- When objects or devices are designed to work for a full spectrum of ability, they tend to work better for everyone. This is not a new idea, but it's underapprecatiated and underapplied in most design processes. The perfectly healthy and athletic body that many teams imagine when developing their product is just that: an imaginary being divorced from the reality of life. Whether it's an injury, the impact of aging, illness or something else, an individual's level of ability, dexterity, and strength varies throughout life, and from person to person. The more we design with the full range of factors in mind, the better life gets for all of us.
- David Rose and IDEO on gesture being a primary interface of the future due to falling cost and rising capabilities of spatial sensors. There are some good examples given of instances where gesture is more convenient than voice or tangible interfaces like buttons, it's hard to overlook that spatial sensors used as an always-on interface would greatly increase privacy risks and concerns with their capability to detect exact body position and movement. Along with the complexities of correctly interpreting culturally disparate meanings for the same gestures, body motion based interfaces are likely to continue more as novelty than day-to-day interaction method.
- The data that follows in the wake of our collective actions is sometimes referred to as digital exhaust, a semi-transparent haze of particles in motion. In the case of exercise-tracking app Strava, the company used those particles to develop some beautiful visualizations in the form of heat maps marking exercise activity all over the globe. Upon closer examination however, those heat maps seem to reveal secret military bases, unceremoniously exposing data that governments have spent copious amounts of time and money to protect.
Machines for Moving:
- Despite some bumps along the way, dockless bicycles in China are having some desirable effects in terms of reduced oil consumption. Shenzhen's Transport Commission says that it's cut private car travel by 10%.
- Humans have been celebrating or commemorating events with objects from our earliest days. While It may have taken our ancient ancestors minutes or hours to produce a single bead for a celebratory occasion, they can now be produced nearly instantaneously in plastic. One result of such high volume, low cost production methods is the drastic devaluing of goods: what was once exceptional becomes common and disposable, as a recent cleaning of New Orleans catch basins underscores. The city found over 90,000 lbs. of plastic Mardi Gras beads among the detritus.