Using Brainwriting For Rapid Idea Generation

When a group wants to generate ideas for a new product or to solve a problem, you will usually hear the clarion call, “Let’s brainstorm!” You assemble a group, spell out the basic ground rules for brainstorming (no criticism, wild ideas are welcome, focus on quantity, combine ideas to make better ideas) and then have people yell out ideas one at a time.

Brainstorming is often the method of choice for ideation, but it is fraught with problems that range from participants’ fear of evaluation to the serial nature of the process — only one idea at a time. Brainwriting is an easy alternative or a complement to face-to-face brainstorming, and it often yields more ideas in less time than traditional group brainstorming.
What Is Brainwriting?

When I teach my graduate course in “Prototyping and Interaction Design,” I start with a class on ways to generate ideas. Because brainstorming is a well-known and popular technique, I generally begin with a discussion on how to do good brainstorming, something that is very hard, and then introduce brainwriting as a worthy, and sometimes preferred, alternative to brainstorming. The term “brainwriting” often brings forth smiles and quiet laughter because it is a strange word.

Brainwriting is simple. Rather than ask participants to yell out ideas (a serial process), you ask them to write down their ideas about a particular question or problem on sheets of paper for a few minutes; then, you have each participant pass their ideas on to someone else, who reads the ideas and adds new ideas. After a few minutes, you ask the participants to pass their papers to others, and the process repeats. After 10 to 15 minutes, you collect the sheets and post them for immediate discussion.

In my experience, the number of ideas generated from brainwriting often exceeds what you’d expect from face-to-face brainstorming because you’ve reduced anxiety somewhat, followed a parallel process in which a dozen people may add items simultaneously, and reduced the amount of extraneous talk that happens during brainstorming, which takes time away from idea generation.

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When To Use Brainwriting

Brainwriting can be used in the following situations:

You have too large a group for effective brainstorming. You could conduct brainwriting at a conference of 500 people simply by leaving a large card on each seat, asking a question, and then having each audience member pass a card to someone else, and then repeat three times for a minute of writing.
You have quiet people in your group who are intimidated by traditional brainstorming.
You are working in a culture in which brainstorming about “wild ideas” or expressing ideas that diverge from those of senior management is not accepted.
Your time is limited. I’ve used brainwriting to brainstorm questions for a website visit when I had only 10 minutes to get feedback from the product team. I ended up with more than 50 different questions, without the fuss of having to set up a formal brainstorming session.
You don’t have an experienced moderator. Brainstorming, contrary to what many blog posts claim, is difficult to do well. Brainwriting, in contrast, requires that you be able to ask a question, read a clock and collect answers.
You are worried about loud or forceful individuals influencing others, as they might in traditional brainstorming.

Brainwriting can be used to understand how different groups view an issue. You might try to conduct separate brainwriting sessions with different internal groups. For example, if you asked groups to brainwrite about “What are the most important problems faced by our customers?” you might find that developers have a different perspective from the UX team, who have a different perspective from product managers. In my experience, the differences emerge more strongly through brainwriting than through face-to-face brainstorming.
For more information log on to http://uxdesign.smashingmagazine.com/2013/12/16/using-brainwriting-for-rapid-idea-generation/

E-Commerce Websites

Online shopping is as easy as well as difficult because there is little certainty. People dont wish to spend their money very quickly and easily online. Since sometimes it can be very time consuming , unpleasent and tedious. turning the entire experience into a diaster surely it can. But there are certain websites who have maintain their qualitiy and product and the whole supply chain process very nicely some of them are discussed as under:

Bonobos
Bonobos’ shopping experience is smooth. Good typography and subtle colors help focus on the products and featurebonobos-opts, with all distractions fading away as you interact with the site. When a new item is added to the cart, it appears in a sliding sidebar on the right, prompting customers to either keep shopping or check out. The design of the checkout form is elegant and clean. The amount of data required is never overwhelming since it’s clearly separated in manageable chunks. And the most important bit: the favicon is a bananas icon! Now that is pretty cool.

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Martina Sperl
Martina Sperl’s website is a lovely website. The shop features polished photography of her products, with a simple navigation panel fixed on the right side of the page. The hover effect is simple yet bold, showing the item number and price boldly in a large sans-serif typeface. You can, of course, click an image to view details about the product and get a 3-D view of the furniture (just a series of images). Buying a piece of furniture requires you to order by email. Again, bold full-width product images are used on product pages, and you can click on the “heart” icon to express your love for a product. Powered by WordPress.

