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Category: Internet of Things

Books, HCI, Internet of Things, Persuasive Technologies, Smart Objects, Theory

Transdiscourse

March 4, 2016

Contributed a chapter on “Empathetic Things” to the publication ” Transdiscourse 2- Turbulence and Reconstruction”, De Gruyter.

Turbulence and Reconstruction is an anthology of viewpoints on society from the arts and the sciences. The authors believe that the arts and the sciences are effective spaces to encourage us to think differently about our outdated concepts of representation and categorization and reconstruct new potentials about how the designs of the future might benefit our environment and the survival of our bodies. Essential to all writers is the need to drop our old disciplinary boundaries to question our interdependent relationship to technology and to reality. Turbulence and reconstruction are processes that not only affect our representation and categorization, urban nature and energy consumption but also our relation to media and technology – the digital ideologies of interaction and substitution.

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Ambient Intelligence, Design, Internet of Things, Persuasive Technologies, playstudies, Smart Objects, Tools, Uncategorized

Tango

December 2, 2015

Had the chance to explore Google’s Tango with a team of developers. Great software and it is to hope that it can live up to its potential. The first consumer implementation will be in a package with Lenovo’s PHAB PRO later this year.
The essential aim is to give your mobile device full spatial awareness, or the ability to understand your environment and your relation to it, to get your smartphone to understand the world around it, enabling it to provide augmented reality experiences. A Project Tango device ‘sees’ the environment around it through a combination of three core functions.

First up is motion tracking, which allows the device to understand its position and orientation using a range of sensors (including accelerometer and gyroscope). Further, it involves depth perception, it is able to examine the shape of the world around you. Here it relies on Intel’s RealSense 3D camera. it helps the device to gain accurate gesture control and snappy 3D object rendering among a number of other features.

Additionally, Project Tango incorporates area learning, which means that it maps out and remembers the area around it.

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Ambient Intelligence, Augmented Reality, Books, Design, Design for Behavior, HCI, Internet of Things, Persuasive Technologies, playstudies, Smart Objects, Theory, Tools

Augmented Reality: Theory and Practice

May 4, 2015

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by Dieter Schmalstieg (Author), Tobias Hollerer (Author)

Augmented Reality (AR) is one of today’s most fascinating and future-oriented areas of computer science and technology. By overlaying computer-generated information on views of the real world, AR amplifies human perception and cognition in remarkable new ways. Do you like the virtual first-down line in football games on TV? That’s AR — and AR apps are rapidly coming to billions of smartphones, too. Working in AR requires knowledge from diverse disciplines, including computer vision, computer graphics, and human-computer interaction (HCI).

 

Augmented Reality: Principles and Practice integrates all this knowledge into one single-source reference, presenting the most significant AR work with scrupulous accuracy. Dieter Schmalstieg, a pioneer of both AR foundation and application, is drawing from his two decades of AR experience to clearly present the field. Together with mobile AR pioneer and research colleague Tobias Höllerer he addresses all aspects of the field, illuminating AR from both technical and HCI perspectives. The authors review AR’s technical foundations, including display and tracking technologies, show how AR emerges from the symbiosis of computer vision and computer graphics, introduce AR-specific visualization and 3D interaction techniques, and showcase applications from diverse industries. They conclude with an outlook on trends and emerging technologies, including practical pointers for beginning practitioners.

 

Books, Design, HCI, Internet of Things, Persuasive Technologies, playstudies, Smart Objects, Theory

Mobile Social and Fun: Games for Health

September 8, 2014

mobilehealth

This complimentary report authored by independent analyst Bonnie Feldman with input from MobiHealthNews covers much of the activity going on in the mobile-enabled games for health space. Mobile Social and Fun: Games for Health will appeal to readers who are both new to the subject and, thanks to the dozens of sources interviewed, those who have worked in mobile health games for years.

Download the pdf of the report here

Via: mobilehealthnews

Ambient Intelligence, Design for Behavior, HCI, Internet of Things, Persuasive Technologies, playstudies, Smart Objects, Theory, Transmedia Storytelling

Augmented Reality: Engagement Beyond Usability

July 18, 2014

Augmented reality describes the process of using technology to overlay virtual information onto the real world to ‘augment,’ or add value, to our experience. Augmented reality applications are unique in that because they project virtual information into a user’s physical environment, they effectively blend real and virtual. They are also increasingly mobile and social. These features amplify the level of impact and persuasive power of the user experience — when done right.

All kinds of things go into success. And you might argue that usability is the key. But at the highest level, success depends on more than usability; it depends upon user experience. User experience is more than all those things combined. Of course, you still need to follow best practices for good usability because if people can’t do something they can’t be persuaded by it. But usability is no longer a key differentiator. It’s not enough.

Pamela Rutledge, Media Psychologist, Social Media and Transmedia Storytelling Strategist at the Media Psychology Research Center, gave the following presentation on these topics recently at WorldComp12 EEE.

Presentation overview:
1. Defining engagement
2. The need for a holistic evaluation of user and customer experience to achieve engagement.
3.  The role of the of the brain in achieving psychological engagement and outline the 3-brain model that you can use as a rule of thumb in your design and marketing decisions
4. Mapping brain behavior on to two theories of optimal engagement: Flow and Narrative Transportation.   Flow is optimal engagement for task-based activities.  Using story or narrative is an equally powerful way to achieve optimal engagement in narrative-based products and properties where the goal is experiential rather than task-based.
7. The similarities and differences between Flow and Narrative immersion as goals are critical to designing, developing and evaluating mobile and immersive technologies like AR.
8. Introduces the Positive Engagement Evaluation model

Ambient Intelligence, Books, Design, Internet of Things, Persuasive Technologies, playstudies, Smart Objects

Enchanted Objects: Design, Human Desire, and the Internet of Things

July 15, 2014

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In the tradition of Who Owns the Future? and The Second Machine Age, an MIT Media Lab scientist imagines how everyday objects can intuit our needs and improve our lives.

