Jul 26, 2010

Wrangler Bluebell Jeans Interactive Ad on my TouchSmart PC -"How-to", plus a demo of ad on iPad

The content of this blog post was removed at the request of Wrangler.

Interesting blog roll and links on Christian Zoellner's TUI Blog by FORM+ZWECK; FILE Electronic Arts Festival

Christian Zoellner blogs about "tangible interaction & new interfaces" on the TUI Blog by Form + Zweck, a design magazine.  Christian is a designer and "presearcher" who lives and works in Berlin, Germany.  He teaches at the University of Fine Arts, Berlin. He maintains the Christian Zoellner website.

As I write this post, Christian is attending the FILE electronic arts festival, which focuses on "interactive art in public spaces, game design, and sonification".  It sounds like a fantastic conference! The festival is actually a group of events:  File Machinima, File Documenta, File Media Art, File Hypersonica, File Games, File Symposium, File Prix Lux, and workshops.

Christian Zoellner's Links:
(I just noticed I'm on this list of links.)

"This year, besides the Centro Cultural FIESP - Ruth Cardoso programme, FILE launches FILE PAI (Paulista Avenue Interactive = Interactive Public Art), a project of digital public art that will occupy several spaces at Paulista Avenue with interactive works of art.

0 - Interactive Projection, 1 - Brigadeiro subway station, 2 - Electronic sound bus, 3 - Nomadic electronic graffiti, 4 - Paraíso subway station, 5 - Fnac store, 6 - FIESP Cultural Center - Ruth Cardoso, 7 - Trianon-Masp subway station, 8 - Conjunto Nacional building, 9 - Consolação subway station, 10 - Cervantes Institute, and 11 - São Paulo Art Museum - MASP compose the FILE PAI set, which intends to highlight the significance of interactive public art in order to understand and to absorb the new social phenomena provided by technology and, thus, to constitute strategies to interconnect with those new mass behaviors."

Building Music at Spark Festival 09 (opens up to a full screen video of a musical building,from  Play the Magic.

Jul 25, 2010

Interactive Mirror, by Interference Inc. (Video)

Via Seth Sandler, who worked on this app for Interference Inc.

Interactive Mirror (2008)

Interactive Mirror from Alpay Kasal on Vimeo.

Virtual Reality Effectively Treats PTSD and Related Disorders: Skip Rizzo's TEDx Talk about promising interdisciplinary work at the Institute for Creative Technologies

Note: Skip's talk begins about 4 minutes into the presentation.

In this TEDx Talk video, Marilyn Flynn, Dean of the University of Southern California's School of Social Work, introduces Skip Rizzo, a research scientist and Co-Director of the VRPSYCH Lab at the USC  Institute of Creative Technologies (ICT).  Skip's research has focused on the use of virtual realty and related technologies for treatment and training purposes.

In this talk,  Skip provides an overview of the interdisciplinary research taking place at the Institute of Creative Technologies (ICT). Skip goes on to explain the urgency of ICT's current work, focusing on the treatment of Post Traumatic Stress Disorder and other problems experienced by people who have sacrificed so much to serve our country in places of wars and conflicts such as Iraq and Afganistan.  Neary one-third of our military personnel are significantly at-risk for developing PTSD or other debilitating conditions that will negatively affect their functioning upon returning home.

Skip goes on to show how the latest VR (Virtual Reality) related technologies and applications combine with with evidence-based intervention and treatment strategies to successfully treat PTSD.  Recent research indicates that 75% of clients treated through 10 sessions of exposure therapy no longer exhibit clinical symptoms of the disorder. Given the numbers of people suffering from PTSD and related disorders, the potential for this treatment method holds promise.

Skip points out that one problem many veterans or their loved ones experience is that they are not aware that effective treatment is available.  Additionally, there are few therapists who are trained in the use of VR as a therapeutic tool.  By working with USC's School of Social Work, this may no longer be the case in the future.  Therapist can learn ways to provide effective evidence-based treatment through interacting with a "virtual human" application that uses an "intelligent" character that simulates the conversational exchanges that are likely to occur during treatment sessions. Additionally, the research behind this effort has resulted in the creation of an on-line system that includes virtual guides that can provide support and guidance to people suffering from PSTD in order to get them to engage in the treatment they require.

