The HAX Lab Update: March 24, 2010

POSTED BY Zak Menkel on Mar 24, 2010

Note: We will be presenting bi-weekly updates on what’s happening down in the lab, including project updates, events and visits, equipment changes, and opportunities to get involved. Stay tuned.

It’s been an industrious couple weeks at HAX. The Lab is really gaining steam, both internally and as a way for us to reach out to our clients and community. A number of guests have toured over the last month, and as anyone who’s been there can attest, it is an inspiring space to be in. Hopefully these visits will continue to generate both client work and community interest. Contact us at: hax@hornallanderson.com if you’re interested in a tour.

Speaking of community, we recently welcomed a new team member to the fray: a sweet-ass Ryobi Drill Press, and the sexy beast is already contributing, both to our projects and to the sawdust and duct tape ambience we love so much. Grunt grunt scratch.

A reminder that we are still offering the 2010 HAX Prize, an opportunity for people outside of HADW to get involved in HAX. We want your ideas, so tell your friends, invite them over, and maybe pick up a sixer on the way?

Judy is leading a diverse team in exploring how we can develop the HAX brand in that space (lab or not, we are a branding firm). We’re not talking cake decorating here; we’re talking interactive branding. How can we use the lab space to explore innovative solutions to the functional challenges that environment presents: showing our work, storing materials, constant rearrangement, and, beginning with our riot-proof rabbit hole of a hallway, wayfinding.

[said riot-proof rabbit hole hallway]

Since the powers that be decided that our original proposal to have a Skeeball game in the lab would be “not conducive to productivity,” we went ahead and developed Queen of Leisure: a life-sized digital shuffleboard court. IR equipped cues push virtual puck across a digital court. Next step is to find a more suitable playing surface so we can get the 30 pieces of foam core off the lab floor. Tournament brackets to be posted soon.

[Queen of Leisure in action]

Project Metro, our bus finder application that uses thru-glass touch technology is being adapted in a pilot program for real world deployment in Seattle. And Jay, Mary, and team continue to move closer to completing Digital Retail, which will enable us to virtually recreate shelf environments for package testing. Project Light Me Up is getting ready to kick off. This project will explore different ways to control and cue lighting effects by hooking them up to various control systems – something that will prove invaluable as we continue to do more environmental interactive projects.

Touch Me, Gordon’s laser-powered multi-user, multi touch project has moved from a small wood and foam core prototype to am 8’ X 6’ steel and glass prototype, with some help from Kevin and the lovely Drill Press. They are working on finding the right material for the rear projection, but hope to have that back up soon.

[Hey Microsoft, our multitouch 'surface' is bigger.]

HAX will soon have another interactive wall as well. Rachel and Nate’s project Mind Reader, which is still in development, will be a wall that will actually interact back with you, reacting to passersby, reading and ‘collecting’ their thoughts… mmwwahh-ha-hah.

Project Magic Box: The goal: project on moving, 3D objects. How? By imbedding hidden AR fiducial codes on the object and using an infrared camera to track its movement and adjust the projection in real time. They have some perspective issues to resolve, and then the next step will be adding a second projector to cover the entire object. Corey, Joe or Dana could no doubt explain it better that that if you’re still curious, but this is the type of hack/mashup/prototype that the Lab was built around. Go team.

See the video here

[Image below in no way resembles our magic box]

Some other things to keep an eye out for:

Chang-Ling’s Breathe Better project, which will explore how we can graphically (and publicly) display real-time air quality measures to encourage more eco-reiendly behavior, is paused while the team finds an animator, but still very much in the works.

Lauren’s Project Footprint will be exploring how we can use new technology to create floors that not only interact with the people who walk on them, but who also harness the energy of their steps to create green power.

That’s a wrap for now; stay tuned for more updates, and in the meantime, submit your proposals and get in on some of this hot action.


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