Wednesday, 30 September 2009

Panasonic: Full HD 3D TV

Panasonic has implemented an illusory immersion technology they call active shutter otherwise known as alternate-frame sequencing : Embedded in LCD glasses are  polarizing filters that are, rapidly strobing between dark, when voltage is applied, and light.

The glasses are otherwise transparent and "are controlled by an IR emitter that sends IR signal. The Glasses alternately darken over one eye, and then the other, in synchronization with the refresh rate of the screen, while the screen alternately displays different perspectives for each eye.."

Viewing images on Panasonic's new 3DTV display, apparently conveys for the viewer,  an illusory immersible  experience, culminating a heightened level of realism..

The older red/green anaglyph 3D, whilst worthy for short periods of use, strains the eyes, and can cause headaches and nausea in some people. Others have a dominant eye, and find it difficult to see the image as three dimensional.  I thus wonder if Panasonic bothered to do any medical research with these glasses, since the perception of continuity is crucial for cognitive experience and thus a viewer's attention span, notwithstanding possibly downright dangerous for epileptics !

Although the glasses will be supplied with the TV sets, prices for these new televisions from Panasonic will be within the usual bracket of high end HDTV's.

Tuesday, 29 September 2009

Eric Giler demos Wireless Electricity

"Eric Giler wants to untangle our wired lives with cable-free electric power. Here, he covers what this sci-fi tech offers, and demos MIT's breakthrough version, WiTricity,  a near-to-market invention that may soon recharge your cell phone, car, pacemaker."

"The technology at the core of WiTricity's approach is called magnetic coupled resonance, which can provoke an energetic response at a distance between two coils, one powered, the other not. If the two coils are correctly tuned to one another, energy flows from the connected one (installed, say, on the ceiling of a room) into the other (inside, say, your laptop). Several companies are already planning to add it to their phones, cameras, TVs and other devices."

This profound technological breakthrough is completely safe since it works within a magnetic field, allowing power to be transmitted through the air. The WiTricity product will do away with our reliance on ecologically unsafe batteries and millions of miles of copper cabling.

Sunday, 27 September 2009

LOLA, Plotting Moon 3D topographical Maps

Although, presently, NASA's funding budgets have gone sour, future safe luna landing sites will be predicated on data collected from LOLA -

"'The Lunar Orbiter Laser Altimeter (LOLA) instrument on board NASA's LRO spacecraft will be responsible for building the highest detail topography currently available of the lunar terrain. In this video David Smith, LOLA's Principal Investigator, explains how this technology works."

With recently clarified proof of  where water on Mars is located, the surface shapes that LOLA mathematically discovers may go a long way to help prevent catastrophic future landing craft, setting down on a boulder and or missing an unforseen puddle!

Nevertheless, I wonder how likely, quagmires of quicksand may also feature on the luna surface ?

Saturday, 26 September 2009

Honda Engineers Omni-directional Mono-mover

Honda has developed a new very compact and portable, one wheeled personal mobility transporter, the U3-X. It is a compact experimental device that the rider straddles which purportedly fits comfortably between the riders legs. The device provide free movement in all directions just as in human walking forward, backward, side-to-side, and diagonally.

This new personal mobility device makes it possible to adjust speed and move, turn and stop in all directions when the rider leans the upper body to shift body weight. This was achieved through application of advanced technologies including Honda's balance control technology, (developed through the robotics research of ASIMO, Honda's bipedal humanoid robot).

The U3-X is the worlds first omni-directional driving wheel system (Honda Omni Traction Drive System, or HOT Drive System), enables movement in all directions, including not only forward and backward, but also directly to the right and left and diagonally.

Friday, 25 September 2009

Aerotecture: Stackable Wind Turbines

Engineer Bill Becker, of Chicago Illinois University stands adjacent to his invented light weight stackable wind turbines on the rooftop of a campus building. As he speaks about them the turbines are spinning, we can hear in the video, a lack of any significant noise from them, whereas the traffic noise on the street below, is obnoxiously evident.

He says, they enjoy turbulent and chaotic, gusty or light winds from any direction, require little or no maintence and can be installed vertically, horizontally or even diagonally, as in the case of a slopeing roof.

He is encouraging architects and building designers to intergrate these turbines directly into buildings thus creating "distributed power based Aerotecture."

