News Article | April 18, 2017
USAFacts organizes 30 years of data from more than 70 local, state, and federal government agencies into an interactive visualization of America's finances. The post Steve Ballmer's USAFacts Uses Smart Design To Make Sense of Government Spending appeared first on WIRED.
News Article | April 27, 2017
The 32nd Hong Kong Gifts & Premium Fair opened today at the Hong Kong Convention and Exhibition Centre (HKCEC). The four-day fair (27-30 April), organised by the Hong Kong Trade Development Council (HKTDC), is the world's largest fair of its kind. This year's fair features more than 4,300 local and overseas exhibitors from 31 countries and regions, showcasing a broad variety of giftware products. The 12th Hong Kong International Printing & Packaging Fair, held in parallel with the Gifts & Premium Fair, also started today at the AsiaWorld-Expo. Jointly organised by the HKTDC and CIEC Exhibition Company (HK) Ltd, the Printing & Packaging Fair showcases a wide spectrum of high quality, value-adding packaging and printing products and services suited for different industry needs. - Improved consumer confidence a boost for the Gifts & Premium sector "Looking at the performance of major economies, the Chinese mainland's first-quarter economic growth beat expectations and income growth among its citizens accelerated. The recently announced consumer confidence indices for the United States and the Eurozone also improved. These developments are conducive to the prospects of the gifts and premium sector," said HKTDC Deputy Executive Director Benjamin Chau. "From the response of the buying missions, overseas buyers' mood for sourcing remains good. This year, the HKTDC has organised around 170 overseas buying missions comprising more than 9,300 companies to visit the Gifts & Premium Fair and Printing & Packaging Fair." - Three major zones at The Hong Kong Exporters' Association pavilion As an international gifts trading hub, Hong Kong's gifts industry has long been highly regarded by global buyers. Hong Kong's exhibitors are also a major force at the Gifts & Premium Fair. According to a survey done last year, more than 70 per cent of Gifts & Premium Fair buyers were satisfied or very satisfied with the quality, pricing, creativity, branding and services of Hong Kong's suppliers. This year, the Hong Kong Exporters' Association is again organising more than 170 local companies to exhibit at its pavilion, showcasing the originality and competitive edge of local product designers at three major zones: Smart Design Village, Isle of Originality and Brand Oasis. The winning works of the Hong Kong Smart Design Awards 2017 are also displayed at the Smart Design Village, where global buyers can appreciate the outstanding designs of Hong Kong's brands and new talent. - New Startup zone to support entrepreneurship A new Startup zone has been added to the Gifts & Premium Fair for entrepreneurs intent on joining the industry to reach global buyers and industry peers. "At the Startup zone are around 20 start-ups from Hong Kong, the Chinese mainland and Taiwan," said Mr Chau. "Participating start-ups can join the 'Startup. Smart Launch' sessions to introduce their products and business ideas to industry players and potential partners. This is an invaluable opportunity for start-ups." The new zone features a diverse range of products, from original cartoon characters and designer jewellery to art decorations. One of the participating start-ups, Eco Matcher, has even integrated technology and eco elements into corporate premiums. The company plants trees on behalf of corporate clients who use the service in place of giving out traditional premiums. Recipients can even monitor the trees' condition online. Learn more about the company in this video: https://youtu.be/VoRr-SPrGaA - A world of branded products To cater to buyer demand for branded products, the Hall of Fine Designs is set up at the Gifts & Premium Fair. The zone features the products of more than 130 brands from some 70 local and overseas companies, including PO: Selected, a local dining products brand; Kool, a kitchen and dining products brand; Nu Design, a leather goods and stationery brand; Premec, a luxury pen brand from Switzerland; and SOL'S, an outdoor sports equipment brand from France. In addition to branded products, a wide variety of products are also on offer at the Gifts & Premium Fair. To help buyers easily locate items, various product zones are set up including those for Corporate Gifts, Green Gifts, Tech Gifts, Luggage & Travel Goods, Figurines & Decorations, and this year's new additions, Licensed Gifts and Hair Ornament & Accessories. There are also group pavilions set up by different countries and regions, including the Chinese mainland, India, Italy, Japan, South Korea, Taiwan and the United Kingdom, to showcase their unique products. - Printing & Packaging Fair for all industries Fine products need equally fine packaging to attract consumer attention. The 12th Hong Kong International Printing & Packaging Fair brings together more than 440 exhibitors from eight countries and regions, offering printing and packaging solutions catered for different products and service industries. Highlight areas include the De Luxe Zone, which features value-adding, high-end packaging solutions, and the Digital Printing & 3D Printing zone, which displays cutting-edge printing technologies. For the catering and fashion industries, the Food & Beverage Packaging Solutions zone and the new Printing & Packaging Solutions for Fashion & Accessories zone are dedicated to products and services suited to the two industries' distinctive needs. Aside from finding different packaging supplies at the fair, retailers can also visit the new Innovative Retail Display Solutions zone and booths bearing the relevant insignia to discover creative eye-catching display solutions, such as visual merchandising solutions made with paper, and digital promotion solutions for frontline sales staff. Companies concerned about environmental protection can visit the Green Printing & Packaging Solutions zone and look for exhibitors with the green-leaf insignia indicating that they offer eco-friendly products and services. - Value-adding thematic seminars During the fairs, the HKTDC also organises a series of seminars and forums to help buyers stay abreast of market developments. These include seminars that examine the latest developments in the Indian, Indonesian, Japanese and North American markets, as well as those that discuss pertinent industry topics such as retail trends, testing and certification services for gifts and premiums, the next stage of high-end packaging, personalised packaging using digital printing, and the latest technologies for textile and 3D printing. To help buyers easily access the fairs, free shuttle bus service will run between the HKCEC and the AsiaWorld-Expo at regular intervals. Fair websites: Hong Kong Gifts & Premium Fair: www.hktdc.com/hkgiftspremiumfair/ Hong Kong International Printing & Packaging Fair: http://www.hkprintpackfair.com/ Shuttle Bus Service: http://bit.ly/2oQAYHT Photo download: http://bit.ly/2oOSpp6 ** All media will be required to present name card or staff card for press registration. Media registration: Media representatives wishing to cover the event may register on-site with their business cards and/or media identification. To view press releases in Chinese, please visit http://mediaroom.hktdc.com/tc About HKTDC Established in 1966, the Hong Kong Trade Development Council (HKTDC) is a statutory body dedicated to creating opportunities for Hong Kong's businesses. With more than 40 offices globally, including 13 on the Chinese mainland, the HKTDC promotes Hong Kong as a platform for doing business with China, Asia and the world. With 50 years of experience, the HKTDC organises international exhibitions, conferences and business missions to provide companies, particularly SMEs, with business opportunities on the mainland and in international markets, while providing information via trade publications, research reports and digital channels including the media room. For more information, please visit: www.hktdc.com/aboutus. Follow us on Google+, Twitter @hktdc, LinkedIn. Google+: https://plus.google.com/+hktdc Twitter: http://www.twitter.com/hktdc LinkedIn: http://www.linkedin.com/company/hong-kong-trade-development-council Contact:
