Everest in 3D

Category: Interactive

I’m a New Zealander, and one thing that New Zealand as a country is proud of is that one of our own, a simple farmer, was the first to top the infamous Mount Everest. Not only that, the legacy that Sir Edmund Hilary left in Nepal is one that New Zealand holds up high. Not one to be sucked in by the fame after the historic ascent, Sir Ed instead chose a life that was heavily involved with the Nepalese people, in particular the Sherpa people. One Sherpa who was with Hilary on his climb, Tenzing Norgay, helped to make his peoples name known across the world, but today the Sherpas a still famed for their ability to guide adventurers skillfully up the worlds tallest mountain.

Mount Everest in 3D is a site that commemorates the loss of 13 Sherpas in an avalanche on April 18 this year. Disturbingly, I’d missed the disastrous event and am glad that this website raised my awareness of it. As the most deadly event on the slopes of everest, the site aims to educate and raise finances for the families of those killed. As an interactive site it works brilliantly. I’m guessing that few of us will ever have the opportunity to see, let alone climb this monumental mountain. This site allows you to traverse the deadly terrain easily and gives a real indication to the scale and scope of such a climb. The smooth journey at first makes it look quite achievable, but once you really start to climb you get a first hand view of the shear slant that this thing rises up on. It’s scary stuff. Once at the top a full 360 degree view is at the ready allowing you to turn and view at your own pace.

A very simple idea but incredibly well constructed with the ability to learn and possibly do a little good on the way. This one’s worth your time. For 3 minutes of adventure and discovery, click here:

Logan Bradley

 

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The colors of motion

Category: Film / Multimedia, Interactive

Let me introduce you to ‘The Colors of Motion’. You will thank me.

Have you seen a movie that took your breath away? Have you ever wondered if there is way to visualise the range of moods throughout an entire cinematic experience through science and colours?

‘The Colors of Motion’ shows you the entire colour scheme of a movie through a complex algorithm that runs visual processing throughout the film. The result of this experiment is this great website. It offers you a range of films and presents a comprehensive colour map of each, where you can scroll through colour bars (or squares) with time stamp and HEX colour codes. You can also see the film frame the colours were processed from.

It is quite interesting to see a whole cinematic feature laid out in such an abstract but also very exact way. You can follow through the full range of moods and environments throughout the movie, translated to colours. Scrolling though the colour range of ‘The Grand Budapest Hotel’ made me actually recall the exact scenes associated with the colour scheme.

I would encourage you to take a look. There is a range of movies there already from different eras and different genres. The site is incredibly well designed and easy to use. A couple of clicks and you can look at some iconic movies in an entirely new way.

Charlie Clark from Brooklyn NY is the creative genius / designer / coder of this initiative. Worth checking out some of his other fantastic projects here.

They are accepting suggestions of which movie to add to this collection. I have a couple of ideas. You should have too!

Kyle Glass

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Jamming with Patatap!

Category: Gaming, Graphics / Illustration, Interactive, Music

Everyone is a DJ … well not really, but Frontier is here to help to unleash your repressed musical side in a really cool way. In a way that  — at least for the first 5 minutes — will not drive people around you crazy and won’t pressure your cat / dog into attacking your face.

Meet Patatap, the hyper-cool interactive beats app (see embedded above the title). Getting started is easy, just hit any letter on your computer keyboard and the tunes will start flowing with colourful minimalistic animation. Basic shapes, lines, circles, triangle patterns flying around your screen, corresponding with sounds and beats. Yes, you are doing it! Yes, this is your time-trap for the day.

More musically literate users can visit the ’Tunes’ page, where they find beat sheets with corresponding letters and a video to hear how each piece supposed to sound.

The creators of this app did an outstanding job! Big kudos to the creative geniuses behind Patatap. Jono Brandel graphic designer and programmer took care of the code and the visuals. The sound samples were created by Lullatone — namely Shawn & Yoshimi, a talented musical duo from Japan.

Give it a go. It’s Magic!