Wednesday, 23 September 2009

Welcome to the new Wowd

Wowd, is in real terms a cloud architecture web browser search engine cybernetic tool, phew.
Mark Drummond, CEO, of Wowd, explains in the video interview, with Tim Reha, that Wowd is a new type of search engine that uses the attention data of real human beings as opposed to machine-powered search engine rankings.

After a user downloads and installs the Wowd app into a browser, a users internet behavior is sent  and collectively recorded within a cloud of computer servers, wherein all the data moves around within itself, and from time to time sends recommendations based on your interests back to you.

"Personal information isn't stored on a centralized server, and no registration is required; yet browsing history is saved to recommend more personally relevant and interesting content."

There is at present no search engine or bookmarking tool that works almost entirely and independently without a user needing to do anything. The user can choose to remain bookmarking pages, using social bookmarking tools, like  Digg, Delicious, StumbleUpon, etc. in another browser and or the Dowd one.

Read more.

Tuesday, 22 September 2009

Awesome Autodesk 2009

Here is a compilation show reel of some of the best animation work from around the world created with Autodesks' 3D character animation entertainment software.

Just about anyone can enroll in the Autodesk online university. Perhaps you may prefer to see some more videos at the Autodesk youtube channel and or check out some Autodesk research projects.

Monday, 21 September 2009

Mystery Marine Animals

Four teenagers in Panama, claim they were playing near a cave at Jet Blue Hill in Cerro Azul on Saturday when they encountered a hairless mystery creature that they photographed. It appears to have an animal-like head, but a strange body with skinny, human like arms. The teens said, the creature was alive when they found it but they killed it with rocks after it began approaching them.

 Although zoologists in Panama aren't sure what it is, some say it resembles a human fetus, but it appears to me be more like a genetic mutation of a shell-less turtle !

 While we're on the subject of ignorant teenagers behaving like dimwits, check out how a couple of Japanese lads deal with an (unknown to them) marine creature.

Whilst we're on the subject of dimwit behavior we ought also question the motive of the CNN news video cast labeling an unknown creature as an Unidentifiable Object ?

Saturday, 19 September 2009

Klimahaus Multi-touch Display

Far more than merely a studio, envis precisely is a collaboration of artists, designers, software and hardware geeks and coders, They produce museum interactive installations and other site specific technologies.

In this video they provide a glimpse of their new multitouch and multi user table top display for the Klimahaus Museum in Bremerhaven, Germany. Visitors can flip through virtual books, browsing text, images and video content.

Although this display technology and its features are not new, I'm more than lightly impressed by the sound-bed track they used. Nonetheless the swiveling, sliding and page turning features of the virtual magazine is suggestive of an almost haptic experience.

Friday, 18 September 2009

Laptop Levitation with Bee Power ?

The wacky dudes in this video, decided that they could use bees to make a lap top computer levitate. Their idea emerged from their memory of watching insect facts on the discovery channel;

"Well we saw one that spoke about how pound for pound insects were stronger than humans and we decided to put it to the test. So we took some bees, a thinkpad and some glue outside..."

But how can this be real ?
Bees fly by forcing air downward from their wings. Every bee glued to the laptop (except a few around the edge) would be forcing air from their wings down against the laptop. This would cause an upward force on each bee, but a downward air pressure force on the laptop. Wouldn't it ?


Thursday, 17 September 2009

Particle Animation No 7

von Matthiasm presents us here some particle play experiments using animation programs, 3DS Max and After Effects whilst wisp fully syncing with these three pieces of music:

Hymn 3 by Craig Armstrong
With Gun & Crucifix by Denny Schneidemesser
Requiem for a dream by Clint Mansell

Wednesday, 16 September 2009

Touch-less Interactivity

This video explores interacting without touching. Timo Arnall of the Touch project at the Oslo School of Architecture and Design in Norway, is examining Near Field Communications (NFC) as a means of creating new possibilities and interactions through the use of mobile devices and RFID.

"With RFID it’s proximity that matters, and actual contact isn’t necessary. Much of Timo’s work in the Touch project addresses the fictions and speculations in the technology. Here we play with the problems of invisibility and the magic of being close."

And in case your unfamiliar with RFID;

"Radio-frequency identification is the use of an object (typically referred to as an RFID tag) applied to or incorporated into a product, animal, or person for the purpose of identification and tracking using radio waves. Some tags can be read from several meters away and beyond the line of sight of the reader."

Nearness from timo on Vimeo.

