12 Mar 2013

All posts from 12 Mar 2013


Lets Get Physical: Shiny New Things at SXSW

I try the Telepathy One (Photo by Patrick Doherty)

I try the Telepathy One (Photo by Patrick Doherty)

So yesterday I took a wander through the SXSW trade exhibition. Here’s a couple of shiny new ideas and things that caught my attention both at the trade show and elsewhere. Hardware and ways to make the interent a more physical experience  seems to be coming of age. So in the words of ONJ – lets get physical:

Telepathy One

Launched here in prototype is the Telepathy One “wearable communication device”.  The silver piece of head gear, ably modeled by me in this photo holds a  camera, headphones and a micro projection display unit. It connects wirelessly with smartphones and tablets, allowing it to integrate with any number of applicants.
It wasn’t the most compelling experience – I found it a little hard to see the image fully as I couldn’t seem to get the protector in the right spot over my eye. But that might be because my eyes are in the wrong place or too close together or something. But it was interesting to try given the coming google glasses.

Zen Tunes

Zen Tunes by Patrick Doherty

Zen Tunes by Patrick Doherty

Necomimi by Patrick DohertyZen Tunes is an iPhone app that analyses the brainwaves and produces a music playlist based on wether the listeners is seeking to relax or focus.  I think you have to tag your playlist as either relaxing or focused.


From the same folks as Zen Tunes is Necomimi. For those with a feline fetish these cat eared style devices monitor your brainwaves and expresses your emotional state. If you are concentrating, the cat’s ear s rise and if you are relaxed, your new ears lie down. If you are concentrating and relaxing at the same time, your new ears will move up and down. I’m not quite sure this will work unless we all wearing the cats ears  and understand what they are telling us..

Seems it might be easier to just say how you are feeling.


Pulse – I like! Its an app that monitors your heartbeat when you put your finger over the camera light on your smartphone. It then takes your heartbeat and – in your preferred genre – creates music! Basically you can dance to your own heartbeat! You can also send your beats to, say a DJ, along with everybody else at the club you are getting your boogie on with and he or she can use everyones beats to mix a track. Here’s a little film about it shot entirely on Canon’s new C100 Camera – also featured at SXSW.

Leap Motion

Leap Motion was making a big fuss with its new gesture technology. It is software and hardware that provides  sensitive 3D motion-control and motion-sensing technology. The Leap Motion Controller, can track the movement of both hands and all 10 fingers up to 1/100th millimeter at up to 290 frames per second. They claim its up to 200 times more sensitive than existing motion-control technology, making it the first product to let users navigate and interact with natural hand and finger movements. It will be available early  May 2013.


3D printer by Patrick Doherty

3D printer by Patrick Doherty

3D printing is coming of age and Cubify is bring the creative, the social and the printing together. Cubify allows you to express yourself in 3D! Whether you’re looking to create something unique  by designing and printing your own creations from scratch  or you want to modify an existing 3D creation to your own individual specification Cubify can help. They  offer apps to  help you design and create your own masterpieces which you can then have made and shipped to you or you can buy your own 3D printer ($1299) and do it yourself at home.

So its time to make room in your stuff . Many of these are really first or second generation ideas – so the sleek killer evolutions are probably still on their way and a few – most likely the cat ears – will just disappear.



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Lets Get Physical: Shiny New Things at SXSW

SXSW Wrap-Up Day 4: 3D Printing and Interstellar Travel

3D printer by Patrick Doherty

Want a neon green napkin ring? This gentleman will print you one in just a few minutes! (Photo by Patrick Doherty)

SXSW continues to deliver a whirlwind of exhibitions, brilliant panels and insightful speakers.  The Flip team has been storming Austin collecting the knowledge and experiences to bring home to the MCDM.  Monday was distracting and deceptively gorgeous (it was still quite chilly) and packed with adventures!


Carolyn Higgins:

Today was Monday at SXSW and energy seemed to have dipped slightly. I’m talking about people, yes, but most noticeably about devices. People were liberally scattered along the hallway floors, sitting and leaning against the walls, resting as their devices pulled power from the ubiquitous short white cords tethering smart phones to outlets.

