The ESO has turned the Spectro-Polarimetric High-contrast Exoplanet Research instrument (SPHERE
) towards an unusual double star with the expectation of finding an orbiting brown dwarf. However, the observations didn’t quite go according to plan, with the instrument – which is the latest addition to the Very Large Telescope (VLT) – coming up short. The findings have led to an ongoing re-examination of the cause of the binary stars’ unusual behaviour.
Although viewing a 3D digital model of an item allows you get a sense of the "real" object, it certainly doesn’t help if you’re looking at that three-dimensional model on a flat screen. That’s why Spheree was created. The result of a collaboration between a group of Brazilian and Canadian universities, it’s a spherical display that users can walk around, viewing a model from various angles as if the object were physically in front of them.
As evidenced by its Wall of Sound
and Wall of Sound 2
iPod docks, Studio Total (ST) doesn't do things by halves. The agency has now taken its speaker creations and crammed them into a Cocoon 1
to create the AudioOrb, a speaker you can actually get inside.
If you see what looks like a hamster ball rolling around a cornfield, it doesn’t mean that someone’s pet is incredibly lost. It may be an experimental robot developed by the Robotics and Cybernetics Research Group at the Universidad Politécnica de Madrid (UPM) called Rosphere. The spherical robot can propel itself over uneven ground and may one day be rolling up for work in fields to monitor and tend crops.
I’m not sure if it’s simply a matter of providing some personal space in an increasingly crowded world, if they’re picking up on some deep-set desire to get back to the womb, or it’s something else entirely, but there seem to be a growing number of pods and cocoons emerging from the brains of designers these days, whether it be for treetop accommodation
, a backyard workspace
or catching some Z’s at work
. The latest comes from Micasa Lab, the folks behind the iRock rocking chair
, whose Cocoon 1 is a clear sphere in which you can kick back and relax, store items, or even cook.
French designer Pierre Stephane Dumas has created a range of portable transparent huts, offering a quiet space to retreat to. The idea behind his Bubble collection was to create a temporary leisure accommodation that had the least impact on the surrounding environment, whilst also giving the impression of being amongst nature. The range includes the BubbleTree, CristalBubble, BubbleLodge and BubbleRoom, which are all suitable to spend a night in, without disturbing the natural surroundings.
While advocates proclaim the superior immersive qualities of 3D, the current crop of 3D TVs can actually have the opposite effect on many people by giving the impression of peering into a box filled with tiny - albeit 3D - people. Design and advertising firm NAU proposes a different solution with its latest concept dubbed the Immersive Cocoon that looks to provide the sense of immersion without the 3D.