By working together you are stronger & smarter

One of the most invaluable pieces of information I learnt before I went into business was this: "You can't do it all by yourself". The excellent Business Start Up book by Sara Williams (Financial Times Guides, ISBN-139781292175867) reinforces this point. Very early on in the process of starting my own business I had to sit down and do some evaluation of my own strengths and my weaknesses. Don't underestimate the value to be gained in such an exercise. It's far better to be honest with yourself at the outset than to struggle on with things that are not your domain or particular skill set. I am very grateful that I was introduced to a great accountant at the beginning of my small business venture. The investment has already proved worthwhile.

Credit: Alex Read, Bamb Creative

Credit: Alex Read, Bamb Creative

Anyone developing a new product shouldn't underestimate the importance of having a cohesive brand identity and social media presence. That's where it becomes useful to work alongside people whose business it is to do that kind of thing. Luckily for me I just happen to work alongside some very talented creative media professionals at Cohub at Eastbourne.


Credit: Phil Burrowes, Avant Photographic

Credit: Phil Burrowes, Avant Photographic

Just recently I have had the pleasure to do some work on product branding with Alex Read from Bamb Creative. Branding and product naming is something I have been involved with in the past but I have to confess its not my area of real expertise. This is when it pays to recognise your own strengths & weaknesses. By engaging a person (or team) whose specialty is the area in which you are needing assistance you will unlock many different approaches and skills that'd simply take too long to develop on your own. Expertise of course does come at a price but you have to see past the initial cost and see it in terms of the 'value added' to the overall project or product. See it as more of an investment. A great product design or a strong and cohesive brand will pay back your initial investment many times over once your product(s) starts to sell.

Working together over the course of a couple of hours Alex helped me to map out a whole range of words connected with the product I'd been working on. Some were quite direct and literal, others were more abstract. Over the course of the session it became really useful to focus on products key attributes and words associated with those attributes.

Following Alex's advice we concluded the session after a couple of hours, took numerous photos of the scribbles we'd made on the Cohub writing wall and headed home. Over the course of the next few days Alex kept me up to date on the progress of the design. Effective communication between designer and client is so important in any collaborative process. Most of the ideas were exchanged on Slack (I recommend you check it out) before the next meeting to finalise the small, but all important details.

The finished product, seen below, captures what the new product is all about. It is condense, simplified. The dropping of the double 'd' in Puddle is a subtle but deliberate shortening of the word giving a clue to the stripped back form of the new product we were working with.

Just by engaging with Bamb Creative it was possible to quickly formalise a new product brand and identity. Establishing an identity early on in new product development is key in these fast moving days of multi platform social media. We consume far more visual / digital content than ever before so having a strong & memorable identity is crucial to helping to develop brand awareness or attract potential investors in your idea. Pudle is now out there on Instagram and Facebook circulating and creating interest. As the Pudle project progresses it'll now become possible to add content and build upon the story that has been started. It was an invaluable experience for me to learn some new tips & tricks from a fellow designer. I certainly learned a lot, I hope that Alex & Bamb Creative in turn picked up a few benefits in return. It can certainly be said that by working together you are both stronger & smarter.

Pudle Main Logo_1@2x-100.jpg

Boring? No. Why you can’t ignore Elon Musk

Almost anyone that has ever heard of Elon Musk seems to have formed some sort of an opinion of him from the various stories they’ve heard about him or from the Tweets he’s made. In the internet age a multi-billionaire CEO can't stay in the shadows. The recent claim that we’ll one day be able to fly anywhere in the world on a rocket in 30 minutes might seem like a stretch of the imagination for most of us I'd say. You'd have to ask yourself though why someone as high profile as Elon Musk would say things like that if he didn’t intend to deliver. He simply wouldn’t do that, would he?

As a designer I admire many of the products Musks companies have already designed – and some of those that he’s committed them to. Some of his ideas might seem farfetched at first but when you dig a little deeper* into Musks past you begin to see that he means what he says. *not intended to be a pun about The Boring Company, one of the latest ventures…

The Boring Company in LA.JPG

Inventors and entrepreneurs have always fascinated me. The stories of Howard Hughes, Richard Branson, Steve Jobs, James Dyson, to name a few, all make for interesting reading. The story of Elon Musk makes for an equally interesting read. The latest book I read by Ashlee Vance details Musks rise to the super CEO we know today right back to before his troubled childhood in his native South Africa. I’d thoroughly recommend it.

