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App helping to pay off debt September 15, 2011

Posted by reto wettach in gamification, learning, making the invisible visible, service design.
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(image source)

There are various approaches of how to pay back loans. One is called the ‘Snowball Method‘: “one who owes on more than one account pays off the accounts starting with the smallest balances first while paying the minimum on larger debts. Once the smallest debt is paid off, one proceeds to the next slightly larger small debt above that, so on and so forth, gradually proceeding to the larger ones later” (Wiki).

The idea behind this method is that it is that it is psychologically rewarding to see results, “because of the psychological boost people get when they pay off a loan—it encourages them to keep working at clearing the other debts” (M.Frauenfelder)

There is an app for that – called “Debt Free”. Here a screenshot:


(image source)

I am posting this not only as service design in banking is a upcoming area, but also because this app fits into the discussion we currently are having related to Gamification:Some of the aspects off the ‘Snowball Method’ can for sure be transferred into other domains, as e.g. learning.

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Gestural Control in Cars September 14, 2011

Posted by reto wettach in innovative interfaces, physical interaction design.
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At the IAA this year, which will be opening for the public next weekend, Mercedes is showing their high-end concept car F 125 (and here)- of course based on green technology and very cool:


(image source)

What I am particulary excited about is the fact that they finally integrate gesture based interaction in the car – not for driving (there is still a steering wheel), but for everything else. Here you can see a detail from the screen:


(image source, youtube-video “The Mecedes-Benz F 125! – First Video”, interface visible at 1:06)

According to the video, also the doors open based on hand gestures. Wow!

Here you can see the design director of Mercedes, Gorden Wagener, talking about this – of course not without quoting Minority Report:

 

 

IFA: Mixed Impressions September 14, 2011

Posted by reto wettach in exhibitions, gadgets, innovative interfaces, media art, poetic.
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This is my friend Julia Leihener, who is proudly presenting here work “E-Etiquette” at IFA 2011.

(own images)

IFA: Impressions E-Mobility September 13, 2011

Posted by reto wettach in ecoviz, gadgets.
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IFA: Air Racer September 13, 2011

Posted by reto wettach in innovative interfaces, mobile, physical interaction design.
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As I wrote before, I am quite interested in innovative hardware in Human-Machine-Interaction. With the raise of smart phones and tablets we could observe a disappearance of interesting interfaces based on hardware: everything was based on wiping your finger on a screen…


(images source: leaflet handed out at IFA 2011)

But slowly one can see new innovative interfaces popping up, especially for those devices. On the IFA this year I saw “Air Racer” by cideko:

It is a steering wheel interface holding the iPad in the center – meant for racing games. It not only adds a real haptic experience to the game (not just holding the iPad in the air), but also gives the player additional buttons.

I really like to deployment of own sensors (as the buttons on the wheel) with the sensors of the iPad (accelerometer).


(own image)

IFA: Impressions 3D September 13, 2011

Posted by reto wettach in gadgets.
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IFA: Impressions TV September 13, 2011

Posted by reto wettach in gadgets.
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(TV in all shapes…)

(and the old question about resolution…)

(own images)

Fashion Design discovers 3D-Glasses September 13, 2011

Posted by reto wettach in gadgets.
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At this years IFA, I also visited the booth of Marchon, “one of the world’s largest manufacturers and distributors of eyewear and sunwear”, with brands as Calvin Klein, Nike or Jil Sander. At the IFA, however, they presented their fashionable 3d-glasses (3d was the big topic this year):


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(image source)

So, finally we can look cool while watching 3d!!!

IFA: Finally a printer for PCBs September 13, 2011

Posted by reto wettach in new technologies, prototyping tools.
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Well, it was clear that it would come – and still I find it exciting: The Japanese SIJTechnology Inc. presented at this year’s IFA a printer for printable electronics – unfortunately starting in the price range of 125.000 US $ – which means that Fritzing-users will have to wait a little longer before having access to this technology 😦


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As far as I understood, they are particularly proud on the precision of their printing and on the fact that one can basically print any kind of metal.

IFA: Data Transmission over Ceiling Light September 12, 2011

Posted by reto wettach in new technologies, poetic.
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At the IFA I particulary like the hall with all the research institutions. There is always entertaining and interesting stuff to find. This year I was surprised by the Fraunhofer (Heinrich Hertz Institute), which displayed data transmission over ceiling light:

(image source)

Today they already can reach a speed of 500 Mbit/s over a distance of 5 m, which is ok within buildings. I saw their demo and one could not see anything in the light.The main problem the researchers currently face is the problem of interference between the two directions.

Well, it is like going back to the roots – of Morse!

(image source)

First of all this made me think of all the people, who suffer from electro smog – what a great relief for them!

At the same time I like the idea that streaming data is like handling light: Imagine transmitting data with a torch: “Kleine Taschenlampe brennt, schreib ich lieb dich in den Himmel…” (siehe Markus)