December 31, 2008

Wearable Computing @ 25C3


Via Hackaday, the 25th Chaos Communication Congress's Wearable Computing and Solar Power presentations roused me from blog hibernation to say Happy Holidays and please don't text and drive. For abstracts, lecture notes, slides, and links, you too can veer off; About Cyborgs and Gargoyles:State of the Art in Wearable Computing, and Solar-powering your Geek Gear: Alternative and mobile power for all your little toys.

New Year's greetings from under a rock. No, I haven't been in the desert lately, but I have been in other realms. I've been getting into some high voltage shenanigans, the splendid forums at Cyberpunk Review, back into microcontrollers with the Seeeduino, interfacing it with Pure Data, and touring exhibition and interactive design. 2009 is looking to be hacktastic, but more on that next year.

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July 02, 2008

DIY Spy Sunglasses

I don't want to sound negative, but I don't want to insult your intelligence either. Therefore, I'll go ahead and say that you could probably figure these simple steps out on your own, but that's just a testament to what an easy build it is. Plus, the video is short and fun to watch. I found the recommendation to use "Solar Shield" sunglasses handy as a base for housing a camera or an HMD that won't make people wonder where you left your plaids and your cane.

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June 26, 2008

My N430


This is the work I exhibited at Maker Faire this Spring. I've been hacking my Archos PMA-430 into wearable computer prototypes for 2 years, and hacking my Nokia N95 for about 9 months. The top image shows a video feed from my Nokia to my Archos, while the image below it shows the unhoused wiring that adds functionality such as USB connectivity and power.

Systems integration is designed for field-reconfigurability and use of ubiquitous technologies such as USB ports and ethernet or phone cables. I can charge both devices from AC, my motorcycle, its solar panel, or even a random computer in any number of libraries, cafes, etc. The two devices link up through a retractable 8-conductor ethernet cable, although I can use a multitude of available cords. The green terminal blocks allow field connections without soldering, since I believe the universal connector is bare wire if no adaptors are nearby.

I have hundreds of images of my work, and lots to write about, so there will be much more ahead. Just a Heads-Up.

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May 08, 2008

Geek Scooter

Researching this kind of thing for Adventure Touring the American Southwest, and Technomadism and Transhuman Hacks of Metavlogging Phrashion have been decorating my plate as of late. via Make:.

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April 07, 2008

Wearaware and IGargoyle Do Maker Faire

See me at Maker Faire!
Come meet Nym and I and bring your wearables! We're here to profile and promote the community's work on this site, so let's meet, get some media, and get it up here. Come out, come out, wherever you are!

I'll be exhibiting my latest in the Wearaware collection.

More roving telepresence hacks from the brothers!

More Soon!

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November 29, 2007

Tissue Culture & Art (TC&A) this weekend

Here's a brief blast of some of this weekend's LA haps, with details below:

1pm: Dorkbot SoCal @ Machine Project
8pm: The Tissue Culture & Art project (TC&A) talk @ Machine Project
8pm-1am: Censor This Show @ Basswerks [I'm exhibiting a video installation there!]

11am to 5pm - Mini Tissue Engineering workshop and lecture @ Machine Project

From Machine:
Dear friends,

We have an ambitious weekend planned. Saturday night at 8pm, tissue culturing pioneers SymbioticA will be on hand to discuss how to grow ears, minature leather jackets, and other fascinating biological experiments. Sunday afternoon they will be leading a workshop in tissue culturing (or meat cloning as we like to call it). Saturday afternoon we are hosting a meeting of Dorkbot, featuring HDR photography, self organizing robots and super efficient vehicles. Details below.



Saturday Dec 1st 8pm - Oron Catts & Ionat Zurr, SymbioticA, University of Western Australia:

The talk covers the work of The Tissue Culture & Art project (TC&A) that began in 1996 as an R&D project into the use of tissue technologies as a medium for artistic expression. Some of TC&A’s projects include the Pig Wings, Semi-living Worry Dolls, Disembodied Cuisine (the first time that tissue engineered meat have been grown and eaten), victimless Leather, Extra Ear 1/4 Scale (in collaboration with Stelarc) and NoArk. The talk will also discuss SymbioticA, A unique laboratory dedicated to the research and critic of the life sciences form an artistic perspective, located at the School of Anatomy & Human Biology, University of Western Australia.

more information >

Sunday Dec 2nd 11am to 5pm - Mini Tissue Engineering workshop and lecture
Oron Catts & Ionat Zurr, SymbioticA, University of Western Australia:
$55 materials included, space limited. Registration now open

