This is a telepresence system from Cisco:
It's pretty cool, people who have tried it say it's so flawless you sometimes try handing documents to people on the screen. But it has two problems: it requires a dedicated room, and it will set you back $300,000 for each system ($600K minimum).
Lets try designing a dirt cheap telepresence system:
Systems should be flexible, if you want to make it seem you are sitting across the table, just put a table there. No need for dedicated furniture that can't be used in other contexts.
Additionally, Cisco affirms that the system is "as easy as making a phone call". But real telepresence should be an extension of your office. In an ideal situation, the room is a "portal" to the remote office where you meet up for anything, just as you would in real life. The projector could be continuously transmitting a live feed as soon as it detects movement.
Of course, you could turn it off for anything that doesn't require remote collaboration, but the on/off switch should be the lighting system itself. I can already see the CEO chatting with the janitor over a cup of coffee.
Write a comment
No comments yet
The setting is a futuristic world where there some people own robots. They send them out to "hunt" or exploit hacks that would normally embarrass us, such as hoarding free food samples at the supermarket, getting on the stage of a stand up comedy session to scream "enlarge your penis!", filling mailboxes with pamphlets peddling viagra, or begging for money on the street to take it back to their owner.
People start off by applying corrective measures: they throw out robots from public spaces, such as cafés and libraries, based on what they say. Soon it proves inefficient; so, in order to get into a public space you have to prove you're not a robot.
When you go to the theater, the cashier shows you a card that has a particular pattern that robots find difficult to discern. Give the wrong answer and you're not allowed in. Fair enough. Problem is: people start using it everywhere. Want ride a bus? Play in the park?Go for a stroll? Prove you're not a robot. You can register at your favorite cafeteria, of course, and they will stop asking you to look at the card, but people are very touchy about giving out personal information just to enjoy a cup of coffee.
To make matters worse, rouge engineers start making robots more and more like humans, so the cards become increasingly difficult to answer. Some people are visually challenged, so a verbal pattern is asked. Engineers tweak the robots to answer verbal questions. It becomes trench war where robots gain more terrain every day.
Some small shop owners—tired of hustling their customers into answering impossible cards—try alternate methods, such as displaying a card that says "keep quiet and I'll know you're not a robot". This proves reasonably successful. However, as soon as the incentive is large enough engineers tweak the robots to accommodate these exceptions.
Phonebook, the phone company, is a monopoly where every customer is proved to be human. Almost every citizen is a client of Phonebook, so shop owners start asking for clients to produce their Phonebook card. Phonebook loves this, because they're known to collect every possible bit of personal information they can. Privacy minded individual are enraged, of course.
There seems to be no satisfying solution to this conundrum, until someone notices robots are fucking made of steel. Engineers had been so busy playing the card war to notice this, and promptly intall a metal detector at every entrance.
It gives off false positives of course, but then they are shown the card.
Some discusion out of the parable
Why are engineers so bent on winning the Captcha war? There are a series of tests you can devise to find out if somebody is human, such as:
- If the user agent is a browser, make some DOM tests
- Placing a honeypot field in the form
- Testing for human behavior (keystroke speed, mouse movement)
All these have their drawbacks and false positives, but Captchas should be displayed until they fail the tests, not before.
Write a comment
No comments yet
Hypothetical scenario: the phone wakes you up at 7am, this irks you because you partied the entire previous night, celebrating the numerous awards that you won at an international design contest.
—"Hello?" you answer the phone with a coarse voice.
—"Sir, we are sorry to wake you up, we have seen your success and we want you to hire you for a very important project" someone tells you with a thick Arab accent.
—"What is it about?" you ask.
—"We are about to implement the wayfinding system for Dubai's airport, we already have a ticket for you, and your plane is leaving in two hours. Your compensation will be very attractive".
Cursing your good luck, you drag yourself out of bed, pack whatever you can, and ask the cab driver to hurry because time is short. You try to sleep, but the project is still in your head. Arriving at Dubai, a person awaits your with your name on a cardboard. You are hurried to the airport's offices: there is no time to lose.
You see five arab suits discussing hotly in their native language, they look at some papers over the desk. Looks like an important project.
—"Sir, we have been expecting you!"
—"¿What is this about?" design celebrities like you don't have time for social ettiquette, including greeting.
—"Sir, as you know Dubai is an international center of commerce, we need a wayfinding system that people of practically all nations and cultures can understand. We saw that you won many awards, that's why we called you. We need you to tell us which pictogram is the most comprehensible, sans text, for people from all over the world.
Choose the pictograms →
Write a comment
Read the 37 comments