Archive for October, 2011
Yale Stores Data Mechanically—with Frickin’ Lasers
"The device is essentially a tiny piece of silicon that can be bent up or down by the light propagating inside a photonic circuit. Once the light is switched off, the piece remains in one of those states, representing the 1s and 0s of digital coding. The engineers from Yale who developed the device, which is called a "nanomechanical resonator," described it yesterday in the journal Nature Nanotechnology."
Clothing Store Body Scanners Know Your Every Curve
"Recently installed at the New Look store in London’s Westfield Stratford mall, Bodymetrics’ scanning booth looks like a change room, but instead of mirrors inside you’ll find a set of eight PrimeSense 3D laser sensors. You’ll still need to strip down to your undies for it to produce an accurate reading, but as the lasers scan up and down your body they make a hundred different measurements which are then processed by the company’s body shape analytics to provide recommendations on what style and size of jeans will fit you the best."
BlueBiped: A human-like walking robot that requires no power source
"Without making this accomplishment any less awesome, these robot legs — called BlueBiped, and made by researchers at the Nagoya Institute of Technology in Japan — are basically just an imitation of human physiology. There are thighs and lower legs made out of aluminium that are the same length as their human counterparts, and ankles and knee joints for articulation, but… that’s it. No sensors, no computers, no “musculature” — the legs are completely passive, you just give them a push… and they carry on walking. As long as there’s a slight downwards slope, anyway — there has to be some source of energy, after all, and in this case it’s gravity."
Augmented Audio Game Spurs Fitness By Immersing Runners In Zombie Infested World
"Their game, Zombies, Run!, is a soon to debut augmented audio running game for the iPhone, iPod Touch and Android that challenges users to rebuild civilization after a zombie apocalypse by completing location-specific tasks while running in the real world. Users cue the app and don headphones to collect medicine, ammo, batteries, and spare parts which can be used to build up and expand their base — all while getting orders, clues, and a story through their headphones. Missions last around 20-30 minutes and can be played in any city. The platform additionally records the distance, time, pace, and calories burned during all runs, and may soon include RunKeeper integration"
Popcorn.js Lets Web Filmmakers Fuse Video With Interactive Design
via Co. Design
daito manabe and zachary liberman: face projection
"tokyo-based artist daito manabe and zachary liberman created ‘face projection’, an artistic digital comprehension of the human face and expression. ‘face projection’ is an experimentation with the real time generic non-rigid face alignment system, facetracker, and requires no operator training. the artists employed the entirely intuitive program, coded in C/C++ API, as the base for registration of facial structure and expressions. the non-rigid computer vision tracks facial realignment in real time. the ‘face projection’ depicts the facetracker program registering one’s face, then analyzing the composition with algorithms. manabe and liberman were able to build upon this platform, elaborating the program in such a way that slightly altered the focus of facial shapes and patterning highlighted through the interaction"
via Design Boom
Motion-sensing kitchen teaches French to student cooks
"To use the system, users first access a connected computer, on which they select the recipe they want to prepare. As the instructions are given, digital sensors in the utensils, ingredient containers and other equipment register whether or not those instructions are being followed correctly. Those instructions are worded in such a way that they contribute to the student’s understanding of French in general. If the student makes a mistake, the computer verbally notifies them. They can also hear an instruction over again, or hear it in English, by accessing controls on the computer’s touchscreen."
Rotundus GroundBot spherical surveillance robot broadcasts live in 3D
"Controlled remotely or via a programmed autonomous GPS-based system, Groundbot can be equipped with wide-angled cameras (for 360-degree vision), night vision (IR) cameras, microphone and loudspeakers, as well as sensors for radioactivity, gas, humidity, fire, heat, smoke, biological material, explosives, or narcotics. GroundBot has all its sensors and cameras well-protected inside the hermetically sealed sphere, which means no sand, mud, water, or even gas can get inside. This makes it well-suited for uses such as investigating suspected gas leaks. It also withstands overturns, drops and knocks."
Thermostat Automagically Learns Your Heating Habits
"Instead of those damn up and down buttons, the Nest employs a dial to adjust your home’s temperature. The unit displays the current temperature and glows red if the heater is enabled and blue if the A/C is keeping you from sticking to your chair. After a week of spinning the household-temperature dial, the Nest actually learns your schedule and begins to set the temperature on its own."
Robots Will Soon Get Touch-Sensitive Skin
"Using carbon nanotubes, Stanford researchers have been able to create touch-sensitive, gooey skin for AI sensing, prosthetics, and touch-sensitive sex androids. The skin could give robots touch-sensitivity and allow patients to regain feeling in their artificial limbs. The tubes, when embedded into the plastic skin, act as tiny, compressible springs. These tubes can bend and squeeze as necessary, allowing you to measure the forces applied to almost any material, from “taffy”-like plastic to something like a rubber sponge."
QR Codes May Contain Malware
"Antivirus software maker Kaspersky Lab has reported on the first known instance of QR code tampering. The incident occurred in Russia last month, fooling consumers who thought they were downloading a new Android app called Jimm. Instead, the code forced the phones to send numerous SMS codes to a premium rate number that charged for each message."
via International Business Times
Sportiiiis turns ordinary sunglasses into heads up display eyewear for cyclists
"Canada’s 4iiii Innovations has developed a Head Up Display for athletes that can be mounted on virtually all glasses thanks to included universal attachment points, so there’s no need to stop wearing your favorite pair of sport sunglasses. Sportiiiis – pronounced "sport-eyes" – receives crucial performance data from any paired monitoring device via ANT+ wireless technology, compares actual performance with desired workout zone parameters and then feeds real-time indicators back to the user via colored LED lights and audio updates."
"synaesthetic, interactive musical experience" – Bandwidth
"Latest by Joshua Nimoy is this synaesthetic, interactive musical experience provides six original modes in which the player may produce music."
