Prototypes are usually the missing links in the evolution of human technology, the dead-ends of ideas that give way to the refinement of the final physical product. Prototypes aren't just for Darth Vader. While the legal back and forth between Apple and Samsung continues, a treasure trove of prototype designs for Apple devices has been released to the public, showing insights into various design approaches and feature enhancements, including larger form-factor iPads with and without kickstands and landscape ports and iPhones that parody the Sony logo, show a different layout for camera elements, and look remarkably like fourth-generation models, as far back as 2005. On the other hand, some have made prototypes into the end goal itself, such as the folks at Dangerous Prototypes, a site which features a new open-source electronic hardware project each month. Some are just gratuitous fun, while others are a bit more practical, such as one project that recycles old Nokia displays and another that provides access to infrared signal, useful for hacking together remote controls for all sorts of IR-based devices. Other prototypes of tomorrow's technology are less concerned with shrinking down the guts of the invention itself, to make it disappear, but rather on how we interact with and integrate physical representations of these ideas into our daily lives. Above all else, prototypes are always forward-looking and are therefore inherently optimistic expressions of human creativity: Even children are getting into imagining the world of tomorrow.
The Inamo restaurant in London's fashionable SoHo district isn't known for its splendid food or accommodating waitresses. Instead, this new Asian fusion eatery is getting raves for its use of a touch pad-projection system that allows diners to send food orders directly to the chefs and makes the dining experience fully interactive. It's all one graphic application, with new iconography for signs and menus, graphic wallpaper and tablecloths, shopfront etched patterns and illuminated screens. [more inside]
El-P, founder of Def Jux, is not your average rap artist. His themes and style are frequently lush and apocalyptic. While Deep Space 9mm launched 'El-Producto', cleverly futuristic works like Stepfather factory, Flyentology with Trent Reznor or the darker Tasmanian Pain Coaster are his hallmark. He recently released a new mixtape free online, along with the lyrics pdf for his album. He also recently remixed a song from MTV's TRL, warping it into a chaotic police state jam, mirroring other songs of his with themes of authority and control. [more inside]
We could wait for NASA to build that permanent moon base they keep promising. Or we could just turn our apartments on earth into our own moon bases, space ships, or spy pads.
Screw "serenity now." I want Utopia Today!