GPS Tron

Mai 16th, 2007 by Felix Hardmood Beck

A project by Thomas Winkler

Bild und Textquelle

GPS::Tron is an adaption of the classic arcade game Tron for mobile phones. What makes it new and different is that the original game’s concept is expanded by adding levels of reality and virtuality that blend into the realm of augmented reality. The players move in real space, they are tracked by GPS and their position influences their position in the game. Each player is represented by a line that gets longer and longer. However, the player’s own line is not allowed to cross itself or the opponent’s line. If it does, the player causing the crash loses.

If you want to get used to the rules of Tron just jump to the bottom of this page, where a simple version of such a tron game has been attached. You can play it right in your browser to get a feeling what Tron is about.

Back to GPS::Tron: If a player runs 200meters straight forward in the real world, the mobile phone’s display shows a line approximately 1cm long. If he moves right, also the track on the phone is drawn in the right direction. Because the players of GPS::Tron have to be mobile to be able to play it, the game itself has to work on a device that is small and habile enough to be carried around. For this reason, the goal of this project is to develop a GPS::Tron client which works on every phone which supports J2ME MIDP/2.0 and the Bluetooth-API (there is already a prototype for Symbian Series 60 which works on Nokia 7650/3650/6600 and Siemens SX1). For the calculation of the actual position, the player also needs a gps receiver, which sends the current position via bluetooth to the the mobile phone.

GPS::Tron is for 2 players who both need 1 mobile phone and a gps-receiver for playing. The communication between the mobile devices is done over the internet (GPRS/UMTS of the mobile network provider is used). The players do not have to be geographically close-by. For example, one player can be in Austria, the other in another country. This is possible because the players start virtually (in the game) nearby.
The 2 players do not have to run, they can also play using a car, bike, ship, whatever.

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LED als Lichtsensor

Mai 4th, 2007 by Felix Hardmood Beck

Very Low-Cost Sensing and Communication Using Bidirectional LEDs
A novel microprocessor interface circuit is described which can alternately emit and detect light using only an LED, two digital I/O pins and a single current limiting resistor. This technique is first applied to create a smart illumination system that uses a single LED as both light source and sensor. We then present several devices that use an LED as a generic wireless serial data port. An important implication of this work is that every LED connected to a microprocessor can be thought of as a wireless two-way communication port. We present this technology as a solution to the “last centimeter problem”, because it permits disparate devices to communicate with each other simply and cheaply with minimal design modification. Full technical report: PDF 530kb.

LED Touch Video von Jeff Han

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“The Emergent City” series of works by Stanza

April 17th, 2007 by Felix Hardmood Beck

Author: Stanza
Institution: (unknown)
Year: 2004

Project Description:
Sensity is part of “The Emergent City” series of works by Stanza. In this 3rd version of Sensity, Stanza aims at visualizing the dynamic data around his district as an audio visual artwork.

Sensity artworks are made from the data that is collected across the urban and environment infrastructure. A network of sensors, some fixed, and some embedded, collects data which is then published online. The sensors then interpret the micro-data of the interactive city. The output from the sensors displays the emotional state of the city online and the information will be used to create installations and sculptural artifacts.

These artworks made will represent the movement of people, pollution in the air, the vibrations and sounds of buildings, they are in effect emergent social sculptures visualizing the emotional state of the city. The sensor network can be moved from urban to rural setting and different types of visualization can be made depending on the environment. Sensity is an open social sculpture that informs the world and creates new meaningful experiences.

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Kompassmodul im Vibrationsgürtel (feelSpace-belt)

März 31st, 2007 by Felix Hardmood Beck

Text aus Sunny Bains ( wrote about self-repairing micromachines in issue 13.09.

For six weird weeks in the fall of 2004, Udo Wächter had an unerring sense of direction. Every morning after he got out of the shower, Wächter, a sysadmin at the University of Osnabrück in Germany, put on a wide beige belt lined with 13 vibrating pads — the same weight-and-gear modules that make a cell phone judder. On the outside of the belt were a power supply and a sensor that detected Earth’s magnetic field. Whichever buzzer was pointing north would go off. Constantly.
“It was slightly strange at first,” Wächter says, “though on the bike, it was great.” He started to become more aware of the peregrinations he had to make while trying to reach a destination. “I finally understood just how much roads actually wind,” he says. He learned to deal with the stares he got in the library, his belt humming like a distant chain saw. Deep into the experiment, Wächter says, “I suddenly realized that my perception had shifted. I had some kind of internal map of the city in my head. I could always find my way home. Eventually, I felt I couldn’t get lost, even in a completely new place.”

The feelSpace belt
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Blindenstock mit Antenne (TAZ-Bericht)

März 31st, 2007 by Felix Hardmood Beck

Aus: (TAZ-Bericht vom 30.3.2007, S. 18, 193 Z. von Thomas A. Friedrich)

EU-Wissenschaftler nutzen ausgediente Transponder aus der Tierüberwachung zur virtuellen Blindenführung. Am Lago Maggiore entsteht Europas erster virtueller Weg für Sehbehinderte. Die Chips aus den Kuhmägen weisen Blinden den Weg. Read the rest of this entry »

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März 26th, 2007 by Felix Hardmood Beck

Via: wmmna

Net_Dérive, by Atau Tanaka and Petra Gemeinboeck with the collaboration of Ali Momeni, is a location sensitive mobile media art piece that calls for an exchange between participants in the gallery and participants in the streets. Deployed on advanced mobile phones, the work seeks to create a kind of musical instrument, thinking of the city-as-instrument.

Participants are given a kind of scarf with a mobile phone in each end and off they go to explore the neighborhood. One of the phones takes pictures every 20 secs and collects sounds, the other talks to the GPS (also in the scarf) and to the server inside the gallery space. On a radar they can see themselves pictured as dots but also the images they’re taking. The sounds and pictures collected in the streets are sampled and mapped to a 3D city map in the gallery. As users are walking they can hear some voice instructions through a pair of headphones. Those comments suggest paths to follow or turns to make, they are generated and heard in a musical fashion. The voice instructions are inspired by the old Situationist games and theory of the Dérive – now brought into the digital and mobile spheres. As the user chooses to heed or ignore these instructions, a trace of his/her path is carved out in the city.

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Urban Sonar

März 26th, 2007 by Felix Hardmood Beck

Urban Sonar was created by Kate Hartman, Kati London, and Sai Sriskandarajah, all of whom are Masters candidates in the Interactive Telecommunications Program (ITP) at New York University’s Tisch School of the Arts.

photo by Tracy Lee Carroll

Cities are crowded places. Ever since the industrial revolution, mass migration to urban spaces has led to increasing problems of overpopulation and related social disorders. On an individual level, overcrowding can lead to or exacerbate agoraphobia, part of a growing problem of general urban anxiety. Responses to this problem — lack of space, lack of privacy — vary, ranging from physical agility (navigating quickly through crowded spaces) to insensitivity (talking loudly on a mobile phone as if in the privacy of one’s own home) to outright violence. What these responses tend to have in common is an element of denial: the individual refuses to acknowledge and analyze the import of the restriction of her space.

via wmmna Read the rest of this entry »

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März 26th, 2007 by Felix Hardmood Beck

via Sascha Pohflepp and WMMNA

Left: Early attempt at creating a communal arousal surface. The peaks represent arousal hotpoints. Right: Communal arousal surface with name annotations.

Bio Mapping is a research project which explores new ways that we as individuals can make use of the information we can gather about our own bodies. Instead of security technologies that are designed to control our behaviour, this project envisages new tools that allows people to selectively share and interpret their own biometric data. Read the rest of this entry »

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Visualisierung Hamburger Taxi Plan

März 22nd, 2007 by Felix Hardmood Beck

Bildquelle: via fontblog

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Battleship / Google Earth

März 18th, 2007 by Felix Hardmood Beck

Battleship:Google Earth, Bildquelle:

Battleship by Milton Bradley, Bildquelle:

Battleship, for those of you who never played, has a simple mechanic — two players set up their navy ships on a peg board, hidden from the other guy. You take turns plugging a peg into your side of the board, with each peg hole designated by a letter/number coordinate grid. When you plug a peg in, you say where you put it — E4! If your opponent has a ship in that coordinate (or part of one, actually), they say, sorrowfully, “Hit!” and you register that peg hole with a color to indicate a hit. If not, you just put in a neutral peg to remind you that you already tried that spot. The game continues into one player has sunk all the other guys ships.

The mechanic I’m experimenting with is simpler. One person places their ships using Google Earth and the other person goes out in the normal world with a mobile phone, a GPS connected to the mobile phone. The phone has a small Python script on it that reads the GPS and sends the data to the game engine, which then updates the Google Earth KML model showing the current state of the game grid. When the player who’s trying to sink the ships wants to try for a hit, they call into the game engine and say “drop”. The game reads back the coordinates at which the “peg” was dropped and shortly thereafter, the other player will see the peg appear at the coordinate it was dropped. If the peg hits one of the ships, it’s a Hit, otherwise it’s a miss.


