IxDA 2013 in Toronto co-hosted by OCAD!

Time is Feb in order to coincide with Toronto Design Week. I’m pretty sure we’ll see OCADers all over the conference!

They want volunteers http://us2.campaign-archive.com/?u=300c1a1348ace3879ec7d4790&id=d3e88e4730


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Bill Buxton questions the OLPC(One Laptop per Child) project

link to the article: http://research.microsoft.com/en-us/um/people/bibuxton/buxtoncollection/detail.aspx?id=98

the four questions he asked:

  1. Will giving computers to kids in the developing world improve their education?
  2. Will having a thus better educated youth help bring a society out of poverty?
  3. Can that educational improvement be accomplished by giving the computers to the kids, with no special training for teachers?
  4. Should this be attempted on a global scale without any advance field trials or pilot studies?
It’s inconvenient to criticize or even question high-profile philanthropic projects like OLPC. And even when one does, the argument is often ignored or simply not noticed among the overwhelming amount of supportive voice for the questioned project. It’s great to see listened minds like Bill Buxton thinking about this kind of projects critically and making a public argument. Buxton Collection is also a good platform for the argument to get exposure, hopefully more as it grows.
I basically agree with everything he said in the article.
Personally I don’t think the computer improves education. But I think the internet, which does not have to be accessed through the computer (if u don’t count all smart devices as computers), does, greatly. Same applies to another point mentioned in the article, democracy. And a smart device capable of accessing internet alone does not bring internet to the device and its user.
Nicholas Negroponte seems to tend to be overconfident about his personal visions. His book “Being Digital” is full of predictions of how the future will be rather than discussions on how it might be. So is his TED talk in 1984 called “5 predictions”. I actually prefer this kind of predictive tone because for me a book or a talk is meant to be the author’s opinions and the reader (or listener in my case) can simply agree or disagree. But when it comes to projects like OLPC that could have significant positive or negative impact on people who the project intends or at least claims to help, it’s probably not a good idea to have someone like him lead it.
For us, on the other hand, “This product is here to provide a reminder to keep a critical mind and questioning discourse, regardless of how seductive the technology, or how well intentioned the concept. The concept may be broken, nevertheless.”
more good and bad about OLPC on the beloved Wikipedia:
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Black Hole could well be the Apple iPhone of 2020

The pace with which technology is progressing in modern era, we can’t even visualize the form and functioning of the gadgets in the days to come. Now we don’t have any other option than to bank on the vision or insight of the designers, giving the glimpse of futuristic technology and gadgets. The Apple Black Hole by French designer Josselin Zaïgouche is an identical cellphone concept that makes use of holographic technology to control all functions and web applications. Designed for the year 2020, the holographic phone also incorporates a charging base, Prism and the Black Hole. As soon as you open your hand, the central ball levitates to control the functions in mid-air. And when attached to the charging base, the Black Hole becomes a desktop device, allowing endless possibilities to the geeks.

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Pair – the couple app

Hey Touchat! This is for you guys!

Tenthbit inc has created an app very similar to yours, but for the iphone, not the cube. The app lets two people, and only two people stay in contact all through out the day, where ever they are. The app, called “Pair” consolidates all forms of communication on ne timeline. Users can send messages, photos, videos, sketches and their locations through the app. When both users are online at the same time, they can sketch to each other in real time, maybe play tic tac toe. Pair also has reminders for the important dates in their lives, anniversaries, birthdays, to help out the forgetful one in the relationship.

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Google unveils “Project Glass” to the world

So it begins…

I had posted just yesterday about these google glasses and today it is posted all over the news that the google glasses are going to be tested out in public and soon it will become the first wearable computing project glass in the world! It is not for sale yet of course but their prototype is being tested for people’s inputs. As of now, the glasses use the same Android software that powers Android smartphones and tablets. The glasses are also equipped with GPS, motion sensors and even camera and audio inputs/outputs.

The images show a minimalist design with a microphone and partly-transparent video screen that places information over the view from the users’ right eye.

The New York times suggests that the first set of glasses would go on sale before the end of the year for somewhere between $250-$600 but experts say that the technology shown in the video may still be some way off being ready for market.

To read more about it check the news: http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/technology-17618495





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Vibrating Tattoo

hmm.. just thought it’s interesting and so I shared it.

Imagine you have this, a vibrating tattoo or vibrating teeth.

Reminded me someone introduced 3D technology in the class, and I thought it would help the porn industry… I guess this would too.


If you’re one of those people who sometimes misses a call because your mobile is tucked away in your bag, preventing you from hearing it ring, then Nokia may have the answer — in the form of a vibrating tattoo.

The Finnish company has patented an idea that involves using a ferromagnetic material which would be sprayed or stamped onto a user’s skin before being linked up with a mobile device, says a BBCreport. The material is capable of detecting a magnetic field and emitting a vibration.

