Higby, a set of friendly interventions for those technological pocket distractions

To help you make real connections with those closest to you during the Christmas period, and other times of course, Higby blocks your headphones so you can tune into real life. His heart covers your camera’s eye, so you can see through your own two eyes. And Higby’s arms hug your phone and your friend’s phone together so there aren’t any screen distractions when you’re spending time together.

Higby is an experiment in using design and technology to make delightful, useful, and valuable new things possible for people.

Why a New Golden Age for UI Design Is Around the Corner

Is the future of UI design an integrated experience, a smooth hybrid of real-world and digital interactions?

Over the past 30 years, as every facet of our lives, from our shopping to our schooling, has migrated onto computer screens, designers have focused on perfecting user interfaces—placing a button in just the right place for a camera trigger or collapsing the entire payment process into a series of swipes and taps. But in the coming era of ubiquitous sensors and miniaturized mobile computing, our digital interactions won’t take place simply on screens. As the new Disney World suggests, they will happen all around us, constantly, as we go about our day. Designers will be creating not products or interfaces but experiences, a million invisible transactions.

Read more at Wired.

Zip It Tablecloth eliminates mobile distraction

Zip It Tablecloth

Engage in some actual conversation with the help of this ingenious tablecloth that hides your smartphone at meal time.

Zip It Tablecloth

Zip It Tablecloth

A more elegant solution than the everyone put their device on a plate in the middle of the table game. Zip It Tablecloth is part of a collection highlights and addresses how technology can dominate dining in a negative way. When groups of people eat together, constant checking for updates, sending messages and answering calls can be an annoying distraction during a meal. It’s also quite rude.

Zip It Tablecloth is handmade from 100% Irish Linen, using screenprinting techniques.

Zip It Tablecloth

Touchscreens ‘a small step’ in innovation

With so much focus placed on smartphones, touch and gesture control and their evolution, what will be the next big development in how people use digital devices? BBC News reports:

The way we use digital devices has become big news.

People spend so much time looking at a screen each day that every new update to any major operating system is greeted with a near hysteria about whether you should or shouldn’t upgrade.

One big suggestion gaining traction is the notion of the invisible interface. The idea is that the best design will make all technology move so far into the background that it’s not even noticed and just works without even being thought about.

This concept has been around since the 1990s but what this is pushing, from examples so far, is the idea that everything is so intuitive to use that it isn’t even noticed.

Read more.

Eunoia: Lisa Park Manipulates Water With The Power Of Her Mind

Exploring questions of vulnerability, self-control, and liberation, Park recreates a scene that looks as if it’s been lifted from your favorite Kung-Fu movie or an outtake from Kill Bill. Wearing a futuristic headset embeded with electroencephalography (EEG) sensors, Park monitors her own brain activity during meditation and transposes this energy onto dishes of water to reveal zen-like vibrations.


“Eunoia” derives from the Greek word “ey” (well) + “nous” (mind) meaning “beautiful thinking”.

Lisa Park. Via.

Sketching helps you better understand the problem you are trying to solve and lets you visualize possible solutions. It is a fast and inexpensive way to brainstorm and to test out a lot of UI ideas before committing to one. Sketching speeds us the concept creation and iteration phase and makes it possible to get feedback early on, when changes are easy to make. Lennart Hennigs, Smashing Magazine

On Departure

An animation which attempts to express a personal journey centred around the loss of my younger brother Emmet.

Hello Lamp Post

Hello Lamp Post! has been selected for the Playable City Award.

We interpret the ‘Smart City’ as an idea that represents values such as clarity, accuracy, integration, efficiency and refinement. It is a top-down ideology, most desirable from the perspective of civic authorities and service providers.

The sensory extremities/ appendages of a smart city are its utilities and street furniture – objects so ubiquitous that they have become invisible to us. They include (but aren’t exclusive to) street lights, post boxes, bus stops and fire hydrants.

If these human ‘touchpoints’ are going to be smart, can they also be open, hospitable and played with at the same time? How can they be open to interpretation, surprising and personable?

This has been our area of interest, and what has informed our proposition for a core playable mechanic.

Bridging Book is a children’s mixed-media picture-book

Bridging Book is a children’s mixed-media picture-book that blurs the line between printed and electronic books. It consists of a printed book and a digital device, placed side-by-side, with synchronized content. Thumbing through the book’s pages triggers the device to display the complementary digital content. The physical book requires no batteries or wires.

In the current version, the printed illustrations on each page of the physical book are extended into the device screen, offering further interaction. The content can be explored both linearly by reading and thumbing the printed book and/or exploring the interaction on the digital device.

The world’s most irresistible vending machine

Everyday we are bombarded by a rush of machines, media and marketing messages. In such a noisy environment, it’s harder and harder to connect with customers around experiences that engage and delight. That’s why Eight Inc. gave Acure an oddly charming, remarkably human expression: to turn heads and make friends.

Working with a sleek, stout vending machine designed by Fumie Shibata’s, Eight Inc. created an interface and user experience that transforms the 47-inch touchscreen and mounted camera into a sentient attendant able to make thoughtful suggestions and collect valuable sales information on behalf of Japanese beverage company JR East Water Business.