Category / conceptual

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  • reality has always been mixed

    While there is plenty of hype around “mixed reality” and how new the technology is, in fact reality has *always* been mixed. Perception is reality, and that has never been absolute. But what has changes are the stimuli that forms the perception. The inputs have changed (or more accurately, been increased), but the process of…

  • fit just a bit (or not)

    A recent study indicates that fitness bands/watches don’t necessarily help people lose weight. And in some cases, it can cause weight gain. The telling quote in the piece: So should you bin your Fitbit? Not yet. Jakicic thinks that combining this technology with behavioral research can help scientists figure out which groups of people benefit…

  • facial dance

    One criticism of virtual (and video conferencing for that matter) is that the subtle non-verbal cues are lost in translation (or not captured at all). These are critical for human communication, and it is interesting to see what we learn about the brain and where/how/why these signals are processed. Often we forget that half of…

  • ear for the band

    I wrote this back in 2013 for the Navy’s Project Athena. Still relevant. Sometimes people get locked into certain ways of thinking, or look to the same places for inspiration or ideas.  Often the best lessons for your work can come from totally unrelated areas of your life like sports or music. 5-time Grammy winning…

  • succeeding to fail

    “Failure” is a popular word these days, especially in business/entrepreneur circles. “Fail early and often” is heard a lot – and even sometimes from me but in our case I’m talking about prototype design and testing. From a buzzword perspective, failure is the darling of the biz cognoscenti because, of course, we learn from failure…

  • the last nanometer

    In the telco industry (for those not old enough to remember – that refers to telephone, as in copper wires strung between locations), the saying was that the “last mile” was the toughest. What that means is that laying trunk infrastructure (i.e. the main pipes), while challenging, is a fairly understandable and consistent problem. But…

  • think with your pencil

    For 5 years (actually a bit more if you include grad school), I taught chemistry. In particular, organic chemistry tends to be vexing, and one joke I use when giving talks is that organic is the class that converts students from pre-med to pre-law. Typically he reason for that is due to the poor way…

  • design research

    Two terms that maybe don’t always (ever?) go together. This article makes the case for combining them, and I can’t disagree, at least in theory. Research has always been a mix of art and science, though many will claim it should be all of the latter. Design typically is the other way around, so actually…