Sunday, June 22, 2008

Capacitive SSVEP Brain Computer Interface

Driving a model car by capacitive EEG helmet. System is based on steady-state visual evoked potentials (SSVEP) in the visual cortex of the human brain. Technische Universität Carolo-Wilhelmina

Friday, June 20, 2008

TED Talk: Robert Full on How engineers learn from evolution

Insects and animals have evolved some amazing skills -- but, as Robert Full notes, many animals are actually over-engineered. The trick is to copy only what's necessary. He shows how human engineers can learn from animals' tricks. - TED


Monday, June 16, 2008

Brain-computer interface

On 7th June 2008, Keio University succeeded in the world’s first demonstration experiment with the help of a disabled person to use brainwave to chat and stroll through the virtual world.

The research group led by Assistant Prof. Junichi Ushiba of the Faculty of Science and Technology of Keio University applied the technology “to operate the computer using brain images released last year and succeeds in enabling a disabled person suffering muscle disorder (41 year old male) to stroll through “Second Life®*”, a three-dimentional virtual world on the Internet, to walk towards the avatar of a student logged in at Keio University located 16km from the subject’s home, and to have a conversation with the student using the “voice chat” function.

This demonstration experiment opens a new possibility for motion-impaired people in serious conditions to communicate with others and to engage in business. This experiment is a marriage of leading-edge technologies in brain science and the Internet, and is the world’s first successful example to meet with people and have conversation in the virtual world.
- Science Daily

Saturday, June 14, 2008

Flicflex concept

Opening a letter, unfolding it and feeling the texture of the paper is a very tactile experience compared to receiving an e-mail. On top of the content itself, the behavior and micro-interactions adds a level of engagement to the medium. Flicflex explores the possibilities of future flexible electronic interfaces that could emerge within digital products.

By minimizing the graphical interface and embodying physical interactions such as flipping, wrenching and bending, it creates more pleasurable ways of managing information.

Microsoft's vision of different users interfaces

Friday, June 13, 2008

Thought controlled robot arm

If these monkeys were 1970s TV stars, they would play crime-fighting cyborgs in “The Six Million Dollar Monkeys.”

Macaque monkeys with electrodes implanted in their brains learned to control a robotic arm with their thoughts, researchers report.

Scientists gently restrained the monkeys’ own arms and positioned the mechanical arm at each animal’s left shoulder as if it were a real arm. After practicing for several days, the monkeys appeared to treat the robotic arm as their own and could feed themselves with the arm using fluid, rapid motions.
- Science News

Thursday, June 12, 2008

Saturday, June 7, 2008

Multi-Touch with 3D on Nasa World Wind

We developed a multi-touch version of Nasa World Wind on a 7.9 x 6.2 feet tall FTIR (frustrated total internal reflection) based multi-touch wall. This implementation is based on the Nasa World Wind Java SDK and a multi-touch tracking library developed within the Project: Multitouch at the Deutsche Telekom AG Laboratories, which is part of the TU Berlin, Germany. The FTIR multi-touch wall was built from the scratch during a workshop on FTIR multi-touch surfaces in Münster, Germany. All the software is written entirely in Java and the interaction will be hopefully available as an open source project. Please visit the site in a couple of weeks again. Of course, the Java Nasa World Wind SDK and the Deutsche Telekom Labs Multitouch tracking lib are certainly available as open source projects. - Nasa World Wind

Friday, June 6, 2008

Albatron showcases multi-touch LCD panel

In the upcoming Windows 7 operating system, Microsoft will introduce multi-touch finally that basically allows multiple input detection where as XP and Vista is still single.

Albatron had a special driver made for Vista which allows multi-touch and while it is nowhere near fine tuned at this stage, it does work surprisingly well even now.

Albatron’s Optical Touch Panel is 22-inches in size, has a widescreen resolution of 1650 x 1080, has touch accuracy up to 90 frames per second and uses DVI.
- TweakTown

Thursday, June 5, 2008

Physicists have 'solved' mystery of levitation

Levitation has been elevated from being pure science fiction to science fact, according to a study reported today by physicists.