Tissue engineering enables researchers to grow three dimensional living tissues constructs of varying sizes, shapes and tissue types. This half-day hands on intensive workshop will introduce artists and other interested people to basic principals of animal tissue culture and tissue engineering, including its history and the different artistic projects working with TC and TE. The workshop will involve a demonstration for how to extract and cultivate stem cells from bones bought at the butcher. These advanced techniques can be done with homemade equipment and kitchen gear.

registration >

Dorkbot SoCal 25 - Bullock (HDR Photography), Hoetzlein (Intelligent Things), Hertz Sr. (Supermileage Vehicles)
Saturday, December 1st 2007, 1pm

Three awesomely diverse and diversly awesome presenters for Dorkbot's triumphant return to Machine Project.

1. Today's digital cameras have a limited dynamic range compared to film. If you shoot a photo of a landscape with a beautiful cloudy sky, your landscape will be properly exposed, but your clouds will be washed out or vice-versa. High-Dynamic Range photography allows you to circumvent your sensor's limitations by taking multiple photos with different exposures and combining them on your computer. All you need is a camera capable of manual exposure settings, a tripod and a computer and you'll be on your way to HDR mastery. Presented by Dave Bullock.

2. Rama Hoetzlein will present a range of projects, including videos of mechnical and robotic sculptures, self-organizing systems and systems for knowledge organization. Themes will include the relationship between physical (embodied) and non-physical (mental) activity, knowledge representation, and systems of belief. The relationship of these projects to the interdisciplinary questions raised by intelligent systems will be introduced with the intention of engaging in an open discussion.

3. Professor Barry Hertz will be presenting on the development of ultra-fuel-efficient vehicles developed from 1980 to 1988 at the University of Saskatchewan, Canada. The distinctions held by the U of S engineers include winning every SAE Supermileage event entered during nine successive years, breaking three amateur world records, and shattering the absolute world fuel economy record on May 29, 1986 with a vehicle that got 4,738 miles per US gallon (5691 MPIG, 49.6 mL/100 km).

For more information >

Machine Project
1200 D North Alvarado
Los Angeles, CA, 90026

[via Machine Project Events list]

Censor This Show!
29 artists, 3 bands, a comic, and no cover
Saturday, December 1 8pm-1am
Basswerks Gallery
5411 W. Adams Blvd.
Los Angeles, CA 90016

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November 10, 2007

Glog On

Well, despite error messages I had received while trying to Glog from my Treo 650, it turns out my images did indeed get posted. These are from BarCamp LA-3 from March.

MobileCamp LA was a complete blast, and I won a Nokia N95, which will be much easier to Glog from. I am running the Glogger application, rather than using MMS, but I will be relying on WiFi until I transfer my service over from Sprint. I have several hacks in mind for my N95, as hinted at in the my Maker Square post, and I will get into that later. I look forward to Glogging about my future hacks, and more. Some of them will be Meta-Glogs, since they will help document my wearable technology work.

I am also going to be checking out the application included with my N95 called Lifeblogger. It will be interesting to share my comparisons of Lifeblogger and Glogger and playing with ways to use each application to do so.

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February 18, 2007

Killer Security Cameras


Oh boy! The Korean government is building armed security cameras to replace their human counterparts. It's designed to protect "major military base[s] and national strategic site[s]". They also say that "perfect guarding operation is guaranteed"... somehow I doubt that.

Here are the specs that jumped out at me:

  • EM-CCD
  • Un-cooled IR Camera
  • Max. detection range: 4km (Day)- 2km (Night)
  • Laser range finder
  • Rubber Bullets / Teargas
  • Rifle or Light machine gun

Joy. Telerobotic killing. If this trend continues video gamers are going to become a valuable commodity.

[ Link via Alex Barton. Thanks Alex! ]

Posted by nym at 01:45 PM | Comments (1) | TrackBack

Public Traffic Cams - Power to the People

Reader Tetsu Yatsu sent me this:

Sousveillance hopes to balance the power struggle between Big Brothers and citizens by bringing cameras to the street level, but many of those camera systems are either publicly available, or, with a little effort and some time, obtainable. The classic 'bird's-eye-view' surveillance cameras can also be yours. Locally, I gained access to the pure 25fps streams from the Department of Transportation, but I know the University has over 600 security cameras that may be accessible from somewhere. Don't disregard these valuable resources!

