Monday, November 30, 2009

When building blocks meet craft ...


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:


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.


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!


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

Saturday, November 21, 2009

The avatar: your real body guide


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.



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 ...


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.


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.


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.


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!


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


Thursday, November 05, 2009

Monitor your dog's activities remotely!


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."


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



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.




Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Sculpt-a-Light (using duct tape)

After self-powered LEDs, what if rolling the tape piece completed the circuit and lighted it up? Keywon did it!


Monday, October 26, 2009

Startup advice from a startup master

Rick Borovoy has started a series of video posts on how to start a company. He presents the very early stages "where you're trying to put together an idea with a technology that can implement it with a group of people who will use it, another group of people who can an build it, and a third group of people will fund it". Rick Borovoy co-founded a startup in 2002 based on his Media Lab Ph.D. work on technology for face-to-face community building. On top of that, he has gotten many social technology-oriented projects off the ground, and has thought a lot about the process.

The Pony Diving video

His next video is about you needing partners and not employees... but it is the next step!

Friday, October 23, 2009

What 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!

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

An illuminating paper book ...

Absolutely gorgeous! A pop-up book that explores the integration of paper, electronics, mechanics, and computation by Jie Qi, Leah Buechley and TungShen Chew

Electronic Popables is an interactive pop-up book that sparkles, sings, and moves. The book integrates traditional pop-up mechanisms with thin, flexible, paper-based electronics; the result is an artifact that looks and functions much like an ordinary pop-up book, but has added elements of dynamic interactivity.

Friday, October 09, 2009

Enter the Barbie world

Barbie Cafe


After the Barbie Cafe in Shanghai, China by architect Hayes Slade designs the first ever Barbie Flagship for Mattel. The 35,000 square foot store holds the world’s largest and most comprehensive collection of Barbie dolls and licensed Barbie products, as well as a range of services and activities for Barbie fans and their families.


Mattel wanted a store where “Barbie is hero”; expressing Barbie as a global lifestyle brand by building on the brand’s historical link to fashion. Barbie Shanghai is the first fully realized expression of this broader vision. Mattel worked with BIG, the branding and design division of Ogilvy & Mather, to develop creative concept, identify project location, explore featured activities and identify creative partners.



The central feature is a three-story spiral staircase enclosed by eight hundred Barbie dolls. The staircase and the dolls are the core of the store; everything literally revolves around Barbie.

The staircase links the three retail floors:

The women’s floor (women’s fashion, couture, cosmetics and accessories).

The doll floor (dolls, designer doll gallery, doll accessories, books). The Barbie Design Center, where girls design their own Barbie is on this floor. This activity was planned by Chute Gerdeman Retail and designed by Slade Architecture.

The girls floor (girls fashion, shoes and accessories). The Barbie Fashion Stage, planned and designed by Chute Gerdeman Retail, where girls take part in a real runway show, is also on this floor.


Saturday, September 26, 2009

For WoW insiders only: We don't date n00bs we pwn them!!

A video that is hilarious, for World of Warcraft insiders only!!!


Thursday, September 10, 2009

PUYO-CON: the soft controller!

This new controller technology goes far beyond traditional button-type devices. It enables input based on direct touch, force, and shape transformation. Because the soft material is "crash-worthy", the controller can even be thrown.

Human beings use many different types of sensory information to perform a broad range of activities. But most conventional game controllers limit sensory input to a small, fixed portion of the sensorial spectrum. Players can press or release buttons or move the controller in space, but the controller must always be held in the user's hand. With PUYO-CON, sensory input is far more flexible because players can control activities by applying force to soft material, grasping the controller, and transorming its shape.

The goal of this project is to enhance entertainment experiences for millions of game players around the world.


Wednesday, August 19, 2009

K-12 Embodied and Mediated Learning

SMALLab @ Arizona State University - 2009 from aisling kelliher on Vimeo.

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

What can you make with your USB key?

