Hey I'm Lisa, this week's curator of the Prepared. I work in software, but got interested in manufacturing a few years back while working at Electric Objects; I was introduced to Spencer + the Prepared while looking for a spring coiler machine in NYC for a side project.
Ever since I got a magnet implant,* I've been particularly interested in advances in wearable tech. So, in honor of these wearable LED eyelashes that popped up on my radar a few months back and haven't disappeared yet, this week's theme is "wearables" (with a strong smattering of non-wearable stuff too!).
*since removed; I've got a great recommendation for a guy in NYC if you want to try one out for yourself!
Planning & Strategy.
- Zara's supply chain is largely word of mouth driven; by getting live updates from the field they're able to better stock higher priced, faster moving pieces. I couldn't find the longer form essay that this clip came from, but here's a good write up of their "fast fashion" practices.
Making & Manufacturing.
- London based maker Lauren Bowker invented a witchy, color changing hair dye; her other work on EEG wave driven color changing capes is equally spell-binding.
- Motherboard details a new on-skin nanomesh that solves some previous challenges with human/electronic interfaces.
- Speaking of human/machine interfaces, here's a teardown of Apple's Airpods -- I haven't personally tried them, but I did attempt to use a Jabra bluetooth speaker a few years back as my only phone interface. It didn't work very well -- the Google Assistant at the time would show answers to questions rather than replying back vocally.
Maintenance, Repair & Operations.
- Remember when Google Glass was going to revolutionize the way you interacted with the world? They've given up their consumer pitch and have pivoted to assisting manufacturing work. It looked for a while like Snap's Spectacles might fill in the consumer market gap left by Glass but recent reports show that sales haven't been very robust.
Distribution & Logistics. (not wearable)
- Vodaphone's online map of their global broadband network is pretty good overview of where the undersea cables are.
- Chinese researchers successfully "teleported" a thing into space. Their success rate was pretty low, a few hundred out of millions of attempts (and is sending entangled particles really 'teleportation'? I wager it's too soon to say).
Inspection & Testing.
- Austrailian based SMS, or Shark Mitigation Systems, just released some new designs for shark 'invisible' wetsuits; they go into some of their testing process here. It looks like they've taken down their videos, but maybe that's a good thing.
- VR as a prototyping tool is gaining some serious steam; this demo of a Googler showing off the Blocks app makes virtual 3D prototyping seem like a snap.
- Sally Hansen nail polish testing practices for their Miracle Gel line; I love how passionate their senior lab researcher is about her job.
- Hackers managed to infect a DNA sequencing machine via a modified strand of DNA.
- Interesting tidbit in this piece on GPS spoofing: bombing the Kremlin will most likely blow up Moscow's airport instead.
- Waymo is using a virtual simulator to quickly test their self-driving car software.
- NASA's Jet Propulsion Lab recently published some papers on advances in manufacturing bulk metallic glass gears; "smooth turning without lubricant, even at -328 degrees F". The improvements will allow them to build better gears for space vehicles.
- Google launched their high-speed data network via space balloons in Kenya.
- It's not often that you hear about a short in a 230 KV, 10-mile coax cable; this citizen's field report from LA in '89 details how they fixed it.
Thanks as always to our recurring donors for supporting The Prepared.
p.s - You can check out my rants on software on my blog basicbitch.software; content often inspired by my work on better video conferencing at Pluot.
p.p.s - If you know someone who does good work - especially if they're a minority in their field - please share The Prepared with them! And see our inclusivity policy here.