Real-World Pong

Indipendent maker Daniel Perdomo has created a physical version of Pong, the Atari game from 1972. Without any prior knowledge of electronics, he managed to build this amazing prototype as a side project over the last two years. His expertise in graphic design (his daily job is in advertising) shows in the well crafted and beautiful details.

In a time of high-tech virtual reality, such examples of “materialized low-tech virtuality” are pleasantly surprising.

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Airbar – Get touch functionality on any PC

The Airbar is a thin magnetic bar that you can stick along the bottom edge of any laptop screen to immediately turn it into a touch screen. It’s not clear how it exactly works – their website just mentions an “invisible light field” that is projected on your screen. But this thing is truly plug’n’play (no calibration required!), and being light-based it can sense any object: fingers, gloves, chopsticks and whatnot.

Referring to Windows laptop / tablets, Tim Cook once said that ‘You can converge a toaster and a refrigerator, but those aren’t going to be pleasing to the user.’ While it might be true that tablets and laptops require two very different kinds of UIs, there seems to be no good reason why a laptop screen must be as dumb as an old black-and-white TV-set. Why shouldn’t you be able to swipe and pinch on your laptop, too? Of course the mouse is there to stay, but this unobtrusive and relatively inexpensive device (69$) can be surely useful in many situations.

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The smallest man-made object ever to be filmed

Jonty Hurwitz work merges art with cutting-edge technology. He is known for his high-tech pieces, including anamorphic sculpures and “nano sculptures” like the elephant shown in this video, which is only 0.157 mm tall.

To create his nano sculpures Hurwitz uses multiphoton lithography, an extremely precise laser-based 3D printing technique. These sculpures can only be seen through an electronic microscope, which can require several minutes to capture a single image. Indeed, making this 30 seconds movie took days of high precision work.

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Stewart – A mutually trustful interface for a fully autonomous car

Stewart is an interesting proposal for communicating with an autonomous car. Its movement let the driver (or passenger?) feel what the car is going to do, thus helping gaining trust in the machine. On the other hand, the integrated sensors allow to disagree with the car’s decisions and to suggest a different path or behavior.

It was developed by Felix Ros as a graduation project at the Eindhoven University of Technology. The hardware is driven by an Arduino and the software is based on Processing.

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Rain Room by Random International

Rain Room is an interactive installation by the art studio Random International. It is an environment in which artificial rain is created, with the surprising feature that water is automatically blocked around people walking through it.

It was premiered in Barbican Centre, London in 2012 (in the video), then shown again in MoMA, New York in 2013, and in Yuz Museum, Shanghai in 2015.

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