Developing and sketches – TASK 3 – MOBILE SHOPING

29 01 2008

The calendar shows Tuesday 29. January 2008 and we have now come to the point where we have started to visualize our concept and find methods of communicating it in a trustworthy way. Our main idea is to use scenarios and sleek mobile interfaces to present the idea as something believable and useful. As you can see we are currently working on sketching down some storyboards for the scenarios and presentation, as well as trying out some pictures for visualization. Using black and white on the things that are ordinary and highlighting the new experience using colours is a way of making the concept more clear for the viewer. More testing of mobile interfaces and picture sequences will follow..


What is the best way to communicate a new mobile service? Sketcing out different scenarios and evidencing techniques are prizeless in this matter. Above and below are examples of this important part of the process of making and validating a new and useful service..

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Below is an example of showing how a cellphone can be used to validate food by scaning the barcode. This enable greater controll of products origin and ethical qualities in addition to expanded knowledge of the purchase in general. What about a mobile service that can help you stay away from food you are allergic to? The possibilities are almost endless…


THE SERVICE – UEAT MOBILE SHOPPING EXPERIENCE Our suggestion to a new mobile shopping service was a web and mobile based system using RFID and PHOTO READING of barcodes to operate. The goal with the service was to educate people in the area of food, nutrition, health and economic shopping for food.  UEAT features services connecting the user to a network where shearing of recipes, food and beverage tips and diagnostics of your nutrition and food customs. You will be able to shop for less, yet eat more healthy, tasty and cultivated food. All you need is to register at UEAT.COM, dial your phone number and start experiencing the world of taste and cultivation. Bon apetite!




TASK 3 – Mobile shopping!

28 01 2008

Another interesting week is on the rise.. our new task adds up to the expectations from the previous tasks and good and useful ideas have already popped up to the surface. First thing first, this weeks task ought to be presented before continuing; task 03 is about mobile computing, concerning the conscientious consumer, focusing on how mobile information services can create new perspectives on shopping.


How can we create new experiences around using your cell phone for guidance in the jungle of products and offers out there..? how should services be created around this interaction between man and computer? 

The task is a great challenge in both mobile interface design, system and service thinking and above all a good pointer on the importance of designers as planers of new social interactions, shopping patterns on the way towards a global consciousness. Including issues as moral, ethics, environment, politics, health, economy, lifestyle and religion as starting points to the projects sets the stage for some interesting and hopefully justified projects. We’ll see! Well, as I mentioned in the heading, my group, consisting of my self (kyrre), Natasha and Knut have already come up with some interesting thoughts concerning new ways of shopping. Our main concept concerns a mobile service which supports the modern humans demand after knowledge, individual service, experiences and social shearing and caring. The concept has its roots in the fact that most people shopping after food and normal daily usage products easily falls into patterns, continue to buy the same old boring food, buying too much of it and selecting mostly unhealthy food.. (mostly students)  


Therefore we want to display a service which can help customers to pick healthy food, try new dishes, make shopping into something more social and making the whole experience of shopping after groceries into something far more interesting and educating, both taste wise and health wise. The service takes into use both RFID tech to trace food and production range to link histories and general information to the food.. this way you can easily tell your phone to write you shopping lists, selecting your menu for the romantic dinner, including wine and exclusive aperitifs to the recommendation. It can even tell you what you have in your fridge, what you don’t have and what you should have according to your health condition and calorie usage. Not only will it tell you what you should and shouldn’t eat, it will tell you where you can find your stores, where it’s cheap, good and tasty. A whole new universe of possibilities is about to open up for you, all you need to do is simply create an account on a web server and fill in a payment form, so that you can even pay with your phone.. No more cues, no more boring dinners, welcome to the future of mobile computing! Shortly there will be an update with some sketches of the sequence scenario and evidencing part we are currently working on, until then, be curious, be mystical!


