Archive for June, 2011
amenbo 5-finger mouse
“‘amenbo’, a new input device by japan-based company double research and development, measures the movements and pressure of individual fingers, opening a range of expanded computing possibilities. kazumasa ueno, head of the company’s control systems group, notes that ‘amenbo’ differs from kinect and other 3D image recognition systems in its ability to sense finger pressure. one sensor is located in each of the five panels, so unlike a touchscreen, the device recognizes each finger as being part of a single hand, and can track movement information even when individual fingers are lifted off the surface.”
Rymble brings social media into the physical world
“In the words of the team behind the device, “(Rymble) is a “social compass” that, instead of pointing to the north, moves in different directions as news and alerts happen in the user’s social network, in the web page of a company, artist, sports team or any other subject.” Initially just supporting Facebook, with Twitter to follow, the device connects to the Internet via Wi-Fi. Rymble will change shape, light up in different colours and make noises based of social activity on the Facebook account or page that it’s hooked up to.”
LaCie CloudBox hard drive automatically performs backups to the cloud
“The CloudBox device itself has a 100GB of memory, but the package also includes the same amount of storage in the cloud – depending on your needs, that might or might not be enough. Once a day, everything that is saved to the device is automatically backed up online to a secure server. Of course, it’s already possible to access one’s hard drive via the internet. The big advantage of the CloudBox is that everything will be doubly protected. If the hard drive is lost or damaged, or if you’re not near it, your data can still be retrieved from the cloud. If you don’t have good internet access, or simply don’t want to wait through long upload/download times, you can use the hard drive.”
Infographic Of The Day: Vizualize.me Instantly Turns Your Resume Into Charts
"Its algorithms and templates take your boring, vanilla C.V. and automagically transform it into a Feltron-esque personal infographic at the push of a button. "In the age of data overload, the text resume is slowly becoming a living anachronism," the company’s press release intones ominously. "The average resume is now over 2 pages long with more than 1000 words." Who wants to deal with that?"
DigiTech introduces programmable iPad pedalboard
"With DigiTech’s new iPB-10 Programmable Pedalboard, users actually slot Apple’s tablet into the built-in docking bay and then hook up the instrument and amp to the back of the unit itself"
Researchers Turn Twitter Into Real-Time Sports Commentator
"It turns out that with the right kind of filtering, Twitter can provide a remarkably accurate commentary, accurate to within a few seconds. Zhao and co say that on average tweeters take 17 seconds to report a game event. Curiously, their system worked well on all the football games they monitored, except one: the Super Bowl itself. That’s because the sheer number of tweets about this game seemed to saturate Twitter’s ability to distribute them. So Zhao and co were unable to see increases in the rate at which keywords appeared. Other than that, these guys seemed to have hit upon a great way to create real time commentaries. "Most of the techniques can be readily applied to many other sports games," they say. Although these games would require a similarly sized fan base. Soccer and baseball are obvious candidates and an automated sports commentary start up can’t be far behind."
Volkswagen Autopilot Lets You Drive Hands-Free at 80 MPH
"The temporary auto pilot technology uses adaptive cruise control, lane assist and a variety of sensors to track your speed, your location and all the cars around you. It’s a semi-automatic system so you need to continually monitor the car. You don’t have to keep your hands on the wheel, but you really shouldn’t be napping while the car is flying down the highway at 75MPH."
Oblong Has Built The Future Of Computing. I’ve Seen It. Used It. It’s Beautiful.
"The idea for Mezzanine is to get people in a room together in order to synthesize information in the most collaborative way imaginable. “We want to get everyone’s pixels in a shared workspace, where they collide,” Kramer says. “The key is to give everyone control over what’s happening,” he continues. And that means interacting with the data on the three main screens from your laptop, iPhone, iPad, directly on the screen with the wands, or even remotely via a device with a web browser. Using these controls, anyone can rearrange data, push new data into the flow, highlight specific things, and queue stuff up to talk about later. Perhaps the best way to think about it is as a symphony of information that everyone in the room can conduct. Again, it’s a bit hard to describe, but when you see it, it just makes sense."
Merry Miser: The Antidote to Impulse Spending
"Let’s say that you frequently shop at a local clothing store. Every time you walk near the store, your Merry Miser, which knows exactly where you are from the GPS in the smart phone, will buzz and send you a text message reminding you how much money you have spent in that shop in the past and the amount of your average purchase. It will also remind you that when you were asked a few days after the purchases how you felt about them, they had quickly lost their luster for you. In fact, Merry Miser will remind you that you gave the overall shopping experience at that store a lukewarm rating, and when asked how you felt about your purchase a full month later, you admitted it was still hanging somewhere in the back of your closet, with the tags still on. Then, in case you didn’t get the picture, Merry Miser will inform you that your "happiness" rating for shopping at this store is LOW. If that isn’t enough to make you resist that sweater in the window display, Merry Miser will show you a simple visual image depicting the current state of your finances relative to your goals. And finally, just to be sure you remember the value of being thrifty, it will show you a poignant and motivational quote, like this one from Bertrand Russell: "To be without some of the things you want is an indispensable part of happiness.""
Card.io’s SDK Makes Entering Credit Card Information As Easy As Taking A Snapshot
"Card.io is a new startup making its public debut today that’s looking to make lives easier for developers and users alike — by making inputting your credit card information as easy as holding your card in front of your phone’s camera for a few seconds. You can see the feature in action in the video below — the app recognizes the card, uses server-side OCR to scan it, then gives back the results in a couple of sconds. Better yet, it’s releasing the technology as an SDK to mobile developers, so that they can bake it into their own application."
appBlaster lets you kill the aliens hiding in your home
"It’s essentially a toy gun, that your iPhone mounts on top of. Running the free Alien Attack AR game, the phone will proceed to show you the virtual otherwise-invisible aliens that are all around you, overlaid on real-time video of your your real-life surroundings. You then use the gun to shoot the little goobers before they nab you."
