NFC is not just mobile payment

August 16, 2012

NFC or Near Field Communication is the big buzz word at the moment and everybody is talking about it. The truth is that the technology is nothing new and it has been around for a long time. Nokia had an NFC enabled phone in 2007, it was called the Nokia 6131.

Google has made the term mainstream with their announcement of Google Wallet and most people think of NFC as a way to pay with their mobile device. But that is not all.

imageAt Razorfish globally we have been exploring NFC for a long time. Just look at the examples that we released in the past: The NFC gumball machine, BrandTable or Razorfish Digital Wallet.

We actually have a wall of NFC to showcase all kinds of uses for the technology right in our office.

So what else can you do with NFC apart from using it for payments?

There are already plenty of examples out there.

Below you can find 6 examples on how NFC can be used right now.

1. Use your NFC enabled phone as the key to your hotel room

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For the recent Olympics in London a Holiday Inn Hotel gave their VIP customers a Samsung Galaxy S3 as part of their 40 VIP rooms. The guests were able to check in and out of the hotel, as well as change the AC, control the TV, and unlock their rooms with the phone.

Using NFC in your phone as a key to open doors has been used in the Enterprise world as well. The phones were used to enable physical access systems in buildings and track employee time-clock check-ins and attendance, access staff parking areas or cafeterias and pay for services.

NFC tags could be placed inside meeting or conference rooms, and attendees could tap their compatible devices to silence them or to turn on Wi-Fi, for example.

2. Use it as your travel pass

Read the rest of this entry »


The future of tablet touch is gesturing

August 7, 2012

Have you ever been in the situation where you were cooking up a storm in the kitchen following your grandmothers 100 year recipe, your hands were covered in ingredients and you didn’t want to touch the recipe because you didn’t want to get it dirty.

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Qualcomm comes to the rescue by showing off the power of their new Snapdragon processor and there practical integration of gesture and head tracking technology that hopefully soon will make it into your tablet.

The technology is not new, but as the videos below show, using the device’s front-facing camera, we will be able to control onscreen avatars, page forward and back through recipes, setup profiles and even wake their slates all with simple hand or head movements.

Check out the videos below

I for one wouldn’t mind having this little add-on on my tablet.

@maniac13


Never have a messy room ever again

July 24, 2012

Trash cans haven’t really changed much in the past, but this Japanese genius just made all the wait worth it.

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He has created the Smart Trashbox, a moving can which uses a Kinect to track airborne garbage and make sure you’ll never miss ever again.

Check out the video of it in action.

A lot of work went into this project and the creator (Modder FRP) states that there is still a lot of work to be done, but right now it is pretty impressive.

@maniac13


Best use of NFC so far

July 24, 2012

NFC is the big buzz word everywhere now and most people don’t even know what it is, what it does or that they already have it in their phone.

Will the new iPhone have it? Nobody knows until it is revealed, but that shouldn’t stop us from exploring it.

And that is exactly what Razorfish in Germany did with this 2 day project, coming up with the best idea on NFC usage I have seen so far.

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The idea is simple, just like you used to get your candy from a machine you can now get all kinds of digital goodies: Apps, movies, songs, ebooks, as well as other exclusive and location-based content that can be pushed to a phone. Simply enter a coin and turn the lever – then follow the animation and tap your smartphone next to the release chute.

In terms of hardware, we used a Samsung Galaxy Tab, an NFC shield, a simple reed switch and two Arduino microcontrollers – all nicely fitted into an original Gum Machine metal base.

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Super awesome indeed. Nicely done Razorfish. You can read more about it here.

@maniac13


This is how you buy a car–Audi City

July 18, 2012

We have been playing around with new ways of interaction for a while and touch and Natural user interfaces always played a big role in it.

Some of the work we can done can be found on our blog here and here, on the razorfish emerging experiences blog here and there is plenty more as well.

