Aug 23, 2014

Top 5, magnificent Future Concept Car picks - by Uber Digital Luxury !

Bugatti Aerolithe

If you've ever wondered what cars might look like in the future, this might just be it! We all love a good-looking, mean machine allowing us that sheer thrill of speed! Concept cars are a mélange of everything you've hoped to see in a car, and much, much more! Defying convention, defying imagination and even defying gravity, we bring you the top 5 concept cars for you to gaze at, dream about and drool over!
Bugatti Aerolithe

The Bugatti Aerolithe Concept reeks of exclusivity. Intended to be a design study of a futuristic 2025 sports model, this concept has been inspired by the legendary1935 Bugatti Electron Aerolithe prototype, and designed by Douglas Hogg.

Citroen Survolt

What began as an exploration of extraordinary electric vehicles with the Revolte Concept Car now continues through the Citroen Survolt Concept. The perfect mélange of glamour, extravagance and motor-racing spice, it transcends norms and protocol to deliver passion in an all-new revolutionary way.

BMW GINA could be the next rebel in automobile history. It challenges existing principles and conventional processes and looks wildly awesome, all at the same time!
A team led by Chris Bangle, BMW's head of design, designed this fabric-skinned shape-shifting sports car, which inspires nothing short of awe. GINA is an acronym for ' Geometry and functions In 'N' Adaptations'.


'Unbelievable' is the word that comes to mind, but we'll just have to wait and watch!
Designed by the 3rd year students of Transportation Design School at Turin Based Istituto Europeo di Design for their final project on Transportation Design in partnership with BMW, this concept focuses on individualistic tastes and modern requirements. 

Combine dizzying speeds, sheer beauty and stunning sensuality, and what you get is the Bertone Mantide Concept. Its designdraws inspiration from both, the world of Formula One and from modern aerospace. The machine boasts cutting edge aerodynamic performance, greater efficiency and lower fuel consumption, the ultimate icing on the cake! ref:

Aug 22, 2014

The creation of one of the world’s great wealth machine - Hermes !

Objects of desire: The artisans of Hermès create everything from basketballs and custom car interiors to Birkin bags and bicycles.

The creation of one of the world’s great wealth machines, built within the kind of sprawling family structure that tends to stifle innovation rather than spawn it, boils down to three dates.

The first one traces back to 1837, when a leather-harness maker named Thierry Hermès established a shop in Paris. To the beau monde who relied on equipage for travel, the quality and beauty of Hermès bridles and harnesses were unrivaled. Thierry had only one child, Charles-Emile, who moved the business to 24 Rue du Faubourg Saint-Honoré, where it remains to this day. Charles-Emile, in turn, had two sons, Adolphe and Emile-Maurice, who transformed the business into Hermès Frères. But eventually Adolphe believed the company had a limited future in the era of the horseless carriage, leaving Emile to carry on. Emile had four daughters (one of whom died in 1920), which explains why no one involved in the family business is named Hermès. It’s those descendants–the fifth and sixth generations–who control the company today.

The second turning point for Hermès came far more recently, in 1989. Over the course of the 20th century Hermès remained one of the world’s great luxury brands. But with its focus on artisans–every one of its leather goods is made by hand in 12 workshops in France by more than 3,000 skilled workers –it was built to trot, not gallop. Under Axel Dumas’ uncle, Jean-Louis Dumas, CEO from 1978 to 2006, much of the family ownership had split into a Russian-nesting-doll-like group of six holding companies. Layered atop that was an ingenious two-tier management structure engineered by Jean-Louis. One was more about ownership–a family-only entity named Emile Hermès SARL, after their ancestor–that sets budgets, approves loans and exercises veto power. The other, Hermès International, oversees the day-to-day management of the company and incorporates outsiders (nonfamily members currently occupy 4 of 11 board spots).

