Newer posts are loading.
You are at the newest post.
Click here to check if anything new just came in.

December 23 2011

10:00

Future Of Interface Design – Touchscreen Or The Legacy Grandpa Style

My grandpa, somehow, still prefers raw milk (which includes milking the cow himself) over pasteurized milk. He advocates that “the human race existed long before pasteurized milk was heard of.” I won’t be discussing the benefits of pasteurized milk, but I wanted to shed some light on human nature which finds it hard to shed its old skin in order to wear the better one. He does drink pasteurized milk daily as we don’t have cows in our backyard yet he continues to rant about his good old days of raw milk. Somehow, I found Bret Victor’s view on Interaction Design almost related to my grandpa’s situation. It was more of a love to hate you situation.

Why the Rant?


Well, Interaction Design has been around for quite some time but it was Microsoft’s Vision of Tomorrow that gave the term its necessary fame. I am not sure if we can call it a vision or stupidity but it surely was interesting. Since then Interaction Design has faced many critics, some of those actually ripped apart the actual vision itself. I won’t count Bret Victor in the category of critics who rip apart the concept of Interaction Design, but he was quite close. Before we move on, I want you to get the feel of Interaction Design. See the video below:

To summarize Victor’s article, if Interaction Design was to be our future then the nerves on our finger tips will become jobless. Yeah, he did a great job of explaining how we forget that it is a work of art when we can use our hands turn a page of the book and remind our brain that we actually turned two pages instead of one. Its art when you drink water, pick a bag, use a phone and all those other daily tasks. True. But does that mean we give up on technology that makes our life overly easy just because we want to feel the number of pages we flipped? I mean, come on, isn’t that old school? If that was the case, why did the world go mad for the iPad? Just because it was Steve’s vision? No. Really. It is because they love the ease of use. Get it?

Let me quote a comment from Reddit to support my thought:

Hands are so yesteryear. The future in interaction is through voice and mind. Hands are just an intermediary between your mind and the outside world. As the author of the article said, without feeling you’re paralyzed in a wheelchair solving quantum mechanics problems but YOU’RE STILL WORKING AND INTERACTING BECAUSE OF YOUR BRAIN!!

The future of human interaction is for technology to try and figure out what you actually want to do as opposed to what you can just figure out how to do by sliding your finger around on a device. This is where stuff like Siri comes in. Google has been working on this for years as well.

The author himself has a woefully outdated vision of future interfaces, since future interfaces will be no interface at all. You’ll just speak to a machine or plug in and it will give you what you’re looking for without figuring out where some UI menu is.

Why it isn’t about touch only


You know, I still prefer a BlackBerry Bold over an iPhone just because the Bold has a physical keypad and my work involves a lot of writing. My typing speed somehow decreases if it is a touch phone though the difference has started to blur. I know that someday I will move on towards the iPhone because of its rich features. The Bold does lag behind and we all are aware of this fact. But, the point is I don’t use the BlackBerry keypad due to the touchy feel of it. It is just that, for now, I feel that it is comfortable to type using a real keypad instead of a touchscreen keypad. Moreover, I know that tomorrow I will not think like this. The transition has to occur because it is for good only.

What Victor forgot was the added features that come with Interaction Design. See how the lady has been introduced with the place of her next day’s meeting? I’ll love it when Interaction Design Technology introduces me to the hotel building where I will be enjoying my honeymoon in a matter of few minutes. Will it be different? The vision of my destination itself? I agree that my hands won’t be able to tell me about the fact that I flipped three pages instead of one, but the technology will, so why care so much? Interaction Design Technology isn’t kicking away the prospects of human-to-human touch anyways. It is just feeding on our thirst for comfort and pushing it to the next level.

Here is another situation. The guy in the picture never had to open the refrigerator to find out what was in there. He saved a few seconds and didn’t even transfer the few thousand germs that his finger tips were carrying. Isn’t that interesting? Why taste milk to see if it is still good? I would rather let the technology tell me the same. If our technology can be as good as that then what is the problem with merging the same with Interaction Design?

Those are just two examples of what Interaction Design can do for us in future. I agree that we will lose the real-touch feeling when such tools take control of our lives, but that will be for the best (most of the times.)

Another comment on Reddit hails my thoughts:

While the author is right that these interfaces may not be truly revolutionary objects, he kind of misses the point. The real revolution of many of these future videos is that computing will become ubiquitous and interconnected. It’s not just that I have a fancy phone, but that my phone talks to the arrival gate kiosk so it knows I am at the airport and can automatically hail me a cab. The cab itself has a computer and display mounted into the windows that talks to my phone and can point out my local destinations as I drive by. While we are making small strides towards realizing these goals, the vision is that all of this will be seamless and effortless. The idea is not to create a novel vision of the computer, but instead create a vision of how we will do computing.

Far-Fetched Alternatives


Remember Iron Man? District 9? What do these two movies have in common? My God, did you just say “the iron suits”? Please! I was pointing towards the 3D style of computing which was used in both these Hollywood flicks. Of course they are far from real but isn’t almost everything that we discussed above also far-from-real? Still, the buzz is with these ideas. Then, why not the ideas that were pictured in Iron Man? Touch. Feel. Play…live inside the system. It is about how close these machines come to reality and now far we go with our imagination. Also, an Iron Man-like display will surely help Victor reconsider his rants against the loss-of-touch-styled-interactive-designs!