So we are always interested when this kind of technology and innovation makes it into the real world. Yesterday the Audi City in London opened up and is showing off how you will buy your next Audi by using touch, Kinect and RDID.

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Audi at the moment sells 36 different new cars and with all of the customization you can do there are something like 200 million possible iterations of those and obviously you can’t have that many cars in the show room.

So what if you could customize your new car the way you want and then see if life size drive past you on a 210 inch screen – awesome, yes!

Audi City has multiple levels, with the upstairs level having 4 of those floor to ceiling screens. Check out their vision in the video below:

2 of the screens have kinect sensors connected to them so you can interact with it with gestures, a directional sound system makes sure you are not disturbed by other potential buyers on the other screen (or vice versa) and it lets you experience the engine sound and the sounds of closing doors.

A touch screen then takes over where you can easily customize every single aspect of your new car, down to the colour of your gear stick. Spin it, turn it, zoom it – all of that is possible with high resolution imagery and the touch panel.

Paint, leather and cloth samples on RFID-enabled swatches can be grabbed from the wall and placed next to the 32in touch screen, automatically updating your vehicle with the choice you’ve made.

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Once you’re happy with your choices it generates a mood board with hi-res snaps and videos of your chosen car, which can be shared on Facebook and Twitter, emailed to a friend, or stored on a USB key.

Audi plans to roll the 3M multitouch screens out to dealerships all over the world, and to create 20 Audi Cities by 2015. I for one can’t wait for the one in Australia to be opened.

@maniac13


The future of Eyewear is Googles Project Glass

April 5, 2012

The rumours have been around for a while but Google finally unveiled Project glass. 

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Google X – the secret Google lab that focuses on technology that should reach the masses. They worked on this project to deliver a technology that should work for you, to be there when you need it and get out of your way when you don’t. Augmented reality puts information in your field of view with information about your surroundings, answers to questions you asked and waypoints on maps if you want directions. It can also take picture that you can instantly share with your Google+ circles.

check out the video below to get an idea of what it is capable off.

The glasses are in Beta testing at the moment and Google hasn’t released and dates or prices for it yet.

It is fair to assume that Google will release the technology and glasses manufacturers will be able to implement it into their creations.

So where is my prototype to test it, Google?

@maniac13


Photoshop CS6 is going to the Dark Side

January 30, 2012

Adobe released a sneak peek video of Photoshop CS6 on YouTube and it showed off a dark UI similar to Lightroom and After Effects.

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Lots of customizations are now possible simply by context clicking and the rich cursor support is something that I have been waiting for a long time.

I definitely like it, so check it out in the video below:

PS: the Camera Raw 7 product looks quite nice too.

@maniac13


The window of the future

January 13, 2012

CES in Las Vegas is on and like every year I am jealous of everybody who can go to it.

But nevertheless I still get to see all the cool new gadgets and while I have seen prototypes of this before, but this seems to be ready to be installed in my house.

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The Samsung Smart Window – a transparent display that is touch enabled and a one sided pane which means people on the outside can’t see what you are seeing.

here are some videos of it in action:

 

 

I love the blinds, also word on the street is that mass production is starting in the next few month, but no word on price yet.

@maniac13


Control Windows 8 by looking at it

January 10, 2012

I am very excited about the forthcoming Windows 8 and I have been playing around with it since the Developer Preview was released.

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We have a big touchscreen in the office here so it is perfect for the Metro UI, but I have to say that the mouse interaction on a laptop without a touchscreen is very average.

Along came Tobii and at first you think it is just another gimmick, but everybody on the net who has actually tried it is blown away by it.

Tobii comes with an eye control device, a rectangular glass obilisk that is attached to the hinge of the laptop. It requires a personal calibration and off you go. It also controls all the swipe gestures available in Windows 8.

But enough said, check it out in the video.

here is another video of it in action

can’t wait to try it out

@maniac13


Nokias future phone looks like a teardrop

November 11, 2011

we have seen how Nokia wants to bend the future of phones with flexible displays and now Nokias future lab showed us a concept video on how it could all work together.

