20 Jan 2013

I Spy – Neil Mendoza

This servo-articulated mobile tracks users with its four android tablets using two Kinects.  As with The Stranger, which I discussed in my last post, this installation is meant to raise questions about what it means to be watched by our devices.  It makes me think about the idea that any window that one can gaze out of may also allow others to gaze in.  I consider this installation to be more compelling than The Stranger, in part because the kinetic nature of the installation makes it seem like much more of an organic creature.  I wish I knew more about what the processing app on each tablet accomplishes.  It may simply be animation, with Open Frameworks managing everything else off-board.  If this is the case, I would be somewhat surprised that simple screens weren’t used instead, except the use of consumer devices seems to be a major theme in other projects displayed by Mendoza on his website.


Apple Sudden Motion Sensor – Luke Sturgeon

This Open Frameworks demo takes advantage of the accelerometer built into Macbooks and many other laptops to halt spinning hard drives in case of a sudden drop or impact.  The demo is fairly simple and just allows spheres to roll about the screen as the laptop is tilted.  Still, this is a fascinating demo to me because I didn’t realize that the accelerometer could be accessed easily.  I feel a little silly after finding this because my faceOSC project essentially accomplishes the same thing, but by detecting faces and assuming (possibly incorrectly) that the user is upright and has good posture.  I wish there was a bit more documentation on this project.  I think there’s a lot of potential to do some rather cool tablet-style projects on ordinary laptops, and I also wonder what other sensors can be tapped.


Minecraft AR Viewer – imakethin.gs

This demo uses Open Frameworks to render a section of a 3D Minecraft world in augmented reality.  It uses the Bukkit server plugin to export map chunks.  As an avid Minecraft player and server curator, this is one of the more creative uses of Bukkit that I’ve seen, and certainly the first time I’ve seen anything related to both Minecraft and augmented reality.  It certainly has a few shortcomings, but it’s a good start.  It would be good to see it incorporate texture files instead of just drawing large colored cubes, and as the poster mentions, the render does not currently update.  If these improvements were made, however, this could be a very useful tool for demonstrating structures and mechanisms in tutorials and webcasts.