Futurist Profile: Nick Kaloterakis

Nick Kaloerakis is an amazing designer with a mind for futuristic development. Very focused on metallic streamlined designs, Nick’s work is indicative of a trend towards envisioning melded technologies: electronics with engineering and elegance. For example, Nick draws a stunning image of hypersonic jets, streamlined to make trips from New York to Tokyo in 2 hours. Check out his work for an insight on how awesome designers are viewing future technologies: http://kollected.com/.

You can find Nick’s work gracing the covers and insides of Popular Science, National Geographic and Discovery Channel.

Data is Power by Nick Kaloterakis


Mars Rover by Nick Kaloterakis

Deus Ex Machina by Nick Kaloterakis



Quote: William Gibson on Technology


“Technology invariably trumps ideology. And I am inclined to think that history increasingly suggests that human social change is more directly driven by technology than by ideology. I think we develop ideologies in an attempt to cope with technologies and that in fact we’ve been doing that all along. Technology is knowing how to grow, harvest and store cereals without which you can’t really do a city. Technology is knowing how to build efficient sewage infrastructure without which you can’t build a slightly larger city. So I think of technologies as the drivers and ideologies as an attempt to steer.”

A Collection of Real and Imagined Robots

As the future of robotics develops, Hollywood gets to run a little bit faster. Here is an example of the newest robot creation from director Ridley Scott, contrasted with video compilations of real, high-functioning robots. If you don’t already know what they’re capable of, it will blow your mind!

In a commercial that is startlingly similar to the emotional android Kara, Weylan Industries introduced David 8, a robot who looks, acts, and seems totally human. This commercial for the upcoming film Prometheus, focuses on the emotional aspect of future-imagined androids, and explores the enmeshing of robotic-stoicism and genuine human feeling.

If this seems like a imagining of the future, think again. Right now scientists and engineers are working on building emotional androids based on cognitive modeling of emotions and a “language of mind.” At the University of Applied Sciences and Arts in Northwestern Switzerland, scientists seek to imbue these robots with subjectivity and hope that situation recognition will trigger an elicitation of emotions with emotional mimics, using “gesture, posture, action tendencies and speech act latencies.” The technology is almost there: “these dimensions are shown to be integrable into a common structure which can be transformed into various applications like innovative structures of MMI and HRI, ranging from service robots to virtual interactions up to MMI-management of driver assistance systems.”

Here is a video composite of several top-notch robots of today, well, kind of. This video was made last year!

And, check out more from Asimo, arguably the world’s most advanced robot.


Functional Futuristic Fashions

High-Tech Threads: Can Your Clothes Do This?

 April 11, 2012 by
Reblogged from mashable
Today’s clothing isn’t just about fashion — it’s about function. We’re not talking about Scottevest’s Inspector Gadget-esque trenchcoat to store your iPhone, iPad, iPod and even a few changes of clothes. Sure, that’s handy, but the jacket itself isn’t high-tech (though it is well designed). Mashable has explored that ways in which tech companies and fashion brands have coming together to prototype new kinds of apparel, and we spoke with independent designers who’ve concepted mind-blowing gear that essentially transforms your body into a generator. This clothing doesn’t just hang on your body — it does something. From saving your life to charging your gadgets, this wave of innovative fashion makes city living safer and a bit more convenient. After all, there’s no need to stop in a Apple store to charge your phone if your shirt can do it on the go, right?

What innovative apparel would you like to see in the future? Let us know in the comments below.

Gadget-Fueling Getups

When you go for a run, you’re not just burning energy, you’re creating it, too. And the production of kinetic energy is exactly what fuels the mp3 player that’s embedded into designer Rafael Rozenkranz’s high-tech jogging suit (see below). “The project was conceived because I jog almost everyday, and I like to listen to music doing so — but there were always problems,” says Rozenkranz, adding that he was annoying by the device’s placement on the body and battery issues. The use of kinetic energy isn’t new — but the fact that it can keep your tunes bumping is, and it promises a future of cool gadget integrations in fashion.

Hitting the beach instead of the running path? You can stay charged with a solar-powered bikini, developed by Andrew Schneider, a New York designer. It’s a regular bikini that’s retrofitted with 1″-thick photovoltaic film strips, whose generated power funnels into in a 5-volt regulator and then a female USB connection, so it can charge a device. The male version, the iDrink, is coming soon — and with more surface area than a bikini, it’ll generate more energy.

Back in 2010, British mobile carrier Orange partnered with GotWind to develop rain boots that charge your phone at the oft-muddy Glastonbury Music Festival. In 2011, Orange upped its game with a sound-charging tee. Orange has no plans to bring any of these items to market — the pieces are “very much billed as prototypes” and only one or two produced, says Alex Wilkinson, a spokesperson for the company. The samples are used primarily to highlight the kinds of technology that could be used in a mobile charging solution, and are “meant to generate debate and discussion, rather than be consumer-ready products,” he added. And since the Glastonbury festival is taking this year off, we won’t be seeing a new prototype for this year’s event — we’re already looking forward to 2013.

