I just saw this in a magazine... was it Fast Company or Wired? I know I just
saw it this past week and I was wondering when I could buy one! I'm getting
tired of my OS X dock (always clicking on the wrong app!!!) and want
something else. :)
We often use generic hardware for prototyping - like the idea you have with
the keyboard - and we can update/change between iterations as needed. We do
things like have a 4x9 credit card remote with a printout of the buttons on
top and test different layout/interactions. The remote works and the system
works, we just change the mapping of the remote codes to different features
in the prototype as we go. We also use keystroke generating devices (similar
to a keyboard) that work with a Flash prototype .swf file.
Your idea of bringing that type of product to market is interesting. We've
done something like that before with the Lifestyle 50 - and there are some
products out there that are doing it now (Philips, Kameleon, Sony) but the
tough part is that setup is difficult enough as it is in home entertainment,
so adding a customizable UI on top of it can possibly paralyze the people we
typically sell to. We didn't offer UI customization in the LS50, but it was
a touchscreen based remote. Ultimately, Bose tries more to automate things,
reduce complexity, and add in little niceties like when you press the DVD
button on the remote, it turns on your TV, and the system and switches to
the DVD source.
Thanks for the link!!
Sr. Interaction Designer