Micro-Apartment In Bangkok Is Inspired By Japanese Inns And Embodies Japanese Minimalism + Zen

Major cities are vortexes of commotion, hustle, and bustle, and the city of Bangkok in Thailand is no exception to this. Finding peace and tranquility in such cities can often be a pain and a complete rarity. However, there is supposed to be a 90 percent increase in population in cities of developing countries, which is definitely something to note, and policymakers and citizens will have to reimagine and revamp how to live comfortably in these modern cities. In Bangkok, Thailand, city officials are increasing the amount of green space per capita, while also lowering the city’s carbon emissions. And local designer Mae Prachasilcha of La Tarta Piccola has created a sustainable and small living space in such circumstances.

Designer: Mae Prachasilcha of La Tarta Piccola

The interior designer completely transformed a 355-square-foot condo, converting it into a zen-like and peaceful haven for her brother and sister-in-law. The home was originally quite boring and cramped but is now a multifunctional minimalist space. The designer took inspiration from traditional Japanese inns that are similar to bed and breakfasts and often include traditional architectural components such as shoji (paper screen doors), and modular tatami mats. Mae utilized these elements to maximize the small condo, and to create a living space that felt calm and spacious.

“The design idea was to optimize the use of limited space by overlapping functional spaces. The design was inspired by the calm and peaceful vibes of Japanese ryokans, or hot spring inns. We wanted to use Japanese shoji doors to give the space a softer look and to also allow for flexibility. In doing so, we were able to create two multifunctional areas that expand the living area from 7 to 17 square meters (75 to 183 square feet),” said the designer. As you enter the home, you are welcomed by a space with integrated storage, and built-in cabinets floating over the floor, creating a cozy nook for storing shoes. The kitchen can be found behind a sliding door and is quite functional with loads of storage space. The main living room is adorned with a couch and a custom-made media center.

The star and focal point of the home is a set of large sliding shoji doors, which open up to living and sleeping spaces, as well as the couple’s wardrobe. The sleeping area is inspired by tatami modules and is multifunctional. You can sit, work, read, or sip on some tea there. Below the tatami, there are integrated storage cubbies to store the low table or the futon.

The post Micro-Apartment In Bangkok Is Inspired By Japanese Inns And Embodies Japanese Minimalism + Zen first appeared on Yanko Design.

Nintendo Switch 2 Console Renders Hint At Smaller Bezels and Redesigned Joy-Cons

Even when the folks at Nintendo don’t say anything, they say a lot! The rumor mill has been ABUZZ with speculation about the Nintendo Switch 2, which many people close to the matter say should arrive in 2024. While Nintendo has been extremely tight-lipped about the release of its highly-anticipated next-generation handheld console, it’s rumored that multiple studios have gotten access to the developer kit, confirming that the Switch 2 is, in fact, coming. This would be big for Nintendo too, as they’ve never released a ‘2nd edition’ of any of their consoles – the name has always changed ever so slightly, but the number 2 hasn’t featured in this new name. Take the Wii and WiiU for example, or the Nintendo DS and 3DS, or the Game Boy and Game Boy Advance if you want to look even further back.

The Switch 2’s reputation precedes it, following a 1st gen console so infamous, it remained sold out through multiple production runs and still is the most popular handheld console today, even though it was first unveiled six years ago. This Switch 2 concept, designed and envisioned by Salvo Lo Cascio and Riccardo Cambò Breccia, embodies everything we fans expect from Nintendo, peppered with a few healthy leaks and rumors. Let’s dive in!

Designers: Salvo Lo Cascio & Riccardo Cambò Breccia

Outwardly, the Nintendo Switch 2 concept embraces and really highlights its predecessor’s black, red, and blue color scheme. The format remains entirely the same too, with a few pretty visible tweaks, but all in all, it’s as unabashedly Nintendo as it gets.

We start with the Joy-Cons, which now sport a slightly chunkier, more rounded design that has a playful appeal to it. The controllers are a pleasure to hold as a part of the console as well as independent units, and come with a sliding panel built into its design – but more on that later. The main unit, on the other hand, is significantly different too, with drastically slimmer bezels than on the original Nintendo Switch. Rounded corners give the display unit a cutting-edge tablet appeal, although the only thing missing to make it a tablet is the presence of cameras!

