Tag Archives: technology

Android L: announced

After all the fuss, Android L is finally revealed.

The past few months have brought much speculation about the name, with rumours of Lemon Meringue Pie, Lemonade, Licorice and more.

As we now know, Android L is now officially known as Lollypop.

Giovannio Calabrese, creator of the Andriod sculptures for the Google HQ Android lawn, was very tight-lipped about this project, but has been teasing us since early October on his Google+ account.

From announcing his travel to Google HQ for a fresh coat of paint for the previous sculptures to going gaga about Licorice all over his Google+ page, he even called out volunteers for his ‘secret surprise project’.

On 15 October, spectators gathered from all over to be at Google HQ, receiving free lollipops to celebrate the sculpture and launch of the new operating system.

Official Video from Android’s YouTube channel.

Yours in Sweet Surprise,
Brio Team.

Make It Wearable challenge by Intel

The MAKE IT WEARABLE challenge was started by Intel earlier this year with the aim to support the evolution of wearable devices.

Among all the submissions that they have received, 40 were picked as semi finalists in July this  year. By mid August, these semi finalists were whittled down to a final 10 entrants, including concepts for wearable cameras, low cost bionics and a bionic mattress.

The finalist will be pitching their Ideas on front of a panel of judges on November 2, 2014 and the winner will be announced on November 11, 2014.

Make it Wearable is a part of The Creators Project, an initiative that encourages and fosters creative expression, pushing the boundaries of design and technology to find new and innovative opportunities for how and why we use tech in the future.

Yours in Wearable Technology,
Brio Team

Finalists:

BABYBE – Emotional Prosthetics
Team
Raphael PM Lang (Captain)
Member:
Camilo Anabalon

First V1sion – Player Perspective
Team
Jose Ildefonso (Captian)
Members:
Angeliki Terezaki
Roger Antunez
Anastasia Pistofidou

Nixie – Flyable & Wearable Camera
Team
Christoph Kohstall (Captain)
Members:
Jelena Jovanovic
Michael Niedermayr

vumbl – Sports and Activity Necklace
Team
Tom Shrive (Captain)
Members:
James Price
Mark Siddorn
Samuel Tassell

Open Bionics – Low-Cost Robotic Hand
Team
Joel Gibbard (Captain)
Member:
Sammy Payne

Wristify – Cooling or Warming Refresh
Team
Matthew Smith (Captain)
Members:
Sam Shames
Megha Jain
David Cohen-Tanugi

Snowcookie – Skiing 6th Sense
Team
Martin Kawalski (Captain)
Members:
Zbigniew Nawrat
Piotr Lukasik
Ewa Waliczek

BabyGuard – Smart Healthcare
Team
Xiaoshan Huang (Captain)
Members:
Shuai Ye
Chen Guo

ProGlove – Production Tool
Team
Paul Günther (Captain)
Members:
Jonas Girardet
Thomas Kirchner
Alexander Grots

BLOCKS – Snapable Platform
Team
Serge Vasylechko (Captain)
Members:
Hakeem Javaid
Omer Al Fakir

 

iMania: Release of iPhone 6

Even with last week’s fiasco surrounding security breach claims on iCloud, Apple still came in strong with the release of iPhone6.

Fans scurried their way through stores to claim “first to try”, “first to buy” or “first to have” the newest iPhone in the market.

What is it that made us really excited with the release of iPhone6?
Well, let’s have a recap shall we?

From our August Phablet Race post, we looked at some of the rumours and expectations for the new iPhone. Now that it’s released, let’s see if rumours are true or if they misled us.

images Rumoured Release Date: Probably September 9
The release did in fact happen on it’s set day, September 9, 2014.

images Cost: starts at around AU$1006|$944
A source we found say that the pricing are as follows:
16GB – AU$869
64GB – AU$999
128GB – AU$1129
Being only $7 out from the mid-range option is pretty close and a good indicator.

The target sale date in Australia is September 19, but pre-orders are open from the 12th. Here’s what the launch told us about the new iPhone.

images What to expect: major revisions, including design
Apple definitely delivered because it’s bigger and definitely better.

Dimension:
iPhone6: 138.1x67x6.9
iPhone6 Plus: 158.1×77.8×7.1
To make the device bigger without the having the uncomfortable feeling when you use it, they have made a noticeable revision on the design making the sides rounded for a smooth handling and looking a lot more slick.

Display:
iPhone6: 4.7 inches
iPhone6 Plus: 5.5 inches
Both using Retina HD Display

To compare to the current iPhone 5S, its display is 4 inches, with the iPad Mini being 7.9 inches.

images Coolest Rumour: addition of NFC
We are giving a soft check on this as well, as this functionality is not yet available and will be coming in this October.

