With Apple’s latest MacBook Pro, the Touch Bar at the top of the keyboard allows the user to “say it with emoji”. Emoji has become an indispensable part of our daily conversation, sometimes hiding confidential meanings. As a result, a global translation firm based in London is hiring the first official emoji translator.
The episode ‘Fifteen Million Merits’ of the British TV series Black Mirror depicts a future world where everyone must cycle on exercise bikes to power their surroundings. This fiction could become reality with the latest concept by Italian design firm Carlo Ratti Associati. They envisioned a floating gym that harnesses human energy to sail down the Seine River in Paris.
There’s fear robots will start to take our jobs, but there’s also the perspective of new opportunities emerging. New tasks that no robot can do are already demanded, such as wind turbine technicians, physical-therapy assistants and genetic counselors. At the same time, jobs that requires human-robot collaboration are already a reality: YuMi from the Japanese ABB robot manufacturers is a perfect example. And training it is easier than you think.
Some 500 years ago surrealist avant la lettre, Hieronymus Bosch, painted his ‘The Garden Of Earthly Delights’. The masterpiece is a warning on the perils of life’s temptations. To celebrate the 500 year anniversary for the painter, our friends at Studio Smack made a contemporary interpretation in a hallucinatory 4K animation.
If you live in a city, it may not be difficult to identify a bird solely by its song, since the feathered species that have adapted to live in our metropolis are not that numerous. In nature it’s a different story and, although recognizing birds by their songs can be seen as an idle hobby, it’s an important ability if you are an ornithologist surveying a forest to identify an endangered bird in a chorus of hundreds of songs. With that problem in mind a team of coders has developed a tool that is also fun to use.
As Dutch experience designer Leanne Wijnsma has taught us, we need protection from our online behavior. Whereas Wijnsma uses the sense of smell to offer a secure connection, artist Jasper van Loenen developed a wearable that sends a small electrostatic shock to the wearer. Called Web Training Collar, this device is a modified dog collar that monitors the user’s Internet traffic and applies a corrective shock in case of unprotected websites. The intensity of the shock increases with each consecutive visit to a site that doesn’t offer a secure connection. Technology domesticates us, at least in this case the purpose is positive.
Peculiar object of the week. Seen at Rendering Realities.
Our bodies are not designed for a sedentary lifestyle, but in our technology-driven society we spend most of our days sitting down – in front of a computer, commuting to and from work, watching TV in the evening. That’s why the latest creation of fashion designer and NNN fellow Pauline van Dongen is made to rehabilitate the body in case of bad posture and it is perfect to wear during office hours.
Austrian artist Martin Roth brings Persian rugs to life with the cultivation of grass, working with a sensual ephemerality and pointing to the Western countries’ yearning to impose their culture on other populations, in an attempt to ‘improve’ them.