philip lelyveld The world of entertainment technology


Could “Force Illusions” Help Wearables Catch On?


Buru_Navi3_Haptic“Amemiya discovered that when the vibration occurred asymmetrically at a frequency of 10 hertz… a distinctive pulling sensation emerged in the direction of the acceleration,” reports MIT Technology Review.

The Buru-Navi3 (pictured on right), which is about the size of a wine cork, creates a force illusion when it is pinched between the thumb and forefinger.

The Traxion works in the same way, generating an asymmetrical vibration when it is held between the fingers. Both the Traxion and the Buru-Navi3 have been able to help a blindfolded user navigate a path. However, the force illusion is much weaker when the device is only touching the skin, as it would be in a wearable device.

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Anti-Surveillance Camouflage for Your Face

fc908ff14[Philip Lelyveld comment; I've been thinking of designs for a westernized hijab to also defeat facial recognition.  So far I can't get past his problem of it being to attention-getting to actual people while defeating the algorithms.]

Because here is the essence of CV dazzle’s strangeness: The very thing that makes you invisible to computers makes you glaringly obvious to other humans. During one of my more successful dazzle outings, if someone had happened to snap my picture and post it to Facebook, it would have seemed like just another object to the sensors, and, actually, less than that—a set of pixels, indistinguishable from the morass of pixels around it. An algorithm looking for a face would have passed it by.

But to a human spectator—whether in person or looking at those pixels—CV dazzle made my face highly visible. Perhaps even unforgettable.

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Matter Lets You Add And Edit 3D Objects In Your Photographs

matter_ipad_screenshot_d[Philip Lelyveld comment: This is a great example of technology that is sufficiently advanced to be indistinguishable from magic!  How does it know where the surfaces are in a digital file of an image?!?!?  Watch the video at the link]

 Matter, an app that allows users to add 3D effects with shadows and reflections into their existing photographs.

Matter has four packs of geometric and architectural models that you can pick a color for, and style it as reflective, opaque, refractive or translucent. You can add shadows in real time and move its position and opacity as well. You can even erase the shadow or model by clicking the tool and rubbing your finger on the parts you want to erase.

The app is $1.99 on the App Store. All of Pixite’s apps are only on iOS but Guerrette said the company is currently working on porting Fragment to Android, with possibly more to follow.

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Physicists, others using science to help art of film animation

DreamWorksHenderson, 47, is part of an expanding cadre of high-level physicists, engineers and other scientists, including many former NASA employees, who have left careers in aerospace and academia to work in the movie business.

Demand for their services has grown as animated movies, once created by hand, push the boundaries of what can be created on a computer screen. Artists at DreamWorks, Disney-owned Pixar and other studios increasingly rely on the services of people such as Henderson to create complex algorithms to simulate realistic-looking water, fire, dust and other elements in movies packed with action and special effects.

"The physics behind what's happening in these movies is incredibly complicated," said Paul Debevec, a computer scientist and chief visual officer at the USC Institute for Creative Technologies. "You need real scientists to understand what's going on. These are Ph.D.-level folks who could have been publishing papers in Physics Today. Instead, they are working on Hollywood blockbuster films."

"This whole company is a very interesting mix of left brain and right brain," said Jim Mainard, head of digital strategy and new business development for DreamWorks. "Often we end up at the same place, but from different directions."

Much of their focus is on what he calls improving the "scale of production." Because there are so many shots in a single movie — one film might have 700 scenes with fire, for example — Henderson and his team spend much of their time trying to devise more efficient ways of simulating effects through improved software and hardware.

"I can go work for an oil company or I could go back to academia," he said, "but the personal gratification of doing something where you can clearly see the results of your work, and where you feel you are providing a unique benefit to the artists — that's what keeps me coming here every day."

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Thiel Fellow’s Elegant Sleep Tracker, Sense, Crushes Kickstarter With $120K In A Few Hours

In addition to tracking temperature and light, his device has a particulate sensor that can detect small particles like pollen that can disrupt sleep for people with allergies. A “smart alarm” can wake a person up at the right time in their sleep cycle, like early forerunners in the space from several years ago like the Zeo.

The whole package contains three components. There’s the beautiful spherical sensor, and then a small clip-on called the “Sleep Pill,” that attaches to a person’s pillow and contains a six-axis accelerometer and gyroscope to track tossing and turning. It communicates with the sphere through Bluetooth Low Energy and ANT. There is no pairing or syncing necessary like there is with other wearables like theMisfit Shine, another great product that tracks physical activity on top of sleep.