He also did a very geeky writeup of how he accessed (not hacked) the cams. Very interesting stuff, would like to see more utilization of public information sources.

[ Link written by Tetsu Yatsu. Thanks Tetsu!]

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August 23, 2006

Wearable Video Camera

shootingbackatya.gifThis is a picture of me wearing a wearable video camera I've been reviewing. When I get back from Burning Man, I'm going to have a great article going over these kinds of cameras. Funny how many people either don't realise that I'm wearing a video camera, or don't say anything.

For those of you who don't know, cameras have to be tagged at Burning Man. This is to make sure people know the rules regarding cameras, which includes not using said material for profit - that is, don't exploit what you shoot.

The hatter writes:

It'll be obvious to everyone at BM that you're wearing a camera - you'll have you vid licence tag thingie hanging from it, else you'll cop a stack of hassle from people who do notice it and notice the lack of tag.

To address your concern, I already had made the decision to wear a tag, around my neck. I like this statment, because I am the camera. The camera is me. I don't mind people knowing I'm recording, and am happy to explain the artistic reason why I choose to record such a personal perspective. I may wear a press badge too to make it even more clear to those around me. My comment was because I've worn it a couple of times already at events without recording, and burners didn't make the connection what it was most of the time.

Also, I know a lot of people who do not get their cameras tagged, for whatever reason, and seem to have no problem- not that I endorse that, getting tagged is pretty damn easy, and good overall.

Posted by nym at 10:17 AM | Comments (4) | TrackBack

July 19, 2006

Wearable 360 Video Camera


This camera made by Immersive Media can do quicktime VR like 360 shots, but with video. Even better, the camera can be attached to just about anything, and in this case, it's attached to a backpack.

I can't think of a sweeter camera, it can be used for GIS applications, drone surveillance, immersive video... too bad it costs something like 100k. Ah, someday I'll have one of these, just you watch.

[ Link via flickr ]

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Waterproof Wrist Camera


I know wearable computing is popular, but what were these people thinking? Oh maybe I'm being too harsh.. it does after all have 32 megabytes of internal memory! Wowzers.

[ Link via engadget ]

Posted by nym at 11:18 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

July 17, 2006

howto: Make an Eyetap


Interested in taking photos from your perspective? An eyetap is where the eye is both a display and a camera. Instead of putting the camera up to your eye to take a picture, you mount the camera over your eye, and take pictures when the opportunity strikes. Alex recently made one of these using the super cheap Philips Keychain Digital Camera (P4417S), and I got him to share with us how he did it!

philipskeychaincam.jpg1. Buy a Philips keychain camera ($14 at your local WalMart)
2. Pry it open!
3. Get a pair of old glasses, remove lenses.
4. Mount the camera board on the frame of your glasses (see picture). You can use two screws to do this, or alternately epoxy if you like the smell of toxic chemicals.
5. Connect power wires to the arm of the glasses.
6. Mount 1 AAA battery to same arm of the glasses.
7. Mount the MODEL LCD screen on a removable base. This will allow you to navigate the amazingly simple menu upon startup.
8. Remove annoying black expoxy from around the camera driver, the MR97310 CIF. With a little patience, you will be able to hook up to it, and interface with a windows based PC with a USB cable.

Ta Da! Instant way to capture those cherished moments like when you meet your blind dates for the first time! Added bonus, the eyetap (BCG 2.0), acts as a powerful birth control device. Perfect for the sex crazed teenagers in your home!

Update: thebaboon says this camera does not have an LCD, so not really an eyetap. Still a great project, and there's no reason one couldn't take the next step and add an LCD to it!

I'm not sure if this meets the definition of an eyetap, because I'm not sure if there's an LCD on the back or not. Certainly if it doesn't, this would be a good way to expand on the project because it's *way* cooler if one eye is seeing through the camera itself. Still at approximately $14, this is a really fun project. I've asked Alex for some clarification, and hopefully I'll get a response soon!

[ All of these photos were taken with the eyetap. If you have any questions, you can contact Alex at ninjaspidermonkey at Thanks Alex! ]

Posted by nym at 07:58 AM | Comments (10) | TrackBack

July 11, 2006

Someone's Makin' an Eyetap...



Geeky to the extreme. Gotta love eyetaps.

