Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Death and Taxes 2009 from Wall Stats


Here's the embedded version of Wall Stats' Death And Taxes 2009:

"Create the world, the interface will follow" - Link to article by Adaptive Path's Paula Wellings

Paula Welling's article, "Create the world, the interface will follow", draws from her observations as an experience designer at Adaptive path and her previous work as a creator of imaginary game worlds. She points out that it is possible for user-centered designers to focus so much on people, via persona development and contextual inquiring, that the role of the real-world environment is not fully explored.

Wellings asks experience designers to look at the bigger picture.

"How can we move from a purely descriptive representation of the people themselves to an approach that explicitly recognizes design as facilitating participation in particular worlds?"

Here is a quote from the article:

"Like the worlds of video games, our real world is a possibility space* that gives depth and context to our interactions. For the most part, people live their lives in environments that provide structure to activities, relationships and opportunities. Changes of environment reveal the power of the world to enable and diminish our possibilities. Both dramatic environment changes such as living in a foreign country, going to jail, and surviving a natural disaster as well as small changes such as moving from a sunny climate to a rainy one can affect people in powerful ways."

As an observer of human-world interaction, I agree with Wellings' point of view.

Sunday, December 28, 2008

How to Find the HP TouchSmart Website: Another Example for the Usability Hall of Shame

I came across the following post about HP's marketing snafu regarding the SmartTouch on the LandorCom blog:

"I saw a commercial for HP’s new multi-touch computer. It looked cool, so I tried to look it up on HP.com. Instead I was treated to a marketing disaster of biblical proportions."

I don't know the author of LandorCom, but I'll have to agree with the comments! If you go to HP's home page, as pictured above, there is no hint that the TouchSmart PC exists.

If you do a search for "HP TouchSmart", you will find a link to the following page:

A quick glance at this page certainly doesn't give the user a feeling of what the HP TouchSmart is all about, which is a sharp contrast to the HP TouchSmart interactive webpage, which takes more time to find.

Link to TouchSmart TV ad videoclip. If you look carefully, you will find a link below the videoclip to the HP TouchSmart interactive website. From there, you can link to the TouchSmart Community site.

If you dig even deeper, you'll find some videoclips about the TouchSmart. It would be great if these videos could be easily accessed from the first pages a user might come across after doing a search for the PC!

Note: Although the videoclips have an embed feature, the clips would not embed into this blog post!

Sunday, December 21, 2008

Travel Technology

Note: This post will be updated soon. I'm on vacation, with limited Internet access.

From a previous vacation: Information Display with No Information

Technology and Travel: Blurred Cellphone Camera Shot of Unruly Man on US AIR flight from Charlotte to Miami, December 20, 2008

I had just settled into my seat on a flight from Charlotte to Miami and stowed my cellphone away. At the time, I was thinking about taking a few pictures of airport technology once I arrived in Miami.

Most people would probably be anticipating the beautiful Caribbean scenes they'd like to capture, but not me. I like taking pretty pictures, but whenever I have the opportunity to capture technology out in the wild, my geeky streak takes over.

At that very moment, a very loud, bespectacled older man came barreling down the aisle. As I had an aisle seat, I got the full frontal view, and it wasn't pretty.

The man was naked! He promptly squeezed himself into a seat two rows ahead, right next to a baby, shocking the parents and those of us who had boarded the plane up until that point.

There was a flurry of commotion. Several men came out of nowhere and managed to get the man out of the seat, up the aisle through the first class section, and out of the plane. The flurry of commotion was not limited to the "rescue team". Much of the commotion came from the passengers who were looking for their cell phones and cameras to take pictures or video clips of the scenario.

The man bellowed loudly, "YOU... WILL.... NOT....PREVAIL!"

The passengers? "I'll put this on YouTube!" "I'll post this to Flickr". Some of the passengers traded their photos via phone messages.

Technology Supported Human World Interaction, right in front of my eyes.

