Category Archives: Article

Will an interactive touch screen solution be bespoke to my brand?

Here is a very informative and a very nice article to read whether interactive touch screens and its content fit your brand.

A snippet: “Not all touchscreen developers are equal. Some developers – usually ones that specialise more in the hardware side of things – offer templates that can be adapted to suit your needs, but won’t necessarily be bespoke to your brand, or give the level of interactivity you require.

We would recommend staying away from templated experiences as they can be clunky and less intuitive to use – plus, they won’t necessarily stand out as being particularly unique, or delivering the best experience or representation of your brand.

Instead, look at interactive agencies – or touchscreen specialists – who understand branding. Check out their previous work; do they seem to understand branding in their examples? Are their touchscreen experiences well-designed with strong branding?

Ask them if they’re prepared to work with your brand agency or internal team to ensure a consistent brand language. A good agency or specialist should be adept and comfortable with either option.

However, it’s wise to remember that touchscreens have their own design rules, so you must be able to trust the touchscreen agency to work with your brand. You need to be flexible enough to allow them to adapt brand language to work within an interactive touchscreen.”

Read it here.

 

ISE 2018

ISE 2018.

Last year we gave ISE a miss due to work commitments, but also because Touchez had been there 5 times in a row already. This year we went for 2 days to see what was happening. Like every other ISE we had been to the LG stand was our first port of call. We were pleasantly surprised once entering the hall and seeing that on the stand Transparent OLED had made a comeback, both Samsung and LG had stopped producing them for more than a year and compared to normal Transparent LCD screen the difference is huge when it comes to quality of the content.

 

 

LG Transparent OLED screen, ISE 2018. Pic.: Bartolomy.

Then the curved OLED wall was something else, no doubt many companies enquired about this…..

LG Curved OLED Wall ISE 2018. Pic.: Bartolomy.

Overall many major brands have focused on the so called collaborative work environment, something that was already put forward with multitouch tables 8 years ago. But in this case most stands had copied the Microsoft Surface Hub in part and one needs to ask what the point is with trying to copy this concept in part compared to the MS Surfacehub which uses all its products which are used within most companies.

Hypervision  a London based company whose stand pulled in a lot of spectators showed a hologram-style of technology which needs some fine tuning, but overall is a great little crowd puller for exhibits, and for small and medium sized businesses as a display on their outer walls once a weather proof version becomes available. For inside a window display this would look pretty good with that so called novelty factor. True Holograms like Princess Leia in Star Wars I are still way off, but one day….

 

Overall a pretty good expo, but we are wondering whether there is too much of the same. There was very little RFID and gesture controlled situations i/e and we did not see any social media being utilised yet so many attendees are Facebooking and Tweeting and with a screen fest like this there ought to be more variety in interaction than just looking. As after walking around for a few hours content fatigue creeps in and people hardly pay any more attention to what is on the screens, more importantly they are not engaged at all any more and this is where more immersive technologies are needed, especially with the bigger brands.

 

NEC Screen Event 2016

This year’s NEC Screen Event was held in the Millbank Tower. It must be difficult trying to find a different space in London that is exciting to visit year upon year, we do not mean this in a negative way more as to the challenge to organise an event of this statue year upon year in an exciting environment. This was our fifth visit in a row, and the ones held in the o2 arena (2012) and the Velodrome (2014) were the most exciting ones to visit. The o2 because it was dark and the screens were king and the Velodrome due to its location and also due to the space to walk around.

Upon arrival visitors were encouraged to go into a small theatre to view a 3 minute movie which involved projection mapping, what was painstakingly obvious was the blending showed some horrible lines on the background, a little more thought regarding to that specific aspect for a better finish wouldn’t go amiss.

NEC Screen Event 2016-1

Space-wise the Millbank Tower’s 28th and 29th floor at times felt cramped to walk through and actually view what was on offer from a comfortable distance, in most cases you would stand in the walkway trying to take a good look with people passing by. The increasing heat didn’t help either and the elevators resembled a sauna at some times.

The screens as usual LUSH, but our grievance was the content fatigue that has crept in. In the retail area one company showed the very same RFID application  they had shown the year before at Vinopolis’ NEC Screen event 2015.

Control rooms again just haven’t changed much, except the conflict scenario showing the world was about to engage in some heavy duty skirmishing (sadly confined to one single screen), let’s hope it doesn’t come to that fellas.

