Design.

Ben Logan
21 August 2013

Apple have recently filed a patent, titled “Working with 3D objects”, which seems to describe fresh methods of manipulating user interfaces within a 3D space. While there is little official word of this yet, the possibilities of the announced system are fascinating, with a few juicy details being given away by the patent: “An apparatus for generating or modifying 3D objects can include a sensor to detect touch inputs, 2D gesture inputs that are associated with a surface, and 3D gesture inputs that include a movement perpendicular to the surface. A data processor is provided to receive signals output from…

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Ben Logan
7 August 2013

Some of us want our smart mobile devices to serve as useful communication and media tools, whereas some of us want omnipresent, all knowing sentinels in our pockets. Motorola Mobility, which was acquired by Google last year, has now released a mobile phone which seems likely to appeal to the later group, given its ability to cleverly detect its current environment and adapt accordingly. The Moto X device can even automatically detect when you are in a moving car or in a meeting and switch itself to a pre-defined mode. The phone is also constantly ready to be used as…

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Ben Logan
25 July 2013

Whilst Microsoft are back peddling as best as possible from the disastrous launch of their new console, rival Sony have just released a few images of their new PS4’s user interface. Although you couldn’t call it revolutionary, the user profiles, PlayStation Store, Video Sharing and Inbox Messaging shots are certainly reminiscent of the PS3, PSP and Vita user interfaces. In addition, elements of Metro style tiling are to be seen when it comes to the social feed functions. More details have also been released on the console itself, with the FCC revealing that during their extensive usability testing, the PS4…

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Ben Logan
11 July 2013

With smart watches and wearable computers such as Google glass being no longer just the charge of science fiction, it now seems not far off until we are using our actual clothing as a computer interface. Researchers at Cornell University in New York are now able to use textiles to detect disease and radiation, control the release of pesticides and capture hazardous gases. For example, nanofibers that are able to detect and prevent the spread of bacteria can be woven into surgical masks, hospital sheets or even clothing. It’s not just for practical applications though. Clothes are currently in development…

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Ben Logan
14 June 2013

Odin Mobile have just released the RAU Huawei Vision smartphone, a device that allows blind users to make phone calls, send text messages, browse the Internet, recognise colours and have access to audio books plus magazines. Speaking in an interview with the Times of Israel, the CEO of the group behind the phone, Boaz Zilberman said: “We have built a breakthrough user interface that defines a new language for human-device interaction that is built, ground-up, for eye-free operation.” Every feature on the phone can be accessed by voice and touch, with responsive feedback to guide the users as needed. As…

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Ben Logan
11 June 2013

Jakob Nielsen, who has a Ph.D. in human-computer interaction and was a former top level engineer with Sun Microsystems, has branded the revamped Apple iOS “a terrible usability mistake”. The usability guru with nearly 80 US patents to his name isn’t fond of the new “flatter” design and is not alone – other UI experts have also expressed their concerns for what could be “a step back in usability”. The new interface makes use of a Windows 8 style design (we all know how well that worked out…) with colours, textures and typography used to draw attention to its features…

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