Friday, March 28, 2008

Designing Digital Products: iFitness Software

There is speculation that Apple is planning a interface like iTunes that would add value to owning an iPhone/iTouch.

This software platform would allow the planning and tracking of fitness routines among other things. Ninetendo's Wii added a fitness component (Wii Fit) that has extended the value proposition of its gaming system as would an Apple designed lifestyle package for its iPhone platform.

Up to this point the existing fitness monitoring systems which I am aware of are limited and/or expensive. Suunto offers a watch, heart monitor and software that tracks overall fitness, but is limited only to PC's which I have found it to be buggy and is not worth the headache. So I would welcome it if Apple designs a usable system of lifestyle that allow archiving fitness data.

Apple Insider

Product Design: The Flip Digital Video Recorder

Here is a idea whose time has arrived.

The Flip, by Pure Techonologies, is a digital video recorder that addresses the needs of the YouTube generation with it focus of ease of use, reasonable cost ($150) a good mix of basic features that allows the masses to capture motion images with ease...the iPod of video cameras. And just think you can't even make a phone call with it.

The Second Generation Flip

The Flip

Video Review

Wednesday, March 19, 2008

Design History: The Cubicle Turns 40

In 1968 the young designer Bob Propst after years of studying the work habits of people came up with a system he believed would improve worker's productivity.

The Action Office launched by the furniture manufacture, Herman Miller, was based on the concept that if people could see their work they would be more efficient. And so, by including a series of work surface, partitions and display shelving the new office work space was born.

Fortune Article

The Man Behind the Cubicle

IDEO's Ultimate Cubicle

Tuesday, March 11, 2008

Seeding Innovation: The iFund

Great design use to be defined by the form of an object, but in the 21st century that definition has expanded to include the business model, interface, user experience to name a few considerations. Apple has been a master exploiting technological opportunities to fulfill consumers desires. The iPhone challenged the industry standard for cell phones and the carrier's control over the choice of plans and hardware, as the iPod did for mp3 players and the music industry's control over format and distribution.

And so, spurred by the success of the iPhone and the need for a mobile platform that can maximize the technological opportunities for wireless communication and internet access the venture capitalist firm Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers (KPCB) has invested $100 million to further stimulate development in support of the iPhone platform.


The KPCB Initiative

Business week Article

Sunday, March 09, 2008

Design History: The Three Leg Stool

Alvar Aalto (1898-1976) a Finnish architect and designer of furniture and glassware designed a stackable stool for the Muncipal
Library project Viipuri (now part of Russia) in 1932.

Aalto played a major part in shaping 20th Century furniture. Though his work was based on the Modern Movement his designs demonstrated a sensitivity for people, materials and imagination.

Aalto is remembered for humanizing the age of the machine.

Alvar Aalto

Tuesday, March 04, 2008

Packaging Design: Lighting up the Retail Shelf

Finding cleaver ways to keep a product from getting lost on crowded retailers shelves is part of what make a package design successful. Here is a case where technology is used to call attention to itself using light emitting diodes within the packaging to light the product.

NYTimes Article

Saturday, March 01, 2008

Designers Salary Survey

The one bright spot in the survey is that design managers are paid well in comparison to the other design professionals and that their salaries continue to rise. The hope is that this reflects an increasing appreciation for their skills in aiding an organization to remain viable in a competitive marketplace.