We would have loved to see some scenario involved with mapping and multitouch in conjunction with live data and the interaction with it. From a scenario p.o.v. it all felt rather meagre. Multitouch would speed reaction times and increase analytical progress as well.

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Multitouch technology itself  was on some tables and a wall or two. One table allowed sending the content to a 2×2 wall. Nifty but a cable does all the work and standard multitouch software packages already have this feature enabled. Bit more RFID/NFC interaction with mobile handsets taking brochures home would have livened it all up a tad more. The design of the tables itself….mwah.

Lunch consisted of a lunch box and this also meant that visitors wanted to sit down, and even though there were some seating areas it just wasn’t enough. Many stood at the bars to eat their lunch. The wraps were tasty though!

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The Baanto multitouch technology allowed for direct interaction without another layer of glass in front of it which ought to be a plus. While we gave it a try it worked ok, A positive was the fact that  that the wall was right next to a set of windows with plenty of daylight coming in and it did a decent job, not as responsive as in light controlled conditions but decent.. But from a UX p.o.v. one would have to ask whether working with content on a wall with thin bezels, which were not mounted flush is a more pleasant way to interact with, than on one solid piece of glass in front of it. Personally I’d stick with a glass front until this is fine tuned.

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Having panels not flush mounted is a big no, but what was more off putting was cable management, plenty of situations where cables were just dangling underneath screens. This sounds pedantic, but AV is where it ends and what is the point putting screens up that cost a fair bundle and then have the power lead not fastened behind the stand or screen and just hanging loose underneath.

We personally would like to see some more dare with content at the next event as we have “seen it all before” is becoming a fact . We are also well aware that this industry and its clients are conservative, but at the same time there is plenty of content about that could fill those screens and immerse the visitors a lot more.

See you next year!

 

Collaborative Work Environment

Explore the transformative experience of the collaborative work environment.

The search for a competitive advantage through innovation and effective decision-making has led many organisations to highly value collaborative-oriented work and spaces.

The way to collaborate in an immersive way and to interact with each other is quite a challenge for businesses. Imagine a hardware and software system that creates a space where ideas are born, stimulated and developed. A place where the business reinvents itself within the collaborative work environment and is challenged to define its problems and finds answers to its questions.

Technology is the key feature of highly-used collaborative space, dedicated to a specific core team of cross-functional experts whose purpose is to rapidly complete one specific project. The concept was developed to support agile software development. Agile teams have been reported to produce stronger, higher quality results in a third of the time of conventional project methodologies, but they require a meeting room for the duration of a project. These core team members use the collaborative space as their primary work space for the lifespan of the project while extended team members come and go as needed. The room collects and displays information that describes project goals and objectives, typically posting storyboard processes and project progress on the walls so that all team members and customers can instantly engage in the work at hand. Teams hold regular meetings to discuss previous accomplishments and reset new goals.

Collaborative work environment with multitouch applications by Touchez-3-ISE 2016

 

In the meeting room the needs to work and communicate have changed over the years from simple audio visual device requirements to a collaborative work environment where immersive and connected technology contributes to productive and engaging meetings .

Organisations can lack insights into the true nature of collaboration, they end up copying the obvious characteristics of successful public spaces  such as the café, market and the lounge.  hoping that the positive social interactions within these spaces will translate to a business setting. By trying to better understand the distinction between purely functional (traditional spaces), specialty and extracurricular spaces, organisations could better support collaboration.

The collaborative work environment is to gain new perspectives and drive the business forward at a new pace and to work better, by sending content to multiple devices i/e tablets and back again to the multitouch table and/or wall.

collaborative_work_environment_Touchez

 

Having the right technology avaiable for the collaborative work environment is a leading ingredient in the recipe for a successful collaborative space. Technology such as multitouch screens, tables and walls in conjunction with mobile devices must support people’s abilities to connect devices and to each other.
The technology should be adaptable, reliable and easy to use. Accessing these various technology platforms should not diminish the ability to meet, share info and interact.

Collaboration these days frequently involves displaying and interacting with visual data using handheld devices to large mounted screens, walls and whiteboards.  This requires adaptability of furniture and work space and would be offering a more effective choice over space type being used and the flexibility of each client and employee within the space itself.

collaborative_work_environment

The types of collaborative spaces offered continue to evolve; the most rapidly growing categories support brainstorming, small unplanned meetings, videoconferencing and project team work.