Lastly, this write-up wouldn’t be complete without the mention of Apple’s overrated Siri. I agree that Siri could well be the first step towards Artificial Intelligence but that will be it. There is a lot to come in terms of Artificial Intelligence and I would love to live till the times when an Iron Man-like Artificial Intelligence becomes part of my daily life. God, are you listening?

Conclusion


Well, the topic of this debate is neverending still I think the end result is more or less clear already. We will be moving towards Interaction Design Technology at some point of the time. Time will tell if humans are able to gel with it or continue to criticize the losings of human touch. See, I am not against the idea of human touch. I will still want to feel my mom’s hand instead of touching it over a glass screen but that doesn’t mean that I don’t want an iPad like technology in my kitchen via which my mom helps me cook my dinner. It is fun and it is almost real. Agree with me? I hope my grandpa agrees with my thoughts!

December 04 2011

10:00

Are We Ready For The Cloud?

Now we can’t imagine life without computers in our bags and smartphones in our pockets. Humans have now become ‘obsessed’ with connectivity. But how do we keep our gadgets and devices organized? How do we manage both our business and personal data across devices?

This is when today’s ‘hottest’ service in technology comes in. Cloud computing is a service whereby shared resources, data, and software are provided to computers and other devices over a network, usually via the internet. Apple’s version is the iCloud, which upon its introduction has replaced Apple’s MobileMe. Apple iCloud was introduced by Steve Jobs during Apple’s Worldwide Developers Conference in June of 2011–an event that announced the OS X Lion and the iOS 5 for the iPod, iPhone and the iPad.

iCloud in a Nutshell


iCloud, simply put, is a hard drive in the sky. It allows you to quickly access your data from your devices: Macbook, PC, iPhone, iPod and iPad. This data can be anything and everything you can think of: your music, applications, contacts and photos across all your devices. As long as you are connected, you can access your important images and documents when you’re on the go.

Image from Lets Go Ditigal

Cloud storage is not a new concept. It has been around for a while, but since iCloud’s introduction it has become a growing tech trend. Through cloud computing, cloud storage provides password-protected access to your online storage space. Cloud storage can be used as additional space and a back up copy of your hard drive. Moreover, it is an effective way to make the files available to your other gadgets and devices.

iCloud is not the first online storage service by Apple. MobileMe preceded iCloud, and offered synchronization services at an annual fee. MobileMe was created to ensure synchronization of data between all devices–including e-mails, calendars, contacts, photos, and iWeb and iDisk services. Apple then revamped MobileMe, merging its features with their newly offered Apple iCloud service. Since then iCloud has replaced MobileMe, with more features and more flexibility.

Like MobileMe, the biggest advantage of iCloud is its Apple software integration. This makes the iCloud the most practical cloud storage choice, especially if you own mostly Apple products: Macbook, iPod, iPad, iTouch, the like. It ensures that all data is continuously synchronized while connected to the internet. The iCloud can even include Apple devices owned by your family members and household, too.

The iCloud is now available to all Mac devices in the iOS 5 operating system, and Macs with the OS X Lion operating system. iCloud is free and comes with all the new devices. After getting an account for iCloud, you get 5 gigabytes worth of storage, for free. iCloud backups happen when you’re not using the device.

But, is iCloud Ready for Us?


iCloud does not offer the option to stream your music and videos from the cloud (as of writing). It would’ve been great if users could have the option to play the media content directly instead of the need to download it first. Partial backups are made while you are sleeping, and changes include personal device settings, text messages, ring tones, app data, e-books, videos and apps you bought from iTunes. In addition, backups are done automatically in case you upgrade your OS or new hardware.

iCloud still isn’t perfect, though. One example: iCloud users are limited to the software designed to access that particular cloud. iCloud service is available as long as you have internet access, but still requires an application to manage and synchronize the connection to your data.

The Photo Stream still has many flaws. iCloud only syncs and spreads photos taken during the past 30 days. Which is annoying especially if you want to look at pictures from more than the past 30 days–maybe you want to show off your daughter’s graduation months ago or remember last year’s family reunion. It can be an inconvenience that Photo Stream doesn’t have this option. Aside from that, you can’t delete anything off the Photo Stream–just hope you do not sync any embarrassing or scandalous photos accidentally.

The first 5 GB is free, but if the free storage space is no longer sufficient, you can get iCloud storage plans at $20 a year (15 GB), $40 a year (25 GB) and $100 a year (55 GB).

There are still some flaws and gaps here and there. it’s limited in features, but still quite convenient to use. It’s useful, fantastic as a free back up service but not yet worth the money for a storage plan. The big ‘boom’ moment for Apple didn’t come with the iCloud yet.

Other iCloud Alternatives


Box.com

One of its most promising features is its recent availability to the iOS; making it a good contender as Apple’s main competitor. While iCloud boasts in keeping your apps, photos, music and videos in place, it is certainly flawed in sharing documents with others. Box on the other hand, is a champ and it even comes with the Google Docs integration.Upon downloading and signing up, you get a whooping 50 GB of free storage space–now compare that to iCloud’s meager 5 GB. Moreover, Box allows you to stream photos and music from the cloud to the AppleTv via Airplay. It cannot accept bigger uploads more than 100 mb– but at a staggering 50 GB of free storage, we’re not complaining at all.

