Laptop and tablet computers

First Wired Generation

Yahoo! teen conference on understanding the First Wired Generation. There was research presented on industry trends by Neil Howe and Dan Draf which are quite interesting. Click on Webcast for the presentations

Location-based interaction design

Wired News reports on using a Bluetooth wireless enabled cell phone to interact with an Apple Powerbook. The interesting thing is using existing devices (the phone) to extend the interaction possible with the computer, rather than relying on yet another gadget. Examples from the article include controlling Keynote/PowerPoint presentations, or locking/unlocking the computer based on leaving or sitting down.

The implication is that design for mobile/wireless isn't just about tiny screens and impoverished keypads, as so many assume - it's about interaction with connected devices, connected services, and with movement through space. This might seem a no-brainer, but it certainly requires new thinking and techniques in addition to our traditional IA toolbox. Marc Rettig's Designing for Small Screens 1.4MB PDF touches on some of this, but I still think we've got a huge amount to learn about mobile user experience.

Slablets and hiptops

Adam pointed to this page showing a bunch of photos of the slablet. The tablet, now a hybrid tablet/laptop thing looks a little bit on the bulky side.

On the slightly less bulky side of the new hardware offerings this season is the hiptop, which I got to check out when I met with Mike Lee yesterday. The thing has me drooling with gearlust. It looks like a nicely designed mobile device. Nice form factor. A few simple buttons and a nice jog wheel. The web surfing and IM experience seems to be done right. When a color version is available, I may seriously consider getting one. There is a good review of the hiptop on kuro5hin.

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