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Posts from the ‘Technology’ category

Volkswagen Microbus – 5th Time is the Charm?

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Volkswagen did not have a good year, it’s fair to say. Their systematic cheating, lying, and polluting has finally come back to bite them, and it’s meant a massive blow to their bottom line. In addition, they will probably never sell another diesel car in the USA. So, the company is eager to redo their image, in a more eco-friendly, and futuristic way. Enter the fifth iteration of their iconic microbus redux, this time badged as the all-electric I.D. Buzz.  Via Jalopnik and DesignBoom:

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Unveiled as a concept car at the NAIAS in Detroit, this version seems to be slightly closer to reality than past iterations. And because VW is overdue for a hit, let’s hope this time, they actually build the car.

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Designed to be a fully functional living room, the electric car is replete with touch screens, a pop-up coffee table, and a fully autonomous mode.

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Concave Roofs Harvest Rainwater for Hot, Dry Climates

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BMDesign Studios takes the issue of water scarcity, and flips it on it’s head… But seriously, this innovative design acts as a natural water harvesting device, using a simple concave form. Small raindrops coalesce into larger ones, and the resulting rainfall collects quickly.  In addition, the bowled roof creates additional shade for the building below it, reducing surface temperatures, and decreasing the need for air conditioning.

From Treehugger:

For a prototype of a school building with 923 square metres (9,935 square feet) of concave roof, it is estimated that 28 cubic metres (7,396 gallons) of water would be collected — the architects say that’s about a 60 percent rate of efficiency

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Click the images for a more detailed look.

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A Very Immersive Taipei Bank

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A bank is not normally a place of visual inspiration. Aside from classic buildings with classic architecture, a bank is mostly devoid of character and design. DEM, a Chinese architecture firm, has changed that notion, with an immersive and high tech lobby that uses interactive touch floor panels, imagery of animals and nature, and more. Patrons of the bank can trigger thunderstorms, rainbows, sunrises and sunsets. All very un-bank-like, and very exciting. Via DesignBoom:

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PowerRay Underwater Drone

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The ‘ol fishfinder can be put on a shelf, it has a new, high-tech replacement with the new PowerRay underwater drone, from PowerVision. Able to dive to 98 feet down, the PowerRay can beam 4K video via wifi to your device on the surface. A sonar device can work as a traditional fish finder, and there’s also an internal luring light, and a bait-release option, making this a powerful, and possibly unfair fight for a fish. Via Engadget:

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Over the River and Through the Woods, By Drone

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Casey Neistat has surfed his way through New York City streets, and now he’s taken his antics to the slopes of Finland, with a custom made drone that can lift a human, supposedly the first of it’s kind. Watch as the drone pulls him up a ski hill, and even 60 feet into the air, a feat that we think we’ll skip trying ourselves, for now.

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Auto Aerobics by Chris Labrooy

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These classic Pontiacs have been taken to another dimension, thanks to the beautifully realistic (and surreal) treatment by Chris Labrooy. His entirely CG scene was inspired by a winter walk in Brooklyn, and the car was initially going to be just a prop. Labrooy then added his digital magic to make the vehicles impossible contortionists. The result is a mind-bending visual puzzle, a playful yet impactful take on the everyday mundane.

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Power Yourself Down the Seine

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Paris is wonderfully romantic and scenic, and floating down the city’s famed Seine river is a pleasure. But how about pedaling your way to your destination? A clever concept by Carlo Ratti, this human-powered gym boat is designed in response to Paris’ transportation and public infrastructure demands. Via DesignBoom:

“The Paris navigating gym investigates the potential of harnessing human power, it’s fascinating to see how the energy generated by a workout at the gym can actually help to propel a boat. It provides one with a tangible experience of what lies behind the often abstract notion of electric power.”

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Cooking Your Thanksgiving Meal with a Drone

Drones seem to be everywhere these days, heck, we post about them a fair bit ourselves. But a cooking drone? Autel Robotics turns their X-Star drone into a chopping, whipping, stirring machine for a very messy, and pretty hilarious Thanksgiving feast.

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Delivery Van Light Installation

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This humdrum delivery van hides a very special secret inside: a beautifully ornate lighting installation. Interior designer Lee Broom’s Optical series of lighting is sophisticated, and fits amazingly into the classical architecture setting. Stepping foot inside the truck, and you’re transported (no pun intended) to a whole different experience. Very clever concept, beautifully executed. Via Joquz:

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Tesla’s Beautiful Roofs

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It’s no secret that Tesla is soon to acquire Solar City, the country’s biggest solar installer, and a company that Elon Musk sits on the board of.  In that spirit, Musk took the stage this week in an unusual setting, a suburban cul de sac. The reason? To show off the latest in solar roof technology and design.

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The company’s latest innovation is a dramatically improved solar tile, meant to replace traditional roofing material, while generating electricity, and looking beautiful.  The homes surrounding the stage that Musk spoke at had all been retrofitted with the new solar roofs, ranging from a French slate style to a Tuscan terra-cotta glass tile.  The roofs are sleek and integrated, generating power into the Tesla Powerwall, which can power a four bedroom house indefinitely. Even better, they claim to be more robust and less expensive vs. a traditional roof with assumed electricity costs.  Impressive stuff, Elon. Keep it up. Via Tesla:

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