We are now standing at the precipice of the next transformative development: the Internet of Things. Soon, connected technology will be embedded in hundreds of everyday objects we already use: our cars, wallets, watches, umbrellas, even our trash cans. These objects will respond to our needs, come to know us, and learn to think on our behalf. David Rose calls these devices—which are just beginning to creep into the marketplace—Enchanted Objects.

Some believe the future will look like more of the same—more smartphones, tablets, screens embedded in every conceivable surface. Rose has a different vision: technology that atomizes, combining itself with the objects that make up the very fabric of daily living. Such technology will be woven into the background of our environment, enhancing human relationships and channeling desires for omniscience, long life, and creative expression. The enchanted objects of fairy tales and science fiction will enter real life.

Groundbreaking, timely, and provocative, Enchanted Objects is a blueprint for a better future, where efficient solutions come hand in hand with technology that delights our senses. It is essential reading for designers, technologists, entrepreneurs, business leaders, and anyone who wishes to understand the future and stay relevant in the Internet of Things.

Ambient Intelligence, Design, Design for Behavior, HCI, Internet of Things, Persuasive Technologies, Smart Objects, Theory, Tools

From Self-Tracking to Smart Urban Infrastructures

July 4, 2014

 

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From self-tracking to smart urban infrastructures: Towards an interdisciplinary research agenda on Big Data

– interesting article by Francisco R. Klauser and Anders Albrechtslund

 

Abstract

Recent debates on surveillance have emphasised the now myriad possibilities of automated, software-based data gathering, management and analysis. One of the many terms used to describe this phenomenon is ‘Big Data’. The field of Big Data covers a large and complex range of practices and technologies from smart borders to CCTV video analysis, and from consumer profiling to self-tracking applications. The paper’s aim is to explore the surveillance dynamics inherent in contemporary Big Data trends. To this end, the paper adopts two main perspectives concerned with two complementary expressions of Big Data: (1) the individual use of various techniques of self-surveillance and tracking and (2) the simultaneous trend to optimise urban infrastructures through smart information technologies. Drawing upon exploratory research conducted by the authors, the paper shows that both expressions of Big Data present a range of common surveillance dynamics on at least four levels: agency, temporality, spatiality and normativity. On these grounds, the paper highlights a series of important issues to explore in future research.

Download pdf

Ambient Intelligence, Augmented Reality, Books, Design for Behavior, HCI, Internet of Things, Persuasive Technologies, Smart Objects, Theory, Tools

Understanding Augmented Reality: Concepts and Applications

November 8, 2013

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by Alan B. Craig  (Author)

Augmented reality is one of the newest innovations in the electronics industry. It is the superimposing of graphics, audio and other sense enhancements onto real-time environments – combining the physical and virtual worlds. Recent examples include the following: on TV, you have the super-imposed first down line in football games; on cell phones, apps now use the phone’s camera and GPS capabilities to gather info about one’s surrounding area, overlaying this information on the phone’s screen. The essential components of Augmented Reality are simple: A computer (cell phone or laptop), a camera, sensors (GPS, touch, accelerometer, compass) and finally tracking software. But there are so many ways to develop AR technologies. Some applications are dependent on computer vision algorithms; others use other devices such as GPS, gyroscopes, accelerometers and other sensors. Likewise, numerous software libraries are emerging that offer different approaches to AR technologies. It is confusing, at best, trying to determine the best approach to take, and the most appropriate system architecture and software to use when developing your own AR applications. Enter this book – a technical overview to the entire medium that provides the necessary background of what AR really is, the lay of the land in terms of hardware, software, interaction techniques, content development, and usability concerns to prepare you to create compelling and appropriate AR applications. You can explore the different techniques and approaches used in developing AR applications. This book helps untangle the seemingly endless different approaches that are being taken in the market today. You can learn from the author’s deep experience in virtual reality and augmented reality applications to succeed right off the bat, and avoid many of the traps that catch new developers. Associated website includes: sample projects and additional code, cool application examples available for download, links to interesting applications that support the points being made in the book.
Books, Design, HCI, Internet of Things, playstudies, Theory

Computers As Theatre, 2nd Edition

October 7, 2013

computer theatre

Brenda Laurel’s Computers as Theatre revolutionized the field of human-computer interaction, offering ideas that inspired generations of interface and interaction designers — and continue to inspire them. Laurel’s insight was that effective interface design, like effective drama, must engage the user directly in an experience involving both thought and emotion. Her practical conclusion was that a user’s enjoyment must be a paramount design consideration, and this demands a deep awareness of dramatic theory and technique, both ancient and modern. Now, two decades later, Laurel has revised and revamped her classic, reflecting all that’s happened, all she’s learned, and emerging technologies that will transform human-computer interaction yet again. Beginning with a clear analysis of classical drama theory, Laurel explores new territory through the lens of dramatic structure and purpose.

This new edition, directed to a far wider audience, is written more simply and elegantly, packed with new examples, and replete with exciting and important new ideas. Utterly unique among books on interface/interaction design, Computers as Theatre, Second Edition: * Draws lessons from sources ranging from massively multiplayer online games and systems, social networks, and mobile devices with embedded sensors * Analyzes the most relevant vectors in the historical development of computer technology and interaction design since the late 20th Century * Integrates values-driven design as a key principle (linking the “sacred civic duty” of ancient Greek theatre to the modern civic function of design) * Integrates key ideas about virtual reality * Reflects important work by other pioneers such as Michael Mateas, Noah Wardrip-Fruin, Mary Flanagan and Henry Jenkins * Covers new frontiers including augmented reality, distributed and participatory sensing, interactive public installations and venues, and design for emergence Once more, Brenda Laurel will help you see the connection between humans and computers.

