Cars + Tech – COOL HUNTING®

With another year of technological and automotive innovation behind us, we’ve moved closer to an all-electric future for cars, an impressive understanding of the cosmos, and truly immersive VR and AR worlds. More than our time spent behind the wheel of revolutionary vehicles or our moments of levitating upwards from helmets, this year has seen the emergence of technologies to make the world safer and more empathetic. These highlights only scratch the surface of what’s happened around the world and what we’ve covered in 2021, and give good reason to be excited about what may emerge next year.

by Josh Rubin

Test drive: Rivian R1 / T

As guests of Rivien In Breckenridge, Colorado, we had the opportunity to test drive the emerging brand’s first vehicle and hang out with the key designers and engineers who created it. Everything about this experience was remarkable: the electric truck is very impressive, the team incredibly inspiring and the environment we were in, a breath of fresh air. The deepest realization, however, is how the R1 / T is poised to be the catalyst for a culture change in the United States. It’s a pickup truck and all-terrain vehicle that moves silently with minimal environmental impact while sporting a cheerful face… Read More.

Simplified Disinformation Supply Chain Chart by Kelly Pau

Ad-Tech Watchdog “Check My Ads” fights disinformation and hate speech

As one of the most alarming threats to public safety in the world, disinformation is a growing problem with violent consequences. From the galvanization of the Capitol Riot in the United States to incitement to hatred towards Asians during the pandemic to the rhetoric of “Chinese flu”, misinformation (i.e. deliberately crafted narratives) perpetuates hatred and bigotry. While people typically turn to social media to identify the source of fake news, ad technology companies play a vital role not only in empowering fake news sites, but also in operating them. Claire Atkin and Nandini Jammi, co-founders of the recently launched non-profit association Check My Ads Institute, are some of the only advocates of shining the spotlight on ad technology mechanisms, holding the industry accountable in order to abolish disinformation and incitement to hatred… Read More.

by Andrew Maness

The triumphant return of the Ford Bronco

There is so much to cover with the Ford Bronco 2021– the return of an icon – that the most practical starting point is to report what it does not offers (like options that aren’t available or gear combinations that can’t be replenished) rather than what it does, because there is simply so much to discuss. While some specifications are not possible, there are many ways that buyers have free rein to build their Bronco. And Ford is counting on the majority of buyers to do just that… Read More.

Courtesy of Electric Noir Studios

Electric Noir Studios interactive and innovative storytelling game, “Dead Man’s Phone”

“A teenager falls from a Tower of London. A murder investigation is open. Dead man’s phone-a BAFTA nominated iOS and Android interactive crime game Electric Black Studios-begin. From there, players step into the story, taking on the role of lead detective. With the intention of uncovering how teenager Jerome (played by Tafari Golding) died, users engage with his friends and mother, police officers, and other auxiliary characters. But rather than using third-person camera angles and cut scenes like video games, Dead man’s phone imports Jerome’s devices directly to the player’s phone. This allows a user to navigate the game app as their own home screen and browse group chats, photos, map data, news apps, Snapchat (stylized as “SnapLife”), Jerome’s notes and phone calls. As the player reconstructs the scenario, the universe expands… Read more.

Courtesy of Supernatural

Supernatural’s suite of VR fitness activities now includes boxing

To slide on a Oculus Quest or Quest 2 and enter Supernatural is to discover the future of fitness. In a year and a half since its debut, this popular VR app, with a suite of activities inside, has taught consumers that home workouts blend remarkably well with virtual reality worlds. Now, boxing, with programs guided by real-life trainers, is the final modality, joining the full-body cardiovascular routines, as well as the meditation and recovery experiences already available. This addition allows players to hit, block, and strike virtual targets set in stunning photorealistic settings, with a compelling soundtrack behind it all. There are three intensity levels to accommodate a wide range of participants and overall the experience equips those looking to train in the privacy of home while maintaining a community of like-minded people who are constantly looking for inspiration… Read more.

