Mouth Off

Audio interaction. It’s one of the first things I show my students when teaching them about input beyond the keyboard and mouth mouse because it’s so easy to do and so effective. You get an organic reaction to the sound level and attach it to whatever properties you want to affect on screen. It’s my Hello World for sound input libraries.

Mouth Off (iTunes App Store link) is about as simple as it gets. Silly, interactive, playful, fun and cheap. Perfect. That alone makes me want to learn how to write apps for the iPhone.

(It also makes me wish the bastards at O2 Germany hadn’t automatically extended my contract so I can’t get an iPhone, but that’s another story).

(Via Creative Review)

Playful Measuring Jug


Metric is so passé. Just how much is a hill of beans? I’m not sure, but I know the problems of three little people don’t amount to one.

On the other hand, this very amusing “Domestic Science” measuring jug from Harry White Design will at least measure 100 penne pasta, ten billion grains of icing sugar or half a human brain.

I like things like this that make everyday tasks a bit more playful and pleasurable. Maybe car speedometers should have a scale from zero to “enough CO2 to melt the ice-caps”.

You can buy the jug on Amazon from Fred.

[tags]playful, everyday[/tags].

Mac Virus with Gravitas


Troika, the folks behind the cloud sculpture at Heathrow, have created a virus on a USB stick, called the Newton Virus (for manual infection) that makes your desktop fall to pieces. It also uses the tilt sensors in the Macbooks for some gravity fun so you can shake the pieces around.

The piece isn’t design to be malicious. It harks back to the golden days when viruses were there to amuse rather than to destroy:

The virus will then hit at random, but only once. It will not replicate itself, mail itself to your friends or destroy any of your files, but instead provides you with moments of blissful surprise and magic.

See the video on Gizmodo.

I’m going to visit Troika this week to do a podcast for Core77. I’ll see if I can get infected.


[tags]Troika, virus, macbook, play, playful[/tags]

Purchasing Pleasure

I recently bought the very useful MarsEdit external blog editor from Red Sweater. I’d tried an earlier version and wasn’t so enamoured, but my blogging output and needs have increased and I’ve found the features of the latest version and process really great.

But that’s not what this post is about, it’s about the purchasing experience.

In the online world almost the only customer experience is the website, the purchasing process and support when things go wrong. And we’re a fickle lot – there’s always another option just a click away. I recently bought Undercover for my laptops and whilst Orbicule themselves are excellent in terms of contact and support, the purchasing process through Kagi was awful. So boringly so that I’m not going to write about it. But in a really great service design experience the whole process counts, which is why buying MarsEdit made me smile.

More after the jump…

Continue reading “Purchasing Pleasure”