The New Concepts for the Home booth included a “digital postcard” gadget for the living room, a “visual answering machine” for the kitchen, but most interesting to me was a system to send short clips of the TV shows you are watching to the mobile phone of your friends. In the Graphics and Media section I saw software that automatically removes “um’s” and other extraneous parts from your Podcast as well as processes for keywords or automatic summaries (VERY COOL!) There was an HD plug-in for viewing gigapixel images online and 360-degree panoramic video in Internet Explorer. There is also a prototype authoring tool that generates content for this plug-in.
There was an Xbox 360 game called Boku that teaches high level programming concepts to kids who may not be ready to grasp the complexity of a computer language. It uses behavior arbitration (set a character to move toward or avoid others, or just wander around), and real time feedback using sensors, physics, and message passing. There was a booth for directed sound (ala the ads in Minority Report) that would allow officemates to both be on speakerphone calls without interrupting each other and a dynamic noise reduction system for making it easier to hear audio in a restaurant or in traffic.
There was a system for taking a picture of a DVD, painting, or band poster on a telephone pole using a Smartphone that brings up dynamic information like reviews or more information about the product. A “Surface Computing Innovation” booth had the most buzz with real-time interaction between people at distance playing chess with real pieces on one side and projected pieces on your opponent’s side. There was also a demo of a projected car on a table top that would drive around hopping over paper ramps and hills that were actually on the table.
And those are just the things I can talk about. Laura Foy was there with a camera, so stay tuned for more on TechFest 2007.
More on TechFest 2007: Wired, Engadget, CNN, Don Dodge, My Geek News. And of course, don't forget to check out Channel 9's coverage.
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