Apple’s Healthbook is visionary—and parochial

by Emily Twaddell

Dirk Knemeyer has a few questions about Apple's ideas for a mobile medical solution.

This coming June, Apple is expected to announce their “Healthbook” app. In a bold expansion on the concepts of Involution’s hGraph app, Apple is attempting not only to federate all of a user’s important, top-level health and wellness data but also to synchronize with hardware devices that do everything from analyze blood to count steps to monitor heart rate.

Mockup of Healthbook screen published to Behance this past February.

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Topics: Design, apple, hGraph, Healthcare, infovis, software design, Blog, Healthbook, mobile

Involution client Neumitra wins DEMO award for anti-stress product, Bandu

by Jon Follett

Big things are happening for Involution client, Neumitra, a Boston-based health startup on a mission to free the world of stress, one person at a time. Last week, at DEMO Fall 2012 — the conference for emerging technologies held at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, California — Neumitra launched Bandu, its ground-breaking product for stress monitoring and reduction. Bandu monitors your body's autonomic nervous system, alerting you to moments of high stress and providing personalized solutions and suggestions to help you reach a state of calm. At the conference, Neumitra won a coveted "DEMO gods" award, and was named by Tech Crunch as one of DEMO's most interesting startups.

Neumitra co-founder Robert Goldberg speaks about Bandu at the DEMO conference.

The deleterious health effects of stress are innumerable and under-appreciated: emotional and physical disorders linked to stress include everything from depression and anxiety to heart attacks and stroke. Bandu monitors your body’s stress levels via a watch-like device that measures a variety of metrics including skin conductance, movement, and temperature.

When you're in a stressful situation, the device alerts you, initiating actions via your iPhone to help mitigate the problem. Bandu might ask you to listen to music, play a game, or give a friend or family member a call. In addition, Bandu learns if the suggested activity lowers your stress and displays the results on your smartphone in real time. With Bandu, you can determine the sources of stress in your life and do something about it.

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Topics: Design, neumitra, RockHealth Boston, iphone, MassChallenge, health, News, DEMO, Blog, bandu, UX, devices, mobile, ui

Mobile, Content, and the Divergent Ecosystem

by Jon Follett

Yesterday, at the Massachusetts Technology Leadership Council's Mobile Summit, panelists and audience members eagerly discussed and debated developing for the often volatile ecosystem of mobile. The summit general session, "Content is King" featured panelists Phil Costa, Director of Product Management at Brightcove; Jeff Moriarty, VP of Digital Products at the Boston Globe; and Sanjay Vakil, Director of Mobile Product at TripAdvisor. The panel — which was moderated by Phuc Truong, Managing Director of Mobext, US — tackled questions on everything from the death of QR codes to the importance and difficulty of making mobile content findable to the developers' dilemma of native applications vs. HTML5.

Dealing with Mobile Platform Fragmentation
It's clear that the current divergence of mobile devices and operating systems is only just the beginning. While iOS has perhaps 8 different flavors of device / OS combinations in use, Android has hundreds; and, if you'd like to add Windows Phone to the mix, the total picture becomes chaotic quickly. There's no doubt that a certain amount of agility and flexibility is required to operate as a mobile content provider in this environment.

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Topics: Design, brightcove, MassTLC, the boston globe, tripadvisor, Analysis, Blog, UX, mobile

Involution Principal to conduct applied UX methods workshop and expert session at HIMSS12, healthcare and technology conference

by Jon Follett

For Immediate Release

LAS VEGAS, Nevada (U.S.) - February 15, 2012 - Involution Studios Creative Director Juhan Sonin will conduct an applied UX methods workshop and expert session at the HIMSS12, healthcare and technology conference next week. The hands-on, interactive workshop will focus on real-world scenarios in measuring the effectiveness, efficiency, and satisfaction of the user experience with Electronic Health Records. Sonin will cover usability research methods across the software design spectrum that can be adapted to any organization's EHR development, customization, or implementation process. In addition, Sonin will be participating in a forum where industry experts interact with HIMSS12 attendees on a one-to-one basis.

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Topics: Design, UI design, Healthcare, electronic health records, healthcare design, News, Events, HIMSS12, EHR, UX, mobile, user experience

Lion Roars, Google Labs Shuts its Doors, and Math Gets a New UI

by Jon Follett

Here’s what we’re reading online, this week at Involution, on design, tech, and the digital life, in our links round up.

Lion Roars
Apple launched the latest version of their ground breaking OS X operating system today with a host of UI innovations culled from their iOS mobile platform. As might be expected, these innovations were met with both cheers and jeers.

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Topics: apple, iphone, iPad, user interface, Analysis, Blog, google, mobile, ui

Mobile in Africa: from SMS to Android

by Dirk Knemeyer

This series on technology in Africa is written by Involution friends and emerging markets experts Niti Bhan and Muchiri Nyaggah.

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Topics: africa, android, Analysis, Blog, mobile

Africa: The Next Frontier

by Dirk Knemeyer

This series on technology in Africa is written by Involution friends and emerging markets experts Niti Bhan and Muchiri Nyaggah.

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Topics: africa, emerging markets, research, Analysis, Blog, mobile

Google App Inventor: an interesting little app

by Dirk Knemeyer

Unveiled yesterday, Google App Inventor aspires to provide everyday people - extensively tested with sixth graders - to easily build their own Android apps using a relatively simple WYSIWYG editor. The interaction model appears based on LEGO toys, taking different, interchangeable pieces and snapping them together to create a complete app. The New York Times exclusively introduced the service on Sunday night.

There has been considerable fallout and speculation from this latest product launch by Google. We've talked about Google extensively here, both from the standpoint of being the now and future computing superpower as well as their open philosophy to Android development in stark contrast to Apple's closed model. Many touts in the media see the Google App Inventor as a potentially "killer app" that could be the difference-maker in the mobile arms race between Google and Apple. Others are more measured but still believe Google App Inventor will have a major impact. I think both of these assessments are quite exaggerated. What Google has created is a tool that is akin to Microsoft Publisher in the 1990's, a piece of software that takes a task reserved for a skilled technical elite - in their case, publishing periodicals; in today's case, designing mobile apps - and allows even unsophisticated users to produce something with the potential to be usable, if not respectable.

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Topics: apple, Analysis, Blog, app design, google, mobile