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

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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

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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

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