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Category Archives: Technology

8 September Share your
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Heliotropes

Under - Inspiration, Literature, Media, Nature, Technology

Heliotropes, a film by Michael Langan based on the poem by Brian Christian, documents the parallel goals of man and nature through the most primitive and sophisticated means, to simply stay in the light.

19 July 3
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I’d prefer Google+ over Facebook!

Under - Media, My Musings, Technology

I just came across this article on PCWorld.com which confirmed what always annoyed me. It is Facebook’s usability. I used to think (a bit ridiculous though but anyway) may be it is Microsoft’s legacy passed on to Facebook to make things unnecessarily complex and useless, and to turn deaf on to users when they expect something and something intelligent until things start slipping out of hands.

I must accept that despite using Facebook for years I still don’t get it fully. Why simplest of things are buried deep down in confusing maze of pages, settings and menus? Why every one of my contacts is added as ‘Friend’? Why it is difficult to control what I share? Why there’s no direct link to pages that I created using the same account? Why navigation changes so drastically from one section to another? Why I’m not in control of my experience? … and the list goes on including privacy concerns.

Usability is science but not a rocket science. Users tend to react fairly quickly online and we have seen how some big online setups have been deserted by their users who were in millions. Google+ is built upon Facebook’s shortcomings to provide users with what they have been expecting for so long. It may not matter to some but for me it is what I wanted and I fully recommend it.

To Facebook, best of luck.

16 July 1
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Here comes the first smartwatch: i’mWatch

Under - Design, Industrial Design, Technology

We have seen the multi-touch watch kits (TikTok and LunaTik) for iPod Nano that came to life a while back. Now comes world’s first smartwatch: i’mWatch.

At first I thought of it as another iPod nano watch kit – something similar to TikTok and LunaTik if not exactly the same but it is not an-iPod-in-a-new-kit and the software is based on Android:

The most common operating system in the world with performances never seen before on such a small device. Intuitive interface, rock-solid stability and amazing functionalities. The operating system is the heart of i’mWatch. A surprising result that will leave you lost for words. It only takes a few steps to learn how to use it: it is simple and intuitive. Just touch, drag, swipe or pinch to use all the functionalities or open any of the apps, preinstalled or downloadable from i’mstore.

i’mWatch displays time both analogue and digital formats. It can receive calls showing caller’s name and number and enables you to decide whether to accept or decline a call without reaching to your phone on the pocket. It can be used as speaker phone, view/receive text and email messages, check weather forecast, and catch-up (via notifications) with friends on Facebook, Twitter and Foursquare besides listening to music and watching photos of your loved ones.

i’mWatch is touch enabled and multitasking. It comes with 1.54” (diagonal) colour TFT display with 240×240 pixel resolution (220 pixel per inch), 64MB RAM and 4GB Flash Drive. It has built-in 3.5 mm headphone, connection and power minijack, microphone and a speaker. The watch is compatible with iPhone 4, Android devices and Black Berry with Bluetooth 2.1 + EDR wireless technologies. The watch is available in variety of colors and as jewelry with – designed and assembled in Italy.

15 July 6
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TED: What Google and Facebook are hiding

Under - Media, Technology


Eli Pariser of the progressive organization MoveOn says the Internet is hiding things from us, and we don’t even know it. In this TED Talk he calls out Facebook, Google and other corporations who are transforming the Internet to suit their corporate interests.

AMP camera makes HDR video a reality

Under - Media, Photography, Technology

This was evident – an HDR video camera! We have seen the Highly Dynamic Range video concept with two DSLRs here and then painstakingly done frame by frame here. Contrast Optical Design & Engineering Inc. recently introduced a groundbreaking and fundamentally new technology in the form of an HDR video camera that is poised to change the HDR imagery landscape. AMP’s HDR video Camera shoots 1080p at 24ps or 30fps video with RAW data.

The AMP philosophy is to preserve all the content and information in a scene, thus giving the artist as much raw material to work with. To this end, we developed the AMP camera and video system. AMP uses a novel optical engine to split the light from a single camera lens onto three digital video sensors. AMP can produce a true, high-dynamic range (HDR) image for every single frame in the video stream. And the best news is: that’s just the beginning.