I'll never make it as a CNN iReporter, given the results of my cell-phone photography skills:

I DID manage to get some shots of the paramedics. Pretty boring.

I'll post more pictures related to airport and cruise travel technology soon.

Friday, December 19, 2008

More for the Interactive Usability Hall of Shame: BMW Features (Via Roland Smart, Adaptive Path); Solution: MX 2009

Roland Smart, of Adaptive Path, recently posted an article about his experience attending at the BMW performance driving school, where he had a chance to see how BMW uses the Microsoft Surface in the showroom. (See my previous post, BMW and Surface Computing: Video of Tabletop Interaction, on the Interactive Multimedia Technology blog).

Later in his post, Smart discusses the problems he encountered with the BMW iDrive, a computer system that combines an LCD panel on the dashboard and a controller knob on the center console.

Smart cited information from James G. Cobb's article “Menus Behaving Badly“ (NY Times, '02), regarding his user-experience with a couple of features of the BMW 744i:

Unanticipated Headrest Action
"...A block away, I adjust the seat forward. The electric head restraint rises, inexplicably, to its highest position. I readjust the headrest and move the seat again. Again, the headrest zips up, as if programmed with the wisdom that tall people have short legs.

My beagle, whose job description is ''scan roadsides for squirrels,'' is in the back, moving from one side window to the other. Each time he shifts, sensors in the seat take note, and the right rear headrest whirrs up as the left one whirrs down. For the next two hours, the headrests dance in tandem, as if trying to provide comfort for restless spirits."

Dangerous Radio Station Control While Driving: The iDrive Controller Menu
"Pull the iDrive knob back to select the ''entertainment'' menu.
Scroll to the bottom of the screen and click ''memory.''
Scroll to the top of the next menu and highlight ''M FM.''
Scroll to the right and click ''manual.''
Twist the knob to tune in a station.
Click ''memory'' -- twice -- to store it.

In a lesser car, you might simply twist a knob. In the 745i, tuning the radio is an interactive experience at 75 m.p.h. After a bit of this, you may wonder what's the fuss over handheld cellphones."

Smart also pointed to Jasper van Kuijk 's (12/24/07) post on the Uselog.com product usability weblog, “More iDrive Reviews; the Evolution of a Bad Idea“. Here are some excerpts:

The Truth About Cars: BMW iDrive Editorial (Robert Fargo)

"...If BMW believed that iDrive was the intuitive future of driver control, why did they equip the new Seven with two CD players? Maybe it's because the dash-mounted single CD can be operated manually, while the six-stack system requires iDrive."

Technoride: Mid-Course Correction for BMW's iDrive (Bill Howard)
"...This third variant adds the function buttons, much like programmable PC function keys (they can be programmed, you know, just that no one does anymore) or radio buttons on your car audio system, to the four-way iDrive controller."

Mobile Experience: BMW iDrive Really Sucks
"The iDrive is so freaking useless..." (My quote from the van Kuijik's source, Andy, author of the The Mobile Experience blog)


Driving It: Car Interfaces and Usability (Wayne Cunningham, CNET)
Discusses Jacob Neilson's basic principles of usability and how they can be applied to car interfaces. Touches on BMW's iDrive, Audi's Multimedia Interface (MMI), the Mercedes-Benz Cockpit Management and Navigation Device (COMAND), and touchscreen LCD's.

Although Cunningham reports that he most usable interfaces he's seen in cars are touch screen LCD's, I beg to differ, given my experience with my Honda's navigation system! (I'm saving that one for another post.)
(Picture of the iDrive, from Cunningham's post)

MX 2009
For those of you interested in the managment of user experience, Adaptive Path is putting together a conference that addresses the business side of the UX equation:

MX San Francisco: Managing Experience through Creative Leadership March 1-3, 2009

Sara Beckman, Co-Director of the Management of Technology Program, Haas School of Business
Margaret Gould Stewart, Manager, User Experience, Google
Margret Schmidt, VP, User Experience Design & Research, TiVo
Bruce Temkin, Forrester Research
Marty Neumeier, President of Neutron
Khoi Vinh, Design Director for NYTimes.com
Dan Roam, founder of Digital Roam
David Butler, VP, Design, The Coca-Cola Company

(Highlights from MX2008 can be found on the MX webpage, after the introductory blurbs about the speakers.)

