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MIT’s new display lets you raech through your somputer screen – Video Blog

MIT has demonstrated a “Dynamic Shape Display” that can physically change shape to render 3D content. As Fast Company reports, the display is called inFORM, and it’s a large surface that sits atop a series of pins, actuators, and linkages. By moving each actuator, inFORM can move the pin it’s attached to up or down, allowing for a wide range of interactions.

A projector mounted above the surface provides context to the shapeshifting pins, giving them color and highlighting depth. In a video released by MIT, the table is shown moving a ball, mirroring a book, displaying 3D charts, and giving an extremely visible smartphone notification.

When used in conjunction with a Kinect sensor, inFORM gets a lot more interesting. The sensor is able to accurately map and interpret the position of 3D objects, and MIT’s system uses that data to allow you to move the table’s pins with just your hands. This can even work remotely, as demonstrated by the video, which shows an MIT staffer interacting with items via a video conference.

It’s also very interested in mapping and terrain models, which could be used by urban planners and architects to better visualize and share 3D designs. The MIT Tangible Media Group, which is responsible for inFORM’s creation, says it’s currently collaborating with MIT’s Changing Places group to explore the possibilities for urban planners.

It’s extremely impressive stuff, but it’s just one step on a long path to what MIT calls Radical Atoms. First conceptualized over a decade ago, Radical Atoms are what MIT believes will be the future of interactivity. The idea is that we presently interact with computers through graphical user interfaces (GUI), while inFORM and other projects like it offer up a tactile user interface (TUI).

MIT likens TUIs to a digital iceberg: just the tip of the digital content emerges “above water” into the physical realm. Moving past TUIs, the end game is Radical Atoms, a future in which “all digital information has physical manifestation … as if the iceberg had risen from the depths to reveal its sunken mass.”

A Word From Tangible Media Group and M.I.T.

We are currently exploring a number of application domains for the inFORM shape display. One area we are working on is Geospatial data,
such as maps, GIS, terrain models and architectural models. Urban planners and Architects can view 3D designs physically and better
understand, share and discuss their designs. We are collaborating with the urban planners in the Changing Places group at MIT on this
(http://cp.media.mit.edu/). In addition, inFORM would allow 3D Modelers and Designers to prototype their 3D designs physically without 3D
printing (at a low resolution). Finally, cross sections through Volumetric Data such as medical imaging CT scans can be viewed in 3D
physically and interacted with. We would like to explore medical or surgical simulations. We are also very intrigued by the possibilities of
remotely manipulating objects on the table.

Past research on
shape displays has primarily focused on rendering content and user interface elements through shape output, with less emphasis on
dynamically changing UIs. We propose utilizing shape displays in three different ways to mediate interaction: to facilitate by providing
dynamic physical affordances through shape change, to restrict by guiding users with dynamic physical constraints, and to manipulate by
actuating physical objects. We explore potential interaction techniques and introduce Dynamic Physical Affordances and Constraints with our
inFORM system, built on top of a state-of-the-art shape display, which provides for variable stiffness rendering and real-time user input
through direct touch and tangible interaction. A set of example applications demonstrates how dynamic affordances, constraints and
object actuation can create novel interaction possibilities.

, our devices have been designed to simulate affordances–the quality which allows an object to perform a function, such as a handle, a dial or a wheel–but not actually have
them. Follmer says that’s not the way it’s supposed to be. “As humans,
we have evolved to interact physically with our environments, but in the
21st century, we’re missing out on all of this tactile sensation that
is meant to guide us, limit us, and make us feel more connected,” he
says. “In the transition to purely digital interfaces, something
profound has been lost.”

The solution is programmable matter, and the inFORM is one possible
interpretation of an interface that can transform itself to physically
be whatever it needs to be. It’s an interesting (and literal) analogue
to skeuomorphism: while in the touch-screen age we have started rejecting interfaces that ape the look of
real world affordances as “tacky” in favor of more pure digital UIs,
the guys at the Tangible Media Group believe that interface of the
future won’t be skeuomorphic. They’ll be supermorphic, growing the affordances they need on the fly.

