Archive for the 'computer vision' Category

xOSC keygloves

Sunday, December 4th, 2016

In the randform post “Gesture steered Turing machine” I used data gloves, which were made following the instructions of Hannah Perner-Wilson who is a member of the gloves project. Being weary of sitting too much at the computer I had also written in this post that I would like to make more use of body movements and in particular include danse-like movements in computer interaction and in particular in programming.

Unfortunately rather shortly after I had written the post a not so nice medical indication in my vicinity which was -at least partially- due to too much computer sitting urged me to more or less dramatically speed up this project.

The gesture recognition for my gloves, which were used in the Turing machine example, works, but it is not yet fine grained and exhaustive enough. So I had to look for an easy and fast and at least to some extend workable and affordable solution which would insure a more direct and precise steering possibility, like some version of key gloves. To make it short: In the end I made my own version with Tims help. Again it’s only a start but still.


Gesture Steered Turing Machines

Friday, July 1st, 2016

A new astlab project, which comes closer to realize something which I have carried around in my head for now almost ten years.



Tuesday, April 8th, 2014

Title: “Kreative Mode beim Bedrockabgrundste-in”, oil on canvas, artist: Mudda Prahler

There was recently a post on Gamasutra with the title: Titanfall: Why Respawn is punishing cheaters. The computer game Titanfall is a First person shooter that can be played with a couple of people in one environment. Wikipedia describes it as follows:

Players fight either on foot as free-running “Pilots” or inside agile mech-style walkers called “Titans” to complete team-based objectives[2][3] on a derelict and war-torn planet[4] as either the Interstellar Manufacturing Corporation (IMC) or the Militia.[5]

I don’t know Titanfall (In general I have been playing first person shooters rather rarely) but what apparently happened was that there where too many people cheating in the game.

In the post it isn’t really described what exactly is implied by cheating, but what I refer from the “punishment” announcement, I think what was happening was that some people used game bots and in particular socalled aimbots, which are software solutions which make shooting easier in such a game. From the Titanfall announcement:

You can play with other banned players in something that will resemble the Wimbledon of aimbot contests. Hopefully the aimbot cheat you paid for really is the best, or these all-cheater matches could be frustrating for you. Good luck.

I was asking myself though wether this action is part of some viral marketing campaign. That is that some cheaters could think that it could be way cooler to “win the Wimbledon of aimbot contests” rather than the usual game. Given that Titanfall had however performance problems which as it seems where due to overloaded game servers and connections, it doesn’t though look as if this would improve with aimbot contests.

In this context:

In a citation about a report by a tech- and investment-advisory firm in the time article: The Surprisingly Large Energy Footprint of the Digital Economy

In his report, Mills estimates that the ICT system now uses 1,500 terawatt-hours of power per year. That’s about 10% of the world’s total electricity generation

The New York times article: Power, Pollution and the Internet remarks the following about e.g. US data centers:

Nationwide, data centers used about 76 billion kilowatt-hours in 2010, or roughly 2 percent of all electricity used in the country that year, based on an analysis by Jonathan G. Koomey, a research fellow at Stanford University who has been studying data center energy use for more than a decade. DatacenterDynamics, a London-based firm, derived similar figures.

A summary of the last IPCC report about climate change and global warming.


In Berlin there is currently the International games week Berlin.

Holograms Reveal Brain’s Inner Workings

Wednesday, August 17th, 2011

“HirniKoppic”, Copic Markers on paper, by artist “nettwürg” on the occasion of the rumors about the possibility of closing the Medizinhistorisches Museum (Berlin Medical Historical Museum) of the Charité.

Using Digital Holographic Microscopy (DHM) researchers of EPFL gathered quite some interesting images from inside the brain:

->Holograms Reveal Brain’s Inner Workings.

When do we get to see brain images from image imaginations? and when can others recognize these?


Sunday, November 7th, 2010



midori vs aoui

Thursday, July 23rd, 2009


Traffic lite in Brietain

Our friend Sophie Molholm coorganized recently a conference in multisensory research. Looking at the conference announcement I felt inspired to ask myself again to what extend rational cognitive instances do influence perception. An example: A traffic light in the western world is usually considered to have the colors red-yellow-green (or at least red and green (although the new LED lights look kind of bluish)). However I think it is important to note that in japaneese the green color for a traffic light – is not “MIDORI” (green), but “AOUI”, which is BLU! Did this make japanese people more prone to call something green-bluish “blue” instead of green? Doing experiments for this example might be difficult due to the ethnic pecularities, but I am sure there exist other examples and probably even studies on that subject.

