iPhone Interactivity

iPhone Interactivity


For our final project in our Visual Aesthetics I decided to do my mock iPhone app on the blog me and my friends have. Of course none of us in the Interactive Media program have learned the programing language to make an app work. To complete the mock up and illustrate how the app would actually work I used Flash. With Flash I was able to add functional to my design. I did not use many functions of Flash to illustrate my iPhone app. The only actionScript that I used was go to and stop function, which took the user around the different screens of the app and I used the xml playlist function to add a library of songs to the app. Using Flash allowed me to conceptual visual how this app would look and act on a phone. It was a great tool to have at my grasp.


Interactive Web


Flash Stream Work is still here and alive. Although I am in the Interactive Media program, I sometimes do not see interactive media in the products that I use everyday. But then again maybe I do. Today I was watching my favorite show Board Walk Empire online using HBO new feature, HBO GO, and it a question before watching the show asked if I wanted to watch the show with interactive features! Of course, I clicked yes.

The Web version of HBO GO offers additional interactive content for each of its HBO original series. Each episode, you can optionally watch with extra features appearing in a sidebar to the right. I was surprised to see the production commitment to these features for an online interactive experience.

Extra content modules for the show appear periodically at the top of the sidebar. They often contain images with information providing more background on the current scene of the show you are watching. There are also set images, 3D renderings of props to manipulate, a family tree of characters, and extra videos.  Selecting some optional content will pause the show and take over the playback window for you to explore.

The player contains a button so you can hide or show the special features sidebar without interrupting playback. If you skip ahead in the show, the entire special feature up to that point are revealed in the sidebar. I found the interactive elements enjoyable for repeat viewings.  It reminded me of all the bonus features you would see with a DVD.  There were helpful to the show and promoted me to watch the episodes online more often.

I do not know how the HBO GO app functions. I would assume it is some type of Flash HTML5 and Flashused on the HBO GO website but not on the HBO GO apps since iOS5 does not support Flash. Clearly in the future HTML5 video will be the standard, especially on controlled platforms like iOS and mobile overall. In crafting an HTML5, video strategy you have to understand what HTML5 can and cannot do. There are certain specifications that make up HTML5, including the containers and codecs supported. Advanced features such as adaptive bitrate, playlists, branded players, DRM, in-stream advertising, and video analytics will all be a part of HTML5 in the future.

Therefore, as we move forward in the future of interactivity it is going to be great to see if Flash dies out what is going to be used. Features like DRM or adaptive streaming, or even a standard codec, are crucial for successful media delivery. Without Flash, other plug-ins would need to take its place to fill the gap on platforms like desktop, and the user experience would suffer. On platforms were HTML5 matches the functionality; there is no need to rely on plug-ins. The measure of success is the end user experience and reach.




American Censorship Day- Journalism

Protect IP

Protect IP


Today I just signed a petition on one of the biggest issues forthcoming in our society. The PROTECT IP Act of 2011, sponsored by Senator Patrick Leahy, is a legislation that suggests that the Justice Department establish a system for taking down websites that infringe on copyright laws. This legislation states that the copyright owner would be able to commence a legal action against the alleged infringer and Justice Department would be allowed to demand that search engines, social networking sites and domain name services be blocked from access to the targeted site. It is rumored that in come cases, action could be taken to block sites without first allowing the alleged infringer to defend him or herself in court.

When I first started this program I was all for this kind of thing. Yeah it is ok to get inspiration from things on the Internet or use things for education purposes, but to still others works and use it as your own is completely wrong. I am a graphic designer and I have to use stock photos from the Internet all the time but when I use those images, I make sure I try to make it unique or different from the original piece. In addition, I do not get paid from the designs that I have. I do not want my design work to be stolen off the Internet! With the Internet being open source, someone can take my design without me evening knowing. Some of my peers will argue that this is how everything works. If you truly love something then you should not be trying to make money from it. Of course, that is true but you still have to be able feed your family.

After watching the PROTECT IP/ SOPA Act breaks the Internet video by fightforthefuture.org, I learned that the censorship that I have been asking for is not what I really want. After listening to our Guest lecture, Réhab El-Bakry, an Egyptian journalist, speak about how much the Muslim government censors her freedom of speech on the Internet and how the wrong things that you say may have you killed I noticed that freedom of speech is virtue that we take for granted in America. PROTECT IP can essentially go after anyone who allows users to post comments of privacy to their sites. However, the problem is there is not really a different from social media sites and the blogs/forums that privacy users go to get information. These websites are almost in the same. If PROTECT IP passes then anywhere on the Internet where people go to express themselves, make art, broadcast news, and organize protest can be targeted for by PROTECT IP.