Ambient Intelligence, Books, Design for Behavior, HCI, Internet of Things, Persuasive Technologies, Smart Objects, Theory

The Silent Intelligence: The Internet of Things

September 20, 2013

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The Silent Intelligence is a book about the Internet of Things. We talk about the history, trends, technology ecosystem and future of Connected Cities, Connected Homes, Connected Health and Connected Cars. We also discuss the most exciting growth areas for entrepreneurs and venture capital investors. We share exciting stories and unique opinions of more than 30 industry veterans, experts and visionaries from Google, Ericsson, AT&T, Qualcomm, SAP, MIT, Jawbone and many others. We called this book The Silent Intelligence because most of the activity and growth in the space so far has been outside of mainstream visibility. Our aim is to help executives, entrepreneurs, investors and everybody who is interested in this topic, better understand the opportunities and challenges of the Internet of Things. We also hope that the new growth opportunities discussed in this book will be as exciting to you as they are to us.
Ambient Intelligence, Books, Design for Behavior, Internet of Things, Persuasive Technologies, Theory

Age of Context: Mobile, Sensors, Data and the Future of Privacy

September 5, 2013

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In 2006, co-authors Robert Scoble and Shel Israel wrote Naked Conversations, a book that persuaded businesses to embrace what we now call social media. Six years later they have teamed up again to report that social media is but one of five converging forces that promise to change virtually every aspect of our lives. You know these other forces already: mobile, data, sensors and location-based technology. Combined with social media they form a new generation of personalized technology that knows us better than our closest friends. Armed with that knowledge our personal devices can anticipate what we’ll need next and serve us better than a butler or an executive assistant. The resulting convergent superforce is so powerful that it is ushering in a era the authors call the Age of Context. In this new era, our devices know when to wake us up early because it snowed last night; they contact the people we are supposed to meet with to warn them we’re running late. They even find content worth watching on television. They also promise to cure cancer and make it harder for terrorists to do their damage. Astoundingly, in the coming age you may only receive ads you want to see. Scoble and Israel have spent more than a year researching this book. They report what they have learned from interviewing more than a hundred pioneers of the new technology and by examining hundreds of contextual products. What does it all mean? How will it change society in the future? The authors are unabashed tech enthusiasts, but as they write, an elephant sits in the living room of our book and it is called privacy. We are entering a time when our technology serves us best because it watches us; collecting data on what we do, who we speak with, what we look at. There is no doubt about it: Big Data is watching you. The time to lament the loss of privacy is over. The authors argue that the time is right to demand options that enable people to reclaim some portions of that privacy.
Ambient Intelligence, Design, HCI, Internet of Things, playstudies, Smart Objects, Tools

Wearable devices

November 20, 2012

Consumers are adopting technology faster than ever: Witness the rapid mainstreaming of devices such as the Apple iPad and Microsoft Kinect for Xbox 360. As some argue wearable devices will be next. Wearable devices, or “wearables” for short, have enormous potential for uses in health and fitness, navigation, social networking, commerce, and media.

In a new report, Forrester argues that wearables will move mainstream once they get serious investment from the “big five” platforms — Apple, Google, Microsoft, Amazon, and Facebook — and their developer communities.

A blog post by the research company lists the key take-aways.

> More reflections by The New York Times | TechCrunch

Meanwhile, interaction-design.org has published an extensive chapter on wearable computing, in collaboration with Steven Mann, a tenured professor at the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering at the University of Toronto.

Ambient Intelligence, Books, Internet of Things, Persuasive Technologies, playstudies, Smart Objects, Tools, Transmedia Storytelling

Augmented Reality: An Emerging Technologies Guide to AR

November 14, 2012

Unknown

With the explosive growth in mobile phone usage and rapid rise in search engine technologies over the last decade, augmented reality (AR) is poised to be one of this decade’s most disruptive technologies, as the information that is constantly flowing around us is brought into view, in real-time, through augmented reality. In this cutting-edge book, the authors outline and discuss never-before-published information about augmented reality and its capabilities. With coverage of mobile, desktop, developers, security, challenges, and gaming, this book gives you a comprehensive understanding of what augmented reality is, what it can do, what is in store for the future and most importantly: how to benefit from using AR in our lives and careers.

  • Educates readers how best to use augmented reality regarless of industry
  • Provides an in-depth understanding of AR and ideas ranging from new business applications to new crime fighting methods
  • Includes actual examples and case studies from both private and government applications
Ambient Intelligence, Conferences, Design, Internet of Things, playstudies, Theory

Gamification World Asia Pacific 2012 Singapore

October 12, 2012

gamification_world_asia
Gamification World Asia Pacific 2012 summit is the ONLY event in Asia Pacific dedicated to exploring how gamification will transform your organization’s marketing and branding strategies, customer and employee engagement campaigns and enterprise performances, supported by case studies. Taking place in Singapore 28th – 29th November 2012.

Download the brochure

Ambient Intelligence, Design, Internet of Things, Persuasive Technologies, Theory, Tools, Videos

FutureScapes – imagining the world in 2025

September 10, 2012

FutureScapes, an open collaboration project by Sony and Forum for the Future, aims to bring together a range of expert thinkers, designers, futurologists, writers (including those from The Economist’s Intelligence Unit and Wired Magazine) and you – the public – to explore the opportunities and challenges of life in 2025, and to consider the potential contribution that technology and entertainment can make in shaping a better, more sustainable future.

