Wednesday, 30 July 2008

Microsoft Researchers Develop Interactive Sphere prototype that Plays 360 Degree Video

The surface Sphere comes from the same Microsoft Researchers that developed the Surface, in that it utilizes a projector surrounded by a ring of IR cameras, which is then covered by a semi-opaque globe. When users are interfacing with the device their interactions are being captured by the lenses down below. The IR cameras detect when the beams are being blocked, and transmits it as contact. Thus photos and video tiles can be shuffled around the Sphere.

It appears to be more advanced than Surface, since it has to use algorithms to round images, and uses an infrared system to detect hands and objects touching it. The device plays omnidirectional video and can therefore also show inside out type panoramas.

The developers have been prototyping interactive applications that explore collaborative actions for multiple users positioned around it, such that users flick the sphere like a globe to make it simulate rotation, then drag fingers across to create a paint trail.

It seems unclear at this stage as to what uses in the world hungers for such a device other than for creative individuals, although here is an artist who has developed something similar.


Tuesday, 29 July 2008

Virgin Galactic unveils WhiteKnightTwo

Entrepreneur and project financier Richard Branson and designer Burt Rutan of Virgin Galactic today unveiled WhiteKnightTwo, a twin-hulled four-engined hauling aircraft at Scaled Composites in Mojave, California. Here is a truncated news report video and here also is an animation of 6 space tourists enjoying weightlessness.

WhiteKnightTwo according to Richard Branson is to be called "Eve" and may quite possibly launch from the Space Port presently being built in the Mojave desert New Mexico.

Gizmodo has published a heap of photographs of the unveiling.

Monday, 28 July 2008

Preview Video of Pixar’s UP: a comedic adventure of lifting spirits

In Short "Up" is about Carl Fredricksen who spent his entire life dreaming of exploring the globe and experiencing life to its fullest. But at age 78, life seems to have passed him by, until a twist of fate (and a persistent 8-year old Wilderness Explorer named Russell) gives him a new lease on life. “Up” takes audiences on a thrilling journey where the unlikely pair encounter wild terrain, unexpected villains and jungle creatures. "Up" is due to be released in May 2009.

Al larger format preview is available here at the official Disney site, but it may take longer to load, otherwise the youtube video.


Sunday, 27 July 2008

OpenPhotoVR: DIY Panoramas

OpenPhotoVR is a pseudo-3D photo browser in Flash,which allows you to assemble a series of photos, all of the same locations or subject matter, but taken at different angles and perspectives - like an explorable 3D album.

Try the photo to the right for example. Use your mousewheel to zoom in, click and drag to pan about, and simply click on any of the hotspots to change your view or move deeper into the scene.

Moving around: mousewheel to zoom, click-and-drag to pan, click "hotspots" with hand cursor to navigate between images.

Adding and editing: new albums are built in the editing interface, which is open to everyone, there's no protection or registration at the moment. If you want your album to be featured in the left pane at the site.

Saturday, 26 July 2008

Chiba, Japan: Robot cyclist Murata boy cruises the cat walk

Japanese company Murata Manufacturing created a cycling robot to showcase some of their various sensor technologies. The robot is equipped with four types of sensors: two gyro sensors used to detect angular velocity and inclination; an ultrasonic sensor to detect obstacles; and a shock sensor to detect rough surfaces. The robot is connected to a PC via wireless LAN connection for forward, stop, and backward type commands and he can follow pre-programmed paths. It's about 2 foot tall and can reach speeds of 30 inches per second and can even balance while at a complete stop. The video shows the robot driving down a thin balance beam at very slow speed without falling.

Perhaps some time further down the track we may see a Robotic cyclists' Tour de Japan ?


Friday, 25 July 2008

Revolutionary FanWing UAV flies! for an 80 minute Autonomy

The FanWing uses a bladed rotor turning on a horizontal axis that acts like a thick, high-lift wing, giving it a short take-off capability of just 1m (3ft) thus Patrick Peebles, who invented the FanWing prefers to call it a vectored-thrust STOVL (short take-off and vertical landing) aircraft (cf). The FanWing was on static display at the Farnborough International Air Show but did not fly.

The FanWing prototype that is being shown in this video is a Spinoff scaled down UAV version and was designed for slow-flight urban surveillance. It is also designed for quick assembly and set up, (about 5min out of the box). The wood and composite construction STOVL UAV has a span of 2.5m, a mass of 8.5kg, and a flight speed approaching 39kt.

