Tag: Web Design News

Assemble Your Own Vacation Retreat Plus A Sauna With This Flat-Pack DIY Cabin

Image via Den

If you’ve struggled to set up camp with a flimsy tent, you’ll know the pain of being outdoors without proper shelter.

Now, cabin design studio Den has launched a range of flat-packed DIY kits, so you can assemble your own A-frame cabin in as few as three days.

According to Yanko Design, the cabins average about 115-square-feet, with models that are smaller or larger depending on how many people you’re housing.

The minimalist design of the cabin is a sight for sore eyes, especially if you’re planning to turn it into a cozy retreat from life’s stresses.

The prefab pieces for the cabin come with pre-drilled holes, requiring no special tools for easy and fast bolting. Everything, down to the cabin’s door hardware, is also included in the kit.

The cabin is also perfect for any weather, with four seasons-compatible thermally insulated floors and walls, so you’ll never be freezing in your sleep.

The Den A-frame kit costs US$27,000 in total, with an upfront deposit of US$2,000. If you fancy adding a sauna or washroom to your cabin, Den also sells the plans for those builds separately.

For more information, check out the site here.

Image via Den

Image via Den

Image via Den

Image via Den

Image via Den

Image via Den

Image via Den

[via Yanko Design, images via Den] http://www.designtaxi.com/news/414370/Assemble-Your-Own-Vacation-Retreat-Plus-A-Sauna-With-This-Flat-Pack-DIY-Cabin/

Coca-Cola Loses Billions In Market Value After Ronaldo Snub, Brands Hop On

Images via Abramova Elena / Shutterstock.com and kivnl / Shutterstock.com

Health authorities should consider enlisting Cristiano Ronaldo as an ambassador, as in one fell swoop, one tiny gesture from the Portuguese soccer star cost Coca-Cola US$4 billion in market value, ESPN reports.

If you haven’t seen that iconic clip from the pre-match Euro 2020 press conference by now, Ronaldo put away two Coca-Cola bottles that were placed in front of his seat and replaced them with a bottle of water, before mouthing the word “agua” (water). This unexpectedly took a blow on Coca-Cola, whose stock was also watered-down by 1.6% after the move.

Since then, a few brands have joined in on the fizzle. The World Health Organization, for instance, turned the gesture into a PSA for a healthy diet. “Stay fit and healthy like Cristiano by reducing sugar consumption and limiting intake of sweets and sugary drinks,” it tweeted, directing followers to resources about eating well.

Evian also reminded drinkers to “stay hydrated,” while calling seven—the number on Ronaldo’s shirt—“the best number in the world!”

Coca-Cola owns a number of water brands itself, so it’s high time it raises them on the pedestal too.

Couldn't have said it better ourselves! #stayhydrated 💦 #drinktrue #CR7 https://t.co/dL7TYX1Ze5

— evian (@evianwater) June 15, 2021

Limit intake of sweets & sugary drinks for a healthier lifestyle:

🙅‍♀️ Fizzy drinks
🙅‍♀️ Juice drinks
🙅‍♀️ Liquid & powder concentrates
🙅‍♀️ Flavoured water
🙅‍♀️ Energy & sports drinks
🙅‍♀️ Ready-to-drink tea & coffee
🙅‍♀️ Flavoured milk drinks

More info 👉https://t.co/60b3xRjMEB #BeatNCDs pic.twitter.com/vT5kcGKRnt

— World Health Organization (WHO) (@WHO) June 16, 2021

Cristiano says #drinkwater, we say 7 is the best number in the world! #stayhydrated #CR7 pic.twitter.com/P0rQOpedJl

— evian (@evianwater) June 16, 2021

[via PR Week, cover image via Abramova Elena / Shutterstock.com and kivnl / Shutterstock.com] http://www.designtaxi.com/news/414369/Coca-Cola-Loses-Billions-In-Market-Value-After-Ronaldo-Snub-Brands-Hop-On/

New Artificial Skin Can Bruise When Hit, Just Like The Real Thing

Image via Shutterstock

A team of engineers at the Chinese University of Hong Kong have developed a new type of artificial skin that bruises when hit.

This new invention could be used for skin on robots or prosthetic limbs, bringing these devices closer to that of the real-life organ.

According to research published in the journal Applied Materials & Interfaces by the American Chemical Society, upon bumping, pressing, or hitting the artificial skin, it’ll activate a colorful hydrogel to form a purple bruise spot just like on real skin.

The researchers say the invention could be helpful for soft robots or people with prosthetic limbs, who often don’t have sensory feedback to know when they might’ve bumped or knocked into something. The bruises could alert them to potential injuries or damages on their prosthetics, as per Futurism.

As of now, the invention is only in the proof-of-concept phase, with no entire prosthetic limbs made out of the new material just yet. It’s also unclear if the skin tones will be customized to suit people of different ethnicities, though that could only come into the picture further on in the manufacturing stage.

Nonetheless, this new development could prove an additional boon for prosthetic limbs or soft robots, allowing those who lack sensory feedback to identify where they might be hurt.

Image via American Chemical Society

[via Futurism, images via various sources] http://www.designtaxi.com/news/414367/New-Artificial-Skin-Can-Bruise-When-Hit-Just-Like-The-Real-Thing/

Download Famed Public Domain Artworks From 40+ Museums On New Art Search Engine

Image via Artvee (public domain)

A vast reserve of artworks, including collections from over 40 international institutions, are now available to download via new art search engine Artvee. These high-resolution images feature pieces from famed archives such as the New York Public Library and Paris Musées.

In the recent years, art institutions have begun digitizing their archives. Now, the issue isn’t with the lack of digitized works, but how to navigate all these extensive collections. Artvee, a new search engine, hopes to tackle this mounting problem.

