In the Field
“Even when the computer starts using me as a human sensor for its research, in my mind, we’ll still be a team.”
— Hammans Stallings, frog Principal Strategist
The addition of sensing and connectivity to products is rapidly changing what we learn from them, how we perceive them, and how we use them. Those same technologies are also feeding backwards, changing how we design products.
We all know the facts. The US elderly population is huge, (relatively) wealthy, and growing. As this influential group expands, we face a basic question that is proving tough to answer: how and where can we best care for each other as we age?
“The intuitive mind is a sacred gift and the rational mind is a faithful servant. We have created a society that honors the servant and has forgotten the gift.” – Albert Einstein
The human brain remains one of the least understood structures in the natural world. Yet over the past two decades, researchers have developed a growing kit of remarkable tools that are beginning to shed new light on the inner workings of our most complex organ.
As humans, we are driven to seek ever-deeper understandings of both the world around us and
the world within us.
A growing number of us do just that by tracking the hours we sleep, the calories we eat, the miles we run, and many other types of inputs, states, and measures of performance.
Sensors are inherently of their context: the physical context they sense and the human one they often infer, but also of the corporations that manufacture them, and the organizations that install them and base decisions on the supposedly objective data that they create.
They’re everywhere. We attach them to our wrists, embed them into our medical devices, and mount them onto the lampposts that dot every block of our city. Some sensing technologies capture our imagination and attract our constant attention. Yet many go unnoticed, their insides packed with unknowable electronic components, ceaselessly counting, measuring, and transmitting. For what purpose, or to whose gain, is often unclear.
The Oxygen Gap
Rwanda and Kenya experience an infant mortality rate that is eight to ten times greater than that of the U.S. The top six causes are all related to respiratory failure, and in many cases these deaths are avoidable if patients receive proper ventilation and oxygen. However, access to oxygen in east Africa is limited, expensive and unreliable.
On a daily basis, frogs email tidbits of knowledge in the form of a podcast recommendation or an article link. We're constantly listening to the musings around us and believe keeping a list of podcasts, articles, and magazines is beneficial to our intellectual diet. So, we decided to pose a simple question to frogs around the world: What do you read? Below you'll find a list of the top five books, websites, podcasts, periodicals, and blogs we consume and love.
What are some of your favorites? Let us know in the comments.
We should expect another digital revolution, or two, or three. In fact, I would like to think we could plot them like stops on a subway line, or – introducing free will – cities on a map.
After more than 50 years under military rule, Myanmar (formerly Burma) is just beginning to open up to be a free and democratic nation. The people of Myanmar currently face challenges and complexity that vastly exceed the creative resources available to address them. Point B Design + Training (pointB), a partner of frog, is leveraging this unique time and context to change the story of Myanmar from seeing problems to creating new possibilities.