Campaign by Breakfast NY Promotes Google Search Feature
"The campaign is centered on custom, touch-sensitive microcontrollers, built by Breakfast, that include microphones and can communicate with remote devices through Bluetooth. When users tap the microcontroller and speak a search term into the mic, the Google voice-activated desktop search results are displayed on a nearby computer. In addition, the microcontrollers can be programmed by users to turn regular electronic items — like a radio or a bell — into remote triggers to activate a voice search. Mr. Lipton said the hope is that people will figure out interesting ways to rig the devices with other electronic devices to perform searches. Breakfast plans to distribute a few dozen of the microcontrollers to people who show interest on the company’s Web site."
Platform recommends footwear based on previous favorites
"Shoe shoppers begin using Shoefitr by entering the brand of shoe they previously owned, as well that shoe’s model. If the user doesn’t know the exact model name, they can either enter the product code, or simply specify which color the shoe was. Shoefitr will then display a selection of possible models from which the user can select their old shoe model. Having done so, they then enter the size of their old shoe, as well as the width specification (where possible). Lastly, the shopper enters the make and model of a shoe they were thinking of buying. Using a database of information gathered by scanning the inside of each shoe individually, Shoefitr is able to accurately determine the shape and size of a consumer’s foot from their old, well-fitting shoe model. It is then able to generate a 3D image of the shoe the user was considering buying, recommending a size, and displaying where the shoe will fit tightly and loosely."
"Weddar is a weather service powered by you and me. In Weddar you have real people reporting on how the weather feels. The really sweet interface lets you quickly post how the weather feels at your location and share it with other Weddar users. The more people use it accurately the better you are informed about the current weather for places you like to go. The sunshine is free."
Visibility is Your Security in Traffic – LED Enhanced Textile for Visibility
"Designers have been working on developing fabrics and materials that increase visibility of cyclists, however the pedestrian segment has been largely ignored. Here is a special kind of fabric with LED lights interwoven into the textile, and can be worn by anyone.
Visibility is Your Security in Traffic is a made up of Smart Textiles, cotton and stainless steel with integrated LEDs. The fabric can be customized and hand washed too! The use of stainless steel does away with the need for cables and wires to link the bulbs. It is knitted together with cotton thread, and sewn with cotton fabric. The fabric provides fixed visual and tactile on/off buttons. The battery is encased in waterproof plastic that can withstand washing and various weather conditions."
Can You Fall In Love with This Beautiful Girl?
"The fact is that yes, she looks exactly like the others. Literally. The big eyes, the juicy lips, the perfect cheeks, the cute chin, the blinding smile and the angelical look belong to the other six member of AKB48. Eguchi Aimi is not a real person, she has been composed in a computer using parts from her fellow band members. Her fans, who are legion, just learned about it this week, when this shocking video demonstrating the process, was published in YouTube. They just couldn’t believe it and you won’t believe it either:"
Plant a New Language in Your Mind
"A world memory champion and a neuroscientist have joined forces to create a language-learning website called Memrise, which combines mnemonic tricks with a game to help users learn quickly and efficiently. Its carefully paced learning structure and competitive points system, the app’s developers believe, make their site more effective than other language-learning tools."
Flixlab Lets You Edit Movies Using Clips from Your Friends’ iPhones
"You have to be in the same place (a few hundred feet seems to be too far), but once you are you’ll soon receive a request to join an event with other friends shooting video in the area. When it comes time to edit your movie, you’ll be able to pull not only from their clips but yours as well."
New UFO Power Center Zaps Vampire Appliances for Big Energy Savings
"it serves as a central power strip that measures the use of standby electricity for each socket. The UFO can then be programmed to turn each socket on or off on a schedule. Even more impressive, the UFO can also turn a socket off when it detects that a device is fully charged, or is in standby mode."
Spain’s Gemasolar Array is the World’s First 24/7 Solar Power Plant!
"The 19.9 MW Gemasolar concentrated solar power plant in Spain’s Andalucia province has two tanks of molten salt (MSES) that store heat energy generated throughout the day. Unlike normal plants that have less thermal storage or none at all, this stored energy enables Torresol to satisfy peak summer energy demand long after sunset."
Glympse Raises $7.5 Million To Help You Share Your Location, A Few Hours At A Time
"So far, the service offers applications for iPhone and Android that let you create ‘Glympses’, which include a map of your location in real-time. You then share these Glympses with friends via SMS, email, Facebook, or Twitter — clicking on the link will take them to a webpage that shows a map with your location updating in real-time (the Facebook widget actually updates directly in the News Feed). You get to set how long you want each Glympse to last — it can be as long as four hours, though the average Glympse is around forty minutes. Once it expires, they can no longer see your location."
Lytro Is a Focus-Free Camera That Will Change How You Take Pictures Forever
"The Lytro is a light field camera which is much different than your standard digital shooter. It doesn’t capture one angle, one lighting effect or one focus plane. It captures everything, all at once, in one photo. The image can then be manipulated to change the focus from an item in the foreground to an item in the background on the fly. The camera is targeted for an end of the year launch and could cost under $500 if Ng can pull it all together."
Computer vision system recognizes 3D objects via heat diffusion
"In the heat-mapping method, the computer divides the surface of an object up into a meshwork of triangles, then applies algorithms to determine how the heat would flow from triangle to triangle. Even if the image contains "noise," such as laser scanning imperfections, the object’s shape can still be determined. The computer is also able to determine the object’s "heat mean signature," which allows it to divide the object up into segments, identifying the center of each one, and assigning more or less importance to different segments."
Samsung’s LCD Fridge With Apps Is A Fridge That Has An LCD And Apps
“The app fridge comes in two different models: one with two vertical doors, and one with two vertical doors up top and two drawers down below. What’s different about this fridge is that just above the ice/water dispenser, there is an 8-inch Wi-Fi supported LCD screen that features a total of eight apps: Memos, Photos, Epicurious, Calendar, WeatherBug, AP, Pandora, and Twitter. Some of the apps are built by Samsung and specifically designed for the app fridge, while others are apps we’ve come to know and love.”
