Thursday Research Bulletin 30.7.2015

“Minecraft took away my Thursday – but I loved every moment.”

About this week

Another couple of publications going forward this week. Trying to compare the concept of ‘authentic context’ from Herrington, Reeves and Oliver (2010) in education with embodied cognition, phenomenology and human-computer interaction (e.g. with Paul Dourish’s work, see also references in the post from last week). Some interesting stuff coming out from this actually, hope to present it soon enough. See also sources below in the section “Interesting reading this week”.

Related to this, I asked fellow academics at ResearchGate a couple of questions, i.e. what is the relationship between phenomenology and embodied cognition, and how would you describe ‘Imaginative Variation’.

Research

If anyone is interested in going to ACIS 2015 (The 26th Australasian Conference on Information Systems), they have extended their call for papers to 10th August. This year it is at the University of South Australia in Adelaide, 30.11.–4.12.2015.

From the web

Nokia seems to be making some effort to return to the tech market. Still, the marketing message with this OZO VR camera is a bit lost with mixed tech affordances IMHO.

Interesting reading this week

I am really aiming to better understand the relations between phenomenology, embodied cognition and neuroscience. Shaun Gallagher, naturally together with Merleau-Ponty, has proved to be a helpful source for this on many levels.

Here’s an interesting article about experience, AR and VR by Fominykh et al.

References

Dourish, P. (2004). Where the action is: the foundations of embodied interaction. Cambridge, MA: MIT press.

Herrington, J., Reeves, T. C., & Oliver, R. (2010). A guide to authentic e-learning. London and New York: Routledge.

Advertisement

Once Again, It’s Not Who’s the First…

…but who’s the first, with style and with “WOW!”.

Everyone’s now enjoying [well, not everyone; those with Android and iPhone] and praising Layar, the Augmented Mobile App. I haven’t actually tried it, but have followed its development history for a while and it looks neat. Check out the video on AppJudgement below:

For some reason I bumped into one blog post about Nokia Augmented Reality App. So what, you may ask? Well, the post is from 2006.

I dug a little deeper and also found this MARA Overview and I have to ask, what’s wrong with this picture? Why haven’t anyone raised even a small hype of this when this was written – or maybe someone did, but in a more sustainable manner that could perhaps still resonate in people’s ears?

There’s even a sentence in the bottom “MARA was featured by MIT Technology review here, and listed as one of their 10 emerging technologies for 2007″. Maybe I’m a bit simple, but if MIT tells you that something’s going to be big soon, aren’t you kinda in a hurry?

So once again, do I have to even ask why Layar has gotten so big and is reviewed and talked about everywhere?

Here’s one promo vid of a possible AR concept from Nokia. Would be nice to know if is this actually just a video of an idea, or a real concept under development.

And if it’s just a vid, what’s the reason to put out something clearly as expensive production as this, if it isn’t real and only got about 26 000 views versus 767 000 of Layar’s real concept?

Review on My First Week with n97 mini


Image by RafeB

I’ve been using a Nokia n97 mini about a week now so here’s a short review on that. Not going too deep into the device specs, one can always read them at Nokia’s site or from other tech blogs.

What I like

It feels quality. Flipping the top works like it supposed to and I like the keyboard, although the buttons may be even too sturdy. I also like how easily it works overall. Was pretty light to start using it, but I’m a bit of a tech freak so can’t say how my grandmother would do with it.

Clicking the touch screen usually also works fine and there’s not that many nuisances [but, see the “What I don’t like”].

What I don’t like

Of course it’s understandable if you have many apps on the same time, your battery isn’t going to last too long. But it’s still boring if you have to charge it daily, as you have to with n97 – maybe there’s something one could do with tweaking some hidden energy saver menu, but haven’t dived that deep to that so can’t say. I usually put the device to the wall when I’m going to sleep so it doesn’t really matter that much, but one day I forgot to do it and in the middle of the day the device just died.

Also I don’t like how some of the touch screen things sometimes work, like for example scrolling. There are times it feels that I really have to hit the screen in order the device to realize I want to activate scrolling. On some apps it works really good [like in Gravity, see below], but in the device’s own menu it sometimes gives a little cough.

And also I happen to have a thumb size of a potato and when I’m trying to hit the scroll bar I sometimes hit something else I shouldn’t have, like someone’s status update in the native Facebook application.

About OVI and Syncing

If you want to sync OVI with the device you get good instructions from OVI during syncing. Well, not exactly, but almost.

When you are doing the syncing with the service it gives you instructions that take you half way there; with the instructions you can get the OVI work and signed in to the service, but there were some problems with syncing the contacts with the device.

This wasn’t because of the help being vague, but being totally wrong in some point. The right options are in a different place in n97 mini’s menu and you have to do a lot more in order to get them working.

Fortunately [in a way] there has been other people suffering with this, so I found help here: http://www.n97fanatics.com/sync-with-ovi-on-the-n97/ Thanks Timi!

Two apps I’m using on n97 mini

Here’s a few words about two apps I’m currently using on n97 mini. I haven’t used them too long so I’ll write longer reviews later.

Snaptu

App to use your different web services like Facebook, Twitter [multiple accounts], Google Calendar/Gmail, RSS etc. with the mobile.

It’s OK, but in my opinion some oddities with the UI and again my potato thumb doesn’t like those rather small hotspots and too sensitive touch! Also, what’s with the pixelated n97 desktop icon?

I’m currently using this to read my RSS blogs and news, and for these this works OK.

Gravity

I’m not taking sides, but for using Twitter with my mobile, I like this one’s UI better than the previous one’s.

The touch screen scrolling feels firm, there not that many accidental clicks and it looks rather stylish too. Using it to Twitter, Twitter search and you can also have groups based on search terms.

Facebook

EDIT: Oh, I almost forgot the Facebook app! It’s pre-installed and gives you updates regularly to the desktop. The UI is rather simple, but one thing I was missing was that it should give you some indication if people have replied to updates or other threads you have written. Now there seems to be none and it’s boring to try to hunt them manually.

Still, I feel this is a better way for occasional updates and visits to FB, than the one for example in n95.

Conclusion

Used n97 mini a week and a half now and there hasn’t been that many situations where I wanted to throw this to the wall. Guess that summarizes it well? Like we all know; a device and user experience is good when you don’t have too much to cry about, right?