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Oct 31, 2006

A couple of interesting links about locative media

Check out these couple of links (via LADS):

1) Tip // Location-Based social networking from NavXS

NavXS Windows Mobile Client

NavXS, short for Navigation Exchange Service, is a location-based social network. Think of it as an instant messaging service, like MSN or ICQ, but in addition to seeing when other users are online, you can see where they are online.

have a look to the NavXS website. The service is running in beta version, but one can sign up and try it.

there is also a blog (still under construction)

2) iPointer Platform

iPointer Platform Overview Diagram

The iPointer™ Platform is a platform for developing location-based applications such as mobile search, GPS tracking, geotagging, geoblogging, pedestrian navigation, and targeted advertising. The platform allows users to point, click, and select points of interest such as historical buildings, restaurants, and landmarks with their cell phone or PDA and then receive location-specific multimedia content.

The iPointer includes both a client component that runs on most cell phones and PDAs and a server-based geospatial search engine. The iPointer client relies on data collected from GPS receivers such as the SiRFstarIII and a digital compass. The search engine is a hosted service that identifies a point of interest and sends back data that can be aggregated from a variety of content sources. Applications include self-guided historic tours, city guides, campus tours, and pedestrian navigation.

Find out more here

18:00 Posted in Locative media | Permalink | Comments (0) | Tags: locative media

ENGAGE: Interaction, Art and Audience Experience

from Rhizome.org

Engage 2006

26-28 November 2006
University of Technology, Sydney

Reduced fee early registration deadline approaching: 8 November 2006.

ENGAGE is an international symposium positioning audience experience at the heart of our understanding of interactive art. Papers will be presented by leading artists, curators and theorists exploring key issues in audience-based interactive art research.

Further information on keynote speakers, presenters, registration and contact information is available at: http://www.creativityandcognition.com/engage06/

ENGAGE is the 3rd annual symposium organised by the Creativity and Cognition Studios at the University of Technology, Sydney. Sponsorship is care of the Australasian CRC for Interaction Design (ACID), creating new forms of human interaction with emerging content technology; and the Australian Network for Art and Technology (ANAT), Australia's peak network and advocacy body for media arts.

New magazine about Locative Media launched

Re-blogged from Networked Performance

[Re: ] magazine is an international new media online magazine about locative media.

Locative Media - recently becoming more popular in Media Art discourses- has roots dating back to the dawn of history. Early myths like the Gilgamesch Epic or - more specific - Homer's Odyssee deal with issues of location and the recording of movement on earth's surface...

Developments since then include mediaeval cartography as well as the Situationists' approach to mapping a city. Nowadays Locative Media uses technology to trigger artworks in a specific physical space. The magazine features an depth interview with locative media artist Jeremy Hight about a new form of dissent utilizing smart mobs, on line community and locative media

17:25 Posted in Locative media | Permalink | Comments (0) | Tags: locative media

Neurofeedback for the treatment of epilepsy

Foundation and practice of neurofeedback for the treatment of epilepsy.

Appl Psychophysiol Biofeedback. 2006 Mar;31(1):21-35

Authors: Sterman MB, Egner T

This review provides an updated overview of the neurophysiological rationale, basic and clinical research literature, and current methods of practice pertaining to clinical neurofeedback. It is based on documented findings, rational theory, and the research and clinical experience of the authors. While considering general issues of physiology, learning principles, and methodology, it focuses on the treatment of epilepsy with sensorimotor rhythm (SMR) training, arguably the best established clinical application of EEG operant conditioning. The basic research literature provides ample data to support a very detailed model of the neural generation of SMR, as well as the most likely candidate mechanism underlying its efficacy in clinical treatment. Further, while more controlled clinical trials would be desirable, a respectable literature supports the clinical utility of this alternative treatment for epilepsy. However, the skilled practice of clinical neurofeedback requires a solid understanding of the neurophysiology underlying EEG oscillation, operant learning principles and mechanisms, as well as an in-depth appreciation of the ins and outs of the various hardware/software equipment options open to the practitioner. It is suggested that the best clinical practice includes the systematic mapping of quantitative multi-electrode EEG measures against a normative database before and after treatment to guide the choice of treatment strategy and document progress towards EEG normalization. We conclude that the research literature reviewed in this article justifies the assertion that neurofeedback treatment of epilepsy/seizure disorders constitutes a well-founded and viable alternative to anticonvulsant pharmacotherapy.

Oct 30, 2006

Spatio-Temporal Video Warping

From A VR Geek Blog

Evolving time fronts is a new approach for spatio-temporal warping of video developed by Alex Rav-Acha, Yael PritchDani Lischinski, Shmuel Peleg

The framework allows to set different playing speeds to different parts of the same movie.