According to Open Culture, the search engine allows users to filter by categories of works, such as abstract art, landscape, illustrations, still life, and more.

You’ll also be able to search by artist, should you find yourself searching for a specific work by Rembrandt, Monet, Raphael, or other artists.

Artvee also offers insight into specially curated collections, such as “illustrations from fairy tales” or “covers of popular songs,” allowing users a convenient way to find unique images they might need.

The best part? All the artworks available on are in the public domain or distributed under a Creative Commons license, meaning users can use these works freely for personal and commercial projects with no attribution required. They are also all downloadable in high-resolution, for your own curation and collection.

Take a look through the new search engine Artvee.

Image via Artvee (public domain)

Image via Artvee (public domain)

Image via Artvee (public domain)

Image via Artvee (public domain)

[via Open Culture, images via Artvee] http://www.designtaxi.com/news/414365/Download-Famed-Public-Domain-Artworks-From-40-Museums-On-New-Art-Search-Engine/

‘Emotion Recognition’ AI Judges If You’re Happy At Work, Knows You’re Faking It

Image via ImageFlow / Shutterstock.com

Imagine this: you’re at work, bogged down by the countless items on your to-do list, and trying to muster up the motivation to make it to Friday. Worse still, you can’t furrow your brows, yawn, scowl at an annoying coworker, or betray your real emotions at all because something’s watching you.

While this may sound like a farfetched plot of the latest dystopian sci-fi novel, it, unfortunately, could be the reality for some employees working in major organizations in China.

Chinese technology firm Taigusys has developed an AI emotion-recognition system, claiming to detect and examine the facial expressions of humans.

It doesn’t just give a minute-by-minute analysis of what someone might be feeling, but can even generate detailed reports to track how they present over a period of time. This system was first uncovered in an investigative report by The Guardian.

On Taigusys’ site, it lists several multinational corporations as part of its clientele, including big names such as Huawei, China Mobile, and PetroChina. It is important to note, however, that there is no proof these organizations are using Taigusys’ AI emotion-recognition product.

According to Insider, many researchers have come forward to question the accuracy of such AI software, plus its ethical qualities.

While Taigusys claims the software will help to “address new challenges” and “minimize the conflicts” in the workplace, being constantly tracked to see if you’re happy or bored could make work even more stressful than it already is.

The AI algorithm analyses an individual’s facial muscle movements and biometric signals, evaluating them on several scales to determine one’s emotional state.

“Good” emotions include happiness and surprise, while “negative” emotions are those such as sorrow, confusion, and anger. The software is even able to detect “neutral” emotions such as concentration and focus, too, reports Insider.

Adding to the software’s creepiness factor is the fact Taigusys claims it can even detect when an individual’s faking a smile. Yikes. If one exceeds the recommended parameters for “negative emotions,” the software can generate a report, recommending them for “emotional support.”

While this may sound rather helpful on paper, it’s not known if organizations will really offer employees help, or take them off the payroll altogether.

Ethical researchers, such as Daniel Leufer, a Europe policy analyst at digital civil rights non-profit Access Now, explained to Insider that even if the software worked, it would constitute a “gross violation” of human rights, including an individual’s right to privacy and free expression.

“Worst of all, all of these violations potentially occur even if emotion recognition is not scientifically possible. The very fact that people believe it is, and create and deploy systems claiming to do it, has real effects on people,” he explained.

Though no one is sure how many organizations around the globe are employing such technology, it sure looks like it’s entering the territory of alarming Black Mirror episodes.

Image via Taigusys

[via Insider, cover image via ImageFlow / Shutterstock.com] http://www.designtaxi.com/news/414366/Emotion-Recognition-AI-Judges-If-You-re-Happy-At-Work-Knows-You-re-Faking-It/

Google Opens The Doors To Its First-Ever Physical Store, Take A Peek Inside

Image courtesy of Google

On June 17, Google opened the doors to its first-ever physical retail store in Chelsea, New York City.

This brand-new space will allow customers to have hands-on experiences with Google’s vast lineup of devices and services. From Pixel phones to Nest products and Fitbit wearables, there’s everything you need under one roof.

When designing the space in Chelsea, Google wanted to ensure it was warm and inviting, while providing customers new ways to interact with its products. Plus, sustainability was a key concern, which led to Google integrating eco-conscious materials into every facet of the store’s design.

For example, each lighting fixture in the store is energy-efficient, the veneer on the walls is made from responsibly-sourced hickory, and even the carpeting is manufactured from recycled materials.

The Google Store Chelsea is now one of fewer than 215 retail locations worldwide to be awarded the LEED Platinum rating – the highest certification possible within the Environmental Design rating system.

Key highlights of the store include the Nest Gallery Wall, which displays 35 Google home products in their full range of colors and materials. You can now view the different designs in real life, finding the perfect fit for your home’s aesthetic.

Littered throughout the store are also Discovery Boxes, which feature custom transparent LED screens, informing customers about Google’s latest launches.

Step into Sandboxes – rooms designed to allow customers to experience Google devices in real-life scenarios.

Interact with Nest products in a simulated living room, or check out Pixel’s newest camera features within a custom light installation. Customers can even geek out in the entertainment room decked out with Stadia.

Shoppers who require assistance with their Google devices will also be able to approach support staff on hand at the store, including Pixel on-site repair.

If you’re keen on expanding your expertise, Google Store Chelsea will also be offering regular events and workshops, so you stay on top of the technology game.

Take a peek inside this remarkable space below.

