Sep 17, 2007

Nintendo Wii - Link to John Kirriemuir's "First Impressions"

I've been sharing a Wii with my daughter since December, 2006, and have meant to share my impressions of this innovative game system. Even my mother, who is in her 70's, has played it.

John Kirriemuir's extensive post, "Nintendo Wii: First Impressions", describes the Wii system in detail, with a set of pictures of happy players that span in age across the generations. John links to other Wii resources, and concludes that in the future, the Wii will become a focus of research among academicians from a variety of disciplines.

What I love best about the Wii is flopping down on the sofa, spinning the Wii Globe, and reading the electronic newspaper articles across my wide-screen TV. The fonts can be increased easily via the WiiMote, so those of you of a certain age won't need to remember your reading glasses to stay informed.

Sep 16, 2007

Revisiting promising projects: Dynamo, an application for sharing information on large interactive displays in public spaces

(from project website)
I've come across numerous interesting applications developed by university researchers that I haven't seen come to market. Part of the problem, I think, is that most of the world isn't yet ready for these innovations. Things seem to be changing a bit, so I thought I'd highlight some promising projects from the recent past that warrant revisiting.

Dynamo is a "communal, multi-user surface for sharing and exchanging digital media", according to information from the project's website.

"The idea is for it to be installed in public community centers, like cafes, bars, libraries and other places where people get together and share experiences, but usually only have lightweight technology on them - like mp3 players and digital cameras. Dynamo allows people to plug-in these personal devices via USB2, and place files onto the wall by drag and drop (e.g. music, photos, videos, office docs or live web-pages) via it's multi-user UI."

The project was a joint effort between the Mixed Reality Lab at Nottingham University and the Interact Lab at Sussex University.

Article: Dynamo: A public interactive surface supporting the cooperative sharing and exchange of media

Related links:
Dynamo-Interact Lab

Sep 15, 2007

Quintura Interactive Search -Kid's Version

Quintura is an interactive, graphical web-based search that has a version for children that looks interesting. The screen shot below is the result of a search for "homework help":

If you have used Quintura, please post a comment about your impressions.

About Displays: Double Sided Touch Screens -LucidTouch

I recently discovered the Display Daily website, a news services about the electronic display industry from Insight Media.

If you are interested in learning more about displays and related hardware that supports interactive multimedia applications, take a look at their recent article about double-sided touch screens.

LucidTouch is a double-sided touch screen prototype that allows people to touch items from behind the screen. The prototype was developed by Microsoft, Mitsubishi, and the University of Toronto. It will be interesting to see how this technology unfolds.

Sep 9, 2007

Savant's "Rosie" Interactive Table

Savant, an A/V home entertainment and control systems company, has announced "Rosie", a coffee table similar to Microsoft's new "Surface".

Introduction to Rosie
(after the intro, click on "coffee table")

According to information from the Savant website, the Rosie table has interactive multimedia features that "include integration and interaction with iTunes multimedia content, digital cameras, IP network cameras, business card readers, and many more digital devices on the horizon."

If anyone has information about the availability and pricing of the Rosie table, please leave a comment. I'd like to see if any of my touch-screen projects-in-process look on this display. I'm impressed by the features and sensitivity of the NextWindow Human Touch displays - I wonder if the Rosie will match the same level of quality.

At the moment, I'm working on some applications for use on touch-enabled displays/surfaces for education/literacy, cooperative learning activities, and adapted instruction and assessments for students who have special needs.

Sep 8, 2007

How NOT to create an interactive touch-screen map!

I came across this interactive map that was situated in a kiosk along a skyway at a large, highly respected hospital.

If you are interested in designing usable and useful interactive wayfinding applications, avoid much of what you see in this videoclip!

This isn't an example of good user-centered design.

About: Interaction Design (off the desktop)

Interaction design is a relatively new field that combines concepts related to human-computer interaction (HCI), mobile, pervasive, and ubiquitous computing (ubicomp), interface design, service design, user-experience design, interactive media design, and more.

According to Dan Saffer, an interaction designer at Adaptive Path, and author of Interaction Design: Creating Smart Applications and Clever Devices, interaction design is "about people: how people connect with other people through the products and services they use." If you are interested in learning more about designing for interaction, Saffer's book is a great starting point.

Saffer has recently established a wikki about interactive gestures, a site for the "dissemination of gestural interface information such as found on the iPhone and Wii." This is an important resource for those of us who are interested in developing useful interactive applications for emerging technologies.

(Related information can also be found on this blog.)

Sep 6, 2007

iPod Touch Possibilities....I want one!

I'd like an iPod is the guided tour:

The iPod Touch is WiFi enabled, which opens up a range of creative possibilities for creative multimedia communication. I'd like to create some web-based applications optimized for the iPod Touch for use in education, health, mental health, and prevention - mobile learning and self-help.

UPDATE: 6/08

The new 3G iPhone: Expanding the Possibilities of Interactive Multimedia Communication