Amazon Cloud Driver

The Amazon Cloud Driver is similar to the iCloud in terms of services and purchasing content. However, the former is more indiscriminate in a particular OS, so it does well on both Mac and PC but it doesn’t have the deep OS integration iCloud offers on the Mac and iOS systems. After sign up you get 5 GB of free storage. If you need more space, Amazon offers storage plans at 20 GB to 1000 GB. Now, you don’t have to worry about losing your files if your hard drive crashes, or gets lost or stolen.


Dropbox

Dropbox does not offer iCloud’s deep Mac OS integration, but is compatible with the Mac, Windows, Linux and all major devices the iPhone, iPad, Blackberry and Android phones. Dropbox offers 2 GB free storage space upon signing up. It offers storage plans up to 100 GB for subscriptions. Unlike the iCloud, all types of stored files will be counted against your total storage space limit.

SkyDrive

This is Microsoft’s version of the iCloud, but designed more to sharing documents, photos and videos between multiple users.SkyDrive offers free storage for up to 25 GB. SkyDrive offers integration with Microsoft products, just as iCloud is with Apple.

Sponsored post
soup-sponsored
04:52

November 28 2011

10:00

How The Smartphone Invasion Changed The Way We Live

Have you ever went out and realized that you left your smartphone at home? You may feel panicked, maybe even a separation anxiety though you’ve only gone an hour without your phones. These reactions are common, and clear evidence that phones have taken over our lives.

Smartphones have secured a strong place in our lives. We take them everywhere with us, 24/7–even to bed. Smartphones are already an extension of us, an important limb to our body. If phones are taken away from us even for a day, we feel naked, like we can’t function as well without it.

Smartphones have made us more sociable. Or, is it the other way around?

In the workplace, on dates, on parties, even during religious meetings, we bring our phones with us. ‘Mind if I take this?’ is a common phrase we hear everywhere. It seems like now, calls can’t wait until later. Are smartphones merely a fad? Or will it influence humankind’s way of living and communicating?

Analyzing the Numbers

Take a look at today’s teenagers: they sit in front of the TV, texting with their friends or posting a status update on Facebook with their smart phone. During commercials, they pass time by playing Angry Birds on their iPad. This is the life of today’s teenagers. It’s found that the age group consumes 10.5 hours of media in a day, according to Credit Suisse. If this research is really true, the statistics can be a bit worrying.

A telecommunications regulator, Ofcom, from the UK did research about smartphone usage:

  • 37% adults and 60% teenagers admit to being addicted to smartphones.
  • 51% adults and 65% teenagers say they use their smartphones to socialize with others.
  • Many smartphone users use their phones during mealtimes, in bed, and even in the bathroom.
  • 58% males own a smartphone, compared to 42% females.
  • Majority of adults prefer the Apple iPhone, while majority of teenagers prefer the BlackBerry.
Today’s generation is simultaneously consuming various media using things like the iPad, TV, laptop and smartphones. Essentially, today’s youth are now better at multi-tasking, doing many things at the same time. On the down side, we are also very easily distracted. Our lack of concentration can be attributed to the many stimuli in our environment.

Around the world, smartphones now represent 24% of all mobile phone sold around the world, which is up from 15% last year. In the next year, we could expect the numbers to go up to 50% and in a few years, every phone will be a smartphone.

Addiction to smartphones and the internet isn’t uncommon. There are even clinics for internet addicts 0n the other side of the world, South Korea. What is the root of our new found dependability on a tiny gadget?

How the iPhone Revolutionized Smartphones

Phones, for more or less a decade, have been the chosen method of communication. But now, their scope has increased by leaps and bounds, thanks to the iPhone. Smartphones now allow us to stay connected to the internet 24/7, we can connect through social networking sites and blogs wherever and whenever. This phenomenon is fairly new, having started 4 years ago with the introduction of the first iPhone.

The iPhone 4 is currently the bestselling smartphone in the market, but few people know how the iPhone revolutionized the smartphone industry. It has changed our behavior. We no longer need a calculator to do our math–the iPhone can do that for you. We don’t need the weatherman for our weather forecasts–iPhone does a better job at that.

The App Store, particularly, has been a game changer in the industry. This feature allows users to get free or paid applications for gaming, productivity, literature, music, entertainment and more. Users have the option to update their software and applications, so the iPhone doesn’t get obsolete very fast. Other mobile companies such as Google, Microsoft and Palm have their own App Store versions to emulate the success found by Apple.

The Apple iPhone is quite a unique case such that it has kept its selling price constant since its first release in June 2007. Apple has sold more than 100 million iPhone’s in the past four years. Growth in other countries such as China has reached to 600%.

Apple seems very intent on destroying the PC for good, and is so far doing a great job. The Cloud allows you to keep all your data on the internet, to be readily available for your PCs, tablets, smartphones, etc. There will come a time when you no longer need those bulky hard drives, as Apple’s iCloud makes local storage less important.

Will Smartphones Replace the PC?

