Google’s project Soli – An Android feature and an industrial machineries innovation

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Soli is a Google’s Project that enable users to interact with digital devices without touching them. Nothing really new, except for the hardware technology that concentrates everything in one small “piece of sand” on the electronic device board.

Using the same “approach” that is already used by dolphins, whales and bats, the Google researchers created a single chip that can identify and translate simple gestures in effective commands even through other materials.

>>> Watch the video on YouTube.

The commands that they sampled in the video are:

  • scrolling (volume settings, clock settings etc)
  • pushing a button
  • moving a surface

In the video they talk about the opportunity to enable “hands over the air” (HOTA) commands both on the modern digital devices and on classic electronic devices like radios. Even if the idea of a “Radar UI” is really suggestive, I doubt that Soli could manage complex inputs like Leap Motion and Kinect do. I think indeed that the biggest value of Soli is to add easily some HOTA commands to all the electronic/digital devices that we already own and use.

I bet that if they’ll finish the product they will introduce some HOTA functions for all the Android smartphones and tablets like turning the display on/off using an hand’s movement from right to the left and viceversa. This is what we can really call “differentiation”!

Beside of this, I think that the most interesting and lucrative market will not be the consumer digital industry where the HOTA functions could be read more like a cool feature than real innovation. It’s like opening the car boot using your feet. It’s useful but not really indispensable. Moreover in the consumer digital devices industry, Google will have to standardize and reduce the commands to some basics functions like turning on/of, mode switching, scrolling, pushing something, zooming and a few more. Consumers today want to handle their devices or simply don’t need to command them from distance.

I think instead that the most interesting and lucrative markets for Soli will be the professional sectors for medical and industrial machineries, automotive, IoT and demotic, toys and entertainment.

Imagine if all the Android car infotainment systems could activate some basic functions simply moving your fingers while your hands remain on the steering.
Imagine a MotoGP rider that setups his motorcycle using the fingers of his left hand.
Imagine an industrial or a medical machinery that can enable a lot of functions with even complex gestures that users can do wearing whatever they want.
Imagine a Disneyland’s robot that interacts in real-time with the visitors.

If the Soli’s engineers will find the way to produce a cheap, easy to embed and low voltage chip, they will upgrade the physical interaction pattern with some of our digital/electronic devices. But they will have the more interesting opportunity to innovate and open new scenarios for professional electronic machineries.

Last but not least, Soli will revolutionize even the industrial designers approach. They will indeed have the opportunity to remove some physical buttons or reproducing the gestures on the objects shapes. That’s amazing!

(Edit: another interesting market for Soli is the maker’s world. Who already work with Arduino, Rasperry Pi and other similar boards, will go crazy having a sensor like the Soli one on his board. But the question is: will Soli be released in open-source con makers/developers use?

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Cookie Law – La guida per non rischiare niente su WordPress

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Il 2 giugno è entrata in vigore la Cookie Law anche in Italia ed io, come molti di voi che stanno leggendo, sono impazzito per settimane cercando di comprendere cosa dovessi fare sui miei siti. In questa “guida” vi racconterò in maniera semplice cosa ho capito della norma e cosa ho fatto per ripulire da tutti i cookie non necessari i miei progetti online basati su WordPress.

In attesa che il Garante della Privacy faccia chiarezza su alcuni punti ancora poco chiari, ho deciso di azzerare il rischio sanzioni eliminando o modificando tutti quei servizi e quelle funzioni come AdSense, Google Analytics, embed di YouTube/Facebook/Twitter e pulsanti per la condivisione sui Social Network che installano dei cookie ma che, a conti fatti, non ritengo strettamente necessari.

Ecco la mia guida:

1 – Cosa sono i cookie
2 – A cosa serve la Cookie Law
3 – Come ho messo a norma i miei siti per non rischiare la multa
4 – La mia Privacy e Cookie Policy
5 – Conclusione e cose imparate
6 – Dettagli tecnici su Google Analytics e YouTube
7 – Risorse utili
8 – Disclaimer immagini

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My first ebook “Manuale d’amore per uomini 30enni”

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I’m happy to introduce you my first self-publishing experiment “Manuale d’amore per uomini 30enni / Love manual for men in their thirties”

On manualedamorepertrentenni.it you can find the web site that I created together with a Facebook page and a lot of “sharable contents”.