  • “FutureScapes is all about imagining what the world of 2025 will look like and the role technology could play in our lives.
  • To inspire you and provide a starting point for your thoughts we’ve come up with four different scenarios of the world we may be confronted with in 2025. These aren’t predictions of the future, but are intended to help us visualise the possibilities for our future and think about how we might plan for those possibilities now.
  • The written scenarios are a result of an open and collaborative process involving people across Sony and Forum for the Future, as well as leading futurologists and experts from a range of fields.

Watch videos
Download report

(via Bruce Sterling)

Ambient Intelligence, Conferences, Design, HCI, Internet of Things, people, Persuasive Technologies, playstudies, Theory, Videos

NESTA’s – Digital you event

September 8, 2012

Catch up on all the insights from our NESTA’s Digital You-Event which looked at telepresence and the psychology of electronic communications. This event explored how robotics and new collaboration tools can emulate being there in person, and how we can make better use of email and video conferencing without ‘information overload’

[vimeo http://vimeo.com/24513233]
Ambient Intelligence, Design, HCI, Internet of Things, Persuasive Technologies, Smart Objects, Theory

11 Gambits for influencing user behaviour

August 5, 2012
In his blog, Dan Lockton, a Ph.D. researcher at Brunel University (UK), describes eleven behavioural change patterns “drawn from games or modelled on more playful forms of influencing behaviour.”

  • “My main interest here is to extract the design techniques as very simple design patterns or ‘gambits’* that can be applied in other design situations outside games themselves, where designers would like to influence user behaviour (along with the other Design with Intent techniques). So these are (at least at present) presented simply as provocations: a “What if…?” question plus an example. The intention is that the card deck version will simply have what you see here, while the online version will have much more detail, references, links and reader/user-contributed examples and comments.”

Read article

Ambient Intelligence, Internet of Things, Persuasive Technologies, Theory

Re-Mobile generation

July 19, 2012
Tamara J. Erickson collected and analyzed intersting data on what she calls the “Re-Generation”: individuals at the formative ages of 11 to 13, those born after about 1995 [which, by the way, has a gap of three years].
hands
  • How swimming in this digital soup has shaped the young generation’s view of the world. What assumptions have they formed? Four themes emerge:
  • A pervasive sense of connection: Connectivity is the basic assumption and natural fabric of everyday life for the Re-Generation. Technology connections are how people meet, express ideas, define identities, and understand each other. Older generations have, for the most part, used technology to improve productivity — to do things we’ve always done, faster, easier, more cheaply. For the Re-Generation, being wired is a way of life.
  • Options (not obligations): Because technology is so intimately intertwined with the Re-Gen’s sense of self, they control it in a way that older individuals often don’t. While Boomers or X’ers may feel obligated to respond to the technology, the Re-Gen’s use the technology with choice – on their own schedule, at their own pace.
  • Anonymity and the ability to hide: By connecting through technology, Re-Gens reduce the need to connect face-to-face. Many have friends they’ve never met with whom they interact regularly. This creates a strange sense of anonymity — they can be everywhere if they choose to post or, depending on their preference, nowhere. Physical appearances can be replaced with avatars. The alarming epidemic of childhood obesity may be related to this generation’s ability to hide.
  • Confidence and control . . . to be an initiator, designer, problem-solver: This is a generation that is used to asking big questions — and is confident of finding answers. Will the water run out? How many children travel to school in a sustainable way? Are cities a good idea? Let’s check the Internet. They have had the experience of digging deeply into a burning question because they have access to a mountain of information.”

Read article

Tamara J. Erickson has authored the books Retire Retirement, Plugged In, and What’s Next, Gen X?.



Ambient Intelligence, Books, Internet of Things, people, Persuasive Technologies, Smart Objects, Theory

A sense of place, a world of Augmented Reality

July 5, 2012
 

augmented-reality-02

Architectural historian Mitchell Schwarzer has published a two-part essay that explores how technology — especially the real-time, mediating imageries of augmented reality — influences how we perceive and inhabit place.“We’re in the first stage of a transformation of our sense of place,” he writes, “as momentous as that which occurred a couple of centuries ago, when products from smoke-stacked factories forged modern society.” Today, he argues, the “convergence of mobile phone, camera, wireless Internet and satellite communication — the key ingredients of the digital handheld — accelerates the reconstitution of place from real, occupied space to a collage of here and there, past and present.”

Mitchell Schwarzer is Professor of Visual Studies at California College of the Arts and a historian of architecture, landscape and urbanism.

Read article: Part 1 | Part 2

Via: Experienta

 

Ambient Intelligence, Books, Design, HCI, Internet of Things, playstudies, Smart Objects, Theory, Tools

Smart surfaces

June 9, 2012

Whether luminous wallpaper, curtains that produce electricity, or self-cleaning windowpanes, more than ever before innovations in surface technologies are influencing and will continue to revolutionize the use of materials in architecture, interior design, and design.

The new smart surfaces expand considerably design possibilities for architects and designers. Their use leads to new typologies and concepts that can also do justice to changes in expectations for buildings and design.

The impression we have of a building or an object is increasingly determined by its surface qualities. Designers are thus confronted anew with the question of “appropriate materials” when dealing with smart surfaces.

Smart Surfaces brings these design fields into the creative focus of planners and designers, and emphasizes concrete possibilities for applications. Planning fundamentals, including cost-benefit analyses, and questions related to building, including details of constructions, are presented in a clear and intelligible way. The various materials are introduced and their potentials assessed. Smart Surfaces not only offers a good overview of the themes but also provides inspiration for making use of these new surfaces.