Agency: European Commission | Branch: H2020 | Program: RIA | Phase: GV-5-2014 | Award Amount: 8.00M | Year: 2015
Today, transportation both to/from city-centres and within peri-urban areas, is unsatisfactory in terms of congestion, environmental and societal aspects. To answer identified needs, the Easily diStributed Personal RapId Transit (ESPRIT) project aims to develop a purpose-built, light weight L6 category electric vehicle that can be stacked together to gain space. Thanks to pioneering coupling systems, up to 8 ESPRIT vehicles can be nested together in a road train, 7 being towed for an efficient redistribution of fleets and a smartly-balanced and cost efficient transport system. Within the project, 2 user scenarios are foreseen: a one-way carsharing system within city centres and a last-kilometre personal mobility system to existing public transport infrastructures in peri-urban areas. These will be tested through 3 different geographical use cases (Glasgow, Lyon and LHospitalet de LLobregat near Barcelona). This innovative transport system concept will be demonstrated to TRL5 though state-of-the-art developments of diverse technological bricks (including vehicle and road train architecture, coupling and guiding systems, kinetic and dynamic behaviour management systems, efficient energy supply and rapid charge battery strategies). To prove the ESPRIT concept, the project will also work on modelling and simulation tools to predict, once ESPRIT vehicles are deployed, the economic, social and environmental benefits as well as key operating strategies. This concept will incite citizens to use public transport and carsharing solutions rather than their private vehicles leading to seamless intermodal transport, decongestion, significant reduction of noise and air pollution. To reach all stakeholders, the ESPRIT project will not only rely on its technical expertise but also on the knowledge and network of its end user community represented by several partners as well as the Advisor Board which includes carsharing organisations, public authorities and transport operators.
News Article | October 13, 2015
How did you get to your position? What was the route that you took? I’d like to say that my career did not follow a traditional route. In school, I studied more how different cultures create objects and processes to really reproduce their everyday life, so I’ve always been fascinated with everyday objects—housewares, things like decorative accessories. My first job out of school was with Williams-Sonoma’s corporate headquarters, and I really loved it. That led to Smart Design in New York, and then later in San Francisco. At Smart Design, my journey was really about bridging the insights we’d gained about people’s everyday experiences with the growing significance that technology was playing in their lives. I spent more than 10 years at Smart, and worked for a lot of different clients in different industries, and gained a good breadth of experience. And then I left Smart to do a short stint with Philips working in helping them figure out how to leverage design and innovation in their effort to create new ventures. It was a great learning experience. Then I moved to Frog Design to lead the global AT&T account. It was a pretty unusual time when we were helping AT&T transform from a traditional telecom to more of a software company that was trying to fuel their growth with services across a broader ecosystem. And then later, with Frog, I moved back to Amsterdam, where I essentially repeated that type of approach with several other companies—how to build on the value and expertise that a company has when it’s built its reputation more in the era of things and products, and help them create a significant place in the world of connected things, like services. Then Philips approached me to help them with a similar challenge. And here I am at Philips, a company in transformation. In February, I was given an opportunity to lead design for our health care and schematics business as well as the personal health solutions business. And the point of all this was to specifically bridge the worlds of our clinical expertise and our consumer expertise through software experiences that would create more consistent and meaningful user experiences across that health continuum. You’ve gone back and forth between working in a large company and working with agencies. Where do you see the differences there? I think the differences are pretty dramatic. In the agency world, you get the advantage of being able to experience a lot of different industries and a lot of different challenges or problems in those industries. You can pick or spot the patterns that repeat, and you can really start to see how to apply the thinking in different industries and help people soak up the learning from different ways of working. The challenge is, within consultancy, you can’t really take it all the way through. On the corporate side, you have to be really good at understanding the strategy and how to build a vision that people can get excited about and want to sponsor. What are some of the lessons you’ve learned? There have been so many. One of the biggest themes is around alignment and creating a common language. I don’t think people in these programs generally spend enough time making sure that they’re saying the same thing. We have so much confusing language. And I have to say, design has been guilty of that a lot over the years—of creating specialized language to talk about what design does, reinventing words in order to explain things. And that’s not really doing us a lot of good. More often than not, we don’t spend enough time coming to common words to mean the same thing, and aligning on expectations. Did you ever have a mentor or female role model? I’ve had a series of them. When I was at Frog originally, and I’m not sure if it’s still the same today, but I was really inspired by the level of women leaders in the organization, and the way that everybody had their own distinct approach to communication and leading and decision-making. And what I love about it is that it is a bit of a sisterhood, in a way, of people that can actually rely on one another and talk to one another about things. With a mentor, it’s a safe place to ask questions, like, "Does that ever happen to you, and how’d you deal with it?" Today I spend a lot of time trying to mentor the younger women. You have the unique experience of working both in Europe and in the U.S. Are the sensibilities about design different? I don’t think so. I think that’s one of the outcomes of globalization. I miss some of the regionalism that existed before globalization. What do you think are some of the biggest trends in design now? For example, I feel like leaders are putting design into organizations just to check a box. But are designers being used effectively to drive real change? I think that’s a fantastic trend, and I can look at Philips and say I was amazed that design sits on the management teams at each of the businesses. It’s more than a checkbox, which is one of the things I was so happy about when I got there, and one of the reasons I took the job. But at the same time, we’re not yet at the place where the organization knows 100% how to work with design. And I’m not talking just about Philips; I’m talking in general. It’s so fanatically popular right now, the idea of design, and design thinking and having chief design officers. I think there’s still a lack of understanding and