“Apple has added features that make the iPhone and iPad easily accessible, not only to visually impaired people but also to those with hearing loss and other challenges. The iPhone 4 and the iPad 2, for example, come with VoiceOver, a screen reader for those who can’t read print, as well as FaceTime, video-calling software for people who communicate using sign language. Apple has said that iOS 5—due later this year—will contain improvements to VoiceOver and LED flash and custom vibration settings to let users see and feel when someone is calling.
More such devices as the iPad and iPhone will make their way into the workplace to assist people with physical challenges in the next five years. Disability and aging go hand-in-hand: As baby boomers work past age 65, companies will increasingly face this issue. [...]
“Boomers will demand products, services, and workplaces that adapt to their needs and desires,” says Rich Donovan, chief investment officer at WingSail Capital. Crossover technology such as the iPad, which works well both for people with disabilities and the broader consumer market, are the “holy grail” of business and disability efforts and will drive growth in disability-related capital spending, he says.”
Posts in category 'Technology'
“Magic, or enchantment, is the right metaphor for the future of computing. [...]
Magic is a convenient metaphor of connected things because the affordances are there. You understand the object… and this motivates the incremental function. [...]
We can take a lesson from the history of the future to figure out what enchanted things will succeed or fail. The ones that satisfy primal wishes or fantasies will succeed. These primal wishes are revealed through narratives that we know and can analyze. It’s a psychology problem. Especially for Cinderella’s narcissistic stepmother. I’m not sure what robots wish for, but I can tell you what humans want:
We wish for six things that enchanted objects tend to satisfy:
For Omniscience, for human connection, for protection, for health (immortality is better), for effortless mobility or teleportation, and for expression (or creative manifestation).
These are the killer apps.”
Check also David’s recent reflection on the topic of “juicy feedback,” a term that comes from game design and describes when a small action produces a surprisingly large reaction. He uses this paradigm to develop six design ideas relevant to products intended to change people’s behavior.
David’s thinking was inspiring for an article in this month’s Wired Magazine, which argues that by providing people with information about their actions in real time, you give them a chance to change those actions, and push them toward better behaviors.
David Rose is a product designer, technology visionary, and serial entrepreneur.
Currently David is Chief Executive at Vitality, a company that is reinventing medication packaging with wireless technology.
Rose founded and was CEO of Ambient Devices where he pioneered glanceable technology: embedding Internet information in everyday objects like light bulbs, mirrors, refrigerator doors, digital post-it notes, and umbrellas to make the physical environment an interface to digital information.
Rose founded Viant’s Innovation Center, an advanced technology group for Fortune 500s including Sony, GM, Schwab, Sprint and Kinkos. He helped build Viant to over 900 people, $140M and a successful IPO.
In 1997 Rose patented online photo-sharing and founded Opholio (acquired by FlashPoint Technology).
Before the Internet he founded and was President of Interactive Factory (acquired by RDW Group) which creates interactive museum exhibits, educational software and smart toys, including the award-winning LEGO Mindstorms Robotic Invention System.
Rose taught information visualization at the Harvard Graduate School of Design and currently teaches a popular course in tangible user interfaces at the MIT Media Lab. He is a frequent speaker to corporations and design and technology conferences.
Jo Pierson, Enid Mante-Meijer and Eugène Loos (eds.)
Peter Lang – International Academic Publishers
Recent developments in new media devices and applications have led to the rise of what have become known as ‘social media’, ‘Web 2.0’, ‘social computing’ or ‘participative web’. This shift in ICT, from unidirectional to conversational media of mass self-communication has lowered the technological thresholds for everyday users to cooperate for their own benefit, to participate in online environments and social network sites, to co-create business value and to become ‘produsers’ or ‘pro-ams’. At the same time, we see an evolution towards people-centred design and user-driven innovation in the design of new media technologies. This has created new opportunities and heightened expectations regarding user empowerment in different societal arenas.
