Technology


7
Sep 08

Last.fm Graphs

I’ve always loved finding new ways to visually explain information, whether through maps, diagrams, charts or other graphical models. Edward Tufte is an old favorite on this very rich field of study — if you haven’t already, be sure to check out his latest book, Beautiful Evidence.

In similar fashion, Sha Wang’s nifty spiral generator creates a visual portrait of your musical tastes. By using your scrobbled Last.fm music tracks, Wang’s simple script whips up a sweet spiral graph of your listening patterns over the past year (see my spiral below). Want to try it out? Make your own at www.diametunim.com/muse, or view other spirals at http://datamine.tumblr.com.

Another colorful graphing tool for Last.fm users is LastGraph, which renders your listening history in the form of a wave graph. It’s just as pretty and clearly marks artists using varying color fields:


14
Apr 08

Tenori-On

Yamaha is sponsoring a free event at 1015 this Friday, April 18, which includes live performances by the likes of Pole, Robert Lippok (of To Rococo Rot), Sutekh, Safety Scissors, and I am Robot. This event will serve as a launch party for a novel instrument that wowed the crowd at SIGGRAPH in 2005: Tenori-On.

A touch-sensitive sequencer with a LED matrix interface, Tenori-On offers a fun way to visually represent music while you make it. It’s easy to create and manipulate loops, manage layers and and even import samples via an SD card slot. Tenori-On looks like a fun piece of gear for live shows too — you can string a few of them together or hook one up to your laptop, mixer, etc. via MIDI. Best of all, friends and audiences can actually see the music progress with the dancing LED lights on the double-sided tablet. Designer Toshio Iwai will give a live demo of the instrument at the party.


12
Apr 08

Yuri’s Night

Superdraw  

A great lineup is in store for Yuri’s Night at Nasa Ames. Of note on the audiovisual side is a psychedelic drawing interface installation by Joshua Ott, Ezekiel Honig, and Morgan Packard (see screenshot above).

Other artists like Jon Tejada, Lusine, Deru, and [a]pendics.shuffle will keep the tunes going alongside all of the technological wizardry that one can expect of a Bay area geek spectacle. See you there!

Yuri’s Night Bay Area website
Upcoming.org post


    7
    Oct 07

    Jeff Han’s Media Wall at Neiman Marcus

    Neiman Marcus has teamed up with Jeff Han to offer Han’s multi-touch media wall in the luxury retailer’s 2007 Christmas Book. Han’s company, Perceptive Pixel, Inc., designed the eight-by-three foot surface for effortless, hands-on interactivity for work and play. Here’s the promo video for this offer:

    Jeff Han

    Han’s touch-driven wall can be exclusively yours for a starting price of $100,000, far less than other lavish holiday gifts from Neiman Marcus — past offerings include a charter space flight on Virgin Galactic’s SpaceShipTwo for $1.76 million. While hardly an example of technology for the masses, it’s an exciting peek at the future of intuitive design.

    If you haven’t already, be sure to check out Han’s demonstration of the interactive wall at TED in 2006.


    23
    May 07

    Last.tv

    last.tv

    Cool that last.tv has come around, fusing the music listening charts generated by the popular social music site last.fm with their matching music videos from YouTube. The site is still fairly basic and doesn’t offer much in the way of choosing specific artists’ music vids, and the video player’s selection appears rather inaccurate. The first few video plays from my last.tv experience included a lot of older Warp artists – Aphex Twin, Autechre, funkier live videos from the Detroit Grand Pubahs, plus some more random tidbits like Shin Chan, “Stem Cells in the Adult Body (Part 3 of 4)” and someone’s re-enactment of Law & Order (I don’t watch that show, so not sure where that one came from!). Kudos for the clever idea, though.