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How NOT to Create a User Interface

With more and more smart devices in our homes, the need to occasionally reset or troubleshoot them comes along with that. But how do you interact with a device that has no keyboard, mouse, or other input mechanism when it can’t connect to your network? Well, don’t do it like GE did with its C “smart” lightbulbs.

This video which is designed to show how to reset your C by GE bulbs is like a textbook lesson in what not to do in user interface and usability design. I could explain it first, but it’s way funnier to watch the video for yourself:

Apparently, they couldn’t be bothered to include some kind of reset switch, or a simple on/off sequence, and instead, resetting your C by GE light bulb is more complicated than learning the Konami code. Seriously, these are the OFFICIAL directions posted on their YouTube channel:

Your bulbs are running on firmware version 2.8 or later (you can find your bulb firmware version by tapping on the device in your C by GE app).

We recommend counting with Mississippi (1 Mississippi, 2 Mississippi, 3 Mississippi, etc.).

Start with your bulb off for at least 5 seconds.
1. Turn on for 8 seconds
2. Turn off for 2 seconds
3. Turn on for 8 seconds
4. Turn off for 2 seconds
5. Turn on for 8 seconds
6. Turn off for 2 seconds
7. Turn on for 8 seconds
8. Turn off for 2 seconds
9. Turn on for 8 seconds
10. Turn off for 2 seconds
11. Turn on
Bulb will flash on and off 3 times if it has been successfully reset.

TIP: If the factory reset above was unsuccessful, you might have an older version of the C by GE bulb. Please follow the instructions below to reset.

Bulb Reset Sequence – for firmware version 2.7 or earlier:
We recommend counting with Mississippi (1 Mississippi, 2 Mississippi, 3 Mississippi, etc.).

Start with your bulb off for at least 5 seconds.
1. Turn on for 8 seconds
2. Turn off for 2 seconds
3. Turn on for 2 seconds
4. Power off for 2 seconds
5. Turn on for 2 seconds
6. Power off for 2 seconds
7. Turn on for 2 seconds
8. Power off for 2 seconds
9. Turn on for 8 seconds
10. Power off for 2 seconds
11. Turn on for 8 seconds
12. Power off for 2 seconds
13. Turn on
Bulb will flash on and off 3 times if it has been successfully reset.

They forgot to mention the part where you just toss the bulb in the trash and buy a Philips Hue bulb instead.

[via Reddit]

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Pinc Headset and iPhone 6 Put VR at Your Fingertips

Pinc VR Headset 01

Virtual reality headsets are not yet mainstream, but they have already gone past being only an accessory for gaming. Pinc VR pairs up with the iPhone 6 to show us how the UI of the future could look like.

Following Samsung’s example of creating a VR headset that requires a smartphone to function, Pinc developed one that works in tandem with an iPhone 6 to give people control over a Minority Report-like UI. Besides the headset, the setup also includes two rings which need to be placed on the index fingers to enable the headset to track the movement of the hands.

“We see the opportunity for VR as much broader than just gaming. Areas like everyday computing, productivity and commerce are very interesting for us. When we can control mobile applications in 3D environments, we get into a new realm of computing” said Milan Baic, President of Cordon, who’s heading Pin? product development.

There are plenty of possible applications for such a VR headset, and the first one is obviously related to the way people interact with their mobile devices. Having multiple screens one next to another could enable users to type text messages while watching a clip or scrolling a website, even though only one of the screens is in focus and the others occupy the peripheral vision.

“The biggest limitation for customers, developers and brands is the screen and interaction size on mobile devices,” pointed out Baic. This VR headset really has the potential of redefining multi-tasking on mobile devices. There are several ways to display the mobile screens next to each other, including Tile, Spider, Cabinet, Horizon, Carousel, and Hover. Users are encouraged to pick the mode that suits their needs best.

Pinc could change the way we interact with maps, and this is something not many VR headset manufacturers have thought of. Needless to say, using Pinc for directions while driving would have disastrous results. Maybe an AR headset would be better in that case, or in the case of motorcycle drivers, an AR helmet.

Not at last, the Pinc VR headset could turn shopping into a completely new experience. There are already plenty of websites that showcase their products in 360-degree views, but what if we could see them in 3D, right in front of our eyes.

The Pinc VR headset is available for pre-order on the manufacturer’s website for CAD $99. The manufacturer of Pinc even provides an SDK that app developers can use to make their software compatible with the VR headset.

Be social! Follow Walyou on Facebook and Twitter, and read more related stories about the Dexmo F2 haptic exoskeleton that grants you control over virtual matter, or the GhostDash HUD that puts virtual rivals on the dashboard of rookie racers.