As with everything Hermès, it was byzantine and painstakingly mapped out. It worked. The new structure helped Hermès in 1993 sell 4% of its shares to the public, giving younger generations a way to liquidate while allowing the family to keep control. And that new war chest helped encourage Hermès to think bigger than a fine leather goods maker. Jean-Louis Dumas expanded the company into men’s ready-to-wear attire, tableware and furniture. Between 1989 and 2006 sales grew fourfold, to $1.9 billion. Still, it wasn’t a foolproof plan. Bernard Arnault, head of the world’s largest luxury company, LVMH (Moët Hennessy Louis Vuitton ), took note of the growth. Hermès fit right into his burgeoning portfolio in the same way Dior and Fendi did. So in 2002 Arnault began accumulating shares, using the same cash-settled equity-swaps strategy that hedge funds use to amass positions without technically needing to disclose. In 2010 Arnault publicly revealed that he controlled 17% of Hermès and a takeover seemed a fait accompli. With the stock up 30% on such speculation, the three branches of the remaining Hermès family were expected to take the money and run.

Arnault’s move, instead, created the company’s final turning point. Rather than cash out, the family circled its leather-upholstered wagons. Patrick Thomas, the non-family-member who served as CEO between Jean-Louis Dumas and Axel Dumas, famously declared that “if you want to seduce a beautiful woman, you don’t start raping her from behind.”

In another bold move, in 2011 more than 50 descendants of Thierry Hermès pooled their shares into what was essentially a $16 billion co-op called H51. The contributors–representing 50.2% of all company shares–contractually agreed not to sell any shares for the next two decades. Two other major shareholders, fifth-generation family members Bertrand Puech, now 78, and Nicolas Puech, 71, kept their shares outside H51 but also held the line against LVMH, agreeing to give other family members the right of first refusal if they ever decided to sell.

Staring at a chart of the family’s baroque ownership structure can cause dizziness. LVMH and Hermès continue to fight it out in court, with Hermès even pursuing criminal charges for insider trading; LVMH has countersued, claiming false accusation. (“The battle of my generation,” says Axel Dumas. “Hermès is not for sale, and we are going to fight to stay independent.”) However, it turns out the family’s unified front has proved profitable for Hermès. For the company the two-decade time frame once again allows it to make long-term decisions as if it were a private company. And for the family, it was a burn-the-ships decision. The lockup means that most family members must make do with dividends, although for people like Nicolas Puech, whose $2.1 billion holding generates an annual dividend of around $20 million, it’s enough to keep him in horses at his Spanish estate. Thierry Hermès would surely have approved.

Boutique mystique: In 2010 Hermès opened a Rive Gauche store in Paris designed by RDAI. (Credit: David Yellen For Forbes)

Mystique is hard enough to achieve, let alone maintain over two centuries, but here’s one example of how Hermès carefully cultivates its image: In May of this year the world’s most elegant carnival was staged inside an august space on Wall Street: financier J.P. Morgan’s legendary corner bunker at 23 Wall. A photo booth was set up to capture celebrity guests atop carousel horses, a faux synchronized swimming dance number was performed, and a fortune-teller predicted the future based on a selection of silk scarves.

This is how Hermès celebrated its first women’s runway show in the United States. Much as one might want to congratulate the marketing department for the sensory overload spectacle–down to taste (champagne was served from a “bangle bar” shaped like an enamel Hermès bracelet) and smell (white-gowned ingenues proffered flowers scented with the brand’s latest fragrance, cooing, “Would you like to smell Jour d’Hermès Absolu?”)–that would be impossible: Hermès doesn’t have a marketing department.

Why should it? McKinsey doesn’t have a consulting department nor does Microsoft have a software department. Marketing is Hermès’ core business.

At the carnival, standing atop the red carpet and greeting the 800 VIPs, including Anna Wintour, Jodie Foster and Martha Stewart, as they entered, was Hermès’ de facto head of marketing: Axel Dumas.

