Dear friends, I am insanely excited for the launch of our totally brand new, insanely innovative new idea. The basic concept is this: your new personal suit of armor. HAPTIC ARMOR.
I have an insane obsession with fabrics, materials, clothing and concepts. But I personally believe that in today’s world, most of the field most road for disruption is new clothing, fabric, lifestyle concepts.
For example, my new obsession with Linen. I call it “HAPTICWEAVE.” It is forged by 100% of the finest linen on planet earth, straight from Lithuania. Then processed, synthesized and weaved here in South Korea.
Why the big deal?
To me, I consider HAPTIC ARMOR a fabric revolution. Linen has been around since the ancient Roman and Greek times, and once was even used as armor. Why? It is insanely light, breathable, and strong. Apparently even the ancient Roman and Greek armies used something called a “Linothorax,”— literally a chest plate of armor but made 100% with linen, but the secret was creating almost 50 layers of linen with some sort of animal-based glue, to make a lightweight, breathable, and supple armor which could withstand the penetration of an arrow, even at point blank range. It might have even been able to stop the penetration of a spear at close distances.
This was especially good because as we all know, in the Mediterranean, in Greece and in Rome, during the hot humid and arduous summer campaigns, it was insanely hot and humid. Imagine trying to fight battles in 100degree weather, hot and humid in the direct sun. You wouldn’t want some sort of medieval plate armor, you’d roast to death.
The future of innovation often lies in the past.
Things that actually improve your life?
The funny bias in today’s world, there is a strange bifurcation; on one hand we all thrive because of free market capitalism, consumerism, production of capital and products, etc. But on the other hand, it is considered immoral to be too into purchasing things. It is my personal belief that world peace is only possible because of international and mutual commerce.
For example, the reason why China will probably never start World War III with America and the rest of the world is that China needs us for economic opportunities. China wouldn’t be the China we know her today if it weren’t for the vast market for Americans, American products etc. The spending power of the Chinese is good, but, the spending power of Americans is much stronger.
Enter HAPTIC ARMOR
My friend Christophe has this funny story in which when he was really into Diablo II as an elementary school student, he really wanted this rare armor called the “Silks of the Victor,” the best armor you could get for your Necromancer. He outlined this hilariously cute story in which he found some online website which sold items, it might’ve been 10 or $20, and at the time because there is no real good way to send payments through the Internet, he arranged with this Stanford college student to send $20 in the mail, just a $20 bill through the mail, in order to arrange an item transfer.
My friend Chris, very excited quickly sent the money in an envelope through the mail, and was insanely disappointed because he didn’t hear from the guy for about a few months. He thought he was scammed, and lost his money. But fortunately eventually the guy got back to him, and apologized and said that he was busy with finals or something, and then promptly dropped off the item in-game.
The reason why I find the story so enlivening is that at least in the world of Diablo 2, assuming we take a Diablo II analogy to real life, the point isn’t to endlessly obtain gold, which is actually quite undesired at the end stage of the game, but instead to seek rare, mythical and unique items. The items being helmets, amulets, runestones, rings, shields, chest armor, weapons, greaves to cover your shins and feet etc. And then the ultimate goal is PVP, to create some sort of insanely powerful individual character, like a barbarian with whirlwind, and just being able to secure equals and challenge them to 1on1 combat.
My concept of HAPTIC ARMOR is like creating some sort of mythical garb, or armor for real life. Something engineered and created for the furthest used cases possible. For example, part chest plate, part travel garb, part everyday bath towel, part blanket to keep you warm on long and cold international flights, or even something to put over your hot sweaty and slippery yoga mat during those arduous hot yoga sessions. Or just something you could throw into your gym bag, When you hit the gym, or when you hit the road.
So what is HAPTICWEAVE?
First, this insanely unique octagon and 3d weave pattern, something I have never witnessed in real life before. Second, created with the highest quality linen in the world, from Lithuania. Third, weaved here locally in South Korea, using advanced machinery and technology.
The result, a sublime fabric that is supple, soft, breathable, yet phenomenally strong and virtually indestructible.
The more surface area, the better.
