technology

Data Sculptures through machine learning algorithms

This is truly amazing work. It’s also scary if you look at this through a different lens. The lens of the human looking at the living machine. Artist Refik Anadol employed machine learning algorithms to search and sort relations among 1,700,000 documents. Interactions of the multidimensional data found in the archives are, in turn, translated into an immersive media installation. More at http://refikanadol.com/

Interactive Volumetric Fog Display

SIGGRAPH Asia 2015 Emerging Technologies We present a novel 3D display that applies projection mapping to a non-planar and reconfigurable fog screen, thus enabling interactive visual contents to be displayed at multiple depth levels. Users can perceive three-dimensionality naturally and interact with the unencumbered images by touching them directly in mid-air. The display can also be used in mixed reality settings where physical objects can co-exist and interact with virtual objects in physical space in real time. It does not require special glasses, head-mounted devices or eye/head-tracking, while allowing high-resolution, full-color 3D image to be observed from wide viewing angles by many people at the same time. Most importantly, our immaterial, mid-air display will allow users to intuitively touch and manipulate virtual objects in 3D under marker-free and barrier-free settings, which will open up immense tangible and creative interaction possibilities.

Texturing of AR Characters from Colored Drawings

Coloring books capture the imagination of children and provide them with one of their earliest opportunities for creative expression. However, given the proliferation and popularity of digital devices, real-world activities like coloring can seem unexciting, and children become less engaged in them. Augmented reality holds unique potential to impact this situation by providing a bridge between real-world activities and digital enhancements. In this paper, we present an augmented reality coloring book App in which children color characters in a printed coloring book and inspect their work using a mobile device. The drawing is detected and tracked, and the video stream is augmented with an animated 3-D version of the character that is textured according to the child’s coloring. This is possible thanks to several novel technical contributions. We present a texturing process that applies the captured texture from a 2-D colored drawing to both the visible and occluded regions of a 3-D character in real time. We develop a deformable surface tracking method designed for colored drawings that uses a new outlier rejection algorithm for real-time tracking and surface deformation recovery. We present a content creation pipeline to efficiently create the 2-D and 3-D content. And, finally, we validate our work with two user studies that examine the quality of our texturing algorithm and the overall App experience.

The Secret History of the Apple Watch

Great article about the perspectives and thoughts about the Apple Watch evolution. I am a design nerd so I always love reading articles that have the actual teams and people involved in the process. I think deeply about the projects that I work on if you are working in the Technology field and building out products as I am this one is worth a read.

Brilliant Cube is a kinetic 3D matrix

Brilliant Cube is a kinetic 3D matrix, comprised of 576 clear LED poles moving up and down. The dimension is 6M X 6M X 6M. It is located at Gangnam station crossroads, one of the most crowded spots in Seoul being a new landmark of Gangnam. With the theme of "Live Brilliant" each LED stands for the brilliant moment of our lives, and by the structure this shows the frameworks of our time that implies the social shift of each individual with equal capacity tiered in the same distance and depth. Brilliant Cube, created by a renowned media artist Jin-Yo Mok, in collaboration with Seoul based media artist group: Jonpasang, is not only a kinetic sculpture, but a medium for various messages. This installation is supported by Hyundai Motor Company and Gangnam Gu.

Dancer Bends Light in Projection-Mapped Performance

Inside a cube fashioned from translucent veils, a dancer takes a visual journey into a 3D space between dreams and reality. Hakanaï is a digital solo performance from Adrien M / Claire B that made its debut at BAM’s Fishman Theatre on March 17, 2015. The choreographed performance installation combines video projection mapping, CGI, and sensors to dynamically respond to the movements and proximity of its performer. Its visuals and sounds are generated and animated live, offering a uniquely different performance for each and every iteration.

4 Reasons Why Design Is Taking Over Silicon Valley

VC DESIGN PARTNER JOHN MAEDA SAYS THAT THE MOST SUCCESSFUL TECH COMPANIES OF THE FUTURE WILL REALLY BE DESIGN COMPANIES. HERE'S WHY.

Are the fortunes of design on the rise in Silicon Valley? A resounding yes, says John Maeda, design partner at the venture capital firm Kleiner Perkins Caufield Byers. During a presentation at South By Southwest 2015 on Sunday, Maeda argued that not only is Silicon Valley taking design more seriously; design is actually taking over. Here are four key reasons why the most successful tech companies of the future will really be design companies.

MOORE'S LAW NO LONGER CUTS IT
Starting with Flextronics' acquisition of the design consultancy Frog in 2004, the last 10 years have seen an increasing number of tech companies acquiring creative firms. For example, Google now ownsindustrial design firms, while Facebook owns software and digital design firms Sofa, Teehan+Lax, and Hot Studio. And this trend is starting to hit critical mass: 27 startups co-founded by designers have been acquired by big tech companies since 2010, while six venture capital firms have invited designers onto their teams for the first time in the past year. 

DESIGNERS ARE NOW HIRED AT A RATE OF ONE TO FOUR COMPARED TO ENGINEERS AT TECH STARTUPS.