[ Link via glogger ]

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April 18, 2006

HP's Wearable Camera


Hewlett- Packard's Bristol labs in the UK have made a prototype POV cam that is pretty covert and does 7.5 1.3 megapixel pictures every second. Maybe not broadcast quality, but the results are pretty nice to look at. It's still got some problems like the fact that they can only store up to three hours, but as cameras get smaller, and hard drives get bigger, I think sousveillance will really become prevalent throughout our society.

[ Link via digg ]

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March 01, 2006

$20 Tiny Camera

This camera, much like one I previously blogged about here, is only $20 USD and does 640x480 resolution. It's the same camera that s used Samsung E700 cellular phone, which is why it's so dirt cheap. But there's one catch, there's no documentation on this sukka.

..we will be offering a $200 in-store gift certificate to the first customer who can adequately document and report their successful single-image capture using this module. We would be thrilled to post your mug and forever immortalize you on the SFE site (well, for a day or two anyway). We will be working to reverse engineer the unit and encourage all customers to work together through the SFE support forum.

So if you buy one, and do a writeup on it, you can help bankroll your next project. Excelent!

[ Link via Ordaos ]

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DIY Infrared

After hyping the Spy Gear Infrared Night Vision Goggles, and then finding out that they were out of stock and not in production, I was a bit disapointed, but my friend Davy sent me a link to something that is more DIY, and twice as geeky!

Why shell out $200 for a set of Soviet-era nightvision goggles when you can make one yourself from a $30 video camera? That's what Everett Bradford did, taking a CVS single-use video camera and combining it with a set of 20-cent infrared LEDs. Okay, it took a little more work than that, including some circuit-board mods and the addition of a salvaged camcorder lens. In the end, though, Everett estimated that his night-vision setup, which can record infrared footage that can be downloaded to a PC, cost about $35, compared to about $80 for the cheapest off-the-shelf night-vision scope. Who said you can't find anything worth buying in the corner drugstore?

Wait.. there are eighty dollar night vision scopes out there? Hmmm maybe I'll just go that route....

[ Link via engadget / Davy Krieger ]

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February 10, 2006

Super Tiny Color Camera

I'm not sure if this is the smallest color camera in the world, but they claim it is, and it sure looks incredibly tiny. I could imagine this being fun to play with, and at $150, it's not beyond mere mortals.
  • Requires only a 1/16" hole to look through
  • Camera measures less than 1/3" square
  • 380 lines, 1.5 lux
  • 1/4" color CMOS chip
  • 9-12V DC power @ 35mA
  • Pinhole lens with ~55 FOV
  • Includes Plug and Play Cables
  • 1 year warranty and 30 day MBG

[ Link via ]

Posted by nym at 01:26 PM | Comments (1) | TrackBack

February 08, 2006

Deja View Your Car


Accidents happen all the time, but often the evidence amounts to he said, she said. Jay Dugger took this as a bit of a challenge and mounted a Deja View unit to his car. The unit, which is designed to be worn as a point of view camera, records all the time, and will save clips from 30 seconds ago when you press the button. While he hasn't rigged the button to save clips when the airbags are deployed, he is able to quickly capture video if someone tries to run him off the road or gets in a small fender bender.

[ Link via MAKEblog ]

Posted by nym at 01:09 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

November 03, 2005

Strange Days are here

Anyone remember the 1995 movie Strange Days? Set in 1999, it featured a small head-mounted device that recorded the sensory input of the wearer. In 1999, a Harvard researcher discovered a way to see through the eyes of cats by monitoring the activity of neurons. He was able to create low-resolution video of the cat's surroundings.

If extended to humans in a non-intrusive manner, this could provide an interesting alternative to conventional video cameras. Human eyes are light-weight, unobtrusive, hard to confiscate and use a long-lasting battery. Jokes aside, electronic-biological interactions will will play a big role in wearable computing. I look forward to what uses people will find for video vision.

Posted by dragoon at 12:58 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

June 24, 2005

Maybecameras Invade AMC CFP Conf

So get this. The conference organizers actually turned every conference bag into a maybecamera replete with its individual dome... It was really bizarre and effective, causually mixing with hundreds of other dome-carriers at a conference with a title of "Panopticon"... And guess what? It's the first time I have come home from a conference with something both my (university age) children wanted!

The good news (in terms of future conversation) is that the folks from sent me this update:

Slides from the conference keynote, opening plenary panel (Steve Mann, David Brin, Latanya Sweeney, and others) are in

Pictures are here, including pictures of the dome sewing party where many well known volunteers such as John Gilmore, Jon Pincus, Deborah Pierce, etc., helped to make 500 maybecameras, one for each conference attendee. Some of the maybecameras had wireless transmitters to send live video offsite, but attendees did not know whether or not they were watching.