USB is used as a synonym for a universal connection, so designers envisioned rings to know if people are suited to each other, if they are really compatible, or to know how long it will last! Synchronizing via USB, transforming the shape of the device can lead to a multitude of concepts. Customized USB devices have gone beyond imagination, such as the USB pregnancy test that combines both your digital data to your bio data, a very sexy trend, however it was only an April fool… People also flirt with the idea of a USB key which size changes depending on the data it contains. Pretty neat! Will it ever blow up when it reaches its limits? How to represent the type of data it contains? Does it complain when it is out of data? However all these neat design sketches are exclusively at the level of concepts.

It is still possible to customize your device in any ways you want. There is a company that offers Personalized jump drive: to create your USB sketches in any color or material you can think of: if you want a USB carrot, it is probably possible. Apparently the company accepts any request. You never have enough USB keys in your bag and imagine if you could possess the USB key of your dreams! I am not sure how they offer to harvest the USB power pin to power up an external device, but they might, after all there is a USB key that exists exclusively to recharge alcaline batteries!

A USB fire extinguisher for Kidde Aerospace and Defense.

Thursday, August 06, 2009

Technical objects make music


Yuri Suzuki and Naoki Kawamoto want to contribute to the design of daily domestic noises. alarms, mobile phones, a doorbell; They reexplore their sounds. The musical kettle is a part of series 're-design soundscape'. As the kettle boils it whistles your favorite tunes.

I particularly love the way the kettle is outfitted, but I also love the idea of reinventing the sound of objects!

Monday, July 20, 2009

The IT Crowd

The IT crowd is a splendid British TV show for the geek in each of us. I watched it on Netflix and can't wait for season 3! It is written by Graham Linehan and produced by Ash Atalla for Channel 4. The series has won BAFTA and International Emmy awards.

Also, according to Wikipedia: "The show tries to add a large number of references to geek culture, mostly in set dressing and props. Dialogue (both technical and cultural) is usually authentic and any technobabble used often contains in-jokes for viewers knowledgeable in such subjects."

Time is money friend :D

Posted by Cati Vaucelle @ Architectradure
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Monday, June 22, 2009

Play-it-by-eye! Collect movies and improvise perspectives with tangible video objects

My journal paper Play-it-by-eye! Collect movies and improvise perspectives with tangible video objects is now published at Cambridge University Press!

The paper in .pdf ->here<-

We present an alternative video-making framework for children with tools that integrate video capture with movie production. We propose different forms of interaction with physical artifacts to capture storytelling. Play interactions as input to video editing systems assuage the interface complexities of film construction in commercial software. We aim to motivate young users in telling their stories, extracting meaning from their experiences by capturing supporting video to accompany their stories, and driving reflection on the outcomes of their movies. We report on our design process over the course of four research projects that span from a graphical user interface to a physical instantiation of video. We interface the digital and physical realms using tangible metaphors for digital data, providing a spontaneous and collaborative approach to video composition. We evaluate our systems during observations with 4- to 14-year-old users and analyze their different approaches to capturing, collecting, editing, and performing visual and sound clips.

Posted by Cati Vaucelle @ Architectradure
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Monday, June 15, 2009

Petite visite en France ...




Posted by Cati Vaucelle @ Architectradure
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Sunday, May 03, 2009

Multitouch for gaming

In the vein of table top interfaces with multitouch and gesture tracking, the trailer for the new game R.U.S.E. by Ubisoft is quite effective!

Posted by Cati Vaucelle @ Architectradure

Saturday, May 02, 2009

A floating chandelier


Wireless transfer power has been explored by artists and engineers, but designers Dana Gordon and Jean Baptiste Labrune brought it a step further! In their induction powered lamp, the closer the lamp gets to the induction the brighter the lamp becomes. So naturally, as you work, sleep, read near such a flexible lamp, you can just bring it closer or not to you to receive more or less light intensity. Tesla would be proud!



Posted by Cati Vaucelle @ Architectradure