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2

LONDONS
HARDWARE
BOOM

SOLVED!
THE
GLOBAL
FOOD
CRISIS
OCT 14
WIRED.CO.UK

www.omegawatches.com

THE DARK SIDE OF THE MOON


The Apollo 8 astronauts were the first people to see the dark side of the moon
with their own eyes. The black ceramic [ZrO2] Co-Axial Speedmaster salutes
the pioneering spirit that took them to a place no human had ever been and
it pays homage to the Speedmaster Professional chronographs worn by every
Apollo astronaut. OMEGA is a proud partner in mankinds greatest dreams.

PHOTOGRAPHY: COVER; GARY SALTER. THIS PAGE: CHRIS CRISMAN

10 / 14 / CONTENTS / 009

Caleb Harper, founder of the


CityFARM project at
MIT, with some aeroponically
grown vegetables

122

122

138

Server farm

Power Plant

Grown in incubators inside


MITs Media Lab, Caleb
Harpers vegetables could
solve the global food crisis

When BMW began making


electric cars, it also
rethought what its Leipzig
factory should be

108

132

146

Design special

World-conquering AI

We are science

Ron Arad has constantly


refreshed his creative vision.
Here, he shares his rules
for innovative thinking

Theres a new AI rm from


the creators of Apples Siri
but its just one in a wave of
intelligent AI startups

How do you get the general


public interested in scientic
research? You turn it into a
game they cant stop playing

10 / 14 / CONTENTS / 011

PHOTOGRAPHY: DAVID VINTINER. ILLUSTRATION: HARRIET LEE-MERRION

020

057

The Keystone oil pipeline will transport


extracted fossil fuel from the tar sands of
Alberta. But is it worth the trouble?

Sun-inspired lighting; smashable vases;


plastic Eames chair; fridge-freezers
on test; magnetic table; granite sofa

025

070

092

Next time you get upgraded, reect


that your luxurious private cabin
was probably designed in London

Shaw Warren; Will Potter;


Vincent Deary; Michael Mainelli;
Ben Ambridge

Sculpture just got sweeter, thanks to


Chinese artist Ren Ri and his army of bees.
Together, they create bizarre new forms

043

081

101

From Airbnb to Zynga, Ben Horowitz,


founder-entrepreneur at Andreessen
Horowitz, explains what catches his eye

Taiwanese artist Shih Chieh Huang


makes glowing robotic sea creatures
using Arduinos and everyday objects

William Poundstone, author of How to


Predict the Unpredictable, on outsmarting
big data and beating multiple-choice tests

START
The tar-sands swirl

START
A bit of home at 11,000m

START
The prophet of hard things

GEAR
Interiors special

IDEAS BANK
Brain food and provocations

PLAY
Deep-sea robots

Clockwise from
left: Analytic
craftswoman
Hilda Hellstrm;
a 3D-printed
Generico chair;
Vincent Deary says
we must decide
to make more
effective decisions

089
PLAY
Puzzle master

Author James Frey is rewriting the rules for


young-adult publishing and if you solve the
puzzle in his new book, you win $500,000

PLAY
Art buzz

HOW TO
Life enhancement

Science editor Joo Medeiros


Product editor Jeremy White
Associate editor Madhumita Venkataramanan
Assistant editor Oliver Franklin
Intern Kathryn Nave
Picture editor Steve Peck
Deputy picture editor Dalia Nassimi
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Art editor Ben Fraser
Deputy app director Amanda Beer
App assistant Michael McCormack
Tablet producer Lauren Hogan
Chief sub-editor Mike Dent
Deputy chief sub-editor Simon Ward
wired.co.uk
Deputy editor Olivia Solon
Reporter Liat Clark
Junior staff writer Katie Collins
Intern Chris Higgins
Contributing editors Dan Ariely, David Baker,
Ian Daly, Ben Beaumont-Thomas, Rachel Botsman,
Daniel Cossins, Russell M Davies,
Ben Hammersley, Adam Higginbotham, Jeremy Kingsley,
Daniel Nye Grifths, Emily Peck, Ed Yong
Director of editorial administration and rights Harriet Wilson
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Albert Read
Managing director

Nicholas Coleridge
WIRED, 13 Hanover Square, London W1S 1HN
Please contact our editorial team via the following email addresses:
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Directors: Jonathan Newhouse (chairman and chief executive),
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WIRED LOGO: BRENT CLARK. THE COLLAGES REPRESENT THE BREADTH OF WIREDS SUBJECTS. MATERIALS: (W) A KIWI PLANT AND SOME IVY; (I) A 1966 COWBOY ANNUAL; (R) A VICTORIAN SCIENCE PHOTOGRAPHIC
ANNUAL FOUND AT A FLEA MARKET, (E) WOOD FROM OLD FENCING; (D) SEVENTIES PENGUIN BOOK COVERS. THESE WERE GLUED AND STITCHED TOGETHER WITH THE HELP OF A LIGHT BOX AND THEN SCANNED AT 600DPI

Editor David Rowan


Creative director Andrew Diprose
Executive editor Greg Williams
Managing editor Duncan Baizley
wired.co.uk editor Nate Lanxon

clinique.co.uk Clinique Laboratories, LLC

Theres a science to looking good.

Clinique For Men. Where dermatological know-how meets common sense.


Specialised skin care formulas help give your skin exactly what it needs to look its best,
be its healthiest. Every day. Allergy Tested. 100% Fragrance Free.

014 / WHAT ELSE WIRED GOT UP TO L AST MONTH

OFF-PAGE
PRINT

FEEDBACK

Time now ies at airports

If the wind is southerly


can you tell a Hawk
from a handsaw?

Steiglers miss some flights and be more


productive theory (Ideas Bank, 08.14): surely
this only makes sense if you assume all time
spent in airports is unproductive? When Steigler
said this in the 80s there was likely more truth
to it, but as a digitally connected traveller,
I make my airport time extremely productive
and never miss a ight. Alex Baillie, via email

(I spy a drone in the sky, 08.14) Eric Manuel, via wired.co.uk

WIRED.CO.UK HEADLINE OF THE MONTH

Summon the
salmon! How?
With a fish cannon!

PRINT

Motherboard stupid

Lets not get overexcited

Thats what my skateboard was missing a


computer to tell me what trick I just did (Trick
tracker, 08.14). Back in my day we looked at
wheel marks on the wall to see who was doing
the biggest wallrides. Wed look at the wax on the
curbs to see who was doing the longest grinds.
The paint left on the handrails let us know if
someone slid it before. Ill pass on the computer.
Jim Lobatschewsky White III, via wired.co.uk

Yvonne Rogers predicted that the sex industry


would see the greatest changes due to wearables
and AI (The Big Question, 08.14). Separating
sexual activity from an intimate relationship
with a real person should be treated with
great caution and care. A bit of balance to the
discussion would help avoid WIRED being open
to accusations of blindly worshipping the new
and disruptive. Reverend Chris Elms, via email

NUMBER OF THE MONTH

FEEDBACK

PODCAST

REDESIGN

338

Has anyone else


noticed the
similarity between
the new World Trade
Center logo and
WIRED UKs logo?
@meaganroach_is

Theres a guy
called Klimchak
who makes music
whilst cooking. He
wants a waterproof
pair but hell have to
put some Marigolds
over them for now.
Imogen Heap on
her Mi.Mu glove
collaborators. For
more, visit wired.
co.uk/podcast

Please change the front


cover back to the matte and
textured nish Ive come
to see as synonymous with
your wonderful magazine.
Shiny gloss only cheapens
it its like covering your iPad
in a sleeve made of pine.

The amount of comments wired.co.uk story Nasa


validates impossible space drive has attracted
(so far). Conclusion: dont mess with space scientists

David Tatham, via email

ILLUSTRATION: MATT HARRISON CLOUGH

PRINT

016 / WHO MADE THIS?

CONTRIBUTORS
 MAKING WIRED / ROOFTOP ESCAPADES

WILLIAM POUNDSTONE

Chris Crisman travelled to the MIT Media Lab


in Massachusetts to photograph the future of
farming: The glow from the CityFARM growing
LEDs could be seen from across the Charles River
I wanted to capture that glow from the opposite
building. I cant go into how we were able to gain
rooftop access lets just say that the great minds
at MIT are very capable of solving problems

InHowTo,theauthorofHowtoPredictthe
Unpredictable shares his tips on beating
the system. I make contrarian decisions
several times a day, he says. I use the
rightmost seconds gures on my digital
watch. At a glance, theres a 50/50 chance
the number will be odd or even. Useful for
a strategic random l/r choice in sports.
CLARE DOWDY
The building
opposite MITs
CityFARM, from
where this shot
was taken, wasnt
just off-limits, it
was also still under
construction. Sorry,
health and safety

London-based writer Dowdy took to the


skies this month to examine the boom in
big-budgettravelinteriors.Qualityoflife
in terms of products and services has
improved so much for the well-heeled,
she says. Airlines have to, well, push the
boat out, in order to produce something
more fabulous than their rivals.
SHAW WARREN

COVERLINES
GET
STICKY!

A physician-researcher at Massachusetts General Hospitals Infectious


Disease Unit, Warren writes about the
folly of testing drugs on mice. One of the
problems with this model of drug developmentistheassumptionthatthedisease
in mice is the same as in humans, he
says. This premise might be wrong.
DAVID VINTINER

 MAKING WIRED / ALL ABOUT THE DETAILS

KEVIN GRAY

WIREDs creative director Andrew Diprose got up


close and personal with our cover star, design titan
Ron Arad: Its a risk sticking cover lines to your
subjects face what if the lines change? What if
he has terribly greasy skin? Mr Arad was a true
gent he completely bought into our concept and
was very patient with us as we covered him in bits
of paper. And, for the record, his skin is lovely.

New York-based Gray heads down to the


farm at MITs Media Lab in Massachusetts, to review the future of food grown
locally, in cities. Theres a lot of money
vested in maintaining the status quo,
from seed rms to trucking and storage,
he says. Thats why all the change is
coming from people outside the elds.

PHOTOGRAPHY: GARY SALTER; CHRIS CRISMAN

WIRED identies a slew of future design


stars to watch this issue and Vintiner
photographed one: Hilda Hellstrm.
Whenapersonisfascinatedbywhatthey
do, it always makes for a good portrait
shoot, he says. I was particularly
intrigued by her work using materials
from the Fukushima exclusion zone.

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DESIGN SPECIAL / FUTURE FARMING / 019

FROM THE
EDITOR

PHOTOGRAPHY: PHIL FISK

Along with technology and innovation,


WIRED has always been a magazine
about design. The most animated
discussions in our Hanover Square ofce
tend to be about designed experiences,
product design, interaction design,
business-model design - pretty well
anywhere a combination of talent, user
focus and empathy can create a magical
and curated experience. Which, in
its breadth, gave us our own creative
challenge: for this, our annual design
issue, who should we have on our cover?
Id met Ron Arad a few times through his connections with
the Serpentine Gallery and the Royal College of Art, but
when we got talking over a dinner in May, I realised that
here was a hybrid thinker and maker who has not stopped
reinventing his craft for decades. From furniture to buildings
to industrial products to perfume bottles, Arad has shown
that a bold approach to both interpretation and materials
can surprise, engage and delight. Plus, in his teaching
and mentoring roles at the RCA, he has inuenced more
emerging stars than any other active practitioner I could
think of. Britain has long been a world-class hub of creative
talent producing everything from fashion to motorcars.
Throughout this issue youll meet the people designing
the future whom we think youll be seeing a lot more of.
Regular readers will know that we often get glimpses
of the future through our visits to campuses such as MITs
Media Lab. The project that blew my mind on my last MIT
visit had nothing to do with robots, foldable cars or brain
probes. Instead, on the labs fth oor by the coffee machine,
was a row of incubators growing lettuces, kale, tomatoes
and strawberries. This was CityFARM, a project that has
been experimenting with hydroponic and aeroponic

BSME ART DIRECTOR OF THE YEAR, CONSUMER 2013 PPA MEDIA BRAND
OF THE YEAR, CONSUMER 2013 DMA TECHNOLOGY MAGAZINE OF THE
YEAR 2012 DMA EDITOR OF THE YEAR 2012 BSME EDITOR OF THE YEAR,
SPECIAL INTEREST 2012 D&AD AWARD: COVERS 2012 DMA EDITOR OF
THE YEAR 2011 DMA MAGAZINE OF THE YEAR 2011 DMA TECHNOLOGY
MAGAZINE OF THE YEAR 2011 BSME ART DIRECTOR OF THE YEAR,
CONSUMER 2011 D&AD AWARD: ENTIRE MAGAZINE 2011 D&AD AWARD:
COVERS 2010 MAGGIES TECHNOLOGY COVER 2010 PPA DESIGNER
OF THE YEAR, CONSUMER 2010 BSME LAUNCH OF THE YEAR 2009

ways to grow crops right at the point of consumption.


Over lunches, Media Lab students would eat locally
produced salad that was organic, nutrient optimised and
had not travelled long distances. And that, says project
founder Caleb Harper, might just be the way to solve the
impending global food crisis.
Harper who himself grew up on a ranch claims that
this method for growing crops is 70 to 90 per cent more
water-efficient than conventional farming, uses 60 per
cent less fertiliser and zero pesticide, and produces ripe
fruit and veg far quicker than conventional agriculture.
But what hed really like to do, he told me, is to buy
a cheap skyscraper in Detroit maybe around an $800,000
cost at current rates and turn it into a vertical farm.
Gotta love creative design thinking

David Rowan

Sarah van Gameren


and Tim Simpson
of Studio Glithero,
and their print-press
paper aeroplanes

NEWS & OBSESSIONS / EDITED BY MADHUMITA VENKATARAMANAN / 021

PHOTOGRAPHY: COLIN FINLAY

The tar
sand
swirls

These pretty patterns are


tar sands in Alberta, Canada,
origin of the Keystone oilpipeline system and target
of heavyweight criticism
from scientists. Tar sands
are the dirtiest step into
the world of unconventional
fossil fuels, claims climate
scientist and professor
at Columbia University,
James Hansen. A proposed
extension means 830,000
barrels of this oil would ow
daily across the Canada-US
border to Steele City,
Nebraska, 1,897km away.
Extracting the oil involves
mining vast tracts of land,
leaving reservoirs of toxic
waste. Tar sands are much
worse than conventional oil,
because it requires a lot of
extra energy to get them out
of the ground and process
them, says Hansen.
Owner TransCanadas
spokesperson, Davis
Sheremata, demurs: New
data shows the oil sands
are not much worse than
conventional oil. There are
a number of conventionally
produced oils with a
higher carbon intensity,
including oil from
countries such as Nigeria.
Hansen is not alone in
his opposition, though.
More than 100 scientists and
economists jointly signed
a letter to the White House
in April. This is a place
where we cannot go if we
hope to leave a healthy
planet for our young people,
he adds. Kathryn Nave
keystone-xl.com

SHOT BY CUSTOMER: CHUCK PATTERSON

Wear it. Mount it. Love it.


GoPro
GoPr
o App

gopro.madison.co.uk

PERSONAL DIGITAL OBJECTS / START / 023

DESIGN FOR LIFE

The creator of the Fitbit wants to encourage long-term tech relationships

PHOTOGRAPHY: JASON MADARA

ADI AMIT LIKES TO CREATE


loveable objects. We want people to
cherish our products for years, because
they are delightful, but also part of a
new lifestyle, says Amit (right). His San
Francisco-basedstudio,NewDealDesign,
creates personal digital objects such as
the Fitbit one of the rst mass-market
consumertrackingdevices,aprecursorto
the wearables industry. Next up: Project
Ara Googles concept modular smartphone, which has been opened up to
developersandhasa2015targetrelease.
You can swap your phones hardware
components pick your own camera,
putinahigh-performingprocessingunit
or a larger battery, says Amit, whose
studioistheleaddesigneroftheproject.
Its reimagining your mobile device.
Amit comes from a family of Israeli
architects, but never felt connected
to buildings. They were too cerebral.
I wanted things I could hold in my hand
and be tactile with, he says. Being
obsessed with electronics and cars,
he decided to be an industrial designer.
In 1985 I saw my rst Apple Macintosh
and it looked almost human to me, I fell
in love with it, he says. I loved how
digital electronics could be a constant
companion to humans, so thats what
Ive been doing for the last 30 years.
Besides the Fitbit, Amit also designed
the Lytro a camera created in a
Stanford laboratory, which allows you
to adjust the focus of a picture after it
has been taken. I saw a poster detailing
the most influential cameras of the
last 150 years the last two were the
iPhone camera and the Lytro, which
are both completely different from
regular cameras, Amit says. It's a
powerful testament to the power of
design. He is now working on more
sophisticated wearables that can detect
biological functions, such as cardiovascular health data, biorhythms,
metabolism and brain activity. Our
studio takes unknown technologies and
buildsnewmarketsforthem,Amitsays.
The people here are beyond designers
who create the look of an object they
are architects of a digital lifestyle.
MV newdealdesign.com

A NEW
CLASS OF
PRODUCT:
GADI AMITS
DESIGNS

FITBIT
Originally aimed at
health-conscious
women, the Fitbit
got data-logging
to go mainstream.

LYTRO CAMERA
Its light-eld tech
allows users to
adjust the focus of
their photos after
theyve been taken.

PROJECT ARA
A Google project to
be released in 2015,
the Ara phone
uses swappable
components.

At 24 years
old a humans
cognitive motor
performance has
reached its peak.
How can your business tap
into youthful knowledge?
Well show you.
Presentations / Workshops
Reports / Events / Design

020 7152 3196


CONSULTING@WIRED.CO.UK

CABIN CRAFT / START / 025

A bit of
home at
11,000m

Next time you get upgraded,


reect that the cabin was
probably designed in London

FLYING IN ETIHAD AIRWAYS PRIVATE FIRST-CLASS EN-SUITE BEDROOM, WHICH

FACTORYDESIGN

launches this December? It was designed in London, by Acumen Design Associates and
Factorydesign. Thai Airways, South African Airways and Cathay Pacic have sought out London
designers, too. The pre-eminence of the UK in design education gives the British industry
an edge when it comes to dening functioning interiors, says Peter Tennent, cofounder of
Factorydesign. In fact, the cabins for several airlines worldwide were created by four London
design rms Priestmangoode, JPA Design, Acumen Design Associates and Factorydesign.
Our motor- and racing-car industries are great at high-quality, low-quantity production,
says Paul Priestman, director of Priestmangoode. Londons four main aviation consultancies,
he says, borrow from that heritage. Heres a glimpse into how they work. Clare Dowdy

JPA DESIGN

With a background in
architecture and interior
design, JPA Designs founder
James Park has built a
reputation for designing
on-board areas that make
the best use of limited
space. Cabins have a nite
volume and airlines are keen
to maximise their products
to provide as much as they
can for their passengers,
says Park. For Singapore
Airlines investment in its
new Boeing 777-300ERs,
Park has created the ultimate
business-class cabin
with lie-at seating and

walk-up bar. These projects


are spearheaded by JPAs
dedicated transportation
team, which follows mobility
trends and adapts them
for aircraft design. Park
rst made his name with
rail projects such as the
Orient Express. Since then,
his client list has included
Cathay Pacic, Japan
Airlines, US Airways and
American Airlines.
Coming up: JPA will start to
design airport lounges and
cabin interiors for Air China
over the next two years.
jpadesign.com

Above: Etihads
The Residence,
one of which will
be installed on
each of its A380s
Left: the new
business-class
cabin seat in
Singapore Airlines
Boeing 777-300ER

Tablet extra!
Download the WIRED
app to see the
designers sketches

A newcomer to the
sector, Factorydesign
has landed its biggest
client so far with
Etihad Airways. This
layout was achieved
by using a 5mm-thick
lightweight material
called E-leather. At
just 30kg per triple
seat, it reduces overall
seat weight by about
950kg, which in turn
could save $150,000$200,000 (88,000117,000) a year in
fuel. Founded in 1997
by designers Peter
Tennent, Adrian Berry
and Adam White,
it has worked with
luxury brands such as
Mont Blanc. We have
learnt to understand
the intimacy between
people and the objects
or world around them,
says Tennent.
Coming up: Cabin
interiors for Four
Seasons Hotels
luxury jet, launching
in February 2015.
factorydesign.co.uk

026 / START / CABIN CRAFT / ELEPHANT VIBES

ACUMEN DESIGN
ASSOCIATES

Acumen has
more than 15
patented airline
products ying
more than any of
its competitors,
claims founder
Ian Dryburgh. Its
latest project was
installing divan-style
rst-class beds for
Etihad Airways. The
bed mechanism
with retracting and
rotating lap belts
is made to t into a
volume 3.8cm thick,
to maximise the
under-bed stowage.
A former automotive
designer, Dryburgh
devised British
Airways rst
bed in the sky.
Coming up: Acumen
is negotiating with
airlines to launch
its business-class
seat which converts
into the length of
standard rst-class
beds while allowing
for a high-density
cabin layout.
acumen-da.com

PRIESTMANGOODE

The biggest
UK player in
this sector,
Priestmangoode
has a London
staff of 50. We
have worked for
more airlines
and aircraft
manufacturers
than anyone else,
says cofounder
Paul Priestman.
Top: Acumens Aura
business-class seats
Above: Air Frances
new rst-class beds

This includes
Lufthansa,
Malaysia Airlines
and Qatar
Airways. It also
collaborates
with aircraft
suppliers and
manufacturers
such as Airbus,
Boeing and B/E
Aerospace to sell
new concepts to
airlines. Its big
break was building
Virgin Atlantics
rst at-bed seat,
pioneering a new

type of luxury
long-haul comfort.
Coming up: Air
Frances new
rst-class at
beds, which are
over 2m long
and 77cm wide,
due to their
fully retractable
armrests.
priestmangoode.
com

American ecologist
and hearing specialist
Caitlin OConnellRodwell is developing a
new hearing aid inspired
by elephants. Along
with sound, elephants
pick up groundbased vibrations, as
the skin of their feet
and trunks contains
mechanoreceptors
that can sense them.
We [humans] have the
same ability to detect
vibrations, but people
with normal hearing
dont focus on it, says
OConnell-Rodwell.
She has partnered
with HNU Photonics,
a research company
based on Maui, Hawaii,
to develop a patch that
adheres to the skin; this
transduces sound into
vibrations, which the
brain interprets as
a kind of Braille or Morse
code. When participants
touch the device, tiny
electromagnets vibrate.
Mechanoreceptors
sense the vibrations,
and send signals
to the brain.
It turns out that the
vibrotactile sense of
the hearing-impaired
is more pronounced
than that of people with
normal hearing, because
their brains process the
stimuli in the unused
auditory cortex. Theres
a big population that
is underserved and
could benet from the
same use of vibrations
as elephants. Joseph
Bennington-Castro
caitlineoconnell.com

ILLUSTRATION: CAJSA HOLGERSSON

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FUEL CONSUMPTION FIGURES FOR THE NEW JEEP CHEROKEE DIESEL RANGE IN MPG (L/100KM): EXTRA URBAN 55.4 (5.1) 61.4 (4.6), URBAN 39.8 (7.1) 44.1
(6.4), COMBINED 48.7 (5.8) 53.3 (5.3), CO2 EMISSIONS: 154 139G/KM. Model shown Jeep Cherokee 2.0 diesel Limited 140hp FWD at 31,195 on the road. Promotion available on new Cherokee models registered before 30th

September 2014. With Jeep Horizon you have the option to return the vehicle and not pay the nal payment, subject to the vehicle not having exceeded an agreed annual mileage (a charge of 9p per mile for exceeding 10,000 miles per annum in this example) and being in good
condition. Term: 48 months. Final Payment: 12,143. Finance subject to status. Guarantees may be required. Terms and Conditions apply. Jeep Financial Services, PO Box 4465, Slough, SL1 0RW. *New Cherokee models will benet from complimentary servicing covering the car
for three years or 30,000 miles, including protection for the rst MOT on all qualifying retail sales. Participating dealers only. Prices and specications correct at time of going to print (08/14). Chrysler and CNH Industrial are Ofcial Global Partners of the Expo Milano 2015. To nd
out more please visit jeep.co.uk. Jeep is a registered trademark of Chrysler Group LLC.

Nokia.co.uk

Honestly
I wanted a phone for whatever life throws at me.

Nokia Lumia 930


My new Lumia 930, with OneDrive,
is for work and play. It lets me store,
access and share all of my photos,
videos and documents. And it lets
me do it on the move.

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Price may vary. Internet connection required. Apps available from Windows Phone Store.

SEISMIC SCANNING / SOCIAL PHONEBOOK / START / 029

PHOTOGRAPHY: ANTOINE DOYEN. ILLUSTRATION: ANDREW ROBERTS

EOPHYSICIST KARIN SIGLOCH IS


using earthquake tremors to study some
of the oldest geological structures on the
planet. In 2012, her team deployed 57
broadband ocean-bottom seismometers
in the Indian Ocean around the island of
Runion,tostudyhowthe530,000-year-old
volcano Piton de La Fournaise was formed.
The sensors capture everything,
says Sigloch (right), a researcher at the
UniversityofOxford.Theyhearwhalesand
cyclones, but we need to lter them out to
captureourprimaryinterest:earthquakes.
Sigloch, a former electrical engineer
who studied at Bell Labs in Murray Hill,
New Jersey, uses her knowledge of signal
processing to bring a different perspective
to geological problems. During her PhD,
she developed algorithms that translated
seismic data into 3D visualisations for the
rst time. I couldnt understand why the
visualisations of the interior of the Earth
were so primitive, says Sigloch. When
medical doctors scan brains, they see in
verysophisticated3D.Wehadnoneofthat.
In 2013, she translated seismic data into
a 3D picture of the Earths interior, which
resulted in a completely new theory of
how North America was formed. We saw
a lot of new stuff in what was supposed to
be the best explored region in the natural
world, says Sigloch. She suggests, for

PHONE
CONTACTS
GETTING
FRIENDLY

Chasing earthquakes
Want to scan our planets core in 3D? Karin Sigloch has
found a way to turn tremors into visualisations of Earth

Above: geophysicist
Karin Sigloch, near
Le Port, Runion,
where her research
ship was anchored
Right: a 3D render
made from waterdepth soundings
of the ocean floor
around Mauritius

instance, that the mountain ranges in


the western part of North America were
created when the continent collided with
island chains that existed in the Pacific
Ocean 200 million years ago.
Next, Sigloch also wants to deploy more
seismometers in the ocean floor. Its
harder to do science looking inside our
planet than looking at the skies, she says.
Space is transparent and electromagnetic waves travel easily. To look into the
interior of the Earth, we have to [harness]
earthquake waves, but they are sparse.
We need to look in the oceans. JM earth.
ox.ac.uk/people/proles/academic/karins

6,000m

0m

San Francisco-based entrepreneur Ankur Jain, 24, wants to transform your phones address book and
create a new operating system in the process. His free iOS app, Humin, which launched in August, throws
out the alphabet. Instead, your contacts are ranked according to their relationship with you geography,
time of day, how often you speak, where you rst met and so on. When I land in London, my friends there
pop up, rather than me seeing Aaron every time I open my phone, says Jain. Humin creates a relationship
network from your email, LinkedIn, Google Calendar and Facebook networks. We also build the language
graph of how you know these people, Jain says. So you can search for person who I met through Madhu
at the WIRED ofce in London last week. All your personal data stays on your phone, so Humin doesnt
store any private information. Its not just a better contacts platform. We want to make a social operating
system and put real-world human interactions into searchable context. Good call. MV humin.com

RITONS COUNT SEX AS

EATS
INTERNATIONAL

exercise, Italians dance to stay in


shape and Danes love to bike. This
is according to data crunched by
Swedish weight-loss app Lifesum,
which analysed the health habits of
A Swedish calorie-counting app mined
100,000 registered users from their
data from its purchasers to see
database of 6.5 million downloads.
The iOS and Android app, which
who really is eating all the pies in Europe
asks users to enter what they eat
and how they exercise daily, has
Tablet extra!
collected over one million data points from its users around the world.
Download the WIRED
So, at WIREDs request, Lifesum trawled its data banks to compare the food and exercise
app to see Sweden, Italy
and Germanys results
habits of the UK, Sweden, Italy, Germany and Denmark for our infographic.
I was surprised that less than ten per cent of our users in each country logged running, even
though its one of the easiest ways to stay in shape, says Lifesum nutritionist Lovisa Nilsson.
Theres more walking and bicycling these are in the top-three exercises for every country.
So who comes out as healthiest? Denmark eats dark bread, a lot of root and green vegetables
and fruit these are high in bre, which is why they have the lowest calorie intake, says
Nilsson. Bottom of the list are Germany and the UK The Germans eat a lot of deli and
luncheon meats, which are high in saturated fats and salt; the British count chocolate and
crisps in their top-ten foods. (Here, weve compared the best and worst countries for you.)
Next, the rm wants to give you personalised advice on improving your tness routines.
Were crunching the data to help you change your daily behaviours, says Lifesums CEO
Henrik Torstensson. Put down the cake, and pick up your smartphone. MV lifesum.com

DENMARK

EXERCISES

BIKING
JOGGING / RUNNING
PILATES
SEX
SHOPPING
STRENGTH
WALKING

DATA CRUNCHED / START / 031

FOOD

APPLES, BANANAS & PEARS

DARK BREAD

BREAKFAST CEREAL

EGGS

CHEESE

GREEN VEGETABLES

CHICKEN

MILK

CHOCOLATE

ROOT VEGETABLES

COFFEE & TEA

WHITE BREAD

CRISPS & POPCORN

YOGHURT

UNITED KINGDOM

FOOD

EXERC
IS
E
INFOGRAPHIC: VALERIO PELLEGRINI

S
AVERAGE
ERAGE CALORIE
INTAKE PER DAY

I N F O P O R N

AVERAGE CALORIES
BURNED PER DAY

1986 Panda symbol WWF WWF is a WWF Registered Trademark

HELP
SAVE
THE
LAPTOP
Your laptop needs help. Most of the worlds laptops are made in the Yangtze
River region. But the pressure of global demand has left the regions natural
resources stretched and unable to cope. In partnership with the Chinese
government, WWF helped create a sustainable development model for the
region, which is home to the iconic giant panda, as well as some 480 million
people. Together, we are revitalizing an ecosystem that can support both
people and nature. Help us look after the world where you live at panda.org

Fishing boat, Hunan Province, China.


Edward Parker / WWF-Canon

WIND-FARM FITTER / START / 033


The Bold Terns
four giant legs
move at a rate
of 40cm per
minute and can
each support
5,300 tonnes

PHOTOGRAPHY: WOLFHRAD SCHEER/AREVA. ILLUSTRATION: ACUTE GRAPHICS

O INSTALLTHE HALIADE 150-6MW

RAISE THE TITANIC


TURBINE

the worlds largest offshore wind


turbine Oslo-based engineering
rm Fred. Olsen Windcarrier brought
out its star performer. Jack-up
installation vessel the Bold Tern
Need to x a 150-metre
has four 78-metre-long retractable
wide propeller in
legs that push down on to the ocean
the middle of the North
oor before hauling its 18,000-tonne
Sea? Youre gonna
hull 19 metres clear of the water.
need a bigger boat
An on-board crane with a 24-metre
outreach then stacks the three sections
of the turbines 100-metre tower on
to a pre-installed foundation, followed by its three 73-metre blades. With crew members
positioned at the top of the tower to receive the blades, there is extremely low tolerance for
motion, explains Petter Syland, Fred. Olsen Windcarriers engineering manager. When
installation is complete, the ship withdraws its legs while ushing jets of water beneath the
feet each the size of an average house to prevent suction trapping them in place.
The Bold Tern, which is currently with sister ship the Brave Tern at a wind-farm installation
in the North Sea, came into service in 2013; the Haliade 150-6MW prototype installation has
been its biggest challenge yet. No previous track record for the offshore installation of this
turbine was available, explains Syland. The vessel had to jack up right to its limit to allow
sufficient lifting height. We were working higher than ever before. KN windcarrier.com

HOW TO
INSTALL A
GIANT
PROPELLER

POSITION

Three Voith
Schneider propellers
rotate on a vertical
axis to enable
the Bold Tern to
move into position.

PRE-LOAD

The legs are lowered


in pairs, placing half
the vessels weight
on to each and
pushing them down
into the sea oor.

JACK UP

The Bold Tern lifts


itself by inserting
a series of four
moving pins per
leg into holes
along their length.

INSTALL

A crane wrapped
around one leg
stacks the tower
sections, followed
by the generator and
three turbine blades.

JACK DOWN

After installation, the


same mechanism
used to lift the vessel
is reversed to lower it
and withdraw the legs
from the sea bed.

