Archive for the ‘New Technologies’ Category

Be Your Own Souvenir – Human Statue Printed In 3D

February 3rd, 2012 by NearInteraction

This proposal aims to connect street users, arts and science, linking them to under-laying spaces and their own realities. The installation was enjoyed during two weekends in January 2011 by the tourists, neighbours of La Rambla and citizens of Barcelona, a city that faces a trade-off between identity and gentrification, economic sustainability and economic growth.
The user becomes the producer as well as the consumer through a system that invites him/her to perform as a human statue, with a free personal souvenir as a reward: a small figure of him/herself printed three-dimensionally from a volumetric reconstruction of the person generated by the use of three structured light scanners (kinect).


Tablet Fight: Sony S1 and S2

April 28th, 2011 by NearInteraction
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“Both the S1 and S2 are PlayStation Certified, support DLNA, and are WiFi and 3G/4G “compatible” according to Sony. ”

via engadget.

2011 brings a series of workshops in London and Lisbon exploring the themes of technology and interaction with…

November 25th, 2010 by NearInteraction

For 2011, NearLabs in collaboration with NearInteraction are running a series of inter-related workshops in both London and Lisbon exploring the themes of technology and interaction with… narrative, collaboration, multi-discipline, service design, community, participation, urban environment, big society… the London workshops will be conceptual and the Lisbon ones will focus on practical learning through technologies. Sounds exciting? Oh, it is!

London 2011, kicks off in February, with the “Decoding Participation, Engagement and Interaction with Technology series” with guest speakers David Barrie, Charlie Tims, Heather Ring and Steve McAdam to mention a few. Meanwhile in Lisbon, we will be exploring the potential of tablets and smartphones. In a market of  limitless potencial, the future is exciting!

The learning structure of the workshop series is a “learning together by doing” professional workshop platform for the conception of future products and services with trademarked intellectual property. Workshops are structured to utilise the combined intelligence of the participating group, facilitated by the professional team at NearLabs and supported by NearInteraction, including NearInteraction’s CEO, Diogo Terroso, Crystal Campbell (also of Narrative Ecology) and Jan van Bruggen with Nina Honiball (MAKEshift and Soundings). Typical “learning together by doing” practices include facilitated brainstorms, curated problem solving exercises, experience-based-learning, case methods and physical prototyping sessions aided by a collection of tools especially created to stimulate creative thought.

During the course of the workshop, participants will connect meaningfully over a series of conducted collaborative “learning together by doing” sessions, as they unite together. With a variety of special guests to present real life case-studies that will be applied during the workshops, this event is guaranteed to entice you into talking big and thinking bigger about services that can make a difference when we are talking people to people to technology interactions.

For more information on the events, go here:

London Workshops

Feb 05, 2011: ‘Urban App’s: when meaningful ideas connect communities with interactive technology.

Feb 19, 2011: Digital Belonging: re-thinking interactive technology for crossover scenarios within changing communities.

Mar 05, 2011: Creating Engines of Participation: the move towards enabling people to technology to community interaction.

Lisboa Lisbon Workshops (taught in English and Portuguese)

January 2011:  Tablets e Smartphones: Agarrar a cidade como o cenário das aplicações UrbanasTablets & Smartphones: Harnessing the City as a Cache for Urban based Apps.

Follow on events in Lisbon TBA

I am Sonic the Hedgehog

October 13th, 2010 by NearInteraction

I’ve always wished to be actually inside a computer game. Not just playing the game but actually being Sonic. Imagine going on an augmented run, where instead of just listening to music or podcast, you do that, and play a computer game for the extra motivation. Every now and then you’ll have to pick a virtual coin, or avoid some virtual danger.  Or you may run against a virtual competitor, which may very well be non other than yourself, as recorded on a previous run. At the very least you’ll be able to constantly see you heart rate and the number of miles you’ve already completed.

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Massimo Banzi – Arduino to the people

September 20th, 2010 by NearInteraction

massimo banzi

Massimo Banzi is something of a legend in the world of interaction design. Cheerful and unpretentious, he is one of the founding members of the Arduino phenomenon. I was lucky enough to attend a lecture by him recently.

“…to allow everyday people to use electronics and software as a creative medium with the least possible pain.”

It was this deceptively simple vision that led Massimo and his contemporaries at Ivrea Interaction design Institute to develop Arduino, in doing so making a significant contribution to a DIY revolution in technology that continues to pose a serious threat the to status quo.
Technology, arguably the most powerful medium in the world today, was becoming the sole domain of well-resourced profit-driven companies. It wasn’t just the technology patents or the skill barriers, in many cases it was actually illegal to even open up and look inside a product that you had bought and paid for, let alone (God forbid) modify it to suit your actual needs as an individual… iPhone anyone?

