Osmos HD. There won’t be very many games in my collection. Here…

Osmos HD. There won’t be very many games in my collection. Here is one exception. Osmos is a contemplative, dynamic, strategic game. By emitting matter you push a little amoeba into the opposite direction – sometimes you control a planet or star. Get big, eat the others. Do not get eaten or absorbed. Beautiful graphics. The game is also Game Center enabled, which injects a bit of intelligence and intent into the opposite cells.

Osmos HD

Notes from resonate 2015 in Belgrade


Last week and for the second time I went to Belgrade for attending the resonate conference (which is all about "the position of technology in art and culture"). Here are my loose notes from it. (For some great german notes, checkout Heikes review.)

Pauline Drescher talked about the Cindkid Festival, an annual gig taking place in Amsterdam. Its mission reads as follow:

"The aim of the Cinekid Foundation is to promote the quality of visual culture for young children (4-14)"

Some of the installations Pauline showcased were a Puppet Parade, a StopMotion piece you could star in, light graffiti, enriched plants, and much more.

My favorite piece was this Augmented Shadow by Joon Moon.

Then there was the ecal Open Controllers Project, which

"suggests combining common industrial objects with several sensors that smartphones are equipped with {…)"

They use standard products from IKEA and stuff devices in their bellies to create simple and effective controllers.

Adam Magyar's work was the opener, I found his real world scans highly fascinating. Also liked these high speed shots taken from the inside of arriving trains.

FullSizeRender 3.jpg

Inspired by his work, we tried our own little scans, using Poloska and tagtool, just for fun. Heheh.

I sadly missed the better part of Lauren McCarthy's presentation, I really like her positive approach to take social media as a given and play around with it, mixing it with data analysis and often holding up the mirror to our own faces. This is us+, an g+ plugin she did together with Kyle McDonald.

More bits: Kortex by Joshua Batty lets you create audio based visuals in cool way. The Generative Detective says it all. I want conductive markers now. mrdoob told us how ctrl-click on the available resolution list in the mac os settings panel solves your projector problems and that I missed this. And Mickey Rooney does the impossible thing in Martin Arnold's Cinemnesis, thx to Jack Schulze for the heads up and a very entertaing talk.

I did miss most of the LIVE part of resonate (concerts at night), but I managed to witness Blixa Bargeld doing his schtick. A keeper. Additionally we got invited to a former brick factory which is now some art/music/event place which was hard to find, even for our taxi driver. And what happened there surely stayed there.

Yes, back to Belgrade for #res16. Ah, and here's a list of nice quotes from the festival, too.

Safe and Sound: Safety in tunnels

TunnelSafe and Sound: Optimized Sound Communications for increased safety in tunnels

The echo in tunnels has, until now, made the emergency communication over loudspeaker virtually impossible. Now scientist are exploring possibilities to make such instructions clearer. They are developing techniques to time-aligned the signals so as the sound waves don’t cancel out each other.

Another case of the importance of sound for communication. Flashing lights will get the attention but sound will make it possible to deliver specific instructions which could be a life-saver.

Watch the video in full length here (3:29 min./ Source: 3Sat TV programme)

AxShare als App – Erste Eindrücke aus dem Beta-Test

AxShare als App

Seit gestern gibt es von Axure eine App für AxShare. Wir hatten die App im Beta-Test.

Was kann die AxShare-App?

  • Über die App kann man schnell und komfortabel den zu testenden Axure Prototypen öffnen. Das lästige Eingeben der AxShare-URL entfällt.
  • Prototypen können lokal auf dem Device gespeichert werden.
  • Die lokal abgespeicherten Prototypen sind auch offline auf dem Gerät verfügbar und sorgen dafür, dass die Performance des Prototypen auf dem Gerät nicht aufgrund einer langsamen Internetverbindung leidet.
  • Die Statusleiste des Smartphones kann ausgeblendet werden.
  • Die App ist für iOS und Android verfügbar.

Gute Nachrichten für das mobile Prototyping mit Axure

Irgendwie war das Testen von App-Prototypen auf Smartphones und Tablets bislang nicht sonderlich komfortabel. Besonders für iOS-Devices ging das meist über remote in AxShare generierte Prototypen. Das war bei größeren Prototypen langsam und nicht sehr performant. Besonders bei User-Tests hat das bei den Probanden immer einen negativen Eindruck der zu testenden App ausgelöst. Die Probanden waren schnell genervt und haben weniger Sachen ausprobiert.

Ach ja, das Finden des richtigen Prototypen über die kryptische AxShare-ID hat auch genervt. Oft haben wir uns in der Vergangenheit uns die AxShare-ID diktiert, um den Prototypen auf dem Smartphone oder Tablet zu öffnen.

Über die lokal in der AxShare-App gespeicherten Axure-Prototypen wird das jetzt deutlich besser. Die Prototypen stehen sauber aufgelistet in der App. Die lokal gespeicherten Daten verkürzen die Ladezeiten der Prototypen und machen eine Internetverbindung überflüssig.

Zusätzlich kann die Statusleiste vom Smartphone ausgeblendet werden, was sicherlich bei einigen Prototypen wichtig ist, aber aus guten Gründen von Apple nicht empfohlen wird (Apple Developer Guidelines).

Unser Fazit

AxShare TesteinladungWäre schön gewesen, wenn die App einen Monat eher fertig geworden wäre. Dann hätten wir die letzten 6 App-Projekte, die wir mit Axure entwickelt haben, schon damit testen können.

Noch ist die App in der Entwicklung. Wir sind dennoch schon jetzt begeistert, denn die App sorgt für störungsfreiere UX-Tests und besseres Nutzer-Feedbacks.

Sobald wir mehr wissen, werden wir wieder berichten.

Snapseed 2. It seems that google has waited for my recent post…

Snapseed 2. It seems that google has waited for my recent post on Snapseed 1.6 to release a completely redesigned version of Snapseed. 

One item checked off from my wish list: Snapseed contains multiple undo and  multiple redo functionality including “re-adjusting the past”. Impressive. The rest of the redesign is debatable. The current state of the image is displayed full screen – much larger than before, which is good. You can even zoom in further to check the details. As a trade off the tools are accessible via a (+) control button to be revealed as an overlay. A simple GOMS analysis would show that this takes approx. twice as many steps to choose a filter compared to the interaction model in Snapseed 1.6 before. Of course, the filters have been reorganized and a couple of new tools are available. I will update this post when my first impression is no longer dominated by sorrow on the loss of the Grunge module. Right now it feels that Snapseed lost its personality.

[Update 29-May-15] Grunge is back. Yeah!


PS: The image above: Schulterblick am Schulterblatt 

Painting live on Periscope

After watching Austin Kleon making a blackout poem on live periscope, I thought I give it a try too. I tried different kinds of setups, so far I found the combination of iPad + nootle tripod mount + goriila tripod working best for me (but not perfect yet).

My first experiences:

  • it's quite a thrill to see people coming in and actually watch!
  • I completely missed all questions asked, which I am really sorry about (apps I used: procreate/snapseed/over, the music was The Organ, and yes the bunny needed a hat)
  • I was surprised of people actually starting to guess wadafa it is I am painting there

Needs more exploration and definitely conversation. Here's the video of the whole thing.

The result. Scary.

The result. Scary.