034 / START / FUTURE FUEL / CRAYOL A FACTORY

JET
FUEL
FROM
WATER
Researching for the
US Navy isnt all
paperwork therere
explosions and
remote-controlled
aeroplanes, too

H E B E S T T H I N G A B O U T W O R K I N G F O R T H E U S N AV Y ,
according to chemist Heather Willauer, is developing new technologies. That and access to the toy cupboard. One of her projects involved
50-tonne blasts of TNT and water mist. That was great, watching that go
kaboom, she says. Willauer is busy turning seawater into jet fuel. See, the
ingredients for vehicle-powering hydrocarbons exist in every drop of
seawater hydrogen (in the form of H20) and carbon (as CO2). But nobody knew how to separate and collect the stuff.
Willauer, the principal investigator for the US Naval Research Laboratory, has been working on the problem since 2006,
and in April her team synthesised a batch of fuel, put it in a remote-controlled plane with an internal combustion engine
(above), and held their breath. The plane ew. This means aircraft carriers may one day be able to use power from their
nuclear reactors to zap molecules from the ocean and recombine them into fuel for their ghters. While the liquid to propel
them is still in the R&D stage, Willauer says a person holding a vial of fuel rened from the sea wont be able to tell it
from the stuff thats pulled from the ground and the jets wont know the difference either. Matt Jancer nrl.navy.mil

Above: US Navy
researcher
Heather Willauer
with a model
P-51 Mustang MkII

How Crayola makes crayons


The rst box of Crayolas
rolled off the production
line 101 years ago, and today
the companys Easton,
Pennsylvania, factory turns
out 12 million crayons a day.
We maintain the process
as though we were making
food, says Dave Farkas,
manager of manufacturing
quality assurance at the
plant. Makes sense, given
how likely its consumers are
to put the product in their
mouths. Heres how Crayola
makes the iconic (but
inedible) sticks. Elise Craig

JUMPING
THE TREND
The sharing
economy can also
come in handy
for the one per
cent. Flyblade
lets holidayers
share helicopters
to the Hamptons;
YachtPlus lets
you divvy up a
superyacht; at
Jumpseat, you
can carpool in
private jets;
and 3rdHome is
Airbnb for luxury
homes. But your
butler already
knew that.

1. MELT

2. MIX

Twice a week,
freight trains full
of uncoloured
parafn wax visit
the factory. An
oil-lled boiler
heats the train
cars with steam,
and the gloop is
pumped into silos
that hold up to
4,535kg of wax
each. The plant
empties a silo
nearly every day.

From the silos,


the wax moves to
the mix kettles.
Operators add
strengthening
additive and
powdered
pigment. The
amount varies
by the saturation
and opacity of the
colour yellow
requires a few kg
per 113kg batch;
black a lot more.

3. POUR

Pumps move the


newly coloured
liquid into a attopped, watercooled steel
rotary mould
with 110 crayonshaped cavities.
An ejection
station spits out
the crayons, and
a robotic arm
carries them
to the labelling
operation.

4. L ABEL

Crayons are fed


into a big metal
drum, where they
get labels and
adhesive. They
are then stored
by colour in
inventory boxes.
3
5. PACK

ROYGBIV colours
come off the
line every day,
but exotics
periwinkle, say
must wait until
the factory is
making larger
packs. Then
operators feed
the sticks into
funnels, which
drop one of
each colour on
to a platform so
a mechanical arm
can sweep them
into a box.
4

PHOTOGRAPHY: ROBYN TWOMEY, BRYAN DERBALLA


ILLUSTRATION: GIACOMO GAMBINERI

6. SCAN

A laser etches
a date code on
the cardboard,
and a metal
detector makes
sure nothing
but crayon is
inside. Then,
robotic packing
machines bundle
the boxes on to
pallets, or into the
cardboard display
cases that await
lucky children
in the school
classroom.

036 / START / KEPLERS PL ANET-SPOT TING / EXCITING IDEAS

WAVES OF DATA
FROM SPACE

Nasas Kepler spacecraft has spent more than ve years


peering at stars, looking for exoplanets. Heres what it saw

THESE ARE THE ORBITS OF EVERY POTENTIAL


habitable planet in our galaxy detected by the Nasa Kepler
mission all 233 of them. Created by University of California,
Berkeley astronomer Alex Harrison Parker, the visualisation
depicts only planets whose distance from a star allows the
formation of water, and displays each orbit over the course
of 1,000 days as a sine wave. A complete orbit runs from peak
to peak; the width of the line represents the planets size.
Kepler monitors over 100,000 stars continuously,
Parker explains. Periodically, there are very small dips
in the brightness of the star as a candidate planet passes
in front. The duration between those events tells us
how long it takes the planet to complete a single orbit.

E A R LY A D O P T E R S
WHATS EXCITING

JUDE OWER

Founder and CEO,


Playmob
The Aether Cone
is currently top of
my wish list. With
its simple, elegant
design and built-in
smartness, the Cone
is a device which will
make life that little bit
better. Its a speaker
which links directly
to your streamed
music services and
learns, within a matter
of days, what you
listen to and when, and
a host of your other
music preferences.
WHATS EXCITING

DEANA MURFITT

Chief people ofcer,


Unruly Media
Now that were
heading for winter,
Ill be using my
LitePod Compact
whenever Im working
at my desk early in
the mornings. This
desktop-sized SAD
lamp helps me to
counter the body-clock
confusion caused
by using [electronic]
devices late at night,
and will improve my
mood and productivity
as we approach the
months of darkness.
WHATS EXCITING

HUSSEIN KANJI

Founding partner,
Hoxton Ventures

Kepler launched
in 2009 and is still
going, despite two
malfunctioning
reaction wheels

This visualisation allows astronomers to estimate a range of


information about the planets, including mass and temperature,
and has led to the discovery of one potentially Earth-like planet,
Kepler-186f. But Parker stresses that habitability is not as simple as
a planets distance from its star. Venus is in the habitable zone, he
explains. But because of its atmosphere, its totally uninhabitable.
Although Keplers original mission was interrupted in May
2013 by a system failure, the planet search continues. For
one thing there is still a wealth of data to be analysed 3,257
candidates remain to be conrmed as actual planets. And in May,
Nasa announced the start of a new mission, K2, which uses solar
winds to stabilise the telescope, allowing it to continue searching
out planets. Good hunting, Kepler. KN alexharrisonparker.com

I used to be a diehard BlackBerry user.


Why? Its keyboard
I couldnt get used to
virtual keyboards. My
entrepreneurs used
to tease me. The Typo
Keyboard gives me
the best of BlackBerry
(physical keys) on
the best smartphone
platform (iOS). Despite
legal difculties
(BlackBerry has tried
to ban them), you can
nd Typos on eBay.
Harry Lambert

038 / START / SMART WHEELCHAIR / APPS OF THE MONTH

J A PA N E S E D E S I G N E R S AT O S H I S U G I E WA N T S T O R E D E S I G N T H E
wheelchair; but rst he had to reinvent the wheel. We created a front wheel made up of 24
smaller ones, so it can make very tight turns, explains the CEO and cofounder of WHILL.
The California-based startup wants to transform the everyday lives of wheelchair users
an estimated 1.2 million of whom live in the UK.
WHILL has created the Type-A (pictured), with two omniwheels mounted at the front of
its 60cm-wide frame, giving a turning radius of just 71cm. The four-wheel drive can traverse
grass and gravel, and is controlled by a mouse rather than a joystick. Users can also adjust the
chair remotely using a smartphone app. Sugie claims the battery will last for 19km at speeds
up to 10kph, and that the chair gives users a more active posture thanks to its raised sliding
seat. We wanted to combat the negative association with illness or weakness, he says. I met
ayoungboywhosaidhegaveupgoingtoschoolbecausehewasembarrassedbyhiswheelchair.
The $9,500 (5,600) Type-A will be released in the US this autumn; due to US Food and
Drug Administration wheelchair regulations, the rst 250 will be sold as personal mobility
devices. A second model for medical use, called Type-M, is currently being developed.
Sugie hopes to launch it in the US, Japan and Europe in 2015. The wheelchair hasnt
changed for more than 80 years, says Sugie. That is too long. OF whill.jp

Mobility with
desirability

APPS OF THE MONTH


FLY

WIRED

The most exciting video


editor for iOS. Wirelessly sync
up to four iPhones for easy
multicam, shoot picturein-picture movies, edit a
voiceover commentary into
your existing clips, and more.
iOS, free with in-app
payments editonthey.com
DINNERTIME

Kids playing smartphone


games at school? Spouse
texting through dinner? This
app is your remote-controlled
kill-switch. Set time limits
and remotely disable devices
from your own phone.
iOS, Android, free & paid
dinnertimeapp.com

The Type-As wheels


let it clear curbs
up to 7.5cm high

STREETHUB

London-based StreetHub
collects the vibrancy of the
capitals myriad independent
retailers the quirky, the
artsy, the crafty and
bakes them into a one-stop
shopping app. Think indie,
but for the mainstream.
iOS, free streethub.com

Satoshi Sugies four-wheel-drive chair is


controlled by mouse and can talk to your phone

PARALLELS ACCESS
0

Mac or PC left at home or


the ofce? Creators of the
Parallels virtual operating
system software have a
mobile app that lets you
access your computer from
the bus, train or beach.
iOS, Android, free (plus
subscription) parallels.com
JUICES

British nutritionist and


juicepert (thats juice
expert for those new to
this columns portmanteaus)
Natalie Savona has
contributed 400 fruity drink
creations to this smart
but simple recipe app.
iOS, 2.99 aimermedia.com
FISH OUT OF WATER

WEIRD

Weve found this game has


made recent commutes
as fun as they were when
Fruit Ninja rst came out.
Made by the same studio, it
involves hurling sh across
the sea for scores given
by virtual crabs. iOS, free
halfbrick.com Nate Lanxon

PHOTOGRAPHY: GARRY MCLEOD

IF EXPECT THE UNEXPECTED WERENT SO EXPECTED,


WED SAY THATS EXACTLY WHAT TO EXPECT.
The 2015 International CES. Four days of business, innovation
and exactly what you didnt expect. Register at CESweb.org.

JAN. 6-9, 2015


LAS VEGAS, NEVADA
CESWEB.ORG
#CES2015

040 / START / EXTREME ENTREPRENEURS / HARDWARE HUBS

Kiteboard your
way to funding
Looking to raise your series A? Extreme
sports are the Valleys latest networking tool
Ventures, and Susi
Mai, a professional
kiter), have included
Richard Branson,
Elon Musk and
Yahoo! CFO Kenneth
Goldman. Forbes
estimated the total
net worth of a recent
gathering (each
event can cater for
up to 120 people) at
$7bn (4.1bn).
Startups born at
MaiTai Global
include Postagram,
which began in 2010
when Matt Brezina
1

was snapping prokiters on the water


and wanted to send
one of the pictures
as a real postcard.
Theres a certain
personality willing
to try kiteboarding
and also stay with
it, Tai says. Thats
also the type of
person that starts a
company. Here are
four more extreme
sports favoured by
techs inuencers.
Charlie Burton
maitaiglobal.org

SEGWAY POLO

What it is: Polo played on Segways


Evangelist: Steve Wozniak, Apple cofounder.
The Silicon Valley Aftershocks (the team that
started the sport) instigated an annual world
cup named the Woz Challenge in 2006
and its been going strong since. The reigning
champions are the Stockholm Saints.
2

ULTIMATE FRISBEE

What it is: Netball x US football + discus


Evangelist: Sergey Brin, cofounder, Google.
Last year, San Jose made the sport legit with
its American Ultimate Disc League, owned
by Cisco Systems Robert Lloyd. The
areas home team, the San Jose Spiders, is
backed by Lightspeed Venture Partners.
3

ENDURANCE CYCLING

What it is: Pedal, network, pedal, network


Evangelist: Randy Komisar, partner, Kleiner,
Perkins, Caueld & Byers.
At weekends, the foothills around the Valley
are full of entrepreneurs on their bikes. One
regular rider is Nest cofounder Tony Fadell
and yes, Komisar is his lead investor.
4

SNOWKITING

What it is: Less water, more powder


Evangelist: Susan Coelius Keplinger,
cofounder and COO, Triggit.
Every March in Park City, Utah, the likes of
Dropboxs Drew Houston or Threadsys Rob
Goldman y/slide down the hills, risking
their lives but making connections.

COO L IF
YOURE 14
THE PROMASTER
SELFIE STICK
Teens are using
cameras-onsticks for perfectlyangled seles.
promaster.com

Londons
making a
hardware
network

ILLUSTRATION: KELLI ANDERSON; NATE KITCH; GIACOMO GAMBINERI

A round of golf?
How old-fashioned.
These days, if you
want to secure a
deal with a tech
titan, youd better
start kiteboarding.
It has caught on so
widely that, among
entrepreneurs, its
practically a clich.
Attendees at
MaiTai Global, a
kiteboarding
retreat in Maui
(cofounded by Bill
Tai, a partner at
Charles River

20XX
20X
X Yea
Year ffoun
ounded
oun
ded

UMPING ONTHE MAKER BANDWAGON HAS NEVER BEEN EASIER,THANKSTO ALLTHE SCANNING,
milling and printing tools available and thats causing a boom in physical-stuff startups. London has lots
of people making great hardware, but its hard to nd each other because of how spread out the city is, says
Matt Webb, cofounder and CEO of design studio BERG. So WIRED and Webb set out to map the community.
Crowdsourcing data via Twitter, Facebook and Google+, we highlighted independent startups bringing a
physical product to market, locating 50 rms within the M25, 21 of which were founded in the past year.
Breaking into distributors without a track record is very, very hard, explains Webb. But Kickstarter
allows you to sell directly to customers. Its also becoming easier for startups to nd manufacturers.
London-based Blaze brought its cycle laser-light (WIRED 08.13) to market via PCH Internationals
accelerator programme (06.14), which opened up the product-making and -supply companys Chinese
manufacturing links. Blazes path is something we see happening a lot, says Webb. They have an idea,
Kickstart it, move to east London, then start manufacturing in east Asia. And of course theres the nature
of the capital itself. London offers a brilliant convergence of overlapping scenes, explains
Webb. Cambridge is up the road, so weve got access to that technology, theres lots of great design
colleges and Tech City has the investor base. Its such a vibrant sharing scene. KN

SMART INVESTOR / START / 043

A RAP
WITH THE
PROPHET
OF HARD
THINGS
From Airbnb to Zynga,
Ben Horowitz explains
what founder talent
needs to catch his eye

PHOTOGRAPHY: SPENCER LOWELL

EN HOROWITZ HAS HELPED BUILD A WORLD-CLASS PORTFOLIO FOR


Andreessen Horowitz the Menlo Park VC rm he cofounded in 2009 including
Facebook, Twitter, Zynga, Skype, Airbnb, Fab, Box, Oculus, Jawbone, Lyft and
Pinterest. As a founder entrepreneur, he took data-centre-software startup Opsware
through various near-death experiences to an eventual $1.6bn (950m) sale in 2007
to HP. As a blogger, he has built a cult following for insights that begin with rap lyrics
from Kanye or Nas. And as an author, he has written a frank bestseller about building
a business in tough times with advice on challenges such as ring a loyal friend
and with chapter subheadings such as: If you are going to eat shit, dont nibble.
Horowitz, whose book The Hard Thing About Hard Things portrays Andreessen
Horowitz as so entrepreneur-friendly that partners are fined $10 for each minute
they are late to a pitch meeting, was in Britain in June to attend the Founders
Forum networking event. After a breakfast discussion in which he explained
where he saw todays investment opportunities Bitcoin; software-powered

Above: Ben
Horowitzs blog
(bhorowitz.com)
has a reported ten
million readers

044 / START / SMART INVESTOR

full-stack startups such as Uber and


Zenefits; and companies rethinking the
data centre to kill Cisco and IBM he
spoke to WIRED editor David Rowan
about what he commonly recognises
in the most creative entrepreneurs.
WIRED: What traits do you see in todays
most disruptive entrepreneurs?
BEN HOROWITZ: The biggest thing in
common that they have is they think for
themselves in an astonishingly antisocial
degree. Elon Musk is certainly like that,
Peter Thiel is like that, Larry Page is, Mark
Zuckerberg, Kanye West They have a
very strong belief in something of their
own creation, and really no regard as to
whether people like it or not.
Not caring what people think could
there be an autism/Aspergers-spectrum
element to that?
The Aspergian aspect is a little different
I have an autistic daughter. You can think of
autism or Aspergers as a deviant nervous
system. If nervous systems follow a bell
curve, a lot of the entrepreneurs, and
geniuses like Einstein and Van Gogh, are
three standard deviations out. Theres a
development of the ability to profoundly
think for yourself: you can think through
anything from first principles and
generally come to a better conclusion than
somebody who has read all the literature.
Its quite a rare skill. Larry Page is the most
amazing example that Ive come across.
Can this be learned?
I think that you can certainly get better
at it. You can train yourself to start from
first principles. Its harder as you get
older the more you know, the more it
messes you up on that dimension. Its an
unnatural feeling to go, OK, dont assume
the sky is blue. Making zero assumptions is a challenging thing to do. The big
thing is being completely open-minded
and making yourself aware of what
you have a bias towards. Courage is
more of a developed skill.

HARD TRUTHS
FROM BEN
HOROWITZS BOOK

What I call the


Law of Crappy
People states:
for any title
level in a large
organisation, the
talent on that level
will eventually
converge to the
crappiest person
with that title.
Peacetime CEO
sets big, hairy,
audacious goals.
Wartime CEO is
too busy ghting
the enemy to read
management
books written
by consultants
who have never
managed a
fruit stand.

Whos the most courageous entrepreneur youve worked with?


Mark Zuckerberg. When I met him in 2007, he had a full-scale revolt on his
hands from his executive team. They all wanted to sell the company; one
was leaking all the company information to the press to force him to sell.
For him at 23 to stand up to them and say, Im not going to do that; in fact,
Im going to replace all of you who want to sell the company
How do you keep up with whats happening?
Certainly WIRED is great, then theres a set of stuff underneath WIRED, like
Reddit, Hacker News. Then in the rm, youve got Marc Andreessen, who
spends all day reading stuff and now tweeting. That tweet-stream used
to be my email inbox from him, so its a wonderful service to the world that
he tweets. We have people who are always discovering new things, like
Balaji Srinivasan, to learn from. He runs the Stanford Bitcoin group, hes
a professor of computer science and statistics at Stanford the amount
of depth that he has on so many subject areas is really compelling. Then
theres a constant steam of entrepreneurs coming in with new ideas. You get
an amazing education. We see 2,000 pitches a year; I personally see about
seven a week. And we make about 20 investments out of those.
If you were running WIRED, what would you put on the cover this month?
The re-architecting of the data centre is really interesting. Weve seen a
huge number of companies that are able to use the cellphone supply chain
to build EMC-grade, IBM-grade stuff by applying software to it multipetabyte arrays using cellphone memory that are highly reliable. Thats
changing every layer of the software stack it wipes out Cisco, EMC, Oracle,
IBM, a huge amount of revenue and market cap thats up for grabs. Weve
just announced investment in Mesosphere we call it one over VMware.
They lay an operating system on top of all your stuff. Twitter deployed it,
and its working great it got rid of the Fail Whale. Theres nothing you
could buy from any incumbent data-centre guys that would get you that
result. Another company called Cumulus Networks that were in [is making
a] software networking switch that goes into the core of Ciscos business,
ten times faster at a third of the cost. Whats not to like?
Whod be on the cover?
Dont put a fake Satoshi Nakamoto on it [Laughs] I still think that 95 per cent
of the Bitcoin coverage is so far off base its amazing. [Andreessen Horowitz
has invested in Bitcoin companies Coinbase and TradeBlock.] What does it
mean to have a distributed ledger with no central authority? Weve spent a
lot of time with the US regulators. Despite what the popular press writes, its
not anonymous its pseudonymous and its very traceable. They very easily
arrested all the guys from Silk Road: once they got the site, they could trace
everybody through Bitcoin. Its like email. Thats great because cash is very
hard to trace. So the regulators are not so inclined to kill it. And theres a lot
of political movement not to depend on the banks for everything, given what
happened in the not distant past. [Laughs] The talk with the regulators isnt
how we should shut it down, its how to make it as safe as possible.
The Hard Thing About Hard Things (HarperCollins) is out now

WIRED

TIRED

EXPIRED

Z-Man

X-Men

Not All Men

Big Action

Big Data

Big Society

Song Exploder

Behind the Music

Mumblecore

Emojinalysis

Which X Are You?

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046 / START / TELEVISION RETUNED

How will we watch TV


ten years from now?

NEIL HUNT
CHIEF PRODUCT OFFICER,
NETFLIX

TV will be smarter and more personal. It


will be all about watching what, when and
where viewers want theyre turning away
from the traditional TV grid and using
tablets and laptops to tailor their own
experiences. Youll see recommendations
based on your mood, or whos in the room
with you. There will be a revolution in
picture quality. Well see a range of richer
colours, as well as faster frame rates.
ROY PRICE
DIRECTOR,
AMAZON STUDIOS

We will be in the next era of personalised


TV. It will function more like a personal
playlist. A networks shows will be
prioritised for each viewer. The concept
of a strictly scheduled broadcast will
disappear. Individual shows may appear
on multiple networks just as songs can be
in many curated playlists now. TV will be
fully social: you will know what your friends
have watched and what they think.
ELI HOLZMAN
CEO,
ALL3MEDIA AMERICA

Projection technology should allow


us to privately watch and publicly
share in new ways. As we break free
of the embedded-ad model, we will
see experiments with show formats
and running times. We will be playing,
appearing and participating in a blend
of what we see today as gaming, surng
the net and watching TV. We will meet
and gamble and shop in new ways.
CECILE FROT-COUTAZ
CEO,
FREMANTLEMEDIA

KIM SHILLINGLAW

CONTROLLER, BBC TWO AND BBC FOUR

Dont start with the technology, start with the audience.


How do they want to spend their time? I think viewers want
three things. First, they want to relax, to escape and to feel
part of something. This is what narrative-driven and event-led
TV does. Those types of programme will only become more
popular. Second, I want to watch what I like when I like
control is important. Third, although I want to be in control,
I want it to be easy. Technology often asks us to work too
hard. Recommendations need to be as good as a great curator.
Netflixs algorithm is very smart, but in the next decade new
algorithms will start to recognise me and my interests, and
aggregate from games that I play and websites that I read as
much as from shows Ive watched. Harry Lambert

TV will move from the corner of the


room to our pocket. Live event TV
sport, politics and entertainment will
drive ratings, and the schedule will be
irrelevant. People will watch where and
when they want to, and will be prepared
to pay for great storytelling. But as
choice expands, content will need to
be intelligently curated; thats where
networks will continue to play a role.
KEITH UNDERWOOD
DIRECTOR OF STRATEGY AND
TECHNOLOGY, CHANNEL 4

Today, 90 per cent of total viewing time


is traditional live TV; video on demand
accounts for less than ve per cent of
viewing time. Although C4 was the rst
broadcaster to offer long-form VOD, TV
is fundamentally a social phenomenon
and humanity is a collective which
prefers to share experiences in the
moment. Scheduled TV will shape the
nations conversations for decades.

ILLUSTRATION: KELSEY DAKE

THE BIG QUESTION

HEALTH MONEY

2014

NEXT
GEN

RETAIL

OCTOBER 16-17, 2014


BOOK YOUR TICKET NOW
WIRED.CO.UK/14

Our two-day event will bring together some of


the worlds most exciting and inspiring people
The WIRED2014 speaker line-up includes leading
computer scientists, pioneering doctors, musicians,
artists, designers and astronauts. This year also
features our inaugural WIRED Innovation Fellows,
a group of people who have the ability to make a
significant positive impact on the lives of thousands,
if not millions, of people. More than 50 individuals
will take to the WIRED2014 stage, including:

HEADLINE
PARTNER

TICKETING
PARTNER

SESSION
PARTNER

Ionut Alexandru
Budisteanu
Bucharest University

Nelly Ben Hayoun


Head of experiences,
WeTransfer

Sam Bompas
Founder,
Bompas & Parr

Jay Bregman
Founder & CEO,
Hailo

Esther Dyson
Founder, HICCup &
The Way to Wellville

Joel Jackson
Founder & CEO,
Mobius Motors

Budisteanu has built


an AI-controlled car
and a device that
helps blind people see
using their tongues.

Designer, artist and


budding astronaut Ben
Hayoun has worked
with stars from Beck
to Bobby Womack.

Design studio Bompas


& Parr specialises in
flavour-based
experiences, food
research and design.

Jay Bregman has raised


45 million in investment
for Hailo, his app that
pairs passengers with
available taxi drivers.

Intellectual, investor
and trained
cosmonaut, Dyson
now focuses on
community health.

Kenyas Mobius
Motors designs and
builds affordable
vehicles for Africas
mass market.

Emiliano Kargieman
CEO,
Satellogic

Eric Ladizinsky
Cofounder,
D-Wave Systems

Uma Ramakrishnan
Indias Centre for
Biological Sciences

Nina Tandon
CEO & cofounder,
EpiBone

Rachel Wingfield
Cofounder & creative
director, Loop.pH

Anne Wojcicki
CEO & cofounder,
23andMe

Kargieman is
pioneering the private
space sector and aims
to launch a fleet of
satellites into orbit.

At D-Wave, Ladizinsky
builds the worlds
fastest supercomputers and
quantum processors.

Ramakrishnan uses
evolutionary science
to explain biodiversity,
mainly in the Indian
subcontinent.

EpiBone grows human


bones for skeletal
repair. Tandon is the
author of Super Cells:
Building with Biology.

Creative studio Loop.


pH has made lighting
inspired by molecular
biology and props
for Paul McCartney.

23andMe provides
rapid genetic testing
for people curious
about their DNA
make-up and ancestry.

SIEMENS / WIRED PROMOTION

A hot
range
IF YOU STRIVE FOR SMART DESIGN AND
EFFICIENCY IN ALL AREAS OF LIFE WHY
NOT EXTEND THAT TO THE KITCHEN?

The Siemens range of built-in home appliances oozes


minimalist style and packs smart technology. Designed to
co-ordinate with one another, each innovative product will
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range are self cleaning, and the most efficient exceed the
class A energy efficiency rating requirements by 30 per cent.
While youre streamlining the kitchen, you could replace
that coffee machine cluttering your counter with a stylish
Siemens built-in coffee centre. Thatll line up perfectly
too, so the only problem left to solve is whether to whip
up a latte or cappuccino Visit siemens-home.co.uk

Micro-power

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Coffee lover

Hot stuff

Fab foods

The compact45
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microwave, giving
you the option of
either standard
baking or the speed
of a traditional
microwave.

You dont need


a palatial pad
to install a
Siemens oven. As
well as full-size
ovens the range
includes compact
units ideal for
apartments or
micro urban homes.

Its a bad culinary


episode when your
meal masterpiece
is cold within
minutes due to
tepid plates. The
clever solution?
A warming drawer
for a stack of
toasty crockery.

Whether you take


yours with a double
shot or extra
milky, the built-in
coffee machines
make each style
to its optimum
temperature. It
also grinds beans
in near silence.

Preparing main
course and dessert
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Siemens 3D hot
air technology
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Combining hot
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Some models feature a stylish


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you to view the programmes
clearly from any angle

wired.co.uk/promotions/V8S

INSIDER

WIRED
INSIDERS
PICK OF
UPCOMING
EVENTS

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AND PROMOTIONS
TO LIVE THE WIRED LIFE
COMPILED BY
RUBY MUNSON-HIRST

WIRED
2014
Follow us on Twitter:
@WIREDINSIDERUK

Follow us on Instagram:
@WIREDINSIDERUK

Our headline twoday event features


over 45 speakers, an
interactive lab and
lots of networking.
Main-stage
guests range from
BuzzFeeds
Ze Frank, to adman
John Hegarty,
to author and
academic Elif
Shafak. Discount
tickets available
online. October 16-17,
wired.co.uk/14

WIRED 2014:
NEXT
GENERATION
Day three of
WIREDs flagship
event is back for
a second year.
Designed for
young minds aged
12-18, the day is set
to be an inspiring
combination of
talks, activities
and fun. Group
discounts available
for schools.
October 18,
wiredevents.co.uk

HOW TO BUILD
THE FUTURE
WIRED editor
David Rowan hosts
a conversation
with Silicon Valley
entrepreneur and
investor Peter Thiel.
The event, at Kings
Place, London, will
include lessons from
Thiels new book,
Zero to One, on the
principles that are
fundamental to
building success.
September 25,
kingsplace.co.uk

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This UK-based sustainable


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the opportunity to invest in
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Individuals are advised to
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The new collection from


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PIONEERS
FESTIVAL
A celebration
of technology,
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entrepreneurship in
Vienna. Welcoming
over 2,500 opinion
leaders, the future
of many industries
will be discussed.
Expect two days
of talks, product
demonstrations
and excellent
networking.
29-30 October,
pioneers.io/festival

PHOTOGRAPHY: SUN LEE

Lockitron
app-enabled
door lock

WIRED
MONEY
REPORT
2014
ON JULY 1, WE GATHERED
TOGETHER FINANCE
TECHS BIG THINKERS IN
CANARY WHARF. HERE
ARE SOME KEY TAKEAWAYS

BY STEPHEN ARMSTRONG

ILLUSTRATION: LUKE PEARSON

WIRED MONEY 2014 REPORT


LEFT TO RIGHT
Sebastian
Siemiatkowski,
Klarna
Matthias Krner,
Fidor Bank
Annette Heuser,
Bertelsmann
Foundation
Noreena Hertz,
author and
professor
Damian
Kimmelman,
DueDil

MAKE CLICK-TO-BUY
A QUICKER PROCESS
SEBASTIAN SIEMIATKOWSKI KLARNA
IMAGINE 100 PEOPLE IN A QUEUE AT THE

checkout of a local convenience


store, Sebastian Siemiatkowski from
mobile-payments platform Klarna
suggested. Then imagine that 67
of them just put down their baskets
and walked out. The store manager
would go crazy, but in digital payments,
we have to say, Its just the way it is.
Only 33 per cent of online shoppers
who click go to checkout actually
complete the purchase, the 32-year-old
Swede explained. Mobile commerce
is even worse of 100 people who
click buy on their smartphones, only
three nalise their purchase. Online
commerce is in the Middle Ages and
mobile commerce is in the Stone Age
whenitcomestomonetisation,hesaid.
Why? Because payment companies
invent elaborate fraud solutions that

annoy customers while failing to deter


crooks. Visa, he argued, had fraud rates
of one per cent when it created the
complex Verified by Visa password
system which ruined the shopping
experience for the honest 99 per cent.
I want to share a secret, he grinned.
Nobody outside this room cares about
the problems of the payments industry.
They just want to click buy.
Klarna aims to meet that need. The
Swedish startup uses real-time data to
assess the risk of individual transactions such as virtual goods in Candy
Crush and decide whether to process
the purchase. In the majority of cases,
he insisted, customers need to enter
only their email address or postcode
instead of a long sign-in process.
A typical Visa-card transaction
knows only the amount and the

32%

Proportion of
e-commerce
which now comes
from mobile
platforms.
Pat Phelan

merchant, while we know exactly


what youre buying, he said. Maybe
its a couple of T-shirts or maybe
its an iPhone. Then we look at all
the surrounding behavioural data
to estimate the specific risk of this
transaction. We minimise the friction
so its as simple as a click.
T h e c o m p a n y s n e w s y s te m ,
Checkout, offers shoppers buying
with no registration, no passwords
and no downloads. According to
Siemiatkowski, in Sweden Checkout
has doubled retail conversion rates
on mobile phones. Klarna handles $7
billion (4bn) in volume per year, Siemiatkowski explained, and has generated
$200 million in revenue with deals in
Sweden, Finland, Norway, Denmark,
Germany, Austria and the Netherlands.
The UK is next on his to-do list.

053

DECISIONS
ARE NOT
BEST LEFT
TO EXPERTS
NOREENA HERTZ ECONOMIST

PHOTOGRAPHY: CHARLIE SURBEY. Y-CHAIR BY TOM DIXON

CONOMIST AND AUTHOR NOREENA

H e r t z c i te d a s t u d y o f p a ro l e
decisions in an Israeli court. Before
lunch, judges with low blood sugar
granted parole ten per cent of the
time. After lunch, a prisoners
chance of parole rose to 65 per cent.
If the Israeli research showed that
a good lunch has a huge impact
on justice, we needed to consider
how elements such as food and
sleep could impact global recession
and stock-market booms.
Our brains are not the rational,
objective things we might want them
to be, the 46-year-old UCL professor,
economist and author of Eyes Wide
Open: How to Make Smart Decisions in
aConfusingWorldexplained.Shethen
revealed her six top tips for making
better decisions, gathered from interviews with economists, neuroscientists, Hollywood producers, ghter
pilots, ER doctors, psychologists and
data scientists. Ironically, Hertz
admitted, her first tip was that we

shouldnt rely on experts. Philip


Tetlocks seminal research on
experts, which looked at 62,000
expert predictions over a 16-year
period, discovered that experts did
no better than a monkey throwing a
dart at a board and yet we give them
so much power, she explained.
A study from Emory University that
monitored decision-making using
an MRI scanner found that volunteers switched off the independent
decision-making parts of their brains
while being advised by experts.
Instead, Hertz urged, hunt out
divergent points of view. We tend
to seek out information that conrms
what we already believe it gives us a
feel-good dopamine rush, she said.
But innovative, creative thinking
understands we need to destroy
ideas as well as create them.
She suggested building teams
with different perspectives rather
than yes men just as the Allies did
when breaking the Enigma code in

$200BN
Amount wiped
off the US stock
market in three
minutes when
the Associated
Presss Twitter
account was
hacked to say
Barack Obama
had been injured.
Damian
Kimmelman

the second world war with a diverse


group of mathematicians, engineers,
antiquarian booksellers, linguists,
E g y p to l o g i s ts a n d c ro s s w o rd
enthusiasts. And, if that works, dont
be blinded by its success.
In 2007, when Apple introduced the iPhone, Nokia engineers
had something very similar but
management decided not to produce
it. What worked yesterday may well
not work tomorrow.
We also need to get into the right
shape to make decisions. Our
emotions really affect our decision
making if were feeling happy,
were more prone to take risks and
its why we do, literally, see a spike in
a countrys stock market, she said.
Just notice your emotions.
And nally ensure that reection
is part of your schedule. The one
thing that every one of the smartest
decision makers I interviewed
did was actively carve out time to
think, Hertz said.