Although the inFORM is primarily a sandbox for MIT to experiment with the tactile interfaces to come, it would be wrong to dismiss this project as mere spitballing. “We like to think of ourselves as imagining the futures, plural,” Follmer says. “The inFORM is a look at one of them.” But while the actual consumer implementation may very well differ, but both Follmer and Leithinger agree that tangible interfaces are coming. “Ten years ago, we had people at Media Lab working on gestural interactions, and now they’re everywhere, from the Microsoft Kinect to the Nintendo Wiimote,” says Follmer. “Whatever it ends up looking like, the UI of the future won’t be made of just pixels, but time and form as well. And that future is only five or ten years away. It’s time for designers to start thinking about what that means now.”

Compiled By: Josh Martin

Sources:

TheVerge.com

Tangible Media Group
Fast Company

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Posted by on November 16, 2013 in Uncategorized

 

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Welcome to Sustainable sports cars – video blog

Welcome to “Sustainable Zoom-Zoom”

In March 2007, Mazda announced the “Sustainable Zoom-Zoom” plan, detailing the company’s long-term vision for technology development. This vision commits us to make “cars that always excite, look inviting to drive, are fun to drive, and make you want to drive them again,” and to help achieve “an exciting, sustainable future for cars, people and the Earth”. Based on this plan, in June 2008, we announced that by 2015 we intend to make a 30 percent improvement on the 2008 average fuel economy of Mazda vehicles sold worldwide.

Building Block – Strategy – Contributing as it expands

In recent years, new electric devices have been introduced that have led to the development of automobiles such as hybrids and electric vehicles. We have entered an era in which performance delivered by the traditional technologies such as engine, transmission, body, chassis and other vehicle parts is being augmented through their combination with electrical components. Nevertheless, it is forecast that internal combustion engines will still account for a high percentage of automobile powertrains even as far ahead as 2020.

Anticipated expansion in adoption of environmental technologies (up to 2020)

temp

Consequently, Mazda is prioritizing improvements of the base technologies such as improvement in thermal efficiency of an engine and weight reduction for the vehicle body while adopting a Building Block Strategy of gradually introducing electric devices such as brake energy regeneration system, hybrid and other systems. This approach aims to effectively reduce total CO2 emissions with cars that offer a winning combination of driving pleasure and excellent environmental and safety performance to all our customers, without relying heavily on vehicles that are strictly dedicated to meeting environmental needs.

Building Block Strategy

Mazda Taiki Concept

mazda, concept carEver seen a car styled like a celestial maiden’s robes? Mazda says that’s the design inspiration for the Mazda Taiki, a rear-wheel-drive sports-car concept that will debut at the Tokyo auto show in October.

Like the Nagare, Ryuga, and Hakaze concepts before it, the Taiki has a flowing, aerodynamic form that follows Mazda’s new “flow” styling concept.

In Japanese, taiki means atmosphere, a fitting name for the light, aerodynamic body. The concept is part of the “Sustainable Zoom-Zoom” theme Mazda plans to emphasize in Tokyo.

The skirted rear wheels are outset from the body, and an all-glass canopy wraps around the driver and passenger. The stretched two-seater’s interior continues the flowing design theme.

Power for the Taiki will come from a new version of the Renesis rotary engine used in the RX-8 sports car. Mazda engineers say they have bumped displacement up to 1.6 liters (from 1.3 liters) and used direct-injection to increase torque output across the power band. This should allow them to create an even sportier car that is a little easier on the environment.

