Tuesday, 8 January 2013

The Hollywood passenger experience

The new Bradley West Terminal at LAX airport is seemingly doing passenger experience the Hollywood way.

Trying to bring an "LA feel" to the airport, the plans are using large displays integrated with mobile devices to allow the passenger to interact with the visual content.

Sounds like it is creating an interesting "experience" that could be entertaining while you wait.  But perhaps the experience is one of distraction rather than a better experience through improving the functionality of the airport?  Either way worth seeing!

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Friday, 4 January 2013

Future of mobility and customer service

Following on from some of our previous posts on customer service and service design, an interesting article from the President of Hertz International on the BBC website on the future of mobility.

The interesting point is his view that technology is changing the way we view and access transport.  Individual car ownership is being challenged with many more options available.  He points out that transport providers have to earn loyalty and our business...and that it is customer service that will determine the choices people make.  Interestingly he also notes the importance of the human element of the service.

All chimes in with our view that you have to deliver a human experience and that consumers still value the human touch in their interactions.  Have a read...

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New plastic lighting technology

LED lighting has many advantages and there are more and more examples of it being used across a broad spectrum of applications. It is energy efficient, resistant to cold, directional, robust, brightness and colour controllable and environmentally friendly. It also renders colours accurately, operates immediately when the switch is flicked and has a relatively long lifetime.

Many of these advantages make LED lighting a good candidate for use in the complex environments that we get involved with in much of our work. However, alternatives are often used when the cost of LEDs becomes prohibitive.

Organic LEDs (OLEDs) have also been seen in more and more installations recently. One of the major benefits of them is that they can be transformed into many different shapes, including screens for HD TVs. However, for some applications their brightness and longevity does not yet live up to expectations.

Against this background we were interested to read on the BBC news website that US researchers have said they’ve developed a rival to LED lighting. They say that it has much the same advantages as LED and OLED lighting, is relatively cheap and can be made into any shape. Another key claim made by the researchers is that the lighting form that they have developed (Field-induced polymer electroluminescent, or ‘Fipel’) can match the solar spectrum perfectly. It is this potential that marks it out in our book as a technology that could have great benefits to people working in environments where – for whatever reason – there is a limited amount of natural light.

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Wednesday, 2 January 2013

Are the older generation getting tech-savvy?

Thought provoking article on the BBC website on the tech needs of older people:

It stems from work done at the Cambridge Design Centre, part of Cambridge University, looking at products and how older people use them.  It's clearly an important topic with the demographic shift to an aging population.

The video really highlights the problems designers have in seeing the world through the eyes of others. What to many younger users would be an intuitive interaction - touch and swipe - are not to older people who have a totally different mental model and a more analogue paradigm of usage.

It also demonstrates the difficulties for designers to really understand some of the physical constraints older people have.  Being able to experience this with modified glasses or adaptive aids that constraint joint movement etc can be great - our recent work with Guide Dogs for the Blind went through similar efforts with our team going on blindfolded walks with guide dogs and we also discovered some augmented reality apps that show you a view of the world with various visual impairments.

All really interesting and important issues especially when you look at increasing adoption of technology by older users in order to take advantage of some of the opportunities for things like reducing loneliness.

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