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Glove Based Sign-to-Speech System

datePosted on 20:23, September 22nd, 2012 by Many Ayromlou

Glove Based Sign-to-Speech System:

The EnableTalk system uses a glove-mounted microcontroller to collate information from a passel of onboard sensors—11 flex sensors, 8 touch sensors, 2 accelerometers, a compass, and a gyroscope—and transmit it wirelessly to a nearby computer or smartphone for translation into machine generated speech.

(Via MAKE Magazine)

ICAD Kinect Demos….

datePosted on 15:05, May 26th, 2011 by Many Ayromlou

On May 17, 2011 Ryersons’ Interactive Computing Applications and Design Group (ICAD) demonstrated their latest projects. The session starts with a demonstration of using Microsoft Kinect hardware to control a computer mouse. Next, the group shows the use of a gestural interface to control Google Earth, followed by a demo of using Kinect to control a avatar in Second Life.

The session continues with a demonstration of a potential application to control a small arduino based robot over bluetooth using gestures. Following this the ICAD staff show the use of Kinect as a tracking and control mechanism for a Point-Tilt-Zoom (PTZ) camera. This approach allows them to track up to five people without active trackers. The data from the Kinect camera is used to instruct the PTZ camera where to “look”. Once a person is identified (by putting up their hand) the kinect will try to track the person around the room and make sure the PTZ camera follows the person as well. Switching the tracked person is done by raising ones hand.

Their last demo will show a gestural based keyboard that will eventually be tied into a interactive phonebook application where the user can type the name of a contact using gestures and automatically dial the number through a voip application (ie: google talk).

Individual project videos below….

1) Kinect Windows Mouse Interface

2) Kinect Google Earth Interface

3) Kinect Second Life Interface

4) Kinect Bluetooth Robot Interface

5) Kinect Tracker-Cam Interface

6) Kinect Interactive Phonebook

Hide your Email from Spambots…..

datePosted on 23:06, November 10th, 2009 by Many Ayromlou

Have you ever put your email online in a comment for example. Were you concerned about Spambots harvesting your email address? If so, did you use some weird trick (eg: replacing @ with “at”) to try to hide your address from spambots? That’s where Albion Research’s Email Address Obfuscator comes in handy. Follow this link, type in your real email address in the field and click “Obfuscate”. Their program will spit out two different “encodings” of your email that will be readable to humans (and clickable), but will cause havoc for email harvesting spambots. Really cool and innovative.

Nuit Blanche: Multitorch

datePosted on 12:53, October 3rd, 2009 by Many Ayromlou

Toronto Nuit Blanche was a blast. For those of you who don’t know:

Nuit Blanche (literally White Night or All-Nighter in French) is an annual all-night arts festival. Its exact beginning is disputed between Paris, St Petersburg, and Berlin, but, taking elements from all of these, the idea of a night-time festival of the arts has spread around the world since 1997, taking hold from Montreal to Madrid and Lima to Leeds. A Nuit Blanche will typically have museums, private and public art galleries, and other cultural institutions open and free of charge, with the centre of the city itself being turned into a de facto art gallery, providing space for art installations, performances (music, film, dance, performance art), themed social gatherings, and other activities.

This year the local Toronto Artist and Ryerson Image Arts Student, Mike Lawrie and I have entered a Independent project — Multitorch — under the Ryerson University/Faculty of Communications And Design’s Lightup the Night. The project involves a 23’x13′ (26′ diagonal) projection weighing in at 4096×2048 pixels driven by a multitouch engine. Up to 10 Infrared LED torches are handed out to the audience and the system will allow them to interact with the projection in front of them. As far as we know this is the largest (and highest resolution) multitouch screen deployed to date. The project uses CCV (Community Core Vision) tool for tracking, OSC (Open Sound Control) for communication and a 4500 line custom java visual engine. Here is a short 5:00 minute Timelapse video.

Bug Labs Linux based Hardware gets major update….

datePosted on 19:21, January 11th, 2009 by Many Ayromlou

Bug Labs announced five new BUGmodules at the 2009 Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas. At the Bug Labs Test Kitchen the team showcased several innovative new BUG applications which fully demonstrate the endless possibilities of BUG, the open source modular consumer electronics platform. Each BUGmodule represents a specific gadget function (e.g. a camera, a keyboard, a video output, etc.) that can be snapped to the BUGbase, a programmable Linux-based mini-computer with four available BUGmodule slots.

The five new BUGmodules are:

  • BUGprojector, a mini pico-projector module, incorporating DLP® Pico™ technology from Texas Instruments. With a native resolution of 480×320 pixels, stereo playback and a brightness of 9 lumens, users can project videos, photos and presentations on the go.
  •  BUGsound, an audio module, providing a flush-mount 20-mm speaker and omnidirectional microphone with hardware stereo codecs and four 3.5-mm stereo jacks for third-party inputs, outputs, headphones and microphones. Use BUG as a portable music player, speakerphone, audio processor or more.
  • BUG3g GSM, a 3G mobile radio with SIM card input, enabling BUGs to connect to any high-speed GSM network. Users can place calls, send and receive SMSes or transmit data, opening a world of possibilities for mobile and telephony applications.
  • BUGwifi, a dual-function 802.11b/g wi-fi and Bluetooth™ 2.0 + EDR radio, offering yet another wireless data connectivity option for the BUGbase, while providing a gateway to a variety of peripherals such as keyboards, mice, headsets and more.
  • BUGbee, a low-powered 802.15.4 radio, enabling BUG developers to create short-range personal area network (PAN) applications for home automation, sensor networks, automotive and more.

