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June 27, 2015No Comments

H3: Using Experience Design To Change Our World

Its refreshing and yet precious.
In 2009, I stood on the border of Israel and Syria and realized that it could end a war and create peace. Today it is what is desperately needed in California to save our fragile source of fresh produce in the Unites States.

So often we take for granted or forget how much water we use and how important it is to our holistic well being. So that led me to an important question. What if we could track our water consumption linking it our health and happiness?  Could that make us more aware of our consumption patterns and get us to become more conscious of how fragile our supply is?

In a recent interview with Anouk Pappers from Cool Brands I was asked how I have used my craft in Experience Design to make the world a better place.

Using Interface, Industrial and Graphic Design I have developed an experience meant to make people aware of their personal water consumption patterns.The H3 Experience has just gone from paper to prototype : https://www.behance.net/gallery/12893513/H3-Mobile-Platform-Water-Bottle-System

This Mobile application is connected to the Internet of Things (#IoT) through a connected water bottle and now in progress an apple watch application which uses your physical activity as an indicator or when you need to rehydrate.


July 8, 2014No Comments

Business Insider Intelligence produces Snapchat report

Business Insider Intelligence has produced a report about Snapchat, with some pretty impressive figures. The app has 82 million monthly active users globally, as of May 2014, of whom the majority are female. 70% are aged between 13 and 25, and two-fifths of 18-year-olds claim to use Snapchat ‘multiple times daily’.

Source: http://www.businessinsider.com/a-primer-on-snapchat-and-its-demographics-2014-6

July 7, 2014No Comments

Future Of Wearable Tech

Sensors, Wearable tech, and personal eco-systems are all the rage, but the craze goes beyond connected eyewear such as Google Glass and smart timepieces such as Apple's rumored iWatch. Wearable technology is an undeniable trend and brands like Nike, Apple, Samsung and Google are all bringing out products to satisfy consumers growing awareness and demand for new products.

Much has been written about smartwatches in particular due to the Samsung Galaxy Gear watch and the new Apple iWatch - What does this mean the future of wearable technology? Is it all about wrist based devices? Can wearable technology cross over from being an fashion accessory to being a functioning part of our everyday lives? What do you think will happen in the future of this industry?

PSFK Labs in collaboration with iQ by intel created this great report which covers how the latest trends are evolving.

Fashion Forward: From The Runway to Ready-to-wear

Designers are creating apparel, accessories and fitness wear that can do everything from monitor your heart rate to charge your smartphone. For the Fashion Forward scene here are some of the latest players in the space:

  • Charge It: Someday you may be able to charge your smartphone with your clothes. Flexible solar panels have inspired designers to come up with clothes and accessories that can power electronics. Start-up Wearable Solar is using the technology to make lightweight wired garments that enable the wearer to charge a smartphone up to 50 percent if worn in the sun for a full hour. And New York-based Voltaic Systems makes a collection of bags that can charge a variety of devices.
  • Baubles and Bangles: In the future, our own personal air purifier may defend us from all that nasty air outside. Worn on the wrist, the Hand Tree design sucks up and filters polluted air, and recycles it back into the atmosphere. It was created by Alexandr Kostin, a semifinalist in the Electrolux Design Lab Competition. The purifier gas a refillable carbon filter, a rechargeable battery and an organic light-emitting diode screen.
  • Rainbow Winters: Some sharp people want to make our clothing to, well,do more.  Amy Winters, the designer of the Rainbow Winters clothing line, makes garments that respond to their environment.  For example, the dress is made with holographic leather and reacts to sound. As volume increases, it begins to illuminate and make what Winters describes as "visual music." The bathing suit reacts to light, with the center panel turning into purple dots in the sun.
  • Trackable Couture: Things can get lost pretty easily in those massive walk-in closets. In his fall 2013 collection, fashion designer Asher Levine included tracking chips that let items be located by the owner using a customized TrackR app. Levine, who has created looks for Lady GaGa and will.i.am., partnered with Bluetooth solutions company Phone Halo on the chip.
  • Adafruit: City bike-sharing programs such as New York's Citi Bike may be great, but the stations may be a bit hard to find without a map. Adafruit, a company that sells DIY electronics and kits, has built a helmet to help make that process more efficient. It has a built-in navigation system that uses lights that flash on the left or right to let the rider know where to turn.  The interface is still a bit complicated, though: The user has to manually enter the coordinates of a destination, but it is still safer than trying to use a smartphone while riding.
  • Ying Gao: Using eye-tracking technology, fashion designer Ying Gao has created a set of dresses that move when someone is looking at them. When the garment is gazed at for a time, tiny motors move parts of it in patterns. The dresses also glow. covered in photo-luminescent thread or featuring glow-in-the-dark threads that make up the base layer of fabric.
  • Sounds That Carry: The merger of technology and high-end accessory design is a definite trend. Handbag designer Rebecca Minkoff has made four clutches that encase speakers for Stellé Audio Couture.
  • A Sock With a Message: The start-up Heapsylon has a smart sock, Sensoria, that is paired with an anklet to automatically detect the type and level of activity based on pressure signals coming from the foot of the wearer. Sensors in the sock communicate data to the anklet, which then can relay the information to the user via an app. For example, it can track a runner's regular form and send an alert when he or she is making an injurious movement.
  • Close to the Heart: Even more intimate than smart socks, intelligent sports bras can track users' performance. This NuMetrix sports bar, made by Textronics, has a small transmitter that snaps to the garment to tracks a user's heart rate.
  • Light It Up: Berlin-based label Moon Berlin, which makes luxury clothing, focuses on using technology to enhance the look of its designs. Soft-circuit LEDs are integrated into the garments, connected to an electrical circuit attached to rubber-like materials that are integrated into fabrics.

