Posts on Apr 2018

426 Capture

Holograms in communications, perhaps not as far away as you might have thought

We find out from Digital Trends that at the ACM CHI Conference on Human Factors in Computing Systems conference in Montreal this week, the researchers at Queen’s University in Canada unveiled a hologram system.

The TeleHuman 2 may be the “first truly holographic video conferencing system.” It works through a system of depth cameras that capture a 3D version of a person, combined with a set of projectors at the other end. The projectors are positioned in a cylindrical tube or pod, and they recreate the 3D image in it.

 

Work in progress

The hologram generated by the TeleHuman 2 flutters and glitters, much like when the electricity cuts off holographic communications in science-fiction movies. As the team admits, there is still a lot to be perfected.

*OK, you may say, but what about TeleHuman 1? The first version of the system featured in the emerging technology section of some online media websites in 2012. Here it is, as presented by the same Digital Trends publication. The project included other potential uses, as well as a cost estimate for this technology.

The same developer – the Human Media Lab at Queen’s University in Ontario now works on TeleHuman 2. Their goal is to allow remote interlocutors to face each other “with a fidelity that, at least when it comes to angular accuracy judgments, cannot be distinguished from reality. No helmets or glasses required, and without obscuring parts of the face.”

The targeted audience – of course, the business audience. Upgrading video-conferences to holographic conferences has been yet another decade-old dream, waiting for advanced technology to make it possible.

 

 What would holograms bring into modern communications?

Firstly, compared to Virtual Reality (VR), holograms come without the annoying gear and the weird isolation needed to separate the virtual images from the surrounding real environment. One should be able to watch an image as if it spatially exists in all its dimensions, in the setting of the receiver’s real environment.

Secondly, holograms compare to the current means of business (and personal) video communications. Currently only the face or the upper part of the interlocutor is visible, and picking up on body language signs is difficult, as well as confusing – says the Canadian Team. As a future goal, they want to want “to expand the TeleHuman 2 to encompass an entire room while cutting its cost to make it more viable”.

We leave it to you to imagine how meetings would look like when using this technology. Or to rememorize movie images – since this technology was featured in many series and films.

 

Canvy recommendation IoT map

Know your IoT

This week, we found a comprehensive IoT ecosystem map. It belongs to Postscapes, it is interactive and it manages to capture the strategic lines in this field.

Have a go, explore this interesting map and also their website. The most passionate of you can even find it useful to browse their DIY section. Branching out of their main menu, the topics you can find there are numerous and can inspire you, as they did us.

Canvy gadgets

Searching for some of the most captivating gadgets

We are assaulted by a constant pumped-up state of being clients and consumers. The anniversaries and holidays seem not to be enough. Product providers and brands compete for our attention incessantly. We learn that we deserve treats and presents with each opportunity there is. Our dear ones also seemingly need to see our love materialized in similar presents/representative gestures.

Since storytelling is a big part of the most successful marketing gigs nowadays, this state of perpetual gift-giving ends up being confusing. Are there for real things that could bring us joy? Or is it just an illusion?

Let’s remember how we enjoyed playing when younger. And let’s remember how there are such things that amuse, amaze and fascinate people, just because…

Keeping it up to date

Although some of us are nostalgic about a rubber ball or a kite, this just won’t do. Now the mindset is different. As annoying Windows 10 might be sometimes, it just won’t do to fantasize about Windows NT, right?

Therefore, our search for captivating gadgets wins over books, office accessories, yesteryear toys and other similar things.

We also won’t include computers, phones and tablets into our scope. After all, as entertaining as video games might be – they still look like work. Just observe a player and imagine he or she is actually working. Not just any work – it’s like passionate, dedicated work. Never mind it’s called gaming – it often brings contorted facial expressions in the mix. We are going for instant joy. And this is different.

So, fun gadgets.

Visually captivating gadgets

Although any great design is a pleasure to contemplate, light-emitting gadgets are an epitome of this category. We have stumbled upon a selection by Wired which fits the profile.

Just click on the link and explore the FlashFlight or the NeckFX Guitar. Ofc the Philips light bulb is in the list. Some of the gadgets mentioned here are not even expensive. But they do look mesmerizing.

Talking about nostalgia – the light-up shoes are also in this selection. Even better, it’s their adult counterpart that made it as a semi-gadget here.

From a light-saber to some admirable flashlights and smart candles – the list is indeed a delight. Spending at least a few hours of genuine delight with one of these gadgets is guaranteed.

Survivalist gadgets

I recently read that modern people aimlessly wander about searching for happiness because they have not rewired their brains to all the changes surrounding them. We still miss the primeval victories of acquiring food, being with a pack of kindred beings and accumulating possessions. While this might well be true, those most in tune with their ancient instincts can re-channel them into skills.

Skills need companions – and these gadgets are for survivalists.

BrightSide put together a list that contains scary stuff, less scary stuff, and things that will make you say “that’s clever!” A shark repellent, an emergency beacon, a universal water filter and so on. Of course, each of them implies you would be out there, in the wilderness. OK, we exaggerate here… But there’s no point in using these at home. Out there is implied, the wilderness not necessarily.

A bit of gadget therapy

As lava lamps are a cultural benchmark, we sought their upgraded version. We think we found the perfect one – the ferrofluid gadget. Just browse this post from Digital Trends before arguing against the idea. We kind of cheated. There is a ferrofluid lamp that makes no mystery of the entire lava lamp connection.

However, watching the gluey like waves of ferrofluid dancing around can provide a few good hours of entertainment. Since the patterns are at your disposal, it’s never the same with these gadgets. We estimate the few hours to be just the beginning of a beautiful friendship.

The plasma ball included in this list is similar. Just pay attention and get the real thing, and avoid the low-priced copy that has a tune bound to scratch your ears and whose buttons pop out. (Yeah, we speak from experience. It’s the same with the magnetic Perpetuum Motion gadgets.)

And the final wrap-up

We got a bit tired of searching by categories. And it’s not easy to find out simple, fun gadgets online. Or maybe it takes more virtual digging up. Anyways, here’s a final source to keep you happy and occupied for a couple of minutes – with 18 cool gadgets endorsed by BuzzFeed. You will meet again some things that featured in the last list we mentioned – which is a good sign.

Couldn’t get used to the garlic peeler. But it doesn’t matter since it’s not a modern gadget. Not in the sense of this article. The Pinart thing is also more for putting on the shelf after you’ve learned all its tricks – there aren’t so many.

But this list is also interesting, so it should provide you with a couple extra contenders for the funniest, simplest gadget to own or to offer as a present. Have fun!