Image courtesy of Google

Image courtesy of Google

Image courtesy of Google

Image courtesy of Google

Image courtesy of Google

Image courtesy of Google

Image courtesy of Google

[via Google, images courtesy of Google] http://www.designtaxi.com/news/414364/Google-Opens-The-Doors-To-Its-First-Ever-Physical-Store-Take-A-Peek-Inside/

BBC’s Developer Portal Features A Stock Image Anyone Can Actually Edit

Screenshot via BBC Developer Portal

It’s always a joy when companies sprinkle Easter eggs on their websites. If you enjoy these tidbits too, this one from the BBC Developer Portal will make you chuckle.

At first glance, not much thought seems to have been invested in this password-protected website for employees, but Andrew Taylor—who apparently worked on the portal—reveals that “the pretend code on the laptop screen in the stock photo… is user-editable.”

There’s no need to inspect an element or open the page’s source code at all. Just click on the laptop screen and type away.

With that being said, Taylor says he deliberately kept the area as a text box “instead of a content-editable div” to weed out jokers who might “[paste] p*rn in there and [screenshot] it.” You’ll notice that the area is also blurred to ensure this doesn’t happen.

What other hidden treasures have you discovered in websites’ source codes?

The pretend code on the laptop screen in the stock photo at https://t.co/9lUwhHwPh5 is user-editable. https://t.co/EpPj9CEdgR

— Andrew Taylor (@Andrew_Taylor) June 12, 2021

Not just editable, but selectable!

This is a real cool touch! pic.twitter.com/NftVsXLFGg

— Fabian Cook (@FabianCook) June 13, 2021

I love this! CSS transform and a blur, but you'd never guess that it's not part of the stock photo from a first glance – and it's hidden from assistive tech and tabindex to make sure it stays as harmless fun.

— Phil Wolstenholme (@philw_) June 12, 2021

amogus pic.twitter.com/ej1hII2DuI

— Realtime (@pkmnrt) June 14, 2021

[via Boing Boing, cover image via BBC Developer Portal] http://www.designtaxi.com/news/414363/BBC-s-Developer-Portal-Features-A-Stock-Image-Anyone-Can-Actually-Edit/

Match & Ryan Reynolds Urge Singles To Save Wedding Singers By Not Being Single

[Click here to view the video in this article]

Video screenshot via Ryan Reynolds

Your dry spell isn’t just affecting you, it’s also putting wedding singers around the world out of their jobs.

Online dating platform Match, along with Ryan Reynolds’ production firm Maximum Effort, is thus beseeching you to act responsibly by… getting back to love, so wedding singers can continue to get paid.

The witty musical performance by Match—which owns popular dating services like Tinder, OkCupid, Hinge, and PlentyOfFish—spotlights a humorous song written by the Grammy, Tony, and Oscar-winning Pasek & Paul of La La Land and The Greatest Showman fame, as well as songwriters Taura Stinson and Shane McAnally, The Drum reports. The film was produced by Grammys president Harvey Mason Jr.

The advertisement features 12 real wedding singers, all earnest to be a part of someone’s big day again. One laments almost having to move in with his mother. Others suggest just using your photos from 2019 in your dating profile, “’cause we all look like hot messes getting through quarantine.”

The talents are all available for hire, and Match.com has freed up space on its Instagram page to bring visibility to them.

“We’re currently in a culture-shifting moment for daters,” explains Ayesha Gilarde, chief marketer of Match. “Singles are coming out of the pandemic feeling all kinds of different feelings. But one thing’s for sure: they’re ready to make up for lost time.”

[via The Drum, video and cover image via Ryan Reynolds] http://www.designtaxi.com/news/414362/Match-Ryan-Reynolds-Urge-Singles-To-Save-Wedding-Singers-By-Not-Being-Single/

Colgate Transforms The Universal Smile Into Its Fresh New Sonic Logo

[Click here to view the video in this article]

Image via MassiveMusic

Colgate is surely all smiles with its new menthol-fresh logo that you can actually hear.

To bring those pearly whites from ear to ear, Colgate tapped creative music agency MassiveMusic London and New York to create a full sonic brand identity that reflects the brand’s assurance of “Optimism in Action” across more than 200 markets.

Happiness isn’t easily measured, especially among millions of customers, so the agency’s London wing turned to sound experts to design a sonic brand that is “culturally and regionally agnostic” anywhere in the world.

Specialists, including ethnomusicologist Joseph Jordania, agreed that certain types of humming are universally recognized as “a human expression of wellbeing.” That was an aha moment for MassiveMusic, which decided to make the happy human hum Colgate’s sonic logo.

The two-second logo consists of a blend of male and female tones, with the optimistic D Major as the overarching key. For a real and natural feel, the sound is paired in sync with Colgate’s smile visual animation.

Apart from the sound, MassiveMusic created a full “sonic architecture” for the logo to harmonize with customers worldwide. “For an overarching approach to the Colgate brand sound, our research pointed us in the direction of musical ingredients such as strong beats, thrills, bright sounds and surprising moments,” MassiveMusic explains. “We also made sure the core sonic DNA was adaptive and flexible enough, to be able to work in many different styles and music genres, but always unmistakably Colgate.”

Hear it for yourself at the two-minute mark in the video below.

[via Ad Age and Mobile Marketing Magazine, video and cover image via MassiveMusic] http://www.designtaxi.com/news/414361/Colgate-Transforms-The-Universal-Smile-Into-Its-Fresh-New-Sonic-Logo/

Sotheby’s Is Auctioning The World Wide Web’s Original Source Code As An NFT

Image via atm2003 / Shutterstock.com

Sotheby’s has teamed up with British computer scientist Tim Berners-Lee to auction off his most famous creation as an NFT: the original source code to the World Wide Web.

The NFT will appear at Sotheby’s This Changed Everything auction, running from June 23 to June 30.

The starting bid for the NFT is priced at US$1,000, and while Sotheby’s has not released an estimate for the work, its final sale is likely to exceed its starting bid by a long shot.

