If Apple does introduce a wearable on 09.09, I predict it will be about three things: health, health, and health. I expect fundamentally the best possible sensor on the planet for human health vitals packaged as a stylish wearable, and deeply integrated with HealthKit, HomeKit and iBeacon technologies, in that order.
It would be uncharacteristic of Apple to add communication, imaging, mapping etc. into this device at this time.
And no, I very much doubt it will be a replacement for your smartphone, more likely an accessory to it.

'the city of the captive globe' by rem koolhaas, 1978 … monument valley, anyone?

“In effect, we want to shift the fear from the victims to the perpetrators.”
“We’ll increasingly be defined by what we say no to.”
— Paul Graham, Y Combinator 
Consumer data visualisation tools are an interesting new segment emerging … I probably don’t know a dozen good ones already out there growing their user base fast right now. Their incredible power in terms of transforming raw data into meaningful information for users is eclipsed by the tricky play they face in terms of creating repeat use. I expect to see some great design innovation here.     Pictured above : Latvia’s ‘infogr.am’ and fundersandfounders’ ‘infographic labs’.  Consumer data visualisation tools are an interesting new segment emerging … I probably don’t know a dozen good ones already out there growing their user base fast right now. Their incredible power in terms of transforming raw data into meaningful information for users is eclipsed by the tricky play they face in terms of creating repeat use. I expect to see some great design innovation here.     Pictured above : Latvia’s ‘infogr.am’ and fundersandfounders’ ‘infographic labs’. 

Consumer data visualisation tools are an interesting new segment emerging … I probably don’t know a dozen good ones already out there growing their user base fast right now. Their incredible power in terms of transforming raw data into meaningful information for users is eclipsed by the tricky play they face in terms of creating repeat use. I expect to see some great design innovation here.     
Pictured above : Latvia’s ‘infogr.am’ and fundersandfounders’ ‘infographic labs’. 

Was just checking out Navdy’s nicely done video. The product apparently nestles smoothly into a real user problems, and demonstrates how they can be solved rather well… but to me this is still just well made, and rather naive, design fiction. (Ironically, the video title is super accurate in that sense.) I am fascinated by how new technologies are spawning a generation of products never seen before, those that straddle the line between fantasy prototypes and real world solutions. 

Why am I so skeptical of Navdy? Well, there’s the question of speed. I simply find it hard believe that the pace of (cognitive, not physical) interaction required with the heads-up display will be consistent across the varying speeds at which the car is bound to move. The latter, of course, affects attention span and decision-making, reaction time hugely. 
So, that call from Mum - if the dude was going at 80 miles an hour 
trying to change lanes on a packed multi-lane highway - he’d wish it had a gesture for a “no fucking way right now” instant message to her.

Also, the whole super confidently intoned “airline pilots use it, it’s safe” spiel .. airline pilots don’t need to watch out for that kid rollerblading out from a side street while you are racking your head about where the next ideal parking lot is going to be, while your girlfriend is stressing about that upcoming interview. No, this isn’t the airline pilot’s de facto state while flying; it happens all the time to urban car drivers, however. 

In more designerly parlance, it’s not clear what kinds of cognitive tradeoffs and potential collateral damage in interaction such a new affordance will create for users (and the affordance I am talking about is not just the gestural one offered by the Navdy interface, but the new hybrid combination of that plus the steering wheel and dashboard controls the car already has.)  

But I didn’t prototype the thing, I haven’t used the thing. And I haven’t user tested the thing. So I’m not in a position to write off Navdy as a deal breaker, not at all. I’m just saying it looks more like a charming first version that some people, maybe quite a few people, are going to want to try. But after that, Navdy might have to evolve a few new avatars to stay relevant and in business. 

Brilliant demonstration of why brand-driven design is a not just a better, but fundamentally different strategy, from feature-driven design - and connects with my previous note on the necessity for ‘adding extra to the ordinary’ as an arguably better long-term design strategy.

