Nike has always been at the forefront of cutting edge philosophies in the world of design, execution and marketing. One of the most innovative in recent memory was the establishing of Nike Digital Sport in 2010, whose aim was to develop devices and technologies that allowed users to track their personal statistics in any sport in which they participated. For those interested in Nike’s marketing philosophies, head over to Fortune to read the fascinating article in its entirety.
It’s a start but – wow – that’s amazing and something the world has been waiting for since 1987. It’s not quite a Holodeck, but it’s tantalizingly close.
The reasearch arm of Microsoft, unlike the rest of the company, spends its days spinning crazed dreams into hacked reality.
Today Microsoft Research released a rather fascinating demonstration of one of its projects, what it calls a ‘holodesk,’ which has the potential to change the way we physically interact with digital items. Sounds trippy? That’s because it is. The user, looking down on a pane of glass, sees items (balls, blocks, whatever) on that screen. With their hands underneath the glass, they can move their appendages and digits and prod those images as if they were directly touching them.
It’s a bridge, essentially, between the physical and the digital. Microsoft dubs the idea at the “research project” stage only, so don’t get your hopes up about getting one for yourself. And of course, it uses a Kinect.
Now, if this is only a research project, why does it matter? Microsoft, as a company, is working on all fronts to build on what it calls ‘natural user interfac[ing].” What this means is that the firm is looking past the keyboard and mouse (blasphemy) and is instead working with touch, voice, and so forth. This is especially important in the tablet world that the company is so desperately behind in.
it’s hard not to wish that more of what Microsoft Research was market-ready. (via thenextweb)
Fiorenzo Omenetto shares 20+ astonishing new uses for silk, one of nature’s most elegant materials — in transmitting light, improving sustainability, adding strength and making medical leaps and bounds. On stage, he shows a few intriguing items made of the versatile stuff.
Fiorenzo Omenetto is a Professor of Biomedical Engineering and leads the laboratory for Ultrafast Nonlinear Optics and Biophotonics at Tufts University. His research spans nonlinear optics, nanostructured materials (such as photonic crystals and photonic crystal fibers), biomaterials and biopolymer-based photonics. Most recently, he’s working on high-tech applications for silk.
Where some people hear noise, Jeong Ho You hears energy. “Acoustic energy is everywhere,” he says. And with the help of a tiny resonating chamber, he wants to trap some of that energy and convert it into a low-amperage current for use in small electronic devices. You, a mechanical engineer at Southern Methodist University, in Dallas, will be presenting the results of a computer simulation of a resonating chamber design at next month’s Acoustical Society of America meeting in Seattle. He then plans to build a device to see how his idea holds up in the lab. Read more…