View Car and Drivers Photo Gallery Here

Compiled By:
Josh Martin
Sources:
 
 

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iOS 7 Could Be The Largest Tech Upgrade In History – Beyond The Shadows: It’s Is All About The Screen


Click to read a full transcript of the fresh air story,Beyond The Shadows: Apple’s iOS 7 Is All About The Screen

6 Overlooked New Features of iOS 7

1. Limit Ad Tracking
A lot of the best overlooked features of iOS 7 are hidden in the settings, and the ability to limit ad tracking is one of them. This setting—found in Settings > Privacy > Advertising—lets you limit ad tracking and reset your device’s “Advertising Identifier.” The Advertising Identifier is a “non-permanent, non-personal, device identifier, that apps will use to give you more control over advertisers’ ability to use tracking methods,” according to Apple’s included information. “[I]f you choose to limit ad tracking, apps are not permitted to use the Advertising Identifier to serve you targeted ads.” There’s a little disclaimer that advertisers are not yet required to use the Advertising Identifier (implying that they use another identifier at the moment), but that they will be soon. This makes it pretty clear that advertisers can essentially track some of your activity on your iOS device and use that information to advertise products and services that are specific to you—unless you choose to limit Ad Tracking with this new feature.

2. Do Not Track in Safari
Another privacy and security feature new to iOS 7 is the Do Not Track option for mobile Safari. It appears to be an updated and better version of iOS 6’s Private Browsing. (The desktop version of Safari has Do Not Track for a while.) You can find it in iOS 7 by going to Settings > Safari > and looking under Privacy & Security. It essentially prevents websites, advertisers, and other services from tracking your online behavior.

3. Blocking Numbers for Phone, Messages, FaceTime
You can now block numbers for phone calls, text messages and iMessages, as well as FaceTime calls in one fell swoop. Go to Settings and pick either Messages or FaceTime. Then select Blocked. You’re able to add Contacts who should be blocked from all the apps and services just by adding them in either the Messages or FaceTime area of the Settings.

4io7-screen-shot. Auto Close Captioning and Subtitles
I’ve really gotten into some of the accessibility features in iOS recently, and iOS 7 has even more. There’s a new button for Subtitles and Captioning (Settings > General > Accessibility, and then look under Hearing) that, when enabled, will automatically opt you into using closed captioning and subtitles when they’re available. It’s a feature that’s hard to test thoroughly until the public release of iOS 7, unfortunately, but I love its promise. It even has a setting that lets you change the style of the type (which crashed repeatedly in iOS 7 beta 6; again, we’ll have to wait until the final release of iOS 7 to know whether the feature is truly reliable). It’s an enticing option for the hard of hearing, as well as speakers of other languages and anyone who has an easier time understanding spoken dialogue when text is provided, too.

5. Apps Popular Near Me
Finding apps that are popular near your current location seems like a gem of a feature for frequent travelers. Let’s say you arrive in San Francisco and aren’t sure what are the best apps for public transit maps or hiring taxis. The “popular near me” recommendations in the App Store should be able to pull up the most tried and trusted apps for locals. Of course, we’ll have to see how it works in practice, but the traveler in me loves this idea.

6. Preset Maps for Walking or Driving Directions
The Maps app has a setting that lets you chance the default preferred directions from driving to walking, which is great for people who tend to go places by foot. (Allow me to add, however, that I’m still not a fan of Apple’s Map app, which on a recent trip to Atlanta suggested my destination was half a mile closer than it actually was. Gah.)

More About Jonathan Ive

Sir Jonathan Paul “Jony” Ive, KBE RDI (born 27 February 1967) is an English designer and the Senior Vice President of Design at Apple Inc. He has the overall responsibility for Industrial Design and also provides leadership and direction for Human Interface (HI) software teams across the company. He is the lead designer of many of Apple’s products, including the MacBook Pro, iMac, MacBook Air, iPod, iPod Touch, iPhone, iPad, iPad Mini and iOS 7.

