Move to labs.info.nl

Thursday 15 November 2012 door Iskander in niet gecategoriseerd

If you have landed on this blog, you’ll notice we have not posted for a long time here. This is because we transferred the stream to other places. Since the beginning of 2012 we opened http://labs.info.nl and blog regularly on the same topics we did here.

So you are more than welcome to check out labs.info.nl.

The ingredients for a Design by Fire

Thursday 20 October 2011 door Iskander in niet gecategoriseerd

We have a new website. This blog will be moved to there.

Check our notes on the last Design by Fire conference that took place on October 14.

Back to reality at dConstruct 2011

Wednesday 7 September 2011 door Iskander in evenementen

September 2 happened another edition of dConstruct. A conference I visited before in 2008 and always follow because of the interesting mix of makers culture and design thinking. This edition was interesting again. The struggle with reality turned out a big thing, if you can consider these talks as the barometer for the times ahead.

The closing talk of Kevin Slavin was one of the most clear in that sense probably. I saw his talk earlier this year at Momo in Amsterdam, where his plea against AR was even more subtle and direct at the same time because of the presence of the people of Layar, one of the subjects of his talk. He pinpoints that we don’t need a augmented reality to live a better life, even worse; it makes our life poorer. As the example of heads-up display in cars illustrates; the tool is for a jetstream pilot the complete reality because of the lack of notion of the outer context, in a car it is the other way around; focusing on the augmented knowledge in the head-up display limit your view on the world.

The vision of Slavin is great and very true. The question though is interesting how it works the other way around; can we enrich our established digital lives by connecting reality? That is something most of the other talks where about in direct of more distinct way. In several talks reality is connected to the aspect of time. In the sense that we want to connect memories to things, a theme that was very present also at FutureEverything earlier this year. If we can add memories in the context of a service or product, this product will be more real.

Frank Chimero was talking on these memories; the web has a past now. We need an architecture of arrangement to create value. Take a step back to find the value. Start is the difference between digital and analog. Where the digital world is invisible, not visible; and the digital world we forget, not remember as the analog things. And where we find stuff in the analog world while we search in the digital context. In this comparison you find this hunger for realness by pointing out what we miss. With three rules for design decisions for revisiting. How we sort. thinking of LATCH (location, alphabet, time, category and hierarchy), and 2nd: how we move throught time; think of the postponed experiences Instapaper offer us. And third: what media is supported. Culmination. Biblion of New York.

Matthew Sheret used another angle. Our digital self translated to a pocket scale. A pocket scale that is bigger on the inside. He was talking also on the object that carry memories. We are not creating mass personalisation but real personalisation transforming our data trails with different meaning. The difference between the ‘old products’ containing lots of visible stories, like a set of keys. Compared to an Oyster card that hides it past in the data.
We need intimate, meaningful objects that humanise networks make time travel a bit more fun. His self-made remote control beam made his points very tangible. Hacking as way to personalize things.

Those memories are the way to connect the realtity to the digital products, and that is the important thing as it seems this day. Don Norman started the morning by calling for a focus on designing for memories in stead of experiences. Designing with time as material and with good and bad experiences to create memorable stories, turns out to be present in a lot of talks.

The quest for this reality check in our digital life was challenged the most by Kars Alfrink. In his highly engaged talk he tried to find explanations for the riots in England of last times. He compared the alienation between the classes, and the conscious avoiding of interactions in these neighbourhoods where rioters were let alone with other inhabitants. Like in the brilliant novel of The City & The City and showed in practice with the example of schizophrenic town of Baarle. You can say that our moving into a digital life accelerates those gap with reality, and is especially the provider of a system for avoiding each other. He argues to use gaming to reconnect, like the game of Nomic where defining the rules of the game is part of the game. This talk turned out the ultimate urge for getting the reality back into our digital life’s and create a new elan in self governing.

Without any doubt I think this focus on reality connected to our digital life will be a big theme the coming times. Conceptual by creating new contexts of time and memories, and literally by using the possibilities of the Internet of Things to enhance our digital services with tangible qualities. It will be interesting next year to have also designers of psychical products share their existing knowledge and build some new bridges.

Setting of the new social layer

Tuesday 26 July 2011 door Iskander in social software

A lot is said on the possible future of Google+. It seems hard to add a lot to it. On the other hand, we can now see the dust come down a bit and see where it could heading. Possibly it will turn out to be rather different, but well, lets share some thoughts here, based on some deeper drivers that emerges.

1.
Social is becoming a natural part of all services and products that are designed now and in the coming future. In that sense I agree on the views of Roger McNamee. The talk is highly quoted as “social is over”, but that is not the right sentiment. Social is not over, social is not a separate entity anymore, it has become part of everything. That is exactly what we see in the business context happening; social as mean to get in touch with your clients and build on trust and activation is now becoming running business.
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Will we have a Big Brother with our connected life?

Friday 22 July 2011 door Iskander in internet der dingen

The last edition of Mobile Europe, a magazine that analyses the major developments in wireless technologies and markets, the theme was on M2M (machine to machine). We contribute to an article of Jim Morrish of Machine Research. An association of Info.nl, Machina Research, Council, and Latitude ran an opt-in survey that provide some insights on the approach of people to the developments of the Internet of Things.

Privacy was mentioned by 63% of respondents as a concern, securing more mentions than all other issue (security, the impact on society and systems compatibility) combined. Our sample was skewed towards people familiar with the Internet of Things, but the message is clear: privacy is going to be a big issue.

