Via FlavorWire & Dina:Talk about the perfect marriage of old vs. new: iRock, a new chair being developed by the Swiss furniture retailer Micasa, charges your iPad or your iPhone as you rock. “Movement is energy and to collect as much of this energy as possible is one of our future challenges,” they explain. “iRock is a attempt to collect some of this energy and put it to real use. If you use iRock for 60 minutes you can recharge an iPad 3 to 35%.” The chair, which is handcrafted out of Swedish pine wood, includes an iPad dock and a set of built-in speakers in the back rest. Pretty nifty, but we’re not sure it’s worth forking over $1,300. Click through to get a better look at the rocker, and let us know what you think of the concept in the comments!
For those of you with a bunch of cash in your wallet, and the need to stand out, ColorWare has some custom iPhone 5 treatments, and they look darn pretty cool. The Colorware iPhone 5 ($1,700) is now available. Using an online tool, you can choose a custom color for the 64GB, SIM unlocked phone’s body, top rear glass, bottom rear glass, Home button, and SIM tray. A wide variety of both solid, metallic, and pearlescent colors are available.
My friend Joe runs Grove, a design/creative shop in Portland that makes iPhone and iPad cases. Joe started by engraving Moleskine journals and iPods. When the iPhone blew up, he teamed up with a friend and formed a collaboration called Grove. They pounced on the growing marketplace of third-party accessories, and their machined and laser-engraved bamboo cases became a hit. Partnering with illustrators and artists for their engraved artwork, Grove has found a winning formula of making highly-personalized phone cases. Their latest offering is really cool, the iPhone Skate Back. Salvaged wood from skateboard manufacturers is used to make these thin, precise wooden backs to protect your phone. Grove has partnered with fellow Portlander Lindsey Jo Holmes of Maple XO to salvage the skateboard scraps and turn them into something useful and beautiful. Available for $49.
Over the last few years, the team has grown to nearly 30 people, but they remain committed to hand-finished, personalized work and service.
Beloved by progressive designers and earth-conscious consumers, bamboo grows free from pesticides and fertilizers in low water conditions. Add to that construction-grade strength and a naturally gorgeous grain, and bamboo emerges as a top pick for sustainability and good design. Recently, the material has been making waves in the tech world, used to build everything from smartphones to keyboards. Below you’ll find four creative new applications of the fibrous grass.
Determined to bring bamboo to smartphones, U.K. student Kieron-Scott Woodhouse designed a concept for a more sustainable Android device. His rendering was picked up by an entrepreneur, and they’re now hoping the ADzero Bamboo Phone will reach the market by the close of 2012. Besides the gorgeous look and grippy texture, the ADzero contains the first-ever rear-facing ring flash camera, a setup favored by portrait photographers for a diffused glow. Check in with ADzero’s Google+ page for updates on production.
The recently launched iZen Bamboo Keyboard is a wireless device composed of 92% bamboo. While Impecca has been creating bamboo keyboards for some time, iZen’s model has the distinction of being the first bluetooth-enabled wireless bamboo keyboard, which makes it compatible with devices and desktops alike.
The keyboard is built to the same dimensions as an Apple keyboard, with a texture that feels great for typing. iZen also makes bamboo tablet stands, useful when typing out tablet correspondences on the keyboard. Head over to the Kickstarter page to pledge to iZen’s next round of production, where $85 will secure an iZen keyboard.
While computer soft cases remain the standard, nothing beats the look and feel of an old-fashioned hard case. Lined with wool felt, Silva’s Macbook case is hand-sanded and finished with oil and polyurethane for a glass-like finish, with a thick leather handle practical for the lightweight case. Silva also makes two cases for iPad and are working on new models to accommodate the MacBook Air and 17″ MacBook Pro.
Fit for the new iPad, this case from Grove is molded to accommodate the tablet’s subtle curves. A range of covers are equipped with magnets to both wake and put the tablet to sleep, and the fabric lies flat against the back of the case when open. Wrapping slightly around the back, the covers lend an an ergonomic element for carrying as well. Overall, the case stands out for crisp, clean lines, especially when paired with the texture of Grove’s recently debuted wool cover.
The iPad is surely one of the biggest technology revolutions in the last few years. Today, Apple had an announcement related to the iPad in classrooms, and the way digital textbooks are going to change the way we learn, and teach.
At its education-focused media event today, Apple introduced iBooks 2, an updated version of the company’s e-book software for iOS devices. The update comes as part of a push into interactive digital textbooks in partnership with a number of major publishers.
- Experience gorgeous Multi-Touch textbooks designed for iPad – iBooks textbooks are filled with interactive features, diagrams, photos, and videos – Tap to dive into images with interactive captions, rotate 3D objects, swipe through image galleries, watch videos in full screen, and more – Use a finger as a highlighter when swiping over text in a textbook – Take advantage of Study Cards to help you memorize important highlights, notes, and glossary terms – Tap glossary terms to see definitions of key topics and concepts without leaving the pageApple is partnering with McGraw-Hill, Pearson, and Houghton Mifflin Harcourt on the textbook front, with the three companies currently responsible for 90% of textbook sales in the United States. McGraw-Hill and Pearson are rolling out a handful of introductory titles today, with more coming soon.
Apple’s initial focus for its textbook effort is on high school textbooks, with books priced at $14.99 or less. Authors can continually update their content, and the students get to keep their copies indefinitely.
iBooks 2 is a free download from the App Store, available as an update to the existing iBooks app.
Here is a nice video showcasing the way iPads are being used in schools.
There’s a lot of talk these days about improving the quality of life for animals destined to end up as dinner, and the iPad app concept Pig Chase takes the concept digital. Dutch researchers across several disciplines (technological and, you know, agricultural) are working together to create the app, which allows human users to interact with actual pigs via an iPad and a giant touchscreen in the pig pen. When a human finger and a porcine nose touch equivalent points on their respective screens, the human’s score goes up and the pig gets to see a light display.
Benefit for humans: getting to compare high scores with their friends. Benefit for pigs: according to the developers, “humans are transformed into a source of entertainment.” The pigs win out in this equation. Here’s a video demo:
The idea is not new. As much as I love Apple’s work, they did not invent the videophone. Not by a long shot. True, their iPhones and iPads help usher in a relevant and elegant solution to the age-old idea, but going back over a century, people have envisioned calling others using imagery as well as audio. Oobject has a cool collection of vintage videophones, both the real, clunky versions, and the make believe.
iPad 2 with HD FaceTime videocalling
1964 Toshiba giant picture phone
1950s Shopping Television
Picture-calling in the year 2000, as imagined in 1910.