Archives maart 2015

The Future of Photography (According to the Trade Show)

Last weekend the annual Dutch photography trade show Professional Imaging was held, and I must watch out to not fall in the same mood as last year.

However, just like last year very little news was found at the trade show. Still an enormous amount of print companies printing wedding books and still many companies presenting cheap Chinese gadgets (and not the good ones).

So the future of photography according to this trade show lies in wedding books and filming with the help of cheap Chinese gadgets. But for the rest, almost no special attention for video, no real news about really innovative solutions for presenting your work, just the plain old same …. (fill in for yourself).

It’s still a shame that the trade show is like that, but luckily there were still enough enthousiasts with too big cameras walking around the floor with their enormous tele lenses to show off how awesome they are (and if you were they walking around like that, you are awesome!) to make my day.

Still, I wonder what this will look like in ten years, if it exists at all, since for the real news you can better check the internet.

Power Failure Back-up?

This morning a high voltage power station failed near to Amsterdam, leading to a large scale black-out for over 1 million people.

Not much new there, sh*t happens, but what really struck me (besides the fact that the railways are still failing five hours after solving the problem) was that Schiphol Airport had to divert all incoming flights for not only themselves but also for the other airports in the Netherlands, including Rotterdam-The Hague Airport.

The main issue is that you can not keep a flight in the air for as long as you want. It will run out of fuel sooner or later.

I seriously wonder why they don’t have a sufficient power back-up system at Air Traffic Control to at least make sure that you can safely land the planes at one of the airports. It shouldn’t be that hard and especially for such a vital part of air transport it is an absolute must to have a sufficient back-up.

Anything is possible: batteries, generators, you name it.

What would you suggest to them? Suggestions are welcome in the comments!

Header image: The information sign in the overly crowded bus I took to get home, stating Bus Full, taken a minute after departure. Yes, there were some sad faces at some busstops when we didn’t take them with us.

Decentralized Rest Heat Use

Some things are just such a simple but useful idea that you wonder why it didn’t happen before.

Such an example is the new eRadiator by a company called Nerdalize. This radiator is actually a big server, calculating all kinds of things for companies, thereby producing a lot of normally useless heat.

However, with the eRadiator this heat is used to heat up a home, thereby finally making good use of this heat. Energy company Eneco has started a real life test in five homes for this new technique, and I’m curious to see what will follow.

Still, I believe that it’s also a good idea to make these servers more energy efficient, but still it’s a really cool and immediately applicable idea.

Header image by Eneco

Saying Farewell

Sometimes you have to do sad things. It’s part of life, and although it may feel …. (feel free to fill in your own word here), it has to be done.

On the plus side, I got to wear my suit and this somewhat magically viewed appeared to me while changing.

2015-03-19 11.51.52


To quote mr. Cruyff, Every downside has an upside.


Next Level USB Charging

Last week Apple made  a somewhat surprising move: It introduced the new MacBook (that’s not the surprise) with only one USB 3.0 port (and one audio jack). Surprise! That’s all there is.

This move can be seen a quite surprising since Apple has been a long time fan of their own developed Thunderbolt technology. However, they seem to have accepted that it’s easier to use standards at this point, opposed to trying to be different all the time (remember the USB standard charger they signed up for?)

This move might mean that the new USB 3.0 type C will become the official standard for charging laptops in the coming years, thereby ultimately reducing the related problems with chargers, and eventually allowing you to charge directly from your USB wall plug (that is, until wireless charging really takes off).

Still, I sincerely hope that it will grow further and that in a few years many more computers will be able to charge via USB, making almost all portable devices chargeable via USB.

Bringing User Testing to the User

Whenever designing something new, it is important to involve the users of your new product. Our National Railways (NS) take this very seriously, when it comes to ordering new sprinter trains.

Right now they offer all travellers the opportunity to test three types of new seats for these trains at the Rotterdam Central Station. Everyone can then vote for it, thereby choosing their favorite one.

NS has promised that the votes of the people will have a significant influence on the final decision, making this a very good example of user influenced innovation.

Even though the choice is fairly small (3 options), it is already a big step forward involving all users of the train, so not only the train drivers.

So how can you involve all of your users in your innovation process? And try to think further than the normal users; take one step deeper and make it as easy as possible for them to test it.

This will make your users more happy, so give it a try!

Flying on the Power of the Sun

Today one of the most awesome projects that has happened to the aviation industry has started. A plane run only on solar energy will try to fly around the world.

The entire plane is covered in solar cells, making it the first zero fuel plane to fly around the world (hopefully). At least the idea is very cool and this can show the potential for the use of solar energy in regular airplanes.

This doesn’t mean that normal planes should be designed just like this, but a hybrid version might be a very good opportunity, where part of the electrical power for the plane comes from the sun.

To follow the route of the plane yourself, take a look over at, where the team posts all updates related to the plane, as well as realtime flight information.

I’m excited to see what this will bring to the rest of the aviation world.

Wind Tower

The Eiffel Tower in Paris has been a landmark for the city for over a decade. And a large user of energy over the past years.

However, currently they are working hard on creating a far more sustainable version of the tower. Not only are they putting LED lights on the tower instead of the current ones, but also (which is way cooler in my opinion) they’ve put two small wind turbines in the middle of the tower to produce part of their own energy.

Although these two are quite small, they still manage to produce enough electricity to power the shops on the first floor of the tower, making the tower a bit more self-sufficient.

This case is also a very fine example of integrating new technology in an old ‘building’, since they painted the turbines so they match the tower, showing that old can meet new very well.

So what building can undergo such a makeover in your city?