Tag Archives: technology

Waymo says Uber hid a LiDAR device based on its technology

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Waymo says it discovered the device after one of Uber’s engineers was forced to admit its existence.

Continue reading Waymo says Uber hid a LiDAR device based on its technology

Waymo says Uber hid a LiDAR device based on its technology originally appeared on Autoblog on Sat, 22 Apr 2017 15:45:00 EDT. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Celebrating Old and New Technology at Air Max Day 2017

March 26, 1987 brought us one of the most infamous sneakers in history—the Air Max 1. While Air Max technology was originally introduced eight years earlier in the Tailwind, the Air Max 1 was the first time the air technology was made at a larger scale and visible from the outside. Since its debut as both a function and fashion staple with the Air Max 1, air technology has been through quite the evolution. With its countless appearances in coveted collaborations with athletes, brands and sneaker stores like Atmos, to its key role in various sneaker silhouettes, Nike’s air technology has made itself a staple in just about every sneaker collector’s closet.

The original Air Max 1 

Yesterday, Nike hosted events celebrating Air Max’s big 30th birthday. While other countries celebrated in their own ways, here in New York City, we had a go big or go home mentality, as per usual. Celebrations were hosted in multiple locations throughout the city, each with their own surprises. Here’s a taste of what went down during the big birthday bash at our three favorite locations: 

The Nike Air Vapormax

Before getting into specific locations, it’s important to note the star of yesterday’s show: The Nike Air Vapormax. This brand new silhouette takes Nike’s air technology to the next level with a sole that incorporates huge air pockets that make the Air Max 1’s visible air tech look like nothing. With previous Air Max models, you’re walking on a sole with air as a small buffer, but with the Vapormax, you’re basically just walking on air. 

Sneakeasy at Nike Clubhouse

At the Sneakeasy exhibit tucked away in Nike’s Clubhouse, Nike product specialists walked visitors through the history of air technology and explained Air Vapormax features. 

“The Nike Air Vapormax is the lightest, most high performing, most flexible Air Max we’ve ever created, weighing at just 8.8 oz in a men’s size 9 and with a range of motion similar to the Nike Free RN.”

There was also a chance for visitors to customize their own pair of Vapomax sneakers in an ultra fancy Nike id room, a room dedicated to the history of Nike’s air technology and a small exhibit centered around this year’s Vote Forward contest.

The first sneaker to incorporate air technology! Notice it’s not visible in the sole yet.
A cool display featuring inspiration for the Vote Forward contest.
Cool display Pt. 2
Nike id options

The third floor of the exhibit had a few more surprises—my favorite being a wall of custom Air Max sneakers designed by Alex Lee and Ava Nirui. Their cheeky designs all play on the name ‘Air Max’ in different ways:

“Food Processair”
“Horticultair”
“Erasair”
“Air RC”

Nike Soho

Nike’s new multi-level retail complex in Soho was the hub of the celebration, housing multiple installations, interactive activities and most importantly, a ton of free stuff (no complaints). My favorite display was a huge wall of different Air Max models accompanied by a giant movable screen. As you move the screen across the wall, different descriptions pop up over the sneaker you’re looking at.

One of my favorite Air Max’s—the Air 180 Easter Eggs!
Up close and personal!

NikeLab 21 Mercer

NikeLab released three very special sneakers, all incorporating the Vapormax sole. The most exciting release—and I’m guessing you’ll agree—is the Marc Newson x Nike NikeLab Air Vapormax. This isn’t the first time the Industrial Designer has collaborated with Nike (remember these?), and I certainly hope it’s not the last:

At NikeLab 21 Mercer

A very limited number of the funky sneaker-moccasins were released yesterday. Unfortunately, the smallest size released was an 8 men’s, and I’m a 7. Purchasing was out of the question, but that didn’t take away from the nerdy moment I was able to enjoy. I have to say, they’re very comfortable and fun to wear—the Vapormax sole is extremely light and easy to move around in.

I wish you were mine.

Air Max Day was a fun time all around. I always enjoy sneaker events because of the pure enthusiasm fans and collectors have about shoes—maybe because it justifies my obsession. There’s nothing like seeing or being a sneakerhead in a sneaker store, on a sneaker holiday—except maybe seeing or being a kid in a candy store the day after Halloween (when all the candy is half-priced, of course). Till next year, Air Max Day!


Core77

Celebrating Old and New Technology at Air Max Day 2017

March 26, 1987 brought us one of the most infamous sneakers in history—the Air Max 1. While Air Max technology was originally introduced eight years earlier in the Tailwind, the Air Max 1 was the first time the air technology was made at a larger scale and visible from the outside. Since its debut as both a function and fashion staple with the Air Max 1, air technology has been through quite the evolution. With its countless appearances in coveted collaborations with athletes, brands and sneaker stores like Atmos, to its key role in various sneaker silhouettes, Nike’s air technology has made itself a staple in just about every sneaker collector’s closet.

The original Air Max 1 

Yesterday, Nike hosted events celebrating Air Max’s big 30th birthday. While other countries celebrated in their own ways, here in New York City, we had a go big or go home mentality, as per usual. Celebrations were hosted in multiple locations throughout the city, each with their own surprises. Here’s a taste of what went down during the big birthday bash at our three favorite locations: 

The Nike Air Vapormax

Before getting into specific locations, it’s important to note the star of yesterday’s show: The Nike Air Vapormax. This brand new silhouette takes Nike’s air technology to the next level with a sole that incorporates huge air pockets that make the Air Max 1’s visible air tech look like nothing. With previous Air Max models, you’re walking on a sole with air as a small buffer, but with the Vapormax, you’re basically just walking on air. 