AMP captures three widely spaced exposures in order to extend the dynamic range of the camera and produce images that are as close as possible to what the human eye can experience.

The AMP HDR Camera is available later this year but it wouldn’t be a mass-produced product.

29 June 3
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Splitscreen: A Love Story by JW Griffiths

Under - Inspiration, Media, Technology


Shot entirely on the Nokia N8 mobile phone. Winner of the Nokia Shorts competition 2011.

17 May 1
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LetterMpress: A virtual letterpress for iPad

Under - Design, Technology, Typography

This is one of those exciting apps that you’d love to have as a designer. It allows you to experience the art and craft of letterpress printing on the iPad.


LetterMpress

The LetterMpress project has already generated well over required amount of funding on Kickstarter.com to acquire collections of authentic wood type and vintage “cuts” to add to their library.

LetterMpress will be a virtual letterpress environment—released first on the iPad—that will allow anyone to create authentic-looking letterpress designs and prints. The design process is the same as the letterpress process—you place and arrange type and cuts on a press bed, lock the type, ink the type, and print. You will be able to create unlimited designs, with multiple colors, using authentic vintage wood type and art cuts. And you can print your design directly from LetterMpress or save it as an image for import it into other applications.

So why bother re-creating what’s considered to be an obsolete process for the new technology of the iPad?

Actually, a letterpress and an iPad operate similarly when it comes to manipulating objects in a composition. Just like placing blocks of wood type on a surface, you drag the type images across the iPad, and then move them around to create your design. This is why the iPad would make an ideal platform for people to experience the creative aspects of letterpress and typography.

14 April 1
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3D bioprinting of human organs, what’s next?

Under - Industrial Design, Inspiration, Media, Technology


Anthony Atala, director of the Wake Forest Institute for Regenerative Medicine, focuses on growing and regenerating human tissues and organs. His team engineered the first lab-grown organ to be implanted into a human, a bladder, and is developing experimental fabrication technology that can “print” human tissue on demand with the help of 3D printing.

Surgeon Anthony Atala demonstrates an early-stage experiment that could someday solve the organ-donor problem: a 3D printer that uses living cells to output a transplantable kidney. Using similar technology, Dr. Atala’s young patient Luke Massella received an engineered bladder 10 years ago; we meet him onstage.

IE6 coming to a peaceful demise

Under - Media, My Musings, Technology

We have been hoping, wishing, praying and actually struggling to liberate Internet from IE6 for so long now. The ‘kill IE6’ movement has seen all kind of phases and made substantial gains over the time. From IE6 Death (counting time when it is buried alive!) to mock funeral, and from IE6 No More to Death to IE6, the Internet is full of uncontrollable emotions and moments around this browser.

The time is nearing though for IE6 as Microsoft itself, besides sending flowers to the mock funeral last year, has joined the move to put this monster to rest that is just not dying. Microsoft has put up a website ‘The Internet Explorer 6 Countdown’ that is dedicated to watching IE6 usage dropping to 1% worldwide. It states:

10 years ago a browser was born. Its name was Internet Explorer 6. Now that we’re in 2011, in an era of modern web standards, it’s time to say goodbye.

Internet Explorer’s overall performance and irreconcilable differences with web standards aside, IE6 tarnished Microsoft’s reputation as a lead in this domain. I’m not sure how many IE9 it would take to rebuild the user confidence in this browser which is only surviving because of the OS it is bundled with.

IE6 Funeral by Aten Design Group

IE6 funeral by Aten Design Group held back in March 2010

20 February 1
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Moullinex Catalina – 3D music video made with Kinect

Under - Industrial Design, Inspiration, Media, Music, Technology

We have seen Kinect’s untapped potential. This music video for Catalina is done with Kinect, Kinect Library for Processing, Cinema 4D and Adobe After Effects. It looks like that the device is now becoming an additional tool for special effects besides CGI.

The detailed production walkthrough can be found here – even the original source files are available if one would want to venture into this.