Awe-Inspiring: An Interactive, Musical Starry Night

Greek artist Petros Vrellis has successfully taken our breath away. We love seeing art and tech come together, and this homage to a great master is nothing short of wondrous. Opening up an old favorite to so many new possibilities, while still retaining the majesty and integrity of the original work, is no easy feat. Petros, we hope you make a habit of it!

(Source: Engadget)

An unexpected new technique is starting to take hold amongst archaeologists: using lasers to determine the dimension of bones and then 3D printing them to create a full dino skeleton. It’s simple, effective, brilliant, and should have happened a long time ago!

MakerBot is so awesome.

This magical story begins with inventor and magician Wolfgang von Kempelen’s parlor demonstrations in eighteenth century Vienna, and continues today through a curious turn of events and a California man’s passion for the awe-inspiring Mechanical Turk, an impressive contraption which appears to intelligently play chess by mechanical means alone.

Mechanical TurkSince the artifact was lost in a fire in 1854, its mysterious inner workings have remained a topic of much speculation. Until now.

After years of research and study, magic-maker and automaton-collector John Gaughan has painstakingly rebuilt the Turk. Gaughan keeps a reliquary shop in Atwater, CA and has a wealth of knowledge, delightful anecdotes, little-known facts, and a master’s experience with magical automatons and cabinetry, Houdini-esque escape hatches, optical illusions, and levitating carpets (and teddy bears). 

It’s fascinating how powerful confidence and belief can be. Charles Babbage, the inventor of the first computer experienced the Mechanical Turk in the 1770’s. Says Gaughan,

People then didn’t know it was an illusion. They thought it was a thinking machine. And Babbage thought: “My god, if they can build a machine that plays chess, I should be able to make a machine that that can execute various rational functions.”

So this very powerful illusion could be part of what inspired Babbage as well as Jaquard, the inventor of the mechanical loom, to have the courage to innovate on such a great scale. It turns out magic has its uses, after all.

Do click through and read the entire interview with Gaughan, it’s well worth it.

(Source: Boing Boing)

Keeping Royalty Fresh: The World’s First Augmented Coin
Can you think of anything more traditional than a federal money-making mint, and a Royal one at that? Yet in a delightful turn of events, the Royal Canadian Mint got a breath of fresh air, topped with a breath mint last night. The Mint has sourced internationally renowned artist Gary Taxali to design six new limited edition collector’s quarters. And to spice things up further, our fearless leader Brian Mullins teamed up with visionary augmented reality researcher Helen Papagiannis to develop the world’s first Augmented Reality coin. Helen and Brian created a one-of-a-kind experience that guests were treated to during an evening celebration last night at the Art Gallery of Ontario in Toronto.
To learn more, head over to our full blog post here: http://j.mp/xQSao8

Keeping Royalty Fresh: The World’s First Augmented Coin

Can you think of anything more traditional than a federal money-making mint, and a Royal one at that? Yet in a delightful turn of events, the Royal Canadian Mint got a breath of fresh air, topped with a breath mint last night. The Mint has sourced internationally renowned artist Gary Taxali to design six new limited edition collector’s quarters. And to spice things up further, our fearless leader Brian Mullins teamed up with visionary augmented reality researcher Helen Papagiannis to develop the world’s first Augmented Reality coin. Helen and Brian created a one-of-a-kind experience that guests were treated to during an evening celebration last night at the Art Gallery of Ontario in Toronto.

To learn more, head over to our full blog post here: http://j.mp/xQSao8

Erick Miller and Jon Rodriguez are two young, driven startup founders. What sets them apart from the sea of young entrepreneurs with big dreams? For starters, their near term goal is to make an Iron Man suit. Long term, they’re thinking cyborgs.

Jon Rodriguez of Vergence Labs

This is Jon Rodriguez giving a prototype demo.

Check out their website and keep an eye out for Kickstarter campaigns to fund their sci-fi-like projects. In the meantime, see their latest release, social-media enabled goggles that recognize your friends’ faces: 

http://www.prweb.com/releases/2012/2/prweb9188672.htm

How Robots See the World

A fascinating compilation of clips from different robots around the world, built for a variety of purposes. Forget your human sensibilities for a while, and enjoy a view of the world with new, digitized eyes.

Swarming: a collective behavior exhibited by animals of similar size which aggregate together, perhaps milling about the same spot or perhaps moving en masse in some direction.

Sweet augmented reality still from Avatar. Nice graphs and charts! But the coup de grace? Home Tree itself of course.

Sweet augmented reality still from Avatar. Nice graphs and charts! But the coup de grace? Home Tree itself of course.

Last June, the BBC did an article purporting that one of the great promises of augmented reality would be the ability to watch Lady Gaga perform in your living room.

Austereo Digital recently launched a campaign that does essentially that – represents a series of musicians and artists in 3D augmented reality and allows the viewer to experience performances wherever they have access to a desktop computer.

Band in Your Hand created a cause campaign for the major Australian retailer Cotton On and raised money for an Australian charity that helps youth combat depression.

To learn more about how augmented reality is changing music on our blog —> click here.

This concept looks awesome. Excited to see this level of creativity coming together from so many different angles - augmented reality does best when approached from a multi-disciplinary perspective. Sports + engineering + design + AR = truly meaningful uses of AR. Check it out!

oceantokyo:

Gosta’’ glasses cheers for Google

In an article on ReadWriteWeb, Marshall Kirkpatrick declares that Google augmented reality glasses could come soon and continues to ask; what do they mean?

A couple of months ago we showed exactly this. Our Gosta’’ glasses (on YouTube) is one possible scenario for how the much debated “nerdglasses” actually could have a great meaning and value to the common man, rather than being a weapon in the defence industry or used in unnatural and forced situations where they only appear as awkward.

During the Innovative Sweden exhibition at Stanford in the beginning of November Ocean Observations showed what we believe is the future of training. The vision of the augmented reality enabled lightweight glasses is carefully designed based on our own experiences and emotions from being runners, skiers and bikers. 

 Plenty of stories from exercising have been woven into the concept and we believe these glasses are far more meaningful to the athlete than smartphones and pulse watches. Read our story here.

At the time we figured that our idea of connected glasses wouldn’t be realised in 3-4 years at least, but now it seems like the future is closer than we thought! Google goggles have leaked and rumours say they are actually almost the same size and shape as ordinary glasses.

Our source tells us that this is what Google is building. They are in late prototype stages of wearable glasses that look similar to thick-rimmed glasses that “normal people” wear. However, these provide a display with a heads up computer interface. There are a few buttons on the arms of the glasses, but otherwise, they could be mistaken for normal glasses.” 

These types of glasses can obviously enhance the experience of services and be useful in many different situations. As designers, strategists or engineers we just need to make sure we are equipped with enough insights in order to create meaningful services for users ready to go goggling. We are getting there, are you?