Archive for November, 2008

“Create Motion Tween” in Flash CS4 Explained

Hey guys, I thought you might find this article helpful, especially if you plan on using Flash in your final presentations.

MonkeyFlash – The New Motion Tween

-Marc

SNIF Tag – Kcho

Sniftag “Tails told, friends made.”
This is a service that monitors movements of your dog and you can see little animations of what your dog might be doing. There is also a social network where you can meet other SNIF Tag owners.
The Q and A in the website is a great way to get the feeling of what the SNIF Tag is all about. The service already knows where the concerns lie. The questions together ultimately ask, where is the value of this product? The value is made solid when one SNIF Tag interacts with another SNIF Tag. There has to be a boom in the popularity in order for the SNIF Tag to create this network. Here lies the question how to get people to begin using/buying/investing/up –grading? The website is well organized. The little (big) quotes from National Geographic and Wired and The New York Times, this sense of credibility is exactly what a customer would be looking for. I have a little bit of trouble when I read the quotes. They are almost just describing the SNIF Tag. Are not quotes usually things stated like “breathtaking” “undeniably the best film of the year…”? Of course these are movie quotes but I felt like I was looking for more.
The last question “Can the SNIF Tag help me find my dog if he gets lost?” is almost alluding, I need something essential in the service.
I feel like the value of social networking is almost pushed onto the customer.
The SNIF Tag is great at creating a need. Sure, if dog owners really want to keep track of what the dog is vaguely doing, this is the perfect product. This is a great distraction made for the customer. Where is the meat of the product?
-kcho
I am struggling with similar ideas.

Microsoft Surface

Touch screen table by Microsoft

-trading photos

-paying the bill (you can split the check!)

-getting directions

-drawing

-sending e-mail

-finding restaurants

-uploading songs

MinJoo Kim

Social Object

Social object is something that helps people (users) to socialize. Through social objects, people can experience certain service, they can have conversations, and they can share information. These actions create socializing moments. For example, Flickr’s social object is photos. People share photos by tagging system and they can talk about their interest and opinion.

In my opinion, SnifTag is not only a product but also a social object. The touch point is that people can make friends through SnifTag. SnifTag becomes social networking by creating community.

 

MinJoo Kim

 

 

what adrian thinks about snifftag and social objects

-snifftag

—hardware:

the hardware seems to be designed carefully and thoughtful. it offers the possibility to customize the actual tag and clip it in a confident and solid way to the collier. the release with the little key is a  nice detail, which supports the “clean”surface to keep it as robust as possible. a negative point is, that the tag is not waterresistant, which in my eyes, is a disadvantage, because a lot of dogs love water.

the reader itself  seemed to be made thoughtfull and sensitive. the glowing edge in the loading-mode is a nice detail. also the the plug for the power-outlet offers a good solution for an annoying never solved problem.

—idea:

it is in general well-known that dogs often function as social connecter between their owner and that dog-owner are willing to pay a lot of money fo their best friend. so the basic idea of establishing a plattform for the social interaction between the owners and make them pay for it, is a clever idea.  where I personally see some possiblities to improve is how the idea is brought to reality and what the actual functions are.

when i heard of the idea of snifftag i immediatly thought of a german bag-company (http://www.logstoff.com/) which creates for every client a new e-mail adress. this email-adress is placed on the bag. so whenever you see somebody which a bag from that brand, you can write down the e-mail adress and contact the owner via a plattform. this concept obviously doesn´t include the automatic recognition and doesn´t allow you to see, in which position you´re dog currently is in. but this is in my eyes already the big question. are people willing to pay $300 dollars for these functions? i think if there would be some  a lot more functions about the activities of your dog for example the gps-tracking system, it would create  a signifcant add-value to the actual product and would move the focus on the right spot, the worries of the owner , when they can´t be with their best friend.  in this case the social part would be a positive selling-argument, but not the main-argument.

-social objects

to me basically every object or subject, concrete or virtual, has the potential to be a social object. the more people are interested in that object the more succesful a social object is.
two  movements that occured to me during the last month is on the one hand the fast expanding offering of more or less successful social objects / subjects and the frustration of the customer on the other hand. a good example of the try to create succesful objects is the Microsoft Zune compared to the IPod.  Further on a lot of firms try to bound their customers with memberships, newsletter….  This causes on the other hand an overwhelming feeling and disorientation for the customer.  you could see more and more frustrated and disappointed user of services,  because the value that they get back is in no relation to what they spend on time.

Snif, Snif Again

Warning: these are the crazy ramblings of a guy going slightly insane after an all-nighter…it gets unnecessarily harsh, but I try to offer some good criticism and alternative ideas.

“SNIF Tag is the revolutionary dog tag that lets you monitor your dog’s activities remotely. It even includes social networking.”

