Archive for the ‘Digital Communications’ Category

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The National 9/11 Memorial & Museum has launched Make History, “a world-wide initiative to gather any and every 9/11 story in an effort to understand history from the perspective of those who witnessed it. Using the website, visitors can search, group and sequence any number of histories, photos or experiences, creating custom sequences by time, geography or theme. Each photo is overlaid on a current street-view image of the present day, creating a ‘double exposure’ of past and present.”

The site was created by Local Projects. Visit 911history.org to submit photos, stories, and video.

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Japanese Museum’s “Co-Draw” interface design looks frustrating for adults, but a good way to keep the kids busy

Japan’s National Museum of Emerging Science and Innovation has developed this “Co-Draw” exhibit, whereby people draw on a large surface with a light pen and computers begin manipulating the drawing. It’s a far cry from the functionality of the IloveSketching video we showed you yesterday, but perhaps in ten years or whenever we have interface design down to a science we’ll look back on steps like this, say they were somehow necessary and laugh.

via dig info

As part of the Burnham Plan Centennial celebrations, the Burnham Pavilion by Zaha Hadid Architects triggers the visitors’ curiosity and encourages them to consider the future of Chicago. The design merges new formal concepts with the memory of Burnham’s bold, historic urban planning. Superimpositions of spatial structures with hidden traces of Burnham’s Plan are overlaid and inscribed within the structure to create unexpected results.

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“The Burnham Plan Centennial is all about celebrating the bold plans and big dreams of Daniel Burnham’s visionary Plan of Chicago.  It’s about reinvention and improvement on an urban scale and about welcoming the future with innovative ideas and technologies. Our design continues Chicago’s renowned tradition of cutting edge architecture and engineering, at the scale of a temporary pavilion, whilst referencing the organizational systems of Burnham’s Plan.” said Zaha Hadid. “The structure is aligned with a diagonal in Burnham’s early 20th Century Plan of Chicago. We then overlay fabric using contemporary 21st Century techniques to generate the fluid, organic form – while the structure is always articulated through the tensioned fabric as a reminder of Burnham’s original ideas.”

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The pavilion is composed of an intricate curved aluminum structure, with each element shaped and welded in order to create its unique fluid form. Fabric skins have been tightly zipped around the metal frame to create the curvilinear shape. The interior skin also serves as the screen for a video installation by Thomas Gray that explores Chicago’s past and future.

“Fabric is both a traditional and a high-tech material whose form is directly related to the forces applied to it – creating beautiful geometries that are never arbitrary. I find this very exciting.” explained Hadid.

Designed and built for re-use after its role in Millennium Park, the pavilion can be re-installed at other sites. The Burnham Pavilions will be open and free to the public in Millennium Park through October 31, 2009. For further information and details of the Burnham Plan Centennial, visit http://www.burnhamplan100.org.

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PROGRAM: Temporary pavilion to house multimedia installation
CLIENT: Burnham Plan Centennial
ARCHITECT: Zaha Hadid Architects
LOCAL ARCHITECT: Thomas Roszak
STRUCTURAL ENGINEERS: Rockey Structures
FABRICATOR: Fabric Images
LIGHTING & ELECTRICAL: Tracey Dear
MULTIMEDIA CONTENT: The Gray Circle

Here are some more images and drawings of the pavilion:

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Original link by Bustler

Canon’s just unveiled its new augmented reality display in Chiba, Japan, and we have to say, we’re thinking about heading over there to check it out… and hopefully experience what it’s like to be eaten (virtually) by a T-Rex. Featuring 260 dinosaur specimens, the display makes us of a virtual reality viewer — one for each person roaming round the exhibit — putting the dinosaurs at a “distance” of about 5 meters. The exhibit will make use of various Canon products, including an inkjet printer, an LCD projector and several different cameras. The dinosaurs will be on display starting July 18th until August 1st, so you probably want to just go ahead and book a flight right now.

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Canon, the event space at the venue of the exhibition, “Dinosaurs over time!” Technology exhibit area Miku strike called reality experience.

Mixed reality technology, video technology, a fancy blend in real time real world and virtual world can be enhanced to visualize the video now realize more than Virtual Reality . In this section, scope and look through the site-wide viewing angle, high-resolution cards developed by Canon, the CG and real space because of the emergence of three-dimensional dinosaurs. Total length of about 5m in front of me like as if you are a real triceratops, you can experience the space filled with a strange feel.

Other venues in the digital SLR camera on the back of large specimens of a large dinosaur MAMENKISAURUSU “EOS 50D” to take visitors, inkjet printer “PIXUS MP630” to present the fly in the photo printing Services conducted in addition to drawing a picture, LCD projector “WUX10” theater with a large camera network “VB-C60” and the live broadcast using the technology and working in various Canon products.

Canon is a special sponsorship for the exhibition, we hope to provide the opportunity to contribute to fostering a spirit of inquiry and imagination in science and biological children.