Sunday, December 14, 2008

Jonathan Brill's Point & Do: "Your Guide to Natural User Interfaces"

Jonathan Brill consults on multi-touch product strategy and is the author of the Point & Do blog/website that is full of interesting applications, demos, links, and comments related to natural user interface applications.

Here are a few of the videos he's posted:
(You can visit his website for additional information, including how to participate in the Multi-touch Book Club discussion of Dan Saffer's book, Designing Gestural Interfaces.)

Infusion's Multi-touch Applications

David Smith's Raptor: Building Games with a Tabletop Computer
Raptor: Building Games with a Tabletop Computer from David Smith on Vimeo.

Prototype 3D Media Viewer for Surface
Prototype 3D Media Viewer for Surface from Clarity Consulting on Vimeo.

Prototype T-Shirt Designer for Surface

Prototype T-Shirt Designer for Surface from Clarity Consulting on Vimeo.

Snowboard Designer

Surface Promo from IdentityMine on Vimeo.

Prototype Whiteboard for Surface

Prototype Whiteboard for Surface from Clarity Consulting on Vimeo.

More from lm3labs: Ubiq'window & Reactor.cmc's touch-screen shopping catalog, AUDI's touch-less interactive showroom screen, and the DNP Museum Lab

Lm3labs has been involved with innovative, creative interactive applications for quite some time. I came across the following items during recent visit to the company's news blog:

Catalog Browsing in Japanese Streets


Touchless Sapporo from Nicolas Loeillot on Vimeo.

I get tired of shopping if I can't quickly find what I'm looking for, so this display, or something similar, would be quite helpful to me, especially if it was linked to both the shopping opportunities nearby as well as good bargains online.

This concept is a big improvement over the static maps I find in most malls and shopping centers. It would also be quite helpful to me when I'm out shopping with my daughters, as we could plan out our shopping trip more efficiently.

With the present economy, people who are considering the purchase of an automobile have many options. To assist in the decision-making process, an Audi dealership in Singapore used a large-size interactive holography, based on Lm3lab's touchless Ubiq'window 200:

Audi goes Touchless from Nicolas Loeillot on Vimeo.
(Mosaic Solutions coordinated the interactivity project.)

Lm3labs has been involved in the museum industry, and recently collaborated with the Louvre-DNP museum lab to create an exhibit in Tokyo, Japan.

From the Museum Lab website:

"The Louvre - DNP Museum Lab is a special experimental space in which the Musée du Louvre exhibits works and provides an in-depth explanation of them. In an exceptional atmosphere, visitors can take time for the leisurely viewing and appreciation of artworks from the world's largest museum."

"A circuit with a wealth of multimedia mediation devices draws visitors into the history and analysis of the works, letting them follow in the footsteps of the artists in question and affording an insight into the details concealed. This ground-breaking feature al lows visi tors to discover the hidden face of some of the museum's masterpieces."

"New works are presented at Museum Lab every six months in an entirely novel approach to artworks.

According to information from the Lm3lab's website, " LM#LABS has built a series of solutions to serve the museum and culture industry. Interactive solutions are based on computer vision and have the common point to be easy to deploy and manage. LM3LABS' solutions are highly engaging and easy to use....they create on natural interaction with digital content...people use their fingers to interact and discover."

Slide Share by Lm3labs:
Outdoor Ad: The Future is Interactive (Asia Outdoor Advertising 2007)

Saturday, December 13, 2008

Usability of a Remote Control

I usually blog about user experience and usability related to emerging technologies and off-the-desktop applications, but today, I thought I'd share my frustrations about something that has been around for quite a while, the remote control.

