A Smarter Way To Network


Most business cards end up in the trash or stored in a drawer, becoming forgotten in an instant. This has resulted in a number of creative attempts to innovate this networking utility in ways that will make them more effective.

Introducing swivelCard, the latest product in this space, which integrates a printed USB drive with a regular business card. When folded up and inserted into a USB port, it directs the recipient to open a web page. What’s cool is, that site address can be changed after the fact, so you could hand a prospective client a business card that leads to your homepage and, subsequently, have that particular card navigate to a different page instead.

swivelCards can also be tracked as to their location and the times when the cards are used. In addition to standing out from the crowd of normal business cards, you can give your swivelCard with pictures, videos and presentations for the anyone to check out. Plus, analytics through a back-end software interface will allow you to access helpful information about your cards and how they are being used.

What Sparks Our Fire: A business card that people will actually remember, keep and use

What information would you share on your swivelCard?


Industry leaders are slowly finding touchscreens in new-model cars to be very distracting and can cause a loss of focus on the road. My car still has a cassette player, so this obviously doesn’t apply to me, but the minute controls and over-filled screens on many touchscreen-enabled cars can be a lot more frustrating than my current “two knobs and a button” setup. Therefore, a problem needs to be solved: how do you create a touchscreen interface that can be operated hands free?

Designer Matthaeus Krenn is testing an interface that may just solve this problem. In his words: “I propose a new mode that can be invoked at any time: It clears the entire screen of those tiny, intangible control elements and makes way for big, forgiving gestures that can be performed anywhere. In place of the lost tactile feedback, the interface leverages the driver’s muscle memory to ensure their ability to control crucial features without taking their eyes off the road.”

What Sparks Our Fire: Not following a trend, but rather native-izing an existing technology to the needs and constraints of drivers.

Do you think this is a useful concept, or would you prefer the old-school version?

Simplify Your Nest

In this brave new world of modern technology, nothing is out of reach with a smartphone and a halfway decent internet connection. Forget to lock your car? There’s an app for that. Need to know where your kids are? There’s an app for that. Want to destroy flimsy structures protecting green pigs, using only the power of applied force physics and irate flying creatures? There is absolutely an app for that. So the question remains, why do the two most irritating fixtures in our houses, thermostats and smoke detectors, look like holdovers from the 80’s and are about as intuitive as computers from that era?

Fortunately, those beige plastic eyesores will no longer be a must for every house. Nest is a company that is creating a generation of smoke detectors and thermostats for the modern computer age. Not only do they look clean and modern, they are intuitive to use and easy to integrate. The thermostat learns your habits and schedule, and adjusts itself accordingly. It can also be managed from your smartphone when you’re away from the house, and will show if your energy expenditure is environmentally friendly.


The Nest Smoke and Carbon Monoxide Detector keeps you safe without all the annoyances of regular smoke alarms. The color of the detector changes to warn of potential problems and you can silence alarms by waving your hand if everything is under control. Rather than just beeping, it speaks with a human voice and can sync with the Nest Thermostat to turn off the furnace if there is a Carbon Monoxide leak. All in all, it is an incredible improvement over the fixtures we are used to.

What Sparks Our Fire: The integration of these house necessities into the interface that we use every day, in a visually appealing way.

Will you integrate this new tech into your home?