Wednesday, June 26, 2013

Nike at Autodesk

Design Night: Faster. Stronger. Tech-ier @ Autodesk Gallery
June 6th 6-10pm

Matthew Nurse, Director of Nike Sports Research Lab 
I'm an athlete because according to Matthew Nurse, Director of Nike Sports Research Lab (NSRL) and Bill Bowerman, Co-Founder of Nike -if I have a body than I'm considered an athlete. I am fortunate though neither one of those people have seen my skills in action as I may single-handily put that notion in jeopardy. At Nike, everything starts and ends with the athlete and enabling them to perform at the highest level. They leverage sports science and technology to drive innovation. Nike's Mission: To bring inspiration and innovation to every athlete in the world.

You can't define yourself by the tools that you use though because tools evolve so they're only as good as the people who run it. Autodesk has the tools that enable Nike to turn some of their great ideas into a reality. I crashed Design Night, which is the first Thursday of every month when the Autodesk Gallery is transformed into a lively venue featuring design, music, mingling and cocktails. I went to learn about how Autodesk is playing a role in great design and engineering by what felt like a California Academy Nightlife  but more intimate and with an open bar. In collaboration with Autodesk, Nike has the ability to capture, analyze, visualize, and apply insights to the products that they build.

Caught CRASHING with 3D mapping
NSRL drives product innovation through knowledge & insight gained from scientific understanding of athletes and athletic performance within the environments they play in. They focus on four disciplinarians: Bio-mechanic, Physiology, Sensory Perception, and Systems Science. For example, in regards to sensory perception and skin wettedness their is no sensor in the body that responds to wet, instead their are thermal sensors and pressure sensors, and the combination of those two in your head tells you this is wet. If you understand which of those two makes you more comfortable in a wet clingy t-shirt you can start to manipulate those elements because it's hard to keep you dryer, but Nike can certainly make you more comfortable (which is part of the drivers of liking).

Imagine if you were running and going down concrete and you see a grassy patch, you know ahead of time that that grass is softer, and you will change mid-stride the way you move. Understanding how the body responds is the greatest challenge that Nike faces. If you think about the evolution of athletes, as you change the forces that you generate, you change how your body is, which changes the demands of the game and forces us to adapt. For example, a 30 inch vertical jump used to be great but now you can routinely see a 45 inch vertical. Jumping 60 inches may seem crazy in the future, but there's a basketball player out there today that has a 58 inch vertical. You only have to go back 20 years to think that guy was superman. We are evolving very quickly and the products and science that Nike makes have to meet those demands of the evolving athletes.
3D Motion Capture suit

At the Autodesk Gallery, I watched an athlete (I want to say she was a a water polo player from Berkley) perform in a full-body motion capture suit by Xsens. Xsens' technology is essentially a 3-D motion tracking that uses an ambulant, full-body, 3D human kinematic, camera-less measurement system. Nike can capture and quantify every movement in your body, every segment, every joint for angles, velocity, acceleration and timing -and after that Nike is only limited by their imagination.

There was also a high speed video camera. Compared to when you're seeing a digital movie which is 30 frames per a second, Nike can capture 30,000 frames a second. While many people took the violent option of punching each other on it I didn't think it was a good idea to punch my photographer, so this is a link of me innocently blowing bubbles in ultra-slow motion.

Perhaps the Force Plate

Imagine a really expansive scale and when you step on it it takes 10,000 measurements a second in three dimensions of the force you put into the ground -not just vertically, but forwards and backwards, and side to side. Even if you take something like landing which is a vertical force there's still a huge forwards and backwards component which affects how you respond, and the wear and tear on your joints. Nike finds where that force is under your foot and is able to objectively quantify athletes in motion to use that information to then build products to correct it.

Since 3D printing is so cool right now I had to mention Nike's Vapor Laser Talon, which brings 3-D printing to athletic shoes. The Vapor Lasor Talon was designed specifically for the 40-yard dash, and was tested and built using a 3-D printer. The plate part, in which where the cleats are embedded, is the first to be printed for this sport. Nike used a process called selective Laser Sintering, in which a powerful laser is shone on a plastic or metal powder, fusing it and allowing the surrounding material to be removed. Companies like Nike have been long-forced to treat all people's feet as the same, and now this opens a possibility of a new element of customization for your foot specifically with the goal of making athletes faster.

I came, I crashed, I rode off in a falcon wind tunnel.
For the love of new design technology that's changing the face of sports and transforming the way we play!

Question: If everybody is considered an athlete yet they say every athlete wants to be faster… I'm actually fine being the speed I'm currently at, so what would they say for that?  

Monday, June 17, 2013

SF MusicTech

SF MusicTech Summit XIII @ Hotel Kabuki 
May 28th 8:30am-10pm

I crashed the SF MusicTech Summit because although I've come to know a lot about technology, I wanted to gain a deeper appreciation for the music industry and especially how those two elements connect -as "connection" seemed to be a theme throughout the day.

The MusicTech summit is a biannual event based on the idea that new possibilities are best sparked when the right mix of people come together in an environment that promotes a positive outlook on change and provides a structure for connecting people and facilitating deals. Bringing together visionaries in the evolving music/business/technology ecosystem, along with the best and brightest developers, entrepreneurs, investors, musicians at the convergence of culture and commerce. For many the important part of the conference happens in the Hotel Kabuki's packed hallways, providing a fascinating window into the tech side of today's music industry.

Brian Zisk, Founder of SF MusicTech 
Brian Zisk is the founder of the MusicTech Summit and has made it his mission to help bring cosmos from out of the chaos of the music world. Zisk and his colleagues concentrate on how music is distributed, discovered and shared, how artists can interact with their audiences -and, of course, how music still can be monetized amid all these changes. Brian asks attendees to "focus on what helps the whole ecosystem, rather than what's just in it for you, while maximizing the fun."
13th Birthday of MusicTech

Digital Strategy Panel

While crashing the panel, I learned that technology helps artists to arrange and monetize personal interactions, building a community of fans through constant engagement and connection. Through social networks, musicians are able to communicate directly with their fans and build personal relationships. As music discovery is going to play an even larger role in the future, collecting data on users' tastes in order to provide them with songs and artists they are likely to appreciate. To implement these personalized recommendation technologies, more as been invested in using algorithms to process the data to provide relevant suggestions to the listener, thus users have access to websites completely customized to listen to their music.

Wayne Skeen, CEO of DeliRadio 
If you like going to concerts, then you will love DeliRadio. Wayne Skeen, CEO of DeliRadio and his team including Christine Kemp, have created a platform for you to discover and create stations of artists touring in your area. A new way of previewing and sorting through bands that are coming to venues around you, DeliRadio integrates music into the larger social experience. Users can generate stations based on location, artist, date or venue. Christine and I instantly connected and she hooked me up with my own radio station to stream music that has upcoming tours in SF -Professional Crasher Radio (click the icon below to listen) 
Christine Kemp, DeliRadio 
Stefen Aronsen, holding up his graphic recording 
I also bumped into Stefan Aronsen -this is him holding up his graphic recording as I'm holding up my leg. Stefan is a graphic artist that specializes in bands and brands utilizing his 5 P's -Plan, Personify, Promote, Plug-In, and Play. This is Stefan's graphic recording from the SF MusicTech Summit. 

Connecting with technology has pumped new life into the music business.

CRASHED IT... for the love of music! 

Wednesday, June 5, 2013

The Old Mint

Hops and History @ The Old Mint

May 23rd 6:30-9:30pm

Quadruple Crash = Me + 3 

I crashed Hops and History because after all these wine events, it was time for some beer. FlipSlide, a part of the San Francisco Museum and Historical Society, was founded to engage a younger generation of San Francisco history enthusiasts through exclusive parties, historical bar crawls, presentations, and some. Through awareness, the ultimate goal is to help foster the creation of the first museum dedicated to history of San Francisco, the Old Mint.
Justin Jones, Co-Organizer of FlipSide

A long source of pride for residents of San Francisco, the Old Mint represents the federal government on the western frontier. The Old Mint was completed in 1874, and once a repository for one-third of the nations gold reserve, it is nationally recognized for its importance as the "last major example of classical revival architecture" in the United States. Scheduled to open in the next few years, San Francisco Museum at the Mint will serve as a cultural resource and civic attraction in a National Historic Landmark.

I crashed Hops and History to learn and experience SF beer and it surprised me to hear that the city's largest manufacturer is in fact Anchor Steam Beer. It's a San Francisco original since 1896 dating back to the California Gold Rush making it one of America's oldest breweries, and a pioneer of the craft brewing movement. Anchor Brewing was the first American brewery in modern times to employ the ancient technique of "dry-hopping". Much like making sun tea, dry-hopping is a steeping process of adding bagged, dry hops to some of the ales during the maturation stage of the brewing process to infuse them with rich fragrance and aroma. Recently, Anchor announced plans to construct a world-class facility at Pier 48 which will allow the company to quadruple its annual production capacity from 180,000 barrels to 680,000 barrels.

Beer was happening here and after all the tastings I declared the winner of the evening to be MateVeza with it's IPA beer, that has natural caffeine from organic yerba mate.

Brewery: Speakeasy Ales & Lager
Beer: Vandetta

Brewery: Pine Street
Beer: Atom Splitter

Winner of the evening
Brewery: MateVeza
Beer: Yerba Mate IPA
Up on the big screen 
That evening I also ended up on the big screen with UpOut, a new event discovery app for awesome people. UpOut is your discriminating guide to the best parties, weird things to do and underground events in San Francisco. From secret dance parties, to pop up restaurants, to wine tastings -UpOut users can filter their results by price, group type and dates/times so there's an easy way to find cool stuff in the city.
UpOut's motto, get up and go out.
My motto, get out and go up.

