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Weekly inspirations: July 22, 2013

Here are the things that I think are worth reading and checking out this week:

Here are the things that I think are worth reading and checking out this week:


“Designing Facebook Home” Video Gives Rare Look At Prototypes And Iteration Process

Facebook Home’s launcher was inspired by Lunchables. That’s just one nugget of insight into Facebook’s design process from a presentation it gave to Bay Area designers in May and that it’s now released as a video. The 40-minute clip illustrates how Home evolved, iteration by iteration. Facebook’s Julie Zhuo introduces it saying “We all just see the final product, we see the design in its completed state, and we don’t really get to tell the story about all of the things that happen along the way, the ups and downs, the bad ideas we tried, the endless iteration and critique,”. Read the article and watch the video here.

Mistakes I’ve Made (And Lessons Learned Along The Way)

We all make mistakes in our design and development work or just in life in general, we all do it. Thankfully, even the biggest mistakes carry valuable lessons and this article outlines some of the ones I’ve made and wish I knew sooner. Read the article here.

This Intelligent Housesitter May Render Old Security Systems Homeless

Canary may be the self-described “first smart home security device,” but the gadget-and-app duo actually behaves more like an efficient and reassuring house sitter. Unusual movement in your living room? Canary shoots you a text: “Expecting anyone?” Feeling paranoid? “All is calm at home,” Canary can soothe. With a launch on Indiegogo this week, Canary is a somewhat inevitable addition to the home automation market. Like the Nest Thermostat, and some even more recent revisions of lock-and-key hardware, it’s designed to replace the outdated user experience of the traditional home security setup. Read the article and see the video here.

Simon Sinek: How great leaders inspire action

I will admit that I am a TED session watching junkie because I am always looking for new insights and ideas.  I found one of my new favorite videos this week from Simon Sinek filmed at TEDxPugetSound. His presentation outlines a simple but powerful model for inspirational leadership all starting with a golden circle and the question “Why?” His examples include Apple, Martin Luther King, and the Wright brothers. I have sent this video to pretty much everyone I know because I think it is so insightful so do yourself a favor and take some time to watch it. Watch the video here.

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Bill Gates publishes incredible interactive review for obscure environmental book

Bill Gates often publishes book reviews on his personal blog, The Gates Notes, but the Microsoft co-founder turned multibillionaire philanthropist has outdone himself this time. His latest review is of Harvesting the Biosphere: What We Have Taken From Nature, a book by scientist and professor Vaclav Smil — and despite the subject’s relative obscurity, Gates has lavished his review with an elaborate, interactive layout filled with infographics, video interviews, and flashy scrolling effects. See the site and read the review here.

Disney developing emotive 3D-printed eyes for robots

Disney Research just showed a new technology at the computer graphics convention SIGGRAPH which is a new technology that will allow robots to have expressive eyes. Based on the 3D printing tech Disney announced last year, Papillon uses bundles of printed optical fibers to guide light. By hooking the output end of the bundle up to a robot’s eye, researchers were able to project an image from the receiving end of the bundle and have it appear at the other end. It’s the basic same concept as fiber-based internet, but instead of data the only thing traveling down these optics are the synthesized emotions of cutesy characters. Watch the video of it in action here.

Back to Vinyl – The Office Turntable

Came across a really cool project which won a Gold Design Lion at the Cannes International Festival of Creativity. Orange vinyl records were sent with a turntable made from the envelope as a promotion and to play the record the recipient had to use their smart phone to scan a QR code and then it becomes the record player.  The apps works just like a real record player because you can move the needle on the smart phone app to play different songs. Watch the video here.

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