A few days ago, these images of iconic buildings in Beijing as they look with and without intense smog have been posted on Weibo, one of China’s most popular social media platforms. Interestingly, these images speak the visual language of augmented reality apps, in which an additional layer of information is projected on top of the perceptible environment as seen through the lens of a camera, usually on a hand-held device. But in this particular case, an interesting reversal seems to take place.
Is your child aware of where the food on the dinner table actually comes from? A Japanese television show called Souda, Sakanaya-san e Ikou! (translated: Yeah, Let’s Go to the Fish Market!), decided to test this simple question with a funny and thought-provoking experiment.
Marshmallow Laser Feast is a London-based design studio researching and exploring the boundaries between virtual and real-world experiences. Eyes of the Animal is an interactive project that invites the public to an uncommon virtual reality setting conceived especially for experiences in actual forests, giving the opportunity to see the world as an insect would.
Sample collection in hard-to-reach and harsh environments has often made scientific research a costly and dangerous exercise. Luckily technology has helped us overcome some of these difficulties.
Although costly robots, for instance, have for a long time been the equipment of choice to collect samples in space. But there is a new competitor for the robot space-sample collector. Experiments have shown that a remarkable amount of small organisms are able to survive in space. ESA researchers have send living kombucha bacteria into space to look for signs of life.
Between its 149 million km distance from earth and its extreme brightness, the sun has never been easy to observe. Ever since we started looking into the sky we’ve needed special lenses, photographs, telescopes and sunglasses to get the slightest glance at it. Today however, with more advanced imaging technology and orbiting telescopes, we’re getting a better look. The Smithsonian’s National Air and Space museum has taken this observation to the next level with a giant public display of images and data that show the sun in hyper-real detail.
Have you ever got the chance to experience Van Gogh’s art pieces? What about having a 360 degrees look at the Dutch painter world? An interesting idea by America animator Mac Cauley: he spent months designing 3D environments based on The Night Café, and created a new way to experience paintings in virtual reality.
Always fascinated by Iron Man’s helmet that provides Tony Stark with augmented reality information? Mini cars are working on something similar, minus the attack mode. Now owned by BMW, the popular car brand is developing augmented reality goggles that enhance the driving experience.
The reason why blue eyes are considered so appealing is unknown. Researchers ascribe this widespread appreciation to the Paleolithic society, where the few women with blue eyes had better chances of standing out in the crowd; others think it’s due to the fact that pupil dilatation, an indicator of attraction, is more visible in lighter eyes.
Only 17% of the world’s population has blue eyes, the rest can obtain cerulean eyes just with the help of colored contact lenses. But today a new laser surgery can permanently turn eyes from brown to blue.
As society is moving more rapidly and people are busier than ever, a need arises to change the passage of time accordingly. Einstein showed how time is relative and influenced by gravitational force. Time Ingot, by experimental philosopher Jonathon Keats, is a first step to domesticate this relativity for practical human needs.
The ingot is a solid piece of lead alloy, neatly packaged. Due to the compact size, it can be used to manage time on a desktop or on a bed stand. Its mass slows down time in the immediate vicinity. Ideal for planning competitive business or slightly extending lifespan.
With less than one extra second every billion years, the effect is not directly noticeable, and the $19.99 Time Ingot is already out of sale. But at least, it gives us the small opportunity to literally manage time, instead of letting time manage us.
Story and image via The Atlantic