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.
Ingreedy are a start-up with a novel product idea: selling glass jars filled with just the right ingredients to make tasty baked goods at home.
The central idea is smart: outsourcing production to the customer adds value, making for an interactive post-purchase experience where there would otherwise be none, while the nice packaging helps too.
Ingreedy co-founder Samuel Cox classes himself as a maker of things and has done all sorts of cool things. His interests “wrap around inventing new and diverse approaches to the way we use, play and explore creative & interactive technology” – although in this instance, the technology is cake.
But rather than being an inert jar of cereals, I think Ingreedy Jars represent the culture of Makerdom: those increasingly vocal hobbyists who are using the web to share their tips, tricks, hacks and designs.
Etsy is a good example of the kind of commerce that the web has enabled for the crafts market, while Instructables provides ‘recipes’ for people make useful stuff themselves. Rules of production are shifting further with costs of 3D printers coming down, and the likes of Makerbot taking on a high-street presence. I think Ingreedy takes elements from each of these, and makes them accessible through their choice of medium.
Ingreedy Jars are available in four different mixtures: Rocky Road; Brownies; Chocolate Chip Shortbread and Oaty Raisin Cookies, costing £12.00 each. Orders placed in November will ship in time for Xmas.
At work, where social features & discovery apps help me find new stuff
On my mobile, where offline playlists provide the backdrop to my travel
And since I no longer play physical CDs, nor use iTunes or other media player (barring web apps such as SoundCloud, Hype Machine, Mixcloud etc.) Spotify has become the main hub and jumping-off point for whatever type of music I’m after.
Spotify leaves it to its users to build, subscribe to and share playlists, their primary organisational schema, however they see fit. But with millions of tracks and carte blanche to curate a personal library of preferences comes a unique challenge: how should one filter, organise and archive their preferences with access to the worlds biggest music collection?
There is no self-populating iTunes-esque ‘smart playlist’ feature, no editorialised ‘recommended playlists’ feature, and until recently there was no way to search playlists without third-party involvement. Users have to come up with their own organisational approach, and I use my patented Star System™. Here’s how it works:
Play whatever music you want
Star the tracks you particularly love
These self-populate a ‘Starred Tracks’ playlist
Set this playlist to ‘Available Offline’ and they’ll download automatically
Carry on jamming, removing stars from any tracks if they get boring
After a period of time, move all starred tracks into playlist of their own
Release this playlist to the public to critical acclaim!
Repeat steps 1-7 with a blank slate
So without further ado, here are my Star Mix Playlists for your listening pleasure, along with some tasting notes.
Had to share this stunning track, discovered via a recent Future Disco show. It’s the sort of music that just lets the mind unfold, encouraging some really powerful comments and imagery to spill out onto the pages of YouTube:
this track changed my life, this is like reborn feeling.
Im shaking and flying all the time.
I can cry and laugh at the same time.
I wonna listen to this song on the moment I die.
You spin my inner universe….thank you forever
i dont know what to do now it has finished
160 quid on discogs to buy. sounds good to me. i wont be playing it tho, il be framing it and putting it up on the wall and buying the mp3 to play. 300 copies in the whole world of this beauty. one of the finest tracks i will ever hear.
omg at :45 i knew i was in for a ride but DAMN
it’s 6am, and the sun is just starting to peak it’s head. the engine is purring on my white ferrarri 355 cabrio. the wind blowing through my hair, relaxed and loose from a night of dancing. i inhale on my last muratti cigarette. as the smoke fills my lungs my brain sharpens and i remember the name of the girl sitting next to me. it’s a fifteen minute drive back to the villa but i wish it could last forever. pure bliss. pachanga, boys. pachanga.
I was trying to make an awesome comment but it’s impossible. Nothing can describe the beauty of this track.
Cattaneo played this song at the end of moonpark last April 14th, and sudenly, without warning, some of my friends and myself looked at eachother, stop dancing and started hugging eachother, some of us even couldn’t help crying, it was a moment I’ll always remember, time stopped, we were there, we were happy, life had a meaning.
Thanks Pachanga boys. Thanks.
This isn’t the sort of thing I’d usually write about here, so for the hardcore who’ve come to expect a blend of media and tech thoughtfulness, an alternative reading is that this is a a live case-study in how digital can play troubleshooter to certain real-world issues…
Those who follow me on Twitter will know the news already:
Our dog is still missing: Littleport / Ely area, white, black patches, Jack Russell cross, if seen pls call 07740619844 twitter.com/freedimensiona…
There’s been a search out for her ever since, with all five Saunters and some amazing neighbours clomping about in our wellies, flashlights in hand.
I’m pretty sure we’ve thought of everything: we’ve scouring the entire surrounding area (see map); spoken to people all over town; put up flyers and posters in areas of high traffic; we’re leaving a scent-trail back to the house from where she went missing; notified all the necessary authorities and secured some media coverage (Star Radio, Gumtree, DogLost).
As you’ll see, what we need now are some more eyes and ears…
Four hours ago, something incredible happened. A lady I’ve never met created the Facebook group ‘Help find BELLA‘ and invited some friends.
Since then it’s grown, and now a whopping 128 people have joined. Tomorrow, there’s a search planned for 10.30am in the Littleport area. Truly awesome. Thank you all. We can’t do this without you!
[box]Update: We found her! I’ll update this blog post when we find her. In the meantime, please tweet, Facebook and G+ this blog post to anybody in your network that lives in the Cambridgeshire/Norfolk area.[/box]
If a remake is bringing an old favourite up to date on a modern platform, ‘demaking’ is the act of taking a contemporary form and representing it in a nostalgic or long-lost one.
That’s what Dan Fornace, a digital media major of Drexel University, has pulled off in his demake of Super Smash Brothers (originally released on Nintendo consoles N64, Gamecube and Wii).
He’s taken sprites from much loved characters Mario, Pikachu, Link and Kirby, rebuilt famous environments from their classic handheld games, and created Super Smash Land, a game that looks and feels like it was intended for play on an original Game Boy: in all it’s greyscale, green-tinted, and pixellated glory. Take a look:
Dan has collaborated with chiptune musicians Inversephase and flashygoodness, lending an authentic, 8-bit feel to the game’s action.
What a perfect act of creation: simple, thoughtful and fun. It works better for it’s low-res format, allowing the content to ooze nostalgia of the kind only a fanboy could hope to infuse.
Super Smash Land is available as a free download here.
You know how I love my phone like it was a sexy robot from the future? Well check this shit out. It’s also a full-blown GBA emulator, which with its massive AMOLED screen, and dual core processing, makes my Samsung way more awesome than I could possibly have conceived.
This is a screenshot from Tiger GBA running Advance Wars 2, on it’s original resolution (you can upscale but I like to kick it oldshool). The app integrates with a ROM downloader, where one can select ‘backups’ of the games they already own in order to play.
Legal note: it is against the law to download and play ROM backups of games you do not own. So play safe!