Aug 05, 2014

Life's a beach at work for Japanese company

A Japanese company has recreated a tropical beach in the very reception area they also use as their employee meeting space and staff lounge.

Aug 03, 2014

Fly like a Birdly

Birdly is a full body, fully immersive, Virtual Reality flight simulator developed at the Zurich University of the Arts (ZHdK). With Birdly, you can embody an avian creature, the Red Kite, visualized through Oculus Rift, as it soars over the 3D virtual city of San Francisco, heightened by sonic, olfactory, and wind feedback.

Mar 09, 2014

Shugo Tokumaru "Katachi"

Mar 03, 2014

By licking these electric ice cream cones, you can make music

From Wired

Ice cream can be the reward after a successful little league game, a consolation after a bad breakup, or, in the hands of gourmet geeks, a sweet musical instrument. Designers Carla Diana and Emilie Baltz recently whipped up a musical performance where a quartet of players jammed using just a quart of vanilla ice cream and some high-tech cones

lickestra

Dec 24, 2013

The Creative Link: Investigating the Relationship Between Social Network Indices, Creative Performance and Flow in Blended Teams

The Creative Link: Investigating the Relationship Between Social Network Indices, Creative Performance and Flow in Blended Teams

Andrea Gaggioli, Elvis Mazzoni, Luca Milani, Giuseppe Riva

Computers in Human Behavior. 01/2014; Forthcoming publication. DOI:10.1016/j.chb.2013.12.003

This study presents findings of an exploratory study, which has investigated the relationship between indices of social network structure, flow and creative performance in students collaborating in blended setting. Thirty undergraduate students enrolled in a Media Psychology course were included in five groups, which were tasked with designing a new technology-based psychological application. Team members collaborated over a twelve-week period using two main modalities: face-to-face meeting sessions in the classroom (once a week) and virtually using a groupware tool. Social network indicators of group interaction and presence indices were extracted from communication logs, whereas flow and product creativity were assessed through survey measures. Findings showed that specific social network indices (in particular those measuring decentralization and neighbor interaction) were positively related with flow experience. More broadly, results indicated that selected social network indicators can offer useful insight into the creative collaboration process. Theoretical and methodological implications of these results are drawn.

Nov 20, 2013

inFORM

inFORM is a Dynamic Shape Display developed by MIT Tangible Media Group that can render 3D content physically, so users can interact with digital information in a tangible way.

inFORM can also interact with the physical world around it, for example moving objects on the table’s surface.

Remote participants in a video conference can be displayed physically, allowing for a strong sense of presence and the ability to interact physically at a distance.

Aug 07, 2013

Hive-mind solves tasks using Google Glass ant game

Re-blogged from New Scientist

Glass could soon be used for more than just snapping pics of your lunchtime sandwich. A new game will connect Glass wearers to a virtual ant colony vying for prizes by solving real-world problems that vex traditional crowdsourcing efforts.

Crowdsourcing is most famous for collaborative projects like Wikipedia and "games with a purpose" like FoldIt, which turns the calculations involved in protein folding into an online game. All require users to log in to a specific website on their PC.

Now Daniel Estrada of the University of Illinois in Urbana-Champaign and Jonathan Lawhead of Columbia University in New York are seeking to bring crowdsourcing to Google's wearable computer, Glass.

The pair have designed a game called Swarm! that puts a Glass wearer in the role of an ant in a colony. Similar to the pheromone trails laid down by ants, players leave virtual trails on a map as they move about. These behave like real ant trails, fading away with time unless reinforced by other people travelling the same route. Such augmented reality games already exist – Google's Ingress, for one – but in Swarm! the tasks have real-world applications.

Swarm! players seek out virtual resources to benefit their colony, such as food, and must avoid crossing the trails of other colony members. They can also monopolise a resource pool by taking photos of its real-world location.

To gain further resources for their colony, players can carry out real-world tasks. For example, if the developers wanted to create a map of the locations of every power outlet in an airport, they could reward players with virtual food for every photo of a socket they took. The photos and location data recorded by Glass could then be used to generate a map that anyone could use. Such problems can only be solved by people out in the physical world, yet the economic incentives aren't strong enough for, say, the airport owner to provide such a map.

Estrada and Lawhead hope that by turning tasks such as these into games, Swarm! will capture the group intelligence ant colonies exhibit when they find the most efficient paths between food sources and the home nest.

Read full story

May 26, 2013

Cross-Brain Neurofeedback: Scientific Concept and Experimental Platform

Cross-Brain Neurofeedback: Scientific Concept and Experimental Platform.

PLoS One. 2013;8(5):e64590

Authors: Duan L, Liu WJ, Dai RN, Li R, Lu CM, Huang YX, Zhu CZ

Abstract. The present study described a new type of multi-person neurofeedback with the neural synchronization between two participants as the direct regulating target, termed as "cross-brain neurofeedback." As a first step to implement this concept, an experimental platform was built on the basis of functional near-infrared spectroscopy, and was validated with a two-person neurofeedback experiment. This novel concept as well as the experimental platform established a framework for investigation of the relationship between multiple participants' cross-brain neural synchronization and their social behaviors, which could provide new insight into the neural substrate of human social interactions.

