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Emoticons in Logos :-( May 29, 2012

Posted by reto wettach in making the invisible visible, new technologies, poetic, visual design.

As some of you know, I am professor with the University of Applied Sciences in Potsdam (FHP). And therefore I have to live with the fact that I work for an institution with an emoticon in their logo:

(image source)(the logo was originally designed by Thomas Manns in 1993; its current version was done by my colleague Matthias Beyrow Рhis office)

Now I found this sausage stand close to the Reichstag in Berlin:

(own image)

Well, maybe it is time for my university to rethink its branding…!

PS.: Before writing this post, I talked with Matthias: soon he will be publishing a book on logos for German universities. According to his research the logo of my university is not so bad – compared with others… ūüôā


MWC 2012 – Women March 13, 2012

Posted by reto wettach in poetic.
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Well, the Mobile World Congress is kind of a very techy-businessy event – with lots of men in their traditional uniform of white shirt and suit.

Of course in such an environment, some products do tell a lot about the phantasies of these men, or at least of some of them:

The iPad Receptionist is a concept from Japan: the idea is that you install an iPad at your front-desk or at the bell. Visitors can then interact with this wonderful lady:

(by Analog12)

Even stranger is a similar concept of Virtual Assistant by Narada Robotics from Spain, a projection of a lady, which the user interacts with through voice. Interesting is that the screen, where the lady is projected to, has the shape of a lady. They advertise with the ‚Äúcloseness feel‚ÄĚ to the user-client interaction (source):

(by Narada Robotics)

Last but not least a service also offered at the MWC: Modellvilla by MobileKing is a “sorority style house with over 100 beautiful, young models”. The users can interact with these girls “24/7”:

(own scan)

Well, I am happy that I am not the psychologist you has to interpret these offers…


Merry Christmas by IxDS December 24, 2011

Posted by reto wettach in poetic, privat.
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This year, we at IxDS send out our Holiday greetings with a personalized snowflake: based on the recipient’s name a snowflake is generated in our typical segment-display-grid:

(image shows the snowflake for “interactiondesign”)

Please try your own snowflake here.

We got a very nice review on the blog designmadeingermany by Nadine Rossa. Thank you!

So, happy holiday to you all!



Kate Hartman on Bodies, Plants and Glaciers December 18, 2011

Posted by reto wettach in gadgets, physical interaction design, poetic, theory.
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(Botanicall is a device, which allows plants to twitter or to make phone calls) (image source)

Kate Hartman, one of the inventors of the Botanicalls, gave a very entertaining TED-talk on her work:

At 1:03 she makes a wonderful statement on “Why bodies matter”:

Everybody got one. All of you […] have bodies! Don’t be ashamed! And this is something that we have in common. And they act as our primary interfaces for the world.¬†


Merry Fritzmas! December 13, 2011

Posted by reto wettach in physical interaction design, poetic.
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Stefan Herman, who is working with us on Fritzing, developed this wonderful geeky Christmas star.

With each Starterkit the Fritzing team is shipping such a star.
Order fast – I just hear that there are only 35 left…


Pixel Everywhere… on Cars? December 2, 2011

Posted by reto wettach in innovative interfaces, media art, new technologies, poetic.
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Well, the fantasy is quite old: with the rising of Ubiquitous Computing many research labs proposed the idea of “Pixel Everywhere” and suggested interesting interaction paradigms with this idea.

(image source)

¬†For example,¬†Claudio Pinhanez suggested in 2001 a “Everywhere‚ź£Displays‚ź£Projector”, which would turn a space into an area covered with pixels (see image above). Jun Rekimoto suggested a range of interesting interaction paradigms for such an environment, as the Pick-and-Drop concept, earlier explained in this blog, here with a more spatial use-case:

(image source)

On the 2011 Tokyo Motor Show Toyota showed the concept car Fun Vii (huh, what an innovative name), which has this idea of pixel everywhere: One can change the look of the car instandly:

(image source)

(image source) (here more variations of decorative art on the car)

The concept of pixel everywhere is not only used for decoration, but also for meaningful interactions:

(image source)

More meaningful interactions (as we always wanted to make publicly visible who of our friends has birthday or who left us an SMS)

(images source)

(image source)

The weirdest use-case for this concept car is to use it for advertisement while being parked. I am wondering, who is controlling the ad on my car – maybe it is in exchange for a free parking?

(image source)

This concept reminds me a little bit of the work “Optical Camouflage” by Prof.¬†Susumu Tachi: I would love to use this car to make it invisible!!!

(image source)(the movie for this image: Optical Camouflage)


IxDS’s “Bad Connection”-concept presented at TED Global November 8, 2011

Posted by reto wettach in mobile, poetic, service design, social computing.
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IxDS has been working for many years with Dr. Gesche Joost, leader of the Design Research Lab at Deutsche Telekom.

In 2008/2009 we conducted together a large design research project called “Woman’s Phone” (or Gender Inspired Technologies)(or Call Girls), where we¬†investigated the specific relationship of women and their mobile phones. Based on the assumption that women conceive of their phones differently than manufacturers want to make believe, we developed a number of concepts to uncover this perspective.

One of the outcomes of the “Woman’s Phone“-project is Bad Connection, which was shown at TED Global last year in Oxford (starting at 3:22):

Bad Connections allows the user to induce noise into a phone call. This helps to end unpleasant calls: “Sorry, I can’t hear you anymore…”

I like the fact that Gesche did show this concept, because it proves that doing a design research project based on co-creation with a certain group (in this case women) does not mean that the results cannot be useful for people outside of this group. I would love to have such an app!!!

IxDS is currently developing a feasibility study of this project for Android.

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: 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)


My Blackberry is not working… August 16, 2011

Posted by reto wettach in gadgets, new technologies, poetic.
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