Golan Levin is an awesome audio-visual artist and Assistant Professor of Electronic Time-Based Art at Carnegie Mellon University. He works on projects like the Opto-isolator to explore questions like “What if artworks could know how we were looking at them? Snout, a robot that is continually surprised to see you, and Dialtones: A Telesymphony, a concert from 2001 entirely composed of the choreographed ringtones of his audience. For a quick intro to Golan Levin, check out his TED talk today and escape into a world of whimsy and technology!
This is a fantastic overview of stuff that has become the phenomena of the internet. One thing that stands out is how much the velocity of culture has quickened. We see far more cultural fireworks today, a point explored in Bill Wasik’s brilliant new book ‘And Then There’s This‘.
Bokodes, are tiny imperceptible barcodes that can be read by a standard camera positioned up to four meters away, simply by taking an out of focus photo.
From MIT: Barcodes are tremendously useful, but they’re also exceedingly dumb: They provide information only to the person with the scanner. These days, we expect mountains of information about our products, from the exact place they came from, to how safe they are and their carbon footprint. So MIT researchers have developed a new standard, called Bokode, which would enable you to use your phone to access a slew of info about a product on the shelf. It’s the tiny, lit hole you see in the center of the image above, amidst all the current barcode versions.
Rather than being a simple flat image, like a barcode or a QR code, it uses a light beam, whose brightness and angle are encoded with information. The tag itself is tiny–about the size of the @ symbol in a keyboard. But it contains thousands of bits of data. Currently, the tags comprise a lens and an LED-light source, and each one costs $5. But the price should fall below a nickle a pop, by using holograms of the sort you see on credit cards. Rather than requiring a special laser for reading, the Bokode can be read by any digital camera, and from several feet away.
What are the applications?
For starters, Bokodes in the grocery store could be programmed with complete nutrition information; you could then use an app on your phone to organize it into an healthy eating schedule, for example. But the inventors propose even wilder uses: Say the tag is placed in a keychain held by a professor at the front of a class. Students could then scan it from their seats, and access an interactive graph or animation, or a real-time quiz that would help track how well the class is following the lecture. Museums could use them to encode information about exhibits. The business uses are just as varied, from presentations to conferences, where you could use it as an ID system. They might even be used in video games by doing motion capture without any markers, since the Bokode device can provide such precise information about exactly where a user is in space, to within a tenth of a degree.
This post might take a little bit of time and ‘suspension of disbelief’ to get thru, but I hope you find it interesting. 42 Entertainment and Disney created a killer viral campaign / ARG which they launched at Comic-con in San Diego last week to promote the upcoming Sci fi flick ‘Tron: Legacy.
Here’s a quick overview from Creativity, but here‘s a first-hand account by someone who actually played the game, and the chain events leading them to the pop up arcade: Flynn’s.
Reading about all the different layers to the ARG made me really wish I had been there to experience it!
Last Tuesday, days before San Diego Comic-Con, a collection of movie bloggers each received a FedEx package containing two tokens for Flynn’s Arcade and an animated gif on an unbranded flash drive. In anticipation of the premier gathering of sci-fi freaks and cult movie fans and the 2010 Tron sequel, these clues added up to the 1982 film’s Kevin Flynn, who had worked in an arcade. And that was the beginning of Disney’s Tron: Legacy alternate reality game, which has led to a pop-up 1980s video arcade in downtown San Diego.
In a cross-blog effort, fans combined the gifs from the various bloggers’ posts to create a web page that revealed a code, which was then deciphered to reveal the message “Flynn Lives.” With this clue, fans discovered FlynnLives.com, a site for a movement dedicated to finding Kevin Flynn. The site contained a timeline of major events since Flynn’s disappearance in 1989, as well as supporting clippings from fake news sources. The site also contained a timer counting down to 9:30PM on Thursday, July 23, the first night of Comic-Con.
The hunt led to a storefront with a neon Flynn’s sign. Once inside the pop-up arcade, fans could play 1980s video games for free, including Tron. And at one point, a wall opened up to a secret passage way leading to a Light Cycle (a souped up motorcycle from the movie). Find photos from inside the arcade.
The FT is reporting that Apple’s touch tablet device will be available by Christmas. The device will have a 10 inch screen and Wi-Fi letting you connect to the web. Apparently it will cost around $800 bucks.
The FT is also reporting that Apple is working on a new initiative code-named “Cocktail” with labels like EMI, Sony Music, Warner Music, and Universal Music Group in attempt to create ‘a 21st-century version of the music album’ – that would include an interactive booklet, video clips, lyric sheets, liner notes, and other interactive features. (From: PC World)