In a few years’ time, many of the gadgets will be obsolete because of the smartphone: the calculator, telephone, voice recorder, alarm clock, video camera and even the flashlight. In a few years time it may also replace the PC.

There are already apps for anything and everything you need. Need help with your diet? There’s an app for that. Need to make graphs and tables? Yup, they have it. To-do lists for your daily tasks? Of course. As Apple always says: ‘I have an app for that!’

There are a few weaknesses with smartphones, however. For one, they cannot compare with the PC when it comes to gaming. Limited storage equals limited features, and thus they lose when it comes to hardcore gaming, photo manipulation, 3D animation, video editing, and such. So while smartphones rule in convenience and instant connectivity, they cannot yet compete with PC’s extensive gaming, editing, and others.

Smartphones can do the most necessary tasks that you can do with your PC. It can connect to the internet, use social networking sites, and organize our lives. Thus they’re fast replacing the PC, which used to be the most irreplaceable piece of technology in our lives. But now we see that smartphones are now quickly catching up. PCs have always sold more than smartphones. At the start of 2010, 85 million computers were sold as compared to 55 million smartphones. Many analysts predict that a crossover will happen by 2012–instead, by the end of 2010, 94 million PCs as compared to 100 million smartphones. Where PC sales have gone stagnant, smartphones continue to grow rapidly in sales. Smartphones have come a long way, and many believe that this trend won’t ever reverse.

Despite the growth of smartphones, manufacturers put little emphasis on security. Teenagers make up the largest demographic of smartphone users, and have little concern about hackers and identity thieves. There are still some features that need to be improved (battery life, most specifically). Maybe in the future we can see features to make the smartphone more powerful such as solar battery charging, built-in projectors, 3D imaging, even fingerprint scanners for online buying.

Smartphones are still a fairly young technology with plenty of room to grow. In a few years time, they could be obsolete–or they could make us even more dependent on them than before. For now, it’s a waiting game, and nothing is ever predictable in this world. Right now smartphones are in and PCs are out–a trend that might or might not change. Overall, smartphones are a huge contender in becoming the most influential invention of the decade; and they show no signs of slowing down.

March 24 2011

10:00

Create Your Dream Workstation: Popular Computers And Gadgets For Designers (PC/Mac)

I spent several hours scouring the internet for designers’ workplaces and their specifications. Now, this will seem biased towards Apple products since almost everything I have seen on Flickr, Dribble, and other communities for designers indeed favor Apple products. But don’t worry here you’ll see all the most popular alternatives and everything else you need to build your dream workspace!

From what I have noticed the number of displays needed for a designer is always one more. You have two? Add another one. A good combination I have seen is a laptop and a cinematic display from 24” to 27”. Wireless mouse and keyboards are also favored.

Popular Displays


Dell UltraSharp U2711 27”–  Best Choice

Dell27

According to CNET this is one of the best monitors to use today. If you’re considering buying it you can read CNET’s official review and the user’s reviews.

It boasts amazing color accuracy, 2560 x 1440 resolution, 16:9 widescreen aspect ratio. Not to mention the price, okay, it’s a bit expensive at $987.00 but surely this is worth every single buck.

Best Alternatives:

1. ViewSonic VX2250WM-LED 22–Inch

2. NEC MultiSync PA271W

3. Samsung PX2370 23”Apple LED Cinema Display 27–Inch

4. ASUS VH198T 19–Inch

5. Apple LED Cinema Display 27–Inch

6. HP 2710m 27–Inch Diagonal HD Ready LCD Monitor

7. ASUS VW193TR 19–Inch Wide LCD Monitor

8. ViewSonic VA2431WM 24–Inch Widescreen LCD Monitor with Speakers

9. Acer V223W EJBD 22–Inch Wide LCD Display

10. Asus VH236H 23–Inch Widescreen LCD Monitor – Black

Sample Workspaces:

Popular Laptops


Apple MacBook Pro 15.4” Laptop –  Best Choice

Apple MacBook Pro 15.4” Laptop

Good choice for gamers and designers who love hopping from one place to another. With 15.4” display I’m pretty sure you won’t miss anything that should be in sight. Surely, this won’t make Steve Jobs blush of embarrassment.

It also now comes with Intel Core i5 or Core i7, giving near-flawless processing power. Something that even non-gamers and non-designers want to have.

Best Alternatives:

1. Samsung RF510-S02 15.6-Inch HD LED

2. HP G62-340us 15.6-Inch

3. Acer AS5253-BZ684 15.6-Inch

ASUS N53JQ-XV1 15.6-Inch

4. ASUS N53JQ-XV1 15.6-Inch

5. Lenovo G560 Series 067999U

6. Alienware m15x 15” Gaming Laptop (Cosmic Black)

7. Sony VAIO VPC-F133FX/B 16.4”

8. Toshiba Satellite M645-S4065 14.0-Inch LED

9. ASUS G73JW-ROG Limited Edition Republic of Gamers 17.3-Inch Gaming Laptop

10. Dell Inspiron Mini Duo 3487FNT Convertible Laptop/Tablet

Sample Workspaces:

Popular Desktops


Apple iMac 27” Desktop – Best Choice

There is all this talk about gigahertz, cores, RAM, HD, and relevant technical things. Knowing these will help you choose your dream computer. My take on all of these in six words: “the higher the number, the better.” Note: pricing is a different matter. There are products that closely resemble each other in terms of features but greatly differ in price. Is it about quality or the name? In the end we’ll just have to trust people’s reviews and ratings. What comes to mind? Apple iMac. 27 inches!

