Never stop the magic!

04/16/2013

A magic hatA few days ago, browsing my feeds, I saw an article title that really caught my attention. The title was “I’m boycotting intuitive interfaces“. John Pavlus explains the concept of intuitiveness and to some extend it reminded me my post on instincts, intuition and the famous… nipple!  As John puts it, intuitive is a UI that feels familiar. It feels like you know how to use it. But the word itself might lead to different expectations and possibly fears.

Intuitive is not supposed to be something that senses your intends and acts accordingly. Or at least… it should not be doing so unless you know why, when and how it does it and have a certain amount of control on it. Read the rest of this entry »

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Indoor navigation, outdoor navigation or simply… navigation?

12/17/2012
Traditional navigation tools

Traditional navigation tools

I already posted an article some time ago about WiFi and its potentials on providing the next indoor navigation system. The truth is that WiFi is just one of a number of different solutions presented for indoor navigation. There are also many more. For example, Sam’s Club mobile app is a mobile app that provides indoor navigation to specific items and shops in some selected American shopping malls since the beginning of 2011. Similarly, the FastMall app provides navigation for shopping malls in 31 countries using interactive maps that you download and use. In contrast to traditional mobile shopping and mapping apps, FastMall is based on MapOS platform that provides turn-by-turn walking directions for any venue without requiring a global positioning system (GPS), WIFI connection, or an Internet signal. Other applications in the same family are Meijer Find It and Micello Maps. Read the rest of this entry »


The TV that… feels you!

12/10/2012
Elderly person using a smart TV

Elderly person using a smart TV

Why should people get sleepy while watching TV? Why shouldn’t a user friendly TV read our eye lids and take the courageous decision to either close or change program? Why shouldn’t the user friendly TV take the liberty to freeze the running of a movie to let us go to the toilet or alert us to go to the toilet in case we need to but are unable to see the risk? Why shouldn’t our user friendly TV adapt viewing settings so that we don’t need our glasses – a self-calibration of the presented images would allow the user to watch his or her favourite program without changing the settings.

So, the TV is a device that enables access to content but may also have decision-making capabilities. Access to content does not take place the way we have been used to: a child is not enabled to follow an adult film, same way as a manic depressive person is not allowed to have access to certain broadcasts, while a deaf person is given the necessary support through captioning and / or subtitling so that he / she may follow the program. Read the rest of this entry »


Will WiFi be the best solution for indoor navigation?

11/05/2012
Google Maps indoor navigation

Google Maps indoor navigation

I am returning to mobility problems in this post and especially for indoor environements. One of the most pressing issues for mobility impaired and vision impaired persons is the issue of getting around in unknown indoor environments. Getting lost, disoriented and even getting “trapped” in some circumstances can be quite a stressful situation for them.

Lately, a number of positioning techniques have been developed for indoor environments (e.g., the methods based on Wireless Local Area Networks (WLAN), Bluetooth, Radio Frequency Identification (RFID), Ultra Wideband (UWB), infrared and ultrasound, etc.). Among these techniques, the approach on the basis of exploiting 802.11 WLAN (Wi-Fi) is attractive, which is expected to yield a cost-effective and easy-accessible solution. All modern smartphones have Wi-Fi built in, and wireless networks are common enough in indoor spaces that an app could easily scan for known access points and calculate your position using trilateration . This is currently enabled in open operating systems of smart phones, e.g. in Android ones. As an alternative, there are some Wi-Fi installations in buildings, such as the ones based on Cisco MSE that can determine the location of any wireless device in the building. The Wi-Fi access points receive the Wi-Fi signals created by the mobile phone and then estimate its position via trilateration. Read the rest of this entry »


Not now mom, I’m on the class… the virtual one!

10/08/2012
Image of a virtual reality classroom

Virtual reality classroom
Source (http://www.dipity.com/brianne/personal/)

This week we are revisiting once again education. We already talked about collaborative learning and how ICT helps in that process in a previous post.

Another interesting trend in CSCL is the use of virtual worlds and gaming. Currently, there is a variety of applications on the web offering educational virtual worlds for kids that require children to complete projects and tasks, play games and throughout this process learn a variety of subjects. Read the rest of this entry »


In the meantime… (#2)

09/20/2012

That’s one more of those posts to wet your appetite… in between the weekly updates!

A few days ago I was going through my Facebook timeline and this article from mashable caught my attention.

It’s about a new pair of shoes that can guide you back home in case you’re lost. First thing someone would think will be… “Great… I won’t ever get lost again on my vacations!!!”. I don’t know how in fashion you would look with those blinking led lights on top of them but Read the rest of this entry »


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