Monday, November 30, 2009

When building blocks meet craft ...

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Looking for baby clothing at Muji Japan as suggested by Kimiko, I came accross this o! surprising Lego & Muji love affair. I don't understand Japanese so I did not make lots of sense with the text, but it seems pretty neat:

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You combine Lego bricks to craft materials to fluidly assemble creatures, people, or even Christmas cards. A great way to expand the way kids work with traditional Lego blocks, integrating unlimited paper craft creations, meaning unlimited imagination.

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As soon as this becomes available here, I'll get myself a kit!!

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Away for thanksgiving!

Some of us gonna be away for thanksgiving so don't forget your portable living rooms!

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Walter Pichler, «TV-Helmet (Portable living room)», 1967
TV-Helm | © Walter Pichler

Saturday, November 21, 2009

The avatar: your real body guide

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This is too cool. Avatar Machine by Marc Owens is a system which replicates the aesthetics and visuals of third person gaming, allowing the user to view themselves as a virtual character in real space via a head mounted interface.

Basically you walk in the everyday world, wearing glasses that provide an exclusive replica of you as an avatar, as in role playing gaming environment. It must be unreal to try it on when you have spent hours role playing games in a row. I actually love the designer's hypothesis: "The system potentially allows for a diminished sense of social responsibility, and could lead the user to demonstrate behaviors normally reserved for the gaming environment." I am not sure about the diminution of sense of responsibility, but it might help the ones who have sensory difficulties in the physical world.

Definitely a project I will refer to in my PhD, talking about playing with visual perspectives, when one can walk in the everyday world from the point of view of her avatar, one might feel more "secure", with new new sense of body limits gained from an interaction with her virtual games experience. That reminds me of the movie Ben X, where the main actor transfers his interaction in the virtual world to help him interact with the physical world.

Anyway, great project!

A video



Friday, November 20, 2009

Music making machines

I am such a fan of everyday objects with personality, like in the work of Yuri Suzuki, where music is constructed from daily domestic noises, or technologically advanced machines that produce music like in the pneumatic quintet by Pe Lang and Zimoun. I discovered recently the stunning work of Felix Thorn, the Felix's machines, music making sculptures.

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Thursday, November 19, 2009

Gesture Objects: movie making at the extension of natural play

I passed my PhD critique successfully! My committee: Hiroshi Ishii, Edith Ackermann and Cynthia Breazeal. I will now focus on few more studies and building few more projects as much as I can before graduating (in 9 months). A little bit on my presentation ...

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Gesture Objects: Play it by Eye - Frame it by Hand!

I started with my master thesis Dolltalk, where I establish the ability to access perspective as part of gesture analysis built into new play environments. I then, move into a significant transition phase, where I research the cross-modal interface elements that contribute to various perspective taking behaviors. I also present new technologies I implemented to conduct automatic film assembly.

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The structure of my presentation

At each step, I present the studies that allow me to establish principles which I use to build the final project, the centerpiece of my third phase of research, Picture This. At its final point, Picture This is a fluid interface, with seamless integration of gesture, object, audio and video interaction in open-ended play.

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With Picture This! children make a movie from their toys views, using their natural gestures with toys to animate the character and command the video making assembly. I developed a filtering algorithm for gesture recognition through which angles of motions are detected and interpreted!

Finally, I developed a framework that I call "gesture objects" synthesizing the research as it relates to the field of tangible user interfaces.

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Gesture Objects Framework: In a gesture object interface, the interface recognizes gestures while the user is holding objects and the gesture control of those object in the physical space influences the digital world.

A .pdf of my slides!

Saturday, November 07, 2009

When 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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Thursday, November 05, 2009

Monitor your dog's activities remotely!

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SNIF Tag is the revolutionary dog tag that lets you monitor your dog's activities remotely. It even includes social networking. Woaaaa! I want one for my cat! "Monitor your dog's activity while you're away. Keep in touch with his friends and yours. Share helpful information and pet tips online. And get connected to your community. It's hi-tech, it's hi-style, easy to use, and completely customizable."

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So how does it works? Well they use the uberbadge technology developed at the MIT Media Lab, basically when a dog meets with a dog who has a tag and is a friend, it blinks! Also you can know the owner's dog and find out their owner online...

Thank you Nan Wei!


A video




Sunday, November 01, 2009

Cup communicator

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Cup communicator by Duncan Wilson. Tug the cord to activate, squeeze to talk and hold to the mouth and ear.


The design of the Cup Communicator is focused on the gesture of use and the relationship between the users and object. I aim to explore the potential of the product as a medium for interaction and reassess the way we use technology.


The form and function of the Cup Communicator refer to the ‘two-cans and string' children's toy and the physical factors involved with that device. This typology and its associations remind us of the magic and playfulness of our first communication devices.


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