Best Alternatives:

1. Acer AspireRevo AR3700-U3002

2. Apple Mac Mini MC270LL/A Desktop

3. Sony VAIO VPC-J11BFX/B 21.5-Inch Desktop

4. HP TouchSmart 600 23”

5. Dell Studio XPS 7100(Piano Black)

6. Gateway DX4831–05 Desktop (Black)

7. Lenovo Ideacentre H405 77231AU

8. iBUYPOWER Gamer Extreme A537SLC

9. HP Pavilion p6720f PC

10. Apple Mac Pro MC561LL/A

Sample Workspaces:

Best Mouses


Microsoft Arc Touch Mouse (Black)

“BlueTrack Technology ensures that the Arc Touch Mouse works wherever you need it to, on a range of difficult surfaces – be it a rough wood bench, glossy granite countertop, or soft carpet.”

And hey, if you are thinking that the “curve” stops it from being easily portable then you are wrong.

Alternatives:

1. Apple Magic Mouse

2. Logitech Wireless Trackball M570

3. Logitech Wireless Performance Mouse MX for PC and Mac

4. Microsoft Wireless Notebook Optical Mouse 3000

5. HP Wireless 3 Button Mouse

Sample Workspaces:

Best Keyboards


Apple Wireless Keyboard

Technical Details:

  • Anodized aluminum enclosure
  • Extended layout with document navigation controls, a numeric keypad, and special function keys
  • Low profile keys
  • Bluetooth Technology
  • Ultra-thin design

Alternatives:

1. Logitech Cordless Desktop Wave Pro Ergonomic

2. Microsoft Sidewinder X6 Gaming Keyboard

3. Logitech G19 Programmable Gaming Keyboard

4. Logitech Keyboard K120

5. Microsoft Natural Ergo Keyboard 4000

Sample Workspaces:

Best Selling Graphics Tablets


Wacom Bamboo Pen and Touch

It takes time to get used to using a tablet but it sure will help for illustrators, graphic artists and designers out there. If you have a fat wallet and can afford a much better version of this, you might want to go for Intuos4 or Cintiq 21UX.

Alternatives:

1. Wacom Intuos4 Medium Pen Tablet

A great example using graphics tablet!

2. Wacom Cintiq 21UX

3. Genius MousePen 8 x 6-Inch Graphic Tablet

4. VT 12-Inch Touch Screen Graphic Pen Tablet

5. Wacom Intuos4 Small Pen Tablet

Sample Workspace:

Best Tablet PC


Apple iPad – Best Choice

Touchscreen computers and smartphones have taken over the world today. Wherever you look there are always people fiddling with their touchscreen devices (except poor me). Is there a tight competition in the market or is a certain brand the definite leader? Can’t really say which product is leading because it all depends on how good advertising and PR is. Anyway, here’s a short list of fantastic tablet PCs to complete your workspace.

Alternatives:

1. Motorola XOOM

2. Dell Streak 7

3. Coby Kyros MID7015 7-Inch

4. Archos 70 – 8 GB Internet Tablet (Black)

Sample Workspaces:

Popular Books in Web Design


1. Head First HTML with CSS & XHTML

2. CSS: The Missing Manual

3. The Web Designer’s Idea Book: The Ultimate Guide To Themes, Trends & Styles In Website Design

4. Don’t Make Me Think: A Common Sense Approach to Web Usability

5. Adobe Dreamweaver CS5 on Demand

6. Serif WebPlus X4

7. Introducing HTML5 (Voices That Matter)

8. Convert!: Designing Web Sites to Increase Traffic and Conversion

9. The Web Guru Guide

10. Website Design and Development: 100 Questions to Ask Before Building a Website

Anything you would like to add on this article? Would love to hear your feedback!

December 08 2010

14:06

Ultimate Secret Designer Christmas Gifts Wishlist Finally Revealed

Christmas is coming and people who deserve to enjoy it needs your presents! Below you’ll find a list of what a designer might like for Christmas.

There are too many items to cite but I only chose the coolest and most stylish. Things that a designer (developer, writer, etc.) would want to use not only at work but off-work, make your friend designer happier in this Christmas and remember there aren’t too many days left to get the gifts – huh..I need to remind that myself too .

SanDisk Cruzer 16 GB Flash Drive

Estimated price: $35.11

Sandisk

Adding to the fact that it has a lifetime warranty, it is capless so you won’t have to lose the cap. Massive storage for immediate and more portable needs. Features boasts that it includes JetFlash Elite data management tools which can help you to “Take your E-mail with you on the road” and “one-click automatic website log in”.

Livescribe 2 GB Pulse Smartpen

Estimated price: $99.99

Livescribe_pen

I believe this is the smartest pen ever invented. Features include voice recording for over 200 hours, things that you write is written and at the same time recorded which in turn you can upload to your Mac or PC for a virtual image of your notebook. From there you can “search” a term and the software finds it for you. Also has built in translator and calculator. Of all the items featured here this is the one item I want. Works well for writers, developers, and designers who are in meetings or far from a laptop/desktop.