Pictures Were Amazingly Recovered from a Camera That’s Been in the Ocean for 4 Years
“Peter Govaars stumbled across this camera frame (SD card attached) on a California beach. Curious about its whereabouts, he cleaned the card, plugged it in and found over a hundred photos taken in June 2007. That’s 4 years ago. I can’t believe an SD card could still be readable after years and years in the deep blue sea. Wouldn’t salt wreck havoc on it? Wouldn’t coral grow on it? Wouldn’t some silly sea creature eat it? But nope, it somehow survived.”
Make Mobile Payments Using Ultrasonic Sound
“Transactions would be completed by ultrasonic sound, using the built-in speaker and microphone of existing mobile phones running the necessary app. The company says cash registers can be upgraded to accept payments the same way, for just $30. Secure data transfer and mobile payments through a simpler and more cost-effective method than NFC sounds like this technology has great potential.”
Virgin America Names Aircraft A Twitter Hashtag
“Virgin America is taking their hashtag #nerdbird to the skies by naming their 39th aircraft amidst their increasing fleet with this whimsical name. Using Facebook and Twitter to alert their audience to this new change, they’ve found a guarenteed way to increase followers and updates via their social media channels by targeting their savvy bi-coastal travelers.”
Neuromarketers Using MRIs to Predict the Next Teenie-Bopper Sensation
“In 2006, they placed 32 children, aged 12 to 18, in an MRI scanner and had them listen to a wide variety of short song clips downloaded from MySpace.com. The scientists took scans of song-related activity in the children’s brains, and had the children report how likable each song was. After identifying brain areas whose activity was correlated with song likability, the scientists patiently sat on the data for about 3 years. At the end of the three years, the researchers tallied the sales data from each song over that period and compared it to the amount of activity and neural signature in the nucleus accumbens. What they found wasn’t a dead-on accurate guarantor of a song’s future success but still showed a loose correlation between increased brain activity and increased sales. Essentially, it measured a song’s “catchiness.” Not only that, it was actually a better predictor of a song’s success than the children’s own responses that were reported immediately after the MRIs.”
BBC Debuts Video App For Samsung
“Though it’s meant to complement the BBC’s existing broadcasts, this move signals a clear shift in news delivery and consumption — away from big block newscasts towards small and relevant clips that cater towards today’s viewer. It also has greater implications for the type of content people will be interacting with as these services evolve. If media is inherently affected by the format it is created for, it will be very interesting to see how app-based, on-demand, tv news alters the future of journalism.”
Intel Has a 50-Core, Supercomputer-Ready Processor on the Way
“Ars Technica says that it will compete with NVIDIA’s Tesla Supercomputer processor, but will aim for ease of implementation, rather than raw performance power. The main advantage that Intel touts vs. Tesla is that because MIC is just a bunch of x86 cores, it’s easy for users to port their existing toolchains to it. (When using Tesla, researchers must port to NVIDIA’s proprietary but well-loved CUDA platform.)”
Hipmunk Visualizes the Future of Travel Search for the iPad
“The service lets people browse by a creative combination of factors, in addition to pricing, travel duration and number of stops on a given flight. Hipmunk also lets people search with an “agony” button that calculates the least amount of hassle for a trip. Similarly, users can also search with an “ecstasy” factor that arranges results by the number of amenities, rave reviews and pricing. Search results are sprawled out on a colorful graphic grid, while flight times are laid across a horizontal axis, with pricing ascending vertically. Airlines are also highlighted in different colors, making it easier for travelers to zero in the carrier they want. Users can employ a sliding filter to sift out early morning flights and share search results with friends.”
Taking a snapshot to migrate tasks between a computer and a mobile phone
“[…] Deep Shot simplifies things by sending the URI between two devices over Wi-Fi via software installed on both the phone and all the computers with which the phone will interact. The camera comes into play when uploading data to the phone by identifying the application open on the screen using existing computer vision algorithms. It is also used to identify the specific computer the camera is trained on – work or home, for example – when downloading data from the phone to a computer. The system will also resize the application window to match the framing of the photo.”
What Happens in 60 Seconds on The Internet
“Shut down your Internet for sixty seconds and here’s a sampling of what you will miss: 1500+ blog posts. 98,000 new tweets. 12,000 new ads on Craigslist. 20,000 new posts on Tumblr. 600 new videos (25+ hours worth) on YouTube”
World’s ‘first self-powered nanodevice with wireless data transmission’ created
“The tiny device is able to operate battery-free, using a piezoelectric nanogenerator to create electricity from naturally-occurring mechanical vibrations. The five-layered, one square-centimeter nanogenerator was made from a flexible polymer substrate, with zinc-oxide (ZnO) nanowire textured films attached to that polymer’s top and bottom surfaces, and electrodes on the outside surfaces of the nanowire films. When mechanically strained by vibrations, it produces an output voltage of 10 volts, and an output current of over 0.6 microamps. Energy is stored in the nanodevice’s built-in capacitor, and is used to power electronics including an infrared photon-detecting sensor, and a radio transmitter that uses technology similar to that found in Bluetooth headsets.”
Decide.com: The Farecast for Electronics
“He has started Decide.com, a Web site that aims to predict the future price of electronic devices and also to take a stab at predicting what is coming next. He and his associates in Seattle have made two billion price observations that let them say with some certainty whether the Samsung TV you have your eye on will go down or up in price next week.”
Bizarre Japanese Toy Turns Bodies into Orchestras
"To "play" the Ningen Gakki, each member of your quartet grabs on to one of it’s stubby arms. Then, you just… touch each other. High fives, caresses, smacks—they’ll all produce a note from one of the little plastic music squid’s pre-programmed tunes, like Amazing Grace, or the timeless classic, The Other Day, I Met a Bear. It looks like it probably works through electrical conduction, or perhaps just Japanese Toy Magic."
