Fast Company

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Google’s Latest VR Experiment Should Be Standard UX

Google’s VR team showed off new prototypes within its popular sketching app today, and one shows us how VR's user experience is evolving.<p>Virtual reality is completely transportive. Someone can be standing right next to you, and you don’t see or hear them, because you’re busy painting in soundwaves. …

Virtual Reality

Maker Faire Founder Dale Dougherty's New Book Is A Guide To Remaking The World

The Maker Faire also celebrates its 10-year anniversary.<p><b>WHAT:</b> The new book from Maker Movement founder Dale Dougherty—<i>Free to Make: How The Maker Movement Is Changing Our Schools, Our Jobs, And Our Minds</i>—available now from North Atlantic Press.<p><b>WHO:</b> Dale Dougherty—who also founded <i>Maker Magazine</i> and …

Maker Faire

This Fake Ad Satirizes The Media's Coddling Of Sexual Predators

It's an ad for a recovery center that treats the "real" victims of sexual assault—the perpetrators.<p><b>WHAT:</b> A satirical new video about the way sexual assault is discussed in the media.<p><b>WHO:</b> Above Average, and comedy writer Zoe Schwab.<p><b>WHY WE CARE:</b> In both the days preceding and following Brock Turner's …

Advertising

Architects' Long, Love/Hate Relationship With The Mall

A new book from Hatzje Cantz traces the history of malls through the architects who build them.<p>In cities and suburbs all over the United States, the shopping mall is a ubiquitous piece of architecture—huge, hulking, and overly air-conditioned. Since its inception in 1950s America, the mall has …

Design

A Bike Company's Clever Hack Reduces Shipping Damage: Labeling It As A TV

People treat TVs a lot more respectfully.<p>VanMoof, the Dutch maker of sleek bikes filled with clever gadgets, came up with an equally clever hack to stop its bikes getting damaged by careless shipping companies. It secretly printed a picture of a TV on the side of the shipping box, and the results …

TV

Documenting The Last Vestiges Of Yesterday's Telephone Technology

Inside one of New York's Art Deco telecom towers, Verizon has 3 generations of telephone infrastructure—from copper landlines to fiber optics.<p>The mammoth Art Deco Verizon Building in downtown New York, built in the 1920s for the New York Telephone Company, serviced over 200,000 landlines for …

Phones

A$AP Rocky Is Now Creative Director For MTV Labs

The rapper/producer/director/actor/model adds another slash to his resume.<p><b>WHAT:</b> In addition to his roles as rapper, producer, director, actor, designer, and model, Rakim Meyers—better known to the world as A$AP Rocky (and occasionally as Lord Flacko)—is stepping into the role of Creative Director …

Lana Del Rey

Volvo's Silent Electric Bus Will Now Detect Pedestrians And Honk At Them

Electric vehicles come with a huge benefit: peace and quiet. But that's just what manufacturers are afraid of.<p>Volvo has come up with a novel way to for its silent electric buses to let pedestrians know that they’re there: The new bus detects humans in the road ahead and honks at them, just like a …

Transportation

Power To The Peeps! Factory Workers For Candymaker Go On Strike

The Easter supply of delightfully cute marshmallows is precarious.<p>All is not well at the factory in Pennsylvania that makes those beloved marshmallow treats consumed on Easter and other holidays. Workers at Just Born Quality Confections, where Peeps are made, are on strike to protect their …

Squarespace Plays David Lynch, Ikea Gets Adorable: The Top 5 Ads Of The Week

Lego goes prehistoric for Jurassic World, Johnnie Walker honors refugees, Johnsonville is ready to take your emergency sausage call.<p>Quick question: What does whisky have to do with the refugee crisis? Well, nothing really, seeing as one is typically sold an accessory for luxury and a life more …

Advertising

Behind The Ad: How Vans Used Stop-Motion To Celebrate 50 Years In Youth Culture

Global marketing head Fara Howard and global creative head Jamie Reilly on tapping brand heritage without dwelling on the past.<p>Forgive the somewhat ageist real talk, but if we're being honest with ourselves, there aren't a lot of truly cool 50-year-olds. At least not cool in the same way they …

Advertising

This Smart Radio Highlights The Key UX Challenge For Artificial Intelligence

Music for your mood, or music to counter to your mood? That's the challenge for Emotional Radio.<p>Imagine that you look at your radio in the morning, and it looks back, with a blinking expression that mirrors your own: sleepy eyes, straight mouth, droopy eyelids. Soft music begins to play, matching …

Artificial Intelligence

Is The iPhone 7 Plus Apple’s First Step To Augmented Reality? Not Likely.