New touchscreen tech recognizes different parts of the finger
"TapSense works by analyzing the sound of objects hitting the glass of the touchscreen display. Using an inexpensive microphone attached to the device (the built-in mics don’t work), the system can tell the difference between taps delivered by a finger’s pad, nail, knuckle, or tip. It can also differentiate between taps from styluses made out of different types of inert materials, such as wood, acrylic and polystyrene foam."
"Prospero is the working prototype of an Autonomous Micro Planter (AMP) that uses a combination of swarm and game theory and is the first of four steps. It is meant to be deployed as a group or "swarm". The other three steps involve autonomous robots that tend the crops, harvest them, and finally one robot that can plant, tend, and harvest–autonomously transitioning from one phase to another"
"Referencing the age-old practice of grabbing a restaurant’s branded matches on the way out, Matchbook allows users to "bookmark a place to remember it later" using the location information from Foursquare. Through the iPhone’s built-in GPS capabilities, you can either type in the name of a place you’d like to save or tag it as you’re walking by, organizing fleeting intentions into a solid list of where to go around town."
via Cool Hunting
Interactive Dress Becomes Transparent With A Combination Of Technology And Intimacy
"This fashion project by Studio Roosegaarde uses leather and smart e-foils to create dresses that respond to social interactions and become more or less transparent. ‘Intimacy 2.0′ was designed to explore the relationship between intimacy and technology. When a person gets close to others, hugs or dances with them, the e-foils in the dress are activated and the level of transparency alters, “creating a sensual play of disclosure."
Toshiba Crams More Pixels On An LCD than Apple’s Retina Display
"Apple raised the bar with the iPhone 4 by cramming an impressive 326 pixels per inch into its display. But Toshiba has officially dethroned them by upping that to 498 pixels per inch on their new LCD targeted at compact tablet devices."
In India, a phone that changes SIM cards with a single shake
"The X395 Convertible comes with a dual SIM, MP3 player and a preloaded Opera Mini web browser. The three-way axis motion sensor will detect any shake or twist performed on the handset, enabling the user to change their SIM card, skip music tracks, or turn the phone on to silent during an in-coming call, with a small movement."
The World’s First 2.5-Inch 1TB SSD Needs to Get In My Laptop’s Belly Like Now
"OCZ’s new Octane series is the first solid state drive to squeeze one full terabyte of storage into a 2.5-inch drive, but the awesome doesn’t stop there. It has read speeds of up to 560MB/s and write speeds of 400MB/s, versus top competitors who are at 500MB/s read and 315MB/s write."
Greplin Is a Personal Search Engine for Your Cloud Data
"Greplin indexes data you store in the cloud and provides a quick and simple search to let you find what you’re looking for. You can index a lot of popular services, such as Gmail, Facebook, Dropbox, and LinkedIn. While most services are free, a pro account is required for services like Basecamp, Evernote, and SalesForce."
Lytro’s Camera Shoots First, Focuses Later
"When viewing a Lytro photograph on your computer, you can simply click your mouse on any point in the image and that area will come into focus. Change the focal point from the flower to the child holding the flower. Make the background blurry and the foreground clear. Do the opposite — you can change the focal point as many times as you like."
Scientists create computing building blocks from bacteria and DNA
"Although still a long way off, the team suggest that these biological logic gates could one day form the building blocks in microscopic biological computers. Devices may include sensors that swim inside arteries, detecting the build up of harmful plaque and rapidly delivering medications to the affected zone. Other applications may include sensors that detect and destroy cancer cells inside the body and pollution monitors that can be deployed in the environment, detecting and neutralising dangerous toxins such as arsenic"
In China, app enables discounted mobile payments at vending machines
"Users of Ubox begin by signing up for the service and adding funds to their Ubox account via a UnionPay bank card or Alipay, according to a report on Penn Olson. Then, when they come across a participating vending machine, they simply make their snack selection by phone. The transaction takes place through the app, which also awards a 10 percent discount on all purchases made this way."
Future computers could rewire themselves
"To achieve this, the scientists have created a new material that consists of a "sea" of small negatively charged particles and larger, positively charged particles, which are "jammed" in place. Because the negative particles form conductive regions, they act like conventional copper tracks in a circuit. Once an electrical charge is applied to the material, those particles can be shifted around and reconfigured. "Like redirecting a river, streams of electrons can be steered in multiple directions through a block of the material – even multiple streams flowing in opposing directions at the same time," explained the lead researcher, Professor Bartosz Grzybowski, of Northwestern University."
via BBC News
"Tweetghetto is a print-on-demand, unique poster that anyone can generate starting with a simple keyword, a # or a @ that will recall tweets and assemble them in a crisp, bright layout. Then the world will go on twittering, changing, growing – but you’ll have a snapshot of a time that was special to you. That’s why Tweetghetto is a time capsule for your digital life."
The Gadget Show builds an FPS simulator that shoots back
"A four by nine meter video dome surrounds the player as they stand on an omni-directional treadmill that lets you walk wherever you want to go. Ten infra-red motion tracking cameras and a sensor on your gun enables the picture to follow where you point it and a Kinect hack controls your jumping and crouching. The fun doesn’t stop there — 12 paintball markers mean that every time you get shot in the game, you’ll feel it."
Instant Elevator Music Automatically Plays Whenever You Move Files Around
"Is staring at the progress meter when you’re copying or downloading a file too boring for you? How about if elevator music instantly started playing whenever you start one of these file operations? Instant Elevator Music can do that. All you have to do is select which apps you want—there’s also blanket choice for anything that has a progress bar—and music will automatically start up."
What’s Up: Exploring the Most Popular Subjects on Twitter
"What’s Up [uid.com] features an animated bubble scatterplot to convey a visual overview of Twitter’s most popular conversation subjects in time. Each subject is represented by a unique bubble, of which the size corresponds to its popularity. Popularity has also been mapped to the vertical location of the bubble, whereas the horizontal position represents a subjects’s longevity, that is how long a specific subject has been discussed. A time bar allows for various forms of interaction, such as selecting the time period shown, which can range from months to hours."
via information aesthetics
Mind-Blowing Research Into Inserting Artificial Objects into Photographs
"Here’s a fascinating demo into technology that can quickly and realistically insert fake 3D objects into photographs — lighting, shading and all. Aside from a few annotations provided by the user (e.g. where the light sources are), the software doesn’t need to know anything about the images."
