When uploading to Flickr, users set tags, locations and other data– upon which an enterprising group of MIT researchers have built a project called “The World’s Eyes”. Now exhibited in the Design Museum in Barcelona, “Los Ojos Del Mundo” tracks photographers both local and tourist throughout their photographic adventures in Spain. As described by MIT’s SENSEable City Lab:
When posting photos online, users of the photo sharing platform Flickr transmit to the world their perspective of a place or event through the lens of a digital camera. Each digital photo file codes both the time when that photo was taken and the location it captures. Analyzing this information allows us to follow the trail that each Flickr photographer travels through Spain. (Un)photographed Spain maps thousands of these public, digital footprints over one year. As photos overlap in certain locations, they expose the places that attract the photographer’s gaze . In contrast, the absence of images in other locations reveal the unphotographed spaces of a more introverted Spain.
The result is a visually stunning display of the collective photographers’ view of Spain. Where and when do these photographs take place? What objects and locations are the most photogenic? We salute the work of MIT’s SENSEable CITY, as the art captured by Flickr photographers has been visualized into collective art from 30,000 feet. [MIT via datavisualization.ch]
Armed with Garmin GPS devices, fourteen test subjects are living their lives and beaming their moveent to the Centre for Advanced Spacial Analysis at UCL in London. The result is, well, not particularly surprising. Saturday is a peak activity day, for example, and most of the weekday movement happens between 9 a.m. and 5 p.m. Also, not much changes from week to week. “Unfortunately our [lives] do not quite cover as much ground in the city as we might like to think, the routines we follow are rather strong,” the experimenters write. “Nevertheless, to find that the perception is different, is already a good finding.” Another positive? The results are cool to look at. Check out the video above, with time-lapsed routes superimposed on Google Earth. [Urban Tick via BB Gadgets]
There are already a couple of bionic eyeexperiments floating around in the scientific world, but one man is working full-time on a DIY solution. As a child, Canadian filmmaker Rob Spence lost one of his eyes in a shotgun accident. Now, with the help of “whiz kid” Kosta Grammatis, Spence wants to stick a tiny camera onto his glass eye, with no budget and only a handful of volunteers and corporate backers to help. The so-called “Eyeborg Project” is still a work in progress, and the mini documentary above ends on a cliffhanger, but you’ve got to appreciate the group’s can-do spirit. [The Eyeborg Project via CrunchGear]
Back in the late 80′s/early 90′s I was totally psyched for virtual reality. Virtual sex with Sandra Bullock [Demolition Man ] ? Count me in. It seemed like it was just around the corner, then it kind of fizzled out without much fanfare. What the hell happened to all that hype?
Thanks to a team of British academics from York and Warwick universities, it’s back with more potential than ever. The team has set to work building a VR headset that will encompass all five senses. From what we’ve read so far, the device will be used largely to simulate the sounds, sights, smells, feelings and even tastes of far off destinations that you won’t be visiting in real life any time soon, including ancient civilizations. No brain manipulation here, the helmet uses tangible sense manipulators such as built-in smell and taste sprayers. The high-def viewing screen produces images 10 x darker or 30 x brighter than a TV and information is supplied via computer connection. Those working on it say it’s so convincing that it’s “Real Virtuality”. Clever academics.
Estimates indicate that this could be ready for production in 5 years time with an estimated price of 1500 pounds (who knows how many dollars that will equate to then). [Daily Mail]
Imagine sitting in your home, watching the sun set onto the ocean through your picture window. As the light finally retreats into the horizon and your view turns to black, your window suddenly comes to life and enthralls you with a dazzling light show. Personally, I would never leave that couch. This scenario might sound slightly ridiculous by today’s standards, but in a few years it could be reality. Of course, you’ll still need to save a few bucks for that oceanfront mansion–so get back to work.
Several players in the OLED market including Philips and The Research Institute for Organic Electronics have been showing off some transparent OLEDS. At the Big Sight lighting fair in Tokyo, both companies have been displaying their own versions of transparent OLED technology. A clear favorite is RIOE’s screen window display (above) which provides 70-75% transparency. Individual OLED panels then create different patterns when turned on at night. Alas, this technology is another 3 to 5 years down the road. [Wired]
With Sony already showing off hybrid fuel cell-powered chargers, it makes sense that we’re also seeing a hybrid battery for cell phones. Like Sony’s other prototype tech, this portable pack runs on a combination of methanol and lithium ion. It outputs a maximum of 3W and is good for watching 14 hours of digital TV. Sony labs plans to put these 2-inch by 1.2-inch batteries into production within the company’s operations division, but didn’t give a time line. One question, though: How do you recharge the fuel cells once they’re spent? Is the era of harnessing cow farts for good finally at hand? [Tech-On via CrunchGear]
If crime didn’t pay, there wouldn’t be any criminals. Throughout history, the successful criminals have used technology to stay above and beyond the law, developing new techniques to hedge their bets and avoid arrest. While some tech masterminds have escaped the long arm of the law, most have still failed. Meet the 10 most amazing high tech crimes– and the fate of the criminals that pulled them off.
Say what you will about the Playstation 3, here’s one area in which Sony plans to be a market leader: Fuel cells. The company will roll up to the Fuel Cell Expo in Tokyo this weekend with a charger (pictured above), two mini chargers and a wireless speaker, all powered by a methenol and lithium-ion hybrid. The devices can switch between either power source or use both when more juice is needed. Expect a month’s supply of power on the big charger and a week’s worth on the portable version. In addition to the fuel cell technology, Sony will also show off a sugar-powered battery, using any sweet soft drink as the energy source. These sound pretty funky — I wonder how long it’ll take to get them to market. [Kaden Watch via Dvice]
Wired is all about following the ongoing evolution of flexible displays, and we can’t help but keep track of each development they report. Previously, the Flexible Display Center at Arizona State University got fresh moneys from the U.S. Army, to the tune of $50 million. Now, there’s a touch screen version of the printable plastic displays. E ink, the same company that powers Amazon’s Kindle and Sony’s e-book, takes credit for providing the low-power screens used here. Newly-drawn information, either with touch or stylus, can be saved to the display or sent wirelessly. Obviously, the Army would be interested in wearable screens that can transmit information back and forth from the field, but we can imagine a broadsheet electronic newspaper, delivered fresh daily and laid out on the kitchen table like a placemat. Check out the video and be amazed. [via Wired]