Tag Archive for 'consumer'

20SepLow cost wearable sensor for detecting Electromagnetic fields

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My work “Electromagnetic Field Detector Bracelet” has been accepted as a video. The video will be presented at Ubicomp in Seoul South Korea during the one minute madness Monday 22nd and during the video reception 17:15 - 19:00!

Abstract of the work

We present the design of a cost-effective wearable sensor to detect and indicate the strength and other characteristics of the electric field emanating from a laptop display. Our bracelet can provide an immediate awareness of electric fields radiated from an object used frequently. Our technology thus supports awareness of ambient background emanation beyond human perception. We discuss how detection of such radiation might help to “fingerprint” devices and aid in applications that require determination of indoor location.

Come see me to talk about this work! If you cannot make it, here is the video:

Motivation
Today, many people fear electromagnetic fields. They believe that ambient fields can negatively influence their health. Perhaps, by visualizing the presence of common electromagnetic (EM) fields, users might feel in control of difficult-to-perceive information and transcend their fear, beginning the process of recognizing and moving beyond fear. An analogy might be found in the cheap RF power meters that are sold to enable people to gauge radiation leakage from their microwave ovens. Conversely, providing users with blind data could increase their paranoia when low-level field leakage from common appliances is visualized. Clearly, people need to be educated in how to properly interpret this data. Regardless of one’s belief on the health impact of background EM fields, visualizing the unseen in this way always leads to fascinating and playful exploration. All devices emit background signals (electrostatically, magnetically, acoustically, and optically) that are characteristic of particular devices and also sometimes indicate that device’s mode of operation. Indeed, government contracts mandate that computers and displays used in highly classified work be kept in shielded rooms (SCIFs) to thwart espionage that monitors such background leakage fields.

The “Electromagnetic Field Detector Bracelet” has been accepted as a video for Ubicomp 2008, Seoul South Korea!

Press on Engadget and Make Magazine.

Posted by Cati Vaucelle @ Architectradure

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30MayPhysical Heart in a Virtual Body

My friend Amit Zoran, from the Ambient Intelligence group at MIT Media Lab, continued his work on structural innovation, re-designing acoustic musical instrument according to the abilities and characteristics of rapid prototype materials. Together with Pattie Maes and Marco Coppiardi, they created a new generation of physical instruments by tailoring wooden hearts. The wooden pieces are inserted in body of the guitar to give the instrument the desired sound identity.

Watch the video of the resonator ->here<-

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Amit changing the physical heart of his guitar

can traditional values be embedded into a digital object? in this project we implement a special guitar that combines physical acoustic properties with virtual capabilities. The acoustical values will be embodied by a wooden heart - a unique, replaceable piece of wood that will give the guitar a unique acoustic sound. The acoustic signal created by this wooden heart will be digitally processed in a virtual sound box in order to create flexible sound design.

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His research will be presented at Nime 2008 this summer.
His paper is ->here<-
His presentation is ->here<-

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Posted by Cati Vaucelle @ Architectradure

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28MayImprint digital functions onto common everyday physical objects

Amphibian allows users to easily imprint digital functions onto common everyday physical objects. Amphibian is a low cost, low infrastructure system that enables users to choose their own physical objects and imprint onto them almost any standard interface functions that take place on a GUI desktop. The goal of Amphibian is to create a system that the common user can implement and operate so that we may learn more about the digital-physical object relationships people will form.

So basically, you take an object, put it on the amphibian scale, and it labels it automatically for you. You can associate data to that object through the Amphibian user interface. Anytime you want to retrieve the data associated with that object, you just put it back on the scale. As for applications, you can play music from your itunes library with forks and spoons, you can write am email by composing with color pens, e.g. a red pen on the Amphibian scale and you say “I miss you!”. A very unique take on labeling objects!

You can download the software for free ->here<- with all the instructions on how to DIY! Enjoy!

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Posted by Cati Vaucelle @ Architectradure

consumer, DIY, HCI, interaction design, MediaLab, technology

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09MarWanna get an old new-mac?


Me with my PowerBook G4, on the road from San Francisco to San Diego

Being a big fan of Tim Mott’s concept of guided fantasies with the need of rigorous user testing for designing user interfaces, I find Apple computers being all about user’s needs.

I recently repaired my old Power Book G4 to give it to my grand ma, who had almost no computer experience. After testing with her different platforms, she prefers working with a trackpad than a usual mouse. She loves the drag and drop and prefers it to the open/close menu. In sum, the mac interface and the macbook pro seems perfect for her. Teaching her using my old mac was so nice combining my knowledge in usability to the love for my grand ma. Now she is on Skype regularly and I can talk and chat with her!


Apple iMac G4

You can get Apple parts for old computers online. DV Warehouse is an avid reseller of used mac. It proposes a wide range of Macintosh computers and individual parts. They have pretty good deals, have a lot of Apple parts, and also nostalgic pieces such as the Apple iMac G4 or the iMac G3. The Apple community needs this kind of single source for used Mac and used Macintosh computers parts. So you can start designing, repairing and hacking old macs!


The Apple iMac G3

I could not find the Apple I, Apple’s first product! “Sold as an assembled circuit board, it lacked basic features such as a keyboard, monitor, and case.”


Apple 1 with an added keyboard and a wooden case. Photo taken by rebelpilot

Posted by Cati Vaucelle @ Architectradure
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24FebToys to sew

Recently I have started crafting objects, dolls, and sewing stuffed animals. My goal and challenge being to design like Anano.

The books that I pre-ordered are Sweet Needle Felts: 25 Projects to Wear, Give & Hug

Toys to Sew: Dozens of Patterns for Dolls, Animals, Doll Clothes, and Accessories.

Little Felted Animals : Create 16 Irresistible Creatures with Simple Needle-Felting Techniques by Marie-Noelle Horvath. If you have any outstanding craft book you recommend, let me know!

Fuzzy Felted Friends by Saori Yamazaki.

I already received the book Softies : Simple Instructions for 25 Plush Pals. I don’t regret it, the explanations are awesome, the illustrations beautiful and the patterns easy to follow.

I also bought Kyuuto! Japanese Crafts! and received it yesterday. The book is really cute, but it requires starting crochet. The book offers beginner crochet lessons, and it seems so easy! it is well organized as it starts with lessons, with examples and outstanding pictures of cute creatures, and finishes with pattern methods.

If you are already into crochet, her other book Lacy Crochet seems a great choice!

Finally, a magazine that keeps me going in crafting is CRAFT: Transforming Traditional Crafts, a magazine I subscribe to and that i recommend to any crafter!

Posted by Cati Vaucelle @ Architectradure
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Originally posted on my toy blog: The Terminally Juvenile!
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