After finishijonathan-iveng Newcastle Polytechnic, Ive co-founded London design agency Tangerine. He was commissioned in 1992 by Apple’s then Chief of Industrial Design Robert Brunner as a consultant, then as a full-time Apple employee. He designed the second generation of the Newton, the MessagePad110, taking him to Taipei for the first time. He became the Senior Vice President of Industrial Design in 1997 after the return of Steve Jobs and subsequently headed the industrial design team responsible for most of the company’s significant hardware products. Ive’s first design assignment was the iMac; it helped pave the way for many other designs such as the iPod and eventually the iPhone and the iPad.Jobs made design a chief focus of the firm’s product strategy, and Ive proceeded to establish the firm’s leading position with a series of functionally clean, aesthetically pleasing, and remarkably popular products.

The work and principles of Dieter Rams, the chief designer at Braun from 1961 until 1995, influenced Ive’s work. In Gary Hustwit‘s documentary film Objectified (2009), Rams says that Apple is one of only a handful of companies existing today that design products according to Rams’ ten principles of “good design.”

Ive has his own laboratory with his appointed design team. They work to music provided by DJ John Digweed, a close friend of Ive’s.The majority of Apple employees are not allowed in the laboratory. According to the Steve Jobs biography, Ive’s design studio has foam cutting and printing machines, and the windows are tinted. Jobs told Isaacson: “He has more operational power than anyone else at Apple except me.” On 29 October 2012, Apple announced that “Jony Ive will provide leadership and direction for Human Interface (HI) across the company in addition to his role as the leader of Industrial Design.” With the WWDC13 announcing of the iOS7 with Jonathan Ive as a principal, the Apple Press Info also updated his title to Senior Vice President of Design.

Steve Jobs said of Ive, “If I have a spiritual partner at Apple, it’s Jony.”

More About iOS 7s Release Date

It now looks like Apple will never release iOS 7 beta 7. Instead, the next version sent to developers is likely to be the gold master (GM), or final version.

ios7-release-dateInvitations to Apple’s Sept. 10 iPhone event are likely to arrive tomorrow, Sept. 3. The invitations could be sent around the same time that Apple releases iOS 7 GM to developers, according to our anonymous sources.

It is still possible, however, that Apple holds off on releasing the final version of iOS 7 until after the Sept. 10 event. In either case, the public would finally be able to download iOS 7 on, or around, Sept. 20 — at least on the iPhone.

At this point, the biggest unknown is whether Apple releases iOS 7 for the iPad this month, or waits until new devices are launched in October. Right now, a delay is possible, but not confirmed.

First announced at WWDC in June, iOS 7 is a radical departure from past versions. In addition to its flatter design, iOS 7 includes new features such as Control Center, AirDrop, and iTunes Radio.

Apple released iOS 7 beta 6 on Thursday, Aug. 15.

A Quick Word From Apple

silver-apple-logo“Nothing we’ve ever created has been designed just to look beautiful. That’s approaching the opportunity from the wrong end. Instead, as we reconsidered iOS, our purpose was to create an experience that was simpler, more useful, and more enjoyable — while building on the things people love about iOS. Ultimately, redesigning the way it works led us to redesign the way it looks. Because good design is design that’s in service of the experience.

Simplicity is often equated with minimalism. Yet true simplicity is so much more than just the absence of clutter or the removal of decoration. It’s about offering up the right things, in the right place, right when you need them. It’s about bringing order to complexity. And it’s about making something that always seems to “just work.” When you pick something up for the first time and already know how to do the things you want to do, that’s simplicity.”
– Jonathan Ive

Compiled By:
Josh Martin
Sources:
NPR.org,
Wikipedia,
Apple.com,
PC Mag,
App Advice.com

 

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“The El Dorado Machine”, How Lidar uncovered the lost city of “La Ciudad Blanca”

temp9La Ciudad Blanca, or “The White City”, (also Xucutaco in nahuatl and Hueitapalan in mayan), is a legendary lost city in the Mosquitia region of Honduras. The city was originally sought by the conquistador Hernando Cortes for the rumors it held vast quantities of gold. It was also the supposed birthplace of the feathered serpent Quetzalcoatl. The source of the legend is unclear; some claim it originates in the time of the Spanish Conquista while others claim to originate from the indigenous Pech and Tawahka peoples.