The “Live Shell” Lets You Broadcast Live Video Via Ustream Without A PC
"Japan-based startup Cerevo took the wraps off the so-called “Live Shell” [JP] yesterday, a small device that makes it possible to stream live video to the web (via Ustream) without using a PC. It’s a significant improvement over the similar “Livebox” the company introduced last year. The Live Shell is sized at just 68×120×26mm, weighs 106g and is officially approved by Ustream (it has the “Ustream Compatible” mark). It connects to the web via IEEE 802.11b/g/n Wi-Fi, a mobile router or Ethernet. The device comes with HDMI, USB, and composite interfaces and can livestream video in 704×528 resolution at 1.5Mbps max."
Haptic shoe could replace the white cane
"The basic idea behind Le Chal is that one of the user’s shoes will provide haptic feedback, guiding the user toward their destination by vibrating in the front, back, or on either side – a vibration on the front indicates that they should keep going straight, a vibration on the left side means that they should turn left, and so on. The user begins by entering their destination on Google Maps, using their Le Chal-app-running Android smartphone. That phone then communicates by Bluetooth with a LilyPad Arduino circuit board, located in the heel of the shoe. Following the Google-supplied turn-by-turn directions, along with locational data from its own GPS unit, the phone gets the Arduino to activate each of the shoe’s four vibrators as needed. The vibrations start out low, but build in intensity as the user nears points where they have to turn. A proximity sensor in the front of the shoe also alerts the user to obstacles, which it can detect from up to ten feet (three meters) away."
Moog Just Crammed an Incredible Analog Synth Into an App
"The Moog’s new Animoog app jams all of its analog cousin’s wizardry into an iPad synth that’s as intuitive and satisfying to play as the original. The layout is configured much how you’d imagine it—the piano keys are laid out along the bottom on the iPad’s screen. Two of the synth’s modules—a delay module for example—are visible at any given time. You can adjust settings like speed and frequency. There’s also a big X-Y display on the screen which shows you a jittery, graphical representation of what your sound wave is doing. Sliding the wave form around on this pad modulates the sound. There’s other screens that allow you to adjust keyboard’s configuration and key settings, as well as a screen for which allows you to add some more advanced modulations and processing to the sound. Basically, there’s enough in here to get completely lost in a swirling mess of sound within minutes. The UI is really smart and everything in the app slides, expands and contracts exactly how you expect it to. Settings are savable in case you find some awesome sound, and you can even record your opus once you’ve got it down."
DMesh – Delaunay triangulation image converter by @thedofl
"Latest project that utilises a very similar technique is DMesh, a custom software made in Cinder by Dofl Yun that analyzes an image and generate a triangle meshes with points. Included in the app is also manual mode so a user can add more points to get more detail or delete existing points. Users can also export an image as either a bitmap image or a vector image."
Madrona Labs launches computer music controller with touch-sensitive walnut playing surface
"The 22 x 5.5 inch (560 x 140 mm) playing surface of Madrona Labs’ Soundplane Model A consists of a custom-made articulated sheet of walnut veneer bonded to a fiber backing that can be configured as a 150 note keyboard – with position and pressure-sensing on each key – or as one continuous surface. The keys, some with inlaid position markings (like on a guitar neck), are encased in an FSC-certified, Washington alder body milled from a single block. The instrument is hand-made and tested in Seattle."
AI solves complex biology problem from scratch
"ABE is powered by the freeware Eureqa software, and before tackling a task the only functions it can perform are addition, subtraction, multiplication, and division. Using these fundamental calculations, ABE can look at the results from an experiment and derive the mathematical formulae that explain biological and chemical processes a priori, usually in a fraction of the time that it would take a fleshy, brain-encumbered scientist to do arrive at the same conclusion."
Telescope Offers A Glimpse Of The Past, Present And Future
"The ‘timescope’ was co-developed by ART+COM as a way for visitors and residents of Berlin to discover its history and see where the wall used to be located. People can use the telescopic device to pan around and choose a date, and historical photographs and films from that location can be superimposed over the present-day view. The timescope uses a combination of binocular optics and web cam to show the scene as a live transmission and then add visual content to bring history to life."
App lets consumers wait in line remotely
"Now in beta, Estonian Qminder is a queue management system that spares consumers the need to wait in line in person, not just at hospitals and doctor’s offices, but also at banks, restaurants and stores. Consumers begin by downloading the smartphone application, which is compatible with iPhone and iPad as well as Android and Nokia devices. Once that’s done, they can “take a number” remotely, which marks their place in the virtual queue. In return, Qminder estimates how long the wait promises to be and sends a notification when the user’s turn approaches. For venue owners, the app can be used to determine when peak hours are occurring, enabling managers to better schedule extra staff. The app can also be set up to work with existing queue systems, or using a web service."
delen memory table by david franklin
"delen is a conceptual dining and work table with mounted table top camera. the camera is programmed and controlled wirelessly to take pictures at predetermined times or at specified intervals over a duration. the camera is positioned to solely record what is on the table top. the pictures are immediately sent back to the computer and can be programmed to upload automatically to the user’s desired social networking site."
These Giant Robot Arms Are the Future of Fight Club
"Built by Salt Lake City’s Raytheon-Sarcos, the massive arms are attached to a modified Ditch Witch making them fully mobile, and are controlled by a human operator who’s strapped into what’s often referred to as a Waldo system. The operator’s shoulder, elbow, wrist and hand movements are all translated to the robotic arms in real time, requiring absolutely no previous training. And the rig even provides force feedback as the user moves, so they know when the arms have lifted something particularly heavy, or hit something immovable."