My New DISH Network Remote Control

In order to learn how to use this sleek buttony device, we received free lessons and a handbook from the DISH Network installation guy!


Too many buttons!

So I did a search and found
Chris McEvoy's website page devoted to the topic:
Usability of a Remote Control

The pictures below are from McEvoy's site, and demonstrate a remote-control "re-do" by
Apogee, a usability research and consulting services provider.

The remote control on the left is the "Engineering-Centered" version, typical of most remote controls. The remote control on the right is the "Human-Centered" version.


Unfortunately, human-centered remote controls seem to function only when traveling in packs of 2 or 3. Isolated from the pack, they are not helpful in controlling everything found in a home entertainment center!

Sunday, December 7, 2008

Urban Screens: Streaming Museum in Cyberspace and Public Space on 7 Continents

Streaming Museum is "a new hybrid Museum for the 21st Century that presents real-time exhibitions in cyberspace and public spaces on seven continents". Some of the recent events/exhibits have been played out on urban screens.

"Conceived as a source of free cultural content and public service messaging created by artists on the environment, education, and health...Enables interconnectivity of a diverse global community focused on culture, and gives artists the vehicle to act as cultural ambassadors as their work crosses the geographic divide..Invites visitors at each venue to upload pictures via cell phone or email to the Streaming Museum website"

From the Streaming Museum website:

"Artists and Innovators for the Environment" Part Two: (December 3 to February 3)

"December 3 - February 3 Andrea Ackerman, Cedar Lake Contemporary Ballet, Agnes Denes, Jaap Drupsteen, Ben Edwards, Buckminster Fuller, David Jr. & One-Eyed Doll, Emanuel Dimas de Melo Pimenta, Marty St. James, Robert Snyder, James Tunick, Jacob Ter Veldhuis, Stephen Vitiello, Julia Wolfe, and other visionary creators."

Details about the public spaces supporting the exhibit

Link to schedule of exhibitions in public spaces in various countries

Links to on-demand viewings in cyberspace:

Streaming Museum website: http://www.streamingmuseum.org

Second Life; Ars Virtua New Media Center:

Youtube, Blip.TV, Facebook, MySpace, iTunes, Twitter, RSS, email subscribers

Part 1: Artists and Innovators for the Environment (October-December 2008)

"October 3 to December 3 John Cage, Cedar Lake Dance, Agnes Denes, Jaap Drupsteen, Buckminster Fuller, Brian Mackern, James Nachtwey, Nunatak, Emanuel Dimas de Melo, Pimenta, Anni Rapinoja, Huang Ruo, Gustavo Santaolalla, Robert Snyder, Jacob ter Veldhuis, and innovative designs for environmental sustainability by Chuck Hoberman and others."

Nina Colosi, Founder & Creative Director of Streaming Museum

Urban Screens Melbourne 08

Monday, December 1, 2008

Usability & User Experience, A work in Progress: "Ubicomp is like a 5-year-old wishing for a pink pony"; "Ubiquitous Computing and UX Design"

I came across a post from the Near Future Laboratory's blog:

Ubicomp is like a 5-year-old wishing for a pink pony
-Julian Bleeker

"Complete Ubicomp fail. I mean..they can't even get this most simple of scenarios straightened out and they want to put my refrigerator and toaster oven on the network?"

The author of the post was a guest at an upscale hotel room that featured sensors that turned on the lights. Unfortunately, the lights turned on at random times, resulting in a sleepless night, and a grumpy, resentful blogger. A great example for the Usability Hall of Shame.

Via Thomas Purves: "Apparently no one really wants to reboot their socks."

To learn more about about UX and ubiquitous computing, see Mike Kuniavsky's post, "Ubicomp UX Design at Dansk-IT" and the link to his keynote presentation, "Ubiquitous Computing User Experience Design".

