• Beyond voice assistants skills, beds, TV and robot arms - Weeknote 2019/7

    (weeknotes)

    3 (approx) interesting things, found (approx) this week. Also on Powered by Uniform Medium publication.

    With the Creative Technology team at Uniform we always strive to think differently about technologies. We definitely like more simple ideas that challenge what a specific technology allows to do, to ideas that are richer, but don’t push the medium in any new direction - I like to see it as a preference for ideas with rich features rather then features-rich.

    In the past 12 months we’ve worked on three different projects using Amazon Echo and Google Home. For different reasons, we didn’t develop them further than rough prototypes, but together they are a great example of our out-of-the-box thinking with emerging technologies. Here it is: Beyond skills: doing something different with voice assistants

    Findings

    1. Ford lane-keeping bed (2019)

    Ford has released a video of a smart bed prototype that detects when one partner takes too much space and roll them back to their side of the bed.

    Just a prototype, the “Lane-Keeping Bed” is part of a series of Ford Interventions, including the Noise-Cancelling Kennel, all of which apply automotive expertise to tackle everyday – or in this case, every night – problems.

    I like the bed and I love this Ford Interventions initiative. It presents the company in a completely new way, and I also believe this self sector-stealing approach - repurposing your own technology in some other area - is great to come up with weird, new product ideas. Surely this sounds much more exciting of the usual software people approach to smart products: put sensors, collect data.

    A very similar example was from last year, when car maker Nissan released a video of a Japanese traditional guest-house equipped with self-driving slippers

    here

    2. Playdeo’s Avo! (2019)

    Some former people from BERG (Little Printer, etc.) have a new company and recently launched their first product. It’s an interactive story for Smartphones in which you control the character of an Avocado in real filmed scenes, helping its owner, an inventor, solving mysteries.

    It’s a new kind of hybrid between TV and mobile gaming, and for the first two episodes that I watched/played, very very interesting.

    I also recommend to read Jack Schulze post about the company and their first release, it’s truly inspiring.

    Playdeo operates from the notion that invention is a joyful act. At every stage of my working life I’ve used invention — to produce images, films, even products — with the ambition that people will find joy in the particular kinds of connection it affords. For me there is a politics to approaching the craft this way — it’s optimistic.

    here

    3. Hexbot: The Modular All-In-1 Desktop Robot Arm For Everyone (2019)

    This is cool. A robotic arm with modular “hands” that can 3D print, laser engrave, draw and move things around.

    here


  • American Pioneers' influence on design and findings - Weeknote 2019/6

    (weeknotes)

    3 (approx) interesting things, found (approx) this week. Also on Powered by Uniform Medium publication.

    The Culture Map by Erin Meyer is a book about how people from different parts of the world communicate and work with each other. On the chapter about decision making, one passage about Americans particularly struck me.

    Being successful as the pioneers spread west across the American plains depended on arriving first and working hard, regarding mistakes as an inevitable and ultimately insignificant effect of speed.

    Americans developed a dislike for too much discussion, which would just slow them down, preferring to make decisions quickly, often based on scanty information

    So here I am, thinking: maybe the reason behind the great importance that is given to iteration (cycles of prototyping and testing of a solution) in the Design Thinking methodology (and similarly to the software development philosophies of Release early, release often and of Minimal Viable Products) comes from the mindset of early Americans exploring the far west?

    And I wonder (wildly): is the popularity of this iterative approach due to a similarity between pioneers’ America and contemporary global economy or more simply the result of the prominent position America has in design and technology (thus the iteration approach is popular for the same reasons that Rock is)?

    Findings

    1. Google Maps AR (2019)

    Google released a video demonstrating a new AR function for Google Maps. What’s interesting is that it isn’t just a new interface for navigation, by pointing the phone towards your surroundings, the app is able to recognise the buildings through the camera and through that giving you more accurate directions.

    here

    2. Open AI’s new text generation software is too good to release (2019)

    So they decided not to do it.

    Due to our concerns about malicious applications of the technology, we are not releasing the trained model.

    The system was trained on a dataset of 8 million web pages. And from the samples of text they shared, it does seem much superior to current software for text generation, which are quite good but without manual editing are always recognisable as written by a machine.

    Here’s one fun sample.

    SYSTEM PROMPT (HUMAN-WRITTEN) Miley Cyrus was caught shoplifting from Abercrombie and Fitch on Hollywood Boulevard today.