Beijing saleswoman demonstrates toy which levitates by magnetic force; Physicists have 'solved' mystery of levitation
In theory the discovery could be used to levitate a person

In earlier work the same team of theoretical physicists showed that invisibility cloaks are feasible.

Now, in another report that sounds like it comes out of the pages of a Harry Potter book, the University of St Andrews team has created an 'incredible levitation effects’ by engineering the force of nature which normally causes objects to stick together.

Professor Ulf Leonhardt and Dr Thomas Philbin, from the University of St Andrews in Scotland, have worked out a way of reversing this pheneomenon, known as the Casimir force, so that it repels instead of attracts.

Wednesday, June 4, 2008


We just released a new feature in Panoramio that allows you to browse photos simulating a 3D environment. You can jump from one photo to the closest one, walking virtually around the place or watching the place from many different perspectives. Enjoy the views from the top of Empire State in New York, the last floor of Eiffel Tower or the sights from the Pyramids of Teotihuacan, just by opening the “look around” link under those photos. - Panoramio

Sidney Opera House:
Taj Mahal:
New York:

Monday, June 2, 2008

What is the Grid?

Well, there's a short answer, and then there's a very long answer.

The short answer is that, whereas the Web is a service for sharing information over the Internet, the Grid is a service for sharing computer power and data storage capacity over the Internet. The Grid goes well beyond simple communication between computers, and aims ultimately to turn the global network of computers into one vast computational resource.

That is the dream. But the reality is that today, the Grid is a "work in progress", with the underlying technology still in a prototype phase, and being developed by hundreds of researchers and software engineers around the world.

The Grid is attracting a lot of interest because its future, even if still uncertain,is potentially revolutionary.
- GridCafé

Sunday, June 1, 2008

Beaming solar energy down from space

By 2030, India's Planning Commission estimates that the country will have to generate at least 700,000 megawatts of additional power to meet the demands of its expanding economy and growing population.

Much of that electricity will come from coal-fired power plants, like the $4 billion so-called ultra mega complex scheduled to be built south of Tunda Wand, a tiny village near the Gulf of Kutch, an inlet of the Arabian Sea on India's west coast. Dozens of other such projects are already or soon will be under way.

Yet Mehta has another solution for India's chronic electricity shortage, one that does not involve power plants on the ground but instead massive sun-gathering satellites in geosynchronous orbits 22,000 miles in the sky.

The satellites would electromagnetically beam gigawatts of solar energy back to ground-based receivers, where it would then be converted to electricity and transferred to power grids. And because in high Earth orbit, satellites are unaffected by the earth's shadow virtually 365 days a year, the floating power plants could provide round-the-clock clean, renewable electricity.

Thursday, May 29, 2008

Google Android demonstrations

Google’s latest Android prototype is miles improved over the versions we last saw. Back at CES the GUI was clunky and the whole thing looked relatively primative; Google themselves asked us to keep an open mind and instead concentrate on the OS’ potential. Now, they’ve brought out a device that you could, frankly, mistake for production hardware. - Android Community

Tuesday, May 27, 2008

Robots: Taking inspiration from Nature

Forget traditional robots that look like humans, these days robots come in all different shapes and sizes. But it's not only their appearance that is changing - robotics researchers are also thinking very differently about how the function, as discussed in a review this week in the journal Science. Whereas the focus used to be on getting robots to perform specific tasks, like packaging chocolates in a manufacturing plant, researchers are now looking at creating more complex machines that can deal with unpredictable circumstances. - NewScientist

Friday, May 23, 2008

DimP - A Direct Manipulation Video Player

DimP is a video player that allows to browse video clips by directly manipulating their content.

The idea of using direct manipulation for controlling video playback has been first exploited in NTT-AT's Dragri multimedia authoring system (Web Page in Japanese). The system dates back from 2002 but remained unnoticed by the HCI community. It required motions to be specified manually but other than that, the idea was already there.