Sunday, November 23, 2008

Palantir of Orthanic: Facebook Visualization by Jack Lindamood, Kevin Der, and Dan Weatherford

Via Chris Leoni's Information Technology blog

The Project Palantir visualizes geo-located actions that occur on Facebook, which is described in detail on the video.

"Facebook isn't just about actions, it is about interaction... each color represents a different type of interaction"

Monday, November 17, 2008

Don't Make Me Click, Asa Raskin, Google TechTalk

In this presentation, Asa Raskin provides a history of interface and interaction design, including examples of bad "interaction seduction", and problems with search interactions.

Although this presentation focuses on web interaction, Aza covers concepts that designers of off-the-desktop applications should keep in mind. Asa's website is Humanized.com.

The presentation is over an hour, so feel free to come back!

Sunday, November 16, 2008

Interacting in the Funky Forest: OpenFrameworks, Multimedia, and Kids

For more information about this installation, including a great video clip, please see OpenFrameworks & Interactive Multimedia: Funky Forest Installation for CineKid 2007

Funky Forest was created by Emily Gobeille and Theodore Watson.

Every Surface a Computer: "Scratch" - Capturing Finger Input on Surfaces using Sound. (Chris Harrison and Scott Hudson's Video - UIST '08)

Chris Harrison and Scott Hudson, from the Human-Computer Interaction Group at Carnegie-Mellon University, presented their latest research at the UIST '08 conference. Take a look at the video below to see how gestures that result in sounds can can transformed on unpowered finger input surfaces, using a stethoscope sensors and filters:

Yes, every surface is a computer!
(Even your pants...)

For detailed information, read the paper presented at UIST '08 by Chris Harrison and Scott E. Hudson:
Scratch Input: Creating Large, Inexpensive, Unpowered, and Mobile Finger Input Surfaces


The Best Paper Award at UIST '08 was "Bringing Physics to the Surface", by Andrew Wilson, of Microsoft Research, and Ahahram Izadi, Otmar Hilliges, Armando Garcia-Mendoza, and David Kirk, of Microsoft Research, Cambridge.

Here is the abstract:

"This paper explores the intersection of emerging surface technologies, capable of sensing multiple contacts and of-ten shape information, and advanced games physics engines. We define a technique for modeling the data sensed from such surfaces as input within a physics simulation. This affords the user the ability to interact with digital objects in ways analogous to manipulation of real objects. Our technique is capable of modeling both multiple contact points and more sophisticated shape information, such as the entire hand or other physical objects, and of mapping this user input to contact forces due to friction and collisions within the physics simulation. This enables a variety of fine-grained and casual interactions, supporting finger-based, whole-hand, and tangible input. We demonstrate how our technique can be used to add real-world dynamics to interactive surfaces such as a vision-based tabletop, creating a fluid and natural experience. Our approach hides from application developers many of the complexities inherent in using physics engines, allowing the creation of applications without preprogrammed interaction behavior or gesture recognition."

Preparation for the Internet of Surfaces & Things?

Thursday, November 6, 2008

Multi-touch, Gestures, Holograms, Oh My!

I've been posting quite a bit about emerging technologies lately on my Interactive Multimedia Technology blog, with lots of photos and video clips. Why? There has been quite a surge lately as new technologies move mainstream, much to my delight.

Microsoft's next operating system, Windows 7, allows for multi-touch and gesture recognition, and with this support, developers and harddware manufacturers are moving ahead. PDC 2008 (Professional Developer's Conference) and WinHEC 2008 (Windows Hardware Engineering Conference) included lots of multi-touch and gesture-based demonstrations. At the same time, CNN's multi-touch magic map wall gained more recognition during a Saturday Night Live parody by Fred Armisen. CNN took emerging technology to the masses on election night via video holograms.

