Mar 28, 2008

Have you heard of the Internet of Things? OpenSpime? (Link to related post)

Take a look at my post on the TSHWI blog to watch videoclips and read about emerging technologies related to the "Internet of Things" and Spime concepts.

Let me know what you think.


Mar 26, 2008

Digital 2008: 2nd IEEE International Conference on Digital Game and Intelligent Toy Enhanced Learning

The 2nd IEEE International Conference on Digital Game and Intelligent Toy Enhanced Learning will be in Banff, Canada, from November 17-19, 2008.

The call for papers is in process.

Here is some information from the conference website:

"Despite the surging interest in this emerging research, there are plenty challenging research issues to be investigated. For example, can one really learn meaningfully and deeply from games? Will there be new theories that explain phenomena of learning with fun? What constitute game pedagogies? How this genre of technology enhanced learning can be adopted to formal and informal learning settings? What are the possible dark sides of game and toyed education and how to prevent them? "

The topics of interest include but are not limited to:

Foundation and theory for design
Case studies and exemplars
Artificial intelligence
Virtual characters
Vitual storytelling and game narrative
Multiplayer and social game design
Simulation and animation
Entertainment Robots for Education
Augmented/Mixed Reality
Non-Visual Senses (smelling, touching, hearing)
Mobile games and its linking to online games
Location-based games and ubiquitous technology
Identity in gaming to learn: roles and role-playing
Optimal experience and flow
Engagement and emotion
Collaboration, competition and community
Social and Cultural aspects

Contact Information:

Contact Information

Kinshuk, General Chair (

Michael Eisenberg, Program Chair (

Jill Calliou, Local Administrator (

Mar 18, 2008

Hug Shirt and Hug from a Distance: Wearables for people with autism spectrum disorders? (Cross post from Tech Psych)

"Hug from a Distance" is a vest that can be electronically controlled to give someone a hug over the Internet. The vest was created by Floyd Meuller, who has a rich background in interactive technologies, multimedia, and interdisciplinary research.

Children with autism spectrum disorders who calm with pressure might benefit from this type of vest.

Another wearable technology is the Hug Shirt.

"Wearers hug themselves, then using Bluetooth technology and their cell phone, they can send it to someone else wearing a Hug Shirt that simulates the feeling of the hug," says Francesca Rosella, creative director of London-based CuteCircuit, which developed the interactive top. "It copies the strength, length, temperature and heart rate of the hug."

It would be interesting to research the effectiveness of these wearable technologies with children and teens who have autism spectrum disorders.

Mar 17, 2008

Look, touch, listen, and play: Seth Sandler's Interactive Audio Touch Table Video; NUI Group and Google's Summer of Code

Seth Sandler's most recent video of the Audio Touch interactive table provides a good demonstration of how multi-touch on a table can work with music.

Seth is a member of the NUI group (Natural User Interface). He is finishing a Bachelors degree in Interdisciplinary Computing and the Arts, with an emphasis on Music, at the University of California, San Diego. His research and development work centers around multi-touch, multi-user musical interfaces.

Here is an update about the NUI group:

"Natural User Interface or ~ NUI Group is an interactive media group researching and creating open source machine sensing techniques to benefit artistic and educational applications."

"We offer a collaborative environment for developers that are interested in learning and sharing new HCI (Human Computer Interaction) methods and concepts. This may include topics such as: voice/handwriting/gesture recognition, touch computing, computer vision, and information visualization."

The NUI group has been selected for mentoring organization for Google's Summer of Code, for those of you who are interested in working on open-source code for multi-touch systems. The student application process begins Monday, March 24th, 2008, and ends Monday, March 31st, 2008.

NUI group's project ideas page outlines the requirements for the application, which includes a 7500 word project proposal. The project page has a long list of ideas to spark some thinking for potential Summer of Code applicants.

For those of you who aren't into coding, I encourage you to take a look at the NUI Groups project ideas page just to get an idea of th interesting ideas that are being explored. The page has a list of links to other good resources.

Share the word with anyone who might be interested in the NUI Group's projects for the Summer of Code. We need to get more people interested in STEM careers, and the project ideas outlined by the NUI group look enticing.