However, the question remains to what extent users and communities interacting in an all-IP new media ecosystem are empowered (and not disempowered) to express their creativity and concerns in their social and cultural environment and to obtain a prominent role in the process of new media design and innovation. The book attempts to answer this question through a collection of chapters that scrutinise this issue. The different chapters focus on the way that social and economic opportunities and threats enable and/or constrain user empowerment.
This work consists of four major sections, each of which examines the (potential) empowerment/disempowerment of users in relation to new media technologies from a different angle. The chapters in the first section describe different theoretical perspectives on user roles and user involvement in the new media ecosystem, referring to interpretative, positivist and critical schools of thought. Based on these overall guiding frameworks, we then explore the leverage users have, both on content level and on technological level. This refers respectively to the second and third section of the book. In the fourth section different case studies are presented, each of which highlight how user empowerment manifests itself in different new media sectors and environments (such as publishing, the music industry and social networking sites).
The book is based on interdisciplinary research. It offers innovative insights based on state-of-the-art academic and industry-driven ICT user research in various European countries. This work will appeal to post-graduate students and researchers in the field of media and communication studies, social studies of technology, digital media marketing and other domains that investigate the mutual relationship between new media technologies and society.
- Yves Punie: Introduction: New Media Technologies and User Empowerment. Is there a Happy Ending?
- Enid Mante-Meijer/Eugène Loos: Innovation and the Role of Push and Pull
- Valerie Frissen/Mijke Slot: The Return of the Bricoleur: Redefining Media Business
- Serge Proulx/Lorna Heaton: Forms of User Contribution in Online Communities: Mechanisms of Mutual Recognition between Contributors
- Aphra Kerr/Stefano De Paoli/Cristiano Storni: Rethinking the Role of Users in ICT Design: Reflections for the Internet
- James Stewart/Laurence Claeys: Problems and Opportunities of Interdisciplinary Work Involving Users in Speculative Research for Innovation of Novel ICT Applications
- Marinka Vangenck/Jo Pierson/Wendy Van den Broeck/Bram Lievens: User-Driven Innovation in the Case of Three-Dimensional Urban Environments
- Mijke Slot: Web Roles Re-examined: Exploring User Roles in the Media Environment
- Philip Ely/David Frohlich/Nicola Green: Uncertainty, Upheavals and Upgrades: Digital-DIY during Life-change
- Eva K. Törnquist: In Search of Elks and Birds: Two Case Studies on the Creative Use of ICT in Sweden
- Levente Szekely/Agnes Urban: Over the Innovators and Early Adopters: Incentives and Obstacles of Internet Usage
- James Stewart/Richard Coyne/Penny Travlou/Mark Wright/Henrik Ekeus: The Memory Space and the Conference: Exploring Future Uses of Web2.0 and Mobile Internet through Design Interventions
- Sanna Martilla/Kati Hyyppä/Kari-Hans Kommonen: Co-Design of a Software Toolkit for Media Practices: P2P-Fusion Case Study
- Ike Picone: Mapping Users’ Motivations and Thresholds for Casually «Produsing» News
- Stijn Bannier: The Musical Network 2.0 & 3.0
- Enid Mante-Meijer/Jo Pierson/Eugène Loos: Conclusion: Substantiating User Empowerment
- Jo Pierson is Professor at the Vrije Universiteit Brussel – Department of Communication Studies / SMIT (Studies on Media, Information and Telecommunication)
- Enid Mante-Meijer is emeritus Professor at Utrecht University – Utrecht School of Governance
- Eugène Loos is Professor at the University of Amsterdam – Department of Communication Science / ASCoR (Amsterdam School of Communication Research).
“Eli Pariser is making noise these days as the author of “The Filter Bubble: What the Internet is Hiding from You.”
His new book, which was released yesterday, argues that the latest tools being implemented by the likes of Google and Facebook for making our Internet experiences as individual as possible are taking us down some very unsavory paths.
First, of course, Pariser explains the dynamic we all face online today: that no two people’s Web searches, even on the same topics, return the same results. That’s because search engines and other sites are basing what they send back on our previous searches, the sites we visit, ads we click on, preferences we indicate, and much more. Not to mention the fact that we are more and more shielded from viewpoints counter to our own.