THE 20 BUSINESSES ON OUR STARTUP STAGE


The Startup Stage was as dynamic as the main stage. The full list of speakers:
Bruce Davis
Abundance

Kim Miller
Guevara

John G Booth
Midpoint

Daniel Klein
SumUp

Samer Karam
alice.

Margaret
MacKenzie
JustInvesting

Gavin Littlejohn
Money Dashboard

Jess Williamson
Barclays
Accelerator

Nicolas Cary
Blockchain
Jonathan Levin
Coinometrics
Paul Plewman
CurrencyTransfer
Nadav Avidan
eToro

Ed Hodges
InAuth
Graham Thomas
Join SAM
Philippe Gelis
Kantox

Juhi Gore
PixelPin
Lex Deak
QVentures
Peter Behrens
RateSetter
Dorian Selz
Squirro

Fredrik Hedberg
Tink

DITCH THE BLACKBOX INVESTMENTS


PHILIPP MOEHRING ANGELLIST

IN AN AGE OF INCREASINGTRANSPARENCY

theres no place for VCs with black-box


investments, according to Philipp
Moehring, the European head of
AngelList, an online network for
startups and investors. We should all
know how we can fundraise, get money
and build successful businesses.
Venture capital and the crowd should
learn how to work together, he insisted.
Back in the 80s and 90s VCs were
crucial to building companies,
Moehring said. It was much more
expensive than today, you had to
employ a lot of people, writing code
was more complicated and so a lot of
money was needed. The gatekeepers
were the only people who could
centralise knowledge around building,
growing and selling companies, so
they took control [of] those businesses
from the founders.
In 2010, AngelList began connecting
startups with investors, Moehring
explained. At the end of last year it
went a step further: startups kept
asking why they couldnt close funding
rounds online. If I can buy a Tesla
online, Moehring said, why cant I
fund my company online?
AngelLists answer is Syndicates,
launched in 2013, at around the time
Moehring was hired from Seedcamp
to head up the companys European
operation. Syndicates resembles the
original investment clubs that used
to gather in London coffee houses in
the late 1600s: the site lets accredited

investors co-invest with sophisticated


angel investors who know how to pick
a good deal. Moehring pointed to
Weblogs, Inc founder and AngelList
angel investor Jason Calacanis as a
ne example of a lead angel.
An angel investor might have $50k
over ve years to invest in the high-risk
startups asset class, according
to Moehring. They can usually
invest in two or three companies. By
collaborating with other investors,
they can spread the 50k out over 50
syndicates meaning they have more
chance of success and can bring more
inuence to the startups.
An angel can lead a syndicate offering
more than ten times the angels original
financing power. The lead angel
takes a ve to 15 per cent carry of the
investments returns. Regular angels
can essentially raise a venture fund
on the y, bring in a group of friends
who are accredited investors and
provide a startup with an early round of
reasonable size, Moehring explained.
Of course, it comes with nancialservice terms and conditions: This
isnt crowdfunding, its not a safe
investment and it is not for everyone,
Moehring stressed. But founders
will have more and more control
over their company, their fundraising
and growing equity.
The VC community hasnt welcomed
him with open arms, he admitted.
Usually the first question is: will
everybody see what Im doing?
Because that black box is there for a
reason: the VCs want to have their own
proprietary info. They want no one
else to see where they are investing.
Our philosophy is: all the companies
that are fundraising go to events like
WIRED Money. You can walk over and
ask them for their nancial statements
and product plans. You can read their
blogs and Twitter feeds. There is no
proprietary information any more,
there is no black box. Thats how it
works these days. Welcome to the
new age of investment.

OUR OTHER
SPEAKERS
David Birch
Consult Hyperion
John Coates
Neuroscientist
James B
Glattfelder
Scientist
Annette Heuser
Bertelsmann
Foundation
Nick Hungerford
Nutmeg
Peter Keenan
Zapp
Shakil Khan
CoinDesk
Damian
Kimmelman
DueDil
Brett King
Moven
Daniel Klein
SumUp
Matthias Krner
Fidor
Mike Laven
The Currency Cloud
Gareth Mackown
IBM GBS Europe
Alexander Mittal
FundersClub
Pat Phelan
Trustev
Lee Sankey
Barclays
Jess Williamson
Barclays
Accelerator

O BANK LIKES TO ADVERTISE A BREAK-IN,

butthetimehascometodeclarethemto
the world, security expert Keren Elazari
from Gigaom Research urged the room.
If banks dont share such information,
she warned, criminal gangs will help
themselves to millions every day.
The criminals are innovating faster
than most of us, she said. They are
very organised, surprisingly sophisticated and undeterred in their efforts
to monetise your assets. Theyre even
crowdfunding malware development.
The Israeli outlined recent attacks by
advertising malware on the front page
of the New York Times; the progress of
Gameover ZeuS, a peer-to-peer botnet
which began in 2013 with a denial-ofservice attack on a California bank and

CYBER
VICTIMS
MUST UNITE
KEREN ELAZARI GIGAOM RESEARCH

WIRED MONEY 2014 REPORT

055
LEFT TO RIGHT
Danae Ringelmann,
Indiegogo
Keren Elazari,
cybersleuth
Philipp Moehring,
AngelList

$350TN

PHOTOGRAPHY: CHARLIE SURBEY


SURBEY. Y-CHAIR BY TOM DIXON

The amount
worldwide tied
to the London
Interbank Offered
Rate, the rate for
inter-bank lending
and the subject of
a xing scandal
exposed in 2012.
James B
Glattfelder

has snatched $100m worldwide; and


attacks by CryptoLocker, so-called
ransomware that encrypts hard drives
and demands fees to free the data. In
ten months it has received more than
$30 million in ransoms some paid
with bitcoins, I might add.
Even very recent solutions can be
compromised. Elazari cited multifactor authentication whereby banks
send a PIN to customers mobiles. She
revealed onscreen what looked like a
message from Facebook warning of
unlawful attempts to access someones
account and urging that person to
download a security app to their
phone. In reality it was an attempt by
gangs to gain access to banking PINs.
Elazaris solution is more collaboration. Work with security researchers
and bloggers who know the criminal
underground, she said. Collaborate
with technology lenders or intelligence
providers. More than anything, work
with each other. Share information
about the threats, the attacks and the
techniques that the bad guys are using.
The industry used to be able to say
it was more trustworthy than digital
money, she said. But if the differentiatoristrust,youhavetoinvesttomake
your organisation trustworthy.

HOW WE
MINIMISE THE
RISKS
DANAE RINGELMANN INDIEGOGO
THERE ARE THREE TYPES OF RISK, SAID

Danae Ringelmann, the 36-year-old


cofounder of crowdfunding site
Indiegogo. Financial risk, market risk
and execution risk. And Indiegogo helps
to reduce them all.
She cited GravityLight, which asked
for $40,000 in backing on the site and
raised almost $400,000, and Misfit
Shine, a tiny, elegant activity tracker
that tested its price range and colour
scheme by launching rival fundraising
bids to see which appealed. This,
Ringelmann argued, is the future of
investment: What were going to see
is more ideas rising up, faster failure
and less waste. Were helping you nd
your market and build your product
then youre going to deliver.

In 2008, Ringelmann was frustrated


bytheprocessofraisinginvestment.She
was an MBA student trying to open an
off-Broadwayplaybutcouldntpersuade
backers. In that moment I realised that
nancewasbroken,sheexplained.The
actors and the audience wanted the
production to go ahead but didnt have
the power to make it happen they were
completely reliant on the gatekeepers.
Indiegogo began offline as an attempt
to democratise capital, but Ringelmann
realisedithadtobeaninternetbusiness,
allowing anyone to raise money for just
about anything from $10,000 for an
urban garden, to millions for a project
called Solar Roadways, which aims to
turn roads, paths and car parks into
solar-electricity generators.
The site has nine million visitors a
month in 224 countries, and 47 per
cent of successful campaigns are run
by women in traditional financial
services, the gure is three per cent.
One Indiegogo success, Canary, a
homemonitoringdevice,alreadyhadan
offer from an investor when the product
came to the site. The terms werent
great, Ringelmann said. Canary raised
$2 million in [four] weeks with us. By
the end of the campaign the original
investors were trying to push money to
the bank under the original terms, but
Canary was able to renegotiate.
The next step, maybe, is equity
investment. If people fund for prot,
their motivations change. Im excited
to see where it goes.

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RATED & REVIEWED / EDITED BY JEREMY WHITE / 057

20

INTERIORS

14

SPECIAL

SOLAR FLAIR

PHOTOGRAPHY: BEATE SONNENBERG. WORDS: JIM HILL

THANKS FOR
THE SUN LAMPS

A small knob on the


32 x 10 x 8cm table
lamp adjusts the
lights temperature

Dutch designer
Arnout Meijer wants
us to reconnect
with our circadian
rhythms by using
his lamps, which can
be adjusted from a
cool, bright white to
a warm and soothing
red, depending on
the time of day.
Hundreds of LEDs
produce a glow that
imitates the morning
Sun, or a calming
orange sunset when
its time to wind
down. 953 (wall
lamp, top. Others
tbc) arnoutmeijer.nl

058 / GEAR / INTERIORS SPECIAL

SMASHING SCULPTURE

WHITE LIGHT

INTROVERSO2

ARIEL BY
JAKE DYSON

But if its a little too


perfect for your
taste, Moreno Ratti
and Paolo Ulian
invite you to take
a hammer to their
design. With the
classical shape

already outlined
between the slats,
its easier than you
might think to bash
out a vase that will
look somewhat like
the one on the right.
tbc cactusdesign.it

Thanks to Jake
Dysons heatpipe technology,
the bright LEDs
of this powerful
66W suspension
lamp are able to
function at their
ideal temperature.
This means that
a single downlight version of the
Ariel is perfect for
illuminating whole
dining tables,
workbenches or
drawing boards
with a clear 106
lm/W light. tbc
jakedyson.com

POTTED PLEASURES

PHYTOPHILER BY
DOSSOFIORITO
Phytophiler is a
range of terracotta
plant pots with
appendages that
help us appreciate
our leafy friends.
Here, our 29cm pot
has two adjustable
mirrors to reect the
best side of the fruit
or ower, and some
magnifying lenses.
Other options
include a net for
climbing plants and
a miniature lawn so
your bonsai trees
feel at home. 450
dosoorito.com

PHOTOGRAPHY: BEATE SONNENBERG. WORDS: JIM HILL

Made from 36
squares of white
Carrara marble and
standing 40cm
high, the intact
vase below makes
a sophisticated
table decoration.

COLOURFUL CLASSICS

MAL 1956 CHAIR


Based on the
1956 Charles and
Ray Eames classic,
this colourful
adaptation of the
lounge chair and
ottoman is 100 per
cent plastic. Unlike

20

INTERIORS

the leather and


walnut chair sold
by Vitra, its fully
waterproof and
can be safely left
out in the rain a
discreet drainage
system prevents

water collecting on
the seat. The brand
name Mal means
mould in Dutch,
and refers to the
aluminium-matrix
casting process.
995 do-shop.com

14

SPECIAL

Drainage holes where


the leather buttons
would be allow water
to run off invisibly

3D LIGHT SHOW

DOMINO EFFECT

OP-LIGHT BY
BILGE NUR SALTIK

MEGALITH
TABLE BY DUFFY

This wall lamps


Turkish-born
designer wanted
to explore how
textured panels
could distort light.
When its discs
are rotated they
create hypnotising
3D patterns. tbc
bilgenursaltik.com

It appears to be in
mid-collapse, but
this tables nine
steel supports,
based on the
monolith from
Stanley Kubricks
2001: A Space
Odysseyy, are
perfectly poised.
The 75cm-tall
glass-top table is
assembled on-site
so that its designer,
Chris Duffy, can
achieve a toppling
effect to suit any
home. 24,000
duffylondon.com

12PRINT ISSUES +
12DIGITALISSUES
= PAY ONLY 28
JUST VISIT
OR CALL

WIRED.CO.UK/SUBS/CWR11633
0844 848 5202 REF: CWR11633

SUBSCRIBE TO THE PRINT COPY AND ENJOY FREE AND INSTANT ACCESS TO iPAD AND
iPHONE EDITIONS EVERY MONTH. ALL YOU NEED IS YOUR SUBSCRIPTION NUMBER.

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+

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DISCOUNTS

FREE CHOOSE BETWEEN BLACK OR GREY

GIFT

CHOOSE BETWEEN A BLACK OR GREY


Q&Q SMILESOLAR WATCH, RRP 32
Born from the idea of a quest for quality with affordable
value, Japanese brand Q&Q Quest and Quality launches
their new series of SmileSolar maintenance-free solarpowered watches in the UK. Fun to wear and easy to use, each
watch can run for more than three months on a single charge.
SmileSolar watch cases and straps also contain recycled
plastics, so theyre eco-friendly, too. www.smile-qq.com

*OFFER CLOSES ON 07/10/2014. SUBJECT TO AVAILABILITY AND LIMITED TO THE UK.

DIGITAL RADIOS / GEAR / 061

TESTED

Revo SuperConnect

Solid and handsome,


the SuperConnect
is crafted from
American walnut and
anodised aluminium,
and has a large, clear
OLED screen. Sound,
though only from one
speaker, is strong
and deep with plenty
of bass. However,
unlike the Pure and
Tivoli radios, theres
no second speaker
option. 8/10 249.95
revo.co.uk
Connections: DAB,
DAB+, FM, internet
radio, network player,
Bluetooth
Size: 27 x 18 x 12cm
Weight: 2.85kg
Speaker: 8.9cm driver
Power: mains

HOW WE TESTED

WORDS: DAVID PHELAN. PHOTOGRAPHY: ROWAN FEE; ROGER STILLMAN

Audio was tested with a variety of content such as spoken word, classical
music and pop, and with sources such as DAB, FM and internet stations.
Signal strength was checked in numerous locations around the test house.

Pure Evoke F4

Ruark Radiogram R7

As well as being
compatible with
Pures wireless
multi-room system,
Jongo, the F4 has
FM, DAB (and DAB+)
and internet radio
comprehensive,
but ddly to set
up. A rechargeable
battery provides
useful portability
and you can add an
extra speaker. 7/10
179 (30 for extra
speaker) pure.com

The R7 is a hefty
block of aluminium,
walnut and glass,
with sound quality
to match. Frontfacing speakers and
a down-blasting
sub-woofer make

Connections: DAB,
DAB+, FM, internet
radio, network player,
Bluetooth, USB rec
Size: 20.9 x 17.5 x 11cm
Weight: 1.5kg
Speaker: 8.9cm driver
Power: mains/battery

for a rich, wide and


very loud output.
It is expensive,
though, and oddly
anachronistic with
its slot-loading CD
player. 6/10 2,000
ruarkaudio.com

Connections: DAB, DAB+, FM, internet


radio, network player, Bluetooth, CD
Size: 100 x 17.5 x 40cm Weight: 31kg
Speaker: 2 x 12.7cm drivers Power: mains

On the right
wavelength
WIRED tunes in to radios with
distinctive styles and skill sets

Tivoli Albergo+

Compact and
powerful, when
paired with its
second speaker
the Albergo+
outclasses the allin-one-box brigade
with ease. The units

look slick, but the


effect is ruined by
the tacky white
connecting cable
and garish screen.
6/10 199 (79 for
extra speaker)
tivoliaudio.co.uk

Connections: DAB, DAB+, FM, Bluetooth


Size: 18.7 x 11 x 11cm Weight: 1.04kg
Speaker: 7.6cm driver Power: mains

TESTED

Cool customers
WIRED tests four leading
fridge-freezers to find out which
keeps our groceries freshest

HOW WE TESTED

WIRED chose three high-prole designs and one entrylevel control fridge-freezer, and lled them with identical
groceries. Each fridge was set to its default temperature and
opened daily for ten days. WIRED asked Oonagh Laifeartaigh,
produce co-ordinator for Whole Foods, to rank the groceries on
freshness. Laifeartaighs ratings are based on the quality of the
food and have no bearing on fridge features and design.

Whirlpool
WBA33992 NFC IX

This one seems to


offer more humidity,
helping to maintain
water content in
the food, says
Oonagh Laifeartaigh.
Strawberries looked
impressive with
no visible decay.
Lettuce was fresh,
the carrots rm
and crisp, and the
meat scored well
on the smell test.
Our cucumber, sadly,
showed early signs
of chill damage.
7/10 879
whirlpool.co.uk

1774mm

An inner-door
design keeps highuse food at the
front and less
frequently accessed
items further back

Capacity: 315 litre


Energy rating: A++
Default temp: 5C

595mm

1875mm

Samsung Food
ShowCase

The design is
luxurious, but its
not effective in use.
The strawberries
scored well, but
carrots were
soft and partly
decaying. And the
cucumber showed
signs of signicant
chill damage, says
Laifeartaigh. Even
so, the Samsung
is beautiful and
Id still pick this
one. 5/10 2,549
samsung.com/uk
Capacity: 570 litre
Energy rating: A+
Default temp: 5C

912mm

TIME SCALE

640mm

FRIDGES / LINEAR CLOCK / NEAT DESK / GEAR / 063

1875mm

LINEAR
CYCLE
CLOCK BY
BCXSY
This table-top
timepiece uses a
battery-powered
movement and a
familiar circular
motion, but in a
linear way. When
designers Boaz
Cohen and Sayaka
Yamamoto plotted
on a vertical axis
the 12 straight lines
to indicate the
hours, they found
that the points
joined to reveal
a shell shape.
Form satisfyingly
follows function.
tbc bcxsy.com

Beko EcoSmart
CFF6873GX

Smartly designed,
the Beko performed
well across all
our food groups,
with the carrots
remaining rm and
crisp, suggesting
good humidity,
and the cucumber
having less pitting
than most. It also
scored well with
the sh and meat,
which was easily
the best-kept in the
test group. 8/10
600 beko.co.uk
Capacity: 231 litre
Energy rating: A+
Default temp: 4C

545mm

20

14
INTERIORS

1740mm

SPECIAL

PHOTOGRAPHY: ROWAN FEE; BEATE SONNENBERG. WIRDS: CHRIS HASLAM

Hotpoint Iced
Diamond RFAA52P

This budget model


impressed our
judge, despite
its lack of showy
hi-tech features.
The lettuce and
carrots matched
the Whirlpool and
outperformed
the Samsung,
says Laifeartaigh.
Cheese fared well,
but the cucumbers
were on the soft side
and the meat was
disappointing.
6/10 269 ao.com
Capacity: 234 litre
Energy rating: A+
Default temp: 3C

CABINET OFFICE

CABINET-DESK
BY LAURA PETRAITYT
This modern take
on the traditional
writing desk offers
a workstation with
dual power sockets,
a laptop shelf and
LED lighting. When
youre done, the
hinged desktop
folds shut into
a sleek cabinet

exactly half the


depth of the desk.
Its Lithuanian
designer set out to
create a complete
home ofce
that would draw a
clear line between
work and leisure.
tbc petraitytelaura.
wix.com/dizainas

STAR LIGHT

IKEA NERD LAMP BY DAVID WAHL


Its easy to believe
that David Wahls
inspiration for this
mechanical lamp
came from sci-.
A gentle pull on
the cord opens
it, Transformers-

style, to ood your


room with light;
close it and it
becomes a smooth,
luminous ball like
an oddly cheerful
Star Wars Death
Star. 50 ikea.com
MIRROR MOVES

NARCISSUS
CHAIR BY
KIMXGENSAPA
What looks like a
mirror reecting
this seat-back
into innity is an
optical illusion
skilfully realised in
wood the louvre
slats provide
useful ledges for
holding books and
magazines. This
playful design
by Mun Kim from
South Korea and
Tsewang Gensapa
from India is part
of their Narcissus
collection. Other
pieces in the range
include a bookshelf
and wall lamp made
from the same light
and cost-effective
tulip wood. tbc
kimxgensapa.com

20

INTERIORS

14

SPECIAL

FEEL THE FORCE

FLOAT TABLE BY ROCKPAPERROBOT


Too plain? Try it in
mappa burl wood
with inlaid copper

Opposing magnets
are the secret to
this 47 x 47 x 47cm
side-table made up
of wooden blocks.

Hovering in neat
formation, these
magnetised walnut
veneer cubes
are repelling each

other, but are also


held in place by
tensile steel wires.
Push down on the
seemingly solid

surface, and all of


the 27 cubes give
way a little, before
springing back. tbc
rockpaperrobot.com

INTERIORS SPECIAL / GEAR / 065

TRICK OF THE LIGHT

POV CANDLE HOLDER BY NOTE


Depending on the
angle your point
of view from
which you look
at this tea light
holder, it might
appear to be a at
two-dimensional

drawing, a oating
cube, or a more
complex geometric
shape. In fact, its a
simple eight-sided
powder-coated
metal structure
that happens to

be very good at
misleading the eye.
Add multiple POVs
and candles into the
mix, and you have a
truly mind-bending
wall feature. tbc
notedesignstudio.se

PETAL POWER

PEONY BY MR
SHEEP DESIGN
Rather than use
an expensive 3D
printer to make
this intricate
bowl, Mr Sheep
(AKA Yide Yang)
cut at pieces
of Perspex that
would fold together
into the shape
of a bowl. Yangs
3D puzzle packs
at and opens
up to resemble a
blossoming ower.
tbc mango-studio.
avors.me

SLEEK BENCH

ONYX SOFA BY PEUGEOT DESIGN LAB

PHOTOGRAPHY: BEATE SONNENBERG; DAVE LIDWELL. WORDS: JIM HILL

Contrasting hightech and naturally


occurring materials,
the Peugeot Design
Lab has come up

Tablet extra!
Download the WIRED
app to see more
interiors products

with an audacious,
if not comfy, sofa.
A boulder of rough,
natural Volvic
volcanic rock meets

a highly polished
carbon bre seat in
this technical tour
de force. The piece
also serves to draw

comparisons with
Peugots copper and
carbon-bre Onyx
supercar. 135,000
peugeotdesignlab.com

The three-metrelong sofa took


70 days to create

066 / GEAR / DESKTOP FANS / FURNITURE SPECIAL

TESTED

Join
the fan
club

Need a cooler room? These


machines make it a breeze
Stadler Form Otto

With a 45W motor


suspended within
its bamboo ring,
Carlo Borers
design is elegant
and industrial.
Five erce blades
produced a high
wind speed and

buffeted our kite


into the air
but with lots of
vibration, which
leads to noise.
The lower speeds
quell it to a gentle
squall. 7/10 150
stadlerform.ch

Diameter: 30.5cm Oscillation: Yes


Max wind speed: 20.1kph
Wind speed at two metres: 4.4kph

HOW WE TESTED

WIRED tested a selection of desk fans using a Kestrel anemometer to log


their wind speed on full power, adding extra marks for functionality
and design. They were then attached to a kite to see if they could launch it.

British designer
Jasper Startup
has used dark
Indonesian wicker
for the Wind S. It
wasnt powerful
enough to keep
our kite airborne,
and the crouching
Tablet extra!
Download the WIRED
app to read our
extended test reviews

design means you


cant angle it, but
thats not going to
stop people falling
for it despite
it looking not
dissimilar to a cat
basket. 5/10 345
conranshop.co.uk

Diameter: 25cm Oscillation: No


Max wind speed: 15.3kph
Wind speed at two metres: 5.2kph

CREDIT IN HERE PLEASE


PHOTOGRAPHY:
ROWAN FEE. WORDS: JIM HILL

Gervasoni
oni Wind S

SKELETAL SEAT

GENERICO CHAIR
This 3D-printed
seat uses the
bare minimum
of materials but
provides support
where needed.
Formed from ABS
plastic, its smooth
at all points of
contact despite
its sinister-looking,

half-dissolved
exoskeleton
its surprisingly
comfortable.
Each piece will
be produced on
demand to suit the
buyers specic
dimensions.
tbc marcohemmerling.com

Dyson AM06 Nickel

The Air Multipliers


seemingly inert hoop
achieves the same
bluster as a turbine. It
cant match the wind
speeds of its rivals,
but because the airstream is consistent
it carried WIREDs kite
the furthest. It also
used the least power
and is the quietest
model. The only
downside is its made
from plastic. 8/10
250 dyson.co.uk
Diameter: 30.5cm
Oscillation: Yes Max
wind speed: 14.6kph
Wind speed at two
metres: 8.9kph

Only load-bearing
parts of the
Generico remain

20

INTERIORS

14

WOODWORM DESIGN

SPECIAL

Stadler Form
Charly Little

CREDIT IN HERE PLEASE

Stadlers engineering
ensures hardly any
mechanical noise
accompanies the
sound of displaced
air here. Charly is
powerful for its size,
easily capable of
clearing your desktop
of paperwork though
it only lifted our kite
briey. (But theres
always the new,
larger model.) 6/10
100 stadlerform.ch
Diameter: 30.5cm
Oscillation: Yes
Max wind
speed: 16.5kph
Wind speed at two
metres: 9.2kph

CHIMENTI
TABLE BY
ALCAROL
Venetian sailors
referred to the gaps
between planks in
their boats the
result of shipworm
devouring the
wood around them
as chimenti.
Alcarols artists have
used this ancient
Venetian wood
and lled the gaps
with a transparent
epoxy resin, which
strengthens the
damaged planks.
Credit here must
be shared between
the molluscs and
the Italian design
studio. 8,000
mintshop.co.uk

Focusing on
the future
THE NIGERIAN ECONOMY IS NOW
AFRICAS LARGEST. AND ITS GROWTH
IS BEING DRIVEN BY AN AMBITIOUS
ENTREPRENEURIAL CLASS COUPLED
WITH THRIVING NATIONAL INDUSTRY
Affordable student loans are scarce in
Nigeria. So when Abia Imo David from
Akwa Ibom State needed to fund his
applied chemistry degree, he started
a creative studio to raise the funds.
Once he graduated, David continued
the fledgling business, producing high
quality music videos and photoshoots.
Nigeria is alive with entrepreneurs
like David (pictured). Having long relied
on resources such as oil and natural
gas, hundreds of exciting new companies are emerging in a range of industries. More than 120 million people are
mobile-phone subscribers in Nigeria
and the tech sector is thriving. Startups
are taking on everything from waste
disposal to government transparency.

The countrys GDP has recently


been updated to 83 Trillion naira (307
billion) displacing South Africa as
the continents largest economy. Jim
ONeill, the economist who defined
the BRIC economies, says the MINT
nations (Mexico, Indonesia, Nigeria
and Turkey) are the ones to watch now.
Despite this, entrepreneurs still face
challenges. Unreliable infrastructure
makes distribution difficult. Funding
is scarce and training in fields such
as business management is in short
supply. To tackle this, Shells LiveWIRE
programme provides training and
capital to founders aged 18 to 30 in
the Niger Delta. Since 2003, it has
trained hundreds of youths on how to

SHELL / NIGERIA

Investing
in youth
In 2013 Shell donated
165m to projects that
support SMEs, agriculture,
education and healthcare
in the Niger Delta. Its
other projects include:

skoool
Nigeria
Education

Right: Abia Imo


David composes
a streetside scene
in Port Harcourt,
home of his video
production agency

start and grow a business supplying


hundreds more with seed loans.
I was given prize money of
100,000 niara, says David, himself
a LiveWIRE beneficiary. I bought the
first set of computers that transformed
my business from analogue videography to digital. Abia International
now turns over around 8.1m naira
(30,000) a year. It employs 17 people
and David has trained many more.

skoool Nigeria
is an interactive
web-based tool
for teaching
maths and science
in Nigerian
primary and
secondary schools.
Shell Nigeria
co-sponsors the
initiative which
also includes
teaching aids.

LiveWIRE
Nigeria
Business

The annual Shell


LiveWIRE Nigeria
programme
provides finance
and training for
entrepreneurs
aged 18 to 30. The
initiative operates
in the Niger Delta,
aiming to inspire,
encourage and
support young
businesses minds.

SHELL / WIRED PROMOTION

NIGERIA / BUSINESS

Hottest
Startups
Jumia
Already being hailed as
Africas amazon.com,
Nigerian e-commerce
site Jumia launched in 2012 to
near instant acclaim, providing
over 100,000 items, from fashion
and electronics to generators.
This spring it launched in Uganda,
its sixth international territory, and
it secured more than 20 million in
funding for further expansion.

PHOTOGRAPHY: ANDREW ESIEBO

Paga
Launched in 2011, Paga
is a mobile payment
service which allows
Nigerians to transfer money and
pay for purchases or bills via SMS
and online. The platform has
more than 1.6 million users and is
licensed by the Nigerian Central
Bank. It recently announced a
partnership with Western Union to
enable international transfers.

Joy Edojah Money, irritated by the


lack of quality opticians in her region,
used LiveWIRE capital to start her
own clinic, Cherish. It now provides
eye care to dozens of communities.
Government grants and business
schemes have ensured that women
such as Money are empowered
through work. The prize money from
LiveWIRE was a life saver. It was the first
time anyone had invested in my life

Business
development
Micro credit

Access to credit
is key for any
business. Since
1998, Shells micro
credit programme
has donated
millions of dollars
to help some
30,000 people
establish SMEs and
expand existing
businesses in the
Niger Delta.

apart from my mum, she says. Cherish


employs a team of 20 local people.
Shell is also providing micro credit
to communities and has worked with
banks and NGOs to help over 30,000
peopleestablishorexpandbusinesses.
Initiatives like these and investment
in education plus the ambition
of Nigerias youth are behind the
countrys new entrepreneurial class.
Nigeria 2.0 is open for business.

SPDC
Scholarships
Higher education

Since 2010, Shell


has contributed
to scholarships
for one-year
postgraduate
degrees. The
scholarships help
applicants from
Nigerias Bayelsa,
Delta and Rivers
States to develop
careers in the oil
and gas industry.

Wecyclers
Lagos is home to
more than 18 million
people, who produce
some 10,000 tonnes of rubbish
a day. Wecyclers cyclists ride
around the city collecting
recyclable material. Participating
households are rewarded via
a phone-based points system
which can be exchanged for
goods or mobile phone top-ups.
Afrinolly
Both the Netflix and
IMDB of Nollywood,
Nigerias vast cinema
industry, the Lagos-based startup
has become one of its biggest
success stories. Users stream films
and TV shows using a free app
which, spurred on by the genres
popularity both in the country
and worldwide, has racked up
over four million downloads.
MALIYO Games
The Lagos games
studio is among the first
Nigerian developers to
eschew clones of western titles to
produce Africa-focused content.
Popular titles include Okada Ride,
named for Lagos traffic-dodging
motorcycles, and the Mosquito
Smasher series. Games can be
played on desktop computers
and some newer Nokia phones.

Visit: youtube.com/shellletsgo

070 / EDITED BY JOO MEDEIROS / BRAIN FOOD & PROVOCATIONS

S H AW WA R R E N

edical research has had remarkable


success in finding new drugs for
various diseases. Over the last 50
years, multiple types of cancer,
atherosclerosis, autoimmune
diseases and many others have been
successfully treated in mice.
The problem is that few of these
treatments translated successfully into
humans. The main approach to developing medical drugs today consists of
using mouse models to test molecules
that are successful candidates in
test-tube experiments. Some advantages of mice for such screening include
their size, cost, convenience and the
easy ability to manipulate them genetically. Every year, billions of dollars are
spent in drug development by pharmaceuticalcompaniesusingthisapproach.
However, only a very small percentage

of drugs that work in mice end up


being licensed for use in humans.
One of the problems with this model
of drug development is the assumption
that the disease induced in mice is the
same as in humans. This premise might
be wrong. Consider inflammation. It
occurs during infection as the immune
system in our body detects and reacts to
a microbe in an attempt to get rid of it.
Ironically, however, this inammatory
response causes damage to tissues.
When the inammation is severe and
generalised, it is called severe sepsis,
a syndrome that likely affects millions
of patients each year. More than a
quarter of these patients die.
Humans are very sensitive to
most inflammatory stimuli, whereas
mice are highly resistant to the very
same stimuli. Indeed, mice are about
10,000-fold more resistant than
humans to endotoxin, which is one of
the most common pro-inflammatory
bacterial toxins used to study inammation. Unlike humans, mice tolerate
millions of live bacteria in their blood
before the induction of severe inammation or shock. Some recent work
suggests that the gene responses of
mice to inflammatory stimuli may
be different from those in humans.
A recent large-scale study compared
the individual gene responses in three
human conditions (acute trauma, acute
burns and injection of tiny amounts of
endotoxin into volunteers) with the
mouse models used to study these
conditions. There was very poor correlation of gene responses in the two
species. This study undermines the
current widespread assumption that

Shaw Warren
is a physicianresearcher at
Massachusetts
General Hospitals
Infectious
Disease Unit
and Harvard
Medical
School, Boston,
Massachusetts.
More information
regarding the
approach outlined
in this article
is available at
massgeneral.org/
id/labs/
warren/spirit

mice
mic
e ar
are
e go
good
odmodels
modelsfo
forr human
humanin
in
ammatory diseases. Inflammation is an
essential component of many diseases,
including cancer, atherosclerosis and
autoimmune diseases, so it seems likely
that the two species may differ in gene
responses to these diseases as well.
Because most researchers have
been assuming that mice and humans
have similar immune systems, we
still know very little about why the
species react differently to disease. In
general, immune cells from mice and
humans behave similarly when studied
in test-tube cell-culture systems.
However, their different responses
become manifest in mice or humans
in vivo. It therefore seems possible that
partofthespeciesdifferencemayreect
the way immune cells are controlled.
By way of analogy, such a difference
would be akin to a difference in
the software rather than in the
hardware of the immune system.
Mice have a high natural resistance
to inammation whereas humans do
not in many situations mice behave
as if already treated. Once we have a
better understanding of these differences, the solution might then be to
emulate mice rather than use them as a
poor proxy for humans. Indeed, it may
be possible to re-programme human
inammatory and immune responses
to become more like those in mice.

