Jun 28, 2009

NECC 2009 Conference June 28-July 1st: Technology in Education


If you are interested in virtual worlds, serious games, interactive multimedia technology, and emerging technologies in education, the 2009 NECC conference is the place to be!

NECC 2009 Conference Website

ISTE Website

Live Streaming from the NECC conference

CITEd (Center for Implementing Technology in Education) will be at NECC at the end of this month, where CITEd staffers will be keeping in touch via Twitter and Facebook.

The following information about virtual worlds and learning is from CITEd-e-News:

"Follow CITEd as we attend NECC 2009, the largest educational computing conference of the year. If you're attending this year, check out the agenda to see where we'll be; if you can't make it, we'll be Twittering the conference at TechnologyinEd. New to Twitter? Check out The Ultimate Guide for Everything Twitter or Twitter in Plain English. "
Virtual Worlds for Teaching and Learning
Virtual worlds, particularly Second Life and Teen Second Life, are a hot topic in education as schools and universities around the world begin to make use of virtual learning environments. With a wide variety of educational projects, Second Life is home to virtual conferences, professional development workshops, "field trips" to exotic locales, in-world classrooms and collaborative learning activities. In this issue of eNews, we take a look at some of the ways educators are using Second Life to enhance learning and teaching. Learn more at www.cited.org.
Read about how one health teacher used avatars (alter egos) in Second Life to teach students about body image issues, media representations of beauty, and self-image.
If you've ever wondered about using virtual worlds with your students, but don't know where to start, check out this short video highlighting several schools as they explore using Second Life in their teaching.
Suffern Middle School in Suffern, NY has maintained a virtual presence in Teen Second Life since 2006, with a focus on standards-based curriculum. Based on their experiences, teachers have created an in-depth guide for moving your school or classroom into the virtual world.
Thinking about using virtual worlds in your school? Global Kids has used Second Life to work with urban youth since 2006 and offers free sample curriculum materials and professional development opportunities. Be sure to visit the blog written by teens in the project!

Whatever your technology need, CITEd's web site offers unbiased, reliable and timely resources and information for implementing technology in the classroom, school, and district. Want to know more? Visit our home page!

(I'm on a cruise vacation, otherwise I'd be at NECC!)

Jun 26, 2009

A visit to Trinity College: The Elektra Project and 80Days Games for Learning

Today I visited Trinity College in Dublin and had an opportunity to discuss some educational gaming with Dr. Owen Conlan. Dr. Conlan has been involved in some interesting projects which I'll discuss further in an update of this post.

For now, you can visit the following links. The Elecktra project was recently completed, and 80Days is a newer project. Both projects were collaborative efforts between several universities.

Enhanced Learning Experience and Knowledge TRAnsfer"

80Days Project Overview (pdf)

80Days Goes Public:

"80Days International Open Workshop on Intelligent Personalization and Adaptation in Digital Educational Games is organized by the 80Days Project (www.eightydays.eu), a cutting-edge research initiative of the European Union’s Seventh Framework Programme for research and technological development (FP7). The project’s goal is to explore new frontiers in DEGs by combining effective learning with fun and pleasure. Core objectives of the project are intelligent mechanisms for non-invasive knowledge assessment and the establishment of a higher-level adaptation framework that merges educational adaptation and interactive storytelling. '

Jun 15, 2009

My Summer Emerging Technology "Wish to Play" List!

Yes, it is summer, and I need new sunglasses. But not the usual kind.

I just had to post this picture from the Optical Vision Site. Too bad "iShades" are just in the prototype level of development.

There are other fashionable options:

Wearable 3D Augmented Reality displays go high resolution Wearable 3D Augmented Reality displays go high resolution

Maybe this prototype would look better:
Photo from the Wired Gadget Lab

Or perhaps this pair?
Human Media Lab at Queen's University

I guess the glasses will help me interact with the next in emerging technology: the organic user interface!
Twp guys and their flexible "gummi".

And here is the next-gen version of Readius, a flexible pocket e-book from Polymer Vision. (I posted a video clip of the earlier version of "Readius" on YouTube two years ago.)
Half opened Readius

(Photo from Engaget: "Polymer Vision has Readius ready to go, needs case to get it out of the door".)

You can learn more about organic and flexible user interfaces from a video on the Daily Planet Discovery Channel. Organic user interfaces allows computers to take any shape or form. The concept reminds me of the flexible haptic interfaces I've dreamt about.

So what what else is emerging?

Here are a couple of pictures of a Google Earth browser on a spherical screen:

And here is a smaller, collapsible multi-touch sphere from Moxia:

More to come!

Jun 6, 2009

Interactive Touch Tables are Multiplying! Ideum's new 100" multi-touch museum display; Ubisoft's Ruse on a Surface....

