Month: August 2014

ALS Ice Bucket Challenge Data Visualization

IBC ALS ice bucket challenge celebrity data visualization ice bucket challenge stars dataIBC-data-visualization-als-icebucketals ice bucket challenge celebrity data visualization

This is the first of a few visualizations to come (Click image for bigger version).  I was very interested in mapping the syndication of this challenge through social networks and looked into mapping it from its source to some of the more famous public figures who have recently taken it on.  I will update this again next week when I have some more data (updated 8/18) . I am having trouble connecting some of the elements in my tree to other social graphs. This one is the biggest so far.  

I would love to make this an interactive page with videos if someone is interested in helping out – I am not sure the best way to pull that off.  I was trying to do this in D3, but now am using Cytoscape. 


ps. Thanks to Leonard for the help! 


Nob vs Leap: Next Generation Wearables navigate by simply waving a finger

I am very curious to see how wearables for PC / Mac navigation develops.  In a world where we have very specific uses for touchscreens per device types, the idea of having a wearable or a sensor for general use of a computer seems awkwardly new.  Both Leap and now Nob have been providing the vision of specific natural gestures to enhance how we interact with computers.  I wonder if people will be happy with these technologies purely as entertainment enhancements or if they need a productivity use to rationalize a buy.  Are both these technologies simply an expensive mouse, or do they represent a new generation of hardware peripherals?  Maybe other BYOB setups like Microsoft Smartglass will take off in this space in niche communities like gaming?



What do you think?

Navdy: Think Garmin 2.0

I love the concept of apple carplay and the other in dash UI for cars, however, maybe the solution was right in front of us, but had the wrong software.  Why limit your UX while driving to hardware that came off the car manufacturing lot.  Meet Navdy: 

A modular heads up display, that allows you to use motions to interact with your digital lifestyle ( phone ) through maps, texts, and phone calls.  Gone are the days of reaching over to your dashboard mounted phone, and waiting for that new car with bluetooth display integration.  Garmins and Tom Tom’s were great, but they were single serving. Todays techie needs a screen above the dashboard that is easy to use and gives them instant access without having to be hard to navigate through its menu / interactions. 

Navdy is cool, but the more interesting observation is that these technologies have been around, but have not caught on due to price or the interactions were too broad to begin with. Leap Motion which has some amazing UX, never really solved a pain point.  Navigating your computer never really made sense, but navigating your phone while driving has always been an issue.  So much that many of us have already received tickets for driving and using our phones or just aside that policy was created to stop people from texting and driving.   

Will this catch on? I am not sure.  Is it better then anything else out there right now – yep.  I think the HUD will start to catch up, but I also wonder if there is a cultural problem still in place.  Maybe we should not be multitasking while driving at all? Its a mute point, but with that logic we should not have radio or bluetooth tech at all.   The other question is how much hardware do you need from a car, or should technology always be an add on accessory? Maybe that makes more sense. Cars are replaced every 7 years or so, where phones roll over every 2 years or so.  Maybe technology for cars should be modular and outsourced? 

Either way, it will be interesting to see how Navdy takes off.  Curious to see how the gestures work in real life, and how the resolution of the screen works and if there are any other criticisms that come to play once it starts being used by real people.  Kudos to the Navdy team for being disruptive AND creating something that is self contained and plug and play.   


The Need for Contextual Mobile Advertising: Nike Running App

I love using my phone for workouts with itunes radio – there is one problem.  The ads I get while running my 5k are for Pepsi and McDonalds.  I am not complaining about the ads themselves. I understand the trade off between getting free music and listening to a free advertisement, but you would think that my phone would be smart enough to know I am using the Nike Running App, and thus am working out. Additionally, their is a key missed opportunity to associate key brands with my workout.  In theory, I could crave a soda or big mac after my run, but usually its the last thing I am thinking about while trying to get in shape.  This seems like a big missed opportunity. 

In a world where the internet knows 120+ dimensions of who I am and what I buy/watch, I am surprised that ads are still so dumb.  This is another example of how we should be leveraging data to create more meaningful experiences to create relationships between brands and consumers.