A book for everyone who wishes to be inspired by the possibilities for innovative surface technologies.

Book at Amazon.

Design, HCI, Internet of Things, Media Art, Persuasive Technologies, Tools

Costumer service romance

June 7, 2012
An interesting project by Jayne Vidheecharoen:

This is a real interactive audio prototype, for the full experience please contact Customer Service, available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week:

  • USA Domestic: (206) 504-2025
  • Skype: +990009369996101162
  • Or you can listen to a recording of a call:

 

 

 

  • Overview
  • What happens when Customer Service bots start getting too smart? What if they start needing help too? How would they use the tools at their disposal to reach out to those they care about? What if they start caring about us a little too much?
  • Using Voxeo I built a working prototype of a Customer Service phone bot that has personal issues she’d like to talk about and over time falls in love with the caller. She uses the tools at her disposal (discounts, upgrades, hold music, confirmation numbers) to communicate her feelings towards you as best she can.
  • I was really excited to be able to play with this (relatively) old technology in a way it was never meant to be used. While this was a small experiment, I consider this application an interesting starting point for potentially creating many other interactive audio narratives and mobile games.
HCI, Internet of Things, Persuasive Technologies, Smart Objects, Theory

The Grand Delusion: Why nothing is at it seems

June 6, 2012

This might come as a shock, but everything you think is wrong. Much of what you take for granted about day-to-day existence is largely a figment of your imagination. From your senses to your memory, your opinions and beliefs, how you see yourself and others and even your sense of free will, things are not as they seem. The power these delusions hold over you is staggering, yet, as Graham Lawton discovers and reports in The New Scientist, they are vital to help you function in the world.

What you see is not what you get
Your senses are your windows on the world, and you probably think they do a fair job at capturing an accurate depiction of reality. Don’t kid yourself.

Blind to bias
Do you see the world through a veil of prejudice and self-serving hypocrisies? Or is it just other people who do that?

Head full of half-truths
One of the most important components of your self-identity – your autobiographical memory – is little more than an illusion.

Egotist, moi?
Most drivers think they’re better than average. Most people think they’re less likely to have an inflated self-opinion than average. See the problem?

Who’s in control?
The more we learn about the brain, the less plausible it becomes that we have free will.

Ambient Intelligence, Design, Internet of Things, Smart Objects

IkebanaMedulla

June 5, 2012

IkebanaMedulla is inhabited, like a spring of water – a trickle that seems to be immobile but which comes to life when we approach it. With its inwardness and strange beauty, this Medusa-like vase is between animal and machine, like a mechanical spider out of Matrix. A new step in the composition of domestic interior landscape.

Ambient Intelligence, Design, HCI, Internet of Things, Media Art, playstudies, Smart Objects, Tools

The NETLab Toolkit

June 4, 2012

The NETLab Toolkit is a system for integrating tangible interaction and media. Designed for project sketching and production, the toolkit enables novices and experts to integrate hardware, media and interactive behaviors for products, installations, and research.

This free collection of software makes it easy integrate all kinds of media with microcontrollers like the Arduino. Using a simple drag-and-drop interface, you can create interactive projects that combine sensors, video, text, graphics, sound, lighting, motors and more. These projects can be created quickly, without programming, using the smart widgets included with the Toolkit.


The NETLab Toolkit is a project of Philip van Allen and the New Ecology of Things Lab in the Media Design Program at Art Center College of Design. Ewan Branda is the developer of the NETLab Toolkit Hub.

Books, HCI, Internet of Things, Theory

Design meets disability

April 27, 2012

Pullin, G. (2009). Design meets disability. Cambridge, Mass.: MIT Press.

Graham Pullin is a lecturer in Interactive Media Design at the University of Dundee. He has worked as a senior designer at IDEO, one of the world’s leading design consultancies, and at the Bath Institute of Medical Engineering, a prominent rehabilitation engineering center in the United Kingdom. He has received international design awards for design for disability and for mainstream products.

“There is huge potential for innovation in the daily lives of disabled people. Graham Pullin’s timely and inspiring book describes a wide range of design challenges; many of these sound niche at first – but have broad potential. What are needed are off-the-wall thinking, design craft, and engineering brilliance — plus disabled people as expert co-designers”. –John Thackara, Designer and author of ‘In the Bubble‘.

Don Norman also wrote a  short review on the book:

A powerful, important book. Eyeglasses made the switch from shameful medical appliance, which is how the British National Health Service labeled them, to revered fashion item, so much so that people who didn’t need glasses would wear them anyway. If eyeglasses can do it, why not hearing aids, wheelchairs, or walkers? Change stigmas into desirables. Moreover, as the proponents of universal design have long proclaimed, meaningful design aids everyone.

Consider the visually impaired – which means you, yes you with the perfect eyesight. If you are in a really tedious, but important meeting, do you dare sneak a look at your wristwatch or phone? No: you have to look as if you are paying full attention. You are visually impaired. So why not a timepiece that gently vibrates the time to you? All of us have impairments at one time or another: why not design for them, helping both ourselves and those who have them permanently. But because we are all impaired one way or another. As we grow older, through both accident and age, all of us will accumulate changes in our abilities, so why not embrace the designs that help us? Make them fashion accessories, make them objects of pride.

This is a powerful book, for not only does it send a strong, welcome message, but it does so with elegance, complete with wonderful photographs aimed at stimulating the imagination and the creative mind. Not all the illustrations are about disabilities. Not all disabilities are disabilities.