Sneakeasy at Nike Clubhouse

At the Sneakeasy exhibit tucked away in Nike’s Clubhouse, Nike product specialists walked visitors through the history of air technology and explained Air Vapormax features. 

“The Nike Air Vapormax is the lightest, most high performing, most flexible Air Max we’ve ever created, weighing at just 8.8 oz in a men’s size 9 and with a range of motion similar to the Nike Free RN.”

There was also a chance for visitors to customize their own pair of Vapomax sneakers in an ultra fancy Nike id room, a room dedicated to the history of Nike’s air technology and a small exhibit centered around this year’s Vote Forward contest.

The first sneaker to incorporate air technology! Notice it’s not visible in the sole yet.
A cool display featuring inspiration for the Vote Forward contest.
Cool display Pt. 2
Nike id options

The third floor of the exhibit had a few more surprises—my favorite being a wall of custom Air Max sneakers designed by Alex Lee and Ava Nirui. Their cheeky designs all play on the name ‘Air Max’ in different ways:

“Food Processair”
“Horticultair”
“Erasair”
“Air RC”

Nike Soho

Nike’s new multi-level retail complex in Soho was the hub of the celebration, housing multiple installations, interactive activities and most importantly, a ton of free stuff (no complaints). My favorite display was a huge wall of different Air Max models accompanied by a giant movable screen. As you move the screen across the wall, different descriptions pop up over the sneaker you’re looking at.

One of my favorite Air Max’s—the Air 180 Easter Eggs!
Up close and personal!

NikeLab 21 Mercer

NikeLab released three very special sneakers, all incorporating the Vapormax sole. The most exciting release—and I’m guessing you’ll agree—is the Marc Newson x Nike NikeLab Air Vapormax. This isn’t the first time the Industrial Designer has collaborated with Nike (remember these?), and I certainly hope it’s not the last:

At NikeLab 21 Mercer

A very limited number of the funky sneaker-moccasins were released yesterday. Unfortunately, the smallest size released was an 8 men’s, and I’m a 7. Purchasing was out of the question, but that didn’t take away from the nerdy moment I was able to enjoy. I have to say, they’re very comfortable and fun to wear—the Vapormax sole is extremely light and easy to move around in.

I wish you were mine.

Air Max Day was a fun time all around. I always enjoy sneaker events because of the pure enthusiasm fans and collectors have about shoes—maybe because it justifies my obsession. There’s nothing like seeing or being a sneakerhead in a sneaker store, on a sneaker holiday—except maybe seeing or being a kid in a candy store the day after Halloween (when all the candy is half-priced, of course). Till next year, Air Max Day!


Core77

Celebrating Old and New Technology at Air Max Day 2017

March 26, 1987 brought us one of the most infamous sneakers in history—the Air Max 1. While Air Max technology was originally introduced eight years earlier in the Tailwind, the Air Max 1 was the first time the air technology was made at a larger scale and visible from the outside. Since its debut as both a function and fashion staple with the Air Max 1, air technology has been through quite the evolution. With its countless appearances in coveted collaborations with athletes, brands and sneaker stores like Atmos, to its key role in various sneaker silhouettes, Nike’s air technology has made itself a staple in just about every sneaker collector’s closet.

The original Air Max 1 

Yesterday, Nike hosted events celebrating Air Max’s big 30th birthday. While other countries celebrated in their own ways, here in New York City, we had a go big or go home mentality, as per usual. Celebrations were hosted in multiple locations throughout the city, each with their own surprises. Here’s a taste of what went down during the big birthday bash at our three favorite locations: 

The Nike Air Vapormax

Before getting into specific locations, it’s important to note the star of yesterday’s show: The Nike Air Vapormax. This brand new silhouette takes Nike’s air technology to the next level with a sole that incorporates huge air pockets that make the Air Max 1’s visible air tech look like nothing. With previous Air Max models, you’re walking on a sole with air as a small buffer, but with the Vapormax, you’re basically just walking on air. 

Sneakeasy at Nike Clubhouse

At the Sneakeasy exhibit tucked away in Nike’s Clubhouse, Nike product specialists walked visitors through the history of air technology and explained Air Vapormax features. 

“The Nike Air Vapormax is the lightest, most high performing, most flexible Air Max we’ve ever created, weighing at just 8.8 oz in a men’s size 9 and with a range of motion similar to the Nike Free RN.”

There was also a chance for visitors to customize their own pair of Vapomax sneakers in an ultra fancy Nike id room, a room dedicated to the history of Nike’s air technology and a small exhibit centered around this year’s Vote Forward contest.

The first sneaker to incorporate air technology! Notice it’s not visible in the sole yet.
A cool display featuring inspiration for the Vote Forward contest.
Cool display Pt. 2
Nike id options

The third floor of the exhibit had a few more surprises—my favorite being a wall of custom Air Max sneakers designed by Alex Lee and Ava Nirui. Their cheeky designs all play on the name ‘Air Max’ in different ways:

“Food Processair”
“Horticultair”
“Erasair”
“Air RC”

Nike Soho

Nike’s new multi-level retail complex in Soho was the hub of the celebration, housing multiple installations, interactive activities and most importantly, a ton of free stuff (no complaints). My favorite display was a huge wall of different Air Max models accompanied by a giant movable screen. As you move the screen across the wall, different descriptions pop up over the sneaker you’re looking at.