Wacom Bamboo Pen and Touch Fun Small Tablet

Estimated price: $83.57

Wacom

Several months ago I had the chance to use one and I loved it even if I’m not really good at designing. For starters or pro this is a good tool in digital painting and other artworks.

Star Wars Darth Vader Mini-Figure Alarm Clock

Estimated price: $49.99

Alarm_vader

Admit it, many designers have seen Star Wars and are amazed by it. Who doesn’t know Darth Vader? Let Vader wake you up!

MIMO USB LCD Screen

Estimated price: $149.99

Mimo

A busy designer’s screen has no place for e-mails and IMs, they won’t just fit in one. Here’s the solution, plug it and have an extra space.

Imagelab Slide and Negative Scanner

Estimated price: $80.56

Scanimagelab

From negatives to digital images, I never thought such a technology existed. Insert your negatives, wait a moment, and view your scanned images on the LCD.

Canon SELPHY Compact Photo Printer

Estimated price: $59.99

Canon_printer_portable

Compact printer. Can print 4” by 6” photo in about 47 seconds with high quality. Wireless and has an LCD.

PanDigital’s 8.5”x11” Photo Scanner

Estimated price: $99.84

Scanner

A device which requires no PC to scan images. Can scan up to 8.5”x11”. Photos are scanned as 650dpi full color. Scanned images are saved directly to a memory card.

The Web Designer’s Idea Book, Vol. 2: More of the Best Themes, Trends and Styles in Website Design

Estimated price: $19.80

Ideabook_designer

A book to help avoid/remove designer’s block. Full of ideas, fresh and new.

Thinking With Type

Estimated price: $16.47

Thinking_with_type_ok

Reviewers of this book mentions that they “became better designers” just after reading this. I wonder, what’s inside?

Wi-Fi Detector T-Shirt by ThinkGeek

Estimated price: $19.99

Thinkgeekshirt_reloaded

Aside from its ability to detect human presence, it also detects Wi-Fi! Imagine that? You won’t have to ask people if the place is Wi-Fi enabled or open your device just to check. Cool guy, knows where Wi-Fi signal is.

App Magnets

Estimated price: $17.06

Apps_magnet

Too much time spent on your smart phone results to real-life App Magnets. Decorate someone’s fridge with these either for a laugh or for style.

Holmes Black Robot Desk Lamp

Estimated price: $23.15

Robot_lamp

You do not mess with the Robot Desk Lamp! Add a creative touch to a friend’s room, a designer would love this greatly!

365 Cats Page-A-Day Calendar 2011

Estimated price: $9.62

Cats

Meow for inspiration. Meow.

Sharkoon X-Tactic SP Gaming Headset

Estimated price: $69.99

Head_set

Every designer needs silence but holidays are coming and they will need to rock. Note: This is a gaming stereo headset for PlayStaion 3 and Xbox 360 with detachable microphone.

One Piece Anime Nami Oppai Mouse Pad

Estimated price: $49.95

Nami

Ergonomic mouse pad has good pads for wrist support. Yes, wrist support.

Kindle 3G + Wi-Fi Reading Device

Estimated price: $189.00

Kindle

Imagine a pdf reader that you can use for a whole month in just one-time charging. Impossible? Wired Magazine’s comment about this product is “Battery life is long enough for space shuttle missions.” Kindle is also Amazon’s #1 bestselling item for 2 years and running. It boasts to be the most-wished-for, and most-gifted product in Amazon.

The Art of God of War III

Estimated price: $40.95

God_of_war

If you know a designer who is a fan of God of War then this book will delight him/her. This book gives the reader a peek into the epic conception of its epic art.

Photoshop CS5 Digital Classroom

Estimated price: $31.49

Photoshop_cs5

Perfect for beginners and even for experts. It has a DVD that will guide you along the way.

Designer Notebook Sleeve

Estimated price: $19.90

Notebook_sleeve

Can fit in a 15.6” notebook and will protect it with its Anti-Shock System. Who wouldn’t love such a beautiful design for a notebook sleeve? I’d buy it for 30 dollars.

Logitech MX Revolution Cordless Laser Mouse (Black)

Estimated price: $152.99

Best mouse for designers. Offers vertical and horizontal scrolling. Scrolling is fluid, you will never have a problem with that. There is also a search feature, set your default search engine and just highlight a word or phrase and let the mouse do the rest. To sum all of the reviews, this mouse is one of the most smartest today. And it’s wireless!

Logitech Illuminated Ultrathin Keyboard with Backlighting

Estimated price: $61.21

Very thin, has 3 levels of  back-lighting to help see keys in the dark, ultra comfortable and the most elegant keyboard you’ll ever see. A reviewer says this is the best keyboard he ever bought. Good gift? Yes.

Logitech Comfort Lapdesk N500

Estimated price: $38.15

Has a heat-shielding design which protects your skin from the heat. Recent studies suggests that placing a laptop on your lap may trigger allergic conditions because of the heat on your skin. Be protected from harm. Aside from that, this lapdesk promises to give its users comfort whether on the sofa or on the bed, reviews from buyers supports this claim.

