Invisible apps, magically blending into background while delivering value to the user are often considered a holy grail of product design.
Robin, an office application app shows that blending into background might not be as easy or as as desirable. Two key points for me were:
Interfaces become whatever devices are currently nearby.
Good decision notifications are an app’s version of humble brags: “Hey I’m doing something useful here. Do you want to be involved?”
Certainly something that resonates as we are trying to find the right balance between Vimcar Spots fading into background and but leaving the driver in the control of the logbook management.
As an ex-analyst I can tell you this is a typical analyst piece, with all the flaws that might entail. Chief among them the overthinking.
It is an interesting angle. but I am not convinced of Xiaomi as IoT play. I mean, smart home play? In China, India, Indonesia and Brazil? Even in the medium-term? I don't quite buy it.
Smart home still feels like a forced, concept made by "Gothic High-Tech" in the US, Europe, Korea and designed (or rather design-fictioned) with suburban living in mind.
Yet, the world is one of "Favela chic", not Nest-video suburbia. To my mind, this would make it messy and uncertain play even for an ambitious company such as Xiaomi.
It makes you think - current vision of smart home is not the good match for most of the US and EU, let alone the rest of the world. Yet, what would be the vision for smart home, for the rest of us not living in the suburban bubble?
I've featured Senic before, but they have pushed two great blog post.
One is on the future of Human-Computer Interactions:
Technology will not be in the foreground anymore. It will assist people in their lives and blend in to the background. It will disappear into walls, tables, micro projectors or glass.
The second is on benefits of manufacturing hardware locally
Manufacturing overseas might sound like an exciting journey and it certainly is but it might make sense to start locally. It allows you to learn essential lessons and avoid crucial mistakes.
Given that I am mostly in godawful Jira and native app IDEs these days, I'm finding it hard to justify shelling out for the [Flow]((https://www.indiegogo.com/projects/flow-the-world-s-most-magical-controller). Maybe you should check it out - it could well fit your workflow better.
Come to think of it, there are few more artisanal objects than globes. Particularly if made with love and dedication that Bellerby & Co of Stoke Newington put in.
More photos on Ignant.de.
Cover photo by Denise Weerke - CC BY-NC 2.0.