Salesforce enlisted the creative studio Obscura Digital to craft a stunning LED video wall for the lobby of their flagship office. Stretching 108 feet long and containing over 7 million pixels, the video wall features incredibly sharp, HD video content that transforms the space. It’s the longest continuous 4mm LED screen in the United States.
“From capturing California’s Redwood National Forest in stunning 12K resolution, to a designing a convincing CG waterwall and more – we held nothing back in striving to impart a sense of wonder to everyone that enters the building,"
The special issue of Wallpaper, over 500 pages long, and has a poster insert (220,000 copies each customized – see video below) with 6 standout products, people and places for each of the last 20 years which have exemplified what the design revolution
“The world of objects has also shifted on its axis. And in more and more areas, design – beautiful, functional design – has shifted from last-minute bolt-on, a perfunctory styling job, to first principle. We now begin with design and the world is a better-designed place.
The next two decades will see a new revolution as technology emerges from behind the screen and almost everything becomes smarter.”
The Motorrad Vision Next 100 concept does away with a traditional mechanical frame, replacing it with a flexible material that bends when the driver turns. It adjusts sensitivity based on speed; the effort required to turn increases as the bike goes faster, improving stability and safety at high speeds while adding an unprecedented sense of connection to the riding experience. The focus on connection, however, doesn’t stop there. An integrated “Digital Companion” suggests adjustments to improve performance, an augmented-reality visor tracks eye movement to provide constant real-time feedback, and self-balancing technology allows riders to remain in riding position, even at a complete stop.
A Volvo executive gave me a quick tour of his hometown, Gothenburg from a 29th floor restaurant. He pointed to the area where ship builders dominated. It is mostly software and digital businesses today. A boat tour of the harbor showed the changing fortunes of the largest port in the Baltics – plenty of Norwegian oil and Volvo cars flow today. A taxi driver told me the success of the XC90 SUV is keeping the local Volvo plant extremely busy. The ownership today is Chinese and another Swede told me of Ericsson’s challenges over the last few decades. The well preserved section of Gamla stan, medieval Stockholm is in sharp contrast to the “train of the future” I had taken to it from the airport.
The economy keeps evolving, and Swedes continue to be rated as some of the happiest people on earth. That’s saying something given the harsh weather they endure most of the year and even with having to pay some of the highest taxes in the world.
It showed in small and large innovations I noticed throughout my trip to Sweden this week. The Arlanda airport express train is ergonomic, has cotton filled seating, soft LED lighting, glass luggage racks, biodegradable paper in restrooms - all make you wish it took longer than 20 minutes (in contrast a bus ride I took on way back took 45 minutes). The trains run on 100% green electricity from renewable sources, such as hydropower, wind power or biofuels. Only biking would emit less CO2 on the 25 mile stretch. BTW, only one per cent of solid waste goes to landfill in Sweden – with the rest recycled or used to produce heat, electricity or vehicle fuel in the form of biogas.
The SJ train from Stockholm to Gothenburg was a model of efficiency and friendliness with free wifi even at speeds of 125 mph. The attendant scanned my paper ticket with her mobile phone. My fellow passengers were pleasant and welcoming.
The airports have self-service kiosks to generate baggage tags and you scan them on your own onto conveyor belts which confirm your flight number on their displays and send the bags on their merry ways. The security lines have automated trays.
Sweden is sparsely populated – still recovering from the mass emigration in the late 1800s when a quarter of the population left for the US. So such automation is commonplace.
And yet the intellectual and design capital is first rate. ABBA, Steig Larsson and IKEA designers are just a few of such examples. This blog has cataloged Swedish leadership with cashless payments, telematics, voice over IP, next-gen bike helmets and countless other innovations.
Musk said that the factory’s blueprint will more closely resemble an advanced computer chip’s instead of a traditional battery plant’s.
It’s all part of Musk’s new obsession to build, as he called it, “the machine that builds the machine.” In front of an audience of cheering Tesla customers at the launch, Musk effused, “I’m really excited about revitalizing manufacturing. I think it needs love, and we’re going to give it.” With only 14% of construction complete, it’s hard to know if Musk’s ideas will influence manufacturing the way industrialist Henry Ford’s did.
The infrastructure California needs to generate energy for electricity and clean water, which will be significant, need not blight the landscape. Designs like The Pipe demonstrate how the provision of public services like these can be knitted into every day life in a healthy, aesthetically-pleasing way. A finalist of the 2016 Land Art Generator Initiative design competition for Santa Monica Pier, the solar-powered plant deploys electromagnetic desalination to provide clean drinking water for the city and filters the resulting brine through on-board thermal baths before it is reintroduced to the Pacific Ocean.
When nearly 400,000 people raised their hands for the Model 3 and cemented the conviction with a $1,000 deposit, a new business model in a staid industry was born. While conventional automakers seek board approval to tap cash reserves or issue bonds to pay for new vehicles, the ever-unconventional Tesla showed crowdfunding gets the job done in two weeks.
Even Musk was floored by the response. He anticipated fewer than half the deposits he received and must now scramble to find a way to build all those cars.
Digital is not only a means to optimize a company’s existing operations. It also gives both attackers and incumbents the power to disrupt value chains, enter new sectors, and create innovative business models. Established companies face threats from new competitors like Amazon Business, which offers millions of products, from automotive components, industrial lifts, and ramps to lab products, protective gear, and electrical equipment.
To get ahead of threats like this, industrial companies can use digital to transform and extend their own business models before change is imposed on them by attackers reshaping their industry. Some incumbents are joining digital platforms and B2B marketplaces to aggregate demand and sell direct to end users. BASF, for example, was the first chemicals company to sell products online through Alibaba. Other businesses, such as the 3-D printing start-up Sculpteo, are selling services rather than products. Still others are offering their manufacturing capacity as a service to third parties.
Hyundai has partnered with Amazon to bring an on-demand test drive program to one of California’s most densely populated urban areas as the automaker looks for new ways to reach customers. The on-demand test drive campaign is also a first for Amazon, a company that is constantly seeking out new ways to become entrenched in consumers’ lives.
This limited campaign—it’ll only be held the last two weekends in August—will give Amazon Prime subscribers living in the Los Angeles and Orange County areas a chance to order a 45- to 60-minute test drive of a 2017 Hyundai Elantra.
In its quest to shave off fractions of a second at the Rio Games, the U.S. women’s team pursuit squad is riding equipment with a radical innovation: an inverted bike. All the parts that transfer power from your legs to your wheels—the ring, chain and rear cog—are on the left side. Nearly every other bike on the planet carries them on the right.
The idea for the flipped bike came after the 2012 Olympics, where the U.S. women advanced to the medal round after beating Australia by just 0.083 seconds. For the Americans, that was too close for comfort. Working with Felt, an American manufacturer, they dusted off an idea that a few people had toyed with in the 1960s and 70s and quickly discarded.