Angela Natividad's Live & Uncensored!

04 April 2012

The Boat Hack That May Change TV, and How Corporate Culture Affects Design

I just finished MIPTV, where I was liveblogging like crazy with fellow journo/blogger Stuart Dredge. This year MIPTV held an event called MIPCube, which focuses on better acquainting TV producers and network execs with the digital folks of whom they're so wary.

Over the weekend MIPCube hosted a Hack Day event in partnership with Rewired State. In short, a passel of hackers were put on a yacht and given less than 48 hours to hack something that would improve our TV experience. On Saturday night they presented all their projects, a whopping 12 of which 10 properly work and are now online.

But only one could win judges' hearts, and that was GrabMagic!, featured above. It was developed by Aral Balkan.

What I love about this Kinect hack is that it really does feel magical. It doesn't just produce a fluent connection between your TV and phone; it creates one between you and those devices as well. You behave like a connected organism, moving muscles without thinking, and that's beautiful.

During the Hack Day presentations I asked Aral how he avoids feature creep in his design. This was his response.
 As a designer, your greatest asset is the ability to say no. But that's simplistic - sometimes it's not your inability to say no, it's the structure of the organisation itself that doesn't allow you. If the organisation is design-led, it's easy; but otherwise designers may not have the authority.

A lot of organisations, because of their corporate cultures, because of their corporate structures, make simple design impossible. It isn't because of a team. That's very low level.
User experience begins at the top and trickles down.

See the other projects from the boat hack at MIPCube.

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