Monday, 14 September 2009

Cyborg Exoskeletons For Rent In Japan

Japan's robotics venture, Cyberdyne is renting their robot-suit HAL  (Hybrid Assistive Limb) or otherwise known as an exoskeleton - the mind-controlled wearable machine increases strength and endurance,  rents for $2,300 a month. Sensors on the skin detect traces of nerve signals from the brain, synchronizing the power suit's movements with the user's own limbs.

According to professor Yoshiyuki Sankai, from the University of Tsukuba; "The suit was developed to assist human body movement by expanding the range or amplifying the strength." The suit, which a person straps on to his or her legs, is equipped with a computer, motors, and sensors that detect electric nerve signals that are transmitted from the brain when a person tries to move his or her legs.
These high-tech suits are designed to help the elderly and disabled walk more easily. The professolr anticipates that these devices in the future "will have a large role to play in Japan, where one in five people are now 65 or over as well as for heavy duty or rescue work as well as entertainment purposes."


Saturday, 12 September 2009

Unreal Rock Balancing !

Bill Dan is an artist from San Francisco, California, who has a truly amazing knack of balancing rocks. His ecologically safe "marine rock garden" creations seen in this video are truly unreal !

According to the Wikipedia:
"Bill Dan is a sculptor and performance artist specializing in rock balancing. He creates seemingly impossible, temporary balanced sculptures from un-worked rock and stone in public spaces near his home in San Francisco.  Dan was born in Indonesia, and worked as a warehouseman before discovering the artistic possibilities of rock along the San Francisco Bay shoreline and his emergent skill in manipulating them." continue reading

I envy Bill's artistic talent, if only I had the knack of getting my writing to sit as well as Bill can with his profound balancing skill.

Friday, 11 September 2009

Balloon set to Tether Romanian Space Probe

From twitter this morning I read how scientists had unearthed strands of twine that were carbon dated at 34,000 years, so it ought not be any surprise that we will continue to thread our way through space and time just as ARCA seems to have cottoned onto.

"The Indian moon probe has failed; the future of the US space programme is in question; low-earth orbit is littered with junk. But at a time when there are so many reasons to say "no" to space, Romania is saying "da!" (that's yes in Romanian). The brave members of the non-profit Aeronautics and Cosmonautics Romanian Association (ARCA) are determined to get to the moon in a balloon."

The video, is a computer generated animation of the Helen rocket flight in the Google Lunar XPrize competition and is set to launch a balloon with a rocket hanging from the bottom, next month.

I wait with bated breath believing what they are doing reveals us a profound serendipitous event.

Thursday, 10 September 2009

James Balog: Time-lapse proof of extreme ice loss

Photographer James Balog was a sceptic, he thought up till 10 years ago that global warming and climate change was all based on computer models. That is until he began photo recording the North Atlantic ice sheets, when he realized that ice is the canary in the global coal mine.

Here in this TED presentation James Balog shares new image sequences from the Extreme Ice Survey, a network of time-lapse cameras recording glaciers  receding at an alarming rate, some of the most vivid evidence yet of climate change.

Wednesday, 9 September 2009

Excavated ant colony in Turkey

Perhaps the outcomes of global warming and climate change are as a close as ones own  backyard. Here is a fascinating segment from the TV documentary; Ants! Nature's Secret Power.

Scientists poured 10 tons of cement into an abandoned ant colony structure and then excavated it manifesting an amazing network of fungus gardens, tunnels and garbage pits.

Mikel Maron comments on his blog Brainoff about the structural composition and architectural integrity of the once upon a time living ant labyrinth ... was a "Placement of fungal gardens and trash rooms (the bulbous nodes between air tunnels) creates heat gradients, resulting in air flow and CO2 emissions to the surface...."

Nevertheless what could be more fascinating than watching insects scurry around a habitat—building homes, doing jobs, giving themselves over to social hierarchy ?

Maybe the Antworks Illuminated Ant Farm !

Tuesday, 8 September 2009


is JVC’s new revolutionary video camera and is the world’s first with QuickTime format support, recording footage to widely used SDHC cards, which enables the ability to increase work-flow speeds enabling shoot and start editing in minutes!

The camera includes a sophisticated focus assist, uncompressed audio, optical image stabilization, and has hot swappable capability It has a solid, full-size handle with two XLR inputs, a comfortable, full-size color view¬finder (not the dinky kind found on most miniature camcorders), a zoom rocker switch that’s sensitive enough to produce slow controlled zooms, and perfect ergonomic balance. and it weighs less than 3lbs.

