The old-school suitcase is getting an upgrade. Though innovation has been slow to hit the luggage industry, which accounts for $3.3 billion in revenue in the U.S., according to the Travel Goods Association, more companies have introduced high-tech luggage equipped with location tracking, phone chargers, and other savvy features that cater to connected travelers. Bluesmart and Samsonite were the first with smart bags, and now Tumi has partnered with AT&T T -1.01% and LugTrack to develop its Global Locator, coming later this year.
At the Chanel boutique in Bushwick, Brooklyn, black-and-white tweed skirts hang near gold lamé gowns. Classic black-toed beige pumps are on display on a glass platform lit from below. A quilted leather handbag with a gleaming gold clasp is also on view, perfectly paired with a rabbit fur coat.
Alas, this shop is not open to the public. That’s because it’s just two feet long by two feet tall, and it’s inside the apartment of a man named Phillip Nuveen.
Mr. Nuveen, 27, is a designer who works almost exclusively in miniature, often making minute versions of the most sought after luxury goods. Each item is made by hand or with the help of a 3D printer. He has designed little Hermès bags, Eames chairs and Louis Vuitton steamer trunks that Barbie most likely would be only too happy to have Ken carry for her.
In other words, this is more than an art repository. It’s a beautifully designed experience, a template for other museums—a mix of flamboyance and subtlety, reverence and playfulness, right down to the perfectly seamless tour guide app. Some of the upgrades, exemplified by the shimmering exterior, smack you in the face. Other technological innovations, like the sensors that monitor the living wall, are subtle or hidden.
Ed Bastian is Delta’s new CEO. He is a long term Delta executive most recently its President. He is also a new age executive. For many a compliment or complaint or research request for profiling Delta in my blogs and books, I have emailed him for years now and he often responds within minutes.
I was pleased to see in his first letter in the airline’s Sky magazine, he focused on technology. As he says “As the next generation of travelers becomes a significant part of our customer base we want to meet their expectations that a top brand be a leader in technology regardless of their business. That’s why we look to companies such as Amazon, Facebook and Salesforce.com, among others, as examples of global leaders in technology that provide a great product and great customer service.”
He describes some of the innovations that Delta frequent fliers have enjoyed for years now
“..last month, we were among the earliest companies, along with Starbucks and Hyatt to use Twitter’s new direct message button within a tweet—something that’s essential for communication private customer information”
“..we have invested heavily in making the FlyDelta app an essential travel tool with the ability to book,change and monitor flights. track bags at all points of the journey and even watch the Earth scroll by via the unique ‘Glass Bottom Jet’ feature.”
“We have upgraded our flight attendants’ handheld devices with more information and functionality; we’re investing In radio-frequency identification, or ”RFID,’to improve maintenance and baggage handling and we’re deploying thousands of tablets to Delta pilots to serve as electronic flight bags.”
Look forward to more innovations from Delta under his new role.
Photo Credit – Delta of Guest Service Tool flight attendants use to personalize service in the air.
I was assigned a Hyundai as a company car in Saudi Arabia in the mid 80s. So pleasant was the experience that I avoided the brand for the next 3 decades
Their long warranty helped dispel lingering quality concerns and I finally got one of their SUVs. Since then, every member of the family has got one for the value, and increasingly for the curvy looks.
“Fluidic Sculpture is not a physical form, but a spirit. The lively beauty Hyundai Motor wishes to express is sometimes portrayed as dynamic curves, and at others, as more refined inner strength. Although expressions may vary, there is only one essence - Fluidic Sculpture.”
Design philosophy or marketing slogan? Probably a bit of both but the cars have come a long, long way.
With golf club head speeds well into triple digits, aerodynamics is a discipline Callaway has studied for years. For its latest driver, the XR16, the company sought a fresh approach to moving through the air. So they called Boeing, which knows aerodynamics pretty well and surely counts a few golfers among its legions.
"The objective," says Evan Gibbs, Callaway's research and development chief, "was to have Boeing come in and critique Callaway's analytical methods and results, assess our baseline aerodynamic performance to date, evaluate different flow tripping options, and ultimately provide some guidelines for a new design feature on the crown of our upcoming XR16 driver."
Wall beds no longer simply hide away behind an unusable wall or sliding doors, but serve as a shelf, table or desk when tucked away. Engineered for stability and ease of use, there is no need to clear off the desk before setting up a wall bed. In just a few quick moves, a living room or office can transform into a guest bedroom.
Sofa beds that convert into bunk beds make for an easy way to sleep two without clearing away furniture to unfold a traditional sofa bed. It's a perfect solution for grandparents who occasionally watch children overnight, or for turning a one-bedroom apartment into a home for a family of four.
Transforming furniture and space-saving design isn't just reserved for beds. Side tables and coffee tables that easily turn into dining tables allow a modest home to readily host large dinner parties or family gatherings. The square footage of a home should not limit the experiences and memories that can be had within its walls.
As part of the Infor Analyst summit this week, dinner was at the top of the spectacular One World Observatory in New York. The sun set over the Statue of Liberty and the full moon later made for a memorable evening.
As the Telegraph said of the tower which opened last year
“What they have ended up with is a building that screams defiance and strength. It is 400 feet higher than the original Twin Towers; the walls and floors contain 14,000lbs of concrete per square inch, compared with 900lbs that is standard for skyscrapers; there is a waterproof fire lift, and the elevators and stairways are housed in a reinforced column "like a bunker".”
To me, one of the highlights was the technology. The Global Welcome lobby has a large video board which shows off a dynamically generated world map highlights the hometowns of visitors (they key in their zip codes).
The ThyssenKrupp “skypods” zip up 102 floors in 47 seconds – at nearly 25mph. In that ride, you have little time to scream, and even if you wanted to, you are in awe of the walls which show a time lapse of the Manhattan skyline from the 1500s to today.
The See Forever Theater at the top projects more images of New York in a multi-dimension setting and at the end the screens open up to the live view of the city today. You can then walk around and get a 360 degree view of the city, its famous rivers, bridges and other icons.
The video below gives some of the experience but well worth a visit next time you are in New York city. And yes, you can quietly scream your defiance also while you are there.
Profile of First Second publishing which has made illustrated books an art form over the last decade
“We have a whole process to pair authors and illustrators together! It's something that we do a lot -- and it generally involves a lot of research. As an editor, I visit schools with comics programs throughout the year, meeting young cartoonists and generally keeping an eye on the talent pool. In addition, our staff and I attend a lot of shows, and at the end of every show we bring home mini-comics from people we'd like to work with one day. We also spend a lot of time on the internet, looking at cartoonists' work. And we read extensively to make sure we're aware of amazing authors and artists who are out there.”