It was a recurring theme that followed me into the press room where I stood, cord in hand, looking vainly for a vacant outlet to recharge my sagging laptop. It was at this point that the quintessential Texan of old western movies sprang from memory to clash with the high tech ambience of SXSW.

“Might be a place over here,” drawled the Texan at my table. “Power is mighty scarce in these parts.”

And so it was.  But ideas and innovation abound, and I was thrilled to have a chat with the mechanical engineer who was wearing – yes, wearing – a portable 3-D printer which, even as we conversed, was printing a green napkin ring while strapped to the man’s chest.  SXSW is coming to an end for 2013, but it looks as though the ideas here will continue to bloom until we’re back in 2014.

Daimon Eklund:

There is so much going on at any given moment at SXSW that it can become overwhelming. No matter where you are, there’s always another panel, another party, another something which beckons, leaving you wondering if you’re in the best place.

After a few days filled with sessions and panel discussions, I had more open time on my schedule Monday. Instead of choosing between must-see panels and settling in, I hopped around a bit, sitting in on a discussion for a few minutes before checking out another panel down the hall. I also spent much of the sunny afternoon outside the convention center, getting a look at some of the events happening around SXSW. Most of these were better in theory than practice. SXSW Create turned out to be a sparsely-filled tent thrown up over the broken concrete of a dusty parking lot, although the 3D printing demonstrations were my first up-close look at that technology. Marketing parties billing “free food” often turn out to have a table with small bags of popcorn or candy (although you could probably get through the week quite easily drinking for free if that was your goal).

As with anything SXSW, everyone’s experience is different, but it doesn’t pay to regret your scheduling decisions. The thing that you’re not at often sounds great, but doesn’t always live up to expectations.

Conrado Tapado:

Part of what I love about SXSW is meeting people from all kinds of backgrounds and countries.  Last night, while waiting in a lengthy line for (generous) free food at the Fandango party, we met a couple of guys from Finland that run a crowd sourced music production business. One of them exclaimed that his theme for the day was “No FOMO”.  At first I wasn’t sure if I misunderstood his accent or that he was trying to say something else.   I was relieved (and amused) to hear that NO FOMO was an acronym for no Fear of Missing Out.  With so many events and presentations happening, you just have to let go of the fact that you’re not going to be able to be everywhere at once.  Just enjoy the moment, and not stress out about what you can’t control.  Great piece of advice.

Patrick Doherty:

My keynote for the day was Dennis Crowley co-founder of 4square. The future of location was the topic but it was more a of profile of 4square’s success, which was a little disappointing. They had some impressive stats on his company – over 30 million users and growing fast – but there was little in the way of crystal ball gazing. Yes, location is an integral part of how we search and I like their mission – software to make cities easier. But what I was after was some freaky predictions about future applications of location tech. What I got was another prolestization on the power of data. Ok, we get it! It’s big!

Similarly the sessions I attended on content and story over the last couple days lacked little insight beyond have a good story or narrative – well duh.

Hey – can’t just pretend its all rainbows and unicorns at SXSW in every wrap up post can we.

But generally most sessions are pretty stimulating and am having a hoot with the Flip gang.

Bizzy Schorr:

I missed a session for the first time Monday, which was sad since I wanted to see the demonstration of Google Glass. But it allowed me to visit the trade floor. There were several interesting vendors, but the one that blew my mind–and may at some point change my world–was Duracell’s Power Mat. Four words: lithium ion magnetic induction. I don’t know what’s cooler, the fact that it exists or that I actually understand those four words. They almost-almost- got me to shell out money to take one home, but my phone isn’t quite cool enough to get the most advantage out of it so I’ll wait till next time.

As a closing note the 100 Year Starship project is awesome! I was impressed that their focus is not actually on building the starship but on building the infrastructure so that future generations will be able to build a starship.

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SXSW Wrap-Up Day 4: 3D Printing and Interstellar Travel