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Monday, October 21, 2013

Nest has done it again!

Nest has launched a smoke alarm that
  1. Talks to you about the impending danger and the location of the danger, rather than just beeping (Intelligent feedback)
  2. Stays connected to you via your phone and informs you when the system is low on battery or if the alarm goes off (Continuous feedback)
  3. Is gesture controlled and recognizes hand waves, eliminating the need to swing a towel (Takes in user input)
  4. Provides light at night (Nice to have; going with their theme of creating a superior "home experience")
  5. Coupled with the Nest thermostat, it can sense carbon monoxide poisoning and even shut down the furnace.
You can read more about the Nest smoke and carbon monoxide alarm here.


Tuesday, October 15, 2013

Handbags to your rescue?

How many times have you been in situations where your phone is low on battery or even dead, you have no means to charge it, and you have to make an urgent call or look up directions? This article describes just the solution for this.

Everpurse is a handbag that lets you charge your smartphone (iPhone, Samsung Galaxy S) via an in-built charging dock. You no longer need to carry around a charger or look for a power-outlet.

The concept is both functional and stylish. You can read more about Everpurse here.

Though I personally think this is cool, my friends who are 'handbag gurus' state that they are never going to pick up a handbag such as this one just because of the functionality. Style and branding are more important to them. 

For all the ladies out there – see here for the collection, which are available in both fabric and leather. 

Photocredit: TheLivingRoominKenmore, via Wikimedia Commons.

Saturday, October 12, 2013

Google Glass goes to the OR

Google Glass has the potential to transform healthcare. For example, Glass can be used in surgical training and remote consultation. This article describes how Dr. Grossmann used Glass to broadcast a Percutaneous Endoscopic Gastrostomy procedure via Google Glass and Google Hangout, without compromising patient confidentiality.  

Glass can also be used in public heath – For example, Dr. Assad has developed an app that can used to help perform CPR. The app helps to analyze the rate and adequacy of the compressions, try to find the nearest external defibrillator, and even contact 911 and the nearest hospital.

No doubt, we have the potential with the technology today to revolutionize health care. However, when designing such systems, taking into consideration the social, emotional, perceptual, and cognitive characteristics of users is key for creating a superior user experience and for improving patient outcomes.  

Photo Credit: Tedeytan, via Wikimedia Commons.