A comparison between the old and new Joy-Con design

The new Joy-Cons’ strange sliding panel has an incredibly clever utility to it. Although designed to be used as a standalone unit, the Switch originally boasted of being able to handle two-person gaming too. All you needed to do was pop the Joy-Cons out and they would transform into dedicated handheld controllers. The problem was that these controllers weren’t designed to be symmetrical when held horizontally. Salvo and Riccardo’s clever design workaround fixes that problem entirely, creating a set of handheld controllers that feel ergonomic and comfortable to use even when held on their own. The GIF below explains how this works.

The designers also hid an easter egg in the Nintendo Switch 2’s speaker grill by shaping it into the waveform of the iconic Super Mario Bros. theme!

The rumor mill has been going on and on about Nintendo probably launching two Switch 2 models together. The second, according to Bobby Kotick (CEO of Activision) is suspected to be as powerful as a PS4, shattering through all benchmarks to make this new Switch model Nintendo’s most capable one yet. Dubbed the Nintendo Switch 2 MAX, Salvo and Riccardo gave this a significantly upgraded design too, in the form of an all-black colorway, and a larger screen sans the lower chin seen in the Switch 2. According to Kotick, the developer kit of the Switch 2 MAX was allegedly powerful enough to handle Triple-A games without breaking a sweat. Most Switch users have complained that the console’s graphics are its biggest limitation, and the Switch 2 MAX may just be exactly what they need.

The Nintendo Switch 2 MAX has a much larger, edge-to-edge display

The all-black controller on the Switch 2 MAX is a deviation from Nintendo’s Blue and Red color-way, but after all, a beast needs its camouflage! The Switch 2 MAX controller also has backlit XYAB keys, allowing for low-light high-octane gaming.

The last part of the Nintendo Switch 2 to receive a redesign is the hub, which docks the screen. Designed to both charge as well as work as an HDMI pass-through for the console, this new dock has an almost smart-home-like quality to it. Its design is soft and pebble-like, and accepts the Switch 2’s screen with absolute ease, mirroring its display onto a larger screen like a television, monitor, or projector.

Salvo and Riccardo’s design couldn’t come at a better time, with gaming technology in a bit of a lull given the uncertain future of E3 (Electronic Entertainment Expo), the biggest exhibition in gaming. Although the actual device isn’t due till next year, this concept feels like a perfect culmination of fan requests and legitimate rumors. Let’s hope Salvo and Riccardo’s design is on the money, because if the Switch 2 looks anything like this, it’s sure to be a winner!

The post Nintendo Switch 2 Console Renders Hint At Smaller Bezels and Redesigned Joy-Cons first appeared on Yanko Design.

Uber safety driver involved in fatal self-driving car crash pleads guilty

The Uber safety driver at the wheel during the first known fatal self-driving car crash involving a pedestrian has pleaded guilty to and been sentenced for an endangerment charge. Rafaela Vasquez will serve three years of probation for her role in the 2018 Tempe, Arizona collision that killed Elaine Herzberg while she was jaywalking at night. The sentence honors the prosecutors' demands and is stiffer than the six months the defense team requested.

The prosecution maintained that Vasquez was ultimately responsible. While an autonomous car was involved, Vasquez was supposed to concentrate on the road and take over if necessary. The modified Volvo XC90 in the crash was operating at Level 3 autonomy and could be hands-free in limited conditions, but required the driver to take over at a moment's notice. It noticed Herzberg but didn't respond to her presence.

The defense case hinged on partly blaming Uber. Executives at the company thought it was just a matter of time before a crash occurred, according to supposedly leaked conversations. The National Transportation Safety Board's (NTSB) collision findings also noted that Uber had disabled the emergency braking system on the XC90, so the vehicle couldn't come to an abrupt stop.

Tempe police maintained that Vasquez had been watching a show on Hulu and wasn't paying attention during the crash. Defense attorneys have insisted that Vasquez was paying attention and had only been momentarily distracted.

The plea and sentencing could influence how other courts handle similar cases. There's long been a question of liability surrounding mostly driverless cars — is the human responsible for a crash, or is the manufacturer at fault? This suggests humans will still face penalties if they can take control, even if the punishment isn't as stiff for conventional situations.

Fatal crashes with autonomy involved aren't new. Tesla has been at least partly blamed for collisions while Full Self Driving was active. The pedestrian case is unique, though, and looms in the background of more recent Level 4 (fully driverless in limited situations) offerings and tests from Waymo and GM's Cruise.While the technology has evolved since 2018, there are still calls to freeze robotaxi rollouts over fears the machines could pose safety risks.

