Caught our eye

On the end of sitting and the growth of stock cities


Augmented Reality

Google Glass on steroids

Six years after Kinect movement control, Microsoft amazes with another literally eye-catching user interface: HoloLens is Google Glass on steroids, so to speak. Instead of simply projecting a flat screen into the field of vision, the futuristic glasses generate 3D holograms that can then be controlled with gestures or speech. The augmented reality technology is not merely the dream of every gamer. In virtual reality, you face fairies, villains or sporting opponents. You can talk to them, fight them or follow them down passages. However, HoloLens also has enormous potential for business use: videoconferencing and collaboration is brought to life. Changes to objects can be visualised in space. Service technicians can be shown exactly what is no longer working inside a machine. Screens and function buttons can be placed anywhere in space...

The fascinating possibilities of HoloLens

«Soon we will no longer sit at all because sitting kills.»RAAAF (Rietveld Architecture-Art-Affordances), Holland

1/4 The three ICT flatmates are working at home: Thomas Petrig, Daniel Geppert and Johannes Neumaier (from left)

2/4 The lampshades have been plotted onto the wood according to instructions from the Internet. Step three in the production process now follows using lasers in the FABlab in Zurich.

3/4 Our digitally produced lamps light up – fantastic!

4/4 You can find iBeacons all around the flat – there is even a beacon attached to the washing machine.

1/4 The three ICT flatmates are working at home: Thomas Petrig, Daniel Geppert and Johannes Neumaier (from left)

Project 365d

ICT flat share: «There’s hardly enough time for everything»
It’s half time in the Swisscom ICT flat share. What have Thomas Petrig, Johannes Neumaier and Daniel Geppert achieved so far? Time to briefly take stock of «Project 365d» with design manager Thomas Petrig.
Every Friday you prepare your flat share for the future. How should I picture this?

We each have focus topics and concrete projects that we implement. Every two weeks, we write a blog entry about this. People visit us as well. Many people are interested in what we are doing. This includes people who work with home automation solutions or who want us to test routers or TV products. There’s hardly enough time for everything.

What have been the key achievements in the first months?

First, we spent several weeks networking our home, so we implemented a home automation server with an openHAB solution, mounted motion detectors and installed LED lamps. When we come home, we no longer need to press a single light switch. And we also produced three lampshades digitally, meaning we sourced a design from the Internet, material from a DIY store and then had the lampshades made using lasers in the Fablab in Zurich. In addition, we control and analyse the washing machine with mystrom, for example. Next, we plan to install beacons. With these, the environment should then be able to react individually to each of us by emitting «beacon» signals.

How do you keep up to date with developments?

I am extremely active on social media. On Twitter, you can search for keywords and find out what people are talking about and what is the topic of the moment. I also regularly visit blogs, such as Techcrunch, FastCo Design or The Verge. Or I take a look around the start-up scene and observe which projects achieve financing; that shows us which direction things might move in. A good source for this is Kickstarter.

dialogue is accompanying the ICT flat share through the year and reporting on «Project 365d» in every issue.

To the 365d blogVideo of the lighting system Project 365d on instagram



Stocks grow into the sky as skyscrapers

Good visualisations don’t make data better, but easier to understand. The Innovations Lab of the American service provider Fidelity Investments has created a virtual reality application (VR) for Oculus Rift that allows you to stroll through your portfolio of stocks like a town. The height of the buildings in StockCity shows the price while the floor area represents the trading volume over the past 90 days and current capital. In the future, for example social media rumours about a company, could be integrated into the VR experience in the form of birds that land on the buildings.

Your own stocks as a virtual reality experience



Switch off without being out of the running

Mobile communications have freed us from the limitations of the fixed network and desktop computer. However, at the same time, being permanently reachable robs us of the necessary islands of quiet in our daily routine, during which we can switch off, concentrate on our work or give someone all of our attention. My Time from Swisscom allows just this. With the free app, text messages, calls and messages can be blocked in a targeted manner. Once you are back online, My Time clearly shows what has happened in the meantime. In addition, the app helps you to become aware of your own phone habits and make a targeted effort to improve these. Clear graphics show, for example, how often the device is unlocked to check e-mails, chats and news, which apps you use when and how or when you actually activate smartphone breaks.

This is how I reserve my time


Smart Work

The office of the future: without chairs or desks

Are the current office landscapes with their lounges and creative zones just a transitional phenomenon? If the Dutch team of architects RAAAF (Rietveld Architecture-Art-Affordances) have their way, soon we will no longer sit at all because sitting kills, as the designers state provocatively. Instead of simply promoting standing desks now, they plan to collaborate with artist Barbara Visser to banish chairs and desks from the world of work completely. In exchange, offices will be completely redesigned. Slanted surfaces to lean on, ledges that are the right height for people to be able to stand comfortably and flat surfaces that can be used for work form a labyrinth with a cubist look made up of niches, open corridors and spaces. Visitors to the «End of Sitting» installation in Amsterdam, which introduced the concept to the public for the first time, felt comfortable in the geometric landscape. However, they felt that a few practical details were missing, such as a surface on which to place their coffee cups.

Here’s how working without desks or chairs works