September and October 2017 Book Tour Dates and Locations

Hi everyone! It’s been a big year for Calm Technology: Principles and Patterns for Non-Intrusive Design. I’ve been working with sound designer Aaron Day on a semi-sequel to it called Designing Products with Sound: Principles and Patterns for Mixed Environments that should be out in October. I’ve also been spending a lot of time in Boston, MA at Harvard’s Berkman Klein Center for Internet & Society researching the intersection of technology and humans.

Here’s my book tour schedule for the next couple of months. I’m looking forward to meeting lots of new people!

September 

4-5: Keynote on Calm Technology. IFA+Summit. Berlin, Germany.

7: Keynote on Calm Technology. 67th International Retail Summit. Zurich, Switzerland.

8: Keynote at Mind the Product. London, UK.

8-11: Free time in London, England.

13: World 50 Conference. NYC, NY.

14: Keynote on Calm Technology. Waterloo Innovation Summit. Waterloo, Canada.

26-29: Conference on the future of AI. Juvet Landscape Hotel, Norway.

 

October

2-3: Foresight and Trends. Home Studios, New York, NY.

4-5: Fedex Security Awareness (internal event). Memphis, TN.

12. TEDxCambridge.

16-20: SIBOS. Financial Security and Calm Technology. Toronto, ONT.

18: World 50 Conference, NY, NY.

24-25: Media Insights Conf. Rosen Shingle Creek,
Orlando, FL.

26-28: Northern User Experience. Manchester, England.

29-31: London, England.

Thanks so much for all of your support over these last few years. Here’s to the future!

Introducing Designing with Sound from O’Reilly Books (Oct 2017)

designing-products-with-sound-oreilly-amber-case-aaron-dayI’m excited to announce that sound designer Aaron Day and I have joined forces to produce a book on sound design for products called Designing With Sound. Why write a book about sound? Sound is part of everyday life, but it is often overlooked. Sound can make or break an experience, but we don’t think about it enough. There are many opportunities for brands and makers to consider sound as a crucial part of experience design. In this book, we explore sound from a number of perspectives, from the buzz of a phone, the distraction of an open office, architectural acoustics, sound and health, and the unexplored opportunities of employing more senses in our lives.

I released Calm Technology: Principles and Patterns for Non-Intrusive Design in Fall of 2015. Since then, I was approached by a number of different companies looking for ways for products to fit better into a user’s soundscape. I realized that sound was just one part of the equation for experience design, but it deserved a much closer look.

That’s why I was so excited when my colleague Aaron Day asked me what to do with his 18 years of experience designing sound for brands, retail electronics, films, environments, automobiles, healthcare and museums. I told him that I was running into the same kinds of questions. There were designers, product owners and developers out there that needed answers to questions for a new class of connected products. How can we make products that work alongside us, instead of against us? How can we improve the sonic environment? First, we realized we needed to show people how sound affected them, how they could fix it, and then how they could make it better. The outline of a book quickly formed, and we pitched it to O’Reilly. O’Reilly was excited because it’s difficult to find a book that introduced more advanced sound design concepts without getting too technical. This world doesn’t need perfect sound, it just needs “better” sound, and through case studies, patterns and principles, we aim to show you how!

Designing with Sound will hit the shelves Oct 2017. Until then, you’re free to pro-order them. I’ll be starting to speak about various aspects of sound design starting May 2017 at The Next Web Conference in Amsterdam.

Thanks so much for your support and feedback while we work on this book! It’s been great to be able to reach out to so many people already with their stories and relationship with sound. See you in October!

Designing Products with Sound: Principles and Patterns for Mixed Environments

designing-products-with-sound-oreilly-amber-case-aaron-dayOrder from Amazon | Order from O’Reilly

By Amber Case and Aaron Day. O’Reilly Books, September 2017 (est.). 300 pages.

Sound is one of the most commonly overlooked components in product design, even though it’s often the first way people interact with many products. When designers don’t pay enough attention sound elements, customers are frequently left with annoying and interruptive results. This practical book covers several methods that product designers and managers can use to improve everyday interactions through an understanding and application of sound design.

