Design, Logo Design

Chicago Fed Seal Design

During a project downtime in 2003, I took an initiative to redesign our Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago seal. The original seal looked quite outdated and did not represent a grandeur quality of century old, yet important institution; At least that was the impression I had of it.

Old Seal

The old Seal

If I remember correctly, it took months just to come up with decent stylized Eagle redesigns. There were several concepts that were appealing to me. I combined them with a star-and-stripe crest and the branches – but none of them were quite there yet.

One day, I was standing on the side of the Continental (now Wintrust) building across from the Chicago Fed. I stood and looked straight up. Right above, in the middle of our building’s pediment, there was this bas-relief of an eagle with 7G on it’s crest, which represented the 7th District of Chicago. It was a part of the architectural elements of the building when it was built in 1922. I quickly rushed back to the drawing board.

Bas-relief on pediment

Bas-relief on the building pediment

The finished Seal redesign gradually rolled out. It was first used as a design element on the cover of the Chicago Fed’s 2005 Annual Report. Later it appeared in a more official manner when it was used as the screensaver on our bank-wide phones. The seal’s usage continues to grow, as it progressively appears on various items and applications.

The New Design

Chicago Fed's New Seal Design

The Design Process

This is just part of the process

This is part of the process

Applications

Seal image as phone's screensaver

Seal image as phone’s screensaver

 

Embroidered on merchandises

On merchandise

 

Design element on the Detroit Branch Visitors Center's exhibit wall

On the Detroit Branch Visitors Center’s exhibit wall

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Photography

Capturing The Magic

Magic dust sprinkled all around the Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago on May 14, 2018, when the ex-NBA, Hall of Fame star, Earvin “Magic” Johnson visited the Bank – as part of his tour to see his food service franchise, the SodexoMAGIC.

I got the special assignment to follow him with my camera, going around the building, visiting different departments and ended with him giving a warm and inspiring presentation to the Chicago Fed’s employees.

The Captured Moments

Magic Johnson autographing

He’s giving a warm and inspiring talk

Awestruck!

Fist-bumping, yeah!

Magic taking a group selfie with fans

…another fan’s enthusiastic selfie

Who’s taller?

and… “Well, that’s all folks!”

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New Ideas, Safety

Classroom Safety Apparatus

It’s almost the 5th anniversary of one of the worst school shootings in America – The Sandy Hook. At this time of the year, while most of us are preparing for our joyous holiday celebrations, the families of Sandy Hook’s victims are having their moment of silence and pain, still.

Months after the tragic incident, in Spring 2013, I designed a classroom safety apparatus I called LifeMor Pod and have the idea patented (USPTO Patent Filing No.: US 61/767,119 ; Confirmation No.: 2343).

Below is the design’s description and technical illustrations which I’ve previously posted on my personal blog. I hope this idea can be considered as one of many inputs that we’re contributing toward the safety of our schools – the safety of our kids.

#SchoolSafety #SchoolShooting #GunControl #SandyHook




As the national gun debate continues to produce uncertainty. And the tragedies of gun-related violence at schools continue to taunt every parent, including me, I then came up with a design of a small bulletproof room. This portable room can be placed in every classroom to protect students.

LifeMor Pod is a three-wall enclosed bulletproof structure with two entry doors, designed to save life in a situation of gun violent or active gun shooting – where people can take a safe refuge in it. LifeMor is a portable pod, placed inside classrooms, school cafeterias, libraries, gyms or else where; It also can be used in offices and/or public places to promote safety (eg. shopping malls, food courts, etc.). But the main purpose of LifeMor Pod is for school’s environments, that aims to protect students and/or to minimize casualties in a situation of gun violent – to avoid what recently happened in Sandy Hook Elementary School, Newtown, Connecticut.

LifeMor is a computer-controlled pod. Its structure is built using light and sturdy bullet-proof materials, with two automatic doors – only will open during an emergency lockdown. The Pods come in two types of sizes (Type A and B). Each pod can accommodate a number of students of one class (20 to 25 students along with their teacher and assistant teacher): Type A (about 5.5’ X 5.5’) for kindergarten and/or elementary classroom; Type B (about 5.5’ X 8’) for middle school and/or high school classroom.

