Posted in Ergonomic, Ergonomics, Human Factors, Product Design, Uncategorized, tagged Business, CES, Driving Safety, Ergonomics, FORD, HOT IDEAS, Human Factors, Safety, Technology on January 8, 2010|
10 Comments »
Ford Motor Company created a splash at the Consumer Electronics Show (CES) yesterday, when they revealed new Web-connected dashboard technologies that include OpenBeak, a mobile Twitter application formerly known as TwitterBerry. Yes, that’s right, buy a FORD vehicle and start Tweeting.
This app will be a part of the SYNC platform being integrated into select models; drivers will be able to use voice commands to have Tweets read out loud. Ford is hoping outside developers will embrace the SYNC platform and create new apps for SYNC, much in the same way developers now create apps for iPhone, Drone and other smart phones. Ford wants consumers to have the same kind of co-dependent relationship with their Ford vehicles empowered with SYNC, that they already have with their Smartphones.
Ok. The idea is HOT. Sexy. It reeks of Knight Rider (shout out to David Hasselhoff), the interactive smart car that anticipates your every mood and whim. We all knew this was coming sooner or later; FORD is just the first to get there in a major way.
SO….the burning question. IS THIS TECHNOLOGY SAFE?
Ford leadership worked to preëmpt media and industry concerns over SAFETY. Ford CEO Alan Mulally stressed in his CES keynote address;
“that FORD believes voice commands and other SYNC controls would make using in-car entertainment and communication applications safer and less distracting than on cell phones”.
In other words…..”Our system(SYNC) is safer than the old way (Smartphone)”. Hey Mulally, you did not answer the question. IS IT SAFE?
Ford, a company whose brand is built on a foundation of quality and safety is playing a little loosey goosey with consumer safety. Our business is safety here at ERGOLAB. Our team of Ergonomists and Occupational Safety & Health Engineers works daily to make the workplace SAFER.
The data on introducing SECONDARY TASKS while driving, A PRIMARY TASK, exists in abundance. Studies from every major lab and think tank reinforce one point; anytime a SECONDARY task is introduced into the driving environment, the PRIMARY TASK is affected and safety is compromised. It does not matter if the secondary task is using a handheld phone, texting, talking with passengers or putting on make-up (you know who you are) – a SECONDARY TASK impacts our skills at the PRIMARY TASK.
I have looked into my crystal ball this morning; I see a class action lawsuit in Ford’s future. Count on it.
So. Will I buy a vehicle BECAUSE of this technology?
MAYBE. Probably not the Ford offering – never been a fan – but you can expect other manufacturers to follow suite. Knowing the risks; I might consider technology like this in the future.
What are your thoughts on this issue? Are you on your way to buy a new FORD?
Technology innovations march on; how comfortable are you with the direction?
Read Full Post »
Posted in Ergonomic, Ergonomics, Human Factors, Product Design, tagged Business, CES, Ergonomics, Great Design, HOT IDEAS, Product Design, Technology on January 4, 2010|
3 Comments »
“In my 28 years of attending the CES and participating in it and being a part of it and running it for most of that time, I can honestly say there will be more innovation at this show than any one in history,” Gary Shapiro said. (President and CEO of the Consumer Electronics Association on CNN.com )
The clock is ticking…the Consumer Electronics Show (CES) opens in only 3 days. The annual Bacchanalia of gadget freaks, tech-heads and gamers, CES new product REVEALS will dominate newswires for the next few weeks. You, the global consumer, will be inundated with marketing messages that promise tools and technology that improve your life, your work, make you a better person (LOL).
Our ERGOLAB team is a skeptical bunch. Ergonomists tend to view words like innovation a little suspiciously. It doesn’t promise improvement within an existing paradigm; only something new. History shows us that it’s the exceptional brand that takes human ERGONOMIC needs into consideration when developing a new product.
When wading through CES RSS feeds, use caution, many of the products will fail to live up to a simple Ergonomic Assessment. Our ERGOLAB team will be evaluating some of the new computing and communication tools; we will share our thoughts on this blog.
Read Full Post »
Posted in Uncategorized, tagged Astra, Energy savings, Great Design, HOT IDEAS, Humanscale, Humanscale Element, LEED, LEED Credits, lighting, office lighting, Product Design, Soleil, task lighting, Verano, Work, WorkRite on December 10, 2009|
1 Comment »
I miss the old acronyms. Remember VHS, VCR? or even older, LP? (ok, I am actually from the cassette generation, but my parents had LPs.) Now a new acronym has emerged on the scene…..LED. OK OK, this really isn’t a new acronym, LED technology or light-emitting diodes have been around for over 100 years. (or so Wikipedia tells me). HOWEVER…for the average consumer, LED just hit the radar. The hot new tech gift this holiday season…the LED television. Big, ultrathin and sexy. Life without an LED television is impossible. (LOL). Or so the marketing types want us all to believe.
In the world of office products and ergonomics, LED tech means an evolution in lighting fixtures and solutions for YOUR office workstation. Weird, but this is something I CAN get excited about (and most of our clients too). LED lights use less energy, emit less heat and are LEED credit eligible (for those who are counting). LED lighting is BUSINESS SEXY.
What is business sexy? Business sexy is something that makes the CFO go weak in the knees. Business sexy is about the bottom line. Business sexy makes everyone in the enterprise happy.
Several Ergonomic product manufacturers have new LED products to offer – we like Workrite’s Astra and Soleil task lights and their really cool (literally, it’s cool to the touch, no 2nd degree burns by moving the fixture) Verano under-mount magnetic light strip. All have been awarded our BUSINESS SEXY stamp of approval (and from our clients too). I think I am going to create a Business Sexy stamp for future use.
We await the arrival of Humanscale’s Element LED lamps. The product is not available YET, but the chatter is very positive. (see link below for Wired magazine POV on Humanscale) All we know is that Workrite has set the bar VERY HIGH….wait and see if Humanscale can dislodge the Astra, Soleil and Verano from our hearts.
Wired Fetish: Ultimate office accessories
For more info on Workrite Astra, Soleil and Verano product details – http://www.workriteergo.com/products/lighting.asp
Posted using ShareThis
Read Full Post »
Posted in Ergonomic, Ergonomics, Ergonomics for kids, Product Design, Wellness, tagged Children, Ergonomics, Great Design, Health, HOT IDEAS, Kids, School on November 9, 2009|
1 Comment »
We’re very excited about Safco’s AlphaBetter children’s desk. Designed by an elementary school teacher who was frustrated with existing desks / seating solutions – AlphaBetter makes sense. Kids can sit or stand, the worksurface adjusts quickly and easily. The swinging footrest is so smart. Take a look at the NY Times article on the impact the product has made in one school district!
Read Full Post »