Banana Cafe

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Banana Cafe is crazy. The 3-D hover effects of the site are consistent across the entire shopping experience. The blocks rotate in different directions, creating interesting movement throughout the website. It isn’t your ordinary online shop, but rather a collection of suggestions for your closet. The hover effects reveal a reference number that you would use in the contact form at the bottom of the page. Well, the audio and video in the background aren’t really necessary, but they do complement the unique experience on the site quite well.

Hence there are wonderful stores available out there it seems hard to spend your hard earned money but online shopping has made it easy there are good stores available out there offering brands and designer wears and products of all ranges.

for more details log on to http://www.smashingmagazine.com/2013/12/18/e-commerce-websites-showcase/

Firefox OS

Firefox OS is based on linux open source operating system for smart phone operating system and tablets computers. Mozilla is its developer renowned for Firefox web browser. It’s an alternative system  for mobile devices using open standards, HTML 5 , Java script, privilege model, open web API’s  to make communication simpler through cell phones.

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Firefox OS was publicly demonstrated in February 2012, on Android-compatible smartphones and again in 2013 running on Raspberry Pi. In January 2013, at CES 2013, ZTE confirmed they would be shipping a smartphone with Firefox OS  and on July 2, 2013, Telefónica launched the first commercial Firefox OS based phone, ZTE Open, in Spain.

On July 25, 2011, Dr. Andreas Gal, Director of Research at Mozilla Corporation, announced the “Boot to Gecko” Project (B2G) on the Mozilla. The purposal of the project was “pursue the goal of building a complete, standalone operating system for the open web” in order to “find the gaps that keep web developers from being able to build apps that are – in every way – the equals of native apps built for the iPhone [iOS], Android, and WP7 [Windows Phone 7].

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Its features are:

  • It provides messaging facility
  • You can find out maps
  • Listen to music
  • Upload photos
  • Do social media networking
  • You can evolve it as a market place
  • It is adaptive and a lot of applications are available on phone
  • It is made to capture the moments of your life
  • It has the capacity to transform the future , build a brighter future for the web world.
  • It’s a community based phone
  • You can have superior browsing experience while using it.

So hurry up go and order one for yourself or gift your loved ones.

 

The Eye Tribe

The Danish startup business The Eye Tribe formed the company in 2011. It all started seven years ago where the four founders met at the IT University of Copenhagen. Their aim was to make eye tracking available for everyone at an affordable price. Within a couple of years they were renowned as the world leading research group in low cost eye tracking.
After finishing their PhD’s the four founders bought the IP from the University and formed The Eye Tribe company during their participation in the European StartupBootcamp accelerator program in 2011. The team now includes 16 full time employees,developing eye tracking software and applications for mobile devices. The Eye Tribe received seed funding of USD 1 million from private European investors in 2012 and is also leading a USD 4.4 Million government funded project to develop eye control for mobile devices.

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The Eye Tribe is only compatible with Microsoft Windows XP SP1 or newer, but the company is in the process of working on support for other major platforms, such as Macintosh and OS. They are selling the device to developers with a simple software development kit using C++, C# and Java programming platforms. The Eye Tribe has broken the records of all small eye tracking systems. The main components of the Eye Tribe tracker are a camera and a high-resolution infrared LED that can be used via mobile or smart phone.

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The company aims to target commercial market they want to make the product available for every household. The Eye Tribe makes it clear that they hope their technology will become versatile, used for many things from games to working, from browsing the web to security. The game Fruit Ninja is mostly use in the demonstration of the device because it is vastly available on the most of the smart phones and iPhones. The game usually uses a touch screen to slice fruit, but with eye tribe technology, the gamer would just look at the screen and use their gaze to play. Eye Tribe is working with other application designers to integrate their technology into other games for pleasure.
Its features are:
Sampling rate    30 Hz and 60 Hz mode
Accuracy    0.5° (average)
Spatial resolution    0.1° (RMS)
Latency    < 20 ms at 60 Hz
Calibration    5, 9, 12 points
Operating range    45 cm – 75 cm
Tracking area    40 cm × 30 cm at 65 cm distance
Screen sizes    Up to 24 inches
API/SDK    C++, C# and Java included
Data output    Binocular gaze data
Dimensions    (W/H/D) 20 × 1.9 × 1.9 cm (7.9 × 0.75 × 0.75 inches)
Weight    70 g
Connection    USB 3.0 Superspeed