The World’s Movie Camera Makers Have All Quietly Stopped Production Of Film Cameras
"Most people reading this website will not be surprised to hear that the era of film is coming to an end. Even those of you who, like me, spent days in darkrooms perfecting your dodge technique, are likely unruffled at the notion. But in Hollywood film has been clinging tenaciously to life, if only out of a sort of traditionalist inertia. But this last year was marked by a sort of quiet final surrender by the film cadre: Arri, Panavision, and Aaton have all ceased production of film cameras. These companies have been driving the film industry for decades, and for them all to throw in the towel at once suggests that the end truly is approaching."
SideBySide "interactive system that allows multiple people to play and work together using a handheld projector"
"The system is immediate and simple: users simply project onto a surface and their projection becomes aware and responsive to other projections nearby. Interaction can range from projector-based games, such as boxing with projected characters, to everyday tasks such as exchanging contact information by ‘dragging and dropping’ onto another user’s projection. The system consists of a hybrid mobile projector that outputs both visible and invisible projections at the same time. The invisible projection contains tracking data that can be recognised by the device camera, allowing accurate location tracking of multiple projections and lightweight communication between devices. The games range from boxing match to task management and file exchange"
Mini autofocus lens mimics the human eye
"It incorporates a tiny "optical sandwich," consisting of very thin glass plates, a polymer, a gel material and a metal alloy with flexible properties. While details on how it operates are scant, SINTEF reports that it involves an outside ring of material that expands and contracts (using barely any energy), causing the gel lens that it surrounds to change its shape accordingly – not unlike the lens in the human eye. The glass plates presumably sit on either side of that gel lens, to keep it contained and protected."
What If You Could Legally Resell Your Digital Music? ReDigi May Have Found The Solution
"ReDigi hopes to succeed where others have failed by designing a marketplace that is not about file sharing, but is instead a method of “facilitating the legal transfer of music between two parties”. Really, the key here is that the startup’s technology is able to actually verify that a track was properly purchased (or acquired) by the person looking to resell, and manages items posted for sale within the sellers’ music libraries to prevent multiple copies from being auctioned. (Which should, in practice, protect the seller from copyright infringement.) The other feature that works in ReDigi’s favor is that, once the digital transaction has been completed, the track is thereby deleted from the seller’s music library as well as any mobile devices that are synced with their music player. The copies of songs that are on sale are held by ReDigi up until the transfer takes place; once the song is purchased, the actual track as well as the license are then transferred to the new owner, whereupon all copies of the track on the seller’s account are deleted. "
A dedicated social network and web portal for the chronically ill
"By using the Wellaho web portal, patients can connect with a community of people who suffer from conditions similar to theirs, to share stories, thoughts and advice. Meanwhile, a dashboard allows patients to monitor their progress against key statistics given by their physician, as well as enabling them to set goals and note symptoms which can be viewed by their doctor and support network. The software also enables patients to set up emails, texts and phone calls as reminders for medical appointments, or to remind about the correct dosages and times for medications."
Shopping 2.0: Interactive Hangers Used In Japanese Clothes Store
"The way it works is pretty simple: every time a shopper picks up a hanger, a computer screen above the item displays relevant pictures and videos, for example showing how a T-shirt looks when worn or other clothes that would fit the item chosen. The trick is an sensor placed inside the hanger that automatically triggers the action but can also be used to instantly change the background music or light in a store, for example"
Event-hiding ‘temporal cloak’ demonstrated
"In a research paper published in the Journal of Optics last year, Prof. Martin McCall and his team at Imperial College London said it should be theoretically possible to create a "Spacetime Cloak" by using metamaterials – a class of artificial materials engineered to have properties not be found in nature – to speed up the leading edge of light waves, while slowing down the trailing half. This would create a "corridor" between the two halves, at which point their source wouldn’t be observable. To demonstrate the theory, a Cornell research team led by Moti Fridman sent a beam of light down an optical fiber and passed it through a split-time lens – a silicon device originally designed to speed up data transfer. As the beam passes through the first lens it is compressed, leaving a dead zone or gap in the flow of light. A similar lens further along the path reverses the velocity adjustments, decompressing the light wave so it appears that the light coming through the second lens is uninterrupted as if no distortion had occurred."
Your Photos As Stories: Tracks Goes After The ‘Experience Graph’ With New iOS App
"From pub crawls to family vacations, Tracks allows users to create photo albums on-the-go with the friends that are with them, who, by the way, have to be invited into the group. These on-the-fly albums are called “tracks”, which appear both in the app and on the Web and allow users to watch the path of their “track” in map view as it unfolds. Tracks also offers physical photo books (like Postagram and Keepsy) to create an all-in-one photo solution that meshes together both online and real world photo viewing experiences. "
Warner Brothers to film Rome Sweet Rome movie
"Rome Sweet Rome, a historical sci-fi saga published as comments at Reddit, was snapped up today by Warner Brothers. In answer to a question — "Could I destroy the Roman Empire … with a U.S. Marine Battalion?" — author James Erwin posted his reply in the form of a short story. Just a few hundred words long, it was soon expanded with more perfectly formed flash-fics, and the ongoing saga became a hit."
via Boing Boing
"Questionable Observer Detector" identifies people who keep popping up in crime scene footage
"While most facial recognition systems match faces in footage to those in an existing database, there is no such database for QuOD. Instead, it creates a separate "face track" for each individual appearing in a video clip. For each new clip that it analyzes, it compares the face tracks created from that clip with those created from all the previous clips. Any time that matching tracks are discovered, they are grouped together so that a human operator can then view all the appearances of that one person. One of those images could then possibly be matched to a photo in a database, or at the very least circulated in the form of a "WANTED" poster."
