Coolness like this is what the internet was made for:
My mate Lucy Tcherniak has just mastered her most recent piece of work, for consumer tech giants Philips and their Wi-fi enabled lighting range Hue – which are remote control light bulbs that can augment the mood of a room via your mobile phone:
Discover just some of the millions of ways to use light with Philips Hue. from helping you relax or concentrate to reminding you of that perfect sunset or bringing a bedtime story to life. it can even tell you if it’ll rain later.
Earlier this year, Ars Technica ran a piece on the Hue’s free to use API & SDK, which have expanded the usefulness of these genius devices through third-party apps such as IFTTT. The article describes the full spectrum of 16 million colours, indicated below:
Now, of the available 16 million colours, Lucy chose to feature just 16 in her film, which highlighted at least a few cool use-cases for the Hue range. For example, adjusting from yellow to white light to improve concentration while studying, or the reverse when settling in for a quiet night on the sofa, sampling the colours of a vase of flowers to suit the room they’ll live in, reminding you to take an umbrella in the morning, or making home media more immersive for the viewer.
I can think of a few more, such as adaptive to music streaming from my Sonos, or as an alarm system for a gradual morning wake up, or flashing blue when I have a Twitter mention during a TV show. Cool system, cool advert. Not sure when it will appear on screen but I think it might make it onto a few people’s Xmas lists. I’ll certainly be asking for one!
I like this:
The Projected Instrument Augmentation system (PIANO) was developed by pianists Katja Rogers and Amrei Röhlig and their colleagues at the University of Ulm in Germany. A screen attached to an electric piano has colourful blocks projected onto it that represent the notes. As the blocks of colour stream down the screen they meet the correct keyboard key at the exact moment that each one should be played.
Florian Schaub, who presented the system last month at the UbiComp conference in Zurich, Switzerland, said that users were impressed by how quickly they could play relatively well, which is hardly surprising given how easily we adapt to most screen interfaces these days.
But while there is real potential for PIANO as a self-guided teaching aid, in my view it’s the potential for a really tight feedback loop that makes this most interesting, and potentially more widely applicable.
When a piano teacher corrects a student’s mistake, they will perhaps specify one or two things that need improving, but this approach would sense each incorrect note and could provide an immediate visual response, flashing red for instance, conditioning the student to success more quickly.
via New Scientist.
Two robots, Vincent & Emily, are connected to each other as if deeply in love: where at the heights of romance, every motion, utterance, or external influence is shared in an acutely empathic, highly attuned ‘emotional’ response:
The creation of German artists Nikolas Schmid-Pfähler and Carolin Liebl, the robots take in sound and motion data–from each other and from spectators– via sensors, which causes them to react–via gears and motors–with certain expressions. Shown in a gallery and open to the interaction of visitors, the project aims to explore the ideal of the human couple by distilling it into a more basic form. Simple lines represent bodies. Reacting to inputs replaces complicated decision-making.
Like in any relationship, miscommunication is a factor – so an intimate moment can lead to conflict, and eventual resolution. This gives a certain texture to their ‘dance of love’ that makes it hard not to anthropomorphise, or indeed relate to!
Take a look:
I’ve been lucky enough to own this domain name for a number of years, and populate it with loads of content along the way. For a while, I ran a dedicated Tumblr sideblog of the same name which I have since merged into this site. More recently, I founded Digital Cortex Ltd., a formal means of handling a clutch of consultation projects. And now, this site is the front-end to my hosting business, offering virtual private server space to a few happy clients, as well as a playground for a few of the other little projects I’m working on.
Meanwhile, plenty of other people / groups / products have laid their claim to the Digital Cortex name, and I wanted to provide a quick review of them here, just for fun, but also to signpost should anyone have got lost in the ether.
Chris Chan on Twitter
A dude who’s only tweeted four times, not much else to say…
Question Authority on YouTube
A highly politicised channel featuring clips from documentaries and news broadcasts. It’s seemingly anti-corporate / anti-government / anti-war. Whoever runs the channel quotes:
America will never be destroyed from the outside. If we falter, and lose our freedoms, it will be because we destroyed ourselves. (Abraham Lincoln)
Makes it all the more charming that one of his playlists is called Why I Love the 80′s, doesn’t it?
