Tag: Hyperreality


Virtual Characters tortured for Science

virtual milgrim

In the classic Milgram Experiment conducted in the 1960s, volunteers were told by an authority figure to deliver electric shocks to another person as punishment for incorrect answers to a test. The other person wasn’t really receiving the shocks, but the volunteers were tricked into thinking they were by shouts of pain and protest. Despite this feedback, some volunteers went on to deliver what would have been lethal shocks.

Professor Mel Slater of the Catalan Polytechnic University has recreated the Milgram experiment using a computer simulated woman, with some interesting results. “The main conclusion of our study is that humans tend to respond realistically at subjective, physiological, and behavioural levels in interaction with virtual characters notwithstanding their cognitive certainty that they are not real.” Some part of the brain just doesn’t know about virtual reality.

Via Medgadget. Related: A Society of Simulations, Autimacy, Avatar Machine, If avatars could vote, WOWOW.

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Food Technology

Crowdsourced drink

Remember the days when the flavor of a fruity drink was simply connected to an apple, orange, strawberry, kiwi, or perhaps – if you felt really exotic – an acai berry? Nowadays we quench our thirst with hyperreal beverages that serve us engineered tastes like Green punch, Wild ice zest berry, or Power-C Dragon fruit.

The Vitaminwater brand is moving to the next level by crowdsourcing its upcoming flavor. Fans are invited to collaborate on the design of their new drink. The design contest is organized through the launch of a Flavorcreator application on Facebook (watch out: you will have to let it pull your profile information, photos, your friends’ info, and other content for the app to work). Vitaminwater enthusiasts got the opportunity to name the flavor, write the bottle copy and design the label via a contest with the winner or winning team receiving a $5,000 prize from Vitaminwater. The result will be available in stores from March 2010.

We applaud this democratization of hyperreal flavors – if it the drink is designed anyway, why not let the customers have a say – and are now anticipating the first crowdsourced piece of fruit.

Via Coolhunting. Related: Organic Coke, Hyper Fruit, Why are carrots orange? Its political, Little Trees – Smells to refresh your car, Biomimicmarketd strawberry juice, Food design in the 21th century.

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Office Rebellion

These peculiar illustrations are part of a sixteen-page pamphlet produced to put inside the postage-paid, business-reply envelopes that come with junk mail offers. Every envelope collected is stuffed with the pamphlet and mailed back to its original company: A manual to get a life.
office nature
Source: centennialsociety.com | via boingboing.net | Related: Join the Neolithic Revolution | Caravan Garden | Is it a bird? | Brain needs Nature

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Sixth Sense

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.

Related: On the Road, Augmented phone browsing, Avatar Machine, Datafountain, A Society of Simulations. Thanks Ton & Arnoud.

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Second Sight – Augmented Contacts

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.

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Augmented Phone Browsing

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.

via: i.document.m05.de (thanks @droombos) | Related: On the Road | Avatar Machine

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Real Mario (closeup)


In next nature, video game characters become part of your everyday environment, however I am no sure if I would hire this guy to do my plumbing. This hyperreal Mario was created by Pixeloo by pasting a bunch of random faces over a 3d render of Mario from Nintendo. Peculiar image of the week.

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Five strategies of Biomimicmarketing


Green electricity, Organic Shampoo, Jaguar convertibles, Red Bull, Bio Beef, Alligator gardening tools, Camel cigarettes and Puma sneakers. Once you develop an eye for it, it is quite astonishing to see how many products and brands – through their name or logo – refer to ‘Nature’. We call this phenomenon Bio-mimic-marketing: using images of nature to market a product.


Nature is a terrific marketing tool and corporations know this. Somehow the natural reference provides us with a familiar feeling of recognition and trust. Biomimicmarketing is applied in the most peculiar, unexpected ways. For instance, when having to choose between eighteen different types of condoms at the drugstore, I am intuitively drawn towards the one with the word ‘natural’ on the packaging, thereby omitting the contradictory fact that condom-use in itself can hardly be called natural. But who cares? Biomimicmarketing is not about nature as much as it is about marketing. Its goal is to enforce positive qualities of products in the minds of consumers. Nature – with its aura of authenticity, harmony, beauty and dept – is among the best vehicles to achieve this. When analyzing the phenomenon of biomimicmarketing in detail, roughly five, partly overlapping, strategies can be isolated.

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