Innovative Functionality

Sure, we’ve all got devices running low on battery, but high-tech fashion need not focus on keeping your things juiced — clothing can do other functions, too. For example, a new collection at the Japanese apparel outlet Uniqlo features cotton tees, linen pants and hoodies that filter UV rays, essentially acting as sunscreen. (Uniqlo previously focused on the super-thin HeatTech fabric, its proprietary technology that generates heat from perspiration to keep you warm.)

Another useful apparel feature? Night lights. British design student Nick Reddall developed a jogging jacket that generates electricity during a run. That current is used to fuel lights on the back and sleeves of the jacket, which help keep night runners safe. “Maybe people go running in the evening,” Reddall said at a London art show. “This can therefore keep them safe when they’re exercising.” While this technology isn’t necessary — why not just slap on some reflective strips? — the science has cool applications that we look forward to.

Lifesaving Tech

Leave it to the Scandinavians to come up with an “airbag” that looks like a fashionable scarf, right until it’s deployed.

Hövding is a collar for bicyclists that’s worn around the neck and contains a folded-up airbag that deploys in .01 seconds. Sensors embedded in the collar track the cyclist’s movements and will trigger deployment when an irregular motion is picked up, such as a swerve or a bump. The airbag is shaped like a hood, thus protecting the bicyclist’s head and neck, and is inflated by a gas inflator — one of the smallest on the market — in the collar. Once it inflates (and it does fully inflate before impact), the airbag provides shock absorption and a steady air pressure, then slowly starts to deflate.

Like on a plane, there’s even a black box that records a bicyclist’s patterns in the ten seconds before an accident — Hövding uses this data to improve upon the design. The company also extracts data from staged accidents, whether with crash test dummies or stunt cyclists, and adds this information to the database so that the Hövding’s “brain” is more attuned to abnormal motions.

Of course, when the collar is not deployed, it’s just a fashionable-looking scarf, and you can change the removable shell to match your outfit (new designs are added frequently). Because of its subtle safety features, the Hövding is often referred to as an “invisible helmet.”

The project started as an industrial design master thesis by Terese Alstin and Anna Haupt in 2005. The Swedish government had just passed a law to make bike helmets compulsory for children up to the age of 15, triggering a debate over whether helmets should be compulsory for adults, too. “To us, who wouldn’t be seen dead in a polystyrene helmet, the thought of being forced to wear one by law was cause for concern,” says Alstin. “We realized that our master thesis was the perfect place to find out whether the traditional bicycle helmet could be improved on.” Market surveys indicated that people wanted a discrete, “invisible” helmet that wouldn’t ruin their hair or cramp their personal style. And so, “Hövding allows people to protect their heads on the road, without sacrificing style — or the hairdo — in the process,” Alstin adds.

A Laptop Bag That Won’t Hurt Your Back

Even though it only clocks in at a few pounds, the weight of a laptop can wear on you. That’s why Alphyn Industries came out with the PADX-1 Ledge Wearcom. It’s a pullover with a kangaroo pouch that stores your iPad or computer when it’s zipped, and serves as a “shelf” when it’s unzipped. The pullover distributes the device’s weight throughout the straps so that you don’t wear carry the weight on one side, which could lead to back pain. Considering it’s a portable workspace (the shelf leaves both hands free), the $285 asking price isn’t too bad.

Emotional Android – Kara

KPC-897504C: it will clean your house, look after your kids, keep track of your appointments and satisfy your sexual needs.

Quantic Dream, a video game company pushing the bounds of hyper-realism in video gaming (developers ofHeavy Rain), premiered its new PS3 engine with a real-time demo called Kara. It is not a video game that is in current production, rather, it is a creative short which demonstrates the ability to show an impressive mimic of human emotion. In the short, you witness an android being constructed, a quick mechanic production forming a slim, sexy body. She is given the name Kara. Gameinformer writer Matthew Kato describes the content in a compelling format, pulling from the short itself to give life to the script on page:

The creation of this new identity produces a flicker of consciousnesses that is strengthened as the process continues, and Kara becomes more and more confident in herself. She can speak 300 languages – including singing beautifully in Japanese – and when synthetic flesh is added to her frame, she insticintively exhibits the human emotion of modesty by covering up her new nakedness.

Her new life won’t last long, however. The technician explains that she is to be re-initialized so she can be sold to a consumer who will give her her own name and purpose. Kara realizes what this means for her. “I thought…” she begins.

“You thought?” counters the operator. “What did you think?”

“I thought…I was alive.”

“You’re not supposed to think that sort of stuff,” he explains. “You’re not supposed to think at all, period.”

The technician orders her to be scrapped for “non-standard” behavior, and the assembly machines starts to comply; dismantling her limb by limb.

Through new technological developments in processing abilities, Quantic Dream was able to create a realistic and futuristic short that is both compelling as a snippet of film, as well as a look into the future of gaming capabilities. Kara comes off a little over the top, but the range and display of human emotion is worth its excess. Watch the video for yourself!