Tiny $14 Kilobots work by swarming together
"Each Kilobot is powered by a rechargeable 3.4-volt lithium-ion battery, that can keep it running for at least three hours. It moves via three rigid legs that are vibrated by two motors, allowing it to move left, right or straight forward. A bottom-mounted wide-angle infrared transceiver shoots a light beam down at the smooth surfaces that the robot shimmies across, that beam reflecting up to be received by other nearby Kilobots. This lets them communicate with one another, and judge proximity to their neighbors. An onboard microcontroller allows them to act on the data they receive. Swarms of potentially hundreds or even thousands of Kilobots can be controlled by an overhead infrared controller, that can program an unlimited number of robots simultaneously in under 40 seconds."
BMW Crash-Severity Algorithm Tells Emergency Room Where it Hurts
"BMW’s enhanced automatic collision notification (enhanced ACN or EACN) uses a sophisticated set of algorithms to instantly read the car’s crash sensor data and make an informed estimate of how to respond to the accident – police car? ambulance? helicopter? – and what injuries to look for when the victims get to the hospital or trauma center. That quick response has the potential to save thousands of lives."
Gnonstop Gnomes Appear On iPhone And Android. Don’t Try To Stop Them.
"The app is a real-world social game and photo-sharing app. You create a Gnome, insert him in different pictures, and record his journey via GPS. The fun part starts when you pass your Gnome onto a friend. You do this with a new gesture Churn Labs invented called Lyft. Using your phone’s camera lens, you can “lyft” a gnome from another screen to yours and help him continue his journey. Anyone who has touched a gnome can follow his adventures and photos as he moves around the world."
"The idea is to connect a series of sensors (heart rate, pressure on the board and orientation) to a Arduino processor, which then sends via Bluetooth, the acquired data to a Nokia N8, which records the entire performance (including the phone´s GPS path). All this through a free application that can be downloaded from the Push Snowboarding web page"
How Six Degrees of Kevin Bacon Unearthed Lost Photos From American Graffiti
"At the intersection of the tags for the actors that appeared in the photographs being processed by crowdsourced human labor was American Graffiti. It was the only movie in which all of these actors had appeared, so it sat at the center of the semantic map connecting them. In other words, humans plus machines accomplished something that neither could have accomplished on their own for a reasonable cost."
The beautiful game
"The large spikes are goals; the taller ridge represents touches; the shorter ridge represents passes." Note the surge of activity preceding Villa’s goal shown by the large spike at the top of the form."
Hidentify: Search For Stuff You Can Buy Online, Using Your Own Words
"The company thinks there must be a better way to search for stuff to buy online: using your own words. Instead of searching for ‘an affordable notebook with a 19″ screen and a 2.53 GHz processor’, you would enter something like ‘cheap powerful laptop with large screen’ in Hidentify and get a list of matching products. Once users get a list of products that Hidentify has guessed matches their needs best, they can tweak some of the search filters and/or head straight over to a seller’s website as soon as they’ve determined which product to purchase."
Flurry: Time Spent On Mobile Apps Has Surpassed Web Browsing
"Flurry says that daily time spent in mobile apps has now surpassed web consumption. The average user now spends 9% more time using mobile apps than the Internet. In June users spent an average of 81 minutes daily on mobile apps, compared to 74 minutes on the web. This compares to 66 minutes on mobile apps daily in December of 2010, and 70 minutes spent daily on the web. And June, the average user spent just under 43 minutes a day using mobile applications versus an average 64 minutes using the Internet."
A 4K Resolution Display That Fits on Your Desk
"4K display technology, a.k.a. 2160p, a.k.a. 4096 x 2160 resolution, is primarily found in movie theater projectors right now. But Japanese display maker Eizo thinks it also belongs on your desktop. For 36,000 dollars."
Beautiful, Beautiful Data
"The images seem like the boundary where technology crosses over into fantasy and science into magic. They’re not quite fractals, yet they are characterized by a similar kind of repetition and patterning. At first the data points appear as noise, but this noise is the origin of the patterns in the first place"
T-Shirt Uses Sound Waves To Charge Smartphones
"Orange proposes that the Sound Charge t-shirt can power a smartphone completely, just by harnessing soundwaves while watching a musical act such as Beyonce or U2"
CamBox by @billaboop – video beatbox in your pocket
"CamBox is an iPhone app by Billaboop which allows you to create beatbox clips using iPhone’s built in video camera. Each sound you make triggers the recording of a short video sequence, which is stored into a box. You can then play the boxes with the touch screen and save it as a video. The jams can then be shared on Facebook, YouTube, Twitter and more."
Researchers turn long-term memories on and off with the flip of a switch
“Building on their previous work showing that the hippocampus is responsible for converting short-term memory into long-term memory, the researchers used embedded electrical probes to record the rat’s brain activity between two major internal divisions of the hippocampus as they were learning. These divisions, which are known as subregions CA3 and CA1, had previously been shown to interact to create long-term memory. The researchers then drugged the rats to block the normal neural interactions between CA3 and CA1. The rats that had previously been trained to choose the correct lever no longer displayed the long-term learned behavior. The next step of the experiment involved creating an artificial hippocampial system that could duplicate the pattern of interaction between CA3-CA1 interactions. When the team activated the electronic device programmed to duplicate the memory-encoding function, long-term memory capability returned to the pharmacologically blocked rats.”
The America’s Cup, With Helpful Graphics for TV
“The races are hard to view right now,” Mr. Ruibal said. “But if you add graphical elements, consumers will have a richer experience. We feel there is a real opportunity here to get a whole group of young consumers excited.” To get the video footage and then insert explanatory arrows, lines or tags, a television helicopter will fly high above the races to provide wide aerial views, said Gary Lovejoy, media director for the event authority. Software will figure out the camera’s exact position on the helicopter in relation to the yachts, all of which have GPS accuracy to about an inch, and then superimpose the graphics. ”
joshua noble + undef: receipt racer
“once gameplay is begun, the receipt printer begins printing out a randomly generated racetrack, printed continuously over the course of the game as though each section were a subsequent frame in an animation. the effect lends dynamism to the otherwise static track, as users control the car left and right, avoiding crashing off course or into an obstacle. the car image, as well as a point tally and any text instructions (such as ‘start’ or ‘wait’), is beamed onto the paper from a small projection device. if the car crashes, it explodes into red pixels alongside the word ‘boom’, and initiates the cessation of the game and printing of a short summary.”