In the future, the planning of group spaces should go beyond simply providing isolated pockets of collaboration space. The change is there to use the types of spaces offered,  to create a broader sense of connection among employees, departments and even disciplines within the organisation. If the cohesiveness of the collaborative work environment were to improve, then it could lead to increased cooperation among groups, sense of community, and a sustainable competitive advantage.

The benefits of multitouch software

The benefits of multitouch software.

In October 2013 we released our pet project, a JFK assassination application that held 10 GB of media for the user to interact with. We let the project for what it was only for us to revive it in 2015. Like all large presentations we had to educate ourselves a little better and so we did, only for us to use the same software to create a very large presentation about the Prayer Man phenomena. In a nutshell Prayer Man is a man who is standing on the front steps of the Texas School Book Depository during and just after JFK got shot. There are quite a few pointers that this is Lee Harvey Oswald. Oh dear…..do we mean he is actually innocent of pulling the trigger on JFK?  Well the available evidence and not just a few fuzzy pictures seem to do so . But we suggest you watch this film for by yourself to check out some of the answers. But that is not what this is really about. It is more about bringing forward a complex situation in a manner that is much easier to digest for the viewer and / or user of the multitouch software.

The benefits of multitouch software are: that the software allows the maker and the user to interact and extract a lot of information  various types of media inside one window. Meaning videos, still photographs and PDFs. Something Power Point i/e does not allow you to do. The consequence of packing all this media is that the viewer is much more engaged due to speed of interaction and the amount the media the user is able to immerse him/herself in.

The multitouch software still needs the input of transferring all this knowledge inside the application, but it is more about wowing the interactive experience for the user and have them absorb a lot more media in an instant.

Users need to be somewhat acquainted with the handling, but on simple and intuitive systems like this, this seems to be of no problem, skills are adopted rather speedily.

At the end of Q1 2016 we hope to present a definitive version of the Prayer Man Multitouch Movie.

 

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NEC Screen Event 2015

NEC Screen Event 2015

The NEC Screen Event 2015, also known as NEC Showcase was being held at Vinopolis near London Bridge. Our 4th time attending in a row and always interested to see how the space is being utilised for an event of this scope.

It has been hit and miss, our personal fave is still the o2 setup as the darkness made all screens look KING. Tobacco Docks the year after had quite a few screens suffering because of the sunlight beaming in. And last years’ Velodrome was quite a happening indeed.

NEC Screen Event 2015 at Vinopolis proved to be a good choice especially for its compartmentalisation which goes very well with NEC’s event formula of showing digital signage per sector, such as education, retail, security etc.

A few things about NEC Screen Event 2015  deserve a mention.

Catering was much better than at the Velodrome. Very nice.

There is an element of  content fatigue creeping in, a lot on display gives you the feeling that you have seen it last year already or very similar at least or was just not engaging enough (like the cube and the floor sensors).

The room for potential regarding interactive content is huge. A PCAP table in the control room setting with a kick arse security scenario? Fashion runway with RFID and a wall of screens would have been an amazing feature in the retail section upstairs, which took some effort to find btw.

The Beacon app in the retail Zone did not work on the Thursday.

The ultra bright front window signage screens were very bright and lit the passage way up nicely but from a pratical p.o.v. I would have rather seen them in action upstairs with the daylight blazing in.

The three short throw projectors at the front of the building had a lovely edge blend, this setup screams for an interaction with IR or sensors.

Touch signage was on display, but multi-touch apps were not engaging enough due to lack of proper content and interactions involved. Just some demo content doesn’t cut it any more everybody has already dealt with it one way or another and the attention span of the user lasts about ten seconds.

Selected live demos with the kit on display, some lightning talks to get crowds gathered to explore the technology on display.

At the end of the day, still a fab event and of course we will be back next year, wherever that may be…..

Wearable Technology Show 2015

The Wearable Technology show was being held at Excel for two days, we decided to go on the second day and it seemed to be the slowest one of the two, so we have been told and also experienced it ourselves as some stands literally had run out of promo material, quite a strange thing in this day and age when this ‘problem’ wouldn’t surface by offering digital brochures instead.

Of course Heath and Fitness was one of the main subjects, but Augmented and Virtual Reality, Bluetooth LE, Beacon Technology, Smart Textiles and Sports were all represented. Intel, who are at the forefront of Wearable Technology had a decent sized stand displaying many of its prototypes, this was worth the visit alone.