I agree that people should not be able to just still, what ever they want from the Internet. Nevertheless, this is the problem and great value of the Internet, everyone uses it for a different reason. I do not want to be regulated from going to site because it has been taken down because of some customers used the site inappropriately. As well, some people are using the Internet for its true purpose, getting a message to the masses. It would be a shame if Réhab could not get her message out about what terrible things the government is doing in Egypt. Something has to be done with the Internet but the PROTECT IP act is not the answer.

Top Amazing Augmented Reality iPhone Apps

Car Finder App

Car Finder App








Augmented reality (AR) is a live, direct or indirect, view of physical, real world environment whose elements are augmented by computer generated sensory input such as sound, video, graphics or GPS data. The purpose of this technology is to enhance one’s current perception of reality. By contrast, virtual reality replaces the real world with a simulated one.

Augmentation is in real time and in semantic context with environmental elements, like sport scores during a game. AR has become common in sports telecasting. The yellow first down line in television broadcasts on Football games shows the line tat the offensive must cross to receive a first down. The real world elements are the football field and players, and the virtual element is the yellow line, which augments the image in real time. This works because artificial information about the environment and its objects can be overlaid on the real world.   With this new technology, it makes information about the surrounding real world of the user interactive and digitally manipulable.

Research explores the application of computer-generated imagery in live video streams as a way to enhance the perception of the real world. AR technology includes headed mounted displays and virtual retinal displays for visualization purposes, and construction of controlled environments containing sensors and actuators.

Now AR is starting to get picked up by advertisers and marketers. Marketers are starting to incorporate AR as new way of displaying their product. With AR needs a camera in order to work so smart phones are becoming the primary tool for AR. A very interesting application for that I found that uses AR is Car Finder by Intridea, Inc. I am sure that everyone has had a time where you might have difficulty finding their way back to their car in those huge parking lots. Well the Car Finder app allows you to create a visible marker showing your car, its distance away, and the direction in which to head to find your car. Car Finder allows you to add a note when marking the location of your car and has a built in parking meter timer. The parking meter timer will send you alerts when your time is about to expire.

With the development of technology, I think that marketers are going to use Augmented Reality increasingly. This technology allows companies to interactive with their customers more. This type of marketing is going to the future.




Now in Production: The First Google Android Car

Google’s Android Mobile Operating System now integrated in Roewe 350

Google’s Android Mobile Operating System now integrated in Roewe 350









Google is at it again. With the launch of the Roewe 350 next April, Google’s Android mobile operating system will be in a car near you very soon.

The Roewe vehicles are Chinese luxury cars made by SAIC (Shanghai Automotive Industry Corporation). The car uses technology purchased from British company MG Rover, which has been previously owned by BMW in the past.

Google’s Android 2.1 version is the same that Google used in the Nexus One and Motorola Droid will be installed in the vehicle’s GPS computer. With the software in the system, you can use the computer for directions and traffic reports just as you can with many other GPS devices like On-Star. However, of course, Google would not be this vanilla; you can also surf the web and engage in some form of Internet chatting.

There is no definite word on whether or not you will be able to install apps from Android Market yet. We also do not know how the device connects to the Internet. The car will cot between 70,000 and 130,000 yuan, or about $10,250-$19,000.

With the launch of Siri in Apple’s iPhone 4S, you can see that Apple is dominating the cell phone industry. Nevertheless, Google is everywhere, and now with this technology in cars they will remain a top technology industry. There are not many industries that Google does not develop in; it is in Internet, Television, Mobile, and now Cars.

Interactive Research Paper

Online Advertising

Online Advertising


Throughout the semester I conducted a research paper on Online Advertising. The purpose of this paper was to identify the different types of online advertising and its impact on consumer buying behavior. My findings in my paper were that the most effective type of online advertisement is banner ads. Banner ads are unlike pop up ads  because they are not intrusive. They allow the user to interact with them instead of having them the ad thrown in your face.

To illustrate my research paper I decided to make a flash interactive info graphic. The flash project uses mouse over of information, tweening between frames, and a slider to represent the statistics of the survey I conducted. I wanted to present this information in the way that truly reflects my research paper. You can explore the research paper at your leisure. The information is totally interactive.

The Digital Society

Information overload

Information overload


Are we losing the interaction component between humans? Is the technology that we are using making us stupid?

These are both interesting questions. In this week readings Nicholas Carr argues that the information overload that society is having is causing major side effects to our productivity and memory storage. Nicholas article entitled, “Is Google making us stupid”, analyzes humans thought and memory process.

With all the distractions, that we have today, computers, television and cell phones it is almost impossible for us to focus on just one thing. Nicholas theory in this article is that today’s technology is making humans have trouble focusing on one main idea for along period. He explains that people in today’s society are comfortable with that because if we do not fully remember something we have the crutch of relying on technology to figure out the answer for us. In the early century’s they did not have the technology we have so because of this people are committing less and less information to memory because they can easily find and locate what they want to know.