One of my favorite Air Max’s—the Air 180 Easter Eggs!
Up close and personal!

NikeLab 21 Mercer

NikeLab released three very special sneakers, all incorporating the Vapormax sole. The most exciting release—and I’m guessing you’ll agree—is the Marc Newson x Nike NikeLab Air Vapormax. This isn’t the first time the Industrial Designer has collaborated with Nike (remember these?), and I certainly hope it’s not the last:

At NikeLab 21 Mercer

A very limited number of the funky sneaker-moccasins were released yesterday. Unfortunately, the smallest size released was an 8 men’s, and I’m a 7. Purchasing was out of the question, but that didn’t take away from the nerdy moment I was able to enjoy. I have to say, they’re very comfortable and fun to wear—the Vapormax sole is extremely light and easy to move around in.

I wish you were mine.

Air Max Day was a fun time all around. I always enjoy sneaker events because of the pure enthusiasm fans and collectors have about shoes—maybe because it justifies my obsession. There’s nothing like seeing or being a sneakerhead in a sneaker store, on a sneaker holiday—except maybe seeing or being a kid in a candy store the day after Halloween (when all the candy is half-priced, of course). Till next year, Air Max Day!


Core77

Is Using VR Technology to Meet Your Baby Before it’s Born the Future of Ultrasound?

Here’s a serious question for parents-to-be: Do you find yourselves becoming increasingly frustrated that you don’t really know the baby growing inside you or your partner until it’s born? You aren’t able to experience your baby with sight or touch until it finds its way out of the womb—isn’t this slightly creepy? Well, one father-to-be just couldn’t take it anymore and developed a way to virtually meet his baby before it popped out into the real world. 

One regular afternoon, Samuli Cantell casually thought about how cool it would be to use 4D ultrasound to scan his unborn baby and turn it into a VR experience. 

He then came up with the idea to use 4D ultrasound images and data to create a 3D print of his baby. The print was used to create a full VR experience that allowed VR goggle wearers to “see” the baby floating in space, hotdog-like umbilical cord and all. How he convinced his girlfriend to let this happen, I don’t know. Somehow he did, and from the looks of the pictures, all parties involved seem pretty excited about it.

After receiving advice from Aava Medical Centre and GE (they manufacture 3D and 4D ultrasound systems), Cantell came up with this process:

“We went to the Aava Medical Centre for the 4D ultrasound scan. At this time, our baby was already a bit too big for perfect scans, but after an hour we got enough material. From the data I imported DICOM files to osiriX lite and made the frst 3D model. It turned out pretty messy, but with a little help from a friend, we sculpted a nice 3D model. The 3D model of the baby was then placed in a Unity project, and the experience was ready.”

For a first go around, the results looks pretty solid:

The final VR experience

Here Cantell describes how he felt when staring at his baby floating in space:

When I put the VR glasses on for the first time, the experience took my breath away. Even though I knew this was only a 3D model, the fact that it was based on our unborn child and the power of this immersive experience really blew my mind. For the first ten minutes, I was just sitting still on the floor watching her floating in the air next to me. It was very emotional and calming, yet unreal.

So close you can almost touch it!
Even Grandma got to take a look!

Cantell’s takeaways from this process are as followed: “It’s as awesome as it is weird, music plays a huge role in this kind of emotional experience, a lot of manual 3D sculpting is still needed, and the scanning should take place before pregnancy week 32.” Out of everything on this list, what I want to know most is what songs were on the VR Baby Experience playlist.

All of this sounds creepy, but keep in mind that a lot of parents-to-be have anxiety about parenting and meeting their babies—this could serve as a form of therapy to help calm those nerves. It’s also a potential way for fathers to feel more connected to their babies before birth. Perhaps a way to calm fathers down on Maury or Jerry Springer when they learn they are, in fact, the father? 

I’m curious to hear what people who’ve actually gone through the pregnancy process have to say about this. I particularly want to know if you would show your child’s VR baby experience to them during sappy milestones—like their graduation or wedding —in place of baby photos.

My only kids are two plants and a fish, so I have no answers.


Core77

Is Using VR Technology to Meet Your Baby Before it’s Born the Future of Ultrasound?

Here’s a serious question for parents-to-be: Do you find yourselves becoming increasingly frustrated that you don’t really know the baby growing inside you or your partner until it’s born? You aren’t able to experience your baby with sight or touch until it finds its way out of the womb—isn’t this slightly creepy? Well, one father-to-be just couldn’t take it anymore and developed a way to virtually meet his baby before it popped out into the real world. 

One regular afternoon, Samuli Cantell casually thought about how cool it would be to use 4D ultrasound to scan his unborn baby and turn it into a VR experience. 

He then came up with the idea to use 4D ultrasound images and data to create a 3D print of his baby. The print was used to create a full VR experience that allowed VR goggle wearers to “see” the baby floating in space, hotdog-like umbilical cord and all. How he convinced his girlfriend to let this happen, I don’t know. Somehow he did, and from the looks of the pictures, all parties involved seem pretty excited about it.