“Our business is about creating desire,” he says. “It can be fickle because desire is fickle, but we try to have creativity to suspend the momentum.”

To instill this ethos in the company, all new employees are steeped in Hermès’ desire-creating culture through three-day sessions called “Inside the Orange Box” (so named for the signature packaging) that trace the company back to Thierry Hermès and give a history of each of the product categories (or “métiers,” in Hermès-speak, which is French for a trade). Thus every Hermès employee can wax philosophical about the Kelly bag, the trapezoidal saddle bag from the 1890s that Axel Dumas’ grandfather transformed into a women’s handbag and that Grace Kelly made iconic.

But the main guardian of the Hermès mystique is the family itself.

According to a former top Hermès executive, a luxury consultant with close ties to Hermès and one of the company’s Asian executives (all three of whom insisted on anonymity), nonfamily executives rarely make strategy or branding decisions without the input of at least one Hermès descendant, many of whom may wear several hats at the company and thus hold sway over multiple mètiers.

“If there are three or five people around the table and the family member says ‘yes,’ who will say ‘no’ ” says the consultant. “ Nobody is powerful enough to counter that.”

Once product and marketing sensibilities are vetted, however, a top-heavy roster of lieutenants is given a large degree of autonomy to execute. Creative director Pierre-Alexis Dumas (Axel Dumas’ first cousin) sets the tone, but the company perfumer (or “nose”), Jean-Claude Ellena, runs a laboratory inside his home outside the city of Grasse and develops Hermès’ fragrances. Another cousin, Pascale Mussard, heads Petith, a division that makes one-of-a-kind objets from Hermès remnants, scraps of crocodile skin or swaths of unused silk. And the events teams, once given their marching orders, let their whimsy show, as evidenced at J.P. Morgan’s old office. “We’ve always said we don’t take ourselves too seriously at Hermès,” says the company’s U.S. CEO, Robert Chavez.

Interior by Hermès (Credit: Alexis Goure)

The autonomy is even greater at the retail level. Twice a year more than 1,000 store representatives come to Paris for an event called “Podium,” where they select which pieces of merchandise they will carry. The family has decreed that each flagship store must pick at least one item from each of the 11 métiers–thus pushing them beyond handbags, scarves and ties to perfume, jewelry, watches, home accessories. In giving these managers an elaborate menu to choose from, each store boasts merchandise unique to itself. The moneyed globe-trotters who constitute the Hermès customer base constantly find themselves on a worldwide treasure hunt. For example, only in Beverly Hills can they find a $12,900 basketball, and the $112,000 orange leather bookcase was sold exclusively at the Costa Mesa store. So when they fall in love with that $11,300 bicycle there’s a pressure to get it, since the company’s website, while ahead of many luxury competitors, offers just a smattering of the Hermès product line.

The top case study at the “Inside the Orange Box” indoctrination, according to those who have attended, surrounds the Hermès Birkin bag. And rightly so. The Birkin, a chic cousin to the Kelly bag that runs from $8,300 to $150,000, embodies everything that keeps the Hermès brand so profitable.

It also represents the highest order of Dumas’ fabled craftsmanship. When I visit the six-story workshop in the Parisian suburb of Pantin, I watched French leather workers who must have at least three years of training before ascending to Birkin duty, hand-stitch each crocodile and goatskin leather seam with two needles and beeswax-covered thread, and hammer the tiny rivets that attach the clasps to the leather. Vertically integrated leather, no less: In another example that defines a different kind of innovation, Hermès purchased two crocodile farms in Australia in 2010 and an alligator farm in Louisiana to supply the finest skins.

But since taste, as noted, is fickle, the ability to keep the Birkin as apparel’s ultimate status symbol proves to be a cold, hard business. The genesis story helps: As with the Kelly bag, it began with a fashion symbol. In 1981 Jane Birkin, a British actress and “It Girl” from London’s Swinging ’60s, was sitting next to Jean-Louis Dumas on a flight between Paris and London when he noticed her overstuffed straw bag. “You should have one with pockets,” he told her. “The day Hermès makes one with pockets, I will have that.” “But I am Hermès,” he told her and soon ordered up a variation on the Kelly with a similar belt and lock closure. The Birkin debuted three years later and became an instant hit.

