by Miryam Muller in

With wearable tech being a bit of a buzzphrase right now (and talk of a possible Apple/Intel smartwatch,) this concept for what a Google watch might look like is right on cue.

Using Google’s latest design language, this ‘Google Time’ concept by Adrian Maciburko is a nice idea for a super-simple take on the kinds of features such a device might have, including voice and touch interfaces.


by Miryam Muller in , , , , , ,

Our last "keeping you posted" of the year with our favorite recaps of the month december! If you haven’t had a chance to poke through Full Insight yet, check out our blog and what we’ve enjoyed most throughout 2012. See you in 2013 and have a great and fruitful new year!

There is a universal uptick in people going off the grid, from urban beekeeping, to DIY, to the more drastic, total migration away from city life. All over the world, people are trying to get back in touch with a pre-consumer lifestyle one way or another. Within the idea of moving away to help more..

Im not to big on skiing, mostly because I’m not great in dealing with cold, but this beautiful ski movie trailer is so beautiful it could make a fan out of the biggest ski skeptic and make me forget the harsh cold directly. Sherpas Cinema, based in Whistler, B.C., has rolled out the trailer for more..

London based designers Marjan van Aubel and James Shaw designed the wonderful “Well Proven Chair,” produced with their new, self developed material made out of waste wood. The chair it’s raw and helter skelter appearance evolved from a spirit of resourcefulness. Understanding that there is 50% to 80% of timber wastage during normal manufacturing, Marjan and James more..

After the epidemical cupcake trend, there’s a new sweet treat that’s looking to take top billing; the doughnut. Judging by the blog buzz surrounding doughnuts recently, cupcakes might just have to move over soon to make way for this all American treat. One fast to catch on, is the Doughnut Vault that opened less than two more..

According to Makiko Shinoda’s research on the relationship between children and their toys, great toys should leave room for sensory discovery, imagination and creativity. Unfortunately, these basic elements are not found as often in plastic toys or computer games in which form and function have been standardized these days. Yet, there are still ways to more..

Better with Age, M&P models David Harkins and Miles Better came together for the edgy ‘Bedwin & The Heartbreakers’ editorial featured in the British issue of the i-D magazine. The dapper duo stay young at heart, pulling off youthful casuals and daring streetwear with the modern standards from the likes of workerswear-inspired labels C.E, Y-3 more..

After winning Motor Trend’s Car of the Year 2013, Tesla is already on the move with their next innovation. Named the Model X, this is Tesla’s take on the SUV, but it’s unlike anything you’ve ever seen. Like the Model S and the Roadster before it the Model X is fully electric yet can go more..

Swedish company AF Bostäder designed an pretty cool alternative to the multi-unit dormitory houses, and for just a few hundred dollars per month, renting this place definitely wont buy you a lot of space, but it does give you a cozy, dynamic and well-designed student house. The small cottage has got all the essential basics that a young more..

Photographer and UI designer Mike Matas made an equally awesome follow-up on his last year’s One Week in Japan. Roadtrip USA is a beautiful 3 minute time-lapse video that captures a 2 week / 3,000 mile journey with himself and Sharon Hwang from San Francisco to New York City in 5,000 of his compiled photos. more..



by Miryam Muller in , ,

The trend sensitive London has always been a global hub for art and commerce, but it is now also becoming a genuine tech contender. Our colleague and friend from London has been informing us on the big fashion-tech-shift she has been seeing within the industry. Huge fashion houses are closing down many of their smaller stores, to open up bigger, developed stores where they integrate the online and in-store experience for customers and at the same time sell more and more of their products online.

A great deal of this new London fashion-tech-industry is due to the number of creative technology start-ups that have jumped from 15 to more than 300 in just three years, taking British fashion designers along the road to submerge and re-define their brands. The latest to go along with the trend is Burberry. It’s new London flagship store has been unveiled this week and has been designed to resemble the brand's website as the store has organized it’s 44,000-square feet store just like their webstore. As they are furthering their focus on online-offline integration, e-commerce purchases can still easily be collected or returned at the store itself.

