Wednesday, 29 August 2007

Photo Globe - MY IDEA FIRST!!

I have the sketches to prove it, but this is awfully similar to an idea i had for a 'Travel Client' of ours at work. These guys have used 'NextWindow Human Touch' which is, as far i can find out, is similar software to the Microsoft Surface table that was announced recently, only that it's not multi touch. I love the idea of browsing a globe and being able to see photos/videos straight away from the destination on a map, it's a great mash-up of Google Earth and YouTube, no doubt you could chuck in some Flickr albums too.

It looks a little rough around the edges, but i like the concept (not just cos it's mine...)

Zygote - Spherical fun for everyone

An interaction design agency called Tangible have designed the Zygote, a large 1.5m ball that floats and changes colour depending on the physical interaction within the enviroment. Punching, kicking and throwing it, will make the LED's change colour. It would be great to have them reactive to sound too, but until then, check out the video below. Skip to 2mins in to see the Zygotes being used at a gig.

Check out

Tuesday, 28 August 2007

Cubism on the Wii anyone?

I like to think of myself as fairly with it, i play video games (when my girlfriend is out) and can handle as many zombies as you throw at me, but i think I'd struggle to play Echochrome. Echochrome is a videogame based on M C Eschers work, which is a fantastic idea, although i have trouble looking at his work normally, so the idea of chasing bad guys around 'Relativity' (see pic) is enough to give me a migraine.

Looking at the trailer though has intrigued me, its as if Escher made the 80's classic 'Chucky Egg'... whilst drunk. It looks like it
could take some practice, but i love the idea of using Art as a basis for Video games, surely it's only a matter of time before we get the 'Scream' version of Resident evil or perhaps even 'Mario's adventures in the Interpretation of Colour'..... OK, maybe not.

Check out the clip below or go to for more of the same.

Tuesday, 21 August 2007

ADOBE goes Hi-Def in a FLASH

It's been in the pipeline for a while, and some people said it was inevitable, but ADOBE has announced it's integration of the H.264 video codec in it's Flash player and encoder. H.264 has been around for a couple of years, most commonly known as the base codec from which Quicktime 7 (and the more recent MP4's) are based. It's a cracking watch, as anyone who watches Apples trailers will know, as it allows for 480, 720p and 1080i encoding, the same basic quality as HD-DVD and Blu-Ray.

The Flash player sits on 98% of computers, which would have something to do with the amount of video websites utilising the software, such as YouTube and Dailymotion. It's a big step in the right direction in bringing TV quality video to the small screen on-line, and will further provoke broadcasters to consider the web along with TV/Film at the same time, instead of as a second thought.

The Hi-Def codec will be made available as part of their upgrade to Flash Video 9 this autumn.

Microsoft have meanwhile been busying themselves with Silverlight, a Hi-Def video codec based around Windows Media 9 called VC-1 and they've already got numerous websites signed up such as

Thanks to NY Times and CNET.

Wednesday, 15 August 2007

BBC iPlayer Review

The BBC iPlayer has been available for beta test for a couple of weeks, so i signed up and last Thursday was granted access to the their new toy. The software installed without any complications, which is always a fine start, although you do need an up to date copy of Active X. Clicking on the shortcut, opens up the iPlayer library, which lets you check out your downloaded files as well as the progress of any new progs you've ordered. It's pretty simple and gives you all details you'd want about your selected prog, i.e Name (duh) file size, length and guidance rating just in case you've ordered a particularly racy episode of Strictly Dance Factor X or whatever it's called.

The first thing i realised was that you can't browse the BBC library via the ap on your PC, you have to have to be logged in to the iPlayer page on their website, which, coincidentally, is a different log in to the one you have selected to join the iPlayer service..... Arrrgh Faff!

Once you're logged in, you're reminded ( a little late in the day frankly) that you need to be running Windows XP, on Internet Explorer and have an up to date vsn of Windows Media Player. After i'd switched over from Firefox (does anyone else feel like IE7 is the equivalent of your dad trying to be cool?) i made a
beeline for the A-Z search option, you can also browse via categories and a 'last 7 days' option too.

Finding your desired entertainment is pretty easy, but i'd like more info about each episode, i.e name, original broadcast date etc as all the thumbnails are the same, which isn't great. After you've trawled through all the episodes of 'Honey we're killing our Kids' to find the one you want, you hit download, more often than not it will ask you to log in again.... Grrrr.