This design allows for very steady flights and attack angles which are not possible in other aircraft without losing stability. The fan allows the aircraft to almost float in the air, with the capability of moving very slowly, resisting turbulence and winds with ease.


Thursday, 24 July 2008

DelFly: Micro Air Vehicle Three Gram Dragonfly

The smallest flapping wing plane with camera in the world. Bart Remes and his team at the Technical University of Delft have just produced the smallest-ever flapping wing robot (ornithopter) with a built-in camera.

With a wingspan of just 10 centimetres, the DelFly could easily be confused with a real dragonfly. Here's a video of it in action, the small box in the bottom righthand corner of the video gives a DelFly's eye view of the world.

The 'dragonfly' has a tiny camera (about 0.5 grams) on board that transmits its signals to a ground station. The camera transmits TV quality images, and therefore allows the DelFly II to be operated from a computer. It can be manoeuvred using a joystick as if the operator was actually in the cockpit of the aircraft. The aim is to be able to do this with the DelFly Micro too.


Wednesday, 23 July 2008

Far...Out ! Millennium Simulation: "The Largest Model of Our Universe"

This video was the best model enactment of the perceived known universe in 2005 by the Virgo consortium, (an international group of astrophysicists from Germany, the UK, Canada, Japan and the USA).... Pink Floyd: provides the aural relief wth their song "Learning to Fly" from their Album; A Momentary Lapse of Reason.

The video demonstrates that the universe is a mere 3.2 Giga Parsecs across ?

The three nearest known stars are gravitationally bound in a system commonly called Alpha Centauri. The two larger stars, said to be Sun-like, are named Alpha Centauri A and B. The nearest to us is the littlest and is called Proxima Centauri. It is classified as a red dwarf and contains just a fraction of the mass of our Sun.The three-star system is 4.36 light-years away, meaning light requires 4.36 years to travel from the stars to Earth, and so we see them as they existed 4.36 years ago. Astronomers announced that Alpha Centauri A is now calculated to be 1,061,000 miles wide (1,708,000 kilometers), or 1.227 times the size of the Sun. The B-star is 748,100 miles across (1,204,000 kilometers), or 0.865 times the Sun's diameter. A parsec (symbol pc) is a unit of length used in astronomy. The length of the parsec is based on the method of trigonometric parallax, one of the oldest methods for measuring the distances to stars.The name parsec stands for "parallax of one second of arc", and one parsec is defined to be the distance from the Earth to a star that has a parallax of 1 arcsecond. The actual length of a parsec is approximately 3.262 light-years.


Tuesday, 22 July 2008

Macrame Genius Ed Bing Lee Knots Up Some Tasty Looking Food

For over 25 years, a Philadelphia based artist Ed Bing Lee has perfected the art of the knot.

He uses a basic macrame knot to create 3D objects that look like food (video).

You may like to view the basic knots that Ed uses.

Monday, 21 July 2008

Riveting 3D Medical Animations Show The Body's Inner Workings in Stunning Detail

This Medical animation takes the inner workings of your body and creates some of the most beautiful, spectacular animations that you're likely to see.


Sunday, 20 July 2008

Biodegradable Plastic Manufactured with 50% CO2

Using carbon dioxide as an ingredient in plastics could help reduce the use of fossil fuels, and be another market for waste CO2.

As this ScienCentral News video explains, a Cornell chemist (Geoffrey Coates) has began a company (Novomer) that's now making plastics containing up to 50 percent CO2.

Normal plastic takes decades or even centuries to degrade, so this could be excellent news in a world that relies so much on plastic. It’s only part of the solution, as the inventor himself acknowledges, but it’s an excellent invention.


Saturday, 19 July 2008

Environmentally friendly & practical method for Demolishing Skyscrapers

The Japanese construction firm Kashima, has perfected a technique of demolishing a building floor by floor, starting on the ground floor. What they do is replace the building supports on the ground floor with hydraulic jacks and then remove all internal walls, supports and structures. The floors above are left sitting on the hydraulic jacks. When these are then lowered to the ground, workers start on the next floor and so on.

This video shows a time lapse record of the demolition of a 20 story office block Daruma-otoshi skyscraper in Japan.


Matryoshka by Sonic Arts Network

One of six animations from the Sonic Arts Network project Sonimation. This film is a collaboration between Leigh Hodgkinson and Barnaby Templer.

Friday, 18 July 2008

Eek eek lock up your penguins a polar bear is loose

This bear though is an inflation that doesn't immediately threaten because he's an animated sculpture created from garbage bag detritus off the streets of New York. The artist;Joshua Allen Harris has exploited the possibilities of subway exhaust. Using only tape and garbage bags, he creates giant inflatable animals that become animated when fastened to a sidewalk grate.