For more background information on the maybecamera sousveillance project, see some of the papers published in Leonardo on this topic.

[Kim Cameron]

[ Found via Steve Mann's ]

Posted by nym at 09:49 AM | TrackBack

June 22, 2005

Wearable Cams


Here's a couple of lipstick cameras, similar to the JonesCam I've blogged about before. The Japanese girl is wearing the crazy Samsung Miniket Extreme Sport Camcorder, and the photo below is of the VioTac S.C.O.U.T. Cam, which is about $300 USD.


[ VioTac Link / Samsung Link via Steve Barr on the Wear-Hard mailing list. ]

Posted by nym at 11:39 AM | Comments (1) | TrackBack

August 07, 2004

Many Places, One Mind


Anesthesiologists at Vanderbilt University Medical Center are doing something that many people in important jobs are likely to start doing over the next three years, just as mechanics in auto shops are - using mediated reality. Vanderbilt's Anesthesiologists are using head mounted displays to be in many places at once, by use of cameras. Future security guards will likely follow suit, wearing HMDs that allow them to see many places and pull up individual cameras to view away from their control room.

"Attached to an anesthesiologist's goggles are a tiny screen, and a video-panel from each of the four on-going surgeries, displaying real-time images of his patients and their vital signs. Besides, information can instantly flash before his eye: surgery schedules, medical charts, patient histories, etc.

'You may actually be monitoring anywhere from 4-to-15 patients at one time,' says Dr. Michael Higgins. 'In any one of those situations something can happen to a patient.'" [far far future]

[Link via near near future]

Posted by nym at 09:49 AM | TrackBack

June 23, 2004

ACLU Bust Card for Photographers

Reader Len Norton wrote in with a great tip in response to the uncamera'd post describing a pdf/palmbook similar to the ACLU's Bust Card but released by Attorney Bert P. Krages. The free document is a quick and well written guide for photographers who want to know where and when they legally can snap their photos.

From the front page of their distribution site:

"The right to take photographs is now under assault more than ever. People are being stopped, harassed, and even intimidated into handing over their personal property simply because they were taking photographs of subjects that made other people uncomfortable. Recent examples include photographing industrial plants, bridges, and vessels at sea. For the most part, attempts to restrict photography are based on misguided fears about the supposed dangers that unrestricted photography presents to society.

Ironically, unrestricted photography by private citizens has played an integral role in protecting the freedom, security, and well being of all Americans. Photography in the United States has contributed to improvements in civil rights, curbed abusive child labor practices, and provided information important to investigating crimes. These images have not always been pretty and often have offended the sensibilities of governmental and commercial interests who had vested interests in a status quo that was adverse to the majority in our country."

From "The Photographer's Right":

bustcard.gif"Who Is Likely to Violate Your Rights

Most confrontations are started by security guards and employees of organizations who fear photography. The most common reason given is security but often such persons have no articulated reason. Security is rarely a legitimate reason for restricting photography. Taking a photograph is not a terrorist act nor can a business legitimately assert that taking a photograph of a subject in public view infringes on its trade secrets. On occasion, law enforcement officers may object to photography but most understand that people have the right to take photographs and do not interfere with photographers. They do have the right to keep you away from areas where you may impede their activities or endanger safety. However, they do not have the legal right to prohibit you from taking photographs from other locations."


"Despite misconceptions to the contrary,
the following subjects can almost always be photographed lawfully
from public places:"

  • Accident and fire scenes
  • Children
  • Celebrities
  • Bridges and other infrastructure
  • Residential and commercial buildings
  • Industrial facilities and public utilities
  • Transportation facilities (e.g., airports)
  • Superfund sites
  • Criminal activities
  • Law enforcement officers

Other sections include: "They Have Limited Rights to Bother", Question, or Detain You", "They Have No Right to Confiscate Your Film", "Your Legal Remedies If Harassed", and "How to Handle Confrontations". All of which is on one small reference page that you can fold up and put in your wallet.

Makes me want to print up a bunch for my photography and photojournalist friends.

JWZ and the livejournal crowd have this to say on the subject.

Update: "the whole photographic freedom debate just annoys seems so clear to me :-)" [Rich_Gibson]

[Link thanks Len!]