But that doesn’t mean we can leave this off, this makes us all the more excited as this will change the way on how we do transactions. Apple Pay is a technology that provides a security feature built in you device so you can use your iPhone to pay in a hassle free way.

Apple has maintained the cool feature of iPhone6’s predecessors, improved other features and introduces other features. What to say what they’re going to do next. Only time will tell.

Even if you don’t plan on picking up the iPhone6 straight away, don’t forget to download the new iOS 8, available from September 17.

Yours in current trends,
Brio Team

 

Augmented Reality Business Cards

This blog is continued from my previous blog on creative business cards, that think outside the box. Over the last week I’ve been taken into the world of augmented reality and how this amazing technology is changing the way business can connect with their clients/customers. I’ve seen all kinds of amazing ideas, such as a clothing shop that shows you what clothes look like on you, without trying them on. A person stands in front of a screen with a camera and see themselves reflected, like a mirror. They can then select clothes that will appear on them, on the screen.

I was however taken with the reality of an augmented reality business card. These cards can provide a wealth of information including additional text, images and even video just by holding the card up to a webcam. When done right, it yields quite impressive results.

An example of this is shown in the video below, from advertising agency JWT London. They have successfully created a unique and innovative augmented reality business card. They have used image-recognition app Blippar. This app brings real-world images to life with augmented reality to provide overlaid digital information or interactive experiences for the user. By using the app to “blipp” the back of JWT London’s card, you can watch the agency’s showreel on your smartphone and also use the device’s GPS to bring up a map that provides the route to JWT’s office.

Watch the video to see it in action and let us know what you think.

 

 

I for one think this is a great use of technology that takes the ordinary business card to a new level of communication. It’s still small and fits in someone’s wallet or back pocket, but shares more information in an interactive and fun way.

Yours in design technology,
Dawn

 

Driven to distraction

Distraction – Damon Young

6:40am. The alarm goes off. The alarm on my iPhone. I’ve not had an ‘old-school’ alarm clock since my early teens. I reach to turn off the alarm and still half asleep open email, scan and delete in a frighteningly drone-like manner. Check Facebook, Twitter and Tumblr for overnight updates. Get out of bed. Continue to get ready for work checking my iPhone for the time. Check public transport app for next bus.

Arrive at the bus stop and observe my fellow commuters entranced by their [insert device of choice here].The majority of us fashioning various styles of earphones in our ears. Our own personal soundtracks keeping us company as we travel to our destination.

iPhone, Android, iPad or E-reader we’ve stopped looking up, talking to the person beside us and being ‘ok’ with our own company, idleness or silence. With a constant demand on our attention we are seeing the emergence of anxieties as a result of data surplus and information overload.

A new generation, one that grew up with a data surplus, is coming along. To this cohort, it’s no big deal to miss a tweet or ten, to delete a blog from your reader or to not return a text or even a voice mail. The new standard for a vacation email is, ‘When I get back, I’m going to delete all the email in my box, so if it’s important, please re-send it next week.’ This is what always happens when something goes from scarce to surplus. First we bathe in it, then we waste it. – Seth Godin, The Shower of Data

When did we cease to disconnect in favour for a distracted and digital existence?

After seeing Damon Young talk at ‘What makes creative minds tick’, one in the Surrealism series of GoMA Talks, I was intrigued to read his book Distraction. Damon’s book is one that you consume in a single sitting. As the image below shows: I was earmarking like a crazy lady.

 

I spoke with Damon and asked him a few questions about distraction.

Brio (B): What are the biggest distractions in the workplace and what do businesses need to do to overcome them? Can they be overcome?

Damon Young (DY): Email is often a focus-killer.  Studies suggest that we reply quickly, sometimes within six seconds.  Then it takes a minute or so to recover our train of thought.  Then another email arrives.  You get the idea. Used clumsily, Twitter, Facebook, internet browsing can also be distractions.

There’s nothing wrong with email, or other online technologies.  They’re just tools.  The trick is to make sure we’re not enslaved by our own habituation, laziness or hunger for novelty.  Set realistic limits.  Check email or Facebook at regular intervals, rather than just responding to beeps.  Speaking of which, turn off notifications, like bouncing icons and dings.   This helps to reinforce the rhythms of work, rather than disrupting them.

Other diversions include gossip and status anxiety – getting sucked into petty office or industry politics.  This is perhaps a harder habit to kick, but talking to folks outside our own profession helps.  It offers a little perspective – the forest instead of the professional trees.

B: Does it have to be as plain as ‘one or the other’? There’s a trend for people to take ‘digital sabbaticals’ to remedy digital overload or go cold turkey. Do we need to go to such extremes in order to balance these devices and technologies in our lives?