The file appears in your library instantly, where you can keep an eye on the status of your download. All 3 files i ordered, arrived very quickly, although i think i have my works Internet connection to thank for that. The progs are organised under the series name etc, and the library shows you your files lifespan (between 24/28 days it seems) amongst other facts.

Clicking on the play button, brings up a slightly excessive 'Click to Confirm' warning, which is plain odd. The player is simple but effective, and allows full screen viewing which is OK, considering file size etc. Other options include being able to play it in WMP. Navigating through your episode though is awful and could do with a more accurate point and click method or some chapter points maybe.

If you have a dig around the other preferences, you can choose to alter where your files are stored, alter your proxy settings and parents can activate a PIN service which is nice, and would be essential i should imagine if this was an ITV service considering the amount of dross that's on normally. The files are Windows Media 9, and are a native dimension of 672x384 but i'm sure they vary and seem to be about 150MB for a 30min TV programme. I have yet been able to crack them, but i'll keep you posted.

Frankly, the iPlayer does exactly what it says on the tin, but I'm glad it's only a beta vsn. The browsing is a little clunky and the excessive double username and password is slightly prohibitive to the average user. I was impressed with the download and quality of the progs, and it's interesting to see so many little features stolen from bit torrent, within their library facility (you'll know them when you see them). What i would really like though is the ability to subscribe to a series, similar to Sky Plus, with perhaps the ability to move the files onto a portable player, then again, maybe not, the last thing i need is to be sat next to someone watching Eastenders on the Tube, my commute is bad enough already.

Click on the pics, for bigger vsns.

Tuesday, 7 August 2007

Interactive Mirror Display by Aleph

If you've ever sat and wondered what it would be like to look into the eye of a fly, I'm fairly sure that this visual display would come pretty close. It's called Aleph and has been built by two rather clever bods based in Sweden. It's made up of a large collection of motorised mirrors that angle individually, based on whatever is in front of the array. The really snazzy thing is that the movement and visual recognition is automatic. I think the video explains the concept far better than i can.

There's something extremely relaxing about watching the dance of the mirrors, and as the website suggests, this display on a really large scale would be very cool indeed.

Monday, 6 August 2007

Bespoke Digital Advertising courtesy of Costa Rica

David W. Kenny, the chairman and chief executive of Digitas, the advertising agency in Boston is claiming that "It is only a matter of time until nearly all advertisements around the world are digital." Now, forgive me, i'm not a multi million dollar exec, but i'd kind of come to that assumption a while ago, maybe David's PA wants to nip out and grab him a copy of Wired and new iPod, quickly get him up to speed....

Mr kenny is claiming he's revolutionising the entire Publicis worldwide conglomerate, which contains agencies like Saatchi & Saatchi and Leo Burnett. The plan (and here's where things get clever) is to use cheaper off shore agencies to produce thousands of versions of various ad's and by crunching (a lot of) data will be able to select which spots to show, whenever a person logs onto a media network, be it the net, TV or their mobile.

The Digitas/Publicis partnership, hopes to harvest a bucket load of metadata about peoples viewing history and habits, and to be honest it sounds like a simple enough idea, why use one ad when 4000 individualy tailored ones will do.

Check out: For more info.

Thursday, 2 August 2007

Robbie Dingo's "Watch the Worlds"

I've seen various different Machinima, which tend to range from the 'OK' to the 'Should not of bothered'. I appreciate the technical difficulties of making a short from video games or in world footage, and as a regular user of Snapz i sympathise with anyone who creates anything over 10secs.

But Robbie Dingo has made something enormously impressive, not only with the film itself, but with its source material too. The film documents his recreation of Van Gogh's Starry Night, as a 3D village within Second Life, which is beautifully created on a temporary sim. It's fascinating to watch it grow and develop and a little Don Mclean never hurt anyone either.

For me though, it truly demonstrates what can be achieved in SL if you start thinking outside the box, uber-companies beware, there are folk out there producing stunning projects like this independent of media buyers, planners and 4 hour conference calls....

Check the film below or down load the hi-res vsn from here, it's worth the wait:

Wednesday, 1 August 2007

DeLorean is back, for the future!

I'm soooooo putting my name down on the waiting list, just have to save up a little. I wonder if they'll do a hover conversion model too......