For people who live small…
For people who live small…
Although this TED video has been all over the web and commented on this website already, it still deserves a separate post: Desigineers Pattie Maes and Pranav Mistry of the MIT Media Lab – Fluid Interfaces Group envision a ‘Sixth Sense’ a wearable gestural interface to pave the way for a more profound interaction with our environment by augmenting it with digital information. The next nature thinking in their argument is striking:
We’ve evolved over millions of years to sense the world around us. When we encounter something, someone or some place, we use our five natural senses to perceive information about it; that information helps us make decisions and chose the right actions to take. But arguably the most useful information that can help us make the right decision is not naturally perceivable with our five senses, namely the data, information and knowledge that mankind has accumulated about everything and which is increasingly all available online.
Hence, they propose to blend all cultural information within the environment as a natural phenomenon. Culture becomes nature. Our environment becomes the interface again.
Of course, like with every emerging next nature, there is always an older nature lost: You’ll never be able to meet new people without immediately googling them.
And you thought GPS was supposed to make life easier? Created by Sheepfilms.
Getting information as fast as possible and on the spot is the trend. So what could be more direct than having information fired directly into the eye?
Today — together with his students — Babak A. Parviz, bionanotechnology expert at University of Washington, is already producing devices that have a lens with one wirelessly Radio Frequency powered LED. To turn such a lens into a functional browser, control circuits, communication circuits and miniature antennas will have to be integrated. These lenses will eventually include hundreds of semitransparent LEDs, which will form images in front of the eye: words, charts, imagery enabling the wearers to navigate their surroundings whithout distraction or disorientation. The optoelectronics in the lens may be controlled by a seperate device that relays information to the lens’s control circuit. Read more »
Data-hungry companies like Google, Microsoft and Amazon could reduce their energy consumption with 40% by rerouting data to locations where electricity prices are lowest on a particular day. A smart routing algorithm could take advantage of daily and hourly fluctuations in electricity costs across the country (US) perhaps even the world. Further it could weigh up the physical distance needed to route information (it is more expensive to move data over greater distances) against the likely cost savings from reduced energy use. Energy prices fluctuate daily (changes in supply, consumer demand, fuel price hikes), even among geographically close locations. It is the outcome of research done by PhD student Asfandyar Qureshi and colleagues at MIT.
Google recently built a datacenter in Belgium that relies entirely on ambient cooling — on days when the weather gets too warm, the center’s servers are simply shut down. The energy-aware Internet-routing scheme is an extension of this idea says Bruce Maggs, vice president of research at Akamai. Data distribution alone will not be able to do the trick; servers need to use substantially less power when idle than when fully running. Further he remarks: “The paper is not about saving energy but about saving cost, although there are some ways to do both. You have to hope that those are aligned.”
This video shows the first beta version of TwittARound – an augmented reality Twitter viewer on the iPhone 3Gs. It shows live tweets around your location on the horizon. Because of the video see-through effect you see where the tweet comes from and how far away it is.
The app does something similar as layar(.com) — launched in Amsterdam (NL) June 17th –, a phone interface that puts a content layer over the phone camera’s videoscreen to locate the nearest toilet, bar, supermarket, bank and other search categories.
Though we still trust our natural eyes and ears; with tools like these, we have but to reach in our pockets to look ahead and see what is coming. The apps are not predicting the future yet, but I am pretty sure we will have to get back on that soon.
The eye passes on more information to the brain than the brain will process. In that sense, the brain functions as a filter. But on the battlefield the risk of neglecting information could mean the difference between life and death. To take away the filter is the idea behind a pentagon-funded project to develop “brainwave binoculars”.
Intelligent binoculars can tap into the brain’s ability to spot patterns and movement to help soldiers detect threats from miles farther away than they can with traditional binoculars. Electrodes on the scalp inside a helmet will record the user’s brain activity as it processes information about high-resolution images produced by wide-angle military binoculars. Those responses will train the binoculars over time to recognize threats.
Using ultrasound technology, researchers at the University of Tokyo have developed a holographic projector that displays three-dimensional virtual objects you can feel with your bare hands. The system is currently on display at SIGGRAPH 2009 in New Orleans.
Read more »
Meet A.T.R.E.E.M. (acronym for Automated Tree-Rental for Emission Encaging Machine), a device that compares daily activities, energy and products to the growth of a tree.
“From an ecological perspective, CO2 is a byproduct of the living, either directly or indirectly. From the economic perspective, CO2 may become the world’s largest commodity market. What do we consider the price of our own byproducts?
This project aims to criticise the carbon trading system as well as raise awareness of how good we are at destroying the planet.”
