 5 bus shelters that use solar panels to operate fans for air circulation.

The exhibit leaves Boston July 19, and will be placed in other cities through the rest of the year.

Source: PSFK

Banksy In Africa

A few photos of street art in Africa have appeared on the web with the speculation that the pieces are the work of reknowned British artist Banksy. Some of the images have been painted in Mali and were painted “from Bamako to Timbuktu” says one commenter on Flickr.

Source: PSFK

Socialseek: Tracking Trends And Brands Through Social Media

Socialseek is a new desktop app that allows you to search topics, brands, companies and trends through all aspects of social media- such as blogs, image, video and event sites.

You can measure and compare the popularity of each topic, localize your searches to specific cities, and receive real-time updates about how active your query is across specific platforms.

Source: PSFK

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

The Solar Powered Glowing Night Garden

Striving to demonstrate the importance and beauty of alternative energy, a solar-powered flower garden is being used to light up the night in Jerusalem.

Giant flowers of different shapes and sizes brighten the night with changing colors while opening and closing to the sound of music composed especially for the installation by artists Ravid Hang and Andy Isler. The installation is charged during the day, and comes to life in the dark with energy-saving LED lights, creating a beautiful, tranquil setting.

The Enchanting Night Garden is a co-operation between Israel Electric Corporation and O*GE Architects.

Source: PSFK

Google Voice

Google has launched a new service that hopes to make using your current phones much better. Google Voice offers a personal phone number that rings all of your existing phones when people call; all of your voicemail in one inbox; free voicemail transcripts; low-priced international calling and even a do-not-vcall spam filter. A lot of these services have been around for a while as individual applications but Google seems to have studied them and put the best features into a new service.

Learn more

Source: PSFK

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Augmented Reality Tweet Viewer

TwittARound, a new augmented reality app from German developer Michael Zoellner, works in the exact same way—utilizing the iPhone 3Gs’ integrated compass in conjunction with GPS and video data to mix data with what we see. TwittARound provides a 360 degree view of tweets made in the vicinity, so that, ideally, they could act as “post-it notes for the world” . Location-enabled tweets are nothing new, however, and a cursory sampling casts doubt on whether TwittARound has anywhere near as much functionality as the admittedly very cool visuals.

While the utility of an augmented reality app that points to the nearest subway stop, or the nearest ATMs, or could display the locations of your friends would be hard to dispute, are we really gaining anything from knowledge that a mediocre whiffle ball team lies to our south east? Augmented reality will garner easy attention now and for the immediate future because of its visual appeal—but developers would be wise to reflect on what exactly they are augmenting our reality with. TwittARound is still pending Apple’s approval before appearing on the App Store.

Levi’s Does An Abercrombie & Fitch

The latest Levi’s campaign to re-brand the dying apparel company leaves us frustrated and a little angry. A campaign by Wieden+Kennedy that was supposed to target Generation O seems to have ignored all the participation and multi-culturalism that this Obama-era is supposed to represent. Instead, we find lone white young men and women running through the hills and towards waves reflecting a misplaced interpretation of freedom.

Levi’s and its campaign don’t connect with the great things that are happening in this country, the radiant mix of cultures evolving within it nor the reality of its past.

Probably the most appalling ad in the campaign is the one where a young girl runs through a meadow by the words “This Country Was Not Built By Men In Suits”. Now, some of us here (me) didn’t spend a lot of time studying US history but I know that the people who built this country couldn’t even run freely in the fields. Agency Spy spotted graffiti daubed on the ad in New York’s subway which spells out who a little more clearly: “By Slaves”.

Source: PSFK

ColaLife’s Bid to Deliver More Than Just Soda to Developing World

ColaLife is a brilliant example of the kind of special “out-of-the-box” thinking that proves it’s always possible to reinvent the wheel or in this case, make it better. We caught sight of the endeavor almost a year ago, but the project has since evolved.

Having observed that Coca-Cola’s impressive infrastructure enabled it to deliver product to nearly every corner of the world, Simon Berry noted that the process still contained inefficiencies, namely wasted space. He felt that with a bit of intelligent package design this space could be used to transport desperately needed medical supplies to developing countries through Coca-Cola’s pre-existing distribution channels.

The ColaLife about page explains:

ColaLife is a campaign to get Coca-Cola to open up its distribution channels in developing countries to save lives, especially children’s lives, by carrying much needed ’social products’ such as oral rehydration salts and high-dose vitamin A tablets. ColaLife is an independent and purely voluntary movement backed by thousands of supporters on its Facebook Group. ColaLife is not an organization.

And though Berry has been attempting to make this idea happen for over 20 years, he is only now beginning to see progress. Thanks to a grassroots effort spurred on by both traditional and social media outreach, the project is getting closer to becoming a reality. Berry is in discussion with Coca-Cola and looking to engage with an international NGO.

Learn more about the latest on the campaign at the blog or visit the group’s Facebook page.

Source: PSFK

Your Friends Die When Your Phone Dies

Intresting campaign for Airtel phone operator by the agency Rediffusion Y & R in Gurgaon India. A nice performance on photographs of Tarun Vishwa and around the concept: “Do not lose your contacts when you drop your phone.”

Infographic Explains Why Cheap Airlines are so Cheap


Friday, July 10, 2009

Logo Styles of 2009



Bill Gardner, the man behind the LogoLounge book series you’ll likely find on the desks of most graphic designers reports on the styles, define trends in logo design:
1. PhotoFill
2. Concealed
3. VariDot
4. Candy Stripe
5. Texting
6. Encrust
7. Monolgue
8. Doily
9. Flip Flop
10. Mosaic
11. Sequential
12. Recycle
13. Dandelion
14. Circulate
15. Gossamer

Full version

Source: PSFK

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

Clean Public Transport: Hydrogen Powered Buses in Brasil

At first sight, it looks like an ordinary bus. The difference is only noticed when it comes nearer and one hears no sound, and doesn´t see the usual black smoke coming from the exhaust pipe. Latin America´s first hydrogen powered public transport bus took the streets of São Paulo on July 1st. The project has been under development since 2004 and is the result of different partnerships, including with the Global Environment Facility (GEF) and UNDP Brazil.