According to ARTnews, proceeds from the sale of the NFT will go towards “causes” supported by Professor Berners-Lee and his wife, Rosemary Leith, though the exact organizations are not known.

Berners-Lee’s code served as the basis for the internet as we know it, including key features such as Hypertext Transfer Protocol (HTTP), Hypertext Markup Language (HTML), and Universal Document Identified (URI).

Apart from the source code files, a signed Python-backed digital “poster,” which serves as a visualization of the code, will also go under the hammer.

Additionally, a personal letter written by Berners-Lee, detailing his 1989 creation, will also go to the winning bidder.

Despite the code being open-source since 1993, the auction is a chance “to own the ultimate digitally-born artifact,” said Cassandra Hatton, Global Head of Science and Popular Culture at Sotheby’s.

The unique NFT is composed of 4 elements: the original, time-stamped code files written by Sir Tim; an animated visualization of the code; a digital “poster” of the full code created by Sir Tim; and a letter written by Sir Tim reflecting on the code today. (2/4)

— Sotheby's (@Sothebys) June 15, 2021

Learn more before the auction, being led by our Head of Science & Popular Culture Cassandra Hatton (@the_lynx_eyed), before it opens for bidding on 23 June: https://t.co/znBA9ut1WU (4/4)

— Sotheby's (@Sothebys) June 15, 2021

[via ARTnews, cover image via atm2003 / Shutterstock.com] http://www.designtaxi.com/news/414360/Sotheby-s-Is-Auctioning-The-World-Wide-Web-s-Original-Source-Code-As-An-NFT/

IKEA & Nivea Among Brands To Boycott Ads On GB News Channel

Image via GB News

Consumer brands including IKEA, Nivea, Grolsch, and Kopparberg have pulled their advertisements from newly-launched GB News, citing concerns over the channel’s content.

Headlined by former BBC and Sky presenters Andrew Neil and Kirsty Gallacher, GB News first launched last Sunday, 13 June. The channel is hoping to position itself as an alternative to mainstream news, similar to that of Fox News in the US.

According to The Guardian, some of GB News’ financial backers are prominent right-wingers who have donated to various causes and campaign groups.

The presenters themselves are also known for outspoken views on issues associated with right-wing politics. One of the channel’s first guests on its opening night was former Brexit Party leader Nigel Farage.

Activists have begun calling for boycotts of brands that advertise on the channel, saying GB News aims to “monitize divisive political issues” and “push the boundaries of UK TV news regulations,” which typically require balanced and fair reporting.

IKEA, Dutch beer brand Grolsch, and Swedish cider-maker Kopparberg pulled their advertisements from the channel, saying its content goes against their aim to be inclusive. Interestingly, all the brands also said they weren’t aware their advertisements were being aired on GB News.

Companies advertising on television usually hire out their media-buying needs to agencies which do it on their behalf, as per The Guardian. This could explain why the brands involved in the backlash had no idea their advertisements were slated to be broadcast on GB News.

IKEA released a statement on the matter, saying: “We have safeguards in place to prevent our advertising from appearing on platforms that are not in line with our humanistic values. We are in the process of investigating how this may have occurred to ensure it won’t happen again in future, and have suspended paid display advertising in the meantime.”

Nivea also commented, saying it would review its suspension on GB News after three months. Grolsch took a stronger stand, explaining it “prides itself on core values of inclusion and openness to all people,” and made it clear they did not associate “with any platforms or outlets that go against these values.”

It remains to be seen if other consumer brands will follow suit and boycott the newly-launched UK channel.

[via The Guardian, cover image via GB News] http://www.designtaxi.com/news/414355/IKEA-Nivea-Among-Brands-To-Boycott-Ads-On-GB-News-Channel/

Prada Debuts Luxury Tic-Tac-Toe… Miss Those Days You Never Had To Pay To Play?

Image via Prada

Tic-tac-toe is a game from childhood everyone’s played, usually with a pen and piece of paper.

Now, it’s gotten the celebrity treatment, with Prada debuting a luxury version of the game that costs US$1,290. Yes, you read that right.

The portable tic-tac-toe set is made of the fashion house’s signature Saffiano leather, including two-way zippers with leather trim and plush lining featuring the brand’s logo.

As per Input, the board is red with metal borders, with the black and white playing discs also donning the Prada logo.

If you’ve got extra cash to blow after acquiring this incredibly expensive tic-tac-toe game set, why not splash US$525 on a Prada raincoat for your furry friend, too?

Image via Prada

Image via Prada

[via Input, images via Prada] http://www.designtaxi.com/news/414359/Prada-Debuts-Luxury-Tic-Tac-Toe-Miss-Those-Days-You-Never-Had-To-Pay-To-Play/

Google Pay & Apple Pay Now Accept Crypto Transactions—More Dogecoins For You?

Image via Koshiro K / Shutterstock.com

Both Google and Apple have teamed up with cryptocurrency exchange Coinbase, enabling users to make cryptocurrency transactions on the brands’ payment apps.

Users of Google and Apple Pay can now add the Coinbase Card to their mobile payment apps, allowing them to purchase goods and services using cryptocurrencies such as Bitcoin, Ethereum, and Dogecoin via their smartphones.

However, if you’ve yet to sign up for the Coinbase Card, you’ll have to join the waitlist on its site. The digital wallet has also announced it’ll be giving up to 4% of cryptocurrency rewards to those who add the card to Google or Apple Pay.

As per the Entrepreneur, Coinbase works by converting cryptocurrencies into legal tender, such as US dollars.

Depending on the type of transaction, users are also liable for a fee or commission, which is given in more detail here. While users will pay in cryptocurrencies, merchants will still receive the payment in legal tender.

