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Spotify and an audio plus visual use case

Spotify is making an interesting move with Spotlights in the podcast segment (or podcast behavior), fairly expected I would say. In one way it seems like a small addition to the core that is audio streams, but from a use case perspective it’s a rather large move from device in pocket (passive) to device in hand (active). This new use case is the interesting thing to look at, not the technology or new media type attributes.

Will be interesting to see how that plays out. I for one would love some cured tech news podcast type stuff. I can also see the value in added visuals and a new type of story telling and communication. But at the same time, am I now going to relate to, and use, Spotify like I relate to, and use, Youtube?

Personally I’ve been on about (simple prototypes proactively to Swedish Radio) at least experimenting with visual media as they explore what radio is in this technology paradigm. Everything about the definition has changed. Broadcasting music, stories and news over audio frequency (and nothing else) doesn’t mean working with radio primarily has to worry so much about that anymore. It was one mean to an end.

The media convergence happening now, combined with our attention situation/challenge, actually puts radio (or rather audio-first…) in a very interesting position. So far text (text first) based publishing seem to have been best at merging media types.

mind expanding examples of objects with meta layers

IoT, voice, predictive search, contextual search and so on. In “the future”, lots will happen very differently. Part of that lot, are very simple and mundane interactions and tasks. These two videos help not only expand ones view of how these simple things will be carried out in ways that might still seem magical, but also provide proof of how imminent this magic is.

Here’s interacting with a knob that isn’t there, but the interaction with that non-present knob is physically there. Get it?

Build further on ordering coffee instantaneously from the coffee maker with “pre-emtive orders” and/or voice. “Buy more coffee”. Beep.

I can definitely dig that future.

Hardware becoming software – dimple

Is hardware becoming like software? What is that even? We often hear about hardware becoming more and more like software, meaning open source (-ish), hackable and customisable. Then, of course, focusing too much on hardware might be wrong. Either way.

This thing dimple is quite interesting as it lives somewhere in-between software and hardware and kind of transcends those boundaries. Keeping hardware intact, yet still customising it. By way of software. Hmmm. Something like that.

(if the annoying “support us now” box is in the middle of the screen, hover and click x. But do support.)

The internet of things – industrial internet

The incredibly smart people of BERG hacked a washer and proves a great deal of areas where connectivity help. I mean, the “find repair people” part alone is worth a lot. Some time, after 2 years of really not thinking about it. Postponing rinse takes care of the “shit, sorry I can’t because I’m doing the washing” problem. There are probably not many products that do not benefit from connectivity.

I talked aobut this and that (which is what interesets me most) with a very technically oriented ex-colleague who shared a conversation with interaction designers of a more visual background and nature, and how that hinders the thinking around connected products. “What’s a couch gonna say to me?”. Nada, but tracking the use of it provides input to material choices and manufacturing (something that today is a part of the manufacturing process, but pehaps could be combined and outsourced to “natural use situations”) as well as feedback to healthcare industries benefiting from understanding our couch-potato-behavior.

Cloudwash: the connected washing machine from BERG on Vimeo.

nuggets: purposeful design

the balance watch
from time differently

The balance watch (PSFK) – a very purposeful design to remind you of work/life balance. Reminds me, working with brands and overwhelmingly with communication solutions (yet not necessarily communications challenges only), that problems are affected/caused by the environment and the problem mustn’t necessarily be attacked on the level we see it. In this case; constant visual reminder in stead of perhaps a recurring yearly, quickly forgotten, resolution.

Client/agency relationship example: how much time/focus is dedicated to how you are going to solve a challenge? How you are going to work together? The fact is that solutions can be many and very different, and the how will unquestionably vary. Many great ideas die not because of the idea itself but because the parallel discussion around the process (the purposeful design thereof) of materialising it was missing (resulting in subsequent budget/timing/execution shock).

As a matter of fact, as creative agencies have more possibilities (types of solutions), speed is crucial and complexity an increasing variable – process is going (is) to be a great competitive advantage. Perhaps even the most important one.

what music looks like

Beautiful thing from Yuri Suzuki – what music looks like. I’d like to see this as an application that plays the music of your surrounding. Imagine temperature, light temperature, how tall the trees are, what color of building facades your surrounded by, weather etc. You see where you are, and can be recorded as a painting or photo with artists interpretation included, but sound is different.

Looks Like Music – Mudam 2013 from Yuri Suzuki on Vimeo.

Picked up at Creative Applications

brands as a part of our environment and more

Camper is a quirky shoe brand from Mallorca, Spain. You react when you see them, from the characteristic “one-way-show-string” models, to the “rounded soldier boot meet clown shoe” inspired style but perhaps primarily their stores, in which their shoes are presented in a very artful way. It’s somewhat of an experience to browse the models which is nice.

I like the reflection below, about how Camper and its stores is part of the cities they’re in. And when you design a store, you can take cultural (and perhaps even political!) differences into account, hence looking at it from the perspective of adding, changing or commenting something that exists, in the greater context of things. In the case of Camper, using different designers to design stores around globe, resulting in drastically different experiences, it’s
“more a cultural thing”, rather than commercial, says Miguel Fluxá.

When we started to open stores outside Spain we thought it was interesting not to repeat them. The world today is becoming a little bit boring, everything is becoming the same. So we thought it was interesting for the brand, and for the cities, to do different designs from one place to the other. We started to do this many years ago and it’s something that has given us a lot of identity and has worked quite well over the years.

– Miguel Fluxá of Camper, via Dezeen

Camper in-store design
In-store design, from Dezeen.com