Leap Motion Controller

An American company Leap Motion Inc manufactures computer hardware sensor device that uses hand and finger motion as inputs without any hand contact or touching. The company was founded as OcuSpec which raised 1.3 million funding in 2011 from venture capitalist firms Andreessen Horowitz, SOS Ventures and Angel Investors. Leap Motion announced in May 2012 sound funding of 12.75 M by High Land Capitals. In 2013 announced funding of $30 million. The first product was announced on May 21, 2012 called The Leap.

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The Leap Motion Controller plugs into your PC and MAC with just your hand and figures you can swipe, pinch and wave to perform any task.  The Leap Motion Controller tracks both hands and all 10 fingers with pinpoint precision and incredible speed. That wide-open space between you and your computer is now yours—to play, create and explore. Reach into another world without actually touching anything.

Use your hands to move in any direction, with precision. Dive into realistic, 3D interaction at its best. Steer, slice, grab, push, pull, crush, and shoot with your hands and finger. Try popular games from Airspace like Fruit Ninja, and Cut the Rope, or new experiences like the music-driven game Dropchord and first-person shooter Blue Estate. With the Leap Motion Controller, you’re the instrument. Strum, drum, sketch, draw, and paint with your fingers. Sculpt as easily as you would with clay. Paint with a real brush using Corel Painter Freestyle. Use your own drumsticks to beat a snare drum in Airbeats. Flip through a recipe for lasagna without saucing up your screen. It’s the best way to create just about anything, because you do it by hand.

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You can learn about the world through 3D motion-control. Fly through 3D cities in Google Earth. Zoom around the planets in Solar Walk, take apart a skull in Cyber Science or simply catch up on the latest news in The New York Times app. When you reach into your computer, the learning never stops.

Its features are:

  • It’s Sleek, light, tiny 3 inch device it doesn’t occupy any space but you can use the space above it.
  • Browse web, read articles , flip through photos, listen to music only using your figure directions
  • Do designing using your figure tips, play music using it.
  • Play reality games , build 3D objects, you can learn about the galaxies
  • The technology used is just inspired by your own hand movements
  • Minimum system requirement is  windows 7 or 8 or MAC OS X 10.7 Lion, AMD Phenom  or Intel  i3, i5 or i7 processor, 2 GB RAM, USB 2.0 Port and Internet Connection.
  • Height 0.5 inches , width 1.2 inches, depth 3 inches , weight 0.1 pounds

So hurry up go and grab a piece for your pc in just 102.83 pounds

Smart Things

Wireless home automation technologies are the upcoming technologies in the near future. These are the fusion of wireless with digital and non digital aspects of technological advancements. Previously only affluent people could benefit from wired home automation functionalities because they were highly expensive and not easily available. Or the big business giants could afford it.  In spite of it people got indulged into it and invested but not remarkably.  Since these days Smart phones are becoming hugely popular and everyone is having it many apps have been devised to control and automate several functions around the house as well – including switching lights on, switching lights off, increasing and decreasing air conditioning temperatures etc. However the smart phone claims to change the average home into a smart home.

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Smart Things will comprise of one main hub that can control up to 100 household functions. This hub will be connected to your home router with the help of an Ethernet connection. The other core devices will be placed throughout the house so that the primary hub can send signals to them upon receiving instructions from the user. Among the most interesting features are the open/shut sensor that can figure out if windows, doors and cabinets are open or shut, the motion sensor that can detect movements within the room and the presence sensor that can trace the entry and exit of people and animals in the house.
According to the manufacturers this device will connect the dull objects in the physical world to the internet, so that the user can control, monitor and automate them from any place he likes. This first of its kind technology can not only be used within the house but can also be implemented in an office space. Complications are removed and the device is made simpler via its – its reasonable price, its simplified installation process and the wide variety of features. Next year round, the manufacturers intend to add other advanced functions like a door locking mechanism, a thermostat control and a whole range of functions that will help you monitor your home and office from far away and step up home security as well as child security features around these places. The best aspect of Smart Things is that all these high end functions can be performed simply through your smart phone.

