Coolness like this is what the internet was made for:
Be your own CSI with GelSight
The guys at GelSight are on to something big – or at least, magnified.
Their specially designed rubber lens lets one see details as small as two microns thick, through their patent-pending and newly perfected approach. This video demonstrates how it all works:
And this video shows off the extent of GelSight’s sensitivity:
The stuff looks really cheap to produce, but with a wide range of applications, especially for ballistics or engineering. Personally, I’d buy some just to use as a desk toy, alongside my Intelligent Putty and other cool shit.
It’s the simple combination of rubber and reflective paint that makes GelSight’s patent so valuable, albeit so simple. Yet it took two MIT alumni to spot the gap and to productize. Goes to show what other great combinations are still out there waiting to be discovered!
Experience a Glimpse of 3D Web Browsing
Coming Soon: 3D computing. Well, it makes sense, doesn’t it?
My claim is that 3D is the next step in object-oriented user interface (OOUI), which is the way most of us interact with computers after someone (at Apple, I think) had idea that we’d store ‘documents’ in ‘folders’ rather than access them via a command line. Ever since, we’ve been using ‘object-oriented’ analogies to interact with our machines.
Now is the age of 3D screen technologies, with Hollywood fighting back from piracy with a new golden age for cinema, Samsung outperforming Sony to becoming the number one manufacturer of 3D TVs, and the Nintendo 3DS making use of prismatic 3D in it’s menus, and of course in-game (think I might be buying Ocarina again soon). Not to mention Microsoft’s Kinect, which changes the way we interact in the three dimensions of physical, as opposed to virtual space.
But before all of this, there were innovators trying to make 3D compliant with everyday use, such as TATMobile who, without the power to print prismatic screens, force a behaviour change through the use of 3D glasses, or sell expensive stereoscopic 3D projectors, had come up with a pretty cool lo-fi solution:
The video above demonstrates the use of a front-facing camera on one’s mobile phone to track the location of your eyes, augmenting what’s onscreen, allowing you to see ‘behind’ icons or onto different screens by peering around. Hopefully you can imagine how a 3D screen might alter the way you interact with your device, so it’s no wonder they were bought by RIM and are now developing UI for BlackBerry.
While we’re at it, also check out the work of Bumptop (sadly now defunct), Johnny Lee‘s Wii hacks, and even YouTube‘s foray into 3D video.
Another lo-fi solution to making 3D useful comes from Mozilla, outlined in this fascinating article. Their technology, called Tilt, is not a way to physically see in 3D (it’s just software at this point), but certainly nods towards the future 3D stereoscopy web content. You can test Mozilla’s Tilt plugin in Firefox with their beta plugin at that link, but here’s a demo:
All we need now is for computer, laptop, tablet & mobile screens to become 3D-enabled, and for vast swathes of web designers to optimise their sites for WebGL, and suddenly those social buttons become a bit more clickable.
The Ultimate Android Homescreen
I recently upgraded to a brand new phone, the Samsung Galaxy S2, and let me tell you, her beauty is a thing to behold.
This is my second Android device, my first being an HTC Hero, whom I loved like a little brother. But I love my Galaxy like she’s a sexy robot from the future, trained to be awesome.
Given I’ll be spending the next couple of years with her, it’s important that I maximise all that awesomeness. For me, that boils down to the following areas:
- She needs to look attractive
- She needs to let me do my thing
- She needs to last ’til at least midnight
- She needs to be constantly surprising
- She needs to feel like she’s all mine
It’s quite possible to achieve these things from your Android device: it just requires a bit of time to work out your priorities, and sometimes the advice of a few well respected sources. Ultimately, it’s experience that leads to a happy relationship. By the way, yes, I’m still talking about mobile phones.
With all of this in mind, I think I’ve found my ultimate Android setup, the perfect relationship, if you will. So without further ado, I present to you my Ultimate Android Homescreen, a perfectly-tuned combination of sexiness, usefulness, battery life and entertainment.
At just three screens, she’s the most efficient I could conceive of – the product of several hours hard thinking!
- The ‘Immediacy’ Screen – stuff you need right now
- The ‘Entertainment’ Screen – stuff to feed your head
- The ‘Productivity’ Screen – stuff to get shit done
A couple of things glue this all together: Tasker, and LauncherPro. I also advise JuiceDefender, but like all of the apps listed below, it’s not an essential. After all, this is more a ‘what worked for me could work for you’ article (like this one).
(click the graphic to view in fullscreen)
Whether you follow this exact recipe, or you choose to develop your own ultimate Android homescreen, I hope you’ll be very happy together, and I’d love to hear from you in the comments below.
Pedigree Dogs Ad
The most epic dog food advert? – Pedigree Dogs ad shot 1000 FPS using the Phantom camera