    MODEL COMPLETION (MACHINE-WRITTEN, SECOND TRY) The 19-year-old singer was caught on camera being escorted out of the store by security guards. The singer was wearing a black hoodie with the label ‘Blurred Lines’ on the front and ‘Fashion Police’ on the back. Scroll down for video Shoplifting: Miley Cyrus was caught shoplifting from Abercrombie and Fitch on Hollywood Boulevard today (pictured) The singer was wearing a black hoodie with the label ‘Blurred Lines’ on the front and ‘Fashion Police’ on the back The singer was also wearing a pair of black-rimmed glasses, a black jacket, black jeans and black sandals. She was carrying a pair of black and white striped gloves and a small black bag.

    here

    3. Tangible Bits: Towards Seamless Interfaces between People, Bits and Atoms (1997)

    MIT Media Lab’s Hiroshi Ishii has just been awarded the ACM SIGCHI Lifetime Research Award, the most prestigious recognition in human-computer interaction (past winners include other leading figures in design and tech such as Douglas C. Engelbart, Don Norman, Bill Buxton and Gillian Crampton Smith).

    Ishii is considered the pioneer of the so-called tangible user interfaces, a research area focussing on making physical objects as reactive and reconfigurable as software.

    It is an incredible honor for me as an HCI researcher, and I’m extremely excited for this recognition of the Tangible Media group’s quarter-century battle against the ‘pixel empire’ of graphical user interfaces,

    The Media Lab Tangible Media page contains all kind of sci-fi looking shape shifting material researches, but I took the occasion for going back to the research paper that Ishii co-wrote that was the beginning of it all: it’s still hot.

    here


  • Jaron Lanier about stories in tech, a post about AR, UX engineers... - Weeknote 2019/5

    (weeknotes)

    3 (approx) interesting things, found (approx) this week. Also on Powered by Uniform Medium publication.

    Since a while I started to be convinced that the future is determined by guys with good pitches as much as the ones with good solutions: stories are ultimately what engage people and convince investors and I believe also drive the work of designers and technologists.

    So that’s why I was particularly attuned to a recent article by Jaron Lanier. In it he argues that the current main narrative in tech is false and problematic, yet a very successful one.

    These days, the dominant story is one I loathe: The one about how computers and the internet are spawning a new super-brain that will inherit the Earth and the stars, and how people are just a stepping-stone for the glorified new god we are building.

    No one wanted to risk being left out of the creation of the new technology that would inherit the world. It’s a narrative that has risen to ever higher planes of influence as its adherents approach the infinite wealth one gains through information supremacy.

    According to Lanier, this narrative of AI eating the world is around since the 80s, and at the time he and others had the ambition for VR to offer an alternative vision, more people-centric - yet, as he admits, from the limited perspective of young coders bored with the limitdness of reality.

    To us, the ultimate problem of the human situation seemed to be: boredom. We had the young hackers’ version of attention deficit disorder and we projected our complaint onto everyone else. If only humanity had something creative and compelling to do, we imagined, something that made conflict boring in comparison. That’s what would “fix” people so that they didn’t keep on taking what ought to be earthly paradise and turning into hell over and over.

    Article is here, via Patrick Tanguay’s always amazing newsletter.


    Also, we’ve published a new article on Medium. It’s about why if AR experiences are developed with the same principles of current apps, we’ll end up in a world increasingly incapable to see others’ point of view, and ultimately more lonely.

    You can find it here: Same frames and different pictures — A lonely AR future.

    Findings

    1. Merger (2019)

    HYPER-REALITY’s director Keiichi Matsuda has released a new work! It’s a 360 video, like HYPER-REALITY using a mix of 3D and real footage, this time about a tele-operator of future. (And in case you haven’t watched HYPER-REALITY yet, you should do it already: I bet that at least for some time, our future augmented reality world will not look too dissimilar from what is shown in the video. Plus is beautiful, beautiful piece of dystopia fiction, fellows Black Mirror fans).

    Set against the backdrop of AI-run corporations, a tele-operator finds herself caught between virtual and physical reality, human and machine. As she fights for her economic survival, she finds herself immersed in the cult of productivity, in search of the ultimate interface.

    here

    2. Mira Robotics’ Ugo (2019)

    Japanese company Mira Robotics has started testing a home robot to help with chores like folding laundry. The interesting idea is that is not an autonomous robot, but is operated remotely by a person. Until the time when the company will have gathered enough data from the operator to train the robot to perform the task on its own.