ILLUSTRATION: DAVOR PAVELI

You are not a mouse. So


why test drugs on them?

WILL POTTER

Hold factory farms to


account with drones

he agriculture industry is
waging an international
campaign to create a media
blackout. In response to
a series of investigations
by animal-welfare groups
that has resulted in criminal prosecutions and consumer
outrage, the industry is promoting
new ag-gag laws that make it illegal to photograph factory farms and
slaughterhouses. About half a dozen
US states currently have these laws,
and now this censorship model is
being adopted internationally.
So how should journalists respond
to investigative methods and sources
being criminalised? Just as the
best response to governments banning books is to encourage reading
them, the best response to banning
photographs is to encourage more
photography. Its time for journalists
to send in the drones.
As a reporter, I always want to see
whats hidden. When government
documents are redacted, it naturally
makes them more intriguing. And
when factory farms introduce new
laws to prohibit media exposure, it
makes me want to see what it is that
they are hiding.
Thats why, for my next investigation, I will be using aerial drone
photography to investigate factory farms, particularly in states
where these ag-gag laws are being
debated. Im not the only one who is
curious: my Kickstarter to finance
the project was funded by nearly 500
supporters in just ve days, and the
response was so overwhelming that
the project has been expanded.
Drones are cheap, simple and
potential game changers for newsrooms, the Columbia Journalism
Review recently noted in a cover
story. In the hands of journalists,
drones are already being used to
document mass protests, wildlife,
oil spills, war-torn landscapes and
natural disasters.

In my case, drones will probably


not be able to document all of the
animal cruelty the agriculture industry
is trying to hide. However, they will
be able to reveal pollution and environmental destruction. Photographer Mishka Henner used satellites to
create startling images of cattlefeedlot pollution (see WIRED 05.14). If
that is possible from space, what else
would be possible with a drone?
The American Farm Bureau has
already spoken out against drone
photography, citing privacy concerns.
But it does not invade anyones
privacy to photograph a landscape
safely from the air. By this reasoning,
should factory farms also be censored
from Google Earth?
More importantly, the agriculture
industrys privacy does not trump
the rights of consumers to know how
their food is produced. Its in the
public interest to see these images,
and make informed decisions. As

Will Potter is a
journalist and TED
Fellow based in
Washington, DC.
He is the author of
Green Is the New
Red: An Insiders
Account of a Social
Movement Under
Siege (City Lights)

governments rapidly expand their use


of drones for indiscriminate surveillance, its time journalists used the
same technology for the public good.
Journalists in the US are eager to
embrace this technology. A media
survey by the National Press Photographers Association showed
overwhelming support within the
industry: 86 per cent of journalists
said drone photography is a First
Amendment right, and more than
70 per cent said drones would be a
useful tool in their newsroom.
What is stopping them? More than
half of respondents said they were
concerned about violating state or
federal regulations. The Federal
Aviation Association has taken a hardline stance against drone journalism,
sending cease-and-desist letters to
journalism courses at the University of Missouri. Thus far, though,
this hasnt held up in court. The US
National Transportation Safety
Board recently threw out the only ne
that has been levied against a drone
photographer. In that case, the New
York Times, Washington Post, Associated Press and a group of major
media companies argued that the
public stands to benet enormously
from journalists using drones.
The agriculture industry seems
to recognise this potential, too: its
lobbyists are already pushing new
laws that expand ag-gag to the
air. In Texas a hobbyist recorded, by
chance, pools of blood pouring into a
river from a nearby slaughterhouse.
Because of the photography, the
facility was shut down and charged
with dumping industrial waste.
In response, the agriculture industry helped pass a new law in Texas
that prohibits citizens from using
unmanned aircrafts to take pictures.
Corporate lobbyists have turned
their eyes to the sky. Its time for
journalists to do the same.

INVESTIGATIVE UAVS / MINDFUL JUDGMENT / IDEAS BANK / 073

V I N C E N T D E A RY

ILLUSTRATION: IVIND HOVLAND; HARRIET LEE-MERRION

Start by deciding to
make effective decisions

n Intelligence, the Sky 1 drama,


Gabriel is an agent whose abilities
have been enhanced by a chip in
his brain. Gabriel asks his minder
if he is nothing more than a robot.
She answers: We are dened by
the decisions we make. Robots
dont make decisions, they execute
code. You make decisions, Gabriel.
The distinction she makes mirrors
thinking in psychology that distinguishes between automatic and deliberate processes. These dual-process
theories suggest that to be human
is to be able to do both: we make
decisions and execute code mostly
the latter. Occasionally we reach cross-

roads moments when were required


to deliberate. Social scientists talk of
these as liminal, threshold moments,
when we are in transition from
who we are to who we will become.

Vincent Deary is a
health psychologist
at Northumbria
University. His
debut book is
How To Live (Allen
Lane), on why we
are so resistant to
conscious change

Take my friend Sara. She has left one


very successful career and is trying to
begin a new one. Shes anxious and
exhausted, unable to decide which
move is the best. Another friend, Abhi,
is trying to decide between staying
in India, living under a set of family
expectations which would crucify his
identity, and returning to England,
where previous attempts to make
a career and a life ended in failure.
In psychological parlance Sara is in
approach-approach conict, Abhi is in
avoidance-avoidance conict. But both
are in conict, neither is at peace. If we
think of these times in terms of the core
psychology components of cognition,
emotion and connation, it becomes
clearer why they are so troubling.
The sustained attention and
arousal required by decision-making
are exhausting. How to manage?
First we must discern their dangers.
The arousal that powers the process
can also derail us. Sometimes we leap
just to end the conict. Psychology and
modernpsychotherapycangiveussome

clues as to how to stay the course. This is


why mindfulness is part of the armoury
for stress management, its a stepping
backfromourthoughtsandnoticingthe
conict without getting embroiled in it.
Such time out will not only be restorative but will also shift some of the
decision making to our more intuitive
processes. Also, these are times when
we should use our social networks to
do some of the cognitive and emotional
processing that the decision entails.
Lastly, we need to connect to our
higher-order goals. This means asking
what our decision is in the service
of, ie what kind of person we want to
be, what kind of life we value, and if
our decision moves us closer to that.
Raising our eyes above the turbulence
and looking at the horizon helps us not
only weather the storm of decision but
also make considered choices. We need
to be careful what we decide is not led
by a desire to end the conict, but by a
desire to get where we really want to be.

MICHAEL MAINELLI

We need to reinvent
the patent process

ntellectual property is the


21st centurys global commercial b a t t l e g ro u n d , re p l e te
with intellect but also property and theft. Three types of
IP dominate. Trade designs
and marks are aimed at the
clear offence of passing off , ie
fraud and plagiarism. Copyright
gives exclusive rights, though for
a limited time. Artists and corporations, especially ICT and media
corporations, lobby to stretch and
extend these rights to the limit.
However, the big, messy, wasteful
battlefield is patents. Unclear IP
boundaries collide with national

borders. Tim Berners-Lee has said:


Patents are often used by large
companies who can afford the legal
fees, or some one-man bands who have
nothing to lose and [are] hoping for a
pay off from a larger company. Weve
had recent announcements that Tesla
is opening or freeing up its patent
portfolio, the US Supreme Court again
questioning software patents, and the
Chinese government publishing a
revealing list of patents that a western
rm allegedly used to bully Androidbased rms into licensing deals.
Society grants inventors temporary
monopolies as patents in return for full
disclosure. In this way IP is not lost, and

ILLUSTRATION: BETH WALROND

TREATING THE PATENT / IDEAS BANK / 075

at some future point is shared. It is not


about intellectual rights; rather it is
about economic advantage. US patent
numbers grow steadily at over four per
cent compound per year since 1990.
Yet we nd that the creative periods in
many industries chemicals in the early
20th century, computing in the 60s or
biotechnology in the 80s precede, not
follow, the appropriation of IP.
Some argue that more invention
occursafterpatentscomeintoexistence,
butthisistypicallymeasuredinpatents.
Microsoft files around 3,000 patents
a year. In 1990 it had ve. The success
rate of applications is fairly stable,
roughly 50 per cent over the course of
the century. Patent awards are not a
measureofsuccess;theyreameasureof
peoplesbeliefthattheycanmakemoney
from them. Frivolous lawsuits, bullying
by patent trolls, patent portfolios
barring market entry and no proof of
increased innovation all undermine
the case for the patent regime.
Patent offices are 19th-century,
fixed-fee stamping machines. There

Michael Mainelli is
emeritus professor
of commerce at
Gresham College
and co-author of
The Price of Fish
(Nicholas Brealey)

is no redress against a patent office


if a patent is poorly awarded. Patent
offices ration resource inputs (bureaucratic time) rather than balance
supply and demand with risk. Instead
of maintaining quality when things
get busy, patent offices do poorer
work. Poor quality patent issuance
is an economic externality borne by
society through the legal system and
innovation forgone.
To x this, patent offices should be
forced to offer a legal indemnity for
each patent. If a patent office issues a
patent that is overturned, it pays up to a
certain amount towards legal costs. The
indemnity is a recourse to the inventor
for the patent office failing to ensure
the invention is novel and non-obvious.
Patents would be worth signicantly
more with such an indemnity, especially
to smaller players, because potential
litigators would know that the smaller
player will be supported by the patent
office, and with some money.
The failures of patent offices should
not be dumped on the legal system

but, equally, patent offices need to


show the value that they add. Its
now time for patent offices to put
their money where their mouths are.

0 76 / I D E A S B A N K / T O TA L R E C A L L

BEN AMBRIDGE

any researchers believe our memory


stores everything weve ever seen. In
1945,theUSmilitarysetuptheAirForce
Cambridge Research Center to develop
technology used in Cold War defence
systems (including one of the earliest
methods of digitally transmitting data
over telephone lines). In 1958 the centre
turned its attention to exploring the
limits of human memory, with the
aid of a Harvard University professor
called Roger Shepard. He showed his
participants 600 pictures, each for just
a few seconds. They were then asked
to identify a previously seen picture
from a series of pairs, each containing
an old and a new picture. The ndings
were remarkable: the average person
was able to recognise the old picture
98 per cent of the time. But there was
nothing special about the pictures.
There is every reason to believe that
if the participants had been called back,
they would have shown similar performance for another 600. And another.
And another. And so on ad innitum.
What Shepards findings suggest
is that memory really is limitless;
that everything we see, do or hear is
stored. The bottleneck in the system
is not storage capacity, but retrieval

getting the memories out. Imagine,


for example, if Shepard had asked his
participants simply to list all the items
theyd seen. Not a chance. But when we
use testing methods that are sensitive
enough to tap into deeply buried and
fragile memory traces, what we find
is that theyre all in there somewhere.
This idea of total storage has radical
implications for our understanding of
how humans think and talk about the
world. Consider, for example, your
concept of a table. The traditional
view is that you take all the tables you
have seen and somehow mush them
together to form a mental picture of
an archetypal table. Having stored this
table prototype, you then throw away
all your individual table memories.
In fact, we do not seem to throw away all
our individual memories of particular
tables, or of anything else. Just think
about all the tables you could recognise:
your kitchen table, your coffee table,
your desk at the office. Just as with
Shepards study, the ability to recognise
something as previously seen means
that a memory of it is stored somewhere
in your brain. So, given that your brain
stores thousands of table memories
anyway, there is nothing to be gained
by additionally storing some mystical
prototype table. Under the totalstorage view, your concept of a table
is nothing more than the set of every
table you have ever seen.
The same applies to language.
How do you know how to pronounce
football? The traditional view is
you blend all the different pronunciations youve ever heard, and store
some kind of idealised pronunciation,
before junking the originals. But we
dont seem to junk them. Think about
your ability to recognise accents. You
know how football sounds when
it is pronounced by pretty much all
your friends, family and colleagues.
When you want to say football,
there is no need for a dictionary-style
mental prototype; you have many
thousands of examples to go on.

Ben Ambridges
book, Psy-Q
(Prole), contains a
version of Shepards
memory test as
well as tests of your
logical reasoning
and preferences in
a romantic partner

And its not just individual words.


Psychologists and linguists are
ditching rules of grammar that, since
Noam Chomskys work in the 50s, have
been held up as the pinnacle of human
cognition. What are they replacing
them with? Mass storage. How do
children know, for example, that to
form a past tense in English, you add
ed (eg, play/played)? The traditional
idea is that children set up a rule: stick
ed on the end. But this doesnt seem
to be right. Experiments have shown
that children are better at producing
the past tense for verbs that have lots
of similar-sounding friends (hiss/
hissed, miss/missed) than for verbs
that dont (crimp/crimped). This
would be a total mystery if children
were using a one-size-ts-all add -ed
rule, but makes perfect sense if they
are simply storing all the past tense
forms they have ever heard and when
stuck looking to friends for a clue.
Our experiences and experimental
studies of language and cognition
s u gge s t e v e r y t h i n g i s i n t h e re
somewhere; the problem is getting it
out. Now, where did I put my car keys?

ILLUSTRATION: DAVID DORAN

We should forget the idea


that we forget anything

SPONSOR
THE

OCTOBER 18,
2014
LONDON

EVENT
PARTNER

A N E V E N T F RO M W I R E D T O I N S P I R E YO U N G M I N D S

Your chance to send a group


of teenagers to discover
WIRED2014: Next Generation
WIRED is looking for
partners to sponsor
groups of young people
to attend WIRED2014:
Next Generation. This is
an amazing opportunity
to help teenagers who
wouldnt otherwise be
able to attend. The event
is an inspirational day with
appearances from some

of the most exciting figures


in the WIRED network,
and by sponsoring a set of
tickets you could change
the course of a young
persons life. Organisations
can purchase sets of 100
tickets, in doing so proving
they are committed to
supporting the next
generation of innovators.

Confirmed
speakers
include:
Rizzle Kicks, charttopping UK musicians
Suli Breaks, poet with
more than 220,000
YouTube followers
Roma Agrawal, an
architect who worked on
the Shard for six years
Beth Reekles, author
who self-published
The Kissing Booth

CONTACT: CLAIRE.DOBSON@CONDENAST.CO.UK
G ro u p t i c ke t s p o n s o r s w i l l re ce i ve eve n t p a r t n e r s ta t u s , h a ve t h e i r l o g o o n eve n t
co l l a t e r a l , b e t h a n ke d o n s t a g e a n d m o r e . Fo r eve n t d e t a i l s v i s i t w i r e d . co . u k /n e x t g e n
TICKETING PARTNER

WIRED Next Generation is open only to those aged 12 to 18.


Adults are welcome only with an accompanying teenager.

W I R E D C U LT U R E / E D I T E D B Y O L I V E R F R A N K L I N / 0 8 1

PHOTOGRAPHY: JORDAN HOLLENDER

Movements are
pre-programmed using
microcontrollers

Deep-sea
robots

Taiwanese artist Shih Chieh Huang makes glowing robot sea creatures
from everyday objects. The result: surreal sculptures that shimmer and
pulse like jellysh. To create each piece, Huang, 39, collects items, from
discarded furniture to plastic bags and cheap sensors, in his Brooklyn
studio. Ive always worked with household objects, says Huang, a TED

Fellow. My favourite thing is going to


99-cent stores [around the world]. The
things you nd are always different.
Computer cooling fans combined with
plasticbagsbecomebillowingtentacles;
Tupperware is transformed into an
exoskeleton;highlighterinkdissolvedin
water becomes luminous body uid. To
make his creations react, Huang hacks
together garage-door sensors, guitar
tuners and light sensors, all connected
to a basic microcontroller.
Trained at New Yorks School of
Visual Arts, Huang credits his talent
for electronics to the skills he learnt as
a child in Taiwan. When I rst moved
to the US, I was making a lot of extracredit projects for school because my
English wasnt very good, he recalls.
For science class, I would take apart

a remote-controlled car and try to


build an [animated] molecule using the
motors. Interested in bioluminescent
wildlife, he completed a fellowship at
the Smithsonian Museum of Natural
HistoryinWashingtontostudydeep-sea
creatures; the resulting work was
displayed at TED2014 in Vancouver.
He is now nalising a new series of
workstodebutearlynextyear,including
his first foray into wearable sculptures. All of the objects I use could do
more than they are made to, says
Huang. Everything has more than one
function. I want people to keep their
imaginations open. OF messymix.com

Huang draws inspiration from deep-sea


creatures evolutionary adaptations

0 THE RAPTURE

WN OF THE DEAD
0 D AW

0 FA I L- S A F E

0 WA R O F T H E W O R L D S

AY T H E E A R T H S T O O D S T I L L
0 T H E D AY

-1 HOUR D R S T R A N G E L O V E

- 1 DAY I N D E P E N D E N C E D AY

-3 WEEKS S E E K I N G A F R I E N D F O R T H E
END OF THE WORLD

-28 DAYS D O N N I E D A R K O

-40 DAYS N O A H

-MONTHS M E L A N C H O L I A

-1 YEAR D E E P I M PA C T

disaster ick begins in


2009, three years before
the date of the ancient
Mayan apocalypse.

-3 2 0 1 2
Y EARS Roland Emmerichs

Set eight years before


sequel Dawn of, and
according to director
Rupert Wyatt, 2,000
years before the original
Planet of the Apes.

-8 R I S E O F T H E P L A N E T
Y EARS O F T H E A P E S

Although Kyle Reese is


sent back in time to 1984
from a post-apocalyptic
2029, the actual
apocalypse occurs in Rise
of the Machines in 2004.

- 20 T H E T E R M I N AT O R
Y EARS

PRE-APOCALYPSE

Technically mid-apocalypse, but


Earth is given a day to come to terms
with its demise. Wrong move, aliens.

APOCALYPSE WHEN?

Lost co-creator Damon Lindelofs new Sky Atlantic drama


The Leftovers takes place three years after a Rapture-like event
has taken two per cent of the population. As WIRED shows, the
end isnt always as nigh as you might think. Stephen Kelly

DURING

Shock
tactics

This is a Polaroid unlike any youve seen


before. New York-based artist Phillip Stearns
created the surreal shot as part of his High
Voltage series by zapping Polaroid instant
lm with 15,000 volts. The fractal patterns
produced by electrical discharge known as Lichtenberg
gures are the footprint of the electric forces at play, says
Stearns, 32. What was striking was their resemblance to
the distribution of blood vessels in the retina. Its uncanny.
Stearns was inspired by photographic artists like Hiroshi
Sugimoto, who applied electrostatic charge to photographic
paper, and the chemigrams of Pierre Cordier. To create his
own images, Stearns attaches Polaroid Type 55 or Fujilm
FP-100C to a metal plate. He then holds an electrode attached
to a neon transformer over the lm; as the electric charge
jumps the gap, silver halides in the paper are vaporised, so
dyes [in the lm] ow freely, forming a negative image of
the discharge. Stearns can alter the colour of the image by
applying chemicals such as bleach or exposing it to light.
I ride the ne line between discharging a few light arcs
across the surface and completely nuking the lm, he says.
The piece will go on display this autumn as part of a solo
exhibition at New Yorks Transfer Gallery. Next, Stearns
hopes to develop the technique further. Id like to work
more with the chemistry of the lm itself, he says. A word
of warning: With voltages this high, one should take the
necessary precautions by no means am I advocating that
anyone else try this at home,
he says. The risk of death
Tablet extra!
Download the WIRED
by electric shock is quite real.
app for more images
OF phillipstearns.com
from the series

APOCALYPSE

+ 2,00 0 P L A N E T O F T H E A P E S
YEARS

having departed the planet 700 years before.

+ 1,00 0
YEARS A F T E R E A R T H

+70 0 WA L L E
YEARS Begins in 2805, with a slobby human race

Set 500 years after the polar ice caps melt,


making it one of the few end-of-days icks
not based on aliens or zombies.

+50 0 WAT E R W O R L D
YEARS

Neo being stripped from the Matrix in 2199.

+10 9 T H E M AT R I X
YEARS The machine uprising began in 2090, with

C A LY P S E T I M E L I N E / P L AY / 0 8 3

Both pre- and post-, with the X-Men


travelling back 51 years in time to 1973
in order to stop the rise of the Sentinels.

+5 1 X- M E N : D AY S O F F U T U R E PA S T
YEARS

+3 1
YEARS A K I R A

The end itself is unspecied, but having


taken place around The Boys birth, we
can guess it has been about ten years.

+1 0
YEARS T H E R O A D

We meet Will Smiths protagonist


in 2012, with the cancer-cure virus
having wiped out the majority of
the population three years before.

+3 I AM LEGEND
YEARS

+2
YEARS T H E O M E G A M A N

+2 8
DAYS 2 8 D AY S L AT E R

0 THIS IS THE END

0 W O R L D WA R Z

Technically
Tech
Te
chnica
nically
lly prepre-,, mi
pr
middand post
post-apo
post-apocalyptic,
-apocaly
-apo
calyptic
caly
ptic,,
ptic
with the end
ending
ing show
showing
ing
Shaun
Shau
n living
living in a po
poststzombie
zomb
zo
mbie world
w
world.
orld..
orld

0 SHAUN OF THE DEAD

0 T H E D AAYY A F T E R
TOMORROW

ILLUSTRATION: MICHAEL PAUKNER

ELECTRIC ART / AP

POST-APOCALYPSE

Anniversary Wedding

Lifetime achievement

Private collection

Create your own legend

COND NAST

PORTR AIT
Hand-finished books, glossy magazines and
films by the publishers of Vogue,
Vanity Fair and Cond Nast Traveller.
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cnportrait.com

CADMODDED
PUPPETS

Handmade
movie

HOW LAIKA COMBINED STOPMOTION WITH 3D PRINTING


TO BRING THE BOXTROLLS TO LIFE
Until recently, stop-motion
animation looked doomed by
CGI. Then Laika came along. By
combining handmade artistry
with new technologies like 3D
printing, the Oregon-based
studio behind Coraline and ParaNorman has
revitalised the 100-year-old genre.
For The Boxtrolls (out September 12) the
studio has created its most astonishingly detailed
world yet. Inspired by Alan Snows novel Here
Be Monsters!, the lm follows Eggs, a boy who
stumbles across a subterranean kingdom of
rubbish-collecting creatures. Its sort of the
War and Peace of subterranean steampunk
novels it has a cast of thousands, says co-director Graham Annable. To create such a cast,
each of the films 185 puppets was handmade,
using silicone sculpted over a posable stainless
steel armature. The faces are separated into
interchangeable segments, allowing animators
to swap them completely between frames.
Having pioneered the use of 3D-printed faces
in ParaNorman (WIRED 09.12), Laika took the
process even further for The Boxtrolls. Each 1:5
scale puppet is 3D scanned and its expression
tweaked using CAD software, before the new face
is fabricated using a Laika-modied 3D Systems
printer. The rapid-prototyping department
produced up to 150 faces per day during lming,
totalling more than 37,000. Its incredible to see
the leap in detail and colour, says Annable. Its
allowed us to do much subtler performances.
One of the lms climactic scenes also includes
the studios biggest puppet yet, a giant mecha-

nised steampunk drill. It stands over 5ft tall, and


I think is our most complex ever, says co-director
Anthony Stacchi. A hidden iPad playing a video of
ames acts as an internal furnace. The hardest
thing was making all the gears, which had to t
the visual style but they also had to work.
Its such minute attention to detail, Stacchi says,
that allows stop-motion lms continue to compete
with big-budget CGI blockbusters. Movies cant
keep getting much bigger or more elaborate than
films like Pacific Rim or Transformers, says
Stacchi. So films will have to find some other
unique way to wow their audience. OF laika.com

Director of photography
John Ashlee Prat adjusts the
lighting. The animators shoot
20 frames per day; the entire
film will have 125,280 frames

Tablet extra!
Download the WIRED
app to see more images
and watch the trailer

STOP-MOTION ANIMATION REINVENTED / PL AY / 085

Terminal
velocity
THE BATTERY-POWERED RACER THAT
COULD TRANSFORM ELECTRIC CARS

XKCD DOES SCIENCE


What if you tried to hit
a baseball travelling
at nearly the speed of light?
What if we all really had just
one soul mate wouldnt
we all die alone? Randall
Munroe, creator of web
comic xkcd and former Nasa
roboticist, knows the answer.
I sometimes cover science
in xkcd, so people would
write to me saying My friend
and I are having an argument
about how you could dodge
a bullet moving at the speed
of light, says Munroe, 29.
I would get sucked into
answering them for hours.
At his spin-off blog
What If? published in
book form by John Murray
Press on September 4
Munroe answers readers
absurd hypotheticals with
his signature meticulous
research and light-hearted
doodles. For the weirder
questions, the best data

you can nd is from Cold


War research, because the
US military was interested
in how materials behaved in
extreme circumstances, he
says. So for what happens
to a persons face when
exposed to Mach 2 wind,
I found grainy Xeroxed
papers on the data they got
putting someone on a rocket
sledge in a wind tunnel.
One of his favourite
questions (pictured, below)
is What would happen if
you tried to build a periodic
table out of bricks made from
each element? I had to call
up a chemist to discuss the
number of ways it could kill
you. Some with re, some
with radiation and some
would just vaporise you,
he says. Ive probably done
more academic research
for two questions than
my whole college degree.
MV what-if.xkcd.com

CHASSIS
Built by the Italian rm Dallara,
which also makes the chassis for Indy cars,
the Formula E chassis is made of a strong,
lightweight carbon-bre composite.
As in a typical F1 car, the driver sits in an
aluminium tub for better crash protection.

STEERING WHEEL
Many of the controls here are what youd
nd on a typical race car, but now theres also
a knob for adjusting the motors power
and a button that engages a temporary speed
boost for passing. And, of course, a screen
displays how much juice is left in the battery.

Q: What would happen if you made a periodic


table out of cube-shaped bricks, where each
brick was made of the corresponding element?
A: You could stack the top two rows without too much trouble.
The third row would burn you with re, the fourth would kill
you with toxic smoke. The fth row would do all that stuff plus
give you a dose of radiation, while the sixth would explode
in a radioactive, poisonous re. Do not build the seventh row.

TYRES
Michelin designed a 45cm tyre thats
treaded for all-weather performance and is so
rugged, it wont need to be changed mid-race.
This makes the series more sustainable
and also saves the teams cash a single tyre
gun can cost thousands of pounds.

RACING RECHARGED / SCIENCE ILLUSTRATED / PL AY / 087

Much of high-end auto racing has always been about squeezing


a bit more kinetic energy out of each drop of petrol. But improvements in electric car technology mean racing is ready to ditch the
fossil fuels. Starting in September, the new Formula E series will
bring teams from around the world to compete on the streets of
London, Beijing, Monte Carlo, Buenos Aires and six other cities. And theyll all
be driving a version of the same car: the Spark-Renault SRT_01E. Built using
systems from several storied automotive firms, the 800kg electrorocket
represents the thinking of the best minds in the sport. Carmakers hope
that new ideas will emerge from the crucible of racing to zoom all electric
vehicles forward. Heres what makes it go. Jason Fagone www.aformulae.com

BATTERY PACK
Behind the driver sits a 350kg cube
containing 164 lithium-ion batteries with a
racing capacity of 30 kilowatt-hours enough
for 20-30 minutes of hard driving. Races
will last twice that, so when a pit stop is due,
hell hop into a different, fully charged car.

BATTERY MANAGEMENT SYSTEM


Racing drains battery cells more rapidly
and recharges them constantly through
the regeneration system. Each second,
the unit captures some 350,000 inputs
that help the software maximise the health
and performance of the battery pack.

ELECTRIC MOTOR
The 25.8kg cylindrical motor comes from
British company McLaren and is used in its
866,000 P1 hybrid. One important feature
is the motors regeneration system: whenever
the driver takes their foot off the throttle,
the spinning rotor charges the battery pack.

125cm

500cm

PHOTOGRAPHY: WILSON HENNESSY.


ILLUSTRATION: BRYAN CHRISTIE DESIGN

THE EVENT FOR TAILOR-MADE LUXURY


TRAVEL EXPERIENCES
69 November 2014, Olympia London
BE INSPIRED
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PHOTOGRAPHY: CHRIS BUCK

NOVEL CHALLENGE / PL AY / 089

Puzzle
master

AUTHOR JAMES FREY WANTS YOU TO


SOLVE HIS NEW BOOK FOR $500,000

James Freys ambition is matched only by his talent for causing


a stir: the author earned notoriety when his bestselling 2003 memoir
A Million Little Pieces was revealed as partially fabricated. When not
creating controversy with his books, hes doing it through Full Fathom
Five, his young adult (YA) publishing company that, since 2010, has produced the
hit I Am Number Four as well as allegations of unfair contracts. In October, Frey
will release Endgame: The Calling, the rst of a new trilogy co-written with Nils
Johnson-Shelton about a global scavenger hunt. The kicker: its pages contain
a real-world puzzle whose solver will win $500,000 (295,000). Frey spoke to
WIRED about his critics, the future of fiction and creating the challenge. OF

There has already been an online


backlash due to assumed similarities
with the plot of The Hunger Games.
If you read the book its not like The
Hunger Games, really. And you can
trace heavy inuence on The Hunger
Games back to Japan. People are going
to compare it to something and people
like to take a shot at me, and thats ne.

The book also has a built-in socialmedia element. How will it work?
The 13 major characters in the books
have had Twitter and Google+ feeds
running for nine months, so when the
book comes out they will have had
social-media proles for over a year. We
have a YouTube channel that has about
three and a half hours of content on it.
We make them all here at our offices
in Connecticut. Nobody knows they
exist yet, but when the book comes out,
people will discover them.
Youve also collaborated with Google
Niantic Labs to create an accompanying Endgame smartphone app.
We wanted to build the puzzle in the
book using Google search results
and Maps co-ordinates. I was also
fascinated because Niantic had just
launched (augmented-reality title)
Ingress. So I approached John Hanke,
who runs Niantic, and he said, Weve
been thinking about the same things.
Were creating a separate ction for the
AR game, which springboards off six
novellas Google are publishing called
The Endgame Outsider.

Do you think YA novels are more


commercially viable than those aimed
at older audiences?
Part of the reason we wrote a YA book is
because 60-year-olds are not going to
get lit up on this the way a 16-year-old
will. Thats a very generational thing.

TRENDING

TRUE BLOOD
FINALLY ENDS
And data proves
that pop cultures
vampire craze
is over, too
140
120
100
80
60
40

Given your history with A Million


Little Pieces, do you think that people
are going to trust the puzzle is real?
A Million Little Pieces came out 11 years
ago. If people dont believe Im going to
give away the gold, they dont have to
participate. Ive got a lot of corporate
partners Fox, HarperCollins, Google
who are all in this together. If I say
I am doing this and I dont do it, I can
get sued into the ground.
Do you see projects such as this
as the future of novels?
For ten years people have been
discussing what some call transmedia I dont really like that word
or what the future of storytelling is. So
yeah, I think the future is some version
of this. My company is working on three
or four more universes like [Endgame].
If this works the way we hope it does,
a lot of people will follow.

Time

Endgame: The Calling is released on


October 7 (HarperCollins)

090 / PL AY / MINIATURE NFC HEROES

BIG GAMES
THINK
SMALLER
Miniatures are suddenly
massive. Thanks to
Activisions NFC-enabled
Skylanders gaming gures
becoming a playground
phenomenon, this autumn
rival developers are rolling out
toys-to-life games of their
own, to conquer both consoles
and completist collectors.
WIRED measures up the
competition. Matt Kamen

Amiibo
Announced at this years E3,
Nintendos Amiibo gures work
with the Wii U gamepads
NFC detector and the 3DS via
a peripheral. Players can
use the toys to move data
between consoles and games.

Disney Innity: Marvel Super


Heroes (2.0 Edition)
Disney Interactives Innity
toys unlock adventures
tailored to Disney characters
the 2.0 Edition (out September
19) brings Marvel Comics
heroes and villains into the mix.

Skylanders: Trap Team


Activisions fourth Skylanders
incarnation now lets players
capture enemy monsters,
to be summoned later in battle,
Pokmon-style. This latest
game also promises to include
more female characters.

*SOURCE: IMDB.COM

Full Fathom Five has previously


released several experimental novels.
My company was started to try to
create the future of books. We were the
rst company to release a book with a
synchronised soundtrack (The Power of
Six),whichwedidwithacompanycalled
BookTrack. We were the rst to release
a book with a video game (Jack Blaines
The Nightworld), where you had to read
thebooktoplaythegameandviceversa.
We were the first company to write
the book and the script side-by-side,
which we did with DreamWorks
(I Am Number Four). In many ways, that
was all prep to do Endgame.

Previous page
(main image):
be the rst to visit
the URL hidden
in the exclusive
Endgame puzzle
created for WIRED
to win a copy
of the book

2007
2008
2009
2010
2011
2012
2013

Youve created a huge Endgame


universe novellas, a game, the lm
all before the novel is even out.
How does that work?
Whenever I am doing a novel now
I think about how I can use the
technology available to make it more
than just a book. Im not that interested
in doing just an old-fashioned book.
I look at social media, YouTube, the web
and phones as tools in my storytelling
toolbox. So I had this idea to tell a story
about a global scavenger hunt, and then
build an actual global scavenger hunt
using all the media we possibly could.

