Saturday, 3 December 2016

The Smart City // AR, VR, UX, UI, Google, Retail

The Smart City is all about how we use technology to create data within our society, store the data, analyse the date and how technology affects the community. Technology has grown massively over the past couple of years to the extent that everyone in London no matter how technology literate they will come into contact every day. Technology has affected and changed the way we live as humans. There is massive growing demand. Over the next couple of weeks, I will be researching into lots of areas of technology, some of these are uni research and other are independent research I have carried out.  

Sections of the blog post: 

1.Important Technology Jargon
2.Tech Expo
3.Arup // Lighting talk
4.Think like a designer – Time Brown
5.Digital Greenwich Smart City plans for the future
7.Tech Expo - Future of retail
8.Google How to Make an App Talk
10.Self Evaluation report 

Important Technology Jargon 

  • Cookies - A piece of code that stores personal data to allow websites and apps to give the user more relevant information to the user will actual be interested in. 
  • Big data -  Is a humungous amount of data that is analysed to identify patterns and trends. The world as a whole produces a huge amount of data, this data can come from swiping in with your oyster cards, to watching Netflix online, being on social media, shopping online / in store /creating documenting, driving your car there are so many ways that we produce data within our society now, that we don’t even think about it. An example of big data being used in the real world is that Netflix, looks a the big data that their customers create, by using their online service. They find patterns, with where people come from, what they are watching, there watching habits. This then informs the business, in a lot of their business decisions, such as what shows they put on their site in different countries and regions. To what shows, they pick and even to what actors. Another example is they are looking into D&A and this will in the future deuterium drugs to find the perfect treatment for genetic diseases such as cancer. 
  • Collective Intelligence -  is also a form of networking enabled by the rise of communications technology, which has enabled interactivity and users generating their own content. We all collaborate and contribute to data produced in the world, each person has a little bit of specialised knowledge. An example of Collective Intelligence Google takes the collective knowledge created by millions of people who are separately making websites for other purposes. It then harnesses that collective knowledge to produce intelligent answers to the questions you seek. Google is the ultimate social media, without even know a person know, you can learn a lot about the person, such as their name, what they look like and their likes and dislikes. 

Tech Expo (expo, 2015)

I arrived at the Tech Expo at 10:30 in the morning in Liverpool Street. The Venue was just around the corner. I  went to four very interesting talks today all about AR, VR & MR. The four talks were the use of immersive storytelling, using 360 cameras and AR. The ethics of AR, VR & MR, education of technology and a talk from Studio.

1st talk - The use of immersive storytelling
This talk was given by a creative director. He has worked for big companies such as Google and the BBC. He showed an overview of the work that they created. Then he showed us one project in more depth. This project was the called We Wait, this was created for Google. After he showed and talk through the project, he shared 5 learning points that he learned from this experience of creating immersive storytelling.

We Wait - Trailer // BBC - This VR video places your on a beach and lets you share the experience it would be to refugee.

Special Delivery // Google 360 Video 

Four Points
  1. Think space, not time - With 360 videos the power is with the audience, they make the choice about where to look, this is very different from the traditional way of storytelling to communicating an idea with someone. It's normal in a linear story line. This makes the space in 350 storytelling a lot more important than time. Space relies on the space to convey the message. It is a bit like Disney land, the buildings, sounds and costume convey the message, as it feelings like you is in the world. That is what 360 video is like, it trying to make you feel like you have stepped into the world and the audience has to find the story line, so very important you get the space right. 
  2. Keep it real - There no easier way to convey a message then to keep it real, so that it is believable. To start making a 360, VR, AR video, the best way to start it pen and paper. Then cutting out cardboard sets and building the world in front of you, to see if everything makes sense in real life before you take into a 3d environment on the screen. As if you get it wrong it time and money wasted. It will allow you to analyse it in so many ways, from the sets, the scale, the characters, the was it moves, how everything fits together etc...   Sound plays a massive part in VR, it draws the attention of the viewer and also makes the reality more real, so it is very important that all the sound you record is real sound, otherwise you will be able to hear the difference. Lighting is also key, this is the same with screen-based work, it sets a mood. 
  3. Use Social Engineering - Future of immersive storytelling is very different to normal screen based work. It's all about connections to the characters and environment. So do the characters feel like they interact with you, do they have eye contact? Physical body language? Are the people in the right position? Swayze effect - the audience is in control they have to pay attention to things to understand what is trying to be conveyed. Do not make the user feel like they are a rooming camera, it meant to feel like they are in this world. So if a character smiles at the camera, it like they are smiling and interacting with the user, this makes them more invest and welcomed into the world. Use Social engine layers to engage with your audience. 
  4. Be Funny Fast - Smart, quick slapstick humour is a lot better as a very little time to understand the story line. 