In the article the question is asked how the developments of the Internet of Things with connected machines tracking data will influence individual privacy. Rob van Kranenburg of Council Internet of Things Europe shares some good points on the way privacy will be the USP for the new services we are creating.

Daily activities will be broken down into functions and privacy levels attached to those. “Privacy becomes privacies. The real issue is solidarity within the smart systems. If there is no agreed level of providing real-time feedback on your actions or the actions of your ‘things’ that is inclusive and democratic then privacy will become a good like any other, and you will be paying for it (if you can afford it, that is).”

We see the first battles happening in the context of different social media platforms, where the new Google+ wants to be different by giving people control of their own data. Ed Dumbill of O’Reilly Strata made some good points on this.
The concept that we are moving into a context of different levels of privacy that we can manage by ourselves, would be a good way to deal with the privacy concerns. For designers the privacy is an important new design material, as I was quoted in the article.

We believe that future services will use a lot of the data that becomes available from the Internet of Things to create ‘impulse shaped services’. The experiences will be modelled to our own profile as default. The concerns of privacy will be a challenge for these new services, especially when all our in real life action will become part of the profile. The perception of privacy is changing to a valuation on transparency and control.

The question of Big Brother is watching us in our new connected life is certainly very relevant, and will be more relevant with the expected acceleration of connected products and services. The management of our privacy can evolve to a whole new industry, as Jim describes in the article.

It is likely that trusted third parties will emerge to help manage some of this complexity, operating in a similar manner to today’s anti-virus software: users will be able to select from friendly options, such as “high privacy”, or “medium privacy” and go on to customise individual settings as appropriate. It is also likely that some form of security certification will emerge, so that individuals can be certain that their personal information is being stored securely, and handled in accordance with their wishes (as defined in detail by a trusted third party).

You can read the complete article online and find out more on the way we will have to deal with the ‘full’ transparency concept.

Reporting on This happened #11

Monday 4 July 2011 door Iskander in evenementen

Last week we visit This happened #11 with a couple of colleagues. This 11th edition of the event was supported by Info.nl. As ever the evening brought a mixture of speakers in the field of interaction design; from an industrial design project to the design of a playground. And from an online music tool to a special concept of a t-shirt store. Unless the 30 degrees some 60 people attended the evening that is always build up in the same schedule of 4 speakers, each talking 10 minutes and discussing 10 minutes with the audience.

The concept of This happened is to share the process of a project, not the end result is key, “to have ideas is easier than to realize them” as the organization put it. I visited all episodes and in the report on the tenth edition I tried to digest some broader theme. Design as curator of an explorative and collaborative context. Something we could also found in this edition.
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Annual European conference on the state of the Internet of Things

door Iskander in evenementen, internet der dingen

I attended the Annual Internet of Things Europe conference in Brussels last week. The conference gives an overview of the current state of the development towards an Internet of Things where not only computers and mobile phones are connected to the world wide network, but also all kinds of other objects become part. And just like computers make the Internet by being the hubs, this will happen in the Internet of Things where object are hubs in the network. This generates lots of new challenges and opportunities. The conference discussed both societal as technical consequences with an important role for standards and enabling technologies. I was invited to a panel and talk on the way this developments influence the design of online services ecosystems as we make them within Info.nl.
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Mobilism 2011

Tuesday 7 June 2011 door Harm in evenementen, exploding website, mobile, niet gecategoriseerd, trends

In deze post een overzicht van de belangrijkste thema’s van de tweedaagse conferentie ‘Mobilism‘ in Amsterdam, die 12 & 13 mei plaatsvond. Onderwerp van dit congres was design en development voor mobiele devices.

Wat is een mobiel device?
Een draagbare, connected (met het internet), apparaat. Waarbij de grens heel snel aan het vervagen is, met name door tablets waarmee je kunt bellen maar die net (of net niet) in je zak passen. Naast tablets worden steeds meer apparaten voorzien van internettoegang. Denk aan televisies, spelcomputers, E-readers, video players en fotolijstjes. “One of the interesting estimates is that there are about 35 billion devices connected to the Internet. Soon, there will be so many that we’ll stop counting. – Eric Schmidt, Google”  Een harde scheiding tussen mobiel en niet-mobiel is niet te maken, we moeten rekening houden dat alles wat we publiceren op veel verschillende manieren bekeken kan worden.
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Did Apple boost the real Internet of Things?

door Iskander in internet der dingen

So the keynote is done. Steve Jobs et al have announced the new cool stuff in Lion, iOS5 and iCloud. Before the keynote started, I try to think on the possible impact the new to announce features could have on the development of the so-called Internet of Things. Question of course: did the talk match this predictions? Not literally, as expected, but I think you can see some parts between the lines.
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Algorithms the new now at FutureEverything

Tuesday 24 May 2011 door Iskander in evenementen

This year I attended the conference FutureEverything for the first time. The event is in a way more a festival than a conference, with a combination of music, art and ideas. FutureEverything had a nice exhibition on data visualisation and some art installations in town, and a extensive music program in the evening, my primary reason to visit was the conference, I heard some good recommendations from a.o. Bruce Sterling at SxSW.
The conference did deliver its expectations with some good presentations and inspiration. Main conclusion after this conference, it is clear again that 2011 is the year of the algorithm context. FutureEverything touched different aspects, from bots to the way to play this new context.

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