Tag Archives: iPad

Screens: Coming to a City Block Near You

Eyestop-600

Many of us spend several hours of the day face-down into our laptops. We navigate our cities and communities from the control panels of our smartphones. And at the end of the day, we cozy up with our flat screens or e-readers.

Although some people fight mankind’s preoccupation with and dependency on screen technology, it’s safe to say, the jig is up. We’re hooked.

And today’s major cities have begun not only to accept our gadget obsession, but to encourage it.

It doesn’t matter where you travel, these days. Where there’s electricity, there will be screens — waiting, encouraging and urging your interaction. Head out on the highway (so to speak) and you’ll encounter digital billboards, perfectly alternating advertisements to the flow of traffic. Take a brave trip to New York City’s Times Square, where you can interact with 40-foot-tall augmented reality LED displays. Hop in a TV-outfitted taxi and head out shopping, where store clerks await with mobile credit card readers attached to their iPads.

In fact, digital marketing strategies prove so successful that cities are integrating like-minded technology into their very infrastructures, whether through information services, artistic programs or transportation improvements.

No matter how long you’ve lived in a community, it’s next to impossible to memorize every bus route, subway stop and train schedule. And let’s not even get started on traffic detours.

Companies like Urbanscale aim to seamlessly integrate city services and information into interactive displays throughout cities. In partnership with Nordkapp, Urbanscale developed the concept for Urbanflow touchscreen stations, which appear like giant smartphones and beckon city dwellers and tourists with targeted city maps. But they’re far from limited to walking directions alone; the stations share hyperlocal services and ambient data, such as traffic density and air quality reports. Local experts can even contribute their own input and knowledge of the surrounding area, making for a rich digital stockpile of up-to-date information.

While solutions like Urbanflow provide information for a wide range of location-specific issues, many cities have opted for a more targeted approach, specifically, for improvements in transportation.

Developed by MIT SENSEable City Lab, EyeStop represents the cutting edge in “smart urban furniture.” The concept looks like a futuristic bus stop, complete with efficient and easy to read e-ink message boards, weather alerts and even email access. Powered by sunlight, the unit’s environmental sensors would also detect air pollutants and weather changes. Plus, the EyeStop glows at different intensities as nearby buses approach.

Prudence Robinson, partner strategist and research fellow at SENSEable City Lab, explains why the team chose certain design features for the EyeStop. “Parametric design has been foreseen so that every shelter perfectly fits its site,” she says, “maximizing sunlight exposure for photovoltaic cells and providing adequate shading to the users.”

While some cities are implementing completely new and innovative systems, others are looking to upgrade to intuitive tablet technology already ubiquitous in everyday life. New York City launched a pilot program to replace 250 nearly obsolete pay phones with tablet screens that provide information on local attractions, city maps, public transit updates and even Wi-Fi.

And mobile credit card payment service Square proposed that the New York City Taxi & Limousine Commission embed iPads into 30 of its cabs. Not surprisingly, the tablets would also be equipped with Square technology, which would enable passengers to pay with credit card, sign the screen with their fingers and even email the receipt to themselves.

But screen technology doesn’t always necessitate strict utility. A huge priority for many cities is public art that demonstrates aestheticism and usefulness.

Take MIT’s Light Bridge Project, composed of Panasonic Electric Works’ NaPiOn infrared motion/proximity sensors. The sensors activate colorful LED lights that interact with pedestrian movement. Depending on the type and amount of traffic, the lights alternate between different programs of patterns and colors, using proximity sensors, cameras, buttons, microphones and mobile phones. The project’s aim is to marry traditional lighting concepts with reactive urban screen solutions.

Increasingly, artists are also finding inspiration in digital. At this year’s Philadelphia International Flower Show, creative media agency Klip Collective partnered with GMR Design to design and build an ethereal “wave wall,” essentially a giant sloping dome of screens. On it, they projected a “calming display of undulating projection waves of sea creatures and flower blossoms.” Nearby, a Hawaiian temple featured multidimensional video-mapped animations that taught curious visitors about Pele, Hawaii’s female fire god.

But what happens when an artist requires a colossal canvas? (No, we’re not talking murals.) Increasingly, multimedia artists are turning to available city infrastructure to project their visions. And they’re not thinking small, that’s for sure.

In New York City, artists are using video mapping technology to project multidimensional scenes and characters onto skyscrapers, often using nothing more than a laptop, a portable generator and a projector. When passers-by spot giant dancing monkeys on the side of a wall, they instantly react — and sometimes interact, mimicking the animated movements. Furthermore, the contours and crannies of a building are far from a hindrance — they actually contribute to the 3D effect, as if an image were leaping off the “screen.”

Video mapping and projection technology are mobilizing large groups of people to get to know their surroundings. Some installations even encourage spectators to interact with these large-scale screens as if they were games. People in Lyon, France, celebrate the Festival of Lights with an installation called “The Urban Flipper,” a type of digital graffiti, which when projected on the side of a theater, creates a giant, interactive game of pinball.

In the Netherlands, 3D mapping company NuFormer debuted what it calls “mocapping,” a combination of 3D video mapping projection and live motion capture technology. It projects animated light onto a rectangular building, effectively transforming the structure into a futuristic spaceship-like scene. What’s more, the character in the scene asked questions of and responded to spectators. Thus, each performance was different.

