A Playpen For Objects
For so long, design has been restricted. Designers have long played up design's ability to cause an emotional response. But it has always been limited to the kind of emotion that a sunset, or a stream, or a beautiful picture provides; The product's previous inability to alter its behavior based on the environment to situation made its effect on the user pretty predictable. That had the potential for getting boring. Now, in our sensation-saturated world, these things which once made us so joyful are less and less capable of success. Now, though, our growing ability to include logic and responsiveness in our products is opening up opportunities for fighting this numbness.
Transferring any files between different CAD packages is a much more complicated ordeal than the creators of those packages would have us believe. There are basically 2 types of modeling, surface and solid, but within each of those systems for creating forms, the software has myriad different ways of constructing, and defining the parts.
The Surface Of Product Design
If you haven't been barraged for the last year with Nano-tech news, then you've probably been living under a rock. Whether you're aware or not, 2005 is primed to become the year that nanotechnology, and engineered particle technologies find their first wide-release commercial incarnations. Some of the first wave have been announced in the last few months. It looks like the first big application will be coatings of products. And it looks pretty game-changing. (Image Credit: Yves Rubin)
A (Bio) Hydrogen Opportunity
For the last few years, you haven't been able to set foot inside an auto show without hearing those magic words: Hydrogen economy. And this year was no different, with numerous entries, including a hydrogen bus, and GM's new Sequel hydrogen fuelcell concept. But the buzz is not without detractors; Concerns abound about storage, fueling stations, and the transition from now to then. In addition, some people worry that even though hydrogen burns clean, it might be made from the same old CO2-generating natural gas and oil we are using now. But the work that researchers have been doing for years on biologically generated hydrogen is starting to get noticed, and it might be just the ticket.
Search Me. Then Check Me Out.
Social software made a giant splash about a year ago, and then it sort of tapered off. Maybe people got so many friendster contacts, and just couldn't make use of all of them. But even in the lull after the initial hit, socially connected software and hardware are poised to be the next big internet experience.
Kick That Wicked Funk
Aromatherapy is one of those fringe practices that we could never quite get our heads around. You're supposed to sit in a room with a candle... And it makes you better able to do your homework, or feel happy, or whatever? Kind of on the same level as Tarot cards for us. But maybe not for long. New twists on the same old tree are bringing scent closer and closer to design.
Wearable Computing Mishmash
If you've been following the recent developments in children's tech ware, you've probably seen the Hoodio from Gap kids and Wild Planet toys. This hoody-radio hybrid is being touted as a fore-runner of a new wave of wearable technologies that will seize the market in the next decade. Call us skeptical, but we don't see it going down like that. The future of wearables is niche.
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Dominic Muren and IDFuel Team