The reason why I’m so jazzed about HAPTIC ARMOR is for its unique three dimensional weave pattern. Effectively what this does is increases the surface area of the fabric, which makes it even stronger, even more breathable, and even more effective for working away sweat and moisture from your body and also drying insanely quickly. 100% linen dries at least 50 times faster than cotton, and also is naturally breathable.
Whenever I go on the Internet, REI, etc., traditional travel towels and fabrics are made typically out of some sort of polyester, nylon, or synthetic fibers; which smells really bad, is not breathable, and also just feels really cheap.
My personal theory is the reason why animal or plant-based fibers and fabrics are so superior to synthetic ones is that you cannot fool mother nature; natural plant-based or animal fibers are so robust because of the hidden biology behind it; flaxseed, and plants have a survival based mechanism for the fabrics they produce, which comes in real handy for us humans.
Barbell, hybrid innovation
What I find so fascinating about our approach is we are mirroring two high contrasts, a hybrid barbell baaed approach — First, importing the highest quality linen on the globe from Lithuania, the raw material, and synthesizing our approach with modern day advanced Korean technology, with the processing and weaving of the fabric.
If you have a passion for materials fabrics or aesthetic things; this is actually your opportunity to get a taste of South Korean aesthetics and heritage; Korean traditions which have been around forever.
Only the rare for the rare
Once again, let us say that we are taking a Diablo 2 analogy to real life, what is it that we really seek and desire? I believe it to be rare things, where items, which are truly one of a kind, beautiful valuable and functional.
Also, my ambition is for you to use HAPTIC ARMOR forever, until you die. I have an insane frustration with fabrics or things which lack durability. For example, even though I really love my merino wool clothing my insane frustration is that after a year or two of hard use, it disintegrates. If I’m going to spend $120 on a T-shirt, I want it to last forever.
What is HAPTIC, why HAPTIC? HAPTIC is me and Cindy’s brain child— HAPTIC INDUSTRIES was born out of a playful experiment when we were first living in Vietnam. My passion to create things items and objects which I wish to see manifested in the real world.
For example, the HENRI NECK STRAP, which is currently on the fourth version. A sign of a good creation. Essentially my thought was this,
If I could make a perfect camera neck strap for myself, what would it look like and be?
For myself, I have this obsession or passion to create or discover what I consider “perfect“ products. Certainly there is no such thing as anything which is perfect, but striving to seek or create perfect I believe to be an interesting and noble goal.
This is my Steve Jobs approach!
Nature doesn’t muck around
The octagon. Eight sided, just like a beehive or honeycomb. Max more string and durability, a shape which can withstand even the most brutal of wear and tear.
I hate fabrics which need to be babied and require special care. The great thing with HAPTIC ARMOR is that you can just toss it in any standard washing machine, add normal detergent, and just throw it into the dryer, at normal or maximum heat. None of this nonsense of “tumble dry low“.
Or, just letting HAPTIC ARMOR dry directly in the sun. Like Elon Musk said, the best disinfectant is the sun.
Ready for anything.
What are you fine insanely exciting about HAPTIC ARMOR is that literally, it is ready for anything and everything.
For example, when I recently did my 16 hour flight from LAX to Incheon to South Korea, I was actually really caught on the flight. If I had my haptic armor with me, I could just use it as a blanket to keep me warm.
Or, taking a nap. Even though it is a bit narrow, it comes in handy as a quick blanket on the go, when you least think you need it.
Oh my personal ambition is to create beautiful things which will legitimately help the lives of others, and also, for me to create things which I think will benefit others and the world.
And beauty function in fashion is all underrated. Seize your destiny.
Some current thoughts I have on innovation:
- I currently believe that the new wave of innovation lies in new concepts. For example, new clothing concepts, new ways to think about how to wear garbs around your body, and new ways you could use the fabrics we already got. For example, linen has been around forever, but has been lately overshadowed by cotton, because cotton is much easier and cheaper to produce. For example when we talk about “linens“, when we talk about our bedsheets, the hilarity as we still call it “linens,” but in fact most of it nowadays is cotton. My current thought is changing everything I got with our new HAPTIC LINEN— whether it be covers for my pillows, my shirts and overcoat, maybe even my pants or skirts.
