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Apr 29, 2009

Emotional Cartography

Via Info Aesthetic


The free-downloadable book Emotional Cartography - Technologies of the Self is a collection of essays that explores the political, social and cultural implications of visualizing intimate biometric data and emotional experiences using technology. The theme of this collection of essays is to investigate the apparent desire for technologies to map emotion, using a variety of different approaches.


Ultimate virtual reality will trigger five senses

Via New Scientist

The New Scientist reports that researchers at University of York and the University of Warwick are designing a device able to manipulate five of a person's senses, to provide them with the illusion of being somewhere else.

Apr 20, 2009

New Science 2.0 group on Linkedin

Science 2.0 member

I have created a new group on Science 2.0 on Linkedin. The goal of the community is to connect researchers, consultants and companies and institutions interested in the impact of social media and web 2.0 tools on science and technology.

The community is growing beyond my expectations, with more than 50 professionals and researchers subscribed. I see it as a great opportunity to share news, opinions and tools in this exciting field.

If you are interested and already subscribed to Linkedin, you can join this group here

The Allosphere: an immersive virtual reality system to visualize scientific data

The need for computing tools that allows to visualize, explore and manipulate huge multidimensional data is becoming a key priority in several fields of science and engineering

From this perspective, an interesting possibility is the use of Immersive Virtual Reality. For example, researchers at the California NanoSystem Institute lead by Professor JoAnn Kuchera-Morin have created the AlloSphere, an interactive chamber made of two 5-meter-radius hemispheres of perforated aluminum that are designed to be optically opaque and acoustically transparent.

There are currently two projectors, mounted around the seam between the two hemispheres, approaching eye-limited resolution on the inner surface. The loudspeaker real-time sound synthesis cluster (around 500 individual speaker elements plus sub-woofers) is suspended behind the aluminum screen resulting in 3-D audio. Other clusters include simulation, sensor-array processing, effector-array processing, real-time video processing for motion-capture and visual computing, render-farm/real-time ray-tracing and radiosity cluster, and content and prototyping environments.

You can tour the Allosphere in this stunning video:


Here is an exterior photo of the AlloSphere @ the California Nanosystem Institute

The Allosphere



Apr 17, 2009

MP3 player for unborn babies

Via Repubblica

Canadian design student Geof Ramsay has invented a MP3 player for unborn babies - the "BLABY". By wearing the device, pregnant mothers will be able to play their favourite music to their children. The player consists of a contoured belt that wraps around a mother's waist with three inbuilt vibration speakers playing music into the womb. Its inbuilt speakers transmit the vibrations of music and voice through to the baby in a safe manner, and the mother wearing it can also benefit from three tiny massage mechanisms.

The new B(I)aby on preganant stomach: iPod for unborn babies

Apr 16, 2009

Turing Tables to understand earthquakes

Earthquakes are complex natural phenomena that are difficult to predict but also to understand.

German artist Franz John created an online installation - Turing Tables - that makes earthquakes easier to fathom while reminding us how alive the Earth is.

Inspired to the work of matematician Alan Turing, The Turing Tables gathers data from a multitude of small earthquake sensors (called “fingers”) stationed around the globe into a real-time, online installation before converting the data into image and sound. Green-and-black moving wallpaper—composed of numeric data and the locations and times at which the readings are taken—fills the room, along with a grating yet melodic soundtrack courtesy of Oakland-based sound artist Ed Osborn.

The future news ecosystem

According to Steven Johnson, this is what the future news ecosystem will look like.

Well, it makes sense, right?


Development of hierarchical structures for actions and motor imagery

Development of hierarchical structures for actions and motor imagery: a constructivist view from synthetic neuro-robotics study.