I think this quote in and of itself addresses both the interesting aspects of this dog-sniffing service, but also the–in this blogger’s opinion–highly ludicrous and extraneous actions and services that come attached to the service…First, I’ll address a positive aspect of the service, because it won’t take long to cover them, but we were told to not simply degrade the service for being silly and extraneous…So I’ll move onto a dumber activity associated with this service. For both instances, I plan to think about creative solutions which could actually lead to the service actually becoming a valuable and enriching experience, in areas where it is lacking now…

One, measly, positive aspect of this mother-sniffing service:

-Social Networking-The main driver behind this whole service is basically the only captivating concept to come out of this hideously dumb service: this is, obviously, the use of social networking to track your dog’s activities. This seems like it could have such broad potential, yet the brilliant minds behind this sniffing thing barely scratch the surface.

What is appealing is that you can track your dog’s interactions with other dogs.  This might even get to be more interesting if the service tracked the actions that Little Cesar performed with other animals and objects–cats, birds, sticks, bones, buried underwear, etc…This in and of itself could be an interesting, thoughtful service which simply provided information about your dog’s activities—already at this simple level exceeding what is achieved by these sniffers.  Just observing this information would be a powerful tool for dog owners. For example, the rfid tag in the collar interacts with a tag in your underwear. That “big thing” monitors your dog’s movement into his suspiciously favorite spot in the yard. You get a message saying that Little Cesar is burying your underwear again.

-Maybe this sort of thing is already utilized to some extent, and I haven’t really checked it out because I’m not into it. But if training your dog through this service became a main aspect of the service, it could become a sort of 24-hour obedience school. And dog’s positive or negative social, sniffly interactions with other dogs could be a sort of method to teach your pet proper social graces. Basically, cotillion for Little Cesar with a greatly reduced pricetag. This adds value.

-This also leads to thinking about (at least) 3 different subtypes of interactions that all dogs perform: those with other dogs, those with objects, and those with people. Maybe interactions with other, non-dog, non-human animals could be a 4th subtype. This adds depth.

In many dog owners’ minds, their dog is their whole world, and being able to track all Little Cesar’s activities—especially object dependent activities—would be yet another powerful tool… Maybe this site also comes with a webcam in the collar in addition to the rfid reader, so Patty could log onto her online account and see the world through Little Cesar’s eyes. This is changing a customer’s point-of-view. This, therefore, adds impact.

Why are other animals simply excluded from this service? Is there no sort of comparable service for cat owners? LickTag, or something? In my experience, cat owners are just as passionate—if not more—about their pets as dog owners are, and in very different ways. And what about bird owners? Turtle owners? Larger pet owners? Could this service be utilized in zoos someway? How so? It almost seems as if other pets are purposefully excluded to prevent the simple process of asking and creatively answering these and other questions, which would lead to a richer experience with much more variety. What if, and this is pretty cooky and sleepless thinking, this led to a sort of facebook-ing service in a zoo. Is there some way to help animals in zoos feel connected to other animals in the same or other zoos? What about the lonely lion in his cage in the zoo with depressive thoughts about his native habitat—is there some way he could potentially connect with all the fine lionesses back in the jungle? This adds variety.

Yes, these are silly questions which sleeplessness begs me to ask, but after getting some rest, I always find it beneficial to look back at these questions and thinking of more logical ways to ask and answer them, exercising both sides of my brain in this way…This broad, yet wacky, creative thinking—which is so lacking in this SnifTag service—is sometimes a good way to break outside of the box and really assess a service’s stronger and weaker points…Asking questions is creative, even when it’s silly and really out there. Answering those questions is logical—is a way to bring it back in to an appropriate, practical level.

In short (although I wrote in long…), and in very, overly harsh terms, Sniftag is a service which lacks value, depth, a unique viewpoint, impact, and variety—among other important qualities not even addressed here. This could’ve been solved through a cyclical process of asking creative questions, while searching for logical answers to these questions. I feel kind of bad that I just tore this sniffer a new nose hole, but this begs the following creative question: how does a thrice-holed nose service pick itself up from the floor and snif, snif (snif) again?

-Steve

(I hope this isn’t too much rambling because I refuse to go back and edit it now…)

SnifTag – Not Sniffing Up My Tree…

It seems that there’s a bit of a discord between SnifTag’s selling points and what users really enjoy most about the service. The website implies that SnifTag is meant to help improve your dog’s exercise habits, and additionally serves as a means for you to meet new people. It clearly puts emphasis on your desire to care for your dog, though, and even focuses on product styling. 

But when you buy this service, are you really doing it for your dog? Is it perhaps more a present for you? What I suspect people will most enjoy about the experience is meeting other pet owners who also own SnifTags. The social aspect of the tag itself is the driving force. And it seems to me the dog monitoring is just a slapped-on feature, lacking in breadth and depth.

Why go to all the trouble of making such an expensive device, that’s probably wasteful to the environment, when social networking for pet owners could be achieved in so many other ways?

I guess this thing might catch on in rich niche markets, but even if I had a pet, I wouldn’t invest the money for it.

-Marc