Archive for the ‘Inspiration’ Category

Miracast technology is great for presentations


Recently I have been testing and playing with small, inexpensive and off the shelf devices. I wanted to find out if these devices can be used effectively in the experiences we create in our custom work.  While testing a device called a NETGEAR Push2TV (PTV3000), which retails for about $60.   we discovered a small device that is very useful as a presentation tool.


Connecting the Surface to the Push2TV

My example uses a Surface Pro2 as the mirror device, a projector and the Push2TV. Once the Push2TV was connected and powered, all I had to do was discover it through Devices/Project on the Surface, key in the code given on screen from the Push2TV and it started projecting my Surface screen.  After the first connection it will just connect without entering the code.    The beauty of this product is that it does not need a WiFi connection to work, it is creating it’s own connection.  The Push2TV can also connect to other devices like Android phones, Amazon Fire and Windows 8 computers.  The device must support Intel WiDi and Wi-Fi Miracast to work.


The Surface is now connected to the projector and mirrors it’s screen, or it can also extend the screen

I always think of entering a conference room to give a presentation and fumbling around to find the right connector, now I bring a Push2TV, plug it in, connect the Surface (I’ve also used my android phone) to it and start my presentation.  If I am using PowerPoint on the Surface device, PowerPoint will go into presenter mode and will extend the screen.   What I see is the presenter screen, what the audience sees is the presentation.   It’s a very slick device and will only get better as time goes on.


PowerPoint is shown in the presenter mode as an extended screen

There are more and more devices like these coming out and I would assume that the technology will be embedded in more and more devices like monitors and projectors.  I like when technology is simple and useful.

I’m Killing Myself Sitting All Day

I’ve had this feeling that sitting at my desk and staring at a computer (hour after hour) cannot be good for my health. Dr. James Levine of the Mayo Clinic confirmed this and proved the benefits of walking while you work.

To start the new year, I took a bold move and purchased a treadmill desk like Dr. Levine’s. I was nervous that the desk would make me less productive and that I couldn’t do many of the tasks that require a steady hand, but I jumped in anyway. The desk took me only 20 minutes to set up on my own, although I would recommend doing this with help. Once my computer was on board, I was ready to start. After the first 20 minutes, I forgot I was walking and proceeded to walk through the last two hours of my work day. One mile an hour for two hours equals 2 miles, 15 email responses and 2 articles read. Not bad for the first day.

I’m still getting use to walking and working, but I am surprised at how easy it is and how much I can accomplish without sitting. If you have thought about doing this or are curious to know what it’s like, please come by and give it a try. My bookkeeper is a convert after one walking session while closing my books for the year. I hope this is a start of a standard for our industry. And yes, this was written while I walked.


The River

On a recent trip to Paris I discovered this video installation at the MUSÉE DU QUAI BRANLY by artist Charles Sandison from Finland.  The installation is projected using perhaps 10 or more projectors on the floor and walls of the very long ramp that leads to the main exhibits.  I like the exhibit for its story and the way it sets a mood for the rest of the museum by connecting a river of words with the cultures that live, work and play along the rivers banks.  I am sure we will see more of these digital exhibits in the future and not just as digital signage.

Obscura Digital and the Guggenheim Museum showcased

I just can’t get enough of architectural video mapping.  This is a stunning project that wraps the Guggenheim Museum both inside and out in video.

Toyota takes projection mapping to a new level

This is how to launch a new product.  This launch takes projection mapping to new level, 3D. I know this took a ton of money, but it really is jaw dropping and mapping a three dimensional object is perhaps the coolest effect of all. Also take a look at the making of video it is equally fascinating.

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Experimenting with SHOWWX laser projectors

Last week Miquel from Microvision dropped by the Mind Opera studios with four of their tiny laser projectors to conduct a few visual experiments.   The idea of these experiments was to combine the WATCHOUT technology with these ultra portable laser projectors to see how they would work projecting muti-screen or widescreen content.   In this first phase we used pre-made content and kept the layouts loose, just to get a feel for what was possible.   We were able to easily build muti-projector configurations, but things got real exciting when we took an old lamp shade and used three SHOWWX projectors to cover the entire cylinder.  Since the projectors are lasers they do not lose focus as the image falls off the edge of the lamp shade and using WATCHOUT’s geometry correction we were able to create a blend that was close enough to see how this concept might work.  Granted we did not use content specifically designed for our projector configurations, nor were the projectors exactly lined up based on mathematical calculations, but what we learned has sprouted new ideas and potential uses for the SHOWWX projectors.   I’m looking forward to the next experiment.

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ACDC and Iron Man Destroy Rochester Castle!

Even if you’re not a big fan of AC/DC music you’ll love this technique called Architectural Projection Mapping.  On the site of a thousand years of violent history, ACDC were pitted against Iron Man in a ground breaking architectural projection mapping project.  The front facade of the Great Keep at Rochester Castle, was brought to life using the latest in 3D animation techniques. This onslaught of the senses, saw the castle confront its ultimate challenge. Warping, morphing, spewing and collapsing before the audiences eyes. Let there be rock!

TouchDesigner software for interactive content development

We used the TouchDesigner software from Derivative years ago to create visual filler for a live event.  It’s an easy to use tool that lets you create interesting content on the fly. Take a look at what people are doing with it today.

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Mind Opera Video Reel

A video reel of all of our good stuff.

Mind Opera Reel 2009 from Mind Opera on Vimeo.

Breakfast In A Can

It’s Friday and I’m feeling good about the weekend, so I thought I’d share with you a delicious and fun way to prepare breakfast in just minutes. Think of how much fun you can have Sunday morning with a can of Batter Blaster and whip cream. When was the last time this much goodness came from a can?

Batter Blaster Video