Codec Avatar – your life like Virtual Reality avatar

Facebook Reality Labs have shown their progress with development of avatars for Virtual Reality (VR) last week. Codec Avatar is about measuring and capturing the smallest signals of the human body and replicate them to create virtual interactions that are indistinguishable from real ones.

Next gen personal avatars will improve social presence and help to make human interaction in VR space feel more natural.

Codec Avatars side-by-side comparison

A side-by-side comparison of an individual and her avatar shows the technology's photorealism. The left side of the face is a recorded video of a real person making different facial expressions. The right side of the face is an avatar. Unlike other realistic avatars we see today, Codec Avatars are generated automatically — a requirement for effortless Social VR.

Gepostet von Facebook Engineering am Montag, 11. März 2019

More information: tech.fb.com

Music from the space station ISS & Kraftwerk

Last Friday, the german ESA astronaut Alexander Gerst played a special version of the track “Spacelab” live together with the famous electronic music pioneers “Kraftwerk” during a concert in Stuttgart. “The ISS is a MAN-MACHINE. It is the most complex and valuable machine human kind has ever build”, he explained to the audience.

Watch the video of this moment and his speech. (Note for the skeptical people among us: ESA confirmed, it was really completely life)

More information: blogs.esa.int

 

Leap Motion’s ‘Collapsible’ User Interface for AR Headsets

Leap Motion, the company behind the hand-tracking depth sensor, recently showed off a prototype of a user interface for AR headsets this time centered on how some simple elements might work in the “augmented office” of the near future.

By moving your hand closer to the small white bar, which is projected to appear on the edge of a desk, you can produce a 2D window, pick it up, place it in mid-air, and even lay it down flat on a desk.

The prototype is still in it’s very early stages and the road to a final product is still a long way off, but it is already a great example of what the future of AR might look like.

Ferrolic: A beautiful living clock

Ferrolic is a clock made out of ferro fluid that is moved by magnets to visualise the changing of time. The dynamic of the movement of the ferro fluid gives the clock a tangible and mesmerizing feel to the passage of time.
The only downside is that the clock has a short lifespan of a few months since the ferrofluid degrades after a while and will stop responding to the magnetic fields.

Still, this is a great example of creatively combining physics, technology and a sense of design to produce an item that looks like a piece of art, but also retains it’s original usefulness.

More information: Ferrolic.com

Google Jamboard: A 55” 4k digital whiteboard

Google recently launched their 55 inch 4k digital whiteboard called Jamboard. It essentially tries to improve and enhance the whiteboard experience by leveraging the current power of 4k and inter-connectivity.

It boasts some impressive features like handwriting and shape recognition, 16 touch points, seamless integration with Jamboard apps on phones and tablets. If you are interested in the full specs you find them here.

The only downside you could argue about is it’s price: $5000. Next to that, you will also be required to pay an annual management and support fee of $600. If the price is no issue then you might just be signing on to the next evolution of a collaborative experience.

Shenzhen: The Silicon Valley of Hardware

Years before any new shiny piece of tech arrives in the West, people in Shenzhen are already bored of it and on the next train. You might not fully realise it, but Shenzhen is truly the Tomorrowland of today’s world.

The proximity to an enormous infrastructure of hardware manufacturers combined with a lot of engineering talent and creativity makes Shenzhen the place to be if you want a glimpse of the future.

This special Wired documentary is just over an hour long, but for those who have not seen it yet will not regret the time spent. It gives a fascinating insight into how and where most of the world’s computer hardware is designed and built. If you want to know what’s coming next…the compass points squarely into one direct: Shenzhen.

The next evolution of NFC: electromagnetic emissions sensing

Engineers at Disney Research have already proven that it is possible to accurately identify devices by sensing the devices electromagnetic emission.

Now a team of scientists at Carnegie Mellon University’s Future Interfaces Group has created a prototype smartphone fitted with this electromagnetic-sensing capability that can identify and communicate with other devices. While there are still some hurdles to overcome, this is already looking like a promising piece of technology!

If this becomes ubiquitous, then all you need is a smartphone and you have your digital fingerprint of the future, and then new areas for creative development will suddenly open up!

 

 

The Globe of Economic Complexity

The Globe of Economic Complexity is an interactive 3D map that visualises 15 trillion dollars of world trade. Created by Owen Cornec, who was a data visualisation fellow at Harvard University at the time, it presents an insurmountable amount of data in such a way that any layman can comprehend it.

This is a stunning example of how creativity and technology can be combined to represent complex topics in such ways that it becomes more than the sum of just its parts.

Source: The Globe of Economic Complexity

Meet Lorek, A new human-interaction robot from Brown University

Researcher from the University of Brown have created a robot who can deal with uncertainty from human requests. A person can ask the robot for an item and the robot will try to determine which item the user requested. If the robot is unsure, because there are multiple copies of the same item on the table, then the robot will ask confirmation for which specific copy the user wants.

While this seems very trivial, handling uncertainty is a big part of human interaction and a big problem for computer scientists who are trying to develop human-robot interactions.

As for our industry, these kind of advancements really start shining a light on distant possibilities for creating better, richer and more natural experiences between humans and robots.

Source: Wired

A.I. Duett – making music in a team with artificial intelligence

A new Google A.I. experiment is showing a very impressive way to use artificial intelligence and human creativity to make music together.
Several technologies are used, including some tools from the TensorFlow magenta” project, which has its focus on using machine learning to create compelling art and music.

Deep neural networks and machine-learning are key players of artificial intelligence. They are simulating basic information processing of the brain and are more and more used in many products.

More information: aiexperiments.withgoogle.com