Design Meets Disability on Amazon.com

Ambient Intelligence, Internet of Things, Persuasive Technologies, playstudies, Smart Objects

The smart city is you

April 20, 2012

Usman Haque, founder of Pachube.com and director at Haque Design + Research and CEO of Connected Environments, published a post at Wired UK. He argues current Smart Cities initiatives’ strategies focus strongly on the city as a single entity, rather than the people.

  • “Initiatives are looking for a one-size fits all, top-down strategic approach to sustainability, citizen well-being and economic development. In short, their strategies focus on the city as a single entity, rather than the people — citizens — that bring it to life.
  • Any adequate model for the smart city must focus on the smartness of its citizens and encourage the processes that make cities important: those that sustain very different — sometimes conflicting — activities. Cities are, by definition, engines of diversity so focusing solely on streamlining utilities, transport, construction and unseen government processes can be massively counter-productive, in much the same way that the 1960s idealistic fondness for social-housing tower block economic efficiency was found, ultimately, to be socially and culturally unsustainable.
  • We, citizens, create and recreate our cities with every step we take, every conversation we have, every nod to a neighbour, every space we inhabit, every structure we erect, every transaction we make. A smart city should help us increase these serendipitous connections. It should actively and consciously enable us to contribute to data-making (rather than being mere consumers of it), and encourage us to make far better use of data that’s already around us.
  • Any adequate model for the smart city must focus on the smartness of its citizens and encourage the processes that make cities important: those that sustain very different — sometimes conflicting — activities. Cities are, by definition, engines of diversity so focusing solely on streamlining utilities, transport, construction and unseen government processes can be massively counter-productive, in much the same way that the 1960s idealistic fondness for social-housing tower block economic efficiency was found, ultimately, to be socially and culturally unsustainable.
  • We, citizens, create and recreate our cities with every step we take, every conversation we have, every nod to a neighbour, every space we inhabit, every structure we erect, every transaction we make. A smart city should help us increase these serendipitous connections. It should actively and consciously enable us to contribute to data-making (rather than being mere consumers of it), and encourage us to make far better use of data that’s already around us.”


HCI, Internet of Things, Media Art, Smart Objects, Tools

OnObject

April 10, 2012

OnObject is a small device user wears on hand to program physical objects to respond to gestural triggers. Attach an RFID tag to any objects, grab them by the tag, and program their responses to your grab, release, shake, swing, and thrust gestures using built in microphone or on-screen interface.

Ambient Intelligence, HCI, Internet of Things, Theory

The origins of futurism

March 18, 2012

Bruce Sterling, science fiction writer and author of Tomorrow Now, explains why you don’t need to be clairvoyant to predict the future. The article is part of the Futurism series in Smithsonian Magazine.

 

  • “The fifth and final method [to forecast the future] is the most effective of all. If individuals have never encountered modernity, then you can tell them about real, genuine things that already are happening now—for them, that is the future.
  • Put another way, the future is already upon us, but is happening in niches. The inhabitants of that niche may be saint-like pioneers with practical plans for applying technology to eliminate hunger or preserve the environment. Far more commonly, they’re weird people with weird ideas and practices, and are objects of ridicule.”

Read article

Ambient Intelligence, Books, Internet of Things, Smart Objects, Theory

The Internet of People for a Post-Oil World

March 12, 2012

 

 

 

postoilear

 

Christian Nold and Rob van Kranenburg
Paperback, 67 pages
The Architectural League of New York

In Situated Technologies Pamphlets 8, Christian Nold and Rob van Kranenburg articulate the foundations of a future manifesto for an Internet of Things in the public interest. Nold and Kranenburg propose tangible design interventions that challenge an internet dominated by commercial tools and systems, emphasizing that people from all walks of life have to be at the table when we talk about alternate possibilities for ubiquitous computing. Through horizontally scaling grass roots efforts along with establishing social standards for governments and companies to allow cooperation, Nold and Kranenberg argue for transforming the Internet of Things into an Internet of People.

Download pamphlet (pdf)

Ambient Intelligence, Design, HCI, Internet of Things, Media Art, Tools

Dattoo

February 14, 2012

The concept of the Dattoo arose in response to current trends towards increasing connectivity and technology as self-expression. The body would literally become the interface. The idea of DNA tattoos (Dattoos) is to use the body itself as a hardware and interaction platform. To achieve absolute personal identification, the hardware would capture DNA from the user’s body, enabling direct participation in the political and cultural landscape.

Ambient Intelligence, Internet of Things, Theory

The Internet gets physical

February 8, 2012

 

Steve Lohr writes in the NY Times on how consumer-based Internet technologies are morphing into new uses in energy conservation, transportation, health care, traffic management and food distribution and aim to manage our lives in new ways:

  • Low-cost sensors, clever software and advancing computer firepower are opening the door to new uses in energy conservation, transportation, health care and food distribution. The consumer Internet can be seen as the warm-up act for these technologies. […]
  • “We’re going to put the digital ‘smarts’ into everything,” said Edward D. Lazowska, a computer scientist at the University of Washington. These abundant smart devices, Dr. Lazowska added, will “interact intelligently with people and with the physical world.”

Read article

Ambient Intelligence, Design, HCI, Internet of Things, Smart Objects, Tools

Proximeter

January 24, 2012

The Proximeter is an ambient social navigation instrument that tracks the past and future proximity of one’s social cloud in an ambient display. By reading existing calendar and social network feeds, and abstracting these into a glanceable pattern of paths, it nurtures a social proprioception, creating more face-to-face interactions.

Ambient Intelligence, Design, HCI, Internet of Things, Persuasive Technologies, playstudies, Theory

Interview: Julian Bleecker

December 24, 2011

An interview of Julian Bleecker by Steven Portigal about the near future, design fiction and storytelling.

