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Mobile Web based AR is here! well kinda …  A working demo of web based Augmented Reality using iOS 11 s web RTC enabled browsers.

AR.js is a solution for efficiently doing augmented reality on the web, available on github. Let’s take a detailed look at what it is:

  • Very Fast: It runs efficiently even on mobile phones
  • Web-based: It is a pure web solution, so no installation required. Full javascript based on three.js + jsartoolkit5
  • Open Source: It is completely open source and free of charge
  • Standards: It works on any phone with webgl and webrtc

The goal is to make it easy for people to do augmented reality; AR that can be easily experienced on today’s phones and easily designed using web technology. The AR.js project is about enabling those people. So now, anybody with a modern phone can enjoy open-source AR, free of charge, cross-platform and without installation.

User Experience Vetting in Advertising and Technology

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The term UX in its current incarnation was first coined by Don Norman in 1995, in his book “The Design Of Everyday Things”. He referred to “User Experienced Architect”  making that the fist time that term was used a professional title.  In 2007 with the release of the first iPhone and its revolutionary capacitive touchscreen, physical keyboards of other phones obsolete. provided a user experience far superior to that of any other contemporary phone. This inadvertently led to current business focuses on user experience. Today it’s become one of the fastest growing professional  segments within the advertising and technology.  One of the dangers that come with such a rapid adoption is that the vetting process of what makes a good UX professional is not clearly understood.  It needs to be considered that the discipline of user experience design goes far beyond a proficiency in a wireframing software, and the individuals who want to craft the users’ experience also need to have a breath or aesthetic and technical knowledge to truly make informed decisions.


Unity + Kinect + Oculus DK2 = Real VR

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We have had the oculus DK2 for a few months now and been messing around with it a bit in Unity 5. Unity five has added support of the rift and make it pretty simple to take any Unity project and render it stereoscopically with accelerometer control. To enable just go to File > Build Settings > Player Settings and look in the Setting  Box on the right. You will see two check boxes, one for “Stereoscopic Rendering ” and “Virtual Reality Supported” make sure they are selected. Assuming that the DK2 is installed correctly everything should work. For our experiments we were interested in creating a true virtual reality environment. By combining the new Microsoft Kinect Sensor ( unfortunately could only get it to work on PC ) openni, unity and oculus, we were able to create a unity simulation where the skeleton of the character mimics  the skeleton of the user, allowing them to interact kinematically with physically simulated objects. In addition by adding skeletal gesture recognition to ” look at” controls we can create a virtually interactive UI much like the ever popular “Minority Report” interface.

What is Localist ?

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Localist started as an idea that myself and a few friends had  while sitting in a coffee shop one day. The place was playing Spotify and it was a band we had never heard of. My friend Sean remarked that there should be a way to listen to bands that are playing in your area so that people can be exposed to new music. After some brief research into various apis, limitations and what information was available we decided that it was a good enough idea for each of us to dedicate 10 – 20 hours a week. Over the next few months, using Express and Mongo as the backend and Handlebars with Bootstrap and a bunch of custom CSS on the front end over the period of three months we build a product that aggregated shows from Jambase, collected band and genre information from Echonest, and created Spotify playlists based on all the information collected. A playlist is automatically generated on a weekly basis for each venue, and for each genre, people can also login with their Spotify credentials and create custom Playslists based on venues they follow, genres they like, or distance from where they live. After 3 month and some serious code sprints we were ready to launch and collect some serious venture capital money, when we got the bad news … Spotify decided to create the same service themselves and release it . Unfortunately for us, Spotify never made mention of working on this on their blog, I suppose it’s the inherent risk of creating a service that is based on someone else technology. We have kept the site up, although the auto creation of new events has been disabled to save bandwidth. Take a look

Projection Mapping On 3D Models

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A little experiment in unity, taking a model of a face, and triggering different morph shapes. The entire thing is then projected onto a 3D low poly model I created and printed out with the Makerbot. The result looks pretty good, just have to remove all of the rotation and tilt from the morph shapes ( movement of the head ruins the effect ) .

