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Old 03-21-2011, 12:40 PM   #2276
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http://www.engadget.com/2011/03/20/n...nitude-better/

Nanoparticle inks print 3D antennas 'orders of magnitude' better than your boring 2D antenna


If you want better cellphone reception it's time to go small or go home, with researchers at the University of Illinois coming up with a nanoscale printing technique that allows for the creation of so-called 3D antennas. Of course, unless you're hunting for signal in Flatland all antennas are to some degree three-dimensional, but these suckers are printed using nanoparticle silver ink onto a curved substrate, as shown up yonder. The resulting components "exhibit performance metrics that are an order of magnitude better than those realized by monopole antenna designs." In fact these creations are said to approach the Chu-Harrington Limit of theoretical performance in an antenna. Most important? They look pretty darned cool. Shame they'll likely find themselves tucked away inside of a device's chassis -- whenever they actually go into production.
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Old 03-21-2011, 12:40 PM   #2277
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http://hackaday.com/2011/03/20/smart...=Google+Reader

Smartphone operated garage door is beginning of Arduino home automation system
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Old 03-21-2011, 12:45 PM   #2278
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http://www.newscientist.com/article/...ef=online-news

Biology's 'dark matter' hints at fourth domain of life
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Old 03-22-2011, 06:27 AM   #2279
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http://mindhacks.com/2011/03/22/bollocks-to-it/

Bollocks to it

Teenagers love to swear. Says who? Says science you melon farmers. And what could be better than a top ten of teenage swearing compiled by science wielding psycholinguists? A US – UK show down. Let the cursing commence.

The book Trends in Teenage Talk: Corpus Compilation, Analysis and Findings was written to summarise the findings of research on the word use of teenagers in London.

In Chapter 4, on slang and swearing, the authors compare the frequency of swear words in London teens to the same from an earlier study in East Coast American adolescents.

First the Londoners:



And now on to the East Coast Americans:



I would first like to express my disappointment that the word bollocks is being neglected by UK teenagers.

Unfortunately, a decline in social standards and a lack of respect for tradition is leading to a generation of ****ing obsessed adolescents.

Indeed, one of the great pleasures of this eminently British tradition is the low level of recognition among Americans, meaning bollocks can be used openly in the States without causing offence.

However, the small sample size of the American data means it may not be the most reliable guide to the true population ranking.

I note, for example, that there are only 27 b****es and 24 asses which may mean that the true b**** – ass prevalence is being obscured by random variation in the sample.
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Old 03-22-2011, 06:30 AM   #2280
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http://dornob.com/warped-wallpaper-c...p-doors-decor/


Warped Wallpaper: Custom-Printed to Wrap Doors & Decor

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Old 03-22-2011, 07:04 AM   #2281
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would anyone be interested in books or art from my collection?
Oh hell yes! I have library built for books of value. Ship it!
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Old 03-22-2011, 07:17 AM   #2282
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http://inhabitat.com/chicagos-willis...al-solar-farm/

Andrew Michler
Chicago’s Willis Tower to Become a Vertical Solar Farm

Chicago’s iconic Willis Tower (formally the Sears Tower) is set to become a massive solar electric plant with the installation of a pilot solar electric glass project. The high-profile project on the south side of the 56th floor will replace the windows with a new type of photovoltaic glass developed by Pythagoras Solar which preserves daylighting and views while reducing heat gain and producing the same energy as a conventional solar panel. The project could grow to 2 MW in size — which is comparable to a 10 acre field of solar panels — turning North America’s tallest building into a huge urban vertical solar farm.



green building, eco glass, green glass, solar farm, solar shading, Chicago sears tower retrofit, solar window, Pothagoras Solar, vertical solar, solar heat gain, solar electric windows, urban solar,

The project is a collaboration between the tower’s owner and the manufacturer to prove the viability of the building integrated photovoltaic (BIPV) system, which will also save energy by reducing heat gain and cooling costs. The new windows, dubbed high power density photovoltaic glass units (PVGU), are a clever hybrid technology that lays typical monocrystalline silicon solar cell horizontally between two layers of glass to form an individual tile. An internal plastic reflective prism directs angled sunlight onto the solar cells but allows diffuse daylight and horizontal light through. Think of it as a louvered shade which allows for views but cuts out the harsh direct sun.