Over the years a mix of treasure hunting and scientific expeditions have yielded findings that have fueled the legend of the lost city.

One of the first documented archeological explorations of the region was performed in 1933 by archeologist William Duncan Strong for the Smithsonian Institution. The 1933 expedition included areas in the Bay Island Department of Honduras as well as areas in the Mosquitia region of Honduras and Nicaragua. In his field journal we recorded the existence of archeological mounds, among many the Wankibila or Guanquivila mounds on the banks of the Rio Patuca and the Floresta Mounds on the banks of the Rio Conquirre.

For centuries, explorers tried to find la Ciudad Blanca, a fabled city in the rain forests of Central America. Dense jungle impeded efforts to uncover it. On Talk of the nation, Douglas Preston told the story of a team who used light detection technology (lindar) to survey the iconic ruins from the air.

temp9The Latest expedition took a 21st Century Approach and seems to have been successful in finding the lost city, “La Ciudad Blanca”. Using a simple single engine airplane equipped with a modern laser called a Lindar; Douglas Preston and his team scanned the canopy of the Honduraian rain-forest.You’ll be amazed at what they’ve found. Listen to the “Talk of the Nation” video above for more information.

**UPADTE 05-08-2013**

The rain forests of Mosquitia, which span more than thirty-two thousand square miles of Honduras and Nicaragua, are among the densest and most inhospitable in the world. “It’s mountainous,” Chris Begley, an archeologist and expert on Honduras, told me recently. “There’s white water. There are jumping vipers, coral snakes, fer-de-lance, stinging plants, and biting insects. And then there are the illnesses—malaria, dengue fever, leishmaniasis, Chagas’.” Nevertheless, for nearly a century, archeologists and adventurers have plunged into the region, in search of the ruins of an ancient city, built of white stone, called la Ciudad Blanca, the White City.

Rumors of the site’s existence date back at least to 1526, when, in a letter to the Spanish emperor Charles V, the conquistador Hernán Cortés reported hearing “reliable” information about a province in the interior of Honduras that “will exceed Mexico in riches, and equal it in the largeness of its towns and villages.” The claim was not an impossible one; the New World encountered by Europeans had wealthy cities and evidence of former splendor. In 1839, John Lloyd Stephens, an American diplomat and amateur archeologist, went in search of a group of ruins in the jungles of western Honduras—and found the stupendous remains of the Maya city of Copán, which he bought from a local landowner for fifty dollars. Stephens explored scores of other iconic ruins in Central America, which he described in a lavishly illustrated, best-selling book; serious archeology soon followed. Researchers have since determined that, beginning around 250 B.C., much of Mesoamerica south of Mexico had been dominated by the Maya civilization, which held sway until its mysterious collapse, in the tenth century.

But the grand Mesoamerican cultures, which stretched from Mexico southward, seemed to end in Honduras. The regions east and south of Copán were inhabited by peoples whom early scholars considered more “primitive” and less interesting, and the jungles were so dense, and the conditions so dangerous, that little exploration was done. Nonetheless, rumors persisted of lost cities—perhaps Maya, perhaps not—hidden in rugged Mosquitia. By the twentieth century, these legends had coalesced into a single site, la Ciudad Blanca, sometimes referred to as the Lost City of the Monkey God. . . .

Sources: The New Yorker, Wikipedia.com and NPR.org
Compiled By: Josh Martin
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History of in Car Computers – Video Blog

A Breif History of in Car Computers:

Microsoft U.V.O.

kia uvo systemKia UVO is an in-car infotainment system with advanced voice- and touch-activated features. Kia UVO, short for ‘Your Voice,’ provides simple and quick access to vehicle’s multimedia and infotainment systems. Developed by Microsoft and Kia, it is much like Ford Sync and is available on new models of the Kia Sorento and Kia Optima. It is only available with a 4.3″ inch touch screen with reversing camera unlike Ford’s Sync which is available without a touch screen.