At the centre of the book is the puzzle,


and there are complex cryptographic
clues embedded into the text.
How much input did you have in
designing it?
I have a friend who worked for
Goldman Sachs who told me about
this crazy charity scavenger hunt
that the company does every year.
I got in touch with Mat Laibowitz,
who runs it. Hes a PhD from MIT
Media Lab, an unbelievably smart
dude. He and his company, Futuruption,
built the real puzzle.

Amount of lms and TV shows*

WIRED: How did the idea forEndgame


come about?
James Frey: When I was ten my mum
gavemeabookcalledMasqueradebyKit
Williams. It had this puzzle written into
thetext,andifyoucouldsolvethepuzzle
there was a solid-gold, jewel-encrusted
hare buried somewhere. I became
obsessed with it, and I was thinking
how could I bring that same sense of
excitement and wonder to a book.

HEALTH MONEY

2014

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GEN

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LONDON
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60,000
INSECT
ARTISTS

This sweet sculpture was built


by bees. Its one of five pieces
in the Yuansu II series from
Chinese artist Ren Ri, which
explores the natural architecture of honeybee hives. In the process of
keeping bees, I found those little creatures are
reallygeniusarchitects,saysBeijing-basedRi.
The process of nesting inch by inch, using
structured orthohexagonal cells is very much
like how human beings construct the world.
Ri, 30, shapes each sculpture by controlling
the position of the queen bee at the centre of
each acrylic shell. He coats the inside of each
structure and the mesh of support struts with
beeswax and propolis resin that bees collect
from plants to help them acclimatise (Bees
prefer a plane surface, he explains). Ri rotates
the hives every seven days, using the changes
in gravity to alter the sculptures nal form.
Ris affinity for bees began during his
childhood in the rural region of Wuhan, before
studying a PhD in sculpture at Beijings Central
Academy of Fine Arts. He has used them for
Yuansu I: The Origin of Geometry, a series of
topographic maps, and Yuansu III, a performance art piece in which the bees settle on
his body in front of an audience. (Yes, he
gets stung regularly.) He is now using the
honeycomb technique to grow a 1.6-metre
sphere, to be exhibited this autumn.
The most difficult part is overcoming the
inside fear in ones heart toward bees. Once
you relax toward them, they become friendly,
he says. My work is a process of co-ordination
and co-operation. I was there simply to change
the direction of gravity all the rest was left
to the bees. OF weibo.com/u/2757365410
Right: it takes up to a year for Ren Ris
colony of bees to build their honeycombs

Art
buzz
REN RI IS PUTTING HONEYBEES
HOMEMAKING SKILLS ON SHOW

HIVE OF ACTIVIT Y / DANCEFLOOR DATA / PL AY / 093

THE CHARTS

YOUR PARENTS
WERE WRONG
You can get rich
from gaming if
youre very, very
good at it. Here are
its top earners in
June according to
esportsearnings.com
(winnings shown
in $1,000s)
600
500
400
300
200
100

ILLUSTRATION:
SEOR SALME

Jang MC Min Chul (Starcraft II)


Oleksandr XBOCT Dashkevych (Dota 2)
Johnathan Fatal1ty Wendel (Painkiller)
Danil Dendi Ishutin (Dota 2)
Lee Jaedong Jae Dong (Starcraft II)

BANGER
ANALYSIS
Anyone can drop a beat the
question is: when? Rana June
wanted to nd out, so she created
Lightwave: activity-tracking wristbands
that analyse a crowds skin temperature,
movement and sweat levels to give DJs
feedback on energy levels, so they know
when to crank up the tempo. Its like
Google Analytics for real life, she says.
Lightwave blends Junes two
seemingly disparate career strands;
venture capitalist and DJ. Before
launching the California-based startup,
she founded Medialets, which raised
$30m (17m) in funding for its app
analytics technology. But after picking
up an early iPad, she became fascinated
by the freedom it offered to the formerly
machine-shackled DJ. When I was
playing guitar, I could wander around,
June says. So I thought, why not
untether the DJ? The result was a
portable, carbon-bre exoskeleton
running up to six iPads in sequence.
Lightwave stemmed from Junes
frustration at lacking the data she had
access to at Medialets; she wanted
to know how her DJ sets were being
received without relying on social media.
The wristbands, given out on the door
like regular event wristbands, debuted
at a raucous SXSW show where the
data was used to spur the crowd into
a girls-against-boys dance-off. June
has also deployed the technology at
Londons Emirates Stadium to give fans
real-time biometric data of footballers
performances, and is exploring its use in
cinemas, too. In business, if you cant
measure it, you cant manage it, says
June. Artists are part of this datadriven world, so why not embrace it?
Tom Banham lightwave.io

GAMES GET
EMOTIONAL
That Dragon, Cancer,
(in-game image
shown, below) starts
unlike any other game
we can think of: in an
intensive care unit,
with your character
the games creator,
Colorado-based
developer Ryan Green
caring for his fouryear-old son, who
has terminal cancer.
It stuck with me that
this experience was
like a game, recalls
Green, 34. You want
your child to stop
crying, but no matter
what mechanics
you try, you cant
comfort him.
The OUYA title
is part of a rise in
games, such as Dear
Esther, that tackle
overwhelming topics
such as grief. I want
people to feel what
we went through
and to be changed,
explains Green.
Thats something
games can do that no
other medium can.
There is, of course,
one big difference:
Gamers are used
to crafting their own
narrative, but this is
about experiencing
the limitation of
my agency in that
moment, Green
says. But I hope
that players can face
death and choose not
to fear it. Due this
autumn Kathryn Nave
thatdragoncancer.com

Space
craft

Tiny homes are trending in architecture


but in Tokyo, small dwellings have long been
part of the street. Inheritance taxes [in Japan]
are so high that children often have to sell half
the land to pay them. Thats why homes are so
tiny now, explains French-born photographer Jrmie
Souteyrat. Hes documented 54 of the citys most bijou
homes for his new book Tokyo No Ie (Homes Of Tokyo).
Tokyo proved the perfect subject for Souteyrats lens. The
average lifetime of a house in Japan is 25 years, because
of the Shinto belief in the impermanence of things

GAMING WITH FEELING / TINY BUILDINGS / BACON JEWELLERY / PL AY / 095

Animal
charms
HOW A LONDON-BASED DESIGNER
IS MAKING BACON BEAUTIFUL

PHOTOGRAPHY: JRMIE SOUTEYRAT; CHARLIE SURBEY

Amy Congdon (below)


makes jewellery but rather
than gold or silver, she
uses a less conventional
material: bacon.
The Haute Bacon
range is the latest stage
in her Biological Atelier
project. The collection
a necklace, a bracelet and
an earpiece was made
using decellularisation.
The process comes from
tissue culture; they use it
for regenerative medicine
purposes, explains
London-based Congdon,
27. The idea is that you
strip an organ of its cells,
so youre only left with
the architecture the
extracellular matrix, things
like collagen and elastin.
The bacon (we went
to Tesco) was immersed
in a ve per cent solution
of sodium dodecyl
sulfate and water for
four days, stripping the
meat of its tissue. The
resulting material is fairly
strong, but you have to

(wabi-sabi) and because the seismic regulations are always


evolving, explains Souteyrat, 35. Architects here have more
opportunities to try new concepts. I love designs that ght
against gravity, like On the Cherry Blossom by A.L.X. [ground
oor footprint: 8.59m2 see image 6], he says. Although
spectacular houses are not always better to live in.
Souteyrat plans on returning to the same locations in 25
years time, to photograph the next generation of houses;
in the meantime, he is shooting a series on the rebuilding
of the devastated Fukushima nuclear plant. To me, small
houses are an ideal way of living, he says. And if design
and architecture can bring art and culture to the streets,
then thats just perfect. OF jeremie-souteyrat.com
Tokyo No Ie (Le Lzard Noir) is published later this autumn
1. Delta, by Architecton 2. A life with large opening,
by ON Design 3. House in Tokyo, by A.L.X. 4. House in MinamiAsagaya, by PRIME 5. Shimokitazawa house,
by Niizeki Studio 6. On the Cherry Blossom, by A.L.X.
7. House in Nakameguro, by Yoritaka Hayashi

be careful working with


such thin pieces, says
Congdon. She then applied
tanning, dyes and pearl
embellishments.
Congdon developed
the idea while studying
for a masters in material
futures at Londons Central
Saint Martins. After honing
her lab skills during a
residency at the University
of Western Australias
SymbioticA lab, she is now
working with the tissueengineering department at
Kings College London to
research hybrid materials.
The aim: to grow cells
around a [fabric] scaffold.
Haute Bacon will go on
display in September as
part of the London Design
Festival. Jewellery that
you graft on to your skin
is some way off, she
laughs. But this is about
communicating
what can be opened up
when designers and
scientists work together.
OF amycongdon.com

1. CROWDSOURCED
DESTRUCTION
2.8m-Kickstarterfunded Planetary
Annihilation takes
destruction to a
galactic level, with
40-player online
battles across
hundreds of worlds.
September 23, for
Windows, Linux and
OS X uberent.com

2. ICE-CRYSTAL
CHANDELIER
The hand-blown
glass shards
of Lasvits Ice
chandelier
designed by
architect Daniel
Libeskind can be
recongured
to sparkle in any
size space.
tbc lasvit.com

3. CONSTRUCTIVE
ART PROJECT
Nathan Sawayas
spectacular LEGO
sculptures (WIRED
07.13) will put your
toy-box creations
to shame. The Art
Of The Brick, at
Londons Truman
Brewery from
September 26,
contains over
one million
bricks across 75
separate artworks.
artofthebrick.co.uk

4. FAN-FUNDED
FILM-MAKING
Zach Braffs
Kickstarted followup to Garden State,
Wish I Was Here,
is a moody, meta
affair. Its archly
indie soundtrack
debuts songs from
Bon Iver, The Shins
and Cat Power.
Out September 19

5. MIX-YOUROWN ALBUM
Designed by
Cambridgebased Novalia,
the jacket for DJ
Qberts new album
Extraterrestria/
GalaXXXian is
printed with
conductive ink
and contains
a Bluetooth chip,
so you can use it
to trigger samples.
djqbert.com

10

0 9 6 / P L AY / C U LT U R A L P I C K S O F T H E M O N T H / 1 0 . 1 4

6. SET PHASERS TO
CHANNEL-SURF
This ultra-accurate
universal remote
from British rm
The Wand Company
was made using 3D
scans of vintage
props used on the
set of Star Trek:
The Original Series.
120 thewand
company.com

7. SEPTUASUPERHEROES
Packed with 700
pages of comics
memorabilia, 75
Years of Marvel
is worthy of The
Collector himself.
$200 taschen.com

8. HACK-ANDSLASH IN HYRULE
Its a classic-game
mash-up in Koei
Tecmos Hyrule
Warriors, which
has Legend of
Zelda characters
using Dynasty
Warriors over-thetop ght moves.
Out September 19,
exclusive to Wii U

9. TOUCHSCREEN
SCRATCHING
Tuna Knobs, from
Dutch design rm
Tweetonig, turns
your smartphone
or tablet screen
into a DJ booth.
tunadjgear.com

10. NOT QUITE


1.21 GIGAWATTS
ThinkGeek has
recreated the ux
capacitor from Back
to the Future as an
in-car USB charger.
Its two slots put
out 2.1 amps, but
try to stay below
88mph, just to
be safe $24.99
thinkgeek.com

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And still these handcrafted mechanical watches with the red 12 cost the same as the classic Tangente
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AN EVENT TO KICKSTART YOUR FUTURE


M o re t h a n 20 i n s p i ra t i o n a l
s p e a ke r s o n s ta g e , i n c l u d i n g :
Roma Agrawal

Alex Allmont

Darcus Beese

Suli Breaks

Associate structural
engineer, WSP

Programmer
& artist

President,
Island Records

Spoken-word
artist

Roma Agrawal spent six


years working on The Shard,
the tallest building in
western Europe.

Alexs creations have been


exhibited at Music Tech Fest,
Kinetica, Audiograft and the
Austin Convention Center.

Darcus Beese started his


career as an Island intern.
Now he heads up the
legendary record company.

Suli Breakss YouTube channel


has more than 220,000
followers and has attracted
millions of views.

Ze Frank

Hungry Castle

Tim Peake

Beth Reekles

Executive vice president


of video, BuzzFeed

Experiential design
studio

Astronaut,
European Space Agency

Author, The
Kissing Booth

Vlogging pioneer Ze
Frank joined BuzzFeed in
2012 to discover new
formats in social video.

Barcelona-based Dave
Glass and Kill Cooper
specialise in creating
public art and fashion.

Tim Peake is currently


preparing for his mission to
the International Space
Station in 2015.

Beth Reekles self-published


The Kissing Booth at the
age of 15. It has since been
read 19m times on Wattpad.

WIRED Next Generation is


back. The one-day event
curated for 12- 18-year-olds
fuses music, performance,
talks and hands-on
workshops with speakers
who have defined their
own futures. More than 20
inspiring figures will
share their experiences
as explorers of space,
musicians, web pioneers,
authors and architects.

HEALTH MONEY

Limited
tickets
available

OCTOBER 18, 2014


LONDON
TICKETS 48 +VAT.
WIRED.CO.UK/NEXTGEN

BY MADHUMITA VENKATARAMANAN / PHOTOGRAPHY WILSON HENNESSEY / ILLUSTRATION ILOVEDUST

EVENT PARTNER

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London-based Ryan Genz


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Rizzle Kicks
UK-based
pop stars

CyFi is an artist, an athlete and


a hacker, whose first public
vulnerability disclosure was
when she was aged just ten.

Patrick StevensonKeating
Founder, Studio PSK

BOOK NOW

RETAIL

Also included in the ticket price is


access to the WIRED Next Generation
Workshops hands-on sessions from the
WIRED network. Workshops include:
HOW TO

HOW TO

MAKE YOUR OWN


WEARABLE ROBOT

MAKE ROBOTS
GROW YOUR FOOD

Come sew a circuit! Make


your own wearable robot
with light-up LED eyes without
touching a soldering iron
instead, you get a needle
and conductive thread.

Learn how to control a videostreaming robot over the web


and create a water sensor,
before engaging in a robotic
water fight. One participant
will win a gardening rover.

HOW TO

HOW TO

MAKE COMICS FOR


THE DIGITAL AGE

REDESIGN THE BODY


WITH BIOTECH

Well talk about storytelling


and software, taking you
from stapled pages to the
cutting edge of app design.
We want comics to own the
screen, and need your help.

Introducing the science of


tissue engineering from
growing materials in the lab
to 3D-printing organs to
order. Participants will design
and make future skin.

HOW TO

HOW TO

MAKE A VIRTUALREALITY HEADSET

MAKE A VIRAL
YOUTUBE VIDEO

Using 3D-printed parts,


smartphones, lenses
and simple mechanics,
participants will build a
VR headset to put Google
Cardboard to shame.

Learn how to make viralvideo gold on a shoestring


budget and knock the likes
of Bieber and PSY off the
viral top spot with YouTube
Space London.

HOW TO

HOW TO

MAKE MUSICAL
FRUIT AND PLANTS

MAKE A
PROFITABLE APP

Use MaKey MaKeys


invention kit to create a
banana piano. It can turn
everyday objects into a
touchpad you can connect
to the internet.

The team from Facebook


will be on hand to guide
you through the process
of making a profit from
a web app one like
at a time.

BUILD A POCKET
SPACECRAFT
Studio PSK is a London
design studio working on
the bleeding edge of tech,
design, science and society.

NEXT
GEN

Event
workshops

HOW TO

Jordan Stephens and Harley


Alexander-Sule have released
two acclaimed albums and
sold 1m singles.

2014

Since the dawn of


humankind weve stared into
the heavens. Now you can
design and customise a real
thin-film spacecraft that will
be launched into space.

WHO ATTENDS
THE EVENT?
The WIRED Next
Generation event is open
only to those between
12- and 18- years old. Adults
are welcome only when
accompanying a teenager.

WINNER! Digital Mens Magazine Of The Year 2012 & 2013

FROM GQ! INTERACTIVE EDITIONS


Available for download from iTunes, Google Play and Paper Garden for Samsung Galaxy Tab S

ILLUSTRATION: ERIK KRIEK

LIFE ENHANCEMENT / EDITED BY JOO MEDEIROS / 101

How to
Skateboard
at speed

Achieving over 40kph on a skateboard takes more than just human


muscle power. According to San Francisco-based engineer Ryan
Bavetta, a 3.7hp model-aeroplane engine is perfect to supercharge
your ride. This may not be the hoverboard of WIREDs dreams, but it
sure looks the part. Heres how to build your own propeller-powered
speed machine just dont forget to wear a helmet. Kathryn Nave

YOU WILL NEED


A 235mm x 1.5m x 19mm
plank of wood
A jigsaw
Household fan cage
Skateboard trucks with risers
Grip tape
Transmitter
Receiver, servo and battery
Model-aeroplane engine
Bavetta recommends the light
and powerful OS 1.60FX 3.7 HP
Pusher type model-aeroplane
propeller
950cc fuel tank
Glow fuel
Glow starter
Starter motor

CUT IT OUT
Trace the design
for your skateboard
on to the piece of
wood, aiming for a
metre in length and
leaving the back
wide enough for
the engine. Then,
says Bavetta, cut
it out using a jigsaw
and sand down the
edges to prevent
any splinters.
Cut your adhesive
tape to match
and stick it to the
top of the board.

JOIN THE TRUCKS


Cut two engine
supports long
enough to raise the
fan cage above the
back of the board.
Screw through
from the bottom,
making sure to
leave enough space
for the engine,
Bavetta says. Cut a
small piece of wood
to t horizontally as
a shelf, and screw
in place. Bolt trucks
to the front and rear
ends of the board.

FIX THE ENGINE


Mount the fan cage
to the back of the
support, attach
the engine, then
t the propeller,
explains Bavetta.
Attach the fuel tank
to the engine and
x it to the support
with a hose clamp.
Connect the servo
to the receiver,
wire its arm to the
throttle and slot
the electronics into
the shelf between
the engine mount.

GET ABOARD
Connect the glow
starter to the glow
plug then slot the
starter motor on
to the front of the
propeller and spin
it till the engine
starts. Leave it
running for a few
minutes then
remove the glow
starter. Test using
the transmitter to
control the servoconnected throttle
before jumping on
and trying it out.

102 / HOW TO / SKATEBOARD AT SPEED / LEARN A L ANGUAGE

How to

Learn a language
in three months
Find native
speakers
Lewis has a no
English rule when
learning a language
in its native country.
As well as getting
out and trying to
get by, he uses
italkI.com and
verbling.com to nd
reasonably priced
teachers. You can
use meetup.com
and internations.
org to nd people
to do a language
exchange in person
or over Skype
you teach them
and they teach
you. If you have
a spare bed, use
couchsurng.org
and search visitors
by language.

One to two hours


spoken practice
In week one,
Lewis masters
pleasantries.
In week two, he
learns the vocab
for topics such as
his daily routine.
Use the ashcards
on ankisrs.net,
the Anki app or
quizlet.com and
the mnemonics
on memrise.com.
A couple of welllearned phrases
get you further
than lots of random
words, he says.
By week ve, aim
for faster chats
and more complex
topics. In week
nine, nd a pedant
to correct you.

Troubleshoot
extensively
When learning
Mandarin, I
struggled with the
tones, so I spent
a week learning
nothing but, Lewis
says. Forvo.com
and rhinospike.
com are two free
pronunciation
resources. He
doesnt recommend
grammar books
until week nine
and then just
to dip in. Look at
constructions as
you become aware
of them. Try Assimil,
Teach Yourself and
Colloquial books,
and Harraps for
more technically
minded learners.

Make
mistakes
Your priority at
every stage is
communicating.
If I need to nd out
where the bathroom
is, I can say
Bathroom, where?
Its not a proper
sentence but its
understandable,
says Lewis. Dont
be demoralised.
Nobody cares if you
conjugate a verb
wrongly or sound
like Tarzan. Babies
crawl and stumble
before they walk.
We arent babies,
but we are allowed
to make mistakes
in the learning
process. Progress
is gradual.

Turn on
and tune in
Television and radio
stations are brilliant
for easy exposure
to a language. CNN
is one of the many
news websites
that have translate
buttons. Lewis is an
advocate of tunein.
com, which lets
you listen to
stations around
the world. Alexa.
coms listing of
the most popular
sites in each
country is also a
good insight into
what locals read.
This will help in
week ve when you
need new topics
to tackle with your
native teacher.

Irish polyglot Benny Lewis has


spent the best part of ten years
travelling the world whilst running
a language-learning blog that attracts
more than half a million visitors per
month. He knows 12 languages to
varying degrees from conversational
to mastery. Here are his tips for getting your tongue around a new lingo.
Katie Scott uentin3months.com

Try the
dramatic pause
People will reply
to you in English if
they think you are
feeling awkward.
Lewis deploys
amateur dramatics:
I hesitate, Jack
Sparrow style, he
says. I look into
the distance as if
on a quest and then
have time to nd
the word Im looking
for. If you do it right,
people assume
youre animated,
and if you do it
really right, they
will be incredibly
interested in
hearing you
speak. He adds: I
recognise that this
isnt for everyone.

Attempt to
blend in
When learning
Arabic in Egypt,
Lewis found
everyone was
talking to him
in English. After
watching people
around him, he
realised that he
looked like a typical
tourist so he
changed his clothes
a little. Sometimes,
he role-plays. He
says: The mandate
when I lived in China
was to make people
think that I was an
English teacher
who had lived there
for years. This was
a signal they should
be using their
tongue, not mine.

ILLUSTRATION: GIACOMO BAGNARA; RENAUD VIGOURT; DAVOR PAVELI

HOW TO
MAKE AN INFINITY MIRROR

3. SPACE AND FRAME THE MIRRORS


You need a frame capable of spacing the two
pieces of glass slightly apart. Make channels
in the 4 x 2 with a saw. Slit the wood, then cut
the pieces to t. Nail together three pieces
and leave the other side open for the mirrors.

Two reective surfaces facing each other will copy an image between
them seemingly for ever. Steve Sutton, president of the Freeside
Atlanta Makerspace, talks us through the process. Jeremy Cook
1. GATHER YOUR MATERIALS
Youll need two pieces of two-way mirrored
acrylic or a traditional mirror, LED (or other)
lights with a power supply, a 4 x 2 piece of
wood about ve times the length of your
frame, nails and a black material or paint.

4. LIGHT IT UP
For this effect to work properly, the middle
needs to be lit up. Black out the inside of the
frame between the mirrors with paint or tape.
Attach the lights inside the frame, between
where the mirrors go, then slide the mirrors in.

2. PREPARE THE MIRRORS


Coating glass can be difcult. If you can get
mirrored acrylic, it has the advantage of being
ready-made, saving some trouble. Tint is really
hard to apply to mirrors for a beginner, Sutton
conrms. You have been warned.

5. FINISH UP
Attach the fourth side of the frame. Sutton
uses a hinge and lock, but nails will work if you
are condent in your work. Drill a hole for your
power supply to run through. Turn it on, hang
it on the wall and enjoy your innite creation.

INFINITY MIRROR / ROCKET STOVE / HOW TO

How to
Make a rocket stove

Dont want to
search for wood to
make a campre?
There is a better
way: the rocket
stove. Fear not,
despite its name
there is no thrust
involved, says
Matt Rhys-Roberts,
a permaculture
and sustainability
expert who has
built many of them.
Robin Hague

Soup it up
You need some
75mm diameter
pipe, which could
be made from
soup tins. Cut two
lengths, 250mm
and 100mm. Next
cut a 75mm hole
200mm along the
longer piece. Poke
the short piece into
the hole, so it sits in
without blocking off
the chimney piece.

Fix it up
Make a at piece
measuring 70mm
by 100mm (could
be from a attened
piece of the pipe)
and slide that into
the short length
of pipe so that
it divides it into
two. The tray
supports the fuel
while making an
air intake below it,
says Rhys-Roberts.

Wrap it up
Insulate the long
piece by wrapping
it in rock wool or
tting a bigger
piece of pipe around
it to make a gap.
This makes it
run much hotter,
drawing air in
under the at plate,
making it efcient
enough to need only
small sticks to cook
your meal with.

Fire it up
Sit the stove so
that the long pipe
is upright, its end
blocked by the
ground and the
short pipe near
the bottom. Place
sticks down into
the long pipe and
light them. Then
poke more sticks
into the top half of
the short pipe, on
top of the at plate.

William
Poundstone,
author of How
to Predict the
Unpredictable:
The Art of
Outsmarting
Almost Everyone
(Oneworld),
presents three
ways in which
we can all beat
the system
with a little
smart thinking.

Past behaviour predicts


future behaviour.
Thats the motto of
data analytics, which uses
algorithms to predict what we
can be persuaded to buy next
and how much were willing to
pay. There are, however, ways
to out-predict the predictors.
Here are a few of Poundstones
tricks that can help you get
the best online prices.

How to

Outsmart big data


Try the abandoned
shopping trolley
When making a
major purchase
online, put
whatever you want
in your virtual
shopping cart and
click checkout.
Fill out the form
with your name,
address and email.
Move on to the
payment info but
dont enter you
card number. Wait
a few days. Why?
You may get an
email offering
free shipping, a
discount or other
freebies. Data
analytics show
that such follow-up
emails are almost
always read and
that the discounts
do motivate people
to complete
the purchase.
Companies hate
to lose a sale that
might lead to a new,
steady customer.

Compare with a
clean browser
Say you buy
chocolates for your
mothers birthday.
A year later, you
skip the research.
You gure that the
company that had
the best value last
year will be the best
value this year.
But some online
retailers offer
lower prices to new
customers than
to repeat buyers.
One remedy is
to block cookies
and website data
in your browsers
preferences.
But most of us
like having our
web experience
customised.
A more realistic
solution is to
maintain an
alternate, clean
and cookiedisabled browser
that you use just
for comparisons.

Track the prices


over time
Large retailers set
prices by algorithm,
and the code takes
into account rivals
prices, also set by
code. This feedback
loop makes prices
more volatile than
ever. A web price
may suddenly rise
or drop 20 per cent
for no apparent
reason. Its like the
ash crashes that
roil the nancial
markets. Even
the retailers dont
understand it.
Typical consumers
Google the best
price and think
themselves clever.
They fail to consider
the time element.
Those who pay the
best price at the
wrong time can
spend hundreds
more than what
someone else
did a few days
before or after.

Follow the
uctuations
Use a website
or app such as
CamelCamelCamel
to track prices. The
Amazon price for
a saut pan has
been known to vary
from $429 to $160
(250 to 94) over
a two-year period.
Most people would
be shocked by this.
The smart buyer
can play day-trader
with such data and
wait for a favourable
time to buy. A good
rule of thumb is
never to pay more
than the average
of the lowest web
price over the past
year. If a product
(with no issues
of technological
obsolescence) is
selling at a 20 per
cent-plus discount
from the long-term
average, be ready to
pounce. That price
probably wont last.

104 / HOW TO / OUTSMART BIG DATA / BEAT TESTS / DETECT FAKE NUMBERS

How to

BEAT
MULTIPLE
CHOICE
TESTS
Our fates in school and beyond are
decided by quizzes, nals exams,
driving tests and professional
exams. Although test makers try to
put the correct answers in random
order, they fall into patterns. You can
use that to get an edge when you
have to guess tough questions. WP

Favour true on
a true-false test
Ideally the items
on such a test
should stand a
50-50 chance
of being true.
Actually, true
answers are rather
more common.
In a sample of
100 tests from
schools, colleges,
government and
other sources, 56
per cent of the
correct answers
were found to be
true. Its not hard
to imagine why.
Remembering
a fact is easier
than inventing a
falsehood. Test
makers follow
the path of least
resistance and
so produce an
excess of trues.

Bet on an answer
key that skips
Answer keys to
both true-false
and multiplechoice tests tend
to alternate rather
more than in a truly
random sequence.
Therefore, a
true answer is
disproportionately
likely to be followed
by a false one; a
multiple-choice
answer (such
as C, when it is
the third of ve
options) is unlikely
to be correct two
times in a row. This
fact should guide
your guessing.
So, when you are
guessing, choose
an answer different
from the previous
questions known
correct answer.

How to

Detect
fake
numbers
People lie with numbers. They make up fake
expenses for a tax return or an expense account and
fabricate nancial data to impress a lender or venture
capitalist. But when they do, they fall into unconscious
patterns. With a little practice you can learn to spot them.
For instance, here is the invented amount of a bad cheque
from a US embezzlement case: $87,602.93. For clarity Ill
strip off the dollar sign and decimal point.
A FAKE NUMBER: 8760293
Now, for comparison, here are some authentically random
digits (from the website random.org, which uses atmospheric noise to generate random strings).
A RANDOM NUMBER: 5044902
Youre probably thinking both numbers look random. But
there are several tell-tale differences. WP

ILLUSTRATION: LAURIE ROLLITT; STEPHEN CHAN; MARTIN AZAMBUJA.


* WHAT ORGANISM, STUDIED BY GREGOR MENDEL, FORMED THE BASIS FOR THE SCIENCE OF GENETICS?

DESCENDING SEQUENCES
In the made-up number, 8 is followed by 7, the digit
thats one less, and the 7 is followed by 6. Descending
runs of two, three or four consecutive digits are more
common in fabricated data. This reects the way
our brains are wired. When a crook free-associates
random numbers, they favour consecutive digits.
Ascending sequences (eg 2345) are also more common.

Avoid never; but


none can be OK
A popular bit of
advice says you
should avoid
answers that
include never,
always, all or none.
These universal
qualiers almost
inevitably convert
a true statement
into a false one.
Consider what a
slog it is to create
multiple choices.
The tester has
to write several
wrong answers for
every right one.
Quick recipes for
falsehoods get
used a lot, and this
is one. The rule
of avoiding these
qualiers works well
except for None
of the above, which
is often right.

Eliminate the
outliers
The test makers
goal is to conceal
the correct answer
by surrounding
it with plausible
alternatives
(distractors).
Suppose these
are the choices:
(A) day lilies; (B)
white mice; (C)
pea plants; (D)
beans. Deduce the
answer without
the question*. Ask
yourself which of
these answers
doesnt belong.
Most would say
white mice, the
only animal. Now
a little reverseengineering: if
white mice were
correct, why
would the test
maker invent three

distractors that
involved plants
throwing the
correct answer
into sharp relief? It
would then make
more sense to
supply animals as
distractors. But
that didnt happen.
Of the remaining
answers, two are
edible and one
is not. By similar
logic, day lilies is an
outlier and is least
likely to be correct.
This leaves pea
plants and beans.
All the choices are
two words except
for beans. That
makes beans an
outlier and leaves
pea plants as
the best guess
the answer best
camouaged by
distractors.

MISSING ZEROS
Another tip-off is that fakers avoid making up round
numbers, which call attention to themselves, and
they generally shy away from 0s. Zeroes ought to
account for about ten per cent of the digits in large,
unrounded numbers. But in the embezzlers invented
cheque amounts, only about four per cent of digits
were 0s. Venture capitalists: beware of fake gures.
REPEATED STRINGS
Those making up numbers fall into mental ruts and
repeat digit sequences. The crook who made up the
fabricated number 8760293 overused both 87 and 93
in the amounts of his bad cheques. Ponzi schemer
Bernie Madoff unknowingly favoured the pair of 8 and
6 both in the statements he sent to investors as well
as in his self-reported golf scores.
MISSING REPEATS
The random number, 5044902, has two 4s in a
row. Two-digit repeats (such as 44 or 77) are fairly
common in honest numbers. After all, there ought to
be about a one-in-ten chance that a given digit will
be followed by itself. But the people who fabricate
numbers usually totally avoid repeating the same
digit two (or more) times in a row.

