Tag Archive for 'hci'

02FebA DIY multitouch keyboard & a smart glass without electronics!

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I’ve had a chance to give a talk at Microsoft Research this January and also to meet fantastic researchers. I’ve had very inspiring discussions about the future of HCI bringing design, fabrication and strong theoretical foundations into the mix. I’ve also visited unique labs and see some neat projects. For instance, Paul Dietz from the Applied Sciences Group showed me his and his team keyboard, applying his technical contribution for the famous MERL diamond touch table into a regular keyboard, making it not only multi touch (you can press multiple keys at the same time as input and receive outputs accordingly), but it is also pressure sensitive! The keyboard was presented at UIST this year.
Here’s a video:

The research has already been partially integrated into a product, that will be released by March 2010. This keyboard, the SideWinder X4, will be extremely nice for keyboard gamers (like myself) who suffers from the ghosting problem: when my keyboard loses track of key presses when I am already holding down another key. This new keyboard allows a gamer to press up to 26 keys at the same time!!Among other research products, the team explored the possibility for a table top interface, such as Microsoft surface, to recognize everyday objects without the use of any electronics. The team applied optics to a simple empty vs half full glass detection problem, so a drinking glass can sense when a refill should be offered. The glass had to be modified in fabrication with a prism-like structure at the bottom of the glass to reflect light when it is not submerged with liquid. The surface table sends IR light directly up towards the prism and when the glass is almost empty, the IR light reflect back at a different angle than when the glass is full. Such a nice trick and it allows the table to function with passive objects containing no electronic components or moving parts!

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07NovWhen atoms become bits!

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Directly from Japan, look at the Tuttuki Bako Virtual Finger Game! 100% real and fantastically crazy by simply sticking your finger in the hole and a digital representation appears on the screen. Then you can use your virtual finger to play all kinds of cool mini games… from swinging a panda to having a karate fight with a tiny little man. It’s so odd yet so wonderful.

You can find it at ThinkGeek

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23OctWhat a visionary anime!

I’ve just finished the awesomness Denno Coil anime, only 26 episodes, an epic end. Everyone out there working on HCI should give it a try, it’s not just about wearing VR glasses and having a secret child’s world, it is about fusion between anime culture, with a tiny revolution: girls use their brain quite inventively, and a vision of a digital world merging physical, microscopic illegals that needs special encodes, kids collecting metabugs to gain more credit, with a digital police that can also be hacked. O well, I had fun watching these!!

A “trailer” with a soundtrack I never heard before!

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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