As a general observation, 'Scent Branding' is increasingly common in retail design.
Consider:
-The 'Subway smell' - a byproduct of their fresh ingredients and baking of their bread, but very recognizable.
-Distinctive Lush smell coming out the front doors of Lush stores - from their many fragrant bath and body care products.
-Cinnamon Bun shops and their cinnamon aroma.
-Any bakery
-Coffee shops

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Came across this GREAT video James Dyson talking about his technological innovations! Starts off slow, but once he gets into talking about his current tech it gets pretty interesting


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So back in April, I wrote about a body interface project that I worked on called weBlimp. So in the time since then, the weBlimp team has brought it from a final project in a class, to an academic conference presentation, and now to an Olympic event!

So to update, in October, we were at UC Berkeley to present the concepts behind weBlimp at the ACM Creativity & Cognition 2009 Conference.

The conference was great. It really has me considering grad school now. I also really enjoyed checking out San Francisco and the Bay Area.

A month or two after, we were asked by our University and the City of Surrey to showcase weBlimp during the 2010 Winter Olympics!

Currently, we are working on building of a 'weBlimp 2.0' of higher quality and robustness, in preparation for its installation at the Surrey Holland Park Olympic Celebration Site. The installation will be showcased during the Olympics from February 17-21st.

Also, since our involvement with the Olympics, we have been featured in a number of blogs and news articles:
Surrey Leader
GreenDiary
NotCot
Technabob


Offical weBlimp:
SIAT.SFU.CA/weblimp
weblimp.brianquan.com
@weBlimp on Twitter

Here is the original documentation video on weBlimp. We will try to have a new one after the Olympics.


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Bill Verplank's definition of Interaction Design


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After seeing some examples of Augmented Reality Applications, most using the new iPhone 3GS, it has gotten me excited.
Here is an example of a shooter game and a real-world subway navigation system:


These are amazing! I would really love the chance for me to be able to create an Augmented Reality Project.

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The Node is a pretty cool power bar / power outlet design.
Node Power Outlet Makes Power Strips Almost Useless
Node—a power outlet that can accept several cables safely—may be the power outlet of tomorrow


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Cool Tools: Ikea Nail-Driving Utensil
A review of Ikea Nail-Driving Utensil (Brilliant free knickknack), a Cool Tool


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Huzzah.
I posted earlier, a few months ago, some slides from presentations at the Interaction'09 conference put on by the Interaction Design Association (IxDA). They have recently uploaded their videos of the talks from the conference online. Check them out at http://library.ixda.org/ or on their Vimeo profile. Great videos - very enlightening!


Although, I was watching their discussion panel on hiring the next gen of Interaction Designers, and was deeply surprised that they didnt mention SIAT in their discussions. They talk about needing more (10,000) Interaction Designers, how current programs are small and can only output 15 students a year in small two year programs; they talk about Bachelors and Masters in this field; they talk about how they need people who have the ability to work with people from different fields and can do design thinking. SIAT, who by the way HOSTED the conference, has almost 800 students at present with graduates since 2003, offers full Bachelors, Masters, and PhDs, and produces amazing students who work hard and are great designers, and amazingly talented. Everything they were talking about was right in front of them.

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Today I watched a screening of Gary Hustwit's film Objectified about industrial design and the design of everyday objects.

First thing I learned:


Japanese toothpicks are an amazing piece of etiquette design!
In the movie, Andrew Blauvelt revels that the ends of these toothpicks can be broken off. Why? Well first to simply indicate that they toothpick has been used. But also it can be used as a rest to keep the tip of your toothpick hygienically off the surface of the table. Awesome.

IDEO was working on a toothbrush design to make toothbrushes less disposable and more sustainable. Something that 'gets better with time' and is infinitely reusable. That one wooden handle looked nice, I wouldn't mind trying that out.

They talked kinda briefly about Interaction Design, with Bill Mogridge. But only briefly skimmed it and not explaining it to anyone. Afterwards during the Q&A with the director, Gary was hinting that he is thinking about a third design documentary (first was Helvetica, second is this one, Objectified). I hope his next film will delve into Interaction Design.

My favorite quote from the film:
[As a child,] All of my dreams were about the future.

I don't remember who it was by, perhaps Karim Rashid (but I generally find him too elitist).



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One of my Body Interface projects is the weBlimp. weBlimp is a social, crowd controlled flying airship. It conceptually miniaturizes participants and places them inside the gondola of a remote controlled blimp.
Completion of our weBlimp project video, as well as the conference paper, is now done! Check out the documentation video for details on the project:




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Awesome human-computer-interface!
Its a set of small blocks, with screens, audio, accelerometers, and wireless communication. With these little blocks, very intuitive and interesting applications are being developed.
Check out the Siftables TED talk here.

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... or so Frog Design's Jon Kolko's presentation at SFU was trying to explain. Check out his presentation.

Further to this, there was the Interaction|09 conference, an interaction design conference, that happened just over the weekend. Unfortunately, I did not make it to the conference - I am still beating myself over it. However, I was able to find some slides from the presentations.

Jon Kolko's Design Synthesis
(update) [Video of the presentation]

Dan Saffer's Carpe Diem

Michael Salamon's Gestalt Laws/Submit Button

David Malouf's Foundations Of Interaction Design

David Malouf's Introduction to Interaction Design

Also from David Malouf: History of Interaction Design

UPDATES:
Simon King's Tailored Interactions
Video: Robert Fabricant - Behavior is our Medium

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