Talking to machines and being heard : Getting started with speech recognition — from uxmag.com by Dave Rich

Excerpt:

Speech recognition presents an exciting and dynamic set of challenges and opportunities for UX designers. With the mass-market reception of consumer technologies such as Apple’s Siri and the near-omnipresence of speech in telephone applications, speech recognition is a computer–human interface many people interact with daily. Speech applications range from self-service telephone systems such as banking applications, to mobile applications that allow users to speak commands and compose messages with their voice. In the future, we can expect to see many different applications integrate speech recognition in some form. The time is near when speech will be the most universal user interface.

Addendum on 7/12/12:

Plasma First: Apple TV, SmartGlass and the New World of Multi-Screen Cloud Content – from forbes.com by Anthony Wing Kosner

Excerpt:

The future for web developers is big. 50 inch plasma screen big. After an intensive cycle of trying to figure out how to take desktop websites and make them look and work great on mobile devices (often by starting from scratch) the pendulum is swinging to the other end of the multi-screen spectrum—the family TV, the conference room monitor, the classroom SmartBoard.

Also see:

Beyond Siri - A report regarding the future of Virtual Assistants -- from VisionMobile -- June 2012

 

Contents

  • Virtual assistants: four generations in 20 years
  • The evolving VA technology landscape
  • The VA Competitive landscape
  • VA business models: Revenue share rather than paid app downloads
  • Leaders and challengers in the VA value chain
  • Beyond Siri: What’s in store in the VA market

Behind this report

  • Lead researcher: Marlène Sellebråten
  • Project lead: Michael Vakulenko
  • Marketing lead: Matos Kapetanakis
  • Editorial: Andreas Constantinou

 

Cognition & the intrinsic user experience — from UX Magazine by Jordan Julien

Excerpt:

Over the past few years there’s been a lot of discussion around whether an experience can be designed. But it seems like everyone’s just getting hung up on semantics; an experience can be designed, but the user will always have the opportunity to experience it in a unique way. The reason every experience has the potential to be unique to the user is, in part, because cognition is unique to each user.

Cognition is about knowledge and understanding, so there’s a ton of psychological principles that fall under the umbrella of cognition. I’ll focus on two principles that, once understood, will elevate a UX practitioner’s designs to a whole new level.

Excerpt

 

Cognitive Barriers vs Cognitive Load

Tablets hit the enterprise -- the year of the tablet (2012)

In Silicon Valley, designers emerge as rock stars — from Reuters.com by Gerry Shih

Excerpt:

The new breed of “user experience” designers – part sketch artist, part programmer, with a dash of behavioral scientist thrown in – are some of the most sought-after employees in technology. Entry-level interactive designers at startups are commanding salaries easily topping $80,000, almost twice the median pay for primarily print designers of about $45,000, according to a recent survey by the American Institute of Graphic Arts.

From DSC:
From my experience with Internet-related work and careers, most people are either gifted in the front end of things (interface design, graphic design, web design, etc.) or in the back end of things (programming, databases, scripting, e-commerce, security, etc.). I have seen individuals who can do both…but it’s rare that someone is deeply versed in both sides of the coin.

What are we doing in higher ed to foster more cross-disciplinary skills/assignments/projects/teams like this?

 

http://www.microsoft.com/presspass/ImageGallery/Images/Products/Xbox/12-05TVEvolution-Infographic_web.jpg

.

From DSC:
What if educationally-related apps and services were driven by such a platform as
actv8.me? If you want to leapfrog everyone else, then explore this direction.

.


actv8.me/platform.html


 

 The Inspiration Bookshelf — from Julie Dirksen

From DSC:
Here’s a solid list of resources re: books ID’s should read that seems to support the KISS principle (of which I’m a huge fan) as well as how to make learning fun and engaging.
.
Excerpt:

One of the things I had while writing the book was an inspiration bookshelf.  These were books that not only inspired the content of Design for How People Learn, but also the style of it.  None of these are instructional design books, but they are all books that instructional designers should read…

Also see:

From DSC:
Below are some items concerning the continued convergence of the telephone, the television, and the computer — it involves the smart/connected TV as well as human-computer-interaction (HCI)-related items.  But this time, I’m focusing on a recent announcement from Microsoft. 

However, I have to disagree that, given this announcement, Microsoft will now rule the living room — or at least I surely hope not. Why do I say this? For several reasons.

1)  How long has Microsoft Office been around? Years and years, right?  If you think that Microsoft should control your living room, I ask you to show me how I can quickly and easily insert some audio-based feedback with one easy click of a record button within Microsoft Word.  Go ahead and check…such a quick and easy method is not there….still…and it’s almost 2012.  (BTW, here are some resources on this if you’re interested in seeing how this could be done, but you will quickly notice that this is not a streamlined process — and it should have been so years ago.)

2)  Performance/not doing what it’s supposed to do.  My Dell PC running Windows 7 still can’t even shut itself down half the time.  It just sits there with wheels-a-spinnin’ at some point…but not powering down.  I’m not sure why this is the case, but I never have had trouble with this simple task on my Macs.

3)  Regarding troubleshooting Microsoft’s solutions, an entire support industry has been built on supporting Microsoft’s software — go to a local bookstore and see how to get MS certified on some particular package/application/service — none of the books are thin.

4)  Security has never been Microsoft’s strong point.

Bottom line:
I think you get my point.
Microsoft has a loooooonnnnngggg way to go in my mind before I want their products and services controlling my living room.

With that said, I do congratulate Microsoft on being more innovative and forward thinking with the Xbox announcements mentioned below. I just hope that items such as usability, user experience, security, and streamlined interfaces  are high on the list of their priorities/deliverables.

Disclosure/note:
I do use PCs with Windows a significant amount of the time and they do a nice job with many items.  But if I were to assign grades to Microsoft, usability, performance, and security are not items that I would give A’s to Microsoft on.

 


Microsoft XBox

Upgrade: The Xbox 360 Slim game console.

Also:

One iPad publishing platform to rule them all — from Mashable.com by Josh Koppel, Co-founder and Chief Creative Officer at ScrollMotion

.

Excerpt:

App developer ScrollMotion has created tablet content for some of the world’s largest publishers. At the Mashable Media Summit last Friday, its co-founder and chief creative officer Josh Koppel showed off a single platform built to run the entire gamut of enterprise media publishing.

.Also see:

Scrollmotion.com -- solutions

Pier Luigi Capucci -- The Internet of Things

Excerpt:

We were asked to consider the Internet of Things (IoT) from the user’s viewpoint. Well, my viewpoint is exactly this, since I’m neither a company director nor a software coder or a hardware creator. From an user’s viewpoint I think we are undergoing a big transformation. The Internet of Things comes out from an evolution process which involves calculation power, connections, networking, personal technologies, and that can be resumed in four phases.

 

Gartner identifies the Top 10 Strategic Technologies for 2012
Analysts Examine Latest Industry Trends During Gartner Symposium/ITxpo

Excerpt:

The top 10 strategic technologies for 2012 include:

  • Media Tablets and Beyond.
  • Mobile-Centric Applications and Interfaces.
  • Contextual and Social User Experience.
  • Internet of Things. The key elements of the IoT include:
    Embedded sensors, Image Recognition, Near Field Communication (NFC) payments
  • App Stores and Marketplaces.
  • Next-Generation Analytics.
  • Big Data.
  • In-Memory Computing.
  • Extreme Low-Energy Servers.
  • Cloud Computing.

 

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