  • Understand the place of sound in design, and how it can make a difference in your product
  • Learn key concepts in sound design, with patterns and principles you can use to improve user experience
  • Learn how to integrate sound design into a project
  • Use exercises to help evaluate sound design

Keynote Speech on Calm Technology at The Next Web Amsterdam!

The Next Web Summit 2017

I look forward to speaking at The Next Web Conference from May 18th & 19th, 2017 in Amsterdam.

What is TNW Conference?
TNW Conference is a 2-day technology festival that brings together international technology executives, top-tier investors and promising startups for two days of business, knowledge sharing and the best time you’ve ever had. Over the past 11 editions TNW Conference has grown from a 200-person event to one of the leading technology events, bringing together 15,000 attendees a day and 3,500 companies from all over the world.

The Calm Technology Video from Thinking Digital Manchester is Up!

Two weeks ago I had the opportunity to keynote Thinking Digital’s Conference in Manchester, England! The conference organizers kindly took a video of the talk, and it is now live!

Thanks so much to Sophie Buckle of hedgehog lab for a great blog post about Calm Technology at the conference!

Want more? Check out the rest of the conference videos!

Thanks to everyone who attended, spoke at, and organized this conference! It was a great experience!

Two Talks at Qcon San Francisco: Virtual Reality and Calm Technology!

qcon-san-francisco-virtual-reality-amber-caseI’m excited to give the Keynote speech at QCon San Francisco (2016 Conference: Nov 7-9 Workshops: Nov 10-11) this coming week! I’ll be speaking on Monday, November 7th at 9am. This will be both and old and new talk.

What’s new? I’ll be extending an early talk I did on the history of wearable computing by adding an entirely new section on Virtual Reality! I’ve been holed up in Portland’s N Portland VR Lab taking video of all of everything VR, from rumblepacks and in-room sensors to games that shrink and grow depending on how much space you have for them!

Keynote: The History and Future of Wearable Computing and Virtual Experience

Location: Grand Ballroom ABC
Day of week: Monday, Nov 7, 2016.
Duration: 9:00am – 10:10am

Summary

Miniature electronics and and global supply chains have us on the cusp of a new era of human experience. Early forms of wearable computing focused on augmenting the human ability to compute freely. As pioneer Steve Mann and calm technology pioneer Mark Weiser wanted, “to free the human to not act as a machine”. What does this mean for us as designers and developers, and how can we build interfaces for the next generation of devices?

Who was here before us, and how can we best learn from them? These are the machines that will be a part of our lives in only a few years from now, and the best way to learn about the future is to dig into the past. This talk will focus on trends in wearable computing and VR as it developed from the 1960s to now, and then into the future. This talk will cover various topics on the history and future of wearables. We’ll learn about Ivan Sutherland, human augmentation, infrastructure, machine vision, processing, distributed computing and wireless data transfer, a church dedicated to VR, computer backpacks, heads up displays, reality editing, job simulators and unexplored realms of experience that haven’t yet come to life. We’ll also learn about the road from virtual reality to augmented reality and what we need to build to get there. This talk is for anyone interested in how we can add a new layer of interactivity to our world and how we can take the next steps to get there.

I’ll be giving an additional talk in addition to my keynote! Details below:

Second Talk: Designing Calm Technology

Track: UX Reimagined
Location: Seacliff ABC
Day of week: Wednesday, November 9th, 2016.
Duration: 1:40pm – 2:30pm

Summary

Our world is made of information that competes for our attention. What is needed? What is not? We cannot interact with our everyday life in the same way we interact with a desktop computer. The terms calm computing and calm technology were coined in 1995 by PARC Researchers Mark Weiser and John Seely Brown in reaction to the increasing complexities that information technologies were creating. Calm technology describes a state of technological maturity where a user’s primary task is not computing, but being human. The idea behind Calm Technology is to have smarter people, not things. Technology shouldn’t require all of our attention, just some of it, and only when necessary.

How can our devices take advantage of location, proximity and haptics to help improve our lives instead of get in the way? How can designers can make apps “ambient” while respecting privacy and security? This talk will cover how to use principles of Calm Technology to design the next generation of connected devices. We’ll look at notification styles, compressing information into other senses, and designing for the least amount of cognitive overhead.