The “past-future” of iPhone?


• Nicolas Nova

Why do I blog this?
Except the fact it is funny, I find this old desktop metaphor in a way reassuring, as it reminds of well-known interactions (the ones considered as simple/natural), the first ones we’ve learned, while this is no skeuomorphism, it is symbolic/iconic/pictographic. And I wonder, would it reassure older generations?

Figures from Montagné’s book: Transmissions (2008)

Back cover text in french: “J.-C. B. Montagné, a rassemblé dans l’ouvrage la presque totalité des procédés permettant aux hommes de toutes époques de communiquer entre eux à distance par la transmission de signaux. Son passé d’ingénieur radio-électronicien et son penchant pour un bon usage du Français lui furent utiles pour transcrire en langue courante à la portée de chacun les informations éparses dans les nombreux documents techniques consultés. Les références de ces documents rassemblés dans la bibliographie ouvrent le passage pour une recherche plus approfondie à ceux qui le voudront. Ouvrage de référence rapide, résumé, ce livre est sans doute les deux à la fois. L’expérience de la première édition en a apporté la preuve.”

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Auto Smiley, writes smiley when you really smile

Auto Smiley – Computer vision smiley generator from Theo Watson on Vimeo.

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“Auto Smiley is a computer vision application that runs in the background while you work. The software analyzes your face while you are working and if it detects a smile it sends the the ascii smiley face letters “: )” as keyboard presses to the front most application. Auto Smiley has many uses from just straight up convenience to enforcing honesty in your online communication :)”

It has been a while (years) that I want to re-use this brilliant idea from Theo Watson in an experiment—that I could finally do, now that I started my PhD. More soon (hopefully)!

To be find on Theo Watson’s website F.A.T:
• Windows PC Version!! Courtesy of Joey!
• Non US/UK users version – should work on all keyboards!
• The mac app here ( for US / UK / NL keyboards )
• Mac app for QWERTZ keyboards
• The project uses openFrameworks and MPT for the smile detection – you can grab the source code

Skype eye contact finally made possible

Skype eye contact made possible thanks to 3D face rotation by C. Kuster, T. Popa, J.C. Bazin, C. Gotsman & M. Gross from ETH Zurich.
Innovative software rotates the face of the person on screen during video conferences in order to make eye contact. (Photo: Computer Graphics Laboratory / ETH Zurich)

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“Those separated from family and friends by long distances often use video conferencing services such as Skype in order to see each other when talking. But who hasn’t experienced the frustration of your counterpart not making direct eye contact during the conversation? A software prototype from the Computer Graphics Laboratory ETH Zurich may be able to help.”

Text by Angelika Jacobs from ETH Life Blog

I don’t know why but this “computer vision” software makes me think of the AutoSmile project by Theo Watson from F.A.T.

More on the project (+source code):
• Skype eye contact finally possible
• Paper: Kuster C, Popa T, Bazin JC, Gotsman C, Gross M: Gaze Correction for Home Video Conferencing. Proceedings of ACM SIGGRAPH Asia (Singapore, November 28 – December 1, 2012), ACM Transactions on Graphics, 31 (6), 174:1-174:6

Predominance of touch in telepresence

Inspiring example of a user (a kid) facing a telepresence device and behaving as if in real life (kids never lie, as we say). The contrast between the dad’s mic volume + giant full screen + low resolution VS the wife’s low mic volume + TV set make-up and video frame remind me of this old experiment of mine:

An other part of the video is available here:
System: Skype video-projected

State of Art – Porte-Parole Mouthpiece (1996)

Porte-Parole Mouthpiece (1996) – Krzysztof Wodiczko and Sung Ho Kim

Krzystoff Wodiczko (Canadian, born Poland, 1943)
Videotape, monitor (mouthpiece, 3 1/4 x 6 1/4 x 7 inches), battery pack and documentation
MSU purchase, funded by the Friends of Kresge Art Museum Endowment, 97.9.A-F

Krysztoff Wodiczko belongs to a genre of public artist who meld art with science and technology. He is a member of MIT’s Interrogative Design Group and is internationally renowned for his large-scale slide and video projections on architectural facades and monuments. Since the late 1980s, he has developed a series of nomadic instruments for both homeless and immigrant operators that function as implements for survival, communication, empowerment, and healing.
In 1992, Wodiczko began Xenology: Immigrant Instruments, tools for “the immigrantÕs art of survival.” In the forms of a staff (Alien Staff), wings (Aegis) or a mouthpiece (Mouthpiece), these instruments include small LCD monitors that project an edited videotape of the wearer’s personal history. The series grew from Wodiczko’s own experience as an emigre. Born and trained in Poland under a socialist regime, Wodiczko settled in Canada in 1977, before moving to the U.S. in the 1980s. Created to be performed in urban centers, Xenology: Immigrant Instruments such as Mouthpiece opened dialogues between their operators and passersby, stimulating communication between the immigrant (the speechless stranger) and the native community.

The Porte-Parole Mouthpiece is an instrument for strangers, its function is to empower those who are deprived of power.

This object encircles the jaw with a small video monitor and loud speakers placed directly over the wearer’s mouth, showing the lips moving in sync to the prerecorded narrative. It is designed to replace the hesitations and fearful silent of an immigrant’s personal voice with a fully formed version of the immmigrant’s story. It function both as a conduit of ones’ voice and image as well as a gag that blocks the mouth and prevents from speaking.

Porte-Parole transforms its user into a virtual subject, literally, a cyborg communicating through a high-tech device rather than your own bodily apparatus for speech. The small size screen drives viewers to come closer to the user face in order to see the image of the moving lips and hear the voice.