Doc on Instagram
I guess this is a tattooed guy who I assume wears glasses, eats pasta, and likes beer. He describes himself as “PhD -Piled Higher Deeper enuff said ”
Digital Cortex – The Movie
About the film (autotranslated from Dutch):
Digital Cortex is a fiction story about Matt, who has just graduated from the film academy. Matt, the speed of the eternal accelerating system not keep after his studies. He gets his unattainable vision into depression and have thoughts about suicide. In desperation get Matt to his friend Andrew. Andrew may be the only solution for him.
A device that he can continue. system
Digital cortex makes the flow of information along the human visual cortex digital. Thoughts and fantasies are visual and are immediately visible on screen. Matt’s life is gaining momentum. Success is his second name. Because Matt is continuously working to become reality and fantasy begin to merge. Together his fantasy reality Matt is getting delusions and hallucinations. He stands for choice, back to his unhappy existence or lose himself in his imagination.
Sounds kind of cool – wonder if I’ll get an invite to the screening!
Digital Cortex on LinkedIn
The leading social media marketing and customer experience agency. We help Business understand the power of having a marketing and communication presence through the Social medium.
Hmm… Not sure if they realise, but their web address redirects back here. Further googling suggests they might not be doing too well.
Digital Cortex on SlideShare
A bit more info on what the above company does:
Digital Cortex on SoundCloud
Three guys named KyRow, Nebtune & Aaronson, who make Drum & Bass that sounds like this:
Not active, but the WHOIS record indicates Brian Winn, a Professor of Telecommunication, Information Studies, and Media and Director of the Games for Entertainment and Learning (GEL) Lab at Michigan State University. We emailed a couple of years ago, and he provided some interesting backstory about the domain:
In terms of releasing digitalcortex.com, I am not interested at this point. I actually had a consulting company called Digital Cortex back in the late 90s and digitalcortex.com was the domain name for the company. Interestingly enough another company wanted the domain name and bought it for a substantial amount of money. Enough that we changed our company name and got a new domain name. Well, the story goes that a year or two later, that company went belly up in the .com crash and I bought the domain name back. I am not holding out for a big sale in the future (though I would not oppose it). I just have a sentimental connection with the domain … and I am thinking of using the name again for a new company.
Best of luck with it all, Brian.
Digital Cortex in the US Trademark Records
COMPUTER SOFTWARE, WHETHER EMBEDDED IN ANOTHER PRODUCT OR ON A STAND-ALONE BASIS, WHICH ALLOWS THE USER OR ANOTHER COMPUTER SOFTWARE PROGRAM TO CAPTURE ANY DIGITAL CONTENT, AND TO USE, MANIPULATE, PROCESS, AND ROUTE THAT CONTENT, INCLUDING ORIGINAL ATTRIBUTES, TO AND FROM ANY COMPUTER SOFTWARE APPLICATION
The registrant was AnySoft, a tech company based in Newton, MA. From what I can dig up, their software ‘Digital Cortex 2.0′ was an approach to solving system and application interopability’ acting as a sort of software layer between various networked machines. More info here. Possibly the same guys who bought the domain from Brian Winn? Anyway, the trademark was cancelled a couple of years ago. A shame, too, because they also had this super snazzy logo:
A few more:
Digital Cortex on Facebook
Providing IT Solutions for local non-profits and healthcare businesses.
Digital Cortex Media
Digital Cortex is a small animation studio specializing in educational videos. We just completed work on ‘Echo’ a computer animated accent reduction tutor, prior to that we created a series of videos to accompany medical textbooks.
Sounds pretty cool, but couldn’t uncover any of their work.
Digital Cortex by Dactilar
A deep house track, with a couple of good remixes. I really like this one.
Digital Cortex on ‘Wandering Stan’ Blog
A mini series of interesting blog posts by Stan James, starting with this.
Digital Cortex dot IT
Hi, I’m Matt Hileman, chief do-it-all at Digital Cortex [...] Contact us any time with issues regarding any aspect of IT, networking, wireless, software installs and/or upgrades, PC’s, servers, storage, disaster recovery, backups and more…
Seems like there’s lots more going on behind the scenes.
Digital Cortex dot CA
This blog has up to date information on Network Security.
Last updated, Wednesday, November 3, 2010…
Digital Cortex dot DE
Another dead IT site.
