HYBRIDEX

A Research Project on Hybrid Experiences


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NunoErin Interactive Furniture


NunoErin_1NunoErin collection of interactive furniture includes tables, benches and other seats. The furniture react to human touch by lighting up in a stylized pixel graphics where they are touched allowing users to draw playful messages on them.

NunoErin interactive furniture light up in a tranquil manner when they are touched. The surface of the furniture sports a layer of lights reminiscent of pixel graphic. Whether it is a fingertip, a broad swipe of full arm or somebody’s behind, the lights on the bench light up from the touched position swiftly and responsively in several colors. Lights are pleasantly mellow – the stated design intention of NunoErin is to create calming and soothing ambience through its products. Touching something is an evocative experience and interactive lights encourage users to playful and positive mood. For example: one user leaves her mark on the bench, somebody else modifies it, another one wants to communicate a message via the bench, and so NunoErin_2on. Besides the pixel surface, there is also another type of layer on which a hand print, for example, stays as if it was dipped in paint, only to fade away in a while. The company offers also versions of benches that come with a surface for recharging smart phones wirelessly.

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LeapReader and the Tag pen

LeapReaderLeapReader books are interactive books for children that ”come alive” via special Tag pen. By touching words and pictures the pen reads them aloud and helps to pronounce them. Users can also download more content into the pen via USB online connection.

LeapFrog’s LeapReader series of childrens books spans over 100 titles ranging from classic tales to new Disney content to anatomy books. By buying the separate Tag pen these titles turn to interactive books. In storybooks characters and objects on the page can be touched to play out comments and sound effects. By touching specific letters, words and sentences the pen reads them aloud and can also spell them slowly to help in pronunciation. There are also special one-time-use pages with pressure sensitive paper which can be used to train writing letters (the pen does not actually draw). Here, the pen guides children step by step, i.e. instructing “now draw the middle line of the H that is marked by blue color.”

The pen features stereo speakers and a headphone jack. There is also internal memory to store stories, audio books and songs. The pen is plugged into a computer via USB to recharge the pen and to download new content. Parents can also follow the child’s progress through an online service and download for example new apps and printables for the title.


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Pokémon Rumble U

Pokemon Rumble UPokémon Rumble U is an arena-fighting game for the Nintendo Wii U. While players collect Pokémon and fight waves of enemies, the gameplay can be enhanced by buying physical figurines which are able to enhance the game via the NFC reader in the Wii U controller.

A downloadable title from Nintendo eShop, the gameplay in Pokémon Rumble U consists of fighting waves of enemies using the Pokémon, while each stage ends with a larger boss battle. The art style presents the Pokémon as “toy versions” of themselves and all creatures from the five first generations of the main line of the series are available to collect. The gameplay can feature up to one hundred Pokémon and up to four players at the same time.

Accompanying the game is a toy line of Pokémon figurines (£3.99 apiece) that can be purchased in blind bags. Figurines include NFC chips and consequently are compatible with the Wii U gamepad that includes an NFC reader. By placing the Pokémon figurine on it players are able to upgrade the abilities of the corresponding character in the game and buy new skills for it.


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Polaroid Socialmatic Camera

Polaroid SocialmaticPolaroid Socialmatic camera takes digital photographs that the user can quick-edit on the camera screen, post on different social media platforms via a Wi-Fi connection and print as physical copies straight from the camera.

Still waiting to be released, Polaroid’s Socialmatic camera is a 14-megapixel digital camera that comes equipped with an Android based operating system. The camera lets users take digital photographs that can be touched upon already on the camera’s 4.5-inch touchscreen. Users can also post their pictures on different social media platforms straight from the camera via a Wi-Fi connection. Reminiscent of the classic Polaroid cameras, Socialmatic can also print the pictures as physical copies on Zink’s Zero Ink ink-free paper. The size of the printed photos is 2×3” and they are promised to be smudge-proof, water resistant and tear resistant. The pictures are saved on microSD cards, and the camera also features a 2-megapixel rear-facing camera.

Socialmatic camera is due to launch in fall 2014.


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MurMur Moderators

This is what we have been working on for a while now:

MurMur_at_MakerFaireRome2013_small

MurMur is an interactive furniture and toy for office environments. MurMurs take form of fantastical creatures that you can sit on and play with. They make sounds and interact with each other facilitating social activities in a meeting room.

Our first prototype is an IKEA hack (items used include ALSEDA chair and HAMPEN carpet), inside of which you can find a Raspberry Pi and an Arduino accompanying a battery and a speaker. The project was recently showcased at Maker Faire Rome.

See more at:

http://murmurmoderators.com


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Gigo Future Car

Gigo Future Car 1Gigo Future Car is a remote controlled, constructible toy car that utilizes AR technology to create a virtual city for the car to navigate in. The user builds the car from LEGO-like building blocks and uses a smart device to control its movements and set-up AR routes.

Gigo Future Car by Future Toy Taiwan is a combination of forward thinking toy templates. First, the car comes unassembled and is built from LEGO-like building blocks, actually giving the user eight different construction possibilities. Besides a car, the blocks can be used to build motor bikes, planes, hovercrafts and helicopters (though none of the latter are actually able to fly). The vehicles are powered by a small motor and sensors that detect remote control commands.

Second, users are able to download a free app to control the car, while the tablet can be used as AR lens in conjunction with the toy. The car comes with AR markers that can be used to mark generic buildings and famous landmarks such as Eiffel tower. Cards laying on the ground create a virtual AR city that can be then navigated. The car can be programmed to follow various behaviors and can even navigate the AR city by itself.