The manufacturer claims that the vertically integrated solar cells will produce the same amount of energy as normal rooftop-mounted solar panels. This is great news for cities that have precious little rooftop space and towering walls of glass. The product is also a potential breakthrough in energy efficiency in glass towers, where solar heat gain is the bane of energy-efficient design.
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Old 03-22-2011, 07:18 AM   #2283
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I'd be interested in trading books with anyone here. Just give me a potential topic or whatever and I'll see what I can do.
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Old 03-22-2011, 07:20 AM   #2284
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I was looking at doing something sort of "old school". I was thinking of filling a jump drive with some ebooks, and some other things (music, etc) - and sending it to someone else to have them share some things, etc etc.

Sort of a digital chain letter - but giving people a way to share things they want others to see.
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Old 03-22-2011, 07:27 AM   #2285
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Yeah, that works too.
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Old 03-22-2011, 07:34 AM   #2286
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I'd like to find cool ways for people to connect, share and have something tangible that helps make connections something more than "just words".
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Old 03-22-2011, 07:43 AM   #2287
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Default The Great Retirement Swap: A Radical Proposal

The Great Retirement Swap: A Radical Proposal

The way that we think about retirement in America is fundamentally flawed. The current retirement system assumes that people must diligently invest in the stock market over an extended period of 30 years or more in order to buy things in the future - like food, shelter, and clothing. But what if people are free to share, barter and swap for these goods? To travel to wherever they want, provided someone has a spare room for them to use? To have access to any item they need, as long as they have an item of similar value to swap?

That's where the ground-breaking idea of collaborative consumption comes in. As Rachel Botsman and Roo Rogers explain in their new book What's Mine is Yours, we are undergoing a transformative moment in capitalism as we transition from a "shopping" to a "swapping" mentality. The relentless accumulation of consumer goods is being replaced by a more sustainable model based around bartering, sharing and swapping. Instead of financial capital, it's all about reputation capital: it's not how much you earn, it's how trustworthy you are in your community.

The pioneers of the collaborative consumption movement are companies like Airbnb,TaskRabbit, Swaptree, Zipcar, Couchsurfing and SnapGoods -- all of which are fundamentally reshaping the way we think about how we live. Other companies emphasize swapping of goods or services within geographic communities - why buy that expensive new snowblower if your neighbor down the block already owns one and is willing to share with you? The new Trade School in New York City enables people to barter for classroom instruction - no money changes hands.

So what in the world does this brave new world of swapping and sharing have to do with retirement?

Well, what if we fundamentally change the way we think about retirement to take into account the new trend toward collaborative consumption? Call it The Great Retirement Swap. At a macro-level, Americans would be swapping a bleak version of retirement for a positive, hopeful one. At a more tactical level, older Americans would be swapping for goods and services, rather than owning them. Wealth in retirement would become a relative issue - are you wealthier if you own a second home in Florida, or if you have unfettered access to apartments across Europe, at any time of the year?

Senior citizens could "swap" their accumulated knowledge from a lifetime of hard work within a certain industry for tangible goods. The higher their reputation capital, the more they would be able to get -- giving teachers, factory foremen and civil servants the chance to become equals of more highly-paid workers in other industries. They could barter away goods they no longer need -- like leftover items from their children -- for goods that they do need. They would share access to cars and bikes with neighbors in their community. Any savings they have acquired through diligent investing would be a "bonus" for them.

While all this sounds a bit "un-capitalistic," it's actually the free market at work, on a grand scale. When you barter for goods, there is a market price established for those goods. And best of all, it doesn't require 7% annual compounded returns in the stock market to succeed.

With millions of Baby Boomers set to start retiring within the next few years, retirement nest eggs shattered by the financial crisis, and even eternal optimists convinced that Social Security is no longer sustainable in the long-run, it's time to start thinking of a ground-breaking, innovative - dare I say it - radical solution for helping Americans attain the type of retirement they always dreamed of in their golden years.

Who knows? Maybe all those TV investment commercials showing senior citizens sitting on the dock of the bay, enjoying a little quality time with their new yacht will actually become a reality. A famous book about the Wall Street investment industry once asked: Where Are the Customers' Yachts? I'll tell you where these yachts might be -- one day, they'll be jointly owned by thousands of people, who are willing to lend them out to trustworthy senior citizens in oceanfront communities across the country.
Tags: babyboomers, barter, collaborative, consumption, investments, rachelbotsman, retirement, sharing, swapping
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Old 03-22-2011, 08:08 AM   #2288
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http://technoccult.net/archives/2011...=Google+Reader

The Rise of Farmpunk

Mr. Jones, 30, and his wife, Alicia, 27, are among an emerging group of people in their 20s and 30s who have chosen farming as a career. Many shun industrial, mechanized farming and list punk rock, Karl Marx and the food journalist Michael Pollan as their influences. The Joneses say they and their peers are succeeding because of Oregon’s farmer-foodie culture, which demands grass-fed and pasture-raised meats. [...]