This article originally appeared on Engadget at https://www.engadget.com/uber-safety-driver-involved-in-fatal-self-driving-car-crash-pleads-guilty-212616187.html?src=rss

Top 10 Must-Have Stationery for Back-to-School and University

It’s that exciting time of the year to get back to school or university. Buying stationary and other essential items is an incredibly exciting experience and it motivates us to be the best version of ourselves in the next academic session. Apart from new pencils, pens, and books, take a look at some cutting-edge stationery items that will not only allow you to study well but will also ensure that your creative juices flow and that you are motivated throughout the year.

Click Here to Buy Now: Quick-Access Organizer ($69)

1. Storage

Designer: chengshe.design

The ONEBOX is a versatile woodworking marvel that integrates various tools within an intricately crafted wooden box that employs the time-honored mortise and tenon technique seen in ancient buildings. When ONEBOX is disassembled, its pieces function as stationary tools and fidget toys. Made from poplar, beech, or black walnut wood, this multi-part storage box houses stationery, an adjustable scale, a phone stand, and a compact Gomoku or Checkers board. The wooden pieces connect effortlessly with magnets, creating a cohesive and functional stationery box. Each component serves a specific purpose, including a stationery container and the Eternal Pencil which is a long-lasting writing instrument that requires no sharpening.

Designer: LEGO

Launched before the release of Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3, LEGO introduces an adorable yet functional creation: the Star Lord Helmet. This LEGO builds doubly functions as a stationery holder and pen stand, featuring the iconic headgear with intricate details like red-tinted eyepieces and face mask valves. With 602 pieces, it stands 7 inches tall and is part of LEGO’s Infinity Saga series. It combines collectability with practicality and is perfect for storing items like stationery, cables, or even AirPods within the hollow space. The building process is satisfying, and one can also enjoy a 3D virtual build using the LEGO builder app.

2. Organizers

Designer: Nakabayashi

With an increasing number of objects on our work tables, it becomes crucial to save space. This desk organizer offers an effective solution, allowing tools and objects to be stored out of sight when not in use. Although one might have numerous stationery items and tools, we tend to use only a few and the rest take up unnecessary space. This ingenious organizer design resembles regular file binders when closed, but opens up to reveal ample space for various tools and supplies and one has to simply pull out the desired item using the ring hole for easy access.

3. Scissors

Click Here to Buy Now: Scissors w/ Base ($49)

With a practical and minimalist design, these scissors balance functionality with aesthetics. Its flat blades are reminiscent of industrial tools that complement its black Japanese steel body. The extruded part of the finger ring serves as a focal point and enhances its usability. This multifunctional scissor can transform into a box cutter just by flipping the scissors and holding them by the blades. The best part of this design is that the scissors come with a custom-made disc base that holds them upright using a magnet. This enhances the safety of the scissors as it keeps the scissor’s sharp tip safely concealed.

Click Here to Buy Now: Rockstar Guitar Scissors ($25)

These guitar-shaped scissors are inspired by the iconic electric guitar designs and it not only cuts through paper but can also cut through boredom and creative blocks. Their authentic design, integrating curves, strings, and frets resonates with the craftsmanship of Seki in Japan. Each scissor has a matching cap that offers protection, these sharp scissors are not only inspiring but highly durable too.

4. Multifunctional Table Lamp

Designer: Pelin Özbalcı

The sPINmemo lamp is a minimalist and multipurpose solution for modern study tables. Its rotating cork body allows personalization with notes or reminders, while a discreet cavity on top offers storage for small items. The lamp is crafted from white ceramic and it illuminates pinned notes. With its interactive features and provision for convenient storage, the sPINmemo lamp combines functionality, and personalization, and helps in creating a clutter-free environment.

5. Reusable Note Book

Click Here to Buy Now: Personal Whiteboard ($49)

Who says that notebooks can only be made from paper? This compact reusable notebook provides a smooth surface for writing, erasing, and rewriting where it retains the simplicity of traditional paper and the convenience of a whiteboard. The notebook’s soft felt cover functions as a large eraser and it incorporates features like a pen holder, stand, and storage pocket.