After receiving advice from Aava Medical Centre and GE (they manufacture 3D and 4D ultrasound systems), Cantell came up with this process:

“We went to the Aava Medical Centre for the 4D ultrasound scan. At this time, our baby was already a bit too big for perfect scans, but after an hour we got enough material. From the data I imported DICOM files to osiriX lite and made the frst 3D model. It turned out pretty messy, but with a little help from a friend, we sculpted a nice 3D model. The 3D model of the baby was then placed in a Unity project, and the experience was ready.”

For a first go around, the results looks pretty solid:

The final VR experience

Here Cantell describes how he felt when staring at his baby floating in space:

When I put the VR glasses on for the first time, the experience took my breath away. Even though I knew this was only a 3D model, the fact that it was based on our unborn child and the power of this immersive experience really blew my mind. For the first ten minutes, I was just sitting still on the floor watching her floating in the air next to me. It was very emotional and calming, yet unreal.

So close you can almost touch it!
Even Grandma got to take a look!

Cantell’s takeaways from this process are as followed: “It’s as awesome as it is weird, music plays a huge role in this kind of emotional experience, a lot of manual 3D sculpting is still needed, and the scanning should take place before pregnancy week 32.” Out of everything on this list, what I want to know most is what songs were on the VR Baby Experience playlist.

All of this sounds creepy, but keep in mind that a lot of parents-to-be have anxiety about parenting and meeting their babies—this could serve as a form of therapy to help calm those nerves. It’s also a potential way for fathers to feel more connected to their babies before birth. Perhaps a way to calm fathers down on Maury or Jerry Springer when they learn they are, in fact, the father? 

I’m curious to hear what people who’ve actually gone through the pregnancy process have to say about this. I particularly want to know if you would show your child’s VR baby experience to them during sappy milestones—like their graduation or wedding —in place of baby photos.

My only kids are two plants and a fish, so I have no answers.


Core77

Is Using VR Technology to Meet Your Baby Before it’s Born the Future of Ultrasound?

Here’s a serious question for parents-to-be: Do you find yourselves becoming increasingly frustrated that you don’t really know the baby growing inside you or your partner until it’s born? You aren’t able to experience your baby with sight or touch until it finds its way out of the womb—isn’t this slightly creepy? Well, one father-to-be just couldn’t take it anymore and developed a way to virtually meet his baby before it popped out into the real world. 

One regular afternoon, Samuli Cantell casually thought about how cool it would be to use 4D ultrasound to scan his unborn baby and turn it into a VR experience. 

He then came up with the idea to use 4D ultrasound images and data to create a 3D print of his baby. The print was used to create a full VR experience that allowed VR goggle wearers to “see” the baby floating in space, hotdog-like umbilical cord and all. How he convinced his girlfriend to let this happen, I don’t know. Somehow he did, and from the looks of the pictures, all parties involved seem pretty excited about it.

After receiving advice from Aava Medical Centre and GE (they manufacture 3D and 4D ultrasound systems), Cantell came up with this process:

“We went to the Aava Medical Centre for the 4D ultrasound scan. At this time, our baby was already a bit too big for perfect scans, but after an hour we got enough material. From the data I imported DICOM files to osiriX lite and made the frst 3D model. It turned out pretty messy, but with a little help from a friend, we sculpted a nice 3D model. The 3D model of the baby was then placed in a Unity project, and the experience was ready.”

For a first go around, the results looks pretty solid:

The final VR experience

Here Cantell describes how he felt when staring at his baby floating in space:

When I put the VR glasses on for the first time, the experience took my breath away. Even though I knew this was only a 3D model, the fact that it was based on our unborn child and the power of this immersive experience really blew my mind. For the first ten minutes, I was just sitting still on the floor watching her floating in the air next to me. It was very emotional and calming, yet unreal.

So close you can almost touch it!
Even Grandma got to take a look!

Cantell’s takeaways from this process are as followed: “It’s as awesome as it is weird, music plays a huge role in this kind of emotional experience, a lot of manual 3D sculpting is still needed, and the scanning should take place before pregnancy week 32.” Out of everything on this list, what I want to know most is what songs were on the VR Baby Experience playlist.

All of this sounds creepy, but keep in mind that a lot of parents-to-be have anxiety about parenting and meeting their babies—this could serve as a form of therapy to help calm those nerves. It’s also a potential way for fathers to feel more connected to their babies before birth. Perhaps a way to calm fathers down on Maury or Jerry Springer when they learn they are, in fact, the father? 

I’m curious to hear what people who’ve actually gone through the pregnancy process have to say about this. I particularly want to know if you would show your child’s VR baby experience to them during sappy milestones—like their graduation or wedding —in place of baby photos.

My only kids are two plants and a fish, so I have no answers.


Core77

Cadillac Rear Camera Mirror | 2017 Autoblog Technology of the Year Finalist

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We were promised cameras in place of mirrors. Cadillac delivered.

Continue reading Cadillac Rear Camera Mirror | 2017 Autoblog Technology of the Year Finalist

Cadillac Rear Camera Mirror | 2017 Autoblog Technology of the Year Finalist originally appeared on Autoblog on Wed, 25 Jan 2017 17:03:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Geohot open-sources his semi-autonomous car technology

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Got a self-driving project in the works?

Continue reading Geohot open-sources his semi-autonomous car technology

Geohot open-sources his semi-autonomous car technology originally appeared on Autoblog on Wed, 30 Nov 2016 18:35:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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How smartphone technology is improving your ownership experience

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It is a good possibility that your life could get much easier if you have a smartphone and a vehicle that’s less than three years old.

