Sean Malto is a popular pro skateboarder whose career was threatened by an ankle-snapping fall. Ghost Digital Media made a documentary film following his rehabilitation efforts, and the firm shot it with an iPhone (using large lenses and the FiLMiC Pro app). It's a wonderful short film (at 11 minutes), but from an Apple fan's viewpoint, what's even more interesting is that you'd never know it was shot entirely with an iPhone. Ghost Media Digital posted a behind-the-scenes video documenting that aspect of the project. [Via MacStories]
Bridger Bell wants us to think differently about how wear our Apple Watches. Through his company Wear Differently, Mr. Bell has launched a Kickstarter for "It," an Apple Watch strap unlike anything I've seen before. His basic idea is that there's a natural spot where your arm and hand form a sort of nook where something like Apple Watch rests naturally and is easier to view. I'm still wrestling with the idea myself, but i'd be interested in at least trying the concept out. Wear Differently is trying to raise $250,000 through Kickstarter, a fairly high figure. And they're off to a slow start, to boot. Check out the video below—and there's more material on Kickstarter. He makes a compelling argument, even while it seems unorthodox at first blush.
Cookie Monster's Siri commercial is absolutely awesome, and not just because it's brought to you by the number 6 and the letter s. What's equally awesome is that Apple put together a behind the scenes video following Cookie Monster through the commercial shoot. It's also great to see Cookie Monster's humanity; he's excited by new technology, he overcomes adversity, and he loves cookies, just like us—only with more fur. And he's blue.
OK, my title is intentionally snarky, but I'm pretty stoked about Lift-Bit, modular...bits...that you configure with a smartphone into purpose-specific furniture. A chair, a bed, a couch, whatevs. The idea is you have these hexagonal modules that can be raised and lowered from a smartphone app. This is the stuff of science fiction, or it was until Lift-Bit. I've no illusion that this product is going to sweep the nation, but it's one of the most original products I've seen. The product is available for pre-order for €799 per Lift-Bit. I know, that makes it a plaything for the rich, but SciFi-turned-reality has to start somewhere. Check out the video (via Gizmodo).
Dag Kittlaus, Cofounder and CEO of Siri and ex Apple executive, is going to be showing off "Viv"—his new company, where he is also Cofounder and CEO—at Disrupt 2016. According to the company, Viv is "a global platform that enables developers to plug into and create an intelligent, conversational interface to anything. It is the simplest way for the world to interact with devices, services and things everywhere. Viv is taught by the world, knows more than it is taught, and learns every day." That's marketing speak for a next-generation artiificial intelligence thingamabob, and I can't wait to see what they have to show. It's hard to imagine a world where Apple, Google, Facebook, or Microsoft doesn't try to buy Viv when and if it goes on the market. In the meanwhile, TechCrunch announced that Mr. Kittlaus would be giving the world's first demo of Viv at Disrupt 2016.
"Rogue One: A Star Wars Story" hits theaters this December and we can finally get a taste of the film because Disney released the first teaser trailer on Thursday. The movie follows a Rebel Alliance group as they try to gather intel on a mysterious new Empire weapon called the Death Star, and based on what we see in the two-minute clip, the odds are decidedly against them. The movie takes place shortly before the original Star Wars where Luke, Han, and Leia meet, and it suddenly got a lot harder to wait for December to come.
Apple Music's Beats 1 Radio has a new spot out with Taylor Swift, and it's awesome. For one thing, Ms. Swift is singing "Jumpman" by Drake & Future (a collaboration), rather than one of her own songs. Secondly, she falls flat on her face on a treadmill. I don't know if the young super star was doing her own stunt, but I kind of hope not because it looks painful. The spot ends with the tagline "Distractingly good." Also, I found it interesting that it's on the Beats 1 Radio YouTube channel, and not Apple's main YouTube channel.
Dyncan Sinfield has posted a composite flyover video of Apple Campus 2—the so-called Spaceship HQ—that does a killer job of highlighting progress on the project. It combines footage from 2015 with current footage to just how far the construction has come. It's hard to believe that the first employees are scheduled to move in just 10 months from now. The video is in 4K [via 9to5Mac], and it also shows just how powerful drones can be.
It's April 1st, and we all know what that means: Star Wars: The Force Awakens is available on iTunes. If you've been trapped on Tatooine for the past year you may have missed that Episode 7 (or 4, if you don't believe in the prequels) came out last December and was more fun than a cantina full of Twi'lek dancers. The movie costs US$19.99 and includes extras like behind the scenes shots, deleted scenes, building BB-8, and more.
Apple continues to back its way into original programming through Apple Music with a new program from Vice magazine called The Score. The show is about local music scenes, and in a move seemed designed to illustrate that this isn't your father's MTV pop show, the first episode is about Minnesota's Native American Hip Hop scene. I didn't even know there was such a thing, so I'm already excited. This doesn't count as an Apple show, but it was made by Vice for Apple Music, and to me it's another example of Apple trying to grow the audience for Apple Music at the same as it figures out how to do original video programming. The trailer for that first episode is below, and I caught a few bits of profanity and anti-police lyrics that make it not safe for work (NSFW) and probably offensive to some. Generally speaking, Vice cares little about your sensibilities, and it leads to edgy and what I consider vital programming, whether or not I agree with any specific content. Nonetheless, view at your own discretion.
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