Gift season is upon us...but before we tear open our presents, we want to take a second to appreciate what's on the outside. Because while you can't judge a book by its cover, you might just be able to judge a gift (or its giver) by its thoughtful, crazy, value-added or just plain fun wrapping. Here are some of the most unique we've seen this year:
Interested in downsizing your living space? An increasing number of Americans are reconsidering their square-footage requirements and abandoning large, inefficient homes for smaller spaces - sometimes much smaller. Check out our video to learn more about the history of the movement - as well as some of the technical considerations of moving into one of Tumbleweed's beautifully crafted tiny houses.
3D Systems is one of the oldest and most established companies in the 3D printing industry. At this year's Maker Faire, they were showing off a wide variety of machines - from large industrial systems to new smaller, more affordable enthusiast models. In this video, we talk with Rajeev Kulkarni about the future of 3D printing and the potential for this technology to soon become ubiquitous in American homes. What items will we be printing in our basements in 2015? Watch the video to find out...
Bamboo is a remarkable material - strong, lightweight, resilient and plentiful. It's used to make everything from floors to scaffolding, and one group in Brooklyn is even using it to craft bikes. Bambook Bike Studios started in Red Hook, and now also operates a branch in San Francisco as well as a mobile studio. You can't just buy one of their completed bikes, though - their bicycles can be purchased as do-it-yourself kits, or bought through a workshop program where experienced builders will help you craft your bike to your own specifications.
At this year's Maker Faire, we had a few minutes to talk with some representatives from Fab@Home, a group that is helping to develop open-source standards for the world of rapid prototyping. They've created some remarkable innovations - and our favorite has to be the ability to print 3-D objects out of food. The possibilities seem endless! Check out the video to learn more and see a couple of their machines in action.
Do you carry a Swiss army knife in your pocket? How about a flashlight? A thumb drive with all your important files? We’ve come a long way since the months following the attacks of September 11, 2001, but emergency preparedness is experiencing something of a revival.
Congratulations - you've survived the winter! As the days of trudging through snowdrifts and slush fade into memory, it's understandable that your feet might be yearning to slip into anything but another pair of stuffy, functional boots. The fashion world must be feeling the same way - we're seeing a boom in clever, innovative footwear this spring featuring bright colors, athletic functionality, and sometimes even a green twist.
A few weeks back, MAKE magazine (the quarterly bible for the do-it-yourself crowd) held their first East Coast fair, and Consumer Eyes had a front row seat. Entitled Maker Faire, it was a sort of free-for-all festival of DIY, celebrating every sort of creativity, from conceptual art to homemade robots to good old arts and crafts. The festival was huge, featuring over 300 exhibitors and performers. Popular Mechanics had a booth. So did Martha Stewart.
There's no doubt we're living in high-tech times, and raising a next generation at home with touch screens, interactive media and virtual everything. Which makes it all the more refreshing to see that the most recent trend among pre-teens is the wearing, collecting, trading and sharing of... rubber bands.