Augmented Reality Sandpit

July 11, 2011 at 6:38 pm (art, computers, interesting) (, , , )

This is really cool – a new slant on augmented reality.  Take a sandpit, focus a number of cameras on it, project a load of light sources on it and add a significant amount of computer modelling and processing (I would imagine) and you can mix the real and digital in a really neat new way.

As you mould the sand the computer recreates the contours in the virtual space too.  Then things moving in the virtual space move according to the contours in the real space – and are then projected back onto it.

For full details of the project, see

Their video teasers are well worth watching –

I particularly like the bit where they put a hand in the sand.  Its like a 3D computer version of pin-art …

This could be a really interesting way to get people modelling terrain in virtual worlds or games.


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Video games inspire art

June 20, 2010 at 7:42 pm (art, computers, interesting, music) (, , , , , , )

I’ve seen one or two musical items inspired by video games.  There was Andrea Vadrucci who drums along to Mario Bros.  Just found a violinist who plays the mario game music and sound effects in real time along to a game as its being played.  I’ve seen opera in virtual worlds.

But I think the animation I’ve just found is quite excellent.  It’s 80’s video games animated out of everyday objects.  I particularly like the pacman near the end.  Very well done. Its called Game Over and you can see it here on YouTube.



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World of Legocraft

January 10, 2010 at 10:40 pm (internet, kids) (, , , , , , , , , )

Have just seen the trailer for the new Lego Universe virtual world. I’ve heard various things about it over the last 18 months or so, but the final form seems to be some kind of Lego MMO, a Lego version of World of Warcraft if you will, with customisable characters, quests, building, levels and so on. You will also have to pay for it by a monthly subscription. I had assumed it would be more along the lines of, say, Disney’s Pixie Hollow or a Lego version of Habbo Hotal, but it looks much more a gamey than social virtual world.

The trailer is very impressive, but as its a digital film, it doesn’t really give anything away about the actual game.

Still, looks like it will keep Lego fans old and young busy for some time.  For more info, see Wikipedia and

Nod to Tervicz for the link to the video.


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Social Media Counters

October 20, 2009 at 9:09 pm (internet) (, , , , , )

Ever wonder how often someone does a blog post?  How many new Facebook users there are every second?  How much video is uploaded to YouTube? No?  Well, from time to time I do.

Well, I need wonder no more.  This chap, Gary Hayes, has produced a social media counter.  Using numbers from public sources, he’s written a small web applet that uses those numbers to illustrate how much activity goes into things like blogs, online social networks,  and virtual worlds.

I can’t embed the applet here, but it looks like this (showing the numbers for 30 minutes of activity).  You can find the actual counting version here –

Social Media Counter

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3D Internet Shopping

October 7, 2009 at 9:52 pm (computers, internet) (, , , , , , , , )

I’ve mentioned the 3D virtual side of the Lego shop before.  Well some people will tell you that the future of the Internet lies with 3D.  Forget Web 2.0, go Web 3D!

Well Lenovo, the PC manufacturer who took over the IBM laptop business, have created a 3D virtual shop where you can ‘go in’ and browse their laptop range, walk up to and communicate with sales assistents, take a friend in with you, and so on.  All you need to do is go to their ‘elounge’ website, download a plug-in, learn a few basic commands and off you go.

There are a number of people I’ve spoken to that say they would never use such a system, but my view is that if the whole idea of 3D virtual worlds loses some of its clunkiness, and sites like Amazon or Ebay were just using the technology, then people would just use it, just because that’s the way things are.

People didn’t conciously choose to use the web to get to Amazon or Ebay, these companies just used the default technology available, and made it as painless as possible for consumers to use the sites.  If they decided that 3D virtual worlds was the way to go, because it was a differentiator, enabled more sales or for whatever other reason, and the technology was mature enough to enable them to make it painless for consumers, then people would probably just get in and use it.  I am always amazed at how popular the cartoony virtual world games, like YoVille and FarmVille, are on Facebook.

The issue right now as I see things, is that the technology isn’t quite there yet.  Well, maybe experiments like the Lenovo eLounge are starting to lay the groundwork for the tech to catch up.

Kevin. eLounge eLounge

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