T(ether) is a spacially-aware visualization and 3d-manipulation system designed by the Tangible Media Group at MIT’s Media Lab. A bit difficult to explain in text, so check the video:

What I think would be really cool to add to this would to have the glove have internal resistance mechanisms, so that you can actually ‘feel’ the size of the thing you’re interacting with.  Then you could apply pressure to that resistance to mold the object in space…

Leap Motion Demo

Look like the future to you? You may have seen a version of this technology in a YouTube video. I’m thinking this deserves a second look. Pretty cool pointing, think “Minority Report.”

The Most Important New Technology Since the Smart Phone Arrives December 2012

I might have to agree, or at least pre-order. Even if you’ve seen Leap Motion before, this is a demo you’ve got to watch.

Spray-On Batteries Could Reshape Energy Storage

Here’s your potential game changer!

Imagine spray painting the side of your house and it not only produces power from the sun, but can store the energy for later as well. A novel approach to battery design from Rice University researchers could enable that and other types of spray-on batteries.

The research, published last week in Nature, seeks a new approach to battery fabrication by using materials that can be spray-painted onto various surfaces. Combined with flexible printed circuits and research in spray-on solar cells, the technique offers the prospect of turning common objects into smart devices with computing power and storage. Another possibility is consumer electronics, such as cell phones or cameras, with a battery coating.


OSX, Clear, and the Trajectory of Interaction Design

Lots of news out there today in the tech world about the out-of-nowhere announcement from Apple that Mountain Lion is coming this summer.  After we all collectively sighed and chuckled and realized, damn, we should have seen that coming, we can move on to more interesting matters like what it means for the future of interaction design. (More…)

Mailchimp for easy email newsletters

Although Duke has sympa for maintaining listservs, sometimes it doesn’t quite have all the features you’d want for a more traditional one-way email newsletter-type service.  I’ve used Mailchimp extensively (outside of my Duke life), and it’s a really simple, well-designed (important), and well-organized solution for managing mailing lists and campaigns.  And even more importantly, for reasonable lists and infrequent emailing (up to 2000 subscribers and 12,000 emails a month), it’s free.  Check it out.  Eep eep.

Point, Counterpoint: The Future of Interface Design

Some people think that this is a vision of the future of interface design:

Others don’t.


Personally, I have always thought that these videos of the future are pretty short-sighted and I tend to side with Bret’s thinking in the article above.  If this is the best vision of the future–essentially, now plus one–I think that’s a pretty sad indication of where we’re going.  Though I do appreciate the attention to typographic detail and clean designs, (I’m a sucker for Gotham Bold and superfluous infographics myself), I think we can do better.  Not that I have the answers, but I don’t think making faster and thinner and more connected versions of everything we have now is all that forward-thinking…

Incidentally, there were two examples in the film that I thought were really great.  The first was the glasses she put on in the first scene.  Not only was that an interesting technology (audio translation in a foreign country), but it also is one of the only examples in the video that didn’t involve touching a screen.  It involved using different senses – visual and auditory – to convey information.  What would be even cooler (though I’ve already seen some of this tech) is to have the glasses visually translate written words that you are looking at.  Secondly, as she’s riding in the taxi, the windows are location-aware and tell her where her meeting is going to be the next day.  Again, no body gestures or finger-swiping necessary, just using something that we are already really good at – looking out a window and wondering what’s on the other side.

What do you think?  How can interface design evolve to be more responsive to the other 99% of our bodies besides the tip of our finger?