Well things just got a little more closer to that reality with Microsoft’s HoloLens. Instead of products like Google Glass and Oculus Rift, which put the user in a virtual world – the HoloLens puts you in a virtual environment by taking elements from a digital world and making them an interactive part of your world.
“In one demo, a Minecraft scene was displayed over a real living room. A Microsoft minder asked me to select a virtual hammer (a tool in the game) and start smashing the coffee table in the room. She wanted me, in other words, to use a digital object to interact with a real one. I did so and was stunned by what happened: Before my eyes, the real coffee table splintered into digital debris, and then it was no longer there. HoloLens had perfectly erased the coffee table from the environment.”
“Using real photography from the Curiosity rover, Microsoft was able to re-create a Martian landscape and overlay a 3D-map around a small, conference-room-size environment. I can walk around, bend down and look at rocks. I can even see NASA’s Curiosity rover, which is larger than a standard motor vehicle.”
“With HoloLens, I’m not just able to see what it’s like to walk around on Mars, but I’m also able to interact with the contents on the surface. Using a finger gesture called Air Tap, the HoloLens lets me mark certain spots on the surface for investigation and even lets me talk with another floating figure and collaborate on examining the surface.”
You can read more about Windows Holographic and the HoloLens on The Verge.
Swedish software firm Propellerhead (the makers of Reason) put together not only a simple eye appealing music making app but one that has controls that will have you making music in just a few minutes.
The great part about this music app is the sounds aren’t wacky, thin or robotic, if you’re a Reason user like myself since v2.0 then this will make you smile from ear to ear especially at the $.99 price tag.
They have a thorough overview on their site and the solid video above for new fans. Definitely haven’t been this happy about a music app since Animoog.
“I think we as an industry haven’t been that great about inviting people in who don’t have deep dreams about becoming big stars or understanding everything about music production, it’s time for that: I think everyone should be invited to be part of this. Figure is a small step towards that.” – says chief executive Ernst Nathorst Böös.
With everyone heading to or already at SXSW this week and next, I thought this would be a good time to post about the location aware music apps that Bluebrain has been doing. They’ve already done one for The National Mall and Central Park ( Listen To The Light ), the new one The Violet Crown is based around Austin and SXSW. Basically it’s, as Bluebrain describes it, “a musical composition, available exclusively as a free iPhone app, that uses the phone’s built-in GPS to alter the music as the listener traverses the area – each street and intersection is tagged with various pockets of sound, turning the festival grounds into a musical ‘choose-your-own-adventure’.”
You can download the free app here through iTunes.
It’s a really cool concept and as of yet, I haven’t been able to try out the other versions from The National Mall or Central Park ( Listen To The Light ), The Violet Crown will be the first.
For those that can’t make it out to SXSW this year, I dug a little further to get some more of the background on The Violent Crown app and some process. Ryan Holladay of Bluebrain went over the technical info and he sent me a few screen grabs and a map from the programming end of things. He also did a breakdown of how it works, which I think is really interesting.
“What you are looking at in these shots is the app simulator running running on our desktop — this is a way that we can remotely test the music without having to be in Austin and simulate the experience of, say, walking from one block to another and hearing how the music changes. As you can see, there are many in a single area, often with so many overlapping that it’s difficult to tell visually where each of them are located. The crosshairs in the middle represent the location of the listener, the various circles indicate the size of the audio track and the colors the state the audio is in: Blue, as you probably guessed, is playing, while yellow is cued and red is disengaged.
Because, by design, the app basically has to be ready for whichever direction you move, what we have is a system that prepares the audio to be dropped in at any given point and at the correct interval by preloading audio in every direction within a certain proximity. So, for instance, if you were to begin walking from Frontage Rd towards Congress Ave, halfway up 4th Street it will have prepared the tracks waiting for you when you arrive at Red River Street. But, when you reach an intersection, the audio to your left and right is also waiting for in case you chose that direction. Once it’s realized you’ve moved on, it drops those tracks to save processing power until you turn around and re-approach.”
To see what it’s all about check out the Making Of video below, which gives you a detailed explanation of what it does and how they actually built the one for Central Park ( Listen To The Light ).
Moog just released their Animoog synthesizer app for the iPad and it looks impressive. Get it now for 99 cents before it jumps to the regular price of $29.99. Anybody have a chance to try it out and care to share their experience in the comments?
From what I can gather, Nizo is an app that brings the lovely Super 8 stylings to the iPhone. The app isn’t out yet, but right now I’m just mesmerized by the promo page. Its elegant implementation really stopped me in my tracks this morning. The app is put out by Image Mechanics, who have a pretty darn sexy site themselves.
One site that has really been a huge help with the growth of ISO50’s music end growing is Hype Machine and they recently just launched their iPhone app. I’ve always loved the site as a MP3 feed but now thru the app you can listen to all the music we post/write about as a radio station.
If you get a second head over to the ISO50 Hypem feed and enjoy a continuous listening session.
Just installed the new Vimeo app for iPhone (iPad and Android versions are apparently in development). Very impressive stuff, I have a feeling this will have me doing more video work on my iPhone. Of course, that wouldn’t be hard considering I never use the video functionality. It’s strange, when I bought the phone I justified it to some degree by telling myself “you’ll have an HD video camera in you pocket”. I then proceeded to never use it.
How much do you use your phone for video? Ever done any creative projects with it?
Well I finally downloaded Instagram, after much ado. Prior to actually downloading the app, my understanding of Instagram was that it infested my Twitter stream with photos affected with filters I spent most of my first year at design school trying to apply to everything (posters, shirts, CDs, food etc). It was really annoying. “What is with all these forced vintage iPhone PHOTOS!” was the common refrain while clicking through my Twitter folk. (Kind of like the vintage film effect in Jersey Shore. WHY. Or so I’ve heard…)
I downloaded it over the break as part of some research I am doing for a new app I am working on (completely unrelated; I was basically downloading the entire app store and Instagram happened to come with it). Anyway after playing with it for the last few days I must say I am a convert, a fan. I get it now: it’s fun to see completely mundane photos suddenly become awesome with the tap of a finger. Cruddy picture of airline seats with poor light and an iPhone lens? No problem! Apollo filter and it looks like Hunter S Thompson just got up to go to the bathroom.
Of course I’m kidding around, but I actually am a fan of the app. Filters and mega-vintage filtering aside, the real power of the app is the social component. This doesn’t seem surprising now, but remember that there were tons and tons of other camera apps before it that played a similar card (vintage-izing) but left out this crucial bit of Twitter-esque following. The app now sits squarely between Facebook and Twitter on my iPhone and I find myself clicking it just as often to see if any of my friends have posted new pictures or ‘liked’ any of mine.
Definitely consider myself addicted, at least for the time being. However there are a number of frustrating bits that I hope they address sometime soon. First, there is no web component or ability to do anything at all anywhere but the phone. The website lets you…change your password, but I can’t direct you to my entire feed or anything. You have to download the app, search for me, then follow. An annoying process. Also, what’s the deal with the popular tab? It’s almost as mysterious as the frontpage of FFFFOUND. I would love some more powerful search, sort and filter capabilities. And I swear if they start charging $$ for additional filters…
My username is alexcornell if you can find me! Some of my first Instagrams are above.