Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Pocket Grow

Thinking about starting a LabBox growing project of my own.

The Labbox is a hydroponic plant growing box that has an automated drip system and high powered LEDs to maintain plants all the way to harvest. According to the micro grow project website, you can use your iPhone or a website to control light, temperature and nutrient delivery. And even tweet plant health status!

Now I just need an incremental idea to make this even more interesting...

Hardware is art.

Thursday, February 17, 2011

Gaming Based Marketing

More of a book for MBAs new to the idea of gamification than for designers.

I wonder whether if we'll one day become immune to gamification. When we've got points, awards, and progress bars for everything we do, we will probably become selective of the carrot and sticks we're presented with.

I think school, test scores, and grades are indicators that gamification is not an end all be all. It's not like kids don't know what the repercussions of failing out of school are (the end goals of getting good grades), the fact is they simply just don't care.

If every other company were to practice the same few contests & loyalty programs described in the book, I think customers will in the same way start filtering them out. I suppose the question is whether the engaged customers will become more engaged? Or the standard for customer engagement just went up?

Sunday, February 13, 2011

Project 1.1 of 2011

Still tinkering with my board of LEDs (see project 1.0). It wasn't a smooth sailing process at all, bugs kept me up a few nights.

Anyhow, here is streaming live serial data from my Macbook Pro to my peggy2 :)

For those who are curious about the details of what is going on, serial data is being sent from my Macbook Pro (created through processing / quartz composer) to an Arduino Uno through USB, and then converted to I2C before displayed on the peggy.

Project 1.2 will be either turning it Bluetooth (wireless!) or making it sync to my iTunes equalizer.

Saturday, February 12, 2011

Social Games are not social like they seem

I guess it's weird to say something like that when I'm literally betting my career on social games.

But I stand firm on my point. The "social games" we know of today are nothing more than multiplayer games on a social network. These "social games" are not about helping each other out and neither are they about re-engaging with friends. That is just a load of crap from the big *ah-hem* social game developer/publishers.

The truth is that the majority of social gamers only care about themselves. Their farm, their city, their graveyard, etc...the list goes on. The only reason why we call these games "social" is because player's are confronted with obstacles that keep them from progressing in the game unless they find "friends" to help them.

The fact that most of these games have comments like "add me" littered throughout their forums and newsfeeds makes my point clear. When was the last time you heard a social gamer talk about helping friends? They are always talking about what they achieved in the game (such as how big and awesome their city/character has become).

Thursday, February 10, 2011

Tuesday, February 01, 2011

Project 1 of 2011

Haven't worked on a side project in a while...