maturity around what it means to be able to effectively leverage it. So design’s still brought in too late, very often, still only a tenth of the design capabilities are actually being utilized, in some cases. So it’s very popular. But I am not sure it’s yet as effective as it could be. Do you think sometimes design clashes with business goals? I’ve never seen outright conflict except when we have poor alignment in planning. Very often, people say, "Well, I need some of that," but they don’t know what to do with it. And it’s the same thing that’s said when companies go through that transformation of being more old-school technology companies to software companies. They don’t necessarily know how to incorporate software development into their processes. Just as an example, in software, design needs to be a critical part of the requirement development process. If I get handed a list of requirements and am told to just start designing that, and please don’t question these requirements, because we know these are the right things to go build, I know that we’re headed for a problem. So that’s where conflicts are going to come up, because I know for the next several months I’m going to be questioning requirements, and wondering, Well, what problem is this actually solving? Part of your job is leadership. You’ve got to present ideas that are different, ideas that the organization hasn’t done. And as much as people say they like change, people are horribly resistant to change. What are some of the techniques that you use? One is: You’ve got to know who’s in the room, and what they need. Where are they going to see risk in the idea? So you need to start to really map: Who are you talking to? What’s going to make it a win for them to say yes to the idea, and what are they scared of? And how do you address that fear? So that’s a simple exercise if you know who your stakeholders are. And I think there are some people who talk about not just user-centered design but stakeholder-centered design as well, and really taking those extra steps in the process to understand what it’s going to take for this idea to be successful within this organization. Because there’s crazy ideas, but they’re crazy ideas that have to work and land in that organization, not just somewhere out in the world. So it’s got to be personal for that business. I think it’s about storytelling, too. And I think that’s something we talk about a lot today, but I think that the art of that is to understand how to make the story real enough, but not so real that the people in the room don’t feel like they can come help add to that story. So coming in with a fully finished, highly polished story that doesn’t leave anybody room to contribute to the narrative is often a mistake. I think keeping the fidelity of the story a little bit lower, and showing them where, " . . . and here’s the part where you can help in making this story real." Help people start to feel invested and feel like they want to champion that, and help make it real. Designers are often mission-driven. They want to change the world, and they’re gung-ho. Do they ever run into walls and hold onto their beliefs so much that they can’t see the forest for the trees? How do you work with that? What are some skills there that you could use to open up people? I think that’s a really great question, because I see it in people’s eyes so often. You start down a process where the scope of the project is to make the world a better place in some way or another. At Philips, we are lucky enough that there are a lot of those kinds of projects—I mean, our mission statement is to improve the lives of three billion people. So with that as a mission statement, it’s a natural fit for designers to come and say I want to help do that. It doesn’t mean that every project in its entirety is going to change the world, and there are a lot of things that we start that have to change sometimes midway through because of one business reality or another, or you find out that there were potentially two different efforts that were kind of doing similar things, and now we need to combine those and make it something that can get to market in a more reasonable way. So the world is filled with the need to compromise on different things, and you have to really be clear with the designers. What are the couple absolute, definite things we’re going to hang onto here, and kind of go down with the ship trying, if we can’t get it in? And make sure that you’ve got the business to really understand that and share that vision also. Because it can’t just be this fight of design hitting the brick wall and fighting for something that the business doesn’t believe in or want, because you’re just pushing boulders uphill, and that doesn’t make anyone feel good. But what I also think is, with designers, in the beginning of the program, really lay out for them what the risks and challenges and opportunities are, and be as transparent as absolutely possible, because if they’re left in a bubble to think that everything’s possible all the time, then you’re not doing them a favor. They can’t really help you solve the problem and shift with the changing needs of the program. It’s heartbreaking, sometimes, when you see that somebody might look at an effort and say, "Aw. It’s not nearly as good as I’d hoped it would be. It feels like too many compromises." But you have to encourage and help them to see the long view, that this one solution isn’t the end of the story. As a company—any company today that’s working in this kind of space—it’s the beginning of the story, and you’re going to build this over time, and you’ve got to show them how to make the effort what they believe it should be over time, and keep people’s spirits up and see how they can contribute to that. What have you learned from leading all these creative people? What are some of the things that have made an impact on you? I think it’s being really, really, super clear, being gentle. I think sometimes I’m very direct. I’m a pretty direct communicator, so making sure that I’m being direct and gentle in equal doses. And listening probably three times longer than I think I need to. So pausing a lot before I jump in and offer an opinion—really, really leading it out of people, and getting them to really tell me more and more about what it is they’re thinking and what they feel the solution could be, or what the problems really are that they’re trying to grapple with. Also being really decisive and clear when you need to make a decision. So if there is still room to explore, encourage it with gusto, but if there really isn’t, then be clear and focus the team so that they feel that their contributions are actually going to matter and that they’re not spinning their wheels. Do you think being a woman makes your job harder, easier, or does it really matter? Until recently, I haven’t really identified with being a woman in business. I just thought, Well, this is who I am, and I work in complex organizations, and doesn’t that make it complicated for everybody? So I haven’t really overidentified with the part of my journey that’s related to being a woman, but I do see that I’ve always worked in businesses and in roles where I’m one of one or two women in the room. That’s really not that unusual. And in some ways, it’s been great, because I find it makes it easier to be heard in a way, because you really are different than everybody else in the room. You can offer different perspectives. And in other ways, it’s been a little bit of a challenge. I think a lot of times in business that what I consider to be more male traits are valued over what are considered to be more female traits. And I don’t mean to stereotype them, but I think the KPIs that the organizations use to judge people’s success, they need to evolve with a more progressive sense of leadership. I have a lot of women who come to me and say things like, "Well, I’ve been told in my review that I need