Vivaldi 1.0, from the creators of Opera, is crammed with options for those of you who want to break out of the confines of ordinary browsers. READ MORE: A browser for people who think Chrome is for dummies | CNET
Behold MansLaughter, the marriage of virtual reality, murder mystery, choose-your-own-adventure, and the visual style of George Lucas’s famous dystopian film, THX 1138.
Made specifically for Samsung’s virtual reality headset, the Gear VR, MansLaughter is billed as the first-ever VR feature film. The brainchild of filmmaker David Marlett, the movie brings viewers into the world of a cold-blooded killer, letting them choose how they watch the story unfold in a unique way made possible only because of VR. READ MORE: Choose-Your-Own-Adventure Murder Mystery Could Be First VR Feature Film | Fast Company | Business + Innovation.
Remember a few weeks back, when we learned that Google’s artificial neural network was having creepy daydreams, turning buildings into acid trips and landscapes into Magic Eye pictures? Well, prepare to never sleep again, because last week, Google made its “inceptionism” algorithm available to the public, and the nightmarish images are cropping up everywhere.
The “Deep Dream” system essentially feeds an image through a layer of artificial neurons, asking an AI to enhance and build on certain features, such as edges. Over time, pictures can become so distorted that they morph into something entirely different, or just a bunch of colorful, random noise.
Now that the code for the system is publicly available, anyone can upload a photo of their baby and watch it metamorphose into a surrealist cockroach, or whatever. If you need some inspiration, or an excuse to crawl back into bed, pull the covers over your face, and wait for the world to end, just check out the hashtag ‘DeepDream’ on your social media platform of choice. READ MORE: Google’s Dream Robot Is Running Wild Across the Internet | Gizmodo.
Startup VA-ST thinks its depth-sensing glasses can help people with little sight get around more easily. READ MORE: Augmented-Reality Goggles Aim to Help Legally Blind See | MIT Technology Review
According to the World Health Organization, more than 1 billion people worldwide have a disability. To Astrid Weber and Jen Devins, Google’s resident accessibility experts, that stat should be stamped on the back of every designer’s hand, because it means that one out of every seven people on the planet is potentially left behind by thoughtless design decisions. At this year’s Google I/O conference in San Francisco, I sat down with the two UX experts and asked them what designers could do to make their apps more accessible. The key, they told me, was using your imagination and having a little more empathy. Here are six ways designers can reach that extra billion.
Chris Milk uses cutting edge technology to produce astonishing films that delight and enchant. But for Milk, the human story is the driving force behind everything he does. In this short, charming talk, he shows some of his collaborations with musicians including Kanye West and Arcade Fire, and describes his latest, mind-bending experiments with virtual reality.
Note: Amazon owns Audible and GoodReads.
If you like listening to audiobooks then I have some good news for you. Goodreads is in the process of adding audiobook excerpts to its website. Soon GR members will find free audio samples for 180,000 Audible titles on the book listing pages. Along with the option of reading a sample from the book, GR members can now also listen to an excerpt from the audiobook. The excerpt will (should) play in a pop up window the web browser, and if you like what you hear you can the title to your “want to read” list, or you can head over to Audible and acquire the audiobook directly.
Obviously this feature is not available for all titles listed on Goodreads, but when it is available you’ll find the listen button below the cover image on the left side of the page. Goodreads told me that the new feature is only available on the desktop site, but not GR’s mobile site or its Android and iDevice apps.
Design is always changing, and with tech and design increasingly aligning, we’re arguably headed to the most radical period of change in design history. How radical will the design landscape of 2020 be, then?
To find out, we asked five elite studios—each and every one a member of Fast Company’s Most Innovative Companies list—to give us their predictions for the near-future of design. Designers from Ammunition, Herman Miller, Code and Theory, and more gave us their thoughts on everything from the future of the office as cathedral, to the rise of the designer CEO. Here’s what they all had to say. READ MORE: 25 Ideas Shaping The Future Of Design | Co.Design | business + design.
Top UX predictions for 2015 from UX Magazine contributors. The Top UX Predictions for 2015 | UX Magazine
Data surrounds us. It’s everywhere, in the most micro sense small gadgets that track calories we’ve burned, or how much water our plants need to the most macro analytics companies that can monitor, for instance, the health of entire populations. But there are precious few companies actively working on helping us make sense of all that data. One of them is Tableau, a software company that turns heaps of data into visualizations for the common man: teachers, doctors, journalists, you name it. To make those tools clearer and cleaner, they recently partnered with Stamen Design, to release three new map templates, which anyone can play around with by downloading Tableau’s free software.