Psychol Res. 2009 Apr 8;

Authors: Nishimoto R, Tani J

The current paper shows a neuro-robotics experiment on developmental learning of goal-directed actions. The robot was trained to predict visuo-proprioceptive flow of achieving a set of goal-directed behaviors through iterative tutor training processes. The learning was conducted by employing a dynamic neural network model which is characterized by their multiple time-scale dynamics. The experimental results showed that functional hierarchical structures emerge through stages of developments where behavior primitives are generated in earlier stages and their sequences of achieving goals appear in later stages. It was also observed that motor imagery is generated in earlier stages compared to actual behaviors. Our claim that manipulatable inner representation should emerge through the sensory-motor interactions is corresponded to Piaget's constructivist view.

Kinetic Wave Sculptures

Via Idearium

Californian artist Reuben Margolin creates complex kinetic sculptures. His artworks are made using different materials - salvaged wood, metal, cardboard, and other recycled stuff - with sculptures ranging from tiny to looming, motorized to hand-cranked. Elegant and hypnotic.



01:59 Posted in Cyberart | Permalink | Comments (0) | Tags: cyberart

Apr 14, 2009

Movable screen

Cool video of an augmented reality display in use at Allard Pierson Museum in Amsterdam. Augmented reality has become reality...


Apr 10, 2009


Closr is a free service developed by the infoviz company VisUp that allows sharing and zooming high-resolution images (JPG, PNG e GIF format supported) in an easy, simple and fast way. The widgets have several useful functions, including a full-screen button, drag&drop photo navigation, and the possibility of resetting the picture to the starting size.

Thanks to these features, it is possible to embed the images in a blog post or in social networks. More, widgets can be tracked and organized using tags.

It took me 30 secs to upload and share this picture:

The creators of the service are Daniele Galiffa and Gabriele Venier. Nice job guys!





Apr 06, 2009

Violet Mirror

The company Violet (best known for the Nabaztag) has invented the "Violet Mirror", a RFID chip reader that can be connected to the PC. The RFID can be attached to any object and scripted to trigger applications and multimedia content automatically or communicate over the Internet.

This is a usage scenario described in the product's website:

"8:40 am – you’re getting ready to leave home. On your desk, next to your computer, a halo of light is quietly pulsating. You swiftly flash your car keys at this mysterious device. A voice speaks out: "today, rain 14°C". The voice continues: "you will get there in 15 minutes". Your computer screen displays an image from the webcam located along the route you’re planning to travel, while the voice reads out your horoscope for the day. At the same moment, your friends can see your social network profile update to "It’s 8:40, I’m leaving the house". At the office, your favourite colleague receives an email to say that you won’t be long. And finally, just as you walk through the door, your computer locks.

You personally "scripted" this morning’s scenario: you decided to give your car keys all these powers, because the time you pick them up signals the fact you’re soon going to leave the house.

What if you could obtain information, access services, communicate with the world, play or have fun just by showing things to a mirror, a Mir:ror which, as if by magic, could make all your everyday objects come alive, and connect them to the Internet’s endless wealth of possibilities?

Mir:ror is as simple to use as looking in the mirror - it gives access to information or triggers actions with disarming ease: simply place an object near to its surface. Mir:ror is a power conferred upon each of us to easily program the most ordinary of objects. The revolution of the Internet of Things suddenly becomes a simple, obvious, daily reality that’s within anyone’s reach."


Watch the video


Apr 03, 2009

Own Your Choices

Re-blogged from Info Aesthetics



Own Your Choices aims to reveal how personal choices affect others and characterize one's self. In particular, the website focuses on starting the conversation around topics such as tobacco, health, self-image, culture, alcohol, relationships and school. Users are invited to connect with peers on these issues, to share their opinion and influence the conversation. And by accident, the interface seems driven by simple dynamic graphs of the statists resulting from the data-gathering surveys.

Individual people are represented by small outer sectors on a circle, which are linked to individual profile pages. One can use filters on the right side of the screen, for instance to filter by gender, age or location, or to find like-minded peers, or complete opposites. More colors means more activity.