LuminAR, created by Natan Linder and Pattie Maes at MIT, combines a Pico-projector and camera inside a lamp-shaped robotic device to augment reality by beaming computational images onto a surface. While the projector is there to display information and content from the Internet, the camera enables user-defined gestures. Theoretically the LuminAR can be “screwed into standard light fixtures everywhere” meaning you might find such technology in a household lamp sometime in the (likely distant) future. Watch Linder demo it in the video above. Very Tony Stark/JARVIS-like, am I right?
Controlling a computer using nothing but your hands. A feat we’ve all seen done before by Mr. Cruise in Minority Report. As part of a final project in a digital media course, a couple of MIT students have created an extremely crude version of what we saw in the sci-fi movie. Using gloves with LED tips and a webcam, the students demo how an on-screen image can be manipulated with various hand gestures. So we’re not there yet, but at least we’re moving forward. Take a look at the gloves in the gallery below.
MIT students Marcelo Coelho and Amit Zoran have devised a way to prepare meals with an advanced 3D printer machine. The “Cornucopia” printer and its included canisters promise “control over the origin, quality, and nutritional value of every meal, with no packaging or excess food waste.” Read on to learn about how the process works:
Cornucopias’ printing process begins with an array of food canisters filled with the “cook’s” foods of choice. After a meal selection has been made using the device’s multi-touch translucent screen, users are able to see their meal being assembled while simultaneously manipulating real-time parameters, such as calories or carbohydrate content. Each ingredient is then piped into a mixer and then very precisely extruded, allowing for very exact and elaborate combinations of food.
Once each ingredient has been dropped, the food is then heated or cooled by Cornucopia’s chamber or via the heating and cooling tubes located on the printing head. In fact, the ability to hyper-localize heating and create rapid temperature changes also allows for the creation of meals with flavors and textures that would be impossible to replicate with present-day cooking methods.
So, is this the future of food preparation? It’s highly customizable, simpe to use, and it reduces waste. As long as the end result is in fact “edible” and tasty it passes my standards. Though I have a feeling the Cornucopia will remain a concept for some time.
Researchers at MIT have designed a tower structure to be built in London in time for the 2012 Olympics. It’s called “The Cloud” and its two towers will stand 400 feet tall and be connected by a series of plastic bubbles. LCD screens will display scores and highlights from the Games and also act as a “barometer of the city’s interests and moods.” “The Cloud” will run on ‘zero power;’ this means it will be powered by solar energy and will utilize regenerative breaking (like hybrid cars). Besides displaying information, the structure will also house an observation deck. The cost of the construction will be funded by citizens by way of micro-donations. The research team is still deciding on a final location. For more information visit raisethecloud.org.