The Issues and Questions

While some are creating products to enhance and expand your personal eco-system, others are quite skeptical about the trends because of the following:

  1. Privacy. One thing is poking finger into a touch screen in a public place, the other is talking to the device. Wouldn't people look like lunatics talking to themselves all the time?
  2. Practicality. How practical is it? Compared to poking an icon, sending and processing a voice command seems to take a lot more time, even with the best processing speed and the best voice recognition accuracy.
  3. Data Storage -  Who owns this data? How much of it belongs to the person and how much belongs to the brand? Where do you store all of your vitals?

Getting entrenched in the history

As computing moves from our desktops to our phones, we look into the future to see how technology will become increasingly ingrained in our movements and our active lives. Wearables have the possibility to make us more knowledgeable about ourselves and our surroundings, and connect us with each other in an uninterrupted, more intimate way. From DIY wearables to high-tech sensors and smart fabrics, the years ahead will show how integrated technology can impact our lives for the better.

Any thoughts on this trend?

[Sources: PBS, PSFK, CNBC, CNN, Ted Talks]

November 26, 2013No Comments

Hybrid vs. Native


“Should I go Hybrid or Native?” It’s a question that’s being asked more and more frequently by both experienced and inexperienced mobile developers. What’s decided will have a significant effect on your budgets, capabilities, and the overall reach of your mobile applications.

This great whitepaper provides direction before deciding on a path forward. Proper education and a better understanding of what to anticipate before acting will help ensure your mobile strategy is properly aligned with your overall business objectives.

Click Here To Download This White Paper

Hybrid vs. Native via @jpenabickley

November 25, 2013No Comments



Wonder is what SAT prep should look like. Studying for the SAT is normally just plain boring. Wonder changes that. It makes SAT prep effortless and enjoyable using game-based learning, addictive mechanics, and cutting edge personalization algorithms.

Check it out at: http://wonderbeta.com/

[via wonderbeta.com & the beta list]

Wonder via @jpenabickley

December 7, 2012No Comments


Screen Shot 2012-12-07 at 11.18.21 AM

SoundGap is a really cool personal notification service that notifies you when new music from your favorite artists and bands are added to Spotify and Rdio. based on your personal taste profile. If you a music love, this app will keep you from missing a music release again.


Sign up for the Beta at http://soundgap.fm/

SoundGap via @jpenabickley

August 18, 2012No Comments



Shopigram is a new way to sell your stuff online. It's mobile, social and local. It's awesome!  Check it out at http://shopigr.am/



Shopigram via @jpenabickley

July 23, 2012No Comments

Do Agile Demands Short Circuit An Insightful Design Method?

Now more than ever design matters. Now that I am back to my roots of video and mobile I have realized that Agile is here to stay. The economic difficulties of the past years as well as the focus on tangible innovation has almost shoved waterfall under the perverbial bus; now more than ever, long requirements phases and vaporous up-front documentation aren’t acceptable. Software must be visible and valuable from the start.  

The teams and clients we work with are undergoing their own dramatic changes. The shift of development processes removes the notion of "big design upfront." Instead, we sprint towards an incremental design process that lets us learn what our users need throughout the development process.

Adapting our design methods to fit this new way of developing brands is presenting some interesting challenges. The roles of "sprint zero" and the idea of staying one step ahead of the team is only taking us so far. I think we need to learn to create a driving vision and research-based principles that guide every decision from the team, not just those we have a direct hand in, to ensure a unified, thoughtful design that delights our users. 

In a world where best-to-market usually beats first-to-market how do you fuse data and insights into a new breed of design studio?  

Would love to hear your thoughts.




Do Agile Demands Short Circuit An Insightful Design Method? via @jpenabickley

May 28, 2012No Comments


uSpeak is a new playful way to discover and learn languages. The service is free, fun and gets you to fluency in no time.

Screen Shot 2012-05-28 at 2.48.10 PM


Sign up for the Beta at: http://www.uspeaklanguages.com

uSpeak via @jpenabickley

February 23, 2012No Comments


The stock market is now officially demistified because of StockTouch.  Using color heatmaps, which are dynamic graphics that illustrate stock price movements, Visible Market's StockTouch for iPad nails making these maps both more useful, and simple to understand.  




Some of my favorite functions are the search, a US/World stocks switch, settings for how you wish the stocks to be measured (including vs. sector or S&P 500, and the timeframe required) and displayed, and access to a list of your designated favorite stocks.

This scientific visulazation of the markets makes playing the market fun.

Try it out at: http://itunes.apple.com/us/app/stocktouch/id445170859?mt=8

StockTouch via @jpenabickley



Joanna routinely to speaks and keynotes at conferences, corporations, non-profits, educational and professional organizations. Her subject matter expertise is customized to meet the needs of each audience. 

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Ai is the tool of the modern magician. At the nascent stages of the another industrial and social revolution, magic + math, multiplied by design makes what is invariable hard — seem remarkably easy.

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