WIRED NextFest video: Blinky, flashy future thingies*

http://blogging.la/archives/images/2007/09/doorway-thumb.jpgUpdated with video sound, new photos

This doorway – which opens to the exact shape of your body – would probably result in plenty of Scotty- smashes- into- the- Enterprise- door bloopers in real life.

But I guess that’s sort of the point of NextFest – showing you what’s possible, not necessarily what’s brilliant and foolproof. (See “in other news” at bottom, for more proof of that, along with ticket info.)

Today was media/schools day, so the place was jammed with a crowd that was half hype, and half hormones. I may bring my own kids back tomorrow – plenty of fun stuff to ogle. I’ve posted a few videos after the jump …

A JPL scientist drives a rover model over a bunch of squirming schoolkids, ostensibly demonstrating the thing’s “rocker-bogie suspension system.” But hey, fun’s fun, and where else can you claim to have had a robotic vehicle drive over your butt?

Kids try out “Interface #4 TFT Tennis” which lets them manipulate a virtual tennis ball by gripping high-res video screens and lunging around the floor.

USC researcher Benham Salemi shows off SuperBot a robot built out of identical, configurable robot building blocks that can be configured any number of ways. This one’s walking.

The photos in Wired a few months back don’t quite do justice to Morpho Towers, a sort of technosculpture made out of ferrofluid that’s shaped and animated by computer-controlled electromagnets.

Orb: A circular matrix of LEDs spins at 1,750 RPM in 24-bit color, creating the illusion of a spinning globe – made by the NYU Interactive Telecommunications Program.

Nova is a cubical grid of color-tunable, computer-controlled LEDs that functions as a 3-dimensional, 16-million-color video display. Maybe 57 years from now, when we’re all riding around in our flying cars we’ll remember this as the primitive forerunner of 3-D television.

I’ll try to post some photos later if I can get the time.

Anyway, NextFest is quite well worth the trip – just take a bike or the train and avoid the $12 parking fee (shudder).

And in other news

Government scientist Bill Dube narrowly escaped serious injury when he hopped on “Killacycle” – his battery-powered superbike Thursday to do a burnout for TGV, and then smashed it into a minivan.

The thing apparently can hit the 1/4 mile in 8.76 seconds.

As the hapless Dube points out beforehand, he’s the crewchief, not the driver. As it sounds like he’s pointing out afterwards (while lying on his back on the pavement waiting for paramedics to bundle him into the ambulance) – and perhaps he’s referring to the throttle – “it actually stuck ON.”

Details:
SEPTEMBER 14 – 16, 2007
LOS ANGELES CONVENTION CENTER
SOUTH HALL (J and K)
LOS ANGELES

Tickets are available to purchase for:
Friday, September 14 12:00 PM – 7:00 PM
Saturday, September 159:00 AM – 6:00 PM
Sunday, September 169:00 AM – 6:00 PM

Adults: $20
Students and Seniors (65+): $15 with valid ID
Affiliates: $10 with valid promotional code
Children ages 2-12: $5.
Children under 2: Free

http://blogging.la/archives/images/2007/09/digitalwinerack-thumb.jpg
Digital wine rack uses RFIDs embedded in the bottles to track collectors’ inventory and display them with color-coding via LEDs embedded in the rack. And you just know some absurdly wealthy wine geek out there is already waving a blank checkbook at these guys …

More photos here at Flickr.

2 Replies to “WIRED NextFest video: Blinky, flashy future thingies*”

  1. I was there today, too! :P

    Seemed a little empty and small, but i am used to attending tbe olde E3s in the same convention halls. Still, really cool stuff!

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