here a little collection of randform posts related to the subject:

naming-gaming: evolution of languages
wirepullers: artwork challenging salience
manicone: artwork challenging 4 dimensional space perception
focus and context, part I: evolution and knowledge formation
focus and context, part IV: A Physicist Experiments With Cultural Studies: knowledge formation in humanities vs natural sciences
Le manoir du diable: conscientious coloring of astronomical data
common sense: designing computer minds at media lab
canny skinny skin scans perception and quantum computing (see also focus and context, part IIa: A quantum computation game)
error incognito:perception and space
Dreammachine: psychadelic effects in neuroscience
uncanny paintings: link to an experiment using facial expressions as a feedback interface for a painterly rendering algorithm
visualizing meaning: link to a survey concerning the usefulness of diagrams and charts in knowledge building (and a funny comment to that)

error incognito

Monday, October 29th, 2007

If we move around in space-time we can obtain much more information about the surrounding space-time than by just watching it. For example swimming is very different in a curved than in a noncurved space (-> here a website where observations are made how swimmers move around in various environments).

However linking sensoric information with motoric information, like in computer science applications is a very difficult task. The library on the website of David Philipona of the Laboratoire Psychologie de la Perception has a good collection of links, like for example to the Max-Planck-Institut for Biological cybernetics with its famous virtual treadmill project cyberwalk.

The group at the Laboratoire did some works in order to find a mathematical formulation of how to gain information about the surrounding space via sensoric/motoric information, like e.g. in their paper
Perception of the structure of the physical world using unknown multimodal sensors and effectors

fingerprint masks

Thursday, June 7th, 2007


“hellooooooooo says the masqueraider to the masqueracer” , artwork by Michaela Mustermann

According to Heise online the german government in its function as Presidency of the European Council wants to come to an agreement for the new EU passports before the end of July. This may spur the discussion about finger prints in passports on an european level.

->for DIY directions of how to make an artificial fingerprint mask from an arbitrary fingerprint see computer magazin c’t page 102 (unfortunately in german and not online)

canny skinny skin scans

Wednesday, May 23rd, 2007


image source wikipedia on OCT medOCT group, Center of biomedical Engineering and Physics, Medical University Vienna, Austria (Lizenz)

One of the interesting unknowns is the question wether the brain acts -at least partially- as a quantum computer. The discussion seems to have gotten again a boost – considering the number of conferences organized on this issue, like the already mentioned January swiss conference or the conference Quantum Mind organized by the center for consciousness and the Uni Salzburg or the conference Toward a Science of Consciousness 2007 in Budapest organized by the Hungarian Cognitive Science Foundation.

A reason for this boost may partially be due to the fact that optical imaging and mapping techniques are vastly improving. Optical imaging techniques are popular since they provide a noninvasive method to study the brain, like e.g. in experiments by Ed Boyden et al. were neurons were photostimulated via Channelrhodopsin-2 and other proteins (see also here) (where I have to say that the in the article mentioned lentiviral gene delivery sounds rather scary to me) or e.g. the interesting optical techique of OCT-Optical coherence tomography (or LMU OCT) using interferences of light with short coherence length.

OCT can currently be only used for investigating thin layers like skins, as can be seen at the above crumpled scan of a fingertip or – whats more important e.g. for investigating the retina – a thin layer of neural cells that lines the back of the eyeball.

Using a new way of organizing light pulses (FDML) researchers were able to provide rapid, high-resolution 3-D images of the retina as was presented on the Conference on Lasers and Electro-Optics, Quantum Electronics and Laser Science Conference by the Optical Society of America.

Why is the retina and the layers around it particularily interesting? Because the retina is capable to transmit a signal of a few photons, leaving enough space for quantum mechanical considerations, like in the famous discussion in here, where – even if this seems unrelated – e.g. the true size of a graviton may play a role.

As it seems the current believe is that brains probably do not act as quantum computers mainly due to the “disturbancies” of the information by the surroundings, which leads to decoherence – a general problem also for technical quantum computers. Among others there is some hope to get better results with regard to disturbances with the help of topological quantum theories, which can be imagined (very very loosely speaking) as quantum versions of solitons, i.e. waves which are very stable.

Manicone in a n’i-ce-pace

Monday, March 19th, 2007


Manicone is a new work by Tim and me (daytar). It is a sketch of a humanoid form in fourdimensional space. It is also a sketch in the sense that we kept the technical realization as simple as possible, i.e. with the application there comes (sofar) no Wii remote or wand, no 3D glasses, no virtual cave like environment etc. – just mouse pointer and sliders.

The modularity of the underlying software jreality however allows in principle for all these extensions (even if Open GL doesn’t have the same transparency capabilities as Tims software viewer). A real 3D immersion in e.g. a cave-like environment with a nice input device may lead to a more direct perceptional access however it is not necessarily allways needed.

An advantage of the simplicity of the application is that it allows for putting Manicone as a Java applet or webstart application on our website (which we will do soon).

Further technical extensions are then a question of the given architectural, technical etc. circumstances. Manicone is a sketch – in any aspect but the work it took to do it.

->10 min. video description of Manicone on youtube