Kinect-like camera interface for taking self-portraits
“Using a computer vision algorithm created by the researchers, the viewfinder – preferably of a decent size – displays an augmented live video view that can control various camera functions from a distance by tracking and recognizing the subject’s hand gestures in real time. The algorithm is able to detect the contour of the hand and the fingertips of the user, highlighting the detected hand in green and the detected fingertips in red. In the version of the system detailed in the researcher’s study, users are able to pan and tilt the camera and trigger the shutter.”
Standard platform in the works for ‘Internet of Things’
"The project is known as Infrastructure for Integrated Services, or ISIS, and incorporates five partner organizations and institutions. The ISIS platform includes a programming tool for app developers, called Arctis. Developed by researchers at the Norwegian University of Science and Technology, Arctis is based around simply putting virtual building blocks together to form complete apps, although more complex arrangements are also possible. When apps are complete, users can purchase and download them from the online ISIS app store, which is already up and running. Different apps could be combined in order to get various devices working together, which is where the ICE Composition Engine would come in. Installed on a modem, decoder or adapter in the home, it would be in charge of overseeing the relationships between devices, and making sure that they could all communicate effectively with one another."
New brain imaging method sheds light on the nature of consciousness
"Using a newly developed imaging technique, researchers in the U.K. have for the first time observed what happens to the brain as it loses consciousness. The method known as "functional electrical impedance tomography by evoked response" (fEITER) uses a 32 electrode array to scan the brain at a rate of 100 times a second and by applying this as an anaesthetic drug takes effect, researchers are able to build a real-time 3-D video that will aid in better understanding of how the brain functions and the nature of consciousness. […] So far the evidence supports the theory put forward by Oxford University’s Professor Susan Greenfield that consciousness is not an ON/OFF state but more like a dimmer switch."
Talking The Talk: Verbally Lets The Speech Disabled Communicate Using The iPad (For Free)
"Verbally is an augmentative and alternative communication (AAC) solution built for the more than six million people in the U.S. suffering from speech disabilities — caused by Lou Gherig’s Disease, stroke, brain injury, Parkinson’s, cerebral palsy, autism, and more. The app allows users to tap the words they wish to communicate onto the app’s keyboard, or choose from pre-prepared words or phrases, which are then in turn transmitted into audio phrases."
The Heart Healthy iPhone
"Just millimeters thick, the iCard ECG sticks on the back of an iOS device with velcro and sends ECG data to an app on the device. Place the phone against your chest, start the app and it records ECG data and uploads it as a PDF to the AliveCor server for physicians to review. And it comes in red!"
air guitar move
"air guitar move’ relies foremost on a motion sensing guitar pick, connected via the 30-pin dock on iPhone or iPod touch.
the free ‘air guitar move’ app features two games: ‘free play’– in which users can improvise or play along to songs
by fingering chords on the iPhone while strumming the pick– and ‘arcade’, a ‘guitar hero’-like game that requires players
to simply strum in time, and place the correct number of fingers onto the iPhone."
iPhone users get paid for small, location-based tasks
"Examples might include taking a photograph of a potential retail site, for instance, or verifying a product’s placement on the local retail shelves. Roamler’s client brands make their requests with the company, and Roamler offers the work to its users based on their location. In exchange, they earn between EUR 2 and EUR 4 for successfully completing each mission. Users also gain points and badges for each assignment they successfully complete; the higher their resulting status, the more challenging assignments they get and the more money they ear"
janet echelman: dilworth plaza project
“the installation makes use of a specially designed ‘dry mist’, composed of atomized water particles and compressed air. expelled to a height of five feet, the mist is visible, and can be shaped by the wind and by visitor interaction, but the water particles are so fine that it does not make things wet. the sculpture follows the path of the city’s three metro lines that run below the pavement, with the mist ‘drawing’ in realtime the passage of the trains. at the sculpture’s base, a ‘water mirror’ reflects the historic architecture of the square together with the mist, which at night comes illuminated by three different light sources.”
The Dutch are Making QR-Coded Coins. Seriously.
“The Royal Dutch Mint is celebrating its 100th anniversary, so they’re producing these 5 and 10 euro QR coins in both silver and gold. Scanning the code directs you to this website (though as of now, it’s not formatted for mobile devices). At the moment it’s unclear what will be on the site when the coins are released June 22nd. Maybe it’ll be information about how the coin was made or the person whose face is printed on it. Maybe it’ll just be an ad for a free Coke from Wendy’s. Whatever it is, coin collectors will probably be overjoyed to get their hands on these shiny 21st century doubloons.”
Software Extracts Your Location on Twitter Even When It’s Secret
“While it wasn’t able to pull out their address or even their zip code, it was able to determine what country and state users inhabited. Analyzing the data after the fact, the researchers even discovered that some terms were highly predictive of location. It should surprise no one that Twitter users who often used the word “Colorado” were in that state. Other results were less intuitive: people who mentioned “elk” also tended to be in Colorado, “biggbi” was highly predictive of residence in Michigan, and people who mentioned “gamecock” were likely to be in South Carolina. People outside of Louisiana were unlikely to mention “crawfish,” and “redsox” fans were disproportionately from Massachusetts.”
Kindle’s Most Prolific Self-Publishers Are Spammers
“The “books” are swarming the Kindle store in the thousands every month, powered in part by something called Private Label Rights, where cheap content gets repackaged into a knockoff e-volume. Alternately, one book will be uploaded a dozen times, with different titles and covers. Or, as Reuters points out, they’re just straight plagiarism: Some of these books appear to be outright copies of other work. Earlier this year, Shayne Parkinson, a New Zealander who writes historical novels, discovered her debut “Sentence of Marriage” was on sale on Amazon under another author’s name.”
Researchers Predict Online Gamers Behavior In World Of Warcraft
“After analyzing the behavior of 14,000 World of Warcraft players, the research team developed a data-driven method for predicting what they would do next, with up to 80% accuracy. This new method was created by evaluating the task-based “achievement” badges players earn when they accomplish a goal or series of goals in the game. Data was collected on the correlation between the achievements and used to predict which ones they would accomplish next. Although some were easy to predict because they were similarly themed or followed on from a previous achievement, others had no obvious connection. For example, an achievement for unarmed combat highly correlated to the one for world travel, even though there is no clear link between the two.”
