May 3, 2011

TEDTalk: Carlo Ratti, of MIT's SENSEable City Lab - Flying Pixels-Helicopters, Sensors, Actuators, 3D Reconstruction of Movement, an Interactive "Cloud", and more

If you are interested in new interactive technologies, take 15 minutes to watch Carlo Ratti's TEDTalk about the work of MIT's SENSEable City lab:

Carlo Ratti is the director of the MIT SENSEable City Lab. He's a civil engineer and architect interested in sensors, hand-held electronics and the built environments of cities, and how data generated by sensors can be used to create new interactive, artistic environments.

In this March 2011 TED Talk, Ratti discusses how data from passive data sets, such as phone calls, can be harnessed to create visualizations that represent the life and interactions that take place in cities.  These visualizations are made interactive through the use of sensors and human gestures.

Below are some examples of projects of the SENSEable City Lab:
Flyfire "...the Flyfire project sets out to explore the capabilities of this display system by using a large number of self-organizing micro helicopters.  Each helicopter contains small LEDs and acts as a smart pixel.  Through precisely controlled movements, the helicopters perform elaborate and synchronized motions and form an elastic display surface for any desired scenario...The Flyfire canvas can transform itself from one shape to another or morph a two-dimensional photographic image into an articulated shape...." -info from the Flyfire website
The Cloud (+atmos page)

"The CLOUD proposes an entirely new form of observation deck, connecting visitors for both the whole of London and the whole of the world, immersing them in euphoric gusts of weather and digital data.  Each individual footstep on the ascent to the CLOUD participates in a vast collective energy-harvesting effort.  Everyone around the world can contribute to the Cloud-whether by visiting or by sponsoring and LED, helping to keep the London lamp aflame." The CLOUD website
Real Time Rome
Digital Water Pavillion

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