A New Twist on Artificial Muscles
"Artificial muscles are typically made from polymers and metals that change size and shape. But to be truly useful, these materials need to twist or rotate when an electric current is applied, and very few such materials created so far can do this. The new muscles—carbon nanotube fibers spun into a yarn—can produce as much torque, or twisting force, as commercial electric motors. […] The twisty nanotube yarn could open up novel uses. It might help miniaturize electric motors, compressors, and turbines. Tiny pumps based on the rotating actuator could be integrated into lab-on-a-chip devices, which currently use large external pumps. "This is a fascinating new way to provide torsion," says Ray Baughman, director of the Nanotech Institute at the University of Texas at Dallas. Baughman led the work"
via Technology Review
An App That Lets You Watch CERN’s Particle Collider — Live
"The prime selling point of LHSee is that you’re seeing the same data that actual scientists are poring over at CERN, and the 3-D visuals are indeed eye-popping. You can call up a wireframe diagram of the enormous atom smasher and pinch and zoom and rotate it in any direction you like, which the app handles effortlessly. You can even configure it to stream bona fide particle collisions right to your phone, live. Let me say that again: Subatomic particles traveling at near-lightspeed around a 17-mile-long circular tunnel underneath the Swiss-French border collide in a detector the size of an airplane hangar, and you can see it all happen on your Droid in between Facebook updates. Technology. Is. Amazing. "
via Co. Design
Point, Throw, and Shoot: The Panoramic Ball Cam
"In total the ball uses thirty-six two megapixel cellphone camera modules that are evenly distributed around a 3D printed spherical enclosure. It’s also padded to encourage people to toss it around just like a toy, and to probably help it survive landings when it doesn’t get caught. An accelerometer inside measures the launch acceleration when the ball is thrown, which is used to calculate when it will reach its apogee, at which point a single stitched photo is captured. The images can then be offloaded to a PC via a simple USB connection, where they can be enjoyed in all their 360 degree panoramic glory using a custom viewer."
Kymera Magic Wand Remote Control
"The Kymera Magic Wand Remote Control uses 13 movement based gestures to perform the functions of a regular remote control. Rather than pressing buttons, one waves their hands in a specific motion to turn the TV on and off, change channels or adjust the volume. It’s a great device for fantasy and sci-fi fans."
Should Printable Weapons Be Permitted on Thingiverse?
"Folks on Thingiverse are talking about possibly banning uploads which could be used as, or relate to, weapons. In particular, a bunch of different builders have started to upload parts of an AR-15 rifle, including Crank’s 5-shot magazine, pictured above. Where is this trend going? Should Thingiverse ban anything that could be used as a weapon?"
Transformer House Shapeshifts According To The Weather
"Fans of modern architecture, sundials, Transformers–have we got a house for you! Take a gander at the D*Haus, a shapeshifting residential marvel. Placed on circular rails, it has the ability to pivot open and closed. In the process, the house goes from the archetypal square to a seemingly more spacious house with distinct wings and a heck of a lot of windows."
via Co. Design
SoundTracking 2.0 For iOS 5 @ Mentions The Artist When You Share A Song
"What’s more interesting than the new Facebook integration, auth and customization features however, is that SoundTracking 2.0 allows you to follow the artists you listen to on Twitter from within the app — giving you the option to follow @Beyonce for example, after you’ve soundtracked one of her songs. In addition, SoundTracking automatically @ mentions a given artist when a user tweets a soundtrack, if that artist is on Twitter that is. This feature alone could mean a lot for SoundTracking’s scale, bringing the app, which just surpassed 750K downloads after seven months, into the awareness of musicians with massive Twitter followings like @ladyGaga and @KanyeWest. At the very least the automatic @ mentions are a simple but brilliant way to facilitate a connection between fans and artists."
Stick Figure Runway Models Created From Dots & Lines
"An animation of what appears to be stick figure-like models strutting the runway was created for the Japanese fashion house Issey Miyake. The clip shows various figures constructed of only dots and lines but the viewer can easily make out a human figure with these simple elements."
Scientists discover new form of superhard carbon
"Because, unlike diamonds, the structure of the new allotrope is not organized in repeating atomic units, it may hold potential advantages over diamonds. Whereas a diamond’s hardness is highly dependent on the orientation of its crystalline structure, the new material is amorphous, meaning its structure lacks the long-range order of crystals offering the prospect that the new material could be isotropic – that is, having equally strong hardness in all directions. If this turns out to be the case, it could be better suited to certain applications than diamonds. "These findings open up possibilities for potential applications, including super hard anvils for high-pressure research and could lead to new classes of ultradense and strong materials," said Russell Hemley, director of Carnegie‘s Geophysical Laboratory."
Top Gun: new 360-degree flight simulator for fighter jet pilots unveiled
"Barco has unveiled what company executives claim is the ultimate fighter jet training tool designed to reproduce reality exactly as a pilot sees it. The dome is the first flight simulator to give trainee pilots a full 360-degree view of the world as they conduct virtual missions, said Barco."
via Boing Boing
Romo the robot uses your smartphone as its brain
"Users load one of the Romo apps onto an iOS or Android phone, place it in the mount on the robot, then use a computer, tablet, or a second smartphone to remotely control the robot through the first phone. In cases where the robot has been preprogrammed to carry out a set of commands, which can be done drag-and-drop style right on the smartphone, only the one Romo-mounted phone would be required."
Would You Play A Video Game About Kerning?
"I won’t lie: "The kerning game" isn’t exactly going to give Halo a run for its money in terms of excitement. Basically you just click and drag letterforms on a baseline until you think they look right, and then the program gives you a score based on how close you came to an ideal kerning job. But that description undersells the experience, too. The game, designed by Mark MacKay, is visually appealing and instantly, intuitively inviting. MacKay sweated the interaction-design details, including keyboard shortcuts and even touchscreen compatibility, so if you don’t want to use your mouse to play, you’re covered. (Casual players will probably enjoy the iPad version, whereas type dorks will want to use the keyboard shortcuts for pixel-specific accuracy.)"
via Co. Design
Maide Turns Your iPad Into A 3D Controller
"It’s a simple notion: the app connects your iPad (wirelessly) to a big monitor used for 3D design, and then you use multi-touch gestures to zoom, pan, and rotate around that design, and to sketch, add, edit, and erase. It’s pretty easy to use, too — even I, who failed first-year drafting as an engineering student, found it slick and semi-intuitive. You can hook up multiple iPads to the same design to collaborate, and I expect they’ll eventually let users add and customize a personal palette of input/editing options."
