Apps to track your blood pressure or heart rate, wrist bands to track your calories, forks that help you lose weight… these are just a few of the advancements in technology that will help to shape the future of personalized healthcare.
These devices and mobile apps have the potential to drastically change the healthcare industry for the better. With more accurate, aggregated data doctors can provide more specialized care to prevent diseases and better treat patients – that is, if the technology has gone through the right kind of in-the-wild testing.
One of our favorite in-the-wild testers, Molly Wood of CNET, recently took a closer look at the latest tech trends in fitness and health – including health apps and wearable tech gadgets. Here’s a look:
What if your headphones could detect your mood and play a song that coincides with it? Now they can.
A prototype of a new kind of headphones debuted at SXSW Interactive last week. The Mico headphones – developed by Neurowear – detect a user’s state of mind and select a song to fit their mood. According to Nic Halverson of Mashable:
“…the headphones feature a protruding electroencephalograph (EEG) sensor that scans brain patterns to match a person’s mood with an appropriate song.
When plugged in to a smart device running Mico’s app, the headphones detect the wearer’s state of mind and select a “neuro-tagged,” mood-fitting song from Neurowear’s database. The sides of the ear pieces illuminate when music plays and even show symbols — such as Zzz — if the user is sleepy, stressed or focused.”
However, Halverson brings up an issue; if you’re in an depressed state, you don’t always want to listen to sad music – or what if the headphones select the wrong song? Software as complex as this is certainly going to need some usability and functional in-the-wild testing to verify user-friendliness in a variety of real world scenarios.
We already know that the testing matrix is giant and takes a lot of dedication to tackle. But most companies are dealing with one medium (let’s say mobile), maybe two (mobile and web). Few companies have to accommodate just about every screen size and streaming device on the market. But Netflix does. And because of this they encode each of their movies and TV shows 120 times. In fact, getting a movie ready is a 7+ step process.
Thanks to Gigaom for finding this interesting bit of information.
Apple’s iPod Touch is likely at the top of most kids’ wish lists this holiday season. But can the device endure the “fruit punch soaked Cheeto encrusted” real world torture of having a child owner? Molly Wood, of CNet’s Always On, lets some kids play around with the device in-the-wild. Does the iPod Touch survive after it is trampled, soaked in fruit punch and covered in Cheeto crumbs? Find out in the video below:
There has been a lot of hype around the new Microsoft Surface, which has entered the tablet space attempting to take on Apple’s iPad 4 and Google’s Nexus 10. Everyone knows tablets are meant to be on-the-go and used everywhere. Whether it’s in the car, in the kitchen or at a table with friends – there is no limit to the accessibility of tablet devices. Because of this, tablets need to be durable and able to bare all real world scenarios.
Always On‘s Jeff Cannata took the task of in-the-wild torture testing the Microsoft surface tablet to the next level. He casually spills a glass of red wine on the device, bakes it in the oven, boils an egg on it and even uses it as a skateboard. So how durable is the Microsoft Surface Tablet when it meets these in-the-wild torturous moments? Check out the video clip below:
Many in-the-wild tests that put mobile devices through rough and tumble situations make sense. You’re lucky if you can unwrap your phone without getting a wayward scratch on the surface. You will, one day, without a doubt, drop your phone – maybe even from an unfortunate height. And the odds of your device coming into contact with water are probably higher than we’d all like. But then, there are the downright outlandish tests. I’d like to see the everyday, real-life scenario that inspired such extreme tests as the blender test.
I’m actually impressed with how little damage the Galaxy S III sustains for such a long period of time. Sure, it’s in three pieces, but the iPhone 5 is dust long before those three Samsung pieces start giving. Nevertheless, I’d recommend not dropping your phone in a blender, or at the very least, quickly retrieving it (after you turn the blender off please!).
We could be extreme testing the blender though, in which case, good job blender!
That’s right – advances in medical technology are bringing fiction to reality. Take a look at this video of the Bebionic3, a carbon fiber mechanical hand that can be controlled by upper arm muscle. This amazing device is being tested by users in-the-wild, and this video of Nigel Ackland is one example of these real life tests:
Tablets are used primarily on-the-go and it’s no surprise that they take a beating in-the-wild. Currently, it seems the three tablets of choice boil down to the small and decently priced Nexus 7, the new iPad Mini which follows in the Nexus 7’s model in terms of size and cost, and the larger, more expensive iPad 3. So, how do these tablets stack up against each other in terms of durability?
Lauren Goode of AllThingD recently shared this video from SquareTrade of their very own “Drop Bot” giving the tablets a run for their money:
What is your tablet of choice? We’d love to hear from you in the comments section.
If the software you develop is not easy and natural to use, it will most likely fail once it hits the hands of real-world users. Usability and functionality are everything when it comes to software success. In one of our blog posts from last week, Jamie Saine emphasized just that in sharing a video she found showing a series of real world on-the-street tests of Windows 8 and different users’ reactions. The video showed that in the tests conducted, users found Windows 8 to be confusing and very un-intuitive.
Recently, I came across this video of three-year-old Julian using Windows 8 in-the-wild. This little boy has only had moderate experience with Windows 8, yet Julian seems to know the software in-and-out. As father of Julian “AdamDesrosiers” says in his YouTube post:
“The long and short of it is: If my 3 years old son can learn Windows 8 through very moderate usage, anybody with half a brain can do so too.”
If a three-year-old can do it – we can too, right? Share your thoughts about Windows 8 in the comments section.
What happens when your end users don’t find your software intuitive? They don’t like your software and don’t want to use it.
Case in point, this on-the-street trial of Windows 8 conducted by Chris Pirillo. Chris stopped everyday people and had them test drive the new Windows UI that is set to hit shelves later this month. What’s most worrisome is that all of these people have prior Windows experience, can articulate what they’re looking for and are young enough to have been using computers most of their lives.