One of the hacks at Disrupt NY’s Hackathon this year employed hardware startup Leap Motion’s new 3D gesture controller, which unfortunately just ran into a delay. Leap Motion’s issues aside, this project, the combined effort of Chao Huang, Cedrich Pinson and Jorge Martinez, brings a Facebook Home-style experience to the desktop.
With “Leap in Time,” Leap Motion is used to navigate through a Facebook timeline via hand gestures that are intended to be as natural and intuitive as possible. You swipe left and right to go through photos and posts, and there’s inertia built-in to make it feel even more immersive. Then there’s a motion to pause and focus on a particular piece of content, with a palm outward gesture, and you can simply make a thumbs up to like a post.
Working with the Leap Motion was fairly simple, the team said, but does seem to experience difficulty with some environment issues like changing lighting conditions. It’s also crucial to maker sure that the Leap Motion app you’re building is cued to pay attention to certain things at certain times and to ignore specific motions in different settings. You have to cue the app to not pay attention to sideways hand waving when you want it to be able to recognize the thumbs up, for instance.
The hack was surprisingly smooth given that it was built in fewer than 24 hours, and Huang said there’s plenty more they could do given more time, but they wanted to focus on what they considered the core Facebook experience. The project is also reminiscent of a recent concept design making the rounds of a Facebook Home app for Windows 8.
Leap in Time is a simple enough implementation of Leap Motion, but it does act as a pretty solid example of how gesture control might actually work well for navigating apps and software that we use every day. I know that Leap Motion is eager to get as much software as possible into Airspace, the app store for the controller, but this team said they weren’t sure whether they’d actually pursue this any further.
There were balloons. There were streamers. There were brand new Ultrabooks, members of staff unfurling banners, and — once other customers started to arrive — there was even a vibe of genuine excitement for today’s official launch of Windows 8 in the UK. But whichever aisle I scanned, nowhere was to be found what I had come to buy: a Windows 8 disc for desktop upgraders. It was a faltering start, but it was also strangely symbolic of my mission — namely, to explore what Microsoft’s latest operating system can do for regular desktop folk. People who, in other words, aren’t yet looking to invest in touch-enabled monitors or laptops or all-in-ones; who rarely get the chance to lean back with a media-consumption tablet; and who simply want to upgrade their traditional tower PC before getting on with their lives. Read on past the break and you can begin this potentially short, hopefully sweet journey with me, starting with a quick rundown of my test rig (which also happens to be my mission critical work computer) and an anti-climactic revelation about whether, in the end, I ever found the software box I was looking for.
You only have to look at the tidal wave of Ultrabooks to know that Intel design specifications can carry a lot of influence with manufacturers. That’s why the chip-maker’s claims about its latest reference tablet, built around a dual-core Atom Z2760 processor (aka “Clover Trail“), likely give us a broad hint of what to expect from devices like the forthcoming Lenovo Think Pad 2, ASUS Vivo Tab and Samsung ATIV Smart PC.
In particular, Intel has shown us slides claiming that the dual-core 1.8GHz chip with Imagination SGX545 graphics will offer the “best Windows 8 experience” on a tablet with “compatibility and support for traditional apps and peripherals.” And if you think that sounds like a subtle jibe at ARM-based tablets running Windows RT — a version of the OS that doesn’t even try to play nice with existing software — then you could be right. To be fair though, the point of RT is to offer superior portability, and that’s why Intel is also keen to emphasize that Clover Trail won’t impact too heavily on your freedom of movement. Tablets should come in below 1.5 pounds (680 grams — similar to the RT spec and much lighter than a Windows 8 Pro tablet) and 8.5mm in thickness, with built-in 3G, 4G and NFC. You shouldn’t need to carry a charger either, since a new power management system promises a distinctly un-laptop-like three weeks on standby and a full day of “active use” — defined as being at least 10 hours.
Windows 8 tablets won’t be like Windows 8 Pro machines, however, so don’t go expecting USB 3.0, or a guarantee of 1080p visuals (most Clover Trail devices we’ve seen are 1,366 x 768) or souped-up security — the Atom Z2760 is very much an evolved Medfield processor, with similar silicon and firmware, rather than a shrunken laptop chip.
