Saturday, 13 December 2008
Tuesday, 9 December 2008
Monday, 8 December 2008
Wouldn't it be nice if...
- We explored non-conventional methods like storytelling and art–practice?
- Things enrich our experiences with the meaning they draw into our lives?
- We explored human emotions like desire in the things we design?
- There was a physical and virtual flow of experience using non-invasive technologies?
- Technology could defeat rather than encourage crime?
- Technology could help to build trust and bypass cultural/social/language barriers?
- Technology could drive community engagement?
- Technology could encourage transformative government?
- Technology could help reconnect different generations?
- Technology could help in sustaining skills and expertise through knowledge sharing?
- Clothes fitted people (in the ways they’d like to look)?
- Design could be across cultures and generations?
- Technology worked for everyone?
- Technology brought people closer together?
- We could predict how users might respond emotionally to a design?
- Technology could enhance emotional well-being?
- Users were at the heart of the design process?
- Technology evolved through use?
- We had open, collaborative development tools and processes?
- We could make what we need in our communities?
- Everything was bespoke – and as a result create a more ecologically sustainable future?
- We could enable social inclusion by designing and making things that adapted themselves?
- Everyone has access to the knowledge and resources to know the life cycle of things and act upon it?
- Making overtook shopping as an activity?
- Designers would learn from the entire manufacturing process and product life cycle?
- The technology was an enabler, not a controller?
- Emotionally augmented communication media?
- There was true participatory design?
- My computer could sense emotions and thoughts and react accordingly?
- Connecting older people drove social and technological change?
- Everyone could use technology safely and securely?
- Technology connected us better with nature?
- We could design out deliberate technological obsolescence?
- Technology could reduce human error?
- Technology reduced our impact on our true environment?
- We could rely on all technology 100% of the time?
Thursday, 4 December 2008
Tuesday, 2 December 2008
Saturday, 29 November 2008
Friday, 28 November 2008
Thursday, 13 November 2008
It seems to me to be a little bit too..... "Final", to simply erase an old friend from memory - and perhaps this is the problem - perhaps I have personalised the word "memory" and consider my phone now as an extension of my very being. I have no doubt that these past friends will stay with me for ever in my head, so why does it feel so wrong to delete them from my phone?
And the realisation that other people might have the same anxieties, made me think - perhaps in this digital age we need a 'digital resting place' where we could go with our mobile phones to transfer the 'memory' of a deceased friend with a little more respect and dignity than simply clicking 'delete'
Tuesday, 11 November 2008
This involves anchoring a virtual reality experience at a physical location. Thus the experiences in the virtual world can only be had at a specific real location. Eg.
• A virtual command post can be set up at the scene of an incident. This command post involves the sharing of information in the virtual world but can only be accessed by those at the scene of the incident.
• A set of blogs and media files are left at famous outdoor sculptures. Groups of friends can contribute, copy, and share files only while they are viewing the sculpture.
reference - http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Virtual_Graffiti
Saturday, 8 November 2008
Monday, 3 November 2008
Why on earth had we come into to Paris for the day? We're we mad?
I love Paris. We had walked from the Louvre to the Arc de Triomphe, through the Tuileries and along the Champs-Élysées. We visited the Centre Pompidou and of course we shopped. All fabulous real-world physical expereinces - there is no substitute for "being there"..... or is there?
A quick search on the internet suggests that maybe we are not so far away from being able to experience foriegn travel without the hassle of rush hour traffic jams.
There are hundreds of websites that claim to provide a "virtual tour" of paris - certainly some do provide great photos of the scenary and interesting snippets of history - http://www.virtourist.com/europe/paris/
want some sounds too? http://uk.youtube.com/watch?v=yDVIem1k-YU
why I can even do my own walk through paris with google streets -
How about if i want try some of that lovely French wine? Well it looks like i can have an online wine tasting with http://www.tastoria.co.uk/node/1
But what about the smell of being there? http://www.rru.com/webodor/
Ah but surely you cant experience that miserable feeling of the rain online can you? Well it might not quite be rain yet, but the idea is getting closer - http://www.margaretdmcgee.com/_real_hands__real_water__57839.htm
So perhaps, we're not so far away from being able to enjoy the experiences of foriegn travel without the traffic jams...... without the travel..... without the foriegn???
Wednesday, 29 October 2008
Before the digital economy, that would be the sort of ambition that would probably get your funding proposal filed in the circular basket. But now, those sorts of data sets are readily available. In fact, Yahoo Research conducted a very interesting study on the topic, very recently. You can read about it here.
So, to paraphrase Microsoft, "what interesting questions might you like to ask today?"
Tuesday, 28 October 2008
What I hadn't realised was that I was about to receive a major insight into just how powerful Open Innovation can be. Five minutes ago, I received an email, from the Google group, containing a digest of the suggestions that had been submitted. There were 25 of them. Out of curiosity I scanned through them, and found that they were all useful contributions. Not one of them was enticing me to buy a time share in Vanuatu, or some dodgy pills. But that's not the amazing part. The truly astonishing part about this email was that it was very similar to the one I received an hour earlier, and the one before that. In fact, as far as I can tell, Google is receiving dozens and dozens of useful suggestions every hour.
