Mini makes car for Tron fans

Tron_miniMini is going to be building a limited run of a fan-designed special edition Mini Cooper, an $8900 package price that gives the awesome Tron-themed look shown here. It’s basically a cosmetic package…some LED lights and interior trim options…and unfortunately, doesn’t glow like the real Tron vehicles. But hey, I still want one…

Configure your own here

Cool bicycling lights

If you’re biking on the roads in the dark, you might be interested in these lighting solutions which dramatically enhance your visibility.  The first, pictured here, is not a shipping product yet, just a concept…but looks interesting.  It uses a laser to project a ‘safety zone’ on the ground around you to increase your visibility to drivers, and also to signal turns.  Read more about it here.

I saved the best for last though.  Shipping now (for $250) is a wheel-mounted LED lightning solution from Revolights that is somewhat reminiscent of the Tron light cycles. Each wheel gets 8 LEDs, but those LEDs are switch off and on, depending on the wheel position…with the next result being a band of red LEDs on the back of the rear wheel, and a band of white LEDs at the front of the front wheel.  Check out the video below to see these in action.

eBike concept

When I saw this eBike concept from Frog Design, my initial reaction was, look at all that wasted space in the middle section where a larger battery could reside.  It’s a trap I fall into sometimes…trying to optimize any design for function and performance, while ignoring what is perhaps the most important element of any product design.

Emotion.

That center void in the bike concept?  It looks cool and creates flowing curves, further enhanced through the use of materials, colors, and illumination (check out some of the other pictures for that).  The emotional attachment between a consumer and the product is absolutely critical.  Not to say that technical performance isn’t, but you can’t have one without the other.  Apple’s iPads and iPhones are great examples of that, where the form factor and graphical user interface create a welcoming experience for the user and ultimately a very successful product.

With the miniaturization of technology, more and more emphasis will be placed on the emotional side of design.  I mean, who wouldn’t want to own a lightcycle if given the chance!