Pinokio is a ‘self-aware’ lamp that was created utilizing Processing, Arduino, and OpenCV.
“Pinokio is an exploration into the expressive and behavioural potentials of robotic computing. Customized computer code and electronic circuit design imbues Lamp with the ability to be aware of its environment, especially people, and to expresses a dynamic range of behaviour. As it negotiates its world, we the human audience can see that Lamp shares many traits possessed by animals, generating a range of emotional sympathies. In the end we may ask: Is Pinokio only a lamp? – a useful machine? Perhaps we should put the book aside and meet a new friend.”
When you see stuff like this you really wonder (especially as a father) what kind of crazy ass futuristic shit you’re gonna walk in on one day and see your kid doing and ask ‘whoa, what the hell is that’ and then all smart-like they’ll answer, ‘geez Dad this is the T.V. remote’ and you’ll say, ‘yeah I know, whatever’.
All jokes aside though, this levitated magnetic digital interaction system is really amazing. Brought to you from the minds at MIT of course.
“What if materials could defy gravity, so that we could leave them suspended in mid-air? ZeroN is a physical and digital interaction element that floats and moves in space by computer-controlled magnetic levitation.
by Jinha Lee, in collaboration with Rehmi Post, and Hiroshi Ishii”
In 1998, before the company was even incorporated, Google began a rich tradition of creating custom illustrators of the Google logo for various occasions. Over a decade and billions of dollars later, Google continues a rich traditions of event-inspired illustrations from Bastille Day to the Taiwan Elections.
Riders at the Tron Legacy Premiere were deployed in a skate ramp equipped with an ipods and programmed with a custom-built app to measure their air time and trigger graphics whilst in the air and on landing. Radical man.
I don’t make many Christmas recommendations because I am one of those rare old conspiracy-theory hippies who thinks ‘Christmas was like invented by corporate America to perpetuate wasteful consumerism man’. Bah humbug, but anyway let me just hypocritically make one recommendation for that techy design geek you might love (of if you want to send me one, I’ll take it) and that recommendation would be the Swap Rebel watch. It’s a really remarkable piece of technology more than it is a watch. It has a built in digital camera that takes both stills and video, touch color screen, a 2GB Micro SD Card (expandable upto 8GB), a USB 2.0 / Data Cable & Bluetooth file transfer at the end of the belt clasp which plugs directly into your computer, a built in operating system that can work hands free, an eBook reader, FM radio, calendar, World Clock stores up to 500 contacts and probably has a few other features I have forgotten. Basically it’s a computer that you wear around your wrist as a watch and I mean a ‘real’ computer. It’s only $300 bucks too which actually makes it pretty affordable but puts it squarely out of my ‘just started a business and am having a child in 2 months’ budget.
Well yesterday was the big day and the new iPhone 4 dropped (after all of the ‘prototype’ leakage hubub). It does look like one dazzling piece of technology, but really after the last few years of product releases from Apple, did anyone expect anything less? The most promising new feature, not just for Apple but the entire mobile phone market has to be FaceTime, wifi-enabled video chat. It immediately made me realize that soon my wife will finally be able to speak to her family in Brazil and see them as she does. It’s hard to describe how much that means to someone who lives thousands of miles away from their country of origin and family. The question for me is how soon I will be able to upgrade to one since I just purchased a phone and a plan in October of last year.
I have to say, you have to chop off an arm every time you make an Apple purchase, especially as a small business owner but yesterday I spent the entire day trying to get a wireless modem to work in my studio. I went through two modems, both of which I had to return to the store after several hours on the phone with a help desk service. After an entire wasted day of this I finally paid about twice what I had expected to pay for a router for the Airport Extreme. It was a painful purchase as it has been a very slow month with a lot of expenses but I brought it back to the studio, plugged it in and had a much faster wireless connection speed running throughout the studio within about 15 minutes of setup.
Oh Apple, why must you hurt us so good? I love you, but your like an expensive date that puts out and then when the strings are tied keeps asking for more and more as the relationship evolves. I should have written a prenup.
After the internet technosexualsphere almost busted a collective nut, Apple finally unveiled their latest creation today and it’s called the iPad. And no, it’s not a feminine hygiene product. It’s basically a giant iPhone using the touch technology that has given Apple the ‘must have’ buzz it has needed to reach record sales this year. Strangely, stock dipped immediately after the unveiling. The price tag is so far set at $1000 dollars with software that is somewhere between a typical Mac OS and an iPhone OS.
Here is a little blurb from Engadget:
“It’s a half-inch thick and weighs just 1.5 pounds, with a 9.7-inch capacitive touchscreen IPS LCD display, and it’s running a custom 1GHz Apple “A4″ chip developed by the P.A. Semi team, with a 10-hour battery life and a month of standby. It’ll come in 16, 32, and 64GB sizes, and it’s got the expected connectivity: very little. There’s a 30-pin Dock connector, a speaker, a microphone, Bluetooth, and 802.11n WiFi, as well as an accelerometer and a compass. The device is managed by iTunes, just like the iPhone — you sync everything over to your Mac.”