6. Pen and Pencils

Designers: Odin Ardagh and Noah Bier of Makers Cabinet

The Lazlo pen beautifully demonstrates that complex mechanisms aren’t necessary to elevate the ballpoint. Designed with simplicity and sustainability in mind, its all-metal construction is recyclable. The removable steel clip and front cap provide easy access to the refill. Compatible with Schmidt MegaLine and Euro-Style cartridges, it promotes longevity and reduces the need for new pens, and is packaged from recyclable materials like cork or metal drop stands.

Click Here to Buy Now: Everlasting All-Metal Pencil ($19.95)

The everlasting metal pencil offers a revolutionary solution for students, writers, artists, and designers. With an octagonal aluminum shaft and a special alloy core, it writes like a real pencil without wearing down and can create about 10 miles of marks before needing attention. Yet, it can be erased and doesn’t smudge. With a luxurious feel and balanced weight, this full-metal pencil provides uninterrupted moments of writing and creativity.

7. Highlighter

Designer: Wonjun Jo

This innovative highlighter takes inspiration from Korea’s subway trains. This product is shaped like a train, with the front car serving as the cap and it features removable segments representing multicolored train carriages. This design promotes sustainability and is more practical than a single-use highlighter.

8. Sharpener

Designer: Wang Cheng (Dwfuture Design)

Writing with a small pencil can be difficult so designer Wang Cheng has come up with a clever solution. His Eco-Friendly Pencil Sharpener allows one to connect a small pencil to a larger one, resembling cabins on a train. The product comprises three sharpening areas, enabling you to sharpen the pencil conventionally or transform them into wooden screws by threading and tapping them. This is a great way to reduce waste and increase the lifespan of the pencil.

9. Tape Dispenser

Designer: Peleg Design

Inspired by clothespins, this tape dispenser is a convenient tool and its design allows it to clamp onto any tabletop surface so that it is easy to access. Designed by Peleg Design, the product solves problems and is practical to use. Crafted from bent sheet metal, it features clamping jaws covered with a rubber/polymer sleeve to protect your table. It is perfect for desks ranging from 0.4 to 1.8 inches in thickness and comes with its tape roll, which can be easily refilled.

10. Convert Notes into Digital Format

Designer: Nuwa Innovation

The Nuwa Pen was unveiled at CES 2023 and although it appears like an ordinary writing instrument it integrates a built-in motion sensor and a triple camera array. It digitizes one’s notes and drawings in real-time by saving a digital version through the Nuwa app. Its sleek design includes a bulbous tip housing the sensors and cameras, while an infrared light sensor enables low-light usage. With 4096 pressure levels, it accurately captures your handwriting, it uses a standard D1 ink cartridge, can be easily recharged on its stand and it optimizes battery usage by activating its digitizing system upon contact with paper. The best part about this device is that digitized notes can be shared via Bluetooth using the Nuwa app, which offers backup and sharing options, including OCR for editable text.

The post Top 10 Must-Have Stationery for Back-to-School and University first appeared on Yanko Design.

Water-soluble circuit boards could cut carbon footprints by 60 percent

German semiconductor maker Infineon Technologies AG announced that it’s producing a printed circuit board (PCB) that dissolves in water. Sourced from UK startup Jiva Materials, the plant-based Soluboard could provide a new avenue for the tech industry to reduce e-waste as companies scramble to meet climate goals by 2030.

Jiva’s biodegradable PCB is made from natural fibers and a halogen-free polymer with a much lower carbon footprint than traditional boards made with fiberglass composites. A 2022 study by the University of Washington College of Engineering and Microsoft Research saw the team create an Earth-friendly mouse using a Soluboard PCB as its core. The researchers found that the Soluboard dissolved in hot water in under six minutes. However, it can take several hours to break down at room temperature.

In addition to dissolving the PCB fibers, the process makes it easier to retrieve the valuable metals attached to it. “After [it dissolves], we’re left with the chips and circuit traces which we can filter out,” said UW assistant professor Vikram Iyer, who worked on the mouse project.

The video below shows the Soluboard dissolving in a frying pan with boiling water:

“Adopting a water-based recycling process could lead to higher yields in the recovery of valuable metals,” said Jonathan Swanston, CEO and co-founder of Jiva Materials. Jiva says the board has a 60 percent smaller carbon footprint than traditional PCBs — specifically, it can save 10.5 kg of carbon and 620 g of plastic per square meter of PCB.