“Spike Solutions is a project by Jacob Niedzwiecki, an ongoing series of screen tests based on generative compositing techniques. The video in any zone of the left half is sampled (from that same zone) from the video in the same location on the right half. All the clips start at a random point in the same source footage. All the videos start almost in sync, with a slight offset, so you can see movements ‘ripple’ from the bottom right to the top left in the grid. As they play, a stochastic (fancy word for ‘random’) process gradually jumps individual clips forward in time.”
Cutting The Cord: WildChords Brings Guitar Hero To Real Guitars On The iPad
“You simply download the game onto your iPad, and pick up your acoustic or electric guitar and start playing. The app uses high-tech audio technology to recognize the sound through your device’s microphone what chords you’re playing, turning your six-string into a game controller. The gameplay itself is based on the Pied Piper of Hamelin story, so the user finds his or herself among a menagerie of animals that have recently escaped from the zoo. Each animal likes a particular chord, so the object is to play all of the chords correctly, and save the animals — and the city — from madness.”
Mattel’s Fijit Will Either Terrify or Delight the Child in Your Life
“As you can see, the Fijit is an exuberant little specimen. It’s soft, loves to be squeezed (perhaps too much!) and will entertain you until you command it to stop. It’s a little upsetting, a little creepy, and something little kids will probably get a big kick out of. DO YOU WANT TO SING A SONG? YAAAAAAY! I think the only way to permanently turn the Fijit off is shooting it in the head with a Desert Eagle.”
Thrutu Eliminates the “Where Are You?” By Sharing Your Location, Photos and Sketches During Phone Calls
“Thrutu is a free app that allows callers to send information like their current location, a photo, or contact information all while speaking, without ever leaving the phone to go hunt for other apps. Other actions include shared whiteboard doodles or drawing on a shared map, and plug-ins allow even more—like sending money through PayPal or flipping a virtual coin.”
Self-powered sensors developed for monitoring aircraft integrity
“The new sensors run on electricity produced by a thermoelectric energy harvester, built into each unit. At the heart of the harvester is a small water tank. The water will take on the temperature of the warmer air at ground level, and maintain that temperature as the plane ascends into the colder higher altitudes. The harvester is subjected to the difference in temperature between the warmer water and the colder outer wall of the sensor, and uses that temperature gradient to create electricity. After spending some time aloft, the water will cool down. Electricity is then created on the way back down, based on the difference between the colder water and the warmer outer wall. During those times when there is no considerable temperature difference between the two, the sensors are able to run on power stored by the harvesters.”
Robot Flâneur Allows For Interactive World Vacations From Home
“the website Robot Flaneur (an explorer for Google Street View conceived by James Bridle) allows users the experience of a casual stroll around famed cities such as Paris, Berlin, and London right from the comfort of their own desk. Though simplistic, its voyeuristic capabilities prove addictive as you find yourself a stoling down Broadway in NYC to coasting past the Tiergarten in Berlin. For those of you with shorter attention spans, new images are refreshed every 30 seconds, with the option to zoom in, zoom out, or skip around.”
“Rimino” Looks Cool… But What Does It Actually Do?
“The Rimino concept is an E-paper mobile device with a user interface inspired by print posters. Historically, as technology has progressed, devices have become more conspicuous. Rimino challenges this trend and presents the alternative: technology that is more integrated and more sensitive to the human experience.”
Service scans users’ credit card bills for errors and scams
“Each new transaction is analyzed by more than 100 automated tests, the company says; BillGuard also scours the web for complaints posted by others about similar charges and merchants that appear on users’ bills. In addition to any alerts, which are emailed immediately, BillGuard sends users a scan report every month with a quick overview of its findings and an indication of how “clean” the covered cards have been. BillGuard, which is based in New York and Israel, offers its service for free, and plans to earn revenue working with banks and merchants instead, according to a report in The New York Times.”
Rotary Mechanical Smartphone
“Settling the Digital v/s Mechanical dispute with his Rotary Mechanical Smartphone, designer Richard Clarkson gives us a smartphone that is so very tangible that its aura speaks for itself! Stalling the ‘digital-take-over’, the phone features two interchangeable brass dials, a true rotary dial and a button dial. WHats really clever is that the act of changing these is inspired from changing the lenses on a camera! Electroplated copper with a coat of paint completes the body-job. Meant for the steampunk and minimalistic fans, this phone is sure to favors across the lines.”
A Vintage Photo Blog That’s Actually Pretty Cool
“There are a lot of photo blogs out there dedicated to collecting vintage photos, but I like the spin that relative newcomer Dear Photograph puts on the formula. It’s not the first time this has been done, sure, but the quality of the submissions is uniformly excellent, and the effect—especially in the photos that show appreciable change—is striking and poignant.”
thierry fournier: fenetre augmentee (augmented window)
“designed by french artist thierry fournier, ‘fenetre ugmentee‘ (‘augmented window’) sets real-time video footage of paris in front of the landscape itself, allowing visitors to explore on the screen sixteen artistic interventions that fournier invited artists and authors to make on the city”
Anderson Computer by Ma Yiwei and Tao Ying
“One of the biggest advantages of a laptop is its portability feature. Using this as its premise, here is a very sleek version of how we should be really using a digital notebook. Ironic that it’s a leaf out of the journal kind, the Anderson’s main USP is the practical way of handling the book. Dual hinge system makes it possible to use the notebook in portrait and landscape mode. Realistic and do-able, I’d like one Anderson just for me!”
Nerdy DJ Turntable Web App Kind of Rocks
“When you enter the site you can go into one of several rooms. Some will be packed, others empty. You can also create your own room. Once in, you can either jump on the decks and start playing music or just hang out and listen. If a song’s not already in the Turntable database, you can upload it yourself. There’s a chat interface, and DJs can earn points from the audience, which earns them both points and gear for their avatars.”
