OpenPool – track those balls!

OpenPool uses the kinect to track the position of every ball on the pool table. Through a projector,mounted above the table, the application can add effects to the balls and the table in real-time. It is open source, so there is a potential for a whole lot of themes. There are currently 3 demos online and the software is in beta stage. The company will be selling a complete solution (1 table, 2 kinects, 1 projector, pocket detectors, collision detector) for $10,000. It is not available for a download just yet but they are signing people up who have $10,000 to fork up for the full solution.

Video is here: http://vimeo.com/61133664#at=0

This is the developer website: http://www.openpool.cc/

Star Trek replicator is real – kind of…

Makerbot creators are working on the Makerbot Digitizer. It’s a 3D scanner that will allow you to scan a real world object, so you don’t have to create it from scratch. Just like 3D printers, 3D scanners have been around for at least a decade, but Makerbot will make it appealing to hobbyists.

If I was to guess, Makerbot will most likely release the device at a very attractive price with “auto cleanup” software. Based on my experience with pro 3D scanners, a whole lot of cleanup needs to take place in the 3D software of your choice to the scanned model.

It would be interesting to see how copyright laws would start applying to physical object design.

The link to the device is here: http://store.makerbot.com/digitizer.html


Billboard Produces Water

A creative use of billboards to extract atmospheric humidity, filter, and produce clean drinking water in Peru.

Fahrenheit 451 – clever book cover design

This is a brilliant sci-fi classic that depicts a world where books are illegal. Firemen set fires to books and sometimes people, who are caught with this illicit tree by product. A clever designer by the name of Elizabeth Perez has redesigned the cover to match the theme – literarily.


3-D Printing

While not a new technology, 3D printing is getting more and more popular. This year in honour of Valentine’s Day, there was a pop-up event in Toronto featuring a “3D Kissing booth”. Both fun and interactive, couples/individuals were encouraged to go down to the event, hosted at a store and pose to have a 3D model of themselves scanned and printed out for purchase.

Hot Pop Factory used an X-box Kinect to scan the posing person and convert their form into a digital copy.

Check out the full article here: http://www.thestar.com/life/valentinesday/2013/02/13/valentines_day_toronto_shop_sets_up_3d_kissing_booth.html

Another interesting 3D printing article, is the “3Doodler”, which is a 3D pen that allows artists to draw their art in midair

Check out the article and video here: http://mashable.com/2013/02/19/3d-printing-pen/


Peer-to-peer streaming video, now in your browser

&yet just announced a JavaScript framework called SimpleWebRTC.js, which allows users to create their own chat room with streaming video + audio.

Check out the demo

While it’s only currently listed as supported in the Chrome and Firefox “nightly” browsers (aka the version that geeks on the bleeding-edge install), it is conceivable that we’ll see support across browsers and on mobile devices in the near future.

The most impressive part of the framework, however, is its simplicity.

Setting up a proof of concept for something like conversat.io – the demo page for SimpleWebRTC – is possible in about five minutes.

Potential applications are limitless — imagine simplying proof of performance for digital signage, creating a web interface for a quadcopter, or live streaming a helmet cam.


SpaceTop – getting closer to Minority Report

Transparent LCD screen is used in this setup to present a user interface, overlaying traditional input devices. I like this example because it could be applied well as a hands-on product demo, with an added value. Jim – thanks for the find!

Go to the website to see the video and learn about the product. http://www.leejinha.com/spacetop

Beck Sound and Vision – 360 degree interactive concert

Beck has collaborated with Chris Milk to create an interactive video concert. There were 3 video cameras, capturing a 360 degree view of the concert. The beauty is that you can control the zoom and the pan of the cameras on demand. Don’t want to use your mouse to control the camera? No problem – use your head with the help of a face tracker (written in flash) to pan around.

Make sure that you go with the SD version as the HD can take several days to load.

Link to the site here.


Coca Cola – the ice floes are melting

Ice floes, polar bears and Coca Cola? Sounds familiar right? I saw this campaign at the Toronto Eaton Centre today. The bear is standing on a sheet of ice that will melt unless you soash (short for all the social media bucket) a custom message, predefined message or a video. It brings urgency to environmental issues and has a well crafted digital extension. I like it!


Submergence lights – motion sensing light installation

Massive light installations are nothing new but this one is somewhat unique. The user is being tracked through the installation, augmenting the pattern of the lights.

Check out the link: http://vimeo.com/57412634