Kickstarter: the power of an Uno in the size of a quarter

If you’re looking for a way to scale down your Arduino projects, help kickstart TinyDuino. It has all the power of an Arduino Uno packed into a chip smaller than a quarter. While existing Arduino Mini’s and Nano’s are compact, they lack power and some of the best features of arduino: Shields. The best part about TinyDuino though is that it has stackable shields, meaning you can potentially use motors, bluetooth, wifi, accelerometers and more without turning your project into a massive brick.

Project Proposal – Urnie

I am proposing a new toy called Urnie.  Urnie is a toy that serves another purpose. When the time comes, Urnie will be glad to house your ashes for you.

Urnie isn’t just a dumb toy, he knows and loves you.  Using facial recognition software, Urnie can identify his owner and will play traditional burial music in your honor whenever he sees you.

Urnie is a life long companion. He can also record video of his fondest memories of you, even since you were a young child. When your ancestors miss you, they can simply push Urnie’s playback button to watch a clip or two of you.

 

Bad Trip game

Like many ambitious game designers before him, Alan Kwan attempts to recreate both the experience and aesthetic of dreams and nightmares into a playable videogame.  He achieves this to great effect with the juxtaposition of two distinct visuals elements. The gamer is first immersed in a ghostly, black and white environment reminiscent of a chalk board drawing.  Hidden within every monument in the game is real footage recorded by Alan Kwan of his daily life.  These clips function like easter eggs and yet serve as the only purpose of the game and provide the only color to punctuate the oppressive black gamescape.

Kwan strips the gamer of almost all abilities besides the two most basic actions of walking and looking, restrict them absorb the visual experience- not a glum task as the visual world Kwan has created is  nothing short of a masterpiece.

The Uncle Phone

The Uncle Phone by Pors and Rao creates dependency between two individuals by simply extending the body of a classic rotary telephone until it is so long that it requires two individuals to operate. This playful transformation demonstrates how the physical form of technology objects determines not only how humans interact with technology but how humans interact with each other through technology.

The distinct visual of the phone is a fascinating exploration of surrealism compounded by the surreal interaction the required to activate this object.

Augment Reality Flashback Mob

I was introduced to the Layar app last spring in Network Objects. With augmented reality visuals we can place any visual anywhere. Incredible. The question is what would we use it for? To see the Beatles and Darth Vader join or flash mob of course. The greatest measure of how far advanced our civilization is how absurd the uses for our most advanced technology get.

Touch to Hear

Brushing the tip of your finger over the ink of a page to hear the text read to you does sound alluring and begs the question “what, if anything, isn’t possible?”. Unfortunately, this technology isn’t possible… yet. But the very fact that it has been proposed and that the only barrier between current technology and this is merely scale contribute to its incredible plausibility.  But plausibility isn’t the beauty of this piece by the National University of Singapore. The beauty and genius is in the interaction. It is easy to imagine how miniscule and powerful our computers will be. It is truly brilliant to imagine what the next generation of humans would want to use that technology for.

Suwappu Critters

The playful Suwappu characters make my mind explode with ideas for the relatively simple technology being used.  The idea of combining toy figures with facial recognition software has vast potential to redefine computer interfaces and make them accessible particularly to children.  While this piece is simple and limited in functionality, it introduces modularity as a new dimension to interact with the toys underscoring that what we build in the physical world can alter the digital world and vice versa.

Call Me, Choke me

Gunnar Green blatantly critiques our dependance on telecommunication “Call Me, Choke Me”, a collar that tightens around the wearer’s neck every time their phone rings.  It is not nuanced in its reference to our sadomasochistic love affair with cell phones, but it does vividly portray both the suffocation and stimulation of being called.  I think torture technology is a bit of an easy way of slipping in some social commentary. That is the interesting part about torture tech art. It follows in the lineage of decades of technophobic literature (think Terminator), music and art.