1. Face Visualizer

    Face Visualizer

    Most digital media players have built-in visualizers that display graphics synchronized to music in real-time. A group of Japanese sound artists took this principal to a new level and exchanged the graphics with a human face.

    The computer system is connected to the user’s face with electrodes that makes the face twist in sync with the music. The 10 electrical-pulse stimulators are connected to the face in various places so that the music can generate countless facial expressions.

    Some of the side effects of using the Face Visualizer is pain, hallucinations and suffocation!

    Check out the video of sound artist, Daito Manabe, demonstrating the Face Visualizer.

    Via Engadget.

    face visualizer

    (via digitalexperience.)

  2. Lead Encapsulation

    Bay Area ICD User Group: Lead Encapsulation

  3. Delicate Boundaries

    Delicate Boundaries

    Delicate Boundaries is an interactive installation that explores and crosses the boundaries between the digital and the physical world. Small light bugs crawl out of a computer screen onto human bodies that make contact with them.

    delicate boundaries

    Initially the light bugs exist in the digital world inside the computer but when a person touches the screen, the bugs will leave the virtual world and enter the physical world on the human’s body.

    Check out the video which shows the system in action:

    Delicate Boundaries from csugrue on Vimeo.

    (via digitalexperience.)

  4. White Glove Tracking

    White Glove Tracking

    White Glove Tracking
    There are 10,060 frames of video in Michael Jackson’s 5 min 34 sec nationally televised landmark performance of Billy Jean. The White Glove Tracking project (W.G.T.) is an effort to isolate just the white glove from this moment in pop-culture history. Rather then write unnecessarily complex code to find the glove in every frame of the video I am asking for the assistance of 10,060 individual internet users to simply click and drag a box around the glove in one frame. In the end this data will be shared freely for all to download, visualize, and use as an input into other digital systems.

    (via manystuff.org.)

    UPDATE: On May 4th, 2007, we asked internet users to help isolate Michael Jackson’s white glove in all 10,060 frames of his nationally televised landmark performance of Billy Jean. 72 hours later 125,000 gloves had been located. wgt_data_v1.txt (listed below) is the culmination of data collected. It is released here for all to download and use as an input into any digital system. Just as the data was gathered collectively it is our hope that it will be visualized collectively. Please email links to your apps, video, source code, and/or screen shots to evan[at]eyebeam[dot]org. Work will be exhibited in an online gallery and depending on popularity and interest potentially in a forthcoming physical gallery exhibition as well. Huge thanks to everyone that contributed to the data collection.

  5. Vivez, plus intense

    vivez, plus intense: ”

    Depuis mardi, le défibrillateur de ce patient transmet immédiatement la moindre anomalie de son coeur à son médecin par e-mail ou par SMS.

    Since Tuesday, the ICD is transmitting immediately any abnormanl data from its heart to the patient’s doctor via email or text messages.

    (Via 20 minutes CH, via Amandine.)

  6. Rhizome News: Open Source Movement

    Rhizome News: Open Source Movement: “

    At 89 years old, American dancer and choreographer Merce Cunningham has pushed many boundaries in his celebrated career. Long associated with the avant-garde, he has invited numerous collaborations with new media artists over the years. Since 1991, he has used software to choreograph his works, and the resulting sensor-based animations have recently been exhibited as works in their own right.
    Now the artist is moving his practice towards an open source direction. Longtime Cunningham collaborators Marc Downie, Paul Kaiser, and Shelley Eshkar, who together form the OpenEnded Group, are releasing an open source recording of Cunningham performing a new version of his renowned piece, Loops. Loops was originally performed in 1971 as a solo dance. In this special re-configuration, Cunningham focuses only on his sensor-laden hands and the resulting work is a graceful visualization of his fingers moving through space. The transition into this form indeed visualizes how the artist has evolved over the years. Cunningham is also releasing the score under a Creative Commons (non-commercial/attribution/share-alike) license, so that it can be more closely studied and remixed in the future. For an artist with such a long-standing interest in chance operations, it’s a bold and exciting move to see his work opened up to others in this way. – Marisa Olson

    Image: Merce Cunningham, Loops, 2008


    (Via http://rhizome.org/syndicate/fp.rss.)

  7. The Human Car – Powered by You

    The Human Car – Powered by You: “

    Notice: This article includes rich media content not visible in RSS – See the full content

    Ford Canada has made a new commercial featuring people. I know, that doesn’t sound too special – most commercials have people in them. But not like this… The Ford commercial features only people, and yet what you see is 3 cars.

    Take a look for yourself…

    And… here is the video:

    *** Video (not visble in RSS – See the full content) ***

    Not to mention – a behind the scenes look:

    *** Video (not visble in RSS – See the full content) ***

    Wait a minute!

    But, then somebody yells out ‘wait a minute… Haven’t we seen this before?’ No, actually, you haven’t. I agree that this is not first time a car manufacturer has used human bodies to create car shapes and body art.

    Below is, for instance three similar ads from Hyundai and VW and BidWest. The special thing about the Ford ad is that it is not a ‘shadow trick’. This is 3D art – not 2D ‘shadow’ art.

    Both types are very cool – and mind-boggling in an exciting way. I just happen to like the 3D type better.

    *** Video (not visble in RSS – See the full content) ***

    *** Video (not visble in RSS – See the full content) ***

    *** Video (not visble in RSS – See the full content) ***

    Note: Yes I own and drive a Ford every day, so I might be slightly biased.

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    (Via Baekdal.com.)

