This article was originally published at DMNews.com, where we contribute content for the Direct by Design blog.
“Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic,” Arthur C. Clark once said. With recent developments in mobile computing, his analogy is increasingly relevant. Sensor-enabled apps like Color have implications on a broad scale.
According to McKinsey, “Closing this loop from data to automated applications can raise productivity, as systems that adjust automatically to complex situations make many human interventions unnecessary.” Mobile apps offer us “micro-efficiencies,” shortcuts that can make our lives easier.
Behind the scenes, Color makes use of every phone sensor it can access. It hijacks the iPhone’s camera to check lighting conditions and the microphone to “listen” to a user’s surroundings. Through this, Color triangulates location in relation to others and generates “elastic networks” for photo sharing. It’s the secret sauce that has sparked fascination among the tech elite. No one really understands it, but Color demonstrates how mobile could eventually change the way we interact in the world.