VerySpatial TV 41 – Xtranormal

So, while perusing the latest and greatest stuff on the intertubes, I can across a cool site called Xtranormal, which offers you some fun tools to create your own animated movies online, without having to pay a lot for animation and editing software. There are different 3D characters, and you can add expressions, dialog, and animations to your movie scene.

You can sign up and make movies for free, and while there is a premium subscription for a fee, I think the free tools are plenty for dabbling in the 3D movie-making biz!

Check out my little sample movie

MAPTOR – Cool Concept for Projecting Your Maps on the Go

Some of you may have seen this already, but here’s a cool concept for those times when you just want to see a map, or when you want to point something out to someone without having to start at your smartphone screen or, God forbid, unfold a paper map…It’s called MAPTOR, and it’s a design concept from Jin-Sun Park and Seon-keun Park. Basically, you wear the MAPTOR projector on a lanyard or maybe even as a keychain or beltclip, and when you need to see your map, you press a button, and Presto! your map is projected onto whatever nearby surface is handy. Since it’s a concept only, it’s not available commercially, but I would love to have one…

Via InventorSpot

MySynths – Photosynth meets Facebook

As many of you know, I just love Photosynth, so naturally I had to post when I was catching up on tech news this afternoon and read about MySynths, a new Facebook application that lets you upload synths created in Photosynth to your Facebook Profile and display them on your Wall. Developed by speakTech, MySynths is a cloud application that uses Windows Azure cloud services operating system.

Of course I had to try MySynths out, so if you’re on Facebook, you can check out one of my synths uploaded via MySynths here


Eye-Fi SD Card Adds Geotagging to Pics

Engadget is reporting the release of Eye-Fi’s new WiFi enabled SD card.  It provided automatic geotagging for life for all your pictures.  The product is designed specifically to work with iPhoto and all things Mac, which should be an exceptionally nice integration into iPhoto 09’s new geotagging features with ‘Places’.  The press release is a little light on details on how the geotagging works, but clearly it’s WiFi based.  That leads one to wonder how it knows a picture was taken in a place with no WiFi.  I have to think the “geotag” is based on the place you upload, which might not be the place you shot the photo.  Still, it’s a pretty cool service.  The card is kinda pricey at $60 for 2GB, but built in WiFi and geotagging ain’t gonna be free!  It’s still a better deal than most prosumer DSLR grade GPS’s, which can easily run two or three times that price.  The Eye-Fi SD card is available in stores as of today, it appears.

The Solar Human Hybrid Project – by an 8th Grader!

Anyway you do the math, the SOHH Project is one pretty cool ride.  The vehicle holds four people (plus a dog!) and cargo, and runs off solar and person power.  It can go upwards of 14 mph and is street legal, which isn’t too terrible for around the neighborhood travel.  The whole project was invisioned as a way to re-think transportation modes and methods… plus it was created by an kid in 8th grade (with adult help from his father)!  The site some pictures from the build process and a pretty good detail of the build process.  Most importantly, the vehicle features a GPS unit and the all important iPod dock.

Layar – Augmented Reality for Android and iPhone 3GS

Jesse and I are on the road covering the Game Education Summit, but I wanted to take a quick minute and post this video preview of Layar, an Augmented Reality browser for Android phones and the new iPhone, developed by SPRXmobile. Layar uses GPS, compass (available with Android and soon to be available with the iPhone 3GS) and camera functionality to get a user’s location and then overlay information in real time. There are a number of projects that have been working with AR for awhile now, Layar will be one of the first, if not the first, to get an app out there in general release.

Via Gizmodo

Autodesk’s Project Dragonfly

Autodesk has a pretty cool new toy – Dragonfly!  The program is an online CAD like tool that allows you to map interior spaces.  You can use it to get an idea of how a room decoraction is going to go, or possiblly what can be done with a remodel.  Perhaps best of all, you can project between a 2D top down view and a 3D rendering of the room with just one button click.  The tool is fast and fairly easy to use.  I used it to figure out how to finish my currently unfinished basement (image below).  I wanted a big open space, but a bedroom, bath, and storage room down there.  Playing around with Dragonfly helped me figure out the porportions, ’cause I didn’t really know how big a bathroom needed to be.  If you get a chance to play with it, give it a whirl!


Reverse Vending Machines…yes please


Gizmodo has an article on Envirobank’s Reverse Vending Machines which are an environmentally friendly receptacle for your empty cans or bottles. The Australian company has rolled out a few of their machines to see what the response is. For your empty bottle, and for viewing a ‘targeted advertisement’, you will receive credit or coupons. The machines can accept glass, #1 plastics, and cans. This of course takes me back 20 years to when I used to collect glass bottles to take to the local store to get a dollar or two ($.10 a bottle). In the US only a few states still have cash deposits on bottles now, so other than not wanting to destroy the world, there isn’t a lot of incentive to recycle. If Envirobank’s test goes well in Australia hopefully we will see these reverse vending machines next to the coin counting machines at local stores.