Infineon has produced three different circuit board prototypes using the Soluboard framework. The company is currently only using the dissolvable PCB for demo and evaluation boards, and it says around 500 units are now in use. However, it’s “exploring the possibility of using the material for all boards” with an eye on expanding adoption over the next few years. Based on the results of stress tests, it also plans to “provide guidance on the reuse and recycling of power semiconductors removed from Soluboards” to lessen the chances of the salvageable parts from future production models going to waste.

This article originally appeared on Engadget at https://www.engadget.com/water-soluble-circuit-boards-could-cut-carbon-footprints-by-60-percent-201845709.html?src=rss

Amazon Amp is the under-the-radar app that’s trying to reinvent radio

Last spring, Amazon launched its long-rumored live audio-streaming platform, Amp. The pitch was to reinvent radio with “an infinite dial of shows.” Amp offers users access to a vast, built-in music library to create their own DJ sets with. No need to buy songs or flirt with the DMCA; just make a playlist, go live, talk in between tracks, follow the chat and even invite callers. When I wrote about it a year ago, it showed promise, but it was iOS-only, light on users and had a limited feature set.

A little over a year later, Amazon Amp is reaching an important milestone: It’s finally available on Android. Amp is Amazon’s first home-grown streaming platform and the year-plus stint as an Apple exclusive meant it enjoyed a level of technical predictability and a self-imposed restriction on growth and user numbers. But as the doors open to the other half of the mobile universe, it’s about to be exposed to the full reality of competing in an already busy social-creator landscape.

Growing beyond iOS is an important move for Amp, even if the platform technically remains in beta (and US-only). But the wider reach of Google’s operating system — from TVs to Chromebooks and beyond — will be a decisive step in the process of Amazon proving it can build a viable streaming platform from the ground up (rather than acquire an already successful one).

You can, of course, find DJ sessions and internet radio in myriad places online. Whether it’s big platforms like YouTube and TikTok or more direct rivals like Stationhead or Tidal (via its Live Sessions feature) and even Amazon Music’s own DJ Mode, there are several destinations for live curated music streams. Of course, let’s not forget Amazon-owned Twitch, which is teeming with tune spinners. Oh, and there’s obviously FM radio, too. This obviously begs the question: What makes Amazon Amp unique?

Guest DJ on Amp, Zach Sang, is pictured in a press shot.

“It's very much like Sirius meets YouTube,” Zach Sang, one of Amp’s contracted creators, and former broadcast DJ told Engadget. “It's real life, legacy career broadcasters mixed with the future of those broadcasters. It's everybody coming together, it's radio democratized. It's a way that radio genuinely should be programmed: for people and not for profit,” he added. From a user’s point of view, Amp’s main differentiator appears to be its focus on radio and radio-style shows specifically. Plus that built-in music library (Stationhead, for example, requires you to have either Apple Music or Spotify at your own cost).

I asked user Christina “Criti” Gonzalez, who hosts her own daily show, how she’d describe Amp. “[It’s] a very unique, weird place where you're able to listen to all the music you've forgotten about, didn't know about and crave to hear, again with personalities and so many people of all different walks of life that have one common interest: music.”

Amp Co-Founder, Matt Sandler — who used to work at LA’s KROQ FM — explained that he felt all of the existing options weren’t quite giving listeners or creators what they wanted. “If you posted a job for KROQ and an on air position, you'd get hundreds and hundreds, if not thousands of submissions and people who wanted to curate music and talk to the community on air,” he told Engadget. “There have been lots of services built around live connection or music or community. One of the things that I think will drive the success of a business like this is really that balance between scale and connection.”

Amp signed deals with celebrities and established presenters such as Nicki Minaj, Joe Budden, Nick Cannon and the aforementioned Sang to give the platform some known-name appeal, and it’s done so without creating much of a barrier around them compared to regular creators. Your show can sit right next to Nicki Minaj’s in the listings. Although the roster covers large genres like hip-hop, sports, country and pop there’s not much in the way of alt/indie or electronic in that lineup right now.

Unlike Clubhouse, which enjoyed an early surge of popularity, Amp has largely gone under the radar since launch. “The thing we're maniacally focused on every day is making sure that the product is right before stepping out and bigger and bigger fashion,” Sandler said. But many people I’ve mentioned it to aren’t aware of it — and Amp’s not even included on the list of Amazon products/services Wikipedia page.

A screenshot from the Amazon Amp website with some show highlights.

