app

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. 

The Collective Intelligence of Waze

How can groups use collective intelligence to allow for individuals to make better decisions?

I’ve been using Waze for a few weeks now.  I have been using it ( to my own fault ) to try and figure out a better way out of San Francisco during a Giants game. Spoiler Alert – there is no fast route. However, in theory I wonder why more apps are not allowing us to make better decisions?

Rating sites like Yelp or even the way we view trending content online are one thing, but real time data being solved by multiple people passively is quite amazing – and another animal all together.

waze, distributed intelligence

 

Waze is amazing because the network of users only exists to save everyone time and make their lives better.  Many sharing services ( look up Sharing Economy ) are meant to redistribute assets or unwanted goods – not time or ideas.  Crowdsourcing of labor is a great new frontier.

Two other projects also come to mind – not new, but worth discussing.

1. BOINC – using distributed grids for computing – Think SETI@home but bigger.

2. Tomnod –  Using distributed volunteers for mapping

 

So the one outstanding question remains – Is collective intelligence accurate?  If the data set is biased and/or wrong, knowledge based on bad data is not really helpful.

There is an obvious benefit from utilizing natural experiments to improve the human condition. Any app that helps me spend less time on the car and more time with my family is a winner.  I am pondering how crowds can band together to solve other issues and help each other in this manner with minor effort.  In the age of social networks, we have the largest networked grid of intelligence and assets – what do we want to do with them and who gives guidance / moderation to these networks to prevent them from being a mob?

 

 

 

Niche Apps for Airplanes – Creative Collaborations

 

An Airplane is an odd space to wait around. There is ( usually ) limited wifi, not a lot of legroom, and you have to stay there for long periods of time.  Several companies are looking to change that.  Many of the same functionality that has been applied to other types of apps, has been hyper applied to air travel.  Here on Biz, and Wingman are two that come to mind.  Here on Biz is supposed to connect business people on planes, and Wingman is meant to hook up people for sexual relations.   These two may suffer from the typical challenge of network effects, but the idea here is novel.  What could you do in the air for several hours to entertain or connect people

 

 

What experience could you create to empower an entire plane ride of people for several hours?   Are there any other types of experiences that could benefit from forced collaboration or missed opportunities.

 

Using Buffer to Preschedule Tweets

I am staring to use buffer app to preschedule some tweets.  I have sync’d MOZ with buffer so that it will post my tweets at the exact times throughout the day that my followers are most active.  Sounds pretty great, huh?

There are two questions that this leads me to contemplate.

1. How do we trust in machines to perform better then we can?  We are all already part cyborgs (iphones) and comfortable with machines (vending or mHealth ) however, social media seems too intimate to trust to a computer, right?  However, if an app can make my personalized messages resonate to their max, it seems foolish to not utilize technology to assist in my posting.

2. Now we enter the more interesting question of the “tragedy of the commons”.  If everyone uses the buffer app, it stops becoming useful.  This scenario is very unlikely, but if social media becomes networks of bots talking to other bots, doesn’t that defeat the purpose of using it to begin with?  A more realistic scenario would be that after a certain number of followers use buffer and optimize post times, then you will be technically posting at non optimal times due to systematic error.

The solution I settled on was to use buffer to post key pieces of curated and original content at agreed upon peak times ( morning, lunch, getting off work ), and then still actually manning my twitter handle for engaged conversations.  I am not sure how long I will use this app, but I have become to understand and appreciate the added value of using a 3rd party service to help me post my social media updates.  I can focus more on content rather then execution.

14 minutes.

pd

 

Remember SETI ? Samsung brings back Mobile Processing

SETI mobile

Samsung introduces a new app to allow for users to donate mobile processing power to research Universities.  As people continue to realize that phones are mobile computers, I imagine that more and more developers will realize the potential of the processing power of phones and the full extent of how sensors and geo location data can empower research and larger solutions.

The mobile phone has always been a consumer level intimate object. What happens when people start viewing mobile as a distributed grid / network.  The possibilities could be really great.

-pd

Magna Carta Jay Z Album Marks Milestone in Corporate Collaboration

jay z samsung magna carta

What does it mean that major albums are co launched by a mobile company for an artist?  Jay Z teased the release of his Magna Carta album today signifying a milestone in artist marketing.  The video above showcases tracks, producers, and story, but its presented by Samsung Galaxy.  More and more we are seeing corporate endorsements of the changemakers and creatives of our times, and I personally am intrigued on how this awareness and shift in paid media dollars will effect content creation.  What does it mean when a new album from the heart is cosponsored by a secondary brand ?  This is commonplace in sports, and social entrepreneurship, but music has usually only maintained this relationship after the fact. Ex. Tailor Swift and Pepsi.  However, to co associate your personal brand with a tech brand seems like a new frontier in a pre launch environment.  Do you think any other artists will follow this trend?   Or for a brand like Samsung, maybe this is the best time in the “hype cycle” to endorse a product / person to get the maximum brand transference to impact their bottom line. What do you think?

-Patrick

ps. The other interesting note is that he teased the announcement using imagery via social media.  More and more, Artists and personal programming channels are being used to interact with fans wtih RTM ( real time marketing ) rather then relying on older PR channels and wire services.

magna carta jayz magnacarta jayz samsung Picture-3

Nike #Fuelband app adds pictures. Still waiting for #Vine option

fuelband points electronics app nike

 

The Nike Fuelband app just added the functionality to share your goal progress with a picture. This simple change in user experience was a brillant marketing decision.  Although I am not sure I always want to hear about my friends working out every day, this helps hearing about nike plus in two ways.

1. With a picture, I get to tell my workout story or active day in a more visual way that I choose and am accustomed to on Facebook. We all know that images get more shares and likes then text alone, so this makes sense in how the app would evolve.  I would imagine that this gives my friends a better picture of what I am doing, but also is more entertaining to see and watch then just a sentence about a workout routine I may not care about.  The ability to add a picture makes this experience about the story and the person rather then just the number.  And in a way, it might add more Nike+ stamps onto other lifestyle activities.  What if every picture you took during the day had a fuelband stamp rather then just when you hit your goal?  Its a great opportunity for nike to move more into the storytelling space.

2. This will also help serve as an earned media database for images for Nike+.  Now all the nike plus stories are sharable. They can find a home on Instagram, Facebook, and Pinterest.  Images are more likely to tell the nike plus story and be told and received in a new way.  Ultimately breathing new life into the nike plus ecosystem, and raise awareness of the digital brand.

2 other features I would love to see:

1. Video. Video clips would be natural extensions of this UX.  And sometimes a video can really show a better story then a snapshot alone.  Vine integration would be awesome. hint hint. 

2. Networked apps: Lets say I was skateboarding with my buddies. What I would really want to do is to take a photo of someone else doing a trick and tagging their fuel moment to that picture. As much as we love taking photos of ourselves in this narcissistic era, sometimes you just cant while you are active. But your buddy can.  Not sure how this could work, but it could be really great for content production.   Perhaps the best way to implement this would be to have an API that would allow for the nike fuel points and timecodes to be exported to other medias.

Everyone is an athlete. Now we just have more ways to tell the story. Share on. 

-pd