As a portable product, LifeMor Pod will be assembled at the locations (e.g. classrooms, labs, library, etc). The finished pods will be secured to the wall and floor. It will then be wired or wirelessly connected to the main activation/control location, e.g. principal’s/ school admin’s office and/or school’s security office – which also be two-way-connected to other hot-spots throughout the school’s building(s). These hot-spots also can work as activation spots, will be placed at some key locations, such as next to the fire alarm boxes in hallways, library, cafeteria, gyms, etc. And they will be secured in tempered-proof boxes.

LifeMor Pod should be placed at the back area of every classroom and will become a semi-permanent part of the room. It will need regular maintenance and monthly testing to ensure it works properly.

The Pod will be well stocked with dried foods, drinks (water-bottled or drinking fountain), and first aid kits; It’s also equipped with a lighting censor, CCTV cameras, air ventilation (AC), computer monitor, alarm and communication systems – to monitor outside situation and to enable a constant contact with police/authorities during an emergency situation/lockdown.

I believe LifeMor Pod will be able to protect students and reduce casualties to minimum when gun violence occur in a school.

School safety is numero uno!

#SchoolSafety #SchoolShooting #GunControl #SandyHook

Thanks for reading!

~Ideas that keep me awake at night

Ping Homeric, Chicago, IL.

 

*** Creativity knows no boundaries ***

 

*****

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Defense, New Ideas, Safety

Laser Net Defense System (LNDS)

/Open Idea/
Concept Proposal: Laser Net Defense System (LNDS)



If war against North Korea is inevitable, with the defense system we have (using a missile to strike a missile) might not be effective enough since timing and accuracy is in high-stakes. Laser defense system is still under development with similar concept, using a pointy laser to strike down an incoming missile, this also needs a high precision technology to do its job.

My idea/concept, is it possible to develop a more advanced laser defense system which can deploy a “net-like formation” to stop one missile strike or more at once? This broader “net” might be able to do a better job than a pointy laser beam. Above, is a self-explanatory drawing:

  1. Satellites detect a missile strike.
  2. Airborne missile’s coordinate is shared to the defense system on naval ships and on ground bases, Laser Net Defense System then deployed to stop the incoming attack.

This is just my two cents (Note: I’m Not a weaponry/laser expert). Anyway, PEACE may still be our best defense.

 

*** Idea that keeps me awake at night ***

 

*****

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Credit Card, New Ideas, Payments

More Secure Payment: Credit Card Pairing

/Open Idea/
Proposal for More Secure Payment: Credit Card Pairing



 

This drawing is very self explanatory. The idea is using banks’ bricks-and-mortar “safety deposit box” concept — where two different keys needed at the same time to open a safety. For a long time this procedure/application seems to be quite secure (well, unless during a bank heist).

As you can see, in drawing #2 and #3 (above), a chipped “pairing card” is needed to do a matching process and unlocking the card’s info (name, numbers, CVV, etc). I did consider the using of card owner’s fingerprint or even face for the pairing/matching (e.g. Alibaba’s “pay using your smiling face” idea) but I think it might still be a long fetch thing because of customers’ privacy concern.

To make it even more secure, the “pairing card” can be PIN-protected.

This is just my two cents

 

–– Idea that keeps me awake at night––

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New Ideas, Urban Living

Beyond Vertical Farming



When recently browsing on Bloomberg.com, their September 2017 issue – its cover image and headline “Vertical Farms Will Help Feed The World” quite intrigued me. An image of a female scientist (or farmer) tending a wall of flower-like plants – that’s the future of farming (by the way I haven’t read the article yet).

City Vertical Farming

With rapid growing of world population, the living spaces will become smaller and tighter. Lands for farming will become scarce, so “Vertical Farming” indeed a brilliant idea or a necessity to sustain life.

People will live in high-rises. Community is inside a block of concreted structure. Each high-rise will be fully supported by all kind of amenities, like a small village – including farms.

These high-rise is “smart building” supported by computerized circuits of electricity, ventilation, plumbings, safety – and hydroponic farming systems.

