Silicon Valley technology companies back bid to win Super Bowl 50 in 2016, which would be played in the new, high tech Levi’s Stadium, new home of the San Francisco 49ers.
Turning a standard LCD monitor into touchscreen with a $5 wall-mounted sensor | ExtremeTech
Researchers at the University of Washington’s aptly named Ubiquitous Computing Lab can turn any LCD monitor in your hous into a touchscreen, with nothing more than a $5 sensor that plugs into the wall and some clever software.
The technology, called uTouch, works by measuring the electromagnetic interference (EMI) caused by your hand when it moves near or touches an LCD monitor. This might sound a little bit crazy, but I’ll explain. Basically, the electricity running through the wires in your house has a unique electromagnetic signature. There is the “carrier wave,” provided by the power company and your nearby substation, and then every single kink and switch along the way modulates the EM signature until it is quite unique. What most people don’t realize, though, is that every device that is plugged into a wall outlet also changes your EM signature. Your TV doesn’t just suck power from your house — it’s a two-way street, with the electronic components in the TV producing interference that change your house’s EM signature.
A few years ago, he [Ken Anderson, Intel ethnographer] conducted an ethnographic study of “temporality,” about the perception of the passage and scarcity of time—noting how Americans he studied had come to perceive busy-ness and lack of time as a marker of well-being. “We found that in social interaction, virtually everyone would claim to be ‘busy,’ and that everyone close to them would be ‘busy’ too,” he told me. But in fact, coordinated studies of how these people used technology suggested that when they used their computers, they tended to do work only in short bursts of a few minutes at a time, with the rest of the time devoted to something other than what we might identify as work. “We were designing computers, and the spec at the time was to use the computer to the max for two hours,” Anderson says. “We had to make chips that would perform at that level. You don’t want them to overheat. But when we came back, we figured that we needed to rethink this, because people’s time is not quite what we imagine.” For a company that makes microchip processors, this discovery has had important consequences for how to engineer products—not only for users who constantly need high-powered computing for long durations, but for people who just think they do. —
Graeme Wood, Anthropology Inc.
Fascinating account of corporate anthropologists, like those working at the ReD consultancy.
I think engineering is, in a way, based on exploration. It’s always about trying to ask questions, about being curious, being creative.
— Dr. Albert Yu-Min Lin, National Geographic emerging explorer and UC San Diego research scientist.
Full story: Modern-Day Explorer Goes High-Tech Out of Respect — National Geographic, academia provide outlet for adventurer to follow his passion.
Full article: Delivering Consistent Online Experiences for Every Screen Size
If nascent computer sensory systems catch up with more evolved computer processors, they way people interact and think about their laptops, tablets and other devices might take a leap ahead.
Achin Bhowmik, director on Intel’s Perceptual Computing Group, believes that the future of personal computers depends on their vastly improved abilities to see, hear and interact with people more naturally than the archaic keyboard and mouse.
“The laptop is still primitive with only one eye, one ear and they are now just getting touch,” he said. “By giving computing devices 3-D vision systems like human beings, we can bring natural interaction to PCs and open up a whole new dimension not just for PCs, but for smartphones, tablets, media boxes, vending machines, cars and almost anything that connects to the Internet.”