The dual cameras were most likely meant only to create better photographs, not detect 3D content for AR apps.<p>It was a reasonable question to ask. Apple purchased a 3D imaging company called PrimeSense in 2013, and now has released a phone with two camera lenses and the ability to perceive depth of …

Augmented Reality

Hunt A Killer: Taking The Murder Mystery Party To The Next Level

Ready to engage in military-grade survival challenges while being scared out of your wits in the woods?<p>If you were asked to identify the day job of someone spearheading the development of a something described as a live-action immersive thriller experience, "Naval Surface Warfare Officer" might not …

Murder Mystery

Refugee Architecture Gets Its First Major Museum Show

MoMA devotes a new exhibition to shelter in crisis zones, and identifies what the best designs have in common.<p>The global refugee crisis is a political problem, a human-rights issue, and a design challenge. More than 4.8 million refugees have fled—and are still fleeing—from Syria alone. One out of …

Design

Stunning Visualizations Track America's Remorseless Obesity Surge

Watch the average BMI increase in every single state since 1985.<p>Nothing seems to stop America's obesity epidemic. In the last three decades, we've grown progressively fatter as a nation, and all the messages about eating well and exercising more, seem to fall by the wayside. Many states now have …

Obesity

What You Need To Know About The Giant Inmate Strike Happening Now In U.S. Prisons

Did you know that 25,000 prisoners are refusing to go to work in an effort to get more pay and better working conditions?<p>It turns out there is something worse than prison: being in prison and being forced to work with few rights and pennies for wages.<p>"[The businesses involved] understand that this …

Prison

Coursera Brings Everything You Need To Code Into Its Virtual Classrooms

The online education firm wants to teach people to code with less hassle and more hands-on time.<p>Tucked inside one of Coursera's 1,500 online classes, there's a multiple choice quiz that's not like the others.<p>Instead of just asking questions and expecting answers, each challenge includes a text box …

Programming

The World's Youngest Rainforest Is Growing In Dubai

What's the latest surprise to sprout from the desert in the Emirates? A tropical climate.<p>Nevermind the toasty desert climate, there’s a rainforest growing in Dubai. This rainforest isn’t so much sprouting up from sun-baked sand by the Persian Gulf as it is under construction. It's one of the main …

United Arab Emirates

This Chef’s Ambitious Menu Is A Model For Creative Reinvention

"When people tell you you can’t do something, that serves as excellent fuel to prove them wrong," says chef Niki Nakayama.<p>Even before she was one of the first chefs to be spotlighted in the Netflix series <i>Chef’s Table</i>, before she put her name on n/naka, the award-winning culinary landmark restaurant …

Cooking

Got 15 Spare Minutes? Here's How To Make It Count

Having a head full of things we need to do is one of the biggest distractions. Here's a better way to parse tasks and get more done.<p>When we’re faced with only 15 minutes in between meetings, or waiting in line to get coffee or lunch, our natural inclination is to either answer email, look at social …

Productivity

How Group Of YouTubers Pulled Off The Greatest Long Con Troll Job of All Time

The group, which makes YouTube videos and branded content for companies like KFC and Taco Bell, spent 2 1/2 years on a crowdfunding con job.<p>The dirty secret about crowdfunding is that there are zero guarantees that the project you're buying into will ever actually exist. It's at the point now where …

YouTube

This French Ikea Commercial Will Give All Parents The Feels

A little boy takes his mom on a shopping spree with a twist.<p><b>WHAT:</b> An adorable little boy goes shopping for furniture with his mom, with an ending that may have parents reaching for a tissue.<p><b>WHO:</b> Ikea, Buzzman Paris<p><b>WHY WE CARE:</b> Parents with small children will often catch themselves staring at their …

IKEA

How IBM's Bluemix Garages Woo Enterprises And Startups To The Big Blue Cloud

The locations let IBM teach both startups and big companies how to harness its cloud services.<p>At one time, a tech industry truism held that "nobody ever got fired for buying IBM." The company was practically synonymous with computing in many industries, whether it was offering mainframes or early …

IBM

Apple's New TV Ad Artfully Pushes New Messaging Features In iOS

The star of the video is a red balloon that travels a long distance to reach a birthday party.<p>Apple's new TV ad hopes to turn people on to the fancy new messaging features in iOS 10, which the company calls "expressive messaging."<p>Messaging in iOS is far more dynamic than in earlier versions of the …

Apple News

Thanks To Radiohead And Bon Iver, Apparently Vinyl Record Unboxing Videos Are A Thing

Radiohead's deluxe edition of A Moon-Shaped Pool got an unboxing video, and Bon Iver followed suit with his new one this morning.<p>Unboxing videos are a great way for parents to know exactly what the crap they order for their kids is gonna look like when it shows up. But they're not just for toys—not …

Bon Iver

Infrared Photographs Reveal The Secret Worlds Our Eyes Can't See

People, forests, cities: documentary photographer Edward Thompson uses infrared film to uncover new things about familiar subjects.<p>The appeal of infrared photography is in its ability to reveal aspects of our world that are normally invisible, picking up longer wavelengths of light that our eyes …

Photography

This Company Spots The Big Overcharges Lurking In Your Medical Bills

Remedy will hunt down ubiquitous medical billing mistakes and save you money<p>Billing mistakes happen in any industry. But mistakes happen a lot more than they should in the health care industry. Not long ago, a group of auditors working for medical insurers found mistakes in nine out of ten hospital …

Medicine

The Untold Story Of Facebook Live

The behind-the-scenes tale of how a seemingly obscure service turned into the future of Facebook.<p>On Monday night, Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump went head-to-head to make their case for why they should be America’s next leader. The stage also doubled as Facebook Live’s coronation.<p>The social giant …

Facebook

When Paris Closed A Major Road To Cars, Half Its Traffic Just Disappeared

Turning more space over to bikes and pedestrians means that drivers are finding reasons to ditch their vehicles.<p>Every summer in Paris, the city closes an almost two-mile stretch of road along the Right Bank of the Seine and turns it into a beach, complete with sand, beach huts, deckchairs, and …

Traffic