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Medium 9781449372569

7. Embedded Device Design

Claire Rowland O'Reilly Media ePub


This chapter is about the design of physical objects in the Internet of Things. In particular, the devices users interact with and that have embedded electronics. Compared to web or mobile UX design, thinking about physical objects requires an appreciation for some fundamental differences.

When reading or hearing about hardware startups, you’ll often hear that “hardware is hard.” This conclusion speaks to those fundamental differences to software. Designing software revolves around the ability to release early, iterate continuously, and easily address a global market. Hardware involves high upfront costs, can’t change once manufactured, and every market requires individual due diligence.

In this chapter, we will look at some of the basics of designing physical objects, what’s important to consider when designing physical connected objects, and how this is relevant to UX designers of an Internet of Things product.

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Medium 9781937538033

Capture & Import

Stephen Laskevitch Rocky Nook-IPS ePub

This book predominantly focuses on post-capture workflow. However, Id like to give a few suggestions on ways to capture images to make that workflow work.

By choosing raw, you give yourself every bit of data that your sensor captured. With any other choice, some assumptions are made as to how the image will be developed. See your user guide to set your camera to raw.

Photojournalists sometimes have a need to capture in a mode that some cameras offer called raw+JPEG. This way, they can upload the smaller JPEGs to their publisher(s), but still have the valuable raw data to process more carefully later. Most users dont need the added JPEG.

Adobe provides this free companion application via adobe.com that uses photos of special charts (essentially checkerboard patterns) to determine the distortions, vignetting, and other quirks of particular lensesand corrects many of them automatically in Photoshop, ACR, or Lightroom! Many profiles are supplied in those applications, but this utility lets you use your own or other photographers if your combination is not already listed.

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Medium 9781449338657

1. Introduction

Bre Pettis Maker Media, Inc ePub

In which the reader shall learn about the implications and responsibilities that come with being the Operator and Caretaker for a MakerBot and shall be introduced to robots of great power and promise.

All MakerBot prints start with a digital designa 3D model of your object. Software takes that model and slices it up into layers a fraction of a millimeter thick. When its time to print, a MakerBot works by laying down layers of plastic. Each layer is precisely drawn by the machine using molten plastic. It cools immediately, and in the process of cooling down transforms from a molten liquid into a solid model! Figure1-1 shows the original MakerBot Replicator.

MakerBots print in thermoplasticseither ABS (the same stuff Legos are made of) or PLA (a biodegradable substance made from starchy foodstuffs). A thermoplastic is a material that softens and becomes pliable above a certain temperature and then returns to its solid form as it cools. The thermoplastic printing materialalso called filamentstarts out on a reel like spaghetti or very thick fishing line. When youre printing, a very precise motor drives that raw filament through an extruder, a very tiny nozzle that gets hot enough to melt it. What comes out the other end is molten plastic that looks like super fine angel hair spaghetti, which quickly cools and turns into whatever it is youre printing.

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Medium 9781457185922

13. Milling

Paolo Aliverti Maker Media, Inc ePub

Michelangelo, artist and master of subtractive techniques, used to say that what he did was to free his works from the marble that kept them trapped. Today, thanks to machines, we can also free “objects” trapped in foam blocks, resin, or wood, without necessarily becoming artists of the chisel. These machines, which make our objects rise from an ocean of burrs, are called computer numerical control (CNC) machines—that is, machines that can control other tools (such as mills, lathes, grinders, and drills) via computer.

Just like 3D printers, CNC machines are nothing new: they have been used for decades to manufacture precision mechanical parts. These machines are often very large and expensive, made of cast iron and filled with gravel to reduce vibrations, and carefully mounted in industrial plants not accessible to everyone, for obvious safety reasons.

These CNC machines are essentially robots that can move tools in space to create objects. In subtractive technologies, the tool being moved may be a laser beam, a blade, a supersonic water jet, or a rotating instrument…the important thing is for it to be suitable to remove material. The digital revolution couldn’t help taking CNC machines into consideration, so some years ago a series of open source projects appeared on the Net to help makers manufacture CNC machines in their own garages.