SamsungGearVR

We ended up trying a lot of head displays such as Meta Glasses, Samsung Gear VR (pictured above) and the Lyte (pictured below). Overall the devices were comfortable to wear, but some of them suffered from low resolution. And above all the apps itself were either few in choice or simply a pain to interact with, one wonders how these companies are going to cope and compete with Microsoft’s Hololens which will have Windows 10 on it, an OS  almost everyone will be familiar with once it is out. The only contender we think could be the Samsung Gear VR headed by Matt Apfel running Milk VR.

IMG_8219-Lyte Glasses-Wearable Technology Show

Never before were we so impressed with a sales pitch by Wired Magazine’s subscriptions reps, it took them literally 30 seconds to convince us to sign up for a year’s subscription of £ 19.00 for 12 print and (!) digital issues, a steal!

IMG_8232

Last but not least is that we wonder whether the Wearable Technology Show would not benefit more from an intimate setting with a lower ceiling, than using Excel (not that we have anything against this fab venue). But overall we had the feeling that the exhibit itself was dwarfed by the actual building. Also some stands also lacked focus and professionalism in the afternoon of the second event day, one wonders whether a one day event would not be a better idea. Time will tell.

 

Smart City Workshop at Transport Catapult

We recently visited  Transport Catapult in Milton Keynes, reason for this was a Smart City workshop held at their premises. We attended their second day of the conference. The event was a combination of mini-seminars and demonstrations on the topic of smart city technologies.

Speakers included representatives from the Transport Systems Catapult, University Campus Milton Keynes, The Open University and BT. Gerd Kortuem and Alan Fletcher.

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Milton Keynes is growing to become the second largest city in the South East and there are some major projects, such as MK:Smart, ongoing involving Big Data, Autonomous Driving, Managing Water and Energy, Sensor Technology all to better social standards in urban areas.

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Downstairs talks were held to introduce the crowd to various insights underway and upstairs there were practical demonstrations of real-life applications of smart city technologies, including some of those underway in the MK:Smart City project.

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Photography by: Alexander Fletcher and Bart Kamp

NUI World Talk Proposal for Digital Shoreditch

We have proposed a talk about NUI for the Digital Shoreditch Festival from the 11th to the 24th of  May,  held at Shoreditch Town Hall.

Our subject as stated above will be NUI, which stands for Natural User Interface, we will discuss its history, how it has progressed over many different  facets in technology and its future in a 20-30 minute talk, that is if we get the right amount of votes.

NUI World by Touchez

We seem to be on the right track with just under 50 votes so far, but there is still a week to go and we could really do with your vote, be it from your PC, laptop, tablet and/or mobile phone. Or all of them together ;)

Please help and vote for NUI World and anyone who votes for our session  will be in with a chance to win an Exclusive Pass for themselves and 3 of their colleagues or friends.

What are you waiting for, it does not take more than ten seconds to do this! Just click on the ‘thumbs up’ icon, and if you wish to attend as well then please add your name and email address otherwise just click no and move on.

Thank you and we hope to see you there.

 

 

NEC Showcase 2014 London Velodrome

This year’s NEC Showcase was being held at London’s Olympic Velodrome, a great location to say the least. A major improvement compared to last year’s venue The Tobacco Docks which compartmentalised everything way too much and the sunlight beaming in did some screens no favours either. The 2012 event’s location, the o2 arena, is still our personal fave though!

The two day event, a first, attracted just over 1.500 visitors, up again compared to last year. The sunny weather helped for walking towards the venue.

NEC Screen Event 2014

 

We saw quite a few things that were interesting showing a few highlights below.

The introduction of NFC card reading technology in conjunction with multitouch documents and way-finding software,  was a welcome surprise, it saves clients  from having to type their details in as they are already on display!

 

photo 5

 

 

The interactive coffee ordering system was a fun gadget to interact with.

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Augmented reality in conjunction with window display digital signage, which can be utilised for many different purposes.

 

photo 1

 

The curved wall by PsCo, a major improvement compared to last year’s setup. Very nice!

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Bit of a let down was the quality of the catering, there were quite a few complaints amongst us, but nevertheless  a very good event with some excellent digital signage on display.

Looking forward to NEC Showcase 2015.