While Hermès officially denies that bold-faced names get special treatment in procuring one (“We consider all of our clients to be celebrities in their own right,” says Chavez), the Birkin bag somehow, over the decades, finds its way onto the arms of the most current set of tastemakers. Beyoncé, Lady Gaga and Kim Kardashian all sport one. And Victoria Beckham is said to have a collection of Birkins worth more than $2 million. At LVMH the paid celebrity endorsement is an art, from Michelle Williams representing Louis Vuitton bags to Charlize Theron as the face of Dior perfume; at Hermès the perception (and reality) that the A-list is truly its customer proves to be a less expensive, more authentic endorsement.

The velvet rope beckons the rest of us. You won’t find a Birkin or Kelly bag online or even in a store. And Hermès says it has done away with its reputed waiting list. “They would probably be seven to ten years,” says Chavez. “If you want a bag in lizard or crocodile it could take longer.”

Like the most exclusive clubs, membership qualifications are intentionally vague. “There is no specific rule about it,” says Dumas. Echoes Chavez: “There’s really no system.”

Indeed, when I went to the New York City flagship on Madison Avenue to ask about buying a Birkin, I was told there were none in the store.

“When will you get one in?” I asked innocently.
“I couldn’t say.”
“Could you take my information and let me know when one comes in?”
“We don’t do that here.”
“I’ve heard there is a waiting list.”
“We don’t do that here.”
“When was the last time you had a Birkin for sale in the store?”
“I couldn’t say.”
“I’ve heard that if I’m a good customer and spend a lot of money, I have a better chance of getting a Birkin.”
“We don’t do that here.”

Short of mega-influence, the only sure way to get one of the coveted bags is to buy it on the auction market. The appreciation of Hermès bags can be staggering, particularly for the more exotic skins. In 2013 Heritage Auctions sold a collection of Birkins for three to five times the presale estimates. The record for a Birkin was the $203,150 that a collector paid in 2011 for a red crocodile bag with white-gold-and-diamond detailing. That’s mystique at its poshest level.

2014 Hermes collection

Axel Dumas even orders lunch in a Hermès-kind of way. “I’ll have your best steak,” he says, paying little mind to the menu, while dining at New York’s Capital Grille.

He’s talking about what’s next for the company. Hermès, which currently has 318 stores on five continents, is opening a new flagship in Shanghai this month (it already has three other maisons in that city). And while Dumas is renovating stores in Indonesia, Taiwan and London, next year will carry an American focus, with seven expansions and openings, including a Manhattan perfume store near the World Trade Center and a new location in Miami.

Though Dumas is typically circumspect about many other initiatives, he’s willing to guarantee one thing: that Hermès, for all its legal battles, will not wind up succumbing to LVMH. “The mood of the family has always been very strong and very determined,” he says. “We are here for the long term.”

Could he imagine his son or daughter following in his footsteps at the company? He says that he won’t try to persuade them. But he also makes it clear that some member of the seventh generation would be expected to step up and continue the tradition of product excellence and sales sorcery. “I am just the tenant for the next generation.” ref: Additional reporting by Hannah Elliott and Arooba Khan.

Aug 7, 2014

Hermes Tie App & the Temperley’s Interactive E-Commerce Video !

The message has gotten through and high fashion brands are finally trying to up their digital game. Conventional wisdom says they waited so long because they wanted to make sure the result had the same gorgeous values as their products, but was that the right decision?

