From Future

Exploring possibilities for the future of technology, the environment and society

Responsive Design Is Improving The Web

Polygon Responsive Design

At the beginning of 2012 there were very few examples of large websites which had adopted responsive layouts, an approach to web design whereby the page is able to automatically scale to provide an optimal view experience for whatever device is being used (desktop, tablet or smartphone). Now as we approach the end of the year its been exciting to see an explosion in the number of big sites employing this technique to great effect. Read more

2011 South Korean Trends

Tesco Homeplus Subway Virtual Store in South Korea

South Korea has long been an interesting place to look at trends in technology and popular culture, such is the effect caused by a population mostly centered around a single city (Seoul) and having rapidly developed over the past 50 years. Every time I visit I’m always on the lookout for what’s trending and below are a few notes I made on my most recent trip: Read more

Building a Better eBook

Reading a book in iBooks on iPad (by Ronnie Pitman)

I’ve noticed an interesting trend in recent years; when old media (tv, publishers) try to translate their wares into new media formats (smartphones, tablets) they often fail miserably because they translate the formats too literally. That is they try to make a digital newspaper look and behave like a paper newspaper, and so on, without considering the fundamental differences between the way you interact with both mediums. Read more

9 hours Designer Capsule Hotel

9hours Capsule Hotel in Kyoto

I’ve been lucky enough to stay at some very nice hotels over the past couple of years but in Japan I was on a tight budget and determined to try something a little different. Originally created for businessmen who worked too late to catch the last train home, capsule hotels (カプセルホテル) have developed as an economical alternative to normal hotels in a country where space comes at a premium. Read more

Toyota Universal Design Showcase

Toyota i-Real Concept Vehicle

Tokyo is often portrayed as a high-tech wonderland being run by robots and full of futuristic gadgets you can’t find anywhere else. While the truth is rather more mundane it can certainly be said that Japan is a leader in the field of robotics and a few concepts are on show at Toyota’s MEGA WEB Universal Design Showcase on Odaiba island in Tokyo Bay. Read more

Odaiba Island in Tokyo Bay

Tokyo Bay Rainbow Bridge

On my final day in Japan I visited the artificial island of Odaiba (お台場) in Tokyo Bay. The island was originally part of a number of coastal fortresses but was redeveloped in the early 1990s as Tokyo Teleport Town, a showcase for futuristic living. It suffered when the “bubble economy” burst but has since rebounded as a commercial and entertainment zone. Read more

The Evolution of Interaction

iOS Apps in Vase

It struck me yesterday while playing with my iPhone that hardware is no longer what defines an object in much the same way that a person’s body is not what makes us who we are (even if it is a contributing factor). Technology of the past was defined by physical switches and buttons which each served a singe function but todays devices are mere windows into the software which ties all their components together. The whole is far greater than the sum of its parts. Read more