Ping Pong Cover for iPhone 4

Ping Pong Cover for iPhone
Incase, the ubiquitous case maker, has released their ping pong paddle inspired rubber cover for iPhone 4. The Ping Pong Cover offers enhanced grip and lightweight, form-fitting protection perfect for people like me who make an unconscious effort to drop just about everything. Available in four colours but I would stick with the black pictured above.
Ping Pong Cover for iPhone 4

Vapor Extreme Metals iPhone 4 Cases

vapor metal iphone case
A aluminum case to protect your stainless steel and glass iPhone 4. These cases are CNC machined from a solid block of aircraft grade aluminum and then refined with a number of different finishes. The inside of the Vapor case is lined with a shock absorbing material that reduces the G-forces of an accidental impact. Available in either the nick-plated, bead-blasted matte black or satin frosted finish. Interesting.
Vapor Extreme Metals Cases for iPhone 4

Mobile Interaction and the Design of Multimodal Interfaces

This is far more academic compared to what I usually post here but it’s worth the effort as this relatively long paper is full of insights.
Interacting with a mobile device is very different from our interaction with desktop devices. But what does that mean precisely? In this article for the Journal on Multimodal User Interfaces, Luca Chittaro of the HCI Lab at the University of Udine proposes five types of specific differences, that together make it more difficult to design efficient user interfaces for mobile users.

People want to do more with their mobile phones, but their desire is frustrated by two classes of limitations. One is related to the device, its hardware and software. The other is related to the context, and comprises perceptual, motor, cognitive and social aspects. This paper will discuss some of the opportunities and challenges that this complex scenario presents to multimodality, which can be a key factor for a better design of mobile interfaces to help people do more on their mobile phones, requiring less time and attention.

Distinctive Aspects of Mobile Interaction and their Implications for the Design of Multimodal Interfaces

I can’t find my phone (or my keys)

I can't find my phone
Nicely executed. When you are at your other web enabled device and can’t find your phone … perhaps I should attach my keys to my mobile. Now that would be useful.

Do you know those moments, when you can’t find your phone but there’s noone around you could ask to call you? Well, that’s what is for.

Looks like fun but alas it wouldn’t work for me.
Via @swissmiss

How mobile phones are changing how Canadians shop

Canada is on the brink of a mobile payments revolution that will empower consumers to turn their cell phones into “electronic wallets”–rendering plastic money, as we know it, obsolete.

Global payment giants Visa Inc. and MasterCard Inc. say emerging mobile payment technologies are not only poised to antiquate conventional credit and debit cards, but everything else we lug around in our wallets – including cash, loyalty cards, driver’s licences and coupons.
Those smart-phone technologies, currently being tested around the world, are being billed as a game-changer for the payments industry.
There is already pent up consumer demand, prompting some experts to predict full availability of mobile payments in Canada in about 18 months.

From the Toronto Star article

Jack Spade Leather Supply Brief

Jack Spade Leather Supply Brief
Look at the detail where the handle meets bag. Love the curve there. It doesn’t suit me at the moment but I wish it did.
Grain Leather is a soft, pliable cowhide that has been vegetable dyed to achieve a deep and smokey hue. All styles are detailed with a solid, polyurethane backed cotton canvas lining and debossed logo.
Jack Spade Leather Supply Brief

A Manlier Man Bag?

A Manlier Man Bag

When it comes to compact bags for men, it’s best to go with the original compact bags for men: the map bag and the musette.
The map bag has a military heritage. In the olden days before GPS, maps were made out of these huge pieces of paper (crazy, right?), and map bags gave people quick and easy access to them–simple as that. These days, map bags give you quick and easy access to Super Monkey Ball on your iPad.
You can find common canvas ones at Army surplus stores, but I like the more structured leather variety sometimes referred to as map cases or document cases. These are super-minimal, and usually don’t have room for anything but maps, a notebook and pens.

From the Wallstreet Journal of all places: Put Your iPad in a Map Bag or a Musette, Manlier Man Bags

The Most Popular Phone in the World

I stopped reading or linking to anything from Gawker media after they outed the Apple engineer but this is a great article written by a contributing writer.
Nokia has problems. Smartphone problems. Software problems. American problems. But to fully understand what’s wrong, we’ve got to understand what’s been right, or to put in another way, what’s distracted Nokia. Meet the most popular phone in the world.

