TED 09: Julie Lasky’s Wednesday wrap-up


At the TED conference yesterday, Yves Behar unveiled a groundbreaking new motorcycle.

February 5, 2009. Julie Lasky, I.D.’s editor-in-chief, is currently in California for the 2009 TED Conference, from which she’s posting a series of daily reports. Here’s her recap of Wednesday’s events:

Yesterday I shared a cab from the hotel to the conference center with Jim Phillips, the former CEO of Motorola and current CEO of The Pinnacle Group, an investment company in Memphis. I tried to pay—"C’mon, let a journalist buy you a cab ride!"—but he insisted on splitting it.

People I passed in the convention center on my way to the first meeting and pretended not to notice: Bill Gates, Meg Ryan (she’s much tinier and skinnier than she appears in films).

At the conference, Yves Behar, the San Francisco industrial designer, unveiled an electric motorcycle with a top speed of 150 mph.

Cameron Sinclair, founder of Architecture for Humanity, donated as a door prize a one-week trip to Cambodia to visit a community of weavers.

Patti Maes, an MIT Media Lab instructor, presented a fascinating device that scans anything or anyone you aim it at and projects data collected from a search engine right onto the object of your gaze. Hard to summarize, but revolutionary.

I also got the chance to check out an Einstein head robot that mimics facial gestures. [see below]

Saul Griffiths, an engineer, presented the prototype of a kite that flies at high altitudes, converting wind to electricity.

Al Gore invited everyone to a Friday breakfast on, you guessed it, climate change.

And Jake Eberts, producer of Chariots of Fire and Gandhi, previewed footage from a film he’s working on about oceans. The cinematography is astounding, thanks to breakthrough technology.

My dinner chums were Sylvia Earle, a famed oceanographer who won one of this year’s $100,000 TED Prizes, and the project manager of Google Earth, who’s working with Sylvia and other partners to map the ocean floor.

More tomorrow!

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