Designer’s socks look to keep one foot on each side of the digital/physical divide

string and loop amp
Cody Ben Lewis’ struggle to find a balance between his physical and digital work has resulted in an unusual product — socks.

Working in graphic design, Lewis works does a lot of hands-on work. But he felt as though it was detracting from how he learned design on his own through the digital world.

“I wanted to see if I could mix this balance where I could still kind of do these practical elements but still have a digital sensibility within it … and {string&&loop} meets the requirements of both,” Lewis told Digital Trends.

So {string&&loop} socks are not the usual type of socks you will find in a department store: Lewis’ socks are designed by an algorithm that randomly generates patterns based on traditional argyle.

“The patterns are actually deconstructing all of the elements found in traditional argyle … and using digital to reinvent them,” Lewis said. “The algorithm I developed completely randomizes where the intersections of those line segments meet, as well as the density of the dots, as well as the size of those dots.”

That causes differently shaped diamonds to form, as well as various types of dots. The result is a pair of socks that’s pretty unique, and what Lewis bills as the world’s first algorithmically designed socks.

Lewis’ idea is a part of his Senior Design Thesis at Boston University, and he’s using Kickstarter to send out the first line of socks to backers. This line consists of a blue sock with red and white lines, and white dots. Lewis thinks a second unique line could come quickly, but it depends on how well the campaign goes.

As of publication, the {string&&loop} campaign has raised $1,388 of its humble $1,800 goal, and has 14 days to go.

More importantly, how soft are the socks? Thanks to consisting mostly of combed cotton, Lewis says “they’re super soft … like, they’re soft.”

Lewis’ project aimed at bringing digital designs to physical objects isn’t new — though it may be a first for socks. The early-bird special for $10 a pair has sold out, but you can still grab a pair for $12. There’s an additional $5 charge for shipping if you live outside the U.S., and Lewis says he expects the socks to ship out this summer.


Time to do taxes? Save up to 50 percent on H&R Block tax software this weekend

Tax season is stressful, and with new tax laws in effect this year, it's not a bad idea to get some help. H&R Block has you covered: For two days only, you can save 50 percent on its great software so you can file your taxes online and save…
Movies & TV

Best new shows and movies to stream: Cold War, Shoplifters, and more

Need something to watch this weekend? Check out our list of the best new shows and movies to stream right now. On the list this week: Cold War follows a tragic romance, The Inventor examines a famous fraud case, and more.
Home Theater

The best Dolby Atmos movies for your home theater sound as good as they look

If you've got your hands on some sweet Dolby Atmos gear, the next step is to find films that take advantage of it. These are our picks in several genres for the best Dolby Atmos movies currently available on Blu-ray and streaming services.
Movies & TV

Study up for season 8 with the best Game of Thrones theories

Season 8 of Game of Thrones is still on the horizon, meaning there's still time to brush up on the best theories about the show. Whether you're one of the last adherents of the Cleganebowl or a King Aerys truther, here are our top theories.
Emerging Tech

Trip to Neptune’s moon, Triton, could inform search for extraterrestrial life

NASA has proposed sending a craft to Neptune to study its largest moon, Triton. Studying Triton could offer clues to how liquid water is maintained on planets, which may indicate what to look for when searching for life beyond our planet.
Emerging Tech

NASA’s Mars 2020 rover passes its tests with flying colors

The Mars 2020 rover team has been undertaking a series of tests to see if the craft will be able to launch, navigate, and land on the Red Planet. Called Systems Test 1, or ST1, these tests represent the first test drive of the new rover.
Emerging Tech

Awesome Tech You Can’t Buy Yet: Robotic companions and computer-aided karaoke

Check out our roundup of the best new crowdfunding projects and product announcements that hit the web this week. You may not be able to buy this stuff yet, but it's fun to gawk!

Light up the night! Here are the five best headlamps money can buy

Headlamps make all the difference when camping or walking the dog at night, especially when you're in need of both hands. From Petzl to Tikkid, here are some of the best headlamps on the market.
Emerging Tech

A hive of activity: Using honeybees to measure urban pollution

According to a new study from Vancouver, bees could help us understand urban pollution. Scientists have found an innovative way to measure the level of source of pollution in urban environments: by analyzing honey.
Emerging Tech

Spacewalk a success as astronauts upgrade batteries on the ISS

The International Space Station was treated to some new batteries on Friday, thanks to two NASA astronauts who took a spacewalk for nearly seven hours in order to complete the upgrades.
Emerging Tech

Asteroid Ryugu is porous, shaped like a spinning top, and is formed of rubble

The Japanese Space Agency has been exploring a distant asteroid named Ryugu with its probe, Hayabusa 2. Now the first results from study of the asteroid are in, with three new papers published.
Emerging Tech

Is it a bird? Is it a plane? No, it’s a super-speedy pulsar

A super-speedy pulsar has been spotted dashing across the sky, discovered using NASA’s Fermi Gamma-ray Space Telescope and the Very Large Array. The pulsar is traveling at a breathtaking 2.5 million miles an hour.
Emerging Tech

Chilean telescope uncovers one of the oldest star clusters in the galaxy

An ultra-high definition image captured by the Gemini South telescope in Chile has uncovered one of the oldest star clusters in the Milky Way. The cluster, called HP 1, could give clues to how our galaxy was formed billions of years ago.
Emerging Tech

Astronomers discover giant chimneys spewing energy from the center of the galaxy

Astronomers have discovered two exhaust channels which are funneling matter and energy away from the supermassive black hole at the heart of our galaxy and out towards the edges of the galaxy, dubbed galactic center chimneys.