Augmented Reading: ImaginArt Animates Books with Max/MSP

With all the excitement brewing over multi-touch and tablet PCs, it’s great to see a simple, beautiful installation, augmenting paper books with subtle fiducials, letting the book control the technology: ImaginArt from recreat on Vimeo. Built with Max/MSP/Jitter by recreat. Lovely.

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Minority Report Interface, Implemented in Flash + FLARToolkit, and Why it Rocks

ActionScript programmer Peter Kaptein has done some brilliantly creative work to mimic the infamous gestural interface in the film Minority Report using only Flash, a webcam, a printer, and your fingers. (Okay, you may want to pick up some Scotch tape, too.) The tricks to make it all work (as I see it, anyway): 1. Treat distance as “pressure” for gestures. 2. Use two markers, allowing for multi-finger manipulation of the interface. 3. Create combined actions – and provide lots of visual feedback. 4. Don’t work as much with transformations perpendicular to the screen – by avoiding some of the …

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d-touch Tangible Sequencer: Updates to Free Camera+Blocks Drum Machine

Bored with mouse pushing and knob twiddling? The d-touch tangible sequencer / drum machine makes a cheap interface (with free downloadable software) for assembling sequences. Make some (attractive) blocks, set up a webcam, and plug into your computer. I took a first look at this tool last month, and noted its use in sequencing walnuts. (Yes, the ones that fall from trees.) Since then, the developers have been hard at work on updates. Enrico writes: We just released the d-touch sequencer, a new, more advanced, audio application. In the sequencer you can record your own samples in real time. We …

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Computer Vision Markers, Designed by You – Not Ugly Patterns

Pens and pencils out – it’s time to call back those art skills and start drawing tags. Computer vision is all the rage again. One assumption seems to be that you’ll know the technology has evolved when markers – graphical identifiers that allow the camera to more easily spot control points in the image – go away. Not so fast. The beauty of markers in computer vision (like the popular ARToolkit) is twofold. First, those markers are there for a reason. Adding specific graphical information to an image can improve recognition, improve recognition in specific circumstances (like changing lighting), and …

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Free Tangible Tracking: reacTIVision 1.4 Here, TUIO2 Coming Soon

reacTIVision is able to work thanks to these alien-looking markers called “fluidicials.” Karsten Schmidt aka toxi has developed software for creating more of these markers, and it generates characters like this “teddy bear” seen here. Computer vision for tracking movement is cool. But add the ability to track actual objects, and you can extend the possibilities for interfaces. We’ll be playing around with this on our upcoming tangible hackday. A lot of the reason these experiments can proliferate is the availability of free frameworks that make the technology accessible to artists and designers. The tricky tracking work is done, leaving …

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