- The philosophy of aesthetics: something I believe to be insanely critical is your philosophy on aesthetics. For example I think I really love this idea of mirroring old concepts with new concepts. To integrate and create the perfect synthesis and hybrid between the old school and the new. I have yet to believe that any Korean American, or Asian American has done it effectively for Korea and South Korea; there is a beautiful future ahead of us, which has not yet been discovered. Perhaps I will be the first to touch upon it.
Korean Car Design
Check out and Google the new Hyundai Grandeur, and also the new Hyundai sonata. Korea and South Korea is currently killing it with car design, even the new Kia EV 9 SUV car design is insanely disruptive.
What I find very interesting is that Korea South Korea has a tradition of simply following the crowd and playing nice with the past. Yet it seems nowadays at least with car design, Koreans are making everyone look basic and iterative by design.
Reckless innovation and disruption
I think one thing that Korea and South Korea and Hyundai Kia and Genesis has going for it is that there is not too long of a tradition with their design language and aesthetic design. And I believe this to be a huge benefit, because it allows for radical disruption.
Let us consider the tragedy of German design, like the Porsche 911. Even if they wanted to do something insanely disruptive with it, they can’t. Why? All of these heritage snobs from the past who refuse to allow it to change.
A personal note on my identity. I was born in 1988, in San Francisco, and was raised my whole life in the states. I always wanted to perfect my Korean in my Korean speaking abilities, mostly out of shame that my Korean speaking ability was not fluent.
Yet now, I see this as a feature, not a bug. That means, I am actually insanely well positioned to be the bridge between America and Korea, in terms of cars (Hyundai, Kia, Genesis), in terms of mobile technologies (Samsung, LG), and now, Korean aesthetics and fabrics.
Seize your destiny
My current workshops lineup —
- Rather than wasting money on a car, buying a new car or a used car, invest the money instead of upgrading your technologies for your website blog etc. For example, you can start a WordPress right now with Amazon Web services for free, the most basic package is only $3.50 a month! You can literally build 100 websites, for only about $350 USD a month! This will be my new direction.
- Don’t be weighed down by material things; sometimes I have this sense of opportunism which I just want to buy a bunch of stuff. But instead, don’t let things weigh you down. Instead what you could do is just rent as needed.
- If you want to get honest feedback on your photos, upload it right now to arsbeta.com
- If you want to gain deeper inside and philosophy of your life, have a chat with Zen of Eric, why app?
Or always find inspiration on EK BLOG >
- Something I am thinking more and more about is how annoying and difficult it is to remit payment and money while you’re abroad. For example, I am limited to only taking out about $300 a day for foreign ATMs in Korean won, insanely annoying. Fortunately my Amazon prime credit card works well internationally, but still, there needs to be more of a global seamless way. A promising thought is chainlink is partnering with swift, the international banking concept, to propose in a solution.
- Bitcoin may be the future world currency; currently speaking the US dollar is imploding, and we have too much fake money in the economy. Also the Chinese yuan is suffering massively. Maybe bitcoin might be the way. For example, imagine just buying a car for single bitcoin, or buying a house for 10 bitcoin. Crypto Thoughts >
Where to next?
Currently chilling in Hadong South Korea, but leaving in two days. Then going to be in Saigon Vietnam for about a month, lots more great innovation to come.
Stay updated on the ERIC KIM BLOG, feel free to forward this to a friend!
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Where to find inspiration?
- Watch the new John Wick 4, I consider it a 12 out of 10. Just buy it on Apple TV and watch the extras. Insanely inspiring.
- Spend more time with kids, or people who are under the age of 18 who have not yet been corrupted by the system. Spending time with them is insanely refreshing. Nowadays I despise spending time with adults, all of them think too same same.
- Travel, go abroad, jump in a plane and just go somewhere.
- Hadong South Korea might be my new creative paradise. I see a bright future ahead of me here, in Seoul and beyond.
- It seems that people really like the new Samsung smartphones. While I still think that iPhone is superior, maybe taking a more critical look at the new Samsung S phones is worth looking at.
- When in doubt, just shoot it.
- Life photography: don’t bifurcate your photography, just shoot it all.
- The best camera fits in your front right pocket. Currently speaking the best shorts to get are the Lululemon license to train shorts, big enough to fit even a relatively large camera in your front right pocket.
If so, START HERE.