Recently, four (yes, four) research groups, including ours, have been working independently on this topic. We did not know about NTT-AT's system and each other's work. We were all trying to achieve a fully automatic support for video browsing by direct manipulation, with technically different approaches but also striking similarities in the thought process.
- Aviz

Saturday, May 17, 2008

Full-Screen Multitouch Mac OS X

Christian Moore managed to hack together a multitouch Mac OS X system, called the "Lux free open framework", using just "a simple Intel-based MacBook." - NUI Group

Tuesday, May 13, 2008

WorldWide Telescope Launched

The final frontier got a bit closer today as Microsoft Corp. officially launched the public beta of its WorldWide Telescope, which is now available at WorldWide Telescope is a rich Web application that brings together imagery from the best ground- and space-based observatories across the world to allow people to easily explore the night sky through their computers. WorldWide Telescope has been eagerly anticipated by the astronomical and educational communities as a compelling astronomical resource for students and lifelong learners, and as a way to make science fun for children. - WorldWide Telescope

Crunchlabz - Home of the Kolibri CMS

Wednesday, May 7, 2008

AI Goggles recognize objects and faces

Called "AI Goggles", this device basically consists of a camera attached to goggles. The recorded data is sent to a computer and then analyzed in real-time, using complex algorithms. According to the researchers, these algorithms "enable the goggle to recognize not only particular objects, but also faces, similar to devices used for digital cameras -- once the faces and objects are registered on the database, the recognition time becomes even faster." - TechEBlog

Crunchlabz - Home of the Kolibri CMS

Monday, May 5, 2008

Eye-tracking interface

Technology is being developed to allow people with severe motor disabilities to play 3D computer games like World of Warcraft using only their eyes.

Since the 1990s, gaze technology has helped people with conditions such as motor neurone disease (MND), cerebral palsy and other "locked-in syndromes" to control 2D desktop environments and communicate using visual keyboards.

Users typically guide a cursor with their eyes, staring at objects for a time to emulate a mouse click. But that is too laborious to let users to match the speed and accuracy of real-time 3D games, says lead researcher on the project, Stephen Vickers, of De Montfort University, Leicester, UK.
- NewScientist

Thursday, May 1, 2008

Multitouch Pad - DIY with a webcam and cardboard

Building a small portable multitouch pad will allow you to test software and experiment on a smaller scale while building your full table or when away from your multitouch screen. Have fun and make a MTmini! This uses Front Diffused Illumination, with normal ambient light (infrared not required or needed) and a normal off-the-shelf webcam (IR filter can still be in place). - AudioTouch and more

Crunchlabz Kolibri CMS

Wednesday, April 30, 2008

Flying, swimming robot jellyfish

The robot jellyfish swimming and flying in the videos below are being shown off at the Hannover Trade Fair this week by industrial automation company Festo. We wrote before about their robotic manta ray which also moves very gracefully.

Both jellyfish designs are really just for show. But if the swimming ones could achieve the simple efficiency of real jellyfish they could provide great platforms for cheap ocean sensors. Even if they don't, they'd be a great addition to any aquarium.
- NewScientist

Tuesday, April 29, 2008

Modular robot reassembles when kicked apart

A robot developed by roboticists at the University of Pennsylvania is made of modules that can recognise each other. - NewScientist

Thursday, April 17, 2008

Luminous wallpaper on the way?

What if you could have an entire room wallpapered in flexible, paper-thin light? Maybe you could even control that light’s color and intensity in different areas. That's the goal of General Electric researchers, who just achieved a breakthrough toward making that possible. The key to making this affordable is roll-to-roll processing, a method of manufacturing organic LEDs (OLEDs) that works a whole lot like a printing press. - DVICE

Wednesday, April 16, 2008

Toward a Quantum Internet

Researchers have built a quantum logic gate in an optical fiber, laying the foundation for a quantum computer network.