The app is clearly a lot busier than when I wrote about it just after launch, but the average number of listeners for most shows remains frustratingly low for most shows (based on multiple user reports and other publicly visible data). But several users explained they weren’t discouraged. “The community that it has right now, it's a small enough space for people to feel like they're connected, even if they don't know each other.” Gonzalez said.

At the beginning, according to Sandler, even Amp's leadership was unsure in which direction the platform would unfold. There was the possibility that the big-name artists would dominate while regular users gravitated to being listeners. In reality, it’s the smaller, home-grown shows and the aforementioned community that has made Amp a nice place to hang out.

“The culture there is so inviting.” Gonzalez said. “I feel like other social media sites can turn negative quickly. I haven't had much experience with that on Amp and I appreciate that.” Adding, ”It's crazy what the experience on Amp has done, because I truly honestly say to anyone that's not an Amp to join it, because it really will change your perspective.”

One of the main complaints I had with Amp right after launch was that hosts needed at least one listener to be able to play a song and often that meant… waiting. There was also no way to communicate with any listeners you did have. Today the awkward waits are (mostly) gone and each stream has its own chat room which has switched it from a one-directional platform to the collection of friendly gatherings that it has become today.

Several creators and listeners have told me they’ve created genuine connections and friendships that have spilled over into real life. The chat rooms in shows are a rare mix of positivity, musical discourse and humor. Trolling and negativity is unusually rare and it’s obvious there’s a real sense of commitment to the app. But at some point it needs to expand to stop it becoming a circular economy where everyone is both a host and a listener.

Amp doesn’t share information about user numbers or demographics, but the typical host and listener right now, perhaps unsurprisingly, appears to mirror the generations that were brought up on mix tapes and burning albums to CD. Where sharing music was more tactile and a little bit slower. In the nicest possible way, the community energy often feels like the best bits of early internet chat rooms. Like many music-first spaces online, there’s little in the way of negativity, and while many creators may fall into a similar age group, a variety of backgrounds has been a defining factor since day one.

Three screenshots together showing different elements of Nicki Minaj's radio show on Amp.

The positive community is Amp’s to lose, though. As it opens up to Android, the door to even more users opens, and with that the challenge of scaling up the platform while maintaining what keeps it special. And there’s also the matter of money. Right now, Amp pays out many of its hosts via an opaque creator fund. “One of the things that we're focused on is making sure that creators can earn through the service over time, not just through the fund, but through other mechanisms as well.” Sandler said. When I asked about subs, tipping and other Twitch-esque ways to earn money he added “Those are all things you could easily imagine in the service.”

For now, the creator fund is helping keep hosts motivated, but Amp will need to provide realistic alternative revenue streams to keep creators around (and, of course, lure in more). But perhaps the bigger investment Amp needs is in itself. It’s hard to find much in the way of outward promotion of the app and the best tool for promoting its best creators are its own social channels. If Amp can make itself more visible, it can grow the user base which in turn makes that creator economy, be it tipping, subs and beyond, more viable.

There are also occasional technical issues that remind you the app is still in beta, which an injection of new users, on a new operating system no less, might exacerbate. Mostly, it’s small annoyances like the chat swallowing your last message. Occasionally, it’s more dramatic like a stream crashing or a host being booted out of their own show.

“The glitchiness causes some frustration. And, sometimes that can change your experience doing the show and with others listening. So once those kinks get ironed out, I feel like the creators will feel more comfortable and less anxious while they're doing sets” Gonzalez said. Users have even coined the phrase “Amp be Ampin’” as a refrain to the inevitable quirkiness that happens every couple of weeks or after an update.

Where does the app go from here? “I think there's a big opportunity for amp specifically to move charts and culture around the world. And that means personalities, spinning music, having conversations and developing communities that exist in the app but that have social currency outside of the app as well.” Sandler said. Sang on the other hand thinks it’s a way to keep the spirit of radio going. “It's not like there's any major radio stars on the come up. So it's like, where are they going to come from? Let them come from Amp.”

Or, as Gonzalez was quick to point out, sometimes, it’s just about the music. “There are certain creators that talk through their experience or a memory or something like that. And it completely changes how I looked at the song to begin with” she said. “I love the community so much, but it's also just the variety, being exposed to certain genres. So I love that and ever since I've been really addicted.”

This article originally appeared on Engadget at https://www.engadget.com/amazon-amp-is-trying-to-reinvent-radio-194634553.html?src=rss

Multifunctional Heating Fan that Saves You Space of Multiple Appliances

As technology advances and our daily lives become more comfortable, heating and drying electronic products have become commonplace in households. These appliances have greatly improved our quality of life, providing warmth and convenience. However, the accumulation of multiple large electrical appliances in our limited living spaces can lead to issues of clutter and idleness during the off-season.