Student-made tablet app may make dedicated Braille writers obsolete
"Instead of asking the person to conform to the keyboard layout, the Stanford summer course team made a keyboard layout that conforms to the person. All the user has to do is touch eight fingertips to the screen, and the appropriate keys are automatically assigned. This means that the application is fully customizable and it accommodates varying finger shapes and sizes. The app menu can be accessed by shaking the device and navigated by dragging a finger across the screen."
Circle of Trust: Revealing the Asymmetry of your Google+ Network
"Green dots represent the people that have been ‘circled’ and reciprocally have circled you back. Yellow dots represent those persons that were sufficiently important for you to have been circled, but they have not bothered to circle you back. Lastly, red dots map to people that have circled you, but you did not care to circle back. Not surprisingly, Mark Zuckerberg’s diagram is extremely red, though Britney Spears’ is quite yellow. What this actually means for the personality of those people, is up to you."
via information aesthetics
Meet the Double Exposure Digi Cam!
"If it’s true that good things come in small packages, then the Double Exposure Digi Cam is *it*. Why? Because at the push of a button, this digital camera can make double exposures in a single frame! You also get an added bonus of super saturated colors, awesome vignetting and the look of old-school film grain."
BlueStacks Releases App Player And Cloud Connect Service To Let You Run Android Apps On Your PC
"BlueStacks hopes that this will be a boon for Android (and Windows) developers, as the software will give them access to the some-billion-odd PC users worldwide without requiring them to modify their apps for those desktops, laptops, and tablets. The BlueStacks team also said today that PC manufacturers and OEMs have expressed interest in making the BlueStacks App Player native on their various devices, as it targets both consumers and enterprises, from children’s educational apps to enterprise-level workflow apps — everything in between."
BizzTrust for Android splits a single smartphone into two virtual phones
"To create the new security solution for Android smartphones, called BizzTrust for Android, Fraunhofer security experts modified the Android operating system to separate private and business applications on a phone. With two protected areas for data and apps, the software is able to identify whether content belongs to a business or a private application and stores it separately in the appropriate partition while controlling access to the data."
Photoshop Will End Blurry Pics Forever
"With only a few clicks, a blurry image is quickly analyzed, allowed Photoshop to discern exactly how the image was messed up. That is to say, if you accidentally moved your hand slightly to the right and down while the shutter snapped, it’ll pick that up. And then it reverses it—and that’s the totally magical part. It doesn’t seem possible, but as if it’s completely altering reality, the Photoshop deblurring compensates for the extraneous motion and gives you a completely crisp picture."
Glitch Reality II – analogue-to-digital-to-analogue translation by @m_pf
"A tea set was created by purchasing non-matching tea set components, scanning them with a Z-corporation 3D scanner and roughly repairing the digital mesh files. The mesh files are then 3D printed to create an instance of this tea-set data that inherits the glitches from the analogue-to-digital-to-analogue translation."
Aisle411 Partners With ZipList For Shopping Lists, Recipe Search
"For those unfamiliar, aisle411 is an indoor navigation app designed to help you find your way through large retail stores, like Lowe’s or Home Depot, as well as in grocery stores like Albertson’s, Giant, Safeway, Von’s and others. It’s certainly a useful service where available, but is currently only offered in a limited subset of stores in just a handful of regions in the U.S. (Boo!)" […] With the update, aisle411 version 2.0, is also adding better aisle navigation, mapping out an optimized path through stores, whether that’s to help you locate a single item or all the items on your shopping list.
"Mix Tapes" for the New Millenium
"Stupid, a collective in the UK has come up with a smart idea. Designing greeting cards with custom artful QR codes that when scanned send you to themed music playlists on Spotify."
A GPS-Enhanced Album In Tune With Central Park
"But Central Park posed new challenges outside the technical. "It’s nearly double the length, and where the Mall is primarily an open strip of grass, Central Park has paths that wind through woods, under bridges, intersecting with one another," Hays adds. "Musically speaking, it was just a totally different challenge to bring it to life. But one of the things we decided to do was to make every piece of music either in the same key or a complementary key so that even if the listener walked in a way we weren’t quite expecting, the musical shifts wouldn’t be too jarring.""
3DPF: Japanese Company Creates Super-Realistic 3D Face Replicas
"If you’ve ever dreamed of getting a super-realistic replica of your face for whatever reason, here’s your chance: a Japanese company called REAL-f [JP] is creating so-called 3DPFs (“3 Dimension Photo Forms”), copies of human faces “in 3D”. The startup offers two versions, a mask type replica and the so-called mannequin type, a replica of the head."
SMELLIT takes another stab at Smell-O-Vision for games and movies
"If it does actually go into production, we’d expect the SMELLIT to use the same kind of cartridge system employed with the Odoravision system, with Olf-Action offering a wide variety of different cartridges for that system on its website. These include "Smell of Fir," "Smell of Cakes" and "Smell of naked body," and the less appetizing "Smell of polluted cities," "bad smells" and "Bathroom Odor.""
Instant Health Checks for Buildings and Bridges
"To automatically detect tiny faults and relay their precise locations, civil engineer Simon Laflamme of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and his colleagues are devising a “sensing skin”—flexible patches that glue to areas where cracks are likely to occur and continuously monitor them. The formation of a crack would cause a tiny movement in the concrete under a patch, causing a change in the electrical charge stored in the sensing skin, which is made of stretchable plastic mixed with titanium oxide. Every day a computer attached to a collection of patches would send out a current to measure each patch’s charge, a system that Laflamme and his colleagues detail in the Journal of Materials Chemistry."
via Scientific American
New Football Mouthpieces Measure How Hard Players Are Getting Their Bells Rung
"Functioning as a traditional mouthpiece but also outfitted with a gyroscope and accelerometer, these devices transmit data a stream of data back to the team’s monitoring computer. By matching up the data received from the mouthpiece with video of the practice or game, researchers can see which hits impacted with the greatest force. The mouthpieces are also expected to provide superior accuracy over helmet-based systems that can shift around."
