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David L
Feb 18, 2018

Clarifying Mod Rules

8 comments

I wanted to see if it was possible to clarify "The Rules" (https://www.socialflo.com/rules-standards) we've been given for mods. In my opinion, it's confusing to see rules like "No web browsers" and "No eReaders, PDF viewers, Spreadsheets, or similar", while also having the first example on the same page discuss how to "steal" an idea from a web page and make it more directly visible. I can certainly understand if LAFORGE doesn't want users to have their field of vision replaced with full screens of any kind, but I'm not understanding the rules as they are written.

 

A few hypothetical examples of why I'm confused:

- I create a Mod that displays an entire text file two lines at a time. Is this "an eReader" and therefore forbidden, or have I just "stolen" the ability to digest the text in its simplest form as the website praises?

- I create a Mod that shows in real-time the title of the current web page being browsed on my phone. Is that a "web browser" or "mirroring" and against the rules?

- I create a Mod that shows videos in only one pane, and at only half-size. The Rules only state "no fullscreen playback of videos", so is this Mod valid or not?

 

These are just a few ideas off the top of my head that suggest further clarification of what Mods are really supposed to be. Could someone chime in with a better summary of what LAFORGE is looking for?

 

Thanks!

Josh Quillin [Mod]
Feb 18, 2018

I, and I'm sure many others such as yourself, would love to be able to use Shima this way. The reasons I believe a rudimentary list of "rules" against such mods was made are:

 

As Corey has mentioned several times, it's simply not part of his vision for THIS particular product. Shima is supposed to be an auxiliary aid and periphery device to your smartphone, displaying notifications and passively updating data that doesn't require much attention from the user, either in accessing it or focusing on it long.

 

It's just not designed for real-time rendering and mirroring of your smartphone screen, such as a web browser or watching long videos. Developers and users may see unsatisfactory performance and battery life with these more intensive mods, so they're being discouraged from the start to prevent disappointment on all sides.

 

You COULD develop any of the mods you mentioned, you just have to keep all that in mind and may have to add disclaimers on its page. I'd love to see what you came up with, and would be happy to help test them.

Josh Quillin [Mod]
Feb 18, 2018

Basically, mods the user has to devote their whole attention and focus to for more than a second or two at a time are frowned upon because that's no better than texting and driving. It's a liability for everyone involved. Few lines of text, eh should be fine. I even suggested this one to Corey and he said he'd like to see that if someone makes one. Title of a webpage, sure thing. Video and a full page of a book? Better have default options in place to disable playback/usage over certain speeds, etc to protect your users and yourself.

Josh Quillin [Mod]
Feb 18, 2018

We're giving people a handsfree display they can always see. The uncautious WILL try and watch videos or read books while running, biking, and driving 75mph on the interstate.

David L
Feb 18, 2018

Hello Josh! Thanks for clarifying. I do feel that the vision for a device which doesn't take over the field of view has been clear from the start, so props to Corey and everyone on communicating that message!

 

As I understand things, submitting Mods is a curated process. In other words, developers can attempt wonderful and zany thing on their own devices, but Mods will have to be approved before they're allowed to be distributed to the public at large. Is that correct? (The December update mentioned "reviewing" Mod submissions.)

 

Having "The Rules" be clear is important to me because the Mods seem to be curated. I want to contribute to and participate in an ecosystem of Mods. My fear is that having the current Rules as the only guideline could result in a lot of potential Mods being rejected as people fail to understand the vision for Shima. Do you know if there are any plans to make the rules for Mods more specific as we get further along in Shima's maturity? I'd be happy to help!

Corey | Founder |
Feb 19, 2018

Seii,

 

The rules will get more specific with time. They are somewhat open ended as I did not want to be percieved as being too restirctive. My ultimate goal is to foster innovation and creativity by blantatnly showing a few cases of what one shouldn't do rather than getting specific on what devs should be doing. We are open to improvements and changes. We have to see what breaks on the dev side and compare it to what people are communicating what they want on wearer side.

David L
Feb 19, 2018

Thanks Corey, I understand. I certainly wouldn't want you to squash innovation either! As long as everything moves eventually towards outlining anything that would cause instant rejection, I think it will be fine.

Dan Guy
Jun 29, 2018

Before the last forum died, there was a fairly active thread discussing the possibilities of a teleprompter-type mod that could display text two lines at a time. There was interest from musicians as well, so they could scan lyrics karaoke-style. We were batting around some fun interface ideas in terms of auto-scrolling at a fixed speed, detecting the beat using microphone and attempting to scroll to match, and manual gesture controls on a phone or tablet via a connected app.

 

Hopefully this doesn't count as an e-reader...

 

(And, honestly, reading ebooks while sitting in meetings is pretty high up on my list of desired uses.)

David L
Jun 29, 2018

Hey Dan,

Maybe I'm missing it, but the current API (https://socialflo.github.io/shima-devtools/index.html) doesn't seem to me to provide any way for apps to pass data into the headset. If that API call were present, it would probably be possible to develop most of what you described now using the Shima simulator.

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