Posted by nym at 12:47 AM | TrackBack

June 21, 2004

Uncamera'd in a Transparent Society?


The issue of people being uncamera'd is soon to be pretty big. Sprint thinks people want cameraless Trio 600s phones. Corporate America is worried, I can understand why; It sucks to be on the other end.

Dan Gillmore writes:

"I suppose it's always better to sell what the customer wants. But I have bad news for Sprint's worried customers: This won't help much, because the pace of technology means cameras will soon disappear from view, embedded in clothing and eyeglasses, not just phones.

Sprint's move highlights one more set of issues we have to confront in a world of digital information. Whether we're talking about photos or videos or documents or just about anything else that can be converted into zeroes and ones, we're entering a changed world."

[Link via boingboing]

Speaking of transperency in our society...

Who's got the power? Enron's got the Power. (5.1 MP3 Link)

[via dav via boing boing]

Posted by nym at 10:46 PM | TrackBack

June 19, 2004

70 Megapixel 360deg Cam

360.jpgAt first I thought this was a typo but considering the price, it's just a top-notch camera. The Livecam is supposed to be a 70 megapixel camera that does seamless 360 degree images ala QuicktimeVR. Interestingly, the camera can zoom up to 20x, which makes me wonder if they're hoping casinos might purchase these. With and embedded webserver that is completely open-source it sounds like a dream. Selling for CHF 9,600 (about 7,716 USD).

This would make a great webcam.

[Link via engadget]

Posted by nym at 02:40 PM | TrackBack

June 17, 2004

HOWTO: GeoImages

geoimages.jpgI'm currently working on a hack for an upcomming book called "Mapping Hacks" for O'Reilly Books, so this hack from Digital Photography Hacks really caught my attention. David suggests using TopoVision to create the images, but my friend Schuyler has a perl hack which links albums to GPS tracklogs as well if you're not a Windows user. In addition, Anselm and I (Tom Longson), are working on a way to streamline this process by autolinking photos to tracklogs with just a web browser. If you're interested in getting started, this article is sure to help.

[Link via anselm and engadget]

Posted by nym at 11:51 AM | TrackBack

June 15, 2004

POV Cams for Alzheimer Patients

microsoftsensecam.jpgWhile I wasn't impressed when I first heard about Microsoft working with wearable cameras, this latest announcement actually sounds rather heart-warming. Microsoft's Cambridge lab is working with Addenbrookes Hospital to help treat Patients with Alzheimer's disease or head injury. These patients already keep written diaries to help them through their life, but many, especially children, dislike writing all the time. Patients then can look through their visual diaries to help augment their memory and improve their quality of life. The camera uses light sensors and IR sensors to detect changes in light and to help detect when the person is talking to someone else, or playing with an animal.

Even though this is very nice to hear, I don't want Microsoft to be the company making my wearable computers.

[Link via engadget]

Posted by nym at 11:29 AM | TrackBack

June 12, 2004

DejaView Finds Manufacturer

DejaView finally, after being at the consumer electronics show, being hyped on TechTV and Regis & Kelly, has found just under a year later, a manufacturing partner.

Nothing really new to say here, except if you want to get in on the pre-orders, you can get in que for just under $400. They haven't changed the design of their 30 second buffer instant replay point of view camcorder. If something just happened that you want to download later, you press a button, leaving a 30 second movie on it's memory card.

Not terrible considering JonesCam is selling a similar camera without a recorder for $275. I didn't find the press video of Regis Philman wearing the DejaView that interesting, but it did make Regis look a bit silly. I really hope that they replace their camera with something a little more sleek.


DejaView Announces Gargoyle Toys
June 21, 2003
DejaView Details October 26, 2003
New POV Cam (about the JonesCam not DejaView) November 26, 2003

Updated on June 12th with related links and improved text for clarity.

[Link via engadget]

Posted by nym at 03:13 AM | TrackBack

June 08, 2004

HitchCam - Cameras for Cars

hitchcam.jpgI saw an SUV the other day with a bumper sticker that said "HitchCam". Curious, I checked out his hitch, which had a nice metal finish with a black dot in the middle. Impressed to see such a sleek job, I waved from my cameraless car, and when I got home I found the website.

framecam.jpgHitchCam describes itself as "Forward Thinking for Reverse Driving", which they do a pretty good job at. All their products are "Vehicle Rear Vision Systems", and they do it in several different places. The first, which I saw on the road was their HitchCam, but they also sell a wide angle "FrameCam", an "H-Cam" aimed at the GM Hummer H2, and the UniCam, a wide angle camera that's designed to be mounted in the car's body somewhere.

