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shapekit

ShapeKit – An App That Let Kids Unchained Their Creative Beast

What kids love most? Playing with sand and eating it whenever they find themselves freed from the strict surveillance of their parents…? No! Besides that!

I’m talking about the scribbling they love to do on a blank paper or anything that looks like a canvas, like house walls or kitchen counter…you get the picture.

To keep such kids and many others – of course – busy letting their creative urges satisfied through the right means, ShapeKit is introduced.

Designed by KidKit, owned by a group of trio with Young Sang Cho with the brain behind it, Shapekit offers a virtual playground for kids with age between six and twelve. Its core purpose is to educate them about the use and characteristics of shapes and colors.

The tool uses Tangram as its design model. It allows the learner to develop basic creative or visual skills from the ground up such as angel perception, shape consistency, and more. Another key advantage of using such model is to equip kids with the skills to visually perceive how any raw material can be utilized to form something new.

The user-friendly interface and intuitive interactivity allows ease of use for kids. For instance, when a shape is selected that app pops up a description of its characteristics and its many uses. This feature allows first time users to easily get familiar with the objects.

Children can easily create cute objects, buildings, pyramids, robots or even flat animals, using limited shapes like circle, square, triangle, quadrant, etc.

Inspired by vintage building blocks and using flat color palette, ShapeKit doesn’t simply offer a drag and drop play like other drawing apps. The key feature that makes it stand apart from others is its emphasis “on the physicality of creation”, as Young put it in an interview by TechCrunch. For instance, the kid has to punch holes on the object to create joints and connect the points using virtual metal brads.

Perhaps what sets this amazing kids’ app apart is the powerful animation that it comes loaded with. This way kids can take their creative artwork to a whole new level, and see how their imagination works when it comes to life.

ShapeKit is available on iTunes for download and can be purchased for as little as $2.99 dollars, which if you ask me, is worth all the fun and enjoyment.

Image Courtesy of:http://kidkit.co/shapekit/

Image Courtesy of: Hydrate.me

HydrateMe – The 21st Century Bottle That Glows When Your Body Needs H2O

HydrateMe is a cutting-edge technology that comes in the shape of a reusable water bottle, equipped with a sensor that periodically reminds you to hydrate yourself.

Hailed as the “smartest water bottle ever”, HydrateMe has successfully raised over $600K funds on KickStarter in just 1.5 months, backed by 8,000 interested funders. It is a pretty interesting sum for an interactive technology that is, although, not new on this popular crowdfunding platform.

Product campaigns like these are presented every now and then on KickStarter. However, none came any closer to racking in hundreds of thousands of dollars than HydrateMe.

So, what’s make this bottle more interesting than other potential candidates out there?

HydrateMe is a plastic (BPA free) water bottle like any other you’d use in your home…but with a slight touch of technology. It comes integrated with a high-tech sensor or a tracker that keeps a thorough track of your daily water intake.

Image Courtesy of: Hydrate.me
Image Courtesy of: Hydrate.me

Accompanied by a friendly app, the bottles stays connected with the app all day long. Upon registration with the app, you’ll be asked to feed the app your personal details like Age, Height, Weight, Gender and daily activity level. While keeping those details into account, the app syncs with the sensor inside the bottle to monitor your water intake.

Whenever your body would need a sip, the bottle will alert you by glowing itself. Another best feature of this amazing bottle is that it also keeps track of the daily temperature and the humidity level to create goals for your water intake needs accordingly. Plus, whenever you fall off the track, say you forgot the bottle at home when you hit the park for jogging, the app will send reminders to your smartphone informing you that it’s time for a Sip.

HyrdrateMe has a pretty comfy ergonomics that ensure that you’d feel comfortable taking the bottle with you wherever you go, be it on your bicycle, car or on foot. The bottle comes in several beautiful colors like Crystal Pink, Bamboo Green, Amethyst Purple, etc. It has a fairly flexible built which makes it dishwasher safe.

Best of all, the 710 ml. water bottle comes with a 1 year batter life, which means you never need to charge the battery like any other charging-dependent gadget.

The product will be out in the market around the fall of 2015, and also ready for shipment around the globe.

shift sneakers

Shift Sneakers – A Pair of Trainers That Magically Shifts Colors on a Single Tap!