Shumacher PP-2200 Portable Outdoor Power Unit

Estimated price: $66.17

This is a good gift for a friend or to yourself. Going on a vacation far from civilization and you need access to your laptop or other gadgets? This one is for you. Reviewers of this product says it powers their laptop for several hours. Amazing, huh?

Optoma PT100 PlayTime LED Gaming Projector

Estimated price: $179.99

Who wouldn’t want to have a home theater at $179.99? Works with game consoles and computers, has built-in speakers, and exceeds general expectations for such a small amount. Clearly, a good gift if you want people to relax at home.

1TB USB 3.0 and USB 2.0 Ultra Portable External Hard Drive

Estimated price: $129.99

You know what’s cooler than 500GB? 1TB. Powered by your laptop/desktop, no need for an external source for power. Ultra Portable can fit inside your pocket.

Wii

Estimated price: $197.00

In France they call it Yes. Need I say more? Best gift for everyone.

Sony PSP

Estimated price: $169.99

Every designer needs fresh ideas and Sony’s PSP is a good gadget to get them fresh. Already finished work? Relax and have fun through PSP.

Website Design for ROI: Turning Browsers into Buyers & Prospects into Leads

Estimated price: $27.66

Let’s face it, a website’s design is as important as the content.  Because humans are visual beings who decide quickly based on appearance of things, the principles should also be incorporated in web designs.

Fujifilm FinePix J40 12.2 MP Digital Camera

Estimated price: $59.00

Capture moments that inspire you. Great gift for an outgoing designer. Great price too.

September 12 2010

10:00

Save Your Laptop: 40 Cool Looking Laptop Sleeves

A laptop is no more a gadget but has become more personalized with its growing usage not only officially but also personally. While giving it a personal touch we always try to protect it from the scratches and take care about any wear and tear and first we give it a backpack or a sleeve, most probably a traditional one which is quite boring and same everywhere but if you are a person with a unique taste and want a different look for your laptop sleeve too as a cool or a professional one,  then you are in the right place.

Redefining the meaning of traditional sleeves and backpacks, here are some designs which are cool, funky and quite innovative for your most cherished personalized laptop to give a look it really deserves.

1.Built large cargo laptop sleeve

Accessorized to carry all your gadgets in a sleek way.

2.Crumpler gumb bush laptop Mustard and Black

A funky design to carry your laptop along with all the materials.

3.Laptop sling girard collection

Hourglass design, with a shoulder strap to give a sleek look.

4.Laptop backpack

For optimum comfort to protect your laptop.

5.Totes

A laptop sleeve to fold securely around your laptop, hugging it and keeping it warm.

6.9-5-laptop-sleeve

Giving the same corporate look as yours.

7.The envelope

A unique look of an envelope as a sleeve for your laptop which has 2 pockets and a name holder.

8.Built bumper laptop sleeve

A rough sleeve for the tough handler.

9.Cassette tape Tote bag

Confuse others with this big cassette sleeve.

10.Built NY Laptop

Offers you storage and design with great comfort.

11.Heritage macbook sleeve

Tanned with natural vegetable dyes giving various textures and irregularities in color and shade add value to the appearance.

12.Window sleeve

Show off your laptop with this stylish window sleeve.

13.STMLatte

Sophisticated urban style with solid notebook protection.

14.Melman the Giraffe

A cute kiddie like sleeve to carry your lappy.

15.Ipad bubble sleeve

Egg like design to give that perfect comfort.

16.Solid laptop sleeve

Solid protection, sleek design with an attractive color.

17.Glove small macbook

Perfect for your petite gadget.

18.Protective laptop sleeve

Provides essential protection against scratches and impact damage.

19.Akepa laptop sleeve

Soft cushion like feel to protect your laptop.

20.W series barrington leather ladies briefcase

Style meets function with these smart, yet chic briefcases for the woman who refuses to settle for boredom.

21.Laptop Neoprene Sleeve

Light and durable sleeve to protect your laptop.

22.Pixelated sleeve

Give your laptop a dual personality of color and style with this slim fit sleeve.

23.Tucano Guaina

It zips up across the top with an inner lip to protect your laptop from scratches and knocks and is tight
fitting to take up the minimum of space; perfect for fitting in another bag.

24.Recycled billboard banner macbook

A geeky and eco-friendly sleeve which is constructed using recycled billiboard manner.

25.Omni

Designed for any way you work – sleek, internally-armored sleeve functions as a top-loader or in unique stay-on mode.

26.Tech Air Notebook Sleeve

Simple, slim-line form and a cool, clean color that will protect your notebook or laptop.

27.The kate laptop bag

From the contrasting trim and interior fabric, to the slanted front pockets, this is perfect bag for work, school, or play.

28.Signature backpack

A stunning and unique computer backpack, perfect for carrying your files and laptop.

29.Unicorn laptop sleeve

A sleeve carrying a unicorn to keep your device safe from bruises and bumps.

30.Victorinox adjustable cross suspension computer sleeve

Durable outer panels help protect against impact and abrasion.

31.STM Armour

For people rough on stuff, STM’s Armour is all you need to protect your 13″ notebook.

32.Flak jacket

Combining highly shock absorbing foam with corrugated plastic stiffeners to provide complete protection for your laptop in a slim, lightweight solution.

