Not what you were expecting. Unless you were expecting to see a robot marry a couple in Tokyo…
Google Chrome has been out for a little more than a year now and the web browser has had a slow but steady rate of adoption. Just when Firefox looked like it might finally overtake Internet Explorer for internets superiority, the incorrigible Google comes and throws it’s hat in the ring. And they’re doing it with style. There have been some really beautiful promos made for Chrome in the past, but I absolutely love this new one. Apparently Chrome is faster than a speeding potato.
There is so much here. The “previously-unseen towel” part of the title, the slightly-femmy movements of the robot, the way the 50X speed-up makes it look like a Svankmajer film, the diligent care with which it smooths out each towel when it’s done, and the palpable shock when it returns to the towel table and there aren’t any left to fold.
I admit it, I’m kind of obsessed with the iPad right now. Forget the fact that it’s a foxy little gadget. I’m obsessed with this paradigm shift to the touch interface. This reach out and touch the internet thing. Yes, Apple is more guilty of wild hyperbole than most, but it’s claims that this product is revolutionary are undeniable. We are now computing with our fingers, folks. They are not the first to do it, but they are the first to do it right. It is time to reevaluate how we use our computers. The Apple vs. Adobe row is bringing a lot of things to light. Some even related to design! Can we live in a world without mouseovers?
Flash design is a rich affair where the user accesses web content through beautiful menus and animated graphics. Among the many techniques employed is the use of mouseovers. A surfer puts their mouse… over buttons on a web site and other actions are triggered. Additional information is usually presented, such as a drop-down menu. Or maybe a new window is popped up. All without clicking. A truly novel way of doing things. And it’s been a ubiquitous part of the browser user experience (UX) for more than a decade.
But mouseover and hover actions don’t work with touch interface. You do not have a mouse pointer to hover over buttons, you have a dirty finger. There have been suggestions to replicate the behavior, like a “finger-aware” screen that can tell if you’re about to touch the screen. But for now, the functionality is simply not possible. Acceptance of touch UI means design principles like these will have to change or risk being left in the dust. Why would design be dictating what devices we buy or how we consume media? Shouldn’t designers be figuring out how to use this new method in beautiful and creative new ways?
The iPad is a really futuristic device. If you’re a professional/power user, a mouse and keyboard still work best. If you’re a media consumer/communicator, which I think most people are, the touch UI is way more fun, intuitive, and powerful. So why not embrace the future? If not with Apple, than with someone else. But embrace it no?
Check out this amazing iPhone app from my friend at whoisthebaldguy.com. Yep, there’s an app for that.
I was a little disappointed last week when I couldn’t get my act together in time to go to SXSW. Even though my bosses said they’d pay for it. None of us really knew about the interactive portion of the annual conference. I thought it was a film festival with good music! I have always wanted to see Austin and the interactive portion kind of hit the big time this year. At least in my eyes. The sessions offered where really cool and totally what I’m in to. I picked the ones I wanted to go to, wrote up what I was going to get out of it and handed it in to my boss. Then I downloaded the official SXSW iphone apps and waited. But alas, I got the go ahead on a monday and had to leave that thursday. So I made a game-time decision to skip it this year. You can bet I’ll have my glasses and tight jeans ready for next year.
But had I gone, I would have been met with this sign from a local bar that wasn’t too thrilled by the unusually high traffic.
This is really scary and you probably shouldn’t watch it if you have trouble sleeping. Like I did. Super-interesting nonetheless.
It’s ok though. If you do have trouble sleeping after watching the video, you can download the iPhone app, Sleep Cycle. Pretty much the coolest app I’ve so far used and the best 99 pennies I’ve ever spent. Sleep Cycle is an alarm clock on HGH. It stays in bed with you and actually measures how you toss and turn through the night using the iPhone’s accelerometer. These subtle measurements allow the app to determine what sleep phase you are in. “Waking up in the lightest sleep phase feels like waking without an alarm clock – it is a natural way to wake up where you feel rested and relaxed.” So even though you set the alarm for a certain time, it can wake you up at any point during a 30 minute window, according to what phase you are in. After a while, it learns your sleep patterns and displays them in nightly graphs. You can even annoy your friends by posting the graphs to Facebook!
Naturally, I was skeptical at first, but so far this thing works like gangbusters. Since I started using it, I don’t feel groggy during the day and have had more energy than I know what to do with. Don’t know if it’s magic or psychological or if it just works, but color me a believer. Now I can’t wait to go to sleep. Read more about it here and here.
In 72 seconds. Wild.
Check out this collection of illustrations from a Russian children’s book entitled, Hello, I’m A Robot. The book was written by Stanislav Zigunenko and the illustrations were created by E. Benyaminson. Published in 1989, right around when the Soviet Union was crumbling, which might inform some of these designs. It doesn’t really matter though. Colorful pictures of robots are always welcome. Why wasn’t I read books about robots when I was a kid? Wait, I probably was. Pretty cool stuff.