Nov 02, 2012

Networked Flow: Towards an understanding of creative networks

Networked Flow

Gaggioli A., Riva G., Milani L., Mazzoni E.

Networked Flow: Towards an understanding of creative networks Springer, New York, 2013.
 
Identifying ‘networked flow’ as the key driver of networked creativity, this new volume in the Springer Briefs series deploys concepts from a range of sub-disciplines in psychology to suggest ways of optimizing the innovative potential of creative networks. In their analysis of how to support these networks, the contributing authors apply expertise in experimental, social, cultural and educational psychology. They show how developing a creative network requires the establishment of an optimal group experience in which individual intentions inform and guide collective goals. The volume represents a three-fold achievement. It develops a ground-breaking new perspective on group creativity: the notion of ‘networked flow’ as a bridging concept linking the neuropsychological, psychological and social levels of the creative process. In addition, the authors set out a six-stage model that provides researchers with a methodological framework (also by referring to the social network analysis) for studying the creativity traditionally associated with interpersonal contexts. Finally, the book includes perceptive analysis of the novel possibilities opened up by second-generation internet technologies, particularly in social networking, that seem destined to develop and sustain online creativity. As a wide-ranging exposition of a new direction in theoretical psychology that is laden with exciting possibilities, this volume will inform and inspire professionals, scholars and students alike.
 

Read an excerpt

Dec 27, 2010

Post-apocalyptic Tokyo scenery

fantastic photo manipulations by Tokyogenso. See more here

Best of 2010 --

Zilok: peer to peer renting

From Mauro Cherubini's Moleskine

Zilok is a startup that offers an interesting service: peer to peer renting.

How it works? Users post possessions they are willing to rent out, along with a price. The web site processes the fee, track the reputation of your renting partner and issues insurance for the item.

zilok_rent-anything.png

Aug 26, 2010

Heart Chamber Orchestra

The Heart Chamber Orchestra consists of classical musicians who use their heartbeats to control a computer composition and visualization environment. To my best knowledge, this is the first example of "group biofeedback".

The musicians are equipped with ECG (electrocardiogram) sensors. A computer monitors and analyzes the state of these 12 hearts in real time. The acquired information is used to compose a musical score with the aid of computer software. It is a living score dependent on the state of the hearts.

hcoquadrooo.jpg

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While the musicians are playing, their heartbeats influence and change the composition and vice versa. The musicians and the electronic composition are linked via the hearts in a circular motion, a feedback structure. The emerging music evolves entirely during the performance.

The resulting music is the expression of this process and of an organism forming itself from the circular interplay of the individual musicians and the machine.

The sensor network consists of 12 individual sensors; each one is fitted onto the body of a musician. A computer receives the heartbeat data. Software analyzes the data and generates via different algorithms the real-time musical score for the musicians, the electronic sounds and the computer graphic visualization

Below is a video documentation from the Heart Chamber Orchestra performance on the 28th of March 2010 at Kiasma Theatre at Pixelache Festival in Helsinki, Finland.

 

Dec 20, 2009

Head Chaise: Couching One's Thoughts into a Brain Wave Sofa

From Scientific American

Two European designers, Dries Verbruggen and Lucas Maassen used their alpha waves as a source of inspiration for their design work, which resulted in a piece of furniture, the Brain Wave Couch.

“The process is a wink to a rather futuristic design process,” the couch creators wrote in a press release, “for which a designer merely has to close his or her eyes, or merely rest, to have the brain do all the work, and create the data needed to have the CNC machine cut the shape of the sofa.”

The x-axis of the couch represents Maassen’s brain waves in hertz, while the y-axis shows the amount of alpha activity as a percentage, and the z-axis is the time in milliseconds. Once the foam core of the sofa was completed, the designers covered it by hand in soft gray felt and decorated the valleys of the brain waves with buttons.

The Brainwave Sofa was presented at the Bits ‘n Pieces Exhibition in New York.

eeg_sofa.jpg

Dec 06, 2009

Avatar: Can't wait any longer

I just can not wait for the new James Cameron's movie Avatar...

The iPhone Orchestra

The Stanford Mobile Phone Orchestra (MoPhO) is a new repertoire-based ensemble using mobile phones as musical instrument. MoPhO's interactive musical works take advantage of the unique technological capabilities of today's hardware and software, transforming multi-touch screens, built-in accelerometers, built-in microphones, GPS, data networks, and computation into powerful and yet mobile chamber meta-instruments.

The researcher behind the idea, Ge Wang, believes cell phones are becoming so powerful that we “cannot ignore them anymore as platforms for creativity. . . . It levels the playing ground in some ways, because everyone has a cell phone.”