Continue reading How smartphone technology is improving your ownership experience

How smartphone technology is improving your ownership experience originally appeared on Autoblog on Fri, 09 Sep 2016 12:10:00 EDT. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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A Brief History of Wood-Splitting Technology, Part 3: The Wind-Powered Sawmill That Changed Dutch History

We’ve seen how being able to effectively split wood was important to earlier societies that aimed to build ships. Both riving and pit-sawing were effective ways to turn logs into the needed boards, but they were also highly time-consuming and laborious. For a country to win the naval race, they’d need a radical new production technology, something that would blow the competition away.

“Blow” is the right word, as it turns out. In 1594, an ingenious Dutchman invented something amazing: A wind-powered sawmill. Cornelis Corneliszoon, who described himself as “a poor farmer with wife and children” figured out that he could harness the power of the wind and attach it to a whipsaw to make it go up and down. He then added another gear to the crankshaft that would advance the material by means of what looks to be a rack and pinion. Here is the drawing from the patent granted to Corneliszoon in 1597:

The result of Corneliszoon’s invention was much faster sawing, without the calorie-burning. Men were still needed to maintain the machine’s operation, of course, but the merits of the design were so obvious that others immediately began copying it (leading Corneliszoon to finally apply for a patent three years later).

The importance of the the wind-powered sawmill taking off in the Netherlands cannot be understated. Wood production didn’t double, triple or quadruple; it grew by a factor of thirty, or 3,000%. It was all in the time savings: Using the pit-saw method, sawyers could process 60 logs over a span of 120 days. Using a wind-powered sawmill, they could break down 60 logs in four or five days. What used to take four months now took less than a week.

As the sawmills began to proliferate and be improved upon, the Dutch began cranking out ships. In the 1600s they became the world’s foremost naval power, destroying a large fleet of their Spanish antagonists in 1607. They began establishing colonies or trading posts, depending on how politically correct or revisionist you are, as far as Taiwan. In 1614 they founded New Amsterdam on a little island called Manhattan, and named a nearby district Breukelen, which we would later bastardize as “Brooklyn.”

By 1650 the Netherlands had some 16,000 merchant ships that sailed all around the world, facilitating their trade. The English weren’t happy with this and a series of Anglo-Dutch wars were prosecuted; this resulted in the Dutch delivering England’s little-talked-about worst naval defeat in history in 1667. Beefs continued, and in 1688 William III of the Dutch Republic sailed to England with a large fleet, toppled the King, and had himself crowned King of England to put a stop to it.

The bottom line is that the Dutch successes of the 1600s were predicated on them having a large fleet. Of course other things were also necessary, skilled businessmen and politicians and military commanders, et cetera, but it’s not unrealistic to think that without Corneliszoon revolutionizing the production method of timber, they’d not have made it as far as they did.

So enough with the history talk, let’s take a look at this wondrous, completely green sawmill technology. While Corneliszoon’s own didn’t survive the 400-plus years until now, there is a rather amazing recreation of a 1600s Dutch wind-powered sawmill, built from the plans pictured above, called Het Jonge Schaap in Zaandam, outside of Amsterdam:


Core77

A Brief History of Wood-Splitting Technology, Part 1: Riving for Reavers

Think about this: We humans have been on the planet for about 200,000 years. For most of that time, the only way to travel long distances was by walking, riding an animal, or having an animal drag some rickety thing you built.

We still managed to spread far and wide as a species, colonizing the far corners of each continent just by hoofing it. But our progress came to a halt when we reached the deep blue stuff surrounding each continent.

To get across water you need to build something more challenging to operate than a donkey cart. For one thing, there’s no way to get an equine to drag it, and your stupid idea to harness sharks for the task is going to end badly. That means the power has to come from humans. If you want the craft to travel far, that means a lot of power, which means more humans. So the thing has to be big enough to hold a large group of guys with impressive triceps and lats.

For raw materials to build the thing, you’ve got your choice of rocks, trees, grass, dirt or dead animals. There was early usage of animal-skin boats in Arctic regions, but wood, which is both sturdy and naturally floats, became the go-to material for regions with trees. The crucial step, as with shelter-buildling, was that we had to learn how to work wood and bend it to the task at hand. With no Industrial Revolution in sight, we had to develop tools and study the material closely to figure out how to make it do what we wanted.

The Egyptians and the Chinese figured out how to turn wood into seaworthy boats, but few examples have survived the centuries, and expertise on their techniques is slim. However, the documentation for what the Vikings, one of history’s first undisputed naval powers, managed to pull off starting in the 9th Century is far better.

Viking ships were absolute marvels of design and engineering. They were both functional and beautiful. As an example of the former, they were designed to be more or less symmetrical from bow to stern, meaning they could reverse direction simply by changing the direction of motive force. As an example of the latter, simply look at their sleek overall forms, not to mention the mike-dropping touch of the dragon heads.

The Vikings had different styles of boats, from warships for raiding parties to funerary boats to proper cargo-carrying vessels (gotta get that plunder home somehow). What their boats all had in common was that they were lightweight, fast and strong. They were sturdy enough to make it across the open ocean from Scandinavia all the way to Iceland, and from Iceland to Greenland (and, some say, all the way to North America).

