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Entries in UK (11)


British Airway's Color Changing Blankets Track Passengers' Emotions (video)

British Airways has been testing the  “happiness blanket”, a high-tech blanket that changes colors according to the passenger's emotions. The blanket has optical fibers woven into it  that can sense the brainwaves of the user with the use of neuro-sensors measuring a person’s brainwaves. It then changes color, from red to blue, to show when they are at their most relaxed and meditative to anxious. The blanket connects with a headset via Bluetooth that tracks the brainwaves. The tiny LEDs glow according to the feed it receives from the headset.

Why? “Using technology like the ‘happiness blanket’ is another way for us to investigate how our customers’ relaxation and sleep is affected by everything on board, from the amount of light in the cabin, when they eat and their position in the seat,” British Airways said in a news release.


H/T: Luxury Launches, Business Week


Brick & Mortar Vending Machine

In rural towns in the UK it's often difficult to get what you need when you need it since, unfortunately, most of the small local markets are gone due to big box stores. However, Speedy Shop has taken the place of the local market with a giant vending machine, about the size of a parking spot. It is stocked with local produce, toiletries, beverages, snacks, laundry detergent and even pet supplies.

Villagevending, the manufacture and operator, says it "provides a complete service for all-hours retailing of a wide range of products...It's hard to compete with the supermarkets on everything, but we can get pretty close, and when you take the travel time and costs into account, we think we can compete, and bring the village shop back to the village." What's great is that it is also online. You can see what is in stock at the machine live to make sure what you need is there. 

Currently there are two Speedy Shops running in the Ashbourne area—one on a local road and one installed at a traditional pub. 



Chipotle Launches in UK With "How-To" Ad

How to say "Chipotle". Is this funny or cruel? To give it some credit, I've personally heard the name "Chipotle" botched many times here in the US. Perhaps this should be rolled out in North America as well. But the real kicker is the tagline "Delicious however you say it". So why make such a point about the pronunciation? It would have actually been quite funny to film Brits pronounce Chipotle in their own various interpretations for an online video. My personal favorite and most heard in NY is "Shi-Pot-Lay".


One Man's Garbage Is Another Man's Art And Inspiration

"Art is Trash (or "El Arte es Basura" as he was known in Spain) is a radical. He paints on trash. He converts refuse into things of beauty."  Francisco de Pájaro is from Spain but has traveled to London this summer for a show in the West Bank London Art all the while transforming the streets of London rubbish into fun and often quirky works of art. 

In an interview with Global Street Art, he said, “We consume a lot, and rubbish is part of that, it’s people wasting things. There’s a romantic aspect, somebody’s given it up, they don’t want it, because one little bit is broken, because they don’t want to fix it, that’s the Capitalist mindset, so I give it life, so there’s a sensitive and romantic side to the work.” 

Sources: Depajaro Blog, Societe Perrier, Design Taxi


Timing is Everything (video)

It took nearly seven months for street artist ABOVE to find the perfect spot on which to place his stencil of a breakdancer. See why timing is everything for this peice of street art. 



Gamification...At The Urinal! (video)

It's true! In the UK, there are now urinals at pubs that integrate a "p-controlled" gaming. Seriously, your aim is your control. Check it out for yourself here. 

Drink more beer. Make more pee. Play more games.

(Captive Media)


Velopresso, For The Love Of Coffe And Pedal Power

I bet there was a lot of highly caffeinated coffee consumed during the design, development, and trials of the Velopresso. Created by two London Royal College of Art product design graduates, "Velopresso is a celebratory fusion of human power, sensory pleasures and technology -- old tech with hi-tech, bicycles and coffee, their engineering and aesthetics. The result is an innovative pedal-powered mobile coffee-making machine for off-grid selling of quality espresso and its derivatives with a compact footprint and near silent ultra-low carbon human-powered operation -- fine coffee, no electricity, no motors, no noise."

It would be great to see the food truck revolution take on this more sustainable approach. 




London's 2012 Olympic Torch

The London 2012 Olympic Torch by designers BarberOsgerby was unveiled last summer in London. Just looking at this is getting me excited for the opening ceremonies of this year's Olympics. Rumor has it that the Rolling Stones are on the roster to perform...I hope it's not just a rumor! Just look how amazing this torch is! Talk about some deluxe style and design for the Olympians this year. By the way, the Olypmics are July 27 - August 12th...142 days to go!  

Made from a golden aluminium alloy, the triangular torch will be perforated by 8000 circular holes representing the 8000 torch-bearers to take part in the Olympic relay and allowing glimpses of the burner system inside. It will be 800mm high and weigh 800g.


For more, check out Dezeen and the official London 2012