DY: Extremes can seem easier than moderation.  This is partly because we rightly don’t trust ourselves – we know if we have a taste of Facebook, we may want more and more, until we’re nervously fingering our smartphone over dinner.  So we hurl ourselves into cold turkey.  This works for some.  But for many, we feel either horrid or suddenly sublime, and then throw ourselves back into e-junky benders because of desperation or over-confidence.

A better way is managed moderation.  Realistic limits to technology use, for example – checking emails at certain hours, for so many minutes, and no more.  This not only diminishes use, it cultivates authority: I’m in charge here, not the inbox.

We can also play our talents off against our weaknesses.  For example, if we’re reliable with money, we promise to save a certain amount, each time we successfully keep to our limits.  Saving, which we’re good at, then becomes a reward for undistracted work, which we’re not so good at.  At the end, we can give ourselves a gift.  Other examples might be exercise, dinners out, treats for a spouse.  We leverage virtues against vices.

B: Why are we so easily distracted and why are we so quick to forgo long-term satisfaction for the quick hit of social media?

DY: We’re distracted because: we get easily addicted, we’re curious animals, and life is frightening.

Addiction doesn’t always involve drugs.  It can be stimulation or certain rhythms – the ‘hit’ of a new email, for example.  Like Pavlov’s dogs, we’re habituated to the stimulus.

Curiosity is a good thing.  Researcher Jaan Panksepp talks about ‘seeking’ behaviour: sniffing, foraging, digging, and stalking.  It’s a primal state, which is more about anticipation instead of reward.  We get off on ‘looking-for’.  Google, Facebook, internet browsing turn on this state, and keep it on.  The result is we just keep seeking and seeking, without ever finding.  Nothing wrong with the state – the point into guide it into more rewarding pursuits.

Grown-up life is scary.  Work, friendships, and intimacy – they can all be intimidating, embarrassing or just painful.  It’s easier to flee into distraction than to confront life’s ambiguity, ambivalence or fragility.  “Haste is universal,” wrote the philosopher Friedrich Nietzsche over a century ago, “because everyone is in flight from himself.”  But as Nietzsche himself counselled, life is more rewarding when it’s lived fully, rather than in flight – whether this ‘flight’ is online browsing or too many beers.

What do you think? Have we forgotten to disconnect? Are we driven to distraction? What are your remedies for staying focused?

Distraction by Damon Young is available to purchase from Melbourne University Press | Readings | Book Depository | Fishpond

Yours distractedly,

Justine.

Motorsport Engineering – Camber

OK, so we all know that I am a massive motor racing nut, and I just love anything to do with engineering of a race car and the technology behind it.

We’ll start off with ‘camber’. Camber on a race car refers to the angle at which the wheels are at. A front view of the car with no camber you would see the wheels standing straight up and not leaning at all. When the top of the wheel is leaning in towards the center of the car, this is negative camber and what race teams usually use, not often do you see a car with positive camber (top of the wheel leaning out), but this can work to some teams advantage. Racing teams usually run at negative margins and this helps with the stability and grip throughout a corner. Going around a corner will lean the car over (called body roll), and in turn letting the tyre actually have full contact with the road. See below the differences.

Above: the top is no camber, the middle is positive camber and the last one is negative camber. The black line represent the perpendicular angle.


Above: A race car going around a corner and you can see here the wheels that are on the ground and with all the body roll through the corner, is producing the tyre to have the complete surface area of it in contact with the road, creating much faster cornering speeds, as you have more grip.

One thing you have to be very careful with while modifying camber angles is, camber is considered a suspension change, and camber angles increase when the wheel is raised (when the car hits a bump or leaned on) and this is called bump travel. The varying camber angle is referred to as camber gain. What happens is, every inch that the wheel is raised (above the chassis line) you gain more camber. So if your default camber angle is -2.5°, and you push the wheel all the way to the bump stops, which is the most amount of bump travel you could get, you could potentially ‘gain’ about 5-8 extra degrees of camber. So you have to think about when the car is loaded up in the corner, how much bump travel is there and how much camber angle is actually on the car at that time?

Varying weather conditions will also affect the way in which your camber setup is working. For instance, on a nice sunny day you might decide to run about -2.0° on the front tyres. Whereas, in the rain, as the speeds will not be anywhere near the same as the dry, you might opt to run less camber angle, so you might take it back down to -1.5°. Then depending on weather, circuits, and other variables, comes tyre pressures, caster angles, toe angles and these are just some of the suspension options.

In the coming weeks, I will bring to you a series of engineering techniques used to make racing cars go faster, and what the professional race teams do to get that edge over their competitors. My next post will be tomorrow and will be about aerodynamics of a Formula One car.

If you would like to know something specific about setup or engineering on a race car, drop a comment in the FB box below and if I can, I’ll do a post on that!

Yours in camber,
Lee.

7 sites every designer and developer must bookmark

Designers and Developers across the world need to keep up with the latest technology and trends or get left behind. It’s just how the industry works. The great thing about both of these professions is that everything we could possibly want to know is readily available, right now, for free.