2nd Talk – Ethics of VR, MR, AR - With great opportunity comes great responsibility

This talk was given by a lady who was an independent filmmaker. She has come from a screen based background and IOS background but then caught the AR bug. She then when on to produce the first BBC AR program, after this she started to think and ethical and morals surrounding VR, MR, AR.

Her talk was all about designers need to be responsible for what they are designing and what realistic that they are creating, as now we can create any reality and put anyone into it. So we need to think moral about what content we chose to design. An example is one could make an MR where it feel like you are shooting someone, it will be stimulated to feel real, is that ethical, how long will it take for kids to start shooting and how long will it take before kids are actual shooting real things without realised the consequence because they have done it in a simulated environment?

3rd – Talk  about the education of immersive reality
This talk was interesting because it was saying what we need to create needs to have an impact, it can’t engage with the audience because it cool technology, there has to be a great idea that keeps the audience engaged and want to come back and use immersive r again, not because the technology is cool, but because the idea is great.

4th – Talk from Octagon Studio

-  What is AR? 
Is augmented reality, its interacting with a physical environment with a digital device.  

- What are their products? 
They have a wide range of products including flash cards for kids, colouring books and t.shirts. They have also worked with a wide range of clients to make AR products for them, like a magazine, fashion brands etc…

- How basic AR Products are made? 
One way to make an AR product is by using Unity, they have then partnered with Uforia. How AR works is that it uses the phone to scan the image and then it looks up in a database the information that should be displayed when a certain image appears on a screen. Uforia is an AR database that stores all the information.

What I have taken away from this talk? 
The Tech convention has really opened my eyes, I love illustration and I really think that If I learn AR, this could add even more value to my illustration work. An example could be I could get asked to pitch an idea of an album cover, I could do the album cover and propose AR over the top of the cover.

From convention, I have downloaded Unity and AR coded to have a play and start learning my way around the interface of the programs. I am making an AR maze to learn the basics. But from that, I can start building it into my design work and looking ahead to the future where the direction of technology is going. 

Arup // Lighting talk 
(Arup 2016) 
We went to Arup design studio. It was really interesting, they talked about how important lighting was to design, experience and every day live. Lighting is all around us and different lighting can have a different impact on humans, as it is linked to our biological clock, which then can link to our emotions. Lighting can be used for security, it can be used to set a mood for an event, it can be used to communicate an important message. 

We learnt about new technology in lighting such as LED lights, how technology can control the lighting, it can measure, it can interact with the users to send message etc… They then showed us some of the projects they worked on, ranging from the British Museum to the Shard. 

Later on in the session, we then thought about problems within a city and how smart technology could solve them and make life easier to live in. Some of the ideas that I liked that got mentioned was the problem was disposable fashion, so buy one garment and then with an app, you can pick what design will be displayed on a garment, to decrease the habit of disposable fashion, which would help the environment in so many different ways. 