The promise of quantum computers is tantalizingly great: near-instantaneous problem solving, and perfectly secure data transmission. For the most part, however, small-scale demonstrations of quantum computation remain isolated in labs throughout the world. Now, Prem Kumar, a professor of electrical engineering and computer science at Northwestern University, has taken a step toward making quantum computing more practical. Kumar and his team have shown that they can build a quantum logic gate--a fundamental component of a quantum computer--within an optical fiber. The gate could be part of a circuit that relays information securely, over hundreds of kilometers of fiber, from one quantum computer to another. It could also be used on its own to find solutions to complicated mathematical problems.
- Technology Review

Google Earth 4.3

The Google Earth team is proud to announce the latest version of Google Earth is available today at The release of Google Earth 4.3 (beta) greatly advances our vision of offering a realistic, 3D model of the world by giving users a higher quality, more immersive experience. - Google Lat Long Blog


Tuesday, April 15, 2008

Viewfinder: How to Seamlessly "Flickrize" Google Earth

“Viewfinder” is a novel method for users to spatially situate, or “find the pose,” of their photographs, and then to view these photographs, along with others, as perfectly aligned overlays in a 3D world model such as Google Earth. Our objective is to provide a straightforward procedure for geo-locating photos of any kind, and our approach is to engage a community of users for a certain amount of human help. - Viewfinder

Google Tech Talk:

Wednesday, April 9, 2008

Monday, April 7, 2008

The Grid: 10,000 times faster than internet

The birthplace of the Web, Cern, which is based near Geneva, is now busy working on "the grid" that boasts speeds nearly 10,000 times faster than a typical Broadband connection, and that may soon render the Web obsolete. [..]

Doyle explained that that network, in effect a parallel Internet, is now built, using fibre optic cables that run from Cern to 11 centres in the United States, Canada, the Far East, Europe, and around the world. From each center, further connections radiate out to a host of other research institutions that use existing high-speed academic networks. Which means Britain alone has 8,000 servers on the grid system so that any student or academic will theoretically be able to hook up to the grid rather than the Internet from this autumn.

3D LED Cube

This LED cube, consisting of a 16 x 16 x 16 grid of interconnected color LEDs, is capable of displaying animations at up to 30 frames per second and each dot can be individually addressed for both color and intensity. - Seekway

Tuesday, April 1, 2008


inviDESK-interactive virtual desk-is an innovative system that transforms your meeting table or any other working surface into a dynamic multimedia environment. inviDESK's innovative functionality makes it a powerful tool for interaction, collaboration and promotion. - inviDESK


Sensisphere is a hemispherical screen with an innovative user interface. It is integrated into the surrounding architecture. On this "porthole" with a diameter of about one meter many different interactive, multimedia-based contents can be experienced. - Lab Binaer

Friday, March 28, 2008

A glimpse ahead

Microsoft's vision on the future of healthcare.

Wednesday, March 26, 2008

Holophonics - 3D Sound for relugar headphones

Holophonics is a form of sound recording that employs a dummy head recording arrangement and is based on the hypothesis that the auditory system acts as an interferometer. As with binaural recordings, the sound characteristics are most clearly heard through headphones. Holophonics should not be confused with holophonic recording (or holophony), which is a system of sound recording over the surface of a sphere. - Wikipedia

You'll need headphones for this to work. Make sure there is no noise around, close your eyes, turn the volume up a little bit, hold and press headphone on your ears for better hearing, play it and enjoy this impressive audio work.

Example 2: - Holophonic.mp3
Example 3:

Friday, March 21, 2008

Head Tracking using FaceAPI

This video shows Head tracking using the faceAPI and a web-camera, connected to Johnny Lee's desktop VR demo. By using the faceAPI and a webcam instead of a wiimote, the same 3D view-dependent rendering can be accomplished without having to wear anything on your head. The faceAPI automatically tracks head position and rotation in X, Y and Z. - FaceAPI

Johnny Chung Lee's Head Tracking using the Wii Remote

Tuesday, March 18, 2008

Boston Dynamics Big Dog

BigDog is the alpha male of the Boston Dynamics family of robots. It is a quadruped robot that walks, runs, and climbs on rough terrain and carries heavy loads. - Boston Dynamics

Thursday, March 13, 2008

"Voiceless" phone calls

A neckband that translates thought into speech by picking up nerve signals has been used to demonstrate a "voiceless" phone call for the first time.

