Nokia Launches New NFC-Enabled Games

October 18, 2011

It’s great to see some fun uses for NFC trickling through. It’s taken a while though, with Nokias’ first NFC enabled hand set having hit the market in 2006

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Near_field_communication#NFC-enabled_handsets

Nokia have also launched an NFC microsite recently which does a good job at explaining what’s possible:

http://europe.nokia.com/nfc

Other NFC references:

NFC trials in the world

http://www.nfcworld.com/list-of-nfc-trials-pilots-tests-and-commercial-services-around-the-world/

cute little story about a small town in Finland

http://www.nfcworld.com/2008/10/28/397/oulu-the-little-city-with-big-ideas/

Visa mobile payment trials in Finland in 2009

http://www.mobile-ent.biz/news/read/visa-trials-mobile-payments-in-finland/07589


New York Times recognises the crazy genius of Dwarf Fortress

July 29, 2011

As a fan of indie video games, I always enjoy seeing obscure titles getting mainstream attention. Earlier this week, The New York Times ran a lengthy story about Tarn and Zach Adams, developers of Dwarf Fortress – a non-graphical (if you don’t count text as graphics) dwarven civilisation simulator – not exactly the most saturated of gaming sub-genres, to be sure.

In development since 2002 and available for free since 2006, Dwarf Fortress tasks the player with managing a group of dwarves as they set up and maintain a settlement, digging out caves, building fortifications, developing farming and industry. This is just the early-game, mind you. Later you’ll be building an army, developing an economy and dealing with the demands of nobles and possible a king – if you last that long.

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Ultimate list of Cool Touch and Gesture Based Video Walls

February 17, 2011

So who has the best interactive walls? Here’s some of our picks below. As we move into a world which is transitioning to devices using the NUI (Natural User Interface) there’s a lot to keep an eye on. If you know any more please post them in the comments.

1.University of Groningen:
Pros: Looks awesome, very responsive. Multi-user capable.
Cons: You can’t go out and buy one off the shelf. Touch based only?


2. Microsoft Xbox 360 Kinect AND Windows Phone 7, working together!
Pros: Kinect SDK on the way for PC (fingers crossed) so a very affordable way to develop. Multi user. Facial recognition. Supports second screen in this video.
Cons: None. Seriously! SDK pending, this will be the easiest entry point to start building your first video wall.


3. Toyota Vision Multi Touch Wall:
Pros: Massive 82 inch screens at high res. Very responsive.
Cons: Expensive setup.

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4. HD 18 Screen 20 ft Paint Wall with iPad integration.
Pros: Very cool. Huge. HD. Responsive. Works with a second screen (iPad)
Cons: Looks a bit like a one off application for now. Can’t go out and buy one.

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5.Yahoo’s Gesture based Video Wall. http://vimeo.com/19177169
Pros: Looks good, hi-resolution and seems responsive.
Cons: Tiled screens. Looks like only one user at a time?

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6. Microsoft LightSpace
Pros: It’s a true 3D interface for an entire toom. It projects working interfaces onto your arm/ hand.
Cons: Early days. Long way to go here (but still very cool).

7. Hard Rock Cafe Vegas:
Pros: Multi user. Smooth and responsive. Great content.
Cons: Looks expensive?

8. Ring Wall http://vimeo.com/6648869
Pros
: It’s a massive 425 square metres in size. Enough room for everyone to play.
Cons: With 15 HD projectors we’re betting the ongoing running costs might stack up? 
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9. The Schematic TouchWall with RFID
Pros: It recognises RFID cards allowing you access to personal info. Social integration.
Cons: Nothing obvious. This wall is pretty cool.
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10. The BendDesk.
Pros: It’s horizontal AND vertical.
Cons: Not quite wall sized! It’s a prototype so a little rough round the edges.

 

11. Canon’s big wall – Expo 2010
Pros: It’s looks big and multi user.
Cons: We can’t quite tell if this is a ‘smoke and mirrors’ job. This video is more about the camera than the wall itself.

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12. HP’s video wall of touch (link):
Pros: Nice tight looking tiled screens. Cons Already looking a bit dated compered to the others. Touch only. Touch looks a little laggy.
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13. The Giant iPhone – Table Connect
Pros: Pretty simple concept. Just plug in your iphone and mount it on a wall!
Cons: Do they make a wall sized one yet?

We’re pretty sure we’ll be seeing a lot more of these soon. Please send us any good ones we might have missed! 🙂


Stuck for Christmas gift ideas? How about some Scampi Fries?

December 16, 2010

Attempting to clear some of my Christmas shopping on Amazon, I noticed a rather curious new section under my personal recommendations – English Cuisine Bestsellers.

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Currently sitting at number one is a family size consignment of Scampi Fries. It’s great that an artificially flavoured wheat-based snack has been recognised as a leader in the world of English cuisine. Other top sellers include Cheese Moments, catering packs of PG Tips and Buxton Still Water. Who’s buying this stuff?

@bdecastella


Unboxing the Parrot AR Drone

October 26, 2010

We love unboxing gadgets! …and the AR Drone from Parrot is GREAT fun. The Drone is controlled via an iPhone app which works by tilting your phone to steer whilst viewing a live video feed through a camera mounted in the Drone. It’s a truly usable Augmented Reality device.

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How to buy in Australia: We ordered it from Amazon.com. It took 3 days to be delivered to Sydney from the US and cost just under $350.00 AUD including delivery.

So here it is the unboxing through to a test flight…

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Amazon delivers it in a HUGE box…

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Slightly smaller, but still big box inside…

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The Drone is neatly packed surrounded by protective cardboard.

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No unwrapping necessary. It pops straight out. Nothing to assamble.

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Battery, battery pack and stickers for the external shell.

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It comes with the outdoor shell, and adaptors for Au, UK, US, EU.

Below: Unboxed looking at home in the studio…

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Below: @bradyohalloran takes an instagram photo of the AR Drone:

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Below: Flight Test: This a video taken from the Drone’s camera in the studio.

Below: We do like the idea of attaching a GoPro camera to the Drone to attain HD video – here’s a nice clip of someone flying the drone pretty high… (you can unlock the altitude sensor in the iphone app allowing you to go up as hi as the wifi lets you).

Below: The Promo Vid for the AR Drone.

Things you should know before you buy:

You get one battery that lasts for about 15 mins flying time.
Charger comes with four adaptors incl AUS, UK, US, EU.
You need an iphone or ipod touch to control it.
You don’t need a wifi network (the Drone creates one).
It takes about 5-10 mins to get to grips with the controls.
You need a seperate app to record video.
Onboard Video is 15fps
There is a secondary camera on the bottom of the Drone.
You need 2 of them to have a virtual dogfight.
It’s much bigger than it looks.
It’s a lot of fun.


Amazing motion-tracked Super Mario Bros. speed-run

July 8, 2010

It’s hard to say what’s more impressive in this video – Super Mario Bros. being beaten in 7 minutes or the way it was motion-tracked onto a roadside barrier.

Via Gizmodo


How Exciting: Algorithm Detects Sarcasm

May 24, 2010

The amusing nerds over at Geekosystem, and the more serious nerds over at Slashdot are reporting in that someone has created an algorithm capable of picking sarcasm in written statements. Great, just great. That immediately ruins the chance of ever messing with some straight-laced, sensible robot slave in the future.

It’s called SASI (semi-supervised sarcasm identification algorithm), and apparently “SASI achieved a precision of 77% and recall of 83.1% “on an evaluation set containing newly discovered sarcastic sentences, where each sentence was annotated by three human readers.”” More info and a couple of thoughts after the jump.

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