Andrew McWilliams

Introduction to iBeacons

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This post explores iBeacons. It may have been announced only quietly, but it is going to have a big impact on how we perceive computing, and on the so-called Internet of Things.

iBeacons technology is being promoted as a service, particularly for innovative brick-and-mortar retailers to differentiate via micro-location, context-aware apps and analytics. However the technology has an equally powerful reductive effect on privacy, for those who choose not to be conscientious and self-impose limits.

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Volumetric Lab at CultureHub NYC

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I've been attending the newly-formed Volumetric Lab weekly since the RGBDToolkit workshop got me started with depth video. It's a fun and experimental workshop run by Volumetric Society's Ellen Pearlman and CultureHub's S.O. O'Brien.

Showing Existential at CultureHub NYC
Showing Existential at CultureHub NYC (credit: culturehubnyc)

The lab's initial run culminated with the kick-off party for the new Volumetric Society season for 2013/14 yesterday. It was a great event with high energy and a confident feel. We put out a call to other artists and tinkerers who might want to attend the Sunday lab.

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Randomness in the Algorithm

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Wow! Just had to share this for all of you struggling with the RGBDToolkit calibration process.

I just remounted my depth sensor to my camera, and re-ran the correspondence calibration. It failed completely - a total fail. But then I hit Regenerate RGB/Depth correspondence again, without changing anything - and I got this really solid-looking calibration!

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Video: Existential

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Every day we are surrounded by people we don't know. In every city a mass of people paradoxically leads to greater isolation and individualism - or does it?

What is beyond this narrative? What social and spatial cues take over when we don't know the people surrounding around us? How are we engaging in a shared sense of space, and are when and where are we conscious of it? What is the role of this limited but intimately connected cultural cohesion? How does our physicality and embodied awareness contribute to this spatial conversation?

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The Visual Art of Brian Eno

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In this video Brian Eno talks about the motivations behind his visual art practice. There are some great quotes in here, and sentiments I think many of us share, like not being able to sit down and fully appreciate the time-stretched presence of your creation until an audience is in front of it and you can no longer change it.

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The Artist-Geek Hybrid

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In this talk at TEDx Seattle, John SanGiovanni discusses what he calls the Artist-Geek Hybrid, and crossover skills in general. This is a topic I am discovering more and more about, as I am increasingly playing a variety of roles myself, including artist, experience designer, and software developer.

Here is a quick summary of the video: John talks about the value of having a 'wildcard' of cross-domain knowledge, which he illustrates with a crazy Teenage Mutant Turtle story.

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