Introducing the OCIDIN Heating Fan, a revolutionary multifunctional combined heater that addresses these challenges. This innovative design seamlessly integrates the functions of heating and drying into a single product, offering a simple and fast switching method that caters to users’ needs while minimizing idle rates.

Designer: Peli 00

The OCIDIN Heating Fan is a game-changer in the realm of home heating appliances. Gone are the days of needing separate heaters and dryers, taking up valuable space and potentially going unused for extended periods. The convenience of the OCIDIN Heating Fan lies in its ability to easily switch between heating and drying modes. Whether you need to warm up a room during the cold winter months or dry clothes quickly after laundry, this appliance offers a seamless transition that adapts to your changing needs.

Beyond its functional advantages, the OCIDIN Heating Fan also boasts a sleek and modern design that complements any home decor. Its compact size ensures it fits seamlessly into various living environments, making it an ideal choice for apartments, small homes, or even offices. Say goodbye to bulky and outdated heating and drying appliances, and embrace the simplicity and efficiency of the OCIDIN Heating Fan.

GIF – https://www.behance.net/gallery/170195381/OCIDINHeating-fan/modules/960267803

Moreover, this innovative product is designed with energy efficiency in mind. With its precise temperature control and intelligent features, the OCIDIN Heating Fan ensures efficiency, providing both comfort and environmental responsibility. It is a testament to the commitment to sustainability and the pursuit of a greener future.

In a world where efficiency and functionality are highly valued, the OCIDIN Heating Fan emerges as a frontrunner in home heating solutions. With its seamless switching mechanism, stylish design, and energy-efficient operation, the OCIDIN Heating Fan offers a holistic and practical solution for modern living. So, if you’re looking to streamline your home heating and drying experience while maximizing space efficiency, the OCIDIN Heating Fan is the perfect choice. Experience the convenience, versatility, and sustainability it brings, and elevate your daily life with a product that truly understands your needs. Embrace the future of home heating with the OCIDIN Heating Fan and enjoy the benefits of simplified living.

The post Multifunctional Heating Fan that Saves You Space of Multiple Appliances first appeared on Yanko Design.

Mazda stops selling its only EV in the US

Mazda's MX-30 is a strange EV, and it appears the company knows this. The automaker is pulling the small crossover from the US market after the 2023 model year. The company says it's currently focused on "large platform" plug-in hybrids like the CX-70 and CX-90, and also offers conventional hybrids like the CX-50.

The MX-30 is Mazda's first and only mass-produced EV to date, and it came to the country in fall 2021 as a California-only model. From the start, its prospects were limited by a number of unusual business decisions. On top of its small size, it had just a 35.5kWh battery with an estimated 100-mile range. This was supposed to make it feel more like a gas car and limit the car's CO2 footprint, but the net result was a car that was both less exciting to drive and less practical than competing EVs costing significantly less than Mazda's $35,385 sticker. The outgoing current-gen Chevy Bolt costs $9,000 less while delivering more performance and over twice the range.

Sales were accordingly poor. Mazda has sold just 571 MX-30 units in the US over three years. In some countries, the company has reworked the machine as a plug-in hybrid with a rotary gas engine and an estimated 53 miles of electric-only driving.

Mazda is rethinking its EV strategy. It plans to introduce cars based on both an existing platform as well as a new framework. There are claims the company might use a future Toyota platform expected to deliver over 600 miles on a charge. The MX-30 discontinuation isn't the end, in other words — rather, it's an acknowledgment that the company needs to be more competitive.

The move is also a reflection of Japanese brands' general trouble entering the EV market. Honda might not replace its E compact car, and is refocusing on SUVs like next year's Prologue as well as its collaboration with Sony. Toyota and Subaru, meanwhile, had problems launching the bZ4x SUV crossover and its Solterra equivalent. For now, they largely have to rely on hybrids to attract buyers.

This article originally appeared on Engadget at https://www.engadget.com/mazda-stops-selling-its-only-ev-in-the-us-182657731.html?src=rss

Sony’s latest QD-OLED TV is significantly brighter than last year’s models

Sony announced pricing and availability today for its high-end 2023 QD-OLED television that the electronics giant says offers its “best color ever.” The Google TV-powered Bravia XR A95L will ship in 55-inch, 65-inch and 77-inch models, starting at $2,800.