As of now, this new feature is only available to select Google and Apple users in the US. After the trial phase, it’s possible that the tech giants will roll out this function to users globally.

[via Entrepreneur, cover image via Koshiro K / Shutterstock.com] http://www.designtaxi.com/news/414357/Google-Pay-Apple-Pay-Now-Accept-Crypto-Transactions-More-Dogecoins-For-You/

What To Know Before Getting The App That Turns Everyone Into ‘Disney’ Characters

Images via Voilà AI Artist

Once things on the internet catch on, they snowball beyond belief. This has been the case for Voilà AI Artist, a face-tuning app that transforms your selfies into different cartoon styles, most notably a Disney-inspired aesthetic.

The app whose photos are now popping up everywhere is free for iOS and Android users, while a premium, ad-free Voilà Pro version gives users the option to remove watermarks and receive results quicker. Selfies can be rendered in a variety of ways, including in the styles of Old Master paintings, caricatures, and a “3D Pixar-Inspired Cartoon” look “out of animated movies.”

As CNET discovers, the app isn’t so effective on pets, images with “cut-off heads,” and photos where faces can’t be identified by the app. For best results, you’d therefore want to use a front-facing selfie.

Here’s the bit that everyone’s concerned about. Sure, it’s all fun and games, but what does the app do with your data? According to the privacy policy by Voilà AI Artist developer WeImagine.AI as of March 1, 2021, photos will be deleted 24 to 48 hours from the last time they were used on the app so users will have enough time to revisit the images “for additional modifications.”

However, it also details that the app collects data from individual users, but the extent of this usage is unclear. In WeImagine.AI’s words: “We use your data to provide and improve Service. By using Service, you agree to the collection and use of information in accordance with this policy.”

Personal data will be shared with third-party partners and advertisers, including some who might be located outside your country. These include affiliates, sibling companies, subcontractors, and advertisers who track web browsing activity.

Users on the free version of the app will be shown advertisements that “may be targeted based on your use of the App or your activity elsewhere online” within the app.

WeImagine.AI also states that while it does not request for metadata attached to photos, like the location they were taken, “metadata including, for example, geotags) may be associated with your photographs by default).”

With all this in mind, it’s up to users’ discretion—and curiosity—to judge if transforming themselves into Disney characters is worth it.

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[via CNET and Snopes, images via Voilà AI Artist] http://www.designtaxi.com/news/414358/What-To-Know-Before-Getting-The-App-That-Turns-Everyone-Into-Disney-Characters/

Apple’s Rejected First-Gen Watch With ‘Brick Phone’ Design Surfaces In Images

[Click here to view the video in this article]

Image via Andriy Blokhin / Shutterstock.com

High on secrecy, Apple turned to creative means to keep the unreleased Apple Watch from the public’s eye. It apparently gave its prototypes an unusual disguise in the form of brick phones.

YouTube channel Apple Demo, which managed to pick up a 38mm first-gen Apple Watch working design recently, along with a 42mm variant in December 2020, noted that the prototype arrived in a ‘Security Case’ shaped like a brick-style phone as part of Apple’s attempt to shield the design during transportation.

From afar, the prototype would admittedly look the part with the cover’s fake cell phone buttons and the watch’s illuminated screen.

When switched on, the early Apple Watch design was found to run on an internal testing software developed before watchOS. It bore an Apple logo startup screen, a Mickey Mouse watch face, and a menu of phone functions.

The prototype’s box was also labeled as “classified,” and instructed the tester to return the model after working on it.

Fast forward to 2021, and Apple is due to release its seventh-generation smartwatch. Per leaks, the Apple Watch 7 will likely take on some design aspects of the company’s new iPads, like flatter edges.

Prototype Apple Watches (38mm and 42mm) with Security Cases side by side. These cases where made to conceal the design of the Apple Watch 1st Generation during transport out of lockdown. Here is the never before seen 38mm version! Gotta love the brick phone design! #appleinternal pic.twitter.com/eo7IUUNVba

— Apple Demo (@AppleDemoYT) June 12, 2021

[via AppleInsider, cover image via Andriy Blokhin / Shutterstock.com] http://www.designtaxi.com/news/414356/Apple-s-Rejected-First-Gen-Watch-With-Brick-Phone-Design-Surfaces-In-Images/

Facebook Debuts Typography Deepfake AI That Uncannily Mimics Fonts From Photos

Image via Facebook AI

You’ve likely grappled with identifying typefaces that have caught your eye, but Facebook has taken things up a pixel with the TextStyleBrush AI, a research project that remarkably replicates the style of text from a photo on another canvas—and all it needs is a single word to do the work.

In a series of applications demonstrated by the social network, the deepfake tool seems profoundly astute at picking up nuances from text in photos, including handwriting and decorative text, and applying those styles in other images. It can, for instance, be used in language translation tools and mimic signs in other languages with the same style.

.embed-container { position: relative; padding-bottom: 56.25%; height: 0; overflow: hidden; max-width: 100%; } .embed-container iframe, .embed-container object, .embed-container embed { position: absolute; top: 0; left: 0; width: 100%; height: 100%; }

Facebook commends the tool’s versatility in going beyond “well-defined, specialized tasks,” which existing typography-focused AIs are limited to, as it is “the first self-supervised AI model that replaces text in images of both handwriting and scenes — in one shot — using a single example word” without being influenced by the scenario’s textures or colors.

The company’s AI team details that this technology could open up a world of possibilities for creative self-expression through photo-realistic AR translations and personalized messaging or captions.

While such tools can pose ethical implications, such as the creation of more openings for forgery, Facebook stresses that sharing the project’s methods, capabilities, and results can also bring positive change by “[spurring] dialogue and research into detecting potential misuse of this type of technology, such as deepfake text attacks — a critical, emerging challenge in the AI field.”