Who doesn’t love sneakers…? No matter how expensive they may be, you won’t resist getting one and adding it to your already overloaded shoe rack. Well, things have been changing now as we are seeing frequent advancements that were once sporadic. Now, you don’t need different pairs of sneakers to decorate your shoe rack when you can have a single pair dominating all?

The brainchild of a creative agency, +rehabstudios, “Shift Sneakers” dawns the age of state-of-the-art trainers that can change colors with a single click of heel or tap on a smartphone. Although a conceptual design, the chameleonic technology would be packed with a high-tech reactive textile, thermochromic fibers and conductive woven threads. All these components would work like LED lights to give off select colors.

The electrical signals would allow the phase change fibers of the shoes to modify the pattern, thereby relocating the translucent material on the shoe in a way that would bend light to emit unique patterns. Plus, the membrane of the sneakers would be integrated with conductive material sensitive to human touch. This means whenever the sneakers’ heel is clicked, a random color pattern would appear.

The agency doesn’t stop there…it is intending to penetrate the boundaries even further by planning an open-source virtual app store, where users would create and upload their customized patterns and share them with the community. This means a single user would be able to access millions of patterns for a single pair.

The app store would feature a huge bunch of other packs that would serve different purposes. For instance, the “Selfie-Pack” would allow the user to change the color to a matching outfit. Likewise, a “Connection Pack” would let users copy the patterns of their friends, families and even their favorite celebrities.

If it is successfully evolved from conceptual phase to a tangible product, Shift Sneakers would bring a paradigm evolution in this industry.

Regardless, +rehabstudios isn’t the only agency churning out mind-blowing concepts. The biggest brand in the sneaker’s industry, Nike, has already dipped its hands into the tech sector when it announced its Nike MAG 2015 with power laces that brings back the nostalgic memories of Back to the Future II…

paint-the-town-google

Paint the Town – Google Invites Californians to Create Artwork to Be Displayed on Its Self-Driving Cars

Google wants its prototype self-driving cars to make human friends. To achieve that goal, it is inviting the residents of California to participate in its Paint the Town project, and win a chance to experience its self-driving cars from up close.

Led by the motto, “Help transform our self-driving cars into moving pieces of public art”, Paint the Town is a mobile-art project that invites the artistic minds of California to submit their magnum opus. Upon getting selected, only 10 chosen artworks will be featured on the car doors of Google’s self-driving prototypes “for a month” and even more. Apart from the car, the artworks will also be features on the website as well as the “Open Garage” community at this fall, where the lucky winners will get a chance to ride in the prototype.

The participants are required to be at least 13 years or more, and they must be legal residents of California. The artworks can be submitted between July 11th and August 30th. The submissions must also be submitted with a 100-words description supporting the theme of the project, “my community, my neighbors.”

Google hasn’t revealed any further information apart from a brief overview of the project and some simple guidelines, as of yet. However, in the coming month of July, more information is expected to be released regarding the project. If you’re also interested in the project, you may check out their website for more info.

google-vertical-street-view-el-capitan

Google Took Its Street View to Sheer Vertical Cliffs Starting With The El Capitan

Google’s street view has been known to taking internet users on breathtaking virtual tours. It has not only mapped the famous places around the globe like the rivers and canals of Venice, but also the notorious spots popular for their unsolved mysteries like the Loch Ness.

Recently, Google took the plunge and went on, on taking the most difficult of challenges, i.e., mapping the vertical street view of dangerous cliffs or should we say a 3,000 feet high vertical rock formation in the Yosemite National Park, The El Capitan. However, instead of sending its own personnel to do the mapping on dangerous heights, Google took the help of the legendary climber, Tommy Caldwell, who scaled the El Capitan along with his companion six months ago, on January, 2015.

This time Caldwell joined two other famous climbers, Alex Honnold and Lynn Hill, to pull this incredible feat again. The mission of the group was to capture the whole route to the top of the summit along with the best camp-out spots as an educational material for potential climbers.

To collect the imagery the team let Honnold, the quick and efficient as Caldwell put it, strapped the street-view camera around his back…“Alex took the camera and pretty much ran 3,000 feet up with photographer partner Brett Lowell. Now, anyone can get the beta (climbing speak for insider advice) before they climb the entire route”, mentioned by Caldwell in his Google Blog Post.

