Thursday, March 27, 2014

Personalised generative jewellery


 Ciphering is a personalised ring which physical form encodes numbers of your choosing. The message becomes visible only when you take the ring off your finger and either shine light, or look through it in a correct angle. Your input of four numbers and four letters are fed to an algorithm that generates the unique shape. You enter date, intials, ring size and material of choice and then a 3D model is individually generated!


 Ciphering is a part of a research project between the Berlin University of the Arts and the Technical University Berlin, funded by the Einsteinstiftung under hybrid platform lead by fellow MIT Media Lab friend Professor Jussi Ängeslevä.

Wednesday, March 26, 2014

When Ecology meets Sensor Networks …

Check out this beautiful and novel installation by Brian Mayton, Gershon Dublon, Glorianna Davenport, Joe Paradiso and many other partners and partnering institutions (UMass Boston, Massachusetts Division of Ecological Restoration, etc). They have created sensor networks that document ecological processes and allow people to experience the data at different spatial and temporal scales. Small, distributed sensor devices capture climate and other environmental data, while others stream audio from high in the trees and underwater.

Beginning in 2010, a restoration project has been transforming 250 acres of a cranberry farm in southern Massachusetts into a protected wetland system. Living Observatory is an initiative for documenting and interpreting ecological change that will allow people, individually and collectively, to better understand relationships between ecological processes, human lifestyle choices, and climate change adaptation. As part of this initiative, we are developing sensor networks that document ecological processes and allow people to experience the data at different spatial and temporal scales. Low-power sensor nodes capture climate and other data at a high spatiotemporal resolution, while others stream audio. Sensors on trees measure transpiration and other cycles, while fiber-optic cables in streams capture high resolution temperature data. At the same time, we are developing tools that allow ecologists and park visitors to explore this data, both remotely and onsite. The remote interface allows for immersive 3D exploration of a virtual terrain. Visitors to the site will be able to access data from the network around them directly from wearable devices. Google Glass will be incorporated into the wearable infrastructure, along with ongoing work on augmented auditory display using bone conduction and virtual spatialization.

Desert manufacturing

An oldie but goodie, a special project by Markus Kayser who is now at the MIT Media Lab working with Nexi Oxman, his work combines technological and biological processes. By merging the two in terms of material process he challenges current methodologies of production and point out new territories.

In a world increasingly concerned with questions of energy production and raw material shortages, this project explores the potential of desert manufacturing, where energy and material occur in abundance. In this experiment sunlight and sand are used as raw energy and material to produce glass objects using a 3D printing process, that combines natural energy and material with high-tech production technology. Solar-sintering aims to raise questions about the future of manufacturing and triggers dreams of the full utilisation of the production potential of the world’s most efficient energy resource - the sun. Whilst not providing definitive answers, this experiment aims to provide a point of departure for fresh thinking.
Markus Kayser - Solar Sinter Project

Sunday, March 23, 2014

Wearable devices are being introduced to the public. The form is kind of very generic, wearable? A watch. What about jewelry, hairbands, dresses, shirts, wigs, hats, anything but a watch! Or at least a beautiful one... The designer-technologist community came up with a bunch of pretty cool concepts. Why are none of them being picked up, really? Samsung recently came up with a pretty interesting watch, the Galaxy Gear. I love most of the interactions it proposes. It fits right in the idea of selecting what matters where it matters when it matters and connecting it with my other devices (that I also wear!).


But the watch itself seems unappealing. Maybe something more feminine, more discrete? For instance what they did with Glass is awesome. It is beautiful, customizable and simple even if parked in front of your face.


 Recently Google came up with another watch: Android wear. Again it's really cool, and it totally makes sense , plus the design seems much slicker like a regular watch ... Also Android has a pretty good app community...


I like the aesthetics of the Pebble watch. A bit vintage nerd, it's somehow the one that I prefer in terms of look, just because it has a personality.

Now I really REALLY think this is the way to go. Durr by Skrekkogle. Rethinking time all together. Envisioning what would it feel to not look for time when you want it, but being reminded every five minutes that 5 minutes have passed. I love this shivering bracelet that investigates our perception of 5 minutes. Transforming your perception of the day, I am curious to see how people react to tangible time. Of course, the design is really awesome.


They have landed!

SpaceNeedle.jpg In Seattle!

Bionic nerves, we grow old but with no arthritis, huzzah!!!

Hugh Herr went to TED 2014! A first dance, on a next-generation bionic limb: Hugh Herr and Adrianne Haslet-Davis at TED2014. I have always been a fan of Hugh's work, not only because his work is dedicated to transform people's lives, but also how he creates a new future for us. Imagine, we grow old but with no arthritis, huzzah!!!!