Image via Facebook AI

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[via Creative Bloq, videos and images via Facebook AI] http://www.designtaxi.com/news/414354/Facebook-Debuts-Typography-Deepfake-AI-That-Uncannily-Mimics-Fonts-From-Photos/

Adidas Unveils Period-Proof Leggings To Make Workouts Hassle-Free

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Image via Adidas

Sportswear giant Adidas has just launched a new pair of leggings that’ll keep menstruators leak-free and protected as they exercise.

As part of its pledge to combat physical, emotional, and societal barriers that exist in sports, the brand has unveiled its TechFit Period Proof leggings, aiming to make workouts more comfortable during that time of the month.

With period-proof underwear brands such as ModiBodi and Thinx gaining market share, it’s not surprising Adidas has thrown its hat in the ring for period-proof activewear. Regular leggings often don’t provide enough protection from leaks, stains, or visible pad lines.

While the TechFit Period Proof leggings were designed to be comfortable and breathable for exercise, its key focus was also to protect against leaks, Adidas’ Senior Product Manager Kim Buerger told Bustle.

The leggings come with a special “set of absorbent layers and a membrane that help protect against leaks, giving athletes added confidence whilst training through their period,” she explained.

A wicking layer, absorbing layer, and leak-proof layer are combined to provide extra protection, while a bonding frame holds the layers together and keeps the leggings in place.

Despite them being period-proof, the leggings aren’t a substitute for tampons, pads, cups, or period underwear. They offer an additional layer of security and confidence, rather than serve as an all-in-one period pant.

Adidas hopes its latest offering can encourage folks who menstruate to stay in a sporting environment. The brand is also working with Physical Education teachers and schools to provide resources to adolescents who want to exercise while on their periods.

“The menstrual cycle is still an area of embarrassment, and as a result is typically neglected and ignored. Given the impact that the menstrual cycle can have on participation and overall quality of life, this must change. Education is the ultimate starting point whereby those who menstruate can be empowered by an increased understanding of an essential physiological process,” said Dr Georgie Bruinvels, a sports research scientist working with Adidas.

The TechFit Period Proof collection is available at Adidas’ site, in stores, or via the app.

Image via Adidas

Image via Adidas

[via Bustle, cover image via Adidas] http://www.designtaxi.com/news/414352/Adidas-Unveils-Period-Proof-Leggings-To-Make-Workouts-Hassle-Free/

This Wooden Satellite Could Start Orbiting The Earth By The End Of 2021

Image via European Space Agency

While a satellite made out of wood may sound far-fetched, Finnish company Arctic Astronautics is on track to send one into space by the end of the year. Named the ‘WISA Woodsat’, this micro-satellite is uniquely made out of plywood.

Just this week, the Woodsat rose almost 20 miles above the Earth, hoisted by a weather balloon. This was a test for the firm to observe how the satellite’s plywood construction would react in space-like conditions of the Earth’s orbit.

The micro-satellite was fitted with a selfie stick to document its journey, and a sensor provided by the European Space Agency, as per Mashable.

Measuring just four inches across, the Woodsat is crafted out of UPM Plywood before being dried out in a vacuum chamber. It is then coated in a layer of aluminum oxide to prevent it from degrading upon contact with highly reactive oxygen above the planet’s atmosphere.

The Woodsat’s first flight lasted almost three hours before the weather balloon was popped so the satellite could return to Earth. Such micro-satellites are being built for simple radio communication, and have the capabilities to send and receive messages around the world.

Going forward, constructing satellites out of plywood could be a more sustainable alternative to the usual aluminum or steel. It does less damage to the environment, and is considerably cheaper.

Take a look at the WISA Woodsat up close below.

WISA Woodsat stratospheric test flight reached a top altitude of 31.2 km and the flight duration was 2:54h. Below you can see the explosion of the balloon. #wisawoodsat #wisaplywood @kitsat @huldofficial @heurekafi @upmglobal #space #satellite #woodsatellite #avgeek pic.twitter.com/pioqCB6kto

— WISA WOODSAT (@wisawoodsat) June 14, 2021

#wisawoodsat #wisaplywood #kitsat #huld #heureka #satellite #woodsatellite #space #avgeek pic.twitter.com/T3TrNagGcv

— WISA WOODSAT (@wisawoodsat) June 12, 2021

The world’s first wooden satellite is on the way, in the shape of #Finland's @wisawoodsat. #ESATech materials experts at #ESTEC in #NL are contributing a suite of experimental sensors to the mission as well as helping with pre-flight testing https://t.co/mm4Ofq8cHw pic.twitter.com/VAEouuYerN

— ESA Technology (@ESA_Tech) June 10, 2021

[via Mashable, cover image via European Space Agency] http://www.designtaxi.com/news/414351/This-Wooden-Satellite-Could-Start-Orbiting-The-Earth-By-The-End-Of-2021/

Nike Faces Lawsuit Accusing It Of ‘Fraud’ For Air Jordan 1 Trademark

Image via Rowan Patrick Photos / Shutterstock.com

At the start of June, Nike was awarded the trademark and patent on its signature Air Jordan 1 design, aiding the sportswear giant in its battle against bootleg replicas.

Despite releasing the first Michael Jordan-inspired sneakers in 1985, the brand only secured the design’s patent 36 years later.

Now, Nike’s newly-awarded patent is coming under fire from bootleggers, customizers, and creatives. According to Input, New York City attorney Robert Lopez filed a countersuit against Nike, alleging the brand had committed fraud in its trademark filing.

Lopez’s suit highlights an issue of Nike trademarking the Air Jordan 1 design without its iconic Swoosh.

