News Around The Mobile Metaverse – October 12 – 16, 2015

Every day the Sourcebits team internally shares links to our favorite mobile industry news and stories. Many are related to mobile app design and development — others are just plain fun. Here’s a roundup of interesting stories we uncovered this week from around the mobile metaverse.

Twelve South Announces the Forte, A Fancy Apple Watch Stand for the Tasteful
By John Biggs, Tech Crunch

When you are as big and influential as Apple Inc. you are more than just a business. In fact, Apple’s products spawn entire enterprises unto themselves. One major player in the custom Apple gear game is South Carolina-based Twelve South. Techies may be familiar with the brand for their past Apple related innovations like the BookArc stand for MacBooks. Now, Twelve South is introducing a new stand for the Apple Watch that is called the “Forte – Luxury Stand.” It’s a sleek, chromed-out magnetic stand that connects to the OEM cable of the Watch and showcases Apple Watch even when it isn’t decorating a wrist.

8i Raises $13.5M To Chase The Human Side of Virtual Reality
By Drew Olanoff, Tech Crunch

The New Zealand-based company 8i is putting the “reality” into virtual reality in a way never before seen. CEO Linc Gasking said, “We’re focusing on a really hard problem, to bring humans into augmented realities.” 8i is a group of 27 designers, filmmakers, animators, and computer engineers at the forefront of the 3D VR movement. Basically, 8i films scenes and then converts them into three-dimensions that can be viewed wearing a VR headset. Someday, 8i believes that their technology will be commonplace throughout the internet, film, and television. And the fact that Samsung and Dolby Entertainment are major backers of the company says that the technology is for real (pun intended).

Revelations From a Visit to Apple’s Top-Secret Design Lab
By Yoni Heisler, BGR

Apple keeps on rolling out the products and people keep on buying them. Part of the rigid customer loyalty can be attributed to Apple’s endless attention to detail in the design of all of their products. Although the iPhone, iPad, and Apple Watch are the hot mobile devices of the moment, even something as banal as a mouse gets the full Apple treatment. Last week, Apple announced the release of a 21.5 inch and 27 inch iMac along with a new keyboard, trackpad, and Magic Mouse. The story behind the mouse is the stuff of legend in the design world. Upon completion of the prototype, employees noticed that the mouse made a noise when it moved; one might say that it was a squeaky mouse. Determined to solve the problem, Apple put the mouse through rigorous testing until the source of the noise could be identified and eliminated.

App Uses Kids’ Obsession with Phones to Teach Them Coding
By Liz Stinson, Wired

Children have a way of distilling ideas down to the simplest possible terms. In the case of Raul Gutierrez, founder of the mobile app development company Tinybop, his son’s astute observation about smartphones inspired the creation of a new gaming app. When he was but a wee lad, the young Gutierrez called his father’s smartphone the “Everything Machine.” That sparked the idea for the children’s mobile app, aptly named Everything Machine, which allows kids to explore the basics of computer programming in a tangible, fun way. Everything Machine allows users to string together commands to create new machines using the tools of a smartphone. Pretty cool considering Mario Kart used to be the closest thing to coding for kids.

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Piotr Gajos, Chief Innovation Officer

Piotr is Sourcebits Chief Innovation Officer. A 2006 Apple Design Award winner, Piotr draws much of his inspiration from film and music, and focuses on leading our Innovation Strategy Workshops, generating new ideas for Sourcebits, and consulting on projects.