Rube Goldburg Snack Machine

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Allot of work, particularly experiential work, never makes it through the conceptual or prototype stage to see the light of day. Allot of what we do day to day is concept and feasibility studies along with some prototypes as proof of concept. Occasionally when the client has the budget and the vision, the project becomes a reality, much like the drinkable billboard in the Coke Zero campaign. I wanted to share some concept art i did for a recent pitch, because although it did not become a reality, it was a really exciting idea. the concept was a Rube Goldburg inspired Chex Mix machine that would allow users to customize there own check mix and watch as the ingredients combines in a playfull and complex manner.

Installing MongoDB and Node on Raspberry PI

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There are numerous reasons one would want to run node and mongo a pi; a mini web server, home automation control etc.  With the improved specification of the Raspberry PI2, the argument becomes even more compelling.  The are plenty of blog postings about how to install different versions of node and mongo on the raspberry pi, but I have found one combination to be the the best. Rick Ps Mongo Pi and Node Version 0.10.42. The process is a bit more involved than using apt-get but in the end it’s a proven stable combo that works on the pi ( in my opinion ). Here are the instructions

install all the dependancies you will need to build everything
sudo apt-get update
sudo apt-get install git-core git scons build-essential scons libpcre++-dev libboost-dev libboost-program-options-dev libboost-thread-dev libboost-filesystem-dev
tar xvf node-v0.10.28.tar.gz
cd node-v0.10.28
sudo make install
now grab a cup of coffee because this will take a while. Once that is done you can install mongo

git clone git://
cd mongopi
sudo scons –prefix=/opt/mongo install
scons -c

if you though node took a while buckle in, you may want to issue this command before you go out for the day so that it’s done by the time you get back

add mongo to your path directory

PATH=$PATH:/opt/mongo/bin/ export PATH

at this point you have a choice, you can run mongo as root, or create a new user. If you are the only one messing with the pi, just do it as root (pi@raspberripi) if not add a new user

sudo useradd mongodb

sudo mkdir /var/lib/mongodb sudo chown mongodb:mongodb /var/lib/mongodb now set the paths and start mongo

sudo mkdir /etc/mongodb/

sudo sh -c ‘echo “dbpath=/var/lib/mongodb” > /etc/mongodb/mongodb.conf’

cd /etc/init.d sudo wget -O mongodb

sudo chmod +x mongodb sudo update-rc.d mongodb defaults

sudo service mongodb start

boom, your ready to start developing your node app on your raspberry pi

Vertical Gardens

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For the local community garden ( of which I am a member ) Horizontal space is severely limited, so I was asked to design and build a series of vertical gardens that would be modular, light weight, low cost and eco friendly. To complicate matters, we are not allowed to set any permanent concrete footing in the garden. The design I came up with created 40′ worth of vertical garden utilizing wooden L shapes that are tied to the ground using 3′ long sections pf rebar. The bottom portion is a large planter that also acts as a counterweight to keep the structure upright, and the top portion can be configured as vertical growing surface, or multi shelf area that can house individual round pots or long rectangular pots. I’ll be uploading the plans and cut list soon incase anyone wants to build one.


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For an upcoming liquor brand installation ( shall absolutely remain nameless ) we were tasked with creating a flexible audio – visualizer that would take music or sound  and display it in some format on a giant RGB LED bottle that we have fabricated. Originally we considered using an AT-tiny or Arduino uno in conjunction with a small microphone, but after some investigation and thought we decided to abstract out the light control from the audio visualizer. The visualizer it’s self is written in Cinder and allows us to change the visualization or switch between visualizations. The program sends commands though serial to an Arduino which translates the instruction and tunes them into I2C commands that turn the lights on and off. The ultimate installation will contain over 300 LEDS arranged into columns. We also chose RGB LEDs with 4 extra bright LEDs per controller, allowing for a brighter, larger installation.

Skeletal Construction Techniques

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How do you build a 12′ tall installation that is safe, can be disassembled with minimal effort, does not cost and arm and a leg to fabricate, and does not weight a ton? good question. The answer is skeletal construction. It’s not a new idea ( think Zeppelin ), but on that I have been fascinated with for along time.  On it’s own, plywood is pretty flimsy, but in the right configuration, it can be stronger than steel. Furthermore, it can be easy and cheaply cut  using a CNC router. Here is a 3D printed armature of the structure I designed for the 12′ glowing liquor bottle that will be featured in an upcoming installation.