It turns out that some of the ideas (that many have scoffed at) have been whizzing around in Elon’s brain since he was a young boy. Vance writes in his book that as a young child Elon would zone out of goings on around him, seemingly deep in thought. Sometimes young Elon would read two books a day to fuel his mind. A vivid imagination and the ability to seemingly dream in 4K detail have propelled Elon to become one of the richest men on the planet (that’s if you measure riches in terms of monetary wealth). The electric cars we now know as Teslas (disputes about company foundation aside) were part of Elon’s agenda a long, long time ago. Space travel was another fascination. When the opportunity to start SpaceX came along it wasn’t on a whim that Elon embarked upon a rocket building programme, it is part of a lifelong mission to get to Mars. In fact, it seems that dying on Mars is a goal for Musk (not in impact he insists). Elon wants to make humanity an interplanetary species.

Credit: Maurizio Pesce

Credit: Maurizio Pesce

Besides his amazing mental capacity there also seems to be a huge reserve in terms of physical capacity too. When you see the demands Musk puts on himself in terms of his schedule its quite sobering. He’s a driven man. It seems that the drive to make cash doesn’t simply seem to be to get rich, it’s about delivering his mission and making a significant change to humanity. You could say that Elon seems to be well set on the path to doing just that based upon his past achievements and those he’s aspiring to. During its lean start-up phase Tesla might have been considered something of a joke in the established auto industry. Then Tesla launched the Model S, the Model X and now the Model 3. Who is laughing now? The auto giants have had to sit up and take note of the shiny newcomer who sells direct. Musk’s ability to disrupt the establishment by doing the improbable seems to be working so far. How would a start-up ever get into the rocket business dominated by huge US corporations? By being innovative, achieving a lower launch costs and being alarmingly quick (by comparison to the conventional standards of the space industry). SpaceX has made the establishment look stodgy, expensive and slow. Another victory for the visionary against the odds.

Not simply content with shaking up the auto industry or rocket building business Musk wants to cure us from our dependency on fossil fuels and move us to solar energy. As with most renewables, whether it be solar, wind or wave you need to be able to smooth out the peaks and troughs in the supply. That’s were batteries come in, a means of storing and supplying the energy. Using the Lithium Ion technology developed for the early Tesla cars Musk is now in the process of building his first Giga factory not only to supply batteries for Tesla but for his energy projects. There are supposedly another four Giga factories planned, not all in North America. The push into solar has also been assisted by the work done by Musks cousins Lyndon Rive & Peter Rive. Their own start-up SolarCity (with Musk on board) grew at a furious pace and has followed a similar vertically integrated model that Musk has used to great effect at his other businesses.

Credit: Tesla, the Giga factory

Credit: Tesla, the Giga factory

It’d also seem that Elon Musk has an uncanny ability to find exactly the right combination of people and talents for the given moment. It’s not simply enough to have the cash to get started (that helps of course), Musk brings the right ingredients together and keeps track of it all somehow. In order to make these key people deliver Musk sets incredibly hard time and cost targets. Saying no doesn’t figure in Elon Musks vocabulary it seems. The mediocre needn’t apply. Those who can’t hack the pace soon whither. People have complained of harsh treatment. The truth is that without the unforgiving drive & focus of someone like Elon Musk to make things happen you have to ask yourself if any of these seemingly fanciful ideas for projects would ever get done. Opinions will differ. It’s an underlying passion to deliver his vision. You can’t deny it - based on results from SpaceX and Tesla that people deliver. Who’d have thought a company with not even two decades of history could make a re-usable orbital stage that could land back on earth? Sure, it’s made some people uncomfortable, but rightly so.

Credit: SpaceX

Credit: SpaceX

So? What next? Electric cars are not new, space rockets are not new, solar energy is not new, digging tunnels is not new either – but doing them the Muskian way is. How long will it be before ventures like Hyperloop or The Boring Company make any money? Who knows? (I guess that Elon Musk does… mind you he has been known to take the odd risk or two). You can be sure that Elon Musk and his businesses will learn a great deal along the way by pursuing these seemingly frivolous ideas and put it to good use. The very nature of pressurised and intensive Research and Development means that they’re sure to find a couple of interesting avenues to explore along the way.