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Monopod Stative

März 16th, 2007 by Felix Hardmood Beck

Bildquelle: Wikipedia / höhere Auflösung

Ein Einbeinstativ (engl., lat. Monopod “Einbein”) ist ein transportables Stativ zum besseren Halt der Aufnahmegeräte und besitzt nur ein Bein, wie der Name bereits sagt, und nicht drei Beine wie ein normales Stativ. Das Einbeinstativ ermöglicht längere Belichtungszeiten, indem es als “Haltehilfe” für das Aufnahmegerät bei schlechten Lichtverhältnissen dient. “Haltehilfe” deshalb, weil es nicht allein steht, sondern vom Benutzer gehalten wird. Es findet auch häufig Verwendung bei der Benutzung von langen Brennweiten. Es ist leichter und kompakter als das Dreibeinstativ, passt in fast jede Fototasche und ist gerade bei schlechten Lichtverhältnissen ein guter Helfer.

Deutscher Anbieter von (Eschen-)Holzstativen: Berlebach (s.u.)

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Der Ariadnefaden

März 14th, 2007 by Felix Hardmood Beck

Verlegung des Ariadnefadens von Linz bis ins schwarze Meer
Projekt von Alexander Hümer ( Mai – Juni 2005

Projektbeschreibung: Der Ariadnefaden war der griechischen Mythologie zufolge ein Geschenk der Prinzessin Ariadne an Theseus. Mit Hilfe des Fadens fand Theseus den Weg durch das Labyrinth, nachdem er den darin eingesperrten Minotaurus getötet hatte. Die Eingliederung der osteuropäischen Länder in die EU, ist für viele gleichbedeutend mit dem Minotaurus, eine Heraufbeschwörung des Unheils, die kein gutes Ende finden wird. Der Ariadnefaden gibt jedoch die Möglichkeit, sich hinzuwagen wo man noch nicht gewesen ist, die Komplexität der Wege zu überwinden, den Minotaurus im Sinne von Angst und Aberglauben, zu eliminieren. Read the rest of this entry »

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Google Map Objekt 2006

März 14th, 2007 by Felix Hardmood Beck

Projekt von Aram Bartholl 2006, Webseite: Movie 2min: Quicktime or YouTube.

Das Projekt “Map” thematisiert die roten Makierungsnadeln der georeferenzierten Suchmaschine Google Maps.

Um Suchergebnisse in alphabetischer Reihenfolge zu makieren benutzt Google kleine graphische Icons, rote Markierungsnadeln dessen Form aus der analogen Welt abgeleitet wurden. Auf dem Webinterface von Google Maps erfüllen sie voll automatisiert ihren Dienst. Nach jeder lokalen Suchanfrage positionieren sich die 10 Marker ( A-J ) innerhalb von 10tel Sekunden auf dem entsprechendem Kartenausschnitt neu. Interessanter Weise werfen sie und auch die dazu gehörenden Sprechblasen mit detaillierten Informationen des markierten Ortes Schatten auf die Karte bzw. das Satellitenbild. Unabhängig vom aktuellen Zoomfaktor der Karte bleiben die roten Markierungsnadeln als grafisches Objekt in ihrer Pixelgrösse auf dem Bildschirm immer gleich. Wenn man ihre Grösse aber im Verhältnis zu der dargestellten Umgebung misst schrumpfen die Marker wenn man sich ihnen nähert. Dieser Effekt entspricht exakt dem Phänomen des Scheinriesens Herrn Turtur aus dem Roman „Jim Knopf und Lukas der Lokomotivführer“ von Michel Ende.

Der Nachbau einer dieser roten Markierungsnadeln in Realität entspricht in seiner Grösse dem Pendant auf der Karte im Webinterface im grössten Zoomfaktor. Read the rest of this entry »

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gmaps-API Beispiel

März 12th, 2007 by Felix Hardmood Beck

Maps API Engineer Bo Majewski brings us a fun example of an animated clock using both GPolyline and the new setImage method of GMarker that was just introduced in v2.75.

Why is this clock centered on Australia? That’s where the engineer’s from! We leave it up to adventurous developers to combine this with a service like EarthTools to let users move the map and see the clock time reflect the timezone of the new map center.

Bildquelle: Screenshot der googlemaps-Seite / Read the rest of this entry »

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In-car DriveMaster Pro nags you about killing nature

März 8th, 2007 by Felix Hardmood Beck


The DriveMaster Pro from Japanese manufacturer Hino is one of those products that’s surely flying off the shelves, because who wouldn’t want to pay good money for a device that sits on your dashboard and constantly reminds you that your driving style is so very environmentally unfriendly. Although once again our best efforts at machine translation are thwarted by in-graphic text, it seems that the DM Pro ships with a number of different sensors that are able to detect your speed, acceleration / deceleration, idle time, gear ratio, and emissions; if any of these metrics indicate that you could be outside the range of government-suggested levels, the info-packed display lets out audible and visual alerts that hopefully won’t distract you enough to crash and kill a tree or something. No word on pricing, once again making it quite difficult for us foreigners to get our hands on the best Japanese gear.

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