After spending some quality time with the family iPad over the past two weeks, I’ve discovered some key usability challenges that are hard to ignore. A major issue with the device is the lack of consistency between applications. Although Apple claims to have a stringent review process, the experience and the behaviours vary considerably between apps. At one extreme you have the infinite page scrolling of the Gap 1969 Stream application, which is nothing more than a massive page that you can navigate through and click on items to view. At the opposite extreme, you have the Flipboard application that transforms a simple RSS reader into a new type of interactive magazine.
Archive for 'July 2010'
When companies like Apple and Scribd start using HTML5 for their offerings, organizations start to question whether they should be using it for their own applications. However, it’s important to remember that while HTML5 has made strong strides lately, it is still in the draft development phase and it is early for organizations to rely solely on it for their core business applications.
This point was clear when YouTube posted a rather lengthy blog post about its experience with the HTML5 <video> tag and how it does not yet meet the company's rather intense requirements. Features like full-screen video, access to cameras and microphones, embedding content on other sites, and live video streaming are not yet fully supported by HTML5 <video>.
In the past few weeks alone, the concept of “The Internet of Things” has been named as a top five trend of 2010 by ReadWriteWeb and has taken home the Cisco I-Prize, an award given to the global community in recognition of “the next major business opportunity”.
What is the “Internet of Things”? It’s when real-world objects are connected to the internet, often using sensors, barcodes and RFID tags. Implementations range from something mainstream like running web applications in a car, such as the new AppLink service slated to debut in Ford Fiestas next year, to complex web-connected sensors attached to physical devices that trigger feedback and actions.
Hewlett Packard Labs is working on a massive implementation of sensors that are similar to RFID tags with accelerometer and detectors for motion and vibration. They plan to use these sensors to monitor everything from structural strains to weather conditions. They will collect data in real-time and help businesses make better decisions.
For a trend named one of the top five of the year by Read Write Web, the mobile market certainly has Microsoft scrambling. Just six weeks into its launch, Microsoft has killed the Kin, its answer mobile effort geared toward the youth market. Maybe it was due to low sales, or expensive data plans, or the fact that Microsoft just isn’t hip enough to capture the teen market, but the Kin just never took off.
The Kin rose from Microsoft’s $500M acquisition of Danger back in 2008. This move was supposed to firm up the company’s floundering mobile strategy and provide a channel into the young, internet savvy and social customer market. Did Microsoft’s stogy corporate culture take over and stamp out the innovation the Danger team was known for? For now the Kin team has been rolled into the Windows Phone7 team and will work toward bringing this device to market.