Project Sidekick: NASA will bring Hololens into space

Sidekick is a new project by NASA and Microsoft to empower astronauts aboard the International Space Station (ISS) using commercial virtual reality technology. Microsoft HoloLens will provide virtual aid to astronauts working off the Earth, for the Earth.

HoloLens and other virtual and mixed reality devices are cutting edge technologies that could help drive future exploration and provide new capabilities to the men and women conducting critical science on the International Space Station,” said Sam Scimemi, director of the ISS program at NASA Headquarters in Washington. “This new technology could also empower future explorers requiring greater autonomy on the journey to Mars.

Read more about the project.

Jazz.Computer: interactive song jamming through scroll

Jazz.Computer: interactive song jamming through scroll

Jazz.Computer – by Yotam Mann and Sarah Rothberg– is an interactive song you can “mess” with by simply scrolling. Changes,  chords, arrangement are controlled live by the direction and position of your scrolling in the browser view.

It is based on tone.js – a free javascript library crated by Mann that use Web Audio API to do realtime synthesis, playback, timing and effects in the browser.

Play Jazz.Computer.

Read more about the project.

Found on Creativeapplications.


How and why games work | loop scheme

Philipp Zupke: How and why games work

In this post,  Philipp Zupke discusses how games work and what makes them so engrossing. Based on the works of Raph Koster’s  “Theory of Fun” And Daniel Cooks’ “Feedback System”, his analysis offers an insight on fun and learning, loop, strategies, goals and player agency.

Learn more about the topic by watching “Defining Gameplay: Between structure and chaos” by Alexandre Mandryka (Ubisoft).

Read the full article.




Toward Human-Centered Algorithmic Personalization

Toward Human-Centered Algorithmic Personalization

Jarno M. Koponen Personalization algorithms influence what you’ve chosen yesterday, what you choose today and what you’ll be choosing tomorrow […its] image of us is like looking yourself in the funfair’s house of mirrors […it] caricaturizes us and creates a striking gap between our real interests and their digital reflection. Because of the personalization gaps and internal paradox, personalization remains unfulfilling and incomplete. It leaves us with a feeling that it serves someone else’s interests better than our own.

Continue reading…

Abe Davis: video technology reveals new way to interact with objects

In this TED Talk video, Abe Davis presents a video technology capable to offer new modes of interactions with real-world things – thanks to micro vibrations and hidden properties of objects.

“Subtle motion happens around us all the time, including tiny vibrations caused by sound. New technology shows that we can pick up on these vibrations and actually re-create sound and conversations just from a video of a seemingly still object. But now Abe Davis takes it one step further: Watch him demo software that lets anyone interact with these hidden properties, just from a simple video”.


How Apple and IBM conviced people to buy the first PCs

How Apple and IBM conviced people to buy the first PCs

“Make it seem like they’ve always been there”. According to David Sims – The Atlantic – this was the secret weapon advertisers used in 1977 to convince people to open the door of their homes to the first personal computers.

The article offers an insight on computer related ads of the era following Apple and IBM and their efforts to establish a consumer market for personal computers. At least once those devices became “small enough to fit in the home and intuitive enough to use without a programming degree”.

“Apple ads” – writes Sims –  “offered straightforward, striking imagery, emphasizing clarity rather than elaborate claims on behalf of its wares—an approach it maintains to this day.” Indeed, “Today, Apple makes a habit of stripping its advertising of everything but the most essential details to let the product speak for itself.”

Read the full article.


The Bit Planner: a wall mounted LEGO time planner

Designed by  Clara Gaggero and Adrian Westaway – former designers at Vitamins and founders of  Special Projects (a product design and invention studio based in London)  – and Duncan Fitzsimons,  The Bit Planner (2013) is a wall mounted time planner made entirely out of LEGO.

A companion software application was originally scheduled for 2014 but never released. According to the concept, users could have taken a photo of the planner to synchronise the events to an online calendar.

Find out more on the project page.


Role-playing Interactions and Micromoments

In this 3 years old article, Stephen P. Anderson (@stephenanderson)  focuses on the idea of interaction as conversation or micromoments.

He writes: “Good interaction design is about attending to every moment that passes between a person and the device (or system, or service) with which he or she is interacting.

These moments can be explicit, as with gestures, taps, a button-click, or the completion of a form field. Or, these moments may be more elusive, such as a pause while you try and understand what is being asked of you or how to answer. It’s these internal conversations that users have at any given moment that often get overlooked.

In practice, it’s more common for designers to focus on UI elements, the information being asked for, or the content being published to the page. We often lose sight of the conversation—the “volley” if you will—between person and device. Consider the following example.”

Read more.

Stephen P. Anderson is the author of Seductive Interaction Design (2011)