Everything’s coming up GANs!

You’ve probably never heard of a GAN, but you’ve likely read stories about what they can do. From generating images of fake celebrities, to creating training data for self-driving cars, and even recreating suggestive (and weird) nude portraits, GANs are everywhere right now. But what exactly is this bleeding edge technology, and what can we do […]
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"I’ve always loved cinemagraphs—those endless, hypnotizing loops where part of the frame is still while some areas are gently in motion."
Sean Mulholland

How to Make Cinemagraphs with your iPhone

I’ve always loved cinemagraphs—those endless, hypnotizing loops where part of the frame is still while some areas are gently in motion. When I discovered that I could create these loops natively with iOS 11 (iPhone 6S or newer), I couldn’t wait to try it out. The secret is in iOS 11 Live Photo Effects. To […]

"Together, neural nets and better cameras open up an entirely new space for gestural design and gesture-based interaction models.  "
David Rose

Why Gesture is the Next Big Thing in Design

Since Siri was introduced in 2010, the world has been increasingly enamored with voice interfaces. When we need to adjust the thermostat, we ask Alexa. If we want to put on a movie, we ask the remote to search for it. According to some estimates, some 33 million voice-enabled devices will be in American homes […]

"Our Chicago office has a tradition of giving silly but relevant goodbye gifts to departing colleagues."
Rob Rehrig

How to Hack a Furby

Our Chicago office has a tradition of giving silly but relevant goodbye gifts to departing colleagues. The goal is to make their exit a little more light hearted for everyone, as well as give our erstwhile colleagues a sort of inside joke to take with them. A few months ago, when a friend and colleague […]

"One of the biggest mistakes designers can make is failing to consider all the users of their product."
Sean Mulholland

When Identity is a Design Choice

One of the biggest mistakes designers can make is failing to consider the spectrum of users of their product. When it comes to designing lifelike interfaces such as Siri, Alexa, and the Kuri robot, we must think beyond functionality and ask ourselves two questions. What kind of persona should we design for our interfaces, and […]

"This is a tricky project for someone who doesn’t know anything about coding let alone a programming language."
Elias Thaddäus Pfuner

Making Data Tangible at IDEO’s Chicago Studio

As an industrial designer, I’m always eager to bring together the digital and the physical. So when I discovered that the Chicago studio was collecting data about their energy usage, I decided to create a project that would make that information feel real, teach me more about other disciplines, and serve as a gift to […]

"It’s 2017, so if it ain't responsive it ain't a website."
Nicholas Pajerski

Build Your Own Virtual Magic 8 Ball

As the notorious Nicole S. Kahn—a strong figure in IDEO San Francisco’s Design for Change (D4C) studio—was departing for maternity leave, we were scrambling to figure out what to do during her absence. How would we live without her advice and counsel for four months? To compensate, we decided to build a virtual surrogate to […]

"During every project, there’s a moment when it can either become a ton of work, or a little bit of work. That’s the moment I live for."
Jacob Waites

Artistry Matters, Even for a Name Tag

During every project, there’s a moment when it can either become a ton of work, or a little bit of work. That’s the moment I live for—it’s the part where you choose whether to sacrifice some of your time to practice your craft, or just bang something out. (More on this at IDEO’s blog.) For […]

"A few weeks ago, while I was in our workshop, I had an idea: modify Snapchat’s Spectacles into a pair of safety goggles."
Dave Vondle

How We Did It: Snapchat-Enabled Safety Goggles

A few weeks ago, while I was in our workshop, I had an idea: If I could modify Snapchat’s Spectacles into a pair of safety goggles, I could document our projects without ever picking up a camera. The purpose for these hybrid safety specs is threefold: We can post images of our projects or build […]

"At IDEO CoLab, we love thinking about what nature can teach us about emerging technology. "
Jacob Waites

From Fungal Networks to Connected Businesses

At IDEO CoLab, we love thinking about what nature can teach us about emerging technology. Recently, we revisited an old podcast from a source we adore: Radiolab. Their episode “From Tree to Shining Tree” inspired us when we were thinking about naturally-occurring mesh networks. The podcast talks about how mycelium and mycorrhiza give plants a natural […]

"In the future, we may no longer need to drive our children to school, speak with anybody to go grocery shopping, or visit a human doctor."
Daniel Tauber

Could AI Replace Design Researchers?

In the top floor of London’s Design Museum, as dozens of visitors walk by and the rain hits the windows, a woman speaks with an AI bot called Spirit. It asks her how many partners she would like to have if she can live until she is 150. She giggles and answers. “Just one—and that […]

"When facing a question this broad, you need to start small."
Gavin McDermott

Why We’re Exploring Decentralized Chat

The need to connect and freely communicate with others lies at the core of being human. And it is quite natural to expect that our communication with one another is not susceptible to eavesdropping and censorship, or at the mercy of centralized gatekeepers. Sadly, we’re constantly seeing evidence that an overly centralized infrastructure is guaranteed […]

"The days are long, the sleeping is limited, and it’s Vegas in the middle of summer."
Rob Rehrig

Designing for DEF CON

Every year, it’s hard for me to contain my excitement as DEF CON approaches, so I try to focus that enthusiasm into various projects. (For the uninitiated, DEF CON is one of the world’s largest hacking conventions. The days are long, the sleeping is limited, and it’s Vegas in the middle of summer.) In the past […]