That the Viking ships were both strong but light is due not only to their design, which we’re admittedly going to gloss over here (though earlier we looked at their excellent carry-on baggage policies), but closely tied to the way that the wood used to build them was actually processed. If you’re an industrial designer today and molding a part, your knowledge of injection molding and understanding of how plastic behaves enables you to yield the most desirable part that the technology and material is capable of. The Vikings were no different, and studied the wood to gain a comprehension of how the material would best serve.

Rather than sawing oak trunks into planks, the Vikings rived them. Riving is when you split the wood by driving wedges into it along the grain, splitting the log first in half, then splitting the halves into quarters and the quarters into eighths. Where the log divides is not determined by the line of a sawblade, but by where the grain will naturally split, keeping the resultant pieces stronger by virtue of their common grain direction.

Rob Tarule riving a log. Images via Fiske and Freeman

By hewing the resultant wedges down, the maker would eventually wind up with a parallel-faced quartersawn board. Here’s what the process looks like, followed by a quick CG animation of how the boards were integrated into the ship:

Quartersawn is the hardiest, most stable cut of board there is. The Vikings could reportedly mill these quartersawn boards to as little as an inch in thickness, which was thin enough to bend into shape for the swoopy forms of their ships, strong enough not to break, lighter than a thicker board, and would not warp.

Riving is still practiced today by woodworkers, as it yields strong and stable boards. Another neat effect is that, well, rived boards look pretty darn cool. Missouri-based James E. Price, an expert in old-school woodworking techniques, recently gave a demonstration at the Institute for Traditional Ozark Crafts. Check out this box he made from rived boards for the event, captured by WK Fine Tools:

It’s even got a removable partition in the middle:

If you’re thinking of trying riving yourself from smaller portions of wood, Maine-based Lie-Nielsen Toolworks produces a froe for the purpose, demonstrated below by Peter Follansbee. The process is a lot quicker than what we saw above, where they’re starting from scratch:

When you’re starting with a full log, the issue with riving is that it takes freaking forever, as you saw in the first video above. As you can imagine, it took both a lot of time and manpower for Viking shipyards to produce fleets. 

Other rising naval powers wanted a faster way to transform logs into planks. Next we’ll look at the wood-splitting method that succeeded riving.


Core77

New Technology Allows Phones to Wirelessly Share Battery Life

We once relied on bartenders to listen to our woes as they silently polished glassware. Nowadays we air our woes on social media via smartphone, running our batteries down, and the bartender’s role is to take our phones and charge them behind the bar, where you’ll see them stacked four high.

A team of researchers at the UK’s University of Bristol aim to change this. They’ve developed a technology called PowerShake, whereby two phones—or devices like smartwatches and wristbands—can be pressed together, allowing power to flow from one device to another. In this manner the generous, fully-charged individual could share their juice with those red-battery saps.

There’s just one problem: Aren’t we becoming, as a society, far too selfish to share our battery life with others? That’s exactly the issue the researchers ran into during trials. “Some people,” reports The Economist, “said they were reluctant to offer their precious battery charge to others.”

The answer to this is as depressing as it is expected:

A form of inducement might help. Vassilis Kostakos, a computer scientist at Oulu University in Finland, says one answer is cash. Anticipating the arrival of technologies like PowerShake, Mr Kostakos and his colleagues set up an auction for device power with 22 volunteers. The results, also due to be released at [computer-human interaction conference] CHI2016, showed people wanted €1.76 ($ 2.00) to sell 10% of their device’s power when their battery was fully charged, but €4.41 to offload 10% when the charge had depleted to 20%. On average, 10% of device power sold for €2.22.

You could call it “surge pricing.”

Our question to you is, would you willingly sell battery life to a complete stranger on the street? Or charge one of your mates? And do you think we’ll see entrepreneurs roaming the sidewalks wearing hats that advertise their on-the-spot charging rates?


Core77

Prince’s Complicated Relationship with Technology and a Rube Goldberg Machine That Models the Workings of Our Economy

Core77’s editors spend time combing through the news so you don’t have to. Here’s a weekly roundup of our favorite stories from the World Wide Web.

Prince’s Complicated Relationship with Technology

Prince felt a self-inflicted responsibility to protect his own creative capital for himself and the sake of all artists, and did so by dealing with his personal identity as well as music distribution in rebellious and unprecedented ways. All of these traits not only speak to his iconoclastic musical genius, but also his ability to act as “something of a hacker, upending the systems that predated him and fighting mightily to pioneer new ones…at his best Prince was technology, a musician who realized that making music was not his only responsibility, that his innovation had to extend to representation, distribution, transmission and pure system invention.”

—Allison Fonder, community manager

Congratulations! You’ve Been Fired

From cringe-worthy goodbye parties to underage, inexperienced bosses, Dan Lyons cites some unsavory shifts in how tech companies value their employees in this New York Times opinion piece. (All, of course in anticipation of the former Newsweek journalist’s memoir, released earlier this month.) The final takeaway? “Given the choice, I think I’d rather make furniture.”

—Carly Ayres, columnist, In the Details

Superstudio’s Radical Architecture

Last week’s T Magazine paid homage to Superstudio, the radical 1960’s architecture and design collective at the forefront of Italy’s “Anti-Design” movement. Lovers of dystopian mega-structures and gridded forms will definitely want to check out the slideshow, and for those wanting more, a retrospective of their work opened yesterday at Rome’s MAXXI Museum.