Nicholas goes on to breaking down the psychology reasons of while people are so connected to their technical devices. He explains that we use our devices because it gives us information, and we want information because it gives us pleasure. In this new digital age you have every gadget, service, or database at your disposal and you are constantly sending and receiving information through tweets, emails, status updates, and text messages.

However, the most surprising piece of information that Nicholas talked about was how this information overload affected your memory. Working or short-term memory as it more popularly refereed to is what you can remember. Researches originally found that people can hold up to 7 pieces of information in our memory, but recently the number pieces of information we can remember has dropped to 2-4 pieces of information.

Working memory is constantly changing because new information that we are exposed too. This is a problem because you are never focus on one thing at a time. Your working memory will constantly be changing and you will convert fewer things to your long-term memory. Working memory to long-term memory is losing its process. Increasing evidence shows that we lose important information that we have learned because we replace it with what we see every day. Nicholas argues that this loss in memory shows less productivity. He believes that there is no such thing as multi tasking. He explores the point that multi tasking is not effective because you maybe taking in the information but you are not retaining it. He states, “When you multi task you are losing that deep connection with you topic or subject that is being presented to you.”

I 100% agree with the claims that Nicholas Carr is making. Even though Shirky makes some good points about being able to access this wealth of information is it good if you are exposed to information but you cannot retain it. I can look at the graduate program that I am in to be my evidence for Nicholas. Since beginning this program in July, I have been overwhelmed with so much great information but I can only retain some of it. Everyday I am leaning a new method or a new tool but half of time, I only put half of the information into my long-term memory bank. Part of it has to do with the amount of information I am receiving but a lot of it is while the instructor is teaching I am multi tasking. With the amount of work I have, I cannot afford not to!

So, what can we do? Some people in the academic world will argue nothing. I think people are just getting use to the Internet and the amount of information that they are taking in and once our generation evolves into this new digital age, some of us will become much better at multi tasking.




Second Life

Second Life

Second Life


So what exactly are virtual worlds? Virtual worlds are avatar, digital replication of you, based environments that involve multiple players contributing together to make a world. These worlds call for individuals to work together to shape the environments and give it life. The main virtual world game I am going to be talking about is Second Life. Second Life is a 3-D virtual world entirely created by residents. In this virtual world meetings, conferences, research, projects, and career exploration are conducted.

I thought the developers of the game Second Life were just using that term for their game because it sounds like good marketing phrase for a game. But after doing my research it shows that this is not just a name of a game. It really embodies what this game means to its users. Since its launch is 2003 over 15 million people have signed up for the service. But Second Life doesn’t really count these users anymore, form their “simultaneous users” the people who are active on Second Life everyday, their count is about 68,000 users. Users in Second Life are spending an average of 23,000 hours a day playing this game.

So you might think why should I care about virtual realities, I know I was thinking the same thing when we started talking about this subject, but the truth is these virtual worlds are crossing over into the real world. Users in Second Life retain full ownership of their virtual creations. And with issues such as crime, vandalism, harassment, and exploitation taking place in these games and individuals in real life going to jail in the real world, there is nothing unreal about that.

Also as interactive media professionals the growth of virtual world games such as Second Life embodies the growing appeal reflected by today’s society on new model for media entertainment, which is don’t just sit and watch, do something, get involved, get active. We have to understand how to capitalize on this if you want to stay relevant in the field. We have to sit back and analyze why users playing these games. Some people are just in Second Life because their jobs require them to be. Having meetings in the virtual world can save money because it cuts down on the cost of operation a business has to pay for.

But for others what is the draw to this game. Maybe our friend McGonigal from the beginning of the semester theory is really true. Maybe video games do let us build a bigger network and allow us to feel more comfortable about being socially active. Maybe individual’s needs are not being met in the real world so they have to go into the virtual world and get gratification. Regardless the theories one thing is for sure, users are on the Internet more then ever before and they are interacting with more people than ever before. Now I am not going to argue if this a good thing or bad thing, that is for another blog, but as developers we have understand how these virtual worlds and social networks are working and like the example of IBM taking its meetings viral in worlds like Second Life, how we can utilize and imply these technologies to our life that is going to be beneficial.




Virtual Worlds

If you perform an audience analysis of the players in virtual worlds such as Second Life and World of Warcraft, what are the demographic of the users?

With the explosion of virtual world gaming, what is the draw or what are users gaining from playing these video games? Are users looking to escape from real life? Or Are they gaining skills from these virtual worlds and applying them into the real world?

With the privacy issues in virtual worlds such as Second Life, Do the developers have committees that police the environment? And is there strict code of conduct rules listed when you register for these virtual world games? Should users have the power to kick anyone out that is not following the rules? Similar to how users can help reedit documents in Wiki docs.