Posts Tagged ‘mobile’

Utopia in Our Pocket

by emily on May 5th, 2014 - Comments (0)

Utopia in our Pocket
Watch this presentation.

This past March, Involution’s Dirk Knemeyer spoke at TEDxDenisonU as part of a series entitled “Real Utopias: From Dreams to Practice.”

In “Utopia in our Pocket” Dirk proposes that, thanks to the proliferation of the smartphone, we can start to think about radical changes that will fundamentally shift the way we live for the better. He charges his young audience to consider how they can participate in exploring and leveraging technology for truly meaningful change in our world.

About TEDx
TEDx was created in the spirit of TED’s mission, “ideas worth spreading.” The program is designed to give communities, organizations and individuals the opportunity to stimulate dialogue through TED-like experiences at the local level.

About Involution Studios
Involution designs and builds exceptional software for innovative and visionary companies. We deploy small and experienced teams to create applications that are highly usable and appropriately beautiful. Our client list includes Apple, AstraZeneca, McAfee, Microsoft, Oracle, PayPal, Shutterfly, and Yahoo. For more information please contact or +1 617 803 7043.

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Apple’s Healthbook is visionary—and parochial

by emily on April 17th, 2014 - Comments (1)

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.

Healthbook mockup

Mockup of Healthbook screen published to Behance this past February.

hGraph, your health in one picture

hGraph, the only open source visualization for your complete health, developed by Involution Studios.

There is an enormous need for this kind of software. Right now hundreds of companies are shipping devices that collect or track health and wellness information, but locking that data into proprietary interfaces that they are trying to monetize in order to sustain a business. This bottom-up approach worked in validating the market, but it is not at all consumer-friendly in the aggregate. It is too hard for a user who knows how all of his or her different services work to get a good picture, let alone a doctor or emergency healthcare professional. Having one software interface where all of your data is tracked and displayed is clearly the correct solution. Someone certainly needs to do it. The question is, is Apple the right company to be doing it?

Emphatically: No, for three reasons.

  1. Apple is terrible at software. Can you name one piece of software that Apple makes which is really excellent? From iTunes to Mail to Pages to iCloud, one is worse than the other. OS X? Used to be the best, largely thanks to engineering, not design, but as they try to unify their desktop and mobile operating systems and user experience, it gets worse every day. Keynote? OK, I will grant you Keynote. But Apple has a long track record of being astonishingly good at hardware and cover-your-eyes-bad at software. Maybe they get it right here—I hope they do—but as my Mail app continues to misbehave and iCloud remains unusable after more than a decade of trying, I can’t fathom that they will.
  2. Health information access needs to be universal and consistent, not specific to mobile OS providers. Apple, Google, and Microsoft are locked in a battle for digital supremacy. Rather than search for solutions that are complementary they are each trying to create their own OS, their own devices, and their own mapping programs. If they are now also providing their own Healthbook equivalents, it could present a serious challenge. Do we expect healthcare professionals to train up on three different software environments? What happens to your Apple data if you change to Microsoft, will it be lost or just offline and not integrated? Do these shortsighted competitors have the vision to cooperate?
  3. Apple’s parochial interests will stifle innovation. The totality of this picture is a complex one. Apple, correctly, is trying to bring together a tremendous amount of health data and information from potentially very different sources and devices. Meanwhile, they are rapidly patenting various hardware, software, and input and output mechanisms aimed at the rapidly expanding mobile medical device market. Each success brings Apple closer to developing a Healthbook that is more proprietary, less universal, and infinitely less useful in the long-term and/or outside of the Apple bubble.

Ideally this sort of software would be created by an international non-profit focused solely on health and wellness as part of a blueprint for healthful humanity. Among their initiatives they would make this sort of top-order software as accessible and transferable and standardized as possible. Of course, there is no such organization. It seems like an obvious thing to be funded by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, but how much Microsoft stock does the Family Gates still hold? Around and around we go.

About Involution’s Health Design Practice
For almost 10 years, Involution has been building software for health companies of every shape and size, from household names like AstraZeneca and Walgreens, to research leaders like the Personal Genome Project and Partners HealthCare. We also work with the most exciting and progressive health startups. We’ve made digital healthcare our top focus.

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mHealth Summit

by Jon on November 8th, 2012
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mHealth Summit

mHealth Summit
December 3-5, 2012
The Gaylord National Resort and Convention Center
Washington, DC

What Goes Into Making an Extraordinary mHeath App?
As a part of the mHealth Summit Technology Trends track, on Wednesday, December 5 from 11:30 AM – 12:45 PM, Involution Studios Creative Director Juhan Sonin will join a distinguished panel […]

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

by Jon on October 10th, 2012
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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 […]

Mobile, Content, and the Divergent Ecosystem

by Jon on July 12th, 2012
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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 […]

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

by Jon on February 15th, 2012
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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 […]

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

by Jon on July 20th, 2011
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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 […]

Mobile in Africa: from SMS to Android

by Dirk on March 16th, 2011
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This series on technology in Africa is written by Involution friends and emerging markets experts Niti Bhan and Muchiri Nyaggah.

It wasn’t so long ago that if you wanted to post a letter from Ghana, a former British colony, to any of the countries that border us — Cote d’Ivoire, Togo or Burkina Faso, all former French colonies — it […]

Africa: The Next Frontier

by Dirk on February 22nd, 2011
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This series on technology in Africa is written by Involution friends and emerging markets experts Niti Bhan and Muchiri Nyaggah.

2011 is the Year of Africa

The Economist kicked off 2011 with an in-depth look at the latest reports from The World Bank and the International Monetary Fund (IMF) and concluded this is to be the year of Africa. […]

Google App Inventor: an interesting little app

by Dirk on July 13th, 2010
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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 […]

Why mobile is magical

by Dirk on October 27th, 2009
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Most of our customers are relatively sophisticated with technology. They either own tech start-ups or are in a role where they are involved in the software, website, IT, digital marketing or some other type of technology within their company. Not surprisingly many of them carry powerful mobile computing devices and are far ahead of the general population in their adoption […]