It’s that time of year when electronic devices of all kinds – smartphones, tablets, maybe even an Ultrabook™ if you’ve been really good – make their way under the tree. Along with these fantastic toys come a veritable blizzard of app downloads; anything from Netflix to Angry Birds to Drawing with Friends. With literally hundreds of thousands of apps available to download, it’s only logical to assume that there are privacy guidelines in place for apps, especially for apps aimed toward children.
In part one of this series on making touch-based apps for kids, we talked about a fascinating research project that Sesame Street’s technology development arm released on best practices when developing touch-based apps for children. In that first article, we looked at what the primary objectives should be, interactive design suggestions, and the most common touch gestures that most children use when within an app.
Sesame Street, the iconic show that has made learning fun for millions of children around the world for decades, isn’t just about puppets, ABC’s, and the number of the day. The company also has a dedicated app development and technology arm that is behind some pretty amazing games and apps that reinforce the learning concepts that Sesame Street is known for.
At the end of every year at IBM’s research lab, predictions about where technology might be going in the next five years are made by a select group of research and computer scientists. We’ve seen quite a few interesting innovations this year already: Ultrabook™ touch and sensors integrated into all kinds of applications, perceptual computing, touch-based interfaces applied to entire operating systems, etc., so I think it’s safe to say that in the next five years we’re going to see even greater leaps in the world of computing.
The Consumer Electronics Show, better known as CES, is one of the largest tech shows put on annually worldwide, and the show for 2013 is looking to be one of the biggest. Scheduled for January 8-11 and held in Las Vegas, there will be literally thousands of sponsors and exhibits, not to mention an expected attendance of over 150,000 people. In short, it’s kind of a big deal, and while some details have leaked out about what we can expect at this exhibition, there are also quite a few pundits weighing in around the Web on what we might see at CES 2013.
If you’re a developer looking for a task worthy of your jaw-dropping code skills, you’ll want to check out the Intel® Perceptual Computing Challenge, an upcoming contest to be launched soon to encourage fantastically innovative apps that take advantage of everything that perceptual computing has to offer.
This week, Dell released a new Ultrabook™ that is branded towards developers. This is part of Project Sputnik, an intriguing internal conversation that centered on creating a laptop that was better suited towards what developers are really looking for.
Project Sputnik evolved as an internal conversation at Dell, and was centered on the foundational premise of how to enable developers to do what they do, better. Here’s a quote from Barton George, director of marketing for Dell’s Web vertical:
How did you find the last app that you downloaded onto your smartphone, tablet, or PC? Was it in an app store? Did you use a search engine? Were you intrigued by something a friend or family member said and decided to try it out for yourself? Did you see something in one of your social media channels? According to the latest research by industry thought leaders, all of these methods are how people are primarily finding apps, especially search.
One of the most popular emerging fields today in app development is user experience (UX); basically, the study of how a user actually “feels” when using a system, app, or software. There are several factors that go into determining user experience, including ergonomics, system performance, utility, human emotions, design, and marketing. UX professionals study and evaluate how users feel about a system or an app by looking at a variety of different factors: ease of use, perception of the value of the system, utility, and how it performs certain tasks.