to show more visible leadership." What does that mean? What’s the code for that? And how does that affect people who maybe are more interested in the whole team being successful than highlighting individual success? Or for people who are more introverted than extroverted? So I don’t see these issues as just being women’s issues; I see them being just people who have leadership styles that are not that classic more extroverted, more expressive type of leader. Approaches that seem to work, but are not really yet valued in business, or are still thought about as "soft skills"—empathy, emotional intelligence—how much do you use those? And is that accepted in the business world? I use those skills every day. I think that it’s made me more approachable to the teams that I work with, and I think that that’s been a really good thing. So I know I get a lot of really positive feedback that the people who work with me, report to me, are part of the organizations that I’m helping lead, they often say, "We feel that you’re more accessible; we feel we can talk to you about things." So that’s clearly resonating with people, and I think that that is more of a female approach, just being open to listening to things, even if it isn’t necessary on a critical path to some problem I’m trying to solve currently. Being open to that conversation and that dialogue about the situations around our work, not just the work itself, I don’t think that that’s the part of the job that I’m getting evaluated on, though. I think it has a lot of good intangible value, but I don’t yet see that in the way we evaluate our leaders. The positive thing is when we see people having KPIs associated with talent retention. So there are other aspects to it that you can say, "Okay, that work that I do, that’s maybe more about emotionally engaging with people and having empathy for the way people are working," that probably comes out in having people want to stay in the group longer and develop through the ranks of the group. Do you feel like you use those emotions then? Do you think that the KPIs over time will change? I think it’s going to take a long time, because it’s the perennial question of, "How do you measure the value of design?" It’s also, "How do you measure the value of soft skills?" And I think that business is hard-wired to want to have things they can measure. They embrace things that can be measured. I think if we can start figuring out how to measure the value of the soft skills, I think it’s going to be easier for business to make sure that it’s embraced. But also, always having to find a measurement for everything when it seems as plain as the nose on your face that it matters can be a conversation that doesn’t really go anywhere. That’s also why I like the qualitative research and quantitative research, because you can start to correlate on things, and give people at least a stronger sense of confidence that something works. But that’s another topic. Sometimes people need proof that something like this works. You can’t just say it, even though it feels good and you know instinctively that it works. But they also need belief. And if we had stronger anecdotes about why it works, we could build more belief. Because I think sometimes it goes back to the storytelling and the anecdotes and being able to create a sense of what the truth is for people: "Well, look. I lived it. I felt it. I saw this happen." And you have people supporting that opinion, and it starts to become the truth for people. They start to just believe it. And I don’t mean that you’re pulling the wool over anyone’s eyes; it’s just that you have to really make the story accessible to them so they understand it. If you weren’t doing this, what would you be doing? There’s a woman who started a business years ago out of Santa Cruz where she works with local organic farmers and producers of amazing food, and she puts on these 300-person dinners with these mile-long tables that you can sit at. I wish I’d had that idea. I guess I love entertaining, and I’ve always thought that I’d love to create a business that brought together people and food and discussion and entertainment—sort of the TED of dinner parties. I know you love to cook. Is that your creative outlet? Oh my God, yes. And my creative masterpiece is my new kitchen. I have just created a kitchen that dwarfs the rest of my house. I know we can’t hug in the workplace, but are you a hugger? We don’t hug in the workplace in the Netherlands because Dutch people don’t typically hug. But we kiss in the workplace once a year, and that’s the first day that everybody comes back to work from the Christmas and New Year’s break. There’s always a little coffee corner where people get together and greet each other in the new year, and everybody runs around kissing everybody on the cheeks three times. And of course the following week, a lot of people come back to work with colds and the flu, but that’s what they like to do.
News Article | January 30, 2015
A new concept app from the London office of design and innovation consultancy Smart Design aims to improve the health of a large portion of the world's population, a segment for whom weight loss can be a matter of life and death: diabetics. Nudge is a concept app aimed at pre-diabetics—people with a high risk of developing type 2 diabetes—to change their eating habits. Described as a "personal nutritionist disguised as a shopping assistant," the app keeps track of a user's weekly grocery shopping using a phone's camera to scan products on store shelves. The app looks for purchasing patterns that can be improved, and suggests healthy alternatives—like substituting red rice for white rice, or maybe even quinoa—to nudge the individual toward making better decisions. The idea is to help pre-diabetics make small, incremental changes. The app also provides recipe ideas—this is important, because one type of phthalate found in food packaging has links to insulin resistance, a precursor to diabetes. In addition, the app adds up the price of your shopping for you, and keeps tabs on the eating habits of your whole family. It is thought that many children children between the ages of 4 and 10 are consuming more sugar in their diets than is healthy for them. With over 8% of the world's adult population—that's around 350 million people—affected by the disease, diabetes is ranked by the World Health Organization as one of the top four non-communicable diseases. Along with cardiovascular disease, cancer, and chronic lung disease, the condition was responsible for 68 million deaths in 2012. By 2025, it is expected that over half a billion people will have contracted the disease due to poor lifestyle choices. Nudge is the result of a personal crusade by Sean O'Connor, partner and senior design lead in Smart Design's London bureau, after he lost his father to diabetes. "I had seen firsthand how difficult it was for him to make necessary behavioral changes to his daily routine after a lifetime of poor diet and fitness choices." The team began by mapping the entire patient journey for someone living with diabetes, before it decided to focus on those diagnosed with pre-diabetes to help them choose a healthier lifestyle. "After all, we are what we eat, and we eat what we buy, so better choices at retail can actually help keep people from developing the disease," says O'Connor. Many developers have your dietary habits in their sights, from the stick-like Carrot to the more futuristic flavor pill concept dreamed up by Koz Susani Design. In 2012, a health care firm brought out a glucometer, which measures blood sugar levels via an add-on gadget that connects to a user's iPhone. And a health startup in California has developed the Breeze breathalyzer that analyses the 300 biomarkers present in human breath in order to detect diseases including diabetes—a similar concept to Google's smart contact lens, in development at its experimental department Google X.
