According to Adam Greenfield, most public information systems aren’t very useful. He reckons a lot of kiosks you see in stations, plazas, and on sidewalks are expensive white elephants: a nice idea in some official’s mind, but not something that real people want to actually delve into on a consistent basis. advertisement “Our research suggests that the overwhelming majority of these remain woefully underutilized, resulting in virtually no return on the significant investment involved in installing and maintaining them,” he says, referring to his New York urban systems design practice, Urbanscale. Greenfield’s firm has teamed up with another in Helsinki, called Nordkapp, to develop something better. The result is what they call Urbanflow, an information system that both tourists and local people might actually want to use. Urbanflow provides layers of data: a way-finder allowing people to map A to B and find out about local services, and a mass … [Read more...] about Urbanflow: A City’s Information, Visualized In Real Time
Top traffic jam cities in the world
In prior discussions about smart cities, including the global rankings I published on Co.Exist a few weeks ago, I believe many of us have under-emphasized the importance of cities in creating an enabling environment for emerging technology companies. advertisement advertisement This was a key issue addressed at the first-ever Cities Summit held in Vancouver earlier this month. Mayors of 35 cities around the world joined with executives and consultants in an intense day and a half of panels discussing open cities, digital cities, urban laboratories, smart-city financing, and startup cities. One of the most interesting conversations was about “Startup Cities.” Nanci Klein of San Jose spoke about the five different industrial areas that the city is promoting, as well as the role of the city in supporting the local startup community. One of San Jose’s early insights was addressing the bureaucratic hurdles in their procurement process by creating a demonstration … [Read more...] about How Can You Build A Smart City?
Unlike some visions of the Los Angeles of tomorrow, the world of Her, conjured by writer-director Spike Jonze and his longtime production designer K.K. Barrett, reveals a bright future populated by human-friendly technologies. advertisement advertisement Why no gloom or doom? “There are a number of films that cover that very well so we didn’t need to go there,” says Barrett. “This is a pleasant, soft future where everything is designed to everybody’s personal taste.” The technology connecting Joaquin Phoenix’s nerdy Theodore to the charming operating system Samantha (voiced by Scarlett Johansson) melts into the background–by design. “There wasn’t an effort to make things look technologically advanced,” says Barrett. “They’re just tools.” Barrett adds, “The only technological futuristic aspect to the film, when we finally distilled it, was the brilliance of this growing entity on the … [Read more...] about Designing A Future Of Comfort, Color, And Gorgeous Gadgets In “Her”
“I was stuck,” says BrandAxion president Jeff Danzer. advertisement advertisement In September, the marketing strategy entrepreneur says he realized that something was amiss: the projects that used to be getting greenlights were forming a traffic jam at his desk. “I started looking for an executive skills coach because I realized I needed some help,” he says. So he made a post on local-services marketplace Thumbtack. He was looking for chemistry with an executive coach when he met Devin Martin. “I was blown away by the ease with which I was able to speak with him and what he was able to draw out from me in just that first meeting,” he says. “(The reason I came to him) was to help with my business, but Devin was quick to point out that things that were happening in business were rooted in things that were happening in my entire life.” Martin, a Brooklyn-based life coach, helped Danzer set goals for uncovering what was going on in … [Read more...] about A Look Inside The “Wild West” Of Life Coaching
advertisement advertisement Google Maps is a lifesaver. But the mapping technology behind Google Maps isn’t just good for highway directions and bike routes; it can also find methamphetamine labs and track gang activity. Experts in the growing field of geospatial predictive analytics use cutting-edge algorithms and data analysis techniques that can do everything from predicting terrorist activity to preventing auto theft. The larger field that geospatial predictive analytics is a part of–geographical information systems (GIS)–uses data points and specialized software to turn maps into sophisticated analysis tools. Although the work is a far cry from something as sexy as you’d see on Breaking Bad, the GIS field is booming; firms specializing in computer-driven map analysis are hosting conventions, holding hiring fairs, and developing specialized software. Max Lu, a professor at Kansas State University, developed a novel method of finding meth labs through … [Read more...] about Google Maps Help Predict Meth Labs Before They Open