Teach a man to fish…

Putting technology in the hands of people that otherwise would not have access to it is of course a large part of what the open-source movement as a whole has been trying to achieve.
Projects like Ubuntu (a completely free and highly function operating system based on Linux) and Open Office have done exactly this. However, empowering people with free tools is only half of the solution, ultimately empowering people to create their own technology is far more powerful.

What is Arduino?

Arduino can act as an electronic brain for, well, just about anything. Essentially, it’s a very small and incredibly flexible computer; designed to allow you to combine it with any number of other hardware or software systems. It has it’s own software language, based on Java, which allows you to create programs that control the hardware.

Here are a few projects built with Arduino:

word clock
Word clock by drj113.

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TableTalk is an experimental interactive student project that visualizes speech and conversation.

Seem complicated? It isn’t quiet Lego, but for those with a minimum of determination, Ardiuno opens up a world of technological possibilities. Check out this video of 3 11-year old girls who upgraded their cat teddy-bear with a “mouse alert system”.

Who cares?

Artists students, hobbyists and anyone who wants to harness the power of technology for their own individual creativity. It’s especially useful for students studying in areas like interactive art or interaction design because we can use it to prototype our ideas. Designs prototyped in Arduino might end up being manufactured entirely differently if they go into mass production.

Why its so dam cool.

1. Cheap to manufacture and purchase.

Around €20 gets you an Arduino board. Massimo and the Arduino team realized early on that if they were going to be putting technology in the hands of the above demographic it was going to have to be cheap.

2. Relatively easy to learn and use

At the expense of really advanced features, the decision was made to keep it as simple as possible. A combination of a user-friendly design and extensive community driven documentation means that you can get stuck in and make stuff right away.

3. Completely open-source

In true open-source fashion it combined and reconstituted other powerful open-source projects to create something new and more powerful. The physical prototyping platform Wiring and the Processing language were its primary constituents.

Everything about Arduino is freely available, including the design details from the boards themselves. That means if you you really want to you could go and manufacture (even sell) your own Arduino boards, Seeduino did just that, modifying and building on the base system.


A good example of the power of this approach is the LilyPad Arduino board (above). Designed and developed by Leah Buechley and SparkFun Electronics, The LilyPad Arduino is a microcontroller board designed for wearables and e-textiles. It can be sewn to fabric and similarly mounted power supplies, sensors and actuators with conductive thread.

More importantly though, open-source means that the intellectual property of Arduino is essentially owned by “the community”; there is no doubt that the incredible success of Arduino would not have been possible without the discover, make & share ecosystem that characterizes open-source communities. Any one project built in Arduino will involve the integration and modification of some amount of software and techniques that have been previously discovered and shared by the community.

If you’re interested in the idea of open-source hardware, the topic was examined closely in this article on

I’ll leave you with Massimo’s final slide, design by Matt Jones.

get excited and make things

Dive into the DIY electronics world online:

About the author:
Charles is a student of Interaction design at Domus Academy in Milan, Italy. His website is here:

Penguin’s Upcoming iPad books

June 9th, 2010 by NearInteraction
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The first-look demos of Penguin Books presented by Penguin CEO John Makinson in London.

Source: paidcontent

Data Logger for iPhone from pachube.apps

May 27th, 2010 by NearInteraction

Data Logger for iPhone enables you to store and graph any data of your choosing along with a timestamp and geolocation. You might use Data Logger to store electricity meter readings, to create maps of pollution or temperature sensor readings around your neighbourhood, or animal sightings around the city. You can also set up custom data feeds, with user-defined min and max values, tags, description and units.  Data Logger is available from the App Store.

via pachube blog

The Wired Tablet App

February 16th, 2010 by NearInteraction

Play time: Wearable augmented reality

February 3rd, 2010 by NearInteraction
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A new t-shirt invention allows wearers to play ‘rock, paper, scissors’ with themselves. Wearing the shirt in front of a computer with a webcam activates its augmented technology. A moving image of the person appears on screen, with a virtual arm extending from the shirt. The wearer can then play ‘rock, paper, scissors’.

Created by the wearable magazine T-post, this augmented reality helps wearers visualise the news article about higher education printed inside the t-shirt.

3D Multi-touch

October 9th, 2009 by NearInteraction

Touch screens can register intricate hand gestures – but only work in two dimensions. A new set of building blocks takes them into the third dimension.