  8. Muscle Suit for Carpenters Unveiled In Japan

    Muscle Suit for Carpenters Unveiled In Japan: “Geniuses at Nagayo University in Japan unveiled a prototype ROBOTIC MUSCLE SUIT designed to help carpenters fit ceiling boards in place. This particular carpentry task is unnatural to the human body and takes a lot of brute force. It requires that the board be pressed against the ceiling with one hand while screwed in place with the other. The robot suit takes on most of the load, so the carpenter doesn’t have to. Hey, sitting around at a computer all day is also an unnatural act. Where’s MY robot suit?”

    (Via The Raw Feed.)

  9. iPods won’t crash your pacemaker says the FDA

    iPods won’t crash your pacemaker says the FDA: “

    It turns out that 17-year-olds probably aren’t that good at studying electrical interference — and its effect on pacemakers — created by iPods. Unlike the data presented to the Heart Rhythm Society last year by a high-school student, which demonstrated the music player’s ability to interfere with heart-regulating devices, the FDA now says that the gadgets are completely safe for use. Researchers measured magnetic fields produced by four different models of Apple’s ubiquitous device, and found no reason why your grandmother can’t keep jamming to her South of Heaven reissue. Said FDA researcher Howard Bassen, ‘Based on the observations of our in-vitro study we conclude that no interference effects can occur in pacemakers exposed to the iPods we tested.’ We hope the FDA will follow this up with a definitive study on the effects of boomboxes on hip implants.

    Read | Permalink | Email this | Comments

    (Via Engadget.)

  10. Diagnosis: Email Apnea?

    Diagnosis: Email Apnea?: ”

    By Linda Stone

    I’ve just opened my email and there’s nothing out of the ordinary there. It’s the usual daily flood of schedule, project, travel, information, and junk mail. Then I notice. I’m holding my breath.

    As the email spills onto my screen, as my mind races with thoughts of what I’ll answer first, what can wait, who I should call, what should have been done two days ago; I’ve stopped the steady breathing I was doing only moments earlier in a morning meditation and now, I’m holding my breath.

    And here’s the deal: You’re probably holding your breath, too.

    I wanted to know — how widespread is email apnea*? I observed others on computers and BlackBerries: in their offices, their homes, at cafes. The vast majority of people held their breath, or breathed very shallowly, especially when responding to email. I watched people on cell phones, talking and walking, and noticed that most were mouth-breathing and hyperventilating. Consider also, that for many, posture while seated at a computer can contribute to restricted breathing.

    Does it matter? How was holding my breath affecting me?

    I called Dr. Margaret Chesney, at the National Institute of Health (NIH). Research conducted by Dr. Margaret Chesney and NIH research scientist Dr. David Anderson demonstrated that breath-holding contributes significantly to stress-related diseases. The body becomes acidic, the kidneys begin to re-absorb sodium, and as the oxygen (O2), carbon dioxide (CO2), and nitric oxide (NO) balance is undermined, our biochemistry is thrown off.

    Breath holding and hyperventilating disturb our body’s balance of oxygen, CO2, and NO. Nitric oxide, not to be confused with the nitrous oxide used in dental offices, plays an important role in our health. From a briefing document prepared for the Royal Society and Association of British Science Writers, Pearce Wright explains, ‘The immune system uses nitric oxide in fighting viral, bacterial and parasitic infections, and tumours. Nitric oxide transmits messages between nerve cells and is associated with the processes of learning, memory, sleeping, feeling pain, and, probably, depression. It is a mediator in inflammation and rheumatism.’

    As I researched the literature, and spoke with physicians and researchers about breath-holding, a relationship to the vagus nerve emerged. The vagus nerve is one of the major cranial nerves, and wanders from the head, to the neck, chest and abdomen. Its primary job is to mediate the autonomic nervous system, which includes the sympathetic (‘fight or flight’) and parasympathetic (‘rest and digest’) nervous systems.

    The parasympathetic nervous system governs our sense of hunger and satiety, flow of saliva and digestive enzymes, the relaxation response, and many aspects of healthy organ function. Focusing on diaphragmatic breathing enables us to down regulate the sympathetic nervous system, which then causes the parasympathetic nervous system to become dominant. Shallow breathing, breath-holding and hyperventilating trigger the sympathetic nervous system, in a ‘fight or flight’ response.

    The activated sympathetic nervous system causes the liver to dump glucose and cholesterol into our blood, our heart rate to increase, our sense of satiety to be compromised, and our bodies to anticipate and resource for the physical activity that, historically, accompanied a physical fight or flight response. Meanwhile, when the only physical activity is sitting and responding to email, we’re sort of ‘all dressed up with nowhere to go.’

    Some breathing patterns favor our body’s move toward parasympathetic functions and other breathing patterns favor a sympathetic nervous system response. Diaphragmatic breathing, Buteyko breathing (developed by a Russian M.D., http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Buteyko_method), some of Andy Weil’s breathing exercises, and certain martial arts and yoga breathing techniques, all have the potential to soothe us, and to help our bodies differentiate when fight or flight is really necessary and when we can rest and digest.

    Now I want to know: Is it only the Big Mac that makes us fat? Or, are we more obese and diabetic because of a combination of holding our breath off and on all day and then failing to move when our bodies have prepared us to do so? Can 15 minutes of diaphragmatic breathing before a meal tune us in to when we’re full? If, when we’re doing sedentary work, and O2, CO2, and NO are optimally balanced, through healthy breathing, will we escape the ravages of an always-on sympathetic nervous system? Can daily breathing exercises contribute to helping reduce asthma, ADD, depression, obesity, and a host of other stress-related conditions?

    I predict, within the next five-to-seven years, breathing exercises will be a significant part of every fitness regime. In the meantime, why not breathe while doing email? Awareness is the first step toward wiping out email apnea!

    *Email apnea – a temporary absence or suspension of breathing, or shallow breathing, while doing email (Linda Stone, February 2008).

    (originally published on The Huffington Post)

    (Via O’Reilly Radar.)