The Self-Drying Jacket From Back to the Future Part II Is Finally Here

The world has been waiting impatiently for auto-lacing sneakers and self-drying jackets since 1989 when Marty McFly first wore them in Back to the Future II. Cut to 2015, and our technological prayers have been answered. Nike gifted Michael J. Fox with the first ever pair of auto-lacing Nike MAGs back in October, and now you can pre-order your own self-drying jacket from a wearable tech company called Falyon.

For those unfamiliar with the sequel, when McFly travels through time from 1985 to 2015, he encounters a world that has made major technological advances. In addition to hoverboards and holograms, McFly finds that the fashions of the future are very different, including a jacket with a built-in system for keeping the wearer dry. Falyon has developed a working replica of the jacket and has recently launched a Kickstarter project to help fund production of the iconic outerwear. The SDJ-01 boasts exhaust vents, a power cell, a power switch, and air amplifiers, plus a few standard features, like, you know, pockets.

Kickstarter // Falyon

One feature that BTTF fans will notice is not included in the Falyon model is the ability for the jacket to adjust the length of the sleeves to match its owner, but the drying technology may be enough to sway them. With a Kickstarter donation of at least $149, you can reserve your limited edition jacket in charcoal black, cobalt blue, metallic silver, or titanium white, and for $10 extra you can reserve a special edition jacket in a classic red-and-black combo, like the one from the film.

The crowdfunding project has managed to raise over $4700 with only 24 backers, and at the time of this post, has two and a half weeks left to raise the remaining $7300 of its goal. Click through to Kickstarter if you want to help make this 26-year-old fantasy come true.

Original image
Courtesy Umbrellium
These LED Crosswalks Adapt to Whoever Is Crossing
Original image
Courtesy Umbrellium

Crosswalks are an often-neglected part of urban design; they’re usually just white stripes on dark asphalt. But recently, they’re getting more exciting—and safer—makeovers. In the Netherlands, there is a glow-in-the-dark crosswalk. In western India, there is a 3D crosswalk. And now, in London, there’s an interactive LED crosswalk that changes its configuration based on the situation, as Fast Company reports.

Created by the London-based design studio Umbrellium, the Starling Crossing (short for the much more tongue-twisting STigmergic Adaptive Responsive LearnING Crossing) changes its layout, size, configuration, and other design factors based on who’s waiting to cross and where they’re going.

“The Starling Crossing is a pedestrian crossing, built on today’s technology, that puts people first, enabling them to cross safely the way they want to cross, rather than one that tells them they can only cross in one place or a fixed way,” the company writes. That means that the system—which relies on cameras and artificial intelligence to monitor both pedestrian and vehicle traffic—adapts based on road conditions and where it thinks a pedestrian is going to go.

Starling Crossing - overview from Umbrellium on Vimeo.

If a bike is coming down the street, for example, it will project a place for the cyclist to wait for the light in the crosswalk. If the person is veering left like they’re going to cross diagonally, it will move the light-up crosswalk that way. During rush hour, when there are more pedestrians trying to get across the street, it will widen to accommodate them. It can also detect wet or dark conditions, making the crosswalk path wider to give pedestrians more of a buffer zone. Though the neural network can calculate people’s trajectories and velocity, it can also trigger a pattern of warning lights to alert people that they’re about to walk right into an oncoming bike or other unexpected hazard.

All this is to say that the system adapts to the reality of the road and traffic patterns, rather than forcing pedestrians to stay within the confines of a crosswalk system that was designed for car traffic.

The prototype is currently installed on a TV studio set in London, not a real road, and it still has plenty of safety testing to go through before it will appear on a road near you. But hopefully this is the kind of road infrastructure we’ll soon be able to see out in the real world.

[h/t Fast Company]

Original image
Here's How to Turn an IKEA Box Into a Spaceship
Original image

Since IKEA boxes are designed to contain entire furniture items, they could probably fit a small child once they’re emptied of any flat-packed component pieces. This means they have great potential as makeshift forts—or even as play spaceships, according to one of the Swedish furniture brand’s print ads, which was spotted by Design Taxi.

First highlighted by Ads of the World, the advertisement—which was created by Miami Ad School, New York—shows that IKEA is helping customers transform used boxes into build-it-yourself “SPÄCE SHIPS” for children. The company provides play kits, which come with both an instruction manual and cardboard "tools" for tiny builders to wield during the construction process.

As for the furniture boxes themselves, they're emblazoned with the words “You see a box, they see a spaceship." As if you won't be climbing into the completed product along with the kids …

Check out the ad below:

[h/t Design Taxi]


More from mental floss studios