Rather like this picture, it was created for a very interesting and detailed feature about the 3rd industrial revolution in The Economist. (Illustrator http://www.brettryder.co.uk/)
This is one of the most inspiring 3D printing projects that you might come across, the Rep Rap printer can reproduce itself! The potential is damn near infinite as is it’s reach.
Well worth a watch, a talk all about how old ways of trading/bartering are being reinvented for the 21st Century.
Art has always been a mirror to society, either in the convoluted deliberate sense that centuries of religious and monarchical patronage encouraged or in the accidental sense that decades of the more symbiotic relationship between tv bosses and hungry audiences has cultivated.
It is no coincidence that the surprise hit of last year on British television was The Great British Bake Off on BBC 2, nor that the all together more kindly The Voice has triumphed over Cowell’s angrier formats in countries around the globe. Nor is it a coincidence that the services of Instagram proved a wildly popular bait for today’s feverish smart phone users. The addition of warm, idealised filters give people a sometimes literally rose tinted prism through which to see and record their lives. When times are good we are cynical and disdainful of nostalgia but when times take a darker turn we reach for the comfortable old favourites for emotional nourishment and security.
In regards to apps then, while the world economy teeters and the average user isn’t seeing a penny of the billions of pounds of investment being rained upon us lucky technologists, I would argue that what the core user wants at the moment is joy. They want to feel warm inside, they want to share and discover things that make them smile and make them laugh. The huge popularity of social gaming is another profound indicator of this need as is the complete overhaul of the demographics of people who actually game now, which is basically everyone.
Pinterest is the hottest social network right now and with good reason, it is almost the epitome of a service that delivers little nuggets of joy. By far the most pinned types of item are food and home interiors, obvious paeans to nostalgia. Pinterest didn’t set itself up to become top heavy in terms of this subject matter but has succeeded brilliantly in creating a positive environment where the mirroring that we have seen so clearly with art and modern media cuts out the middle man and becomes just that, a pure varnished mirror with millions of reflections a day looking back at us.
It goes without saying that the tone and nature of these environments will sway with the mood of the audience but my advice is to develop Joy in 2012 and it will make you a very happy founder/investor indeed.
Right now, my laptop sits idle beside me, old, decaying and rather sad, caked in the dust characteristic of an owner who long ago lost respect for a machine that now crashes two or three times a day.
I am typing on a bluetooth keyboard using my ipad as a screen for the first time. The relationship between what I am writing and what I am seeing on the screen becomes altogether more intuitive. I can, for the first time, touch the prose that I am writing entirely by itself. The relationship between keyboard and screen becomes like that of a pen to paper, rather than keyboard to screen. That the keyboard takes up so much space on an iPad has always dissuaded me from typing anything but short emails etc but the devotion of the screen entirely to content rather than function, even when you are creating, is something rather awesome to behold.
It could be a good bet that Apple will release the next generation of iMacs and Macbook Pros and Air’s as keyboard and touch combinations. The separation between typing and touch are massively important in regards to the efficacy of the experience. Yes, of course the iPad is incredible as a content device, that’s why it’s on course to sell easily 300m units in the next 5 years, but it’s also an amazing content creation device and you really do need hardware to use it to it’s full potential.
Think about it, do you really want have half your screen devoted to a keyboard? Is that really going to give you the rhythm required to help you write great content?
1. Buy the Apple bluetooth keyboard for your iPad, it will change your experience.
2. Start thinking about the implications of a touch screen desktop computer. When Apple releases it in it’s desktop and laptop incarnations, it will usher in a whole new era of interpretations of apps that improve your experience. The touch screen mobile interface isn’t replacing the desktop, rather it is exapting itself into the UX(User Experience). It is more a marriage made in heaven than a fight to the death and we will all enjoy this coming revolution in desktop computing, it is excitingly just around the corner and for anyone with an iPad and a wireless keyboard, it is already here.
The way we watch TV has changed hugely over the last few years. The revolution really began with iPlayer, the £300m brainchild of Ashley Highfield and Anthony Rose at the BBC. As with all triumphs of design and function, it spurred major change in it’s industry and every other major terrestrial competitor soon made sure you could watch whatever you wanted to watch, whenever you wanted to watch it.
What Anthony Rose did next may well also soon deserve a place in the pantheon of television history.
Zeebox aims to be the centre of your television universe, it is fully integrated into Facebook and Twitter and gives you real time discussion and buzz, or lack of it, that gets viewers talking. It has a really easy simple interface and it really comes to life when you have you have a community of your friends online with you. Millions of people tweet and share their tv musings on Facebook and this app both takes advantage of this but also gives it a centre of gravity with brilliant features that create the ideal environment for this kind of sharing. It’s also just as fun even if you don’t have loads of friends on the app as it provides the ideal place for a tv junkie to see what thousands of other people are thinking about exactly the same thing you are watching.
It can even make you a ‘starwatcher’ and trend setter. If you tweet regularly about tv shows, Zeebox will feature you as an armchair critic and promote your every utterance about tv through the app and site. It is a beautiful idea that truly crowdsources good amateur tv critics and thinkers.
Imagine it as the biggest living room you can imagine with a comfy sofa for its army of users. It’s basically a live database of what’s hot and what’s not on tv and I highly recommend you get involved in what is a brilliant companion to your tv viewing. You can get it on all Android devices, iPhone and iPad and through your laptop/PC.