Also did they give all the sales associates iPads that have been loaded with super sophisticated “clienteling” apps, in order to give customers a more tailored in-store experience, linked to their online profiles.

But so far, the integration of original digital content is the most amazing element of this new retail strategy, as it brings our digital world to life in a physical space, where the customers can experience every facet of the brand through immersive multimedia content exactly as they do online. “Digital communications is an integral part of our culture at Burberry, so in the end it touches everybody,” chief creative officer Christopher Bailey told. Burberry is yet just another example of how major retailers are integrating the online and in-store experience for customers. This trend points out how going to the store is less about shopping in the sense of purchasing clothing than it is about shopping in the sense of strolling around town with and popping into a boutique for fun. This means that in the steady state, offline commerce will serve only two purposes: immediacy (stuff you need right away) and experiences (showroom, fun venues). All other commerce will happen online.


by Miryam Muller in

After winning Motor Trend’s Car of the Year 2013, Tesla is already on the move with their next innovation. Named the Model X, this is Tesla’s take on the SUV, but it’s unlike anything you’ve ever seen. Like the Model S and the Roadster before it the Model X is fully electric yet can go from 0 to 60 MPH in less than 5 seconds.

The most distinctive design feature has to be the Falcon Wing doors which are pretty remarkable. Unlike gull wing doors which simply open upward, Falcon Wings bend while they open up, allowing them to open in the most narrow of spaces. While some might view this as gimmick the doors allow occupants to step into the car, rather than climb in. It’s the extra space that it allows which make the doors valuable.

You can see a bit more of the Model X in the video below. If you’re interested it’s definitely cool to see how it actually moves and seeing how people interact with the vehicle. I’m looking forward to seeing these on the road.

Tesla Model X

Tesla Model X

Solar Harvesting Bonsai Charges Gadgets Through Induction

by Miryam Muller in , , Kickstarter is definitely on a continues roll in opening doors for some of the most awesome projects! Their new feature Electree+ Solar Charger is among them.

This new futuristic solar charger is basically a sculptural bonsai tree with 27 solar cells for "leaves." The tree's branches can be adjusted to catch the rays just right, and its internal battery will store enough electricity to charge an iPhone nine times over, a Galaxy seven times, or an iPad twice.

French designer Vivien Muller stated: “Nature has selected over millions of years the most efficient structures to capture solar energy. The tree’s shape is thus the best means to take advantage of solar energy. While studying fractals, I realized that one could draw a tree by repeating and transforming a basic pattern.”

After the electree+ team worked out all the details with a batch of prototypes last year, the group ran into some issues with their contracted Chinese manufacturers, which he says has given them the experience they need to do things right. This time it's being fabricated locally in the United States, where they can keep it practical, personal, and keep tabs on quality control.  Vivian Muller says; “Working locally is more personal,” "You know the people and they are all invested in the project".

In order to fully charge, electree+ needs around 36 hours of sunlight. In other words, to charge an average smartphone, the solar bonsai will need about 4 hours of exposure to sunlight. Because of the tree its humble yet cool design, I'm sure people will like having an electree+ around, especially since they will also be able to save energy this way. The charger will have two sets of USB ports: one with 1A, adequate for smarphones, and one with 2A, which should used for charging tablets.

At the moment, 54 backers pledged $10,792, out of the $200,000 goal. However, the project will be featured for 36 more days on Kickstarter, so maybe the developers will get the necessary support, so that electree+ enters mass production.

The electree+ has an optional Qi wireless charging zone compatible with most modern smartp...
If completely depleted, the electree+'s internal battery can be recharged fully in less th...
The electree+'s internal 14,000 mAh battery charges devices through two USB ports
Inside view showing the electree+ branches' connection mechanism, which directs energy fro...
The Electree City concept would combine sculptural beauty with renewable solar electricity
The electree+ has an optional Qi wireless charging zone compatible with most modern smartp...


by Miryam Muller in , , Google Chrome’s recently launched project called “One Hundred Thousand Stars” will definitely make allot of astronomers and star-watchers happy.

