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Issue 10

The Socarrat

A selection of what inspired us recently
and occasional updates from the studio.

Anti-poaching electric bike for South African park rangers

Swedish electric bike company CAKE created a special anti-poaching edition of their Ösa bikes. The offroad moped and motorcycle are silent, making it more efficient to quietly track and catch animal poachers. Thanks to solar-powered batteries, it’s no longer necessary to have expensive and polluting fuel deliveries into the remote area. The unique and stunning design features a flexible configuration system to attach anything, transport heavy loads, and doubles as a mobile workbench and power station with multiple outlets. Ten donated bikes already help protect wildlife, with an additional 3% of proceeds from CAKE’s AP bikes going to the Southern African Wildlife College.

What goes into making an animated Disney film?

We really enjoyed Disney’s latest animation movie Encanto, which takes place in Colombia. The cultural and heartwarming story, catchy songs, and of course, great animation make it easy to love the film. But how long does it take to make a movie like this? And what’s the process like from idea and development to production and release? They explain it all on their filmmaking process website.

ZERO10: Digital fashion wardrobe with augmented reality

Technology and fashion come together in ZERO10—an iOS app where you can try on digital clothes with your camera and collect items in your digital wardrobe. The collections, known as drops, are created in collaboration with emerging and well-known fashion brands, artists, and musicians. Some drops also include limited items available as an NFT. The application is free to use with plenty of items to try, such as Tommy Cash’s bread jacket.

Using AI to win the New Yorker cartoon caption contest

Digital publication The Pudding tried to use GPT-3, an open-source AI program, to create a winning caption for the famous weekly cartoon caption contest of newspaper The New Yorker. By describing the captionless image to the AI, it could write funny captions to submit. It wasn’t always a home run, and unfortunately, only one caption made it into the top 200. Nevertheless, it was a fun and impressive experiment. 😂

New work: Loop

Loop enables people that receive humanitarian or development aid to share their feedback and experiences to shape the quality of local services. The service is available to anyone and accessible online, by text or voice, in their own language. We collaborated with Sonder Collective as part of a globally distributed team to design and test new features for the platform. Our focus was to make it easy for moderators to review incoming stories and provide human translation for stories in local languages. Additionally, we’ve been involved with testing usability proposals with real users, polishing the overall look and feel of the platform, and making the website accessible for anyone. Loop is currently empowering communities in the Philippines, Zambia, Indonesia, and Somalia, with more countries to follow.