It seems that Elon Musk is one of the few people in the manufacturing business that really truly understands and exploits the real value of synergies, and vertical integration, they are not just a buzz words to him. Elon’s vast & complex mind is mapping out his visions, creating synergies between his businesses and taking us places faster & sooner than we might have thought possible. It all happens fast! Anyone in an established industry should start having nightmares if Elon Musk even dares to dream about getting into their industry. History shows us that if he says it, he means it. 

Sleep well.

So... you've have an idea for a product... what next?

So, that eureka moment comes along once in a while. You get a great idea for a new product but you struggle to do anything with it because you don't know what to do next. You have two choices: forget about it (and regret later) or do something about it. Some new product ideas will hit road blocks or obstacles along the way but how will you ever find out if you never begin that journey? Here's my advice on what to do next.

Take 3 simple steps to make your idea happen:


It's always a good idea to do some basic research and the web is a great tool for this. Ask yourself "why hasn't it been done before?" Or alternatively if your idea is an improvement "what makes my idea better?"

"Any new product wishing to secure a patent will have to prove itself to be a new idea or be able to offer an inventive step over an existing one. It's good to be clear on what benefits your product offers from the start."




Don't worry if you haven't sketched before. Even the most awkward doodles will help you to rationalise some of your own thoughts. Even if you feel you can't sketch try and capture as many ideas on paper in words. No one should laugh at your attempts - communication is the key. 

"Sketching out ideas or capturing key words will help to solidify your idea - if you are going to consult a product designer this will help kick start the development process.




This is where you need to consult a product designer. Be mindful of the fact that you should have an NDA (Non-Disclosure Agreement) in place before you divulge any information about the key points of your idea for a new product.

Using a product designer at an early stage of development could be key to securing funding or finding partners to buy in to your idea. 


See the links below to learn more about product development packages or to download my NDA.

"By offering Product Development Packages a client can choose when to engage my services whether it be at the outset, Stage 1 or further down the development path."

Design Classics

House brick - design classic.jpeg

Sorting through my desk a while back I came across a very concise but beautifully written article on the house brick.

I cut the article from the Sunday Times sometime in the mid 90's because it made me stop and read about something that, up until that point in my life, I had never given a second thought. In just 256 words Hugh Pearman managed to convince me to be much more aware of the everyday objects in life. 

As a young design student (as I was back then), pre-internet, before Pinterest, I'd visit the University Art & Design Library at Coventry University to read up on design and scribble down ideas and sketches. One of my favourite reads was a small but very well compiled & written book called Cult Objects by Deyan Sudjic. The book certainly didn't have the most eye catching glossy photos or lots of text compared to some of the other design volumes available. In fact apart from the yellow flash on the cover the whole book is monochromatic.

ISBN 0586084835

ISBN 0586084835

A lot of the Cult Objects that Deyan Sudjic picked out in the mid-eighties remain worthy of their nomination (it's clear that DS has always had a good eye for these things, he is after all the Director of the Design Museum these days in case you were thinking the name was familiar). The book isn't too easy to find these days but if you are lucky enough to find one it'd be well worth adding to your own design library. 

You could use the book (as I have) to comprise a more up to date list. As a designer people will often ask you about your favorite pieces of design so its always good to have an answer and explanation at hand.

Just remember that a design classic needn't be shiny, smooth or pretty. Using the example of the humble house brick - it is none of those things. Its beauty as Hugh Pearman hints lay within its perfect proportions. The proportions of its form lend themselves to its function while the wide array of finishes and textures give the architect freedom to add their own design in the finished build.

Using the old Sunday Times article as inspiration can you define your own shortlist of not so obvious design classics or cult objects?



Caring about air quality

The compact monitor housing is designed for wall and pole mounting

The compact monitor housing is designed for wall and pole mounting

Donald Trump may have pulled the USA out of the Paris Climate Agreement but the number of governments planning to remove petrol & diesel cars from our roads by the middle of this century shows that some of us are aware of the serious effects of global warming.