IN THE NEXT ISSUE OF WIRED. ON SALE OCT 2

PHOTOGRAPHY: DALIA NASSIMI

A WIRED REPORTER INVESTIGATES A MURKY TRADE

SCULPTURE: EDWARD CHEVERTON. THE FOUR TOYS ARE CUSTOM-MADE FROM FOUND DISCARDED OBJECTS AND MATERIALS BOUGHT IN JUNK SHOPS AND
99P STORES. BY PLAYING WITH AND COMBINING ITEMS THAT HAVE LOST THEIR ORIGINAL USE, THEY ARE RE-APPROPRIATED AND MADE FUN AGAIN

LONG-FORM STORIES / 107

There was a time when I thought I was going to be left behind by the IT revolution. Ron Arad, p108

109

Ron Arad
has constantly refreshed
his creative vision
f o r d e c a d e s. To o p e n
W I R E D s d e s i g n i s s u e,
he shares his rules
for innovative thinking
BY

Nick Compton

PHOTOGRAPHY:

Gary Salter

1981_

1983_

1993_

1994_

Rover chair

Concrete stereo

This Mortal Coil

Tel Aviv Opera

2002_
Millennium House, Doha

2001_
Not Made By Hand

2002_
Bad-Tempered chair

2006_

2007_

Vipp bin

Robbies kitchen, Belgium

2009_
Oh, the farmer and cowman should be friends

2009_
Hotel Duomo, Rimini

Design Museum, Israel

2008_

1994_

1999_

Tel Aviv Opera

Tom Rock chair

1994_

2000_
The Big Blue, London

1995_

Box In Four Movements

Belgo Centraal, London

2004_

2006_

2007_

Oh Void

Tom Bloc

Thumbprint

2006_
Hotel Duomo, Rimini

Render Screw Tool

2006_
2007_

2008_

2005_

Private villa, Marrakech

Dats Et, Italy

Driade

2011_

2012_

Vortex sculpture, Seoul

Blame The Tools

Raviolo chair

2011_

2014_
Last Train

PHOTOGRPAHY (PREVIOUS SPREAD): SEE COLOPHON ON PAGE 154

A still from Arads 2002 pitch


to LG for his waterproof tablet

or at least a version of it. He has video evidence: an


animated pitch that was prepared for the electronics corporationLG.Theyaskedmetodoamonitorbutinsteadofdoing
that I did the iPad, Arad says. We had two people dedicated
to it for a year and then we made this lm to show them how
it might be used. I watch it now and it is me and my iPad.
Arads film shows a device functionally equivalent to
Apples tablet. Cartoon gures use it to check email, watch
videos and surf the internet. It features a touchscreen and
an onscreen keypad. I read in Steve Jobss biography how
excited he was to have the keyboard on the touchscreen,
he says. We just did it without thinking about it.
Indeed, Arads invention had one functional advantage
over Steve Jobs device: it was waterproof, meaning that
the cartoon characters were able to use it in the bath. We
went to do another presentation to LG. Half of them were
asleep and it took them two weeks to say no to the idea. They
just couldnt see it. They were like: What are you talking
about? Why would anyone want this? And listen, nothing
was science ction. It was all there.
Arad has another lm he wants to show WIRED. About
a year later, I met the guy at some dinner party who was
head of design at LG. I asked him why they didnt go with
the idea, and if I could film what he said. He said that
they had been stupid and that we had shown them the
future and they hadnt seen it. In the film, the Korean
executive laughs uncomfortably in the face of Arads gentle
interrogation (it is hard to imagine Arad being anything
less than gentle hes softly spoken with an accent still
more Tel Aviv than Kentish Town, and possessed of a wry
sense of humour) while history thunders along a different
track. Perhaps it was for the best, Arad says. I wouldnt
be here if they had gone with the idea.
Of course, Arad is smart enough to know that there must
have been others putting together similar pitches around the
same time. But he tells the story as evidence of his method
and ambition. Im interested in designing something
that didnt exist before I designed it, he says.

Ron Arad, London, June 2014: There was a time when


I thought I would be left behind by the IT revolution.

Arad, a dynamic 63-year-old with grey stubble, his eyes


in the permanent shade of his large-brimmed hat, runs a
20-person studio in an odd run of large rooms in what was
once a piano factory on Chalk Farm Road in north London.
Ron Arad Associates has been here since 1989, long before
Clerkenwell and Shoreditch emerged as creative and tech
hubs. To reach the studio you need to cross a courtyard and
climb a steel staircase. Inside, theres a lobby area with a
wooden oor that rises, for no clear reason, to a cliff-like
edge that drops to the main studio below. Throughout the
space there are unexpected materials and undulations, twists
and curves. Scattered around the studio are prototypes and
reworkings of chairs that have become design icons. (A
product designers worth and legacy are measured in iconic
chairs. By this measure alone, Arad is top table.)
He works at a large, outward-facing desk at the back,
equipped with a giant Wacom tablet and a light pen. The
architecture team is down another set of stairs. Beyond that
is a glass-fronted showcase for Arads studio pieces: large,
mostly metal, one-off sculptural objects you can sit or lie in.
(Theyre surprisingly comfortable.) The older pieces were
fabricated here, the metal bashed and bent. Newer ones are
made by specialist fabricators in all sorts of materials, from
polyester and fibreglass to Corian, carbon fibre, bronze,
aluminium and stainless steel, and are sometimes polished,
patinated, tinted or anodised. They sell for extraordinary
prices: in 2007 a polished steel version of Arads D Sofa,
one of 20, sold at auction at Phillips, New York, for $409,000
(238,000); and 1m (796,000) was reportedly paid in a
private Sothebys auction for an Arad piece at an exhibition at
Chatsworth House the following year. Prices in an exhibition
of works by Arad held at Londons Timothy Taylor Gallery
in 2009 ranged from 60,000 to 1m.
He calls the studio a progressive playground where
he is games master. All of its work radical product and
furniture design, graphics, architecture, those one-off
functional-sculptural studio pieces, collaborative art
projects, plots, pitches and speculations moves across
Arads desk. Everything begins with his sketches, his ideas.
Hes almost apologetic about the level of creative control
he retains: I have to say, it is like that. Its not that I curb
peoples creativity but they know that it is like that.

He doesnt have to operate that way. He has not been given


a title like Richard Rogers, Norman Foster, Zaha Hadid or Jony
Ive, but Arad has been one of Britains best-known designers
for more than 30 years and has a global stature to match.
In recent years he has had retrospectives at the Pompidou
Centre in Paris, MoMA in New York and the Barbican Centre
in London. Arad could run a larger operation, signing off
designs he had little to do with, but thats not how he operates.
We try not to have too many people here because then it
becomes a business and starts to behave like a business, he
says. I know people who have those kinds of businesses and
they go to the opening of one of their projects and it is almost
the rst time they have seen it. I dont want that.
RightnowAradandhisstudioareplayingwiththedesignof
a 31-metre-high public sculpture, two enormous and rotating
stacksofsilverpipescalledSafeHands,toopeninthecentreof
Toronto;therenovationoftheWatergateHotelinWashington,
set to open in 2016; a curving steel-and-concrete house in the
Shibuya-ku area of Tokyo; a reworking of his Rover chair, the
scrapheap improvisation that made him a design star three
decades ago; and a brilliantly simple reinvention of the carpet.
The first piece of work Arad wants to show WIRED is a
series of frames sitting in the lobby. Each has glass in it, but
otherwise is blank. We have this from Christian Marclay
[the Swiss-American artist best known for the 24-hour
movie montage The Clock]. Do you like it? Arad jokes. He
turns on a sidelight in the frame and an image appears a
series of circles scratched in light on the glass. There are
other scratchy light-line drawings: a self-portrait by the
cartoonist David Shrigley; a series of messages (including
Fuck your Motherland) from the studio of Chinese artist Ai
Weiwei; a pair of self-portraits by British art duo Tim Noble
and Sue Webster; a drawing of Richard Wilsons monumental
Slipstream sculpture, recently installed at Heathrow; an
image from American avant-garde theatre director Robert
Wilson; and others by Cornelia Parker and Gavin Turk.
Grayson Perry is coming in to do one this week, he adds.
The images are produced by a contraption installed on the
other side of the lobby. The device is a large, glass-fronted
metal box. Behind the glass, a st oats in front of a black
curtain. I made a machine that scratches glass, he explains.
There is a cast of my st with a diamond ring inside and what
you draw on the iPad is scratched on to the glass in real time.
All the pieces were produced for an exhibition called Last
Train, commissioned by Steinmetz Diamonds and shown at
the 55th Venice Biennale last year. Arad got the idea after
watching a man scratching messages on the window of a
train in Naples using a ring. What I might do next is talk to
Transport for London and ask them to get a carriage and put
edge lighting on the glass and invite people to scratch it.
This is partly what Arad does these days: collaborations
and contraptions, art for both public spaces and white cubes,
using design and technology to develop new creative tools
that are then offered to others. He has been scathing about
arts failure to engage with technology and, unlike many
designers, is not afraid of whimsy (Ron likes to play, notes
the Italian designer and Arad acolyte Martino Gamper).
He has an eye for almost theatrical showmanship and has
little time for accusations that he might be wasting his
time and talents with these diversions.
In a Guardian review of the Arad Barbican retrospective
in 2010, design writer Justin McGuirk acknowledged that
Arad has been an early adopter of new technologies, but
also suggested that he abandons them before hes achieved
anything of substance, and that, essentially, he collaborates
with the wrong sort of people. He should be introducing
this technology not to artists, he wrote, but to scientists.

BE COMPETITIVE
I see things and
think: Why didnt
I think of that?
says Arad. So I
take pictures and
sketch on them
and see if I can
make them better.
And it works the
other way: if I come
up with an idea,
I imagine if I had
just seen it and ask
myself if I would
be jealous. If the
answer is yes, then
we move forward.

DO IT
YOURSELF
The rise of the
designer-maker
has been much
heralded in the
past couple of
years. But Arad
was at it three
decades ago,
hammering
out and bolting
together radical
designs using
sheet metal and
found objects.
The lesson: dont
just sit there.

LOOK AT THINGS
DIFFERENTLY
There is no
technology or
engineering
principle, ancient
or modern, that
cant be applied
in new ways. Arad
is as much about
re-appropriation
as invention itself.
As he says: We
had suitcases and
we had wheels but
it took a long time
for someone to put
them together.

PICK WISELY
Arad has an
expansive
comfort zone. It
is territory gained
by picking his
battles carefully,
accepting
challenges he
knows he is
equipped to answer
but will also push
him into new
areas. It means
acquiring new
skills and meeting
and working with
useful new people.

DONT RUSH IT
As Arad will tell
you, ideas are
cheap, so dont
be afraid to take
them so far, park
them, and move
on. They will still
be there, waiting
for your return
if you get round
to it. Arad might
one day reinvent
the bicycle wheel
or he might not.
There is other
stuff he has to be
getting on with.

Throw this at the pretenaturally laidback Arad and he


gets as close to irate as hes able to. Look, I really apologise
that we arent solving the worlds problems. Im sorry that
we arent exploring everything commercially, he says.
Is Last Train as far as he wants to take the technology
his studio has developed? I dont have to make a decision
about that now, he says. We didnt know much about
that technology when we started the project. But maybe
the experience and knowledge that we accumulated
building this will be useful one day.
If you work on something you can only follow one route.
Later down the line you realise you could have gone down
another route maybe, you could have tried something else.
And maybe you will get round to trying that something else.
And of course other people see what you have done and say:
Have you seen this? You might nd this interesting. And
you might. And interesting things might come out of that.
Its a reasonable defence but you might, perhaps, question
the time and effort his studio expended on working out how
to crush six original Fiat 500s to maximum aesthetic effect
for last years Pressed Flowers exhibition, for instance.
It is also true that, by his own admission, Arad is not one
for long-term engagements, which is partly why he keeps
the architecture team downstairs. He has said that he never
really wanted a career, just something that would keep him
interested and excited every day. His studio is currently
working on 20 projects and he seems to jump from one
interest-piquing design challenge to the next.
Something else he is keen to talk about is Curtain Call,
a project he developed in 2011 with the Roundhouse, the
landmark arts venue just across the road from his studio.
I met Marcus Davey [the Roundhouses chief executive
and artistic director] on the street one day. He asked me if

PHOTOGRAPHY: RON ARAD STUDIO

I wanted to do something with its summer installations.


I said, Yeah, lets do something really big and round, 360degree images that people can walk through. It just
came into my head as a bit of a joke.
Of course, once the idea was set in motion Arad had
to make it happen. We really researched it. Spent a lot of
time and effort on it. And then we got together with this
amazing company called Blitz Communications which
is an expert on creative projections.
He is one of the most prolific ideas people Ive come
across, Davey says. You sit down with him and the ideas
just keep coming. He threw himself at it fully. Hes inspiring
to work with and he brings out the best in those around him.
Between them they developed a system using 5,600
eight-metre-long translucent silicon threads that were
hung to create a giant, uid cylindrical screen. Videos were
projected on to the threads, enabling visitors to watch
the images both inside and out. By walking between the
two, they could enter and exit the screen.
During the summer of 2011, artists, performers, bands and
orchestras used the curtain for shows and events. Arad noted,
however, that the audience was slow to experiment with the
screens immersive potential. Brits walked in and just sat
down in front of it, as if they had been told how to behave.
In 2012, Arad and the Roundhouse installed Curtain
Call, rechristened 720 Degrees, in the sculpture park of
the Israel Museums art garden in Jerusalem. I used the
Wailing Wall as a screen saver. I was expecting a bit of trouble
but I didnt get any. Much to his disappointment. Next
year they are hoping to take it to Brazil. Unless someone
has a better, more interesting idea.

115

Arad was born in Tel Aviv in 1951. His mother, Esther, was an
artist; his father, Grisha, was and at 97, still is an artist and
photographer. In the early 70s, Ron Arad studied art at Bezalel
Academy in Jerusalem before moving to London in 1973 to
study at the Architectural Association, at the time one of the
last bastions of utopian idealism. His tutors included inuential gures such as the deconstructionist Bernard Tschumi
and architect Peter Cook. Zaha Hadid was a classmate.
After graduating he went to work for an architectural
practice in Hampstead, but he was soon bored. It was the
late 70s and there was little construction going on. He left
for lunch one day and never went back. In 1981 he formed his
rst company withCarolineThorman, who isstill his business
partner. Arad called the company One Off, a cheeky boast and
a statement of intent. (He has always been good with titles
and wordplay: in 2011, he and his team designed a bike with
wheels made of sprung-steel loops for Elton Johns Aids
Foundation. It did not deliver a comfortable ride and Arad
tagged it the Two Nuns Bicycle. You know the joke about
the two nuns who go for a cycle ride to the village, he says,
explaining the christening process. One says, Ive never
come this way before. Its the cobbles, says the other.)
That year he picked up two leather seats from an old V8
Rover 200 in a scrapyard. He mounted one on scaffolding
poles and called it The Rover Chair. He made some more and
the first six were bought by Jean-Paul Gaultier. Arad was
soon a design star, although he thought of the chairs as more
Duchampian ready-mades rather than design. He is also keen
to point out that the lookalike chairs used on the Top Gear TV
set are not the genuine article. In the rst season they did
hire some Rover seats. But after that they made their own.
His early designs were, often literally, sharp-edged. A
trained welder, Arad created armchairs using nuts, bolts
and bent steel sheets. The work was post-punk, postindustrial, urban and exciting. Once he was installed in the
Chalk Farm studio there was more room for metal bashing
and bending: he produced the Bookworm, a spiraling metal
bookshelf, versions of which are ubiquitous in the homes of
todays creative workers. After this there were shows at the
Pompidou Centre and the V&A. Soon the blue-chip Italian
design companies were calling, wanting to produce industrialised versions of his designs in consumer-friendly materials.
He began to explore new methods and mass-manufacturing.
There is some irony, then, in the fact that Arad has become
the late-middle-aged poster boy for the application of
technologyindesign.Evenheadmitsthathesalittlesurprised
by the move from metal-shop to advanced technologies.
There was a time when I thought I was going to be left behind
by the IT revolution, he says. I didnt see myself clicking
a mouse, sitting in front of a screen. Now I am completely
addicted to my tablet. I still use my pencil but it is a light pen.
Arads friend and fellow collaborator with Swarovski
on its Digital Crystal projects, the American designer Yves

Curtain Call, an 18-metre-wide cinema screen, allowed viewers


to step inside lms made by David Shrigley and Mat Collishaw

Behar, suggests that it was Arads post-punk, do-it-yourself


approach that made him so receptive to new technology
and so quick to see its potential.
Ron came of age in the late 70s and 80s, this rebellious
anti-establishment, rebellious era in England, says Behar.
He has this punk approach to the world of design where
he can be provocative, gure things out his own way, build
and sell his ideas largely outside the traditional channels
of design. Whats interesting to me is that independent
punk approach of the 80s has informed our current era of
often self-taught, internet-connected makers. And Ron is
the bridge between these two generations.
Arad isnt just pioneering by using technology to aid the
design process, but also in the manufacturing of the nished
objects. In 2000, we did a show called Not Made by Hand Not
Made in China in Milan. And we 3D-printed it was called
rapid prototyping then jewellery and lights. I was excited
about this discovery, that you could grow stuff in a tank.
He has continued to experiment with these technologies
and last year the eyewear company pq launched a range
of Arad-designed 3D-printed glasses. Arad, however,
is irked that this has become the defining aspect of
his story and warns against the hype surrounding the
application of new technology.
I see technology, digital stuff, completely as a tool, he
says. Same as concrete. Same as cotton wool, whatever.
There is this sort of hysteria now about 3D printing. I was so
appalled with the V&A for getting the 3D-printed gun. It was
pure marketing. There are more exciting uses for 3D printing.
Yeah, you have these amazing technologies: selective
laser sintering, stereolithography, all these different
things. But people abuse them, rather than use them.
I tell the producer of the pq line, dont harp on about
3D printing. I dont care. Say what is good about these
glasses, that they are light, they are agile, talk about
that, not the 3D printing. The ve-axis milling machine is
equally exciting. It does what Michelangelo did with David.

didnt return to architecture until 1988 when he won a


competition to design the public spaces at Tel Aviv Opera
House, which was completed in 1994. He then worked on
smaller projects a Belgo restaurant in London, a Maserati
showroom and larger undertakings, including the Mediacite
shopping centre in Liege, Belgium. In 2010 Arads first
grand cultural institution, the Design Museum Holon in
Israel, opened its doors. As an architectural showcase it
demonstrated that Arad could mix it with household names
such as Frank Gehry, Daniel Libeskind and Jean Nouvel.
But for all the success of the museum in Holon, Arad is still
the man who walked away from the architecture practice
to nd something more interesting to do. Architectures
gestation periods dont suit Arad. He likes a quick x.
In architecture there is a lot of convincing, negotiation
and compromise, he says. We are not what you would call a
servicearchitectandthereareeasierpeopletoemploythanus.

Andpeoplecomehere,theysay,becausetheywantsomething
different. But they dont really. They just want names.
There are lots of good architects, idealistic, devoted,
talented architects, but I wish there were more good clients.
For now, he picks and chooses projects, just enough to keep
theteamdownstairsbusy.ForthelastthreeyearsAradandhis
team have been working on a 150,000m2 development project
in Tel Aviv. They are also working on the renovation of the
Watergate Hotel in Washington and on a mixed-used development and apartments in a stretch of defunct commercial
buildingsinMiamichristenedIronSidebylocaldeveloperOfer
Mizrahi. Arad is hopeful about this project: Is it an oxymoron
to say an idealistic developer? Anyway, he might be one.
Arad still seems to be working out how architecture ts
into his story, how he can apply his magpie intelligence to
make it better, to design something that doesnt currently
exist. And how he can nd people who will let him.
Ron is unique as he is the only contemporary designer
that has successfully reconciled two separate branches of
design: the artist and maker of unique sculptural pieces,
and the designer of successful production objects, says
Yves Behar. When Ron shares his work with me, he goes
from design-art pieces to design production ideas uidly.
Its just the ambition to do both, its just the way he thinks.
Design is now a complex, splintered discipline: at one end
still developing, in a qualied way, the modernist mission
to make better things for a large number of people, using
machines; at the other disassembling designs defining
principles, creating conceptual interrogations, one-off
experiments, moving into art spaces and perhaps asking
the question that art should be asking. And it was Arad,
as much as anybody, who encouraged that splinter.
From 1998 to 2009 he was professor of design products
at the Royal College of Art in London. During that time,
he helped turn it into a global academic super-brand by
completely changing the way students were taught. He
started by combining the furniture and industrial-design
departments as he considered the distinction between the
two irrelevant. He then established a series of platforms that
were led by working designers like Jasper Morrison, Tom
Dixon and Konstantin Grcic who taught just one day per week.
I only wanted people who were too busy to teach, he says.
Arad thought of the course not as a kind of professional
preparation but as guided exploration for his charges. The
RCA was not a place for perfecting dovetail joints but for
asking fundamental questions about what design was, could
and should be. I wanted to extend their freedom. The word
should was never used, it was an illegal word.
RCA alumni who studied under Arad are known for a
refusal to accept traditional boundaries between art and
design, between craft and making and technology and
engineering, between functionality and spectacle and pure
wonder (see right). In that, they are all part of Arads story.
Arad fostered a generation of questioning designers eager
to experiment with form and technologies, says Corinna
Gardner, curator of contemporary product design at the
V&A, and who worked on the Barbicans Arad show Restless.
Italian designer Martino Gamper is also clear about Arads
inuence. Ron shaped a whole generation of designers,
he says. His impact will be felt for decades.
Arad describes his own practice as being curious and
earning the freedom to act on that curiosity. If no one was
interested in the things I was curious about, Id be in trouble.
But luckily other people have joined me in that delight. 
Nick Compton is senior contributing editor at Wallpaper
magazine. He wrote about office design in 08.14

RON ARADs greatest legacy may well


be as an educator. He founded the
Royal College of Arts design products
MA course in 1998 and, during the
11 years he led it and since, the
programme has produced designers
who have innovated in many disciplines. Some have re-invented craft
and the idea of the designer-maker,
others have explored technologies old,
new and transformative. All of them
have produced works that are odd,
unsettling, theatrical, crowd-pleasing
even useful that question the
purpose of design. Should it make our
lives easier, faster, fuller, ever more
friction-free? Should it create wonder?
Or should it redene our relationship
with the material world? Here are four
early- to mid-career design practices
and alumni of the Arad-era RCA, as
well as two younger designers, who
are asking those questions and more.

117

PHOTOGRAPHY:
David Vintiner

SPOT ILLUSTRATIONS: YELLOW HAMMER

TALENT TO WATCH
The analytic
craftswoman
Materiality is a
buzzword in design
and architecture,
although it has
different meanings
according to whos
using it. For the
Gothenburg-born,
London-based
designer Hilda
Hellstrm, 29, the
term refers to the
perceived qualities
of the materials.
Hellstrm
graduated from
the Royal College
of Art in 2012. For
her nal show, The
Materiality of a
Natural Disaster,
she made foodstorage jars out
of radioactive
earth from the
Fukushima
disaster area
in Japan. Since
then, she has
been exploring
these ideas with a
process she calls
sedimentation.
Hellstrm
casts layers of
different coloured
Jesmonite, a
type of plaster,
and experiments
with the casting
process
sometimes the
strata are clear and

sharp, sometimes
they swirl and
tumble around
each other. The
results suggest
an alternative,
fantastical geology.
Hellstrm is
part of a new
wave of designermakers (she calls
herself an analytic
craftswoman)
determined
to create new
craft traditions.
Sometimes she
casts vases, other
times monolithic or
crystalline blocks
and then creates
the shape of a vase,
or part of a vase,
using a CNC milling
machine. She is
currently working
on new pieces for
a December show
at the Gothenburg
Museum of Art. Her
creative process
is changing in
other ways: she
recently returned to
Stockholm to
work from a studio
with sea views.

The light doctor


Paul Cocksedge
set up his studio
with business
partner Joana
Pinho in 2004
and has built
a reputation
for designing
innovative lighting
while rethinking

PHOTOGRAPHY:

Levon Biss

how designers
can use light.
Like many of his
contemporaries,
he has embraced
crowdfunding
as a way to free
himself from
touting his ideas
to manufacturers
or waiting for
a commission.
Funded on
Kickstarter in April
and launched in
July, the Vamp

(below) is a small
red box that
can connect via
Bluetooth with
any speaker to
play music. Ive
been collecting all
these speakers
left out on the
street, says the
36-year-old. They
are amazing at
producing sound.
The Vamp means
we can bring them
back to life.

Another of
his Kickstarterfunded projects
is the Double
O bicycle light,
which launches in
September. Bikelight makers are
lumen-obsessed,
he says. You cycle
around London at
night and youre
blinded by other
cyclists lights.
They dont need to
be that bright to

be effective. His
solution? Twelve
LEDs in a circle,
with a hole in the
middle. You get
a softer light.
Cocksedge has
also been working
with St. Thomas
Hospital to look
at light design
and the choice of
materials in its A&E
department. At
the beginning of
my career

I was interested in
moments, he says.
Now Im looking at
creating something
more permanent.
paulcocksedge
studios.com

The eclectic
creators
Rosario Hurtado
and Roberto Feo
aka El Ultimo Grito
are designers
designers. Mixing
graphic design, art,
cinema and other
media, they are
as interested in
process as result.
Hurtado (left)
arrived in London
from Madrid in
1989 and Feo (far
left) followed a year
later. Partners in
life and work,
they started
producing rough
and ready-made
designs in their at
of functional
installations and
one-off objects.

Imaginary
Architecture (2010)
is a series of
futuristic blownglass cityscapes
(left); Free range
(2011) is a cardboard
and resin table;
Designing an Echo
(2012) is stories
told in shadows,
including that of
the doomed Space

TALENT TO WATCH

The embalmer
At his RCA
graduation show
in 2012, Alvarez
presented the
Thread Wrapping
Machine, a sci-
spinning wheel that
cocoons and joins
wood and metal in
a colourful, gluey
web. It made him a
design star.
I invented a new
craft, Alvarez
says, and I feel like

I really have to take


it forward it now,
not hand it down to
my son or anything
but to commit to it.
The machine is
simple: a system
of four threadcones and threadtensioners around
which a glue
container mounted
on skateboard
wheels whizzes,
mummifying
whatever passes
through it. This
lets Alvarez create
chairs, benches
or abstract
assemblages at a
rate of one a day.
The machine
is a culmination
of a decade

of grounding
in ne arts,
cabinet making
and interior design,
as well the RCA
design product
MA course. Like
fellow Swede
Hilda Hellstrm,
Alvarez is part
of a new wave of
post-industrial
makers interested
in creating new,
but often low-tech,
processes, tools
and crafts. The
next project may be
bigger machines.
Or maybe not.
I created it so
no one can tell me
what to do with
it, Alvarez says.
antonalvarez.com

PHOTOGRAPHY:
Rafael Pinho

Shuttle Challenger.
From this month
until November,
the pair present
Burning Down the
House at the
Gwangju Biennale
in South Korea. In
it, a series of
video images will
cover the walls of
the site. They
have also been
working on megainatable rotating
structures to
be installed at
London Design
Week this month.
The pair are
optimistic about
the current craft
and making revival.
It is exciting to
see, but it has a
long way to go.
Hurtado says. It
has the potential
to generate
new social and
economic models,
which is probably
not the reason
that everyone is
so fascinated in it.
eugstudio.com

PHOTOGRAPHY:
Thomas Klementsson

Special thanks to
the following for
nominating, with
Ron Arad, Britains new
design talent.
SAM B ARON
Director of the
design department
at Fabrica, Italy
BEN EVANS
Director of
the London
Design Festival
ARIC CH EN
Curator of art and
design, M+ museum,
Hong Kong

The reframers
RCA graduates
Sarah van Gameren
and Tim Simpson
reframe the way
things are made.
The studio, founded
in 2008, has built
a reputation on
what the pair
call time-based
installations. In

PHOTOGRAPHY:

Phil Fisk

The Long Drop


(2009), they formed
a table by pouring a
poly-concrete mix
down a ten-metre
wooden spiral

structure. They
use photosensitive
porcelain, seaweed
and UV light in
their Silverware
Vases. And for
this years Woven
Song they created
textile patterns by
translating organ
music punch cards.
In the past we
researched how
the moment that
products come into
being is perhaps
more interesting
than the end

The rainmakers
For ve months
from the end
of 2012, almost
80,000 people
travelled to the
Barbican Centre
in London with
the aim of not
getting rained
on. rAndom
Internationals
Rain Room
which took three
years to develop
enabled visitors
to walk around
a 100m2 indoor
downpour without
getting wet. To
achieve the effect,

product, says Van


Gameren. The
next step for us
is to argue that
we might not
even need a
tangible product.
As part of
Novembers
Interieur Biennale
at the Kortrijks
Broel Museum in
Belgium, Studio
Glithero is reviving
the Peppers Ghost
optical effect
used in Victorian
theatres. The pair

are also developing


optical tricks
for their largest
project to date, the
850m2 faade of
an ofce building
in London due to
open in 2018. They
have developed
a new marquetry
technique using
an optical lm
that will reveal
or conceal parts
of the building,
depending on
where its viewed
from. glithero.com

the installation
used 3D mapping
cameras, pressure
regulators and
a pixellated grid
of sprinklers.
rAndom
International,
based in London
and Berlin, was
formed in 2002
by Hannes Koch
(far right), Florian
Ortkrass and
Stuart Wood
(right). It gained
immediate
attention with the
PixelRoller, a paint
roller customised
with print

heads and rapid


prototyped parts
that allowed users
to paint pixellated
text or images
on a wall. It was
the rst of a run
that included
Audience (2007), a
clutch of motorised
mirrors that swivel
in sync to watch
and reect anyone

ALICE RAWSTHORN
Author of Hello
World: Where Design
Meets Life
M ARIAN N E G OEB L
Managing director,
Finnish design
company Artek
JONAT HAN BELL
Editor at large,
Wallpaper magazine
AN N A CARN ICK
Managing editor,
LArcoBaleno, New York
BRENT DZEKCIORIUS
Founder of dzek,
which explores
materials and crafts

who approaches;
and Swarm (2010),
a cluster of LEDs
mounted on brass
rods which create
the effect of
swooping birds
and insects.
This month,
the studio opens
an installation at
Lunds Konsthall in
Sweden, with two
more promised for
next year. randominternational.com

PHOTOGRAPHY:
Todd Antony

121

TALENT TO WATCH

PHOTOGRAPHY:

CHRIS CRISMAN

Buttercrunch
lettuce

SERVER
FARM

Flowering
broccoli

THESE
VEGETABLES
HAVE NEVER
SEEN THE
SUN OR FELT
THE RAIN.
GROWN IN
CUSTOM-BUILT
INCUBATORS
INSIDE MITS
MEDIA LAB,
THEY REQUIRE
A FRACTION OF
THE NUTRIENTS,
ENERGY AND
TIME OF
CONVENTIONAL
CROPS AND
NO PESTICIDES.
IS THIS THE
ANSWER TO
THE WORLDS
FOOD CRISIS?

BY
KEVIN GRAY

125

venamidthecreativegeniusandgoofy
playfulness of MITs Media Lab near
Boston where giant inatable sharks
dangle from ceilings, workbenches are
populated by unblinking robot heads
and skinny scientists with mutton
chops and Hawaiian shirts pay rapt
attention to indecipherable whiteboard
scribbles Caleb Harper is an oddball.
While his coworkers develop articial

Consider the problem of food. By the


time it reaches our tables, it has often
travelled thousands of kilometres.
Kevin Frediani, the head of sustainable
l a n d u s e a t B i c to n C o l l e ge, a n
agricultural teaching centre in Devon,
has noted that 24 countries supply 90
per cent of the fruit and vegetables to
the UK (British farmers provide 23 per
cent of that gure). He has estimated
that a head of lettuce grown in Spain
and trucked to the UK roughly has a
1.5kg carbon footprint. But if grown in
the UK in a greenhouse, its footprint is
around 1.8kg: We just dont have the
light, and glass is extremely inefficient
at keeping the heat in, Frediani says.
But, he adds, that lettuce grown in an
insulated building, and using the heat
from lights, can trim that carbon load
down to 0.25kg. (Frediani knows his
stuff: as the former head of plants and
gardens at Paignton Zoo, he instituted
a vertical growing facility in 2008 to
help feed the animals.) If the new

24

Number of countries supplying


the UK market with 90 per cent
of its fresh fruit and vegetables

intelligence, smart prosthetics, folding


cars and 3D neural-imaging systems,
Harper is growing lettuce. In the past
year, he has transformed a small lounge
outsidehisfth-oorlabintoahigh-tech
garden worthy of a sci- lm. Species of
lettuce as well as broccoli, tomatoes
and basil grow in mid-air, bathed in
blue and red LED lights, their ghostly
white roots dangling like jellysh. They
are stacked in shelves on an exterior
glass wall, seven metres long and 2.5
metres high, meant to resemble the
exterior of an office building. If Harper
and his team get their way, entire city
districts will one day look like this, a
living and edible garden.
I believe theres the possibility that
we can change the world and change
the food system, says Harper, a tall
and stocky 34-year-old in a blue shirt
and cowboy boots. The potential for
urban farming is huge. And its not all
bullshit. Urban farming has begun to
shift from its look-what-we-can-do
phase of growing salads and vegetables

agtech farmers can make their methods


scalable, they will produce cheaper,
fresher and more nutritious food, cut
the hundreds of millions of tonnes of
greenhouse gases emitted through
transportation (packing, moving,
storing and sorting produce uses four
times as much energy as growing it
does) and offset a food crisis.
Th e U N p re d i c ts t h e w o r l d s
population will grow by 2.5 billion by
2050 and 80 per cent will live in cities.
Today, 80 per cent of the land suitable
for growing food is already in use, and
heatwaves and oods have laid waste
to crops and driven food prices higher.
Innovative entrepreneurs and greenminded technologists have turned to
the cities themselves as a solution.
Food can be raised everywhere, from
skyscrapers to old bomb shelters.
The fast-growing agtech movement
encompasses greenhouse growers
and LED-light developers such as the
giant Philips Electronics, which has
its own horticultural lighting unit. Its
enthusiasts specialise in shippingcontainer farms, systems management,
microclimates, aeroponics, aquaponics,

THE SPECIALIST
LEFT: Caleb
Harper is an
architect
by training,
specialising
in building
controlled
environments.
Prior to entering
MITs Media Lab,
he designed
data centres
and clean rooms
for hospitals

on industrial rooftops and in empty city


spaces, to a new wave of innovation that
is being led by thinkers and makers
like Harper. As founder of the year-old
CityFARM project at MIT, Harper is
guring out how to use data science to
optimise crop yields, deploy networked
sensors to listen to a plants water,
nutrient and carbon needs, and deliver
optimal light wavelengths not just
for photosynthesis but to change the
avour of foods. And he hopes to bolt
his towering plantations on to the
buildings in which we live and work.
His system promises to change the
economics of industrial agriculture and
tolessenitsburdenontheenvironment.
By measuring and controlling light,
moisture and nutrients, Harper says
he can cut water consumption by 98
per cent compared to conventional
agriculture; quadruple the growth
speed of vegetables; completely
eliminate chemical fertilisers and
pesticides; and double the nutrient
density and avour of his crops.

hydroponics, rainwater capture and


micro-turbines that harness storm
run-off for energy production. But
indoor farming has not yet proved
scalable. Energy use has been the
biggest challenge. The wildly touted
VertiCrop rooftop hydroponic system
in Vancouver (named a best invention
of 2012 by Time) went belly-up because
it used too much energy. There is a lot
of lying and smoke and mirrors and
over-claiming in the eld, says Harper,
who grew up on a Texas ranch and
whose father was a grocer. That has
led to venture-capital misuse and big
and small companies going bankrupt.
Harper believes his system can cut
energy consumption by 80 per cent.
And unlike industrial agriculture,
which ercely guards its seed patents
and farming techniques, it will be
open-source. He plans to give it to
whoever wants it, much as MITs Fab
Labs did with fabrication laser cutters
and 3D printers, building them and
gifting them to labs around the world.
They created a network of makers
and I see this as a potential maker
movement for growers, says Harper.