Presentation – Simple RFID concept

25 01 2008

Today the stage was set for presenting our concepts for the small RFID task. The three groups presented three variated and interesting results which certainly set a good point of departure for the rest of the course.  As mentioned earlier my group decided upon making a more physical solution to a quiz game, getting the name; FISHING FISHING, due to the “fishingly” like objects and rules involved in the play. Shortly described the game consists of three contestants holding three game pieces each with incorporated RFID chips and a ”fishing rod like” device for fishing after correct answers whenever a question popped up on screen. We focused on making good physical models and a interface which were easy to understand and pay attention to. Whenever a answer were fished out and placed on the reader/goal area a sound and imagery would indicate a right or wrong answer, communicate who answered and what score they got. A timer in the back made sure that contestants would have to answer quickly to be able to get good scores. If no answers were given in time, everybody would get minus points before the next question popped up. This way we wanted to keep pushing the players towards engaging in the game.

We also wanted to encourage social enrolment in the play, making the players coming in physical contact with each other and with their fishing rods. Thinking that this would make the whole game scenario more action based and not just another boring still sitting quiz game. Due to short amount of time on the task, the playing during the presentation was the first time we tried it out, in other words a LIVE win or break situation. Not ideal, but it worked well and brought up a range of interesting observations. First of all, it soon became clear that the shape of the game pieces were a bit to similar and made it hard for the players to see which one was theirs. In addition the interface was a bit complex and displayed a bit to much information taking attention from the physical act of the to sorting information on screen.


However the sounds and time limit in collaboration with the questions worked well, making it in to a quite incurraging game.  We also saw allot of different solutions to where the game pieces could have been placed. For example it would be fun it they were placed in a tub with water in forms of small fishes, both connecting it more to the name and aim of the game, as well as making it harder to fish them up and place them on the reader..   I will not go specific in to the other games, but they were all really good and inspiring. As Timo said; ”Every project today has succeeded in some way, making interesting interactions through exploring and findings in a short amount of time. Coming to this point usually takes months, but with a platform to play on and a intensive workload it makes it possible!” He and Mosse also pointed out that this was a good starting point where we at a early point of the course found out what was interesting, boring and klijè so that we can continue to explore the possibilities of the RFID technology towards the ability of modify objects on a screen using physical interactions.


Design by doing is a challenging process, but then again extremely educating and giving. It also encourages us to start making physical models at a early stage of every developing task! In the end I just want to thank everybody for a meaningful and interesting week, displaying a lot of potential and skills form both students and teachers. I’m looking forward to the next task and the rest of the semester!


23 01 2008

Working with Interaction

Making new ways of interacting with a computer isn’t as easy as I thought, but is a lot more fun.. the whole idea is to use physical objects which can be used in a way and for a purpose where the keyboard and the mouse couldn’t get the same reaction or feedback.. to create a new experience!


Exploring different directions and concepts we saw on a range of appliances for protecting use of RFID instead of other media controllers. First we played with the thought of making a system for entrance at concerts and events.. What can be understood as a new kind of ticket system.. However this proved somewhat pointless knowing that the aim for the interaction designer isn’t to make new services, but new experiences.. Our choice soon fell on making some kind of a quiz game show where contestants must be in physical activity to be able to answer questions popping up on a screen.. In other words a game which are both physical and mentally challenging for people in all ages.. It could inspire kids

to learn more through games and play, and it could make grown ups get up of their comfortable seats and in motion for refreshing mind and spirit!


Testing of various different ways of interacting with the computer are important to be able to form a clearer understanding of the possibileties concerning the physical feel of the act.. we wanted to create a communication between TAG and READER which vere both fun and challenging.. updates of our findings will follow.. 


Tangible Interactions and Social Computing

22 01 2008

THE BEGINNING OF A NEW ERA IN COMPUTING – INTRODUCING TANGIBLE INTERACTIONS AND SOCIAL COMPUTINGIn the beginning computers were operated by electrical impulses or connections…then it went over to symbols and punched holes…after a while computers went over to text… the next thing you know we have graphical computing, making computers accessible and maneuverable for most of us… now we really can start using this magnificent tool for what its worth…the era of tangible and social computing is here to stay…   


‘Tangible Interaction’ denotes systems that rely on
– tangibility / materiality
– bodily / embodied interaction
– physical representation of data
– embeddedness in real space, and augmentation of physical spaces.