I designed the digital communication and I decided to give away the ebook for free, trying to raise ex post donation and purchases on Amazon and Kobo Store. I left the readers free to donate the sum that they want or to buy the 0.99 € ebook versions.

As soon as possible I’ll write more about the entire project. In the meanwhile, if you understand Italian, take a look to the web site.

Copertina_ManualeDamorePerUomini30enni

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How to design for visual impaired people

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This is the post that I wrote after the event “Design beyond design boundaries” for the Milan’s group of the Interaction Design Foundation.

Last Saturday September 20th, IDF Milan organized its 4th event “Design beyond visual boundaries” in collaboration with the Italian startup Horus Technology. The main objective of the workshop was to start designing the User Interface of their product.

Horus is a device that supports visually impaired people like a virtual assistant. It will be positioned on normal glasses and it will interact through audio bone conduction and a manual controller with buttons. Horus will have two 5mpx cameras, a separated battery pack and it won’t rely on internet/bluetooth connections to be functional.

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Why a Digital Product Manager must be skilled in User Experience Design?

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I work in Digital Communication since 2005. I’ve a humanistic university background but instead of specializing in Contents and Social Media, I’ve always studied technical, graphic and design subjects.

After almost 10 years of experiences, today I can setup and manage an ecommerce like Shopping in Italy; I can film videos like these; I can create a site like the Italia Centro di Capoeira one. Read my resume for having a look of my “technical skills”.

From March of this year, I’m frequenting the online courses of the Interaction Design Foundation, becoming at the same time the European Continent Manager, the Italian Country Manager and the Milan Local Leader.

This post question is: Why a Digital Product Manager must be skilled in User Experience Design?

Because Digital Communication is User Experience and because User Experience is Communication.

From the interface, the colours and the images pleasantness, to the functions simplicity. From the contents readability, to the reactivity of the digital products, everything is User Experience.

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Perchè un Digital Product Manager deve saperne di User Experience e Interaction Design?

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Lavoro nella comunicazione digitale dal 2005 e nonostante la mia preparazione fortemente umanistica, invece che specializzarmi su contenuti e social media, ho sempre cercato di approfondire tematiche tecniche, di grafica e design.

Dopo quasi 10 anni di esperimenti oggi sono in grado di creare e gestire un ecommerce come Shopping in Italy, girare e montare video come questi, fare un sito come quello dell’Italia Centro di Capoeira e fare una serie di altre cosine che puoi leggere sul mio CV.

Da marzo di quest’anno, a quanto imparato fino ad oggi, ho deciso di aggiungere anche lo User Experience Design frequentando i corsi dell’Interaction Design Foundation di cui gestisco sono diventato anche l’European Continent Managaer, l’Italian Country Manager e il Milan Local Leader.

Ma perché un Digital Product Manager deve saperne di User Experience e Interaction Design?

Perché nel digitale tutto è esperienza utente e tutto è comunicazione.

A partire dalla piacevolezza dell’interfaccia, dei colori e delle immagini, fino alla semplicità di utilizzo delle funzioni, la leggibilità dei contenuti e la velocità di risposta del prodotto digitale, tutto è User Experience.

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Interaction Design related terms definitions

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During the first Interaction Design Foundation Milan Chapter event, the group decided to define the most important interaction design related terms.

I started to approach professionally this field of Digital Communication a few months ago, but I care about User Experience since my first project in 2006.

My definitions are really general, almost philosophical. They are based on my daylife experience and on what I’m learning at Interaction Design Foundation courses.

UX is how users use and feel a digital product.

UI is what users see and use for interacting with a digital product.

IA is how contents and functions are titled and positioned in a digital product’s plain structure.

Usability is a digital product use efficiency rate.

Interaction Design is designing UX and IA and contributing to the UI.

Service Design is everything involves customers beyond the strictly digital product experience.

I hope you enjoy.
If you don’t, I agree with you. This is a User Experience feedback too 😉

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