The problem, the young farmers say, is access to land and money to buy equipment. Many new to farming also struggle with the basics.

In Eugene, Ore., Kasey White and Jeff Broadie of Lonesome Whistle Farm are finishing their third season of cultivating heirloom beans with names like Calypso, Jacob’s Cattle and Dutch Ballet.

They have been lauded — and even consulted — by older farmers nearby for figuring out how to grow beans in a valley dominated by grass seed farmers.

But finding mentors has been difficult. There is a knowledge gap that has been referred to as “the lost generation” — people their parents’ age may farm but do not know how to grow food. The grandparent generation is no longer around to teach them.

New York Times: In New Food Culture, a Young Generation of Farmers Emerges

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Old 03-22-2011, 09:08 AM   #2289
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http://inhabitat.com/new-shock-wave-...brid-vehicles/

We’ve seen a number of innovations focused on improving the efficiency of hybrid cars. But while most of these new ideas have focused on optimizing battery capacity, here is one new piece of technology that is about to revolutionize the engine itself. Straight from the engineers at Michigan State University, this new ‘wave disk engine’ is 3.5 times more fuel efficient than a conventional combustion engine, can be run on almost any fuel and emits 95% less carbon dioxide.

Wave disk engines are built to be small, light, clean, simple, and cheap. The engine basically uses a disk that spins around super fast, and the disk is affixed with a number of channels that fill up with air and fuel as the rotor spins. Pressure builds up as inlets are blocked off, causing a shock wave within the chamber that ignites the compressed air and fuel. Essentially, as shock waves from the rotation compress and ignite fuel in the channels, the combustion causes the rotor to spin, generating electricity.

According to Michigan State University, the wave disk engine is about 20% lighter than a conventional engine and significantly cheaper to manufacture – a $500 OEM price for a wave disk generator that could power a car. But like all turbine-type engines, the wave disk engine is probably only able to provide high levels of efficiency when it’s at its optimal speed, meaning that it will likely be most useful to apply the technology to charge the batteries of an electric vehicle, rather than to drive the car alone.

Michigan State’s engineers have a prototype wave disk generator in action, and they hope to have a car-sized 25 kilowatt version running by the end of the year. They have also received a sizable $2.5 million from the Department of Energy for their project.
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Old 03-22-2011, 07:14 PM   #2290
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The Great Retirement Swap: A Radical Proposal

The way that we think about retirement in America is fundamentally flawed. The current retirement system assumes that people must diligently invest in the stock market over an extended period of 30 years or more in order to buy things in the future - like food, shelter, and clothing. But what if people are free to share, barter and swap for these goods? To travel to wherever they want, provided someone has a spare room for them to use? To have access to any item they need, as long as they have an item of similar value to swap?

That's where the ground-breaking idea of collaborative consumption comes in. As Rachel Botsman and Roo Rogers explain in their new book What's Mine is Yours, we are undergoing a transformative moment in capitalism as we transition from a "shopping" to a "swapping" mentality. The relentless accumulation of consumer goods is being replaced by a more sustainable model based around bartering, sharing and swapping. Instead of financial capital, it's all about reputation capital: it's not how much you earn, it's how trustworthy you are in your community.

The pioneers of the collaborative consumption movement are companies like Airbnb,TaskRabbit, Swaptree, Zipcar, Couchsurfing and SnapGoods -- all of which are fundamentally reshaping the way we think about how we live. Other companies emphasize swapping of goods or services within geographic communities - why buy that expensive new snowblower if your neighbor down the block already owns one and is willing to share with you? The new Trade School in New York City enables people to barter for classroom instruction - no money changes hands.

So what in the world does this brave new world of swapping and sharing have to do with retirement?

Well, what if we fundamentally change the way we think about retirement to take into account the new trend toward collaborative consumption? Call it The Great Retirement Swap. At a macro-level, Americans would be swapping a bleak version of retirement for a positive, hopeful one. At a more tactical level, older Americans would be swapping for goods and services, rather than owning them. Wealth in retirement would become a relative issue - are you wealthier if you own a second home in Florida, or if you have unfettered access to apartments across Europe, at any time of the year?