 

Based on Wikipidia.org:

Hydroponics is a subset of hydroculture, the method of growing plants without soil, using mineral nutrient solutions in a water solvent. Terrestrial plants may be grown with only their roots exposed to the mineral solution, or the roots may be supported by an inert medium, such as perlite or gravel. The nutrients in hydroponics can come from an array of different sources; these can include but are not limited to byproduct from fish waste, duck manure, or normal nutrients.”

Photo credit: scienceinhydroponics.com

This hydroponic system will be part of the intricate universe of our IoT (Internet of Things). The IoT based on Wikipidia.org:

“The Internet of things (IoT) is the inter-networking of physical devices, vehicles (also referred to as “connected devices” and “smart devices”), buildings, and other items embedded with electronics, software, sensors, actuators, and network connectivity which enable these objects to collect and exchange data.”

Some Thoughts

Each “smart building” is one complete sustainable ecosystem or “ecobuilding”. And farming isn’t just for farmers – it’ll become part of our daily communal life. What I imagine, all buildings will be covered by living plants – vegetable!, food! And each of the (building) stories will layered by fish farms (as part of the whole hydroponics system). All are controlled and monitored by computers and apps. We’ll still be doing our daily jobs (but probably less since we can produce our own food). As we come home, we’ll have fresh vegetable (cucumbers, zucchinis, etc.) growing out of our walls, and fish (tilapia, salmon, catfish, etc.) under our feet, in tanks.

“Ecobuilding”, Photo Credits: This illustration composed by several different images from Greens (homesthetics.net), Fish (Allent Chang), Human silhouettes (TurboSquid.com).

Building walls will be built with grids and grids of “electronic planter sockets” that interconnected, likewise the electricity and plumbing systems – monitored and controlled by computers and apps. People in this ecobuilding will collectively decide about what to plant, based on our needs. Tenants in each unit will have access and responsibility to plant the seeds into the “planter sockets”. Just imagine, each vegetable seeds will be inside an “electronic seed cartridge” — can be easily plugged into the socket. And will be replaced after harvesting (its fruits). The plants’ humidity, watering and fertilization will be electronically monitored and controlled.

“Seeds Cartridges”, Photo Credits: This illustration composed by several different images from Ink Cartridge (Pinterest), plantandplate.com, Garden Sprouts (Pinterest), Sprouts (Dreamstime.com), Zucchini/Lima Beans (Shutterstock.com), roots (Katie’s Farm), Pvc Pipe (Alibaba), and other stock images.

This solution will be the answers to food and farming scarcity and pollution problems years ahead. I believe there are many environmentalists, scientists, architects, city planners have thought about this idea for our human living sustainability. But instead of farmers doing vertical farming, we all as the world societies are the “farmers”.

Human civilization will come to its full circle — from agricultural age back to agricultural age.

Thanks for reading!

~Ideas that keep me awake at night

Ping Homeric, Chicago, IL.

 

*** Creativity knows no boundaries ***

 

*****

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New Ideas, Payments

(My) Idea about Electronic Payment – in 2005

Yesterday, I shared an article about how China (and the rest of the world) might one day won’t need to use hard cash to purchase goods and services. Seems like it’ll happen sooner with all the new digital/electronic payment technologies out there, e.g. Google Wallet, Apple Pay, Alipay, blockchain crypto payments, etc. to disrupt the ‘status quo’ of the payment system and technologies the world are using these days (which mostly were implemented in the ’70s).

That article (https://goo.gl/bGf1x3) reminded me of an idea I came up with in 2005 – two years before the launching of the first iPhone (iPhone 1) with all the apps (the era when Palm Pilot was the king!)

Below is a cut-and-paste from my old posting on Facebook.




I called my invention iPING! (concluded in March/April of 2005)

What is iPING!?

iPING!Smart$pending is a revolutionary wireless payment device. It works as a cell phone, wireless internet, a daily organizer, a money spending organizer and ‘adviser,’ a personal banking and a merchant payment tool. It consolidates payment and banking products eg. credit and debit cards, checking, saving and investments into one simple and convenient tool, a cell phone! – also, it is a tool that is enable people to pay and receive payments – that can be accessed everywhere at anytime!. It will further elevates today’s payment systems and change the way people doing business! A new era with no cash, no check writing, no credit cards; it is a smarter and safer money!