    Mira’s business plan with Ugo is that you’ll rent one that lives in your house for somewhere between US $180 and $225 per month, with the expectation that you’ll want it to be doing housework for several hours each week. You request that the robot complete a task, and a “professional operator” will connect to the robot and get to work, disconnecting when they’re finished. Mira says that you get the same benefits of having someone in your house doing chores for you, without having to actually have someone in your house.

    Long term, Mira’s idea is that they’ll accumulate a whole bunch of high quality training data over time, harvested from all the teleoperated laundry folding. At some point, the robot will be able to start doing some tasks autonomously and only ask for help when necessary, and eventually, they hope to transition to full autonomy

    I believe that many gig-economy companies will all gradually follow the long-term plan that Mira Robotics so candidly admits. As we get used to hail a cab or get food delivered through an software interface rather than a person, by the time the technology of self-driving vehicles will replace taxi drivers and cycling couriers we will hardly notice.

    here

    3. UX engineer

    Ok. Maybe I’ve lived under a rock. But in my twitterverse I’ve never came across the title of a “UX Engineer” and even Less about the other term its known with: UX Unicorn.

    Very surprising because, as I’ve discovered in the article where I’ve first heard about it, it’s an alternative term for a Creative Technologist (!), and it’s in fact very fitting with what Creative Tech team does on a daily basis.

    I’m so late at it, that there’s even a page making fun of the term. For the record, I don’t do ANY of the superlatives in that definition, and some of the skill I miss completely, but I do have a process and most importantly, opinions.

    Mythical user experience designer with an advanced and adaptive skill range. Outstanding skills in graphic design, rapid prototyping, front end development, user testing, technical specifications, marketing and branding. It does not have an opinion, it has a process, and will harmonize with any environment.

    here


  • A synth, zero-waste grocery and cool stuff cheap - Weeknote 2019/4

    (weeknotes)

    3 (approx) interesting things, found (approx) this week. Also on Powered by Uniform Medium publication.

    Findings

    1. Teenage Engineering Modular Pocket Operator (2019)

    Teenage Engineering makes the most beautiful electronic products. Now they released a modular synthesizer that you assemble yourself and is just a charm.

    our small, battery operated and affordable synthesizer today expands into the modular analog universe. with the introduction of three pre-configured chassis and 15 sound modules, there’s finally a way for you to explore the pure fun of modular synthesis in a hassle free way. we have created three kits that include everything you need to get started. just bend, assemble and patch!

    here

    2. Loop (2019)

    Loop is a new subscription service for zero-waste grocery used by huge companies (including P&G, Unilever and others) that is due to start this 2019 in US and France. Packages are non disposable and when a replacement arrives, they pick up your old containers for reuse. This feels very big.

    Loop will send you name-brand products, like Tide detergent, Crest mouthwash, or Häagen Dazs ice cream. When you’re done, you ship the empty container back, where it gets cleaned and reused for the next customer.

    here

    3. coolstuffcheap (2019)

    Again on Chinese innovation, here’s a Twitter account posting about cheap weird Chinese physical products to buy now. 

    Chances are that if you thought about it, they sell it. And if you could never have thought about something like it, they sell it too.

    here


  • Another Scout on the block & innovation, Shenzhen-style - Weeknote 2019/3

    (weeknotes)

    3 (approx) interesting things, found (approx) this week. Also on Powered by Uniform Medium publication.

    This week’s update is over already. Until next time!

    Especially if at the end of the sloping wall there's a 20 meters jump...

    Especially if at the end of the sloping wall there's a 20 meters jump...

    Findings

    1. Amazon Scout (2019)

    Amazon has announced a new project: Scout. But no, they didn’t buy our Smart Home counterspy prototype. The Amazon’s Scout is instead an autonomous delivery device, a self-driving cart to deliver packages door-to-door.

    We’ve been hard at work developing a new, fully-electric delivery system – Amazon Scout – designed to safely get packages to customers using autonomous delivery devices. These devices were created by Amazon, are the size of a small cooler, and roll along sidewalks at a walking pace. Starting today, these devices will begin delivering packages to customers in a neighborhood in Snohomish County, Washington.

    here

    2. 100% Chair (2019)

    Toronto studio Radical Norms has an interesting initial exploration of manufacturing and product design.

    we are looking at the relationship between A.I. and a possible future world of artifacts and objects.

    To do so we developed an alternative design process in which leftover offcuts taken from various production methods are used as components in a rotating interface. Looking at the new generative compositions, the A.I. predicts the emergence of possible ‘chairs’ ranging from 0-100%.

    here

    3. Inside Shenzhen’s race to outdo Silicon Valley (2019)

    Fundamental behind the scene read from the place where our technological devices come from: Shenzhen, China.