Senior citizens could "swap" their accumulated knowledge from a lifetime of hard work within a certain industry for tangible goods. The higher their reputation capital, the more they would be able to get -- giving teachers, factory foremen and civil servants the chance to become equals of more highly-paid workers in other industries. They could barter away goods they no longer need -- like leftover items from their children -- for goods that they do need. They would share access to cars and bikes with neighbors in their community. Any savings they have acquired through diligent investing would be a "bonus" for them.

While all this sounds a bit "un-capitalistic," it's actually the free market at work, on a grand scale. When you barter for goods, there is a market price established for those goods. And best of all, it doesn't require 7% annual compounded returns in the stock market to succeed.

With millions of Baby Boomers set to start retiring within the next few years, retirement nest eggs shattered by the financial crisis, and even eternal optimists convinced that Social Security is no longer sustainable in the long-run, it's time to start thinking of a ground-breaking, innovative - dare I say it - radical solution for helping Americans attain the type of retirement they always dreamed of in their golden years.

Who knows? Maybe all those TV investment commercials showing senior citizens sitting on the dock of the bay, enjoying a little quality time with their new yacht will actually become a reality. A famous book about the Wall Street investment industry once asked: Where Are the Customers' Yachts? I'll tell you where these yachts might be -- one day, they'll be jointly owned by thousands of people, who are willing to lend them out to trustworthy senior citizens in oceanfront communities across the country.
Tags: babyboomers, barter, collaborative, consumption, investments, rachelbotsman, retirement, sharing, swapping
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I love these ideas... definitely progressive, nu-skool, and paradigm changing.

What I fear is that the corporate proponents of capitalism will intentionally sabotage some of these attempts - false flag type stuff. Deliberately send in operatives to rip people off who are offering to share their stuff/homes/etc. to give it a bad rap and discourage others from doing the same. That way they will maintain their monopoly on selling us more 'stuff' that we really don't need to own.
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Old 03-22-2011, 07:19 PM   #2291
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Agreed, that's also a concern of mine as well. I don't know a solution for that yet...ha!

Would your parents be intested in concepts like these? Mine does, but she's hesitant.
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Old 03-22-2011, 07:23 PM   #2292
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My parents are too untrusting of others to ever try this stuff. It sounds similar to time-shares, but even I am hesitant of those. Heard too many horror stories.

Been wanting to try out Couch Surfing for a while though!
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Old 03-22-2011, 07:29 PM   #2293
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mi couch, su couch.

trust is the most important. i understand that...and wish we could get passed selfishness.
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Old 03-22-2011, 07:32 PM   #2294
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I'd like to find cool ways for people to connect, share and have something tangible that helps make connections something more than "just words".
Bow shika bow wow.
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Old 03-22-2011, 07:36 PM   #2295
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Bow shika bow wow.
I'm easy, but i do have standards.... haha!
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Old 03-22-2011, 07:38 PM   #2296
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I'm easy, but i do have standards.... haha!
I was just playing the wawah, man.



Just the wawah.
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Old 03-23-2011, 05:41 AM   #2297
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China cuts off phone calls if word 'protest' is used
from New Scientist - Online News



The Chinese government is monitoring phone conversations and automatically cutting the call when forbidden words are used
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Old 03-23-2011, 06:02 AM   #2298
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http://hackaday.com/2011/03/19/build...=Google+Reader

Building a home automation mesh network

[Ian Harris] designed a bunch of home automation for his parents using X10 hardware. He was a bit disappointed by the failure rate of the modules and the overall performance of the system so he set out to replace it with his own hardware. Lucky for use he’s documented the journey in a four-part series about mesh networks.

The hardware seen above is his test rig. He’s using a couple of Sparkfun breakout boards to develop for nrf2401a RF transceiver chips. These could be used as slave modules, with a central command device, but due to the home’s architecture wireless signals don’t propagate well from one end of the house to the other. The solution is to build a mesh network that will allow each module to act as a network node, receiving and passing on messages until they arrive at the target device. He’s trying to do this with cheap hardware, selecting the PIC 16F88 which boasts 7 KB or program memory and 368 bytes of ram. In the end it doesn’t take much code to get this running, it’s the concepts that take some time and research before you’ll be comfortable working with them.
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Old 03-23-2011, 06:17 AM   #2299
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http://mindhacks.com/2011/03/18/the-...he-lion-heart/

The brain behind the lion heart

I’ve just read a completely fascinating New York Times article on the neuropsychology of courage – a core human attribute that curiously seems to be largely ignored by cognitive science.

The piece looks at how we define courage, it’s relation to fear and the sometimes wonderfully innovative research that has tackled the area.

