Posts Tagged ‘Silas’

Is this the future of information management & systematic treatment of data?

Starlight Information Visualization System uses various algorithms to allow its user to sort, organize and compare complex data in a way that has hardly been seen before (maybe except for Sci-Fi movies). Whether the task at hand is work-related, research or just generally managing your everyday steady stream of information – Starlight Information Visualization System lets you handle, connect and ultimately perceive variables from any complex set of data, in a new and exciting way. The potential benefits can potentially be harnessed across many fields, for instance in journalism (cross-referencing has never been this easy or effective!) and it will almost certainly have a considerable impact on the STEM fields (Science, Technology, Engineering & Mathematics) – who are used to dealing with huge and extremely complex sets of data.

 

References:

http://starlight.pnl.gov/

http://www.businesswire.com/news/home/20100903005337/en

 

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Let me first of all state that my intention here is NOT to discuss how teenagers today are spending their leisure time (although the video could – and dare I say should – encourage such debates). The point here is rather that this odd scenario may not be that far fetched – all thanks to the internet of things.

The internet of things is steadily changing our lives, how we relate to the entities around us, whether they are animate,  or material – organic or manufactured. As a matter of fact, Ericsson has already produced a prototype of a talking tree, which tweets out messages as an effect of registered changes in the electromagnetic field around it:

Now one would think that this has to mean something more than a mere digital conversion of that crazy tree-kid’s nightmare. And it is. New innovations within infrastructure engineering and the internet of things are now taking the first steps of turning whole cities into “living” environmental-responsive organic eco-systems.

By integrating software systems into buildings’ rainwater catchment systems watercompanies are now able to empty basins according to weather predictions, calculated by means of the internet. This is just one of many new innovations that effects the way we interact with our environment. In short, it means that almost any piece of information that is obtainable qua the internet can be utilized for operational and interactive purposes, in any part of the city – indeed the world.

Check out the blog and the links below for more examples of an interactive, interconnected city.

References:

http://www.scientificamerican.com/article.cfm?id=how-the-internet-of-things-is-turni-2011-12

http://telecomlead.com/inner-page-details.php?id=5753&block=Tower

http://www.theinternetofthings.eu/content/internet-things-and-noosphere

Do you remember the good old boardgames? Many of us had a good many nights of playing boardgames for hours and hours with friends and family.  As cosy as those nights were, they were often educational to some extent as well. If you have ever played Trivial Pursuit – you’re bound to remember the “heureka-moments” connected with showing off your knowledge to your friends and family.

Then along came the computer. With it, gaming moved to a new digitalized platform, which had parents worried about loosing their teenager children to the power of virtual life. Spending too much time in front of any screen was generally regarded as developing a bad habit.

Nowadays, games and gaming has by far moved into its new platform – namely digital devices. And with a wide array of purposes too. To conceive of gaming today as merely entertainment is too simple. A lot of games do  not only include rational decision-making, but also a new way of communicating a given message. Companies and institutions are increasingly utilizing games to get across a certain message. This spans from educational to political purposes. For instance, take a look at America’s Army – the official game intended for U.S. Army recruitment:

The intention of this game is to educate American would-be soldiers about the facets of war. This is something quite different than “innocent apps” such as WordFeud. Games such as America’s Army does not restrict the player to an already outlined story, but rather the player creates the story through his choices in-game. Another example of this, is the Primaire à gauche.newsgames from the French newspaper Le Monde.fr. In it, the player is a political candidate, and has to shape his or her own political campaign. This is a way of providing insight into the vast amount of variables which go into political campaigning.

The potential benefits of these new Serious Games are many. It is a new way to create and share informations across a variety of subjects – even to introduce subjects to new target groups – in the case of Primaire à gàuche, one of its stated intentions was to get more young people interested or informed about politics.

One does not have to think far in order to grasp the opportunities this new media tool. It can be used for many ends, commercial, educational or political.  One could think about the efficiency of this kind of communication. Also, couldn’t this be used for manipulation – for instance promoting a certain ideology and rewarding its user for uncritically promoting it?

Want to learn more?

http://www.americasarmy.com

http://seriousgames.msu.edu/games.php

http://coventry.academia.edu/EikeFalkAnderson/Papers/110808/Serious_Games_in_Cultural_Heritage

http://www.omnsh.org/spip.php?article148 (in French)

 

Ever wondered what the food was like at that Indian place you always pass, but never dared to enter? Ever been curious about city exploration but have been too lazy to actually get out there? Well, the opportunity has presented itself in the form of augmented reality for various digital devices.

As exciting as these new possibilities seem, there is the danger of voyeurism, as augmented reality allows applications to share unprecedented insight into areas, products, people and business. The gap between digital and “real” life is becoming more diluted as augmented reality increasingly impacts our concepts of space, time and experience through various applications for digital devices.

References:

http://www.guardian.co.uk/technology/2010/mar/21/augmented-reality-iphone-advertising

http://web.ebscohost.com/ehost/detail?vid=4&hid=108&sid=5e57bfa7-ab40-4fb5-819a-a701f203a7ff%40sessionmgr113&bdata=JnNpdGU9ZWhvc3QtbGl2ZQ%3d%3d#db=ufh&AN=67114414