Little Printer Concept

In the “why didn’t I think of this!” department, we have the Little Printer Concept by Berg.  It basically seems like a cash register thermal printer (in much nicer packaging) that sits in your home and prints messages, puzzles, etc.  

I could see this being very useful for older consumers who are resistant to technology.  Imagine printing medication instructions or doctor appointment reminders or any reminder.  Another use might be adult children using it to send their parents messages that they can rip and read anywhere.

I love the simplicity of the design and the fact that you can take the output anywhere you want (unlike a WIFI-digital picture frame or other “high tech” solution).  I really hope this product comes to market.  The video is definitely worth a look.

Hello Little Printer, available 2012 from BERG on Vimeo.

Beyond Touch: the future of interaction

Follow the link to read “A Brief Rant on the Future of Interaction Design” by Bret Victor. The briefest of summaries would be that we over-use simple touch in our visions of the future, when we could be including many other cues, such as weight and balance.

From the post:

If you’re with me so far, maybe I can nudge you one step further. Look down at your hands. Are they attached to anything? Yes — you’ve got arms! And shoulders, and a torso, and legs, and feet! And they all move!

Any dancer or doctor knows full well what an incredibly expressive device your body is. 300 joints! 600 muscles! Hundreds of degrees of freedom!

The next time you make breakfast, pay attention to the exquisitely intricate choreography of opening cupboards and pouring the milk — notice how your limbs move in space, how effortlessly you use your weight and balance. The only reason your mind doesn’t explode every morning from the sheer awesomeness of your balletic achievement is that everyone else in the world can do this as well.

With an entire body at your command, do you seriously think the Future Of Interaction should be a single finger?

 

 

Photo credit jstarpl @ Flickr

Speedometer Design

This page contains an interesting inventory of past speedometer designs from Chevrolet.  Quite a variety!  Is usability getting better or worse?

I like it when the design works such that the prevailing speed limit (e.g., 60 MPH) lets the needle be oriented in a cardinal direction (pointed up or left) like the one below:

(via Kottke)

Rudder knob in cockpit mistaken for door latch

Any aviation experts want to chime in about a knob turning a plane upside down? Also, please note this was characterized as “pilot error.”

Pilot error causes airliner to flip, fly upside down

From the article:

According to the safety board, an analysis of the aircraft’s digital flight recorder indicated the co-pilot, alone in the cockpit while the captain used a restroom, mistakenly turned the rudder trim knob twice to the left for a total of 10 seconds.

The co-pilot apparently mistook the knob for the cockpit door-lock switch as he tried to let the captain back in. The mistake is believed to have caused the airplane to tilt leftward and descend rapidly.