Editor's Note: Karyn Lu is Turner Broadcasting's manager of New Media Insights & Inspiration. Each week she scouts out amazing innovations, cutting edge technology and, well, just really awesome stuff and shares them right here. Before it goes mainstream, it's going to be one of her favorite 5 Things From The Future!
1. A custom, LED tee? Maybe the coolest shirt we've ever seen
If a t-shirt is the original canvas of personal expression, how do you innovate upon that? Digitally, of course. Meet tshirtOS, the world’s first wearable / shareable / programmable LED t-shirt. With this digital t-shirt, which is connected to the Internet, you can synchronize your design live with just about anything. How about letting your t-shirt take photos (there's a built-in camera) of whatever you're facing and posting straight to Instagram? Or connecting your t-shirt to Twitter to display tweets in real time? Sounds dangerous, potentially! A fun new way to leave an impression, for sure.
2. 3D printers amaze us once again -- and help heal a little girl
As we’ve seen recently, 3D is really capable of changing our lives in extraordinary ways (e.g., see the video below of how 3D printing brought “magic arms” to a 2-year-old girl with an illness which severely limited the use of her limbs). However, what excites me about this next story is the idea that we can now potentially complete the circle of 3D printing within our own homes.
I recently came across Filabot, which is a personal filament maker that lets you recycle household items like milk jugs & soda bottles into new material for your 3D printer. That means instead of recycling your plastics the old-fashioned way, you can literally feed them to the Filabot machine, extract out what looks like plastic thread, and feed that back into your 3D printer to create whatever new thing you want. Need some inspiration? Some students at the University of Washington essentially used this same tactic to turn recycled milk cartons into the world’s first 3D printed boat, which they raced in Seattle’s annual Milk Carton Derby!
Grab some Kleenex, then click play:
3. Tweets (yes, tweets) make surprisingly beautiful music
What might a symphony composed of tweets sound like? British Airways has created a social symphony of sorts, derived from tweets about the Olympic Games that fans have tagged with the hashtag #HomeAdvantage. Basically, each user contributes to the production of a sound wave, which gets bigger and louder depending on your activity. The symphony as a whole evolves dynamically by going into a crescendo to reflect louder activity, or slowing down when the fans get quiet. It’s a really neat idea, and you can hear the symphony for yourself here. I listened to it for a while; it’s rather lovely.
4. The world's greatest art, described by kids
Have you ever suspected that Jackson Pollock paintings are really just splatter paint? That’s how a kindergartener might tell it to you, anyhow. If you enjoy the idea of touring MoMA “without the pretentiousness, the pomposity, or any other big ‘p’ words,” you might enjoy “MoMA Unadulterated,” an unofficial audio tour created by kids. Take a walk through the museum’s permanent modern art collection through a completely different perspective, as experts aged 3-10 share their “unique, unfiltered perspective on such things as composition, the art’s deeper meaning, and why some stuff’s so weird looking.”
5. Three baguettes, two cupcakes and one very smart computer
Checking out may never the be the same, now that machines are smart enough to know what you’re purchasing simply by “looking” at your items. In a Tokyo bakery called “Dominique Guelin,” you place your tray of baked goods on the checkout counter, and a sophisticated visual recognition checkout system called BakeryScan knows exactly what you’re buying. The system is even smart enough to “learn” about different types of products that may look alike based on the number of times you manually help it along. Amazing!
Hey time traveler, here are even MORE things from the future!