The recent mysterious gas cloud that smothered the beach at Birling Gap in East Sussex demonstrated just how most of us take clean air for granted. Living on the sunny south-coast of England you'd assume the air is clean wouldn't you? Eastbourne, rather ironically, has changed the tag line on its new signage that welcomes visitors to "Breathe it in".

ives product design has started a project alongside a local environmental group, Clean Air Eastbourne. The group is deploying sensors around Eastbourne to help build a pollution map to identify areas of concern. The monitors, which sample air every 2 minutes, report their findings via WiFi to allow the results to be monitored in (near) real time.

The monitors deliver information every 2 minutes via WiFi

The monitors deliver information every 2 minutes via WiFi

A new compact housing has been developed to enclose the low-volt electronics which can be wall or pole mounted to enable it to be quickly installed in the built environment. The monitor housing has also been designed to allow space for a battery, charging circuit and a jack plug for a 2W solar panel. The addition of a solar panel makes it possible for the sensor to maintain itself without a permanent 5V USB feed.

All the major components were modelled on Solidworks CAD

All the major components were modelled on Solidworks CAD

At present the first two sensors are operational and providing data. A further five sensors will be deployed shortly with more to follow across the local area. Eventually, with enough monitors in place it should be possible to view pollution levels across Eastbourne which should help encourage all of us that live in the local area to think more about how we are impacting the air quality of our planet.

You can visit the real-time map via a link on this web site:, or follow the project progress with Clean Air Eastbourne on Twitter.

What'd you put in Room 101?

As a designer I am frequently asked what I'd like to design given the chance. I recently read a blog on the IDEO website aptly called 19 things we were dying to redesign.

Reading the IDEO blog not only got me thinking about what things I might want to redesign but also made me think about some of the things that really get under my skin. The TV programme Room 101 usually provokes some pretty interesting discussions in my house and more often than not I can find something else I would add to my own Room 101 list.

These are a few things that bug me enough to make me want to see them banished forever:

Leaf blowers - a couple of years ago I was at Chatsworth House in Derbyshire. A pleasant autumnal walk in the grounds with the family was rudely accompanied by four groundsmen walking around with leaf blowers making a horrible racket. On this occasion the groundsmen were using two-stroke apparatus which exacerbated the issue but the corded variety are no less offensive or useless. What couldn't be achieved with a lawn rake? The ground beneath would benefit from the scarification if nothing else.  

Slot headed screws - having bought a 1920's house and removed all the doors for painting I gained a deep loathing for the slot headed screw. They are just plain dangerous. Your flat bladed screw driver tip can skid out without much warning scratching anything nearby it cares to skid across - or even worse stab you if you are really unlucky (I was, more than once). Thanks to newer, more modern methods of manufacture there are so many better (and safer) alternatives. Time for them to go...

Wheel trims - when did it ever seem like a good idea to stick a piece of plastic fakery on a steel wheel and make it look like an alloy wheel? Car manufacturers - make steel wheels look good on their own. Think classic VW Beetles, Alfa Romeo's, Porsche's, Fiat 500's. It can be done!

Garden Strimmers - for much the same reasons as leaf blowers but in addition they make such a shoddy job of butchering lawn edges and border plants. Do they actually save any time over a well-oiled & maintained pair of shears? Probably not - by the time you've plugged in, stopped to fix the broken strimmer line at least a dozen times and attempted to clear up the destruction you've inflicted. Its a classic example of a product that has been scaled down for the consumer and mis-sold as a time and effort saver.

I could add a few more but I'll stop now and let you muse the products that you'd find a place for in Room 101.

The value of Design to the UK economy

Credit: alexander-filonchik (Unsplash)

Credit: alexander-filonchik (Unsplash)

What does the Design sector actually contribute to the UK economy? Much of the media only focuses on the headline grabbing big earners like the banking & finance sectors. While its true that the financial sector has seen staggering growth over the last 30 years the growth or value of other sectors goes largely ignored.