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The technology used is cellular, Ethernet, Z Wave, Zigbee and Bluetooth. Even though it is not available for free, the cost of this entire setup is unbelievably reasonable with a user having to pay only $5 to $10 per device each month. A development kit that has been designed by Smart Things also allows you to create additional devices
•    Works with digital and non-digital devices, innovative
•    All-in-one solution – Home automation, home & child security
•    Elegant design
•    Affordable price
•    Can save energy
•    Coffee is made, when you get up
•    Check if your new-born baby finallly sleeps
•    The fire brigade will be informed if your house is burning
Smart thing is a very new and innovative idea, unique all-in-one solution for home automation and home and child security. It is highly assessable you can place an order even pre release. Trust me it will be a revolution in your world. It will be accepted massively because of its attractive features and affordable price and commercialism. So hurry up go and place the order the market is all open for you.

OCULUS RIFT

A virtual reality head mounted display Oculus Rift is an upcoming technology.  The developers are Oculus VR, raised US$ 91 million for the project.  The company was cofounded by Palmer Luckney and John Carmak. Palmer used Meant to be seen (MTBS) Discussion   forum to promote it. The idea was more effective and inexpensive for gamers.  Later through his research on same prototype  Carmak joined him.

In 2012 Electronic Entertainment Expo they announced their updated version of Doom 3 known as BFG Edition. There Carmack introduced homebrew head mounted display  the unit was of 5.6 inch LCD display, visible through dual lenses  by 90 and 110 degrees horizontal and vertical stereoscopic 3D prospective.  This prototype later turned into Oculus Rift.

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Later on August 1 2012 company started kick starter campaign the funding ended at  $2,437,429. The Oculus developer kit was an initial version financed by a kick starter campaign. The campaign sought to get the initial Oculus Rift into the hands of developers to begin integration of the device into their games.

In August 2012, Oculus announced that the “dev kit” version of the Oculus Rift would be given as a reward to backers who pledged $300 or more on Kickstarter, with an expected shipping date set of December 2012. These preorders were expected to start being delivered in “May 2013”, but started arriving around March 30. Currently Oculus is accepting new developer kit orders on their website with a ship date of December 2013.

Upcoming under development projects includes consumer oriented version of rift targeted for general market, improved components and features, better head tracking , position tracking , 180 p resolution . Set up of wireless communication system are under consideration. The new panel’s pixel switching time is significantly faster, reducing latency and motion blur when turning one’s head quickly. The pixel fill is also better, reducing the screen door effect and making individual pixels less noticeable. The LCD is brighter and the color depth is 24 bits per pixel. The 7 inch screen also makes the stereoscopic 3D no longer 100% overlapping, the left eye seeing extra area to the left and the right eye seeing extra area to the right. This mimics normal human vision, which does not 100% overlap either, although the overlap area is smaller on the Rift than in real life.

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Games and game platforms must be specifically designed to work correctly with the Oculus Rift. Oculus is producing a software development kit (SDK) to assist developers with integrating the Oculus Rift with their games. The SDK will include code, samples and documentation. According to Oculus, game integration will begin with PCs and smart phones and be followed by consoles at a later date. Games with support of Oculus rift are: Team Fortress 2, Museum of the Microstar, Half-Life 2 ,  Hawken.. The games included in the oculus rift are to be discussed in next blog.

 

Form 1

The advent of these high definition 3D printers came ever since there is lack of availability of cheap printing in this direction to provide quality printing for professional designing. MIT Media Lab is the place where the experiment started to develop high three dimensional printing. Since the results were like all such printers were excessively expensive and highly complex in usage.  This work started in 2011 to take the fold and make such printers user friendly and less costly to be easily assessable.

