Computer Human Interface


Powered Shoes - another breakthrough Virtual Reality interface

June 30, 2006 Each year the place to be for anyone in computer graphics, animation and virtual reality is the SIGGRAPH conference which will be held in Boston (July 30-August 3) this year and some of the incredible exhibits planned are just beginning to come to light. One that really captures our imagination is this set of powered shoes developed by Hiroshi Tomioka and Hiroaki Yano at the University of Tsukuba in Japan. The University of Tsukuba is a hotbed of research with a lot of development of virtual reality interfaces underway. The Powered Shoes are just one of a number of projects designed to enable a person to realistically move through a virtual world without needing to move from the spot. Working like reverse roller-skates, the Powered Shoes effectively cancel the horizontal displacement of the user as they are driven from electrical motors in a backpack worn by the user, enabling omni-directional walking while maintaining the wearer's position. As such, the powered shoes are an important advancement in the world of entertainment and simulation and are the only viable alternative we have seen capable of emulating the capabilities of the landmark Virtusphere,Read More

Good Thinking

Personal Dashboard from Ambient Devices

May 3, 2006 Ambient Devices is a company which specialises in producing glanceable information displays which allow any customer to have a constant awareness of their important information, without the anxiety of information overload. Ambient's vision is to embed information representation into everyday objects such as lamps, pens, watches, walls, and wearables so the physical environment becomes an interface to digital information rendered in subtle changes in form, movement sound, colour or light.Read More


A new breed of computer human interface for sports video game fans

March 22, 2006 From the time the first steering wheel controller was hooked to a computer, the future of video game controllers grew exponentially larger. Whatever the game being played, there was bound to be something that could be manufactured that would enhance the realism of the experience. Qmotions is a company devoted to creating new kinds of interactive experiences that combine real-world physicality with the immersive virtual environments found in computer and console video games and at last month’s American International Toy Fair 2006 it rolled out several new such interfaces, most notably its Xboard (for surfing, skateboarding, snowboarding and windsurfing video games), and Qmotions-Fun Fitness, a new device that converts recumbent bikes into video game machines, offering a compelling way to get fit and play games at the same time. There’s also a golf and a baseball controller, offering a diverse range of indoor fun for otherwise outdoor activities.Read More


The Gypsy MIDI controller turns the human body into a musical instrument

January 26, 2006 Dance and music go together. Intuitively, we know they have common elements, and while we cannot even begin to understand what they are or how they so perfectly complement one another, it is clear that both are an expression of something deep and fundamental within all human beings. Both express things that words cannot – beyond intellect, they are perhaps two of the fundamental building blocks of human expression, common to the souls of all people. Which is why when we saw this machine which links the two, we knew there was something special brewing. The GypsyMIDI is a unique instrument for motion-capture midi control – a machine that enables a human being to become a musical instrument - well, a musical instrument controller to be exact, or a bunch of other things depending on your imagination. Most importantly, the entire package is commercially available with extensive customisation features so that you can decide what each movement triggers – a colour, a sound, or perhaps something else again – anything that can be controlled by a digital interface. The set-up and operation is simple, intuitive and quick and the possibilities for performance art and musical applications are … landmark. One arm costs UKP480 (US$855), the whole MIDI suit costs UKP940 (US$1675), and the whole shebang (MIDI Suit, Wireless Interface, Tripod Stand, interface software, Manuals & Videos CD) goes for UKP1240 (US$2210) … that’s the total price for beginning work in a new dimension. Like we said … landmarkRead More


Wearable data storage market evolves

January 7, 2006 One wonders what we might carry with us “digitally” a decade or two from now, with memory and storage capacity getting larger and much more affordable every day. Imation got us thinking about this by showing several interesting concepts for carrying digital files at the CES – the 256 Mb Flash Wristband and the 4Gb Micro Hard Drive. They’re interesting concepts, particularly the wristband, but just think that a decade from now the bang-per-buck factor will have improved by several orders of magnitude.Read More


New Heads Up Displays enter the work place

September 13, 2005 Not long ago, we were waxing on about the incredible feat performed by Motion Research in bringing the world's first consumer Heads Up displays to market for motorcyclists, cyclists and auto racers. Now we're equally as enthusiastic about the company's new consumer Heads Up displays, knowing full well that the functionality afforded by the displays could change the face of the modern workplace. VersaVue Heads Up displays are now available for commercial and industrial applications. Read More

Around The Home

The Smart Companion: an intuitive human-like user-interface solution for easy access to your digital world

September 7, 2005 Philips Home Dialogue Systems has announced that it will start licensing its Smart Companion technology to partners in consumer electronics and the PC or network equipment industry. Using Philips’ technology and support, these manufacturers can create their own Smart Companion consumer product and shorten time-to-market. The Smart Companion is a completely new type of consumer product that will act as a companion in the home. This robot device will communicate with users in a natural human-like way, serving as an easy and intuitive intermediary to the technology surrounding us. It will assist people in their daily routine tasks such as sending messages, accessing up-to-date information, selecting their favorite music or movies, or even controlling their home appliances. Read More


New Haptic Interface Device Adds Sense of Touch to PCs

February 19, 2005 Novint Technologies has released details of a new haptic interface device for computers that will , the Novint Falcon, which brings interactive three dimensional touch to the consumer mass market. The Novint Falcon, coupled with the company’s 3D touch software, enables people to experience a realistic sense of touch on their computer, fundamentally transforming how they play and interact. Sinificantly, the Novint Falcon is expected to retail for under US$100 and represents a significant breakthrough in 3D touch technology and accessibility. Read More

Mobile Technology

World's First 3D recognition phone could evolve the user interface

January 20, 2005 The rapid evolution of the mobile phone took an interesting turn this week when Samsung demonstrated a movement recognition mobile phone, a new technology that could mark a significant point in the evolution of the man-machine interface. Information input devices for the ever shrinking mobile telephone to date have included several different forms of keypad, touch screen and voice recognition but all have their drawbacks in serving the ever increasing capabilities being packed into new designs by phone designers. In the future, 3D movement recognition technology could become an important user interface and significantly alter mobile phone designs and features. The Samsung SCH-S310 phone's 3D motion recognition user interface can be used in a variety of ways, introducing new features never before seen in a mobile phone. The most significant new feature is the ability to "write" in the air with the phone and have the phone recognise the letters or numbers being written and input those characters, or assign certain movements to functions of the phone, such as "start a new text message" or to control the inbuilt MP3 player or digital camera. This technology will do away with the need for complex keypads on mobile phones, MP3 players, digital cameras and other handheld products. This will particularly effect the way games are played on a mobile phone. Read More


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