Canon Homepage canon.jp canon.jp
“Dinosaur 2009 – Miracle in the Desert” OFISHARUHOMUPEJI http://www.kyoryu.jp

The prototype PS3 controller is able to track precise movements, and even recognise the speed and power of gestures.

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Sony has unveiled motion-sensitive controller for the PS3 console at E3 2009 Photo: REUTERS

Sony’s controller uses a PlayStation Eye camera to communicate with the controller, which has a glowing sphere on the end that the camera uses to triangulate the position and movement of the wand. The controller was demonstrated as Sony unveiled its forthcoming line-up of video games at E3 2009.

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It also features buttons which can double as a trigger, to turn the wand in to a virtual weapon, and internal motion sensors which give it the ability to track movements to an accuracy of within 7mm.

“Motion-control gaming has been a phenomenon over the last few years,” said Jack Tretton, president of Sony Computer Entertainment of America. “This technology will continue to grow in many ways. We’re trying to create an experience which is much closer to real life than anything you’ve ever seen.”

The engineers behind the motion-control project said they had been working on the interface technology for several years, and hoped the device would bring a new set of experience to PlayStation 3 games.

In a demonstration of the prototype wand, an engineer was able to wield a sword, shoot a gun and fire arrows at enemies. Sony emphasised that the wand wouldn’t just be useful for more fun, casual games, but would also provide a “fantastic” experience for hardcore gamers who enjoy first-person shooters or driving games.

Sony gave no indication of when the wand would be commercially available, but the demonstration comes just a day after Microsoft revealed its own motion-control technology, codenamed Project Natal.

Microsoft’s system requires no controller at all, and instead uses a camera to map the movements of players on-screen.

Both Sony and Microsoft are keen to appeal to a more casual audience of gamers, who have previously been attracted to Nintendo’s Wii console, which uses a motion-sensitive controller. Nintendo said it had sold more than 50 million Wiis worldwide since its launch in 2006.

LONDON – Consumers will be given the chance to control and change the advertising display on digital LCD screens via their iPhones.
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CBS Outdoor has partnered with Clusta, the digital creative agency, to develop a new advertising platform, launched yesterday, which connects a consumer’s iPhone to the display via WiFi or 3G.

By swiping in either direction on the iPhone’s touchscreen, users can make the object in the digital poster spin to the left or right, and users can also make the display change colour.

Also by using the “pinch” and “stretch” finger gestures on the iPhone, consumers will be able to zoom in or out of the object displayed on the screen.

The platform was showcased at the Media Playground conference and exhibition in London yesterday, and CBS plans to roll it out on LCD screens in Westfield shopping centre, depending on advertiser take-up.

The technology can also be developed for other smart phones and can include SMS interactivity to receive more information about the product.

Russell Townsend, the managing director at Clusta, said: “This revolutionary platform showcases the huge potential that exists for digital outdoor to use emerging technologies to captivate consumers in its unique environments – digital outdoor is an incredibly innovative medium and as an industry we are really just scratching the surface of the weird and wonderful ways it can engage.”

Lee Cutter, the head of retail sales at CBS Outdoor, said: “With the flexibility of our digital portfolio in terms of day-part and location-based targeting, we’ve delivered some excellent strategic solutions for our clients.”

link via Campaign

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Despite being oh-so-promising years ago, we’ve seen little innovation in the RFID space over the past several months. Today, however, CenTrak’s proving that the dream is still somewhat alive. The outfit has just introduced the planet’s thinnest hybrid active Radio Frequency Identification tag, which is said to be so thin that it’s almost “indistinguishable from a standard employee badge.” The IT-740 Staff Badge checks in at just three millimeters thick and includes a trio of programmable buttons, a system controlled LED, hole mounts for portrait or landscape orientation, water resistance for easy cleaning and “ultra long battery-life.” For employees, rocking one of these guarantees that your superior will recognize every step you take, every move you make and every bond you break. Which, sadly enough, isn’t nearly as bodacious as The Police make it sound. Bonus coverage after the break.

At this point in history, Industrial Design is poised to undergo major evolutionary changes. New technologies, new materials and increasingly sophisticated consumer tastes all demand colossal transformations. Perhaps most exciting among these is the development of Kinetic Design which entails the aesthetic design of physical movement. Through this practice, industrial designers will not just create forms, but choreograph those forms’ movements through space. Kinetic Design will literally open a new dimension for the aesthetic development of physical objects and the world will be richer for it.

At Industrial Design schools around the world, students are being trained to create the objects that fill our lives. Sadly, with few exceptions, today’s young designers are walking out into the world with more-or-less the same tool sets as designers of 60 years ago. One can observe this phenomenon quite readily by perusing the course catalogs of leading design schools such as Art Center College of Design or Pratt Institute. Green initiatives and CAD (computer aided design) related courses comprise the only notable updates to curricula around the world. This is astonishingly meager given the rapidly changing nature of the field itself. The addition of Kinetic Design will help broaden curricula in order to stimulate new thinking and new potentials.

