With inFORM, a Dynamic Shape Display - created by MIT - a digital user can physically render 3-D content through an iPad. 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.
Have you ever driven a little dangously while continually glancing down at your smartphone's navigation function? Then HUDWAY might be the app for you.
HUDWAY is a heads-up display navigation app that allows drivers to navigate the road with both hands on the wheel. Information like turn-by-turn directions, speed, distance and arrival time are displayed on the windshield to correspond with the road ahead.
Here's the coolest part: HUDWAY doesn't require any other equipment other than your smartphone. All you need to do is download the app, enter the destination, place your phone on your dashboard and drive. The glare from the window reflects the information displayed on the screen of the phone.
Not surprisingly, the info can be difficult to see when driving through well-lit areas, so the app works best at night or in fog. Here's hoping that future versions of the app will automatically adjust for lighting differences.
Polytechnic Institute of New York University instructor of integrated digital media Mark Skwarek and Animesh Anad, a computer science graduate student, developed 3-D augmented-reality masks for Halloween. With a $5 donation, you can choose between a kitty, ghoul, skeleton or pumpkin-head. The masks launch an augmented-reality game that turns the entire planet into a futuristic reality game in which real people and locations morph with fantasy.
Simply print out "markers" and clip them to your hair or hat. By holding up a mobile device loaded with an app, you suddenly appears wearing a digital mask. You can walk around the masked wearer and peek around the sides to try to find the wearer's identity—just as one would at a costume ball.
Skwarek predicts augmented reality technology will soon boom as future generations of Google Glass and competitors emerge. Gamers will no longer stare, nearly stationary, at video screens, but instead visit parks and other common areas, which have been mapped by game developers using GPS, where they will physically interact with others in realistic-looking settings overlaid with the creators’ imaginative additions, such as forts or castles. The same technology, already developed for mobile phones and pads by Skwarek, allows an interior designer or architect to walk clients into an unfinished building and see in 3D what the finished project will look like, while moving and turning to get different views.
Your dreams of owning a robot-servant could soon be a reality—if you have an extra $35,000 laying around, that is.
Unbounded Robotics, a spinoff company of Willow Garage—the creators of the PR2 robot—have released the UBR-1, a smallish one-armed autonomous robot that’s being billed as “affordable” at $35,000. Of course, everything’s relative; the PR2 costs between $285,000 and $400,000.
With UBR-1, you get a lot of bang for your buck, though. The bot can detect where it’s going, see what’s around it and manipulate objects with its arm. Better yet, its designers say it was modeled to interact closely with humans. So, it has the basics covered, and then some. Let's just say, it could fetch you a beer from the fridge.
UBR-1 has a telescoping spine that lets it “stand up” to 52 inches tall. It weighs 150 pounds, and its arm can lift up to 1.5 kilograms. It uses two PrimeSense sensor bars to gather data on and move within its surroundings. To think through its tasks, UBR-1 features an Intel Core i5 CPU with 8GB of RAM and a 120 GB hard drive. It runs open-source ROS software platform developed by Willow Garage, so users can program the bot as precisely as they want. They can also control it in two different ways: with a PS3 controller to manually drive it around, or via its software.
Another interesting tidbit lies in the reason UBR-1 was created in the first place: Melonee Wise, the CEO of Unbounded Robotics, split from Willow Garage with three coworkers specifically to design the UBR-1. After working on PR2, Wise had seen an opportunity to make a robot for the everyman—and at a fraction of the cost. They planned to forego many of the expensive, unnecessary hardware on board many robots (including a second arm—genius!).
The result is UBR-1, which will be available to buy in summer of 2014.
Every year, more than 4,000 people die in motorcycle accidents. But companies like Skully Helmets are leveraging the power of technology to try to change that.
The Skully P1 is an innovative new motorcycle helmet unlike any we’ve seen, with a rear-facing camera and augmented reality to improve the driver’s situational awareness at all times. The rearview camera offers him or her a 180-degree view of what’s out of their field of vision – clearly, a huge advantage for all types of roads and highways.
On top of that, the helmet also features the Skully Synapse, an augmented reality heads-up-display built into the visor. The display appears to float about 20 feet in front of the driver’s vision, continuously providing them with information to keep them safely informed. The display can provide video from the rear-view display or detailed turn-by-turn navigation. It even works on those long road trips; its lithium-ion battery provides power for up to nine hours per charge.
The helmet uses the Android operating system to integrate with a driver’s smartphone to play music, make calls and use the nav system.
Skully is about to start a beta program for the helmet, so click here to find out more. It might be your only chance to try this helmet out, because we’re guessing it will not come cheap.