In different systems these characteristics can be of various intensity. Tangible Interaction is an umbrella term, which encompasses approaches from HCI (human computer interaction), computer science, product design and the interactive arts.With tangible interaction we act (or move) in physicalspace and in system space (software). Software definesvirtual structure, determining the interaction flow. Physicalspace prescribes physical structure. Both types of structureallow, direct, and limit behavior, determining usage optionsand behavior patterns. Thus, they shape the ways we cancollaborate; they can induce us to collaborate or make usrefrain from it. Tangible interaction systems embodystructure. Design can enforce social structure and we canlearn from facilitation and pedagogical methods how to dothis (for a full account of this theme see Hornecker 2005). 

A tangible user interface (TUI) is a user interface in which a person interacts with digital information through the physical environment. The initial name was Graspable User Interface, which no longer is used.One of the pioneers in tangible user interfaces is Hiroshi Ishii, a professor in the MIT Media Laboratory who heads the Tangible Media Group. His particular vision for tangible UIs, called Tangible Bits, is to give physical form to digital information, making bits directly manipulable and perceptible. Tangible bits pursues seamless coupling between these two very different worlds of bits and atoms.

A example of a tangible user interface – Augmented Reality

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Projection Augmented Models A Projection Augmented model (PA model) consists of a physical three-dimensional model, onto which a computer image is projected to create a realistic looking object Importantly, the physical model is the same geometric shape as the object that the PA model depicts. For example, the image projected onto the objects shown in this picture provides color and visual texture, which makes them appear to be made from different materials.

Social computing is a general term for an area of computer science that is concerned with the intersection of social behavior and computational systems. It is used in two ways.In the weaker sense of the term, social computing has to do with supporting any sort of social behavior in or through computational systems. It is based on creating or recreating social conventions and social contexts through the use of software and technology. Thus, blogs, email, instant messaging, social network services, wikis, social bookmarking and other instances of what is often called social software illustrate ideas from social computing, but also auction software and other kinds of electronic market or electronic negotiation platforms where people interact socially.In the stronger sense of the term, social computing has to do with supporting “computations” that are carried out by groups of people, an idea that has been popularized in James Surowiecki‘s book, The Wisdom of Crowds. Examples of social computing in this sense include collaborative filtering, online auctions, prediction markets, reputation systems, computational social choice, tagging, and verification games.


21 01 2008

RFID, or Radio Frequency IDentification chips to be more precise will be some of the technologies we will be using and exploring through the following 4 months. RFID is a rather old invention, first published in 1949 and has since then been further developed in several directions. RFID tags come in three general varieties: passive, active, or semi-passive (also known as battery-assisted). Passive tags require no internal power source, thus being pure passive devices (they are only active when a reader is nearby to power them), whereas semi-passive and active tags require a power source, usually a small battery.To communicate, tags respond to queries generating signals that must not create interference with the readers, as arriving signals can be very weak and must be told apart.The new RFID chips have a 128-bit ROM for storing a unique 38 digit number, like their predecessor. Hitachi used semiconductor miniaturization technology and electron beams to write data on the chip substrates to achieve the new, smaller size.


Hitachi’s mu-chips are already in production; they were used to prevent ticket forgery at last year’s Aichi international technology exposition. RFID ‘powder,’ on the other hand, is so much smaller that it can easily be incorporated into thin paper, like that used in paper currency and gift certificates.

The worlds smallest RFID chip

Problems concerning use of RFID  The use of RFID technology has engendered considerable controversy and even product boycotts by consumer privacy advocates such as Katherine Albrecht and Liz McIntyre of CASPIAN who refer to RFID tags as “spychips“. The two main privacy concerns regarding RFID are:

  • Since the owner of an item will not necessarily be aware of the presence of an RFID tag and the tag can be read at a distance without the knowledge of the individual, it becomes possible to gather sensitive data about an individual without consent.
  • If a tagged item is paid for by credit card or in conjunction with use of a loyalty card, then it would be possible to indirectly deduce the identity of the purchaser by reading the globally unique ID of that item (contained in the RFID tag).