These are the notes from Arup talk given by Melissa Man - Lighting Designer 

  • Head quarter engineering fit 
  • 1946 Philosopher and engineer One Arup set up his consulting engineering business in London . over 10 thousand people working. Global company all around the world. 
  • Lighting// 2001 - 80+ // Team from background - Muli dispalnty, more creative, some thing new. 
  • Lighting 24 hours experience, day and night. Day carve light, meaning and useful to space. Look at activity inside. 
  • Technology plays with light // adjust lights. 
  • LED lighting // Flexible, control the light, can create range of colour and you can program the lighting, you can change scene and experience, because of the source of light. 
  • Lighting can be used in response to surroundings. 
  • It can create and mood and space, allows the space to take change. 
  • Lighting is important to a visual environment. 
  • It affects our biobililic lighting, Bio logical clock, response to day light, all living being like plants are effect by ykught, 
  • Light have massive impact. 
  • It can be used as a way of finding, can form a direction. 
  • We get attracted to light, you focus on light. The pattern of the light effect, pattern or in a straight line, what does the lighting tell you. 
  • What is it trying to communicate? 
  • Technology has sensors, we can trigger or activate the light, it can follow movement or path. 
  • It can communicate / Inform and retain 
  • Sustainability // We have responsibly, SMART monitor how much you have spent. You can restrict light to environment. 
  • Technology is constant changing, we need to keep up to date. 
  • LED source has sensor, you can control it through bluetooth, control l it, very new. Trying to induce to new project. 
Think like a designer – Time Brown
  • The design is strongly linked to technology – It is a really core part of their strategy. They think of city and whole systems.
  • Design thinking // way of organising the collection of mindset and tool sets, that creative people have got over time, that tackle challenges over time. With the idea of applying mindset to a wide range of problems. Designs are now being applied to every area of business and society.
  • The design is thought of being the aesthetically emotional piece, that just one side. The design is where every human being is being intestinal of human beings about shaping their environment.
  • Stone axe first example of design, it then was useful and then fit to purpose so then became beautiful. Anything man made in the world is designed.
  • Natural systems have formed over thousands year, we want to create rich complex systems like natural, but we don’t have the time. We have a great deal of designing as time.
  • Things get very complex like designing for a city, this is when you need to have principles to understand it and know how to design for it. The principle is simple, but impaction are complex.
  • Some problems can seem very big and depressing, a lot of change that design drives, making alternative attractive. The power of design explore alternative possible and make them real, and then make us understand how to attract they are. We need to use design thoughtfully, to break liner system and make them circular.
Digital Greenwich Smart City plans for the future
  • Greenwich will be the 1st smart city strategy in the U.K. It is the 6th growth borough in London with lots of development going on in it. 
  • Greenwich history is the hub of industry revolution, the heart of military, using a steam hammer, the centre of Victoria Internet. Key to power, boats. Ships changed to steam took place in Greenwich for Navy. They used to have a skilled labour was driving all of this, internship for steam power. This area of London highly skilled top 10% of the money in 1967. However two factories closed and they lost skilled works, downward slide and it changed. 
  • Money now is based on accommodation, entrainment, health etc.. with the growing digital economy, they are trying to improve quality and types of jobs. Turing their workforce from Low skill level to high-level jobs as 50% low-value jobs are going to be taken away, the cause of computers. This will offer a wide range of possible for jobs. Only a radical innovation will create new wealth. 
  • The City is built by
    1. Society 
    2. Travel 
    3. Water 
    4. Ict // information layer. Collection information on water waste, light etc.. thy collect information. They are looking at NHS health care. 
    5. Adult society care // card 
    6. Urban sharing platform // bring together sensor data from energy, cars, lamp posts. Lot more information, like football, where the car is, traffic speed all on a lamppost. Forms a widget community.  
    7. £1.3 trillion investment, in smart city. Need to start training people to start service. 
    8. Emerging technology future world. 
    9. Are you solve a problem so it doesn't happen you save a lot of money. 
    10. So many data flying around, create brand new insight. 
    11. You can stimulate 3D world, transforming, lots of opportunity.  
    12. We need security as that what a smart city is built on. 
Sharing cities: 
  • London is a leading city 
  • Bristol / Notting / Manchester  another smart city building 
  • The point of sharing city // put it into practice to demonstrate to how it goes and how it works. Demonstrating value. 
  • 3 important themes people, place making changes physical place, platform. 
  • Make sure that it things that people want and need, trying to build up excitement in the community, co-design // involve people who live there and getting them in
  • Real-time information // based way to to get to space communicating with them more effectively. 