We want to close the loop between the human and the bionic limb,” he says. “We’re doing experiments where we’re growing nerves … When this is fully developed, persons like myself will not only have synthetic limbs that move like flesh and bone, but that feel like flesh and bone.
volitional-control_whitebg-1024x577.png mit_media_lab_biomech_00221.jpg mit_media_lab_biomech_0030.jpg

Touching beautiful sounds

My dad-in-law Richard Boulanger's and BT 's app Muse hit airspace store. Anaïs played with it and loved touching beautiful sounds.

Your Muse for a new expressive musical instrument Be inspired to compose and perform your own beautiful and tranquil ambient music, made in collaboration with the Grammy-nominated artist BT. Release the musician inside you with unprecedented ease. Create an incredibly deep and cohesive sound using intuitive controls and a seamless interface. Make your own songs and soundscapes with on the fly editing ability.

 Check Muse!

Monday, April 29, 2013

CHI 2013 mini photo report!

... some videos


video video video

Chi 2013: Stroke Rehabilitation with a Sensing Surface and SpaceTop

This year Chi 2013 is in Paris, au Palais des Congrès. I have two short papers in! 

One that I and my co-author will present this Tuesday morning:
Stroke Rehabilitation with a Sensing Surface
By C. Boulanger, A. Boulanger, L. de Greef, A. Kearney, K. Sobel, R. Transue, Z. Sweedyk, P. Dietz, S. Bathiche

We propose a multisensory environment that tracks movements on a sensing platform for patients with a spectrum of cognitive and physical ability. Our study elaborates an interaction model that motivates patients in continued therapeutic engagement.
One that my intern presents this morning: SpaceTop: Integrating 2D and Spatial 3D Interactions in a See-through Desktop Environment
By J. Lee, A. Olwal, H. Ishii, C. Boulanger
SpaceTop is a concept that integrates 2D and 3D spatial interactions in a desktop workspace. It extends the desktop interface with interaction technology and visualization techniques that enable seamless transitions between 2D and 3D manipulations.

Position: Researcher in the Applied Sciences Group at Microsoft

Do people call you mad scientist, inventor, wizard, or creative? Do you like building things in your basement on your free time? Are you passionate about research and making it a reality through product development? Do you want to create something new, something innovative, something nobody has ever thought of or seen, yet they cannot live without? Do you work best in a frameless environment with lots of ambiguity? Do you have the ability and are passionate about straddling the line between research and engineering? Do you have a knack for creating things?

 Join the Applied Science Group and help imagine and create the future of Microsoft’s hardware and software businesses. In a lot of ways this is a dream job, a position that is rare at Microsoft and it demands only the top visionary and technical talent. We seek very creative, broadly skilled technologists, with a talent for unconventional thinking and a track record of bringing innovative ideas to fruition.

Members of the Applied Sciences Group are expected to be active participants in both the Microsoft research and the product groups company wide. The ideal candidate is one that straddles the world of being a world class researcher and a rock star developer. He or she is one that is excited, passionate, and driven to make an impact in people’s lives. They have a vision and want to carry it. They have the ability to wear multiple hats like engineering, business, and research.

For this opening, we are looking for an Electrical, Computer Engineering or HCI researcher who is interested in developing new interaction experiences for portable computers. The candidate must be able to understand and be adept at working with embedded and mobile hardware, all kinds of sensors, cameras, and application specific silicon implementations of cutting edge image processing and algorithms. He or she will work with a multi-interdisciplinary team of researchers from computer visions, optics, and hardware. The goal is to create the next generation of hardware and user experiences. We want devices to know where they are in the world, augment the user’s experiences, and enable a rich input/output framework.

You will need a good eye for identifying interesting areas for investigation, creativity to generate compelling new concepts, and the ability to quickly test and express these concepts in the form of functional prototypes. You will interact with multiple groups and disciplines within Microsoft, and you should be comfortable having substantive conversations on technical, user experience, and business matters.

 The considerable creative and work style freedom inherent in this job will require a candidate with excellent judgment in selecting concepts to pursue and allocate time for their development. The ideal candidate will be able to thrive in an entrepreneurial environment, be self-driven, self-directed, and handle ambiguity well.

For the Electrical Engineering position
 • Skilled at designing analog and digital circuits, and embedded software. Adept at CAD tools, schematic capture.
• Deep experience
 o Digitizer hardware, pen and touch.
 o Display electronics and driving schemes.
 o Camera hardware, interfaces and system design.
 o Sensors of all kinds, inertial, GPS, Doppler, optical, ultra-sonics.
 • Creative in coming up with ideas and cleaver solutions to problems to turning around and building them.
• Developing and researching cutting edge hardware and working with a team of talented computer vision researchers to implement real-time processing in embedded hardware. • Ability to be applied: passion for both engineering and research.
 • Experience working in a research lab developing/researching new technologies.
• Entrepreneur with the ability to work in ambiguous uncharted areas and having a knack for picking the right direction.

Relevant graduate degree preferred, however, exceptional candidates with a proven track record of innovation will also be considered.