XR – First

June 5, 2017 1:44 pm  /  Extended Reality, News
XR – First

Since June 2017, Strawberry Hill applies an XR-first approach in all projects. The reason for this is is that we think that XR (AR/VR/Mixed Reality) will be our next main interface. Besides our own conclusions ;), research from credible sources, such as major IT companies and hardware designers, notably Facebook, Microsoft, Intel and Apple points in the same direction. Gartner, the well renowned business analyst, predicts that by 2019, XR solutions will be adoted by 20% of large enterprise businesses, and that is only the beginning.

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The image above is yet fiction, but sparks the imagination 😉

So…What is XR-first design?

Well…I don’t know yet, and I  do not think anyone else does at this point, but I think the question is relevant, and we are determined to find out. So back to the question – Let’s start with some basics.

“XR”, or Extended Reality is a mixture of the digital and the physical world. VR (Virtual Reality) and AR (Augmented Reality) are both examples of XR. Other inputs and outputs between the digital and physical such as haptic feedback and motion tracking can also be part of XR. In short the term XR is coined to be able to include most any mixture of the digital and physical world, now and in the future

OK, so this is not really happening yet, is it? Yet the image can be seen as a vision to what will come in a perhaps not so distant future.

Already today AR – glasses that can give the user a similar experience as the image above captures are already used by several companies in industries such as medicine, architecture, education and manufacturing. The image below show how a group of people collaborating with their AR – glasses around design of a physical environment. Hardware manufacturers describe the current situation for AR – glasses as comparable to the mobile experience of the early nineties. The gear works just good enough to be usable for some people, and the development needed to manufacture gear for the mass market, can already be charted out. Good and affordable AR-glasses will thus most probably with the current speed of development be developed and available to most people in 5-8 years (according to Intel)

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—Describe Phone approach.

So, what would XR design first mean?

Our current method is that every time the development of a digital function is investigated, the first question is : Could this be done in XR? If the answer to this is Yes, the next question should be : What could that look like ? First after a “napkin prototype” has been described (in drawing and writing or as a physical model) the third question “Could this give the user any added value ?” should be asked.

If the question is Yes, the idea should be compared to a solution without XR, and discarded only if it is outperformed by the other solution.

Why should this be a good idea at all?

We will quote the psychologist Edward De Bono for this : “Creativity involves breaking out of established patterns in order to look at things in a different way.”

First after we have tried to leave our established frame of thought that often is limited to screens, will we know that we choose a solution because it was actually better, not just because it was based on a technology that we know well.

 

/Eskil

 

Nobel Creations exhibition in the making

December 9, 2014 8:02 pm  /  News
Nobel Creations exhibition in the making

At the Nobel Museum in Stockholm an exhibition “Nobel Creations” about this years prize winners takes place.

We at Strawberry Hill have had the great pleasure of taking part in the adventure of making this beautiful event happen. Our role has been to program and set up the system that makes the interactivity in the exhibition work.

This article starts with a short introduction about the exhibition, and goes on briefly describing  the system, some of the challenges we faced, and how
we collaborated with partners and artists to realize the interactive visions for the peoject

Can artistic representations explain a Nobel Prize?

Nobel Creations is about the 2014 Nobel Prizes with both descriptive and interpretive elements. In the exhibition, artefacts donated by this year’s Nobel Laureates are shown, and you can take part of the history behind the objects and learn about the laureates and their achievements.

The visitor meets the creative abilities of young students. With the help of fashion, music, design and illustrations, students from Beckmans College of Design and the Royal College of Music have created free interpretations of this year’s Nobel Prizes. The pieces are creations inspired by the discoveries and achievments made by the Nobel Laureates in Physics, Chemistry, Medicine, Literature, Peace and Economic sciences.

The musical expressions are ingeniously composed pieces that shifts in intensity and composition dependent on how people move in the room or what the visitors explore on one of the six iPads that contain information about each prize at the center of the exhibition.

 

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Getting iPads up and running

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Work in progress at Nobel Museum

The musical tempo constantly continues its rythm in the background, and as visitors for example moves towards an object a new musical hook, or part adds to the composition in perfect timing. Also light is triggered by the system, so that e.g. some Items are lit up when certain parts of the iPad production gets selected.

Technically the system basically works like this : Each of the iPads and motion detectors are connected to a Node JS server running on a computer at the local network. When the system gets notified of an event, it passes the event to a website (musical master computer) running an instance of a JavaScript based musical engine cleverly created by Hans Lindetorp from KMH. As the music eveloves an other computer running another instance of Hans Lindetorps system is playing along (musical slave computer)with the first one in perfect sync.

