Kinect – the next step in HCI

With Microsofts launch of the highly anticipated Kinect interface comes much excitement from the development world occupied by us….well let’s be honest, geeks. But hey, Geeks are the new jocks in todays tech driven world. We make shit happen. Don’t believe me? Within 3 hours of the Kinect being sold it had been hacked and here’s just a few of the initial results. Already I can see LOTS of possibilities.

As soon as I’m back from LA I’m going to be opening up one of these babies and experimenting with it myself.

By the way, this is my first trip to California and for the life of me I cannot figure out why everyone doesn’t live here. The streets are palm tree lined. It’s clean, friendly (at least compared to London), it’s 26 degrees C in November, sunny, beautiful and the beaches and the mountains are less than an hour away. Time to relocate I think.


Love 3D building projection or just love Vienna?

Personally we love both.

On the evening of Monday 8th November the Vienna Tourist Board will be presenting a 3D building projection experience at the Imagination building in Store Street just round the corner from Tottenham Court Road. If you’ve never been to one of these then you will be in for an amazing experience. Essentially a 3D laser measurement and model are made of the entire building to be projected on to and then the display movie(s) and experience are rendered to make maximum use of the building’s architecture. We don’t know what the Vienna Tourist Board will be showing exactly but for more details on the event click here. Some of these building projections are totally mind blowing! You may not even believe that they are just projections.

If you want to see a couple of awesome examples then go here

BBC Radio 1 presenter, Reggie Yates will also be there to meet and greet and even if you don’t like the 3D, who could not love Vienna? A place where Cafe culture is the norm, women are beautiful and moustaches are still status symbols.  A most incredibly beautiful city dripping with class, culture and history. The Vienna Tourist Board want to show us how Vienna is today, how it combines the old with the new. No, we don’t work for them, we’ve just lived over there so we know how beautiful it is 🙂 – come along and see for yourself.


HTML5 vs Flash: The Real Question

I read an article on Gizmodo which intelligently and articulately analyzed the claim that HTML5 was a Flash killer. They quoted many research sources and spoke of many real world industry imperatives, ultimately leading to a very honest and pragmatic conclusion. I was very impressed to read such a cogent comparison and analysis and I firmly recommend that if you are a Flash developer who’s worried about your future, you have a read of this and put your mind at rest.

But for me, Ny Quil crystalised the triviality of the threat to Flash in one question : “The real question is this: will HTML5 make it easier or harder for me to get porn?”


BBC announce new iPlayer

Being heavily involved in the IPTV sector we have to say that the continual improvements in the BBC’s iPlayer are very welcome. They are in a unique non-profit requirement position to make products which are simply excellent and not constrained by insane client deadlines, unrealistic budgets or any sort of commercial RoI requirement. Bundle this with the BBC’s approach to using the best people and technology partners in the industry to produce their visionary solutions and what you have is an incredible recipe for world leading, technically excellent solutions. This alone is reason enough for paying your TV licence fee.

The new player which was announced today, will have a number of improvements including:

Simple

  • Cleaner user experience, with three discovery areas
  • –Sliding drawers: Featured, For you, Most popular, Friends
    –TV Channels: TV listings page, showing what’s on now
    –Categories: browse by genre and sub-genre

  • Separate TV & Radio
  • –No longer grouped together, easier to browse
    –Radio console
    –Pop-up console runs while you browse

  • Channel-hop whilst watching live
  • –Quick links in viewing window, one-click to flip between channels

  • BBC iPlayer Desktop
  • –Download favourites in advance to save time
    –Easier to watch favourite programmes offline

  • Improved viewing experience
  • –Fewer buttons
    –Larger screen
    –Higher quality video

Personal

  • Favourites
  • –Tell BBC iPlayer what you like, and it will line programmes up in a convenient playlist
    –New programmes, expiring programmes and unwatched programmes are flagged so it’s easier to keep track

  • Improved recommendations based on what you watch and listen to
  • –Stored in local cookies, or via BBC iD
    –Families can log in through separate IDs: individual experiences through the same machine
    –Improved programme alerts delivered via email, so you don’t miss a thing

  • Roam with BBC iD
  • –Log in to store preferences, so you pick up where you left off on another computer

  • Customisable EPG
  • –List your favourite channels and stations

Connected

  • Connect with Facebook
  • –Post content directly to your wall to recommend and share with friends

  • Sync with Twitter
  • –Auto-tweet to recommend and pass links to friends

  • Live chat with friends using Windows Live Messenger
  • –Log in to Windows Live Messenger through BBC iPlayer
    –Forward links to others online: watch on-demand at the same time
    –Comment live on programmes as they air


Internet World show Earls Court OMG!

In the immortal words of Bart Simpson “I didn’t think it was possible, but this actually sucked AND blew at the same time”.

Internet World 2010 report

The Internet World show is no longer all that the internet can be, it’s a big pitch fest for Marketers, SEOs, CMSs and eCommerce payment vendors with a pinch of development consultancies thrown in for good luck and most of them were the off the shelf kind. This show used to be for the Internet professional. There is no sign of that any more. I learned literally nothing, well, except for ‘don’t go to the Internet World show if the internet is your profession’. Where’s the innovation? Where’s the niche / specialist vendors?