Carputer SystemCarputer

A carputer is a category of mobile computer designed or modified specifically to be installed and run in automobiles. Originally these were based on industrial personal computer technology, but as smartphones and PDAs have become more powerful, and have included useful technologies like GPS and Bluetooth, they have become the predominant base platform for developing carputers.

Many do-it-your-selfers have built carputers from laptops and small form factor computers like netbooks.

The recent popularity of carputers has caused the creation of more advanced units that use touch screen interfaces, integrate with vehicles via OBD-II link, and offer a variety of other add-ons like rear-view cameras and GPS. It is now possible to find assembled carputers complete with wireless capabilities and built-in microphones for sale on the internet.

Police cars often have carputers, known as Mobile data terminals.

AutoPC SystemAutoPC

The AutoPC is a brand of carputer jointly developed by Clarion and Microsoft.

The first (and only) product was sold by Clarion as an aftermarket product. This product utilized a 60 MHz Hitachi‘s SH3 processor running Windows CE. The device had a 256×64 8 color LCD screen capable of displaying information from the navigation program as well as voice recognition and speech capabilities. It also included contacts and calendar applications. The standard version of the AutoPC (sometimes called Auto PC) also included a simple “directions” application which used an add-on GPS module to get the user to their destination. Clarion followed this up with a more sophisticated navigation application with a map display and turn-by-turn directions. It had a MSRP of $1799.

Clarion created a follow-up using a next generation version of the Windows CE for Automotive operating system called the Joyride. This included MP3 playback via CD-R and compact flash cards. It also included an improved navigation system, including GPS receiver and gyroscope for inertial navigation.

The AutoPC was created by Microsoft‘s Automotive Business Unit. This group has gone on to develop several products for car manufacturers, including Ford‘s Sync, released in 2007.

Source: Wikipedia

Kia Motors and Microsoft Usher in New Era of In-Car Technology:


Jan. 05, 2010
With UVO, drivers and passengers can quickly and directly access music files, change radio stations, make or answer phone calls, send and receive SMS text messages, and operate a rear-view camera when the driver shifts into reverse, all through voice-activated controls using Microsoft speech recognition technology. The hands-free system helps drivers stay focused on the road.

Features of UVO include advanced speech recognition; a 4.3-inch full-color display screen; and MyMusic, a jukebox-type function that enables drivers to shuffle between music sources including personal music folders, an MP3 player, or AM/FM and satellite radio.

Co-designed by Kia Motors and Microsoft, UVO is built on the award-winning Microsoft Windows Embedded Auto software platform. The system will be offered during the third quarter of 2010, starting with the 2011 Kia Sorento CUV.

Microsoft and Kia will demonstrate UVO at the 2010 International Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas this week

Source: Microsoft

Compiled By: Josh Martin

 

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Colorado Rejects Googles Driverless Car Proposal – Video Blog

Video Produced By: ABC News

**Update**

DENVER – Automated cars won’t be allowed in Colorado this year after a state Senate committee rejected a bill to allow driverless vehicles.

The Senate Transportation Committee decided against the bill to make Colorado at least the fifth state where automatic cars are legal. The cars are under development and are touted as safer than human-operated vehicles.

The bill would have stated that automated cars must still contain licensed drivers, and that the cars would have to have an override switch so they can be driven manually if needed.

Source: The Associated Press
automated car
DENVER – Cars without drivers could be possible on Colorado roads – but first lawmakers have to change state law to make them legal.

The state Legislature is poised to do just that under a bill up for its first debate in a Colorado Senate committee this week. The Transportation Committee will consider whether Colorado should become at least the fifth state to change the law to specifically allow automated cars.

The driver-less cars are developed in California by Google. Colorado’s proposal would state that automated cars must still contain licensed drivers, and the cars must contain an “override switch” so they can be driven manually if needed. The “drivers” in automated cars would be allowed to text or type.

Source: The Associated Press

 

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