From Disneyland to You: Q+A with Creator of Disney’s Air Interaction Aireal

Ideas for interaction have come from many places. But with illusion and immersion a key part of the magic of digital experiences today, maybe it’s about time to take a stroll to Disneyland. Yesterday, we saw the novel idea of using blasts of air to provide physical feedback without requiring touch: Into Thin Air: Disney’s Aireal Vortex Rings Give Tactile Feedback Where None Exists Today, Rajinder Sodhi of Disney Research, primary inventor of the tech, answers CDM’s questions about what all of this means. CDM: What other research has gone this direction before? Raj: This research comes from a big …

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From Disneyland to You: Q+A with Creator of Disney's Air Interaction Aireal

Ideas for interaction have come from many places. But with illusion and immersion a key part of the magic of digital experiences today, maybe it’s about time to take a stroll to Disneyland. Yesterday, we saw the novel idea of using blasts of air to provide physical feedback without requiring touch: Into Thin Air: Disney’s Aireal Vortex Rings Give Tactile Feedback Where None Exists Today, Rajinder Sodhi of Disney Research, primary inventor of the tech, answers CDM’s questions about what all of this means. CDM: What other research has gone this direction before? Raj: This research comes from a big …

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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 …

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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 …

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Fract, Synth Studio as Game, Looks Better, Sounds Better, Wants Your Vote [Video, Gallery]

Amidst its future-arcade, glowing 3D architecture, Fract is a game. In a broken-down “abstract world,” you are piecing together puzzles, reconstructing machinery. But Fract is also a synth studio, one that promises the ability to create your own synth instruments, design your own sounds, and eventually piece together your own music. If Tron let you imagine a fantasy inside the computer, Fract takes you inside your synth. It’s like getting sucked into Reason. (Damn, now I want to meet Thor and Redrum…) I called it Myst meets music making when we saw it last year. Since then, the Montreal-based indie …

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Robotic Mapping Pulls a Model Building, Tron-Like, Into the Virtual

MPS – Building Presentation from White Kanga on Vimeo. A model building rotates, light spilling over it. A virtualized sun creates shadows and accelerated days. And then, halfway through, the building still gliding in circles, it’s as though you can see through the building to wireframes beneath. The latest illusions from the White Kanga crew aren’t simply mapping as a novel way of making projection look three-dimensional. They appear to alter the reality around the object itself, playing with our perception’s ability to see animation as something fluid and real. Or, to put it another way: moving the subject, not …

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FRACT, 3D Adventure Game Played with Synths and Sequencers: Myst Meets Music Making

FRACT is a curious combination of music studio and puzzle game, merging elements of games like Myst with the sorts of synths and pattern editors you’d expect somewhere like Ableton Live. You have to make sounds and melodies to solve puzzles; by the end of the game, say the creators, you’re even producing original music. The work of a small student team out of Montreal, FRACT looks like it has all the makings of an underground indie hit – at least for music nerds. As the creators describe it: FRACT is a first person adventure game for Windows & Mac …

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In Sand and Pixels, Playing with Worlds Virtual and Tangible; Built with Kinect

We’ve seen fairly impressive work involving people waving their arms around at cameras, but at the end of the day, you still have people … waving their arms around at cameras. In a refreshingly different take, the world of the game Mimicry is the “ultimate sandbox game” – set in a literal sandbox. Participants manipulate piles of real sand, as Kinect-powered cameras track their work and project imagery onto the sand from a rendered analog version of the same world. The player mimics the virtual, the virtual mimics the player, and the stuff of each fuse in a real/virtual hybrid …

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iPhone as Serious Instrument: New Synthable iSyn, Strummable Star Guitar

The iPhone and iPod touch are getting more in the way of playable software instruments that could ease its transformation into a handheld idea-capturing gadget. noise.io lays claim to being the first full-featured soft synth on the platform, with unusual FM synthesis control – and I still like the fact that it isn’t anything like most soft synths on your PC. And of course there have been beat machines like the surprisingly capable Intua BeatMaker drum machine/suite. On mobile platforms, though, the more the merrier – especially given the bargain-basement prices. So I’m pleased to see the likes of noise.io …

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Virtual Reality: 2 Wii's, 3D Glasses, XNA, and Some LEDs

What if virtual reality and seamless three-dimensional interfaces arrived, and they turned out to be a lot simpler technologically than you imagined? Well, perhaps you know a technology is within reach when it can not only be implemented, but implemented in a way that’s elegant and lightweight. The latest in the ongoing YouTube-able head-tracking and 3D-manipulation videos is this creation by Timo Fleisch at the Center of Technology and Art Berlin. He has lots of resources on XNA programming, as well; thanks to a C# library, XNA and Wii mix nicely on the PC. (Less so on the Xbox 360 …

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