Posted in design and architecture

Capturing sound via tattoos

An interesting concept in an age of ubiquitous cell phone access and body accessorizing; a company called Skin Motion is offering to tattoo soundwave patterns on to people. These people can then access and playback the sound recording via an app on their smart phone.


The firm Skin Motion describes itself as “a mobile application and artist platform network for augmented reality tattoos.”

Soundwave Tattoos all started when two friends got the opening line from Tiny Dancer tattooed by Nate Siggard. As they were leaving after their appointment, Nate’s girlfriend Juliana said “wouldn’t it be cool if you could listen to the tattoo?” and Nate quickly realized that he could make that happen. Nate decided he needed one of his own, with Juliana and their 4 month old baby saying “I love you” and filmed it to share online.

He posted the video on Facebook the next day, and it immediately went viral. Messages started pouring in from people all over the world who wanted to get one too. Nate quickly realized the potential for a way to make Soundwave Tattoos available for everyone. After writing the patent for personalized augmented reality tattoos, he launched Skin Motion.

Nate has provided a demo of the product:

According to their website, it works by recognizing the wave pattern in their sound library and playing it back:

A person uploads or records the audio they want into the app or website. We generate the soundwave from that. The person takes the generated soundwave to a tattoo artist we have trained and certified to do them. Artists need to be certified in order to make sure they understand the limitations of the technology and how that applies to tattoo placement, size, changing the design of the tattoo from a simple soundwave to make it more custom or elaborate on it for the person. Once they do the tattoo, the artist uploads the file to our backend. Within 24 hours we animate the overlay and add it to the app. When the person uses our app and points the camera on their mobile device at the tattoo, it recognizes the shape of the soundwave and plays back the animated overlay that has the original audio file in it.

So far this seems to work very much like a QR code, since there isn’t enough information stored just in the sound wavelengths alone.

Their website also mentions they are working on being able to accommodate a pre-existing wave form tattoo, so I will be curious to see how that works.


Posted in communication and networking, design and architecture, electronic imaging and displays

This Guy Is Knitting Every Frame Of A Movie Into A Watchable Scarf | Co.Design

This is a crazy amalgamation of art meets tech meets more art.

Using techniques like fair isle knitting and technology like the Jacquard loom, creating amazingly intricate images with weaving is nothing new, but a new project may be the first time those images have been animated.

Greg Climer, a fashion designer and faculty member at Parsons School of Design, has found a way to turn film into fabric and back again. He’s in the process of making a short film and intends to use a long knitted scarf at the film reel. A 19-second test shot, his proof of concept, shows that this wacky idea is possible.

more via This Guy Is Knitting Every Frame Of A Movie Into A Watchable Scarf | Co.Design | business + design.

Posted in design and architecture

These beautiful maps tell a complex story about how land is used across the US – Vox

In case you haven’t picked up on this yet, I love maps. Every map has a story, and designer Michael Pecirno has designed several different maps using data from the U.S. Department of Agriculture to tell a story about land use in the U.S., and therefore its citizens too. For example, this one of urbanization:

While the locations of big cities aren’t a surprise, a close look at the map reveals all sorts of interesting development patterns, such as the rows of small towns strung along interstates in the Midwest, the absolute lack of development across huge stretches of the West, and the emerging Southeast megalopolis stretching from Atlanta to Raleigh.

I found the ones for corn and forests fascinating:

via These beautiful maps tell a complex story about how land is used across the US – Vox.

You can check out more at Michael Percirno’s minimal maps website.

Posted in communication and networking, design and architecture, music

Finding the Melodies Hidden in Traditional Embroidery | WIRED

This is reminiscent of the tree ring music project, but more intricate.

Were Hungarian embroiderers of centuries past encoding secret musical messages into their decorative textiles? Nope! But Zsanett Szirmay is decoding them anyway.

The designer’s latest project, Soundweaving, translates patterns from Eastern European embroidery into gentle, tinkling melodies. By translating the motifs from pillows and folk costumes to punch cards, and then running those punch cards through a hand-cranked music box, Szirmay finds the music that’s effectively been trapped in the textiles all along.

more via Finding the Melodies Hidden in Traditional Embroidery | WIRED.

Posted in chemistry, design and architecture, engineering, food

A Sculptural Cloud of Plastic Bottles Illustrates One Hour of Trash in NYC | Colossal

If you saw this hanging out in a New York park last summer, now you know what it is:

It’s made from many, many plastic bottles stringed together. “53,780 used plastic bottles,” says designer Jason Klimoski, “the number thrown away in NYC in just 1 hour.” Klimoski and his team at STUDIO KCA collected the bottles – a combination of milk jugs and water bottles – and lashed them together to create “Head in the Clouds,” a pavilion people can walk into, sit inside, and contemplate just how much plastic is thrown away every day.

The structure, however, was temporary and the team is now looking for its next home. If you’re interested in having this in your back yard get in touch with the designers.

more via A Sculptural Cloud of Plastic Bottles Illustrates One Hour of Trash in NYC | Colossal.

Posted in biology, design and architecture, medical imaging

Making Art From the DNA You Leave Behind

Sort of creepy but interesting exploration of the overlap of science, art, and private vs. public:

Making Art From the DNA You Leave Behind

Artist Heather Dewey-Hagborg’s “Stranger Visions” project started with a question: What could she learn about a person by collecting one of their stray hairs? In an age of ever-cheaper DNA sequencing, the answer turned out to be “a lot.” Dewey-Hagborg’s portraits of strangers, made with DNA samples found in public places, called attention to the feasibility of DNA snooping. Now with her latest project, “Invisible,” she wants to put the tools to protect genetic privacy in consumers’ hands. But is total genetic privacy really possible?

via Making Art From the DNA You Leave Behind.

Posted in communication and networking, design and architecture

A Map Of Your Favorite Fictional Places, From Oz To Loompaland | Co.Design

Maps can be useful to understand the layout of a world, real or imagined. Authors are often world builders, and use maps to help them understand their own made-up world a little better.

We nerds all know that Tatooine was in a galaxy far, far away. But if you wanted to visit its filmed location on planet Earth, where would you go? What if you wanted to see where the Oompa Loompas supposedly toiled before Willy Wonka entered their lives, or plan a scuba diving trip to find Spongebob Squarepants?Here to aid in your travels to fantasy lands from your favorite movies are Will Samari, Ray Yamartino, and Rafaan Anvari of Wondernode. Based on data gathered from IMDB, online interviews, and Wiki fan pages, they’ve mapped out the supposed and filmed locations of fictional places, from Hogwarts to Loompaland to Oz.

A Map Of Your Favorite Fictional Places, From Oz To Loompaland | Co.Design | business + design

I like how they also did a layer of the real locations of the filming of the movies based on these books. I already see a recurring highlights section for National Geographic Travel magazine, or something like it.

see more via A Map Of Your Favorite Fictional Places, From Oz To Loompaland | Co.Design | business + design.