Posts Tagged ‘iphone’

Mobile Device as Medallion – Wearable Computing

September 6, 2012
Wearable Computing - Mobile Medallion

Wearable Computing – Mobile Medallion

For the last while I have been prototyping mobile devices as medallions in a way to make wearable computing easy, affordable and practical today.

I have used iPods, iPhones, iPads, Galaxy Tabs as medallions hanging around the neck but my favourite size and device is the Blackberry Playbook.  This is an excellent device with superb sound and screen – and is the perfect size for a medallion.

I am working on apps that let you express your mood, communicate, mesmerize and promote using simple gestures or grid based interfaces – which work as you wear.  As far as I know, I am pioneering this technique.  I have had dozens of people research for examples and have come up empty.  Still to this day, there are no pictures of people doing this.

The odd thing is that I can do it with any existing device with a couple pieces of tape and a string in less than five minutes.  That means you can do it too and along with the apps I will be launching will come instructions.

My prototypes also include pockets with plastic or cut out areas to see the screen of the devices as well as packs, headbands, sashes, pouches, etc.  There have been arm bands to hold devices but the purpose has always been individual usage.  With Medallions, etc. the purpose is to communicate with others.

Dan Zen


Inventing for the Internet Part 2

October 20, 2010

Inventing for the Web Part 2
Just posted Inventing for the Web Part 2 (2006-2010) on the Inventor Blog as a continuation to the first part (1995-2015).

Here we look at inventing for a medium (and we define a medium) and see some examples. Topics include:  chat, facebook, social media, mixes and mashes, Tapoll, Focuso, comment activism, parties, aliens, groups, Flash, feathers, interfaces, Snipisode, story telling, playing Touchy, mobile, iphone apps, Nodism, hierarchies, the environment, mediums, and McLuhan. Come on by and have a read!

– 10 –

Touchy is on TV – see the Inventive iPhone App Introduced by Kayla and Alex

September 10, 2010

TouchyTV has launched at with three episodes.  Kayla and Alex commentate on games of Touchy.

Host shows the episodes one after the other with a slight delay or you can roll over the bottom of the video for a navigation.

Touchy is the mobile mediated game where you try and touch other players’ screen but do not let them touch yours.  It is an iPhone/iPod Touch game available on the Apple App Store for $0.99 – look for Touchy by Dan Zen.

The Touchy site is at  There is also a facebook application to challenge friends to a Touchy Duel – see the facebook page at and go to the Touchy Duel application tab.

Have fun and please help spread the word.  From our testing, Touchy is a transformative game with old friends laughing a new – teens finally finding that social icebreaker – parents getting an update on the old wrestle.  We thank you for being a Touchy Ambassador!

Dan Zen

mad Inventor meets mobile finds peace

Touchy – iPhone iPod Touch App Launches – the First Mobile Mediated Action Game!

March 29, 2010

Touchy is a unique iPhone / iPod Touch game where you wrestle with other people to touch their screen as they try to touch yours.

You and your friends, foes, yoga mates, family, competitors, party goers, etc. press the TOGETHER button at the same time and then try and touch each other’s targets.  The Touch application records how long each target is touched and awards points at the end.  Past scores and win-loss-ties are saved and totaled and an average is calculated.

WARNING – playing Touchy can easily result in minor injuries so play carefully – Dan Zen is not responsible for any damage to yourselves or your devices.

Here are some examples of play:

More can be found on the site.

The first mobile app I created was “phone says” in 2001 where you have to do what the phone says no matter where you are…

This was an early example of a mobile mediated game. Touchy is another where the game is outside the mobile device but the device acts to enforce rules or some aspect of play.

Mediated means to sit in the middle. Like a medium. Mediated reality is made up of augmented reality and diminished reality. Augmented is when we add to reality like adding descriptions to shapes we recognize. Diminished is when we take away from reality such as removing advertisements.

I have been involved in hundreds of mobile prototypes all with the focus of multimedia pioneering to take the extra aspect of location in to account. I cannot recall coming across an application like Touchy. So simple a concept and execution – but very inventive none the less.

The implementation of the “Together” button avoids complex multiuser functionality. It allows for synchronous play much like the starting gun in a race. Yet as far as I can tell, this functionality has not been implemented in a mobile game. If you find an example, please let us know.

Now why not try Touchy – you will need to get some friends involved too!

Inventor, Dan Zen

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Future Texting – Hands on Thumbs

November 27, 2009
Future Texting

Future Texting

A humorous look at current texting on mobile devices.

Possible variations:

We grow skinny thumbs
People fork long thumbnails
We wear pronged thimbles (thumbles)

Alternative Interfaces:

Mind Control – here now in early stages
Projected keyboards with IR or laser sensors
Keyers (three keys ala Steve Mann)
Scroll OLED touch screens (ScrOLED)
Guttural commands (mouth words)

What do you think?

Check out larger pictures on Flickr!

Adobe Flash Games and Apps on Apple iPhone

October 5, 2009
Penguin for Flash on the iPhone

Penguin for Flash on the iPhone

Yay!  Adobe has announced that Flash Games and Applications will run on the Apple iPhone as of the upcoming Flash CS5.

Flash on iPhone

This is great news for a number of Dan Zen features and tools such as the advanced interface tools called Flash Feathers at  Where open source Flash classes are provided to handle multitouch and tilt technologies:


Tilt Technologies in Flash using Penguin


Multitouch in Flash using Goose

A fantastic day for all – long awaited!

Modes of Tilt and Translation Interface for Mobile Devices

November 24, 2008
Tilt Emulator Showing Front View Yaw Mode

Tilt Emulator Showing Front View Yaw Mode

Imagine we have a mobile device with hardware and software that can capture tilt (pitch, roll, yaw) and translation (x, y, z) motion.  An accelerometer can more readily find tilt but a camera can find tilt and translation.

If hardware and software can leave this information in the format of a TiltML (Tilt Mark-up Language – XML based) then front-end software such as Flash can make use of the information as interface.

A simple example would be to look down on the mobile device and tilt the device to roll a ball through a maze.

Here is an example Video:  Tilt for Mobile Devices Video

Tilt Emulator by Inventor Dan Zen

Tilt Emulator with Top View Tilt Mode

A device can be looked at in either horizontal or vertical orientations.  But there are a number of different ways these two orientations can be viewed.  We will call these ways, modes.  Here are six modes of interface:

MODE 1:  Top View Tilt
Looking down or up at the device and tilting in pitch and roll. Rolling a ball through a maze.

MODE 2:  Front View Tilt
Holding the device in front of you vertically and steering with yaw. A racing game  where the device is like a steering wheel.

MODE 3:  Top View Translation one Axis
Looking down and using one translation (y axis) as motion and tilt to steer. Walking or running creates motion in the game, pitch and roll or yaw to steer.

MODE 4:  Front View Translation one Axis
Looking forward and moving forward causes forward motion in game (z axis).  Walking, running or driving creates motion in game and then steering with yaw.

MODE 5:  Top View Translation all Axes
Looking down and mapping out two or three dimensional space with translation and yaw.  Finding virtual items in real space looking down (or up)

MODE 6:  Front View Translation all Axes
Looking forward and mapping translation z plus pitch or roll to map real space.  Avoiding obstacles or capturing items as you walk

Combining these modes leads to Full Space where the device acts as window to alternate virtual space in full 3D.  Putting these devices in front of your eyes is a form of mediated reality where you can diminish or augment reality.

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