I won’t hold any more of you eager learners back by raving about why you should check the following sites out, and just cut to the chase, below are a few sites you might not have heard of that are definitely worth the bookmark or RSS subscription.

1. OnTwik

An excellent resource for designers and developers dedicated to showcasing lectures, conferences and other video resources.

2. DesignIsKinky

An Australian art and Design resource that is great for inspiration and finding out what’s on locally.

3. SitePoint

An incredidbly valuable resource targeted at pretty much everyone in the Communication Design industry, great podcasts, great articles and just generally useful references. They even write their own textbooks!

4. Fonts In Use

Fonts in Use is a fantastic typography resource, great for keeping up with trends in type and full of awesome tips and tricks.!

5. YouTheDesigner

This is a cool blog full of interesting and useful print, web and photography tid bits.

6. Bittbox

A great place to find both paid and free resources including fonts, designs, tutorials and showcases of user’s work.

7. Design Float

A DIGG-like website for graphic and web designers that has a nice broad selection of topics presented in a very to the point fashion.

Yours in design and technology,

Lee

Guitar Hero is no more

Music game fans, let’s spend a moment in silence to contemplate the loss of the pioneering Guitar Hero game.

Courtesy of Activision Blizzard

That’s right, Guitar Hero has been axed from the Activision Blizzard line up with the company confirming that they will discontinue development of the title in 2011 and disband the game unit responsible for the development. This comes in a statement from Activision where they have cited a sharp decline in sales of games from this genre as a contributing factor.

Guitar Hero was the first to bring plastic guitars and drumkits to our living rooms. It is the ultimate party game, where friends not only have the opportunity to get together and enjoy some great and classic music, but also to “create” music together.

The game burst onto the market in 2006 with gamers snapping up the mock instruments like hotcakes. Some gamers had the game on pre-order for in excess of 12 months after announcement of it’s pending release. In North America alone, Activision stated in 2008 that the game had sold in excess of 16 million copies and generated over $US1 Billion.

So many famous musicians have featured in the game including games dedicated solely to bands like Metallica and Aerosmith.

For those of us who still love belting out some great tunes on our plastic drumkits and guitars, there will still be sales of the Guitar Hero games in stores for some time to come. There are also a number of songs available to download and play online for the Guitar Hero series which will ensure that gamers can continue to play new content.

Is this the beginning of the end for music genre games?

Yours in Games,

Trish

Internet state of play 2010

The internet and its technologies is something that we as a community sometimes take for granted. Now more than ever, the internet is being embraced by companies worldwide. Discover how Brio Group can help harness your company’s digital capabilities.

While many of us are aware of our own internet use, such as the number of emails we receive a day, how many friends message us on Facebook, or how many websites we visit and what they are – it’s sometimes hard to imagine what these numbers would equate to if multiplied by all of the internet users worldwide.

Focus is a website which provides loads of information for business professionals and has most recently produced a graphical data representation titled “The State of the Internet: Summing up 2010“.

The image draws data from a number of sources including Facebook, Verisign, Twitter and Flickr and compiles it into a snapshot of the number of internet users in 2010 and what they have been doing.

Some of the numbers are quite phenomenal such as 3000 images being uploaded to Flickr every second, 2 billion videos being watched on YouTube for the year and 100 million new accounts created on Twitter.

The image is really quite impressive, to take a look at yourself, CLICK HERE to be taken to the Focus website to view.

How much do you contribute to the figures?

Yours in Digital,

Trish

ACP launch Magshop app

In the design industry we regularly hear that print is a dying media. Bad news for a magazine publisher right? … Maybe not! ACP Magazines have embraced the digital age and expanded their online magazine store with the launch of a digital newsstand app for the iPad. This app allows you to browse their titles and download a digital range of 16 ACP mags to read on your iPad, including Good Food, Money, Wheels, Dolly, Cleo, Street Machine, Recipes +, and Rolling Stone.

The app is free, but obviously you have to pay for the digital versions of the magazines. Additionally, they’ve developed individual apps for four of the more popular magazines, which you can also purchase through the Magshop app. These apps include extras that you won’t get in the print editions, for example the Women’s Weekly app includes a behind-the-scene videos from the magazine’s celebrity shoots, cooking demonstrations, etc.

“Audiences should be able to access our great mastheads anywhere, and at any time, and the release of this application is the next step in our broader digital distribution strategy,” said ACP Magazines managing director, Phil Scott.

“Magazines have always been a highly engaging medium and tablet devices provide us exciting opportunities to connect with our readers on this platform.”

(Quotes sourced from: www.adnews.com.au)

But if you prefer a hard copy, you can also order or renew your print subscription using the Magshop app.

Yours in app-love,

Anya