If your interested in this kind of thing, you may want to check out a display called VISOR (warning -annoying flash), which is designed to go in the place of your vanity mirror. Never considered putting a display there.


Posted by nym at 04:31 PM | TrackBack

June 05, 2004

Philips KEY019 Digital Camera

philips_key.jpgPhilips has introduced a new digital camera that is being released this week, and makes me drool. Like their earlier model (Philips Camera Key Ring 007), this camera is small. Unlike their earlier model, this one boasts a kopin 0.16 color LCD display (found in some wearable computer HMDs- not to scale in picture). In addition, they boast a 128 meg flash drive, built-in MPEG-4 camcorder (up to twenty-five minutes), 2 megapixel camera, and an MP3 player, and it recharges and transfers files over USB. Understandably, this is a bit more expensive at $222 as far as I can tell, but it still seems like a great buy.

Sweet. Keep it up Philips.

[Link via gizmodo]

Posted by nym at 01:57 PM | TrackBack

June 04, 2004

Low Light Photography

One of the major problems in wearable computers and digital cameras is getting the best results in nighttime or low light situations. Thankfully, DigitalPhotographyBlog has assembled a list of tips and tip sites on this subject.

[Link via gizmodo]

Posted by nym at 12:35 PM | TrackBack

May 28, 2004

Killer Spotlight for Infrared

IR-light-1.jpgIf you have an infrared camera, especially those mediated reality POV goggles we previously wrote about, this handheld spotlight is a must have. Perfect for hunters, assassins, and snoops, the $150, the 1-million candlepower is a bargain. I also can see the military using something very similar in conjunction with their night vision goggles, if they don't already.

If I can get an infrared camera this summer, I may well buy one of these for the wifi technomad geekery at burning man.

[Link via gizmodo]
Gizmodo also recommends How Night Vision Works, which I really enjoyed.

Posted by nym at 07:19 PM | TrackBack

May 26, 2004

Ricoh GPS Camera

While I had heard about these quite a long time ago, I actually see the Ricoh being sold for $950 by a gps enthusiast site, GeoSpatial Experts. Unfortunately, enthusiast or not, the only thing they seem to be experts at is marketing. I do not recommend buying their software (don't buy the camera bundle, it's $200 more expensive). That being said, the Ricoh looks like a really good solution for taking geo-referenced images if you're in the market for a new camera.

Hopefully other big players will follow this trend- it's not going away.

Posted by nym at 12:39 PM | TrackBack

May 16, 2004

Eye sensing POV camera

eyeblog.jpgNice hack at creating a POV camera that detects eye contact. I had an idea for this a long time ago, but designed to see if people were checking out my butt. I would like to see this hack be improved though, as it reminds me of Steve Mann's wearable computers from the 1980s.

Update (May 18th):
From alterslash:

Second version in development - by tilrman (Score: 5, Funny)
Researchers found that the eyeBlog was only 28% effective when used by female wearers, but couldn�t reproduce the effect in the lab. After some field trials, however, they discovered and corrected the problem. The new eyeBlog-II for women is 96% accurate and will be completed sometime next month. Rather than attaching the sensors to eyeglasses, the eyeBlog-II will be embedded into a bra.

Re:Second version in development - by fraccy (Score: 5, Funny)
hehehe� funny as that is, I think you�re onto a winner. People want to know when they�re being watched by someone /not/ in their field of view. Imagine the marketing potential of a device attached to the buttocks, alerting female wearers of an er.. admiring onlooker. This would probably result in some kind of armageddon (and a lot of slapped faces), along with the subsequent development of ButtBlog jamming devices�

Posted by nym at 01:46 PM | TrackBack

November 26, 2003

New POV Cam

While looking for miniature cameras that would work well for my glasses, I ran across the Jonescam Lipstick POV Cam, which is pretty nice. No word on pricing yet, I'll update this entry when I find out. In the meantime, enjoy this menacing image of this police officer. It seems like the DejaView cam, this is marketed towards the anti-terrorism personal and big brother lovers, also known as Law Enforcement SWAT, Public Safety, [and] Homeland Security. Hopefully it will at least make it cheaper for us individuals.

Update (Nov 29th, 1:52PM): The price for these units are $1,900USD. They are available for purchase, unlike the DejaView. I have spoken at length with the JonesCam people, and will be publishing another article regarding these unique cameras.

