Project Sidekick: NASA will bring Hololens into space

Sidekick is a new project by NASA and Microsoft to empower astronauts aboard the International Space Station (ISS) using commercial virtual reality technology. Microsoft HoloLens will provide virtual aid to astronauts working off the Earth, for the Earth.

HoloLens and other virtual and mixed reality devices are cutting edge technologies that could help drive future exploration and provide new capabilities to the men and women conducting critical science on the International Space Station,” said Sam Scimemi, director of the ISS program at NASA Headquarters in Washington. “This new technology could also empower future explorers requiring greater autonomy on the journey to Mars.

Read more about the project.

The Bit Planner: a wall mounted LEGO time planner

Designed by  Clara Gaggero and Adrian Westaway – former designers at Vitamins and founders of  Special Projects (a product design and invention studio based in London)  – and Duncan Fitzsimons,  The Bit Planner (2013) is a wall mounted time planner made entirely out of LEGO.

A companion software application was originally scheduled for 2014 but never released. According to the concept, users could have taken a photo of the planner to synchronise the events to an online calendar.

Find out more on the project page.


CUBE – a smart home device

Cube is an intuitive, tangible interface for smart homes. By touching, lifting, tilting and turning, Cube allows users to adjust technological appliances such as lighting, temperature and music using a single interface. Cube replaces the devices we employ daily to control our smart homes with one aesthetic, tactile device, thereby providing a bridge between our emotional, human needs and our digital surroundings.

Continue reading…

On radio pioneer Frank Conrad: old new technologies and early adopters

Latest episode of the Roman Mars’ 99% Invisible podcast featured the story of radio pioneer Frank Conrad and offers an insight on the relationship between new technology, early adopters, and explorative “play”.

A story still relevant to understand the present of technology adoptions among tech-amateurs.

If you want to read more on the early era of old  “new” media,  Always Already New by Lisa Gitelman could be the book to start with.

Found on TheNextWeb.

Intel Living Frames

Living Frames (2011) was a two-week industry project  developed by Marco Triverio and Chris Bierbower at Intel Labs. The two designers took up the challenge of exploring the future interplay between images, technology and people behaviours.

A team from Intel asked us to look 10 years into the future and imagine how people might capture or display photos given expected advances in technology. Intel is in the ever faster processor business and uses these predictions to steer chip architecture as well as to help spur developers imagination to maintain demand for faster silicon.

Over the course of the project we realized that using photos for story telling is such a fundamentally instinctive behavior that it is safe to predict it will last through several generations of technological innovation. Our concept develops on this insight. However, foreseeing 10 years into the future is tricky. With IBM’s Watson, we’re seeing a sneak peak of improvements in natural language and intention recognition. We think that one of the photo related advances users will enjoy are computers that will actually help us tell stories and have richer conversations.

Learn more about Living Frames

Analysing recipients personalities for better e-mails

Analysing recipients personalities for better e-mails

Crystal is a startup with a great mission: helping people writing better emails providing real-time suggestions tuned on recipient personality. What it does is to scrutinize publicly available data on LinkedIn, Twitter, blogs to let users look up people’s personality profiles on its website for free.

As reported on MIT Technology Review, “Jennifer Golbeck, an associate professor at the University of Maryland, College Park, who has studied how to deduce personality traits and relationships from social media, says that such personality inference technologies tend to be about 75 percent correct. The biggest challenge, she says, is getting ground-truth data about people’s actual behaviors (such as how people respond to certain phrases used in e-mails) so the tool can learn to improve the conclusions drawn from the information—something Crystal is attempting to do by asking users to add information about themselves and people they know”.

Read the full article.