A few weeks ago, Ishac Bertran wanted to pluck some articles from his web browser and slip them into his Kindle to read later (and more comfortably), but he was so daunted by the labyrinthine process of transferring data, he decided to skip it...
NPR reported this morning on a traffic jam in California caused by an algorithmic glitch “accidentally summon[ing] 1,200 people to jury duty on the same morning”. An excellent reminder of the tendency of algorithmic dysfunction to manifest as physical dysfunction, and (at a relatively small scale) of the potentially disproportionate impact of glitches when they are translated from dataspace into an infrastructural system. The glitch may be as simple as having accidentally swapped the 0 indicating “do not come in” for the 1 indicating “come in”, but the resulting jam is rendered in aluminum autobodies and on asphalt corridors where it is much more difficult to clear than it was to create.
A Silicon Valley startup wants to give you the power to “scan your world” with a handheld scanner that rapidly creates 3D maps of objects and rooms, complete with colors and textures. While it may seem like you’d have to have a steady hand and move slowly through a room to scan it, a demo video of the device from MatterPort implies that the 3D maps can be generated by simply passing it through the space, sort of like virtually painting a room. Just imagine you’re using a squeegee and you get the idea. In one of its promotional videos, the startup even claims, “MatterPort does for 3D modeling what photography did for painting.” According to co-founder Mike Beebe, the device is 20 times faster than other 3D scanners on the market.
PITTSBURGH—A vibrating steering wheel is an effective way to keep a driver's eyes safely on the road by providing an additional means to convey directions from a car's navigation system, researchers at Carnegie Mellon University and AT&T Labs have...
Perch Interactive is a four-person firm developing a new kind of interactive projection display for retail environments.
Imagine coming across a shoe lit up by one of Perch’s displays, as shown in the video above. You could press buttons around the shoe to learn more about it: to see what other colors it’s available in, for instance, or to see how it could be styled. When you lift it from the counter, details about the brand, model and price appear. Perch records your interactions with the display and submits it to the retailer, which the retailer could use to improve its system.
Schiffman admits Perch is not the first company to develop this kind of technology — indeed, Schiffman has been working on similar projects at Potion, the interaction design firm he cofounded in New York, for years. Those projects were primarily one-off, customized solutions for institutional clients, however. Potion is building a hardware and software platform that will open this kind of technology up to a much broader range of retailers, he says.
Brain implants that make you think of "Avatar," "The Matrix" and "Star Trek" may still be to come, and scientists are working on ways that we can control devices with thoughts alone. Researchers at Duke University last year, for instance, showed how a monkey could control a virtual arm with its brain, as well as feel sensations the appendage delivered.
Milwaukee-based designer Bryan Cera took the smartphone and turned it into something you can wear like a glove, using numbers spread out across the underside of your fingers to do the dialing. It looks a little clumsy, but that's by design, too: Cera doesn't want a Glove One on every hand; he's trying to tell us something about the future.
Glove One, to state it plain, represents a future where our smartphones have become a real part of us, and our hand is now a vestigial limb replaced by a functioning handset:
It presents a futile and fragile technology with which to augment ourselves. A cell phone which, in order to use, one must sacrifice their hand. It is both the literalization of Sherry Turkle's notion of technology as a "phantom limb", in how we augment ourselves through an ambivalent reliance on it, as well as a celebration of the freedom we seek in our devices.
As mentioned already on this site and others, this year marks the 100th anniversary of the birth of famed British mathematician Alan Turing.The outline of his remarkable life and sad ending has by now…...
Filmmakers have long tried to use the web to promote their movies and now some of Hollywood's brightest minds have started to embrace new online methods of crafting creative ways to tell entirely new types of story.