Trailing Trailers

This recent IIHS crash test footage is scary stuff and good to keep in mind the next time find yourself following a semi truck. Why not back off just a bit? Oh yeah, and while you are at it, write the makers of Manac/Trailmobile and thank them for desiging and producing proper trailer underride crash components.

 

 

 

Things Come Apart

Todd McLelllan's new book "Things Come Apart" sets itself apart with photos of classic objects which have been disassembled and photographed as masterful compositions. In the digital age, McLellan's work serves as a poetic reminder of all that goes into the objects that play a part...big or small...in our every day lives.

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Book Alert: Things Come Apart - A Teardown Manual for Modern Living by Todd McLellan (Thames & Hudson)

Enlightened Signature Elements

The Cadillac ELRdesign has been getting a lot of attention at the bivouac lately. In addition to the striking design and progressive technologies both inside and out, various small details stand out in a good way as well. Cadillac logo placement within both headlamp and tail light elements is well executed. Each adds an elegant and refreshingly understated, yet dynamic signature touch. That's a tough middle ground to hit. Here's hoping such attention to detail lights the way to forward to continued impressive designs coming out of the Cadillac studio in 2013 and beyond.

Star Wars Figures Bring in a Large Figure on the Auction Block

Whether a fan of George Luca's Star Wars saga or not, one can only take in the image of this extra large Star Wars collection with awe. It is it laid out in a creative fashion, strangely evoking the impression of some sort of modern Bayeux Tapestry. And someone also laid out an impressive figure for the collection as it recently sold for over $11,000. That's an impressive amount for an equally impressive collection. Looking it over, it appears to be made up of the latest round of action figures, not the originals that launched in 1977. The tooling and detail on this latest generation of figures is superior the original series to be sure, but I am so thankful to have had some of the originals to lift the horizons of my imagination through countless hours of creative play. I can't help but think that those hours spent re-enacting Luca's masterpiece also taught me a thing or two about filming and storytelling. Thanks again for that and so much more George!

Cadillac ELR Officially Charges Up the Bivouac

With the release of the production version of the Cadillac ELR at the North American International Auto Show in Detroit this past week, General Motors proved yet again that energy behind the resurgence of the American automotive industry remains high. Any time a vehicle manufacturer comes out with such a stunning concept car, as they did in 2009 with their Converj concept, and manages to stay so faithful to the original concept vision, that company certainly deserves high praise. Audi came close to this sort of effort when they introduced the production version of the TT in terms of staying true to a concept. However, with respect to the ELR, this may be one of those rare occasions where the actual shipping car looks better than the concept embodiment.

Can you spot the concept vehicle?

GM also deserves credit for moving into the luxury Extended Range Electric Vehicle luxury niche before other large-scale luxury vehicle manufacturers. They are also introducing some new driving affordances unique to this type of vehicle, such as steering wheel-mounted paddles that allow drivers to induce regenerative braking on demand. While we will have to wait and see how the ELR actually performs, on paper things look promising. And if you are a fan of Cadillac's "Art and Science" aesthetics, on the show room floor they are looking great.

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They Say the Eyes are the Window to the Soul

There have been some amazing things happening lately in the world of LED lighting for vehicles. More efficient and robust than traditional lighting solutions, they seem to adorn every new car model these days. Given their dynamic and robust qualities and the ability to light up even the darkest corners of the Serengeti, it seems appropriate to see them now on the 2013 R1200GS. The units look fantastic both in day and night running configurations providing an even more aggressive and determined look for the GS. Now that enlightenment at its best.

The Future of Phones

Earlier this week, I had the pleasure of contributing some thoughts that informed Alexis Madrigal's Atlantic article "iPhone 5? Yawn. What Will the 'Phone' of 2022 Look Like?"

While so many are understandably appreciating the latest offering from Apple in the "phone-on-glass'" category, the article does a nice job of encouraging us to think beyond today's prevailing interaction paradigms and from factors toward a future with a greater variety of form factors as well as richer, more seamless interactions. Who knows, while displays are getting bigger this week, in 2022 the next big thing might be pretty small.

"Comfort Zone" image from work done as part of a future technology forecasting project I contributed to in 2000 at IDEO.

New York Times Budget Puzzle

Sometimes I find myself noting something as interesting but it takes a while to really appreciate it to its fullest. That was the case with the New York Times Budget Puzzle which came out last November.

NYT Budget Puzzle

While in an information visualization brainstorm today, this came back to me as a great example of how to empower users to relate to a very abstract concept...our federal budget deficit. Its minimalistic approach and small details like representing 1 billion dollars with small blue squares that tally up in real time depending upon decisions users make is a nice touch.