Archive for the 'Technology' Category

iPod madness

March 9, 2009

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“Engineers at Osaka University have developed a new system for controlling electronic devices that could enable people to navigate through the tracks on their MP3 player simply with a wink or smile.

The device – which has been nicknamed the “Mimi Switch” – consists of a small earbud that is capable of measuring movements in the wearer’s temple. Different actions or facial expressions result in a variety of actions, depending on how the system is programmed.

“An iPod can start or stop music when the wearer sticks his tongue, like in the famous Einstein picture,” suggested lead researcher Kazuhiro Taniguchi. “If he opens his eyes wide, the machine skips to the next tune. A wink with the right eye makes it go back.”

The team behind the system suggest that it could easily be integrated into headphones or glasses – and used to control a variety of other electronic devices, like home lighting or even washing machines.

The research paper detailing the Mimi Switch, which was actually published last year in the Journal of Robotics and Mechatronics, has suddenly resurfaced after being picked up online – but it is far from being the only invention of its kind.

Across the world, researchers in the field of human computer interaction have been testing out new ways of working alongside machines that seem more instinctive than the current mouse-and-keyboard norm.

I remember seeing one predictive text system – Dasher, from the physics department at Cambridge – that enabled you to type simply by breathing.

Meanwhile another innovative interface we’ve discussed in the past – the gestural system from 3DV – has been getting a lot of attention.

3DV’s ZCam, which allows you to control what’s happening on your computer screen simply by moving your hands, has reportedly been eyed up by Microsoft in a $35m deal. If you want to get an idea of how it works, here’s a video of me messing about with it at last year’s Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas”.

Can you imagine London Underground? On the tube making facial movements all at the same time… as if the tube wasn’t scary enough.

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ps1 – Mental Wealth

March 9, 2009

I love ad campaigns for Next Generation consoles.  To my memory, Playstation for their PS1 PS2 and PS3 have always created ads that first leave you with that “What the hell!?” afterthought.  They are often bizarre for bizarre’s sake.  To get you thinking, and talking about what you have just seen.  Chris Cunningham’s ad for the PS1 did this perfectly.  I have always loved this advert.

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Commentary –

Let me tell you what bugs me of the human endeavor
I’ve never been a human in question, have you?
Mankind went to the moon
I don’t even know where Grimsby is
Forget progress by proxy
Land on your own moon
It’s no longer about what they can achieve, out there on your behalf
But what we can experience
Up here and of our own time
And it’s called mental wealth
(Laughter)

Awards Won:
2000 D&AD Awards
Television & Cinema Advertising Crafts .. Special Effects

“Then Cunningham spent two days with The Mill’s Flame operator, Barnsley, designing a look for Fi-Fi. They pulled her eyes apart and turned them inwards, shrunk her nose, squashed her mouth and stretched her body out like a bean-pole.”

PS3 ad

March 9, 2009

Are you scared too?

Gamecube ad

March 9, 2009

Remember this? I just rediscovered this ad, and had that nostalgic feeling on pretty much every scene, which must mean it’s stood the test of time.  Nice concept, brininging the game into the gamers life.  Clever…

Lego brick USB

March 9, 2009

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How kewl are these? Available in different GB capacities and varying colours.  Fitted with lid the dongle makes the classic 2:4 lego brick, and seperated the classic 2:1.  Slot them together, mix and match them up… if you can afford more than one that is.  They are pretty pricey considering you can just ebay or amazon yourself a bog starndard memory stick.  But it’s not about that is it.