But while the results are no doubt geared to what we’re most interested in, they come at a price–in terms of lost privacy, more ads, and even being followed by certain types of ads no matter where we go online.”
The fate of your online soul
We are the first people in history to create vast online records of our lives. How much of it will endure when we are gone?
Archaeology of the future
Future historians will want to study the birth of the web using our digital trails – but how will they make sense of it all?
Respecting the digital dead
How can we keep digital bequests safe without poking our noses where they’re not wanted?
Amateur heroes of online heritage
It’ll take more than money alone to preserve today’s internet pages for posterity
Digital legacy: Teaching the net to forget
We’ve begun to accept that the internet cannot forget, but the power to change that has been in our hands for decades
“We want to encourage inter-disciplinary thinking. The products people want to buy today are not just a clever piece of hardware or clever piece of software. They want the hardware and the software to work together in such a way that they deliver a very compelling user experience. You only get that when you bring the disciplines together and that’s what Tech Fest is about.” [...]
“Think about user experience. What does that mean? Engineers want everything quantified, millimeters and microseconds. But when you start telling hardware engineers, or even a software engineer we need to create a compelling experience, well how do you measure that?,” Rattner said. “We’ve done a lot of good work there and we do know how to quantify experience and we do have principles and practices that guide us in design.
“But at the moment, they’re known only to a small group of people and we need to bring that thinking to a much broader audience.”
Now the Intel website provides some more background on Intel’s work on Context Aware Computing.
“Context-awareness can make computing devices more responsive to individual needs and help to intelligently personalize apps and services. Using self-learning mechanisms, sensor inputs, and data analytics, Intel research teams are engaged in a number of projects that promise to take machine learning beyond the lab to practical, real-world applications.”
Most interestingly, the site goes into some depth on Intel’s current projects that explore the boundaries of context-aware computing:
- Online Semi-Supervised Learning and Face Recognition: Use face recognition in place of a password to log in to any protected site. The self-learning techniques being refined by this project can be adapted to many areas of context awareness.
- Context Aware Computing—Activity Recognition: This project is developing techniques so that your computer can adapt to your patterns of activity and, based on your needs and expectations, instruct and guide you on a daily basis.
- Context-Aware Computer—Social Proximity Detection: Your friends, family, and co-workers all play a role in determining how your daily activities unfold. This project identifies ways to use the proximity of people important in your life to adjust communications and to help coordinate activities.
There is also more information on Intel’s Tomorrow Project & Futurism initiative.
“The project features science fiction stories, comics and short screen plays based on current research and emerging technologies and examines their affect on our future. “
Check the stories by Douglas Rushkoff, Ray Hammond. Scarlett Thomas and Markus Heitz. The next one is by Cory Doctorow, it seems.
That bothers Don Norman, former head of research at Apple and an advocate of user-friendly design.
Having traditional design skills—in traditional artistic pursuits like drawing and modeling—isn’t enough, he says, because the creators of good products and services also must have a working knowledge of everything from the technical underpinnings of microprocessors and programming to the policy aspects of information security.
“Bill Buxton is multiplatform the way Leonardo da Vinci was multiplatform.
The Microsoft researcher is a technologist, a designer, a musician, an author, outdoorsman and a nationally ranked equestrian.
He has spent decades working on the future of tech, but he paddled the rivers of Saskatchewan last summer in 1,000-year-old technology: a birch-bark canoe sealed with tree sap and bear fat.
At Microsoft, Buxton is a researcher who also has been charged with spreading the “design matters” message to engineers who would rather hack code than clay.”
It took me a some time to write up all my (personal) thoughts on the presentations, but now the writing is done and the result is online on Core77.
Thank you Laurent, Nicolas and others in the LIFT team, for once again hosting a highly stimulating conference, and thank you LinYee (managing editor at Core77) for the edit, the addition of videos and photos, and the encouragement.
I can’t wait to read some comments.