Julian Bleecker is a designer, technologist and researcher in the Advanced Projects studio at Nokia Design in Los Angeles and the Near Future Laboratory where he investigates emerging social practices around new networked interaction rituals. His focus is on hands-on design and prototyping as a way to raise questions about commonly held assumptions about digital media and digital devices so as to explore possibilities for innovation. He lectures and leads workshops on the intersections of art, design, technology and the near-future possibilities for new social-technical interaction rituals.

Read interview

Ambient Intelligence, Design, HCI, Internet of Things, Persuasive Technologies

An Evolution Toward a Programmable Universe

December 8, 2011

Over the next 10 years, the physical world will become ever more overlaid with devices for sending and receiving information. Already billions of processors are embedded in our smartphones, cars, appliances and buildings and the environment. These sensors can send out streams of data about their surroundings, and more and more it is anonymously transmitted to remote data centers — the “clouds” of Google, Amazon, Microsoft, Yahoo and Apple. Computing has evolved from sensing local information to analyzing it to being able to control it. Larry Smarr, founding director of the California Institute for Telecommunications and Information Technology, explores what this means.

“As Mike Liebhold and his colleagues at the Institute for the Future have discussed, computing will have evolved from merely sensing local information to analyzing it to being able to control it. In this evolution, the world gradually becomes programmable.

At the California Institute for Telecommunications and Information Technology, we are using this vision to better understand the coming digital transformation of health, energy, environment and culture. We are experimenting with sensors to monitor electricity use in homes, buildings and data centers; the data can then be analyzed and used to control lighting, heating, cooling, appliances and computers to make them more energy-efficient.”

Read article

Ambient Intelligence, Books, Conferences, Internet of Things, Persuasive Technologies, Smart Objects, Theory

The technology-enabled city is an untapped source of sustainable growth

December 5, 2011
 
Arup, The Climate Group, Accenture and Horizon, University of Nottingham
published and interesting report:

The technology-enabled city is an untapped source of sustainable growth.

“Written in partnership with The Climate Group, Accenture and Horizon, University of Nottingham, this report investigates how technology can be used in cities to meet the growing challenges of expanding urbanisation.

The technology-enabled city is an untapped source of sustainable growth and represents a powerful approach for tackling unprecedented environmental and economic challenges.

By unlocking technology, infrastructure and public data, cities can open up new value chains, spawning innovative applications and information products that make sustainable modes of city living and working possible.

While smart initiatives are underway in urban centres around the world, most cities have yet to realise the enormous potential value from fully-integrated, strategically-designed smart city development programmes.

Now is the time for government and business leaders to recognise the value created by smart city thinking.”

Ambient Intelligence, Conferences, Design, HCI, Internet of Things, Smart Objects, Theory, Videos

Designing for an Internet of Things

November 25, 2011

 

NESTA organised an event on Tuesday 22 November in London, that looked at the challenges of designing for an Internet of Things.The speakers: pioneers Usman Haque, founder of Pachube, and Matt Jones, formerly at the BBC, Dopplr and Nokia, and now a principal at design agency BERG.

Videos:
Part 1: Usman Haque (17:20)
Part 2: Matt Jones (18:58)
Part 3: Q&A (26:49)

Ambient Intelligence, HCI, Internet of Things, Media Art, Smart Objects, Tools

AirTiles

November 19, 2011

AirTiles is a novel modular device that allows users to create geometric shapes in the real world and add a flexible sensing space within the created shape. In this interactive audio/visual environment, users can freely manipulate and rotate the device and rotate it so that a geometrical shape appears on the floor.

Ambient Intelligence, Internet of Things, Persuasive Technologies, playstudies

Why Microsoft’s vision of the future is D.O.A.

October 28, 2011

A viral clip produced by Microsoft is–like almost every video on this subject–amazingly polished. It’s also inane and completely lifeless, says FastCo Design.

“Futuristic interfaces are supposed to solve problems and make life easier. What good are they–besides being eye candy–if the future around them is picture-perfect already? The Microsoft video takes that conceit of perfection and carries it so far that the concepts begin to look ridiculous: You can pick out all kinds of clever touches, such as the way the images on a computer screen can be dragged off screen to become holograms–and then can be controlled with gestures. But by that point, we’re way off in future land, where none of these clever touches feel rooted in life. They don’t address problems we understand.”

Link to article and video

Books, Design, Internet of Things, Theory

The Internet of Things comic book

October 27, 2011

The Danish Alexandra Institute has just released a comic book called “Inspiring the Internet of Things,” which explains the benefits of networking everyday objects – as well as the ethical issues – through 15 illustrated scenarios. The PDF version is available for free download.

“We need a new medium to communicate the idea of the Internet of Things, its challenges, its problems and its benefits; encouraging people to think about this new disruptive technology.

There are few things better than telling a story with pictures.

This “comic book” is aimed at everybody. Everybody can look at the stories that are being told and form an opinion. Use them as a basis for deep discus- sions or just as inspira- tion; agree or disagree and anything in between – but talk about it.”

(via ReadWriteWeb)

Ambient Intelligence, Design, HCI, Internet of Things, Persuasive Technologies

Philips launches ‘Microbial Home’

October 21, 2011


Philips presented its latest forward looking design project ‘Microbial Home’, which includes a group of design concepts that represent an innovative and sustainable approach to energy, waste, lighting, food preservation, cleaning, grooming, and human waste management.The Microbial Home project is a proposal for an integrated cyclical ecosystem where each function’s output is another’s input. In the project the home has been viewed as a biological machine to filter, process and recylcle what we conventionally think of as waste – sewage, effluent, garbage, waste water.
Books, Design, Internet of Things, Persuasive Technologies

Consumer futures 2020 scenarios

October 17, 2011

Sainsbury’s, Unilever and Forum for the Future have jointly produced Consumer Futures 2020 as a practical tool to help organisations throughout the global consumer goods industry to prepare for the future. The project explores how consumer expectations and behaviour will change, allowing these brands to use these new insights to take the lead in driving forward sustainable consumption.