    On ideation an manufacturing

    Most global consumers’ first contact with Shenzhen came through products like the selfie stick. Seemingly frivolous, relatively easy to manufacture, they were born of a process of product development and distribution called shanzhai (山寨). The term literally means “mountain hideout” (an apocryphal story traces its origins to factories in the hills of northern Hong Kong). the shanzhai method delivered “hardware memes”—gadgets quickly designed and built out of easily sourced and readily interchangeable parts.

    On testing

    Just as digital news outlets might test multiple headlines and tweets to see which one gets the most clicks, a shanzhai manufacturer would release 10 products with a mixture of copied and original designs, and go with whatever worked.

    On authorship

    “Chinese businessmen don’t care about competition in the way that you do,” Chen says. “The more people that are making the same product, the safer it is.” Indeed, if an idea is new and unproven, component suppliers will require payment up front. This tends to lead to design evolution rather than revolution—for example, going from an electric skateboard to an electric scooter. Then on the

    Finally the article also talks about how an emerging network of design consultancies and software companies in Shenzhen is starting to transform it from a place limited to outsourced manufacturing and ingenuous product invention to a world-class technology hub, potentially able to compete, in their own terms, even with Silicon Valley.

    here

    (Also, after sharing the article above on Twitter I’ve been pointed to another shanzhai related one, also a great read: Hip-hop and shanzhai: when two remixing worlds collide.)


  • More Scout and the Amen Break as design metaphor - Weeknote 2019/2

    (weeknotes)

    3 (approx) interesting things, found (approx) this week. Also on Powered by Uniform Medium publication.

    Some more news about our latest project Scout. We’ve just published a new in-depth post about it on Medium, going into details about how it works and how we’ve done it: Scout - A smart-home counterspy agent.

    Findings

    1. Project Alias (2019)

    Very nice project by Bjørn Karmann (who also did the brilliant Objectifier) and Tore Knudsen. A parasite for voice assistants.

    Alias is a teachable “parasite” that is designed to give users more control over their smart assistants, both when it comes to customisation and privacy. Through a simple app the user can train Alias to react on a custom wake-word/sound, and once trained, Alias can take control over your home assistant by activating it for you.

    here

    2. Wanna Nails (2018)

    Try something on AR, there should be a category for these kind of apps on the App Store. This one it’s an app that allows you to try nail polish on. I’ve tried it and I’m impressed by how well it works.

    here

    3. The ‘Amen break’ is the ultimate design pattern (2019)

    Absolute respect to this guy that used the Amen Break (the world’s most famous 6-sec drum loop - sampled for countless Hip-Hop, Drum & Bass, etc) as an examples to explain why Design Patterns are good.

    I felt part of something.

    One of the most common push backs on design system’s and design patterns is that they can be seen to limit a designer’s creativity or contain overly generic solutions to specific problems.

    I would argue that much like using sampled music, they simply give you a starting point or set of constraints to work within. You can adapt or rearrange a pattern to suit your use case, you can make it a prominent part of your design or just let it sit in the background.

    here


  • Already broken new year resolutions and an IoT blabbermouth - Weeknote 2019/1

    (weeknotes)

    3 (approx) interesting things, found (approx) this week. Also on Powered by Uniform Medium publication.

    The new year has come and with it the time for some considerations and changes.

    We’ve started this Weeknotes with two main purposes: to track and share news and interesting projects in the design & tech world (or at least the portion of it that has to do AI, IoT and emerging technologies) and to update our community and friends with what Creative Technology at Uniform is up to.

    So far we’ve had some encouraging feedback. Uniform workmates seem to enjoy our findings (thank you!) and friends on social media liked our posts and reached out to us to discuss (thank you!).

    But on the other hand, I often felt that what we talked about in the notes could have used some more time and reflection and be developed into a longer piece, something that regretfully I couldn’t managed to do: the commitment to a one post per week seemed to suck-up any other energy for writing.

    So, while we work on our writing chops, the plan is to scale back on the notes. We’ll still chat about what we’ve been up to, if some particularly interesting thing happens, but otherwise from now on, we’ll limit to list what we found of interest in the week.

    Happy new year!


    And here’s to new year resolutions. We kick off the one above with already an exception!

    The reason is that we’ve just published a new project: Scout. A smart device that visualises the conversations between your other smart devices and their servers, and if something doesn’t look right, enables you to ask the manufacturer for clarification via pushing a button (thanks GDPR).

