Archive for November, 2012

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Android Dreams, time-lapse video by Samuel Cockedey

November 20, 2012

Samuel Cockedey has produced a number of absolutely breathtaking time-lapse videos of Tokyo and other places in Japan. Android Dreams, which was published last year, sets evening and nighttime shots of central Tokyo against the soundtrack to Blade Runner. The end result is fantastic.

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Music Video: Rise, by Fact (Steve Aoki remix)

November 16, 2012

Fact is a Tokyo-area band described as “post-hardcore” that has been recording since the late 1990s. In addition to their hard-driving sound, blending sung and screamed lyrics (typically on the subjects of alienation and lost love), all backed by intense drum rhythms, Fact is also notable for doing nearly all of their lyrics in English.

This version of Rise is a remix by electronic and house musician Steve Aoki of one of the tracks from Fact’s self-titled 2009 album. The Noh masks are a recurring theme through many of the group’s other videos, and are frequently used by the band members to hide their faces in their videos.

This song could almost be called a Steve Aoki piece featuring Fact, as the only link between this version and the original is the single repeated lyric that appears in both. The Fact version below is extremely different, though also quite good, and is more representative of the band’s style.

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Fujitsu’s New Technology lets Smartphone Users Download Data from TV

November 14, 2012

Fujitsu has recently introduced a new technology that could allow smartphone users to download data directly from TV screens, in a way that uses only their current hardware, and doesn’t block non-users from viewing the show.

via Diginfo TV link

At October’s Ceatec Japan 2012, held at the Makuhari Messe Convention Center in Chiba, Fujitsu demonstrated their new data transmission technology, which lets viewers access program or advertiser information using the cameras in their smartphones. The message information is encoded as variations in image brightness that are too faint for the naked eye to see, but which digital cameras can detect. These messages then act like QR codes,  directing the smartphone to a related website or advertising offer, but without any symbols taking up screen space.

The as-yet-unnamed technology allows data to be transmitted at a rate of 16 bits/second, fast enough that users can access the links within two or three seconds. An additional advantage is that the message can be received from further away than with QR codes, and that the TV screen can be at an angle to the user. The technology requires that smartphones be equipped with special software capable of reading the messages, but this can be downloaded as an app and requires no hardware upgrades. Fujitsu aims to have the technology ready for practical application by 2013.

 

Just speculating, this could be an interesting gimmick for TV programs. Pointing a smartphone at the screen at specific moments during the show could direct viewers to ‘secret’ online content or grant access to exclusive promotions. I’m sure a creative game designer could also come up with some cool augmented reality applications for this technology.