 



The Stanford Mobile Phone Orchestra’s performance on December 3 at Palo Alto (CA) used an Apple iPhones amplified by speakers attached to small fingerless gloves. Here is a video of the concert.


Oct 10, 2009

Nokia N900 hacks

Enjoy

 

Jun 26, 2009

Reactable

From the Reactable website:

The Reactable is a revolutionary new electronic musical instrument designed to create and perform the music of today and tomorrow. It combines state of the art technologies with a simple and intuitive design, which enables musicians to experiment with sound, change its structure, control its parameters and be creative in a direct and refreshing way, unlike anything you have ever known before.

The Reactable uses a so called tangible interface, where the musician controls the system by manipulating tangible objects. The instrument is based on a translucent and luminous round table, and by putting these pucks on the Reactable surface, by turning them and connecting them to each other, performers can combine different elements like synthesizers, effects, sample loops or control elements in order to create a unique and flexible composition.

As soon as any puck is placed on the surface, it is illuminated and starts to interact with the other neighboring pucks, according to their positions and proximity. These interactions are visible on the table surface which acts as a screen, giving instant feedback about what is currently going on in the Reactable turning music into something visible and tangible.

Additionally, performers can also change the behavior of the objects by touching and interacting with the table surface, and because the Reactable technology is “multi-touch”, there is not limit to the number of fingers that can be used simultaneously. As a matter of fact, the Reactable was specially designed so that it could also be used by several performers at the same time, thus opening up a whole new universe of pedagogical, entertaining and creative possibilities with its collaborative and multi-user capabilities

 

Jun 09, 2009

Google Wave

Google Wave is a new tool for communication and collaboration on the web, coming later this year. A "wave" is equal parts conversation and document, where people can communicate and work together with richly formatted text, photos, videos, maps, and more. In Google Wave you create a wave and add people to it. Everyone on your wave can use richly formatted text, photos, gadgets, and even feeds from other sources on the web. They can insert a reply or edit the wave directly. It's concurrent rich-text editing, where you see on your screen nearly instantly what your fellow collaborators are typing in your wave. That means Google Wave is just as well suited for quick messages as for persistent content — it allows for both collaboration and communication. You can also use "playback" to rewind the wave and see how it evolved.

Watch the demo video below

 

Mar 10, 2008

New platform for crowdsourcing

Via TheAppGap 

Kluster is a platform for crowdsourcing and then organizing and putting to use skills, energy and availability on projects and initiatives.  From the ReadWriteWeb review:

Kluster Launches at TED: A New Product in 72 Hours

Crowdsourcing firm Kluster officially launched yesterday at the TED conference, which is underway this week in Monterey, California. Founder Ben Kaufman, who bankrolled the company in part with money from the sale of his last company Mophie, has organized a gimmick over the course of the TED conference he hopes will prove Kluster’s worth. Kaufman intends to let TED attendees — and users from around the world — design a completely new product over the course of 72 hours.

The idea behind Kluster is that a group of passionate people working together can come up with better solutions for any decision-making problem than a single person. Whether that is planning an event, designing a new logo, or creating a new product, Kluster believes their system can.

[ Snip … ]


The Kluster system works by breaking down products into manageable chunks. For each chunk (or "phase"), people submit what are called "sparks." Sparks are proposed solutions for that phase. For each spark, other participants can submit "amps" — which are improvements to that idea. Users also assign "watts" to sparks and amps they like. Watts work kind of like investments. You accrue points based on participation and other factors, and can invest those points (watts) in ideas you like.

Then an algorithm that takes into account "each user’s successes, failures, reputation, areas of expertise, and overall history" goes to work to determine which sparks are the best. Companies interested in using the Kluster system, put up cash prizes that are doled out along the way (at the completion of each phase).

Mar 03, 2008

Board Game: Fright Night At The ER

Re-blogged from Medgadget

ER Board Game.jpg

Researchers at Breakthrough Learning have developed the world's most stressful board game to help foster systems thinking, collaboration, and innovation in the health care setting.

Played out over a simulated 24-hour day at a hospital, "Friday Night at the ER" graphically shows the downside of short-term thinking, faulty assumptions and an every-manager-for-himself philosophy.

Four-player teams try to juggle a limited number of hospital beds, a relentless influx of patients and a gradual attrition of nurses to care for them, all while racing against a clock that forced faster and faster decisions. Every so often, game cards announce another mini-crisis to ramp up the pressure.

The patient count in the ER waiting room soars as the day goes on, especially if the players running the operating room, critical care unit and medical-surgical floor don't cooperate to free up bed space, share nursing staff and think ahead to the next challenge.

"It's about collaboration and teamwork, about seeing your department as one piece of an enormous mosaic," game leader William Ward [Johns Hopkins University professor of health finance and management -ed] told the players. "Whether it's lab, registration, records, we tend to manage just in our own little departments. I swear at the bottom of the Atlantic there's still a hospital department manager in dry room on the Titanic who went down thinking 'It's OK. My department is dry.'"

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