    The good thing about (good) smart object is how they seamlessly integrate and become part of your lives. But as you forget that they are “smart” you also forget that the data they collect is constantly shared beyond your home’s walls.

    In this scenario, Scout is on one hand just another “ambient” device in your collection. Not more eye-catching than the Nest thermostat on your wall and not out of place among your book collection. But on the other hand, it is also the blabbermouth of the bunch, your counterspy agent in the otherwise unbalanced info-war of corporate surveillance.

    Check the blog post, there’s also a beautiful video about the project shot by our own Beatriz Diogo - here.

    Findings

    1. CES, still putting chips on it (2019)

    The trend is still going strong. Among others doubtfully smart products, an internet connected fishing rod and cat litter box.

    here

    2. Dawn (2018)

    A bar where robot waiters are operated remotely from a paralyzed person’s home. Just a proof of concept (it stayed open just a couple of days), but very interesting.

    here

    3. ElliQ (2019)

    A home assistant designed to keep elderly people active.

    here


  • Thingscon: Ethics in tech & AI personas report — 2018/15

    (signals)

    End of week notes and 3 (approx) interesting things, new or old, found (approx) this week. Also on Powered by Uniform Medium publication.

    Last week Mike Shorter and I have been in the stark & beautiful city of Rotterdam for giving our AI personas workshop and attending the Thingscon conference. I’ve been in a Thingscon conference before, the Berlin edition in 2015 and the atmosphere in Rotterdam felt similar to the one of 3 years ago in Berlin: a friendly and informal community, passionate about technology but strongly focussed on the impact that it has on people. But if in 2015, at the peak of excitement of the Internet of Things, “making” was the driving force of the event, now the most common keyword was instead “ethics”. Here are some of my highlights.

    • Peter Bhir announced the launch of the Trustable Technology Mark, a new trustmark that aims to certify that they respect user rights - https://trustabletech.org/
    • Ethics of emerging technology advocate and ex-Twitter designer Cennydd Bowles did a fantastic talk about ethics in tech, one of his interesting argument that here I’m paraphrasing is that “we should not make a business case for ethics, because if we make ethics subservient to business we imply that there could be a better business case to replace the ethics argument”.
    • Researcher Holly Robbins and Thingscon co-founder Simon Höher hosted a great panel on ethics and one of the most interesting point touched during the discussion was about the need to set aside space and time for talking ethics together, rather than leaving the moral questions just to individuals alone.

    Now some words about the AI personas workshop we gave. Many of the participants were from University. Both students and teachers. It was interesting to see how our AI personas resonated with them. We had for instance a good discussion about the relationship between the UX methodology of Personas and our personas. If in both the end goal is always to create useful, pleasing objects for people, the AI personas is in a way thing-centred instead than user-centred, focussing more on characterising the object instead of the people using it. In general, it was nice to hear that everybody found the framework especially helpful as an ideation tool.

    We’ve also got a public shout-out from one of our participants, who cried: “AI personas” when the even host asked the audience about the workshops they liked the most. In the remote chance you’re reading this, many many thanks!

    Findings

    1. #Glitterstretchmark (2018)

    Collage artist Sara Shakeel’s Instagram trend is Kintsugi for ageing female beauty.

    (via Next Nature newsletter and their always spot-on radar)

    here

    2. Made In Machina (2018)

    Very interesting project about AI, product design and manufacturing by Simone Rebaudengo and Sami Niemelä. A design brief is generated from a neural network trained with items available on Alibaba and then interpreted by Nordic designers.

    here

    3. 100% realistic artificially generated face portraits. (2018)

    Must watch video. The results are unbelievable.

    here


  • Installations' storyboards: more gifs than films — 2018/14

    (signals)

    End of week notes and 3 (approx) interesting things, new or old, found (approx) this week. Also on Powered by Uniform Medium publication.

    Two proposals we’ve been working on last week were about interactive installations for events. I always find these pleasing to work on, as there’s space to be more playful and conceptual and also because this is the kind of work that brought me close to Interaction Design in the first place, before I’ve started to be interested in designing and prototyping products.

    And working both in installations and products, it’s especially interesting to compare their user journeys. If the methodologies for developing products and installations experiences are the same, there’s one fundamental factor that make them differ radically: time.

    With a product you can account that some time will be needed by user to learn how to use the product, you can expect features to be discovered gradually by the user, and you are expected to think of reasons why the product would be still useful over time. And these experiences often are expected to occur over days or months.