 Well, despite the problems and sketicism concerning use of RFID technollogy I choose to not see it as a problem but as a challange, because there is no doubt, this is an area with great potential and benefit for mankind.. I look forward to exploring it further!

Getting started…Task 01 The landscape of tangible interaction

20 01 2008

Well well well..  Good to be back on track with studies and new adventures after a nice, relaxing and vitalizing Christmas and new-year… I must say I look forward to some new challenges and new wisdom in the coming months… hopefully with some pleasant experiences and new contacts at the same time..After a nice week with introductions to my main course this semester, Tangible Interactions, also known as TOUCH. I feel assure that this is something I will have great advantage off. The tutors seem very skilled and involved in their act, so does the rest of the students, in other words a nice little combo with a lot of potential!Well.. now I have to get some sleep, tomorrow we will start up with some practical work which I surely look forward to.. More info about the aim of the course, the technology involved and my personal reflections around it will follow shortly..GETTING AN


This week we will be looking at the history of design and technology with a focus on ubiquitous and tangible research, prod­ucts and services. The material will provide us with a comprehensive overview of some of the history and contemporary practice of interaction design.


picture; Timo Arnall, All rigths resereverd

After reading the folder handed out in the beginning of this week, I must say I’m impressed by the content and feel a whole lot more informed about the world of technology and physical computing than I ever thought I would be after just four days of reading. It’s clear that the tutors have put great work and effort in putting together a folder of articles expressing the variety and complexity of this huge gender, TANGIBLE INTERACTION.   As mentioned above the reading gave me a lot and therefore I will shortly try to explain what I mean by this. First of all, the articles builds up a almost historical approach to the subject. Beginning with the inventor of electricity, at least according to him self, Nicolas Tezzla. Showing the rise of the modern age and introduction of a whole new era in engineering and design. Then moving over to articles on invention of the first computers operated by electrical impulses and textual scripting, before discussions on ethical and environmental issues due to this comes in to the picture. In the end, introductions to new areas of Tangible Interactions such as virtual reality, mobile services and web based solutions are discussed. In my view this is one of the best introductions to a new course I have ever been provided.  


The most obvious point I got out of the reading was that the designers role clearly have changed since Tezzla ruled on his pedestal above the rest of the people on this planet. Although his great visions of the future are extremely tempting and exiting, not considering collaborating with the users and environment, understood as the people in general and nature itself when designing solutions for these seems way of track.


 Designers now a day must have a much wider perspective of things, come down from their judging pedestal and start discussions and developing where it is most needed, among the people who uses and interact with them at daily bases. Where are the needs, what can be done, how are people using current products and services..?These are questions we really should be concerned about. We must create a trust relationship between designers, governments and users, and in a playful and positive atmosphere solve our main challenges in the best possible way. These concerning both ethical and environmental issues, not to be overlooked but foreseen and reacted upon.  We are currently experiencing a culture of mass consumption and miss use of resources resulting in massive environmental problems demanding fast and responsible solutions. It’s the designer’s role to guide and stand for solutions that can turn this negative trend in to a positive pathway for the world and its citizens. We need to dig down in cross cultural exploring and try to find the key to be able to open the door to new knowledge of how this can be done. This demands collaboration not only between designers and producers, but between people and among nations. This is a global problem, a political and an environmental mess. It is naive to think that these problems will be solved without the use of designers. YES, to designers in governmental posts.  

When talking about ecological issues, Ubiquities computing can’t be overlooked. The computers around us that we can’t see, but are constantly watching us and monitoring most of our moves on this planet should not be focused that much on us, but rather on the bigger picture. Zoom out and monitor something we can and should be concerned about, our globe. Where are the needs and where should change be made? We need to improve our environmental responsibility and strengthen our ethics and moral. A little qote from one of the texts, In the Bubble, Adam Greenfield, is needed; “the filters of the future will be in our heads, not at the end of pipes”.

 The resources on this planet are limited and few, shearing is caring!