While Nike could argue the sneaker’s silhouette is recognizable even without the distinct motif, Lopez’s complaint takes issue with the omission as the brand has never released a pair without the Swoosh. Hence, it argues Nike’s trademark was “improperly issued.”

“Nike, Inc. is attempting to secure an IP portfolio of unregistrable or improperly registered marks so that it can implement its enforcement actions against small and independent clothing store owners to gain a strong hold and monopoly over the sneaker and apparel industry,” the suit reads, as per Input.

It’s still unclear if Lopez’s countersuit has enough legs to cause concern for Nike, though it’s admirable to see small businesses hit back at giant brands in an attempt to protect their creative freedom.

[via Input, cover image via Rowan Patrick Photos / Shutterstock.com] http://www.designtaxi.com/news/414350/Nike-Faces-Lawsuit-Accusing-It-Of-Fraud-For-Air-Jordan-1-Trademark/

Windows 11 Leaks Offer Close Look At OS With Refreshed Rounder Design

Image via Lukmanazis / Shutterstock.com

Microsoft has heavily hinted at Windows 11, having also recently announced the end of support for Windows 10. Users can expect to get an official look at a massive OS update at the Microsoft Event on June 24.

Way ahead of the anticipated launch, though, tech enthusiasts have already gotten an in-depth look at what is believed to be the upcoming Windows 11 from sources all over the world. According to Engadget, reporters have already stolen a glimpse—as well as installed—the future OS. Screenshotsof the refreshed system have also surfaced in China.

A string of tweets by The Verge’s Tom Warren, including one with a video, walks users through some of the design and features of an early version of Windows 11. According to those visuals, the new OS seems to have adopted rounded corners, a new startup sound, and a Start menu with centered icons.

With your cursor over the maximize button, you could also locate controls to snap windows to specific areas of the screen, rather than drag them around yourself.

Other than UI refinements, Windows 11—at least for this premature version—hasn’t seemed to evolve much from Windows 10. You’ll still have your Control Panel and Live Tiles, for instance.

Explore updates to expect in the screen captures below, presented in regular and dark modes.

here's a first look at Windows 11. There's a new Start menu, rounded corners, a new startup sound, and more https://t.co/VDS08QPsl5 pic.twitter.com/OkCyX3TtmI

— Tom Warren (@tomwarren) June 15, 2021

Windows 11 also includes a new snap feature built into the maximize button on all apps. It's a neat way to surface features that have existed in Windows for years https://t.co/VDS08QPsl5 pic.twitter.com/uXcwVngmTT

— Tom Warren (@tomwarren) June 15, 2021

Windows 11 has two new default wallpapers pic.twitter.com/8buhOH0X6x

— Tom Warren (@tomwarren) June 15, 2021

Windows 11 also lets you move the Start menu and app taskbar icons back to the left side. This is the dark mode, too https://t.co/VDS08QPsl5 pic.twitter.com/cg54hIgU4T

— Tom Warren (@tomwarren) June 15, 2021

the new Xbox experience on Windows 11 https://t.co/VDS08QPsl5 pic.twitter.com/4jXebU9B56

— Tom Warren (@tomwarren) June 15, 2021

and yes, the Control Panel still exists pic.twitter.com/JZDOJcjRql

— Tom Warren (@tomwarren) June 15, 2021

Live Tiles can be re-enabled in Windows 11 if you really want them https://t.co/mVWZ1yHouB pic.twitter.com/GgRAXcx4ym

— Tom Warren (@tomwarren) June 15, 2021

[via Engadget and Tom Warren, cover image via Lukmanazis / Shutterstock.com] http://www.designtaxi.com/news/414353/Windows-11-Leaks-Offer-Close-Look-At-OS-With-Refreshed-Rounder-Design/

LEGO x Adidas Launch Superstar Sneaker Set You Assemble Instead Of Wear

Image via LEGO x Adidas

Following the launch of LEGO and Adidas’ ZX 8000 collection earlier this year, the two brands are teaming up once again for yet another classic silhouette. Next month, LEGO x Adidas Originals Superstar sneakers will hit the shelves, alongside a LEGO brick model of the iconic shoe.

The LEGO Superstar sneaker in adult sizing will come in a classic black and white leather construction, with the three stripes, shell-toe, and heel tab crafted to resemble LEGO brick patterns. This launch includes children’s sizing, with more colorful options for younger ones in the family.

LEGO also unveiled a never-seen-before Superstar brick set, which will allow collectors to construct the iconic sneaker using LEGO bricks. Just like the real sneaker, the brick version includes the shell-toe shape, trefoil logo, and three stripes motif.

Customers can choose from the right or left shoe, or can purchase both to form a pair. It even comes with shoelaces and an authentic Adidas shoebox, so it appears extra-realistic in your display case.

The LEGO x Adidas Originals Superstar collection will launch Thursday, 1 July. The adult sneakers will retail for US$140, with the LEGO model going for US$90. For more information, visit the Adidas and LEGO sites.

Image via LEGO x Adidas

Image via LEGO x Adidas

Image via LEGO x Adidas

Image via LEGO x Adidas

[via Sole Collector, images via LEGO x Adidas] http://www.designtaxi.com/news/414349/LEGO-x-Adidas-Launch-Superstar-Sneaker-Set-You-Assemble-Instead-Of-Wear/

Israel Invents Camouflage Tech That Effortlessly Renders Soldiers ‘Invisible’

Image via Polaris Solutions

Israeli survivability technologies firm Polaris Solutions recently unveiled its brand-new camouflage technology, which renders soldiers virtually “invisible” on the battlefield.

Working closely with the Israel Defense Ministry, the company created the ‘Kit 300’, an innovative camouflage sheet unlike anything else on the market.