33.Netbook neo sleeve

Give an iPod sleeve for your laptop.

34.Knitted Sleeve

Kniteed sleeve which is colorful, bright, striped and fashionable making you stand out in a crowd.

35.Aircube notebook sleeve

High-tech, stylish sleeve that utilizes Air Cell technology.

36.Sleevz Notebooks

Super-light, form-fitting laptop and with an enhances grip while carrying – shields lap and furniture from heat while using.

37.STM Phantom

Features a sleek and gorgeous exterior which completely disguises the built-in padded laptop section.

38.Handmade Laptop Sleeve

Carry your la[top with a birdie style.

39.Booq Viper Rush M

Protects your 15″ MacBook Pro or 13″ MacBook inside a densely padded, molded laptop compartment lined with non-scratch fabrics.

40.Brutus blue zipped free laptop sleeve

Whenever you feel your Brutus Blue Laptop Sleeve has become dirty, just throw it right away to the laundry machine. No worry, it won’t damage anything since it’s washable. Very Suitable for Laptop, or best for Macbook from 12 to 15.4 inches.

July 01 2010

21:00

Ultimate Roundup of 95 Free Gadgets PSDs Downloads

In this article I compiled a list of 95 free gadgets PSD resources from talented designers all around the web for you to use in your start-up projects, print designs or in web designs. These wonderful gadgets designed from real life gadgets and range from phones, monitors, laptops, cameras and other very useful and handy gadgets. All the resources are of high quality PSD files available free for you to download and use but you better take a look at the license before you use any PSD file.

All the gadgets are categorized in 7 categories so that you can easily find the resource you are looking for (clicking on the category will navigate you to it):

  1. Phones
  2. Screens & Monitors
  3. PC, Laptops & Tablets
  4. Media Players
  5. Mouses, Keyboards, Headphone & Speakers
  6. Video Games Consoles
  7. Misc Gadgets

Phones

1. Apple iPhone 4G

2. Htc Dream

3. HTC EVO 4G

4. Motorola Droid

5. HTC Touch 2 Smartphone

6. Wall Phone

7. Phone: DC-660i

8. RIM Blackberry

9. Nexus One by Google

10. Tv Mobile

11. Motorola Droid

12. Motorola Droid X

13. HTC Dream Android

14. HTC HD2 Smartphone

15. HTC Incredible Smartphone

16. HTC Eris Smartphone

17. Nokia 5310

18. Nokia 3500c

19. HTC Diamond

20. LG KS360

21. HTC Mondrian Concept

22. Nokia N96

23. NOKIA 5800 XpressMusic

24. Samsung Corby S3650

25. BlackBerry Storm

26. Fully Layered PSD Abstract Phone

27. iPhone 3G

28. Old Telephone

Screens & Monitors

1. LCD UltraHD 350dpi PACKandPLUS

2. iMac

3. PLASMA TV

4. Flat Screen Television

5. iMac reviewed 2.0

6. Samsung Monitor

7. Led Cinema Display

8. LG Plasma TV

9. Widescreen LCD TV

10. 4 Retro TV Icons

11. Samsung P2370 Computer Monitor

PC, Laptops & Tablets

1. Dell Vostro

2. Macbook Air

3. MacBook Pro

4. TabletPC

5. Tablet PC – layered

6. iPad

7. HP – Screen and PC

8. Full Layered MacBook Air & MacBook Pro

9. Mac Mini

10. Mac Pro

11. The MacBook In Black

12. Silver Rack Server

Media Players

1. Microsoft ZUNE

2. iPod nano 5G

3. Phony CD Player

4. iPod PSD

5. iPod nano-chromatic

6. iPod Touch

7. iPod Shuffle

8. Zune HD

9. Apple remote

10. Zen Stone – Colors

Mouses, Keyboards, Headphone & Speakers

1. Apple Keyboard

2. Full Keyboard

3. Keyboard Apple

4. iMac Mouse

5. Mouse Digital

6. Mighty Mouse

7. Mac iMouse

8. Customizable Speaker

9. Headphones Resource

10. PSD Speakers

11. Headphones

12. Speakers

Video Games Consoles

1. Xbox 360

2. Xbox 360

3. Sony PSP

4. Sony Playstation 3 Slim

5. PlayStation3

6. PlayStation 1 Console

7. Nintendo Wii Black

8. Nintendo DS Lite

9. Nintendo DS Lite

10. Fully Layered PSP

Misc Gadgets

1. Retro Clock

2. Layered Olympus Digital Camera Icon

3. Retro Audio Tape

4. AirPort Extreme

5. Airport Express

6. Digital Camera

7. debLURR : Digital Camera

8. KODAKZx1 Video Camera

9. Sony Cyber-Shot W300

10. PSD Wireless Router

11. Digital Photo Camera

12. Stopwatch

Let us know if we have missed some thing awesome and we will be happy to update the article.

Older posts are this way If this message doesn't go away, click anywhere on the page to continue loading posts.
Could not load more posts
Maybe Soup is currently being updated? I'll try again automatically in a few seconds...
Just a second, loading more posts...
You've reached the end.
(PRO)
No Soup for you

Don't be the product, buy the product!

close
YES, I want to SOUP ●UP for ...