News Article | August 3, 2015
This NYC Startup Just Raised $5M To Provide Energy To The Masses Reliable energy sources is still a problem for a significant portion of the global population. According to the , 1.1 billion people still do not have access to energy electricity while another 2.9 billion people use solid fuels like wood, charcoal, coal, and even dung for cooking and heating. DUMBO-based startup, is changing that. Focused on what the company calls “off grid energy” products, the company has already developed a technology that converts cooking fires into electricity that is already being used in over 70 countries.. The company is expanding its technology portfolio and it now includes rechargeable LED lighting and power storage options as well. BioLite has developed a very unique model dubbed “Parallel Innovation” where core energy technologies are incubated for traditional commercial purposes, in this case outdoor campers, and these technologies are also simultaneously marketed to those in rural areas in need of energy. The profits from the former are used to subsidize the cost for the latter. Now armed with an additional $5M in financing, Jonathan Cedar, Cofounder and CEO of the company joins us today to discuss the funding, the company’s future plans, and the future of emerging markets energy. Who were your investors and how much did you raise? This $5M round in growth capital is a mix of a Series B round led by Acumen, Clif White Road Investments, and RRE Ventures, along with debt and grant funding from Deutsche Bank and USAID. Tell us about your product or service. BioLite makes affordable products to cook, charge, and light your life off the grid. Our flagship products are the CampStove and HomeStove, wood-burning stoves that convert waste heat into usable electricity. In February 2015 we launched a new lighting vertical with the BioLite NanoGrid, a rechargeable light + power system that fits in your pocket. What inspired you to start the company? Alec and I met at Smart Design in 2006 and realized we both loved to camp. Alec was frustrated that all camping stoves required petroleum fuel and had the idea of a wood-burning stove that could burn as clean as gas. I brought my engineering background to the table and we started to figure it out. Lots of nights and weekends tinkering away on cans and metals. We almost burned down Alec’s loft once, which wasn’t so great, but when that prototype finally worked, it was all worth it. In 2009, we augmented the business: we took our camping stove prototype to a combustion conference out west and learned that half the planet still cooks over smoky open fires, killing more than 4 million people annually and contributing to climate change. We realized our technology had the opportunity to have an impact on this and we began developing the HomeStove, a forced-draft wood burning cookstove that reduces emissions by up to 90% while generating off grid electricity to charge mobile phones and LED lights. How is it different? We believe that the future of energy access is going to happen on a personal scale and we design products to meet that vision. Our technology is designed from first principles and we look for the synergies between potential energy where it exists and the various functions that keep us safe, comfortable and productive like cooking, lighting, and charging for communications. What market you are targeting and how big is it? We serve two unique markets: the outdoor recreational industry and emerging markets. The outdoor industry is a passionate and growing audience showing year over year growth and rising consumer interest. However, our long-term scalable vision is to address the most pressing needs of energy-deprived households which make up 3 billion people. We utilize a model we call Parallel Innovation. We incubate core technologies through our product development team, then develop products and market them to both outdoor enthusiasts and rural poor households living in energy poverty. We take the revenue from our outdoor recreation business and re-invest it into the long-term market building efforts to build a scalable and sustainable solution for emerging markets. It’s a departure from the 1-for-1 model; instead BioLite utilizes a market-based approach. We design products that meet the critical needs of rural consumers at a price-point that they can afford, thus boosting local economies, improving public health, and curbing climate change. What was the funding process like? As a company that works across developed and developing markets, it was an exciting challenge to bring a diversity of partners to the table who could help us hone our capabilities in each of our core disciplines. Acumen brings deep experience in marketing to rural users in emerging markets, Clif Bar sets the bar for a mission aligned and environmentally friendly product, and RRE and Disruptive Innovation Fund help us to innovate the financial models that keep our unique business growing. What are the biggest challenges that you faced while raising capital? BioLite’s story has many facets and addresses two distinct markets with technically complex hardware products. Finding investors who could see the synergies across each of our attributes required us to be very selective and to facilitate a greater-than-usual level of communication between each of our partners to make sure that, as a group, we were all aligned on the path forward for the business. What factors about your business led your investors to write the check? Ultimately I think it was a belief in the amazing team we have assembled that lead each of our investors to join. We also had a strong track record of lean cash management and professional execution in both product operations and marketing which suggested we could deliver on our promises. What are the milestones you plan to achieve in the next six months? We’ve got big goals for 2016. We’ve seen ourselves as an energy company since our start, but I think customers may have seen us a cooking company. In 2015 we launched our first lighting and power-storage products and announced that our core energy verticals are comprised of Cooking, Charging and Lighting. In 2016 we will be nearly doubling our current product line in ways that can make BioLite the center of your off-grid energy systems and truly fulfill the promise of energy everywhere. We are also committed to increasing our presence as a thought leader in the categories in which our mission is strongly informed: climate, energy, and the future of what businesses can look like. Keep an eye out for some big announcements from us later this year. What advice can you offer companies in New York that do not have a fresh injection of capital in the bank? A focus on lean operations is important for bootstrapping and well capitalized companies alike. We’re in a period where giant venture transactions have become the norm and I think this is a dangerous mindset for young companies. Scrappiness is an asset at any size. Where do you see the company going now over the near term? Gearing up for a really big 2016. Plus, we just built an off-grid research facility three hours north of NYC, so in the very near term, we’ll be putting that to the test with all of our latest prototypes. Where is your favorite place to grab a drink in NYC on a nice summer night? A box of wings from Wangs plus a couple pitchers of beer at Mission Dolores in their courtyard is a pretty nice combo. Otherwise, you can find me at Sunny’s in red hook.
News Article | August 17, 2015
It’s likely that you started your day with a micro-interaction. By turning off the alarm on your mobile phone, you engaged with a user interface in a single moment. You will continue to engage throughout the day in these moments with your digital devices. Each one is a micro-interaction. Each one is probably so small you don’t think about it. And each one works because of that simple fact. As a designer, recognizing the invisibility of micro-interactions is just as important as designing them. You have to create something that feels human and accomplishes a task, making the life of a user easier. You also have to focus on a design that can work in a variety of environments and does not need any instruction or explanation. Like I described in Web Design Trends 2015 & 2016, all great designers must learn how to design the perfect moment. In this post, we’ll take a look at how to do just that. A micro-interaction is any single task-based engagement with a device. Micro-interactions happen all around you, from the toggle of an on-off switch to skipping from one song to the next on a music player to liking a social media post to replying to a text message. Most of these engagements are things users rarely think about when it comes to how they work or look (as long as they are working properly). Micro-interactions tend to do, or help you do, several different things: So in practice, micro-interactions include moments or actions for elements. Stop and think about all the times you come in contact with a micro-interaction every day. For example, I created the animated prototype quickly in UXPin to imagine what a fashion model selection app might look like. As you hover over the model, notice how their measurements are reiterated and an option to download their resume appears. Each of these interaction types lead users to a path of more human-centered design. This concept of making devices more human-like in their moments is a key to adoption and usability. One of the most famous proponents of micro-interactions is Dan Saffer, who wrote the book – quite literally – on this topic. Saffer, director of interaction design at Smart Design, focuses on a four-part structure for micro-interactions. Every interaction includes these parts to create a cycle for how things work. According to Saffer, most people don’t even know or think about micro-interaction contact unless something goes wrong. When it comes to the design of micro-interactions, it can be tricky or even considered boring by some. The design elements are so small and can happen so quickly that designers might easily forget the details. Don’t make that mistake. The importance of micro-interactions can’t be over-emphasized. These are the details that make users love or hate an app or website. This simple, wonderful usability is why you choose one alarm clock or weather app over another. And someone had to design that. When you get down to the visual design of these elements, keep a few things in mind: Micro-interactions must live on through repeated use. What’s fun and quirky on first use might become annoying after 100 uses. Be cautious of gimmicks or odd design cues. Simplicity rules. Simple type, simple language, simple colors, and simple design. Don’t make the design any more complicated than the action. Add a fun divot with animation, but don’t go crazy. Consider the bouncing icon in the dock of your MacBook as a program loads. It lets you know the program is responding with a simple animation but does not get in the way of what you are doing. Create a visual harmony with other elements . If your app has a blue color scheme, micro-interactions should use the same hues so that the visual connection to the parent design or app is there for users. Don’t overthink it. Overdesigning a micro-interaction can be lethal. Let’s go back to the simplicity of the text message notification. Just a simple, singular display on the screen with enough information to be effective – who the message is from, what the message contains and a way to respond. Consider each detail with care. Because micro-interactions are so small, every element of the design matters. Ensure that every detail, down to the last pixel, is perfected before launch. Think about further adaptations or how subsequent micro-interactions will work. Does the exact same thing happen every time for every user? Or are there changes to the micro-interaction over time? (Consider the alarm that gets louder each time after the snooze button is hit.) These smart details will set the best micro-interactions apart from everything else. As we describe in the free e-book Web Design Trends 2015 & 2016, these interactions can also push a user to make finalize decisions or abandon it all together. If they’re done poorly, users will flee out of your app and may never come back again. While micro-interactions are everywhere, Google is really beginning to lead the charge with ideas of how to design them effectively. In its material design documentation, micro-interactions are explained like this: What it all boils down to is user appeal. The guidelines – specifically in the authentic motion section – help you visualize and create animations that feel lifelike. While all micro-interactions are animations, it is becoming increasingly so. Try to pinpoint a device micro-interaction that does not contain an animated element. (It will be a challenge for sure.) The Apple Watch is another device where pretty much every interaction is an example of a micro-interaction because the device is designed for singular notifications. Although, as LukeW points out, the interactions don’t always work out the best for that and could be better. However, each app features a design that gives the user one bit of information on the screen and provides one opportunity to engage. This is not true of only the Apple device, but all super-small screen devices, including watches, music players and even fitness trackers. Micro-interactions are an important part of almost every digital design project. You’ll be hard-pressed to design a website or mobile app that does not include some element, or moment, that a user needs to interact with. The key to making these moments almost invisible and completely functional to the user is in the details. Design with care. Think about how people work with and use their devices and mirror common patterns of thought as you design these small bits. Don’t overthink the aesthetics, and focus on direct action with the principles of micro-interactions in mind as you go. If you’d like to play around with some microinteractions, feel free to use UXPin’s animations editor to create some quick prototypes. No coding knowledge is required since it runs off a step-by-step interface. I’d recommend starting with something simple like an easing animation, then working your way up to more advanced mobile interactions.
News Article | March 1, 2017