According to The Jerusalem Post, the lightweight sheet is produced using a special thermal visual concealment (TVC) material, made up of various metals, polymers, and microfibers.

Due to the TVC, soldiers on the battlefield would be harder to spot both with the naked eye and infrared thermal imaging technology.

Asaf Picciotto, co-founder and CEO of Polaris Solutions, told The Media Line the idea for ‘Kit 300’ came to him during the Second Lebanon War.

As a soldier in a special Israel Defense Forces (IDF) unit, Picciotto realized first-hand that combat personnel needed better protection from the enemy’s thermal imaging cameras and night-vision equipment.

“Camouflage nets haven’t changed too much in the past 50 years,” said Yonatan Pinkas, Director of Marketing at Polaris Solutions. “We wanted to bring in a new type of material. So TVC was born,” he explained.

The camouflage sheet comes with different patterns on each side, one for dense vegetation and the other for desert landscapes. Polaris Solutions customizes the sheet’s patterns and colors based on each client’s geographic region.

Even though it appears to be a flat sheet, the material is sturdier than it looks, and can be fashioned into 3D shapes.

It’s also waterproof, and can provide shelter or be folded into a stretcher to carry wounded soldiers. Additionally, it can be used as a splint to immobilize a broken bone, or act as a hypothermia blanket, as per The Jerusalem Post.

Polaris Solutions was founded in 2009 by two former IDF soldiers, and continues to lead the charge in developing revolutionary ideas used by Special Operations Forces (SOF) around the world.

Image via Polaris Solutions

[via The Jerusalem Post, images via Polaris Solutions] http://www.designtaxi.com/news/414348/Israel-Invents-Camouflage-Tech-That-Effortlessly-Renders-Soldiers-Invisible/

Apple Brings Summer Fun Without A Sweat With Cheery New MagSafe Cases

Image via Apple

To celebrate the beginning of summer, Apple has launched three new colors of its silicone MagSafe cases for the iPhone 12, iPhone 12 mini, iPhone 12 Pro, and iPhone 12 Pro Max.

The bright and cheery hues are perfect for the season’s warmth, and will certainly bring some color to this summer’s vaccinated adventures.

The three new colors are: Sunflower – a cheery yellow, Cloud Blue – a minimalistic baby blue, and Electric Orange – a bright fiery orange. Each retails for US$49 each, available both online and in Apple Stores.

The cases are part of Apple’s MagSafe ecosystem, will allows users to attach and replace accessories as and when they like. Plus, it aids in faster wireless charging.

Its silky, soft-touch silicone exterior also helps to prevent your iPhone from slipping out of your palm, even in the summer heat. The interior comes with a microfiber lining, to afford your phone even more protection.

Take a look at the new colors below.

Image via Apple

Image via Apple

Image via Apple

[via iMore, images via Apple] http://www.designtaxi.com/news/414342/Apple-Brings-Summer-Fun-Without-A-Sweat-With-Cheery-New-MagSafe-Cases/

Amazon Is Opening A Full-Size Grocery Store With ‘Just Walk Out’ Technology

Image via Amazon

Amazon’s contactless physical stores are an unintentional solution for the COVID-19 era, and, naturally, the tech behemoth has decided to replicate this recipe multifold with its first full-size grocery store.

The new Amazon Fresh location, opening this week at Factoria Square Mall in Bellevue, Washington, will be powered with the same Just Walk Out technology deployed in smaller, existing stores. Essentially, customers can skip the checkout process by picking up items from shelves, automatically adding products to their virtual carts, and scanning their palms or payment cards before exiting.

Visitors can grab fresh picks of fruits and vegetables, meat, seafood, prepared foods, and baked goods from the grocery store, which will also be open for package pickups and returns.

According to Amazon, Just Walk Out is a culmination of deep-learning, computer vision and sensor fusion. Customers can simply grab and go from stores as their virtual carts are synced with their Amazon accounts or credit cards at entry to track purchases. If they change their mind about an item, they can return it to the shelf without being charged.

Sticklers for tradition can opt for a typical checkout process, as cashiers are also available to ring purchases up.

Starting June 17, Amazon Fresh Bellevue will be open daily from 7am to 10pm PT.

Image via Amazon

Image via Amazon

[via CNET, images via Amazon] http://www.designtaxi.com/news/414347/Amazon-Is-Opening-A-Full-Size-Grocery-Store-With-Just-Walk-Out-Technology/

Alpaca Your Bags To This Café, Because These Unique Crepes Are Delightful

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Image via Crepes de Anne

As you might be aware, making crepes can be a little tricky, especially with the first batch. This quaint café in Nagoya, Japan hasn’t just mastered the art of crepe-making, but its pancakes are also prepared far batter—pun intended—with adorable new friends.

Crepes de Anne, a board game café that specializes in animal-themed crepes and bubble tea, will tug at your heartstrings with sweet, edible versions of alpacas, hedgehogs, and pigs you’d want to hog.

The pancakes here are actually made up of two crepes. After fillings are added to the first crepe, it is rolled up into a cone and topped with a second piece, which serves as the “backbone” of the character.

An artist then expertly pipes cream onto the standing pancake to create fur or spikes, before adding the finishing touches of facial features.

If you’re ever in the vicinity, Crepes de Anne is a quick four-minute walk from Nagoya Station. Your only hurdle would be the mental battle stopping you from biting the heads off these lovable animal crepes.

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A post shared by クレープス・ド・アンヌ (@crepes_anne)

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A post shared by クレープス・ド・アンヌ (@crepes_anne)

[via Delicious Tokyo, images via Crepes de Anne] http://www.designtaxi.com/news/414346/Alpaca-Your-Bags-To-This-Caf-Because-These-Unique-Crepes-Are-Delightful/