Designing Virtual Communities is the Focus of Apple Computer's 5th Annual Design Project. Students Innovate with Products, Solutions and On-line Systems Designed for the Information Age
WHAT: University students from ten top colleges around the world demonstrate how computers and communications technology can be applied to address the needs of "virtual communities." The common thread among the futuristic designs is that each "community" targets individuals with a common interest, need or characteristic. Project designs vary in size and scope from a support group for patients with advanced multiple sclerosis to a technology that allows the blind to surf the World Wide Web.
WHEN: Tuesday, July 23, 1996 Open House: 1:00 - 4:00 p.m.
WHERE: Apple Computer, Inc. Cupertino, Calif. Building: R&D; 4
OVERVIEW: The Apple Design Project '96, now in its fifth year, is a collaborative effort between Apple's Research Laboratory and over 200 faculty and students in college-level design programs from around the world. The Project's annual goals are two-fold: 1) to encourage schools to create and enrich their multidisciplinary design curricula, thereby training students to work collaboratively across different areas of study; and 2) to give students direct experience with a user-centered design process, ultimately improving both the relevance and ease of use of the final product.
-- For the first time, the Apple Design Project addresses the Internet as a "social technology"--one that is used for social, rather than scientific purposes. -- Projects like this build the skills necessary to be successful in the fast-paced, technical, team-oriented work environment of the 21st century: collaboration across different disciplines, user-centered design, problem solving, communication and teamwork. -- Since 1992, over 700 university faculty and students from around the world have participated in this annual showcase; two are now Apple employees. -- Several universities have created courses and have changed their curriculum based on their experience with the Apple Design Project. Specifically, Stanford University's Computer Science and Mechanical Engineering Programs used this project as the impetus to create a course that crosses several departments. -- Dr. Gilbert F. Amelio, Apple Chairman and Chief Executive Officer, will briefly tour the exhibits to congratulate all participants.
Projects Of Note:
Among the ten designs showcased on July 23, the following may be of particular interest: -- The Aleph Group (submitted by the University of Siena, Italy) designed a 3D-spatialized voice synthesizer to allow a blind person to read text that resides on the World Wide Web. Using this device, the blind can easily navigate through and participate in the visual culture of the computer. -- The Mandala (submitted by the National Institute of Design, India) links senior citizens to the medical and emotional support structures in their local community through a personal, pocket-size device which provides emergency information, teleconferencing, community history, email and games. The device can be programmed for use anywhere but the use of local information can reconnect the senior citizen to their natural or physical environment.
-- The Hub (submitted by Ohio State University) is an on-line information and communication center that assists international students in assimilating into their new academic community. International students get oriented, and use a communication device that eases cultural and social isolation. Via the Hub, students gain information about their academic calendar and requirements, immigration, and the location of things on campus. They communicate with each other, their counselors, faculty, staff and alumni. -- The In-Person (submitted by the University of Minnesota) allows patients in advanced stages of multiple sclerosis, or those in rural areas, to attend and benefit from support group meetings. The device features high quality audio and video conferencing to allow an emotional interaction between users which is one of the best therapies for the emotional affects of the disease. The In-Person device requires only limited manipulation by the patient.
Return to todays headlines