Some video mapping art even seeks to change the perception of architecture itself, as if a building were made of hundreds of moving television screens. The following video shows how design collective URBANSCREEN created optical illusions in the “sails” of the Sydney Opera House. Motion graphics are projected onto the white surfaces, which dimple with movement like actual sails. It’s the festival’s most public event, inspiring attendees and visitors citywide.

Whether to inspire or educate, cities around the world are implementing smart screens for tech-eager residents. Hopefully, they’ll encourage us to take a breather from our self-isolating smartphones and tablets for a moment to interact with the communities and residents around us.

Have you encountered public screens, whether introduced by city governments or artists? How is your city welcoming the latest in responsive screen technology?

Read more: http://mashable.com/2012/09/12/urban-screens/

Never Lose Your iDevice Cord Again With These I.D. Labels

Never-lose-your-idevice-cord-again-with-these-i-d-labels-video--7711bf545a

Apple‘s ever-growing reach means you’re sure to encounter iDevices anywhere and everywhere. But despite shared affection for the Mac maker, there’s a downside to seeing fellow fanatics: cord confusion.

San-Francisco-based designer Sativa Turner aims to solve this problem by creating vinyl identification labels called “Whooz” for iPhone, iPod and iPad cords.

“How many times have you left a cord somewhere because you thought it wasn’t yours, or taken a cord because you thought it was?” Turner said on Whooz’s Kickstarter page. “In the beginning white cords were cool, but now there are a million bazillion of them and we got issues.”

Each $10 pack comes with four sheets of removable vinyl labels. One sheet includes labels to cover one adapter, the ends of one USB cable and one set of earphones. They are available in different characters such as “Britney” and “Cat Lady,” or in solid colors, including red, blue and yellow. Whooz labels are also customizable.

With 18 days left in its Kickstarter campaign, Whooz has already raised nearly $8,000 — surpassing its original goal of $6,000. Funding will cover die costs and an initial print run, according to Turner.

Read more: http://mashable.com/2012/11/07/whooz/

Cat Plays Ninja Fruit On iPad

It seems pets playing touch screen video games is all the rage these days. First, there was a  lizard, and then a frog, who both went viral playing the iPad game, Ant Crusher (naturally, as they eat bugs). Now, this Russian video from November of a kitty playing Ninja Fruit is gaining in popularity. The video is shared on DailyPicksAndFlicks

 

Read more: http://www.viralviralvideos.com/2011/12/28/cat-plays-ninja-fruit-on-ipad/

Top 10 Tech This Week

Top-10-tech-this-week-pics--1e4365c04bTop 10 Tech is presented by Chivas. Access a world of exclusive insider benefits – private tastings, special events and the chance to win a trip for you and three friends to the Cannes Film Festival. Join the Brotherhood.

London Council to Install Streetlights Capable of Being Controlled by iPad

London-council-to-install-streetlights-capable-of-being-controlled-by-ipad-016e8cb38f

Cutting energy costs by fiddling with streetlights is something that’s seen debate in the United Kingdom. Turning them off entirely isn’t exactly a great option, of course, but there’s little that can be done with the infrastructure as it currently exists beyond flipping them off and on. Westminster City Council is looking to change all that. Over the next four years, they’ll be switching their 14,000 streetlights to smart alternatives capable of being controlled by an iPad, saving the council hundreds of thousands a year.

How smart will the streetlights be? According to West London Today, engineers will be able to change the brightness on them via an iPad application, and the electronically monitored system will eventually be able to automatically alert folks if a specific light needs repair or maintenance of any kind. That’s how smart.

Though the initiative is set to cost about $5.2 million to implement, the council will be able to save around $680,000 a year from 2015 or 2016 on. Eventually, the lights would pay for themselves in energy savings alone. Plus, it’ll be like the whole area has mood lighting.

The fact that they can be controlled by an iPad is probably just an interesting tidbit. Most likely, the system could use just about any browser or smartphone capable of running the application needed. Also, on the plus side, this is probably one of the best opportunities you’ll ever have to make a Journey joke.

[West London Today via The Next Web]

Image courtesy of Dave Kirkham

This article originally published at Geekosystem
here

Read more: http://mashable.com/2012/11/04/london-council-ipad/

iPad App Turns Your Pinterest Pins Into Interactive Catalog

Ipad-app-turns-your-pinterest-pins-into-interactive-catalog-video--0820408329

Bazaart is an iPad app that lets Pinterest users create colorful and clickable editorials out of their pins.

If you’ve ever dreamed of being a fashion blogger or magazine editor, this iPad app puts your creativity to the test. With the Bazaart app, users can effortlessly create look books and curate inspiration boards.

“We want to allow both brands and creative people to create amazing collage pages,” Gili Golander, Bazaart co-founder, told Mashable in an email.

Bazaart creations can be instantly published back onto Pinterest as an image. The upgraded app released this week lets users click on individual items to access original links to make purchases. Bazaart reminds us of the popular social-commerce site Polyvore that also lets users assemble collages of clothing and accessories. Boards can be embellished with prints, text, music, frames and borders. Users can click through to the item’s native brand page for purchase.

“We foresee that this new type of fashion interaction would appeal not only to fashion lovers, but also to their friends and family who would benefit from the fashion inspiration created for them,” Golander said.

Would you use this interactive iPad styling app? Tell us in the comments.

bazaart

Read more: http://mashable.com/2012/10/04/pinterest-bazaart/