Photo from the Museum Exhibit and Design News/Ideum Blog

The above table is 100", created for Nashville's Adventure Science Center's Sudekum Planetarium, is based on Ideum's mt2 table: "Built for museum environments, the high-resolution mt2 Table supports intuitive gestures, allowing visitors to interact and explore custom exhibits. With multiuser support, mt2 Table serves as digital gathering place, allowing visitors to interact with museum content and each other."

Two computers power this table. Natural User Interface's Snowflake handles the optical support and tracking, and the second computer will be running the EM spectrum application, which is developed in Adobe Flash. It is a work in progress. For more information, visit the Ideum blog.

Here is a video trailer of Ubisoft's R.U.S.E. played on a multi-touch table. Much of the trailer appears to be a simulation. I liked the part where the battleships are traveling over the water. According to a blog post, the table depicted in the trailer is the Intuiface, by Intuilab.

Photos of Ubisoft's R.U.S.E. game, running on a multi-touch table:


Photo from the Ubisoft Blog

Intuiface Information PDF
Intuilabs Website

If you visit the Intuilabs website, be sure you interact with the photos of the team! I couldn't get the pictures to change when I touched the screen of my HP TouchSmart PC, so I think they are activated by a mouse-over. It would be nice if they could touch-enable their website.)

Information about Touch Screens, Multi-Touch, & Gesture Interaction is Spreading

Since the news about Windows 7 multi-touch capabilities has spread around, I haven't had enough time to keep up all of information related to multi-touch interaction. Fortunately there are a few bloggers out there who are doing a great job filling in the gaps.

The Touch User Interface blog has a wealth of information in the form of pictures, video clips, slides, and links that I'd like to share.

The following slideshow/videos were highlighted in the Touch User Interface blog post, "Touch UI: HCI Viewpoint":

Untold Stories of Touch, Gesture, & NUI

Joe Fletcher, Design Manager, Microsoft Surface

Touch and Gesture Computing, What You Haven't Heard
Dan Saffer

Other posts of interest on the Touch User Interface blog:
Touch screens and vision impairment
Link: Designing the Palm Pre: An Interview with Michelle Koh

Touch User Interface Overview

I've updated some additional information about UX,interactive multimedia, multi-touch, and gesture interaction on my Multimedia and Interaction Resources page, which is a work in progress.

Jun 5, 2009

White House Blog: Interactive Debategraph for Open Government Transparency.

Infoviz for Government!

I came across the following graphic of the interactive "Debategraph" from the White House Blog:

Debategraph screenshot

When you visit the Debategraph website, you can click on each item to see things reconfigured according to your selection. You can link to the site by clicking on the above graphic.

According to the Whitehouse Blog post, "Debategraph is a visual policy mapping tool that is being used for running citizen engagement on climate change in Europe. Debategraph translated our
mindmap of the redacted transparency proposals into the interactive Debategraph. In this format, the different proposals are rateable, addressable, and open to collaborative editing. People can also add supporting and opposing arguments to the proposals. "The aim with visual policy maps of this kind is to collaboratively weave together all of the salient proposals and arguments dispersed through the community into a single rich, transparent structure—in which each idea and argument is expressed just once—so that anyone can explore quickly and gain a good sense of the perceived merits of the relevant choices," says David Price, Debategraph's co-founder."

More from Multitouch Barcelona!

Multitouch Barcelona is up to more great work!

Multitouch Space Invaders XL

Multitouch Space Invaders XL from Multitouch Barcelona on Vimeo.

Guten Touch, by Multitouch Barcelona

GUTEN TOUCH from Multitouch Barcelona on Vimeo.

"Designed for the Red Bull Music Academy 08, Guten Touch is an interactive installation that involves people into a natural relationship with technology. A two projected display system plus a 3m x 2m multitouch wall showcase applications designed to engage us into human friendly experiences rather than flashy and jaw-dropping visualizations. Space Invaders hit by foam balls, pixel paintings created with brushes and digital objects held by hands try to blur boundaries between real and digital."

Multi-touch Barcelona (new site)
"Multitouch Barcelona is a recently born interaction design group that explores natural communication between people and technology. They design touch sensitive environments where real world interactions move to a digital context. Interfaces where people touch, play, move, feel...Where senses play their natural role, where everything just 'happens" as it does in the real world. "

Offf 2009: International Festival for the Post-Digital Creation Culture

Jun 2, 2009

Updates about NextWindow and Stantum; Upcoming Emerging Displays Technologies Conference

Here is a brief update about two companies that I follow:

NextWindow Granted Key Optical Touch Screen Patents (pdf)
Pleasanton, CA – June 1, 2009 – "NextWindow, the leader in optical touch screens for all-in-one PCs and large-format displays, has been awarded two key technology patents, one in the US and another in China. The newly granted patents which refer to optical touch systems incorporating light emitters, reflectors and detection methods, help cement NextWindow’s leadership positions in the important Chinese manufacturing and US sales markets"

"The US patent, number 7,538,759, issued by the United States Patent & Trademark Office on May 26, 2009, is titled, “Touch Panel Display System with Illumination and Detection Provided from a Single Edge.” NextWindow previously was granted this patent in Australia , and a request for patent is pending in Canada , Europe, Hong Kong and Japan ..."