Rebecca Veit, columnist, Designing Women

The Rube Goldberg Machine That Mastered Keynesian Economics

“It solves the equations of Keynesian macro economics using water flowing through pipes and buckets,” said McRobie. “It’s not a metaphor. There are lots of metaphors about water and money. You’ve got income streams and cash flows and liquidity and siphoning off, and things like that. This is an analogy, an analog, an analog computer. ”

—Eric Ludlum, editorial director

Inside the House of Enigmatic Architect Ricardo Bofill

Better known for his epic housing projects, the Spanish architect’s most personal work is the conversion of a brutalist former cement factory on the outskirts of Barcelona into what is now his house. Beyond the stunning imagery in this short film by Alberto Moya is Bofill’s moving, poetic narration and plea for experimental living: “This is a place where the traditional cannot be conceived,” he says. “It is organized by mental activities and psychological activities rather than the functions of a typical household. It creates an appropriate environment for different moods.”

—Alexandra Alexa, editorial assistant

A Business Primer in Sustainability

The eponymous fashion line Eileen Fisher has long been a leader in sustainability—both in their manufacturing practices and business operations. This article shows the major impact of shifting business models from “doing less bad” to working iteratively, however imperfectly, towards a comprehensive plan to holistically address the environmental and social effects of their business.

—Linyee Yuan, managing editor

Peter Zimmermann Floods Freiburg Museum With Glossy Pools of Resin

If you were drawn to the aquatic resin tables we’ve covered, Peter Zimmermann’s new installation might make you want to dive through your screen. The artist layered the floor of a Freiburg museum in 1,400 square feet of liquid-looking color and the result is breathtaking.

—Kat Bauman, contributing writer


Core77

The Unseen Technology Behind the NFL’s Virtual 1st-and-10 Line

Those of you watching Super Bowl 50 yesterday undoubtedly take that virtual yellow 1st & 10 line for granted, as it’s been there since the late ’90s. But some of you have undoubtedly wondered: How do they lay that into the picture while masking out the players in real time? As it turns out, it took a fair bit of cleverness to pull it off:

The company they refer to in the video, by the way, is Sportvision

Core77 reached out to Cam Newton to ask for some commentary on the technology, but he delivered a monosyllabic answer and left the room. (Sorry, I couldn’t resist.)


Core77

Using Design and Technology to Produce a Safer Football Helmet

As the devastating effects of football-related concussions become better understood, many are worried that one of America’s great sports is in danger. Non-football-fans likely don’t care, as it’s easy to dismiss football players as knuckleheads; but to the American communities and youths who are bound together and individually shaped by football—read H.G. Bissinger’s Friday Night Lights, or see the stunning, 96%-on-Rotten-Tomatoes documentary Undefeated—it’s a big deal. Yet American sporting goods companies have not been able to create a helmet that can adequately protect the braincase of a 300-pound man being crashed into by other 300-pound men.

The problem may be intractable, but now a Seattle-based startup called Vicis is attempting to tackle (ahem) the issue with better design and technology. The company reckons that by pulling together a superteam of doctors, designers, engineers and manufacturing experts, they can produce a cutting-edge—and extremely expensive—helmet that better protects the brain. Here’s what they’ve come up with, called the Zero1:

The LODE SHELL – Absorbs impact load by locally deforming, like a car bumper. Automotive safety engineers have used local deformation to protect people for decades. We’re the first to bring this proven innovation to football helmets.

The CORE LAYER – Employs a highly-engineered columnar structure that moves omni-directionally to reduce linear and rotational forces. The columnar geometry used in our CORE Layer is based on principles first described by Leonhard Euler, a Swiss physicist in the 1700s.

The LODE Shell and CORE Layer work together to reduce impact forces, leveraging well established engineering principles and materials long-used in stringent aerospace and automotive applications. Tested to withstand multiple seasons of play, the VICIS ZERO1 delivers 21st century innovation built on bedrock scientific principles.

Even if Vicis has gotten it right—thus far the testing has been limited to laboratories and simulations, with independently-executed field tests forthcoming—the Zero1 will initially be out of reach for most, as the $ 1,500 asking price is well beyond what your average high school can afford. (A typical youth helmet starts under $ 100.) But the price will be a drop in the bucket for the National Football League, for whom each team is worth roughly $ 2 billion, and Division One colleges will also likely be able to muster up the scratch. And “eventually,” Bloomberg reports, “[Vicis] hopes to develop lower-priced models for high school and youth ball.”

Sorry to hit this point again, but if you are not a football fan and cannot understand the culture, I highly recommend you watch Undefeated. It will change your perspective by introducing you to the little-seen, positive effect on character in young American males.


Core77

2016 Technology of the Year Finalist: Android Auto

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With Android Auto, it’s possible to harness the power of your Google-powered smartphone and use it in your car in a way that doesn’t distract the driver.

Continue reading 2016 Technology of the Year Finalist: Android Auto

2016 Technology of the Year Finalist: Android Auto originally appeared on Autoblog on Wed, 06 Jan 2016 14:58:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Autoblog

This Represents The Future Of Technology Through Wearables

Miragii-01
Place the mobile world in the palm of your hand, literally, with Miragii, the smart necklace with Bluetooth. Using a simple hand gesture, this necklace projects the details of incoming calls and text messages directly onto the palm of your hand. With another simple hand gesture, you can take the call or simply ignore it. Supporting Windows, iOS, and Android, Miragii comes in gold, silver, as well as black and white made of a beautiful allergy-free zirconia ceramic. More info

AuraVisor-01
The AuraVisor is the first production ready Head Mounted Computer specifically designed for virtual reality. Because it is a head mounted computer it is also wire free and does not need to be connected to a computer or require a smartphone for operation. It also means that the device has been specifically targeted to focus all of its power on virtual reality. You must have come across tons of VR devices that pair to your smartphone or computer.