The UX of data
By Scott Jenson / February 17th 2011
Data storage in the cloud enables user experiences that would be impossible with only local storage, and creates a new facet of design: the UX of data.
2016: the user interface revolution underway
By Peter Eckert / February 24th 2011
New interfaces are not going to be uniform; devices and applications will not possess common protocols. For users, each interaction will have to be learned, so despite the improved usability of products, individuals will find themselves learning the quirks and standards of more and more technologies just to get the functionality they seek.
In her new book Alone Together, she shares her ambivalence about the overuses of technology, which, she writes, “proposes itself as the architect of our intimacies.” The book completes a trilogy of investigations into the ways humans interact with technology.
Fast Company spoke recently with Turkle about connecting, solitude, and how that compulsion to always have your BlackBerry on might actually be hurting your company’s bottom line.
Now, writes the Arduino blog, Rodrigo Calvo, Raúl Díez Alaejos, Gustavo Valera, and the people at Laboral Centro de Arte in Gijon, Spain, have created a video documentary, entitled Arduino The Documentary, that you can view on Vimeo in English and Spanish.
Here is some background by Matthew Humphries published on geek.com:
Open source software has had a major impact on the applications and platforms we all use today. Linux is now a very viable alternative to Windows and Mac OS even for beginner PC users. The Android operating system looks set to dominate on mobile hardware, and more and more software applications are being released for free as open source projects by anyone who can learn to program.
Now the same looks set to happen for hardware. With the development of cheap, easy to use electronics components as part of the Arduino computing platform, it’s becoming much easier to create your own hardware solutions without spending a lot of money.
No longer do we have to leave hardware creation to the large corporations with access to manufacturing plants and skilled workers. Instead, we can spend a few dollars buying an Arduino board, a bunch of components, and start experimenting with the support of a growing online community.
The video above gives you an introduction to what Arduino is and how it has developed since its inception. You come away thinking anything is possible with a bit of learning and a 3D printer, and why not? If software can be free to use, why can’t hardware be free to create and distribute?
The clear message Arduino The Documentary gives out is that we are about to see an explosion of hardware devices that come from bedroom tinkerers and student projects. Not only that, but they have the potential to turn into commercial products that businesses form around and investors flock to. We also have an opportunity to get electronics taught to our kids in schools for very little cost and hopefully start producing the next generation of talented engineers.
“Like a lot of prominent technology companies, Cisco has recognised that its products aren’t as intuitive to use as they could be, so has brought in Ratzlaff to take a fresh approach.
Ratzlaff is no stranger to shaking up the user experience, having previously been tasked with making the Mac interface so enticing that users would almost want to lick the screen, rumour has it. From Apple, he went on to become creative director at Frog Design, where he designed for Disney, Hewlett-Packard, Microsoft and Yahoo!.
At Cisco, he has researchers whose role is to get among users and identify needs they don’t yet realise they have. Significantly, Ratzlaff doesn’t see a distinction between professional users and consumers. “There’s no such thing as an enterprise user — people’s values and skills don’t change as they put on their work clothes,” he notes.”
“Many of today’s industrial products, with their ever-growing feature sets, have become too complex and difficult to use, leading to increased training costs and lost time, and in some cases, even robbing manufacturing companies of the very benefits that the features were intended to produce. But more vendors are beginning to take notice. Increasingly, as a way to differentiate their products and help customers become more productive, automation suppliers are stepping up their efforts to reduce complexity in their products and make them easier to use.”
The project has worked with the relation between ICT and user-driven innovation. Traditionally, the Nordic region has had a position of strength regarding the part of the ICT area that deals with ICT and users. This is very much reflected in the Participatory Design Tradition and the Nordic position of strength within HCI. Furthermore, ICT has today moved from playing a role within work and business life to being the driving factor within all sorts of activities. This is reflected in phenomena such as Web 2.0, open source and social media etc. The project is therefore based on the assumption that the ICT field has been one of the leading fields within development via user-driven innovation during the last decades. The project has focused on methods, tools and experiences from these various areas which can be used in general regarding initiating user-driven innovation within a long line of different business areas.
