Form Follows Function

a collection of interactive experiences built in HTML5 and works beautifully whether you’re on a tablet or DT. a good inspiration for how design and technology work well to create a playful site.

http://fff.cmiscm.com/#!/main

HTC X8 Windows phone – quick review

Picked up this phone yesterday and had a chance to use it exclusively for over 24 hours, while the iPhone 5 was quietly weeping in my back pocket.

The hardware is well designed and very fast. The camera takes great pictures and the video looked quite vivid as well. The battery life is better then the iPhone 5 (in my experience).

The operating system is slick and will be very easy to use for anyone used to Windows 8. If you are new to the device, the learning curve isn’t steep.

The Office suite works really well on the device. Viewing, styling and editing documents (word, excel) is a breeze. Setting up my 3 email accounts was dead easy (google, work google and outlook.com).

The biggest problem with the phone has nothing to do with the hardware or the operating system. It has to do with the lack of “common” applications for the Windows operating system. I was only able to find about 40% of the apps that I use on the iPhone in the Windows Marketplace. It could be only a matter of time before developers catch up, but for now, the situation is not best.

Pros:

– well designed, light, fast

– excellent screen

– decent battery life

– great camera

– good call quality

– highly compatible with MS Office apps

Cons:

– not able to dial out a number out of the web browser by simply pressing it

– the browser displayed several websites as blank white pages

– the search button is not placed well, so I kept pressing it by mistake

– lack of “common” applications in the marketplace

– very limited google application support (maps, drive etc…), what little exists is rumoured to go away

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Samsung Flexes its muscles

Youm-Flexible-Oled

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dBYc20bB6LI

Samsung demonstrated a new flexible OLED display at CES 2013. This impressive screen is thin, pliable and can be bent without damage to the screen.

Go to 4:00 minute If you want to skip to the demo of the product.

Insights into Interactive Design

This is an 18 minute documentary by Bassett & Partners and Microsoft exploring how our lives have and will change in a connected world. It features interviews from designers from Twitter, Arduino, etc. Definately not a statement, but musings and thoughts about how UX affects our lives.

Great usage or parallax on the Nintendo website

Parallax based websites appear to be all the rage this days. Here is a great piece done by Nintendo. Don’t forget to use your mouse wheel or your keyboard arrows to see the effect.

http://www.nintendo.com.au/gamesites/mariokartwii/#rediscover

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Interactive jacket

This for now goes into the “vapor-ware” category. Wearable electronics have existed for a very long time but haven’t gained much popularity. This startup out of Brazil is trying to change that by creating a jacket with an array of sensors. Each sensor is unique and can control a custom computer program behavior.

http://www.kickstarter.com/projects/machina/midi-controller-jacket-v01?ref=website

NikeFuel Station turns retail experience into a sport

Using the Microsoft Kinect to fully immerse consumers in a digital experience

McDonald’s augmented reality application

Wow. I thought that the “Our food. Your questions.” Canadian campaign executed by Tribal DDB was brilliant. Australia takes it to the next level with an augmented reality application that shows you where your food came from.

Check out the video!

Capri is the future of 3D sensing – next Xbox Kinect

Capri Next kinect

Next kinect

Just ran into a very cheesy video made by the manufacturers of the Xbox Kinect of their upcoming, much smaller sensor, named Capri. Take a look at the video: http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=w5QGf_9gGME

Why does it matter? Because the existent Kinect system is very successful in many practical applications beyond gaming. The Capri could be far more precise, powerful and smaller. Lots of applications for outdoor interactive with no need for touch!

Surface Windows 8 RT – quick review

rt2

Got this device about a month ago and had some time to use it both at home and at work.

I really like the Windows 8 operating system. I’ve been running it at home for the past 7 months but was using a mouse on my old laptop which hinders the experience. It is a much more pleasant experience to use it on a touch screen device like the Surface RT. Using the brand new Microsoft office applications on the device is great. There are 2 types of keyboard available for the device. One is flat while the other has raised keys (more traditional). Both are very slim.

The “RT” in “Surface RT” means that this is a potable device operating system, that can only run applications specially programmed for “RT”. It means that you can not use such a program as Quattro, as it was programmed to run on normal, non-“RT” computers. This is the biggest flaw of the device and for this reason I would not recommend buying it at this stage.

The full version of the Surface, which can run all the normally programmed applications, will be available in the next few months. The device will be double the price of the RT device.

Pros:

– up to 8 house of battery life

– extremely portable

– using gestures to close, switch and position applications is powerful

– display quality is very sharp, even though it is not as crisp as the iPad

– has true multi-tasking (also is a con, read below)

– unlike a regular tablet, has a standard USB port, so you can plug and use your printer, camera, USB drive etc

Cons:

– running power-hungry applications in the background could really slow the device

– you must use the raised keyboard, otherwise typing is difficult

– can’t run regular computer programs, has to run specially programmed RT programs