PSFK – Adaptive storefront prototype from + rehabstudio on Vimeo.
After years of failing to demonstrate compelling applications, Bluetooth is back with a vengeance. If you haven’t yet used a Bluetooth Low Energy (BLE) device, it’s a completely different experience. Pairing and range and latency work better (the result of years of learning how to make these better). Battery drain is barely noticeable. You can expect BLE to power lots of clever new applications – and it’s nice to see it showing up on DIY electronics.
Oh, yeah, and it can creep the hell out of you, privacy-wise, by making that scene in Minority Report a literal reality, as seen at top. Details of that below.
But these low-power features should also open up cool possibilities for interactive designers, connecting recent devices like the (excellent, by the way) Google Nexus line, iPhone, and iPad.
So, you could be, for instance, writing Arduino sketches on your iPad, which is a whole lot more appealing than the windows at Urban Outfitters suddenly talking to you. See below for the Arduino environment, running without any wires at all with the LightBlue Cortado, a new board for the purpose:
First, the sci-fi future (realized today). The Adaptive Storefront Prototype is a working proof-of-concept produced by Rehab Studio together with online magazine PSFK: Continue reading »
Those silver machines with the fruit on them sure are great. And for now, PCs (whether Apple or Windows or Linux) are unparalleled in performance. But cheaper, dedicated hardware with the same flexibility of computers could grow in appeal. The Steambox promises to the gaming community that a dedicated box running Linux can best desktops and consoles alike. And in visuals, we could see something similar.
Why wait? With a $25, tiny pocket-sized computer and a free VJ app, you can start now. Sure, it won’t exactly match that mini-tower you’re lugging around running TouchDesigner. But if you need to mix some videos in a tight spot and don’t want to risk valuable computers – or want a quick installation – this looks incredible.
The Raspberry Pi, for its part, is tiny, light, and powered by a micro-USB phone power. It still gives you HDMI or composite video out with both PAL and NTSC, and you can drop media onto an SD card.
Add Super Pikix Pi, and you get a very reasonable standard-def mixing video system, for the cost of what some “pro” hardware makers with similar features charge for their power adapters. (Cough.)
Supports two video layers to be blended together
Uses a dedicated video file format: kouky k19
Save and load playlists
Special effects and filters
Video resolution: 640×360 pixels
Support USB gamepads
Continue reading »
Audego Motion Graphics Medley from jeanpoole on Vimeo.
Arrange, arrange … render. Wait.
Given that you can jam along with music live, why not do the same with visuals? Quartz Composer’s real-time workflows still appeal for that reason. Australia’s Sean Healy, aka Jean Poole, writes to share how he worked with QC and a variety of other tools to make the process of adding visual accompaniment to music faster and more intuitive. “It’s great for prototyping ideas and developing them quickly,” he says of Quartz Composer, “and these can be recorded in realtime too (with Syphon Recorder).”
Yes, that beautiful, free OS X tool:
In fact, total cost to OS X users here is free.
Sean tells us more:
Continue reading »
1024 Architecture have already made rectangles sexy, in light, mappings, and stage environments. Now, they’ve gone all fourth-dimensional on us – and the results are stunning.
They give us a look behind the scenes at this project, and how they’ve used Ableton Live and Quartz Composer to realize it. You can even use their QC patches in your own projects, if you think you can add more nth dimensions. (For the record, a tesseract is a specific hypercube – a 4-dimensional shape, of the class of n-dimensional hypercubes. It’s also a cool reference to the science fiction of Madeleine L’Engel. )
Francois Wunschel of 1024 describes their latest:
The Tesseract – aka HyperCube – is a 3d scaffolding urban install, loaded with an array of 65 moving lights. It’s fully controlled by our custom software, built in Quartz Composer.
All the movement is derived from graphical data – images – translated in realtime into pan/tilt positions.
The whole show is driven by a massive Ableton Live file – which allows us to make realtime adjustments and transformations
always in sync with the music
TESSERACT aka HyperCube from 1024 on Vimeo.
Continue reading »
Kyle McDonald’s Kinect art – among the experiments that made the idea of putting depth cameras into phones suddenly appealing. Photo (CC-BY) the man, the legend, the Kyle.
It wasn’t so long ago that point-and-shoot cameras were big, dedicated affairs. Now, camera sensors are everywhere.
What’s next? Expect depth-sensing cameras like the Kinect’s to become as ubiquitous as camera sensors are in phones. And don’t listen to the analysts: if Apple is buying PrimeSense, they’re thinking iPhone, not only their Apple TV “hobby.”
The news for the open source art hacking community using this stuff? Bad. And good. But… more on that in a bit.
With touch staked out as input method, vision and, more broadly, “perceptual computing” seem poised to reshape the way we interact with devices. Touch broke the boundary between machine and person imposed by keyboard and pointer – as Jobs famously said, using your finger as the pointing device. But, nearly a century after Leon Theremin first built musical instruments that sensed presence, the next interfaces may not require touch at all.
This week, Microsoft should have the headlines with Xbox One. But, having already seen the Xbox sensor, just as much interest may revolve around Apple’s reported acquisition of PrimeSense.
The new Kinect camera on Xbox One, superior to the original Kinect in every measurable way, isn’t based directly on PrimeSense technology. With Microsoft the key customer for PrimeSense’s unique expertise, that meant Microsoft’s move away from their technology set up an acquisition. But PrimeSense did have a strategy. The best read I’ve seen on the company comes from Engadget, who charted their early history, how those first meetings with Microsoft went, all the way up to their future plans:
Life after Kinect: PrimeSense’s plans for a post-Microsoft future [Engadget, June 2013]
Now, it seems, Apple (pending final approval) has acquired PrimeSense – and the tech Microsoft orphaned. (Microsoft may regret leaving them out on the open like that.) Excellent coverage by Charles Arthur at The Guardian: Continue reading »
Digital fashion is beginning to spread.
The latest evidence is the dazzling light-up dress for Little Boots, a “Cyber Cinderella” garment that transforms into a blaze of colored LEDs during the encore of her current tour. The Creators Project (VICE) has a short documentary film on the process.
Little Boots, an early adopter of the Yamaha/Toshio Iwai Tenori-On grid instrument, here demonstrates that the costume can be an extension of that matrix of lights. (Your next challenge: a wearable monome.)
What’s significant about the designer in this case, New York-based Michelle Wu, is partly that she isn’t one of the usual suspects of artists championing wearable tech. Instead, Wu admits she turned to YouTube and online resources for tips. That’s good evidence of the ability of these techniques to go viral. And the value of that isn’t just copycats: Wu’s dress looks different than other entries, and I especially appreciate the design as a garment. (Wu may be still teaching herself about which LEDs to use, but the Art Institute of Chicago grad has a deep resume of apparel design and development, including Moschino and Anna Sui internships and work with Heineken at Milan Design Week.)
The garment here doesn’t look like one designed by an engineer. It looks like a dress.
See Michelle Wu’s site for more; I really appreciate her designs. It’s not just the form of the dress that shows her skill: a keen eye for pattern and textile engineering, honed in engineering sweaters, comes through in her treatment of the LEDs. Continue reading »