The report describes and accounts in short for the Nordic tradition of user involvement in the ICT development and through a number of research interviews it extracts pivotal ideas and experiences from this tradition. At the same time experiences with user involvement in connection with new media is presented – both in a sales perspective and in a production perspective. Besides, a long row of cases and examples from other projects are presented, and courses and results from a number of workshops and knowledge activities initiated via the project will be mentioned. Finally, a range of recommendations for political focus areas are stated which based on the project experiences may be part of strengthening the basis for user-driven innovation in the Nordic region.
The articles come in a range of other languages, including Arabic, Chinese, French, German, Japanese, Korean, Russian and Spanish.
Mobile phones in Korea: between dynamism and anxiety
by Kim Chanho, Professor, Sungkonghoe University
Statistics indicate that Koreans spend the most amount of time on their mobile phones, as compared to the people in other countries, which includes double the time of users in Germany. What are the factors behind this zealous passion for mobile phones in Korea, where the ubiquity of wireless communication contributes to a unique dynamism of Korean society?
Korea’s mobile phone industry
by Cho Hyung Rae, Assistant Editor, The Chosun Ilbo
Early on, the mobile phone industry in Korea basically imported parts from foreign suppliers, and assembled them into finished products. But, over the past 20 years, the mobile phone has become the face of Korean industry, with cutting-edge technology. The industry is now preparing for a new leap into the popular smartphone market.
Korea’s innovative mobile phone technology
by Kim Dong-suk, Mobile Division Chief, Electronic Times
Innovation and technology resources, as well as the tech-savvy nature of Korean consumers who are eager to be at the forefront of market trends, have combined to fuel the remarkable development of Korea’s mobile phone industry. Indeed, this favorable environment has enabled Korean mobile phone makers to vault into the upper echelon of the global telecom market.
The article highlights the innovative role of Fiat, which has been compiling data from the Blue&Me navigation systems installed on many of its cars over a six-month period – the largest such data harvest done by a major carmaker.
“It is not hard to see a future where the on-board computers get ever more sophisticated – such as personal profiles for a car, so the car’s settings are individualised for each family member.
The computer would adjust the seats, music, the suspension between sports and comfort mode, depending on which family member was using the car.
All while telling each one how to be a better – and more fuel-efficient – driver. [...]
Increased data collection also tells us a lot about different drivers and how they use the cars. [...]
Carmakers are bracing for a world where not only are cars collecting data about you, but they are sharing it with each other.”
“Students have always faced distractions and time-wasters. But computers and cellphones, and the constant stream of stimuli they offer, pose a profound new challenge to focusing and learning.
Researchers say the lure of these technologies, while it affects adults too, is particularly powerful for young people. The risk, they say, is that developing brains can become more easily habituated than adult brains to constantly switching tasks — and less able to sustain attention.”
- Students and technology, constant companions (audio and video)
At Woodside High in Woodside, Calif., students are immersed in personal technology, complicating the job of those responsible for their education. Hear five students talk about their relationship with technology, and watch a video about the school.
- Teachers’ views on technology in the classroom
The Times asked teachers to submit videos on how the use of technology has changed the way they teach.
- Achieving a healthful digital diet
Experts suggest that half of a child’s computer time should be educational and that multitasking while studying should be limited.
The two-day Harvard Forum II was sponsored by Canada’s International Development Research Centre and hosted by the Berkman Center for Internet and Society at Harvard University in September 2009.
ITID is a peer-reviewed, international, multidisciplinary quarterly that focuses on the intersection of information and communication technologies (ICT) with economic and social development. It is designed for researchers and practitioners from the engineering and social sciences, technologists, policy makers, and development specialists.
- The mobile and the world – Amartya Sen
- Some thoughts on ICT and growth – Michael Spence (Nobel in Economics, 2001)
- Capital, power, and the next step in decentralization – Yochai Benkler
- Decentralizing the mobile phone: a second ICT4D revolution – Ethan Zuckerman