The Äventyret Blog

360Stories: The making of

2015-04-09 12.12.25

At Äventyret, we’ve been playing with virtual reality since the first Oculus Rift prototype became available back in 2013. We recently had a chance to build an immersive panorama viewer for Samsung’s virtual reality headset, the Samsung Gear VR, which incorporates the Samsung Galaxy Note 4 to run Android apps built with Oculus’s software development kit.

Our client: 360Cities, the world’s largest repository of 360-degree panoramic images. Äventyret developed the concept, while our dev partner Prototyp wrote the code. The result was 360Stories, an app that lets photographers add voice-over narration to their immersive panoramas. We learned a lot from the process; read on for some of our take-aways.

[…] → 360Stories: The making of

The killer app for the Apple Watch is Chinese

If you spoke Chinese you'd know what to do.

If you spoke Chinese you'd know what to do.

Among all the fawning that accompanied the unveiling of Apple Watch last week, a few grouches held fast, with salient points: What about the battery life? Will it be waterproof? Does it pass the cuff test? And where is the killer app that would forgive all these shortcomings?

Apple itself seems to believe that its killer app is the “Digital Touch”-based messaging feature, which lets you tap, sketch and heartbeat your way into the affections of other Apple Watch wearers. Jonny Ive even gave the app its own dedicated second button, which seems uncharacteristically profligate of Apple, button-wise.

[…] → The killer app for the Apple Watch is Chinese

Äventyret speaks at Knowledge of Design Week in Hong Kong

Last week I was at the Hong Kong Design Centre‘s Knowledge of Design Week, invited to talk about how the hospitality industry needs to adapt to attract the millennial generation, and how big data can help with that challenge.

bild 1

The whole talk is around 30 minutes, but I manage to pack a lot in: First, I look at what differentiates the millennial generation from previous generations of travellers. (Hint: They are mobile-native, global in outlook, and (more) post-materialistic). Then, I explore the new technologies coming online, and focus on big data, which underlies many of them. Then I look at how these new technologies are enabling the hospitality industry to come up with new strategies to connect with then millennials. And finally, I briefly look at where the new opportunities along the customer journey may now lie.

Read on to see the video. Feel free to chime in with feedback or questions. […] → Äventyret speaks at Knowledge of Design Week in Hong Kong

Sweden should not be exempt from surveillance scrutiny

At Stockholm Internet Forum, Sweden’s collaboration with the US NSA on surveillance risks undermining its reputation as a defender of Internet Freedom.

Image by LuisCarlos Díaz. Some Rights Reserved.

Image by LuisCarlos Díaz. Some Rights Reserved.

(This article was first published on The Local.)

This week, for a third straight year, Sweden is hosting the Stockholm Internet Forum, bringing together 450 activists, experts and business representatives from over 90 countries for two days of discussions on “how freedom and openness on the internet can promote economic and social development worldwide”. Sweden’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs, its aid agency Sida, and .SE, the foundation responsible for Sweden’s Internet infrastructure, are sponsoring the event.  […] → Sweden should not be exempt from surveillance scrutiny

Three reasons why virtual reality won’t be Facebook’s next social platform

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You already know: Facebook bought Oculus VR, makers of the Oculus Rift virtual reality goggles. Mark Zuckerberg says he’s buying Oculus VR because the next platform after mobile for being social is going to be virtual reality:

After games, we’re going to make Oculus a platform for many other experiences. Imagine enjoying a court side seat at a game, studying in a classroom of students and teachers all over the world or consulting with a doctor face-to-face — just by putting on goggles in your home.

This is really a new communication platform. By feeling truly present, you can share unbounded spaces and experiences with the people in your life. Imagine sharing not just moments with your friends online, but entire experiences and adventures.

[…] → Three reasons why virtual reality won’t be Facebook’s next social platform

Searching for MH370 — using open web resources

Over the weekend, authorities released new data on the possible last known location of missing Malaysian Airlines flight MH370. I put that data into Google Earth, as that is the best search tool for crowdsourced efforts. But this morning we at Äventyret decided to also put all potential landing sites in range of that flight in Google Earth.

Fortunately, a lot of the work was already done. OurAirports keeps a downloadable global database of airports, both large and small, open and closed. We modified the dataset to keep all Asian airports, but removed Russian airports and added Western Australian airports. We then imported this data into Google Outreach’s Spreadsheet Mapper, which is a tool for converting spreadsheet data into a format usable by Google Earth. The result: Over 3500 potential landing sites in range of MH370.
[…] → Searching for MH370 — using open web resources

Designing for China’s web in the mobile age

When in May 2010 the Swedish Institute launched Sweden.cn, the official website of Sweden in China, we had gone out of our way to localize the design so that it would present an aesthetic familiar to Chinese users brought up on the busy portals and bulletin boards that typified the Chinese Internet. Numerous workshops and a local design team had ensured that the overall user experience would be seamless for visitors arriving from QQ or Sina.

swedencn

Four years on, the Swedish Institute is revamping Sweden.cn, and now our methods couldn’t be more different. This time, we’ll begin by copying wholesale the design used for the English version of Sweden’s official site, Sweden.se, launched to acclaim late in 2013. Then, once the Chinese-language content is in place, we’ll start user-testing, and tweaking, and testing, until enough iterations convince us that the site can stand proud also in China.

swedense

What has motivated our changed approach to China-facing web design in the intervening four years? In a word: Mobile. For a fuller explanation, read on…

[…] → Designing for China’s web in the mobile age

Digital’s final frontier: Tracking the customer journey through retail space

What if retailers could measure visits to their physical stores in the same way that Google Analytics tracks visits to e-commerce sites? Now they can, by leveraging the latest ubiquitous technology: Wifi-enabled smartphones.

Meatspace: the final frontier

Image by chiaralily. Some Rights Reserved.

Since most owners leave their phone’s wifi switched on, their whereabouts can be sensed by triangulating the wifi pings their phones emit when looking for nearby networks. A store’s wifi access points can be reconfigured to track and analyse these pings — and thus measure aggregate customer behavior in a physical environment.
[…] → Digital’s final frontier: Tracking the customer journey through retail space