    But for interactive installations the whole experience needs to be over in seconds, minutes at most. There’s only a limited space for illustrating how the installation would work: the experience needs to be as much self-explanatory as possible. And the experience ends in one iteration: no further interactions with the installation is expected.

    The way we approach interactive installation proposals is by reducing the experience to the bare minimum. Focusing on the main event in it - the emotional highlight - and removing everything that doesn’t contribute to it. In this brutal process of reduction, storyboards are still a key aiding tool. But good installations’ storyboards should look more like gifs than films: a detailed choreography of movements to make sure that each step that the user is required to getting to the experience main part was absolutely necessary.

    Findings

    1. Airbnb’s Backyard (2018)

    Airbnb’s has a project called Backyard in which they are planning to produce and sell houses.

    The spaces will be designed to be shared, from the ground up.

    The spaces will be designed to be shared, from the ground up. What exactly that looks like remains to be seen, but the suggestion is clear: They will be optimal Airbnb rentals to anyone who is interested in hosting, or perhaps even investing in the big business of backyard cottages.

    The spaces may also support co-living,

    (On a side-note, the project is developed by Airbnb’s internal research studio Samara, which was funded set-up after the acquisition by Airbnb of Lapka, in my opinion the producer of the most beautiful product from this side of the millennium).

    here

    2. Doodle Master (2018)

    Somebody did an implementation of that near Airbnb’s Sketching Interfaces concept: turn UI sketches into real (web) code. Looks neat.

    here

    3. Paperclip Maximizer (2018)

    Hi! That’s me sharing a small experiment with genetic algorithms I’ve been working on.

    Here’s the simplest definition I could find of a genetic algorithm

    The genetic algorithm is a method for solving both constrained and unconstrained optimization problems that is based on natural selection, the process that drives biological evolution. The genetic algorithm repeatedly modifies a population of individual solutions. At each step, the genetic algorithm selects individuals at random from the current population to be parents and uses them to produce the children for the next generation. Over successive generations, the population “evolves” toward an optimal solution.

    here


  • Modularity vs Ad-Hoc in prototyping — 2018/13

    (signals)

    End of week notes and 3 (approx) interesting things, new or old, found (approx) this week. Also on Powered by Uniform Medium publication.

    We had a quick workshop and one of the outcomes was an interactive prototype to demonstrate our idea.

    When the requirement is to have an experience prototype, focussed on a single feature to be tested or demonstrated, and speed (1-3 days), I found planning how much to modularise being the most crucial aspect of the whole development.

    To turn one application block into a reusable module is time consuming, but if the module is used often enough throughout the application, it will definitely save time after. On the other hand, without the requirement of maintainability of a prototype application, writing ad-hoc code(hard-coded values, copied and pasted functions and other software engineering aberration and spaghetti coding trade-marks) can be just good enough for the job.

    And the most effective way to decide what to modularise and what to code ad-hoc is a lot of scribbling. Having at hand the focus of the prototype clearly stated and visible on a piece of paper, and then, iterations after and iterations of flow-charts and code structure drawings (which for me, regardless if I’m working with modules in javascript or object-oriented programming in Openframeworks/C++, is some simple version of Class diagrams).

    Once the diagrams are detailed enough in terms of structure and it looks like something that can be done fast and that would be effective for the demonstration or testing, just then is time to code. Every extra minute spent sketching and refining the diagrams, is countless time (and frustration) saved during development.

    Findings

    1. HyperSurfaces (2018)

    HyperSurfaces uses vibration sensors and AI algorithms to turns any surface into an interface, recognising gestures and objects colliding onto the surface. From the CEO of the company Zamborlin:

    it is difficult to imagine what the applications of HyperSurfaces technology might end up being, in a similar way as it was difficult to imagine 10 years ago all of the applications a mobile phone could enable. The most immediate ideas include the possibility of creating technological objects made of materials that until now haven’t been associated with technology at all, such as wood, glass and different kinds of metal etc.

    I love the potential of this, and I’m also excited about the big design challenge of this technology: to turn a feature-less surface/object into a usable interface. To say it with Don Norman’s definition of affordance: the “perceived and actual properties of the thing, primarily those fundamental properties that determine just how the thing could possibly be used.”

    here

    2. Privacy Not Included (2018)

    Mozilla’s shopping guide for the privacy minded. Nicely done website, accessible and informative

    here

    3. Thingscon conference (2018)

    New sleek website for the organisation, and the 2018 Rotterdam conference is out, with our AI personas workshop too!

    here