Skyskraper is one of those agencies of the future that serves as a bit of a go-between for the creative agency to final placement and execution. I am learning a lot this year, out of necessity with the future of this website about media, media buying and media strategy. Skyskraper is a digital media agency responsible for helping execute on some of those rather intangible projects that we creatives sometimes spew out in concepting sessions but have no idea how to pragmatically realize in the physical world.
One such project they recently helped Flourish Creative complete was a projected 3D advent calendar for Google Chrome displayed on the facade of the Westfield building in London. The image was projected to align perfectly with the tiles in the facade which is not an easy thing to do. The end result was pretty impressive. This kind of partnership and companies like this are definitely something to keep an eye out for in the future of our business. You would think the capability to produce something like this would still fit under the roof of a typical ad agency, but as technology continues to move forward by leaps and bounds every year more and more agencies are turning toward digital media agencies to execute on concepts and strategy.
I am loving the look of Skyskraper’s blog as well. That tightly kerned Helvetica is looking sharp.
I just stumbled upon Pranav Mistry’s talk at Ted India via the (still and always inspiring) Surfstation blog and was completely blown away by his work at developing what is inarguably some of the most groundbreaking practical application technology out there. Yes, I am prone to exaggeration (I do work in advertising after all) but I am not inflating this. Mistry’s work could really revolutionize the entire computer and interactive industry. His emphasis is on bridging digital data with the physical world in the hopes that we can one day rise from behind our computers and again live physically. It really is something that has to be seen to be believed, but it left me terribly excited. I cannot wait for the day that this technology makes it into the commercial market.
“Recently, mid-air displays are attracting a lot of attention in the fields of digital signage and home TV, and many types of holographic displays have been proposed and developed. Although we can “see” holograhpic images as if they are really floating in front of us, we cannot “touch” them, because they are nothing but light.
This project adds tactile feedback to the hovering image in 3D free space. Tactile sensation requires contact with objects, but including a stimulator in the work space dilutes the appearance of holographic images. The Airborne Ultrasound Tactile Display solves this problem by producing tactile sensation on a user’s hand without any direct contact and without diluting the quality of the holographic projection.”
You can get the full credits on this project at the Siggraph 2009 website. Siggraph is a conference about emerging technologies that is happening in New Orleans. It looks like it would have been a really exciting conference to attend.
Two German biotech experts have decided to convert the entire human genome into audio and stream it over the internet. They estimate that it will take about 23.5 years until the entirety of the code has been distributed over the internet. They are also generating imagery that you can see above (looks like static).
Why? I don’t know. Interesting and kind of awesome? Yes.
Glitch art is quickly becoming a popular craze this year. Kanye West’s most recent video (which you can watch above) utilized the effect as well at the Chairlift video I posted last week. So where can you make your own glitch art? There is a really cool site developed between Dimitre Lima (dmtr.org), Tony Scott (beflix.com) and Iman Moradi (organised.info) for New Langton Arts in San Francisco that will take your site, and more specifically the images on your site and glitch them for you. The site is aptly titled ‘Glitch Browser’ and you can try it out here. If that doesn’t satiate your glitch thirst then you can see some readymade glitch art here.
“Silver has devised a pair of glasses which rely on the principle that the fatter a lens the more powerful it becomes. Inside the device’s tough plastic lenses are two clear circular sacs filled with fluid, each of which is connected to a small syringe attached to either arm of the spectacles.
The wearer adjusts a dial on the syringe to add or reduce amount of fluid in the membrane, thus changing the power of the lens. When the wearer is happy with the strength of each lens the membrane is sealed by twisting a small screw, and the syringes removed. The principle is so simple, the team has discovered, that with very little guidance people are perfectly capable of creating glasses to their own prescription.”
Such an obvious yet innovative idea. Brilliant and wonderful.
Philip Rosedale speaks at TED about his amazing creation, ‘Second Life’. I have never actually gotten involved with Second Life but I have always been amazed by the concept and it was enlightening to hear Rosedale muse on the concept. Rosedale goes by the avatar “Philip Linden” when he is living his ‘Second Life’. I really is a fascinating idea that belies a multitude of ramifications and I am sure it will only evolve further and further as time goes on. It will definitely be interesting watching it unfold and what it may inspire in the future.
Computational architects, We Are Dag were selected as one of the five finalists in the SXSW Web Awards.
They have some wild, virtually indescribable code-driven artwork in their portfolio. I wish I knew how to create work like that. Unfortunately (although I worked as a Flash developer for 3 years) I have since tried to stray from code at every turn.