Virtual Reality as a Tool

The VR hardware market exploded after Facebook deemed VR investment worthy with its 2 billion acquisition of Oculus in 2014. A lot of serious players entered the game and Q1/2016 is gonna be the culmination of this. All major players Oculus, HTC/Valve, Sony and Microsoft with their AR headset, announced the public release of their consumer products for the beginning of next year. What still seems the most interesting to see though is what Magic Leap can come up with.

I always thought that the real magic of VR and AR technology doesn’t lie in entertainment but in its great potential as a tool for engineering and creation in general. So far only one company, HTC, lets this idea reflect in its marketing leading up to the big battle of the platforms next year. The following video is an example for this.

Tweet about this on TwitterShare on Google+Share on FacebookPin on PinterestShare on RedditShare on LinkedInShare on StumbleUponEmail this to someone

Clever Engineering for a Good Cause

GL_viz_large

Deciwatt” a project that started out as a crowd funding campaign on indiegogo with the purpose to create a sustainable and affordable light source for developing countries, has now produced the first batch of its gravity powered lamp. Some of this first lamps go to the projects indiegogo supporters while the rest is used in a field trail in developing countries.

The lamp, like a grandfather clock, uses a hanging weight as the energy source to drive an electric generator. It needs no battery replacement, no expensive solar cells only 3 seconds of human power to lift the weight that on decent generates 25 minutes of light.

From the project description:

GravityLight only generates a deciwatt or two of power but has a superior light to the majority of kerosene lamps used by those without electricity, as well as being significantly more sustainable, safe and healthy. With no running costs, at $10, a GravityLight would pay for itself within a few months, freeing people from fuel poverty and the increasing costs of kerosene.

As LEDs continue to rapidly increase their lumens per watt and – as Koomey’s Law predicts – the energy efficiency of devices doubles every two years – this has huge implications for low cost, off grid lighting as well as computing and communication equipment. This is the driving force behind Deciwatt’s mission to explore how to do more with less.

A great example of clever engineering for a good cause. And also a good example for the possibility that crowd funding provides to finance and realize such projects.

 

 

 

Tweet about this on TwitterShare on Google+Share on FacebookPin on PinterestShare on RedditShare on LinkedInShare on StumbleUponEmail this to someone

Amazing Kinetic Installation

Just recently stumbled upon a video of this amazing kinetic installation called Hyper-Matrix. It was created for the Hyundai Motor Group Exhibition Pavilion in Korea at the 2012 EXPO. The installation consists of a specially made huge steel construction to support thousands of stepper motors that control 320x320mm cubes that project out of the internal facade of the building. The foam cubes are mounted to actuators that move them forward and back by the steppers, creating patterns across the three-sided display.

Comprised of what at first appear to be three blank white walls, Hyper-Matrix installation quickly comes to life as thousands of individual cubic units forming a field of pixels begin to move, pulsate, and form dynamic images across the room, creating infinite number of possibilities in the vertical, 180 degree, landscape. In addition, as the boxes are arranged at only 5mm narrow intervals, the wall can also be a nice moving screen for the images projected on to it.

Tweet about this on TwitterShare on Google+Share on FacebookPin on PinterestShare on RedditShare on LinkedInShare on StumbleUponEmail this to someone