With careful training a person can send nerve signals to their vocal cords without making a sound. These signals are picked up by the neckband and relayed wirelessly to a computer that converts them into words spoken by a computerised voice.
- NewScientist

Wednesday, March 12, 2008

Gesture Based Interaction Screens image

The Alternative has developed a gesture based interaction screen for Orange. According to The Alternative it’s the first time that a technology like this has been shown to the public. Via the large projected image and a touch-free interface, the installation provides users with a new way to activate news, film clips and music videos. -

Minority Report At Cebit 2008

It seems that everyone is working on new interfaces. Using thought, gestures or real objects. This interface was filmed at CeBIT 2008. It offers a very intuitive way of interacting with information and images. It resembles the interface that was used in Minority Report. To make sure that you see the resemblance I added a Minority Report scene as a bonus. -

Saturday, March 8, 2008

Hans Rosling: Debunking third-world myths with the best stats you've ever seen

You've never seen data presented like this. With the drama and urgency of a sportscaster, Hans Rosling debunks myths about the so-called "developing world" using extraordinary animation software developed by his Gapminder Foundation. The Trendalyzer software (recently acquired by Google) turns complex global trends into lively animations, making decades of data pop. Asian countries, as colorful bubbles, float across the grid -- toward better national health and wealth. Animated bell curves representing national income distribution squish and flatten. In Rosling's hands, global trends -- life expectancy, child mortality, poverty rates -- become clear, intuitive and even playful. - TED


George Dyson: Let's take a nuclear-powered rocket to Saturn

George Dyson tells the amazing story of Project Orion, a massive, nuclear-powered spacecraft that could have taken us to Saturn in five years. With a priceless insider's perspective and a cache of documents, photos and film, Dyson brings this dusty Atomic Age dream to vivid life. - TED


Thursday, February 28, 2008

Microsoft Research - WorldWide Telescope

Science educator Roy Gould gives an astonishing sneak preview of Microsoft's new WorldWide Telescope -- a technology that combines feds from satellites and telescopes all over the world and the heavens, and builds a comprehensive view of our universe. - TED

Official website:

Wednesday, February 27, 2008

VideoTrace: Rapid interactive scene modelling from video

VideoTrace is a system for interactively generating realistic 3D models of objects from video—models that might be inserted into a video game, a simulation environment, or another video sequence. The user interacts with VideoTrace by tracing the shape of the object to be modelled over one or more frames of the video. By interpreting the sketch drawn by the user in light of 3D information obtained from computer vision techniques, a small number of simple 2D interactions can be used to generate a realistic 3D model. Each of the sketching operations in VideoTrace provides an intuitive and powerful means of modelling shape from video, and executes quickly enough to be used interactively. Immediate feedback allows the user to model rapidly those parts of the scene which are of interest and to the level of detail required. The combination of automated and manual reconstruction allows VideoTrace to model parts of the scene not visible, and to succeed in cases where purely automated approaches would fail. - Australian Centre for Visual Technologies


Make3D converts your single picture into a 3-D model, completely automatically.

It takes a two-dimensional image and creates a three-dimensional "fly around" model, giving the viewers access to the scene's depth and a range of points of view. After uploading your image, you can "fly" in the 3-D scene, or watch a rendered 3-d movie.

It uses powerful machine learning techniques, to learn the relation between small image patches and their depth and orientation. This allows it to model 3-d structures such as slopes of mountains or branches of trees.
- Make3D

Thursday, February 21, 2008


Reaction to the Hyposurface usually evolves quickly from "What could this be used for?" to "What couldn't this be used for?" It is mesmerizing and full of potential. The Hyposurface allows the participant to connect and interact with a massive, powerful force - it's like controlling a waterfall. -

Tele-existence wide-angle immersive stereoscope

3D Display and Interaction

Stanford camera chip can see in 3D

Instead of devoting the entire sensor for one big representation of the image, Fife's 3-megapixel sensor prototype breaks the scene up into many small, slightly overlapping 16x16-pixel patches called subarrays. Each subarray has its own lens to view the world--thus the term multi-aperture.

