Humans become web-banners. Click me! By Irina Blok.
Humans become web-banners. Click me! By Irina Blok.
Confused with the pile of remote controls in your house? Now here is an idea: get a robot to control them. Researchers at Toshiba have developed a talking robot, named ApriPoko, that can learn how to operate various remote controls by watching and asking questions.
When its sensors detect infrared rays emitted by a remote, the robot speaks up: “What did you just do?” it asks. Tell ApriPoko what you did (”I turned on the stereo” or “I changed to channel 321,” for example), and it commits the details to memory. Then, next time you want to turn on the stereo or change the channel, simply tell ApriPoko and it transmits the appropriate IR signal directly to the device. The prototype robot is still in the development and testing phase, but the researchers hope to have a viable product soon. Toshiba refused to comment on whether the their robot possesses the ability to kill.
So far, over-dependence on GPS devices has resulted in more inconvenience than actual danger, but earlier a U.K. woman sent her £96k Mercedes flying into a river, trusting the car’s optimistic GPS guidance instead of the road signs warning of impending doom. Full story.
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Good morning anywhere in the world!
Waking up is a problem (at least for 50% of the population). That’s why alarm clocks exist; machines and devices are invented to solve problems. At first they serve one purpose only and need activation to function properly. But over time inventions seem to evolve and become more humane. Some of them are patiently waiting for some interaction to happen. The alarm clock is no exeption to this, which illustrates this new device: The Glo Pillow is a nice example of calm–technology. You can now start the day browsing your pillow!
“I think we are all “work in progress”, this necklace is featuring a cool progress bar to indicate that.”
Nice work Irina!
I used to hear voices in my head, but now they seem to be coming from the walls – am I back in to the womb? No wait.. it’s a wall that reacts to the spectators voice (quicktime). The installation plays with the new notions of space offered by the digital/physical world and is meant as a pure shape of intuition. Italian design for narcissistic delight! We are awaiting a more advanced version of the wall that could, for instance, remember and show who was in a the room before. No wait… why not do a version with bananas?
With its 50 cm wing span and 80 grams of weight, this high tech bird is ready to infiltrate swift surveillance squads next summer. Aerospace engineering students at TU Delft, together with the Department of Experimental Zoology of Wageningen University designed the micro airplane that uses wing–morphing for steering. Doing so, the Roboswift becomes highly maneuverable at very high and very low speeds, just like the swift. During it’s test–flight today, this one ended up in a tree. But who knows… perhaps in the future they will be swarming the skies.
An industrial robot has been given an unusual production task; writing out the full Martin Luther bible “by hand” in a calligraphic style. The robot arm appears to be a fairly standard industrial robot.
I am not sure if this robot makes 16 century monks look more like robots, or vice versa.
Ambient Biomedia is an investigative project about using living beings, in particular plants, to display human lifestyle problems information. The working principle of our systems is taking data about the lifestyle aspect that the user wants to monitor, such as time spent with somebody, health aspects or bad habits, and semantically couple it into an aspect of a living being. The user would merge the plant with his daily environment, following the evolution of his problem’s state in a non intrusive way. Thanks to the empathic link existing between human and other living beings, the user would see himself reflected on the plant, feeling sorry for herself, meditating about his problem and hopefully, taking measures to solve it.
The geekyness of the project becomes apparent in the second frame of the comic: When the kid feels bad, dad doesn’t notice. But when the plant feels bad, dad notices it straight away. That is, well.. rather comical! Of course, in the end the plant will probably reside in a different location than the kid and the system will allow dad to stay connected to the home base while working at the office.
The project is run by Adria Bassaganyes and Ben Salem from the Eindhoven University of Technology as part of an extensive ambient intelligence project in co-operation with Singapore National University’s Mixed Reality Lab
Let’s face it: every time your cellphone battery runs empty you feel amputated and you quickly run back to your house to connect to a powering-adapter. Bionic Power Inc. is now developing a knee-brace that can be used to charge small devices; the 5-watt electricity output from one knee generator is enough to power 10 cellphones at once.
A million years from now that hand would probably look more evolved, but the idea is nice: What if we would mold objects of the now into stone or bricks to preserve them over time and have future archeologists wonder how the technology was used? “Brick Boys” last for eternity!
Now why is that girl so excitingly staring at a few blurry blobs on a flat screen? Is it because these blobs are connected to her breath… What? Yes that is right, you are looking at the breathe table.The project examines breathing as a means of intimate communication. Our breathe takes the form of a coffee table across which two participants converse via patterns of light and color. The blue blobs are connected to the girls’ breath and the red dots are connected to the breath of the person on the other side of the table.
The breathe table is one of the demonstrators in Qusai Kathawala’s Visceral Interaction Master graduation project at Art Center Media Design Program.
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Who likes clouds anyway? Especially for the people still living in the suburbs of Venray (small town in the Netherlands), artist Helmut Smits made this billboard depicting a clear blue sky.
The VIBE – emotional sensing necklace combines conductive ink and textile sensors. The necklace can read multiple biometric signals of the wearer and communicates them to other devices and other wearers.
Will this technology enable us to sense emotions better than we would without it?
Earlier we discussed the Magical Interaction project, in which Joris van Gelder rethought the boring activity of switching on/off a light by transforming it into a magical experience. His idea was to leave room for imagination while interacting with a product. This should evoke wonder and surprise and make the interaction more interesting for the user.
Hannah Regiers’ Switch Critters also leave room for imagination. But instead of amusing the user with the feeling he is the star of a magical show, these switches have to be persuaded to switch. Their behaviors are influenced by data flows, such as the quality of local air, the load on the power grid and the global carbon index. “Data becomes mood, designed into personality. Switch Critters know something about the world that people can absorb through observation, interaction… and a little bit of imagination.”
At first you think these switches are completely useless and horrible because they don’t switch just when you want them to: you actually have to put effort in them -for instance by holding them still for some time or by tenderly stroking them- to persuade them to make the switch that turns on the light or starts your car. After a while the feeling of un-control becomes more satisfying, leading to a more mindful interaction and awareness of the rhythms in the environment. In old nature the light of the Sun could also not be switched on/off with the push of a button so why should it be any different in next nature?
Related: Need for Speed