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nanotechnology, with a bendable transparent display and a fully touch sensitive casing are only some of the visions that Nokia cooked up.

Check out the video:

not sure if I agree with all of it, but there are some nice ideas in it.

@maniac13


Nokias bendable future phone

October 31, 2011

We have seen bendable displays in the past from Samsung, LG and Toshiba, but none of them have really put it into a functional prototype.

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Now Nokia had their Nokia World in London and Tapani Jokinen, Head of Design at Nokia showed off their bendable phone and how it would react when you bend it different ways.

The user will control this flexible Nokia Kinetic phone by bending, twisting and even squeezing it. Different bends will result in different functions on the phone and he had a good point when he said that it makes it much easier to use in the cold winters in Finland when you are wearing gloves.

Check out the video:

Pretty cool!

@maniac13


Disney’s Appmates – the future of iPad gaming

September 28, 2011

If you have kids and a tablet you know that your kids love them and you hardly get any time with it yourself.

Disney is going to release their Appmates toys next month and then you won’t get your tablet back at all from your kids.

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So what is Appmates? It seems to be a new iPad interface which lets the user (or small and big Kids) control a Cars-themed iPad games using the toys above.

The toy cars have special conductive pads that are recognized by the iPad and interpreted by the app.

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As you drive around the virtual environment of Radiator Springs, you’ll hear the character’s voice react to each bump or jostle. Mirrors inside the toy car will reflect light from the iPad through the toy’s headlights, and Mater’s siren as well.

Check out the video after the break

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the camera of the future

April 28, 2011

you might have seen this already, but I somehow missed it in my post here.

I was send the video at the bottom of this post and it blew my mind. Looks like there was a working version of it at CES this year.

This camera (concept) takes the connectivity and application platform capabilities of today’s smart phones and wirelessly connects them with interchangeable full SLR-quality optics.

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Check out the video:

their site promises some awesome specs:

BODY

Aluminum and magnesium alloy
Docked display and frame unit Display unit: 127 x 69 x 7.5mm
Frame unit: 164.5 x 76.5 x 28.2 mm

DISPLAY UNIT

5.0" AMOLED display
Viewing area: 110 x 61.9 mm
1920x 1080 pixels
(2,073,600 dots, 16:9)
Cortex-A15 ARM Multi-Core CPU
16GB embedded + microSDHC

ANTENNAS

802.11n
GPS
Bluetooth 2.0
WirelessHD

CONTINUOUS SHOOTING
BUFFER

Approximately 10 fps
20 images (lens detached)
180 images (lens attached)
5 RAW (lens detached)
40 RAW (lens attached)

I am hoping they are going to build this thing and ship it really fast, because I want one.

@maniac13


The Future of Translating

December 18, 2010

From now on if you are in a (spanish for now) restaurant and you don’t know what it says on the menu or you are in Spain and you can’t read those street signs, all you have to do is take your iPhone out and point Word Lens at it.

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It will translate on the fly and looking at the video below it is pretty amazing tech – check it out.

It tries to find out what the letters are and then looks in the dictionary. Then it draws the words back on the screen in translation.

From what I have read it doesn’t work as smooth as it does in the video and it only works on iPhone 3GS, 4 and the latest iPod, but it is still impressive. I’d love to try it, but it isn’t available on Android (hint hint).

It is available on the App store, so check it out. If you do let me know in the comments what you think

maniac13


The multitouch desk of the future

November 28, 2010

We all know that Steve Jobs doesn’t like vertical multitouch, but I think it doesn’t hurt having that as well.

And the guys from Media Computing Group seem to share this opinion as they just showed off a cool concept workspace that is curved. For them this is the multitouch desk of the future.

It holds 2 projectors and 3 cameras and supports 10 touch points at a time.

multitouch desk of the future

If you thought a Microsoft Surface table was big and spacious then have a close look at this one. I think I will need to build a new office to fit it in.

