Seaboard’s Rise: MIDI Controller Keyboard Hybrid

I haven’t posted in a really long while so this gadget is for those electronic music lovers and makers. Seaboard’s Roli brought some genuine innovation to electronic keyboards (not just another Rick Astley remix demo mode) with soft touch-sensitive keys giving musicians new ways to play. And now there’s a compact version called the Rise.

The Rise plays just like a piano does, but those touch-sensitive keys also respond to finger gestures. Sliding a finger up and down each key can increase or decrease its volume, while wiggling a finger back and forth while pressed can let a musician bend or modulate notes. And how those gestures work is completely configurable.

The Rise comes with a software synthesizer, Equator, that wirelessly interfaces with the keyboard using MIDI over Bluetooth, and its rechargeable with a built-in battery so there’s no cables to deal with whatsoever. Priced at $800, the Rise is now available for pre-order and is expected to ship sometime in October for musicians who love to jam, but don’t have room to jam another instrument into their tiny studio.



The Kite Patch – An Anti Mosquito Force Field

Between sprays, clip-ons and those scented candles that don’t seem to work, we have all been looking for a simpler, better solution to avoiding mosquitos. Thanks to the Kite Patch, we may have found our answer. The Kite Patch is a little square sticker that emits a cloak of chemical compounds that block a mosquito’s ability to sense humans.

According to its developers, users simply have to place the patch onto their clothes, and they become invisible to mosquitoes for up to 48 hours.

Though the Kite seems a little fantastical, it’s backed by some legitimate technology. Back in 2011, Dr. Anandasankar Ray, an entomologist at the University of California, Riverside (and founder of Olfactor Labs), found that certain chemical compounds can inhibit the carbon dioxide receptors in mosquitoes. These smelly compounds, which act like a anti-mosquito force field, are able to disorient the bugs, whose main method of tracking down humans is through our exhalation of CO2.

The findings were considered a breakthrough moment in the field, but the technology was far from ready to be applied to a consumer product mostly because the compounds were toxic and wouldn’t be able to pass through FDA and EPA approval. “It wasn’t ready to be placed into a product that could mean something globally,” explains Grey Frandsen, Vice President at ieCrowd. That’s where his company came in.

The Kite Patch needed to be affordable, adaptable and easy to use, which is why it was designed as a square sticker.

You can support the Kite Patch campaign on Indigogo here. You can also find out more about the innovators at ieCrowd and Olfactor Labratories.


AT&T Introduces Solar-Powered Charging Stations

Since June 18th, 25 solar-powered charging stations have sprouted in parks, beaches and other outdoor spaces as part of a pilot project from the wireless provider in partnership with the city. The stations — 12.5-foot steel poles with three petal-shaped solar panels fanning out on top — can accommodate up to six devices at a time regardless of wireless carrier, with dedicated ports for iPhones, Androids, BlackBerrys and standard USB charging cables. Designed by a Dumbo-based firm, Pensa, with solar technology from Goal Zero, a mobile solar start-up, they are to remain in place in spots like Union Square Park, Metrotech Plaza and Rockaway Beach for three to four weeks at a time until October. If successful, AT&T could expand to other cities. The project will cost $300,000 to $500,000.


Froc Children’s Adjustable Chair

Froc is a new high chair by Slovenian company Rimarket and design studio Gigodesign. But not only is this a nice-looking high chair, it’s also adjustable in more than one way: the seat and footrest heights and the backrest position are all able to be adjusted. The removable safety belt will keep babies and toddler safe but when removed, make older kids feel like they’re sitting at the table like an adult (until they’re 10). The solid leg with four extensions keeps the chair nice and sturdy, too.

Froc is available in five different colors (green, blue, orange, white and purple) and you can buy it online at


How I Feel Designing Late at Night

Source and other cartoons by Tom Preston

To be less bad is to accept things as they are, to believe that poorly designed, dishonorable, destructive systems are the best humans can do. This is the ultimate failure of the “be less bad” approach: a failure of the imagination.

– William McDonough & Micheal Braungart, Cradle to Cradle: Remaking the Way We Make Things



This is a collage I put together out of magazine clippings on cardboard, then wiped with car wax. It is about 18″x20″.