Continuum for Phones

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Computer-Assisted Authoring of Interactive Narratives

Link to project page and press release: http://www.disneyresearch.com/publication/computer-assisted-authoring-of-interactive-narratives/

This paper explores new authoring paradigms and computer assisted authoring tools for free-form interactive narratives. We present a new design formalism, Interactive Behavior Trees (IBT’s),
which decouples the monitoring of user input, the narrative, and how the user may influence the story outcome. We introduce automation tools for IBT’s, to help the author detect and automatically resolve inconsistencies in the authored narrative, or conflicting user interactions that may hinder story progression. We compare IBT’s to traditional story graph representations and show that our formalism better scales with the number of story arcs, and the degree and granularity of user input. The authoring time is further reduced with the help of automation, and errors are completely avoided. Our approach enables content creators to easily author complex, branching narratives with multiple story arcs in a modular, extensible fashion while empowering players with the agency to freely interact with the characters in the story and the world they inhabit.

‘Wet’ computer server could cut internet waste

New liquid-cooled Iceotope computer servers installed at the University of Leeds cuts energy used for cooling Internet servers by more than 80 percent. The whirring fans of traditional computers are replaced by the barely-audible trickle of liquid. The heat released can be piped out to radiators to warm a building. The developers say it could revolutionise the energy-hungry data centres that form the fabric of our online lives.

But don’t we all know that liquid and electronics don’t mix? Dr Jon Summers, from the University of Leeds’ School of Mechanical Engineering, shows what happens when you put an iPhone in a beaker of the secret ingredient: 3M (TM) Novec (TM) liquid.

WARNING: The phone experiment shown in this video is intended to demonstrate the special qualities of the liquid used in the Iceotope server. Putting an electronic device in liquid can cause problems other than a short circuit. Liquid is likely to be trapped and may affect the functionality of the device (eg. screen dimming or ghosting, speaker problems).

For more details on the Iceotope Servers at Leeds see: http://www.leeds.ac.uk/news/article/3374/wet_computer_server_could_cut_internet_waste

 

Microsoft Research presents Digits: Freehand 3D Computer Interaction Without Gloves

Digits, a wrist-worn gloveless sensor developed by Microsoft Research in Cambridge, U.K., enables 3-D computer interaction in any environment and is practical beyond computer gaming.

KinÊtre: A Novel Way To Bring Computer Animations To Life

KinÊtre is a research project from Microsoft Research Cambridge that allows novice users to scan physical objects and bring them to life in seconds by using their own bodies to animate them. This system has a multitude of potential uses for interactive storytelling, physical gaming, or more immersive communications.

Find out more at http://research.microsoft.com/en-us/projects/animateworld/

from 0 to C

Created by Ubi de Feo, “from 0 to C” is a new series of workshops that aim at teaching programming using a more creative and human approach.

Through the use of tangible, hand-made objects, we try to establish a clear understanding of  how a computer works and what a programming language actually is: nothing but an abstraction of what we can do as humans.

Via means of playing with objects we explain the simple mathematics behind a computer way of working and the concepts at the core of every programming languages.

Find out more on http://hellosavants.com/from-0-to-c/

Joggobot

Joggobot is a research project from the Exertion Games Lab that explores how joggers will enjoy jogging with flying robots as companions in order to make the exercise activity more engaging, drawing from computer game ideas.

Learn more at: http://exertiongameslab.org

ZeroN

What if materials could defy gravity, so that we could leave them suspended in mid-air? ZeroN is a physical and digital interaction element that floats and moves in space by computer-controlled magnetic levitation.

Find out more at: http://media.mit.edu/~jinhalee/zeron

SoundWave: Using the Doppler Effect to Sense Gestures

Do Kinect-like things on your computer, but without the Kinect: the technique uses your speakers and microphone to sense what gesture you are making.
(quote Bramus!)


(via)

Gesture is becoming an increasingly popular means of interacting with computers. However, it is still relatively costly to deploy robust gesture recognition sensors in existing mobile platforms. We present SoundWave, a technique that leverages the speaker and microphone already embedded in most commodity devices to sense in-air gestures around the device. To do this, we generate an inaudible tone, which gets frequency-shifted when it reflects off moving objects like the hand. We measure this shift with the microphone to infer various gestures. In this note, we describe the phenomena and detection algorithm, demonstrate a variety of gestures, and present an informal evaluation on the robustness of this approach across different devices and people.

Find out more on: http://research.microsoft.com/en-us/um/redmond/groups/cue/soundwave/