Discussing Augmented Reality

I have been fascinated by Augmented Reality for a long time now. I have just never had the time in between school and job to sit down and actually learn the damn thing. But it is definitely on the top of my “to do list”, right after graduation off course. In the article “Top 5 Trends of 2009: Mobile Web and Augmented Reality“, the author Richard McManus talks about how it is the hottest thing this year as it has been implemented in almost anything from mobile applications to kids toys. I have a feeling AR will find its way into the whole social media and before we know it, we will be using Facebook with 3D technology. We will be tweeting in 3D and read blogs and watch the story unfold in dramatic 3D.

As I was searching along , checking out the latest gadgets and technologies, I came across a YouTube video of how book writers are implementing AR technology to create story books for little kids. The idea is brilliant, mom and dad won’t have to read bed time stories anymore. Kids can read or in this case visualize themselves. There are couple of ways to enjoy the book, one is to use a computer and camera to reveal the 3D story, or get an actual virtual goggle. Now I am not sure how much the goggle would cost, but I am perfectly happy with the web cam for now.

For a more practical use of AR, head on down to Rayban’s Virtual Mirror website and see for yourself in first hand, how this beautiful technology is being used for business purpose. Viewers will have to download and install a small executable program, intended only for PC users (sorry Mac people), and using their own web cam, they can try on any of the featured glasses on their collection. Unfortunately, I am on a mac, and my pc is not linked up with a web cam, so I couldn’t experience it on first hand, but here is a YouTube video of someone who did. Check it out by clicking here.

Now Imagine the possibilities, shopping for clothes and accessories. You won’t have to leave your house. Use something like the Rayban’s Virtual Mirror to try on the new shirt, or pant and see how it looks on you and then simply click and shop. The possibilities are endless.

Imagine Google with AR technology. They already have something called Google Goggles, which is still on the earliest stage of development. It is available for only android powered phones. The idea behind Google goggle is visual search technology, which uses pictures to start a search. So if you are out and about, and wanted to know about something or curious about it, just snap a picture and search, and Google will do the rest. The part that makes me more interested is where they implemented the AR technology for local business. You simply point your phone towards the business with the camera, and the GPS system will locate the business and send all its information right to your phone instantly. So Fasten your seat belt people, we have a lift off, next stop is… “The future”.

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Published in: on February 24, 2010 at 9:11 pm  Leave a Comment  

Design Techniques and Green Solution

The first article “You Got Design Right – Now ‘Write’ Design!” by Davethackeray, talks about how designers and writers think similarly when it comes to their line of work. As I read through his article, I found it very interesting as how he made connections to all the guidelines that both designers and writers follow to do their projects. I personally think its 100% true, that no matter what the profession is, whether it is a writer, photographer, singer, painter, designer… everyone should have one goal, which is to make their piece interesting and appealing to their particular audiences, if not everyone in general. And to achieve that their is a similar guideline that everyone can follow, similar to the five step plan Dave wrote on his blog, including the Five Ws and the H.

On other note, the article 20 Ways to Streamline Your Web Business by Mike Smith, talks about some real good ideas to stay sharp and ready in the field of Web-Developing. He talks about having templates of generic HTML and css codes that are almost always used on every projects instead of re-writing them over and over, which to me is an excellent time saver. The file cabinet idea is not my cup of tea. For some reason, it screams out Global Warming . We should be in the habit of saving things digitally in this day and age, off coarse, its possible to loose digital information, thats why having more than one back-up is ideal. So instead of file cabinet, which is sure bulky, takes up room, and sure increase of our carbon footprint, we can just buy couple of external hard-drives, and save all our paper-works digitally. And if thats not enough, there are many more ways to save your work digitaly as well. Just like practical storage companies popping out everywhere in the last few years, digital storage companies are also surfacing. Just do a search for “Storage and Backup Services” and shop around.

Talking about carbon foot print, using the Internet is not exactly the greenest way, oppose to print technology. Unless we use servers and hosting companies that are dedicated to use Eco technology to power their business. I have done my own research and found many hosting companies that are completely green, meaning they are not burning any fossil fuel, they are simply using wind and solar power to generate their electricity to run their servers and computers.  We should take some time off and look into and support companies with green technologies. Its is our job to protect the earth and secure the future. Below is a list of Hosting Companies (not in any particular order).

  1. SuperGreen Hosting
  2. GreenGeeks
  3. HostPapa.com
  4. GoGreen Hosting
Published in: on February 10, 2010 at 8:50 pm  Comments (1)  

My thoughts on Gerry McGoverns article “The Best Websites are Useful and Ugly”

It’s the year 2010, I am hoping to graduate from NYCCT with a Bachelor Degree in Advertising/ Graphic and Web design before the summer hits. Now if I look back to my early days and my limited skill on web and graphics,  I can’t help but to laugh. I have still a lot to learn in this graphic and web industry but at least now I believe I have the basic knowledge on the do’s and dont’s of web design and have some clue about good design vs bad design, what should work and what shouldn’t.

Now a days an ugly website would be a site that is so basic that it almost has no design, no style. Google’s home page for instance. Its simple and right to the business, few artist and designers would laugh at it. Craigslist is another example. However as the author of the article “The Best Websites are Useful and Ugly” Gerry McGovern states, the ugliest of the bunch such as Google, Craigslist, eBay etc are actually rolling at the top of the list in being successful.

His theory starts off by explaining how nice and elegant is not required to bring success, its functionality and usefulness which does.  He explained more with an example of  grand canyon, which  is a place of beauty, but to actually live their like a normal city would be tough, due to inaccessibility. “The things we think are the most beautiful are often the least useful in a practical and functional sense.” He backs that up by saying how gold and diamond rings are beautiful but they serve little to no purpose on practical functionality.

He believes more beautiful the design gets (particularly on websites), harder it becomes to keep it easy and functional. He uses Ryanair.com as an example to show how an ugly and simple website,  was useful enough to have many of its 42 million passengers  book their tickets directly on Ryanair.com, simply because it was a simple to understand and easy to use which led to a smooth transaction both for the company and the customers.

He uses a great logic on how most web designers focuses on making their design look cool, by having gray texts and smaller font size, instead of having black  and bigger font size. Reason being, smaller and grayer font looks “visually appealing” oppose to big and black font, which would “dominate the page” and “stand out” too much.

So in his conclusion he sums it up by saying “The fact is we don’t spend our time looking at websites. We spend our time reading and using them. There are three things a great web design must be: useful, useful and useful.”

So after reading and dissecting the article, I some what understand what he means. I believe, style and usefulness both should be considered to the fullest extents. I understand how a simple and easy to read website would be perfect for general audience, but sooner or later people will lose interest and in long run chances of loosing fellow visitors will be highly likely as they discover the same information on a much more cooler site which is visually more appealing.

We are humans and we get bored easily, so to keep our interest on things, it is necessary to keep us entertained, and in the web industry visual aspect is definitely something that should be prioritize. It’s all about competition now, leaving opportunities for your competitors to improve on things will lead to stealing your audiences as well.

Published in: on February 4, 2010 at 5:30 am  Leave a Comment