In this video, we get real proof from the streets that while the majority of companies in a category rely on the category itself (esp. when the category is in its early stages of market adoption) to gain traction, a few continually rely on brand as the cornerstone of product quality perception.
So, if you’re getting a Samsung smartwatch, its possibly good because its a ‘Smartwatch’ (and your perception of this can degrade significantly fast). But if you are getting an Apple smartwatch, its probably going to be good because its Apple (a notion that you will likely try to sustain even in the face of average product experience, and certainly augment with good or great experience.)  

Google, and increasingly facebook, ads are a major source of inspiration and information for me in terms of technology adoption by user communities and how those technologies are perceived. This ad is epic - a smartwatch for €12! One of the thumb rules I refer back to often in my work is one I outlined in my TEDx talk back in  2012 : extraordinary objects and services are about putting the extra into the ordinary. Now, in connection to that thumb rule, why do I think a €12 ‘smartwatch’ is a good thing? Well, when a market is flooded by €12 smartwatches, everyone and his neighbor gets one, uses it for a month or two, and then the loaded term ‘smartwatch’ loses its glam value for every one. The thing becomes just ‘a watch’. Which is a good thing. (Update : this is happening already - http://venturebeat.com/2014/08/09/lgs-g-watch-a-smartwatch-with-no-reason-to-exist-review/) We shouldn’t be buying and upgrading watches, or for that matter cars or any product or service, because they ‘smart’, or ‘intelligent’. We should be buying them because they work. And because they delight. That’s an ordinary product that’s truly got something extraordinary about it. And that’s something people are always willing to get behind.  

Google, and increasingly facebook, ads are a major source of inspiration and information for me in terms of technology adoption by user communities and how those technologies are perceived. 
This ad is epic - a smartwatch for €12!
One of the thumb rules I refer back to often in my work is one I outlined in my TEDx talk back in  2012 : extraordinary objects and services are about putting the extra into the ordinary. 
Now, in connection to that thumb rule, why do I think a €12 ‘smartwatch’ is a good thing? Well, when a market is flooded by €12 smartwatches, everyone and his neighbor gets one, uses it for a month or two, and then the loaded term ‘smartwatch’ loses its glam value for every one. The thing becomes just ‘a watch’. Which is a good thing. (Update : this is happening already - http://venturebeat.com/2014/08/09/lgs-g-watch-a-smartwatch-with-no-reason-to-exist-review/
We shouldn’t be buying and upgrading watches, or for that matter cars or any product or service, because they ‘smart’, or ‘intelligent’. We should be buying them because they work. And because they delight. That’s an ordinary product that’s truly got something extraordinary about it. And that’s something people are always willing to get behind.  

Totally missed ‘Half Nelson’ so far .. contemplating dialectics, design, and the myopia of duality .. read : life is not a bowl of (black or white) roses ..   

Most google searches never return results from torrents .. its one of those invisible faces of google everyone knows : you look for a torrent but google won’t return a torrent unless explicitly specified in the search term ..

not this time .. a docu i love, aptly titled “all watched over by machines of loving grace” returns pretty much all torrent results on google .. food for thought ;) 

Proof that the IoT has hit the peak of the hype cycle .. its all downhill from here, for a while. Goodbye IoT / welcome actually useful connected stuff.  

Proof that the IoT has hit the peak of the hype cycle .. its all downhill from here, for a while. Goodbye IoT / welcome actually useful connected stuff.  

Talent attracts talent …

While a slew of startups fight to break in to the uber-tough recruiting market, there’s nothing like recruiting direct from source … its something digital natives have under their skin.  

Content > Community > Culture > More Content. 

This is a screen capture from a pirated bollywood movie :) i love how the ad is clean, focused, professional  .. no bs. 

A classic resurfaces from within my forgotten stash ….. Ah, the pleasures of analog discovery.

Nailed it. Works great as ‘Indian Truck Art’ too.
Goes to show that popular visual culture and artifact design are probably much more a reflection of a people than nationalistic mythos and boundaries.  

Nailed it. Works great as ‘Indian Truck Art’ too.

Goes to show that popular visual culture and artifact design are probably much more a reflection of a people than nationalistic mythos and boundaries.