We currently place a lot of emphasis on the digital gadgets we own.
What if we were looking at the wrong paradigm and it’s not about the form factor or the physical object?
What if instead was all about what we wanted to do and achieve?
Welcome to the world of Invoked Computing from the University of Tokyo.
Think of the consequences…
1. All the stuff we could get rid of.
2. The environmental benefits of doing that
3. The lamented demise of the electronics product designer and product design (via Core 77)
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)
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…
HP recently released a news advisory highlighting the results of a fascinating innovation survey that the company commissioned. (The global survey included interviews with 312 executives in both commercial enterprises and the public sector during February and March 2011).
Some of the report highlights include:
- Ninety-eight (98) percent of the executives surveyed believe that innovation will be critical to the success of their organizations over the next five years.
- The most important reason to innovate is to facilitate future organizational growth (79% of respondents). For commercial enterprises, the second most important reason to innovate is to support profitability (74% of respondents); for the public sector, reputation is the second most important reason to innovate (59% of respondents). InnoCentive’s work with public sector organizations (e.g., Air Force Research Labs, NASA, In-Q-Tel and the intelligence community) in particular reveals that they are serious about finding solutions to problems that matter most to their missions, advocating public-private partnerships, and promoting transparency, openness, and collaboration across agencies.
- Thirty-five (35) percent of organizations do not appear capable of measuring the success of their innovation efforts. This number is somewhat troubling and is probably low. Establishing a measurement framework with feedback loops and regular milestone checks should be a key deliverable for all open innovation programs and projects.
- The majority of executives interviewed believe that they are innovation leaders in their respective industries, with 74% of CEOs indicating said leadership. Since the majority of respondents also indicated that CEOs are most responsible for guiding innovation efforts, this data is not surprising. As a colleague of jokingly mine pointed out, “…and all the children are above average.”
- Inadequate funding and technology were recognized as significant barriers to innovation. I’ll go ahead and add a few one more: A lack of methodology, process, discipline, and expertise. InnoCentive’s unique methodology, Challenge Driven Innovation, is an innovation framework that accelerates traditional innovation outcomes by leveraging open innovation and crowdsourcing along with defined methodology, process, and tools to help organizations develop and implement actionable solutions to their key problems, opportunities, and challenges. The key point is: Methodology matters.
Overall, some thought-provoking data courtesy of HP. (via Innocentive.com)
ECCEROBOT (Embodied Cognition in a Compliantly Engineered Robot) is a three-year project funded by the 7th framework programme of the EU (ICT-Challenge 2, “Cognitive Systems, Interaction, Robotics“). It has three goals: to build the first truly anthropomimetic robot; to find out how to control it; and finally, to investigate its human-like cognitive features.
ECCErobot’s floppy body “has no intrinsic stiffness,” Holland says. “If we turn the power off, it would collapse in a heap just like you would.” And that’s the idea—figure out how to control that system and you’ve probably learned what the brain has to do to control the human body.
The world’s first complete high dynamic range (HDR) camera can capture high-quality video in a wide range of lighting conditions, including inside the human body. HDR also can complement 3D technology by providing depth perception without the need to wear 3D glasses. A human eye can cope with rapid changes and variety in lighting levels but a traditional camera is only capable of capturing a limited range in any scene. The actual range it can cope with depends on the exposure and f-stop setting of the camera. Anything outside that limited range is either under- or over-exposed. The camera is capable of 20 f-stops, full HD (1920 × 1080) resolution at 30 frames per second. Researchers at the University of Warwick developed the technology and will demo it January 19 in the first ever showing of a short film shot using this new HDR technology. Although HDR imagery for static images has been around for 15 years, it has not been possible to capture HDR video until now. This project brings together internationally leading expertise in HDR imaging and a unique HDR video technology from the University of Warwick with an innovative professional film maker, Entanglement Productions and a new high-tech company specialising in HDR technology. For more information and the upcoming event go to: http://www.gohdr.com/
Ali Carr-Chellman spells out three reasons boys are tuning out of school in droves, and lays out her bold plan to re-engage them: bringing their culture into the classroom, with new rules that let boys be boys, and video games that teach as well as entertain.
And a new study found evidence that video gaming turns wicked ‘sick’ and gamers to be pathological players according to standards similar to those established by the American Psychiatric Association for diagnosing gambling addiction.
Interesting to follow these new developments if you think of “play” as one of the top key trends of the decade. And seeing the gaming industry being the fastest growing industry worldwide.