The last component is a mobile app, of course. It awards a sleep score out of 100 based on the sensor data tracking night time disturbances and ambient light. Sense will give a breakdown of your score and help you start to notice patterns that might be interfering with your sleep.

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Philips Hue Lights React to ‘Sharknado 2′ for Bloody Cool Effects

sharks-in-air-640x360Sharknado 2 will mark the first time a TV show will be able to directly control your room lighting. Syfy is partnering with Philips to create a lighting soundtrack or "light track" for the company's Hue-connected LED lights. The entire movie is choreographed, with the lights dimming, brightening or changing color, depending on what's happening on screen.
The secret sauce of the whole experience is the Syfy Sync app, which typically brings the viewer second-screen information, such as actor profiles and trivia. Similar to Shazam, the app uses audio tagging to identify what the viewer is watching, delivering the right content at the right moment. But the Philips integration takes it to another level.
The app lets you select lights individually, so if your whole home is wired with Philips Hue, you can constrain the effect to just the TV room. But generally, the more, the merrier — although your neighbors might start to wonder what kind of dance party you're having if you get the whole house involved.
"You're almost scoring the movie," he said. "You're really going through scene by scene, second by second and determining you're getting this color of light for this long. We look to punctuate scenes — try to not pull you completely out of it — but it's Sharknado, so we could go a little more over the top."

Apple gets patent on iTime smartwatch

toddham_iwatch_all-100228370-largeIt describes “an electronic wristband to be worn on a wrist of a user” that has a receptacle for a “mobile electronic device.” That mobile device is a small display module that can be clipped into the wristband when needed.

The display portion is a mobile device in its own right and functions while not clipped into the wristband. Once connected together, the wristband and mobile device form a smartwatch that can communicate with a second device such as a phone, tablet PC or desktop computer. the patent said.

The wristband might include haptic sensors that allow for control with gestures “with one’s arm or wrist.”

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Scientists build a real Panopticon that captures your every move in 3D

[Philip Lelyveld comment; This could be extraordinarily important research.  It both constrains and opens up new story-telling possibilities.]

Scientists at Carnegie Melon University in Pittsburgh have done it with a system reminiscent of the 360-degree cameras used to film the "bullet time" sequences in The Matrix. The new technique utilizes enormous spherical dome called the Panoptic Studio, which is outfitted with 480 video cameras pointing inward. The cameras track the movement of any people or objects in the center of the dome — even something as diffuse as confetti floating from the ceiling — in extraordinary detail.

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YouTube’s Biggest Star Is An Unknown Toy-Reviewing Toddler Whisperer

enhanced-buzz-wide-2124-1405642245-17To 3-year-olds, she is an obsession. To their parents, a mystifying annoyance. To YouTube marketers, an elusive moneymaker no one’s been able to tap for profit.

To the rest of us, DisneyCollectorBR is a faceless YouTube channel giant that is consistently among the site’s top most viewed per month. In April, the channel was the third-most viewed worldwide, coming in right behind Katy Perry. During the week of July 4, the DisneyCollectorBR channel received more views in the United States — 55 million — than any other channel on YouTube.

Despite the channel’s massive, sweeping, and somewhat perplexing popularity, no one — neither the toddlers who watch with near-religious fervor and their parents, nor executives deeply embedded in the YouTube ecosystem and its economics — seem to have much of a clue who’s behind it. In an earlier, more anonymous internet era, popularity and anonymity were more commonly paired. But today, where marketers have wrangled nearly every viral hit and YouTube stars’ faces are on billboards in Times Square, staying anonymous amid billions of views is not only unusual, but damn near impossible to pull off.

The consistent story of organic discovery makes sense, because unless you closely follow YouTube metrics, how else would you find out about DisneyCollectorBR? Despite the channel’s immense viewership — the numbers don’t lie — there is almost no information about its creator.

Watch the video here:

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Bar Association Pushes for Change in Online Piracy Legislation

Rather than targeting file-sharers, the paper suggests copyright holders should battle facilitating websites, such as The Pirate Bay, instead. However, site-owners are typically hard to pinpoint, so they would instead target hosting companies.

“The lawyers are in favor of a ‘follow the money’ principle where anti-piracy measures are targeted at strangling the finances of pirate sites,” says TorrentFreak. “They call for legislation that makes it easier to cut off advertising, and to seize funds through banks or payment processors.”

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