In pioneering work from 1970s and beyond, Stanley J. Rachman of the University of British Columbia and others studied the physiology and behavior of paratroopers as they prepared for their first parachute jump.

The work revealed three basic groups: the preternaturally fearless, who displayed scant signs of the racing heart, sweaty palms, spike in blood pressure and other fight-or-flight responses associated with ordinary fear, and who jumped without hesitation; the handwringers, whose powerful fear response at the critical moment kept them from jumping; and finally, the ones who reacted physiologically like the handwringers but who acted like the fearless leapers, and, down the hatch.

These last Dr. Rachman deemed courageous, defining courage as “behavioral approach in spite of the experience of fear.” By that expansive definition, courage becomes democratized and demilitarized, the property of any wallflower who manages to give the convention speech, or the math phobe who decides to take calculus.

It is also a wonderfully written article, by the way, so well worth making the leap for.


Link to NYT article ‘Searching for the Source of a Fountain of Courage’.

http://www.nytimes.com/2011/01/04/sc...pagewanted=all

______


This was a very cool read.
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Old 03-23-2011, 06:32 AM   #2300
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http://hackaday.com/2011/03/19/build...=Google+Reader

Building a home automation mesh network

[Ian Harris] designed a bunch of home automation for his parents using X10 hardware. He was a bit disappointed by the failure rate of the modules and the overall performance of the system so he set out to replace it with his own hardware. Lucky for use he’s documented the journey in a four-part series about mesh networks.

The hardware seen above is his test rig. He’s using a couple of Sparkfun breakout boards to develop for nrf2401a RF transceiver chips. These could be used as slave modules, with a central command device, but due to the home’s architecture wireless signals don’t propagate well from one end of the house to the other. The solution is to build a mesh network that will allow each module to act as a network node, receiving and passing on messages until they arrive at the target device. He’s trying to do this with cheap hardware, selecting the PIC 16F88 which boasts 7 KB or program memory and 368 bytes of ram. In the end it doesn’t take much code to get this running, it’s the concepts that take some time and research before you’ll be comfortable working with them.
http://www.orangemane.com/BB/showthread.php?t=97457

There is an audrino thread i started for anyone else interested




http://www.gizmag.com/kinect-as-a-set-of-eyes/18179/

NAVI project turns Kinect into a set of eyes for the visually impaired



While we've looked at a couple of efforts to upgrade the humble white cane's capabilities, such as the ultrasonic Ultracane and the laser scanning cane, the decidedly low tech white cane is still one of the most commonly used tools to help the visually impaired get around without bumping into things. Now, through their project called NAVI (Navigation Aids for the Visually Impaired), students at Germany's Universität Konstanz have leveraged the 3D imaging capabilities of Microsoft's Kinect camera to detect objects that lie outside a cane's small radius and alert the wearer to the location of obstacles through audio and vibro-tactile feedback.

The vibrotactile wistbelt
Debug view of the software used to tune the parameters for depth processing
The Kinect camera mounted on a sugru socket and fixed with duct tape
The backpack used to hold the laptop
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That's right, I said "wearer" because the system created by Master's students Michael Zöllner and Stephan Huber places the Kinect camera atop the visually impaired person's head thanks to a hard hat, some sugru and a liberal application of duct tape. The image and depth information captured by the Kinect cameras is sent to a Dell laptop mounted in a backpack, which is connected via USB to an Arduino 2009 board glued to a fabric belt worn around the waist.

The depth information captured by the Kinect camera is processed by software on the laptop and mapped onto three pairs of Arduino LilyPad vibration motors located at the upper and lower left, center and right of the fabric belt. When a potential obstacle is detected, its location is conveyed to the wearer by the vibration of the relevant motor.

A Bluetooth headset also provides audio cues and can be used to provide navigation instructions and read signs using ARToolKit markers placed on walls and doors. The Kinect's depth detection capabilities allows navigation instructions to vary based on the distance to a marker. For example, as the person walks towards a door they will hear "door ahead in 3, 2, 1, pull the door."

The students see their system as having advantages to other point-to-point navigation approaches using GPS – which don't work indoors – and seeing-eye dogs – which must be trained for certain routes, cost a lot of money and get tired.

For their NAVI project, the Universität Konstanz students wrote the software in C# and .NET and used the ManagedOpenNI wrapper for the Kinect and the managed wrapper of the ARToolKitPlus for marker tracking. The voice instructions are synthesized using Microsoft's Speech API and all input streams are glued together using Reactive Extensions for .NET.
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