Here is information from the Institute of Creative Technologies regarding Skip Rizzo's TEDx USC Talk:
Skip Rizzo's TEDx USC Talk Now Online
"ICT’s Skip Rizzo spoke at this year’s TEDx USC conference and was introduced by Dean Marilyn Flynn of the USC School of Social Work. Video of their talk is now available for viewing on the TEDx Talk’s Channel on YouTube...Of the more than 1.6 million men and women deployed to Iraq and Afghanistan, nearly one-third are expected to return with disabling combat stress disorders that may affect some for a lifetime if left untreated.

Through and unlikely marriage of social work and cutting edge technology, the USC Institute for Creative Technologies and the USC School of Social Work are revolutionizing the training methods for a new generation of mental health professionals, shifting the way clinicians learn to interact with their patients."
Introduction: Marilyn Flynn, Dean, USC School of Social Work
Virtual Reality Demonstration: Albert “Skip” Rizzo, Research Scientist, USC Institute for Creative Technologies 

USC Institute for Creative Technologies
"The USC Institute for Creative Technologies brings together high-tech tools + classic storytelling to pioneer new ways to teach + to train."
Virtual Reality & Convergence with Game Technology IMT blogpost, 7/2006
Convergence:  Video Games and Virtual Reality for Special Needs: Autism, ADD, Fetal Alcohol Syndrome, Social Skills TechPsych blogpost, 8/2006
(I will revisit this and related topics in future posts.)

Online Lego Universe: "Lego tries to construct a new empire with pixels, not plastic" (David Kushner, IEEE Spectrum)

The July issue of IEEE Spectrum is full of articles for techies and the tech-curious. Although the cover article, The Chrystal That Will Change Everything" is intriguing, the article that caught my eye was Building the Lego Universe Online, by David Kushner. 

Photo: Holly Lindem; LEGO Sculpture: Nathan Sawaya, in Building the Lego Universe Online, David Kushner, IEEE Spectrum, July 2010

"...unlike traditional Lego play, the online version will offer unprecedented opportunities for players to share and interact. The sprawling Lego fantasyland will be able to support more than half a million "brick heads" from around the world. Each player will start by assembling a personal Lego miniature figure to serve as his or her avatar. Players can then venture into the live Lego Universe, where forces of chaos and destruction—monsters such as the Darklings—threaten to destroy the Land of Imagination."    -David Kushner

Nathan Sawaya, the artist behind the creation in the above picture of a boy and a laptop, is known for his life-size LEGO sculptures, is one of just nine LEGO Certified Professionals. 

The LEGO Universe website has media resource section that includes game screenshots, videos of game-play, pictures of concept art, wallpaper downloads, and information for the press.

Video courtesy of joystiq BETA:
LEGO Universe trailers rebuild our capacity to love. Griffen McElroy, July 23, 2010

Jul 22, 2010

Connected Youth: Theme of the July-Sept issue of IEEE Pervasive Computing

July-Sept. 2010 IEEE Pervasive Computing Cover: Connected Youth

The guest editors of the July-September 2010 issue of IEEE's Pervasive Computing magazine are John Canny, an engineering professor at the University of California, Berkeley, and Jason Hong, an assistant professor at Carnegie Mellon University's Human-Computer Interaction Institute.  Their article provides an introduction to the publication's timely theme, Connected Youth.  The editors find that the study of the current generation of children and teens provides useful information about the future of computing as in integrates more seamlessly into our daily lives, the way we learn, and our relationships and interaction with others across time, place, and generations.

I'm in the middle of reading this issue of Pervasive Computing.  The articles that have caught my eye so far include "Story Time for the 21st Century", which describes the research an implementation of an interactive book-reading system designed to connect children, family members, and grandparents who live in distant locations. The system involves videoconferencing with paper books and interactive content, and enables grandparents to read with their grandchildren via the Internet.

Additional information about Story Play, a system that is still under development, can be found on the Nokia Research Center website: "Family Story Play: Story Time for the 21st Century".  A follow-up project to Story Play is Story Visit:


I'll post more about the articles from the Connected Youth issue of Pervasive Computing in the future.

Jul 20, 2010

Jul 19, 2010

Multi-touch Parallel Coordinates for Interactive InfoVis (video and Info) via Dr. Robert Kosara

Dr. Robert Kosara's area of research is information and data visualization. He is an assistant professor in the Department of Computer Science, College of Computing and Informatics, at the University of North Carolina at Charlotte, and also a member of the Charlotte Visualization Center.   He's fascinated with parallel sets/categorical data visualization.

Dr. Kosara is known for his deep thoughts about information visualization, as well as persuading others that they should think deep thoughts about the subject, too! His latest work is an example of interesting multi-touch interaction with representation of parallel coordinates using multi-touch trackpads commonly found on laptops, including the Macbook Pro.