We had a talk given my Soda over at summer set house. The company just talked about the design work that they had done for the company and the journey with how he got there. There were some interesting links. What I took away from this talk was learning about touch foils, these allow any surface to be turned into a touch screen that users can interact with. I thought this might be interesting researching into it. 

Tech Expo - Future of retail 
(tech expo 2016) 

The tech expo was all about the future of retail and how technology is forming the path. There were stands with new upcoming business and new ideas, then there were 2 talks. The first talk was on future of the retail conference.

3 Business, that stood out for me at the convention:
  1. Walnut // This was a very interesting company as it mixed Nero science and technology to gather accurate and reliable data, that business can use as market research to inform their business decisions.
  2. Sleeketing // This is a powerful service that allows the retailer keep a track on the people who pass in and out of their shops. This doesn’t need a app, it assigns  the visitor with a unique ID and it allows 
  3. Topicdna // Allows retailers to profile any one's social media account. This is a massively important tool, as you can target your audience a lot more easier.

Tech Expose lecture on the future of retail

Tesco speaker: 
  • Big retailer is chasing up, with online retailers. 
  • Large stall are not a relic as store still have a useful role, they need to be different, they need to be all about the experience instead of selling, this then will lead to sales. 
  • It is not about the store or online, it is both of them working together. Has to been seamless 
  • Physical stores are still key - 81% still visitor store, only 60% would shop online with the same retailer. 
  • The customer expects a lot more, with in-store technology: - SourceBarclay new retail report. 
                - 65% touch screens 
                - Virtual reality 57% 
                - 57% AR 
                - Smart Fitting Rooms 57% 
  • An example is Made who have done it well, they demonstrate the whole broacher in real space, only use technology which has Value. - Linking the online and physical worlds using AR .
  • The biggest opportunity for technology is to make the shopping trip easier and a nice experience. 
  • It's not about introducing tech cause it exists, but make it better solve problems. 
  • Know social media has a big impact, ex - customer complaints, they expect an answer in an hour, they have to addict to that. How to improve this area. 

Retailers need to be technological agnostic! 

Marketing science talk Tesco: 

6 Predictions for the future of retail // This technology is already used in a house: People are changing habits. 
    1. DE Humanising Delivery // customer brought into an idea that delivery is great, however, problems not reliability. See this being improved. Next step robot. Starship, pairing with Just Eat. linked with Greenwich smart technology. 
    2. Personalisation// Successful online platforms - Most people know what's going on with people. Adverts, more things that are useful, challenge, in-store environment, GPS, beacons, a lot more accurate, some resists in store too intrusive, need to be careful. Make sure it's useful and relevant. 
    3. Augment Reality // Growing at a massive rate and is now nearly mainstream. 
    4. 3d Printing // It is very expensive to print them, no devilry, tailoring shopping baskets and needs. They don’t understand it, the challenge for communication, worried about quality, as Bowing are printing aeroplane parts. 
    5. Social media marketing and brand building // Communication 42% says Facebook is curial to business. Retailers need to be better to see which ones are here to stay. Snapchat 400% each year1million time a day for adverts. Different of push and pull. A lot more pull relationships. You can only access information when in store. 
    6. The Internet of Things - It won’t be confined to smartphone and computer. We can connect any device to the internet. The amount of data this will give them! It won’t be big it will be gigantic, personally relevantly accurately, the opportunity to get it right is massive. 

However, technology can not be used for the sakes of technology. It needs to be sensible, It needs to make it easier, fun and have a purpose for it to be successful. 

The slow Revolution - Carlo Honore 

We have all forgot how to switch off. We forgot how to do one thing at the time and forgot to slow down, obsessed with speed. Every moment feels like a race against the clock. 

