Photo: Randy Yau, via Barry Threw on Flickr.

In memory of Jean-Jacques Perrey

Soon after the loss of Don Buchla, another legend of synthesis has passed away. Jean-Jacques Perrey died last week. Perrey was a master of whimsy and invention. He’s of course best known for his collaboration with Gershon Kingsley, “Baroque Hoedown,” featured in Disney’s Electric Light Parade. But that’s emblematic of a broader contribution: he’s one of the leading pioneers of the 20th Century in introducing the sounds of electronic synthesis to a mass audience, with noises heard from Sesame Street to TV ads. Here’s the master composer playing his own best-known tune: It’s also notable that, like Bob Moog, Perrey …

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Hours and hours and hours of Autechre

Is IDM cool again? Like even calling things IDM? We think so. Now, there’s probably lots we could say about Autechre, but that’d take precious time away from you listening to all the Autechre-y Autechre that just Autechred into your Autechre. So, let’s just cover the facts, ma’am, in quick order – and they’re all pretty awesome. Of course, spoiler, all your fellow music nerd friends have been talking about nothing else on their Facebook feed today, but at least we can put this all in one convenient location:

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MICKEYPHON is a terrifying giant robot head that’s also a musical instrument

Inside the computer, music software very often looks like it always did – faux mixers and multitracks and piano rolls. But in the hands of designers, musical objects are appearing as something very different. And those iconic mouse ears seem to be … following you.

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Watch The Retro-Fabulous, Colorful Real-time Freakouts of Robotkid

Robotkid, aka Josh Randall, is the veteran former Creative Director at Harmonix who regularly infused VJ and real-time visual aesthetics into the company’s games (Beatles Rock Band, VibRibbon, etc.). Now, he’s gone to LA, where his passion for the most fantastically colorful trips of the past is feeding new visual fancies. And they’re too good not to share. Where better to start than with a full-on freak-out on Disneyland’s Space Mountain, here seeming more futuristic than ever:

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Transforming Books, Photos in Even More Disney Research

Disney Research is apparently releasing all their latest inventions at once. The most dazzling, atop the air-interaction-feedback project we saw earlier this week, uses captured light field data to transform ordinary photography into the basis of three-dimensional scenes. Say wha?: This paper describes a method for scene reconstruction of complex, detailed environments from 3D light fields. Densely sampled light fields in the order of 10^9 light rays allow us to capture the real world in unparalleled detail, but efficiently processing this amount of data to generate an equally detailed reconstruction represents a significant challenge to existing algorithms. We propose an …

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From Disneyland to You: Q+A with Creator of Disney's Air Interaction Aireal

Ideas for interaction have come from many places. But with illusion and immersion a key part of the magic of digital experiences today, maybe it’s about time to take a stroll to Disneyland. Yesterday, we saw the novel idea of using blasts of air to provide physical feedback without requiring touch: Into Thin Air: Disney’s Aireal Vortex Rings Give Tactile Feedback Where None Exists Today, Rajinder Sodhi of Disney Research, primary inventor of the tech, answers CDM’s questions about what all of this means. CDM: What other research has gone this direction before? Raj: This research comes from a big …

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From Disneyland to You: Q+A with Creator of Disney’s Air Interaction Aireal

Ideas for interaction have come from many places. But with illusion and immersion a key part of the magic of digital experiences today, maybe it’s about time to take a stroll to Disneyland. Yesterday, we saw the novel idea of using blasts of air to provide physical feedback without requiring touch: Into Thin Air: Disney’s Aireal Vortex Rings Give Tactile Feedback Where None Exists Today, Rajinder Sodhi of Disney Research, primary inventor of the tech, answers CDM’s questions about what all of this means. CDM: What other research has gone this direction before? Raj: This research comes from a big …

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Into Thin Air: Disney’s Aireal Vortex Rings Give Tactile Feedback Where None Exists

The bane of wave-your-hands-in-the-air interaction systems is that you can’t feel anything when you use them. Swatting the air with your hands in front of a Kinect, for instance, gives you nothing in tactile resistance – those invisible objects can be seen, but not felt. So what’s the solution? Well, if the interaction is in the air, you could use actual air for feedback. That’s what researchers from Disney in Pittsburgh, PA propose with their new system Aireal. (Get it? Like the mermaid? Ahem.) The device is a robotic haptic air emitter, bursting short blasts of air called “vortexes.” When …

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Into Thin Air: Disney's Aireal Vortex Rings Give Tactile Feedback Where None Exists

The bane of wave-your-hands-in-the-air interaction systems is that you can’t feel anything when you use them. Swatting the air with your hands in front of a Kinect, for instance, gives you nothing in tactile resistance – those invisible objects can be seen, but not felt. So what’s the solution? Well, if the interaction is in the air, you could use actual air for feedback. That’s what researchers from Disney in Pittsburgh, PA propose with their new system Aireal. (Get it? Like the mermaid? Ahem.) The device is a robotic haptic air emitter, bursting short blasts of air called “vortexes.” When …

READ MORE →