These five modules complement the initial batch of BUGmodules, including BUGlocate (GPS), BUGcam2MP (digital camera), BUGmotion (motion sensor and accelerometer) and BUGview (touchscreen LCD). And with the recent addition of BUGvonHippel, a breadboard module enabling users to add virtually any interface to their BUGbase, developers are given more control in making BUG the center of their device universe. 

Augmented Reality on the Road….

datePosted on 17:24, November 30th, 2008 by Many Ayromlou

I’ve been a fan of the potential of augmented reality for some time, but the limitation of having to print out and use those funky registration images has always been there. A lot of people are working on solving/helping this problem. One of the groups that has come up with a novel approach is Mobilizy a small team based in Austria.

Mobilizy have developed one of the hottest applications available for the new Android G-1 Phone, called Wikitude. You see instead of using registration images for pattern recognition and image substitution, they use the GPS, Digital Compass and camera on the G-1 to deliver one of the first really practical augmented reality applications, excellent for travel and tourism.

In what mobilizy has dubbed “CamView” mode, users may hold the phone’s camera against a spectacular mountain range and see the names and heights displayed as overlay mapped with the mountains in the camera. Users may look out of an airplane window to see what is down there. Users may walk through a city like Seville, Spain, holding the phone’s camera against a building and Wikitude tells what it is.

Check out the demo video below for more detail/clearification.

More Siggraph Madness….Is anything real nowadays?….

datePosted on 12:41, August 18th, 2008 by Many Ayromlou

More crazy image-enhanced video rendering papers from University of Washington being presented at Siggraph08. I just can’t get enough of these new applications of combining crappy video and some still frames to produce eye popping results. Most of the experiments in this video were done using a standard video camera and a hi-res still camera. The results were combined, some secret sauce added and you end up with these killer results. I for one can’t wait for editing packages to include some of these research topics as new features….Can you say UNREAL :-)

3D Auto generated scenes using Flickr hosted pictures….

datePosted on 11:24, August 14th, 2008 by Many Ayromlou

Hmmmm……Ugggghhh…..Yet another MS research juicy fruit that no one outside of Redmond is gonna be able to play with. I guess this is a further development or an offshoot of PhotoSynth that MS presented at Siggraph in Boston. This one is much more polished and seems to actually have a purpose (see the end of the video). The days of QTVR are numbered if MS ever decides to make this project a reality.

Photoshop of Video Editing Tools

datePosted on 11:03, August 14th, 2008 by Many Ayromlou

Yep, Microsoft is at it again (actually MS research to be more precise). Show up at Siggraph, present a juicy paper, get everyone salivating and then, well…..not sure…..hide :-). I don’t get it, I’ll give you an example, couple of years ago a bunch of MS research guys showed up at Siggraph in Boston (I think) and showed this amazing application — PhotoSynth — that would stitch pictures taken by random tourists from different internet sources into a brilliant 3D model. It was fantastic, but other than a demo application, it’s no where to be found.

MS, are you listening…..You’re a Software company, stop producing software noone wants/needs (Vista/Office anyone?) and realize some of these apps the research people are working on.

Anyways, rant off. Now for this years amazing app. The tool is called Unwrap Mosaic and is described as Photoshop of video editing tools. Watch the video here. Imagine being able to take a video and changing something inside it just like you would in photoshop…..without having to go to every single frame of that video. The technology behind UM allows for changes by unwrapping the objects contained in the video into a flat image. It would be incredibly difficult to update the video in its original form, but making objects flat allows the new objects to be mapped into the correct positions. In the old days (like 1-2 years ago) 3D artists had to manually map things in 3D onto models and then composit them into the video…..well no more. This is amazing….koodoos to MS research. More info here.

RevoLabs makes Microphones cool again….

datePosted on 21:53, March 28th, 2008 by Many Ayromlou

A friend passed this on today (thanks Jeremy). If you use a mic in your day to day businness (or even if you’re an occasional ichat/skype user, you should check this out. RevoLabs have introduced a new line of Wireless microphones that come with RF-Armor. What does that mean, well the next time your GSM phone rings/sync/receives email, your microphone won’t be going all crazy. Plus their Solo mics come in three different types:

  • Wearable
  • Tabletop Boundry
  • XLR adapter for handheld mics

All their mics use a base station that hooks up to your PC or Mac via USB (no driver needed) and show up as a sound device. As a bonus the wearable one also has a audio out so you can wear it around your neck (on in your pocket) and hook up a headset to it as well.
They also have larger 4 channel and 8 channel wireless systems that you can mix and match using different solo mics. The preconfigured systems even come with a 4 or 8 channel Gentner echo cancellation device by polycom. Very nice…..