FireHero–it’s what it sounds like

Posted in Design,Technology,Video by Scott Meisner on January 16th, 2011

A fellow by the name of Chris Marion modified a Guitar Hero controller to interface with valves attached to a propane tank.  In his words:

I thought of using a microcontroller to sync the fire to the beat of music – now that would be pretty cool, and the patterns would always be different, so it wouldn’t get as boring as fast. Then I thought of the game Guitar Hero, which uses five frets, and I had my idea! Simply interface a Guitar Hero controller to a microcontroller that would power some relays which would in turn fire off solenoid valves on five individual fire poofers! Now this could be cool; a large fire “sculpture” that is playable by anybody.

Head over to Chris’ website to follow his instructions if you suddenly feel the urge to construct your own FireHero.  For Version 2 he’s planning to introduce color-changing flames, Star Power (“which would boost flame height or fire off additional fireballs”), and play “Through the Fire and Flames.”  But for now, enjoy his inventiveness in the video above.  After listening to AC/DC on fire, hop after the break to watch Motley Crue’s “Kickstart My Heart” in action.

[Via Gizmodo; ChrisMarion] (Click here for more…)

Google is refreshing its search interface, give it a try

Posted in Images,News,Technology by Scott Meisner on November 26th, 2009

Looks like Google is finally giving its first-born a refresh.  At an unspecified date the main Google page and its search options will change in appearence.  The interface promises to be cleaner, bolder, and and more accessable.  Right now Google is testing out the new search features on random people.  You haven’t been invited to the party?  That’s OK, I’ve got the ticket to sneak you in the back entrance.  It’s all after the break.

 

[Via Gizmodo, here, here & here; SearchEngineLand]

(Click here for more…)

Muscle-computer interface; watch this and be amazed

Posted in Technology,Video by Scott Meisner on October 28th, 2009

Johnny Chung Lee, everyone’s favorite modder-turned Microsoft employee, is back in action, bringing us yet another insanely awesome and innovative interface.  This time it’s a muscle-computer interface.  He explains: “We face many situations where we need to interact with technology without a physical artifact, because a physical control is not accessible or because hands are already busy.”  The video is just over two minutes long.  Just watch it.  It features a demo of the interface using what would be best called “air” Guitar Hero, showing how the technology allows you to control on-screen action from mere “hand and finger-based input” without a separate material device.  Although this is not so practical, it shows how the technology works.  Lee goes on to explain how a muscle-computer interface canwork practically, in situations when you need to control a device (ie. a car) when your hands are full (ie. carrying groceries).  Can’t wait to see what you have in store for us next time Mr. Johnny Chung Lee.

[Via Engadget]