The Kin is Dead. Long Live the Kin.

As reported by Mashable, Microsoft has officially pithed its latest mobile devices, the Kin. Revealed only in April and launched via Verizon in May amidst a significant marketing push (one prominent enough that my mom felt compelled to clip and mail a newspaper ad to me), the Kin is waving buh-bye.

Here is Microsoft’s official statement, seeming to imply (aka “pray”) that the Kin served as an important bridge to the its Windows Phone 7 heir:

“Microsoft has made the decision to focus on the Windows Phone 7 launch and will not ship KIN in Europe this fall as planned. Additionally, we are integrating our KIN team with the Windows Phone 7 team, incorporating valuable ideas and technologies from KIN into future Windows Phone releases. We will continue to work with Verizon in the U.S. to sell current KIN phones.”

Personally, I was pretty impressed by the marketing effort. Although the phone was clearly targeted at teens, it stood out in a crowd, even in my media-saturated opinion. I send out a virtual, sympathizing chuck on the shoulder to the teams responsible for the launch campaign. While I’ve had the misfortune to see campaigns I’ve slaved over for months meet an untimely death, I can’t say I’ve seen one go from cradle to grave publicly so fast. (And not one so big.) If you listen, you can still hear it’s low, wheezing deathmoan: “Zuuuuuuuuuuunnnnnnee”

I think this campaign (and failed product launch) stand as evidence of the absolute-zero-margin-for-error, cutthroat reality that is the mobile device marketplace. The Kin couldn’t stand the heat, and got out of the kitchen. Fast.

800 Languages, 1 Typeface

Fascinating case study about Google and Monotype’s collaboration on Noto – an incredibly ambitious project to create one master typeface that can display on any device, any medium, in any language or writing system.


Drone on the Farm

A report from the Association for Unmanned Vehicle Systems International predicted that the legalization of commercial drones would create more than $80 billion of positive economic impact (i.e., revenue and job creation) between 2015 and 2025. The predicted biggest piece of that growth? Agriculture.


Ready for Smart Tattoos?

MIT Media Lab, in partnership with Microsoft Research, has unveiled DuoSkin, a project that uses temporary tattoos as connected interfaces that can be used in a variety of ways.