Sunday, September 30, 2007

Lifestyle in 2057

2057 EP1 The Body featured on Discovery Channel offers mixed information between current research explorations and fictional scenarios of our lifestyle in 2057.

It is a nice effort in considering what is being done in HCI and medical research which converges into everyday scenarios. Under its over dramatic tone, the examples are sometimes tacky and stereotypical. The show could have incorporated other important issues such as affordable cutting edge technological solutions for the rest of world.

This video is fun and accessible. I loved the transplantation of a human heart, heart that can be 3d printed! Presenting a vision for a future lifestyle, this video reminds me of the American Look (1958): America lifestyle in the 50's with its *idealistic* sense for design.

Friday, September 28, 2007

Miniature motion controller

A Miniature One-Handed 3D Motion Controller by Kynan Eng that I saw at Interact 2007.

Abstract Users of three-dimensional computer-aided design (CAD) and
gaming applications need to manipulate virtual objects in up to six degrees of
rotational and translation freedom (DOF). To date, no 3D controller provides
one-handed 6DOF input with miniature size and low cost. This paper presents
a prototype of the first one-handed 6DOF motion controller suitable for use in
portable platforms such as laptop computers, mobile telephones and hand-held
game consoles. It is based on an optical sensor combined with novel planar
spring mechanics, and can be easily manufactured using low-cost materials and


Wednesday, September 26, 2007

A stretchy fabric controller

Created by Angela Chang, Zstretch is a fabric device that can capture the richness of active touch interactions for controlling music interactions. Much of the prior work on integrating electronics with textiles focused on rigid, exact places for touching the fabric, rather than supporting the many actions our hands and bodies can create. The project explores how to support the large range of forces that people apply when interacting with fabric.

Paper for Nime 2007

Saturday, September 22, 2007

Camping sauvage

Camping Sauvage (projet), Tentes igloos, toile de spi, ballon météo, hélium, 100 x 200 x 200 cm chacune, 2006.

I love this art proposal from La Guardia. Because free camping is forbidden in France, La Guardia decided to create a new genre of tents, still attached to the ground using ropes tied to stakes, but the tent itself is floating in the air. This allows anyone to camp without law infraction as well as being suitable in any type of landscape environment.

Thursday, September 20, 2007

Ambient clock for elders

At Interact 2007, I discovered the work of Yann Riche and Wendy Mackay.
He presented the MarkerClock, an ambient clock for elders.
Pdf of the paper.

Seniors support one another through routines and through shared awareness. The MarkerClock facilitates the sharing and awareness of routines among elders. Built upon seniors’ stories of their daily life, it invites for reciprocal care behaviors.

The clock appears as ambient and non intrusive by giving symbolic graphical information on the user's activity. For instance, if Beatrice goes to the market in the morning, this information is coordinated with the clock and displayed graphically as "absent". Because her friend knows she is at the market, it appears as normal.

Examples of a) users’ codes, b) user’s motion trace

During user observations, an elder explained that she sends a signal by ringing 3 times the phone of her friend so that her friend can assess that she is all right. Users originally invented strategies, such as this code, to be aware of each other's lives. The design rationale integrates these findings into the augmented clock. It embeds active and passive communication and do so by simply detecting the user's motions in front of it, directly measuring the senior's activity.

Wednesday, September 12, 2007

Interact 2007 presentation

Today at Interact 2007 I presented my research conducted from 2002 until 2005. I presented the story of a Graphical User Interface that became a Tangible User Interface. The presentation introduced a novel approach to collecting, editing and performing visual and sound clips in real time.
The cumbersome process of capturing and editing becomes fluid in the improvisation of a story, and accessible as a way to create a final movie. It was shown how a graphical interface created for video production informs the design of a tangible environment that provides a spontaneous and collaborative approach to video creation, selection and sequencing.
Iterative design process, participatory design sessions and workshop observations with 10-12 year old users from Sweden and Ireland were presented and discussed. The limitations of interfacing video capture, editing and publication in a self-contained platform were addressed.

I uploaded my presentation in .pdf format here

Paper in .pdf

Visualizing Audio Cues

Today at Interact 2007 I discovered the work of Tony Bergstrom who happens to be Karrie Karahalios's student. He presented today the Conversation Clock table.

On the Conversation Clock table, lapel microphones monitor conversation while the visualization of history is projected in the center. The Conversation Clock provides a visual history of interaction and communication. Each contribution displays bars colored to indicate the speakers’ identities. The lengths of these bars indicate the degree of participation, measured by volume. As a conversation progresses, a history is built with concentric rings reminiscent of the rings on a tree.