MIT designing system to protect implants against wireless attacks
“Many implantable devices are now wireless-enabled, so that doctors can check patients’ vital signs, change the rhythm of pacemakers, the dosage of drug pumps, or make other adjustments. According to recent research, however, a hostile party could use that wireless capability to instruct those devices to harm the patient – and perhaps even kill them – from a distance. The MIT team, who are collaborating with colleagues from the University of Massachusetts-Amherst, believe that a small signal jamming device could prevent against such attacks. Called a “shield,” the patient would wear it like a necklace or wristwatch. When doctors or other users of “authorized devices” wanted to send instructions to the implant, their devices’ jammed signal would first go to the shield, which would authenticate and decode it, then send it along to the implant. Signals from unauthorized devices would simply stay garbled and useless.”
PopBooth: A *Real* Photo Booth For iPhone/iPad From The Postagram Guys
“You download the PopBooth app on your iPhone or iPad (2, obliviously, since it has a camera), it takes four pictures of you and your friends, you apply optional filters, and you can then send these images to Facebook, Twitter, email, etc. But the key is that you also have the option to send printed out strips to yourself, your family, or your friends. Yes, actual tangible photos strips — just like you’d get from a booth.”
Free-Time Identifies When You’re Not Busy and Shares Your Availability with Your Friends
“Free-Time is an unusual but helpful app that takes a look at your iPhone’s calendar(s), figures out when you’re free, and lets you know how much free time you have open in the day. You can then share this information with friends for simple planning.”
Milo Fetch Allows Local Retailers To Upload Their Inventory To eBay
“Fetch, which is still in beta, allows retailer to install Fetch on their point of sale systems (the platform is integrated with QuickBooks) one time and then they can simple publish their inventory to eBay’s marketplace. Fetch will update the retailer’s inventory every 15 minutes, says eBay.”
New Microchip Could Prevent ‘Standby’ Energy Loss
“The new memory chip can cut standby consumption to zero for electronics such as TVs that require circuits to be continually energised for a quick start up. The new chip uses small magnets, instead of power, to retain data. NEC says this means the possibility of electronics that start instantly and consume zero electricity while in standby mode. Such circuits exist now but are not popular owing to their slower performance compared with traditional microcircuit chips, according to a report by electronics industry analyst UBM Electronics.”
Discovr Launches Awesome Tool To Find New Apps For iOS (Think Interactive Graphs)
“Discovr Apps is an interactive map of the 400K+ apps on the App Store. How does it work? Search for your favorite app, or choose one from Discovr’s featured apps, and bing-bang-boom, the app will show your app of choice in an interconnected network of apps that are linked based on their similarities. The similarities, like so many other recommendation services today, is a combo of machine algorithms and human curation.”
A Robotic Hand So Quick It’s Scary
“The above video demonstrates extremely precise robotic hand and finger manipulation. It was designed to make use of a high-speed camera and tactile sensors to enable throwing, catching, and even grasping. I hope it’s only used for good.”
Fanhattan for iPad
“Fanhattan, Free, iPad. Let’s get this straight, Fanhattan is not another movie and TV streaming service. At its core, Fanhattan is a movie and TV searching service that scours through Netflix, iTunes, Hulu Plus and the iPad’s ABC app (with hopes of adding more services) and shows you where you can find the movie to watch. Once you click on the service, it’ll launch that particular iPad app and that app will let you stream, buy, or rent the movie. Think of it as a guide for your iPad movie watching self.”
‘Hearing dummies’ allow for tailor-made hearing aids
“Meddis and his team developed a new type of hearing test, that more accurately identifies what type of hearing loss a client has – typical “threshold tests” simply measure how quiet of a sound a client is still able to hear, whereas Meddis’ system places an emphasis on a variety of higher-level sounds, which users are more likely to encounter on a daily basis. Using the results of these tests, a computer algorithm is adjusted until it matches those results – this is the so-called hearing dummy. In the immediate future, this model could be used to indicate what is causing the hearing loss, which could then potentially be addressed. In the long run, however, the model could be used for fine-tuning custom hearing aids. Instead of just boosting audio levels, each device would make the specific audio adjustments needed by each individual client.”
Mixpanel Streams: Watch What Your Users Are Doing On Your Site, In Real Time
“Today it’s launching a new feature called Streams that will let you visualize exactly how people are navigating through a site in real-time. Pick a user, and you can see a history of which pages they’ve visited, and where they went next. You can use custom filters and color tagging of each content type to help identify trends — are people clicking the ‘Home’ button when they really wanted their profile? Does a certain page lead people to reach for the ‘Help’ section? And so on. Yes, there’s definitely a creepiness factor involved here — on large sites Mixpanel will draw a random sample of users and doesn’t show their real names, but with smaller sites it’s easy to track exactly where everyone is visiting. If you wanted to, you could actually tag specific users with their real names and monitor how they’re using your site.”
Angry Birds Makes NFC Magic With Location-Based Add-On
“Magic combines the world of Angry Birds with the real, physical world using NFC tag and GPS technology in two different ways. One part of Magic allows gamers to unlock new levels when they tap their phones with another player. The second component to Magic, called Magic Places, assigns certain venues as Magic to encourage players to visit those locations for various rewards. For example, he may be rewarded with the Mighty Eagle, the game’s strongest character, when he checks into a Magic Place.”
Female fitbot robot added to Fits.me Virtual Fitting Room
“The Fits.me virtual fitting room is an online changing room where you simply enter your sizing statistics and a robotic mannequin models how various sizes will look on your torso – all from the comfort of your own home. Among a host of advantages, the virtual fitting room saves time – the one commodity destined to always be in short supply – and solves the single biggest problem for online fashion retail – the lack of a fitting room. When it was introduced for men last year, sales to new customers increased by 57 percent, and sales to international customers doubled, while returns also decreased to just 2.99 percent. Now it’s available for women too.”
