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‘Smart’ has no borders

Where in the world innovation is growing ?. See this year’s list of the 50 Smartest Companies, proving that Silicon Valley does not have a lock on innovation.

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50horizontal2.png?cx=0&cy=0&cw=2760&ch=1552&sw=1200 The 50 Smartest Companies of 2017 might not be what you think
Our editors pick the 50 companies that best combine innovative technology with an effective business model.

Agile UX and Lean UX

Which should you choose?

Agile UX and Lean UX are two approaches to the modified design processes that fit the way clients and consumers expect modern products and services to be delivered. The terms are typically taken to mean the same thing.

However, the different results that are arrived at from the different methods are clear: Agile UX produces a more polished product; Lean UX produces multiple products of increasing polish. Ultimately, both techniques can arrive in the same place, but via very different routes.

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Design driven, materials anchored: How HCD has shaped technology development

Light.Touch.Matters (LTM) EU funded project has reached its conclusion in July 2016 after more than three years of duration. During this period several researchers have been involved in the LTM project exploring different fields of research such as Design Engineering, Innovation Management and Materials Science, just to name a few. The materials RTD stream in Project LTM aimed to develop novel smart materials that allow "the product to become the interface". These "LTM materials" consist of four distinct technological components: piezo plastics for touch sensitivity, OLEDs for luminescent response, a conversion layer for modifying colour, and control electronics (i.e. flexible wiring, power supply, input-output switching IC). New materials take long to go from research to reality. Coming out of the lab, they are usually over-specified on some properties and under-specified on others. Following a traditional approach on materials development, opportunities for innovation are often missed.

Human Centred Design (HCD) and Design-driven materials innovation promise a better way: by involving designers and end-users early on, and by developing material and application in parallel, new meanings can be explored.

Here you can find all the project outcomes in terms of developed materials, design projects, training modules and the methodology defined within project LTM:

Future Materials

On Friday 17 June, Future Materials took place. This event combined the final symposium of Light.Touch.Matters (#‎LTM) EU funded project.

More than 150 (inter)national visitors came to the faculty of Industrial Design Engineering of TU Delft to attend the symposium and lecture. They witnessed project coordinator Erik Tempelman closing the European research programme Light.Touch.Matters.

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Workshop at IED Milano on Material Intuition and Radical new materials

Design Researcher James Burchill from the Human Centred Design Institute London runs training sessions in Milan, Italy with students on understanding radical new materials properties as part of the Light.Touch.Matters (#‎LTM) EU funded project

WORKSHOP ‪#‎LTM AT IED, Milan, Italy
“Imagine that a composer discovers a new note, endless possibilities would open up creating a melody”. Our students from the 1st level degree Master in ‪#‎Design and ‪#‎InteriorDesign, have probably felt the same way, during the workshop “Light Touch Matters” in partnership with Material ConneXion Italia, during which were presented new derivatives of ceramics, plastics, metals, and composite materials, with which they could experiment and assume practical applications, that certainly stimulated their creativity

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Winning feasibility studies from recent £250,000 Robotics ‘call for research’

HCDI collaborates on autonomous systems project for servicing trains:

  • Robust Automated Servicing of Passenger Train Fluids (RASPT-F), Brunel University London

This project won by Brunel University London will investigate the technological feasibility of developing a fully autonomous track-side system for completing the various externally-accessible ‘fluid’ service tasks on passenger train fleet. The system will be designed to be located outside the maintenance depot, and to be robust in the sense that it remains effective whilst coping with different rolling stock, different fluid functions and access locations, as well as resilient to inevitable adverse weather conditions. It will achieve considerable commercial benefits in terms of reducing train operating costs and reliability, improving servicing safety and freeing depot resources to focus on other maintenance tasks.

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Design Thinking as a Designer

Yves Béhar – Fuseproject’s founder – talks on turning small projects into big breaks, his wariness of public speaking, and the contradictory traits that make for the best designers.

“…From Core77 Questionnarie:…..I’m also excited about this notion of the invisible interface. We are way too dependent on physical screens for the information that we receive on them….”

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Sketches for the Public office Landscape

Image credits: Core77

OLED units and touchscreen dashboard controls in Audi’s electric concept car

The e-tron quattro has OLED units fitted in its front and tail lights, as well as interior touchscreen dashboard controls.

The new concept car received its debut at the IAA 2015 automotive show on 17-27 September in Frankfurt.
The headlights of the new vehicle each combine LED luminaires with a flat OLED panel in a technology the Audi has dubbed Matrix laser. A total of 12 OLED elements are also used to form each of the rear lights on the five-doo re-tron quattro.

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Image credits: Audi


A new exciting concept that promises to be an excellent LTM demonstrator in terms of smart materials technology has been presented at WS08 workshop hosted by The Human Centred Design Institute (HCDI) at Brunel University London.

EU FP7 Project Light.Touch.Matters

EU FP7 Project Light.Touch.Matters

HAND REHAB – Smart Experiences

The Light.Touch.Matters (LTM) glove concept takes advantage from the novel light/touch material to create a meaningful scenario in which training and rehabilitation activities become smart and playful. The idea behind LTM glove is to provide users with an interactive self-rehab tool measuring personal improvements in hand mobility and reducing the recovery therapy at the gym. The smart device gives information about the correct execution of the exercises by sensing pressure and bending of the fingers and responding in lighting feedbacks. It also shows the progress you make during the exercise. This is a relevant societal issue. The device become part of the body like a wearable, and has therefore the potential of becoming very familiar; feeling reassuring and supportive. A specific set of motion exercises is possible to select with an LTM app for glove. This will be programmed based on therapists’ exercises suggestions and depending on the condition. Some help increase a joint’s range of motion or lengthen the muscle and tendons via stretching. Other exercises strengthen muscles around a joint to generate more power or to build greater endurance. These are helpful for inflammation of the tendons (tendinitis) and no painful arthritis conditions. The concept has a great potential in the occupational therapy by select cognitive training exercises. Elements of gamification, or enhanced sensory experience, may contribute to a longer-lasting encouraging experience.