Having seen and tried two new products, Temperley London’s ballyhooed “shoppable video” and Hermès’s new tie app, I’d say the jury is still out. One is great, one has some issues. To be specific:

The Temperley film, titled “White Magic,” runs 1 minute and 49 seconds, and was made in conjunction with Net-a-Porter, where you buy the stuff, and Cinematique, which has made something of a specialty out of creating shoppable video. It has worked with Maiyet, Petit Bateau and Alexander Wang in the past, and have a Gap Kids video about to release.

With the Temperley film, you press the play button and a kind of music/video/narrative unfolds. When you like a garment or want to find out more about, say, the library, you hover over the item and click on it, adding it to your “click list.” At the end of the video (or in the middle, if you are tired of watching), you click the list icon and are taken to a new screen, which is like a dressing room with all your chosen items. Click one and you get a closer look and a description. Click the “Buy Now” button, and you are moved into Net-a-Porter’s buying process. (Put it in bag, check out, etc.)
So, all in all, at least six clicks from first sight until you actually purchase the item (and then you have to go back and check out the rest), which to my mind is a bit less than ideal. When I was imagining the process, I was imagining a situation where you watch the video, click the item, the video pauses, you get to see/put that number in your basket in one go, and then buy. So, half the clicks. Makes more sense to me, from a user perspective.

As for the video itself, it was directed by Alice Temperley and shot by her brother, Henry, and sister, Matilda, at Alice’s famous (in Britain) annual summer house party, which is often pictured in glossy magazines and involves a lot of beautiful Temperley friends in beautiful clothes and costumes romping in the beautiful setting of her parents’ country home. It’s a very effective lure into the Temperley world (who wouldn’t want that life, at least for a weekend?), but a less than effective shopping tool.

The problem is that it moves too fast to let you get a good glimpse of the clothes and decide whether you want them — or even to click on them for that matter. It was only on my third go round that I managed to click on one red ribbon dress when it was on screen, and while I admit that could be down to my lame technological abilities, I don’t think I am that far off the norm.

Given what we know about online viewers’ attention spans, three times is a lot to ask someone to watch the same video to get information on a dress they might or might not like when they see all of it, as opposed to what’s visible when the model is leaning over a bannister. In the end, the production values get in the way of the retail values.

An image from the Temperley London interactive video. The white dot indicates the viewer has clicked on the dress to get more information.
Meanwhile, the Hermès tie app, “Tie Break” is available at Apple iTunes and Google Play — and follows its first app last year, “Silk Knots,” which was all about the scarf line and thus far has had about 203,000 downloads. It sounds a bit ridiculous (a tie app? really?) but is surprisingly charming. And easy to use.

It has a combination of GIFs, or graphic interchange formats — bird patterns that become planes, for example — and useful information like a chart for how to knot a tie correctly; or how to drape a scarf in that perfectly imperfect way that French men appear to have, well, perfected; plus samples of every single one of the fashion house’s very many tie patterns, which can be enlarged and held up against a shirt to see if the combo works. (O.K., holding a phone against a shirt and holding an actual tie against a shirt is not exactly the same thing, but it’s better than nothing.) The app is both functional and — the holy grail of digital — funny.

Plus it has games. Games! For playing on the subway. Or while waiting for your hot dog. And that, for one of the most classic of French brands, is a pretty smart move.

Indeed, it indicates that Hermès may have more of a future online than had been thought, especially given that it developed the tie app in-house. Which makes me think the house ought to do a lot more of this, a lot faster. Bring on the bag app! We are a-waitin’.

At uBeam Wireless Charging, moves forward at a Distance.

Meredith Perry shows off a concept prototype of uBeam, a wireless charging platform that uses ultrasound to send electricity to devices through the air.Credit Nick Bilton/The New York Times

LOS ANGELES — When Meredith Perry, 25, started studying astrobiology at the University of Pennsylvania, her career goal was to eventually find life on other planets. Instead, Ms. Perry accidentally stumbled upon something even more exciting: the ability to charge portable electronics, like cellphones and laptops, wirelessly using ultrasound.