Needless to say, what really matters is how well manufacturers adopt this design and what price points they manage to hit. Intel says that at least 20 different Clover Trail tablets are already in the works, and early price tags seem to be around the $ 799 mark — a hefty demand for sure, but perhaps one worth paying for those who need full-fledged Windows 8 and true portability at the same time. RT tablets, meanwhile, will have to come in much cheaper than that in order to be worthwhile.
Filed under: Tablets
Anyone who has watched Star Trek has imagined what it would be like to hang out in the Holodeck, and a new patent suggests that Microsoft may one day try to bring that experience to your living room. Described as an “immersive display experience,” the concept is to expand the game past the edges of your television — so you’ll still have a primary display, but the system will project images all around you to create a more realistic experience.
You asked for it (probably), and Google delivered (definitely). Once you’ve enabled Docs offline within Google Drive — you have, right? — you’ll be able to both create and edit Google documents and view Google spreadsheets sans a live internet connection. But now, Google’s massaging the interface in order to automatically filter only offline docs while you’re disconnected. Furthermore, those who’d like to preview which files are available offline while still online, you can tap More -> Offline Docs in the left navigation pane. Google’s saying that it’ll roll out to “all Drive users over the next few days,” so hopefully your data plan will get last you till then.
Filed under: Software
Master of Robotics and Augmented Reality About TEDx, x = independently organized event In the spirit of ideas worth spreading, TEDx is a program of local, self-organized events that bring people together to share a TED-like experience. At a TEDx event, TEDTalks video and live speakers combine to spark deep discussion and connection in a small group. These local, self-organized events are branded TEDx, where x = independently organized TED event. The TED Conference provides general guidance for the TEDx program, but individual TEDx events are self-organized.* (*Subject to certain rules and regulations) Video Rating: 5 / 5Related Posts:
Master of Robotics and Augmented Reality About TEDx, x = independently organized event In the spirit of ideas worth spreading, TEDx is a program of local, self-organized events that bring people together to share a TED-like experience. At a TEDx event, TEDTalks video and live speakers combine to spark deep discussion and connection in a small group. These local, self-organized events are branded TEDx, where x = independently organized TED event. The TED Conference provides general guidance for the TEDx program, but individual TEDx events are self-organized.* (*Subject to certain rules and regulations)Related Posts:
When Louis C.K. announced that he was selling tickets to his shows for $ 45, cutting out ticket middlemen entirely, the response was fairly giddy. As of this writing, he sold $ 6,102,000 in tickets, not a bad haul. Of those 135,600 tickets, 500 are now floating around the scalping sites.
He did, however do a little experiment: he sold two shows traditionally, through Ticketmaster and the like, and 1,100 of those tickets out of 4,400 available are already on scalping sites like Stubhub.
He writes:Contact with these scalpers has been enlightening. They tend to respond with indignance and a defensive posture “Hey man! Scalping is NOT a crime!” We’re not treating it as a crime or even a wrong-doing. We are just competing with them, on behalf of my fans, to enforce the terms and conditions of our ticket sales and to keep the prices down. It’s worth the effort, it’s working and it’s even been kind of fun.
The interesting thing is that C.K. hasn’t yet described the methodology for “killing” scalped tickets but it seems to be some sort of fan-based mechanical Turking that grabs barcodes from scalped tickets online. While I suspect this is more difficult than it seems, I also suspect that the folks who would traditionally go to scalpers are erring on the side of caution, thereby disabling the scalping business model. It’s an amazing display of frictionless markets and, although it does reduce revenue on the seedier side of ticket sales, it certainly makes fans feel warm and fuzzy.
Incidentally, am I alone in not being happy with the first episode of the new series of Louie?Related Posts:
Despite clearly outsourcing their graphics to a 2nd grade art class, Z-World Detroit is a real concept developed by entrepreneur Mark Siwak, who’s tired of watching the city crumble to pieces and wants to do something about it. The idea is to turn 200-acres of the city’s abandoned warehouses and neighborhoods into a theme park that provides a “run-and-hide and find supplies” overnight zombie apocalypse experience to visitors. Granted that doesn’t really sound like a city-saving idea, but whatever, as long as they let me bring my own ninja sword and get high in the parking lot beforehand.
Hit the jump for several more crayon pictures and an informative video about the project (skip to 2:50 for an explanation of the “game”).
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