Here are links to some of my recent posts:

Multi-Touch News from WinHEC and PDC

CNN's Holographic Technology: Wolf Blitzer and Jessica Yellin, Anderson Cooper and Will.I.Am, and the Music Video

Searching for Multi-Touch Info? Drivers for Windows 7 available from NextWindow &HP TouchSmart... More about N-Trig....Multi-Touch Resources

Emerging Technologies: SHiFT 08 Conference- Sensor Networks and Data for the Open Internet of Things

Emerging Interactive Technologies: SecondLight from Microsoft, at PDC 2008

Steven Sinofsky Discusses Multi-touch and the HP TouchSmart, Windows 7, and more at PDC 2008

Grafiti - a multi-touch, table-top, surface computing application, from a member of the NUI group

Multi-touch Parody of CNN's Magic Map Wall: Saturday Night Live's Weekend Update MegaPixel Giant Touch-map

The atracTable Multi-Touch System from Atracsys

Most of my October blog posts

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

A Brief History of the Future of Urban Computing and Locative Media: Ann Galloway's Ph.D. Thesis

The purse lip square jaw blog was one of my favorite blogs. The author of the blog, Ann Galloway, focused on "critical social and cultural studies of technology and design", and published the blog from 2000-2008, as part of her Ph.D. work at Carelton University in Canada.

Anne recently completed her Ph.D. dissertation, which is available on-line. (pdf)

If you are serious about issues related to pervasive computing, related technologies, and the "bigger picture", Anne's dissertation is well worth reading. For those oof you who have less time, visit the archived blog. It is conveniently organized by year and month. I encourage you to take some time to browse around.

Fellow bloggers and future historians of blogging/Web 2.0 will find that Anne's reflections and participation in the blogosphere over the past years enlightening. Here is one of my favorite quotes from her blog:

"But I started to rally for multiplicity instead of homogeneity. I wanted to belong to "the race of words, which homes are built with" and to "get free of myself". I chose to be guided by Deleuzian ethics. I recognised writing my blog as a method of inquiry and began to see my dissertation as writing to get free of myself."

Excerpt from Chapter 3:

"Emphasising how blogging is simultaneously private and public, individual and
collective, I raise a variety of questions about authorship, audience and authority
in contemporary academic knowledge production. Beginning with a discussion of
blogging and affective politics, I use excerpts from my blog and the comments
people made there to draw attention to the more physical and emotional,
financial and political, aspects of intellectual labour. They may be excluded from
our formal work, and often even from the classroom, but they can nonetheless
find a place online—where we and others can engage them in new and productive
" - Anne Galloway

Sunday, November 2, 2008

The Internet of Things: More from CNN -Internetting every thing, everywhere, all the time; Sensor networks for the elderly

The Internet of Things has gone mainstream.

Yesterday I posted about David Orban's recent presentation at SHiFT 08:
Sensor Networks and Data for the Open Internet of Things, and embeded the video clip, "Why We Need to Listen to our Things". I planned on revisiting this topic in a couple of weeks, but this morning, I came across two related articles that I wanted to share right away.

The first article, Internetting everything, everywhere, all the time, by Cherise Fong, for CNN, discusses the basics, and includes links to additional information about concepts, such as RFID, or Radio Frequency Identity technology, NFC (Near Field Communication), Spime, Nabaztag, Oyster, Octopus, Suica, Mirror, Tikitag, Violet, Mir:ror, ztamps - with links for the tech-curious.

What interested me the most was EEML, or Extended Environments Markup Language, which is "a protocol for sharing sensor data between remote responsive environments, both physical and virtual. It can be used to facilitate
direct connections between any two environments; it can also be used to facilitate many-to-many connections as implemented by the web service Pachube, which enables people to tag and share real time sensor data from objects, devices and spaces around the world....Possible end-users range from construction managers, large-building occupants and architects, to electronics manufacturers and interactive artists and designers."