Kerv-02
Have your money at your fingertips with Kerv, the world’s first contactless payment ring. Great for athletes, festival-goers, or anyone who worries about where to hold their wallet, Kerv is convenient, compact, and always with you. Using the same technology behind contactless cards, Kerv can be used anywhere there’s a contactless symbol or NFC electronics. This means gas stations, electronic locks, or can be used to pass contact details, like a business card.

Misfit-Shine-2-01
Misfit just made their sleep plus fitness monitor smarter and sleeker with Shine 2. This version of wearable tech from Misfit is unbelievably thin (8 mm) and powerful to determine your everyday goals. Shine 2 is designed to withstand any environment (water resistant up to 50 meters) and has been made out of T6 aircraft-grade aluminum and glass reinforced polycarbonate. The 3-axis accelerometer and magnetometer will provide advanced activity and sleek tracking while the 12 vivid LEDs will show you notifications, progress and more information along with a vibrational nudge.

Ollinfit-The-Wearable-Personal-Trainer-01
Ollinfit is a set of three wearable sensors and smartphone app working together seamlessly to provide you with live feedback. The three sensors are strategically worn depending on the exercise to accurately capture your full range of motion. The Ollinfit Training App analyzes the sensor data in real-time and guides you with instant, easy-to-follow audio and vibration feedback – precisely when you need it.

Shammane-Smartwatch-01
Shammane is a unique smartwatch designed as a self-extension, bringing back elegance and fashion into the connected world. Shammane is a piece of jewelry, not only another smartwatch. Shammane understands that people require more out of their wristwatch then just telling time. The Shammane Smartwatch is an elegant, timeless wearable that helps you stay connected to the people, places, and events you care about most, without sacrificing style.

Sensoria-Smart-Socks-to-Track-Your-Running-01
Sensoria Smart Socks deliver what other trackers on the market can’t: real-time updates based on dynamic data and statistics. Data is gathered from an electronic anklet that attaches to the special socks with built-in sensors. Going beyond the typical tracking parameters of distance, calories, steps, and the like, Sensoria Smart Socks also analyze your foot landing technique and cadence.

Brainlink-Portable-Headset-01By visualizing your brainwaves in real time, you’ll now be able to meditate better every day with the Brainlink Portable Headset. This head-mounted display will give you an accurate analysis of your brainwave analysis and thus help you be pressure relieved in the long run. The device will even provide you with a number of brain training apps and games.

C-H-R-O-M-A-T-I-C-01
The coolest aspect of having a CHROMATIC is the fact that these smart glasses are pretty much in line with your standard eye glasses but with more amazing features. These include an activity tracker, HD camera, wireless charger, lightweight and polarized Polycarbonate lenses and a corresponding mobile app (Android or iOS).


Design You Trust. Design, Culture & Society.

Magic Leap Releases Undoctored POV Video of Their Augmented Reality Technology

Magic Leap is secretive Florida-based company said to be working on a game-changing augmented reality system. The company’s aim is to start with the user rather than the technology: “[We observed] that current technologies we use to access the digital world limit, or even take us away, from the real world,” the company writes. “[We concluded] that the future of computing should be derived from respecting human biology, physiology, creativity, and community. Why can’t computing feel completely natural?”

To that end they created something called a Dynamic Digitized Lightfield Signal, reportedly a method of projecting images onto a user’s retina. They refer to the system as “biomimetic, meaning it respects how we function naturally as humans.” While no images of what the device looks like has been released, earlier this year MIT’s Technology Review reported:

…It’s safe to say Magic Leap has a tiny projector that shines light onto a transparent lens, which deflects the light onto the retina. That pattern of light blends in so well with the light you’re receiving from the real world that to your visual cortex, artificial objects are nearly indistinguishable from actual objects.

TR further theorized that Magic Leap’s device would be “a chunky pair of sports sunglasses wired to a square pack that fits into your pocket.” Meanwhile the job description for “Industrial Designer” on Magic Leap’s website states “Experience designing soft goods or fashion is preferred,” so it seems a sure thing the device is wearable.

As for what the experience of using it will be like, back in March they released a POV demo video, allegedly showing a game that Magic Leap employees were actually playing in their offices:

That video was produced in collaboration with New-Zealand-based effects house Weta Workshop, who has been hired to produce games for Magic Leap. It was widely assumed (but never confirmed) that Weta doctored the video, presented a more seamless and cleaned-up version of what the company could actually produce.

And so, perhaps to allay skepticism, last week Magic Leap released a second teaser video, claiming that this is the real deal:

Assuming it’s real, it appears they’ve certainly got the visuals into market-ready shape. But none of the user interactivity depicted in the first video is shown, so it appears the UX—which we all know is a long road—has yet to be perfected.

With only those two videos on their YouTube channel and a strict policy of silence on potential release dates, Magic Leap is maintaining their air of mystery. But they have secured over half a billion dollars in VC funding and are currently going on a hiring spree, so we’re holding out hope that this doesn’t turn out to be vaporware.


Core77