Harris recalls:

While I was walking on the street, I happened to notice a piece of orange construction tape rising from a subway exhaust grate. It just glided skyward, almost asking for attention. I then became interested in what that wind could do and how I could work with it

Thus the artist invites the viewer into a world where life and death cycles in time with the public transport system and I particularly like the blue figure waving the passing foot traffic by in this video or a goblin on the wall called Cling,

Sources 1 & 2

Wednesday, 16 July 2008

The wet, squelchy, sloppy Sound of jelly wobbling

This is Douglas Murphy’s soundtrack for the architectural jelly banquet organised by Bompas and Parr as part of the London Festival of Architecture. The wet, squelchy, sloppy sounds were captured by recording the “sonic wobble” of jelly. The soundtrack was just one of the performances around the banquet, alongside dancers, jelly wrestling, costumes and jelly tasting. Tonkin Liu won the architectural jelly competition with their Fresh Flower Jelly. All the shortlisted jellies were on display from Atkins, Austin and Mergold, Walter Chefitz, Foster and Partners, Grimshaw, Iain McCaig, Rogers Stirk Harbour and Partners, SMC Alsop, Tonkin Liu and Chrysostomos Tsimourdagkas.The banquet was held at University College London, where Murphy recorded the jellies in one of their anechoic chambers. Out of context from the banquet the sound track could easily be misinterpreted as a fish flapping around in shallow water.


Tuesday, 15 July 2008

Radiohead releases new song on Video Made entirely with Scanners

Radiohead's new video for its song “House of Cards” from the album “In Rainbows” was made with....

No cameras or lights were used. Instead two technologies were used to capture 3D images: Geometric Informatics and Velodyne LIDAR. Geometric Informatics scanning systems produce structured light to capture 3D images at close proximity, while a Velodyne Lidar system that uses multiple lasers is used to capture large environments such as landscapes. In this video, 64 lasers rotating and shooting in a 360 degree radius 900 times per minute produced all the exterior scenes.

Watch the making-of the video to learn about how the video was made and the various technologies that were used to capture and render 3D data.

And anyone can mess with the code and playback here at Google Code

Pulse: shapeshifting emotion visualization

Pulse is a live visualization project by Berlin-based artist Markus Kison. It’s based around a shapeshifting, heart-like object that reacts to the emotions expressed by the authors of private weblogs on A program aggregates words in blogs’ text and scans for synonyms that correlate with the emotional concepts in Robert Plutchik’s three-dimensional circumplex model describing the psychoevolutionary theory of emotion. The more the emotions are represented, the more corresponding portion of the organism is mechanically activated. Blurring the lines between art and technology, Pulse uses data to create a very organic visualization.

Monday, 14 July 2008

polar bears and penguins Mix it up

Coming Home on Friday, Going to Work on Monday

Ever wondered why polar bears don't eat penguins ?

Because, polar bears live in the Arctic and penguins in the Antarctic (except, of course, when they go on vacation).

Sunday, 13 July 2008

Deep Sea Prehistoric Frilled Shark found out of its depth

The staff of a Japanese aquarium took pictures of a rare frilled shark, after it was discovered by local residents at Awashima Port in Shizuoka, southwest of Tokyo. This prehistoric frilled shark is rarely seen alive as its natural habitat lies up to 1,280 metres (4,200 feet) deep under the sea.

Saturday, 12 July 2008

Chronotopic Anamorphosis by Marginalia Project

André Mintz created this short video of himself doing some normally mundane things on video while each line on the screen is delayed by one second with a software program called Processing. This makes everything appear very liquid and malleable. He did this for his marginalia project and is based on Zbigniew Rybczynski’s; The Fourth Dimension.

Belo Horizonte of the Marginalia Project explains what “Chronotopic Anamorphosis” is all about:

The image is digitally manipulated by fragmenting it into horizontal lines and then combining lines from different frames in the display. The result is a distorsion of the figures caused by their motion in time, or, as Brazilian researcher Arlindo Machado calls it: chronotopic anamorphosis. The effect was completely based on Zbigniew Rybczynski's "The Fourth Dimension", but transposed to Processing programming environment and performed in real-time. The software still has some memory issues, specially when the image rendering is combined with video recording, as it can be seen in this video.

This experiment was made within the context of Marginalia Project.

Friday, 11 July 2008

Olafur Elisson presents New York City Waterfalls

The artist wants us to ponder for a time ..... whilst viewing..... one of the biggest public art projects ever realized in New York.