The media largely chooses to dumb down its content to a repeatable sound-bite, you could say almost a tweet. Proper detail is skimmed over in a flimsy and patronising way. It might be easy to be sucked in to believing that its only the banks that are driving our economy these days. That simply isn't true and as someone that has worked in manufacturing and design sectors over the last 20 years I am always proud of the contributions I have made to the GDP through creating designs to be made and sold - even better - to be exported. Manufacturing and agriculture still contribute a significant income for the UK despite the spin pointing us to finance, banking & service sectors.

To counter the spin it was refreshing to read through the Design Council report detailing the contribution of the design sector to the UK economy. The report was first published in October 2015 (see a link to it lower down) and in its 80 pages it contains some very encouraging statistics for those working in the multitude of disciplines that make up the UK design sector. Now the cynic in you might say "Well, isn't this just spin & hype of a different kind? The Design Council blowing its own trumpet." Yes, indeed you could. However the report isn't just a series of attention grabbing stats, no media style tweets, there's a lot of depth and research behind the figures. In fact there is a separate section on the Design Council website on how the figures were collated if stats & numbers are your bag. (

As a Product Designer I was pleased to read that the Design (product & industrial) category has grown between 2009-2013, increasing by 17.1%. It falls some way behind the boom in the Design (digital) sector but it is growth non the less. This is all despite a contraction in the number of firms operating in the Design (product & industrial) sector. This has shrunk by -18.8% between 2010-2014. Worrying circumstances for a freelance Product Designer you might think? No, I don't see it that way. What I read is positive - although the number of firms in the sector has contracted in the space of 4 years the value of the contribution to the UK economy has grown. In other words there might be fewer of us but our "value-added" is greater. This is great news and mirrors the aim of my own consultancy - helping clients to generate revenue for their business by bringing products to market. You can learn more about how this is done by reading about the Development Partnerships available.

Credit: Design Council

Credit: Design Council

Other stats which made for pleasing and encouraging reading included:

  • The design economy generated £71.7bn in gross value added (GVA), equivalent to 7.2% of total GVA.

  • Between 2009 -2013 the design economy GVA grew at a faster rate than the UK average.

  • Workers with a design element to their work were 41% more productive than the average. Each delivers £47,400 in output (GVA per worker) compared with £33,600 across the rest of the economy.

The report also went on to state:

  • The design economy is concentrated in London and, to a lesser extent, the South East of England. More than one in five design workers, and one in four design intensive firms (where 30% or more of the workforce were employed in design occupations), are found in London.

I am pleased to report (based on my own experience) that new creative design led businesses are growing in the South East. In fact outside of London the South East is the next largest concentration of design businesses, above the national average. Looking at page 65 you can see that Hastings has jumped a colossal 166 places to become ranked as the second biggest concentration of design businesses.

The growth of creative & design sector jobs in the South East will (hopefully) continue to grow. New events like the upcoming Huddle conference in Eastbourne will help to sustain and nurture the growth in the region.

Get involved with your design community

Get involved with your design community

On the whole (without getting too sucked in by the spin or trumpet blowing) I think the UK Design sector has reason to be pleased with itself and I for one am looking forward to continue to be part of that growth for many years to come.

If you want to read the report in full you can download it from the Design Council website:


The Design Council video gives a succinct overview in under 2 minutes if you haven't got time to read the report.

Can we really trust Autonomous Vehicles?

Autonomous vehicles will become part of everyday life eventually...

Autonomous vehicles will become part of everyday life eventually...

You may have heard the news over the Easter weekend that Apple is the latest big Tech company that has been granted permission to start testing Autonomous Vehicles in California. Already out on the road doing test work are Alphabet (Google), VW, Daimler, Tesla, General Motors & Uber.

As an Apple fan I am pleased to hear that the Cupertino Campus is joining the R&D of what will surely be one of the most significant changes in transport since the motorcar took to the roads over a century ago.

I have my reservations however... this morning my Nest self learning thermostat was offline. After a little investigating I found that my router was also offline. No signs of a powercut so I set about doing the usual "switch it all off, switch it back on again" fix for all IT issues. No joy. No internet connection on the router. With no time to sort it out before I left for work I know that this will be top priority when I get home. Twelve year olds and sixteen year olds cannot exist without their online life . So - computers do go offline at the weirdest of times for the oddest reasons. We've all experienced that. Could you trust a car doing 70mph not to do the same?

