Braille 2.0

The iPad (tablets) is at it again. After all these years Stanford has uped the anti on what the bar is for acceptable braille reading and writing devices. The tablet system shown here calibrates through a swipe and audio queues, and sets the type pad to where ever the users fingers lie. (This solves the problem with the lack of tactile response the flat screen of an iPad provides. In essence, as descried in the video, the input points find the users fingers, not the other way around.)

A new dimension to the multi-toch

Couple a lack of a keyboard and mouse with the lack of real estate in most mobile devices and you have a brand new problem with ergonomics and accessibility. Apple broke in the door with multi touch sensors that allow the screen to pinch and zoom with two fingers. The ability to recognize how your fingers interact with the screen means more intuitive gersture commands opening the door to far more access to tools and usage paths. This vide demonstares the ability for this phone to recognize what part of hand is tapping the screen. The result: your fingernail tapping the screen equals a right click, and a knuckle tab opens a new window.

Creative ways to tell your story through scrolling.

I read somewhere many years ago that the experience of allowing the user to ready just enough content until the fold, but giving them just enough info that there is more uner the fold was a better tactic then framing your site above the fold with links to actions. For sites that want to say allot, and take users on a journy the scroll is smoother and quicker. It is like a timeline of content from top to bottom, as apposed to a choose yoru own adventure. Since then, I have seen some pretty cool examples of implementations like this. The lastst one I came across was from mozilla ( Which would make sence since they are the advocates of the web.

Here are some slides (in case they change the site by the time you read this.)

The main home screen looks pretty standard. But notice the color and the footer….

As you scroll up he page the footer rises from the bottom, revealing a whole other expereince….

As the you scroll up, the color of the back ground fades into white, and the old footer is now the new header. I thought it was a beautiful experience…

I have seen many variations of the concept of scrolling while browsing the internet. Here are some others:

This one is called “Ben the body guard” and it was a website for a game. ( In this creative experience, the body guard tells you his story as you scroll down the page. The animation of his walking and the street passing by are all based on your scrolling down the page. After the story and his walk is over, the links are neon signs on the buildings rooftops, and the bottom of the page gives you a link to the appstore and a close up of ben peerig down the edge of the top of a high rise. Well done!




My greatest life lessons from Computer Science

I really appreciate  my education in Computer Science. The most valuable mental shift I gained was the understanding that there are no “hard problems.” To recognize that even extremely difficult problems were easily solved once you were able to deconstruct them into smaller more simple ones. Problem-solving is about figuring out how to simplify, dismantle, and rebuild toward solutions. Simplifying is all about getting good and asking the right questions.

For instance, playing the guitar is hard, playing chords with rhythm is easier, playing chords is even easier, playing a note is more easy – and so on and so forth.

Just breakdown what you want to accomplish and get great at each little piece of it. Then, get great at putting each individual piece together and your problem isn’t all that bad.