To do this, Ms. Perry created a technology that can take electricity, convert it into sound and send that audio through the air over ultrasound. Then a receiver attached to a portable electronic device catches the sound and converts it back into electricity.

The technology makes it possible for a device to move freely around a room, in a pocket or purse, while constantly charging.

Ms. Perry’s company, uBeam, announced on Wednesday that it took an early prototype concept of this technology, first developed for Ms. Perry’s college innovation competition, and turned it into a fully functional prototype that the company now plans to build for consumers.

“This is the only wireless power system that allows you to be on your phone and moving around a room freely while you’re device is charging,” Ms. Perry said in an interview. “It allows for a Wi-Fi-like experience of charging; with everything else you have to be in close range of a transmitter.”

The uBeam charging stations will be thin, measuring no more than 5 millimeters thick. These transmitters could be tacked to walls like wallpaper or made into decorative art to beam electricity to devices. Smartphones and laptops could then be equipped with thin receivers able to convert audio and charge the devices.

The technology could also bring significant changes to how devices are designed: Gadgets that work with uBeam could have thinner batteries and constantly receive power. Battery technology has barely changed over the last few decades, with device makers relying on incremental improvements to battery power, in combination with more energy-efficient electronics.

“If wireless power is everywhere, then the size of your battery can shrink because it’s always charging.” Ms. Perry said. “You’ll never need a cord again, and you won’t need international charging adapters.”

The uBeam products will be on store shelves within the next two years, the company said. Ms. Perry said that the company planned to make two different charging products at first. One will be built for smaller rooms, like homes and offices, and the other, for much larger uBeam chargers, will be industrial-size for stadiums, airports, hotels, conference halls and music venues.

The company also announced Wednesday that it had stumbled upon the ability to be able to send highly secure data through its charging stations. This means that uBeam’s technology could be used for the so-called Internet of Things, where everyday objects are capable of communicating over the Internet.

The uBeam charging capabilities do have some serious limitations, including the power transmitters’ inability to beam through walls. This means that unlike Wi-Fi hotspots, where a single device can transmit Internet to an entire house or small office, uBeam users would have to buy transmitters for each room.

There is also the question of adoption. Short-range wireless battery charging technology has been around for years, yet people have been slow to add it to their home or office. But uBeam says that will change because its technology can transmit farther distances, and because the company expects to have the transmitters in many places that people visit.

“We’re going to sell directly to consumers, and we’ll sell them to restaurant chains and hotels — we are going to saturate the market with uBeam transmitters,” Ms. Perry said. “In addition to your local coffee shop saying it has free Wi-Fi, it will also say it has free uBeam.”

The company is filing 18 patents related to wireless charging and ultrasound with the United States Patent and Trademark Office. It is also in the process of closing a Series A round of financing, in addition to an earlier $1.7 million seed round from Marissa Mayer, Yahoo’s chief executive; Founders Fund; and Andreessen Horowitz.

Aug 4, 2014

The 2015, Polaris Slingshot 3 wheeled motorcycle launch !

Polaris Industries has released their all new three wheeled motorcycle, the Slingshot. With two wheels in the front and one in the rear, a side by side open cockpit for driver and passenger, the Slingshot offers an all new riding experience.

The marine grade, waterproof open cockpit gives you a 360 degree view while the 5 speed engine pushes 173 horses as you sit literally inches above the ground. The Slingshot is equipped with traction control, anti-lock brake system, a roll bar and seat belts.

Available in a base model and the upgraded SL version, the Slingshot starts at only $19,999. The SL model is priced at $23,999 and comes with features such as a media console, blue tooth integration and a six speaker audio system.

There is nothing on the road like the Slingshot. Other three wheeled vehicles do not offer the sensory overloading, exhilarating rush of traveling so low to the ground with the open cockpit view paired with the speed and style of the Slingshot. Keep reading SportBikes Inc Magazine as we test and review the Slingshot in an upcoming issue. Visit for more info. ref: