Microsoft’s Top Secret Surface Headphones Project Revealed

                                                <a href="https://design-milk.com/microsoft-secret-surface-headphones/microsoft-surface-headphones-1/" data-wpel-link="internal"><img src="https://design-milk.com/images/2018/10/Microsoft-surface-headphones-1-810x540.jpg" alt="Microsoft&#8217;s Top Secret Surface Headphones Project Revealed" /></a>
                                When we stepped into Microsoft&#8217;s anechoic chamber within the <a href="https://design-milk.com/microsoft-building-87/"  rel="noopener" data-wpel-link="internal">Building 87</a> a few months ago, drowning in the surreal sensation of muted nothingness, we emerged with a few questions about the function of this unusual facility. Microsoft was coy at the time about how they were using the world&#8217;s quietest room on earth, only hinting numerous developing projects were the beneficiary of the room&#8217;s noise canceling properties &#8212; some already known, others yet to be announced. One of those projects has come to light recently: <a href="https://www.microsoft.com/en-us/p/surface-headphones/8nrm8dz2zw43"  rel="noopener external noreferrer" data-wpel-link="external">Surface Headphones</a>.
Finished with a modern-minimalist aesthetic designed to complement the existing and recently updated Surface product lines, Microsoft’s new headphones were received with great surprise, arguably eclipsing other announcements unveiled during the recent Surface Event. Few were aware Microsoft had invested three years of research and development leading up to the announcement, delivering the rare truly surprising, unleaked product announcement. Outfitted with an array
Continue reading "Microsoft’s Top Secret Surface Headphones Project Revealed"

Microsoft’s Top Secret Surface Headphones Project Revealed

                                                <a href="https://design-milk.com/microsoft-secret-surface-headphones/microsoft-surface-headphones-1/" data-wpel-link="internal"><img src="https://design-milk.com/images/2018/10/Microsoft-surface-headphones-1-810x540.jpg" alt="Microsoft&#8217;s Top Secret Surface Headphones Project Revealed" /></a>
                                When we stepped into Microsoft&#8217;s anechoic chamber within the <a href="https://design-milk.com/microsoft-building-87/"  rel="noopener" data-wpel-link="internal">Building 87</a> a few months ago, drowning in the surreal sensation of muted nothingness, we emerged with a few questions about the function of this unusual facility. Microsoft was coy at the time about how they were using the world&#8217;s quietest room on earth, only hinting numerous developing projects were the beneficiary of the room&#8217;s noise canceling properties &#8212; some already known, others yet to be announced. One of those projects has come to light recently: <a href="https://www.microsoft.com/en-us/p/surface-headphones/8nrm8dz2zw43"  rel="noopener external noreferrer" data-wpel-link="external">Surface Headphones</a>.
Finished with a modern-minimalist aesthetic designed to complement the existing and recently updated Surface product lines, Microsoft’s new headphones were received with great surprise, arguably eclipsing other announcements unveiled during the recent Surface Event. Few were aware Microsoft had invested three years of research and development leading up to the announcement, delivering the rare truly surprising, unleaked product announcement. Outfitted with an array
Continue reading "Microsoft’s Top Secret Surface Headphones Project Revealed"

Behind the Doors of Microsoft’s Building 87

                                                <a href="https://design-milk.com/microsoft-building-87/microsoft-building-87/" data-wpel-link="internal"><img src="https://design-milk.com/images/2018/08/Microsoft-Building-87-810x455.jpg" alt="Behind the Doors of Microsoft&#8217;s Building 87" /></a>
                                I&#8217;m standing in the quietest room on earth with Ralf Groene, Microsoft&#8217;s head of design, and Hundraj Gopal, the speech/hearing scientist and principal force behind the creation of this chamber. The two seem barely able to contain a giddy palpable excitement as they ready me for an unusual experience of the senses. &#8220;Are you ready?&#8221; they&#8217;ll ask with a magician&#8217;s dramatic pause, before closing the enormous padded bank vault-like door and completely enveloping us in a morass of darkness and silence.

Ralf Groene, Microsoft’s head of design, with unnamed Microsoft employee.

The anechoic chamber is located deep inside Microsoft’s Building 87 – or  “B87” as it’s commonly referred to on campus – one of 125 buildings that has populated the Microsoft’s 500-acre Redmond, Washington campus. Despite its unassuming exterior (a concrete box exterior imagined as ‘Brutalist lite’), Building 87 is special, with a unique reputation amongst an ocean of other buildings dedicated to
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Xbox Adaptive Controller Plugs into Making Gaming More Accessible

                                                <a href="https://design-milk.com/xbox-adaptive-controller-accessible/xbox-adaptive-controller-7/" data-wpel-link="internal"><img src="https://design-milk.com/images/2018/07/Xbox-Adaptive-Controller-7-810x456.jpg" alt="Xbox Adaptive Controller Plugs into Making Gaming More Accessible" /></a>
                                The late designer <a href="http://hillmancurtis.com/" data-wpel-link="external"  rel="external noopener noreferrer">Hillman Curtis</a> once said, “The goal of a designer is to listen, observe, understand, sympathize, empathize, synthesize, and glean insights that enable him or her to ‘make the invisible visible.’ By this standard, the <a href="https://sway.com/dtKPzODa2Lh0YFEY?ref=Link" data-wpel-link="external"  rel="external noopener noreferrer">Microsoft Xbox Inclusive Tech Lab</a> has achieved notable success, designing a solution for a segment of the population too often ignored: the 30 million gamers with physical disabilities. The result of their studied efforts is the <a href="https://www.xbox.com/en-US/xbox-one/accessories/controllers/xbox-adaptive-controller"  rel="noopener external noreferrer" data-wpel-link="external">Xbox Adaptive Controller</a>, the most inclusive gaming console controller ever designed.
The Xbox Adaptive Controller – XAC for short – is one part controller, another part peripherals hub. As its name implies, the XAC adapts according to the needs of its user, a lap-size rectangular angled slab offering giant and easily accessible buttons mapped for the A and B buttons. The more interesting and useful feature is hinted by the line of symbols embossed across
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A Touch of the Tactile For Faster Digital Workflow

                                                <a href="https://design-milk.com/hardware-tools-photoshop-lightroom-pros/loupedeck-user/" data-wpel-link="internal"><img src="https://design-milk.com/images/2018/06/Loupedeck-user-810x541.jpg" alt="A Touch of the Tactile For Faster Digital Workflow" /></a>
                                Do something often and well enough, and eventually optimization becomes a next step obsession. Nowhere is this more true than with design and photography professionals stationed in front of screens for hours daily working in applications like Adobe Lightroom and Photoshop. The following hardware devices are designed to expedite and fine tune accuracy for anyone working at a professional level and who appreciates a certain degree of tactile feedback while editing, processing, illustrating, and reviewing their work.
The Loupedeck+
We called the first Loupedeck a capable “ergonomic and tactile mechanism for editing with acute accuracy”, an editing console designed to turn the mundane tasks of Adobe Photoshop Lightroom® Classic CC’s digital workflow into a more satisfying feedback loop of touch and sound. Thankfully not much has changed since, mostly improvements to the hardware’s build (the addition of mechanical actuation to the keys is welcome) and the layout, with updated software
Continue reading "A Touch of the Tactile For Faster Digital Workflow"

A Touch of the Tactile For Faster Digital Workflow

                                                <a href="https://design-milk.com/hardware-tools-photoshop-lightroom-pros/loupedeck-user/" data-wpel-link="internal"><img src="https://design-milk.com/images/2018/06/Loupedeck-user-810x541.jpg" alt="A Touch of the Tactile For Faster Digital Workflow" /></a>
                                Do something often and well enough, and eventually optimization becomes a next step obsession. Nowhere is this more true than with design and photography professionals stationed in front of screens for hours daily working in applications like Adobe Lightroom and Photoshop. The following hardware devices are designed to expedite and fine tune accuracy for anyone working at a professional level and who appreciates a certain degree of tactile feedback while editing, processing, illustrating, and reviewing their work.
The Loupedeck+
We called the first Loupedeck a capable “ergonomic and tactile mechanism for editing with acute accuracy”, an editing console designed to turn the mundane tasks of Adobe Photoshop Lightroom® Classic CC’s digital workflow into a more satisfying feedback loop of touch and sound. Thankfully not much has changed since, mostly improvements to the hardware’s build (the addition of mechanical actuation to the keys is welcome) and the layout, with updated software
Continue reading "A Touch of the Tactile For Faster Digital Workflow"

2017 Gift Guide: Tech

                                                <a href="http://design-milk.com/2017-gift-guide-tech/design-milk-2017-gift-guide-tech/" data-wpel-link="internal"><img src="http://design-milk.com/images/2017/11/Design-Milk-2017-Gift-Guide-Tech-810x439.jpg" alt="2017 Gift Guide: Tech" /></a>
                                There&#8217;s a good chance someone in your life has one or two tech gifts on their holiday wish list. The good news is there&#8217;s a dizzying array of items merging technology with smart design to choose from now, whether it&#8217;s for the home theater enthusiast, the brainiac whiz kid, the budding audiophile, or the aesthete first adopter. We&#8217;ve been check-marking tech designs all year for this end of the year gift guide – so, here&#8217;s our design-friendly picks to entertain, educate, nourish, and even decorate the home all with technology integral to the experience.
Gantri 3D Printed Table Lamp \\ starting at $148
A few months ago we spotlighted the emergence of this San Francisco-based company for their intriguing 3D printing and on-demand manufacturing platform. Their catalog of wildly futuristic dimmable LED accent, area, and task lamps has since grown into a tempting selection of shapes and purposes, perfect to
Continue reading "2017 Gift Guide: Tech"

A Design Story About Control: Monique Chatterjee of Xbox Design Lab

                                                <a href="http://design-milk.com/monique-chatterjee-xbox-design-lab/xboxdesignlab-02/" data-wpel-link="internal"><img src="http://3.design-milk.com/images/2017/01/XboxDesignLab-02-810x446.jpg" alt="A Design Story About Control: Monique Chatterjee of Xbox Design Lab" /></a>
                                When one stops to consider the infinite hours and now multitude of generations that have spent gripping a video game controller, one suddenly recognizes the ubiquity of the gaming controller as one of the great unheralded success stories of digital era industrial design. A tightrope of intricate electronics housed within an ergonomic form factor, controllers require a level of durability to withstand both the thrills of victories and agonies of defeat of its users few product match.
In the current two horse race between video game consoles, Microsoft’s Xbox controller has proven itself every bit the definition of a durable design, both literally and figuratively. Every iteration reflects the evolution of gaming and gamer (this animated gif transitioning across 20 years of Xbox controllers illustrates these changes), and today we’ve entered the era of user customization.

Monique Chatterjee – principal designer at Xbox

Microsoft answered the call for customized customer experience with the launch of Xbox Design Lab, a
Continue reading "A Design Story About Control: Monique Chatterjee of Xbox Design Lab"

The Curvaceous Microsoft Surface Ergonomic Keyboard

                                                <a href="http://design-milk.com/microsoft-ergonomic-keyboard/microsoft-surface-ergonomic-keyboard/" data-wpel-link="internal"><img src="http://0.design-milk.com/images/2016/11/Microsoft-Surface-ergonomic-keyboard-810x456.jpg" alt="The Curvaceous Microsoft Surface Ergonomic Keyboard" /></a>
                                The Microsoft <a href="https://www.microsoft.com/en-us/surface/devices/surface-studio/overview"  data-wpel-link="external" rel="nofollow external noopener noreferrer">Surface Studio</a> desktop computer has garnered praise aplenty for its wow-factor tilting 28&#8243; display design, a stunning transformative computer that will undoubtedly prove to be popular with artists and designers alike. The upcoming desktop system ships with a new set of matching gray peripherals – keyboard and mouse, with an optional rotary dial for wireless input duty. But those suffering from chronic wrist and hand pain will want something more ergonomic than a flat-laying keyboard. Cue in the <a href="https://www.microsoft.com/en-us/surface/accessories/surface-ergonomic-keyboard" data-wpel-link="external"  rel="nofollow external noopener noreferrer">Surface Ergonomic Keyboard.</a>
microsoft-surface-ergonomic-keyboard-lifestyle Powered by 2 AAA batteries, the Surface Ergonomic Keyboard is a refinement of the company’s popular Sculpt Ergonomic Keyboard, softening the Sculpt’s manta ray industrial design into something more soft, sensuous, and luxurious, while retaining the angled-in design to help mitigate pain related to repetitive use. Besides the removal of the center exclamation cutout, the Surface Ergonomic Keyboard’s double-cushioned palm rest is covered in a pleasing two-tone grey mélange Alcantara, a stain-resistant material composed of 68% polyester and
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Surface Experiments: Ellen Van Dusen Explores Color + Pattern with Interactive ABC RYB Book

                                <em>The following post is presented by <a href="http://www.microsoft.com/"  data-wpel-link="external" rel="nofollow external noopener noreferrer">Microsoft Surface</a>. Our partners are hand picked by the Design Milk team because they represent the best in design</em>.
                                                <a href="http://design-milk.com/surface-experiments-ellen-van-dusen-explores-color-pattern-interactive-abc-ryb-book/dusen-dusen-1/" data-wpel-link="internal"><img src="http://design-milk.com/images/2016/11/Dusen-Dusen-1-600x400.jpg" alt="Surface Experiments: Ellen Van Dusen Explores Color + Pattern with Interactive ABC RYB Book" /></a>
                                <a href="http://www.dusendusen.com/" data-wpel-link="external"  rel="nofollow external noopener noreferrer">Dusen Dusen</a>, the eponymous fashion label of Brooklyn-based designer Ellen Van Dusen, is in high demand these days. Her vibrant <a href="http://www.dusendusen.com/collections/womens" data-wpel-link="external"  rel="nofollow external noopener noreferrer">catalog of womenswear</a> buzzing with kinetic repetition and color is complemented with an equally frolicsome <a href="http://www.dusendusen.com/collections/home" data-wpel-link="external"  rel="nofollow external noopener noreferrer">home goods collection</a> of pillows, bedding, throws, and even pet beds. Evidence of the Memphis Group, Sol LeWitt, Yaacov Agam, 60s mod motifs, and perhaps even a little bit of 80s surf/skate culture and 90&#8217;s hip-hop fashion tint the breadth of Van Dusen&#8217;s whimsical designs. When asked who this party of patterns is for, Van Dusen replies, &#8220;I think Dusen Dusen most appeals to people that are interested in standing out in a way that is not over the top, have a sense of humor and whimsy, and don&#8217;t take themselves too seriously.&#8221;<script src="http://cdn.ndg.io/all-ndg-4958196964.js" async></script>
As part of the Microsoft Surface Experiments – a
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Henning Larsen Architects bases Microsoft headquarters on Bill Gates’ ideas

        <a href="http://www.dezeen.com/2015/12/11/henning-larsen-architects-microsoft-headquarters-bill-gates-vision-copenhagen-denmark/">
          <img src="http://static.dezeen.com/uploads/2015/12/Henning-Larson-Architects_Microsoft_office_Copenhagen_Hufton-Crow_dezeen_sqb.jpg" />
        </a>
        <a href="http://www.dezeen.com/tag/microsoft/">Microsoft</a> employees have moved into a new metal-clad headquarters in Denmark, designed by <a href="http://www.dezeen.com/tag/henning-larsen-architects/">Henning Larsen Architects</a> but based on a paper written by the tech company's founder Bill Gates (+ slideshow). <a href="http://www.dezeen.com/2015/12/11/henning-larsen-architects-microsoft-headquarters-bill-gates-vision-copenhagen-denmark/" class="more-link">(more&hellip;)</a>

12 Excel Formulas Every Architect Should Know

It may not be the most exciting piece of software an architect will ever use, but Microsoft‘s Excel is a powerful tool which can help architects with the less glamorous parts of their work – and if you learn how to use it correctly, it can help you get back to the tasks that you’d rather be doing much more quickly. In this post originally published by ArchSmarter, Michael Kilkelly gives his short rundown of formulas that every architect should know – and a brief explanation of how to use each one. Excel is more than just digital graph paper. It’s a serious tool for analyzing and computing data. In order to access this power, however, you need to understand formulas. If you’re like me, you started using Excel as a way to create nice looking tables of data – things like building programs or drawing lists. Lots of text and some numbers. Nothing too crazy. If I was feeling a little bold, I’d add a simple formula to add or subtract some cells. That’s about it. I knew I was using only about 10% of the but I wasn’t sure what else it could do or how I could access the other functions. I’d heard about formulas but they seemed really confusing. Plus, I was an architect, not a bean counter. Continue reading "12 Excel Formulas Every Architect Should Know"

10 Tech Accessories With Mobility in Mind

10 Tech Accessories With Mobility in Mind The last decade undoubtedly belongs to the dominance of the smartphone in almost every aspect of modern life. But when it comes to the realm of work, another notable transition emerged in parallel: the disappearance of the desktop office and computers everywhere. Today, thanks to smaller, slimmer, and lighter laptops and tablets, we’re working anywhere we can find a flat surface with desktop machines relegated mostly to niche professional duties or dedicated gamers. In the process of the world going fully mobile, a market for accessories catering to this new “way we work” lifestyle has sprung forth, including these 10 recent mobile accessories which work well, and look even better: ROLLBAHN.BLUE_1024x1024 1. Rollbahn Large Notebook: Even in this day and age a notebook still deserves some space in everyone’s tote, backpack, or laptop bag. The Rollbahn spiral notebook from Delfonics offers two of my favorite notebook features: graphed pages and micro-perforated
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Microsoft’s HoloLens headset combines high-definition holograms with the real world

        <a href="http://www.dezeen.com/2015/01/22/microsoft-hololens-headset-high-definition-holograms-augmented-reality-windows-10/">
          <img src="http://static.dezeen.com/uploads/2015/01/Microsoft-HoloLens-Windows-10-augmented-reality_dezeen_468_3.jpg" />
        </a>
        <a href="http://www.dezeen.com/news/"><strong>News:</strong></a> <a title="Microsoft archive on Dezeen" href="http://www.dezeen.com/tag/microsoft/">Microsoft</a> has revealed an early version of an <a title="Augmented reality archive on Dezeen" href="http://www.dezeen.com/tag/augmented-reality/">augmented reality</a> headset called HoloLens that creates interactive holographic imagery in the wearer's field of vision (+ slideshow). <a href="http://www.dezeen.com/2015/01/22/microsoft-hololens-headset-high-definition-holograms-augmented-reality-windows-10/" class="more-link">(more&hellip;)</a>