Look at this demolition video



22:25 Posted in Research tools | Permalink | Comments (0) | Tags: research tools

Free Daily Yoga HD Videos from Yoga Today

Via Mindware forum (by way of the LifeHacker blog)

Yoga Today offers daily yoga instruction videos that can be downloaded for free. The videos are shot against an awesome Wyoming landscape and delivered in the iHD format


22:01 Posted in Meditation & brain | Permalink | Comments (0) | Tags: meditation

Flickr Graph

Flickr Graph is an award winning application (FITC awards 2005) developed by Marcos Weskamp that explores the social relationships inside flickr.com. It makes use of the classic attraction-repulsion algorithm for graphs.


Try Flickr Graph here

Throwable game-controllers

Re-blogged from New Scientist Tech

"Just what the doctor ordered? A new breed of throwable games controllers could turn computer gaming into a healthy pastime, reckons one Californian inventor. His "tossable peripherals" aim to get lazy console gamers up off the couch and out into the fresh air.

Each controller resembles a normal throwable object, like a beach ball, a football or a Frisbee. But they also connect via WiFi to a games console, like the PlayStation Portable. And each also contains an accelerometer capable of detecting speed and impact, an altimeter, a timer and a GPS receiver.

The connected console can then orchestrate a game of catch, awarding points for a good catch or deducting them if the peripheral is dropped hard on the ground. Or perhaps the challenge could be to can throw the object furthest, highest or fastest, with the connected computer keeping track of different competitors' scores.

Hardcore gamers, who cannot bear to be separated from a computer screen, could wear a head-mounted display that shows scores and other information. The peripheral can also emit a bleeps when it has been still for too long, to help the owner locate it in the long grass"

Read the full throwable game controller patent application

IMAI 2007

Salt Lake City, July 16-22, 2007

From the conference website

In the last few years we have witnessed an explosive growth of multimedia computing, ambient intelligent (AmI), pervasive and ubiquitous computing. The few key technologies interact in an interesting and yet useful way, bringing profound impact and revolution. The revolution is transforming the way people live, work, and interact with each other, and is impacting the way business, government services, education, entertainment and health care are operating.


IMAI 2007 is the continuous of IMMCN (International Conference on Intelligent Multimedia Computing and Networking) series running since the beginning of this century. IMAI 2007 seeks the contribution of high quality papers addressing various aspects of multimedia and ambient intelligence, in particular the techniques that lead the merging of both intelligences, for presentation at the conference and publication in the JCIS(Joint Conference on Information Science) proceeding. For the topics of interest, go to the conference website


The paper should follow the JCIS 2007 ( http://www.jcis.org/jcis2007/ ) paper submission guideline. Seleted high quality papers will be published in Information Science journal.

Spoken SMS for the hearing impaired

From Textually.org

deaf tecg.jpg








According to Tokyomanga, "Japan's Ministry of Health just launched a major collaborative effort with 10+ companies and research institutes to create highly exportable, high-tech devices for people with hearing and vision disabilities, including one that will instantly translate spoken words into cell phone text messages for the hearing impaired"

Vision-body link tested in robot experiments

Re-blogged from KurzweilAI.net

"Embodied cognition" experiments involving real and simulated robots suggest that the relationship between physical movement and sensory input could be crucial to developing more intelligent machines...

Read the full article

Oct 29, 2006

IDC 2007 Interaction Design and Children Conference - Aalborg, Denmark

Via UsabilityNews 

Event Date: 6 June 2007 to 8 June 2007

The increased focus on children’s role in the design and evaluation of interactive technologies has provided several interesting research studies and results. Currently, we are aware of the fact that children are very different than adults, they are independent individuals with their own strong opinions, needs, likes, and dislikes, and they should be treated as such.

To address emerging research and development, IDC 2007 will look for papers, demonstrations, posters that may include at least one of the following broad areas: 

-  Emerging technologies for children (e.g., innovative educational simulations, online games, accessible fabrication devices, mobile communications devices, wireless embedded technologies, sensors and actuators, "smart" materials, authoring/programming tools) 

- The impact these technologies can have on children's lives (e.g., in schools, at home, in public spaces) 

- New research methods which give children a voice in the design, development, and evaluation processes (e.g., participatory design methods, usability testing, etc.)

Please refer to the call for papers.

Patient Readiness and Willingness to Pay for Online Services

Re-blogged from eHealth

In a new article from the Journal of Medical Internet Research, Kenneth Adler of Tuscon reports on his study of 346 patients in his practice regarding their use of online services and willingness to pay for them. Conclusion: patient's of any age would be willing to pay $10 per year for a web portal where they could view their test results and other medical information. While this may seem small, the author points out that if around 50% of patients in a large practice were willing to pay this, the program would pay for itself.  Reimbursement for email consultations or eVisits is still rare so this business model is one to consider.

22:17 Posted in Cybertherapy | Permalink | Comments (0) | Tags: cybertherapy

Oct 28, 2006

Recovery of hand function through mental practice: A study protocol.

Recovery of hand function through mental practice: A study protocol.