This trend is only going to continue, Maeda said during his presentation, because "Moore's Law no longer cuts it as the key path to a happier customer" in Silicon Valley. For years, the solution to every problem in tech was to build a faster chip. Now, design—not silicon —is seen as the answer. For example, look at the new MacBook: from a pure silicon perspective, it's slower than the old MacBook and MacBook Air, but its industrial designpushes the envelope in other ways, from the simplicity of its ports to its effortless portability.

START WITH DESIGN, DON'T END WITH IT
With design capturing more and more venture capital dollars, there's a shift occurring in tech. Before, tech companies saw design as something to spray on a product at the end—think of the generic beige case you might slap a desktop PC into, but increasingly, the companies that are making the biggest splash are integrating design into every product from the beginning, like the Nest smart thermostat.

The happy marriage of technology and design long predates Silicon Valley's rise. Consider, for example, Michael Thonet's No. 141 chair, also known as Vienna coffee house chair. Designed in 1859, the No. 141 was designed in such a way that exactly 36 chairs could be packed into a one-meter shipping container when disassembled. It's the original flat-pack furniture, and that design allowed Thonet chairs to be manufactured cheaply in Eastern Europe, then shipped to places as far away as New York while keeping the price low. Over 50 million No. 141 chairs have been sold since 1859, a feat that would be impossible if good design thinking hadn't informed every part of the manufacturing process.

"To achieve great design, you need great business thinking/doing—to effectively invest in design—and you need great engineering—to achieve unflagging performance," Maeda argues in his presentation. Letting design lead your business isn't something Apple came up with. It's something that the best businesses have always done. Tech is only really figuring out.

TECH IS NO LONGER FOR TECHIES
There was a time when tech companies didn't have to worry about design, because their audiences were techies, just like them. Not only is that no longer true, but the ubiquity of tech has made user interface and experience design more important than ever before. Back in the '80s and '90s, you might only interact with a bad user interface a couple of times a day—Maeda calls these "pain points"—but now that we check our smartphones hundreds of times a day, the number of possible "ouch points" that can alienate a user have increased tenfold. "User experience matters so much now, because we are experiencing so much," Maeda says in his presentation. "A pain point can become a 'pain plane' on mobile. That's a lot of ouch."

THE HAPPY MARRIAGE OF TECHNOLOGY AND DESIGN LONG PREDATES SILICON VALLEY'S RISE. 

WHY DESIGNERS ARE IMPORTANT TO STARTUPS
Designers are key to startups and established tech companies alike, Maeda argues. In startups, early hires heavily influence corporate culture, so bringing in designers on the ground floor is hugely important. That's a fact startups are surely starting to wake up to: designers are now hired at a rate of one to four compared to engineers at tech startups. According to KPCB's talent partner Jackie Xu, this ratio used to be closer to 1:15 or even 1:30.

That's how designers can help build a company from the ground up. But Maeda also sees a new trend starting to happen. More and more designers are being hired in upper management positions in tech companies, advocating for design from the top down. Take Nike, which has a designer as CEO.

Read Maeda's Design in Tech report here.

KotobaStamp Interactive Display

2010 National Museum of Ethnology Japanese hiragana is made of a consonant and a vowel sound. And japanese words are made of a combination of hiragana. Kotoba Stamp is a interactive display to understand a mechanism of word and sound using stamps. Each stamp has one sound, visitors can see various graphics and listen to sound which are displayed on a table depend on a stamp combination or the order. This is a first trial to apply our science exhibition know-how to the liberal arts area.

BMW i3 Augmented Reality App Premiere

BMW TYPE: AUGMENTED REALITY APP, SCENOGRAPHY 2013, BMW released their electric car, the BMW i3 on the Polish market. The premiere took place in SARP Pavilion at 2 Foksal Street in Warsaw. BMW Poland commissioned Bridge to design scenography and create an AR app presenting BMW i3. Due to BMW i3’s technological innovations and ecological character, its premiere deserved an adequate scenery which would represent the two features. Therefore, the modernist pavilion of the Society of Polish Architects (SARP) was chosen as the premiere’s venue. Along the scene’s axis there were four AR boxes which served for the Augmented Reality presentation of the car. From the top those were closed in by hanging light installations looking like the city at night. Physical presentation of BMW i3 was complemented by an Augmented Reality app divided into 4 parts. The first tracker presented the car’s design and its construction in great detail. Once the visitors moved to another box, they could learn all about the way and the time it takes the battery to charge. The third AR box represented the parking assistance system. And finally, the last presentation allowed the visitors to calculate how much can be saved on a sample route.

Interactive Media Wall

The new College Football Hall of Fame in Atlanta is a modern hybrid hall of fame and museum. The Hall’s sponsorship team partnered with Obscura Digital to create the space’s centerpiece exhibit, an interactive media wall that seamlessly blends the heritage of college football with cutting-edge technology. The “Why We Love College Football” display is a 52-foot long, multitouch interactive canvas that reacts to each visitor’s RFID lanyard to dynamically configure a personalized experience. Visitors can browse and explore an orchestrated blend of media, including tens of thousands of image, video, and sound assets that populate thirty-nine continuous screens.