Tag Archives: user interface

“Virtual Reality” Meetings

My sketch of a next-generation environment. Experience is the same whether you enter the physical room or from a device.

My sketch of a next-generation environment. It looks the same when you enter physically or digitaly from any device.

You might remember second life and shudder. However there were things about it that were compelling and the future is going to see a rise again of virtual reality settings. However like anything old that is new again they never quite come back in the same way (think bell bottoms).

The new virtual worlds will be streamlined for everyday use – assisting in conducting the remotely held boardroom meetings, brainstorming sessions or enabling perpetual “war” rooms. They are a metaphor that everyone can grasp immediately and begin to engage without much of a learning curve. Let’s call them Digital Environments rather than Virtual Reality.

While you can enter the room online you can also walk in to the Digital Environment when you enter a physical room (very Inception-like) seeing content posted by others in the “room” or real-time video of the other participants as they engage and interact. Use any device to engage with the displays.

You won’t need an “avatar” just the ability to see the walls of the room and engage with the frames on the wall. Dropping in content that can be viewed and edited by all… or everyone can do a brainstorm put up post-its from any location. Fun!

This will create a need to provide a context for a new wave of applications that enable people to perform tasks across different end points — but in fun and engaging ways like they are imagining at Innovation Games.

Next-gen Gesture: Leap Interaction

Check out this new gesture technology by Leap. Leap represents an entirely new way to interact with your computers. It’s more accurate than a mouse, as reliable as a keyboard and more sensitive than a touchscreen. For the first time, you can control a computer in three dimensions with your natural hand and finger movement

QR Code’s March to Ubiquity

Best Buy has placed QR Codes (2-D barcodes) on most shelves. Shoppers (or employees) can scan the code to access additional product information, collect products in a shopping cart and compare them. Starbucks uses QR codes for iPhone gift cards. Google is trying to get shop owners to put QR code stickers in their windows to open up that store’s Google Places listing on the window shopper’s cell phone.

Placing QR codes on digital signage can be tricky. I took the photo shown here of a Times Square billboard. There was a large QR code under the cnet sign but my iphone camera couldn’t read it in the dark.

There some decent scenarios on Foxy Propganda’s blog “Top 5 Creative Ways to Use QR Codes”

Creating and Reading Codes
It’s easy to create a QR code. Turn any link in to a QR code when you add a “qr” to the end of any goo.gl URL or any bit.ly URL A new service called Likefy allows marketers to add QR codes to products and signs, and then link those QR codes to a Facebook “like” button.

You can generate your own QR code.

Reading QR codes requires a native application to make them work. See this prior post How They Work: QR Code Basics. The market needs to be educated about them but the applications are vast and awareness is growing.

Likify Window

The overall survey results from this Siegal+Gale Evaluation of 2 different label designs are very interesting but that’s not the point – on page 24 of the report respondents were asked if they would scan the QR code. The table indicates that about 14.5% would have. I would have thought it would have been lower.

Change the Interface: Change the World

I saw a very thought provoking presentation by Forrester Analyst James McQuivey at a Level Studio event. He is jazzed about the XBox Kinect and the 3-D camera that enables interaction with just your body. He gave excellent examples of how changes in user-interface have had a significant impact on our lives.

– the T.V. remote control meant you no longer had to get off the couch to change the channel enabling ease of access to content moving us from an average of 4 channels to something like 107 channels per household.
– the mouse made is possible to move from the C:\> to the graphical user interface we have today and made possible most of our jobs and an explosion of household PCs.
– the iPhone touch screen has enabled an explosion of mobile applications with 50M iPhones and 3M iPads in circulation and a multiplier effect of imitators.

The new motion interaction will once again change the nature of human to machine interactions. It will enable us to more conveniently meet people’s needs in a way that is natural and comfortable.

Here is a link to his Forrester “>report.

Urban EcoMap Launched

UrbanEcoMap launched today! The goal of this site is to empower the citizens of San Francisco with information and tools around the personal activities that produce green house gas emissions (energy, waste and transportation) so they can make informed decisions on how to reduce their carbon footprint. Tools on the site enable them to evaluate scenarios and see the resulting impact. They can build a personal plan based on their lifestyle and the level of effort and cost they are willing to invest. They are given visibility o how their zip code compares to others which we hope will motivate the individuals in the poorly performing neighborhoods to do their part to change their behaviors.

The site design was done in partnership with Level Studios. We strove to make this interface easy to use but the urban information design can ultimately only be as good as the data. Today the data is being drawn from a number of sources including PG&E, department of motor vehicles and the waste management companies. The ambition is to get to real-time data (sensors, mobile devices, etc) because we think that this will have the biggest effect on attitudes and therefore behaviors. We designed the User Interface to be able to accommodate information from additional sources in the future.