BMC Neurol. 2006 Oct 26;6(1):39

Authors: Ietswaart M, Johnston M, Dijkerman HC, Scott CL, Joice SA, Hamilton S, Macwalter RS

BACKGROUND: The study aims to assess the therapeutic benefits of motor imagery training in stroke patients with persistent motor weakness. There is evidence to suggest that mental rehearsal of movement can produce effects normally attributed to practising the actual movements. Imagining hand movements could stimulate the redistribution of brain activity, which accompanies recovery of hand function, thus resulting in a reduced motor deficit. Methods/ Design A multi-centre randomised controlled trial recruiting individuals between one and six months post-stroke ( n = 135). Patients are assessed before and after a four-week evaluation period. In this trial, 45 patients daily mentally rehearse movements with their affected arm under close supervision. Their recovery is compared to 45 patients who perform closely supervised non-motor mental rehearsal, and 45 patients who are not engaged in a training program. Motor imagery training effectiveness is evaluated using outcome measures of motor function, psychological processes, and level of disability. DISCUSSION: The idea of enhancing motor recovery through the use of motor imagery rehabilitation techniques is important with potential implications for clinical practice. The techniques evaluated as part of this randomised controlled trial are informed by the current understanding in cognitive neuroscience and the trial is both of scientific and applied interest. Trial Registration; Clinical Trial Registration; current clinical trial protocol registration NCT00355836.

Brain-machine interfaces: past, present and future

Brain-machine interfaces: past, present and future.

Trends Neurosci. 2006 Sep;29(9):536-46

Authors: Lebedev MA, Nicolelis MA

Since the original demonstration that electrical activity generated by ensembles of cortical neurons can be employed directly to control a robotic manipulator, research on brain-machine interfaces (BMIs) has experienced an impressive growth. Today BMIs designed for both experimental and clinical studies can translate raw neuronal signals into motor commands that reproduce arm reaching and hand grasping movements in artificial actuators. Clearly, these developments hold promise for the restoration of limb mobility in paralyzed subjects. However, as we review here, before this goal can be reached several bottlenecks have to be passed. These include designing a fully implantable biocompatible recording device, further developing real-time computational algorithms, introducing a method for providing the brain with sensory feedback from the actuators, and designing and building artificial prostheses that can be controlled directly by brain-derived signals. By reaching these milestones, future BMIs will be able to drive and control revolutionary prostheses that feel and act like the human arm.

Oct 27, 2006

How many megapixels equivalent does the eye have?

Via Cognitive Daily

Clarkvision does the calculations.

The answer: 576 megapixels!

22:06 Posted in Research tools | Permalink | Comments (0) | Tags: research tools

PaPeRo Robot Childcare In Japan

Via Technovelgy 

NEC and NTT have jointly produced PaPeRo (short for Partner-type Personal Robot), the latest of a series of domestic robots. PaPeRo uses a camera in each eye to navigate and has image recognition capabilities to track and identify individual children. Further, it is equipped with a mobile phone that allows parents to control him at distance, as well as to talk to children directly or with text messages


Five-year, $50 million digital media and learning initiative launched by The MacArthur Foundation

Via Interactive Multimedia Technology

Building the Field of Digital Media and Learning: MacArthur Foundation, private grantmaking institution focused on human and community development, global security and sustainability, launches a $50 million Digital Media and Learning initiative:

"The MacArthur Foundation launched its five-year, $50 million digital media and learning initiative in 2006 to help determine how digital technologies are changing the way young people learn, play, socialize, and participate in civic life. Answers are critical to developing educational and other social institutions that can meet the needs of this and future generations. The initiative is both marshaling what is already known about the field and seeding innovation for continued growth"


Vision-body link tested in robot experiments

Via New Scientist Tech

Tests involving real and simulated robots suggest the relationship between physical movement and sensory input could be crucial to create smarter machines...

Read the full story

The science of the invisible

From CBC News

British and U.S. researchers have developed a cloak that renders the wearer invisible. The shield, a set of metamaterial concentric rings, can redirect microwave beams so they flow around a “hidden” object inside. The cloak is designed for operation over a band of microwave frequencies, and works only in two dimensions.

Metamaterial Electromagnetic Cloak at Microwave Frequencies.

Authors: D. Schurig, J.J. Mock, B.J. Justice, S.A. Cummer, J.B. Pendry, A.F. Starr, D.R. Smith.
Science DOI: 10.1126/science.1133628

Recently published theory has suggested that a cloak of invisibility is in principle possible, at least over a narrow frequency band. We present here the first practical realization of such a cloak: in our demonstration, a copper cylinder is 'hidden' inside a cloak constructed according to the previous theoretical prescription. The cloak is constructed using artificially structured metamaterials, designed for operation over a band of microwave frequencies. The cloak decreases scattering from the hidden object whilst at the same time reducing its shadow, so that the cloak and object combined begin to resemble free space.

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