Off The Couch: Explorence Wants To Turn Your Outdoor Activities Into Interactive Video Games
"For example, DASH!, the startup’s first title created using its technology, enables users to create, participate, and wager in races of any kind (asynchronously). First, a user creates a race via GPS by walking the course with smartphone or selecting start and finish areas. Users can then select how much virtual currency they want to wager on the race — at which point anyone who selects that race on the app gets to compete in that race, at the time or in the future. Once you’re ready to go, the app will begin a countdown to start, a gun goes off, and you run your race (phone in pocket is probably a good idea). There’s musical accompaniment and sound effects udring your race, and once you cross the finish line you’ve created, the phone stops the clock and automatically enters your time onto its virtual leaderboard so you can see how you did compared to your friends."
Siine Launches Innovative Icon-Based Keyboard For Mobile Phones
"In addition to a traditional keyboard with letters and numbers, Siine Writer features a screen with special icons (called Siines, pronounced ‘signs’) that people can tap to build messages phrase-by-phrase, thus cutting short the time it takes to add greetings, signoffs, contact info and whatnot. The keyboard app can be downloaded with several Siines pre-loaded, but user can change them to fit their own styles, create new icons or adopt new ones from a virtual gallery."
Mobile App Lets You Start And Join Real Conversations
"When the app is launched, you’ll be able to argue politics, talk about your favorite sports team or chat about what was on TV last night. Search for topics, find a discussion, listen to what people have to say and then join in by recording your reply. There’s also a fast forward option for you to skip ahead in the conversation and listen to a different person’s point of view."
Home version of iPet Companion lets owners tele-play with their pets
"The in-home iPet hardware consists of a webcam, a control box, and two mechanisms that are capable of swinging and bobbing one pet toy each (which aren’t included). Remotely accessing a password-protected online portal, users utilize onscreen controls to operate the two mechanisms, making the toys move. The live webcam feed shows them the moving toys, along with their critters’ reactions – hopefully, the animals will respond by playing with the toys, as opposed to being freaked out by two inanimate objects that appear to be moving on their own."
"Each Rev–>Table has the CAD file etched into the surface; if something breaks, smartphones can simply read the code to access the complete design schematic. Using that file, you can modify the design or use the information to create your own replacement parts. As we progress toward a future of nearly-disposable luxury electronics, inherent to Kestner’s concept is nostalgia for a time when things were made to last—yet it’s unlike anything we’ve seen previously. With longevity in mind, Kestner harnessed digital technology to create a sustainable product that can be continually regenerated by the user. A truly holistic approach, his thinking hints at innovations in quality-goods manufacturing at the local level, as well as a future of high-tech production far from the factory line."
via Cool Hunting
Revealing the Facebook Social Graph in Physical Reality
"Conference attendees were identified through their RFID-enabled event badge, so the projected visualization could access their Facebook profiles. The radial bar graphs surrounding an attendee was dynamically constructed from that person’s complete graph data. Each blue bar represents a friends, a green bar maps to an interest, and the other colors represent various types of interests, such as books, movies, music, sports teams, arts, and so on. The connecting lines between people represent the shared connections, so that their relative density indicates the level of connectedness."
via information aesthetics
Graphene creates electricity when struck by light
"A sheet of graphene was treated so that it had two regions with different electrical properties (a p-n junction). Then, by shining an 850nm infrared laser on the material a temperature difference between the two regions is created, and an electrical current flows. This effect is caused by a hot carrier response, where the electrons gain enough energy to move, but the underlying lattice of carbon stays cool. Now, this is significant because a hot carrier response has only ever been observed in materials that are reduced to (almost) absolute zero, or when an intensely powerful laser is used to heat the material. Graphene’s hot carrier response occurs at room temperature and across a wide range of frequencies, and — most importantly — it only requires a very weak source of light to trigger the effect."
CEATEC 2011: Panasonic’s Shampoo Robot Up Close And Personal
"The new version washes your hair with a total of 24 (instead of just 16) fingers. Panasonic also says they improved the scanning system (the robot scans the head’s shape before it does its magic), allowing for a better “experience”. The old model also lacked the conditioning and drying functions."
ModiFace Technology Gives Shoppers Virtual Makeovers @PSFK
"ModiFace has unveiled technology that shows shoppers what they would look like with different clothes or make-up via in-store kiosks, online, and mobile apps. It claims to be the first company to offer head-to-toe virtual makeovers. The kiosks or mobile devices take a photo of the user, who then browses a store’s products and outfits and selects what to try on. The body mapping technology detects the contours of their body and aligns the products to make them look realistic. ModiFace’s technology powers virtual makeover applications for Stila Cosmetics, Allergan, StriVectin, Hearst Magazines, Fusion Beauty, Conde Nast, Proactiv, Clairol, and Garnier".
Letterloom: A Really Easy Way To Share Chunks Of Text Online
"He wanted an easy way to share large amounts of writing online, so he made a simple site. With Letterloom, you can send small URLs that contain a chunk of text. There is no formatting, no embedded HTML, images or videos, just plain old text. Once you’ve pasted your writing into the box, the URL changes, and you can then copy it into an email, IM window, on Facebook or Twitter, etc. Others who click on the URL will be taken to your page of text so they can read what you’ve written."
Interactive Motion-Sensitive Video Technology Coming To Gyms
"The Bally Total Fitness gym chain plans to install motion-sensitive interactive SoftKinetic video walls in their gyms. The walls use technology similar to the popular Wii Fit game that enables users to work out from home. With these video walls, Bally can offer the same interactive informational experience as the video games. Gym-goers can use the video walls to get nutrition information and fitness tips, and includes a motivational ‘slim-down’ feature that shows the user what they would look like minus a few pounds."
CardFlick Creates and Sends Digital Business Cards from Your iPhone
"CardFlick is a free app for creating business cards directly on your iPhone or iPod touch. It comes with several themes and sending is as easy as sending an email or just flicking your card to another user’s phone. To get started, you just add a photo and enter a little information about yourself so the card can be filled out. Then you choose from many themes to get the look that you want. Once you’re done, you’ll be able to send your new business card to whomever you want."