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Medium 9781449371036

11. Legal

Renee DiResta O'Reilly Media ePub

This chapter provides a broad overview of some of the legal considerations that hardware startups are likely to encounter. Writing about legal considerations is challenging; there’s no one-size-fits-all strategy that applies to every hardware startup. However, issues such as regulatory compliance, patents, and industry certifications are highly likely to come up as you build your company and sell your product. The material presented here is meant to be a broad overview of the big topics that a founder needs to be aware of. It isn’t legal advice or a substitute for talking to qualified lawyers about your specific situation.

There are six areas of legal complexity that almost every hardware company will encounter:

Company formation and establishment of a legal entity

Intellectual property protection

Contracts (for sourcing, manufacturing, and the sale of finished goods)

Liability concerns

Regulatory considerations

Industry certifications

One lawyer is unlikely to have expertise in all of these areas, so hardware startup founders commonly work with multiple types of lawyer. In the early days, a corporate lawyer will help with entity formation and contracts and can often provide advice about how to handle potential liability issues related to the product. However, most corporate lawyers don’t have extensive experience with patents, so a patent attorney is often needed as well. She can help you navigate complex intellectual property issues. If you’re working within a highly regulated industry—say, building a medical device—you might want to hire a lawyer or consultant who has taken many such devices through the approval process.

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Medium 9781937538033

Creative Edits & Alternates

Stephen Laskevitch Rocky Nook-IPS ePub

As we go through these adventures, we will often want to keep several versions of our images. Here are just a few ways we can keep those without too much clutter.

Bridge/ACR Lightroom

Some edits are much more than technical: they are experimental and/or aesthetic. Many of these Creative Edits (as I call them in this book) can be achieved in Lightroom and ACR. Consider some of the Develop Presets that come with Lightroom: Antique Grayscale, Sepia Tone, etc. Often, youll want to apply these only to copies of your images.

In Lightroom, I recommend that you make a Virtual Copy. To do so, control click/Right-click on an image or its thumbnail and choose Create Virtual Copy. This Virtual Copys thumbnail will have a page-turn icon in its lower left corner. There is no extra image file on your hard drive. This is merely a convenient, visual representation of an independent set of metadata for your original image. Go wild!

In Camera Raw, you may use the last panel, Snapshots, to capture metadata sets. Clicking on a snapshot immediately changes the image to the configuration that was present when the snapshot was made.

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Medium 9781937538033

Cleaning & Retouching

Stephen Laskevitch Rocky Nook-IPS ePub

Key Concepts

The way retouching has been done from the very early versions of Photoshop is by cloning pixels from one part of an image and using them to obscure blemishes we dont want. The mechanism is a tool that uses a brush metaphor, called the Clone Stamp Tool in Photoshop, or Spot Removal in Lightroom and ACR. Quite simply, it is like very quickly selecting an area, copying it, then pasting it elsewhere. In nondestructive workflows, including those involving Smart Objects, the cloned pixels go onto their own layer above our source image.

An advancement over cloning, the healing function uses the same painting procedure as cloningbut rather than only making identical copies, it then blends them into the new area by pulling color and luminosity from the surrounding pixels. In a way, healing copies texture only, drawing on the context where its placed to determine color and tone.

In Photoshop, there are three tools that can heal: the Spot Healing Brush, the Healing Brush (my favorite), and the Patch Tool (which is layer-specific, sadly). The Spot Removal Tool of ACR and Lightroom can be set to either clone or heal.

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Medium 9781449372569

10. Interoperability

Claire Rowland O'Reilly Media ePub


Much of what we currently call the “Internet of Things” is not yet much like the rest of the Internet: a network of networks based on open standards. The proliferation of different technical standards means that getting devices to work together is hard. Many devices are locked away in proprietary ecosystems, because frequently that is the easiest way to get them to work. But their lack of interoperability with other devices and systems is seriously limiting its potential value and usability. Users will expect devices to work together, but right now many do not.

Building on the networking concepts discussed in Chapter 3, this chapter explores the technical challenges of interoperability (and some emerging solutions) and their impact on UX.

This chapter introduces:

Why the current state of the Internet of Things has been dubbed the “CompuServe of Things” (see The CompuServe of Things)

The concept of interoperability and the problem it poses for IoT (see What Is Interoperability and Why Is It a Problem?)