Ortho-Tag Uses RFID To Identify Your Implants
“When you have a prosthetic device implanted in your body, how do you retrieve information about it? You can’t look at the bottom for a model number and you don’t want to go under the knife to find the manufacturer. Orthopedic surgeon Lee Berger along with Marlin Mickle of the University of Pittsburgh developed a solution for this unique problem. The pair created an RFID system that will tag your implants with all the information a future physician would ever need. The tag also logs the chemical balance and temperature of surrounding tissue, so the doc can tell if an infection is brewing.”
Evolved, 3D printed creatures
“I am growing creatures I call Entoforms using the open source Blender 3D software. To do so, I’ve written the equivalent of a 300 page book in python scripts, which though a work in progress, are already available. The Entoforms have text as DNA, and can thus be based on words, or names. I print them out in 3D, then pin, and label them in insect boxes like collected invertebrates. These I am selling as limited issue collectible art pieces.”
Infographic Of The Day: Ben Fry’s TriTRACK Simplifies Triathlon Training
“In each date-box on the triTRACK calendar, you’ll see a crisp colored bar (or superimposed set), intuitively color-coded to represent which of the three athletic events you trained for that day — blue for swimming (water), green for running (ground), and red for biking (er, blood?). The thickness of the line represents the distance you achieved, and the slope of the line represents whether your performance improved, stayed the same, or deteriorated. Listing all those multidimensional datapoints explicitly would take up a lot of space, but thanks to Fathom’s impeccable visual skills, they can pack it all into one square on your calendar that you can grok at a glance.”
“Wingfield intended Digital Dawn to emulate the process of photosynthesis using electroluminescent printing technology. Light-dependent sensors monitor the changing light levels within a space, triggering the growth of the organic foliage on the blind. A natural environment will appear to grow on the window surface, exploring how changing light levels within a space can have profound and physiological impact on our sense of well-being.”
Mob Rule: Iceland Crowdsources Its Next Constitution
“Iceland’s existing constitution dates back to when it gained independence from Denmark in 1944. It simply took the Danish constitution and made a few minor adjustments, such as substituting the word “president” for “king”. In creating the new document, the council has been posting draft clauses on its website every week since the project launched in April. The public can comment underneath or join a discussion on the council’s Facebook page. The council also has a Twitter account, a YouTube page where interviews with its members are regularly posted, and a Flickr account containing pictures of the 25 members at work, all intended to maximise interaction with citizens. Meetings of the council are open to the public and streamed live on to the website and Facebook page. The latter has more than 1,300 likes in a country of 320,000 people.”
Spies Inside: Ultrasmall Electrodes Go Anywhere
“John A. Rogers, a materials scientist at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, has developed a technique that thinly slices silicon wafers or LEDs with a chemical etcher. Then, to make them stretchy as well as flexible, he bends them into wavelike shapes and attaches them to rubber platforms. Finally, Rogers waterproofs them by encapsulating them in a polymer. The resulting electrodes “can wrap onto the surface of a tissue almost like a sheet of Saran Wrap,” he says. He recently used this technique to develop a tool for treating atrial fibrillation, a cardiac arrhythmia that afflicts two million Americans.”
BinCam Shows Your Facebook Friends Your Trash, Shames You into Recycling
“They’ve created a device — that is actually a specially programmed cell phone — that attaches to the inside lid of your trash can, snaps a picture every time you throw something away and then uploads it to Facebook for all of your friends to see. BinCam compares your trash habits with those of your friends, tells you how much money you might be saving by changing your recycling or food waste habits and then gives you online rewards for good behavior.”
Search for a book, get a virtual bookshelf of suggestions
“Users of Chicago-based ShelfLuv simply type in a favorite author or genre. As they do, a virtual bookshelf on the screen is populated and updated with suggestions based on what they’ve typed so far. Beautiful graphics make the shelf a pleasure to behold, and clicking on any individual book launches a dedicated window with options to see details, rate the book, discard it or buy it on Amazon. Perhaps best of all is the inclusion of both expected and unexpected books among those suggested, allowing users to explore and discover books they might not have found otherwise. Ultimately, ShelfLuv aims to become “an interactive way to share and explore books with friends, family and other readers who share your interests and taste,” the site explains.”
Bank of England Uses Google To Shed Light On Economic Trends
“McLaren and Shanbhogue’s article showed three examples, each using search volume patterns sourced from Google’s Insights for Search. The most striking results came from the “estate agents” search term, which appeared to closely track the change in average house prices over the last eight years. According to the pair, the Google search data, when correctly handled, gave a more accurate picture than other housing surveys. Monitoring the popularity of searches related to unemployment also appeared to give an insight into the state of the job market. The volume of searches for “JSA” (jobseeker’s allowance) and “unemployment” rose in correlation with an increase in the number of people out of work as the recession bit – although the two search terms diverged in 2010.”
Touch Screen Steering Wheel Aims To Improve Driving Safety
“Integrating a touch screen in a steering wheel is intended to reduce the need for the driver to take their eyes off the road while looking for vehicle controls. The screen has the ability to recognize 20 gestures such as swiping which controls the radio and two finger pinching to zoom on a navigation map. The first letter of a command can be quickly traced on the screen to access systems like the heater controls. Looking ahead, the researchers believe that the touch screen wheel could be linked to a windshield projector and vehicle sensor system which could better provide information about road and traffic conditions to the driver.”
Laser is produced by a living cell
“The technique starts by engineering a cell that can produce a light-emitting protein that was first obtained from glowing jellyfish. Flooding the resulting cells with weak blue light causes them to emit directed, green laser light. The work may have applications in improved microscope imaging and light-based therapies. Laser light differs from normal light in that it is of a narrow band of colours, with the light waves all oscillating together in synchrony.”
Student-designed bicycle device designed to save lives
“The device mounts on the handlebars of a bicycle (or a motorcycle or scooter), from where it shoots a bright green sharrow (shared lane) symbol onto the road, several feet ahead of the cyclist. That symbol is visible even in daylight, and can be made to flash on and off. The idea is that motorists, even if they don’t see the actual cyclist riding in their blind spot, will notice the image on the road and realize that a cyclist is behind/beside them.”