Kyle Glass
Source: Patatap, jonobr1, Lullatone

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Santa Fe, New Mexico
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JIBO – personal robot to help out at home

Category: Design, Industrial design, Interactive

 

I hope 2015 is going to be the year of personal robots. This is something to look forward to! Personally I’m already tired of this year being ’the year of the smart watch’ although Apple haven’t even announced theirs.

Personal robots at this stage seem to be more like a smartphone with a personified physical presence and seem to build on refined voice- and face recognition technology. It is the ultimate interactive ‘hands free’ experience and if it’s done well it can make life easier.

As usual, Kickstarter and Indigogo is the platform for this sort of innovation, since big technology brands are still more interested in selling outdated technology. We seen initiatives popping up like the Romo which is basically an interactive iPhone app on wheels for kids, and the high-end Pepper, a child sized robot that can recognise human emotions.

Today, we arrived to a nice middle ground with Jibo, ’the family robot’. The first initiative I could see going mainstream through it’s accessibility, open platform and straight-forward features. The designer robotics expert / super-cool person Cynthia Breazeal also managed to make it insanely cute! Kind of reminds me of a simplified version of EVE from Pixar’s WALL-E.

Jibo can see through two high-res cameras, track faces, capture photos and has an immersive video calling feature that takes the concept to the next level. Jimbo can hear everything. It’s sensitive microphones can pick up and process speech, wherever you are in the room. Jibo speaks to you, reads messages, notifications, works like a personal assistant managing your day. It’s artificial intelligence is able to adapt and learn, it communicates with social and emotive cues. Jibo seems likeable through it’s appearance and ‘personality’. Watch the video above to see how it works! I quite like the smart, flexibly moving structure and the expressive eye feature.

Working on a Linux based platform open to developers the potential there is huge. At a later stage it might connect to your home systems to adjust light, sound or control the temperature. It is already impressive how handy it is in everyday situations like ordering your groceries or takeaway food, read up a recipe while you are cooking, take great photos or look up the answer to your questions online.

Jibo is on pre-order for $499 and arrives by the end of 2015. The public release will be early 2016. I look forward to revisit where it has evolved by then. The future is here!

Kyle Glass
Images: http://www.myjibo.com/

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Google’s Street Art Project

Category: Fine Art, Interactive

Last year I was fortunate enough to interview Shepard Fairey for our Frontier magazine focusing on Santa Fe. He was at SFUAD, one of our supporting universities, undertaking a collaborative art project. Since then, my interest in his work and that of many street artists has been piqued and this new website by Google allows me to delve into this even deeper.

Google’s new Street Art Project is a partner to it’s existing Art Project which aims to give access to influential art objects, historical artifacts and world wonders to a wider audience. Run by the Google Cultural Institute in France, the Art Project aims to democratise art. It seems fitting then for Google to enter into the world of street art which by default brings art to everyone. Much like the Art Project, the Street Art Project utilizes gallery archives, Google’s own street view, Google maps, and user generated content to provide a map of the worlds street art. Allowing viewers to zoom into details of the work, providing glimpses of work that has since been destroyed and showcasing pieces in locations many of us will never get to are just some of the features this incredible initiative hosts. Street Art is generally considered the ugly brother to that of the gallery world, bar the few exemptions of Banksy and Fairey, but here, the scope and detail of this project is given as much emphasis and importance as it’s older brother. With Amit Sood, director of the Cultural Institute initiative commenting, “Im not treating street art as anything different from what I would do with the Impressionist collection I’m getting on Art Project”, it’s clear to see that the intention of this site is to lift this often neglected art form to it’s rightful place. Personally, I find it incredible that this is even questioned – shouldn’t this should be the acceptable norm by now?

The best thing about this site though is that it’s fun! Seriously fun. I thoroughly enjoyed checking out street art in Oman, a place I’ve wanted to travel to for years but have never quite got there. How great that I can now do this, and more to the point, that once the artwork is painted over by some bored government official, we’ll still be able to view it as it was.

Click here to check it out. Definitely worth your time.

Logan Bradley 

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