Basically the OHTS interactive application is a huge space map including the locations of more than 100,000 stars. The app has a large variety of cool features that allow you too zoom in from the Sun all the way over to the Milky Way. This mapped galaxy is both incredibly huge yet easy to navigate, making it a perfectly educative leisure time activity.

Preview One Hundred Thousand Stars above and take a map tour by clicking here.

By the way, the music behind One Hundred Thousand Stars is by Sam Hulick, whose music gamers may recognize  from Mass Effect.




by Miryam Muller in , , , , , , , ,

A recap after a month’s publishing, we’d like to share with you our favorite posts, check them out below!

Hiroki Nakamura, creative director of the Japanese cult brand Visvim. As Hiroki established and launched Visvim in 2000, since then, not only did his products become highly valued and sold in exclusive stores all over the world, but also he remained true to his brand by nurturing the traditional Japanese craftman spirit. READ MORE.

Craftsmanship had a pretty smooth sail, until the industrial revolution of the 19th century displaced most mastery from its historic role of the more specialized, skill-based user of tools for the machine-made world. READ MORE.

Most men concern themselves with the big picture, executive-level decision making, charming the secretary and so on. Now, those guys can leave all the menial things, like choosing food & drinks, to the passionate peons at Mantry. READ MORE.

Andreas Scheiger celebrates the “craft of etching, engraving and letter design” as an homage to science, paleonthology and graphic design. Scheiger believes that letters are “full of life” and, in an effort to explore “the means of communication” he delves into the heart of typography with his sculptural letter series, The Evolution of Type. READ MORE.

There is always room for new, unique art initiatives and this one right here certainly seems awesome! The Sketchbook Project is a global, crowd-sourced art project where participants from all over the globe are sent sketchbooks to fill with their art. Afterwards the books are returned for annual inclusion in a permanent collection at The Brooklyn Art Library (While it’s called “The Brooklyn Art Library,” it has no connection to the Public Library system) which now already has over 22,000 sketchbooks from 130 countries. The library is open to the public and you can also check  out the sketchbooks online, as most of them have been digitized. READ MORE.

Recently given the title  “Princess of Print” by the New York Times, Greek designer Mary Katrantzou already had launched her first audience winning collection at London Fashion Week in 2008, the same year she graduated from Central Saint Martins. READ MORE.

Options for laptop and tablet cases are endless, but this beautiful minimal Felt Case by a new Korean design studio called 11+ has got to be (if not the) one of nicest cases i’ve seen in a long time! This Felt Case can fit various devices such as the iPad, MacBook Air or Galaxy Tab (sizes ranging from 9.5” to 11”). READ MORE.

I found these amazing stills from the promo video for Creatures of Comfort’s S/S 2013 collection, filmed by photographer Nicholas Haggard, featuring the Swedish singer Victoria Bergsman (aka Taken by Trees) hanging out in this absolutely magnificent wooden house. READ MORE.

Most of us who are living in the privileged urban parts of the world don’t know much about dung stoves as we’re too busy cooking on our bourgoise LPG stoves, yet, the cooking conditions for millions around the world aren’t as easy breezy nor healthy. Statistics show a bleak picture as about 1.6 million people die from indoor pollution mainly because they inhale toxic fumes while cooking food. READ MORE.


by Miryam Muller in , , ,

Most of the time, my USB sticks disappear, I misplace them, loose them at a cafe, (my brother, working for the Mint hotel in Amsterdam, once even found Lady Gaga's USB stick she accidentally left behind) or, they come in some "trying-too-hard" form like a Lego brick or humping dog. For these reasons LA Product designer Isaac Appiah is a life-saver: he made a small collection of USB embedded accessories that delete the visual of a USB and makes it hard for you to lose it.

The pieces aren’t cheesy, like the way they may sound, but rather futuristic, sleek and incredibly simple as the whole collection could pass off as normal jewelry yet "secretly" functions in multiple ways.

