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MIT Creates Amazing UI From Levitating Orbs

MIT Creates Amazing UI From Levitating Orbs
Anyone else see The Avengers? Just like in Iron Man 1 and 2, Tony Stark has the coolest interactive 3-D displays. He can pull a digital wire frame out of a set of blueprints or wrap an exoskeleton around his arm. Those moments aren’t just sci-fi fun; they’re full of visionary ideas to explore and manipulate objects in 3-D space. Except for one thing: How would Stark feel all of these objects to move them around? Jinha Lee, from the Tangible Media Group of the MIT Media Lab, in collaboration with Rehmi Post and Hiroshi Ishii, has been playing with the idea of manipulating real floating objects in 3-D space to create a truly tactile user interface. It’s essentially a small field in which gravity doesn’t overcome an object. “There is something fundamental behind motivations to liberate physical matter from gravity and enable control. Interviewing Lee, I realized he’s one-part scientist, one-part philosopher. As of now, the concept has been proven, and Lee is already focusing on scale.

Google Drive vs Google+ Photos vs Picasa Web | After the launch of Google Drive, I was excited to use it as a photo backup & sharing service. Unfortunately, the features for what I consider a good photo viewer are spread out over different Google products (Drive, Google+ photos, Picasa Web.) I want to back up my photos online This is easiest in Drive – drop your photos into the Drive folder, and you’re done. You can’t do it on Google+. Yes, you can upload photos (including the neat Instant Upload function from your phone) but it won’t be an archive, because photos over 2048 pixels get resized from the original. You can’t do it easily on Picasa Web. Let me qualify that last statement. I want to be able to view them online and on mobile in a decent interface All three products have different photo viewers. Google+ photos Picasa Google Drive Google+ has the best viewer – there’s a grid of photos on the web and the Google+ mobile app, and a useful fan / zoom animation. I want to be able to share photos easily Google Drive sharing Google+ sharing

Is this the future of Project Glass? – Cell Phones & Mobile Device Technology News & Updates Wearable technology, and computing equipment that acts more like another limb then a gadget, has gotten a lot of attention recently thanks to Google . Project Glass made a big splash not too long ago at Google’s annual developer conference when they showed several users falling on to the Moscone West in San Francisco. Google’s pretty bent on showing us the sharing possibilities with Project Glass, but it feels like in time that technology could become a ubiquitous part of our lives. Fortunately for those of us who lack a hyperactive imagination, a short film popped up recently that can help fill in the blanks. I love the world that was created in this film, and how it was all made possible by wearable tech. Instead of a television, there’s just an empty wall that the contact lenses fill in with whatever you want to watch. I reached the end of the short film and, despite the frightening turn the technology took, would gladly sign up to have that tech.

Researchers Glean Deep UI Lessons From A Haptic Steering Wheel We’re not supposed to text while driving. That makes sense--it diverts your eyes and mental attention elsewhere. But what about your average turn-by-turn GPS screen? It’s sort of the same idea, no? So especially for seniors on the road, how do we design effective tools to not only get from point A to point B, but to get them there more safely? Professor SeungJun Kim from Carnegie Mellon’s Human Computer Interaction Institute is playing with new ideas to improve the driving performance of the elderly. (The wheel is of particular note: It was built in a partnership of AT&T. I’ve had a chance to read through the paper, and the findings are fascinating. What he found can probably be applied to products and UIs of all types: 1. Plus, this gem from the article is particularly fun: 71% of elder drivers thought the auditory modality was the most useful and 59% thought the visual modality was the most annoying. It would be interesting if Kim ran this same study 30 years from now. [Hat tip: Core77]

The Strongest Coffee in the World: Death Wish Coffee - Death Wish Coffee Company Google – The first Google image for every word in the dictionary If a picture says more than a thousand words – and current internet dynamics tend to agree – what would a visual guide to the English vocabulary, contemporary and ‘webresentative’, look like? Ben West and Felix Heyes, two artists and designers from London (UK), found out when they replaced the 21,000 words found in your everyday dictionary with whatever shows up first for each word in Google’s image search. Behold Google – a 1240 page behemoth of JPGs, GIFs and PNGs in alphabetical order. “We used two PHP scripts my brother Sam wrote for us,” says Ben about the process in an email. “The first one takes a text list of dictionary words and downloads each image in sequence, and the second lays them out into columns and outputs a PDF.” The PDF was then printed into a beautiful book – handbound, thumb indexed pages held together in a marbled paper hardcover, the golden Google logo clearly indifferent to whatever internet horrors it may contain. via Crap = Good

Chameleon - A Better Home Screen for your Android Tablet by Gabor Vida - Teknision While this campaign has been very successful due to everyone's support, due to unforseen problems with our Amazon Payments account we cannot accept any new pledges and all existing pledges will be cancelled. We have spoken with Kickstarter, who have told us the best way to resolve the situation is to close the current project, and create a new Chameleon backing page, where you can re-pledge to receive your Chameleon App. We are grateful for all your support and have upgraded all rewards $5 and above with 5 Bonus Chameleon backgrounds. People who have existing credit card authorizations from this project will be cancelled when this project is closed - and thus no charges will be applied to your credit card. We appreciate your patience, we are very excited to deliver world class software to everyone! We are aiming to have the Kickstarter page live early next week, we will be sure to share it with everyone. Looking for a better Home Screen for your Android Tablet? Device Type Android Tablet

Robotic Quintet Composes And Plays Its Own Music Sound Machines 2.0 is Festo's latest effort to create robotic musicians. The German engineering firm Festo has developed a self-playing robotic string quintet that will listen to a piece of music and generate new musical compositions in various musical styles effortlessly. Dubbed Sound Machines 2.0, the acoustic ensemble is made up of two violins, a viola, a cello, and a double bass, each consisting of a single string that is modulated by an electric actuator for pitch, a pneumatic cylinder that acts as a hammer to vibrate the string, and a 40 watt speaker. A new composition is generated in a two-stage process. Here’s an example of what the robots can produce: Festo is better known for projects from its Bionic Learning Network, which include amazing animal-inspired robots, such as SmartBird, the elephant trunk-inspired Bionic Handling Assistant and Robotino, AirPenguin and AquaPenguin, AirJelly and AquaJelly, AquaRay and Airacuda (these are just too cool not to mention). [Media: Festo]

Watch: Vibrating Suit Teaches Gymnasts About Perfect Body Posture When a dancer wants to confirm the angle of their wrist or the arch of their back, they’ll train in front of a mirror. Because as good as they may be at feeling the intricacies of their limbs, an outside perspective offers an objectivity that you simply can’t match within your own nerves, which is why we the see the same idea in high-speed cameras that capture everything from golf swings to swimming strokes. But could we beat the mirror? Birmingham City University professor Gregory Sporton may have done just that with his newly developed MotivePro, a suit that senses body position and vibrates when one of your parts is out of whack. Rather than working like a traditional motion capture system, which outfits someone with those tiny white balls, films them, cleans up the points to create a frame, and then offers an idea of how someone moves, the MotivePro simplifies the process, measuring just a few body parts in relationship to one another in real time. [Hat tip: gizmag]