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Maestro Lindetorp in concentrated action in front of master and slave computer at the Strawberry Hill office

At the other end the two computers control 16 high quality loudspeakers that separately plays different parts of the composition. Each of the four compositions (beautifuly created by : I will add names of the Amazing students that made the compositions soon here) runs at different times during the day. A special composition has been created especially for guided tours. Also the composition of light in the room is connected to user interaction.

It has been an amazing project to work with and we have had lots of fun, and also som quite tricky challenges to come to terms with.

Here are som images from the project, please let me now if you are interested in more technical details,please let us know.

 

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Cables and loudspeakers delivered at Strawberry Hill for test

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Connecting sensors to computer

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Standard panel to set up test buttons to simulate sensors

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Close up on nice looking buttons

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Hm, I think we may have a challenge here…

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Updating performance of crashing computers 1

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Brainstorming sync issues at Strawberry Hill board, and yes we (Hans mainly) solved the issue.

 

We’re excited to announce the launch of new s-studenter website!

S-studenter website is a fully responsive website that we built it up from the scratch. We used WordPress platform to develop the new website for an optimal user experience. We wanted to make the navigation, finding information much easier, faster for users. To make this happen we designed a new structure and layouts for s-studenter website. Now looking for information is much easier, faster, and more enjoyable. We also simplified the process of publishing and updating content for s-studenter administrators.
Overall, our goal was to improve the user experience via desktop and mobile browsers for both administrators and visitors of the website.

We hope you enjoy the new site and would appreciate your feedback.

Our app “Gi Bud” wins prize!

August 20, 2014 9:50 pm  /  News
Our app “Gi Bud” wins prize!

Our client Krogsveen received the “Gullmeglern”  for Gi Bud-appen, that we have produced for them!

The jurys statement:
– “Krogsveen budapplikasjon makes bidding easy , secure and mobile for bidders . It sets the standard for future way to bid on . Besides the actual user benefit, innovation given Krogsveen valuable press coverage.”

SIMPLE , SECURE AND FLEXIBLE
was the criteria we set when we developed the “Gi Bud”-app.

Enriching the User Experience with Augmented Reality Technology

Augmented Reality (AR) is a new and emerging technology. With the camera and sensors in a smartphone or tablet, it adds layers of content (information—videos, photos, sounds) over real life objects around us. This technology is used broadly in marketing to enhance the user experience and perception of the brand. AR is about showing relevant data to the physical objects around us. The idea of getting information from every single objects around us is very exciting, and it seems the future looks bright for Augmented Reality technology.

As a new research suggests that, the augmented reality market is predicted to have 200 million users by 2020. It is also expected to include fitness, social media and lifestyle apps, which will help users to accomplish specific tasks, says the research analyst, Michael Wiggins. Businesses have been realizing the benefits of technology for a long time. Indeed, there are already companies that are using AR to engage users. Such as 2014 IKEA catalogue application, using this application assists customers to place the selected Ikea products in their own rooms digitally to get a better decision in purchasing a new product.

[pl_video type=”youtube” id=”vDNzTasuYEw”]

Another good example is Virtual View application, a real estate AR platform that let users to get the information about the properties on their smartphones by scanning the image of a relevant property with the Virtual View app. Virtual View app lets users to access 3D models of properties, photo galleries, videos and even 3D floor plans. 3D property models not only come to life but homes and buildings open up, floor by floor. This gives the prospective buyers a better idea about the property they wish to buy. The app is available for both iOS and Android devices.

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Although there are lot of potential in using augmented reality technology  like any other new technology there are also constraints and limitation that need to be considered when designing for a great user experience.

  • The user interface of AR browsers has to be improved to help users better to interact and extract relevant information.
  • Presenting Interactive content to the users should be more in creative and interesting ways and it should be fun, not complicated.
  • AR browsers requires strong understanding of the users, expectations and needs.
  • It is important to make sure that AR technology usage adds value to the user experience by providing relevant content quickly and in an interesting way.

– Image source 1
– Image source 2

Strawberry Hill features in CAP & DESIGN

May 20, 2014 9:49 pm  /  News
Strawberry Hill features in CAP & DESIGN

In connection with the launch of the new website for SSU the magazine CAP & DESIGN – Scandinavia’s largest newspaper for creative design – interviewed our Art Director Stina Janson.

Read the article here: http://capdesign.idg.se/

Welcome Sanoma!

May 20, 2014 8:41 pm  /  News
Welcome Sanoma!

We just started the development of a new project for Sanoma education.