Obviously, a company of Google's size is likely to attract a lot of feedback, but I simply hadn't realised just how much they receive. It would seem as though a key problem for many organisations will be how to make sense of the huge amount of feedback that is available to them, and how to integrate it into their design process.
How can they identify priorities from the fire hydrant of comments, and how can they evolve their products fast enough to take advantage of the stream of ideas?
Friday, 24 October 2008
The question arises, how might we stop people using technology, stop them making use of the always-on nature of the DE? Which comes back to the theme of work/life balance.
Saturday, 11 October 2008
As I was reading them, I was struck by the difference between my experience of the digitial economy, and the one that CIOs were describing for five years hence. Practically everything they discussed is available, and in use, right now. By way of example, I learnt about these reports, not through a flyer arriving in my post box, but via David Gurteen's Knowledge Newsletter. Having read the story, I looked over at my Skype contact list and noticed that David was still in Australia, and so not available for an instant (and free) video conference. And, the surprising part, of course, was that this way of working is completely normal for me, and hundreds thousands of other people.
So, what is holding these, predominantely larger, companies back? Perhaps, the technology just isn't simple enough to implement and integrate. If so, the real challenge for digitial economy researchers may be about making existing technologies simple enough to facilitate their widespread adoption, at an acceptable cost.
Thursday, 9 October 2008
Bon Bon Kakku is pioneering net store where you can design your own fabrics. If your design is a success, it will be also sold on the site. Every fabric designed on our site will be published on our site for viewers to see and vote for. We will choose the fabrics to sell on our store based on the results of viewers voting.
For a fashion designer, this would seem to offer instant market research for free. However, the moves to crowd sourcing also raise large questions about IPR. The future of design looks exciting and potentially quite messy.
Tuesday, 7 October 2008
Anyway, the point is that I saw youtube as a video streaming site for short, and discreet videos of variable quality. That was, until I watched my nephews, one evening. They were bored, fed up with their video games, and couldn't go out. So, they turned to youtube. For the next hour, they built their own customised TV show, simply by searching for topics of interest - in their case, it largely revolved around people engaging in various escapades that were clearly going to end badly, and did.
They were untroubled by the lack of plot, the variability of quality, and the fact that they had to stitch it together themselves. In fact, this latter point was a major positive. And, at no time during the this event, did any of them think about turning on their humungous TV, to see what the channels were broadcasting.
This shift away from mainstream media has important implications for how people co-create their digital lives. Demos, the think tank, has just published a report on this topic. Understandably, given their background, they are exploring the idea from a more political perspective.
Cheap digital technology and broadband access have broken the moving-image monopoly held by production companies and broadcasters. In its place a new theatre of public information has emerged.
It is a messy, alternative realm of video creation and exchange that extends across the internet, television, festivals and campaigns. This report charts the rise of the ‘Video Republic’ across Europe, a new space for debate and expression dominated by young people.
Is mainstream media a dead zone for the next generation? What do you think?
Monday, 6 October 2008
If you have any suggestions of tools we should consider, please add them in the comments.
Sunday, 5 October 2008
Ideas Factories, or Sandpits as they are also called, are a novel way to define research programmes. The EPSRC has run something like 15 over the last two years, ranging over a wide variety of topics. The premise is disarmingly simple. The academics compete to be part of the event, demonstrating a knowledge of the area under consideration and a commitment to team working.
Once there, they have to all agree about the best projects and how the money is spent. The EPSRC call this real-time peer review. In practice the Director and the mentors, and the EPSRC personnel, all take part in the development of the ideas, but the scientists have to be the core of the ideas – for it is they that take forward the work.
The premise of an Ideas Factory is simple to state and very difficult to implement. No matter how hard they try, every participant will come to the event with an idea of what the outcome should be and how they can contribute to it. The first day is dedicated to assembling these ideas into the first round of potential projects. Once they are derived, the groups are hybridised in order to disrupt these pre-existing ideas and networks. The second day is therefore concerned with rebuilding potential projects from pieces of the first day’s projects. Just as everyone is beginning to get comfortable, an external speaker is brought in to give a totally different viewpoint of the problem – and the teams are once again scrambled. That means that the third day is once again taken up with building projects – but this time with a doubly mixed-up set of experiences and prejudices. The experience in the room was such that many things had to be discarded through these first three days – not because there were not interesting or challenging research projects, and not because they were not valuable areas to explore. What survives this process are ideas that everyone thinks are challenging and that (probably) would not have evolved in the course of normal academic discussion and interaction. The fourth day is then taken up with developing the ideas and presenting them back to the wider group.
It is worth noting that the concept of real-time peer review can be inhibited by too much politeness, or the sense of fair play that the English often prize too highly. At this point, the projects – and the teams that have assembled to develop them – are in competition with one another for the funds. The EPSRC nominally allocates an amount of money at the start and unless everyone agrees (including the EPSRC sponsor, the Director and the mentors) that the projects are of real value, then no money is spent. There is a ‘‘dragon’s den’’ at the end of the fourth day where the teams present to the Director and mentors – it is not always a cordial affair!! The final day is for costing out the agreed programmes and the tailoring to fit the available budget.