3D Displays

More from Urban Screens (a site dedicated to large displays in urban spaces – added to my aggregator today) – this time, it’s about 3D and almost-holographic displays. There seem to be two major competitors in this apparantly growing, and certainly interesting commercial sector.

hellio-front-small.jpgIO2 Technology have developed a projector system that renders images in ‘thin air’. It’s not true 3D – the projection itself is 2D, but the effect looks interesting nonetheless. Depending on exactly how they’re doing that projection (I have a few unqualified ideas) perhaps projecting several 2D layers will give a true 3D effect?

Fogscreen is another option (perhaps working in a similar way – IO2 are quite vague). Here the image is projected onto a screen of “dry fog” – 100% water apparantly (if somebody knows how that isn’t a contradiction let me know). The system creates a screen of 1.5m by 2m – roughly 2.5metres diagonal, if my in-head Pythagoras is correct. Fogscreen can also become interactive, should you want. Fogscreen is supposed to be ‘free from turbulence’, but the video [WMV] on their site shows there might be some – particularly if you insist on waving your hand through the fog!

People as Pixels

biggest_human_logo.jpgStrangely interesting article I found today, about crowds holding up cards to form large pictures. The largest was performed in Portugal in 1999, where the stadium crowd at the National Stadium in Lisbon formed an image of a player kicking a football. The aricle also goes into some detail about the use and principle of pixel-people for various ways and means. [Via Urbanscreens, photo from 4to40.com]

Lightning Tracker

I’ve written about this before, but interesting little bits like this deserve some attention. Today I had the live storm tracker loaded up, watching some impressive thunderstorms track across eastern England from somewhere near Hull to Norfolk. They’ve all died down this evening, but maybe there’ll be some more tomorrow.

I actually had the PNG representation up – it doesn’t refresh automatically but takes less resources and is almost as informative at a glance.

Link Catchup

Right, I haven’t posted anything particularly interesting lately, so here’s a bit of a catch-up:

  • Google Spreadsheets is released, albeit to a limited group – looks like an interesting AJAX app. Bit on the thin side by the looks of things, but then how many people use Excel for anything more complicated than accounts or modelling?
  • Portsmouth is set to become the first city in the UK to implement a city-wide 20mph speed limit.
  • Windows Vista Beta 2 is now generally available – although it looks like their servers are swamped!
  • The Tories could be offering spaces to bloggers at their annual conferences (nothing new – see also 2004 US Elections, but still something to keep track of)
  • For those of you that are interested, the Blogtalk conference this year is Oct 2-3 at Vienna in Austria. I went a couple of years ago – it was a great conference and the city is gorgeous! Still in two minds about this year though.
  • In other news I have just returned from a canal holiday. Photos soon!

Google Adwords Video

Google currently support Flash and image ads (as well as the usual text ads) – now they’re adding Video ads to their options. It’s an interesting addition – doesn’t seem overly intrusive (as long as they don’t play automatically, which they currently don’t).

Mapping in detail

I found a nice little website from the UK goverment today – it’s called Empress.gov.uk and can be used to find (for now) roadworks in various parts of the country.

However, this particular mapping site goes into extraordinary detail, including showing the boundaries of each household.


What’s even more interesting again is the Javascript in the page revealing the possibility of aerial photos:

var g_bShowAerialPhoto = false;

Now that will be interesting.

(Also worth noting, for computer-y people, is that the entire system is built using VML. Unfortunately it doesn’t have the same rendering speed as Google Maps, but it’s stil pretty clever stuff)