Check out the video below as they are showing off a couple of applications (including a version of space invaders)

@maniac13


Google TV has landed

October 13, 2010

Sony anounced today its new range of Internet TVs that are being powered by GoogleTV

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It comes with a keyboard remote that has a querty keypad, a mouse pad and generally reminds me of a Playstation controller.

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Engadget was able to go hands-on already so check out the video below:

http://www.viddler.com/simple/31479d50/

I believe Internet TVs are the future and this seems to be a great step into the right direction.

Sony is hitting the ground running too as the new TVs will be available in the US from this weekend and will cost from USD399 (24”) to USD1399 (46”) – With the Aussie dollar being strong there might be a bargain in here

@maniac13


Getting one step closer to a minority report future

October 6, 2010

Microsoft Research always has some cool stuff to show and this time it is called Light Space.

Just imaging a room that is monitored by depth sensing cameras and projections that react like a surface table on any old surface.

But not only that – just grab some content from the table projection and move it to the wall by simply touching it. Not quite as smooth as Tom Cruise did in Minority Report, but it is a first step.

Sounds futuristic? Check out the video below

@maniac13


Finally all my photo mistakes are being forgiven

September 24, 2010

Adobe just showcased and amazing “extra” lens that is inserted between your camera’s usual lens and its sensor and with their “magical” software you can now focus on a different part of the picture after you have taken it.

So I can give my camera to my wife to take a picture without having to worry about the result 🙂

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The plenoptic lens is composed of a litany of tiny "sub-lenses," which allow those precious photons you’re capturing to be recorded from multiple perspectives. The result is that you get a bunch more data in your image and an "infinite" depth of field, meaning you can toggle at what distance you want your image to be focused after the act of taking it.

check out the demo here

unfortunately this is still a long way away from hitting the commercial market, but one day we can all take pictures and focus on the important stuff later.

@maniac13


The mobile phone of the future

September 24, 2010

and no, it’s not an iPhone.

This is a concept mobile phone of the future that was put together by Billy May. He gathered community feedback and followed up on some rather mundane visions for the mobile future to bring us the Mozilla Seabird.

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The big innovation is the use of dual pico projectors on the side of the handset, which can provide different functionality based on the phone’s orientation: flat on a table they pump out the two halves of a QWERTY keyboard, up on a dock they offer the dual purpose of a large viewing screen above and a seamless projected keyboard below. Other features, like the pop-out wireless pointer / Bluetooth headset are slightly less realistic but no less charming.

unfortunately Mozilla is not planning on building this phone (or any other phone for that matter)

But check out the video – what I like is that it runs Android, but when you dock it it runs Windows 7 – nice!

simply put – I want one!

@maniac13


The future of the mobile UI is behind a velvet curtain

August 24, 2010

I have seen concepts from this company before (more about this below) and they always seem to be taking different approaches to the rest of the world.

The Astonishing Tribe (TAT) has yet again showcased a UI they call Velvet – pull out a widget or Google Maps query, and a sheet of your desired result waves with the virtual wind, before stretching out flat for you to more comfortably interact with.

This is what TAT has to say about the Tablet UIs out there and why they are different:

On one hand we have companies that scale phone UIs to tablets. On the other hand we have companies offering the full blown desktop experience scaled down to tablet size. We believe that both of these approaches will result in crippled user experiences. For example, the tablet form factor is perfect for media consumption and this could be manifested in the UI. TAT recognizes tablets as a radically different type of device – personal and mobile yet powerful and creative. We are now on a quest to design fantastic UIs that are optimized for this device space.

Here is the Velvet UI in action

As I said before these guys have some pretty awesome, yet radical ideas – check this augmented reality ID out – TAT augmented ID

I have an Android phone and I have been looking for a decent home screen and I really hope this little beauty will hit the market at some time soon – TAT Home

These guys are definitely someone to look out for in the future – if you want to learn more about them, check out their blog

@maniac13