Author: Patrick

About Patrick

Professionally I run social media at Tile. Personally I am interested in the intersections of creativity, technology, & education.

robot smart home

Move over Wall-E, Jibo is here: Entering the age of personal robots

This is a fundraising campaign, but it brings up an interesting question of whether the Internet of Things will evolve faster then “things” become their own product? People don’t want a new gadget, they want a new experience.  Computers and beings, not new kinds of sensors.   Again, its about the experience and context of data rather then wearables and data overload by themselves.



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. 



Google’s Virtual Reality Swag

cardboard VR google


Swag is often a commodity that is very forgettable. Google stepped it up this year ( in addition to some high tech goodies ) by adding a low fi leave behind this year.  A slim packet unfolds into a cardboard virtual reality headset.  An NFC chip preloads an app and you can look around a variety of google earth views.  I got to try this out myself and I was rather impressed.

Takeaway:  If you want to leave an impression – do something different.  Often a combination of digital and analog can be most memorable, but you need to have a very low barrier to entry.  Kudos for google for breaking ground with something so simple but buzzworthy.





When Content Marketing Becomes Your Brand – Google Play

If you are a platform, the content you serve is your brand strength. A long time ago Apple had an app for everything, but now everyone has the right apps, on multiple operating systems.  What is the new point of differentiation?  After all, app stores and phones are really about the apps – nothing else matters.  Content is king – again.

Google’s new “Play Your Heart Out Ad” is amazing.  The brand transference from each artist and app to Google’s logo was very smart, and the music helps seal this campaign away from early adaptors to their new mainstream audience.  Its Hip. It’s a big move away from their past ads showing power and processing speed, which really never resonated with me.  This campaign shows variety, and also instantly establishes credibility – you’ll note that barely any of the app logos need to have titles.  They are very recognizable. And now I associate them with the Android Ecosystem. Even as a apple user, I am very aware now that everything I could want is on Android.  And I might be willing to consider a Galaxy when my contract runs out.  I can see myself using these apps and thus using Android.  Goal achieved.

Its interesting that Google has moved further into Content, where Apple has moved into user stories and hardware lately.  What makes your brand stand out? How do you tell you story?

ps. I am impressed that this song was released in 2007 !  Way to be progressive Ed Banger Records & Busy P. 

There is one other thing that really stands out here.  When people typically talk about branding, we are taught to think in specific colors, fonts, and identity guidelines.   In a media rich ecosystem that we live in today, consumers are open to seeing a brand evolve.  Note in this add that their are barely any taglines, or key colors. The brand changes with each piece of content. A brand identity that is flexible and open. A brand that can become anything the user wants.  Quite literally, a brand becomes the very content it helps host.

What Banksy can Teach us about SEO

What if graffiti had nothing to do with physical vandalism ?  Looking back on the state of media, its hard to imagine street art without the internet.

banksy seo tagging

If you do a google search for Banksy you get 4.5Mresults.
If you do a google search for “street art” you get 11M results.

That means Banksy covers 41% of most internet searches – one guy.  Maybe thats not significant, but I think its rather high.  And the funny part is that his “tagging” work would not have been possible without the internet.  And metaphorically, what are meta “tags” – leaving your mark on an article , page, or image.  Sounds like graffiti.

The web is asking to be tagged – it just looks like someone already beat us to it, way before we got wind of it.

As with all great content, if you make something truly great, people will find it, resyndicate and share it, and google will index it.


A lot of people never use their initiative because no-one told them to.
― Banksy

Create something today and share it.  And while you are at it, tag it with some really good non branded keywords to get it out there.   In todays world, your work has to be created with soul, and marketed with science. 


a waterbottle that considers lifecycle product design

true2o water bottle

In the mid 90’s the bottle water wars took off between coke and pepsi. Following the environmental effects of the huge uptick in plastic usage upon its acceptance, some niche markets took to creating more permanent containers – True2o considered something else.

Instead of their product offering ending when its delivered to the store, they reclaim their bottles and thus turn water into a service model.  Ironically, its a small modification to the larger water cooler days that have almost disappeared across silicon valley.   In addition to it being better for the environment, it benefits both the manufacturer and consumer.  The manufacturer saves on raw materials, and the consumer doesn’t really experience much change.  Especially if they are getting True2o from their employer, which is a big part of their roll out strategy.

It raises the question what happens to a brands equity as it moves from being a product to a service? As a product becomes a commodity, a brand needs to differentiate itself from the competition.  If within a incremental price point, sustainability or a brand’s mission can be valuable enough to a consumer to give it a try.  Today’s consumer loves a brand with a conscious.



Kids iPad App Uses Image Recognition for High Tech Play

As a parent, we are always faced with a choice about how and when to introduce certain technologies to our children.  I know that technology is no longer a skill, but a part of our culture and foundation for any type of work.  However, the iPad can either be part of a passive entertainment device or a portal for learning.   What I love about the Osmo app is that is allows for traditional analog toys ( that often facilitate tactile play and spatial thinking ) to be activated on the ipad, combining the best of both worlds.  From a design perspective, it also opens up a new realm of designer user interfaces, which could really open up a lot of verticals / industries.

From a product marketing perspective and product engineering perspective, it makes me wonder why more app developers don’t take into account sensors and peripheral ports in their product roadmap.  This year especially, we will see a huge array of smart objects, IOT (Internet of Things), and contextual devices that enhance user experience and better performances of existing networks.

Think bigger & learn from other discipline areas. Where one person sees a toy, other people see a design solution for a new field that has never been discussed.  Innovation is everywhere, you just need to look at it from a different perspective.

 aside: Reminds me a of a more open source version of Siftables.