Thursday, 27 October 2011

How to get a 360 degree panoramic shot

Now this is a very clever invention developed from phd work by Jonas Pfeil, a student in Berlin. He has built a 'Throwable panoramic camera' which has 36 mobile phone cameras embedded in a ball that you throw in the air and it takes a 360 degree picture at its highest point. There's a video on his website that explains it and there's a link to this panoramic shot to show what it can do.

This reminded me of a wedding in Winchester about 16 years ago, when the Brother of the Bride attached a camera to a rocket - a firework style rocket - and sent it up over the wedding party as we stood on the mizmaze at st catherine's hill, an old pagan site. We all dutifully looked up and smiled for the birdie, then watched in amusement as the rocket did not come straight back down but got blown off course into the brambles, with Brother of the Bride in hot pursuit regardless of his bare legs. After a good half hour of searching he did not come back triumphant, just scratched. He probably shouldn't have worn shorts to a wedding. I do wonder if the camera was ever found. This ball camera would have been more reliable, though possibly not as spectacular and harder to hide in a pocket during the ceremony.
The other drawback is that you have to catch the ball before it lands, not my strong point. Though jostling to catch the camera ball at a wedding would have more point to it than trying to catch the bride's bouquet.

Monday, 17 October 2011

little fishes

Oh, and if you're reading this on an iPad then that big blank space at the top of the page is meant to have cute little goldfish swimming around who come to your mouse cursor. But not for iPad users.

now, where was I?

I haven't been away, just sidetracked by life. Things have been happening - work, conferences, family. I have made dates in my diary to try and catch up on writing here. First I need to backtrack and check what I have and haven't shared about what was happening back in May - I hate not working in chronological order. So that's at least five months of posts if I can remember what was interesting. It may be bullet points. Just need to mark the spot and remind myself to come back regularly. Currently getting back into swing after three weeks of feeling decrepit. That may just have been post-funding-application exhaustion or possibly a virus. One of those can't-be-bothered-to-get-up-off-the-floor-and-lie-on-the- bed viruses. The application was about trying to get funding to work with Grandparent Carers and their families on a storytelling project. More of that in November as that is when I will hear if I have the funding. If not, then I will no doubt rant about it here before I have to develop plan B for paying for my flat white soy decafs in 2012

Sunday, 8 May 2011


I promised Il Professore that I would blog on my trip to CHI, and as yet have not found time to sit down and think about what I have been doing. It is always easiest just to do trip logging in chronological order, little and often, but I have been loathe to lug my macbook around with me as it is just that bit too heavy when you have a poorly shoulder. So, I have almost a week to catch up with. I did make notes in my little red book so I wouldn't forget the highlights, but there is more and more happening that I want to share and I am way way behind. I did think that maybe I would try and separate out the sociable parts of the trip from the work related parts of the trip.
And now I am getting distracted by talk of hoarded computer equipment by Bill Buxton at CHI, Must stop and listen.

Monday, 17 January 2011

3D film in the palm of your hand

Today I stumbled across yet another reason for getting an iphone in 2011: palmtop theater
This is a device that fits onto your iphone/ipod touch and enables you to watch films and animations that have been built in 3D. Well, the image is split into three sections so some parts are foregrounded and some backgrounded, the device has mirrors that reflect it up and hey presto a cinematic experience in the palm of your hand.
V2_Institute for Unstable Media is showcasing some works made specially for this, curated by Maki Ueda. The video explains how the technology works - how to prepare your images so they appear on screen as 3D.

V2_ seems like an interesting organisation to keep an eye on. If I were in Rotterdam I would try and get along to the showcase. It looks like several artists are developing work for the palmtop theatre following the artists workshops at V2_last year.

Palm Top Theater_i3DG, by Jitsuro Mase, Tom Nagae (JP) / DIRECTIONS, Inc.

As I can't get there I shall have to content myself with the videos and write-ups of the event.

I did notice when watching the youtube video that a couple of people have posted instructions on how they made their own versions of the viewer. Could be an interesting thing to try - a bit more complicated and time-consuming than making your own kaleidoscope perhaps.