is a blog about design, technology and culture written by Khoi Vinh, and has been more or less continuously published since December 2000 in New York City. Khoi is currently Principal Designer at Adobe, Design Chair at Wildcard and co-founder of Kidpost. Previously, Khoi was co-founder and CEO of Mixel (acquired by Etsy, Inc.), Design Director of The New York Times Online, and co-founder of the design studio Behavior, LLC. He is the author of “Ordering Disorder: Grid Principles for Web Design,” and was named one of Fast Company’s “fifty most influential designers in America.” Khoi lives in Crown Heights, Brooklyn with his wife and three children. Refer to the advertising and sponsorship page for inquiries.+
We didn’t get a new Apple TV during last week’s Apple event, but it’s not like those of us who were waiting impatiently for it aren’t going to keep waiting. I suspect that what’s holding up a major update to this product line isn’t hardware or software, but the complexity of navigating the endless jungle of legal agreements that makes today’s technology-in-the-living room experience so difficult and user-unfriendly. It’s not unlike the wireless industry pre-2007; if we suppose that it’s Apple’s goal to bring iPhone-like change to an industry that practically thrives on adding friction to the consumer experience, getting licenses and agreements sorted out is probably their biggest challenge.
Meanwhile, Time Warner Cable subscribers might find an entertaining diversion in the Fan TV, which a friend just pointed out to me today. It’s a set-top box, apparently designed by Yves Behar, that aims to bring cohesion to video-on-demand and streaming services. Its most conspicuous feature is its remote control, which you can see in the image above. It has zero buttons (or just one button, depending on how you look at it) and is gesture-based. The demo video looks very compelling, and features a not-bad-at-all-looking onscreen user interface that I would be eager to get my hands on, but alas I’m a Cablevision subscriber. Find out more at fan.tv.+