The Conversation Clock displays various conversational cues such as turn taking, interruption, conversational dominance, silence, agreement, aural back-channels, mimicry, time spans, rhythm and flow. If an individual has not been speaking, their lack of aural contribution is made clear in the rings. Of course, if individual is speaking at length and dominating the conversation, one can easily observe this as well. Aspects such as interruption, silences, and argument also make visual impressions on the table.

As a result, the Conversation Clock allows people to interpret their role in interaction. The visualization of audio allows people who speak the most to regulate their speech and speak less and the persons who speak the less to speak more.
"Live visualization of audio through social mirrors can provide influential cues for
individual participation in conversation. Participants alter themselves in order
to equalize the contribution of individuals."

Paper to download

Saturday, September 08, 2007

Hand-eye coordination at 22 months?

Researching on hand-eye coordination, around 5-7 they still are supposed to develop it. I found this 22 month old toddler pretty good at playing Wii-Tennis!

Hand-eye coordination - Definition
Hand-eye coordination is the ability of the vision system to coordinate the information received through the eyes to control, guide, and direct the hands in the accomplishment of a given task, such as handwriting or catching a ball. Hand-eye coordination uses the eyes to direct attention and the hands to execute a task.
Vision is the process of understanding what is seen by the eyes. It involves more than simple visual acuity (ability to distinguish fine details). Vision also involves fixation and eye movement abilities, accommodation (focusing), convergence (eye aiming), binocularity (eye teaming), and the control of hand-eye coordination. Most hand movements require visual input to be carried out effectively. For example, when children are learning to draw, they follow the position of the hand holding the pencil visually as they make lines on the paper.

From "Hand-Eye Coordination." Encyclopedia of Children's Health. Ed. Kristine Krapp and Jeffrey Wilson. Gale Group, Inc., 2005. 2006. 8 Sep, 2007
More description here
.pdf of the paper

Thursday, September 06, 2007

More on Theo Jansen

I recently posted on Theo Jansen for his giant kinetic sculptures, always elegant, massive and impressive with their ability to be eco friendly at the same time than resembling apocalyptic robots. Yesterday, Laura Galloway, from the TED conference, offered me to exhibit the 8 min video Theo Jansen's talk at the TED conference. The video is a must see.

Theo Jansen
From TED2007

Talk summary
Dutch artist Theo Jansen demonstrates his amazingly lifelike kinetic sculptures, built from plastic tubes and lemonade bottles. His "Strandbeests" (Beach Creatures) are built to move and even survive on their own.

Dutch artist Theo Jansen has been working for 16 years to create sculptures that move on their own in eerily lifelike ways. Each generation of his "Strandbeests" is subject to the forces of evolution, with successful forms moving forward into new designs. Jansen's vision and long-term commitment to his wooden menagerie is as fascinating to observe as the beasts themselves. His newest creatures walk without assistance on the beaches of Holland, powered by wind, captured by gossamer wings that flap and pump air into old lemonade bottles that in turn power the creatures' many plastic spindly legs. The walking sculptures look alive as they move, each leg articulating in such a way that the body is steady and level. They even incorporate primitive logic gates that are used to reverse the machine's direction if it senses dangerous water or loose sand where it might get stuck.

Tuesday, September 04, 2007

Laser printing on bread

Might be a little expensive, but would not that be cool to have a giant CNC machine print your most awesome pictures on toast every morning? Found on ComputerWorld.

Operation for adults!

Operation, game by Hasbro

Today, I met with TMG alumni Paul Yarin. One of his latest project, the interactive sensing module for laparoscopic trainer, developed with Wendy Plesniak reminded me of the funniest childhood game Operation created by Hasbro. The child practices coordination skills by removing the patients symptoms with the tweezers.

The sophisticated and impressive Interactive sensing module for laparoscopic trainer is a self-contained simulator for structured testing and training of skills used in laparoscopic surgery. Digital video and electronic sensors capture user performance and is approved to be used by medical centers to train and test critical laparoscopic skills. This is such a clever implementation. The advantages of physical objects as tools and the power of computer simulation are combined at their best.

"This interactive laparoscopic training simulator combines the best of physical and virtual simulation into a plug 'n' play solution. It combines validated physical reality exercises, computerized assessment, and validated McGill Metrics. Electronic sensors and digital video capture user performance with a PC interface."

An example of practice task

Real Laparoscopic Simulation's web site