When I go out on my motorbike I enjoy going for a ride purely because riding a motorbike demands 100% of your attention. It clears my head of anything else thats whirring around because not only am I focussed on what I am doing I have to be aware of all the other road users too. Accidents happen, its a fact of life. I am only too aware of this. A momentary lapse of judgement last summer saw me collide with an on coming car. It was my fault and I accept that. Luckily the only injuries sustained were mine and very minor thanks to wearing all the right gear. The motorbike was written off. An unfortunate victim of human error.

Now lets skip forwards to 2020 - say for instance I have just been knocked off my motorbike (or bicycle) by an autonomous car and the accident clearly wasn't my error. Who is to blame? The owner/driver of the autonomous vehicle? The car manufacturer? Or is it the software developer? If it ends up in court who will take to the stand to defend the other party? What chance will the injured driver/rider using a non-autonomous mode of transport have against a big corporation and their well paid lawyers?

To give another example - I've been out horseriding for the benefit of my daugther when we've been on holiday. Truthfully I have never felt comfortable on a saddle strapped to something that also has a mind of its own. I know that it takes time to build a relationship of trust with a horse and taking a 2 hour ride out with a riding stable isn't going to even start to build any relationship. I feel uneasy in the saddle because its not all down to me. Sure I have reigns to tell the horse which way to go but at the same time the horse can make decisions for itself too. Being a driver in an autonomous vehicle would leave me feeling the same way. Slightly uncomfortable. I'd become a terrible 'back-seat' driver.

When you end up sitting behind the wheel of an autonomous car thats just crashed who will you see being at fault? You? The car manufacturer or the software developer?

When you end up sitting behind the wheel of an autonomous car thats just crashed who will you see being at fault? You? The car manufacturer or the software developer?

I'm not saying lets not do it. Just lets be careful. Very careful. The road will end up becoming a shared network of human intelligence and computer intelligence. It's clear that is a direction we are going in. However there needs to be clear and transparent accountability - we cannot lose lives simply because of 'bugs' and apply patches and updates to fix things when lives are lost. People matter. Its as simple as that.

At the end of the day the intelligence is only as smart as the people writing the code - they are human, they will make mistakes. To quote something I read once " to err is human....   to really mess up you need a computer."

What's your view on the future of autonomous vehicles?

Abstract: The Art of Design, Netflix series

Abstract: The Art of Design

Its been an absolute delight to watch the recent new series Abstract: The Art of Design on Netflix. Originally launched in February 2017 I've recently found myself going back to some of the episodes to review them once more.

Comprising 8 episodes of 42 minutes each the series covers eight completely diverse design disciplines: - illustration, footwear design, stage design, architecture, automotive design, graphic design, photography & interior design. As a product designer, each one of these programmes provided a valuable insight into other design disciplines. Product design can cover many different genres and the series highlights for me were the illustration work of Christoph Niemann, the architecture of Bjarke Ingels and the automotive design of Ralph Gilles.

As someone that once wanted to study Transport Design at Coventry University I ended up choosing Industrial Product Design despite being offered places on both courses. The episode which featured Ralph Gilles from FCA was a real treat for me. Ralph spoke about how his father had wanted him to be an engineer and all he wanted to do was draw. It struck a chord within me. I used to draw and draw, not being mathmatical I showed no interest in my father's profession - accountancy. I wanted to be an artist at heart - that was until I came across Product Design. As a profession, Product Design allows you to blend so many different design disciplines and that is why Abstract: The Art of Design peaked my interest.

It was so refreshing to see a documentry series of such high quality. It used to be the BBC or Channel 4 I'd expect to produce this kind of series but both of those media giants seem to have been sadly lacking in this kind of output recently. Well done to the team that put this series together: Scott Dadich, Morgan Neville & Dave O'Connor - I can't wait to see the next series. Well done to Netflix - 5 stars from me.


pure Li-fi reveals the first luminaire with integrated Li-fi

The pureLiFi dongle is quite big but hardware integration will accelerate acceptance.

(Photo credit: Pure LiFi)

pure LiFi is starting to make inroads into the world of luminaire design with the launch of the first fully integrated LiFi integrated luminaire at the Mobile World Conference in Barcelona at the start of March 2017.