With on-trend style, easy shopping tools, coverage options and smart control, Lands' End helps women hit the beach with confidence DODGEVILLE, WI--(Marketwired - Mar 1, 2017) - One piece, tankini or bikini? Plus size, tall or petite? Perhaps a little tummy control? Lands' End ( : LE) now offers women more choices in swimwear -- and easy online shopping tools -- so they'll not only look great, but feel confident in their swimwear. Lands' End has launched its 2017 swim collection with on-trend styles designed with every body, taste and need in mind. Swimwear that Suits "Whether she's looking for swimwear with minimal coverage or targeted control, we want her to be confident -- to know that she's got a suit that uniquely suits her," said Pierre Colorado, divisional merchandise manager for swim, Lands' End. "We've created nine swim collections with endless options -- from cover-ups to control suits -- so that this swim season, there's truly something for every body." Dive Into Swim Lands' End swim is now easier to shop with an advanced, mobile-friendly Swim Finder tool providing personalized swimsuit recommendations based on body shape, silhouette, coverage, control and more. Women can also shop myriad styles that are available in sizes ranging from 0 to 26W, G-cup, petite, tall, tall plus, and mastectomy. With its largest assortment of two-piece bikini and tankini swimsuit options, Lands' End has also launched a new Mix & Match tool to build the perfect swimsuit. Whether by computer or mobile device, women can visually pair bikini and tankini tops with the collection's assortment of bottoms by simply scrolling back and forth between pieces, then selecting the color. Swimming in Style Nine complete swimwear collections offer style to suit any taste. From the feminine detailing in the Sea & Sky, Costa D'Oro and Lands' End Canvas collections to athletic styles in the LE Sport and AquaSport collections, women have more options in form and function. The Slender Suit® and Shape & Enhance™ collections feature comfortable control in modern silhouettes, prints and colors. Clever "line art" textured fabric in the Texture collection functions as swimwear camouflage, smoothing any shape. Build Your Perfect Suit with Beach Living® By far the largest collection from Lands' End swim, Beach Living offers an extensive assortment of tops and bottoms that customers can mix and match to create the perfect swim wardrobe. Beach Living takes women from the pool to the party with coordinating swim and cover-up options. As an added bonus, all Beach Living separates feature UPF 50 protection plus various control and bra options throughout. Among many new highlights, the flattering Squareneck Tankini is available in an on-trend Scuba Blue Foulard Stripe that features deep navy, lime and turquoise patterned stripes. A new Swim Tee in Deep Sea Placed Italian Floral places a beautiful yellow and blue floral print over a solid navy long-sleeved shirt. Swimwear Standouts Style abounds throughout the entire Lands' End swim collection. Several standout pieces in the Sea & Sky, LE Sport, Lands' End Canvas and Costa D'Oro push the style quotient. High-neck bikini tops, reversible print/solid fabrics, cropped rash guards, cut-out monokinis, wrap-around and lace-up details make the Sea & Sky collection the fashion leader. Inspired by the Italian coast, the Costa D'Oro collection features striking florals, feminine details such as ruffles, and high-waist bikini bottoms to help her freshen any swim wardrobe with style. The athletic-inspired Long Sleeve Zip Front One Piece Swimsuit from LE Sport completely covers the torso in style and sun protection while looking sporty and on-trend. It's also available in a sleeveless style with colorblocking. Dress details and Hollywood glamour abounds in the Lands' End Canvas collection. Lattice details add softness to one-piece swimsuits while keyholes in bikini tops and high-waist bottoms add a touch of drama. Clever Cover-Ups Lands' End swim cover-ups are so stylish that women wear them to the pool, pool party and beyond. There's a cover-up for every suit -- from floral and ombre caftans to a button-front boyfriend shirt, even swim shorts. For full, neck-to-ankle coverage, women can pair a UPF 50 rash guard with cover-up crop leggings that feature an attached skirt. Smart Design, Quality, Guaranteed. Period. The experts at Lands' End swim look at every stitch, every detail to ensure quality, function and fashion. From control swimsuits that are woven to provide control exactly where it's needed to bra cup options, long torso suits, mastectomy and maternity friendly options, designers work hard to ensure every woman fits in -- and fits in style -- at Lands' End. About Lands' End, Inc. Lands' End, Inc. ( : LE) is a leading multi-channel retailer of clothing, accessories, footwear and home products. We offer products through catalogs, online at www.landsend.com, www.landsendcanvas.com, and affiliated specialty and international websites, and through retail locations, primarily at Lands' End Shops at Sears® and standalone Lands' End Stores. We are a classic American lifestyle brand with a passion for quality, legendary service and real value, and seek to deliver timeless style for men, women, kids and the home. To view this release in a media-rich format, go to: http://landsend.new-media-release.com/2017swimwear/
News Article | March 1, 2017
At EXHIBITORLIVE 2017, Exhibitus will introduce the “Art of Interaction,” the company’s engagement approach that creates experiences designed to capture trade show and conference attendees’ imagination, challenge their thinking and empower them to action. “For the exhibit industry, to engage is defined as ‘to establish a meaningful contact or connections with an identified target audience,” said Exhibitus’ President Brad Falberg. “At this year’s conference, Exhibitus will showcase how design and engagement can create a memorable attendee experience to retain existing customers and attract desired prospects.” EXHIBITORLIVE, an industry-leading conference and expo for trade show and event marketing professionals, will be held March 12 – 16, 2017 at Mandalay Bay Convention Center in Las Vegas. The Art of Interaction To illustrate the following steps to successful engagement, Exhibitus’ booth (#1261) will feature a journey of discovery through a number of interactive displays based on recognizable works of art: Attendees are invited to Booth #1261 to learn more about the role of meaningful interaction in successful event management. In addition, attendees will receive access to an online Exhibitus Self-Assessment Survey, which allows organizations to evaluate their exhibit program based on industry best practices. Participants in the survey will have the opportunity to win an Amazon Alexa. Exhibitus Presentations On Thursday, March 16th, as part of the conference’s Measurement & Analytics Track, Falberg and Exhibitus’ Director of Marketing | Results Division, Lynn Reves, will lead a session entitled “Improve ROI Through Smart Design,” a presentation that explains that “Design Matters” and describes the process the company uses to measure the link between design and trade show success. Also, Falberg and Reves will facilitate a Peer-to-Peer Roundtable on “The Relationship Between Design and ROI” on Wednesday, March 15th. The Art of Giving Each year Exhibitus selects a non-profit organization to support as part of the ExhibitorLIVE experience. For 2017, visitors and staff will help create an art piece in the booth to support the Dreaming Zebra Foundation, an organization that provides support so that children and young adults are given an equal opportunity to explore and develop their creativity in the arts (dreamingzebra.org). Exhibitus will also make a financial contribution to the organization on behalf of attendees. Exhibitus Exhibitus is an award-winning custom exhibit house specializing in 3-dimensional design for trade shows, corporate events, user conferences, permanent installations, museums and corporate interiors. Driven by the philosophy that "DESIGN MATTERS", the company builds jaw-dropping exhibits that capture brand, inspire action and assure business success. Headquartered in Atlanta with offices in Chicago, New York and Raleigh, Exhibitus also features global service capabilities to support clients abroad. Exhibitus’ clients include Abbott, AGCO, Alcoa, Cessna, Cox Business, Kawneer, Lexus, Mack Trucks, Porsche, Toshiba, ViaSat, Verizon, Wells Fargo, and Yamaha.