Indirect Multi-touch Interaction for Brushing in Parallel Coordinates:

Indirect Multi-Touch Interaction for Brushing in Parallel Coordinates from Robert Kosara on Vimeo.


"This is the companion video for a paper we submitted recently. It describes a technique for interacting with parallel coordinates using the multi-touch trackpad found on laptops like Apple's MacBook Pro. 

Below is the abstract from that paper:
Interaction in visualization is often complicated and tedious. Brushing data in a visualization such as Parallel Coordinates allows the user to select data points according to certain criteria. Modifying a brush or combining it with another one usually requires a lot of additional effort and mode switches.
We propose the use of multi-touch interaction to provide fast and convenient interaction with Parallel Coordinates. By using a multi-touch trackpad rather than the screen directly, the users hands do not obscure the visualization during interaction. Using one, two, three, or four fingers, the user can easily and quickly perform complex selections. Being able to change the selections rapidly, the user can explore the data set more easily and effectively, and can focus on the data rather than the interaction."

Robert Kosara's info about parallel sets
EagarEyes Shorts
IEEE VizWeek 2010 (21st IEEE Visualization Conference; 16th IEEE InfoVis Conference; 5th IEEE VAST Conference)  October 24-29, 2010, Salt Lake City, Utah

A plug for a couple of Dr. Kosara's recent publications:

Caroline Ziemkiewicz, Robert Kosara,
Implied Dynamics in Information Visualization,
Proceedings Advanced Visual Interfaces (AVI), pp. 215–222, 2010. (acceptance rate 20%)
Robert Kosara,
Turning a Table into a Tree: Growing Parallel Sets into a Purposeful Project,
in Steele, Iliinsky (eds), Beautiful Visualization, pp. 193–204, O'Reilly Media, 2010.

Caroline Ziemkiewicz, Robert Kosara,
Embedding Information Visualization Within Visual Representation,
in Ras, Ribarsky (eds), Advances in Information and Intelligent Systems, Studies in Computational Intelligence, Vol. 251, pp. 307–326, Springer Verlag, 2010.

Jul 18, 2010

Interactive Technology in the Carolinas: T-1 Visions Update

Interactive off-the-desktop technologies are taking off in many regions, including the Carolinas. I'd like to share some of this "post-WIMP" goodness with my readers.  There are lots of interesting things developing in my own backyard!

About a year ago, I wrote a post about T1 Visions, the company behind the interactive technology at the T1 Tapas restaurant in Huntersville, NC.  In May of this year (2010), Mike Feldman, the president of T1 Visions, LLC, and inventor of the T1 Connection Booth, participated in a panel discussion about innovative technologies for the restaurant sector at the National Restaurant Association (NRA) Show in Chicago, Illinois.

The T1 Connection booth is an integrated system that includes a durable interactive multi-user touch screen table, powered by a mac. It also includes a high-quality audio system and high-definition video screen. It can accommodate a variety of mobile devices, such as iPods, iPhones, MP3 players, and laptops.  If you have digital photos, you can easily connect to the system and view them on the video screen.

The T1 Connection Booth was designed for use in restaurants, bars, and nightclubs. In the Charlotte area, booths can be found at Harper's Restaurant in South Park, and soon will be ready for action at a new restaurant, Cowfish. According to a press release, the system is more affordable than the Microsoft Surface, and can be

The T1 Connection booth looks like it could be re-purposed for a variety of settings. I've experienced the T1 Connection Booth "hands on" a few times while visiting T1 Tapas, and I'm sure that it has potential for use in museums, libraries, and other public spaces.  T1Visions also provides high-definition display systems that coordinate with the T1 Connection booths.   T1 Vision's displays and digital signs are in use at the newly-opened NASCAR Hall of Fame museum, and also at the Charlotte Convention Center.

T1 Visions Touchscreen Experience

2009 Five Ventures Conference: T1 Visions, Inc.

The TechnoFiles, CNN Video Feature of T-1 Vision's High Tech Restaurant, T1 Tapas (2009):

T1 Visions Website
T1 Tapas Website
Connection Booth Brochure (pdf)
High Definition Display Systems Brochure (pdf)
Post-WIMP links

Previous IMT post about T1 Tapas, July 16, 2009:
T1 Tapas, a restaurant north of Charlotte, N.C., in the Birkdale Village in Huntersville, has majority owners with a technology background. Mike Feldman and Jim Morris started up Digital Optics Corporation, which focused on optics for computers and imaging, and after they sold their company, they teamed up with Denise Feldman to establish their company.
T 1 Connection Booth with Multi-User Touch Screen, HD TV, Sound System, Computer, & more:

"T1 Connection Booth seating gives you access to music, photos, and videos through built-in touchscreen tabletops, brilliant monitors, speakers, and computers." -Picture and taken from the T 1 Tapas website

The restaraunt serves as a test bed for T 1 Visions to try out their software and hardware designed to enhance the digitally connected dining experience. The restaurant was featured in May of this year on CNN.

Interactive Technology in the Carolinas: Discovery Place Science Center

I recently visited the Discovery Place science center in Charlotte, N.C.  It was my first visit without kids, and I thought it would be fun to explore all of the exhibits at my own pace. I was excited to play with the interactive applications created for exhibits running on Microsoft's Surface table-top computers. There were so many kids and teens at Discovery Place that every exhibit was in use. Fortunately, I obtained permission from parents to videotape/photograph some of the action.

Next time, I'll make sure that I visit at a less-busy time!

The following displays were developed by the Microsoft Surface team at Quatrefoil.  Quatrefoil is a company located in Maryland that develops immersive interactive experiences, primarily for museum exhibits and related projects.

Midwife Toad App on a Microsoft Surface

Project Build Exhibit video, from the Quatrefoil YouTube website, helps people understand the architectural design process:

THEM exhibit, from the Quatrefoil YouTube site:

"This health-related exhibition at Discovery Place in Charlotte, NC, explores how the human body is an ecosystem with a myriad of flora and fauna. Visitors are presented with an exciting and educational experience. The content is delivered in a way that carefully walks the line between gross-out information and the need to keep the context within the human body...Quatrefoil Associates designed the exhibit and produced creative media including Attack of the Superbugs, a video about antibiotic-resistant bacteria." -Quatrefoil Associates

The Reactable at Discovery Place

Jul 17, 2010

Preview of the Official Boxee Video Streaming System: Digital Convergence in Action

In the following video, tech entrepreneur Zach Klein shows his company's official version of Boxee, a set-top box system that provides users a "plug-and-play" opportunity to view Web-based video on their televisions.

The first Boxee Box arrived from the D-Link Factory from Zach Klein on Vimeo.
Note:  Zach Klein is the co-founder of Vimeo.

Web video and content, viewed on a large-screen HD display, in the comfort of a cozy recliner or sofa, is in line with the "Slow Media" movement, as well as the concept behind Google's "YouTube Leanback" application (see links and info below).

Relax.  Share.  Interact.  Chill with your Web.

Boxee Website
Boxee Readies Its Set-Top Box Nick Bilton, New York Times, 7/16/10
Boxee debuts Boxee Box, ready to take on Roku Jacob Brody, SocialBeat Venture, 12/7/09
Hands-On With the Boxee Set-Top Box and Remote Brian X. Chen, Wired Gadget Lab, 1/8/10
Designing for Interactive TV:  Boxee Case Study (Method)
Boxee and Digital Convergence Lynn Marentette, Interactive Multimedia Technology, 3/22/09

Slow Media Manifesto
"The concept “Slow”, as in “Slow Food” and not as in “Slow Down”, is a key for this. Like “Slow Food”, Slow Media are not about fast consumption but about choosing the ingredients mindfully and preparing them in a concentrated manner. Slow Media are welcoming and hospitable. They like to share."
Google YouTube Leanback (Google)
YouTube Leanback offers effortless viewing (Google)
"YouTube Leanback a different way of watching videos on YouTube. Just as its name implies, YouTube Leanback is all about letting you sit back, relax and be entertained. Videos are tailored to autoplay as soon as you get started, in full screen and high definition, so watching YouTube becomes as effortless as watching TV. YouTube Leanback is simple to use, easy to navigate with your keyboard's arrow keys, and is personalized to your unique preferences."
YouTube's 'Leanback' Wants to Friend Your Television Remote Eliot Van Burskirk, Wired  7/8//10

Somewhat Related IMT Posts
All IMT posts referring to remote controls and usability (This will continue to be a problem as our digital streams converge)
Video and Links about Google TV: Another Flavor of Android - "Google TV brings everything you love about the Web to your television".
Designing for TV Screen Interaction:  Interesting IxDA Thread
Digital Convergence & Interactive Television
An Example of Convergence: Interactive TV - uxTV 2008

Jul 15, 2010

Interactions Magazine: Cover story by Dennis Littky, looking at the UX of high schools and colleges.

I'm out and about with no time to blog. Even so, I had to post a link to one of my favorite magazines, ACM's Interactions. Here is the introduction to the most recent issue, which comes with membership in ACM SIGCHI:
interactions, XVII.4

July / August, 2010

The cover story of a recent issue of Interactions Magazine is written by Dennis Littky, who focuses on ways to improve the success of our high schools and colleges, from a UX perspective:
Cover Story
Time Goes By, Everything Looks the Same. 

Full article for Free! 

interactions: subtlety and change

Full article for Free! 
"There are some strange changes under way in our world. We constantly hear the refrain of the massive chaos around us, yet the allure of such a large, looming flux may distract us from something more important: the countless tiny, nuanced, and fundamental ways in which our culture and society are advancing. This issue of interactions describes these subtleties and teases them out of the greater topics that we've grown accustomed to discussing: environmental change, the role of education and government in a technological society, and the nature of behavior."

Jul 14, 2010

Interference Inc. Looking for Interactive Engineer and Programmer, NYC, (via Seth Sandler and Christine Lane)

I don't usually post job listings on this website, but I know that this particular position would appeal to some of my readers!  The company, Interference Inc. is based in NYC,  The position starts out with a 3-month independent contractor position, but looks like it leads to a permanent position if all goes well.  Seth Sandler posted the job announcement on his blog.  The details are below, and the information can be downloaded from the corresponding link at the end of this post.

interference 300x56 Interference looking for new hires! This may be the job for you!!
Company: Interference Inc.
Positions: We are looking for a PROGRAMMER and an INTERACTIVE ENGINEER
Position Type: Full-Time
Candidates who have worked/have familiarity with multi-touch platforms previously and are eager to explore and learn more in a fast paced marketing/technology environment creating installations for major
global brands.
The position for the first 3 months is a probation period where the person is hired as an independent contractor and paid 1099. Depending on review and evaluation, the candidate is then hired full-time with
benefits: full medical, 401K, and 2 weeks of vacation.
Location: New York, NY
Start Date:
Interference Inc. is a world-renowned experiential marketing agency specializing in integrated, guerrilla and buzz marketing. Out of Interference, The SuperTouch Group was born in 2009, bringing creative technology offerings to the same impressive roster of clients. The SuperTouch mission is to generate wonder through simple, fun, entertaining and educational uses of interactive technology. We create innovative products for people to interact with technology in unique and compelling ways, and ideally away from the platforms that they are used to. SuperTouch develops Interactive Mirrors, touch surfaces, live gaming and creative custom technology builds as well as the back-end programming.
The Programmer and Interactive Engineer will report directly to the project’s Lead Engineer and to the Head of Production/Account. Qualified candidates should possess a couple of key skills itemized in the lists below.
PROGRAMMING SKILLS (Please specify where you are proficient)
• Proficiency with Flash/Flex/Actionscript 3, .NET/C#/WPF, Python, Java, C++ (or others, please specify)
• Knowledge of Computer Vision (OpenCV, Augmented Reality Frameworks)
• Knowledge of microcontrollers (arduino or similar) and working with sensors
• Proficiency with openFrameworks, processing, max/msp, or pd
• Knowledge of Adobe Creative Suite including, InDesign, Photoshop, Illustrator and After Effects
• Knowledge of computer networking
ENGINEERING SKILLS (Please specify where you are proficient)
• Experience in architecture, hardware design, and/or fabrication
• Ability to source, test and assess hardware for fabrication and to assemble working prototypes
• Experience in soldering, electronics, and lab testing
• Experience in interactive or touch technology with an emphasis in multi-touch computing
• Extremely organized individual who is a self-starter and able to learn quickly in a fast-paced environment
• Ability to think creatively, multi-task, and go beyond off-the-shelf solutions
• Strong logistical, time management and planning skills when implementing creative solutions for client deadlines
• The individual must be polished and professional and be prepared to interact with high level clientele onsite
Please note, the Interactive Engineer position may require travel to install, maintain, and breakdown
technologies across the U.S. as well as internationally. Candidates applying for the position must be able to
travel with the necessary documentation, willing to travel 1-2 times per month, and maintain a valid driver’s

IF INTERESTED, PLEASE SUBMIT RESUMES TO: Christine Lane, Christine@interferenceinc.com

You can download and save the job description below:
document Interference looking for new hires! This may be the job for you!!
Interferece Job Description 10_07_13 Supertouch Tech Description.doc
Date:July 14, 2010