I came across the second related article in this morning's Sunday paper. The Charlotte Observer printed an article by Bob Moos, of the Dallas Observer, about the use of emerging technologies to help the elderly stay in their homes:

Robots, sensors to help elderly stay at home: Devices will detect when residents have sleepless nights or forget to take their medication

Photo via the Charlotte Observer, by Michael Mulvey - MCT Photo
Note: The system is running on Debian

The National Science Foundation and other sources have worked to fund the Heracleia Human-Centered Computing Laboratory at the University of Texas at Arlington. One of the focus of current research is to develop "smart" homes that are embedded with networks of sensors and webcams to support the independence of elderly people, without seeming like the system is an invasion of privacy. This technology, as well as related technologies, will be demonstrated at the Silvers Summit on Saturday, January 10, 2009 at the International Consumer Electronics Show (CES).


SmartSilvers Alliance

More about David Orban and OpenSpime:

If you are interested in emerging technologies and pervasive computing, you'll find Orban's blog facinating. It is published in English, Italian, and Hungarian. He's involved in several Web 2.0 communities, including Second Life. He is also a member of OpenSpime, where you can read his post that covers the topics in his SHiFT '08 presentation.

Listening to our objects (10/27/08)

Excerpt from post:
"The granularity, frequency, and intensity of the chatter that the spimes in the network perform will be vital, and it will be a fundamental task to be able and reliably translate from their plane of communication to the one of aggregated, second-order knowledge, where we can understand it, where we can derive useful, valuable information which we can act upon!


"OpenSpime is a project of WideTag, Inc., a technology infrastructure company incorporated in California, USA, providing hardware and software solutions for an Open Internet of Things."

"The OpenSpime technology enables individuals, corporations, and governments to better understand the environment surrounding them. A new generation of GPS-enabled sensor networks, based on the open source OpenSpime communication protocol will collect the necessary data, and using scalable server technology, aggreate, manage, and visualize the data collected."

Snail Mail: RFID-enabled real snail, carrying e-mail.
"Our snails are equipped with a miniaturised electronic circuit and antenna, enabling them to be assigned messages. Your message is collected from a despatch centre at one end of their enclosure. Once associated with the tiny electronic chip on the snail's shell your message will be carried around until the snail chances by the drop off point. Here more hardware collects your message and forwards it to its final destination."

Apple's Personal Area Network Systems and Devices patent via SlashGear


IPSO Alliance: Promoting the use of IP for Smart Objects: "Welcome to the launch of the Internet of Things"
"Today, with this association, we are creating the foundation which makes the Internet of Things a reality. We are bringing together companies across the globe with the objective of using IP to interconnect physical objects with the global Internet. Through our Technical Advisory Board we will document, demonstrate and teach how IP can be used in Smart Objects and provide IPSO members with updates on technology standards. This IP Smart Object technology will play an essential role in the challenge to master our energy distribution and consumption, automate our homes and work environments, modernize our cities and satisfy many other market requirements" -Geof Mulligan, Chairman; Patrick Wetterwald, President, JP Vasseur, TAB Chairman

IPSO Alliance FAQ's

RFID Weblog

Ann Galloway's Internet of Things Working Bibliography

Privacy and Security Issues, RFID, and the Internet of Things

As RFID tracking booms, privacy issues loom (Chris Taylor, CNN, 5/11/07)

Saturday, November 1, 2008

SHiFT 08: Sensor Networks and Data for the Open Internet of Things

I first learned about the "Internet of Things" nearly two years ago when I was taking a Ubicomp class. Since that time, things have sped quickly along in the research arena, but I don't think most folks are aware of how this technological transformation will impact our daily lives.

The videoclip below is from David Orban's presentation at SHiFT 08, "Why We Need to Listen to our Things":

Orban discusses how we currently spend much of our time taking care of our mobile devices, but as the magnitude of devices increasing, it is difficult to manage things as we have in the past. There is just too much data...There is a need for obtaining information from sensor networks. "We must derive deep knowledge of the environment from these sensors."
In the video clip, Orban goes on to discuss the various challenges in this field:

  • Signal to Noise problem.
  • Signal to Signal problem.
  • Management of the sheer volume of data that is generated, or will be generated - how data is filtered and analysed.
  • Dependability - managing spime systems and sensor networks of tens of billions of elements.
  • Aggregation of data to derive second order knowledge.
  • New phenomena will surprise us in the future, we will learn more about our environment, and listen to our planet more clearly.
Video by Wide Tag Inc.
October 2008


SHifT 08 was held in Lisbon, Portugal on October 15-17. The focus of this year's conference was Transient Technologies, "in the sense that technology is breaking up with it's digital boundaries and it's becoming a vital part of a lot of the things we do and interact with in our daily lives."