News Article | October 31, 2016
This report studies Landscape & Deck Lighting in Global market, especially in North America, Europe, China, Japan, Southeast Asia and India, focuses on top manufacturers in global market, with Production, price, revenue and market share for each manufacturer, covering Filament Design Hinkley Lighting Hampton Bay Best Quality Lighting Illumine Moonrays Progress Lighting Westinghouse Kenroy Home Deck Impressions Access Lighting Duracell Starlite Garden EZSolar Mr Beams Maximus Nature Power Smart Solar Smart Design Trex Kerr Lighting Sea Gull Lighting Solar Goes Green Trendscape ET2 Xodus Innovations Sparkle Magic Pure Garden HomeBrite Solar Classy Caps For more information or any query mail at [email protected] Market Segment by Regions, this report splits Global into several key Regions, with production, consumption, revenue, market share and growth rate of Landscape & Deck Lighting in these regions, from 2011 to 2021 (forecast), like North America Europe China Japan Southeast Asia India Split by product type, with production, revenue, price, market share and growth rate of each type, can be divided into Type I Type II Type III Split by application, this report focuses on consumption, market share and growth rate of Landscape & Deck Lighting in each application, can be divided into Application 1 Application 2 Application 3 Global Landscape & Deck Lighting Market Research Report 2016 1 Landscape & Deck Lighting Market Overview 1.1 Product Overview and Scope of Landscape & Deck Lighting 1.2 Landscape & Deck Lighting Segment by Type 1.2.1 Global Production Market Share of Landscape & Deck Lighting by Type in 2015 1.2.2 Type I 1.2.3 Type II 1.2.4 Type III 1.3 Landscape & Deck Lighting Segment by Application 1.3.1 Landscape & Deck Lighting Consumption Market Share by Application in 2015 1.3.2 Application 1 1.3.3 Application 2 1.3.4 Application 3 1.4 Landscape & Deck Lighting Market by Region 1.4.1 North America Status and Prospect (2011-2021) 1.4.2 Europe Status and Prospect (2011-2021) 1.4.3 China Status and Prospect (2011-2021) 1.4.4 Japan Status and Prospect (2011-2021) 1.4.5 Southeast Asia Status and Prospect (2011-2021) 1.4.6 India Status and Prospect (2011-2021) 1.5 Global Market Size (Value) of Landscape & Deck Lighting (2011-2021) 7 Global Landscape & Deck Lighting Manufacturers Profiles/Analysis 7.1 Filament Design 7.1.1 Company Basic Information, Manufacturing Base and Its Competitors 7.1.2 Landscape & Deck Lighting Product Type, Application and Specification 22.214.171.124 Type I 126.96.36.199 Type II 7.1.3 Filament Design Landscape & Deck Lighting Production, Revenue, Price and Gross Margin (2015 and 2016) 7.1.4 Main Business/Business Overview 7.2 Hinkley Lighting 7.2.1 Company Basic Information, Manufacturing Base and Its Competitors 7.2.2 Landscape & Deck Lighting Product Type, Application and Specification 188.8.131.52 Type I 184.108.40.206 Type II 7.2.3 Hinkley Lighting Landscape & Deck Lighting Production, Revenue, Price and Gross Margin (2015 and 2016) 7.2.4 Main Business/Business Overview 7.3 Hampton Bay 7.3.1 Company Basic Information, Manufacturing Base and Its Competitors 7.3.2 Landscape & Deck Lighting Product Type, Application and Specification 220.127.116.11 Type I 18.104.22.168 Type II 7.3.3 Hampton Bay Landscape & Deck Lighting Production, Revenue, Price and Gross Margin (2015 and 2016) 7.3.4 Main Business/Business Overview 7.4 Best Quality Lighting 7.4.1 Company Basic Information, Manufacturing Base and Its Competitors 7.4.2 Landscape & Deck Lighting Product Type, Application and Specification 22.214.171.124 Type I 126.96.36.199 Type II 7.4.3 Best Quality Lighting Landscape & Deck Lighting Production, Revenue, Price and Gross Margin (2015 and 2016) 7.4.4 Main Business/Business Overview 7.5 Illumine 7.5.1 Company Basic Information, Manufacturing Base and Its Competitors 7.5.2 Landscape & Deck Lighting Product Type, Application and Specification 188.8.131.52 Type I 184.108.40.206 Type II 7.5.3 Illumine Landscape & Deck Lighting Production, Revenue, Price and Gross Margin (2015 and 2016) 7.5.4 Main Business/Business Overview 7.6 Moonrays 7.6.1 Company Basic Information, Manufacturing Base and Its Competitors 7.6.2 Landscape & Deck Lighting Product Type, Application and Specification 220.127.116.11 Type I 18.104.22.168 Type II 7.6.3 Moonrays Landscape & Deck Lighting Production, Revenue, Price and Gross Margin (2015 and 2016) 7.6.4 Main Business/Business Overview 7.7 Progress Lighting 7.7.1 Company Basic Information, Manufacturing Base and Its Competitors 7.7.2 Landscape & Deck Lighting Product Type, Application and Specification 22.214.171.124 Type I 126.96.36.199 Type II 7.7.3 Progress Lighting Landscape & Deck Lighting Production, Revenue, Price and Gross Margin (2015 and 2016) 7.7.4 Main Business/Business Overview 7.8 Westinghouse 7.8.1 Company Basic Information, Manufacturing Base and Its Competitors 7.8.2 Landscape & Deck Lighting Product Type, Application and Specification 188.8.131.52 Type I 184.108.40.206 Type II 7.8.3 Westinghouse Landscape & Deck Lighting Production, Revenue, Price and Gross Margin (2015 and 2016) 7.8.4 Main Business/Business Overview 7.9 Kenroy Home 7.9.1 Company Basic Information, Manufacturing Base and Its Competitors 7.9.2 Landscape & Deck Lighting Product Type, Application and Specification 220.127.116.11 Type I 18.104.22.168 Type II 7.9.3 Kenroy Home Landscape & Deck Lighting Production, Revenue, Price and Gross Margin (2015 and 2016) 7.9.4 Main Business/Business Overview 7.10 Deck Impressions 7.10.1 Company Basic Information, Manufacturing Base and Its Competitors 7.10.2 Landscape & Deck Lighting Product Type, Application and Specification 22.214.171.124 Type I 126.96.36.199 Type II 7.10.3 Deck Impressions Landscape & Deck Lighting Production, Revenue, Price and Gross Margin (2015 and 2016) 7.10.4 Main Business/Business Overview 7.11 Access Lighting 7.12 Duracell For more information or any query mail at [email protected] Wise 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