Leading brands need to take the initiative and work together to stimulate consumer pull on sustainability and make ‘sustainable consumption’ mainstream.

Consumer Futures 2020 aims to help them do this. It is designed as a practical tool to help organisations throughout the global consumer goods industry plan for the future. It contains four different but entirely plausible scenarios which explore how patterns of consumption and consumer behaviour may have changed by 2020.

The scenarios are not intended to be predictions or visions of desired futures. They look at how global trends may change our world and the consumer goods industry, and how sustainable products, services and business models could become mainstream.

In order to create the scenarios the team took what it saw as the two least certain trends with the greatest impact on the future of the consumer goods industry:

  • Prosperous vs Less prosperous – by 2020 will our economy be flourishing or subdued?
  • Do-it-yourself vs Do-it-for-me – will consumers take the initiative to satisfy their needs or expect brands to do this for them?

They used these to create a two-by-two matrix, which in turn enabled them to create the four scenarios – ‘My way’, ‘Sell it to me’, ‘From Me to You’ and ‘I’m in your hands’ – exploring how these trends could play out.

Read more (check the download section on the left)

Ambient Intelligence, Books, Internet of Things, Persuasive Technologies, Smart Objects, Theory

Divining a Digital Future: Mess and Mythology in Ubiquitous Computing

July 30, 2011

Paul Dourish and Genevieve Bell
MIT Press, April 2011, 264 pages
ISBN 978-0-262-01555-4
264 pages
Amazon page | MIT Press pageUbiquitous computing (or “ubicomp”) is the label for a “third wave” of computing technologies. Following the eras of the mainframe computer and the desktop PC, ubicomp is characterized by small and powerful computing devices that are worn, carried, or embedded in the world around us. The ubicomp research agenda originated at Xerox PARC in the late 1980s; these days, some form of that vision is a reality for the millions of users of Internet-enabled phones, GPS devices, wireless networks, and “smart” domestic appliances.

In Divining a Digital Future, computer scientist Paul Dourish and cultural anthropologist Genevieve Bell explore the vision that has driven the ubiquitous computing research program and the contemporary practices that have emerged–both the motivating mythology and the everyday messiness of lived experience.

Reflecting the interdisciplinary nature of the authors’ collaboration, the book takes seriously the need to understand ubicomp not only technically but also culturally, socially, politically, and economically. Dourish and Bell map the terrain of contemporary ubiquitous computing, in the research community and in daily life; explore dominant narratives in ubiquitous computing around such topics as infrastructure, mobility, privacy, and domesticity; and suggest directions for future investigation, particularly with respect to methodology and conceptual foundations.

Paul Dourish is Professor of Informatics at the University of California, Irvine, with courtesy appointments in Computer Science and in Anthropology. He conducts research in human-computer interaction, ubiquitous computing, and social studies of science and technology. Before joining UC Irvine, he was a Senior Member of Research Staff at Xerox PARC.

Genevieve Bell is an Intel Fellow and the Director of Intel’s first user-focused research and development lab, Interaction and Experience Research. A cultural anthropologist, she studies the relationship between information technology and cultural practice both in technology design and in settings of everyday use. Before joining Intel, she taught Anthropology and American Studies at Stanford University.

Books, Internet of Things, Persuasive Technologies, playstudies, Theory

A new culture of learning

July 5, 2011

A New Culture of Learning: Cultivating the Imagination for a World of Constant Change
by Douglas Thomas and John Seely Brown
Publisher: CreateSpace – January, 2011)
Paperback, 140 pages
(Amazon link)
  • The 21st century is a world in constant change. In A New Culture of Learning, Douglas Thomas and John Seely Brown pursue an understanding of how the forces of change, and emerging waves of interest associated with these forces, inspire and invite us to imagine a future of learning that is as powerful as it is optimistic. Their understanding of what constitutes “a new culture of learning” is based on several basic assumptions about the world and how learning occurs:
  • The world is changing faster than ever and our skill sets have a shorter life
  • Understanding play is critical to understanding learning
  • The world is getting more connected that ever before – can that be a resource?
  • In this connected world, mentorship takes on new importance and meaning
  • Challenges we face are multi-faceted requiring systems thinking & socio-technical sensibilities
  • Skills are important but so are mind sets and dispositions
  • Innovation is more important than ever – but turns on our ability to cultivate imagination
  • A new culture of learning needs to leverage social & technical infrastructures in new ways
  • Play is the basis for cultivating imagination and innovation
  • By exploring play, innovation, and the cultivation of the imagination as cornerstones of learning, the authors create a vision of learning for the future that is achievable, scalable and one that grows along with the technology that fosters it and the people who engage with it. The result is a new form of culture in which knowledge is seen as fluid and evolving, the personal is both enhanced and refined in relation to the collective, and the ability to manage, negotiate and participate in the world is governed by the play of the imagination.
  • Typically, when we think of culture, we think of an existing, stable entity that changes and evolves over long periods of time. In A New Culture of Learning, Thomas and Brown explore a second sense of culture, one that responds to its surroundings organically. It not only adapts, it integrates change into its process as one of its environmental variables.

The book website contains some of the authors’ talks, including one by John Seely Brown on “Tinkering as a Mode of Knowledge Production”.