Speedolic - So many of us are caught up with life speed that we are losing sight of what it does to a relationship, family, creativity and health. So many races through life without living. Change is coming, more people are slowing down and taking a time to enjoy quality moments. Quality over quality. People are re-humanising to get humanity back they are thinking how can I slow down improve my life. 

Online shopping so fast effect, because it happening all fast, we no long need it. We want the Ying and yang, slow in real life. Less interested in buying things, they want to live experience that is meaningfully. The only way is to slow down. This moment is coming into retail. 

An example is the first slow mall // people go to buy // shift people reconnect and become more human // soft lighting, real plants green slows us down. 

Selfridges // no noise campaign had quite a room to allow it to the pace of the city to slow down, escape and allow for customers to enjoy and remember the experience. 

Origins // refinishing revamping // number 1 purity is created a space to be and enjoy and experience. Putting long tables into experience products. Special area for self-area, staff trained to talk and make customer feel comfortable, creating a slow experience. 

They put money into coffee shops flowers ect…. Urban outfitter art events, local bands, create a lifestyle... 

Economist magazine // Some things have got faster - Many other things haven’t got faster and shouldn’t get faster - Forget Frantic acceleration mastering the clock of business is about choosing when to be fast and when to be slow - The Economist December 2015 - Bedtime stories for CEO. 

Google How to Make an App Talk

(Google, How to make an app, 2016)
I went over to the google campus for a talk on how to make an app, this was very interesting talk as a lot of user behaviours are switching over to smart phones. It was great to get a wide and in-depth knowledge on the whole app process, and how each area works.

Facts and figures talk 
  • It's not all about technology it's all about people 
  • June 2016 - 2 million apps on iOS // is it about the app or is it how good the app. You will only use a handful. 
  • Mobile payment risen 2014 $3.68 billion - $27.05b 2016 USA 
  • 4.6 billion phone , expected 5.1 billion in the world 
  • Time to reach 50million users // radio 38y tv13y

What is an app? 
  • We are trying to change and improve people lives 
  • Is a self-contained program designed to fulfil a purpose, needs to be friendly so you can access content. 
  • There's no limit for subject matter 
  • 3 types of app
      1st. content app// quick access, education, information personal 
      2nd. Utility app // functional booking appointment business 
      3rd games // all ages and interests - the more imagination you have the better 
      4th custom app 
  • Different platforms iOS, Google, amazon and windows

Battle of platforms
  • ISO / android 
  • Windows is growing 
  • Android has the market - 84:7% market share ( economist) 
  • iOS 11.7% market share 
  • The other 3.6% 
  • Develop market // iOS app 82.8% // 16.9% android 
  • They choice ISO first expensive to get into the more expensive products, so market have a bit. Ore money. Apple development kit has been hugely easier to work with. However more complicated with 6 screens. ISO Xcode software development kit
  • Develop app for iOS // Xcode & developer program £79 a year 
  • the future of platforms // we going to get more and more connected products, like kettle, light bulb. but they need to come down  price needs to come down. Stuff will be accessible. 
  • TV  most undeveloped technology we have 

Stages of app development
1st - idea // refined idea - set out what your app to do, if you can define your app in one line 

2nd - design // detailing your idea (ux) this is where you need detailed what does every feature offer, if your app didn't fit into 10 screens then it bloated Key features!  // prototyping (ui) flowchart (more uX), sketches and then mock-ups and prototype. Wireframes rough ideas, cheap, spend time on this! Flow charts how are screens layer out, how do thy interact with each other. 

3rd development // app advance will have database behind it, depends on how complex the app is. 

4th - Testing // you can use simulator in computer, just press run and you can see it working. Test on the actual device. Testing to break, we want that! It's not about aesthetically pleasing. It means you haven't spent enough time in the design stage. 

5th - Publish // publish on develop program and google play develop console. It's takes 1/2 weeks 94% of apps are excepted. Why is was rejected. Once it's on the store lot of other apps. 

Marketing and promotion, need to do this!!! 

