By Laura Ly, Special to CNN
New York (CNN) - On any given day, the vending machine at Ample Hills Creamery in Prospect Heights, Brooklyn, may offer anything from books to original artwork to toys. If you see something you want, however, no need to take out your wallet. The ‘Swap-O-Matic’ vending machine allows you to swap and trade items, rather than buy them.
“The Swap-O-Matic recognizes that there is a thrill in getting things. The vending machine satisfies our desires for instant gratification, but it co-ops it and re-appropriates it to something that is a more sustainable method of acquisition, which is through swapping and trading,” said Lina Fenequito, the creator and primary designer of the ‘Swap-O-Matic.’
Fenequito wanted to call attention to issues of overconsumption and needless waste and aimed to find a creative way to encourage trading and reusing. For her senior thesis project at Parsons School of Design, she built an earlier, low-tech model. In August 2011, with the help of visual designer Ray Mancini and electrical engineer Rick Cassidy, Fenequito built upon her thesis project and created a machine with touchscreen capability and digital locks. FULL POST
Editor's note: Ben Kaufman is the CEO of Quirky.com, which helps inventors bring their ideas to the market. Kaufman is the subject of Sunday's episode of "The Next List," on CNN at 2 p.m. ET.
By Ben Kaufman, Special to CNN
(CNN) - Ninety-nine percent of consumer product companies are incredibly disconnected from the people that they serve. The process of trying to learn about what those people want only creates more distance.
We used to live in a world in which Big Companies made things, and people bought them, sometimes because they were the right things, sometimes because they were the only things. Before the Internet came along, this kind of worked. Before the Web, people’s expectations of how, where and to whom they could express themselves were very low. FULL POST
By John D. Sutter, CNN
(CNN) - Something strange happened earlier this week: The people of the Internet - not exactly known for their generosity - gave $1 million in a SINGLE DAY to an online game that hasn't even been created yet.
Not only is this a milestone for Kickstarter, the "crowd funding" platform that made these donations possible; it's also an experiment in, as the blog ReadWriteWeb aptly described it, making a game out of the game-making process.
The game is called Double Fine Adventure. As of Friday morning, it had raised $1.2 million on the promise that:
With this project, we're taking that door off its hinges and inviting you into the world of Double Fine Productions, the first major studio to fully finance their next game with a Kickstarter campaign and develop it in the public eye ... This year, you'll be given a front-row seat as they revisit Tim's design roots and create a brand-new, downloadable "Point-and-Click" graphic adventure game for the modern age. FULL POST