000

ne day in June, Harper is holding a


small cardboard cloud, the kind of
thing you might nd in a childrens toy
box. Hes standing in front of a tray of
buttercrunch lettuce lit by a networked
red and blue LED. He has rigged a
PlayStation camera that tracks body
movement. When he passes the cloud in
front of the camera, it reads as a cloudy
day and the lights brighten. I could
take weather data and write up some
kind of algorithm to control the lights,
he says. But it would never predict
when a cloud will come or a rainy day.
So were aiming for an environment
thats a bit more responsive.
Against the glass wall, Harper has
created what resembles a surgical
clean room, using an erector set of
AD20 aluminium beams and Plexiglas.
Inside, he is growing about 50 plants in
rows stacked as high as a metre above
his head. Some are growing in shallow
water; some have their roots exposed
and are regularly misted with nutrients.
By themselves, these methods are
not unique: small greenhouses have
used them for years. Whats innovative
is the use of LED lighting meaning
the specic red and blue parts of the
spectrum that produce photosynthesis
and the level of control Harper
has. The room is filled with sensors
to monitor the atmosphere and
temperature and feed back the data.
Over time the room will become more
and more intelligent, he says.
He has also tagged each plant in
order to track its growth. Right now,
there is no solid reporting on any of
this, only a lot of false claims, or no
reporting at all, Harper says. There

23

Percentage of the UKs fruit


and vegetables that is
supplied by British farmers

are a lot of black-box concepts out


there and no one knows how they
work or if they really do this.
His goal is to produce on-demand
food in much the same way that
Amazon offers goods for same-day
delivery. Instead of someone picking a
green tomato in Holland in the summer,
or Spain in winter, with immature
nutrients and a lack of flavour, and
shipping it hundreds of kilometres,
then gassing it with carbon dioxide
so it turns red, you order your tomato
and its picked a few streets away and
delivered to you fresh. Its immediate,
Harper says, No nutrient density or
avour loss in the food chain.
His biggest problem at the moment
is light. He uses both the Sun through
the window and web-enabled LED
lights, made by a Swedish startup,
Heliospectra. If hes to scale his farm
on to the skin of office buildings, it
would be efficient for the Sun to do
its part. Plants only use ten per cent
of the light spectrum and the rest of
it is just heating up this room, just
like in a greenhouse, Harper says.
So now I have to cool the room with
more energy and thats screwing up
my energy equation. So theres a real
open question: is sunlight valuable?
In traditional greenhouses, the
doors are opened to cool things down
and release built-up humidity but
this also lets in unwanted insects and
fungus. The teams at Heliospectra and
Philips think the Sun is old school.
In fact, most of the technological
disruption in agtech is coming from
lighting companies. Heliospectra
supplies its lights to greenhouses as
well as academics studying plantbiomass increase, owering time and
flavour density. Nasa uses its lights
to grow food at its simulated Mars
mission in Hawaii. The light is an LED
board with an inbuilt computer. You
can send a signal from the plant on
how its doing and the plant sends
back what wavelength and colour its
using and how its being saturated,
says Heliospectra COO Christopher
Steele from his office in Gothenburg.
For instance, blue light on basil is not
ideal for its growth or avour, Steele
says. Applying a uniform mixture of
light is also something the Sun doesnt
do, thanks to clouds and the Earths
rotation. We can prevent leaves from
being spotted and create a greatlooking and great-tasting plant, adds
the companys CEO, Staffan Hillberg.
At 4,400 apiece, the systems arent
cheap, but theres enormous market
opportunity. Today there are an
estimated 55 million lights in use in

128

PREVIOUS SPREAD
Caleb Harpers
growing room at
MIT is made from
AD20 aluminium
and Plexiglas

OPTIMISED
FARMING
RIGHT: Green
Sense Farms says
it uses 0.1 per
cent of the water,
land and fertiliser
of eld farming,
and has 26
harvests a year

greenhouses. They replace bulbs or


lumineers every one to ve years, says
Hillberg. So its a big deal.
Plants prefer LED lights to sunlight.
Because LEDs can be placed overhead,
plants dont expend energy growing
upwards and developing stalks, and can
grow outwards into leaer material. At
Green Sense Farms, the largest indoor
vertical farm in the world, based 50km
outside Chicago, the company uses
7,000 LEDs in two grow rooms. The
lettuces are more intensely avoured
and crisp, says CEO Robert Colangelo.
We use ten lights per tub and we have
840 tubs. We can generate 150 head
pertub every 30 days.
With grow racks rising 7.6 metres,
Green Sense uses so-called hydronutrient film technology, allowing
nutrient-rich water to trickle through
pulverised coconut husk, rather than
peat, because its renewable. And as
they are stacked vertically, not grown
horizontally, Colangelo says the plants
are at least ten times denser and can
have 25 to 30 times more yield. Thats
good for the Earth because theres no
pesticide run-off and we have recycled
water and recycled nutrients, says
Colangelo, whose company has
partnered with Philips to create what
amounts to the biggest plant factory on
the planet. It uses a lot less energy.
Colangelo believes that farming
will soon split between field-grown
commodity crops, such as soy, wheat
and corn produce that needs wide,
open space far from the city and can be
stored for months and shipped around
the world and vertical farms such as
his that grow high-margin, perishable
produce such as tomatoes, cucumbers
and micro-greens. His farm, which
opened in April and expects to have
sales of $2m to $3m (1m to 1.75m) a
year, already sells its branded produce
to restaurants and to Whole Foods
distribution centre just 30 minutes
away, which then sends it to its 48
stores across eight states in the US.
The next step is automation,
Colangelo says. Because the racks are
linear, he envisages robotic arms and
sensing equipment that can move along
the aisles to pick whats ripe and replace
it with seedlings. Its like Detroit and
an auto-facility parts picker. Cars and
trucks are put together based on orders
from dealers, not just churned out. We
call it just in time farming. We pick it
when the store wants it.

CLEAN AGRICULTURE
In the super-controlled environment of a laboratory setting, crop growth can
be adjusted with precise tweaks to water, nutrient, light and temperature levels.
Heres how Caleb Harpers team has hacked a 21st century indoor garden.

mong the odder technical innovations


in agtech is the shipping-container
farm. Typically the boxes are fitted
out with vertical grow racks for
hydroponics and self-contained
heating, water and LED-lighting
s y s te m s. Th e m o b i l e, m o d u l a r
containers can be stacked four high and
stationed outside grocery shops and
restaurants to provide fresh produce.
Several companies have started up
to fill this niche. The Florida-based
Growtainer wants to build farms for
communities, or provide standalone
units for chefs and for schools as
teaching environments. Ive got
$1 million invested in this, says CEO
Glenn Behrman, who has spent 40 years
operating plant and orchid nurseries
in Florida, Thailand and Vietnam, and

LEDs emit a uniform mixture of the red and blue light necessary
for photosynthesis without overheating the room. A PlayStation
camera detects weather conditions to adjust the brightness.

FINE-TUNE THE IRRIGATION


Plants grown on hydroponic rafts rest atop nutrient-rich
water, their roots hanging beneath. Others use high-pressured
aeroponics, their roots dangling in a box of nutrient-lled mist.

MAINTAIN THE CLIMATE


A range of wireless Arduino sensors detects levels of carbon
dioxide, oxygen, humidity and temperature, which are then
adjusted to the optimum levels.

TRACK GROWTH EFFICIENCY


RFID tags on each plant allow accurate tracking of the
performance of each individual lettuce or broccoli stem in order to
provide reliable evidence for proving the methods efciency.

is a major live-plant distributor to


the US and Europe. Weve perfected
this indoor environment of irrigation
and lighting. Were going to do nature
better than nature.
There are dozens of shippingcontainer-farm outfits, some built
on the owner/operator model: they
sell you the container, you do the
growing. (Behrmans website boasts
that the containers can also serve as
a mobile billboard, promoting its
supporters with highly visible logos
and graphics.) Other companies are
using the franchise model: they sell
you the container with their name on it,
you buy all the materials from them.
But the inherent problem with both
models is that neither is economically
scalable for the growers.
Small units like that have the
opposite of economy of scale: negative
economy of scale, says Paul Lightfoot,
CEO of Bright Farms, a company that
designs, builds and operates footballpitch-sized greenhouses alongside,
aboveornearsupermarkets,cuttingout
time,distanceandcostfromtheproduce
supply chain. If you are going to warm

1.5 kg

The carbon footprint of


a lettuce grown in Spain
and trucked to the UK

up a space, its easier to warm 100,000


square feet than just 1,000 square feet.
Some of the disruption to traditional
agriculture comes not from technology,
but from business innovators such as
Bright Farms. The group grew out of
the non-prot Science Barge project,
a prototype sustainable urban farm
anchored in New Yorks Hudson River,
in 2007. By then, supermarkets around
the world had begun to request fresh,
locally grown produce to meet booming
consumer demand.
Because 98 per cent of supermarket
lettuces in the US come from California
in the summer and Arizona in the
winter, their costs in water, which
is increasingly scarce in the west,
and in transport are relatively
high. In Pennsylvania, Bright Farms
partnered with a local supermarket,
received tax breaks from the town for
bringing jobs to the area, and took
over a 120-hectare farm. That facility,
which uses rainwater capture on

ILLUSTRATION: JAMIE JONES

1
2
3
4

CHECK THE LIGHT

PRODUCE OF
LONDON
BELOW: Zero
Carbon Food aims
to repurpose
underground
spaces to grow
pesticide-free
crops for foodies
within the M25

the roof for watering and employs a


floating-raft growing configuration
like Caleb Harpers, annually sells about
$2 million worth of microgreens
baby kale, rocket, spring-mix lettuces,
Asian-mix lettuces and watercress
under its own brand to supermarkets
in New York and nearby Philadelphia.
We are displacing higher-priced
and less-fresh produce from the West
Coast, Lightfoot says. Perishable
lettuces are tremendously expensive
to move across country. That is our
arbitrage opportunity, coming in with a
better, fresher product. We dont have
the expense of a long supply chain. Our
core values are not technologies. Our
innovation is our business model. We
will adapt any technologies that enable
us to achieve our vision.
Lightfoot thinks that container
farmers will never get a foothold in
major supermarkets because of their
lack of scalability. There are certain
niches they can do, like high-end
microgreens for a specic restaurant,
Lightfoot says. But it cant work on the
scale that Im working on. Or if you were
in the marines, say, you might want
a few of those units at your forward
operating bases in Afghanistan.

Yet innovation and novelty in agtech


is what captures attention and
money. Nowhere is that more clear
than 33 metres under the streets of
north Clapham, in London. There, in
a former world war two air-raid shelter,
entrepreneur Steven Dring is part of a
movement to grow food in overlooked
urban settings. Dring and his partners
have raised 1 million to convert the
space into an eco-friendly, sustainable
grow-room for salads and greens.

131

Their company, Zero Carbon Food


(ZCF), will grow produce in vertical
shelves, using an ebb-and-ood system:
they will flood benches where the
produce grows and let the nutrient-rich
water ebb away. Plants will grow in a
substrate of pulverised carpet, recycled
from the Olympic Village in Stratford.
To save energy and reduce the number
of LED grow lights needed, ZCF will
rotate them around the crops. And
they will use electricity generated by
small and portable micro-hydroelectric
turbines to run the lights.
We have a lot of rain in London,
says Dring. You put these turbines
in water drains and they feed into the
energy grid. Dring will also harness
one of the most pernicious problems
of Tube travel: heat that collects in
stations. We are looking at pulling
the heat out of the Tube stations and

1.8 kg

The carbon footprint


of a lettuce grown
in a UK greenhouse

converting it into energy, as well as


transferring the heat and the carbon
dioxide into our grow rooms, Dring
says, which is like steroids for plants.
In eastern Japan, hit hard by the
devastating 2011 earthquake and
tsunami, a renowned plant physiologist
has turned a former Sony Corporation
semiconductor factory into the worlds
second-largest indoor farm. With
2,300m2 of growing space and using
17,500 low-energy LED lights from GE,
it turns out 10,000 heads of lettuce
a day. The company, Mirai, meaning
future in Japanese, is already
working with GE engineers to build
plant factories in Hong Kong and
Russia. Shigeharu Shimamura, the
brains behind the concept, envisages
the ideas spreading: Finally, we are
about to start the real agricultural
industrialisation, he says.
Theres no shortage of money being
thrown at the plant-making sector
from home-growing appliances for
the urban apartment dweller (there
are countless startups on Kickstarter,
including the Niwa, which lets you
grow your hydroponic tomatoes

via smartphone app) to venturecapital giants such as SVG Partners


in Silicon Valley, which has teamed
up with Forbes to run the rst agtech
conference next year. Yet the truth is it
would take revolution a slow-moving
one over a decade or more for
agtech to take even a modest bite out
of the global food industry. Whats
disruptive about what were doing is
that we dont have transportation and
we dont have spoilage and we dont
waste resources, Harper says.
The remarkable thing, says Harper,
is that he can see a day when regional
differences between, say, green beans
grown in Kenya and Lincolnshire are
replaced by niche growing techniques.
Chefs will have container farms outside
their restaurants and by changing LED
lights,mineralcomposition,pHbalance,
or simulating drought can make
buttercrunch lettuce sweeter. In time,
they might create their own proprietary
recipes and branded produce. It wont
be like the best grapes come from X
region or country, Harper says. It
will be the best grapes come from this
warehouse in Brooklyn. And the best
chard comes from this other warehouse
in Brooklyn. Thats an amazing thing.
Google is looking to incorporate
Harpers design and techniques into
its cafeteria at their headquarters in
Mountain View to feed its employees
fresh, nutrient-dense foods. Even
textile outts, such as cotton growers,
have contacted Harper to find out if
he thinks cotton can be grown in
a plant factory. (Hes not sure, but
maybe.) His Open Ag Project has drawn
academic and government partners
in China, India, Central America and
the United Arab Emirates. Closer to
home, he has partnered with Michigan
State University to turn a former
auto-parts warehouse in blighted
downtown Detroit into what will
become at 4,600m 2 the worlds
biggest vertical plant factory. And what
better place, he reasons. They know
more about automation than any
place in the world, Harper says.
And theyre asking Whats the new
industrial revolution? And its this. 
Kevin Gray wrote about civilian
space travel and health in 08.14

.25kg

The carbon footprint


of a lettuce grown in
an insulated building

132

*VIV CAN HELP

LASAGNE
IS A
FOOD
ITEM

BROTHER
IS A
RELATIONSHIP

HOME
IS A T YPE OF
ADDRESS

Recipe Puppy
Yummly

Google Contacts
Create a filter to match
address type home

FIND BROTHER
IN CONTACTS

FIND
INGREDIENTS

Brothers contact info

Ingredients: cheese,
meat, tomato sauce

Filter to home address


Food classification: cheesy,
meaty, saucy, pasta, Italian

BROTHER'S
HOME
ADDRESS
FIND WHAT
KIND OF FOOD
THAT IS

Address as geopoint

FIND WINE
RECOMMENDATION
FOR CHEESY,
MEAT Y, SAUCY,
ITALIAN
L ASAGNE

Recipe Puppy
Yummly

How far off


route to your
brothers
are you
willing to go?

Geopoint as destination

Wine.com
WineStein

REQUEST TO USER

FIND ROUTE
TO DESTINATION
FROM CURRENT
LOCATION

WINE
RECOMMENDATIONS

MapQuest
ROUTE

Varietal: Cabernet, Pinot noir

MapQuest
Appellation: Napa
Valley, Loire Valley

Wine-Searcher
Route shape

FIND WINE STORES


WITH NAPA CABS
OR FRENCH
PINOTS IN THAT
CORRIDOR

BUILD ROUTE
CORRIDOR
WITH DISTANCE
ADDED

Corridor

Key
Contact

Food

Route

Geo

Wine

Order

Wine stores in
that corridor

View store catalogues


View catalogue sections with
Napa cabs and French Pinots

Marks a starting point taken


from the original query
Action Viv takes to seek info
from third party

View specific bottles

Steps Viv takes


Marks key points in plan

ILLUSTRATION: LA TIGRE

When variable is missing, Viv will


ask the user and learn over time
When Viv organises by price,
distance, or other factors

ARRANGE WINE
STORES WITH
BOTTLES BY PRICE
ARRANGE SUITABLE
BOTTLES BY PRICE

The answer

Input

Output

LIST OF WINE
STORES WITH SUITABLE
BOTTLES ALONG
THE WAY TO BROTHERS
HOUSE

Time elapsed:
/ 20 of a second

The AI that
could conquer
the world

HEN APPLE ANNOUNCED THE IPHONE 4S ON OCTOBER 4, 2011,


the headlines were not about its speedy A5 chip or improved camera.
Instead they focused on an unusual new feature: an intelligent assistant,
dubbed Siri. At rst Siri, endowed with a female voice, seemed almost
human in the way she understood what you said to her and responded,
an advance in articial intelligence that seemed to place us on a fast
track to the Singularity. She was brilliant at fullling certain requests,
like Can you set the alarm for 6:30? or Call Dianes mobile phone.
And she had a personality: if you asked her if there was a God, she

would demur with deft wisdom. My policy is


the separation of spirit and silicon, shed say.
Over the next few months, however, Siris
limitations became apparent. Ask her to book
a plane trip and she would point to travel
websites but she wouldnt give ight options,
let alone secure you a seat. Ask her to buy a
copy of Lee Childs new book and she would
draw a blank, despite the fact that Apple sells
it. Though Apple has since extended Siris
powers to make an OpenTable restaurant
reservation, for example she still cant
do something as simple as booking a table
o n t h e n ex t ava i l a b l e n i g h t i n yo u r
schedule. She knows how to check your
calendar and she knows how to use
OpenTable. But putting those things
together is, at the moment, beyond her.
Now a small team of engineers at a stealth
startup called Viv Labs claims to be on the
verge of realising an advanced form of AI
that removes those limitations. Whereas Siri
can only perform tasks that Apple engineers
explicitly implement, this new program,
they say, will be able to teach itself, giving
it almost limitless capabilities. In time, they
assert, their creation will be able to use your
personal preferences and a near-infinite
web of connections to answer almost any
query and perform almost any function.
Siri is chapter one of a much longer,
bigger story, says Dag Kittlaus, one of Vivs
cofounders. He should know. Before working on Viv, he helped create
Siri. So did his fellow cofounders, Adam Cheyer and Chris Brigham.
For the past two years, the team has been working on Viv Labs
product also named Viv, after the Latin root meaning live. Their project
has been draped in secrecy, but the few outsiders who have gotten a
look speak about it in rapturous terms. The vision is very signicant,
says Oren Etzioni, a renowned AI expert who heads the Allen Institute
for Articial Intelligence. If this team is successful, we are looking
at the future of intelligent agents and a multibillion-dollar industry.

PHOTOGRAPHY: ARIEL ZAMBELICH

BY STEVEN LEV Y

135

Viv is not the only company competing for a share of those


billions. The eld of articial intelligence has become the
scene of a frantic corporate arms race, with internet giants
snapping up AI startups and talent. Google recently paid a
reported 400 million for the UK deep-learning company
DeepMind and has lured AI legends Geoffrey Hinton and Ray
Kurzweil to its headquarters in Mountain View, California.
Facebook has its own deep-learning group, led by prize
hire Yann LeCun from New York University. Their goal is
to build a new generation of AI that can process massive
troves of data to predict and full our desires.
Viv strives to be the rst consumer-friendly assistant that
truly achieves that promise. It wants to be not only blindingly
smart and innitely exible but omnipresent. Vivs creators
hope that some day soon it will be embedded in a plethora
of internet-connected everyday objects. Viv founders say
youll access its articial intelligence as a utility, the way
you draw on electricity. Simply by speaking, you will

Above: Vivs logo.


Below: (from left)
Viv cofounders
Adam Cheyer,
Dag Kittlaus and
Chris Brigham
envisage a world
where articial
intelligence
is as ubiquitous
as electricity

connect to what they are calling a global brain. And that


brain can help power a million different apps and devices.
Im extremely proud of Siri and the impact its had on
the world, but in many ways it could have been more,
Cheyer says. Now I want to do something bigger
than mobile, bigger than consumer, bigger than desktop
or enterprise. I want to do something that could
fundamentally change the way software is built.
Viv Labs is tucked behind an unmarked door on a
middle oor of a generic glass office building in downtown
San Jose. Visitors enter into a small suite and walk past
a pool table to get to the single conference room, glimpsing
on the way a handful of engineers staring into monitors
on trestle tables. Once in the meeting room, Kittlaus
a product-whisperer whose career includes stints at
Motorola and Apple is usually the one to start things off.
He acknowledges that an abundance of voice-navigated
systems already exists. In addition to Siri, there is Google

Now, which can anticipate some of your needs, alerting you, for example,
that you should leave 15 minutes sooner for the airport because of
traffic delays. Microsoft, which has been pursuing machine-learning
techniques for decades, recently came out with a Siri-like system
called Cortana. Amazon uses voice technology in its Fire TV product.
But Kittlaus points out that all of these services are strictly limited.
Cheyer elaborates: Google Now has a huge knowledge graph you
can ask questions like Where was Abraham Lincoln born? And it
can name the city. You can also say, What is the population? of a city
and itll bring up a chart and answer. But you cannot say, What is the
population of the city where Abraham Lincoln was born? The system
may have the data for both these components, but it has no ability to put
them together, either to answer a query or to make a smart suggestion.
Like Siri, it cant do anything that coders havent explicitly
programmed it to do. Viv breaks through those constraints
by generating its own code on the fly, no programmers
required. Take a complicated command such as Give
me a ight to Dallas with a seat that Shaquille ONeal could
fit in. Viv will parse the sentence and then it will perform
its best trick: automatically generating a quick, efficient
program to link third-party sources of information together
say, Kayak, SeatGuru, and the NBA media guide so it
can identify available f lights with lots of legroom.
And it can do all of this in a fraction of a second.
Viv is an open system that will let innumerable businesses
and applications become part of its boundless brain. The
technical barriers are minimal, requiring brief training (in
some cases, minutes) for Viv to understand the jargon of the
specific topic. As Vivs knowledge grows, so will its understanding; its creators have designed it based on three principles
they call its pillars: it will be taught by the world, it will know
more than it is taught, and it will learn something every day. As
with other AI products, that teaching involves using sophisticated algorithms to interpret the language and behaviour of
people using the system the more people use it, the smarter
it gets. By knowing who its users are and which services they
interact with, Viv can sift through that vast trove of data and
nd new ways to connect and manipulate the information.
Kittlaus says the end result will be a digital assistant who
knows what you want before you ask for it. He envisions someone
unsteadily holding a phone to his mouth outside a club at 2am
and saying, Im drunk. Without any elaboration, Viv would
contact the users preferred car service, dispatch it to the
address where hes half passed out, and direct the driver to
take him home. No further consciousness required.
If Kittlaus is in some ways the Steve Jobs of Viv he is the
only non-engineer on the ten-person team and its main voice
on strategy and marketing Cheyer is the companys Steve
Wozniak, the projects key scientic mind. Unlike the whimsical
creator of the Apple II, though, Cheyer is aggressively analytical
in every facet of his life, even beyond the workbench. As a child,
he was a Rubiks Cube champion, averaging 26 seconds a solution.
When he encountered programming, he went in head-rst. I felt that
computers were invented for me, he says. And while in high school
he discovered a regimen to force the world to bend to his will. I live
my life by what I call verbally stated goals, he says. I crystallise a
feeling, a need, into words. I think about the words, and I tell everyone
I meet, This is what Im doing. I say it, and then I believe it. By telling
people, youre committed to it, and they help you. And it works.
He says he used the technique to land his early computing jobs,
including the most signicant at SRI International, a Menlo Park
think tank that invented the concept of computer windows and the
mouse. It was there, in the early 2000s, that Cheyer led the engineering
of a Darpa-backed AI effort to build a human-like system that could
sense the world, understand it, reason about it, plan, communicate and
act. The SRI-led team built what it called a Cognitive Assistant that
Learns and Organizes, or CALO. They set some AI high-water marks,

not least being the systems ability to understand natural language.


As the ve-year programme wound down, it was unclear what would
happen next. That was when Kittlaus, who had quit his job at Motorola,
showed up at SRI as an entrepreneur in residence. When he saw a CALOrelated prototype, he told Cheyer he could definitely build
a business from it, calling it the perfect complement to the justreleased iPhone. In 2007, with SRIs blessing, they licensed the
technology for a startup, taking on a third cofounder, an AI
expert named Tom Gruber, and eventually renaming the system Siri.

IRI, AND THE SMALL TEAM BEHIND IT, GREW TO INCLUDE


Chris Brigham, an engineer who had impressed Cheyer on CALO,
moved to San Jose and worked for two years to get things right.
One of the hardest parts was the natural-language understanding,
Cheyer says. Ultimately they had an iPhone app that could perform
a host of interesting tasks call a taxi, book a table, get film
tickets and carry on a conversation with brio. They released
it publicly to users in February 2010. Three weeks later, Steve
Jobs called. He wanted to buy the company.
I was shocked at how well he knew our app, Cheyer says. At rst
they declined to sell, but Jobs persisted. His winning argument was
that Apple could expose Siri to a far wider audience than a startup could
reach. He promised to promote it as a key element on every iPhone.
Apple bought the company in April 2010 for a reported $200 million.
The core Siri team came to Apple with the project. But as Siri was
honed into a product that millions could use in multiple languages,

137

some members of the original team reportedly had


difficulties with executives who were less respectful of their
vision than Jobs was. Kittlaus left Apple the day after the
launch the day Steve Jobs died. Cheyer departed several
months later. I do feel if Steve were alive, I would still
be at Apple, Cheyer says. Ill leave it at that. (Gruber,
the third Siri cofounder, remains at Apple.)
After several months, Kittlaus got back in touch with
Cheyer and Brigham. They asked one another what they
thought the world would be like in five years. As they
drew ideas on a whiteboard in Kittlauss house, Brigham
brought up the idea of a program that could put the things
it knows together in new ways. As talks continued, they
lit on the concept of a cloud-based intelligence, a global
brain. The only way to make this ubiquitous conversational assistant is to open it up to third parties to allow
everyone to plug into it, Brigham says.
In retrospect, they were recreating Siri as it might have
evolved had Apple never bought it. Before the sale, Siri had
partnered with around 45 services, from AllMenus.com to
Yahoo!; in contrast, Apple had rolled Siri out with fewer than
half a dozen. Siri in 2014 is less capable than it was in 2010,
saysGaryMorgenthaler,oneofthefundersoftheoriginalapp.
CheyerandBrighamtappedexpertsinvariousAIandcoding
niches to ll out their small group. To produce some of the
toughest parts the architecture to allow Viv to understand
language and write its own programs they brought in Mark
Gabel from the University of Texas at Dallas. Another key
hire was David Gondek, one of the creators of IBMS Watson.
Funding came from Solina Chau, the partner (in
business and otherwise) of the richest man in China, Li
Ka-shing. Chau runs the venture rm Horizons Ventures.
In addition to investing in Facebook, DeepMind and
Summly (bought by Yahoo!), it helped fund the original
Siri. When Vivs founders asked Chau for $10 million,
she said, Im in. Do you want me to wire it now?
Its early May and Kittlaus is addressing the team at its
weekly engineering meeting. You can see the progress,
he tells the group. See it get closer to the point where it
just works. Each engineer delineates the advances theyve
made and the next steps. One explains how he has been
rening Vivs response to Get me a ticket to the cheapest
flight from San Francisco to Charles de Gaulle on July 2,
with a return ight the following Monday. After another
week, the engineer added an airplane-seating database.
Using a laptop-based prototype of Viv that displays
a virtual phone screen, he speaks into the microphone. Lufthansa Flight 455 fits the bill. Seat 61G is
available according to your preferences, Viv replies,
then purchases the seat using a credit card.

I crystallise a feeling,
a need, into words. I think
about the words, and
I tell everyone that I meet,
This is what Im doing.

ARTIFICIAL
INTELLIGENCE
IS HOT
Last year,
investors poured
$581m into 142
AI-startup deals,
according to CB
Insights. Here are
a few companies
to think about.

1
Vicarious
With $56m from
backers including
Mark Zuckerberg,
San Franciscobased Vicarious
aims to achieve
human-level
intelligence in
vision, language,
and motor control.
First step: cracking
visual perception.

2
DeepMind
Founded by Demis
Hassabis, Shane
Legg and Mustafa
Suleyman, the
London-based rm
teaches machines
new tasks. It was
bought by Google
in January for a
reported 400m
with an ethics board
as a condition.

3
Numenta
Cofounded by
Donna Dubinsky
and Palms
Jeff Hawkins,
Californiabased Numenta
emulates the
human neocortex
in helping the
machine to learn.
Reported funding
exceeds $23m.

Vivs founders dont see it as just one product tied to


a hardware manufacturer. They see it as a service that
can be licensed. They imagine that everyone from TV
manufacturers and car companies to app developers will
want to incorporate Vivs AI, just as PC manufacturers
once clamoured to boast of their Intel microprocessors.
They envision its icon joining the pantheon of familiar
symbols like Power On, Wi-Fi, and Bluetooth.
Intelligence becomes a utility, Kittlaus says. Wouldnt
it be nice if you could talk to everything, and it knew you, and
it knew everything about you, and it could do everything?
That would also be nice because it just might provide
Viv with a business model. Kittlaus thinks Viv could be
instrumental in what he calls the referral economy. He cites
a statistic about Match.com that he learned from its CEO:
the company arranges 50,000 dates a day. What Match.com
isnt able to do is say, Let me get you tickets for something.
Would you like me to book a table? Do you want me to send
Uber to pick her up? Do you want me to have owers sent
to the table? Viv could provide all those services in
exchange for a cut of the transactions that resulted.
Building that ecosystem will be a difficult task, one that
Viv Labs could hasten considerably by selling out to one of
the internet giants. Let me just cut through all the usual
founder bullshit, Kittlaus says. What were really after is
ubiquity. We want this to be everywhere, and were going
to consider all paths along those lines. To some associated
with Viv Labs, selling the company would seem like a tired
rerun. Im deeply hoping they build it, says Bart Swanson,
a Horizons adviser on Viv Labs board. They will be
able to control it only if they do it themselves.
Whether they will succeed, of course, is not certain.
Viv is potentially very big, but its all still potential, says
Morgenthaler, the original Siri funder. A big challenge,
he says, will be whether the thousands of third-party
components work together or whether they clash, leading
to a confused Viv that makes boneheaded errors. Can Viv get
it right? The jury is out, but I have very high condence,
he says. I only have doubt as to when and how.
Most of the carefully chosen outsiders who have seen
early demos are similarly condent. One is Vishal Sharma,
who until recently was VP of product for Google Now. When
Cheyer showed him how Viv located the closest bottle of
wine that paired well with a dish, he was blown away.
I dont know any system in the world that could answer a
question like that, he says. Many things can go wrong, but
I would like to see something like this exist.
Indeed, many things have to go right for Viv to make good
on its founders promises. It has to prove that its code-making
skills can scale to include petabytes of data. It has to continually get smarter through omnivorous learning. It has to win
users despite not having a pre-existing base like Google and
Apple have. It has to lure developers who are already stressed
adapting their wares to multiple platforms. And it has to be
as seductive as Scarlett Johansson in Her so that people
are comfortable sharing their personal information with a
robot that might become an important force in their lives.
The inventors of Siri are condent that their next creation
will eclipse the rst. But whether and when that will happen
is a question that even Viv herself cannot answer. Yet. 
Steven Levy wrote about social newsfeeds in WIRED 06.14

POWER

PL ANT

BY JEREMY WHITE
PHOTOGRAPHY: CHRISTOFFER RUDQUIST

139

WHEN BMW BEGAN MAKING ELECTRIC


AND HYBRID CARS, IT ALSO RETHOUGHT
W H AT I T S L E I P Z I G F A C T O R Y S H O U L D
B E . Y O U M I G H T C A L L I T P O S T - F O R D I S T. . .