This handsome little puppy makes it the ideal ultra-compact video camera for enthusiasts and professionals alike. Go check out the full specs within this review in millimeter and or the more extensive coverage plus pictures at the DV Show.

Monday, 7 September 2009

The Google Holodeck

This video of the Google Holodeck, was made at the Googleplex campus in Mountain View, California.

The Videographer, Pim van Pelt notes that "the views in this video are entirely personal, not the Holodeck team's, and not Google's. It's merely a fun representation of what one can do with Google Earth and a few big screens."

The music piece is by Sebastien Tellier with a track from his Divine Vision EP.

Sunday, 6 September 2009


After NASA did its first moon missions, it deployed the rover, a mobility platform that enabled the astronauts to roam within a 20k radius of their base camp. This allowed the team a wider footprint examination of the lunar environ.

Its clear that NASA intends to return to the moon sometime in the future, but they appear to be gearing up for much wider exploration. Enter the dragon, no I mean ATHELETE, or All-Terrain Hex-Legged Extra-Terrestrial Explorer, and according to NewScientist, is a gargantuan robotic vehicle.

Needless to say the robot doesn't appear so large in the video, but it has to transport around on the luna surface, a payload of something in excess of 16 tons. That amounts to the astronauts living quarters and all their survival needs et al,  possibly for as long as 10 days !

Saturday, 5 September 2009

Introducing The Frankencamera

Photography scientists from Stanford University are engineering an open source camera, which could reinvent digital photography. This would enable a camera to no longer be limited by the software that comes pre-installed by the manufacturer.

"Stanford researchers are particularly interested in bringing some of the photo-enhancing features found in use on computers directly to Frankencamera. Specifically, there are already software packages that extend a camera's dynamic range--its ability to handle many different kinds of lighting in one picture." (read more)

The future of this type of camera would allow consumers to download applications to their open-platform cameras the way Apple apps are downloaded to iPhones today.

Friday, 4 September 2009

Vertical Farming Concept

"By the year 2050, nearly 80% of the earth's population will reside in urban center's. Applying the most conservative estimates to current demographic trends, the human population will increase by about 3 billion people during the interim. An estimated 109 hectares of new land (about 20% more land than is represented by the country of Brazil) will be needed to grow enough food to feed them, if traditional farming practices continue as they are practiced today. At present, throughout the world, over 80% of the land that is suitable for raising crops is in use (sources: FAO and NASA). Historically, some 15% of that has been laid waste by poor management practices. What can be done to avoid this impending disaster ?" (read on)

Dr Dickson Despommier in this video proposes city based fruit and vegetable farms that are housed in office towers. We have to keep in mind here that the good Doctor, at most is sketching a concept and ought not be held for lacking details and or a hard edge plan !

I'm guessing that city planners in arid countries like Dubai may already be considering vertical farms !

Thursday, 3 September 2009

Amazing Virtual Reality Panoramic Movie

Here, Peter Murphy demonstrates an interactive time lapse panoramic movie using a flash based viewer.

The image (7 megabyte) may take a little while for some users to download.

There are 3 on screen controls to navigate the vr media movie, pressing and holding the mouse down whilst dragging the image around amazingly doesn't impede the smooth motion of the movie component.

Whilst maintaing his popular Panoramic VR Weblog, Peter is creating other experimental exploits of vr media such as was recently posted on DigitalUrban; The Edge of Sydney a stereographic time lapse.

Wednesday, 2 September 2009

Janine Benyus: Biomimicry in action

“Janine Benyus has a message for inventors: When solving a design problem, look to nature first. There you'll find inspired designs for making things waterproof, aerodynamic, solar-powered and more. Here she reveals dozens of new products that take their cue from nature with spectacular results. A self-proclaimed nature nerd, Janine Benyus' concept of biomimicry has galvanized scientists, architects, designers and engineers into exploring new ways in which nature's successes can “ (continue)

Powerful stuff, to think that we may one day be able to make pumps obsolete !

Tuesday, 1 September 2009

Adafruit Industries

Rocketboom Tech correspondent Ellie Rountree visits engineer and founder of Adafruit Industries, Limor Fried, to talk about their DIY open source electronic kits.

This is electronic engineering design at its most useful to the owners personable experience. I was literally stunned when I saw how easy it was to remove the underside of the first synthesizer kit, Adafruit created ! All their designs and inventions are completely open source, registered with a creative commons license, which means all their plans and specifications are freely down-loadable.

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