In the realm of sensing, there is a mix of optimism and pessimism over the inevitable convergence of our old analog sensibilities with our fast-emerging digital selves towards a singularity. Ethical implications aside, this tension stems from a basic tenet of social psychology, that nonverbal signals largely govern how people think and feel about us.
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Communication behaviors are hard to measure. Observing communication between individuals is likely to change the nature of the interaction, and surveys about communication offer an incomplete understanding of what took place. Ben Waber built upon research he began at the Human Dynamics Laboratory at M.I.T. by starting a company created to solve this problem. Using sensing technology, he and his colleagues have devised a method for measuring communication patterns in individuals.
The morning sunshine creeps through the closed bedroom blinds. You begin to wake up. You rise, dress, and head out for a jog. Upon returning you shower, feed the dog, eat breakfast, and then leave for work.
Another version of your morning goes like this: the morning sunshine creeps through the closed bedroom blinds. Once the morning sun hits 400 Lumens, the blinds automatically open to just 4 degrees. You begin to wake up. You stretch and rise.
Information Management Office, Fredy Gamez, examines crisis data plotted across the region using OCHA Colombia’s Monitor system. Photo credit: Yumi Endo
During this year’s annual I/O conference, Google revealed Material Design, a responsive design language that aims to unify all their products, platforms, and devices. Google's promotional video amplifies the compelling theory of a rationalized space and system of motion found in Material. Videos like this are common in the industry, and are often made using Adobe After Effects -- a very powerful video, motion graphics, and compositing application. As an interaction designer working at frog, I am tasked with communicating to clients how a system works and what an application looks and feels like. Producing a high fidelity animated video like the one Google created for Material is certainly a possibility, but it often requires additional time, scoping, and resources. Instead, I use Keynote because you can tell the same story just as effectively in much less time.
A few months ago we wrote about, Point B Design + Training (pointB), which launched in Mawlamyine, Myanmar. pointB is setting out to tell a new story in Myanmar’s emerging democracy: they have goals intended to develop a new generation of makers who will lead change by tackling their community’s social issues. These change agents are 17 young adults who have completed their traditional schooling in Engineering, Education, Zoology, and some are even working in local government offices. They are looking to bring a new way of thinking to their work and community.
Photo credit: Compfight via Flickr
What happens when you gather 10 designers from all over the globe, make them fly to three different continents in seven days, to focus on one complex social problem in the world?
Humanitarian work is rapidly evolving. As crises emerge and unfold, digital technologies and networked communities are changing the way information is collected, distributed, analyzed, and acted upon. The UN’s Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) published a comprehensive report on the impact of these technologies and made a powerful statement calling for “more diverse and bottom-up forms of decision-making – something that most Governments and humanitarian organizations are not designed for." With an abundance of information being produced around crisis events, there is a need to rethink how technology is used in support of humanitarian action.