Into Thin Air: Disney's Aireal Vortex Rings Give Tactile Feedback Where None Exists

The bane of wave-your-hands-in-the-air interaction systems is that you can’t feel anything when you use them. Swatting the air with your hands in front of a Kinect, for instance, gives you nothing in tactile resistance – those invisible objects can be seen, but not felt. So what’s the solution? Well, if the interaction is in the air, you could use actual air for feedback. That’s what researchers from Disney in Pittsburgh, PA propose with their new system Aireal. (Get it? Like the mermaid? Ahem.) The device is a robotic haptic air emitter, bursting short blasts of air called “vortexes.” When …

READ MORE →

Melding the Physical with Screens: Prototyping Interfaces, in Videos [vvvv, Book]

Prototyping Interfaces – Interaktives Skizzieren mit vvvv from Prototyping Interfaces on Vimeo. With knobs and motors, wheels and cameras and bits of Play-Doh, a series of elegant interactive experiments provides physical controls to screen interfaces. Prototyping Interfaces, the book, can show you how, all with loads of pictures and examples in free-as-in-beer (for non-commercial use) vvvv. (Preferred pronunciation is “V-4,” generally, in English or German.) The book is in German, and the software is Windows-only, but the videos (and the examples in the book, for that matter) are illustrated visually. For German speakers, full details on the book below. (Previous …

READ MORE →

Control in Mid-Air: Oblong Industries and G-Speak, Gone Gestural [Cinder]

Oblong g-speak from Oblong Industries on Vimeo. Los Angeles-based Oblong are doing some wonderful work with gestural interface design and their own homebrewed tech. I review a bit of what this means for the challenging area of building an entire music app today on Create Digital Music. (I feel if stories aren’t regularly overlapping on the two sites, I’m probably not doing my job.) But it’s worth watching the full videos for graphical evidence of the potential here. The team is working with free creative coding environment Cinder and IR sensing. Oblong Labs from Oblong Industries on Vimeo.

READ MORE →

OpenFrameworks 007-71: Biggest Release Yet, More Examples, More Creative Coding Goodness [Details]

For creative coders, OpenFrameworks has been a godsend, taking the gnarly power of C++ and making it accessible to artists and designers, some of whom might never have touched code. It’s unlocking a lot of the amazing work we see, from interactive design to Kinect hacks. (See Gallery, above. This week, OpenFrameworks added a 0071 tag to its the 007 release it quietly released last year, which just about doubled the software in size. What’s in all that new heft? Well, it’s not bloat: critical tools that previously worked only as add-ons are now part of core, bringing lots of …

READ MORE →
transmission2.jpg

Journey Game Out Today; Designing Feeling, Timeless Design

“Can a game move me?” That’s the deceptively-simple quandary posed by producer Robin Hunicke of thatgamecompany on the eve of the release of their new PS3 title, Journey. But it’s a serious question, one that lies at the heart of all we do in creating digital music and motion. I often have conversations with other makers about whether the ephemeral aesthetic objects of our creative output are meaningful. To put it more bluntly: are we actually doing something productive with our lives? (Oh, admit it. The question must have occurred to you now and then.) But this idea of transforming …

READ MORE →

Make it Tangible: Create Physical-to-Visual Interfaces with vvvv; Book Soon

The explosion of physical interfaces for computers continues. But it’s not so much the novelty of the idea as its evolution toward really being able to express ideas physically. Connecting visual expression to hands-on control, the creators of a new book entitled Prototyping Interfaces “sketch” in both the physical/electronic and digital/on-screen realms simultaneously. Color from an object can impact color onscreen, or a wooden knob can give a parameter physical form. Several things are significant about their effort versus the many other similar projects. First, they have beautiful documentation. (Yes, folks, if you’re scratching your heads wondering why you’re not …

READ MORE →

Graffiti Markup Language: Storing Tags as Data (And Soon, Scratching, Too)

GraffitiMarkupLanguage.com (Trailer) from Evan Roth on Vimeo. Imagine data that stores digital, virtual graffiti tags as easily as you store text. Imagine, then, the power to record and playback tags at different scales, using everything from projection mapping to robotics. Graffiti Markup Language is in ongoing development, but it’s already accomplishing those aims. More: Graffiti Markup Language (.gml) is a universal, XML based, open file format designed to store graffiti motion data (x and y coordinates and time). The format is designed to maximize readability and ease of implementation, even for hobbyist programmers, artists and graffiti writers. Popular applications currently …

READ MORE →

Grabbing Invisible Sounds with Magical Gloves: Open Gestures, But with Sound and Feel Feedback

You might imagine sound in space, or dream up gestures that traverse unexplored sonic territory. But actually building it is another matter. Kinect – following a long line of computer vision applications and spatial sensors – lets movement and gestures produce sound. The challenge of such instruments has long been that learning to play them is tough without tactile feedback. Thereminists learn their instrument through a the extremely-precise sensing of their instrument and sonic feedback. In AHNE (Audio-Haptic Navigation Environment), sonic feedback is essential, but so, too, is feel. Haptic vibration lets you know as you approach sounds — essential, …

READ MORE →

Through a Glass, Kinectly: A Geometry-Filled Mirror

Speaking of vvvv and audiovisual work, Boris Vitazek sends his thesis project Lucid, built with vvvv and Kinect. The documentation is a bit rough, but as an experiment, the project shows some great potential. I find myself drawn to seeing the image of the camera in the work – something that has been more present, and was a noticeable thread in a recent exhibition at New York’s Museum of the Moving Image (more on that soon). It’s what Boris says about this work here that I find compelling, and which could lead to many more ideas: Sometimes it seems as …

READ MORE →
peopleonsynplode

Bugs on the Game Grid: Synplode Makes Step Sequencing Tangible for an Interactive Dance Floor

Digital musician and artist Josh Silverman began the Synplode process with something familiar – a checkerboard. Play a game of checkers on its computer vision-equipped playing field and beats and loops triggered in Ableton Live generated a responsive soundtrack for the game. But as it’s evolved, Synplode has become a general-purpose musical grid. Whether with little robotic insects (the Hexbugs here) or full-sized human persons, the grid can turn any space into a dynamic, interactive dance floor. (I think I may actually prefer those cute little bugs to the people and dancers and whatnot. Robot rave, anyone?) I prodded Josh …

READ MORE →