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Medium 9781449344160

5. Looking Forward: InDesign as an XML “Skin”

Dorothy J. Hoskins O'Reilly Media ePub

If you have a number of XML documents, all based on the same tags, you can make them look completely different just by using a different style mapping and page layout.

For example, say that in template A.indt, you have three columns, justified text, with Caslon Old Style as the base font. In template B.indt, you have a single-width column of left-aligned text with a narrow sidebar and Helvetica as the base font. In each template, you have mapped the XML tags to paragraph and character styles of the same name (but different definitions) and applied tags to text flows. By importing the XML of the same tag structure into the different InDesign templates, you will get completely different-looking documents.

The power of this technique is only beginning to be appreciated. It is held back by the fact that there is so little standardization of XML that people use in InDesign. I expect that the next development will be the introduction of XML standard tag sets (DTDs) for publications that are rich enough to describe information usefully, but not so deeply that they are difficult to use. Using standardized XML content models will provide the basis for increased automation with XSLT on import and export of XML.

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Medium 9781457185922

15. Electronics and Fairy Dust

Paolo Aliverti Maker Media, Inc ePub

Tinker Bell and Peter Pan could fly thanks to a happy thought and some fairy dust. Our projects also need some fairy dust to fly, in the form of ghostly subatomic particles called electrons. Moving electrons are the basis of electricity, and their behavior in components is the basis of the field we call electronics. A beginner might view electronics as a difficult and inscrutable topic, and circuits as tiny and complicated objects. Electronics books are chock-full of math and physics formulas, so there is apparently nothing magic or fantastical…just a bunch of stuff an engineer would love!

But if you looked at electronics metaphorically, with an artist’s eye, you could see wires and currents as pipes and water, transistors and potentiometers as valves and taps…and you would find out that electronics can be pretty intuitive, and a lot of fun too!

When a programmer approaches a new computer language, she first checks that everything is properly installed on the computer, and that the development environment can compile her program. For this first program, it’s a programming tradition to write one called Hello World. Hello World does nothing more than print the words “Hello World” on the screen. Ridiculously simple, yes, but successfully writing, compiling, and running the program tells you that your development environment works.

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Medium 9781937538033

The Interface: A Hands-on Tour

Stephen Laskevitch Rocky Nook-IPS ePub

This chapter introduces the basic interface and features of Photoshop: its Tools, Panels, Options Bar, and Image Window. The main goal of this chapter is to identify the basic skills and vocabulary of Photoshop, Bridge, and Lightroom that are used throughout this book.

The illustration shows the main elements of Photoshop. Be sure you have an image open if you want to experiment with the interface, as many Photoshop options are not available without an image.

Many readers of this book may already feel comfortable working with layers. But there is always something new to be learned even for very experienced users. So please review these features.

Understanding layers is the most essential step in understanding Photoshop. The classic way to visualize layers is as stacked sheets of transparent film with images on each one. This stack visually combines to create the final image, with each layer obscuring the layer below it. You may view the layers in a particular document by looking at the Layers panel. Well have more to say about that and other panels a little bit later.

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Medium 9780253349118

5. Weaving Saris

Pravina Shukla Indiana University Press ePub

BANARAS HAS BEEN A CENTER for the production of exquisite brocaded saris for centuries. The colloquial name used throughout India for these saris—the Banarasi sari—implies a continuous association of the beautiful saris with the city where most saris of the type are still made. Saris are woven in the Muslim neighborhoods of Banaras: handwoven in Madanpura and Sonarpura, and manufactured on power looms in Alaipura. Dalmandi, the other main Muslim neighborhood, is the market center for readymade clothes; saris are neither woven nor sold there.

A significant portion of the residents of Banaras are involved in the sari trade in one way or another. Thousands of men (and a smaller number of women) work as weavers, a few of them ranked as masters. Some weaving families have been involved in the trade for generations; others turn to it intermittently to earn extra cash. Kanhaiya Kevat, for example, a charismatic boatwallah we met on the Ganges, explained that besides rowing a boat—and working out at the local wrestler’s club, which is his favorite activity—he also weaves saris part-time. Many weavers are journeyman workers under the supervision of the families that have owned workshops for generations. These families of Muslim masters, who bear the surname Ansari, occasionally hire a few Hindu workers, such as Kanhaiya Kevat, who is not by caste a weaver.

