Archive for September, 2009


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Mood rings were popular in the 1970s. Mobile devices may be the modern day mood ring. Fast Company posted a story about new emotion-detecting software launched at TechCrunch50. Affective Interfaces claims that it has developed an ultra-accurate system that can detect emotions correctly over 85% of the time.

Emotional Mobile User Interface Design

The Affective Interfaces website welcome message reads: “Knowing what your customers are doing is great, but wouldn’t you like to know why?” Harvesting information from consumers is a great use of the program. Focus groups these days cover everything from new product perception to jury trial preparation and they are labor intensive to arrange and costly to run. Fast Company notes that Affective Interfaces could potentially remove human monitors from the equation, saving a ton of money. Additionally, hundreds of users could be part of a group eliminating the need for companies to conduct expensive testing on small numbers.

Taking this a step further, it would be amazing if advertisements could be presented at an opportune emotional moment based on a user’s personality and demographic profile. For example, at the end of the day, a tired mom might see a vacation commercial or a mattress sale announcement. The same mom on a treadmill in the morning might see a commercial for a sports drink or athletic shoes.

Intelligent interfaces on a consumer device could detect frustration on a user’s face and adjust themselves accordingly. A frustrated user would could get more of a stripped down simple user interface and then get more options later as frustrations went away. This could be a great benefit for new users or those that aren’t technologically savvy.

Additionally, the entertainment industry could tweak content choices based on your current emotional state. Music, movies, games and applications could be matched to a particular mood.

What about using emotion detection to monitor a loved one turning it into a potentially an important relationship tool. Let’s say you have the ability to check the emotions of your spouse before you leave the office. Confrontational or angry? Stay at work longer or hit happy hour before you pull into the driveway.




Can a mobile device mirror the excitement of throwing the dice in a crowded casino? It looks like the MGM Grand at Foxwoods casino is betting on it as they prepare to release a branded iPhone app. 

Mobile Resort Gambling Experience Design

Mobile Entertainment had a post announcing the launch and some of the details. The app will attempt to simulate all the sights and sounds of an actual casino to immerse users in the Foxwoods environment. No free drinks or real money play. “Play-for-fun” only games since remote gambling illegal in the US. Also included are tips on how to play the casino’s table games as well as a resort tour. Of course, the goal is to get users into the “real world” casino to unload some of their real cash. 

MGM would be smart blend exclusive on-premise features with offsite offers. Offsite features should be heavy on getting gamblers onto the property such as the ability to easily book your stay along with last minute getaway deals. Additional offers could include discount on show tickets, coupons only available to app users, an in-depth event calendar, local weather and restaurant specials. 

While on-site, the app could make visits smoother by acting as a virtual concierge for dinner reservations, event and attraction tickets, local maps and directions or transportation arrangement. (This is an end run around concierge tipping so guests have that much more $$$ to spend on the gaming floor!) 

The app could also feature on-premise only mobile gambling for real dollars. Currently, this is only legal in casino public areas in Vegas might be extended in the future through pending legislation. Gambling tutorials (expanding on tips) for specific MGM games would also be a smart on-site feature. Devices could also be loaned to guest for their stay.

With the travel industry struggling, any resort destination would be smart to jump into the app marketplace if they can offer ease, affordability and creative content.




Verizon continues to blend their product offerings through a converged mobile user experience. InteractiveTV Today had a post detailing the variety of FiOS TV features that will soon launch. There are some cool elements that also have practical real world use - a good example of a multi-screen experience.

mobile tv user experience

I was particularly interested in the news that Verizon will soon release software that will let viewers to use their WiFi-enabled smartphones as a remote control. Through a remote access service, Fios TV subscribers will be able to use their mobile to review, change or add recording requests, delete recorded programs, browse and search TV and video-on-demand listings, and set parental controls.

Mobile devices are so much more sophisticated than the typical remote – it’s a great use of mobile technology.

This opens up a host of possibilities to bundle Verizon TV and mobile services together - building consumer loyalty and expand Verizon’s reach. A good example of this might be Verizon suggesting new content purchases based on shows or music you’ve watched or programmed to record. By utilizing one device as an extension of another, new user experiences are possible. For example, when watching FIOS TV and you see an ad for a show you want to watch, you don’t have to interrupt your viewing experience on the television. You just use your mobile phone to set the show to record.
Other features include an enhanced Interactive Media guide for FiOS TV as well as “bidirectional sideloading”—which allows viewers to use their TV to access digital files from mobile phones attached to their PC’s. There will also be an interactive TV application that allows you to watch free samples of premium channels with the option to order as well as various widgets, like the football widget that displays statistics alongside a game.

I’d love to see more social tv features. For example, notify when my friends are watching tv, let me know what they’re watching, let me invite them to watch something with me, etc.