Blog of Random Thoughts and Pictures

Recent eRead: The Art of Innovation, IDEO, Palm and Project 2010

August 29th, 2010

It’s taken me a while to get through the book The Art of Innovation: Lessons in Creativity from IDEO, America’s Leading Design Firm, by Tom Kelley, but not because it’s a hard book to read, no it was because it was an eBook!

Well more to the point a Kindle eBook, being read on an iPod Touch. I found it really handy to purchase and download the book, and while obviously the reading format was optimised for the smaller screen I found it hard to figure out where exactly I was in the book. I mean it takes me a while to get into a book, but once I hit half way, I rip through the second half, but this just wasn’t the case with the eBook. The eBook gave me no sense of where I was in the book.

Also I found the iPod Touch to be a distraction, in that I read email, twitter, news feeds and surf the web on the device, and with the eBook I found myself reading less of the book and drifting off to do those other things. It makes me think that a dedicated eReader really might be a better option, but one without the email, twitter, news feeds and web surfing capabilities. Oh but whispersync was great, although I hate the idea of “the system” knowing exactly how, were and when I’m reading a book!

Anyway to the book itself.

Even 9 years after it’s creation, The Art of Innovation still holds some interesting insights into ways of looking at the creative design process. I found it particularly relevant when it came to talk about Palm and how IDEO helped in the transition from Palm III to Palm V. At the time (2000) I had a Palm IIIx I remember synchronising it to web pages via a desktop PC and a RS232 cable, said pages then read offline, especially when I was dragged to the shops, the little Palm IIIx was a lifesaver.

Palm IIIx

Palm IIIx

The book talks a little about the creative process in that design transition from the Palm III to Palm V, much of which rang true for me, as I transitioned to a Palm m500 I really noticed the difference. Actually I still have the m500 I must see if I can get anything for it on eBay.

Palm m500

Palm m500

The one thing I wanted to look into after reading the book was Project 2010. Given that it’s mentioned as a news piece on Business Week I wanted to check in and see some of the predictions. A link to Business Week: Welcome to 2010 can be found here.

As I read through the pages of this article I see predictions which include:
1. Entirely wireless world where broadband is ubiquitous,
2. Flexible LCDs.
3. Artificial Intelligence. In a decade, data will drown us. AI software will filter, prioritize, and communicate.
4. Holography. Moving 3-D images in real time.
5. PDA of the future will mean we say goodbye to money, keys, credit cards, beepers, and TV remotes.
6. Thumbprints will replace credit-card numbers etc…
7. Shades with built in screens
8. Computer displays and TV monitors are replaced by one lightweight, flat LCD panel that can be placed on a desk or hung on a wall.
9. Medial Mirror
10. Home server will manage a wireless, high-bandwidth home network.
11. Sports Watch monitors vital statistics, and analyzes performance.
12. Golf Buddy has GPS, cameras, and sensors to help your game
13. Lightweight moving map that displays your exact location in all terrains.
14. Compact printer
15. Smart Chair

I have to say wow, that’s not bad, flexible LCD nearly got here in 2010, but it looks like a number of big companies are just starting to pull out of ePaper business. I must say data has drowned us completely and there’s no A.I. helping me just yet, or should I say Google is doing this for us anyway. As for the 3-D prediction would the raft of 3-D movies in 2010 count here? Just saw Toy Story 3-D today, good show. And the thumbprints will replace credit-card numbers, maybe RFID is doing that today, and the final big one, can you see the Apple iPad in anyone of those predictions? I certainly can.

I’m quite impressed, but may be I’m being too optimistic in viewing these items, what do you think?

Recent Read: Let the Great World Spin

August 7th, 2010

Another book down, but in reading the front cover and back cover for this book Let the Great World Spin: A Novel by Colum McCann I hadn’t a clue what it was going to be about. It was a present, and not something I would have picked out but then in reading the first part “Those who saw him hushed” I thought hey this book is going to be about Philippe Petit, and the events around his tightrope walk between the Twin Towers on August 7th 1974 (wow 36 years ago today). Listen to this part of the book on YouTube it only takes 2 mins.

However, it isn’t about the tightrope walk, the book is a series of four short stories, each one elegant, dark and full of colourful and descriptive language of death, well not all about death but certainly linked to grief, but I wouldn’t take that way from the book it’s not too morbit, and I loved the way all the characters in the stories were connected, and in some cases without them even knowing it.

Anyway I enjoyed it, maybe you will to.

Recent good read: The Comedy Writer

July 4th, 2010

The act of traveling, especially at the airport and on to the plane really isn’t that exciting, so an important addition to the 10kg carry on luggage is some good reading material. I have found this more and more essential as the on board magazines usually doesn’t hold my attention for too long, and given the electronic media restrictions, there’s always that lull time between the gate opening and the plane getting to cruising speed, coupled with the final decent and taxi to final gate. There’s amble time to read a few passages of a book in this white space and I’ve recently had the pleasure of reading The Comedy Writer by Peter Farrelly.

The book has been out there for 10 years or so, wasn’t what I expected, and not a laugh a minute,  but it is set up perfectly for this stop start type of reading and I definitely had a number of good bursts of laughter from the writing style  and for that reason  I’ve rated it as a good read.