land-of-kain

(umi'n no kuni)

Yota Phone 2

Engadget reviews the Yota Phone 2, an Android mobile phone with an e-ink display on the backside for ebook reading, ticket display and always-on clock. But it can also display everything from the front display on the back display, though slower. Energy savings are considerable (on my Nexus S, 40% battery for display). Only disadvantage: The device is curved as a normal phone, so the back display is not planar. Costs 700 EUR.

360 Degree Cameras

Petapixel and Engadget report on 360 degree cameras: The Samsung Project Beyond records with 8 stereo pairs, while the EyeSee360 360fly and the Kodak PixPro SP360 use single cameras and a mirror in the style of traditional omnidirectional cameras.

Virtual Reality Glove: Dexmo

A decade after the P5 glove (see my input devices) and other hand exoskeletons, Engadget, Joystiq and Road to VR report of the Dexmo VR glove prototype with the same goal, but now tailored towards the Oculus Rift VR environment. Could be combined with a Twiddler one-hand keyboard for text input.

13" Ebook Reader: Sony DPT-S1

Engadget links to the ebook-reader blog reporting on the Sony DPT-S1, the only 13" e-ink reader, now available at 1000 EUR (Sony store). Finally a good device for A4 paper sized documents.

Car Commercials: Camera Paths

Petapixel shows a Toyota video with cameras mounted to rails, onto drones, below parachutes, and on motorcycles, all for typical car commercials. As for cameras, Nikon and Fujinon explain their lenses, and the jasmcole blog experiments with rolling shutters, which are detrimental to shooting car commercials.

Personhood: A Game for Two

The melting asphalt blog with an essay on "personhood": Basically the ability to be accepted as trustworthy, it is developed by persons throughout their childhood. Companies once sought the "right to be sued" in order to increase their trustworthiness.

Optical Flow: Twixtor

Re:Vision brings optical flow (for slow-motion effects) to the SFX industry via the Twixtor plugin. Works best when the camera aperture is small, approximating a pinhole camera. Related: Apertures in less than 3 minutes (video) and a depth-of-field simulation.

Siggraph 2014 Report: Movie Making

FXguide reports from the Siggraph, including SFX production of the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles (io9 is also on TNMT). In contrast, Edge of Tomorrow focuses on practical effects.

NextVR 6x6K Omnidirectional Camera Rig

Engadget reports on an omnidirectional camera system made of 6 synchronized RED EPIC Dragons with 6K resolution (6144x3160) each, by NextVR. Used to broadcast live events with look-around capabilities (only horizontal). Will need fisheye lenses to provide overlapping views for stitching.

Transcript: Feynmann Lectures on Physics

Io9 and Open Culture report that some Lecture Transcripts of Richard Feynmann, famed physicist and explainer, have been completed by Caltech. Previously, 7 lecture videos had been made available.

Open Source Game Clones

A surprising number of classic games have open source clones: Zelda (Solarus), Super Mario (Mega Mario), Paradroid (FreeDroid), Syndicate (FreeSynd) and of course, Counter Strike (Urban Terror).

Metal Gear Solid V: Character Making-Of

Hideo Kojima's team shows a making-of video for the female character "Quiet": markerless 3D scanning of a real person's face, and subsequent modeling. For the Cyberpunk 2077 trailer (making-of) from Platigue, a similar but denser camera array was used by Infinite Realities.