China and Brazil are the only two emerging countries that have been able to take the first step towards transforming into reality the dream of a pollution-free public transport, by putting hydrogen powered buses on the streets. Unfortunately, the still very expensive technology means massive investment is needed in order to make hydrogen fuel available on a larger scale. Nevertheless, this first bus is an important sign of the Brazilian government’s commitment towards the reduction of carbon emissions and an important encouragement towards the development of other clean and renewable energy technology in Brazil.

Source: PSFK

How To Make Your Own Guerrilla Drive-In Theatre

Since 2005 MobMov or ‘Mobile Movie’ has been reviving drive in cinema by rallying groups worldwide to create their own mobile screenings right from their car. Claiming to be the first group to lead the drive in revival, MobMov groups now operate in over 32 nations and have around 13,199 members. Using car batteries and video projectors the group has posted a very straight forward tutorial on creating your own guerrilla screening on their website. All that’s needed is a projector, inverter, DVD player, FM transmitter, a car with a large, flat windshield and a viewing area.

Read the tutorial here.


Try Before You Fly Travel Agency is hoping their brand will change the way that people plan and purchase their travel. Combining slickly produced videos showcasing upscale resorts and sightseeing destinations with a booking service offering exclusive deals on flights and hotels, the company model is equal parts Travel Channel and travel agency. Add in a social media component, allowing like-minded travelers to connect and share experiences, and feels they have right mix of services to appeal to their target demographic of “affluent, urban consumers.”

Source: PSFK

A Bag Full of Luck

In Spain Pepsico’s Lay’s chips not only have a rather surprising Jamon flavor but also a rather surprising Bolsa de Suerte promotion. The “good luck bag” campaign dreamed up by Tiempo BBDO consists of little scratch cards in each of their bags of chips. With them you can either win a free bag of chips or cash. Pepsico are giving away 3,000,000 free bags of chips.The campaign aims at letting people who have never won anything win something. Free chips for losers seems like a winning proposition.
In addition to the chips you can also win one of 25,000 cash prizes of 10, 20, 50 and 100 Euros. The small amounts and the sheer number of prizes makes this campaign feel very different from other “buy our stuff and win something” promotions.

Source: PSFK

Friday, July 3, 2009

10 Eco-Innovations From Around The World

Foot Pump Phone Chargers

Festival goers at Glastonbury, in the U.K., can charge their cell-phones through using a standard airbed foot pump, the type normally found all over festival sites. The Orange Gotwind power pump’s turbine is rotated at speeds of up to 2000 rpm from the air flow generated by the foot pump, this turbine then directly drives the small but powerful alternator. A 5 minute phone call will require approximately 1 minute of foot pumping.

Green Applications

T-Mobile introduces Green Perks, a free downloadable application that delivers exclusive discounts on green products and services directly to your phone. Just scroll through the offers on your phone, flash your Green Perks coupon when you check out, and you’re done. Featured offers include a 20% discount off Method home care and personal care products, as well as Jamba Juice, Quiksilver and Volcom.

Carbon Counters

In late June, Deutsche Bank place an 67-by-32-foot electronic billboard outside Madison Square Garden, where over 500,000 people see it daily. The Carbon Counter works as a meter on human-caused climate change, monitoring the real-time, cumulative pollution humans are emitting into atmosphere via data from MIT’s Global Climate Change Program and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. Tracking progress through measurements and transparency.

Full version

Source: PSFK

What is the Future of Journalism?

PSFK recently asked global network of experts for their thoughts on the future of journalism.So

What is the Future of Journalism?

“I’d go with fragmented tribal media. Ground up, Wikipedia-style editing. Private philanthropy will support institutions like The New York Times, if they exist as printed media. Everything goes digital in the next 10 years.”

Erik Johanson

“I envision the future of Journalism to be collaborative and social made up of citizen journalist much like combined with features of craislist and twitter where one can search and contribute by zip code and topic, upload photos, videos and share or retweet content.”

Yesenia Hernandez

“The future of journalism is the the future of music production - independent, modular, self-resourced, entrepeneurial. Sometimes relevant, mostly on the cutting edge.”

Constantine Frantzeskos

“The future of journalism is information written, or passed on, from your friends. The tipping point will be when the line between gossip and news is drawn. (as most of my friends choose not to share gossip via electronic media)”

Full version

Source: PSFK

Thursday, July 2, 2009

Wednesday, July 1, 2009

Magazine Goes From Concept to Print-Ready in 24 Hours

Mixing a bit of DIY culture with a sense of urgency, a group of volunteer designers, writers and photographers assembled on June 27th in Belgium to produce
the 24Hour Magazine - a 47-page digital publication from scratch in the course of a day. And while the effort involved to realize a completed product in such a short time is impressive indeed, what made the project truly special was the team’s online outreach in the midst of the creation process.

The group shared the entire experience with would-be readers across a number of platforms, including live video streams on Vimeo, blog posts, a Twitter feed and behind the scenes images on their Flickr page. The result is a more personalized magazine - the audience is given a unique perspective on the work entailed as well as a rotting interest - that might help to better justify the cover price, which in the case of 24 Hour Magazine, will rather be steep when it goes to print: 20-30 Euros, though PDF versions are currently free.

Source: PSFK