Mar 11, 2008

Interactive User Interfaces: Nat Torkington's list of links to new and cool technologies.

Quick post:

Nat Torkington recently wrote a post on O'Reilly Radar with links and descriptions about new interactive interfaces, such as a multi-touch Rubik's Cube, a weather map with haptic feedback, NextWindow's multi-touch screens, Cyber Goggles, NUI, and more.

Mar 10, 2008

Nik Peachy is an edublogger who recently posted a great "how-two" about Soundscapes from SoundTransit.

According to Nik, SoundTransit "is a really wonderful formulation of an idea. It's not just a huge collection of Mp3 sound files from all over the world, but the sounds have been tagged by country and described and a visitor to the site can take a sound journey around the world."

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From the SoundTransit website:

"SoundTransit is a collaborative, online community dedicated to field recording and phonography.
In the “Book” section of this site, you can plan a sonic journey through various locations recorded around the world. And in the “Search” section, you can search the database for specific sounds by member artists from many different places. If you are a phonographer, you can also contribute your recordings for others to enjoy."

This would be a fun application to use in a social studies or music class! It also looks like a good application to use on an interactive whiteboard or display.

Mar 6, 2008

More about virtual worlds in education: Edutopia's articles and resources

The recent on-line newsletter from Edutopia has a list of links of articles and media about virtual worlds and games in education. This information compliments the video, "Virtual Worlds Tour", highlighted in my previous post.

Get a Life: Students Collaborate in Simulated Roles (Laila Weir)

The School of Second Life (Wagner James Au)

Simulation Nation: The Promise of Virtual Learning Activities: Inventive computer sims can turn dull lessons into hyperreal experiences, if we can get educators to use them" (Marc Prensky)

Related video: No Gamer Left Behind "Computer simulations area natural learning tools to a generation of video game players"

Let the Games Begin: Entertainment Meets Education (Jenn Shreve)


Loud and Clear: Students Find Their Voices Through Multimedia
(Edutopia Staff)

Edutopia is part of the non-profit George Lucas Educational Foundation

Post a comment if you are using virtual worlds or games in your school!

Mar 5, 2008

Post from Jonathan Tarr, HASTAC, about Sharon Burn's Virtual Worlds Tour (8-minute overview video)

If you are interested in interactive multimedia, you might be curious to learn more about virtual 3D worlds. I tried out Second Life for a couple of weeks in 2005, and found that for me, I simply don't have the time. I often don't have enough time in my "first life"!

Since 2005, Second Life and other virtual worlds have exploded in population. Here is a good overview and update, including information and views of children's virtual worlds such as Whyville, Webkins, and Penguin.

FYI: I'm always flattered when I've been "re-blogged", so I hope that Jonathan Tarr doesn't mind that I've reblogged his post from the HASTIC website:


"MacArthur Foundation CIO Sharon Burns (whom I met briefly last month in Chicago) has posted the first part of an excellent tour through various virtual worlds on Youtube, for those who are looking for a quick and smart overview. I learned more about it in 8 minutes than I have in most longer presentations about virtual worlds, so there is certainly some benefit to brevity.
There's also a useful writeup of the video on Susan Tenby's blog at Netsquared, if you want an even briefer writeup and some additional information."

What is HASTAC?

"A consortium of humanists, artists, scientists, social scientists, and engineers from universities across the country, HASTAC ("Haystack") is committed to new forms of collaboration across institutions, disciplines, and communities to promote creative uses of technology. Since 2003, we have been developing tools for multimedia archiving and social interaction, gaming environments for teaching, innovative educational programs in information science and information studies, virtual museums, and other digital projects. HASTAC leaders have served as consultants to U.S. and international organizations and governments on grid computing and cyberinfrastructure. Our aim is to promote expansive, innovative uses of technology in formal education and lifelong learning."

Cross Post: "knann's" blogmark links to interactive websites

This is also posted on the TechPsych blog:

"knann" has posted several bookmarks on Blogmarks about interactive websites and applications for education, including some that look appropriate for interactive whiteboards and displays.

Blogmarks provides screen-shots of bookmarked web-pages that are helpful in locating information quickly.

Click on any of the above screenshots to discover some of the links on knann's Blogmarks.