Objectives

  1. To make any payment/purchasing/transaction happened in real-time.
  2. To define a new standard, a stronger and more secure payment system.
  3. To replace cash, check, credit and debit cards as today’s major payment tools.
  4. To be a main (payment) product which is simple, convenient, safer and smarter.
  5. To be broadly used by merchants and the public (costumers) to engage in business.
  6. To make the term “personal banking” 100% reality.
  7. To help making smarter and wiser spending, saving and investing decisions.

How iPING! Works?

  1. The device must be preset by entering user’s banking information, e.g. checking and saving accounts, credit and debit cards’ information. And also user’s scanned fingerprint and password.
  2. To activate/login onto iPING! user must key-in password and scan his/her fingerprint through the FingerPrint recognition sensor for a maximum secure login.
  3. “my Bank” button is the direct access to user’s bank accounts (checking, saving, etc.).
  4. When active, iPING! can be a payment and/or a “merchant” tool as well – it can pay and receive payments.
  5. To make a payment: Type in the amount then click “transfer” then place iPING! device close enough to the store’s electronic payment “TouchPad” and “ping! (beep!)” the payment will be automatically transferred to the store’s account. And the balance of the user’s account will be automatically subtracted (in real-time).
  6. To make a transfer (eg. to a friend, another iPING! user): Type in the amount and click “transfer.” Place it close to the other user’s iPING! device, then “ping! (beep!)” the amount will be automatically transferred to his/her account – and vice versa.
  7. All transactions using the iPING! will be automatically recorded onto online banking databases. And can be easily checked and/or tracked for security and investigation purposes (if needed).
  8. With additional application installed (let’s call it “MoneySmart”) user can become ‘wiser’ in spending as well as investing his/her money. “MoneySmart” will play as the user’s auto “financial adviser” that monitor, calculate, advice him/her about budgeting and investing for better financial decisions.

 

 

Supporting Infrastructure

A vast and broad network of merchants/stores equipped with the “TouchPad.” And a more integrated global banking system.

 

 

Patent Application and Selling the Idea

At that time, I had hired a patent attorney (Beem Patent Law Firm) to conduct a thorough search on the existence of such a device in order to proceed and obtain a U.S./International patent for it. The search turned out to be very promising – no body had yet had the same or similar idea, neither in the market (existing products) nor products in development (products which had had their patents but not being sold yet). Based on that “positive” finding, in early May 2005, I approached Motorola, headquartered in Schaumburg, Illinois with my idea, but unfortunately Motorola had no interest in developing such a broad “payment-related” device/technology at that time.

 

Thanks for reading!

Ping Homeric, Chicago, IL.

© Ping Homeric (Concept/Idea/Drawings)

 

*** Creativity knows no boundaries ***

*****

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New Ideas, Safety, School Safety

Gun Safety: Gun Jammer

/Open Idea/
Gun Safety: Gun Jammer



 

It’s called “Gun Jammer” –– a wireless jammer that supposes to work like a cellphone jammer. This jammer can only work if America has one day finally passed a new gun control law that requires each and every single newly produced gun will HAVE TO have a micro-chip permanently built inside the gun’s body/structure. Thus the micro-chip will make the gun a “smart gun” –– it can recognize and only function when used by the rightful owner (through fingerprint, voice recognition, etc); Also, most importantly, the micro-chip will temporary disfunction the gun –– will stop it from firing when the gun is carried into a “gun-free zone” e.g. Schools and other critical facilities.

How does this work? Schools as required by the new law must install “jammers” thoughout their buildings and surroundings, just like the fire-alarms. The “Jammers” will be placed at the hot-spots area which their wireless signal will disfuction any guns carried inside that zone. The jammer and the micro-chip will put any gun to temporary auto-locked mode –– and will function again as it exit the “gun-free” zone.

The jammer and the micro-chipped gun will give no opportunities to any mayhem to happen in our schools.

*** Idea that keep me awake at night ***

*****

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