Cortex Professional Digital 4-in-1 Titanium Curling Iron
You’d be surprised how much of my traffic comes from searches for this product!
A complete mystery…
And that’s all I could find! Hopefully, I can remain the top site for the keyword, but if not the crown is bound to go to one of the above contenders. My money is on the trio of drum+bass producers – those search bots seem to love ‘em!
Watch, and be mesmerised:
It’s gotta be a computer program playing this, right?
Hello! It’s been a while.
I’ve had a busy few weeks at work as well as online, mostly behind the scenes stuff, such as building a website for a client, a load of little tweaks and optimisations to my online ecosystem (more on that soon), and switching web hosts three times in the past four weeks. Ouch!
Meanwhile, people have begun asking for more icons for the Subscription Options addon pack, mainly Instagram. I thought I’d put it to the vote in time for the next release, so please, take a look and let me know your preferred version in the comments.
In this post, let’s explore the link between the twin worlds of microbiology and creative thought, drawing inspiration from three brilliant scientific discoveries. Labcoats on, people!
If a sea sponge (phylum porifera) is forced through a sieve to disintegrate it down to its cellular level, those cells, if left alone, will recombine into a sponge again:
Lesson: some ideas only make sense as a whole – passing them through a ‘sieve test’ can reveal whether they were ever meant to be, while others may naturally merge together.
2. Slime Molds
A single-celled slime mold (physarum polycephalum) can solve mazes, mimic the layout of man-made transportation networks and choose the healthiest food from a diverse menu – and all this without a brain or nervous system:
Lesson: deploy resources efficiently – really smart solutions often arise naturally, yet knowing what’s best still requires lots of prior research. But hey, if a slime mold can do it…
Scientists have created an artificial jellyfish using silicone and muscle cells from a rat’s heart. The synthetic creature, dubbed a medusoid, looks like a flower with eight petals. When placed in an electric field, it pulses and swims exactly like its living counterpart:
Lesson: even the most difficult concept can be somehow ‘brought to life’ – be it in a new context, through the addition of a couple of key ingredients, or sheer appliance of science!
Within the pages of Watchmen, Adrian Veidt, the so-called “smartest man in the world”, esteemed business leader and founding member of the Crimebusters is shown at a wall of televisions, each tuned to a different channel. He uses this clatter of imagery, sound and motion to make sense of the current geopolitical and social climate and to act upon it:
Reads a bit like Social Media Monitoring, doesn’t it? But Adrian Veidt, AKA Ozymandias, was multi-screening before it was even a thing. Nowadays, we do it by default, up to 60% of the time, and in the age of 4.6 connected devices per household it just comes naturally.
Multi-screening can be simultaneous (same journey across devices, as in the above case), sequential (different journeys across devices simultaneously), or separate (different journeys across devices simultaneously) – but it’s an emergent behaviour that needs much further inquiry. There are few real thought leaders, except for SecondSync perhaps, or Microsoft, who so succincinctly define the terms I’ve used here.
One other thought leader is Kevin Kelly, co-founder of Wired, whose view is that as screens proliferate further into each aspect of our lives, their role becomes not just to display but also to help filter information – we’re literally ‘screening out’ the stuff we don’t want to see.
Watch his talk on ‘screening’ and five other ‘Verbs for the New Web’ below – it’s great:
What does the word ‘digital’ mean to you?
dig·it·al /?d?d??tl/ adv –
- of or pertaining to a digit or finger
- resembling a digit or finger
- manipulated with a finger or the fingertips: a digital switch
- displaying a readout in digital form: a digital speedometer
- having digits or digitlike parts
- of, pertaining to, or using data in the form of numerical digits
- Computers. involving or using numerical digits expressed in a scale of notation to represent discretely all variables occurring in a problem
- of, pertaining to, or using numerical calculations
- available in electronic form; readable and manipulable by computer
So digital means either ‘relating to fingers’, or ‘relating to computers’, right?
My argument: fingers are, by definition, the most digital part of our body. We touch, type, gesture and manipulate our environment (real or virtual) through the interfaces that surround us: a shiny black screen, a keyboard, or even through thin air.
And that’s what digital means to me: the ability to effect a change in the world through the lightest of touch – powered by technology, thought, and action. More on these themes later in the week, but for now I’ll leave you with an illustration - unleash your fingers: