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Interactive

Riding a stationary bicycle trainer can be boring, which is why Zwift and ebove were created. Both systems feature first-person videos of computer-animated cycling routes, that the user interacts with as they're cycling on the accompanying trainer. Now, Spain's Bkool has entered the picture. It's much like the other systems, although along with offering thousands of pre-made videos of real-world roads, it's also able to render them from scratch as the cyclist is riding. Read More
If you've visited a trade show or children's museum lately, chances are you've seen an interactive, motion-sensitive exhibit projected onto a wall or floor. Lumo is the at-home version of this technology, developed by technologists Meghan Athavale and Curtis Wachs who began creating interactive environments for commercial settings. Seeing a demand for a cheaper and more user-friendly version of their product for interactive gaming at home, they're launching an Indiegogo campaign to fund the continued development of Lumo. Read More
Robots and other mechanical beings are cropping up in the most unexpected places. Case in point: Pay a visit to the Institute for Simulation and Training at the University of Central Florida (UCF) and you'll find yourself greeted in the lobby by a human mechanical surrogate. Operated by a human in a remote location, the surrogate is not intended to put Walmart greeters out of a job, but is part of a program by the Office of naval research (ONR) to create robots, avatars, and animatronic surrogates for military training. Read More
Google may be dominant in the battle of the search engines, but its ever-evolving page rank algorithm and straightforward list of results don't always get you the information you want – especially when you're not sure precisely what keywords to use. Now researchers at the Helsinki Institute for Information Technology (HIIT) have developed a new alternative called SciNet that uses information visualization to help you dig through related terms in narrowing down a search. Its creators claim that it outperforms conventional search user interfaces in finding information in an academic database. Read More
As students of music will doubtless agree, music theory can be a bit, well, dry. It's certainly not as memorable or interesting as getting to grips with an actual instrument, but it is rewarding. The education wing of instrument amplification titan Orange Amps has announced what's billed as the first truly interactive music theory teaching tool in the world. The Orange Musicboard has been designed to engage students both visually and aurally, and is set to make music theory class rock. Read More
Now that much of the Northern Hemisphere is well within the icy clutches of winter, many mountain bikers have turned to riding indoors on rollers or trainers. While that may help them to keep fit, it's still far less fun or interesting than riding outdoors on actual trails. Norwegian startup Activetainment hopes to close that gap a little, however, with its interactive ebove B/01 bike. The trainer moves beneath the rider and becomes easier or more difficult to pedal, in response to the terrain of animated trails on an accompanying tablet. Read More
WikiGalaxy is French engineering student Owen Cornec’s reimagining of how we view and consume information – specifically Wikipedia pages. The project takes each individual entry on the online encyclopedia and plots it as a star in a virtual galaxy, that you can navigate from the comfort of your sofa. Read More
Earlier this month, Royal Caribbean’s Quantum of the Seas cruise ship, with its high-tech Bionic Bar and Two70 multimedia theater, set sail on its maiden voyage. Gizmag chatted on the phone with one of the key people behind the interactive performance venue Two70, Tim Magill of 5+design, for a look behind the scenes of the space and its robotic performers. Read More
When we first heard about the NavVis system a couple of years ago, it was being developed for indoor navigation. Developed by researchers at the Technical University of Munich, it utilizes maps consisting of location-tagged photos of the hallways of buildings. In order to figure out where they are, users just take a photo of their surroundings using their smartphone, then the NavVis app matches that photo up with one in its map. Now, the technology has been expanded to the point that it could give Google Street View a run for its money. Read More

Smartphones need charging every day, and those hours when they're plugged into the wall and charging is time when they're doing nothing. Not so with Spira, which turns your smartphone into a work of art while its battery is being replenished. Read More

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