The patent was filed with the US Patent and Trademark Office last week and describes how the magnetic marking could be placed pretty much anywhere on a person’s body, including their finger, or even their fingernail.

The patent explains that once applied, the tattoo could work in a number of ways. It could, for example, let you know when your phone’s battery is running low, tell you when an email has been received or alert you to an event on your calendar.

Vibrations could come in the form of a single pulse, multiple pulses, one long pulse, strong and weak pulses — with each type of pulse relating to different kinds of notifications. You could also program it to vibrate in different ways depending on who’s calling.

News site Unwired View, which uncovered the patent, said that besides being sprayed or stamped on the body, the material could be applied like a regular tattoo, making it more permanent.

“You’ll apparently be able to choose the actual image you want as the tattoo. The procedure is identical to that of getting a ‘normal’ tattoo – only the ink is special,” Unwired View’s report explained.

Though a ‘silent’ vibrating tattoo could prove useful on occasion, it’s hard to believe many people would want to endure a surgical-like procedure just to ensure they never miss another call.

Perhaps it would be useful in places like movie theaters and business meetings, where even a phone switched to vibrate can cause head-turns and tuts when it goes off.

Would you be happy to have a vibrating tattoo applied to your forearm? Or are you managing just fine without one?



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Search Engine Shades-Google Glasses Put the Web in Front of Your Eyeballs


Futuristic GlassesRumor has it that Google is in the process of developing a new product: Google glasses.
The product is a pair of electronic glasses that can stream information directly to the eyes of its users. It may sound like an invention for 2040, but these futuristic glasses may just be the next big thing of this year. Google has yet to confirm that the project is in full development; however, the New York Times is reporting on some of the alleged features, including a built-in camera, a 3G or 4G connection and a small screen near the eye. This screen will allow users to connect to the Internet. If you’re checking Facebook while sporting Google glasses, scrolling or clicking will be as easy as tilting the head back and forth.

The glasses will supposedly start selling from $250 to $600.

So what do you guys think? Is this concept a trip to disaster or a beginning of a new virtual reality experience? I think there is some potential, but can’t agree with the idea yet.

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Spring Power Forever

One=Two Battery features unique shape to allow two batteries to function as one when their power levels are running down. The reason why one=two battery is a good concept because batteries are harmful to our environment. Do you know that 1 cubic meter of soil can be polluted by only a single D-size battery? Battery contains toxic material, however it seems that it’s been a usual practice for users with powered-battery devices to replace a low-energy battery with a new one in an instant while actually there’s still a lot of energy stored in the old one.

Keeping this concern in mind, these industrial designers have come up with One=Two Battery concept that borrows the shape and function of a mechanical spring. This unique design allows the battery to be compressed when running low and combined into one for greater power level. In this way, the lifespan of a battery can be extended.

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Curved Tablet Design is Actually a Flexible Smartphone

Welcome to the Samsung Waview, an intriguing concept created by Li Wei and having at its center flexible LED screen technology. What’s really nice about this oversized smartphone or smaller tablet is that it can also be used as a lampshade when it doesn’t serve as a communication device.


The handset becomes not only a lampshade through its placement in a special cradle, but it also charges up through the same mechanism. Flexible LED phones are mere prototypes and concepts now, but the likes of Sony and Samsung are working hard to make them real. It will be cool to have a phone or tablet with a solid base area and a flexible display that you can expand to either handset size or slate size.

Samsung Waview is a pretty nice start for a future prototype, but its glass looks a bit too thick to be viable. A quick idea for specs: dual core 2GHz processor, 2GB RAM, 720p resolution, 8MP camera and maybe some 3D graphics thrown in just for fun. Would you dig such a device?


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FT Graphic World


Financial Times use data visualization to better tell the stories with the help of data journalist and information designer David McCandless, author of “Information is Beautiful”.



About (http://ftgraphicworld.ft.com/item/about):

The Financial Times presents Graphic World; an innovative and thought-provoking visual exploration of global business and the world economy.

The US is still the world’s pre-eminent economic superpower – but to stay on top and thrive in the global arena, an in-depth understanding of the global marketplace is critical to the American business community.

A series of three interactive 3D infographics, created in collaboration with acclaimed infographic journalist, David McCandless, and projected in the Vanderbilt Hall in New York’s Grand Central Terminal.

The projections have been made into three short and incisive films that cover business, economic and technological topics demonstrating the global breadth and expertise of the Financial Times.

With 500 journalists based all over the world, the Financial Times provides the best global insight and analysis available – and it’s this expertise that provides the foundation for each story.


Collaboration with a top level data vis artist is not a very sustainable process for everyone. But with easier-to-use tools and automation systems being developed, I see a near future where journalists visualize their stories routinely just like they type text on keyboard today. And instead of writing updates in text, data can be updated automatically constantly almost in real time.

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