New device to generate electricity from human breathing
"The device created by researchers at the University of Wisconsin-Madison relies on the piezoelectric effect – whereby an electrical charge accumulates in certain materials in response to mechanical stress. But instead of relying on body movements to create the mechanical stress, the UW-Madison team’s device uses low speed airflow like that caused by normal human respiration to cause the vibration of a plastic microbelt engineered from a piezoelectric material called polyvinylidene fluoride (PVDF)."
VC Builds #TodayKicks So You Can Share Photos Of The Shoes You’re Wearing, What?
"Upload a snapshot of your shoes to Today’s Kicks (see mine above) and you can choose to send it to either Twitter or to the app itself. Today’s Kicks pulls in all images that use the hashtag #today’s kicks to populate , and you can search for shoes through Newest, Best, Mine (your own) and Loved (most liked). Barnes says he came up with the idea when he started posting pictures of his sneakers to Twitter with his own made up hashtag #todayskicks and it caught on. It turns out that another dude (who coincidentally turned out to be Friedman) had bought the domain and the two ended up partnering up to create a new way to discover awesome shoes."
Texture Messaging: Breakthrough May Help Spinal Cord Patients Experience Tactile Sensations
"In the study, reported in the October 6 issue of Nature, Nicolelis and his colleagues implanted two sets of electrodes in the monkeys’ brains. (Scientific American is part of Nature Publishing Group.) One set sensed the electrical activity of neurons in the motor cortex and translated it into signals that steered an avatar arm on a computer screen. Other electrodes, in the somatosensory cortex, received electrical feedback from the avatar hand. The monkeys were trained to move the avatar arm with their thoughts and touch identical-looking circles on the screen. The touch triggered the transmission of high-frequency electrical signals meant to encode virtually the object’s unique texture. The monkeys learned that touching only one of the three objects won them a reward (juice), so they were motivated to put their avatar hand on that one and not the other two. It took one monkey four tries and the other nine to learn how to select the desired object by texture alone. "This is the first time a brain has controlled a virtual arm that touches objects and receives signals that describe the texture of those objects," Nicolelis says."
via Scientific American
Fujitsu K, The 548,352-core Supercomputer
"It’s a multiple-core machine to say the least. The current version of the Fujitsu K consists of 672 cabinets, filled with 68,544 eight-core CPUs, capable of carrying out a total of 8.2 quadrillion calculations according to benchmarks. A quadrillion is… lots and lots. It’s also rated at 1.8162 petaflops. A Petaflop is "a thousand trillion floating point operations per second" so that’s also lots and lots."
Social Network ‘CircleMe’ Lets You Track And Engage With Your Likes
"CircleMe is a place to showcase all of your favorite things. You ‘circle’ your interests either by entering them one at a time or importing the information from sites like Facebook, Foursquare and Netflix. These are then categorized and listed on your page, along with other users like the same things. You can add images to your likes, add a public note, suggest it to others, see who else has added it to their profile, and add a to-do item."
Augmented reality app links offline and online without QR codes
"Users of the app simply scan a Blippar image — identifiable by a small Blippar logo — with their iPhone, iPad or Android device, and a version of that image will appear on their screen with an augmented reality 3D overlay. They can then snap a photo of this “blipp” to send to friends over Facebook, Twitter or email, or interact with the 3D overlay by clicking through to new content. Because the app only needs to recognize the Blippar-enabled printed image to function, there is no need for any QR codes."
Nick Felton’s Infographic Wine Label
"In an effort to be transparent and forthcoming about the wine and its composition, the winery’s management gathered data that included the vineyards’ vintage conditions, ferments and additional data on its grapes since 2009. Felton then worked with the data to visualize the wine’s composition in his distinct infographic style. The ultimate intention, according to Felton, is that: The labels on these wines should tell you something about the wine inside, be honest about it, and maybe even help inspire a bit of wine research."
Watch: ‘Invisibility Cloak’ Uses Mirages to Make Objects Vanish
"Through electrical stimulation, the transparent sheet of highly aligned nanotubes can be quickly heated to high temperatures. By transferring that heat to its surrounding areas, a steep temperature gradient is generated, which causes the light rays to bend away from the object concealed behind the device. Therefore, the object appears invisible. “It is remarkable to see this cloaking device demonstrated in real life and on a workable scale,” said a spokesperson for the Institute of Physics. “The array of applications that could arise from this device, besides cloaking, is a testament to the excellent work of the authors.”"
CEATEC 2011: Mitsubishi Showcases Semispherical Display (2.7M Diameter)
"This new model consists of a total of 696 OLED panels, each sized at 32 x 32mm. Sized at 96 x 96mm, the OLEDs forming the aforementioned globe are considerably larger, but the panels share the same pixel pitch (3mm). Mitsubishi said that the Diamond Vision OLED has a brightness of 1,200cd/m2 and consumes 11.2kW of power. The company plans to commercialize the display for digital signage systems."
Rorschach Cards and Balloon – two new experimental games/books for the iPad
"Inspired by Rorschach inkblot test, Rorschach Cards is a collection of playing cards which cause different inkblot effects once laid on the iPad’s screen. As with other éditions volumiques’s games, it appears magnets are used at different locations of the card allowing iPad to recognise unique touch patterns for each card. In addition, the graphic on the visible faces of the cards match perfectly with the animations they generate"
Adidas Debuts Intelligent Soccer Cleats With Built-In Stats Tracker Technology
"Adidas recently released its new intelligent soccer cleat – the adizero f50 miCoach that features a space for the miCoach Speed Cell, a tracking device that records an athlete’s speed, sprint times, distance, and step and stride rates. The embedded chip can store the stats for up to seven hours and uploads them via WiFi or USB to any device. Designed for both professional and amateur athletes, the so-called ‘intelligent football boots’ are available at retail outlets in November of this year and will cost US$330."