The end-results are simply amazing: 360-degree panoramic at 3,000-feets high, the unbelievable maneuvers pulled by Lynn and the majestic images that start from the root of the El Capitan and goes all the way to the famous The Nose.

You can find more images and behind the scenes on Google’s blog.

dxo-one-image

DxO One – An Add-on That Will Make Your iPhone Camera Rival That of a DSLR

The 21st century marks the crazy obsession of people with photography, especially selfies. And the powerful camera of an iPhone adds to that obsession even more thereby allowing users to satisfy their premium photography needs efficiently. But what if you can take the performance of an iPhone camera up a notch; to the extent it’d rival the result of high-end cameras like a DSLR or GoPro?

It seems DxO predicted that need of every iPhone user ahead and shocked the world by introducing its very own camera, the One. Attached by the Lightning Connector, DxO One is not a standalone camera in itself but a swiveable add-on that adds more power to the iPhone or iPad’s camera.

dxo-one

Sensor

It boasts a 1”inch, 20.2 MP (BSI) CMOS sensor compactly housed in a pocket-size body. The 20.2MP (5406X3604) camera produces breathtaking, high-contrast pictures in any condition (even low light).

Lens and Aperture

The 6-element aspherical lens of DxO One comes equipped with a dazzling aperture that can be scaled up to f/1.8 and downsized to f/11. Its powerful aperture empowers the users to swiftly control the depth of the image quality and shoot images with stunning vividness and clarity. The equivalent focal length of the lens is 32mm, plus with a focus range of 20cm.

ISO Sensitivity

The ISO range determines how much light a camera need. The lower the ISO the more light is required, and vice versa. The ISO sensitivity range DxO One comes with starts from ISO 100 to a soaring ISO 51,200 (Hi 2). This allows you to tweak the ISO accordingly to the demand of the settings.

Shutter Speed

This advanced add-on offers a stunning shutter speed of around 1/8000 to 15sec. This means you can now capture every bit of an action, without losing any detail at all.

Just like you’d use a DSLR to make High-Resolution videos such as 1080p/30fps or 720p/120fps and even slow-mo videos, you can do all that with your DxO One iPhone camera add-on. Moreover, the add-on also comes with its very own, built-in microSD card and a battery. DxO One comes with a lofty price tag of $599 which is twice the cost of iPhone itself. The company is offering pre-order now with a shipping date of September 2015.

microsoft surface hub

4 Reasons High-End Graphic Design Agencies Will Love the Microsoft Surface Hub

Not too long ago, Microsoft introduced its Surface 2 and Surface Pro 2 to the public bringing in a massive flood of consumers that require a portable tool that would empower them to take their work on the go. Although both the devices are considered as the Big Mama of all the tablets or handy touch technologies, yet they don’t offer the advanced functionality that hardcore consumers like graphic designers required.

To satisfy the high-end need of such consumers, Microsoft has unveiled a new and elite addition to its Surface-series, Surface Hub Pro—which is no doubt the “Grand Daddy” of all the touch technologies.

Available for pre-orders now and soon ready to be shipped in coming September, Microsoft Surface Hub comes in two different sizes: a head-turning 84” with 4K resolution and a mini-me 55” with 1080p Full HD resolution, and it is fully loaded with powerful features like 8 GB RAM, Core i7 processor for 84” and Core i5 process for 55”, 128 SSD, powerful GPUs, four USB ports, BLE (Bluetooth Low Energy) 4.0, and the list goes on.

Though Microsoft Surface HUB was built with the idea of offering boardrooms with a dedicated collaboration device, its potential isn’t certainly limited to it. Believe it or not, besides team collaboration, brainstorming or online meetings, the Surface HUB can also be an immensely outstanding workstation for the “Creatives”- digital artists or graphic designers…

Here are some reasons why premium graphic design agencies would love to get their hands on Microsoft Surface Hub.

Larger Screen with Seamless Touch Sensitivity

For an average user, a screen is only a screen that displays the output of the application or tool you’re using. However for designers, screen is synonymous to a canvas. Microsoft Surface Hub’s large screen size gives enough room to designers to work on their design tools like Illustrator or 3D applications without minimizing or canceling any toolbar or added menus.

