Author: Arnoud van den Heuvel


Hurricane Naming System

Since 1948 the World Meteorological Organisation has been naming hurricanes and tropical storms. “ANDREW”, “SANDY”, “IVAN”, “KATRINA”, to name a few. But what did these people do to deserve their names attached to trouble and disaster?

As climate change continues to cause more frequent and devastating storms, the people of propose a new naming system; To name the storms after policy makers who deny climate change.


Rollin’ Safari

Assuming that true wildlife hàs gone extinct… Who needs the real thing when you can have a Next Safari? Let’s go and hunt for the plastic birds on the beach or watch genuine Scottish highlanders in the Dutch dunes. Or even in the mall; go shopping for real fur collar coats and some fancy stingray sneakers.

How is your scrollin’ safari going?

Students of the Filmacademy in Baden-Württemberg / Germany gave it a shot with 4 trailers for the Stuttgart Festival of Animated Film 2013.
Makes the question pop into mind: What was on these animal’s menu?


Dirty Ocean

Surfin’ ain’t what it used to be. Apparently, most action pictures of surfers have the waste photoshopped out? Photograph by Zak Noyle.


Gangnam Autonomy

“A robot is a mechanical apparatus designed to do the work of a man. Its components are usually electro-mechanical and are guided by a computer program or electronic circuitry. By mimicking a lifelike appearance or automating movements, a robot may convey a sense of intelligence or thought of its own. There are concerns about the increasing use of robots and their role in society. Robots are blamed for rising unemployment as they replace workers in some functions. The possibility of robot autonomy and potential repercussions has been addressed in fiction and may be a realistic concern in the future.”

(quote: wikipedia)

Imagine the hours of work that engineers put into the toy to let it perform this single task. To make sure that robot-autonomy stays passive and innocent? Or perhaps to preserve a 2012 hype for the ages?

The latter makes me realistically concerned…


Macbook Pro Fragrance

Nothing beats the factory-scent of expensive, freshly unboxed technology! Artist group Greatest Hits produced the Apple Unboxing Scent for use at an exhibition in Melbourne, where it will be diffused for the visitors at West Space – Level 1, 225 Bourke Street – April 20th – May 12th.

“A distinctive scent can be observed when unwrapping a newly purchased Apple product from its packaging. Apple fans will certainly recognize this smell. The scent created for Greatest Hits encompasses the smell of the plastic wrap covering the box, printed ink on the cardboard, the smell of paper and plastic components within the box and of course the aluminum laptop which has come straight from the factory where it was assembled in China.”

For centuries mother nature has been the inspiration to the perfume makers. Our perfumes make us smell like lavender fields or cool breezes. Even our sweat smells rollicking. Nowadays one could question whether there is such thing as “natural odor”. Seen from this perspective, it is only logical that concepts like these, prelude the coming of a new era where the fusion of man and technology is accepted and common. This must be what NextNature smells like!

Information Decoration

Transparent Smart Window

Displays have been on our desks for too long. Samsung makes space and introduces the Transparent Smart Window. This LCD touchscreen is powered by the sunlight shining from the outside in. During the night time when there is no light to power the device, one can switch to night mode and use an edge-lit backlight instead. Though still a prototype, the possibilities and consequenses are endless — within the frame that is.
– thanks Martijn Lammerts


Unboxing Artificial Intelligence

Did you know that phones were once used for calling up our (human) friends? Researching the beginning of it all, we came accross demo video’s on the cloud called “internet” where people showed off how they tricked the first Siri-AI-devices into saying epic things like: “I don’t do knock knock jokes”. But the reason why this technology took such a leap, has everything to do with human “features” like personality, compassion and trust. From that moment in time, objects made from steel and glass have become our soulmates… our friends… our personal assistents… our pets… our slaves… Or were we theirs? Were we the ones being tricked?

Yes. We came to trust them because they were made to our image. They talked like our mothers and shared our brains and limbs. They could sense it if we were lonely and then played us music or said nice words. They tucked us in at night and woke us up the next morning.
Knock, knock! Species of the world, you are not alone. Matter is alive and there is plenty out there.


Steve Jobs 1955 -2011

Steve Jobs, former Apple CEO, passed away on Wednesday October 5th after a long battle with pancreatic cancer. Technology conceived from his vision has changed the world dramatically over the past 14 years. He kissed the snake; we eat the fruit. The Next Nature garden has entered a new era.
image source


Phone Camouflage

In twenty years, the mobile phone has become man’s closest utensil. Can you imagine living without this umbilical box? Too bad it’s often still a box that we hold to our ears…

Not if it’s up to the CollabCuped-shop: Its jolly phone camouflage wraps the technology into a second skin. Hold it like if you are scribbling your cheek.


Brainscan App

By hooking up a commercially available EEG headset to a Nokia N900 smartphone, Jakob Eg Larsen and colleagues at the Technical University of Denmark in Kongens Lyngby have created a portable system to monitor neural activity of the brain. Wearing the headset and booting up an accompanying app, creates a simplified 3D model of the brain that lights up as brainwaves are detected. The brain-image can be rotated by swiping the screen. Furthermore, the app can connect to a remote server for more intensive data-processing, and then display the results on the cellphone. The system might assist people with conditions such as epilepsy, attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder and addiction. One small step for science, but a giant leap for health care. Source:


I am not a Robot. I am a Unicorn.

At Cornell Creative Machines Lab they were curious to see how two “chatbots” would make conversation. Powered by Cleverbot, created by AI researcher Rollo Carpenter, the robots were fooled into recognizing each other as humans. On YouTube someone comments: “If ever these two got married, it wouldn’t last a week.” But the contrary could be true if their somewhat intelligent chitchat helps them pass the Turing test. Till the switch do them part.


It’s a plane!

By nature, man is not meant to fly. But while we’re at it, we may as well turn it into an experience. Charles Champion, Airbus Executive Vice President Engineering, envisions a fusion of dream and technology:

“Our research shows that passengers of 2050 will expect a seamless travel experience while also caring for the environment. The Airbus Concept Cabin is designed with that in mind, and shows that the journey can be as much a voyage of discovery as the destination.”

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Intimate Technology

Remote Kissing Device

Nobuhiru Takahashi, student at the Kajimoto Laboratory of the University of Electro-Communications in Chofu City, Tokyo, invented this Internet French kissing device. When a bended straw is touched with the tongue on one end, the motion-parameters will be transferred to a similar device on the other.

This invention taps a new market; the storing and trading of famous-idol-kissing-data. Takahashi, notes that “the elements of a kiss include the sense of taste, the manner of breathing, and the moistness of the tongue”. With tongue movement down, these properties have his attention now (let’s hope for Takahashi he gets to do some actual research). The device could also palliate more fundamental issues: “love miles” for instance (the miles we must travel out to people we care about).

Though the technique is not as proficient as f.e. robotic surgery; remote kissing could herald a new compassion-through-internet era!



Diego Stocco is sound designer and composer from Burbank CA/US. He plays a tree as a rhythmic musical instrument, recording its sounds using a custom stethoscope. I suggest him to get in touch with Guido Maciocci to start a band.