The dawn of the very vertical app

A friend of mine on Facebook invited me to a FB page yesterday and introduced me to a new app GottaGo. An Android app that lets you find the nearest restroom in Delhi, Mumbai, and Pune. This got me thinking about how some product ideas are becoming more niche and focusing on doing one thing and only one thing, while trying to do it well. Continue reading The dawn of the very vertical app

There’s intent for that

Last week was an interesting week in the world of technology and gadgets. Google’s Android 5.1 started rolling out, bringing fixes and some new features to the popular mobile os. Google calendar is finally available as a native app on the iPhone. And Apple gave us a spring forward event to begin the season… While the event was ostensibly to give more details about the Watch, but they pulled out a surprising one more thing in the form of the new Macbook.

The two products are a technical marvel and are a testament to the engineering and design prowess that have made Apple’s devices some of the best in the world. A laptop that is so thin and — if the display is anything like the display in my retina MacBook Pro – has one of the finest displays out there for a consumer grade device. Or a smart watch which may not have been the first in its category, but with its concepts will likely reinvent the category.

Take a step back from all thats shiny in these new devices however; look under the sapphire glass screens and the aluminium unibodies, there are changes, subtle and not so subtle. Changes in how you use devices and how they work. And that… that is what is really exciting.

Continue reading There’s intent for that

What’s your resolution for 2015?

As another year comes to a close, and the time for resolutions comes around, I thought of something which stayed with me from a movie I watched a while ago.

Charlie Chaplin’s The Great Dictator – is both an amusing and a thought provoking movie. The caricature of Hitler in the form of the Romanian dictator and the Jewish barber who is so similar to him, that the Dictator’s own soldiers mix up the two of them. The comedy in the movie highlights the absurdity of Hitler or in this case Henkel’s rise to power culminating in one very powerful speech where the barber impersonates the dictator, to denounce him in front of his people.

With that thought I leave you with some words from Charlie Chaplin’s speech in the Great Dictator. Continue reading What’s your resolution for 2015?

Accessibility and the digital arts

Accessibility is the science of developing technologies and interfaces in such a way that users with limited abilities (visual, auditory or control impairments) can use tools and channels to achieve parity with those whose abilities are not. Web pages separate text from the interface and the design, so that screen readers can read out text to those who cannot read.  Assistive input devices like sip & puff devices and wands allow input without keyboards.

You would ask me, why go to such extremes of building assistive technology and capabilities into what is ultimately a short lived campaign? Our budgets and timelines would never allow for it.

Continue reading Accessibility and the digital arts