Monthly Archives: July 2013

From Siggarph: illumiRoom – peripheral projected game experience

TV busting games!

A project called IllumiRoom enables a console game to escape the bounds of a TV screen, overlaying imagery onto the space around it. The system was developed by researchers at Microsoft and uses a Kinect depth sensor and projector positioned in front of a gamer to detect the shape of the room around the TV set, and overlay imagery onto it.

IllumiRoom has been used to add a new atmosphere to games by, for example, creating the illusion of falling snow around a TV, and having explosions extend beyond the screen.


Building a blinky infinity mirror

Want for the Connected Living Room! Well, More for the hall way leading to it.


This infinity mirror prototype is small enough to test out the theory before committing to the full project. And the full project that [Kevin] and [Edward] have in mind is a huge infinity portal that they will showcase at this year’s Alchemy festival.

It’s called an infinity mirror because it has the illusion of being much deeper than the physical enclosure. The trick is accomplished by placing two mirrors parallel to each other with a light source in between. One of the mirrors is two-way, letting a portion of the light pass through to the viewer rather than reflecting it.

The video demo of the prototype shows that it’s just a 2×4 wooden frame which holds both mirrors. In between is an LED string. The nice thing about the prototype is that adding a bit of tempered glass on top will make it an infinity bar top for the Hackerspace.

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Manufacturing group to build 3D printing innovation centers in China

So much of our connected living room today bears the label ‘Made in China’. 3D printing has been heralded as a way to democratise the world’s manufacturing lines, offering us to be able to fabricate what we need locally. With the huge amount of FDM printers flooding the market and more to come as Patents for FDM and SLS expire, we would see a huge amount of Chinese players offering you the 3D printer that finally lands on your workbench.

Beijing based trade association plans to build 10 innovation centers for 3D printing (pronounced like “san D da eeng” in Chinese) technology in 10 cities in China in the near future, with a planned investment of 20 million yuan ($3.3 million) for each center. The centers mainly aim to serve manufacturers, and the AMA is calling for fiscal policy support from the government.

Manufacturing group to build 3D printing innovation centers – People’s Daily Online.Manufacturing group to build 3D printing innovation centers - People's Daily Online

Recently, Chinese astronauts sat in 3D-printed seats on their historic space flight. Each printed seat was tailored specially for that particular astronaut’s unique size and shape. On the industrial front, China is now home to seven 3D printer manufacturers, including a consumer-level model called the UP!. And, United States-based Stratasys (the largest 3D printer company in the world) employs about 150 employees in its Hong Kong office and plans to open an office in Beijing.  – See more also at LiveScience insights

Review: Leap Motion Controller | MIT Technology Review

Leap Motion Controller

MIT Tech Review plays with the Leap Motion Controller and unfortunate puns of ‘not leaping for joy’ are their verdict. However, Gesture control technology would enable a much easier, intuitive and gratifying way of interacting in the connected living room, especially for gaming, next generation video/audio interaction, etc. It seems that Leap needs to cover some further ground before it is going to deliver a seemless, instantly gratifying experience.

As someone who has Carpel Tunnel, I believe they ought to consider how gesture control would work in conjunction with other devices as this was the most worrying of all comments in the review:

“I also noticed something that doesn’t usually happen when using a mouse and keyboard, even though I’m routinely in front of a computer for seven or more hours a day: after an hour or so, my right arm felt really tired, all the way up to my shoulder. Even when I started fresh the next day, making motions as small and precise as I could, it still started to bug me after a while”




Review: Leap Motion Controller | MIT Technology Review.

Mobile Applications and Marketing | Social Media Today

Interesting facts here about mobile platforms – mobile certainly would play a pivotal role within the connected livingroom in the coming years. It can be the first gateway device connecting many of the home, car, office ecosystems and the space ‘in-between’.

There are 6.8 Billion People on the planet, 4 billion use a mobile phone and only 3.5 billion of them use a toothbrush. That’s right; more people use a mobile phone than a toothbrush.

91% of adults have their mobile phone at their fingertips 24/7. Eating, sleeping, going to the bathroom and in the bedroom. We can have access to people more often on mobile.

25% of Americans ONLY use mobile devices to access the internet. How many people are you missing by not being mobile friendly?

There are 5x as many cell phones in the world as there are PCs

82% of US Adults own a cellphone.

90% of mobile searches lead to an action; over 50% lead to a purchase.

70% of mobile searches lead to action within 1 hour.

74% of smartphone users use their phone to help with shopping and 79% of them ultimately end up buying.

via Mobile Applications and Marketing | Social Media Today.

Gamestick – Android gaming on your TV

Game Stick’s HDMI stick fits into the controller

I love playing games on my phone as much as the next guy. But I really want to play angry birds on my HD TV, stretched over 50″ wide. To really experience the full effect of several games, you want to put your phone down. Plug in & play games on any TV anywhere you go with the portable Game Stick console. This little USB device lets you bring your games to the big screen with a wireless bluetooth controller and a rapidly expanding library of games.

Game Stick ran a successful kickstarter campaign and have their micro consoles on pre-order now. They also offer a more comprehensive game controller and wireless docking station, additional storage and support for peripheral hardware neatly bundled so that it can be right next to  your equally minimal TV setup. I am however left hoping they would offer one in black or brushed alumnium so match the TV set up I have.

GameStick controller and dock
Controller and Dock from GameStick

GameStick packs quiet some punch in its little space:

  • Processor – Amlogic 8726-MXS
  • Memory – 1GB DDR3 / 8GB FLASH
  • Content Download Manager w/ cloud storage for games – from all the demos it seems the user experience on this is by far ahead of other similar android devices
  • Connectivity: WiFi – 802.11 b/g/n, Bluetooth – 4.0, Controller – Bluetooth 3.0
  • O/S – Android 4.2 Jelly Bean
  • Full 1080p HD video decoding
  • Upgrade memory via microSD card slot (up to 32GB)
  • Support for iOS and Android mobile devices to be used as controllers
  • Support for XBMC.

Controller and Dock are only available in the UK from Game. 
This one does earn itself a place on the wishlist for a pre-order – it is even getting full fledged XBMC integration, meaning the microconsole will also double as a full media center.  They have  shipped their kickstarter supports a dev kit bundle for apps, games or device integration and if you want to see a finished version, they air on the Gadget Show on 22nd of July.

GameStick GadgetShow
GameStick on Gadget Show – airs on 22nd July

How do you rate GameStick?