After a photo is taken, image-processing software then analyzes the slight location differences for the same element appearing in different patches--for example, where a spot on a subject's shirt is relative to the wallpaper behind it. These differences from one subarray to the next can be used to deduce the distance of the shirt and the wall.

Tuesday, February 5, 2008

Head Tracking for Desktop VR Displays using the Wii Remote

Using the infrared camera in the Wii remote and a head mounted sensor bar (two IR LEDs), you can accurately track the location of your head and render view dependent images on the screen. This effectively transforms your display into a portal to a virtual environment. The display properly reacts to head and body movement as if it were a real window creating a realistic illusion of depth and space. - Johnny Chung Lee

360° Light Field Display

We describe a set of rendering techniques for an autostereoscopic light field display able to present interactive 3D graphics to multiple simultaneous viewers 360 degrees around the display. The display consists of a high-speed video projector, a spinning mirror covered by a holographic diffuser, and FPGA circuitry to decode specially rendered DVI video signals. The display uses a standard programmable graphics card to render over 5,000 images per second of interactive 3D graphics, projecting 360-degree views with 1.25 degree separation up to 20 updates per second. We describe the system's projection geometry and its calibration process, and we present a multiple-center-of-projection rendering technique for creating perspective-correct images from arbitrary viewpoints around the display. Our projection technique allows correct vertical perspective and parallax to be rendered for any height and distance when these parameters are known, and we demonstrate this effect with interactive raster graphics using a tracking system to measure the viewer's height and distance. We further apply our projection technique to the display of photographed light fields with accurate horizontal and vertical parallax. We conclude with a discussion of the display's visual accommodation performance and discuss techniques for displaying color imagery. - USC

Physics and Augmented Reality

Real-time 3D tracking in action. An example of use of live video imagery which is digitally processed and "augmented" by the addition of computer-generated graphics.

Sunday, February 3, 2008

touchless human / machine user interface for 3D navigation

Elliptic Labs is paving the way for use of computers and screens without touching, simply with the finger or hand in the air. Manipulate images, play computer games, control robotics or use touch screens without touching or without holding a hardware control unit. - Elliptic Labs

Saturday, January 19, 2008

Adobe: focus images with computational photography

Today, if you want to trim all the distracting background out of a picture--say, the crowd behind your daughter playing soccer--you have to do a lot of artful selection with high-powered software such as Photoshop. But what if your computer understood the depth of the image, just as you did when you took the picture, and could be told to just erase everything that's a certain distance behind your kid? -

Image from

Tuesday, January 8, 2008

RepRap "Wealth without money"

A machine that builds itself? Adrian Bowyer, leading researcher at the University of Bath, shows us that this seemingly fantastic idea is not far from becoming reality. The self-replicating rapid prototyper, or “RepRap,” could have dramatic effects on people in developing countries. -


Monday, January 7, 2008

Camera Array Video Matting

We present an algorithm and a system for high-quality natural video matting using a camera array. Our current system runs at several frames per second, and we believe that it is the first system capable of computing high-quality alpha mattes at near real-time rates without the use of active illumination or special backgrounds. -

Image-Based 3D Photography using Opacity Hulls

We have built a system for acquiring and displaying high quality graphical models of objects that are impossible to scan with traditional scanners. Our system can acquire highly specular and fuzzy materials, such as fur and feathers. -

Real-time 3D TV System

Three-dimensional TV is expected to be the next revolution in the history of television. We propose a 3D TV system that allows for real-time acquisition, transmission, and 3D display of dynamic scenes. -

Saturday, January 5, 2008

Low-Cost Multi-touch Whiteboard using the Wiimote

Using infrared (IR) light pens and the Wii Remote, it is possible to create very low-cost multi-point interactive whiteboards and multi-point tablet displays. -

Cynergy Labs: Project Maestro

Maestro brings together Microsoft WPF, third party community libraries and custom built IR gloves to demonstrate next generation human to computer interfaces. -