A simple solution to prevent Brutal Bangalore ATM attack

The gory Bangalore ATM attack is something that you would not want even your enemies to face, until unless the attacker is one of them.

Anyways, it seems just a bit too easy to conduct the act.

Modus Operandi:

1. Follow a harmless victim into ATM kiosk.

2. Pull down the shutter from inside.

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3. Attack.

4. Pull up shutter a bit, exit, and pull it down.

Amazingly though, a solution seems almost as easy as the above steps:

Make the entry door “pull-only” from outside.

Hence, the shutter cant be pulled down unless the glass door is shut. And if the door is shut, theres no way of pulling down the shutter from inside.

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The Scooter and the Interface!

..some fun, when you ride..

..some joy, when you understand..

..some connect, when you fall..

..some excitement, when you explore..

..some life, when you remember..

..some imagination, when you dream..

..some hope, when you loose..

..some charm, when you have a scooter!

Cant say so, for the ubiquitous interfaces of the day. 

As we get more and more advanced, the technology gets smarter and smarter (faster and increasingly interconnected). The face it presents starts to say “I am supersmart, I am trying to adjust to your comprehension level”… and not what it could have said “It’s simple! try it! it will be fun!”.

We have already being through alienation during industrialization that saw us getting increasingly lonely in a society. Is this the new alienation? Are we getting more and more disconnected with the machines we use everyday?

At some point of time, can we dream of “some charm”, in the connect we have with devices we are spending our days with.

May be, may be not? may be worth exploring….

follow the conversatation on ted.com : http://www.ted.com/conversations/3410/should_an_interface_have_an_em.html

Idiot box

Apart from the usual plethora of buttons on a TV remote, is there a reason for no brightness-increase-decrease buttons?

I know they like the extra buttons to make it look super-feature-rich (thats what they do!), but a few more buttons will serve that purpose as well as make the user a bit more happier (we love changing brightness on our monitors!).

Cell phone Battery Indicator

What we have:

a visual battery indicator on all (#isittrue) phones..

What we can have: a “time left” battery indicator on phone, at least when its low battery. I would love to know “your phones gonna die in 10 mins” rather than “low battery: keep guessing when it will die”

Can be as conspicuous as a fuel countdown on a car dashboard or similar to the ones we already have on a comp. Either way, it works!


Photo Pod

First (Usually) Happy Step: An event

Second Happy Step: Take lots (lots n lots) of photos

Third Sane Step: Copy onto the comp.

Fourth Insane Step: (Try to) organize them!

They are, almost always, a bit too many rather then being a bit too less (just coz we have digicams now!). Few of them are special, lots of them document the event, some of them we want to keep just-in-case, and quite a few of them are there for no reason, but just coz nobody wants to sort them out…

Simply, they are just too many and there’s no right way to organize them. If I wish to look back at my life (only in pictures), I have to sort out so much data that the process itself will be an event in the timeline… 

There has to be a revolutionary product coming down the line that can change the way we deal with pictures.. there has to be….

something like what ipod did to music?


my first TED talk

The Ted fellows is an awesome program. I think the best way to spread the ideas, and even better way to go further with those ideas. The program gathers immensely talented people. These people who have already achieved so much, or are on their way of doing so. They provide instant inspiration for newer levels of achievement. 

But, but its a kind of a problem if you are one of those. Since they are so awesome, your comfort level takes a beating, and a doubt creeps in, a big doubt. Do you belong?

Well, good thing was, I didn’t start with that doubt. Thanks to my mind being busy with the jetlag on first day, and rehearsals ( the picture above is of Tom and Logan during rehearsals, these guys are awesome! and they make sure you do awesome! ) and Fellows events on second day. But I got a bit too much time to think on the D day itself. Leaving me with no option but to ponder about things like: is it for real, isn’t it the same stage that we have seen so many times in the videos, isn’t Bill Gates supposed to be on the same stage, would it be better if I was a performer, do I even remember what I have to say, can I finish it in 4 mins (in rehearsals I took 6:30 mins), how bad can it go, will I be a live bait if I mess it up here, and obviously: do I even belong?

I did try to keep myself busy, wrote some dialogues, some keywords, but then there was an inversely exponential connect between time left and comfort level.

And then the moment came, Tom Reilly announced on stage “… an Indian Interaction Designer, working on a phone for blind people… Sumit Dagar”

I heard the word “Indian” louder than anything else. It got to mean a lot. 

By that time I had decided on one thing, whatever be the case, I will say the first dialogue perfectly for sure. And I did! It was soft humor and audience reacted with a candid laugh. That moment comforted my trembling legs and gave enough confidence to put the following few keywords together into impromptu and meaningful sentences. The next few slides flew like anything. In fact, so comfortably that I managed to explain one of the slides even before it showed up on screen. Only left to react with “see, thats what I was talking about” :P

By this time, half of my presentation was over. I had already built up the scientific and design logic for the concept that was about to come. Possibly boring the audience a bit.

I showed the concept phone for the first time, connecting logic to execution and continuing extensive use of design keywords in doing so. Even though it looks like, but once you are on that stage, it really isn’t a one way communication. Audience at ted is really involved and participatory during the talk. You can see them, and they are directly looking into your eyes. Speaking into a spotlight is not really the scenario here ( the picture above is of Bruno speaking during one of TedU sessions, the audience is as highlighted as the speaker ). You get the reactions there and then, and you can react appropriately. So, once I started with the concept, I started getting those reactions, right in front of me. 

First slide got a “hummmm” flowing around. Second slide got a bit louder “hummmm”, possibly included the back rows as well. By the time I explained the third slide, a loud “woooow” flew in the audience, almost like a mexican wave, from left to right. The goose bumps were having a party time by now.