140

rom
H e n r y Fo r d s
industrial
production
model

to the introduction of robots in the late 20th


century, there has been significant change in
the way mass-market cars are made. However,
the rapid ascent of automation, alongside
new environmental standards, in the auto
industry has demanded an even greater level of
innovation in the way cars are manufactured.
Take BMW. The German company was aware
that the assembly of its i Series of electric and
hybrid vehicles (the i3 was launched in November
2013, the i8 in June this year) required a new
approach to manufacturing. So, between 2009 and
2012, it spent 400 million (310 million) building
a new factory near Leipzig in east central Germany.
The company claims that the facility, which
covers an area of 2.1 million m2, is one of the most
sustainable automobile plants in the world. The
differences with the older plants are striking. On
the new line, there is no need for a paint shop as the
thermoplastic outer body panels can be sprayed in
small, shed-like rooms. A traditional press shop is
absent because the construction of the passenger
section of the vehicles doesnt require steel or
aluminium. In the body shop, there is no more
welding, just robots silently applying glue.
The result is that making the i models requires
50 per cent less power and 70 per cent less water
per car compared to the BMW production average
which, in 2011, was 2.43mWh per vehicle. All of the
electricity needed for the i models is generated
on-site using wind power from four 2.5mW
turbines. Generating around 26GWh per year,
these turbines produce 2GWh more electricity
than is required for the i Series. The surplus is
channelled into other areas of the plant.
Aventilation-controlsystemensuresalloftheair
in production areas is replaced several times a day
via the overhead and side lighting in the assembly
hall. Natural ventilation provides the cooling
to counteract the heat in the pressing plant.
This means that no additional fans or airconditioning systems are needed anywhere in the

plantsventilationsystem.Tofurtherreducepower
consumption, white foils on all the strip lights in
the hall ceiling reect natural sunlight to reduce
the use of articial lighting.
Perhaps the most obvious change in i-model
production is the extensive use of carbon bre,
which allows the manufacturer to offset the weight
of the heavy electric components with lightweight,
yet extremely stiff, body construction.
Unlike most vehicles with an integral body
and frame construction, the horizontally split
LifeDrive architecture of the i Series consists of
two independent modules: the Life carbon-bre
passenger compartment and the Drive powertrain and aluminium chassis section beneath.
The carbon-bre fabric is rst moulded into
its eventual shape in the preforming process.
The laminate is heated to create a stable, threedimensional form. Several of these preformed
pieces can then be assembled into a larger
component. This makes it possible to manufacture
much larger body components for the i8, which are
difficult to produce in aluminium or sheet steel.
After preforming, the next step in the process
is resination. The resin-injection procedure
which is used in aerospace, boat and wind-turbine
construction involves injecting liquid resin into
preformedfabricsectionsunderhighpressure.The
bonding of the bres with the resin and the subsequenthardeninggivesthematerialitsrigidityand
its name: carbon-bre-reinforced polymer (CFRP).
In a pressing plant with a closing force of up to
4,500tonnestheresinisbondedwiththehardening
agent and the section is cured. This eliminates the
need for an additional curing process or a classic
paint-shop and cathodic immersion-bath coating.
These time savings mean that BMW can produce
preformedpartsinamatterofsingle-digitminutes.
During assembly of the i8 Drive module, the
aluminium chassis is tted with a high-voltage
battery. Its then assembled with the drivetrain and
transmission units. Once the pre-assembled frontaxlecarrierandotherpartshavebeenmounted,the
Drive module is ready to move for nal assembly.
Meanwhile, the CFRP passenger cell half
the weight of steel and 30 per cent lighter than
aluminium makes its way from the body shop to
the assembly where, on the i8 assembly line, its
customer-specic equipment is tted. This is the
nalstepbeforethemarriageofthetwomodules,
where the CFRP passenger cell and the aluminium
chassis are bolted and bonded together. For this,
BMW has developed an adhesive that takes half an
hour to bond, ten times faster than normal. Finally,
the i8 is given its thermoplastic exterior skin.
The 110-metre i assembly line normal
productionlines canbemorethan1km comprises
just 14 workstations. This, of course, is due to the
parallel assembly processes and the fact that the
new CFRP structure comprises many fewer parts,
says Carsten Breitfeld, the i project director. At 20
hours, the total processing time in the body shop
and on the assembly line is half of what would be
required in a conventional production process. 
Jeremy White is product editor at WIRED.
He wrote about Koenigsegg in 06.14

PREVIOUS SPREAD
Body shop
_
The i3 body shop robots at
work on the sideframe of the
BMW i3. Their task involves
the adhesive bonding of carbonbre parts. There are 160
robots working on the i3 and 30
working on the i8.

THIS SPREAD
Assembly
_
The usual cycle time between
stations on assembly lines for
conventional cars is 76 seconds,
but here, where the line is
optimised with more people
working on smaller volumes, the
cycle time is about half an hour.

FOLLOWING SPREAD
Marriage
_
An i8 in assembly at the
facilitys wedding station.
This is where the carbonbre body shell is joined to the
aluminium Drive module
which contains the battery
cells and entire drivetrain.

FINAL SPREAD
Last checks
_
(Left) The hybrids three-cylinder
1.5-litre turbo engine produces
231bhp and is manufactured
separately, in Birmingham. (Right)
An i8 at the nish line the light
tunnel where nal quality checks
are done to ensure a perfect nish.

142

144

000

Secretly loves
to catalogue
deep space
objects such
as voorwerps

Pretty excited
about modelling
protein-folding
mechanisms
in diseases

Identied
four species
of Serengeti
predator before
breakfast

Just counted
the arms on a
new category
of occulent
spiral galaxy

147

Will transcribe
part of the
Oxyrhynchus
Papyri later
this afternoon

About to map
climate change
using data
from historic
ships logs

Finds that
categorising
bat-screeches
is immensely
soothing

Likes to spend
her spare time
surveying
craters on the
lunar surface

hris Lintott rst met Kevin Schawinski


in the summer of 2007 at the astrophysics department of the University of
Oxford. Lintott had just nished a PhD
at the University College of London on
star formation in galaxies. He was also
something of a minor celebrity in the
astronomy community: he was one of
the presenters of the BBCs astronomy
programme The Sky at Night alongside
Sir Patrick Moore, and had written a
popular science book called Bang!:
The Complete History of the Universe
with Moore and Brian May, the Queen
guitarist and astrophysicist. I went
to give a seminar talk as part of a job
interview, Lintott recalls. And this guy
in a suit jumped up and started having a
go at me because I hadnt checked my
galaxy data properly. I thought it was
some lecturer who Id pissed off, but it
turned out to be Kevin [Schawinski],
who was a student at the time.
Most galaxies come in two shapes:
elliptical or spiral. Elliptical galaxies can
have a range of shapes, from perfectly
spherical to a flattened rugby-ball
shape. Spirals, like the Milky Way, have
a central bulge of stars surrounded by
a thin disk of stars shaped in a spiral
pattern known as arms. The shape of
a galaxy is an imprint of its history and
howithasinteractedwithothergalaxies
over billions of years of evolution. It is a
mystery to astronomers why they have
these shapes and how the two geometries related to one another. For a long
time, astronomers assumed that spirals
wereyounggalaxies,withanabundance
of stellar nurseries, where new stars

were being formed. These regions


typically emitted hot, blue radiation.
Elliptical galaxies, on the other hand,
were thought to be predominantly
old, replete of dying stars, which are
colder, and therefore have a red colour.
Schawinski was working on a theory
which contradicted this paradigm. To
prove it, he needed to find elliptical
galaxies with blue regions, where star
formation was taking place.
At the time, astronomers relied on
computer algorithms to lter datasets
of images of galaxies. The biggest bank
of such images came from the Sloan
Digital Sky Survey, which contained
more than two million astronomical
objects, nearly a million of which
were galaxies, and had been taken
by an automated robotic telescope in
New Mexico with a two-metre mirror.
The problem was that computers can
easily filter galaxies based on their
colour, however it was impossible for
an algorithm to pick up galaxies based
on their shape. Its really hard to teach
a computer a pattern-recognition task
like this, says Schawinski, currently
a professor in astronomy at the Swiss
Federal Institute of Technology in
Zurich. It took computer scientists
a decade to [teach a computer] to tell
human faces apart, something every
child can do the moment they open
their eyes. The only way to prove this
theory, Schawinski decided, was to look
at each galaxy image, one by one.
Schawinski did it for a week, working
12 hours every day. He would go to his
office in the morning, click through

galaxies while listening to


images of gala
music, break ffor lunch, and continue
the evening. When I
until late in th
Chriss seminar, I had just
attended Chris
spent a week looking through fifty
says Schawinski.
thousand galaxies,
galax
When Lintott
Linto moved to Oxford, he
and Schawinski
Schawins started debating the
problem of how to classify datasets
with millions of images. They werent
ones. Kate Land, one of
the only one
my colleagues, was intrigued about
a recent paper which claimed most
were rotating around a
galaxies wer
common axis,
axis, Lintott says. Which
because the expecis indeed puzzling
puzz
that these axes would be
tation was tha
random. Land needed more
totally random
data, which required looking at
of tens of thousands of
the rotation o
galaxies. Out of the blue she asked
thought that, if they put a
me if I though
galaxy images in the
laptop with ga
middle of a pub, would people classify
them? Lintott recalls.
At the time, Nasa had launched a
Stardust@home, which
project called S
had recruited about 20,000 online
identify tracks made by
volunteers to id
dust in samples from a
interstellar d
thought that if people are
comet. We tho
going to look at dust tracks, then surely
theyll look at galaxies, says Lintott.
Onceitwasdecidedtheywouldgoahead
Onceitwasdeci
with the project, they built a website
within days. The homepage displayed
the image of a galaxy from the dataset.
For each image, the volunteers were
asked if the galaxy was a spiral or elliptical. If a spiral, they were asked if they
could discern the direction of its arms
and the direction of its rotation. There
were also options for stars, unknown
objects and overlapping galaxies.
The site, called Galaxy Zoo, launched
on July 11, 2007. We thought we would
get at least some amateur astronomers, Lintott says. I was planning
to go to the British Astronomical
Society, give a talk and get at least
50 of their members to classify some
galaxies for us. Within 24 hours of
its launch, Galaxy Zoo was receiving
60,000 classications per hour. The
cablewewereusingmeltedandwewere
offline for a while, Schawinski says.
The project nearly died there. After
ten days, users from all over the world
had submitted eight million classifications. By November, every galaxy
had been seen by an average of 40
people. Galaxy Zoo users werent just
classifying galactic shapes, they were
making unexpected discoveries. Barely
a month after launch, Dutch schoolteacher Hanny van Arkel discovered a
strange green cluster that turned out

HOW TO
MANAGE
A CROWD
Amy Robinson,
EyeWires creative
director, is a
crowdsourcing
expert. Here
are her three
key factors in
getting the
masses involved.

01

COMMUNITY
The single
most important
aspect of a
crowdsourcing
project, according
to Robinson.
We listen to the
players and make
sure they are part
of the lab, she
says. Participants
connect through
internal forums
but also through
social media.

02

THE DESIGN
The EyeWire team,
which includes
designers and
animators, put
themselves in
the shoes of the
players. Most
players dont have
a background in
neuroscience,
says Robinson.
The game needs
to be fun but
we also want
them to learn.

03

THE GAME
EyeWire stripped
out the labs
complex software
and technical
jargon. The
researchers are
getting asked
questions that
theyre not used
to being asked,
says Robinson.
This community
reminds you of
those questions
that fuel curiosity.

149

t around the time


Lintott and his
team were developing Galaxy Zoo,
t w o c o m p u te r
scientists at the
University of
Washington in Seattle, Seth Cooper
and Adrien Treuille, were trying to use
online crowds to solve a problem in
biochemistry called protein folding.
A protein is a chain of smaller molecules
called amino acids. Its three-dimensionalshapedetermineshowitinteracts
with other proteins and, consequently,
its function in the cell. Proteins only
have one possible structure, and nding
that structure is a notoriously difficult
problem: for a given chain of amino
acids, there are millions of ways in
which it can be folded into a threedimensional shape. Biochemists know
thousands of sequences of amino acids
but struggle to nd how they fold into
the three-dimensional structures
that are found in nature.
Cooper and Treuilles lab had previously developed an algorithm which
attempted to predict these structures. The algorithm, named Rosetta,
required a lot of computer power, so
it was adapted to run as a screensaver
that online volunteers could install. The
screensaver, called Rosetta@home,
required no input from volunteers, so
Cooper and Treuille had been brought
in to turn it into a game. With the
screensaver, users could see the protein
and how the computer was trying
to fold it, but they couldnt interact
with it, Cooper says. We wanted
to combine that computer power
with human problem-solving.
Cooper and Treuille were the only
computer scientists in their lab. They
also had no idea about protein folding.
In some sense, we were forced to
look at this very esoteric and abstract
problem through the eyes of a child,
Cooper says. Biochemists often tell
you that a protein looks right or wrong.
It seemed that with enough training
you can gain an intuition about how a
protein folds. There are certain congurations that a computer never samples,
but a person can just look at it and say,
thats it. That was the seed of the idea.
Thegame,calledFoldit,wasreleasedin
May 2008. Players start with a partiallyfoldedproteinstructure,whichhasbeen
arrived at by the Rosetta algorithm,
and have to manipulate its structure by

Chris Lintott
(left), Zooniverse
founder, and
Robert Simpson,
researcher and
web developer

to be a never-before-seen astronomical
object. Christened Hannys Voorwerp
(voorwerp means object in Dutch),
it remains the subject of intense scientific scrutiny. Later that year, a team
of volunteers compiled evidence for a
new type of galaxy blue and compact
which they named Pea galaxies.
When we did a survey of our volunteers we found out they werent astronomers, Lintott says. They werent
even huge science fans and werent
that interested in making new discoveries.Themajoritysaidtheyjustwanted
to make a contribution. With Galaxy
Zoo,SchawinskiandLintottdevelopeda
powerful pattern-recognition machine,
composed entirely of people who could
not only process data incredibly quickly
and accurately aggregating the results
via a democratic statistical process
but also enable individual serendipitous discoveries, a fundamental
component of scientic enquiry. With
robotic telescopes spewing terabytes of
imageseveryyear,theyfoundananswer
to big data in a big crowd of volunteers.
Since Galaxy Zoos rst discoveries, this
pioneering approach of crowdsourcing

science has gained a strong following


not only with the general public but also
within the scientic community. Today,
there are hundreds of crowdsourcing
projects involving a variety of scientic
goals, from identifying cancer cells in
biological tissues to building nanoscale
machines using DNA. These endeavours
have resulted in breakthroughs, such as
Schawinski and Lintotts discoveries on
the subject of star formation, that have
merited publication in the most reputed
scientic journals. The biggest breakthrough, however, is not the scientic
discoveries per se, but the method itself.
Crowdsourcing science is a reinvention
of the scientic method, a powerful new
way of making discoveries and solving
problems that could have otherwise
remain undiscovered and unsolved.

The volunteers werent


astronomers. They
werent even science
fans or interested
in new discoveries

150

clicking, pulling and dragging amino


acids until theyve arrived at its most
stable shape. The algorithm calculates
how stable the structure is; the more
stable, the higher the score.
When we rst trialled the game with
the biochemists, they werent particularly excited, Cooper says. But then
we added a leaderboard, where you
could see each others names and
respective scores. After that, we had to
shut down the game for a while because
it was bringing all science to a halt.
Folditturnedthegoalofsolvingoneof
biochemistrys hardest problems into a
game that can be won by scoring points.
Over the past ve years, over 350,000
people have played Foldit; these players
have been able to consistently fold
proteinsbetterthanthebestalgorithms.
Most of these players didnt have a
background in biochemistry and they
were beating some of the biochemists
who were playing the game, Cooper
says.Theyalsodiscoveredanalgorithm
similartoonethatthescientistshadbeen
developing. It was more efficient that
any previously published algorithms.
In 2011 a group of Foldit players
folded the Mason-Pzer monkey virus,
a protein that leads to Aids in rhesus
monkeys. Biochemists had been trying
to gure out this structure for over ten
years. The Rosetta algorithm had been
unable to solve it the players managed
it in three weeks (their structure was
subsequently confirmed by experimental data). It was a team effort by
three players, says Cooper. They
worked as a group, not at the same time,
but improving on each others work.
When Cooper told them that they had
solved the problem and asked them
whether they wanted their individual
names on the scientific paper, they
declined. Instead, they wanted the
name of their group to be included in
the list of authors: Foldit Contenders.
Machine learning is this juggernaut
in computer science now, Treuille says.
But one of the reasons to crowdsource
science is human learning. Humans
have this trick up their sleeve, this
cycle of experiment, hypothesis and
results. After Foldit, Treuille moved
to Carnegie Mellon in Pittsburgh where
he developed another scientic game
called EteRNA, which tasks players to
design molecules of ribonucleic acid
(RNA).Whenplayersstarteddesigning
their molecules for the rst time, they
werent very good, Treuille says. But

they quickly gured what to do. In six


months, for a given puzzle, the best
computer design would typically be
worse than the worst player design.
Not only that, Treuille noticed that
the players were having increasingly
sophisticated discussions on the
message board. There was a blog post
by this player called Chris Cunningham,
a graduate student in computer
science, Treuille says. He wrote a
meta-analysis of some of the designs
that people were posting online.
What was pretty astonishing was that
I dont even fully understand what
they were talking about. They were
creating their own technical jargon.

alaxy Zoo
harnesses its
volunteers to
undertake imageand p a t t e r n recognitiontasks
that scientists
dont have the resources to complete.
Fordecades,[researchers]incomputer
science have been suggesting that we
should convert big-data problems into
games, Treuille says. Now we can
do this on a massive scale.
With Foldit and EteRNA, the best
work is not done via a statistical
aggregation, but by its most elite
players. A way of thinking about this
is that weve searched through 100,000
people and found a sub-set who were
amazing at this esoteric task, Treuille
tells WIRED on the phone from Pittsburgh.Ourtopplayersarenotbiochemistry or computer-science graduates,
but they are better than any graduates
who work on this project. After our
conversation, Treuille sends WIRED
a video interview with the worlds
number-one Foldit player. In it, a young
woman describes her gaming: I like to
take a messy protein and turn it into a
beautifullystreamlinedstructurewhere
everythingissymmetricalandthingsare
tucked in and nothing is hanging out.
Yes, thats what I like doing, she says.
Im an admin worker in a rehab team.
Im just answering telephones, working
on bespoke computer programs, interactingwithstaff.Itsrepetitive.WhenIgo
home I become a different person. I like
to measure myself against something
and its given me something that my
everyday life hasnt given me, which is
to use abilities I didnt know I had.
In 2009, Galaxy Zoo evolved into a
largerplatformcalledZooniverse,which
currently runs more than 20 scientic
projects for a community of more than a

millionpeople.WhenwestartedGalaxy
Zoo, we thought we would get a few
people from amateur astronomy clubs,
says Robert Simpson, a researcher and
web developer at Zooniverse, when
WIREDvisitshisofficesattheUniversity
of Oxfords astrophysics department.
Four thousand people took part.
Were starting to run out of galaxies.
According to Simpson, the Zooniverse
community contributes more than 50
years of effort per annum and over 70
scientific papers have resulted. We
dont let them sleep, he jokes. Its a
very good effort if you work out their
holidays and account for the time they
need to go to the toilet. We dont just
get one persons opinion, we get a vote
on everything we ask, and thats very
powerful in terms of creating catalogue
of things that only a human can nd.
Simpson shows WIRED an artists
impression of a planet with four
suns. It was found by Planet Hunters,
another Zooniverse project. Its a bit
like Tatooine, Simpson says. This
system has two stars in the centre, the
planet revolves around them and two
other stars orbiting around them. The
computers didnt spot it because no one
even thought of writing an algorithm to
look for this kind of system.
Zooniverse now ranges from archaeology to nature conservation. Snapshot
Serengeti, for example, uses images
from 225 cameras placed in a grid
across the Serengeti National Park.
The cameras are triggered by motion
and heat, taking images of animals in
various poses. The idea is to make a
census of the large predators and their
prey, Simpson says. Users are asked
what species they see and what they
are doing. They are mapping migration
patterns of these animals over a long
period of time. On Simpsons office
door, theres a list titled Army size,
with the names of various countries
crossed out, apart from India (1.3
million), the US (1.6 million) and
China (2.3 million). We just crossed
out North Korea. We used to compare
ourselvestohowmanyfootballstadiums
we could fill with our members, but
we had to upgrade to armies.
The significance of Zooniverses
popularity is best illustrated by the
science projects that it has inspired.
Consider EyeWire, a game launched in
2012 that asks players to map neuronal
circuitry. It was developed by Sebastian
Seung, a neuroscientist at Princeton
University and a former MIT professor
who is attempting to comprehensively
map how neurons are connected within
our brain. This sort of wiring diagram,
which Seung calls the connectome, is

GALAXY HUNT
Zooniverses
Galaxy Zoo uses
the crowd to
categorise deepspace objects

000

This reddish
galaxy was
spotted through
our own galactic
disk, hence
the stars in the
foreground

Galaxy Zoo users


identied this
galaxy (centre),
despite it being
obscured by a
diffraction spike
from a nearby star

152

a complex network made of a hundred


billion neurons wired together by an
average of 100,000 connections each
(see WIRED 07.12). Its a daunting
task that Seung has been working on
since 2006, when he started developing articial-intelligence algorithms
that could do the job automatically.
We made progress, but years have
passed and computers still cant do
the job, Seung says. The way to solve
this would be a combination of human
and artificial intelligence.
EyeWire uses scans taken from a
mouses retina. The retina is a part
of the eye but its also composed of
neurons which process visual input.
The retina sample used in EyeWire
was shaved off in 30-nanometer-thick
square layers and each layer imaged
by an electron microscope. Each
slice presents a cross section of the
thousands of neurons, an image not
dissimilar to a slice of salami, with the
boundaries of neurons represented in
darker and well-dened lines. Reconstructing the three-dimensional
version of this sliced piece of retina
from a stack of two-dimensional slices
usually takes about 50 hours, a task
that Seung compares to completing an
extremely complicated colouring book.
In that image the neurons are all
tangled up, Seung says. To get the
shape of a single neuron you have
to follow its branches throughout
the image. The task is hard even for
humans. Because it typically takes tens
of hours to get reasonably good at this
task, EyeWire players rst have to pass
a test of accuracy and overcome various
challenges to get a chance at mapping
the most difficult neurons.
We allow everyone to participate,
but the idea is to identify the experts,
Seung says. One of our lab technicians plays a character called the
GrimReaper, who oversees the entire
cell. When its obvious that theres a
false branch growing out of a neuron
that shouldnt be there, he chops it off.
Hes correcting the crowd. But some
in the community were becoming as
good as the GrimReaper, so we promote
them to a higher order of players, which
we call the Order of the Scythe.
In May 2014, EyeWire published its
rst paper, Space-time wiring specificity supports direction selectively
in the retina, in the journal Nature.
The paper presented the discovery
of a neural circuit in the retina whose

function is to detect moving visual


stimuli.Itwasaproblemthathadeluded
neuroscientists for more than 50 years,
since it was rst described in theory.
Morethan120,000haveplayedthegame
sincelaunch,and2,183hadtheirnamein
thepaperbecauseoftheircontributions.
I dont want to say that there was no
other way to do this, Seung says. But
it so happens that we got there rst.

ne morning in
June 2014,
Simpson and his
team met Andrew
Bastawrous, an
eye surgeon from
theLondonSchool
of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine, and
Tunde Peto, an ophthalmologist from
Moorelds Eye Hospital. Bastawrous
has developed a smartphone add-on
that can diagnose eye disease (WIRED
08.14), an app called Peek (Portable Eye
Examination Kit), which he is using in
clinical studies in Kenya.
Simpson and Bastawrous, both TED
Fellows, met in March 2014 at TEDs
conference in Vancouver, and thought
Zooniverse might help Bastawrouss
project. Lately we have been joking
thatweshouldbedoingsomethingmore
worthwhilethanjustndingnewplanets
andgalaxies,laughsSimpson.Helping
Andrew is in that category of projects
that make a difference. At the meeting,
which took place at the University of
Oxford, Bastawrous showed a picture
that he took in a village in Kenya of an
elderly woman. Her eyes were cloudy,
her face expressionless. I see ladies like
her in the clinic every day, Bastawrous
says. The woman had glaucoma, an eye
diseasethatdevelopsslowlybutleadsto
blindness if not treated early. Unfortunately it was too late. The worst thing is
looking into someones eye and seeing
that theres nothing you can do.
Bastawrous needs a way of quickly
evaluating the thousands of images
that come from eye clinics. Its
relatively easy to spot images that
show abnormal features, says Peto,
whose team does image analysis for
Peek. But when you see nothing, you
spend a lot of time looking for minor
features. Its very time consuming.
Getting the Zooniverse crowd
to analyse these images is a typical
medium-sized project, Simpson adds.
Wecouldgetthisdoneinaboutaweek.
On hearing this, Bastawrous is
visibly cheered. Im excited that its
possible to have thousands of people
looking at these images.

Simpson mentioned Zooniverses


Milky Way Project, which allows volunteers to annotate images of regions of
our own galaxy. We nd new features
based on people annotating an image,
Simpson says. Its a different model
for data analysis. In your case, you can
get people to annotate the retina.
Peto agrees that method would be
ideal to look for new patterns in the eye.
We recently found that certain spot
patterns in the retina [can indicate]
early-stage dementia, she says. I gave
the images to a bunch of junior graders,
who had no idea that these came from
dementia patients. They kept marking
one feature. I never spotted that pattern
because I had strong preconceived
ideas of what we would observe.
It was a lesson that Simpson, Lintott
andSchawinskialsolearnedfromGalaxy
Zoo. When Schawinski decided to look
for a new signal blue elliptical galaxies
he had a major disadvantage: he was
an expert. He had always been told that
elliptical galaxies were not blue and,
although he found what he was looking
for, that bias got in the way. When his
team made the data available to the
public, the crowd was not only much
faster, they were also more accurate.
Zooniverse, Foldit and EyeWire
encapsulatewhatmakescrowdsourcing
so powerful. But the possibility of
crowdsourcing science is, in itself, a
surprising discovery. Its difficult not
to be amazed by the fact that crowds
of amateurs seem to be able to crack
problems, especially when we consider
how science is such a highly specialised
endeavour,onewhichallegedlyrequires
years of study and research before
the scientist can even hope to make a
relatively original discovery.
But crowds of enthusiastic amateurs
are not the only ingredient that
contributes to the success of crowdsourced science projects. If scientists simply made their data and their
algorithms available to the public,
in the exact same form and format
that they are used in the labs, the
crowd wouldnt know where to begin.
The key is making it accessible: astronomers turn the problem of morphological classication of galaxies into a
game; biochemists re-imagine protein
foldingasapuzzle;neuroscientistsmake
mapping the brains connectome into
llinginacolouringbook.Itisonlywhen
esotericscienticproblemsaredivested
of jargon, deconstructed into their most
basic elements and made fun that the
crowd can come out and play. 
JooMedeirosisWIREDsscienceeditor.
He wrote about Andy Serkis in 08.14

EYE EXAMINATION
The Peek app uses
a smartphone
camera to scan
the retina. The
crowd analyses it

ANIMAL TRACKS
The Snapshot
Serengeti crowd
creates a detailed
log of activity from
225 cameras

Crowd-analysers
learn the main
features of the eye,
such as the optic
nerve and macula;
then they can spot
the anomalies

The website
enabled the crowd
to monitor this
cheetah and the
development of
her cubs over
a period of time

154 / DETAILS / OVERHEARD / CREDITS / CONTACTS

OVERHEARD IN
THE WIRED OFFICE
THIS MONTH
Im st-bumping
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It was like
Homeland, only
without the laughs.
We usually put the
Maxi-Cosi on the
Bugaboo but
our friend has an
UPPAbaby, which
is amazing. And I
just saw a stroller
with an LCD screen
and a solar panel
that charges your
iPhone as you walk.

WANT
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Ugh. Reality.
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I have recently
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EXTRA CREDIT
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Photography for the
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Thanks to Kelsey
Publishing for
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Best of luck, ladies.

WIREDs picture
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hrs a day at www.magazineboutique.co.uk/youraccount. All rights reserved. Reproduction in whole or in part without written permission is strictly prohibited. All prices correct at time of going to press but are subject to change. WIRED
cannot be responsible for unsolicited material. Copyright 2014 THE COND NAST PUBLICATIONS LTD, Vogue House, Hanover Square, London W1S 1JU. The paper used for this publication is recyclable and made from renewable
fibrous raw materials. It has been produced using wood sourced from sustainably managed forests and elemental or total chlorine-free bleached pulp. The producing mills have third-party-certified management systems in place,
applying standards such as ISO 9001 and ISO 14001. This magazine can be recycled either through your kerbside collection or at a local recycling point. Log on to www.recyclenow.com and enter your postcode to find your nearest sites.

PHOTOGRAPHY: CHARLIE SURBEY

INSIDE COND NAST


IN THE USA:

THE WIRED CIRCUITBOARD


Essential Dark Hours Watch by GREYHOURS
GREYHOURS is a new brand
creating ambitious watches
by taking advantage of
exclusive materials
commonly used for the
manufacture of
high-end timepieces.
The 9.10mm thick
Essential Black DLC
featured here is their
rst model, 150.
Visit www.greyhours.com or
email sales@greyhours.com
for further information.

XCROOL
Xcrool is an innovative remote with smart
scrollers allowing you to browse through
channels easily and efciently.
Xcrool is the only TV remote in the world that
replaces push-buttons with scroller-gilders
allowing to treat your thumbs to a feather
glide scroll.
For more information
and to see their latest designs,
visit www.xcrool.com or
call +63 632-681-8270.

TO ADVERTISE, CONTACT
020 7499 9080 EXT 3705

Merci Maman
Featured is their Personalised Intertwined
Bracelet (49) that will be
engraved by
hand with the
names, dates or
message
of your choice.
Available either
in Sterling Silver or
Gold Plated.
For more infomation, visit
www.mercimamanboutique.com
or call 0207 731 13377.

Curvi-Hifi .

C9 HARRISON 5 DAY
AUTOMATIC CHRONOMETER

The stunning Curvi Model


1 loudspeaker stands about
1 metre high with sensuous
ous
curves, which contribute to its
addictively
sublime sound.

Few watch brands create their own movement


and of those that do, only a handful add
something really original and important to the
world of watchmaking.

From 3000/pair, direct from


om
the designer.
www.curvi-hifi .com
01616377789 or
07772766465.

Christopher Wards in-house, Calibre SH21,


which powers the C9 Harrison 5 Day Automatic
is one such movement. The C9 Harrison
is destined to be one of the most talked about
watches of the year.
Exclusively available at
www.christopherward.co.uk - 1500

Vintage Watch Movement CufinksBy Pretty Eccentric.


Swiss jewelled watch movements from the
1920s - 1950s. Backed
ed with vintage leather
and mounted as cufinks.
Presented in vintage inspired box, 49 .

The Ultimate Man Cave! Make the most


of the free space available in your garage by
creating a Man Cave thats perfectly suited
around your lifestyle. With Duras stunning
range of garage furniture, garage ooring
and wall-mounted storage, you can create
the perfect room to entertain friends or
enjoy the game over a beer.
For a FREE brochure or to book a
no-obligation design survey please
call 0845 371 0045
or visit www.duragarages.com.

Visit www.prettyeccentric.co.uk
or call 07870607925.

TOASTs tech covers combine distinctive


design with the gorgeous natural style of
real wood and top-grain leather. Precision
engineered and beautifully sleek, TOAST
covers add grip and elegant protection to a
wide selection of phones, tablets, laptops and
more. Every cover is 100% designed, laser-cut
and hand-nished in Portland, Oregon, USA.
Explore the endless options for bespoke
covers featuring multi-layered engraving of
one of TOASTs original art designs and your
choice of custom text,
artwork or company logo
at
www.toastmade.com

Vitabiotics Neurozan Plus provides daily


support, with specic nutrients to help
maintain brain and cognitive function. It
includes pantothenic acid which contributes
to normal mental performance, along with
vitamins B12, B6, thiamin (vit B1), folic acid
and magnesium which contribute to normal
cognitive function. An additional omega-3
capsule includes DHA, which contributes to
the maintenance of normal brain function.
Vitabiotics Neurozan Plus, 18.35,
available from Boots, independent
pharmacies and health food stores,
and online at www.neurozan.com

156 / INFORMATION / WE SOURCE EVERY THING. SEE RIGHT

DATA
CLUTTERING
OUR INBOXES
THIS MONTH

Number of Wikipedia articles (around nine per cent) written by


Lsjbot, a bot created by Swedish physicist Sverker Johansson.
Most of the articles are in Swedish or Filipino

Accuracy with which the GaussianFace algorithm,


developed at the Chinese University of Hong Kong,
recognised the same human in different photographs

lly by mosquitoes
Estimated number of deaths caused annually

Accuracy typically attained by humans

71.5 million
People worldwide who watched online
competitive gaming, known as e-sports, in 2013

Number of exoplanets the International Astronomical


Union has opened up for naming at NameExoWorlds.org

Visible
light absorbed by Surrey
Vis
NanoSystems
Vantablack, making
Nan
it the worlds darkest material

Body lengths per second, the top speed of desert


mite Paratarsotomus macropalpis, making it the
worlds fastest land animal according to that metric

Deaths by lions

Samsungs spend on advertising in 2013


Sam

Deaths
ths by sharks
sh

Apples spend on advertising in 2013


App

Body lengths per second of a cheetah at 100kph

ILLUSTRATION: GIACOMO GAMBINERI. SOURCES: GATES NOTES; SVERKER JOHANSSON; SAMSUNG; SEC;
POMONA; SUPERDATA RESEARCH; CHAOCHAO LU AND XIAOOU TANG; SURREY NANOSYSTEMS; IAU.ORG

Deaths by snakes

www.chanel.com

THE NEW EAU DE PARFUM BY CHANEL