The Sony Bravia XR A95L has a QD-OLED panel that takes the best of OLED screens (deep blacks, rich contrast) while adding the superior brightness and colors you’d expect from QLED TVs. Earlier this year, Engadget’s Sam Rutherford found that the new TV “definitely did a better job at preserving details in shadows” than the rival LG C2. “The A95L was particularly impressive thanks to its QD-OLED panel and Cognitive Processor, with Sony claiming brightness that’s now two times higher than last year’s model.” The company also says the new set provides up to 200 percent color brightness compared to typical OLED TVs.

The Cognitive Processor XR powers the set’s color range and hues, essentially acting as a brain that manages details like color, contrast, clarity, adaptive noise reduction and auto HDR tone mapping. In addition, the TV includes a Bravia Cam in the box: The sensor acts as a webcam for video calls (including Zoom support) while optimizing the television’s picture and sound based on your location in the room.

Marketing photo of the Sony A95L TV in a posh living room. Modern gray aesthetics with sleek furniture and floor-to-ceiling window to the left.

The A95L runs Google TV software but includes a few new extras this generation. That consists of a Game Menu for managing gaming picture and assistance settings. (It even lets you add a persistent crosshair for first-person shooters.) It also has exclusive PS5-friendly features: Auto HDR Tone Mapping and Auto Genre Picture Mode to optimize the premium display for your favorite PlayStation games. The TV also includes a new Eco Dashboard to help you manage all its energy-saving settings in one place.

Sony’s new TV also has Acoustic Surface Audio+: actuators behind the TV that can “vibrate to produce audio from the entire screen,” helping make dialog clearer. The feature works with Sony Soundbars, as select models will sync with the television’s built-in vibrations to produce “fuller vocals” on the center audio channel. The company also synced its Soundbars to show their volume, sound field and other toggles directly in the TV’s Quick Settings menu.

The Sony Bravia XR A95L starts at $2,800 for the 55-inch model. The 65-inch variant will cost $3,500, while the 77-inch model will total $4,500. All three models will be available for pre-order from Sony authorized dealers starting on August 21st.

This article originally appeared on Engadget at https://www.engadget.com/sonys-latest-qd-oled-tv-is-significantly-brighter-than-last-years-models-175307553.html?src=rss

Minimal wooden cubicle-like furniture system creates cozy + comfy nooks in modern office spaces

Employees have slowly but surely made their way back to corporate offices, and it is certainly a transitionary phase where they learn to adapt and settle down in an office space once again. In such a situation, it’s important to add well-designed furniture designs that help them feel comfortable, space, and motivated in their workplace. And adding the right furniture designs can greatly contribute to creating an office that is conducive to motivation and productivity. And an interesting addition to modern offices would be the ‘Cubicle’ by Form Us With Love.

Designer: Form Us With Love

Design studio Form Us With Love teamed up with Danish manufacturer +Halle to design ‘Cubicle’ – an interesting “bench and wall system”. According to research, people prefer to have their backs to the wall in open-plan workspaces, and Form Us With Love took this into consideration while designing their furniture system Cubicle. Cubicle is meant to simulate that very experience. It is designed to replicate and mimic the particular qualities that people seek while searching for seats in an open indoor workspace like a library or a co-working space.

The Cubicle is inspired by dinner booths and train carriages, which are intended to be semi-rooms within large spaces. It is meant to be a freestanding furniture piece that can be set against a wall. “With all the easy, portable technology that is part of your toolbox today, we just want to offer a platform with the essentials for the user to feel comfortable in, either to do laptop-related work or have a tete-a-tete with a colleague,” said John Löfgren, co-founder of Form Us With Love. The Cubicle is available in a couple of different variations, but the essence always remains the same – a 1.2-meter-high backdrop, one or more bench seats, and compact integrated tables.

The entire Cubicle is built using as little materials as possible. It is constructed using oak-veneered plywood with optional upholstery and power sockets integrated beneath the seat, so the furniture system is warm, wooden, and minimal. It must be noted that it is quite large in size, so it is not well suited for smaller spaces or offices with space constraints, it is intended for larger corporate and commercial offices.

The post Minimal wooden cubicle-like furniture system creates cozy + comfy nooks in modern office spaces first appeared on Yanko Design.