You can follow NextWindow on Twitter

Stantum Granted Key Patents on Its Multi-Touch Technology

BORDEAUX, France, June 1, 2009 – "Stantum, a pioneer developer of multi-touch solutions and systems since 2002, announced today that both the European Patent Office and the China Patent & Trademark Office have granted patents (EP1719047 and CN100447723C, respectively) to Stantum on its multi-touch technology."

"In 2004, under its former name, JazzMutant, Stantum became the first company ever to develop and bring to market a multi-touch electronic device – the award-winning Lemur remote controller for creative professionals. The recently granted European and Chinese patents extend the original patent filed in France in February 2004."

"The patents describe a method and a system for controlling electronic devices by manipulating graphic objects on a transparent multi-contact touch panel. Beyond the process enabling the detection and tracking of an unlimited number of simultaneous contact points on a touch screen, the patents disclose various multi-touch interaction techniques, such as applying specific behavior to graphic objects according to finger gestures...."

Stantum's Quarterly Newsletter

Here is an industry-related 1-day conference that looks interesting!

2009 Emerging Display Technologies Conference: Innovation for the Next Wave of Growth

"Emerging display technologies offer alternative performance, cost, design, and business models to mainstream display technologies. From touch screens, flexible displays, OLED displays, e-paper displays, and pocket projectors to 3D displays, this 1-day conference will explore how new display technologies can bring innovative form factors, attractive visual performance, power saving, and potentially drive growth in the near future."

Thursday, September 3, 2009 8:00 AM - 5:30 PM

San Jose Marriott
301 S. Market Street
San Jose, California 95113

Jun 1, 2009

3DV Systems Motion Sensing Camera and Microsoft's Xbox 360

A while ago there was an article in Reuters that discussed how Microsoft was planning to buy 3DV Systems, a company that develops virtual reality imaging technology for digital cameras, called ZCams. The ZCams would be used as an accessory to the XBox 360 system.

It is true, according to a recent article in Business Week:

Microsoft Moves onto Nintendo's Motion Turf: "The software giant's Xbox 360 gaming console will have a camera system that lets users bring body movements and voice commands into play"

Information about the camera from the 3DV website:
"The new"ZCamTM (previously Z-Sense), 3DV's most recently completed prototype camera, is based on DeepCTM and is the company's smallest and most cost-effective 3D camera. At the size of a standard webcam and at affordable cost, it provides very accurate depth information at high speed (60 frames per second) and high depth resolution (1-2 cm). At the same time, it provides synchronized and synthesized quality color (RGB) video (at 1.3 M-Pixel). With these specifications, the new ZCamTM (previously Z-Sense) is ideal for PC-based gaming and for background replacement in web-conferencing. Game developers, web-conferencing service providers and gaming enthusiasts interested in the new ZCamTM (previously Z-Sense) are invited to contact us."

Video of 3DV Systems at CES 2008

Sony Play Station EyeToy: Therapy for Burn Patients

Here is an excerpt from a recent article about the work of Dr. Joseph Haik, a plastic surgeon and burn specialist who has pioneered a therapy that utilizes Sony's Play Station EyeToy:

"The EyeToy is a digital camera, similar to a webcam, whose technology uses computer vision and gesture recognition to process images, enabling players to interact with games using motion and color detection."

"With our method, patients look into the EyeToy and see their images projected on TV," Haik says. "The game recognizes their gestures and shows them to themselves on screen, helping them adjust to what they look like post-burn. That can help combat depression, improve self-image, and encourage patients to move on when other occupational therapies fail," he explains."

"A very important aspect of healing is coming to terms with scars on the face, hands and other exposed body parts. Depression and other symptoms associated with severe burns can make a full recovery more painful and difficult than it may need to be. That's why the EyeToy can be so useful in helping patients to take the first step in accepting a new self-image, Haik says."

SensoramaLab - Interactive Systems for Rehabilitation Applications

The SensoramaLab at Aalborg University Esbjerg is involved in a variety of research activities focusing on interactive systems, including virtual reality, for use in rehabilitation.

Pictures from the SensoramaLab website:

Immersion for therapy of acrophobiaInside the Flying CitiesFlying Citieshttp://sensoramalab.aaue.dk/thumbs/sensorama_screen_city_thumb_bis.jpg
Space Race
Magic carpet
Our stand at Scandinavian Rehabilitation Messe 2008, CPH.

International Society for Virtual Rehabilitation