The 1100 is not pleasant to use. The keypad is too narrow for two-thumbed texting; it’s thin enough that curling a thumb for one-handed use is strenuous. Tiny pedestal buttons are concealed behind a squishy rubber shield, and configured in such a way that learning how to use the phone is a process of rote memorization and habit-building rather than intuition.
The phone’s small size makes its extremely portable, and easy to carry or stow. That narrow, squishy keypad is dustproof and water resistant, so a splash of rain or a drop in the sand won’t ruin it. The phone’s plasticky shell and light weight make perfect sense the first time you see it bounce off your tile floor, skittering to a stop unscathed. […]
This phone was meant to survive and to do; its only jobs are to call and to text and to create convenience for as long as possible, as cheaply as possible.

The Most Popular Phone in the World

Tailfeather Honeyeater

Tailfeather Honeyeater
A photo of this tote has been sitting on my desk for a couple months. A great looking bag sturdy enough to go through more than one generation of device that it is designed to carry. The Honeyeater is made of felt with canvas lining, hand stitched leather handles, laser etched details and a phone pocket. Capacious enough for your 15″ laptop.
Honeyeater tote bag

Workers Canvas Shoulder Bag

workers shoulder bag
Bags of this size and type are fairly popular here; at least in the areas I frequent. They seem to be used as a sort of upscale shoulder strap version of the shaving bags gangster types carry their gear in. Most I see are Porter or clones made from poor materials.
This canvas bag from Workers is made from all natural materials and would make a great bag to carry your daily essentials. It might be to much like a purse for many but I think it looks fine.
Workers Canvas Shoulder Bag

The importance of a desk

Some interesting thoughts, especially the ‘failed social experiment’ with ‘nomadic workers’. There is a diiference in expectations between a mobile workspace and being required to sit in a different seat each time you go to the office. I think we can create our workspace anywhere we are which in my case is almost always a morass of papers and objects. And I never throw anything out.

Younghee Jung on design research for Nokia

younghee jung
Younghee Jung, manager and design researcher at the Nokia Research Centre in Bangalore, India, has been featured again on the Nokia Conversations blog through a long interview. Younghee is one of the more visible (luckily for us) researchers involved with mobile and I always enjoy the insight that she brings to conversations such as this. Here is a sample of her responses from the interview:

Mobile phones have now been around for two decades. In the early days, it was very much about what was technically possible but now it’s becoming much more about lifestyle.
Have you noticed a shift in the impact technology has on people’s lives in developing countries?
I think the interesting part is when it comes to comparing rural and urban areas. The difference is quite significant. Although those living in the slums are from rural areas they’re quickly exposed to what’s available. The majority are aware about what is possible with technology and if they have a certain amount of knowledge and money they would have access to technology. They can almost set goals. Opinion-wise it’s a rich environment in the way that they know what technology can do for them. On the other hand, whether they are able to overcome the threshold that exists between now and their aspiration level is another issue. Even the notion of the Internet is not uncommon. These communities have internet cafes and with this information, they can form a clearer idea about what they would do if they had a mobile connection. One inspiring story from the favela in Rio was that someone used the Internet to search for a scholarship. It’s an example of how information technology can change their path of life rather than just making a bit more money.

Younghee Jung on design research for Nokia. Via Putting people first

The ultra-portable for the rest of us

The ultra-portable for the rest of us
While I was asleep Apple released their update to the MacBook Air, and I think it is shaping up to be a great solution for travellers who need to work in adhoc spaces. It is going to make in some instances for a tough decision between choosing this and the iPad when traveling — the 11.6″ looks impossibly tiny.
That decision gets harder when you realize that the Air takes a number of design cues from the iPad including instant on, passable battery life, multi-touch track pad, amazing standby time and rigid unibody construction. And finally the Air, in not including an optical drive, includes a restore disc on a flash drive instead of a dvd. Like the iPad much of your data is going to stored off the device with local storage only when absolutely needed.
Pre-iPad I was a big lover of the opportunities that Netbooks provided. Their size and low cost meant that we could bring our work with us anywhere we went (I realize this is not an entirely satisfactory development) but in the initial race to the bottom they often produced unsatisfactory experiences. With the exception of the models that approach the MacBook Airs price point, most were frustratingly slow, had poor screens and terrible build quality. If the MacBook Air is able to improve upon the performance of it’s prior iteration, it’s going to be a popular choice with those who care about the quality and usability of their tools.
Both models look fantastic but I am particularly enamoured with the 11.6″.
If you are looking for a sleeve Tom Bihn announced that their Size Air11 Cache is available for pre-order with delivery in November. All of Tom Bihn’s bags are of the highest quality.