The themes of SHiFT 08 included user experience, mobile computing, sustainability, the social web, web design, open technologies, digital media, artificial intelligence, spimes, and knowledge & innovation.

Monday, October 27, 2008

Media Facades Festival, Berlin October 16 through December 12, 2008

Here is the link:

Media Facades Festival Berlin 2008: Myths and Potentials of Media Architecture and Urban Screens

"The MEDIA FACADES FESTIVAL BERLIN 2008 is an innovative project, engaging a wide range of stakeholders with distinctive interests in the public space. Through round tables, a workshop, panel sessions, lectures, urban screenings on media facades and an architecture exhibition the event will promote a multi-disciplinary action research approach to technology, architecture and media art in modern cities."

"Media façades can combine aspects of lighting and graphics in formats determined by the architecture, these might differ fundamentally in format, resolution and dimension from the rectilinear media image. Moving imagery has increasingly become interactive and emergent and often have to work without sound, so they question narrative storytelling known from other traditional media. Content can be synthesised from or driven by information from the environment, whether it be from within the building or from the outside world, or through channels such as the internet.

In connection with locative and
mobile media, new forms of content production can develop that create through participatory approaches new relations between the imagery and the surrounding urban space and its citizen.
" - from the introduction

Pictures from the Media Facades Festival Site and other related pictures from Media Architecture:


Saturday, October 25, 2008

SNL's Multi-touch Parody of CNN's Interactive Touch Screen Magic Map Wall

Via Interactive Multimedia Technology

Most viewers familiar with CNN news know about the "Multi-Touch Collaboration Wall", or Magic Wall, used by John King. David Borhman, a CNN producer, was describes the purpose of the Magic Wall in a quote in a Washington Post article:

"It's a stupendous way to explain a lot of complicated data"..."Fundamentally, our job is to explain things to people, and we need it visually. This lets us do it naturally, without a keyboard or mouse getting in the way....Once you see it, you get it instantly."

This would be fun to play with- for just about everyone! If you don't have ready access to a "magic wall", take a look Fred Armisen's playfulness in a recent Saturday Night Live parody of the CNN Magic wall:

Video clip via Hulu

Partial Transcript:

"One thing we are going to look at is Pennsylvania..Have a very good look at Harrisburg.....Get in really close to this. Back a bit, back a little bit, excellent"

"Now the country can be moved up and down, like so....We can also shrink it and put it in your pocket if you need to."

"You can always change the colors. You got blue, blue again, a little bit of red...right over there, a little bit of blue of course, if you want to make something out of green, you got a little face there, some whiskers, we can ..... make a cat. Notice the triangle nose!"

"Let's look at Ohio. Lets look at the Cleveland area. Lets look really really close. Really close. Really really close, You can see the top of a warehouse. We're really going to want look at that. Very, very important, were going to want to look at that."

"You can take Oregon, lets move it out into the ocean. It will be completely surrounded by water. That's very, very dangerous."

"And here is New York.... New York was there in 2004, and you can shake it around like that.. (shakes New York)"

"Actually, what I'm doing is very important, and informational"

"OK, Fred, stop goofing around..."

Fred turns to the map, and with both hands, moves all of the states out of place.

Photo via engadget

"Check out Michigan... I can make it bounce!" (Drags down Michigan on the map, it bounces up and down once it reaches the bottom of the map.)

Rumor has it that Jeff Hans, of Perceptive Pixel, was responsible for the SNL version of the Magic Touch-Wall map.