Cheers... To enjoying the journey of San Francisco beer.
My Gang

Tuesday, June 4, 2013

Pacific Community Ventures

PCV 15th Anniversary Celebration @ Julia Morgan Ballroom

May 22nd 5:30-8:30pm  

Beth Sirull, President of PCV 

Pacific Community Ventures is on a mission: To create jobs and economic opportunities in low income communities through the direct support of small business and entrepreneurship as well as by promoting policies that drive investment in underserved communities. I crashed this anniversary party to figure out what that mouthful of a mission statement really meant.
PCV's advising program now provides support to businesses in poor communities throughout the Bay Area and San Diego. PCV is an impact investor providing capital directly to small businesses. The organization also works to build the capacity of these small companies to accept and deploy impact capital effectively. PCV has supported over 3,000 entrepreneurs and small business owners, providing critical advice and capital that has created and maintained nearly 30,000 jobs, most of them in the Bay Area's lower income communities, with a model that's proven to be successful.

 I joined the top Bay Area businesses and civic leaders to celebrate this past 15 years and how far they've come. Recently they were awarded $120,000 to take it's popular advising program beyond California, from the Blackstone Organizational Grants Program, which is an annual $1 million program targeting organizations that focus on entrepreneurship and innovation to spur business and job growth. The remote program will use the phone and internet to connect with business leaders in need across the country to advise on a number of issues entrepreneuers typically face, like marketing questions, supply chain issues, figuring out margin, etc. As for a question about business in different parts of the country dealing with different issues, Beth Sirull said that business advisors usually deal with the same type of problems, and if they can't help on that specific problem they'll help you figure out how to get the answer.

Ultimately, creating jobs is one of the today's most pressing issues and that's how PCV began, and here it is in a two minute animation. 

This is me reinventing prosperity

Cheers... To 15 years of creating jobs and driving capital in the neighborhoods that need it most! 

CRASHED IT  Pacific Community Ventures 

Monday, June 3, 2013

Uncorked! Wine Festival

8th Annual Uncorked Wine Festival @ Ghirardelli Square

May 18th 1-6pm 

Dance off with a shark
Cont. dance off

I learned that one of the best things to do while wine tasting is to initiate a dance-off with a shark, especially when it's for a good cause. A portion of the proceeds to Uncorked went to Save the Bay, to help protect and restore the San Francisco Bay in making it cleaner and healthier for people and wildlife. This wine tasting wasn't all about the sharks though as they closed down Beach street for live music and unlimited tastings of 40 wineries from throughout Northern California. I crashed this gorgeous day by the bay wine tasting to learn about where these wines came from.

Lane Giguiere (Co-Owner) of Crew Wine Company


Why did you name this wine Matchbook? ... Because there once was a boy who played with matches.

Lane met her husband/co-owner in Highschool and as a farm kid growing up in the late 1950's John Giguiere was a confirmed pyromaniac starting various things on fire such as his father's wheat field. At one point, fearing total ruin his father took them to the city jail for an hour stay to impress upon his brother and him the futility of their fascination with fire. John and his brother answered at a later date by graduating from random fires to the launching of rockets which often blew up at some stage of its journey resulting in more random fires. He eventually grew out of this fascination with the "Matchbook" but still have fond memories of the power they possessed, and hence why they named this powerful wine Matchbook.

Tasting Moreno BHLV

Moreno BHLV Sparkling Wines 
Moreno BHLV's (Beverly Hills, Las Vegas) Sparkling Wine is a beverage of celebration adorned with Swarovski Crystals. The Mendocino County-bottled wine is the latest in an ongoing collection of high-end products created by PLCW's award-winning owners. Owner Luins Williams wasn't always in the sparkling wine business though as his introduction to the beverage industry began with the award-winning Premier Label Water Company (PLCW), which now provides 65% of the private label water to Las Vegas' hospitality industry. This original idea began when he was attending a Giant's game and they were selling Crystal Geyser for $2 a bottle and he saw an opportunity where they could surely sell Giants water as a souvenir for more, which would make it least expensive souvenir in the stadium. Williams went on to secure that water contract with the Giants.

Beginning with the purest sparkling water made from the most premium Pinot Noir, Chardonnay, and Colombard grapes that Mendocino County has to offer, Moreno BHLV was born. Officially launching Moreno BHLV at the Ceasars Palace has attracted big businesses such Red Rock, Cosmopolitan, and other hotels in Las Vegas. Considered an affordable luxury, the business is growing fast because it has the look and fine taste of an expensive sparkiling wine without the high price. This wine adds another dimension by being able to customize the bottle for celebrating weddings, graduations, birthday and other special events allowing customers to choose a personalized custom look for that special event. Bottled in black, gold, silver, white and frosted glass, it's "M" logo is elegantly decorated with Frit ground glass or hand applied Swarovski Elements, making Moreno BHLV sparkle on the outside and bubble on the inside.

Other Tastings

Cheers... To wine on the waterfront!