Posts tagged "thoughts"

Future Perfect

One of my favourite blogs out there always leaves me with some food for thought. Through his elegant photos and his ethnogrphic studies of people he is a great source of inspiration and I recommend checking him out. 

Entering Elevator, Social Contract - Jan Chipchase

"Welcome mat spanning the entire floor of this Handan elevator. To what extent does walking on a welcome mat imply some form of social contact? How about walking through a door? Picking up an object? In a future world of digital identification and interactable objects - walking on a mat could initiate a legal contract" - Jan Chipchase.

It does get you thinking. We’re likely to be the last generation that lives in a society of dumb objects - In the near future we’ll see a ubiquitous use of sensors creating an internet of things

I came across William Gibson recently - a speculative fiction writer that has been dubbed the “noir pophet” of the cyberpunk subgenre (whatever that means wikipedia). He said, “I doubt our grandchildren will understand the distinction between that which is a computer and that which isn’t.”  But could this really happen..? 

What will this mean when we come into contact with any object? Will everything be implanted - the desk I’m sat at? The can I’m drinking from? Continuing from Jan’s thoughts… When our biometric info is out there, saved on some massive database or just floating in the clouds, merely touching an object will create some kind of data transfer. Will we all start wearing protective gloves, bringing back the fashion of the Victorians? Well, people always say trends come back around…

What else needs a re-design?

This is brilliant. London design consultancy BERG have proposed a redesign of the standard till receipt, transforming the usually dull printout with infographics about purchases. 

Data is extracted from cash registers to turn the receipt into a paper “app” that is informative and context specific.

It reminds me of another innovative improvement to an otherwise mundane communication. Opower, an energy company using simple graphics to make a bill more understandable: 

Opower compares consumers’ use with that of their neighbours — and is a great example of successful behavioural economics.

Through analysis of consumer behaviour, customer-data analytics, iterative design of energy bills and targeted communications, the company promotes significantly lower power use. This has even led to both Obama and Cameron (see the TED talk here) praising OPOWER for their innovative approach to communications.

Opower have designed a methodology that engages consumers by doing away with utility-bill jargon and uses graphic design to make bills easier to understand. Messages and graphs clearly demonstrate measured energy savings, and OPOWER targets customers by using follow-up emails and text messages to issue reminders, cautions, alerts and tips on further savings.

Why aren’t out credit card and phone bills designed in such a way? 

It just goes to point out there are so many dysfunctional and broken systems out there that need re-designing. Systems and communications that don’t fit our cultural age and time.

So is it time to get the designers in?

Facebook’s worth how much?!

The recent floatation of facebook means it has an estimated value of between $75bn - $100bn. According to the WSJ this is one of the biggest U.S. stock-market debuts of all time which seemingly means data is the new gold.

It’s now worth more than boeing or even ford. Pretty crazy stuff?

Sceptics out there talk of another tech bubble, 90’s style!

However, as a bit of an optimist I don’t believe this. It’s a different landscape now; more people have access to the internet, broadband connections are practically ubiquitous and there is rising mobile connectivity/access - especially in developing nations - so people no longer need an expensive computer just to get online. 

I’m not saying the boom and bust cycle has just miraculously disappeared -  it’s probably still a very real threat to smaller start up, angel invested companies. I guess time will tell.

For now Facebook’s valuation is just a bit mad (but in a good way).

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Hi, my name's Jody. I'm from Manchester. I've just finished working at Ogilvy in Shanghai. I'm a recent graduate of Hyper Island. Right now I've got a bit of a stop gap and to keep myself busy I've decided to set up a journal. I'll use it as a personal tool to reflect on the next few months.


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