Courtesy of Nissan

Celebrate history + reject homogeneity with the new Nissan Z 2023

According to Hiroshi Tamura, the Nissan Z 2023 is a car that almost shouldn’t exist. During the car’s debut yesterday, Tamura (the car’s chief product specialist) and Alfonso Albaisa (Nissan’s senior vice president of global design) explained how Nissan, a company that strives to electrify everything which it makes, but which has also gone through a terrible economic mess and executive scandal – has created the two-seater sports car with a twin-turbocharged gasoline engine that will hit American streets next spring… Read More.

Courtesy of Momentum

Test ride: Momentum PakYak E + bike

If the electric car is the next big thing, the electric bike has already become ubiquitous. They can be found on every cycle lane, path and street in the city, and sales continue to rise, with an increase of 145% from the already strong figures of 2019. While so many people are avoiding public transport for electric bikes, this also raises the question: can an electric bicycle also replace a car? And is that the goal? From Momentum (a sub-brand of Giant, the world’s largest bicycle manufacturer) comes the PakYak E + which owns an engine from Yamaha, which has quietly been making electric bicycle motors for decades. Together these two brands are seasoned experts in the field, which is just one of the reasons we wanted to test the PakYak E + cargo bike… Read More.

by Michael Frank

Aligning Lamborghini’s Huracán STO with Aston Martin’s DBS

One may be tempted to compare and contrast the wonders of the new Lamborghini Huracán STO and Aston Martin DBS– but if you don’t know which of these two $ 300,000 plus supercars is better, you’re asking the wrong question. The differences are vast and understand the personality of these two cars before you even hear them start; before awkwardly bending your body on board either… Read more.

Courtesy of Virgin Galactic

Attend Virgin Galactic’s Unity 22 launch at Spaceport America

With temperatures hovering in the low 90s and a tarantulas or two scurrying down the trail, Galactic VirgoThe VSS Unity aircraft took off on its 22nd spaceflight, the first with a full crew, including founder Sir Richard Branson in his cabin. As Unity climbed to an altitude of 53.5 miles, leaving US spaceport, with New Mexico and the Chihuahuan Desert behind, the flight set a new benchmark in the quest for commercial space travel. We were there to witness the feat and its smooth outcome, the result of a thousand engineers, around 17 years of work and two important technical developments… Read more.

Courtesy of Rolls-Royce

Rolls-Royce’s first fully electric production vehicle, the Specter

Destined for the market in late 2023, Rolls-Royce’s first fully electric vehicle, the Specter, was intended to be built long before electric vehicles were fully understood. The brand’s co-founders (Charles Rolls and Sir Frederick Henry Royce) were fascinated with electricity in general, but when Rolls drove an electric car in 1900, he decided that electric was the future. “The electric car is perfectly quiet and clean,” he said, in a truly prophetic statement. “There is no smell or vibration, and they should become very useful when fixed charging stations can be installed” … Read more.

Image of “Heaven’s Gate” by Marco Brambilla (2021) courtesy of the artist

“Heaven’s Gate” by video artist Marco Brambilla at the Pérez Art Museum in Miami

Inside the estimate Perez Museum of Art in Miami (PAMM), the imposing 8K audio-video collage by artist Marco Brambilla “The gate of paradise”(2021) was installed this summer, a monument to the filmmaker’s vertical and moody world-building style. In the work, Brambilla refers to some 800 films through components that have been rotoscoped from their source material and layered in his vertical scrolling view. The title of the work refers to the film of the same name by director Michael Cimino in 1980, a film disaster that bankrupted his studio. Brambilla’s “Heaven’s Gate” nods to all of this movie industry excesses and the substitution of substance for spectacle, but it’s analyzed across seven levels that make reference to Dante. Divine comedy. During Miami Art Week 2021, Brambilla teamed up with HTC and museum visitors were able to float upward through an immersive version of the artwork for the first time… Read More.

Hero image by Josh Rubin

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