Companies would never send their ideas off to market without determining what materials they were to be made of or what color. It follows that Industry should commit this same attention to how their ideas move. The animation of products is at least as important an aesthetic factor as form, color, or material.

Most Industrial Design firms and departments consist of individuals with various combinations of specifically named aesthetic skills: there are designers who can draw, there are designers who can create foam or CAD models, there are designers who can develop color and graphic treatments, etc. Presently, there is no specifically designated class of designers qualified to decide how products move. Kinetic Designers will soon fill this void.

It is universally understood that rigorous aesthetic control over all the aspects of an object’s development produces more beautiful and pleasing results. Designer Raymond Loewy explained it succinctly saying, “Ugliness does not sell.” Companies would never send their ideas off to market without determining what materials they were to be made of or what color. It follows that Industry should commit this same attention to how their ideas move. The animation of products is at least as important an aesthetic factor as form, color, or material.

In order to meet this demand within the profession, design schools will increasingly need to produce graduates who know how their objects should move. Designers are not just form-givers, they are whole object creators and experience designers. By incorporating the creative and experiential notions of Kinetic Design into their vocabulary, designers will produce more exciting, more unified products, which will in turn lead to greater commercial success.

original link core77

Ben Hopson is a designer, artist, and educator working in Brooklyn, NY. Examples of his work in Kinetic Design can be seen at http://www.benhopson.com.

A Taiwanese research group has developed stereo speakers in paper, which will lead to low-cost speakers perfect for thin devices such as LCD TVs or even talking movie posters to be used as advertisements.

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Engineers at Taiwan’s Industrial Technology Research Institute (ITRI) have already produced rolls of paper stereo speakers and say they will be used in cars starting from next year. They are also planning a splash introduction of the new technology at a big exhibition in Taipei next year in which they will unroll a three-story high banner that can blare out tunes.

“A lot of companies are interested in this product,” said Chen Ming-daw, a research director at ITRI. “We don’t have enough people to handle all the attention right now.”

They call it Flexpeaker because you can roll it up or fold it just like regular paper.

One cool way the technology will be used is on movie posters.

The goal for the researchers is to be able to mass produce standard poster-size speakers (A2, or 60centimeters by 44cm) costing just US$20 each. Movie makers could then put out posters with soundtrack music or movie highlights emanating from them as people walk by.

The special paper is made by sandwiching thin electrodes that receive audio signals and a prepolarized diaphragm into the paper structure. A special Flexpeaker adapter between the MP3 player and the speaker is used to play music through the paper. But in a year, ITRI hope to develop a chip that will do away with the adapter and allow people to plug a digital music player directly into the speaker.

They’re also working on wireless technologies.

In July, the group will show off its first Bluetooth enabled paper speaker, which will eliminate the need for wires, said Liou Chang-ho, project manager of ITRI’s Flexpeaker initiative.

One limitation with Flexpeaker is that while It’s very good with sounds at frequencies between 500Hz to 20KHz, it doesn’t handle low frequency sounds well.

That problem can be offset by adding a subwoofer to any system with the paper speakers, said Liou. That’s the idea ITRI is working on for LCD TV makers. The paper speakers are so thin that they’re perfect for the current push to ultra thin LCD TVs, a maker simply has to add a subwoofer to make a quality sound system.

ITRI is already working with a company to produce the speakers in rolls, like rolls of paper.

“Once it’s being made in rolls, the cost will drop a lot,” said Liou.

Thanks to the good folks at WATG’s Wimberly Labs, we got a tour today of some truly remarkable visualization and collaboration technology, including EON Reality’s immersive 3D room.

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The cave (or iCube, as we’re told they would prefer we call it) is comprised of three white walls and a floor, all about 10′ x 10′ in size. Onto each surface is projected a high-resolution, stereoscopic image. A viewer stands in the room wearing polarized 3D glasses — like you might use in a 3D movie — with small markers that stick out a bit from the frames.

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The markers are illuminated by IR LED floodlights located on the perimeter of the room, and IR-sensitive cameras use those positions to determine the precise location of each eye within the room. From those positions, stereo images for each projector are calculated and rendered on the fly, and the result is absolutely amazing.

We had heard about this technology before, but seeing is believing. Of course to get the real experience you need to physically be in the space, but you might enjoy living vicariously through David’s experience (click here to see the vid in HD instead):

WATG’s incredible hotel and resort work provide a superb example of the power of this tool. Why not let a client walk through their new resort before ground has even been broken? Take them into one of these and they’ll never settle for blueprints and a miniature model again.

Part of what makes this experience so wonderful is the lack of heavy, complicated headgear. The viewer is free to walk around, and the environment responds to their every move. There’s no training required or cumbersome technology to stand in the way of the content. But the effect doesn’t come cheap: you’ll need over half a million dollars and a lot of space to pull this off.

Now, how can we do something similar for pennies on the dollar?

[unofficially:

A simple, featherweight headset, a 10′ x 10′ x 10′ white room, and $600,000 worth of projector and computer equipment, combined with the smarts of the folks at Eon Reality, results in one insanely real experience. ]




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