100-Touch Points Mean Better Collaboration

Surface Hub allows you to let loose the creativity of the entire group rather than a single team member. Due to its large screen plus highly-sensitive multi touch points’ display allows all the team members to collaborate on a single project simultaneously.

Next-Gen Bluetooth Makes Content Sharing Easy

When it comes to connecting different devices to a single hub, nothing can beat the added content sharing functionality of Surface Hub. With the powerful Bluetooth 4.0 (BLE), you can beam the project to all the devices in the room and vice versa. This allows a fluid and more powerful collaboration among the team.

These are just a handful of the many benefits that Microsoft Surface Hub has to offer. Now, the only question remains, “how much units will Microsoft be able to sold and whether it’ll cut back on its prices so the SMEs can also maximize its true potential?” Time will tell!

uber-taxi

UberPop Led To a Hijacked Uber Car and a Threatened Driver in France

Gone are the days, when people would whistle once and a huge queue of taxis become available in an instant. Now, even if you whistle a dozen of times, you’d rarely be able to find a reliable ride on time. Consequently, you’d either get late or end up paying higher fares for a speedy ride.

However with Uber, finding an available ride near you has never been so easier. Uber is a service that offers a platform where drivers meet riders using a GPS-enabled app. The company was launched in 2009 and has become so popular all over the world that its current worth has reached to a soaring $41 billion mark.

Due to the ever growing success of the company because of its pioneering business model, Uber has now introduced many amazing services like UberChopper that offers a premium ride on a Chopper against a fair price of $3000, UberPool that offers a carpooling service where people find and hitch a ride which is going to the same route as the rider, and the latest UberPop that lets any individual with a four-door car become an Uber driver, i.e., without a permit.

However, the new service has become quite unfavorable for many Uber drivers in the Europe, especially France. A few days back a video uploaded to facebook showed that an angry mob, mainly licensed Taxi drivers, hijacked an Uber Car and threatened the driver to never use this service again, and their reasons was, “We’ve paid €100,000 to be taxi drivers”. They further issued serious threats that if they catch the driver again, they would “split” his head into two.

The company already has it hands full of court wars across the globe, and the recent event has raised even more concerns. The spokesperson of Uber condemned the appalling reaction of the angry taxi drivers, stating that the service doesn’t disregard any Law in France, and that such “despicable” violence will not be tolerated.

Uber has not only directed the anger of many taxi drivers towards its service in France, but the taxi companies all over the world. Last year in 2014, the company was sued by dozens of many taxi companies along with Checker Cab in Philadelphia for “working illegally in the city”, according to Wikipedia feed.

myo

Myo – The Armband That Is Set To Revolutionize Gesture Control Devices

Thalmic Labs has finally made it a reality to let users intuitively operate remote devices with only their hand gestures, or in this case, arm gestures with the revolutionizing armband, Myo.

Controlling presentations or listening to your iTunes, while being far from your device isn’t just a fantasy anymore. With its block like contact and zigzag band that fits any arm it is worn, Myo armband has been unveiled to make those “Minority Report” like moments come to life. And, for real this time!

The device tracks the movements of your arm gesture and lets the user control the device with simple hand gestures. It comes with a USB cable and a small Bluetooth device that must be left connected to the device which is needed to control remotely- be it a desktop PC or a Tablet.

Though the device doesn’t come with any useful instructions, installing and getting familiarize with its controls isn’t that difficult. To complete the synching process, connect the Bluetooth to your device that supports Bluetooth 4.0 LE, wear the armband on your dominating arm and do the single-hand Kamehameha pose. Well, I’m kidding! It’s not exactly a Kamehameha pose but a bit different version. Here’s how:

Hand Movement

Myo armband comes in a black as well as white contact color. It can be extended between 7.5 to 13 inches which is enough to be worn on arms of different sizes. It is compatible with Windows 7 and higher, OS X 10.8, iOS 7.0 and higher, and Android Jellybean and higher

Although it is still in its infancy, Myo armband has certainly opened the doors to new possibilities and opportunities to make futuristic computing by any means possible.