What if the mannequins in the shopping windows suddenly started moving? Would you buy more, or would it just trigger your anthropomorphobic responses? Soon we will know.
Momo is a regular window dummy, upgraded with some mechanics, electronics and software. The mannequin is simple to use: Just put it in the shopping window, dress it and switch it on. Its movements are programmed on a memory stick. Anthropomorphobic object of the week.
In the past year, researchers have developed technology that makes it possible to use thoughts to operate a computer, maneuver a wheelchair or even use Twitter — all without lifting a finger. But as neural devices become more complicated — and go wireless — some scientists say the risks of “brain hacking” should be taken seriously.
The recent discussion on boomeranged metaphors reminded me of this 20 pound mouse hand created a some years ago for a Paradise by the laptop light event on Next Nature. The pionter counts 158 LEDs that are programmable per pixel line and was made by: David Menting, Jasper Dekker, Guus Baggermans and Brian Garret.
Dr. Herb Smokler teaches us how to husband and harvest Computational Wood. Omitting he jerky production value of the video, one has to appreciate the inventive idea of treating trees with conductive ink over the seasons so that they become electrical circuits.
Imagine the sheer processing power of a rain forrest of computational wood. Is this the future of computing? Not sure. At least it is a funny and thought provoking statement on the often concealed omnipresence of digital technology in our surroundings.
This mockumentary is the final installment of Matt Cottam’s Masters thesis project called “In Search Of Heirloom Electronics”– I suspect it is a Masters of Arts and not a Masters of Science but one can never be sure nowadays. The concept of Computational Wood evolved out of a workshop with Timo Arnall, Matt Jones, Jack Schulze, Adam Greenfield, Lennart Andersson, and Mikael Wiberg.
In response to the Boomeranged Metaphors post of last week, visual wizard Ton Meijdam sent us these foldable icons. Print them, fold them and use them to decorate your 3D desktop (you know that one from the pre-digital age). Should keep the kids busy during the weekend.
Read more »
Today browsing and gaming is dominated by the shortcomings of machines, for machines simply do not know who is on the other end. Man needs to interact; therefore man needs to input. Buttons, keys, keyboards, arrows, joysticks, consoles, gun-triggers, tracker-balls and steering-wheels are indispensable. Until now…
Microsoft is making serious efforts to end that era and by doing so, giving a fledged answer to the Nintendo Wii. Project Natal is the codename for Microsofts new and revolutionary way of gaming; taking Xbox into the next generation. It lets you, the user, take full control of the games by simply moving around, jumping, punching and kicking or whatever you feel like doing.
Read more »
In the nineties laser printers revolutionized graphic design. Currently 3d desktop printers are revolutionizing industrial design. Next we will be printing buildings and revolutionize architecture.
“D_shape technology makes it possible to 3D print 6 by 6 by 1m parts. These parts could either be shipped to the construction site or the entire building could be 3D printed on location. The parts made by D_shape resemble ‘sandstone.’ They are comparable in strength to reinforced concrete and the ingredients are the binding material and any type of sand. D_Shape’s materials cost more than regular concrete but much less manpower is needed for construction. No scaffolding needs to be constructed so overall building cost should be lower than traditional building methods.
“The system works with a rigging that is suspended over the buildable part. The system deposits the sand and then the inorganic binding ink. No water is necessary. Because the two components meet outside the nozzle, the machine does not clog up and can keep up its accuracy of 25 DPI. Enrico and D_Shape are currently talking to lots of construction & engineering companies and architects about their technology.
“The technology would seem to be especially interesting for these architects. With D-Shape they could make previously impossible forms and indeed approach a building not as a place where planes intersect but much more organically. As with regular 3D printing methods a lot of forms can only be made in this way. I for one would love to work in a Moebius strip office building….”
As our lifes are increasingly regulated by electronics and there is a drive towards the miniaturization and portability of electronics on and around the body it seems only logical to place electronic circuits on the surface of body.
How about a conductive ink that is applied directly onto the skin to bridge the gap between electronics and the body. The material allows users to create custom electronics and interact with technology through intuitive gesture. It also allows information to be sent on the surface of the skin from person to person or person to object.
The formulation is carbon based and water-soluble: skin-safe and non-invasive. It may be applied in a number of ways including brushing on, stamping or spraying and has future potential for use with conventional printing processes on the body. Potential application areas may be: dance performances, music, fashion, security, military, audio/visual communication and medical devices.
These printed pots were inspired by Southwest Native American pottery and were printed using powdered slip and binder in a three-dimensional printer.
Mixing ancient traditions with emerging technologies. Don’t you just love it when oldnature & nextnature copulate? Pure futuristic-nostalgia!