Getting Closer to Mind-reading Products

A lamp that changes color based on your facial expression:

Wired cover story this month:
In the Programmable World, All Our Objects Will Act as One

Just announced:
Arduino Yún with on-board WiFi

Vittorio Cuculo took an Arduino, an RGB LED, and an IKEA lamp and programmed the system to recognize your facial expression and change the color of the light based on how it thinks you’re feeling. I’ll say that again. How it thinks you’re feeling. Sure, it’s a simple interaction and it may be easy to argue the utility of such a system, but projects like this represent significant steps into the future of our interactions with the physical objects we own even though the steps may appear, at first blush, to be small.

via Arduino Blog

IDEO/BUG Concepts Posted

Yesterday IDEO posted some very well presented in-process concepts for BUG UI design opportunities. They started by presenting some Mid-Project Concept Sketches. Download the PDF. Seriously, it’s inspiring.

They followed up with a post on each proposed concept:

  1. Concept 1 – e-Ink over Tactile Switches
  2. Concept 2 – Color LCD w/ Capacitive Touch
  3. Concept 3 – Monochrome Matrix LCD with Segmented Multicolor Backlight
  4. Concept 4 – Customizable Illuminated Buttons w/ Side Status Panel
  5. Concept 5 – NTE (Near-To-Eye) Micro-Display with Trackball

Very interesting concepts and very well presented. So well, in fact, that IDEO acknowledged the polished appearance and posted a few photos of the work-in-progress. Extra points for prototyping ePaper graphics on a Kindle.

IDEO Product UI Design Process Will Be Public

The modular DIY gadget platform, BUG, has teamed with IDEO to redesign the BUG user interface. IDEO has agreed to BUG’s request to do the project in the open, soliciting feedback from the user community along the way. I’m not aware of a design effort of this magnitude, with a firm of this stature, happening in such a public manner.

Here’s what IDEO has to say about the project:

…We’re thrilled to be working with Bug Labs to make this great product even better. We are also prototyping a new, open way of working that we hope will combine the expertise of Bug Labs engineers, IDEO designers, and the BUG community throughout the design process.

This is a quick project with a focused objective: re-envision the interaction with the BUGbase, specifically the display and buttons. We want to hear from you! Share your thoughts about the current BUGbase interface and your ideas for making it better. How are you using your BUGbase interface? How do you wish you could use it? In return for your feedback, we’ll be regularly posting updates on our progress, as well as the end results. We, of course, welcome your thoughts at any point. …

Follow along on the BUG Blogger website and the BUG Community.

The whole point of this exercise is to continue to push the boundaries of how we innovate, not just on the BUGbase UI, but on all things related to BUG. We take pride in thinking our designs are good, but we also know they are exponentially better when the community gets involved.