I was still going at my pace, keywords after keywords. Next slide attracted enough attention as well and I was getting a bit nervous whether its good or bad. Shall I react to it? Shall I elaborate the slides a bit more, or maybe a bit less? 

The next slide appeared on screen. I was still to start speaking, a short pause before the words came out of my mouth. At this point, was looking into eye of a lady sitting in one of the front rows, and something amazing happened. She saw the animation on screen, her jaw dropped, took a heavy breath and an elongated “wooooooooow” reached my ears. How do you I even go further? How do I talk about this slide which has already killed it. I coudnt, And I laughed! ( the picture below is of the exact moment, thanks Awab for capturing it ). All the keywords vanished in thin air. And I was left with “and this is another cool thing it can do… “. Got an applause by the time I was through with the slide. I doubt if anybody even heard what I was speaking. It was something I hadn’t dreamt about. Its not really common to get applauded mid way though a talk. I was amazed.

But, there were three more slides to go. I think I spoke something about them too, well I did. They went good, actually better, without the keywords though, which I had comfortably forgotten by now. I presented to an audience full of sparkle in their eyes and dreams in their imagination. It was awesome. 

The presentation ended with the same soft humor that it started with. I received a response which I had no clue how to react to, almost ran off the stage to somewhere people cant see me.

Kaustav, a fellow Ted fellow summed it up perfectly “You sold a dream!”

It gave me immense confidence, and an important answer: that I belong, We belong.

As I found out, the best thing about Ted is that the community is awesome. They make sure its not the end, but the start of exciting times ahead!

The next five days were unbelievable.



by design or by chance?

have given it a thought several times, but never guessed it right. But now I know!

Car battery has its two connection points exaggeratedly protruding outside the form of the battery. Obviously it helps in connecting wires easily, but theres more to it.

Just when you need to jumpstart the car and theres no cables around(but obviously a helpful stranger with his car). It would be wise to notice the conspicuos connection points and try this arrangement:

It works, all brands!

Am a big fan of information visualization, and even bigger fan of the ones that are out of the screen/print space.

Hence got instantly excited to see these signposts in museum quartier in Vienna. Tells basics from a distance, and reveals specifics from a closer look.

Have seen mirrors, posters, ads, taglines but havent seen this anywhere!
News while you pee!! Worth it!!!

Have seen mirrors, posters, ads, taglines but havent seen this anywhere!

News while you pee!! Worth it!!!

Move ahead!

Was recently wondering about this scenario. While driving, most of us usually get stuck in traffic jams. In a city like mumbai, the roads can go from -40 to 40 degree downhill or uphill. A jam in any situation, leads to many stop-and-go situations. And if its on a slight uphill then we are bound fear the vehicle in front of us to slide a few meters in reverse before it moves ahead.

Even the most experienced of the drivers fail in this situation. Not that they cant, but simply because of high frequency of stop-and-go situations that the driver is reluctant to use “handbrake on-gear-accelerate-handbrake off” sequence again and again. The heavy vehicles like public transport bus, trucks etc perform the worst in these situations scaring the hell out of their poor peers on the road. And obviously the newbie drivers find it even more hard to control their vehicles in this situation.

A simple solution I thought, probably worth implementing. Why cant we redesign the internal working of the engine such that it becomes mechanically impossible for the vehicle to roll freely in reverse when it is in a gear. Only when the vehicle is in neutral or (obviously) in reverse gear shall it be going in reverse direction.

No thoughts on feasibility yet.

Playlists… Online… Sure!

Vimeo comes up with “Later” option. Nothing complicated, just adds the video to be viewed later. Works good for me, no need to mark a video as favorite to remember it.

unintentional but exceptional design

stage: an ATM

characters: an AC, a dustbin, a few transaction slips

scene: as always, one takes out a transaction slip from ATM, and as always he throws it into the dustbin next to the ATM, and as always he wonders whether some malicious hacker might be able to use the information for gaining access to the account…

but: in this particular ATM, the AC was leaking… so someone (probably the guard) put the dustbin under the water stream… 

drum rolls: now throw as many transaction slips in the bin, the water filled bin simply erodes off the temporary ink slowly from the slips… no worries anymore!

multitouch, what for?

Multitouch works fine and good in mac image preview app. I can rotate and zoom pretty comfortably. Though rotate is a bit too flexible, but still works fine.

Now, I have a huge chart and was looking forward to zooming to deeper levels of clarity. The preview was not able to provide a wider view so I thought its better to go fullscreen and than zoom. Exactly the context in which multitouch zoom would be an awesome feature and exactly the context in which preview says no to multitouch.

Its hard to find a reason behind this interaction model.

Makes little sense to look at this big chart in full screen when I cant zoom-pan:

"Creativity is an addiction"

Nothing can be more true than the quote. Cant say if I have seen all the aspects of it, but have surely experienced enough to understand that once you are into it, you cant live without it. Creativity is a serious addiction.

not so Yahoo!

Yahoo! forms is smart, it provides “hints and warnings” right under the highlighted textfield. It definitely is a user friendly feature, only problem is that it makes filling a form a lot more user un-friendly experience:

As soon as I am done with “Password” and click on “Type the password again”, the hints vanish in thin air and the “Type the password again” field moves up. Rather, its a quirky jump than a smooth movement. In any case, since the after the first click the field refreshes, I now have to click on the field again to retype my password.

In a form of around 10 fields, the whole process makes it jump around 8 times and makes me click 10 times extra. Added to that, the jerks of transitions it adds to the process are irritating to say the least.

Tags: bad design