These accessories are a part of his line Vilnvixn which is all about disguising technology in minimalistic jewelry. We’re really into it. You can check out more of these accessories here.

Intelligent Accessories

Intelligent Accessories



by Miryam Muller in ,

What if your keyboard wasn’t a keyboard at all?

Florian Kräutli has developed an ingeniously simple alternative called the Vibrative Virtual Keyboard. By placing an iPhone on any surface, that surface becomes a keyboard. Technically, the phone’s accelerometer is measuring vibrations on that surface. Kräutli’s software maps those vibrations to a point of origin on the table. And when the phone can “see” where you’re tapping, you can have a QWERTY keyboard on any tabletop.

“I wondered how a normal surface might become interactive, without using an elaborate combination of projectors and cameras, as Microsoft is currently doing in their research,” Kräutli explains. “There are already tons of sensors in current smartphones, so I thought there must be more that we can do with them.”

All the user needs to do is train a new surface, tap a few points and let the software know what letter those taps are supposed to be and Kräutli’s software will number-crunch the positions for the rest of the keys. A user can then save this surface so the software won’t need a calibration for it again.

“The important bit is that the software needs to deal with the fact that this recognition is not perfect,” Kräutli explains. “Therefore it also uses a kind of spell checker.”

Kräutli invisibly autocorrects typing, much like Apple’s own spell checker fixes mistakes, though at a deeper level of the application. Unfortunately, this design breakthrough won’t carry over very well to another killer application, gaming.

“When you play a game, you want every interaction to be recognised correctly,” he says. “Typically, you also want this when typing, but because the software ‘knows’ that you are writing with a certain vocabulary, it can correct errors more easily.”

For the same reasons, music creation is a no-go as well, since a computer could hardly predict your next move (unless you wanted every song to sound the same). Even still, Kräutli’s creation is a remarkable statement about the future of user interfaces, where conceivably, every surface becomes a conduit for digital input. But sadly, the OS X software isn’t available for download at this time.



See more of Kräutli’s work here.


by Miryam Muller in , , ,

A while ago, NASA scientists reported something pretty frightening and maybe a bit too movie-like to even sound remotely true: our own sun could have a temper tantrum that would unleash a tsunami of radiation from outer space, potentially wiping out our space satellites, power lines and leaving entire continents without power.

A disasters of this size may seem hard to believe, but the reality is, that every eleven years the sun flips to its magnetic field (North becomes South and South becomes North) and releases a burst of radiation directed toward outer space, including Earth, and that this burst could eventually endanger most of our communication systems.

Thus, if this scenario turns out to be true, it would mean that our refrigerators and freezers wouldn't have any electricity and communication systems and power systems worldwide could be wiped out for months.

In a way, space age is still relatively young; we've only had a few of these sunspot cycles to worry about, and for the bigger part we missed out on most of the radiation that has been emitted over previous cycles.

Yet, in 1859 there was a solar storm which paralyzed telegraph wires and had been the largest geomagnetic storm in recorded history. Back then, luckily, they only had a telegraph system, and telegram wires were crafted strongly. If that solar storm of 1859 were to hit us today it would cause (according to the report) trillions of dollars in property damage and hundreds of billions of dollars in damage for each of the countries that were affected. Gone too would be the satellites controlling most of our luxuries today, including communication, television, radio, and the Internet where you are reading this very blog.

So when might this whole thing happen? Right: the year 2012, the next peaking of our sun’s solar cycle. The report, however, is careful to say that this may in fact not happen. It's inevitable, however, that at some time or another it will happen again.

If you want to make decisions based off what could actually happen, listen to Michio Kaku, a child prodigy who's become one of the greatest minds of our time. He's a top physicist at City University of New York who has picked up where Albert Einstein left off.

Kaku wrote the book "Physics of the Future: How Science Will Shape Human Destiny and Our Daily Lives by the Year 2100" and in the book he talks to hundreds of other scientists to piece together what our life will look like in the next century.

On American Morning, Kaku joins Ali Velshi to shares a glimpse at what's possible at the end of 2012, check out the video below.