Refocusing the Light Field

June 24, 2011 at 9:58 am (photography, technology, Uncategorized) (, , , , , , , , , , )

Imagine being able to truly refocus your pictures after they have been taken. Imagine a day when you never have to complain that the auto focus captured the wrong part of a picture. Imagine a single image where everything is simultaneously in focus and out of focus. You probably won’t have to image for much longer.

Mountain View, California based Lytro is claiming to refocus the photography market with cutting edge light field technology. This new technology captures the entire light field upon snapping a photo allowing the photographer or viewer to manipulate the focus and other dynamics of the photo after the picture has been taken.

I’ll be interested to see how the technology progresses and what the consumer response is. The interactive samples that they have on the website are fun to play with, but I see a little bit of odd artifacting between the in focus parts of the images and the bokeh. This is something that the everyday consumer may not mind or even notice, but for professional applications it could be a problem. I’m sure this is an issue that will be worked out in subsequent generations of the technology.

I definitely see potential for this technology not only in the civilian market, but also in the military, intelligence, and police sectors. Nearly every CSI type of cop show has the squints manipulate some ridiculously out-of-focus or damaged photo into some crystal clear image. Being a design professional with nearly 8 years of professional digital image manipulation experience I used to scoff at the ability to enhance a photo that much with so little information, but now it seems possible in the not so distant future. If security and surveillance systems were outfitted with the technology they could really analyze the subject matter to it’s fullest. The technology of this camera may even go a step further from the omni-focus video cameras introduced last year.

This will be an interesting camera system to watch. I can guarantee I won’t be trading in my Nikon anytime soon, but I might pick up a Lytro lens if one comes out with a Nikon mount.

Permalink Leave a Comment

Making Desktops More Like Desktops

April 29, 2010 at 8:39 pm (Design, News, technology, Uncategorized) (, , , , , , , , , , , , )

Could this be the future of your computer interface experience?

Check out more here

Permalink Leave a Comment

The Emperor Workstation – How Geeks with Money Get Things Done

October 2, 2009 at 11:51 pm (Design, technology, Uncategorized, Video Game) (, , , , , , , , , , , , , , )

This video is of the Emperor Workstation being exhibited at the International Consumer Electoronics Show earlier in the year. I must say it is an impressive display, and somewhat familiar. I, like many of those who commented on the video, thought of doing a similar set up. I had the whole thing sketched out to be built in the closet of my room in college, but laziness took over and it never made it to fruition …Not that it would have been nearly as cool or finished looking as this beast of a workstation.

The Emperor Workstation has 3 monitors, but can be upgraded to include 5. You can get it in different colors and with different features, and it can be run through a desktop or notebook; it has built in speakers and a sub woofer, a power seat, and even rotates! The only unattractive part of this workstation is the price; weighing in at $40K I think I would want more that just a cool looking apparatus to sit in. It is an interesting concept with a nice execution; I really like the scorpion’s tail mechanism along back, but I don’t think I’ll be running out to purchase one anytime soon.

Permalink Leave a Comment

Window 7 – So Easy, Even You Can Launch It

September 24, 2009 at 7:51 pm (advertising, Branding, free, networking, News, social event, Social Events & Networking, Uncategorized) (, , , , , , , , , , )

In order to launch Windows 7, Microsoft isn’t sending out reps to address the masses, there’s no pomp and circumstance, and no caucus of bald men dressed as Dr. Evil marching in formation like Macintosh’s 1984 commercial would lead us to believe. Instead they are taking a queue from Tupperware and candle sales. That’s right, they are having a house party – several house parties to be exact.

To prepare for the main event there is a page on houseparty.com to get you pumped up about having your very own Windows 7 launch party. I love the introductory video, which invites you to the festivities and tells you how great it is to host a party. After all you are “just throwing a house party with Windows 7 as an honored guest. Sounds easy, and it is…” All you have to do is load Windows 7 onto your computer, clear off anything you do not want everyone perusing, double check your photo files – just incase your boss or preacher show up, and hope that no beer gets spilled on the keyboard by the guy who talks with his hands.

According to the video our four hosts got to have their parties a little ahead of schedule, and feel like dispensing some awkwardly scripted advice while feigning camaraderie. The video is even shot with cuts and camera zooms as if it was a home video done by someone who almost knew what they were doing. I enjoy the personalities of the four hosts – retiree, housewife, average young professional, and quasi-computer geek, who of course led three activities during his party instead of just two. I like that they tell you show the “help” section as a kind of last call to help wrap up soiree. And remember, “Part of the fun of a launch party is seeing what you already know and what you can figure out.” This gives me visions of my AutoCad teacher in college; everyday in class he would find himself telling us “well, this worked yesterday.”

I do have to commend Windows for adapting multi-tier marketing strategies to a multimedia product. It seems like a smart move in the current economic times, because no one can scream foul about them blowing access money on a big campaign or party. The ROI has to be nearly perfect, and as a buzz marketing case study it will hold value …but are they really only trying to put the product in the hands of the consumer, or really trying to save money – you be the judge.

Permalink Leave a Comment

HD Boutique – The Best of Hospitality Design

September 16, 2009 at 12:22 am (Art, Design, Design Events, Environmental Graphic Design, marketing, Miami, networking, social event, South Florida) (, , , , , , , , , , , )

Picture 21

HD Boutique Expo and Conference was held once again at the Miami Beach Convention Center. The show, which brings together vendors from all aspects of the hospitality design industry, was fairly good this year. There seemed to be a few less vendors then when I attended two years ago, but this allowed for the show to be covered in only one day instead of two.

