Future Home Interfaces: Beautiful Seams for Everyday Life

February 25, 2009

An earlier post, Metaphorical Refrigerators, Design, and Ubiquitous Computing, pointed to the need to go beyond the desktop metaphor in thinking about he design of interfaces in the connected home.  The video below offers a clear example of the direction such a transformation in thinking about interfaces must take. It starts off slow, so give it some time to see the point. I particularly like the implicit control that the user retains over most of the interactions, though the zany, intelligent agent is a little far-fetched.

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Posted by Larry R. Irons

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Museum of Lost Interactions: The Social Communicator in 1932

February 2, 2009
socialcommunicator
The Social Communicator

While reading the posts over at Design Observer recently, I scrolled through the images of the day and clicked on The Social Communicator image. The link takes you to The Museum of Lost Interactions (MoLi).

The Museum of Lost Interactions opened in 2006, and many of you may know about it already because of the initial sensation it caused among prominent thinkers about technology like Bruce Sterling. However, for those who don’t, I thought you might want to. MoLi is located in the University of Dundee’s Interactive Media Design program. MoLi aims to raise public awareness of the history of interaction design.

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Experience Design using Bone Conduction

October 16, 2008

Skilful Minds reminded readers about place-based story  experiences like [murmur] recently after I visited the Missouri Botanical Gardens (MoBot) to see the Niki exhibit. The Niki exhibit showed forty mosaic sculptures done by Niki de Saint Phalle (1930 – 2002). Each concept used cell phones to either allow visitors to places to share stories about the place, as in [murmur], or allow visitors to listen to stories about specific exhibit items, as in the Niki exhibit.

Yanko Design showcased a design recently called touched echo developed by Markus Kison. Touched echo makes a place-based story experience available to visitors without the use of devices like cell phones. Although the technology was anticipated in an early experiment by Laurie Anderson called the Handphone Table, applying it to place-based stories is a new and innovative experience design. The design works by using bone conduction for hearing rather than transmitting audio waves through the air.

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Flowgrams: A New Way to Screencast

July 8, 2008

Screencasts are effective ways to share ideas, images, concepts, experiences, and a range of information for a variety of purposes including eLearning, collaborative problem solving, or just fun. I just ran across a new technique for doing screencasts called a Flowgram.  Eric Schonfeld over at TechCrunch describes it as,

…a full-screen player with what appears to be a screencast with a voiceover. Except that you can control the pages by scrolling up and down, watching any videos that might be on the page, or clicking on the live links (which takes you out of the Flowgram to that Website, but if you hit the back button it picks up where it left off). You can also add comments and share the Flowgram via a widget…It’s an interactive screencast, a way to synthesize the Web by pulling different pieces together The voiceover acts as the glue. It can be used for slide shows, travel guides, tutorials, sales pitches, or just to explain something to a friend.

I’ve signed up for the private beta access program so I can build a few Flowgrams of my own to get a better sense of how this tool compares to applications like Captivate or Camtasia. After briefly interacting with several of the Flowgrams available it looks quite promising. I like the ability to scroll pages as well as play videos embedded in pages presented in the Flowgram. I’m not sure why the developers decided to navigate out of the Flowgram when you click on a link that takes you to a page outside the Flowgram, rather than opening a window to view it, but when you click the back arrow the flow of the Flowgram seems to pick back up where you left it. Take a look at Flowgram for an overview.

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OLED Solar Powered Lighting

March 9, 2008

Organic Light-Emitting Diode (OLED) technology promises to disrupt design and production of a range of devices as applications using it move into the commercial market. Cell phones, monitors, laptops and televisions are close to availability for consumers. Lighting is one of those application areas with a lot of promise, but in a more distant timeframe. Charlie White over at DVICE points to a recent concept design that uses nanotech with photovoltaics to make windows using OLEDs.


An MP3 Player for the Future

January 27, 2007

Designer Lisa Kohanski offers a futuristic design, perhaps not all that far off, for an MP3/video player. Yanko Design offers the following description of the device:

Tripod is not only a unique triangular MP3 player, but a movie player as well! To transform, turn your MP3 player upside down and pull the two halves apart while holding the release button. As the OLED screen uncoils, a hinge will unfold and lock, stabilizing the unit. Remove the MP3 control and it becomes the remote movie player remote. Speakers round the top triangle corner for optimum sound projection.


Tangible Information Exchange

September 29, 2006

Yanko Design  just showcased an intriguing design for a futuristic ring that exchanges information.

This product is designed to exchange basic information with new people in the first meeting by shaking hands….When people first meet and shake hands, the rings on the fingers get close enough to operate. The rings exchange their users information and stores them while they are shaking hands. So, the more people they meet, the more information they have. When the users browse through the people they meet, the card displays their basic information that was stored in the ring. The power source is provided from human temperature, so it doesn’t need any plug.

Treat yourself and go on over to look at the full-size images in Hideaki Matsui’s design.

It is worth the trip!