Faculty page: http://goo.gl/la3xYa
Lab page: http://goo.gl/CduTn0
Buckeye Language Network: http://goo.gl/YA6dNW
Wagner, L., Clopper, C. G., & Pate, J. (2014). Children’s perception of dialect variation. Journal of Child Language, 41, 1062 – 1084. http://goo.gl/aFFmPc
Clopper, C., Rohrbeck, K. L. & Wagner, L. (2013). Perception of talker age by young adults with High-Functioning Autism. Journal of Autism and Developmental Disorders, 43, 134 - 146. http://goo.gl/oyf8uD
Wagner, L. (2010). Acquisition of Semantics. Wiley Interdisciplinary Reviews: Cognitive Science, 1 (4), 519 - 526. http://goo.gl/8H9rct
Technology is important to me. We rely on it every day and depend on manufacturers seeking profit to innovate for us. We're not always sure what we want, but we know that we want to record our memories, interact with others, and be more efficient both individually and collectively. There is perhaps no more important piece of technology in someone's hands than their smartphone. It's a tiny little computer, more powerful than the massive towers of 15years ago under you desk, that we touch hours of every day and that we depend on for all the essentials. Like it or not, the technology inside of your device matters. It affects you every single day.
Every year, at the Mobile World Congress, the manufacturers of these devices unveil their newest creations to improve our lives. They ride a fine line of meeting existing expectations and delivering the unexpected. Speaking strictly about smartphones and not VR or wearables, this year was surprising for two reasons: HTC worried itself too much with meeting expectations while Samsung delivered something wholly original and unexpected.
Let's start with HTC... If you thought my introduction was hyperbolic, you should have watched their announcement. Not only did it begin with a narration from Robert Downey Jr. about how "we are all one" and "quiet, yet brilliant," but every introduction was accompanied by a flashier and flashier video. The amount of muscle flexing in the video was a stark contrast to the awkardness unfolding from the presenters on stage, but one thing was clear - HTC was presenting itself as the best designers in the game. The HTC One M9 was coming and it was getting lots of hype.
I can't go much further into this description without setting the stage though. Long story short: The HTC One M8 is simply one of the best designed phones ever with its all metal body, crisp screen, and insanely loud Boomsound, front-facing speakers, despite its lackluster 4MP rear camera. With HTC struggling for cash, everyone expected that something stunning would be shown given the momentum of the M8. Some early leaks confirmed a beautiful new device, but later leaks showed the M9 disappointingly looking a little too similar to the M8.
Still with me? While it isn't fair to hold HTC to expectations of leaked renders, it IS fair to hold them the standard of pushing devices forward with each release. They owe their customers something to dramatically improve their lives. Say what you will about Apple's iterative process, but each phone brings a major new feature with it. What did HTC bring with it at the Mobile World Congress?
The M8 with a more megapixel-dense camera (without optical image stabilization). Full stop.
As the owner of the HTC One M8, I was ready to throw my money at HTC, but, unfortunately, a phone so similar just doesn't cut it - and not just with me, but with the mobile landscape as well. The screen is the same, it has a faster processor, a better front-facing camera, and the power button was moved to more convenient spot. All that would be fine if HTC did something to meet the claims it made during its introductory videos or if there was even some standout new feature. Alas, HTC instead decided to rest on its laurels from M8 and M7 (the device released two years which looks very similar to the M8). That's three years of the same design with an "improved" camera that's getting less than lukewarm reviews. It's so similar that The Verge even poked fun at it by introducing the M8 for its M9 video only to say, "Oops, no THIS is the M9."
If you really want to get nasty, the M9 looks like the M8 in a dummy case thanks to its very awkward no-longer-flush-on-the-sides design.
One hour later, it was Samsung's turn to announce the Galaxy S6 and the Galaxy S6 Edge... Samsung has been on the chopping block for a while now about releasing plastic, non-premium feeling phones that only see minor or gimmicky improvements year after year. With poor sales of the S5 hanging over its head, Samsung shouldn't have had much confidence - but they showed that they were willing listen while also creating a new design identity.
Samsung phones are adored by Android-fanatics for their removable batteries and Micro-SD card slots. Not too sure what that means? Don't worry, most people don't. Samsung took a risk this year by removing both of those features from their two flagships. While HTC chose a, "You told us you like this.... so here it is again!" approach, Samsung was ballsy enough to remove things some fans loved to improve the device for many more people - and it was the right call. (FYI - Galaxy phones had a plastic back so it could be easily removed to switch out the battery.)
While the regular Galaxy S6 is interesting, the Galaxy S6 Edge was the show stealer.
Both devices rock metal sides with a glass back, but the Edge's screen slopes over the sides of the device for a curved screen. It's completely bizarre, weird, and brilliant. It solves the issue of ugly side bezels and utilizes that slope in interesting ways - like having it flash different colors when face down to show you which of your favorite contacts is calling. Gimmicky? Maybe it is, but it's new. And it doesn't stand alone.
Say hello to a 16MP camera with optical image stabilization, real-time HDR, a 577 PPI screen (almost twice that of the iPhone 6 that can be used for VR), a fingerprint reader, and some nice touches with the front camera - like being able to take a selfie by tapping the heartbeat reader on the back of the phone. All that is addition to its new premium design and toned back custom version of Android, Touchwiz.
It was a surprise to almost everyone. More than that, it was as stark a contrast as it could be to HTC's minimal evolution from last year.
As an owner of HTC and Samsung phones, I have to say that I'm completely surprised to be going back to Samsung this year. I love my HTC One M8 and the HTC One M9 is still beautiful, but Samsung was looking forward and trying new things, unafraid at ruffling feathers from their most avid fans in the name of better design. Whereas HTC only had to truly fix one or two things to wow, it appears to have missed the boat as Samsung speeds by with something we never thought we needed. That's the kind of innovation we need to be seeing more of.
#HTC #Samsung #HTCOneM9 #GalaxyS6 #GalaxyS6Edge #mwc2015
Faculty page: http://goo.gl/Fbklji
Lab page: http://goo.gl/xC0LiV
- University of AlabamaProfessor, 2014 - present
- Samsung ElectronicsUX Researcher, 2013 - 2014
- Concordia UniversityPostdoctoral Researcher, 2012 - 2013
- University of Texas at AustinGraduate Student, 2007 - 2012
- The University of Texas at AustinPh.D. in Cognitive Psychology, 2007 - 2012
- Universidade Federal de Minas GeraisM.A. Psychology, 2005 - 2007
- Universidade Federal de Minas GeraisB.A. in Linguistics, 2000 - 2005
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