  • you can create an app without code 
  • Mobile friendly access to content or it fulfils a task 
  • Apps needs a purpose 
  • Smartphone a set of personal sensors, an app takes in the input and gives you an output.  
  • Get your hands on as many different types of phone, to actual see if it works 
  • You need to update your app // least once a year - new operating systems come out. 
  • want your app to run as fast as possible 
  • Get developers who are international lot cheaper, clear description of what you want. Get an upfront agreement with them. 

Why every industry needs an app
  • agriculture/ chemicals & resources / construction / consumers goods / ecmmerce / energy environment service s/ finance real estate insurance / life / media / internet / society/ logistics /transportation 

Holition Augmented Retail // 
(Augment Retail, 2017)

This was the design studio that I was looking forward to the most. This mixed makeup, fashion and augmented reality, so it was a mixture of the things that I am highly interested in. What I really liked about this design studio was that it they push the idea more than the technology, they try and solve problems and then thought about technology after. They not using it just for the sake, like so many other companies do like Blippar.  We got talked through a lot of the projects that they have done and we got to try a lot of the products. We also got talked through a brief overview of a design process. 

Rimmel London / / Virtual try on 
This app that was designed for Rimmel, it allows the users to try on Rimmel's products on, their face from the comfort of their own bed. Also it had a clever face scanner that could steal make up from magazines. 

Charlotte Tilbury // Magic Mirror 
This is in their Store in Shepard bush, users can look into the mirror and try on the makeup and look at differnt looks. 

Face //

Self Evaluation report 

I have really enjoyed this part of the course and I will be very sad to see the Smart City module go. I never really got into Graphic design because I wanted to be a illustrator. I always wanted to be a web designer and I had to chose Graphic design as this was the only course in my collage that allowed a bit of web design. This meant for the last 3 years I have forgot about technology and how it can be used to aid and work in relation to my design work. This module has allowed me to research into technology again and remind me an area that I really find really interesting.

I have learnt a lot in the past couple of weeks, some that is relevant for my design work and business and some which not but it is really interested to learn about and have a wider understanding about, as you never know where the knowledge that could be useful in the future. I feel like everything I have learnt and research will come in handy in third year for my dissertation.

What have really inspired me and opened my eyes, in most of these talks Argument reality have been brought up. This indicates to me that if the big brands are talking and investing into it, that this is something to take very serious as this means they are trying to introducing into main stream. This means if I know about the topic and I can learn how I can combine my design practise and Argument reality, this could really offer me a lot more opportunities for the future. For example I might design a kids book on space and I could use AR to bring the book to life and show how it works across the screen.

I think a strength and a massive positive that has come out of taking this course, has been that it has been great to go into design studio, meet the people who work there, see the environment and see what they are creating. This has allowed to me to explore all these great area in London and see how the professional industry works. It has made me think a lot more about my future and where I want to go, it also allowed me to think and be more independent, so joining Google Campus and going to talks outside of uni like how to make an app ect...  It has allowed me to learn a wider range of knowledge and start networking with people who have different skills to me. 

I have learnt a wide range of knowledge, it has been fascinating and I have enjoyed going into all these design studio to learn about what they do, This has lead me to set up some work experience with Chelsea App factory this Christmas where I worked with their UI & UX teams, where I learnt so much on a topic that is very closely linked to Graphic Design. They have also offered me to go back there for summer.


1. Augment Retail, H. (2017) Augmented retail solutions. Available at: (Accessed: 15 January 2017)

2.Google Campus, (2016) How to Make an App. Talk at google Campus ( Accessed: 30 Decmber 2016)

3. expo, tech (2015) The tech expo -Contextual tech, AR, VR, FinTech. Available at: (Accessed: 15 January 2017).

4. 2015, A. (2015) A global firm of consulting engineers, designers, planners and project managers. Available at: (Accessed: 15 January 2017).

5. Soda2016 (2012) Home — soda. Available at: (Accessed: 15 January 2017).

6. Tech expo ( 2016)  - Talk ( Accessed 20th November 2016 ) 

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