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E3 Report: Lego Worlds is a Minecraft Killer

The annual Electronic Entertainment Expo, also known as E3 by knowledgeable nerds, wrapped up this week in LA. As usual, there were lots of amazing games and cutting-edge technology to be seen. For me, the biggest surprise of the show was a major new release of Lego Worlds, an online virtual world that provides an open sandbox for exploring, building, and creativity.

The established player in this space is, of course, Microsoft’s Minecraft, a gigantic hit the last few years. Sales have passed 70 million copies total, with annual revenue topping $300M. As Donald Trump would say, “It’s huuuuuge!” But, now that I’ve spent some time inside Lego Worlds, I think it’s only a matter of time until Minecraft is surpassed, at least in its current state.
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The Vessyl Cup: It Tells You What You’re Drinking. Why?

I thought this was a joke the first time I heard about it. First, the idea is that this cup will tell you whether you are drinking beer or juice. Second, it has some of the most meaningless marketing-speak I have read in a long time. Get this:

…craft an object that would possess a unique yet subtle presence on a tabletop. The spill-proof lid, non-stick interior, and durable build will allow you to be confident on the move.

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Featured Speaker at Design Conference

I have been invited to speak at the Rhino Days Conference at the Savannah College of Art and Design. The conference runs from January 15 through 17th and will have workshops as well as featured speakers, who will talk about their professional practice and how they use 3-D modeling and design in real life projects.

My presentation is being prepared to be a TED-like departure from the typical conference fare. Titled ‘A Visual Journey in 3D: Merging High-Tech, History, and Humor,’ will explore how current design trends have become so minimalistic that they have lost all personality and joy. My practice has focused on finding our way back.


Kinsa Smart Thermometer launched!

kinsa-605After over a year of design and development and too many prototypes to count, the Kinsa Smart Thermometer has officially lunched on indiegogo as a socially-funded venture. Designed by SchultzeWORKS, the Kinsa Smart Thermometer is a simple tool to track and stop the spread of disease. By leveraging the power, display, processing, and connectivity of your phone, the Kinsa not only tells you your temperature, but can also tell you what illnesses are going around, what you might have, and what you can do about it.

The funds that are generated by donors will be used to manufacture the product and scale up production. The campaign’s success will also be used to encourage physicians, health systems, and governments to adopt this approach to be healthier, together.

In addition to the industrial design and engineering coordination, we also created all of the 3D renderings and animations for the marketing efforts.


Online Interview with Novedge

novedge-blog-logoOne of my favorite websites for software and webinar training, Novedge, just got even better. They interviewed me! The interview covered a wide range of territory, so it would be very difficult to summarize all of my fascinating answers and opinions. You’ll just have to go and check it out at their blog.


Can you have too much color?

During a recent visit to The Container Store, I ran across what is perhaps the world’s most colorful bag. I first caught sight of this beauty when I noticed that the stunning and intense pattern was a little similar to our company logo, so “Cool!” A few seconds later I thought, “Damn, this took a lot of guts to put out there.” Then I thought, “This is genius — it’s impossible to lose!” Right after that I thought, “Maybe this is a prank and people are watching me…”

Finally, I decided that this bag had completely succeeded in not only getting me to stop and have a long discussion with myself, but write up this blog post. Good work, Hey’s.


Copycat Smackdown!

The two people who created unauthorized 3D models of our Philco PC design, and then offered them for sale online, have had their infringing models removed for sale to the public. What was originally a rude surprise turned out to be a great experience — thanks to the advice and guidance of the awesome staff of TurboSquid. It’s one of the very best sites on the internet for 3D content and, as long-time customer, this turn of events makes us like them even more.

They took our original inquiry very seriously and then guided us through the process of generating a DMCA [Digital Millenium Copyright Act] Takedown Notice. This is essentially a single page legal document that summarizes the facts of your original work, contact information, and the web address of the infringing copycats. Amazingly enough, the work was removed the very next day after receipt of our notice.


Imitation done poorly …

… and illegally, according to copyright law. We have recently been made aware that two separate individuals have made extremely lousy 3D models of our Philco PC design, the well-known and much-loved retro-inspired computer. I’m all for for people being inspired by the work of others, which was the obvious genesis for the project, but this is different for two reasons.

The two lousy copies from the lazy copycats

First, they are charging money for the 3D models! One copycat wants $30 and the second is asking $38. Definitely not cool. Secondly, did I mention the models are lousy? This project was a labor of love and every detail in our original design was thoroughly thought out and cleanly executed. The dudes who copied the intellectual property for fun and profit were apparently drunk and in a hurry. Sloppy execution, you lazy copycats!

The original Philco PC design by SchultzeWORKS designstudio

We are currently in communication with the website owners over at TurboSquid, who are taking this matter seriously. If you would like to see more  images of the Philco PC, you can visit the press release page or watch the video.


New site redesign

Spurred by a recent hack attempt and a chronic urge to always improve, the website has been completely redesigned. Feel free to share how much you like it, and if you don’t, then by all means please keep it to yourself.

New content and sections will be coming soon. Special thanks goes to Jon Bukiewicz of Tenebroso Design & Development  for their talented and professional work on the effort.


Most ambitious cell phone concept ever?

Editor Michael Hines, who is quite obviously a  fantastic judge of design quality, wrote the above headline in his April 4 2011 post on TrendHunter. If you’ve never visited TrendHunter, I recommend them highly. They are by far the the world’s largest, and most popular trend community, with 40,000,000 monthly views. Not too shabby.

The article by Michael Hines reads as follows:

SchultzeWORKS designstudio has created what may go down as the most ambitious cell phone concept ever in the form of the Triple Flip concept phone. The Triple Flip is designed to revolutionize the smartphone scene with its solar-powered battery, touch and slider keyboard and 21-button interface.

Apple fanboys and girls aren’t going to like this, but the Triple Flip concept phone was actually designed to be an improved version of the current Windows smartphone. This phone is like nothing you’ve ever seen before. All three pieces fold up and down to create great gaming views or a stand for the phone to rest on. The keyboard can be used via touchscreen to type short messages or slid out for typing longer ones. A solar battery comes standard and to top it all off, the phone can act as its own case. If you’re left dazed and amazed by all this information, I suggest watching the video to see a demo of the Triple Flip’s features.

web:design by SchultzeWORKS webstudio