As an exhibit designer I enjoy this show. It is geared more toward permanent installation and high volume sales, but the materials and design solutions that are presented carry over to sales centers, tradeshow exhibits, and live events quite beautifully. I always am interested in the wall covering companies, specifically Wolf Gordon and U.S. Vinyl. Both companies provide high quality vinyl coverings that can really punch up the design in a space. I was also happy to see that Applied Coatings was back with a full line of their Modono glass collection. Last time I saw this company they were making their debut and had a small line of products – not any more. If you need some cool glass tile, I suggest checking them out.

Speaking of wall coverings, The Gage Corporation had a nice showing of decorative metal architectural products. They have decorative, dimensional metal for vertical surfaces, ceilings, and floor systems, and best of all the rep’s business card was made out of aluminum flat stock! Concertex was making its first appearance in the show with “Nature Friendly Wallcoverings.” The company has been in the fabrics industry for years, but decided to expand into wallcoverings that are PVC free. Some of their product line include sparkling glass beads, natural fibers, and high performance fabrics. Maya Ramanoff came out with some incredible textures and materials for wall coverings – everything from paper to felt and glass beads.

We came across some unexpected, but really interesting products this year as well. ShimmerScreen is a neat product – think of a bead curtain with metal beads that you can use to define spaces, add character, project on, or have a logo made from. The Fire Company showed off their ecosmart fire collection, my favorite by far was the Zeta from their Designer Range series. This freestanding, portable piece of “fire furniture” has see through sides, a leather surround, and can spin!

Two of my favorite new lines who use recycled and repurposed elements were Meyda Custom Lighting with their family of lights made from reclaimed wine and olive oil bottles, and LumiVisions’ use of carbonate substrates as primary materials. The color combinations and textures achieved through their system is fantastic!

The show was a lot to take in over a few hours, but was well worth it. The new technologies and textures have already started to inspire my design metaphor within a few projects and I’m excited to see these new textures and materials within my designs. Their next show is in Las Vegas May 18 – 21, 2010.

Permalink Leave a Comment

He Shoots. He Projects?! – Nikon CoolPix S1000pj

September 4, 2009 at 3:11 pm (Design, News, photography) (, , , , , , , , , , , )

Do you like being able to show off your photos immediately to your friends? Are you a creative professional who needs to go from inspiration to presentation seamlessly? Nikon might be able to help.

The new Nikon Coolpix s1000pj is both a camera and a projector! That’s right you can show off your photos (and video) instantly with this new Compact Digital Camera – the projected image size ranges from 5” to 40”! Not only does it function as a camera and projector, but it also comes packed with the features you’ve come to expect from Nikon.

Here’s a breakdown of some key features within the camera:

  • 12.1 Megapixels
  • 5x Wide-angle Zoom-Nikkor Glass Lens
  • World’s first camera with an ultra-small, built-in projector
  • 5-way VR Image Stabilization System
  • Incredible, Bright 2.7-inch High Resolution LCD
  • Scene Auto Selector
  • Nikon’s Smart Portrait System
  • Quick Retouch
  • 16 Scene Modes
  • Record movies
  • Macro shooting

You can even purchase a projector stand and remote control for easy viewing.

I won’t be abandoning my D90 for this little ditty anytime soon, but this is yet another example of Nikon’s forward thinking in design and innovation. A special thanks to @Tracydesigns for tweeting about it!

Permalink 2 Comments

Augmented Reality – The Birth of a New Age

July 27, 2009 at 1:44 pm (Branding, Design, marketing, News, package design, print media, Video Game) (, , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , )

Today we can augment ourselves, use augmentation ideals in math, and augment pharmaceuticals – but augment reality? Augmented reality (AR) is a field of computer research that combines the real-world and a computer-generated world into one. We’ve seen the technology through Hollywood’s eyes for years – think of the holodeck from Star Trek: The Next Generation, the display in Ironman’s helmet, or the singing and dancing graphics on the cereal box in Minority Report.

AR has been around for years and in the past was mostly used by techies for fun and entertainment, but now augmented reality is becoming a tangible, fiscal reality for the consumer-based market. At the forefront of this new frontier is a company named Total Immersion, who has been developing the field since 1999, and publicly showing the technology since at least 2004. Total Immersion has adapted the concept of AR into several markets including: amusement parks, digital marketing, event and exhibits, and retail environments.

The yellow “first down” lines seen in recent televised NFL seasons are the result of AR. Companies like Doritos are cashing in on the idea, too. They recently launched a campaign by placing AR symbols on the back of Doritos Late Night bags. By visiting their website you unlock video concerts by Blink 182 and Big Boi.

Doritos

Even the everyday designer is getting in on the action. James Alliban created a business card with an augmented reality symbol on the back. When you visit his website you can hold the symbol up to your web cam and watch a short video – the symbol can also be printed out from your computer.

The possibilities are endless, and exciting, with this technology. Virtual onsite walk-throughs for architectural projects, self-guided walking tours with customizable points of interest, information and visitor tracking at exhibitions – could it even save print newspapers and magazines? I can’t wait to see what this technology holds in the future! I know I plan on using it, if I can find the right project.

Permalink 1 Comment