I have to admit that as a product designer with a long history in luminaire design that I am intrigued by this technology. It seems to make so much sense in areas that need very high data transfer speeds like offices where lighting is used extensively. Current wifi networks can offer speeds that are up to 54 Megabits per second but this relies on the router being the same speed as the receiving device. 

The beauty of pure LiFi, especially in the office context, is that the emitter (i.e. the light source) is already thought of as part of the infrastructure. Each downlight / troffer luminaire* could service up to 16 people from one source. (*Not in its current format - only when fitted with a pure LiFi broadcast & receiver).

In order to succeed (as the Lux article suggests) pure LiFi needs to get rid of the dongle and push hard for it to become part of the fabric of the hardware many of us use daily; laptops, tablets, phones etc. The other significant development for pure LiFi to succeed is to work closely with luminaire manufacturers to develop the broadcast aspect of the technology. As an ex-colleague of mine (and a controls guru) Sam Woodward once said "in terms of the controls market lighting manufacturers already have their 'beach towels' all over the ceiling space. We own that space." (quoted from memory at the 2014 Lighting Fixture Design Conference).

Its really open to pure LiFi to make that a reality by pushing forward with integration into the tech hardware and by partnering with the 'owners' of the ceiling space - the lighting manufacturers. I will watch with interest how this develops.

Triumph Bonneville Bobber

Triumph have just launched the latest derivative of their enormously successful Modern Classics series. Anyone that has kept their eye on the reincarnated Triumph bikes will have become familiar with their Modern Classics range comprising the Bonneville T100, the Thruxton, the (new) Street Cup & the Scrambler. That family of retro inspired bikes has now been joined by the new Bonneville Bobber.

Triumph Modern Classics 2017

Since the brand was reborn under the visionary leadership of John Bloor Triumph has gone from strength to strength. Just as the USA was a big market for the original Triumphs of days gone by the new Triumphs are keen to be seen on distant shores. The new Bonneville Bobber is a smart piece of kit aimed at claiming another slice of the retro niche but doing it with a modern twist. With its water-cooled, fuel injected, high torque motor this twin cylinder Bobber is set to upset a few folk in Milwaukee and other parts of the USA where the indigenous Harley Davidson is king.

What might look like a retro bike on the surface is anything but beneath the skin. Triumph have achieved the look of a 'hard tail' bike but the rear of the frame is suspended by a neatly packaged shock absorber almost hidden from view. The deep-set single seat is another iconic piece of Bobber kit, no pillions to be found here, this kind of bike is all about your ride. The fat bodied exhaust pipes have been slashed short make plenty of noise & to give the authentic hot-rod growl you'd expect. However the engine is 'cleaner' thanks to a modern fuel injection system that has been cleverly disguised on all Bonneville derivatives since the Triumph Bonneville SE in 2009. The throttle is even fly by wire. All the new tech has been very sensitively packaged giving this new 'old' bike an air of authenticity. The details I could expand upon are just too numerous to mention for a short blog.

As you'd expect with a bike of this type the range of accessories is extensive (150) but the stock bike is just really very pretty straight off the production line. When I first saw the Triumph Street Triple I remember thinking to myself - one day.... (and yes, I did buy one). The Bonneville Bobber has the same appeal and its sure to be a successful addition to an already successful line up. There are no gaps in the Triumph range now. The Sports bikes, the Street bikes, the Touring bikes, the Adventure bikes, the Cruisers & the Modern Classics range of bikes now provide a bike to suit almost every type of (big bike) rider. Triumph has rightly stayed away from the small cc market where the competition from China, India & other Asian countries is fierce. Like BMW(motorcycles) the marketing and R&D teams at Triumph have understood the needs of their customers and produced machines aimed squarely at a discerning but lucrative market. A market thats full of buyers that want superb quality, latest technology and most importantly they have the means to pay for it.

Above: The rather lovely 2017 Triumph Bonneville Bobber  Below: The 81 year old Harley Davidson Knucklehead

Above: The rather lovely 2017 Triumph Bonneville Bobber

Below: The 81 year old Harley Davidson Knucklehead