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Now High resolution printing is available for your desktop . It took really hard work to the developers to come up with this excellent solution but finally its done.
•    This highly creative machine is an arms length to you.  While just using a button you can produce high resolution prints.
•     This highly simple in use you will take less time in setting up and more time in producing your desired designs.
•    The Form Finish post-processing kit keeps your desktop organized so that you can easily put the finishing touches on your masterpiece
•    A  stereolithography printer we call the Form 1. Stereolithography (SL) is the gold standard for accuracy and resolution in the 3D printing world, reaching layer thicknesses and feature sizes that are worlds ahead of what is possible with FDM.
•    The process is pretty straightforward – a laser is used to draw on the surface of a liquid plastic resin that hardens when exposed to a certain wavelength of light. The laser draws and hardens a layer at a time until the entire model is built. It’s simple, reliable, and quiet.
•    the Form 1 can print layers as thin as 25 microns (0.001 in) with features as small as 300 microns (0.012 in) in a build volume of 125 x 125 x 165 mm (4.9 x 4.9 x 6.5 in). This means you can print complex geometries with the exquisite details and beautiful surface finish that will make your creations stand out
•    Form software to have a simple, intuitive user experience that streamlines the process of importing .STL models from any 3D CAD package. Generating smart support structures for complex geometries and sending jobs to the printer is as easy as a few clicks.
•    A key advantage of the Form software is the ability to precisely generate thin, breakable support structures that serve their purpose during printing but are easily removed afterward
•    When the Form 1 is released, it will come with  first material – a neutral matte gray that is great for look-and-feel models, standalone parts, or even as a base color for painting.
•    we will continue development of an entire palette of materials for your printer. A variety of colors, transparency, flexibility, and even burnout capability for lost wax casting processes are all possible with SL.
•    A finishing tray and accessories set to assist you and keep your workspace clean and organized during this process.

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So soon you are able to have this machine and can get benefit out of it. It’s an intrestingl device which is meant to make people wondrous.

Google Glass

The topic under discussion is one of the upcoming technologies The Google Glass also called Project Glass. The main developer is Google with manufacturer Foxconn  to be released in 2014 for public. It is a wearable computer with optical head-mounted display.  The basic aim behind this project is to make a market for computer to be available everywhere called Ubiquitous computing.  Numerous technologies are involved in the making of this device like advance middleware , operating system, mobile code, sensors, user interfaces, new I/O’s , mobile protocols , locations , positions.  It produces information in hands free format like smart phones that is human understandable language.

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The product was tested in April 2012 by Sergey brin who wore the prototype in San Francisco at Foundation Fighting Blindness event.  Same year in May the first test video was demonstrated. Sergey brin showed it on The Gavin Newsom show.  On June 27 2012 the glass was demonstrated at Google I/O for skydivers, abseilers and mountain bikers who gave live streamed presentation to google+ Hangout. On June 21 2013 worlds first live surgery was broad cast by Spanish doctor Pedro Guillen through using the glass.  In 2013 Google is working on prescription lenses to be used with the device.

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Frames are not chosen yet but Google is considering having partnership with sunglasses retailers like Ray-Ban, Warby Parker.  The Glasses would be modular and can be worn with normal prescriptions.  In August 2011 the first glass prototype weigh 8 pounds was introduced. Then later lighter materials were also produced and now Google is trying to manufacture new designs near to people’s normal eye wear.  It is speculated that the price of the issued glasses would be around $1500. On 2nd July 2013 Google launched the website announcing of availability of Google glasses till next year.  Google stated that” the company’s goal “is to make Glass available to a wider group of Explorers later this year, with even broader availability next year.” By using the glass you can :

  • Take a picture
  • Record items
  • Share pictures, videos, pages, different reading material
  • You can find directions
  • You can speak up to send messages
  • Ask what is in your mind
  • Translate any language
  • Answer without asking
  • Glasses are strong and light to wear
  • They have modular design

FEATURES:

The Device uses operating system Android (4.0.4). Lithium polymer battery (2.1 walts). Memory 16 GB Flash.  It has Touch pad, My glass phone APP.  Camera –photos, 5MP, VIDEO -720 P.  For more information log on to google.com/glass

 

Word Press Version 3.8

In the honor of Bebop innovator Charlie Parker the word press version 3.8 “Parker” is released on December 12, 2013. Its features includes : improved admin interface, responsive design for mobile devices, new typography using open sans; admin color schemes ; redesign theme management interface, simplified main dashboard; twenty fourteen magazine style default theme; second release using plugin-first development process. It can be said that word press has gotten a face lift, beautify itself with a fresh new look.  It is amazingly colorful leaving behind the boring shades of grey. Hence introducing a new modern design.
It is accessible on every device be it smart phone, notepad, tablet or desktop and laptop.  Word press has become very adaptable.  Vector based icons has made it more high definition and high speed.  It has also introduced refined theme management and smooth widgets.  It is now able to run on the most difficult tasks, can upload complicated themes, pages, texts.  The dashboard home page is a good feature.  If you are a developer it’s just fits you since you can play with it while creating a lot of new stuff.  So what are you waiting for try it and experience new phenomena.