1. Plan a Photograph Through Augmented Reality
With the iOS app Blocker, users can quite literally block out photographic or filmic scenes: pull in what the camera sees, drop in and track 3D models and then play with light. This allows the user to set up the perfect photograph in advance of a shoot. The app tracks a scene as the camera moves, granting a true window into augmented reality (and guaranteeing that users can play around in a space to find the exact set-up they need). From the virtual sun to the 3D model size adjustment, it’s handy and it’s free—though there’s an in-app purchase for the full version that costs about $50.
2. Amazon’s New Echo Spot
Unveiled today, Amazon’s newest device, the Echo Spot is essentially a smart alarm clock. With a 2.5-inch screen, the Spot is also capable of acting as a nanny cam and making video calls—if you hook up external speakers via Bluetooth or cable. Like all Echo products, it can be controlled by voice, but also has a responsive touchscreen. Available for pre-order, it seems the Spot will arrive in time for the holidays. More at The Verge.
3. All-Female Design Team Has Revamped the Classic Bra
Redesigning the classic bra isn’t a small feat. Bree McKeen first had the idea a decade ago when discussing her constant discomfort with a chiropractor, and they discovered her problem wasn’t her posture but her bra. The main issue was the underwire, an invention that was designed some 84 years ago. McKeen’s start-up, Evelyn & Bobbie, is crafting a better bra—and women are the designers and engineers on the project. Available in many shades, it’s a bra made for everybody and (of course) has no underwire. “The fabric wraps around the woman’s chest to focus on using the wearer’s chest and torso muscles, rather than relying on their shoulders to handle the weight.” The team also created an algorithm to figure out sizing, as they didn’t want any women to be put off by a numbered system. Read more at PSFK.
4. Tweet Character Count Doubles
It’s just a global test for now but, according to the Verge, tweets with up to 280 characters have been making their way around the social media platform. Twitter’s motivation here is to allow users to be more expressive and to alleviate frustration. For many though, the 140 character limit has been an important challenge in honing a messages—oftentimes resulting in new means of communicating or the development of (sometimes comedic) shorthand. Tweet length was determined originally by the length of an SMS messages but now, really, anything may be possible. Read more about this controversial subject at the Verge.
5. McLaren’s “Project Invincible” Human Armor
It may comes as a surprise to some that McLaren does more than release supercars and dominate Formula 1. Their fast-growing McLaren Applied Technologies sector tackles health and wellness, and the division’s team of doctors and engineers have done something remarkable under the bannister of “Project Invincible.” Tasked by a billionaire with a rib-related health issue, they developed $250,000 discreet, customized body armor. In three months it was completed and turned over to the client. Head over to Men’s Health to learn about its rigorous testing.
6. Drawing Logos From Memory
In a recent study, 150+ Americans were asked to draw 10 iconic logos from memory as a test to see just how effective branding can be. The 10 logos chosen included Apple, Starbucks, adidas and more—and the results came back quite varied. From people “forgetting to bite the apple” in Apple’s logo to combining old logos with new ones, there were plenty of mistakes. That said, many near-perfect drawings appeared, with IKEA’s logo perhaps being the easiest to recreate. Take a look at all the illustrations at signs.com.
7. There’s a Gloria Steinem Biopic Coming
Based on Gloria Steinem’s memoir “My Life on the Road,” a female-led biopic is in the works. Set to be directed by Julie Taymor (“Frida,” “Across the Universe” and “Titus”) the film will be a coming-of-age story, with playwright Sarah Ruhl writing the script. Steinem—who will be an executive producer on the project—says, “I hope and believe the result will encourage many more travelers — especially women in all our diverse realities — to tell our own stories.” Read more at Dazed.
8. Wes Anderson’s “Isle of Dogs” is Coming
What will be Wes Andertson’s first stop-motion animation since 2009’s brilliant “Fantastic Mr Fox,” “Isle of Dogs” is set for release in March next year. Inspired by director Akira Kurosawa and Christmas television specials, the film boasts an impressive cast of voice actors—from Scarlett Johansson and Yoko Ono to frequent Anderson collaborators Bill Murray and Tilda Swinton. Set in future Japan, the storyline centers around an outbreak of dog flu resulting in all pooches being banished to a garbage dump island. A 12-year-old boy arrives to find his own pet, and Anderson’s knack for beauty, wit and heartbreak will surely collide.