Microsoft's Photosynth: Immersive Learning Possibilties

I just came across an interesting article in the on-line MIT Technology Review, written by Jeffery MacIntyre, about Photosynth, developed by Microsoft's Live Labs:

Microsoft's Shiny New Toy: Photosynth is an application that's still a work in progress. It is dazzling, but what is it for?

I think that the PhotoSynth application would be very useful in education settings - K-12 and also at the university level.

More classrooms now have interactive whiteboards that connect to the Web, providing a broader range of possibilities for educators to create engaging, immersive learning experience for their students.

Young people would have the opportunity to experience virtual field trips and collaborate with students around the world.

An application such as PhotoSynth, coupled with an information/data visualization component, would be quite useful in high school and university classrooms.

From the TechReview Article:

"You are here: Photosynth, an application in development at Microsoft’s Live Labs, offers an immersive way to view photos of a given thing or place. The software has not yet been released, but Microsoft is demonstrating it online with photo collections such as this one of Venice’s St. Mark’s Square." Credit: Courtesy of Microsoft Live Labs

Below are links from the TechReview article:

"Watch Photosynth stitch photos together."

"View images from Photosynth and see how it works."

From Microsoft's Website:
"Photosynth takes a large collection of photos of a place or object, analyzes them for similarities, and displays them in a reconstructed 3-Dimensional space."

"With Photosynth you can:
  • walk or fly through a scene to see photos from any angle;
  • seamlessly zoom in or out of a photograph even if it's gigapixels in size;
  • see where pictures were taken in relation to one another;
  • find similar photos to the one you’re currently viewing;
  • explore a custom tour or see where you’ve been; or
  • send a collection to a friend."

If any readers have thoughts about the use of PhotoSynth in educational settings or situations, please leave a comment!

Microsoft's PhotoSynth website

Mar 3, 2008

Online Multimedia Library from LEARN NC and UNC Chapel Hill for K-12 and higher

Learn N.C. has a wealth of on-line resources for educators, students, and parents. I particularly like the on-line multimedia library. Below are links to resources for the following topics, obtained through the "tag cloud" on the multimedia library site.

Here are the direct links:
4-H clubs Agra American Indians American Indian towns Angkor animals archaeology architecture artAsia Bali Bangkok beaches birds boat Buddhism Cambodia carvings children Colombia colonialcostumes deities demons drawings Ecuador Emerald Buddha Temple excavations families farming fishing flowers food forests geography girls grass Green 'N' Growing Hanoi Hanuman Hinduism history houses illustrations India Indonesia Jaipur Jodhpur John White Khmer kings labor
landforms landscapes maps markets men's work Mexico monkeys monuments mountains murals musicMysore national parks Nepal North Carolina Occaneechi paintings palaces performance RamaRamayana Ravana religion rice rivers rural life salt marshes sandstone Sita snakes Southeast Asiatechnology temples Thailand theaters tourism
transportation trees turkey Ubud urban life Utah Vietnam Vietnam War Virginia water women women's work

LEARN NC is led by a number of knowledgable staff and consultants.

The website is worth exploring for a while!

Take a wlook

FireFly Game for Microsoft Surface: Demo by Carbonated Games; A look at a Multi-touch from Next Window

Watch the video clip to see more about Firefly game that was developed by Carbonated Games to take advantage of Microsoft's multi-touch enabled Surface table computer system. The game is in demo form only.For more information, see the article from Gaming Today.

For those of you who need multi-touch before you can get your hands on the Surface, you might be interested in NextWindow's multi-touch display, recently demonstrated at an expo:

Here are links to touch-screen project prototypes I worked on for HCI and Ubicomp classes I took in 2007:
poetry picture share photo-globe explorer

Mar 2, 2008

Link to post: Reflecting about Interaction-Updated

If you are interested in interaction and technology, I've updated my "Reflecting about Interaction" posts on my TSHWI (Technology-Supported Human-world Interaction) blog. I've embedded a couple of video clips that show how body movements interact with music applications. One is an interactive music wall, and the other is a staircase that senses people's movements and plays music and sounds as they move.

You might also be interested in my latest post about Johnny Chung Lee and his Wii hacks. "I wish I could be Johnny Chung Lee for a Day!"