4 Waterfalls (from 90—120 ft. in height) grace the foreshores of New York City Harbor a statement that encourages us to take time looking at and too feel the exuberance of how, all living things need to drink !

Artworks are for Olafur Elisson performing proactive units, and he questions what the relationship between thinking about something and doing something.........continue..

The installation runs from June 26 through October 13, 2008.

Thursday, 10 July 2008

Niyaz Live

Niyaz or yearning—is the musical brainchild of three musicians: programmer/producer and remixer Carmen Rizzo, vocalist and hammered dulcimer player Azam Ali, formerly of the group Vas, and Loga Ramin Torkian of the popular Iranian crossover group Axiom Of Choice.

Niyaz is a mixture of old and new music styles. Their lyrics are drawn from Sufi mystics, such as the Persian poet Rumi, and other classic poetry sung in Urdu. Niyaz claims it for our times and gives it a modern expression.


Wednesday, 9 July 2008

GypsyMIDI Motion Capture MIDI controller Turns Your Movements Into Music

Danny Allen of PC World Magazine, takes a look at the GypsyMIDI MIDI controller, a suit that uses upper body movements to operate any MIDI-compatible hardware instrument or music creation software (including Ableton Live, ProTools, Cubase, Logic Audio, Traktor DJ Studio, VST plug-ins and more.)

The GypsyMIDI is a unique performance instrument for motion-capture midi control, enabling a wide range of musical and visual applications. Setup and operation is simple, intuitive and quick. The suit is modeled on the human skeletal form using rotational sensors placed on the joints. The GypsyMIDI simply plugs into a MIDI interface and arm movements are converted into a real-time stream of MIDI data. The mapping interface eXo-software allows the user to define how the movements are translated into MIDI control, including the ability to trigger notes, generate continuous control commands or even play scales. Real-time control of sliders, cross-faders, and buttons allows many parameters such as volume, filter cut-off & resonance to be manipulated instantly.

This device may bring musicians who are now performing behind laptops back on stage.


Tuesday, 8 July 2008

And As Dusk Fast approaches the Combustion Engine

I wonder how well this bike copes with corners ?

Nevertheless listen to some stimulating music from Planet Bolex and see if you can find this strange Motor bike here.

Monday, 7 July 2008

Acoustic Chapman Stick: Man Rocks the Acoustic Upright Guitar

Bob Culbertson plays the Jimi Hendricks song Little Wing on the acoustic chapman stick.

Saturday, 5 July 2008

Tongue Drive System; provides Severely Disabled with More Independence

A new assistive technology developed by engineers at the Georgia Institute of Technology could help individuals with severe disabilities lead more independent lives. The novel system allows individuals with disabilities to operate a computer, control a powered wheelchair and interact with their environments simply by moving their tongues, (video).

The research team has also begun to develop software to connect the Tongue Drive system to a wide variety of readily available communication tools such as text generators, speech synthesizers and readers. In addition, the researchers plan to add control commands, such as switching the system into standby mode to permit the user to eat, sleep or engage in a conversation while extending battery life.

Healthcare and assistance costs, look to be significantly reduced, since this technology will help severely disabled individuals less reliant on caregivers and family members


Thursday, 3 July 2008

Astronomers Discover Earth Emits acoustic sound waves

Astronomers have discovered that the earth emits an ear-piercing series of chirps and whistles that could (theoretically), be heard by any extra-terrestials who might be listening. The sounds are created by charged particles from the solar wind colliding with Earth's magnetic field, experience these sounds in this video. This phenomena is referred to as Auroral Kilometric Radiation (AKR).


Flight 404: Javascript Processing Artist Robert Hodgin/Radiohead

Robert Hodgin code created this video with the Processing application which is 100% Java.

See more of this Artists work; Flight 404 - all manner of distractions


Nota Bena

Tuesday, 1 July 2008

Buzzball: Personal Interactive Roller Coaster

The Buzzball delivers a thrill like no other interactive ride can, where the pilot has the power to create their own unique ride experience - from fun goer to thrill seeker. The Buzzball is a future product in development.

Evento's BuzzBall is essentially a personal roller coaster, which reportedly features a "single seat inside a large outer ball that's able to spin and roll independently of the ball itself" alongside a pair of electric motors used

When the Buzzball moves the pod inside the ball is in upright position until you, the pilot, change the direction. Then the pod moves in the opposite direction of the ball’s and this is when the nausea-inducing fun begins.


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