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Medium 9780253014092

5 Fashion Design in South Africa: Histories and Industries

Victoria L. Rovine Indiana University Press ePub

South African fashion is totally different from the rest of Africa. It is certainly African—you must call it African because it is made here.

—Marianne Fassler, 2008

We wanted to try and find a way that would make history part of popular culture, so the individuals who buy those clothes become ambassadors.

—Nkhesani Manganyi Nkosi of Stoned Cherrie, Sunday Times, 28 April 2002

Woolworths and South Africa’s leading designers are working together to bring you the best in local design. Wear them proudly.

—Woolworths department store clothing label, Cape Town, 2008

South Africa’s large and diverse fashion industry includes numerous designers whose work bears analysis as conceptual; these designers create garments that evoke complex localities without directly borrowing from or depicting elements of local cultures. Continuing a leitmotif from the previous chapter, many of these designers employ various forms of recycling—from the reuse of clothing to the repurposing of images that allude to specific histories, both national and personal. In post-apartheid South Africa, barely a generation beyond the end of the nation’s long period of racial segregation and repression, references to the past and to the ongoing struggle to realize the promise of transformation are a prime subject for artistic explorations in all media. Fashion design provides a highly visible and widely accessible venue for these explorations. Before turning to case studies of designers, I briefly introduce three aspects of South Africa’s history that reverberate in the work of fashion designers, making the country’s design industry exceptional in Africa. These elements—ethnic diversity, a history of race-based oppression, and a highly developed industrial and commercial infrastructure—all contribute to the distinctiveness of the nation’s fashion industry.

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Medium 9780253015778

Introduction Special Clothing for Extraordinary Contexts

Pravina Shukla Indiana University Press ePub

IT IS THE THIRD OF JULY, AND TENS OF THOUSANDS OF PEOPLE ARE gathered on a farm just outside of Gettysburg, Pennsylvania. A young couple walks by, wearing matching T-shirts: his says “Civil War Nut’s Husband”; hers reads “Civil War Nut’s Wife.” A man in baggy khaki shorts has a T-shirt that reads “Fort Bragg FIRE Emergency Services”; his companion sports a baseball cap that says “U.S. Army.” A little boy is dressed as a Union soldier, in blue pants and shirt, a kepi on his head, with a yellow cavalry sash tied at his waist, proudly carrying a toy infantryman’s rifle. On Sutler’s Row, at the photography studio, a young man poses in a wool Union uniform, indistinguishable from a real one except that it is open in back and fastened with long ties. At the Activities Tent a camera crew awaits, every man clad in shorts, sunglasses, bandanas on their heads, with large laminated “Press” badges dangling from their vests. Outside the tent stands an elegant bearded man in an impeccably tailored, pale gray uniform. He has come from upstate New York to address the crowd in the role of General Robert E. Lee. All of these people express their identities by what they wear.1

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Medium 9780253015969

6 The Culture Wars, Then and Now

Jo B. Paoletti Indiana University Press ePub

It has been over fifty years since the confluence of youth culture, sexual revolution, and civil rights activism set the culture wars in motion. Judging by the present state of affairs, it may be another half century before the many questions raised in the 1960s are finally resolved. I wrote the bulk of this book in 2013, a year punctuated with important fiftieth-anniversary observations. The year 1963 was a watershed. It was the year that brought us the Beatles, The Feminine Mystique, the Great March on Washington, and the Kennedy assassination. The teenagers of 1963 are in their sixties now but still arguing about many of the same contentious issues that have occupied us since junior high. Commentators originally attributed the rifts in our society to the perennial conflict between youth and age, but the generation gap has faded with the passing of our own grandparents and parents. To paraphrase Pogo, we have met the culture warriors and they are us.

In the preceding chapters I have described the major battlegrounds as revealed through dress. In this chapter I use the same lens to examine what our current gender controversies and quandaries owe to the unfinished business of the sexual revolution. Finally, I ponder what may lie ahead.

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