Posted by nym at 05:52 PM | TrackBack

November 15, 2003

IR Augmented Vision POV Cam

Here's a new POV cam called the X-Reflect Goggles, which is aimed at the voyeur market. This is obviously an area where people are more likely to shell out $2,400USD to capture data. I get the feeling that like the toy market, the sex industry may provide a strong source of gargoyle hardware, at a much more competitive price.

This POV cam is aimed at '[seeing] through some type of clothing material (mostly swimwear and many types of synthetic materials)', but it would also make a great augmented vision camera for low light conditions where you'd like to provide a spotlight for your POV cam without using natural light. All you would have to do is attach some IR emitters from the sides of these things, and attach the video cables to your computer.

It boasts 470 Lines of resolution, built in IR chips and IR pass filters. color output, adjustable exposure, auto IRIS, auto white balance, light weight, and a year warranty. Here are some non-worksafe examples of what kind of output you'd get in the daylight. Honestly, TekGear should pick these up and market them to the wearable market. After all, if you're staring at women in swimsuits wearing this thing, they probably know what you're up to.

Thanks to FleshBot's 'Spy Glasses' and Gizmodo's (yes we love them) 'For all the voyeurs in the house: get x-ray vision'.

Posted by nym at 03:02 PM | TrackBack

November 10, 2003

Prototype HMD/POV cam from Motorola and Frog Design

In Time's new article, Coolest Inventions for 2003, they profile a device from Motorola and Frog Design which part of their Offspring Wearable prototypes. It's odd that Time would list a device that isn't really available, but it is quite cool. It houses a digital pinhole camera above the right lens, a miniature display on the inside of the left lens, and an ear piece that pops out the side. They intend to market this as a cell phone accessory available for the public in 2006.

I for one applaud a major hardware manufacturer such as Motorola to produce a Head Mounted Display with a Point Of View Camera included. The design looks pretty nice too, but I hope they anticipate their male market as well as their female consumers.

Three years seems like a long time to wait to buy this gadget, but since it's a Motorola product, HMDs and POV cams are going to be commonplace when it is available to the public.

In addition, if you're interested in exoskeletons, check Time's bit in this article about Keijiro Yamamoto's Power Suit, which uses air power to augment your strength. Costs 15-20k, so only sutiable for rich gargoyles.

Update (Nov 10th, 4:53PM):
This turns out to be the same prototype that was popularized a while ago with a variety of other wearable toys, all of which utilize bluetooth to communicate. I also really like the wearable camera they are producing, although it's not nearly as sweet as the POV cam in the shades.

From PhoneScoop:
Goggles: Integrated into the frame of exciting,
stylish sports eyewear, this device incorporates a
heads-up display, digital camera, ear bud and
microphone. Due to the power requirements, there is a
tethered cord that runs out the back to an external
power supply. You can view 800 X 600 displays while
simultaneously staying in touch with the world around

Posted by nym at 01:26 PM | Comments (2)

November 06, 2003

Wearable Toys for X-Mas

I saw an ad for this on Cartoon Network, and completely missed the name, but was recently able to figure it out by browsing the ToysRUs website.

This is much like a walkie-talkie, except that it uses a mini keyboard and head mounted display to display the message, which can be up to 23 characters. They claim a range of 200 feet, which would work okay for paintball, or other sneaky activities. I'm guessing these would be pretty easy to hack, although you might just want to mount a short LCD on the inside of some glasses.

In any case, it's a neat toy, one that I would have enjoyed as a child. I loved pretending I was some spy trying to avoid detection around the house.

In addition, this company is producing a funny looking POV camera that uses traditional film, and apparently needs to be taken apart in order to remove a 'strange circle thing centered on the middle of the photo with the words "Spy Cam" (kind of like a gun sight.)'. I think if they tried to do this again with a cheap digital cam, it could actually be decent. Again, for reasonable use, you could probably just stick a wireless mini cam in a pair of sunglasses, and get a much better effect.

All in all, I was surprised by these products, but only likely to get the first toy because it only costs about $35 for two. Should be fun stuff to mutilate for next year's Burning Man.

Posted by nym at 09:38 PM | Comments (1) | TrackBack

October 26, 2003

DejaView Details

dejaview-abc.jpgFound an article about the DejaView written by ABCNews, which has some interesting tidbits about the Point of View Camera company, DejaView. DejaView has launched their website, and talked a bit about their product, but have yet to sell it to the public.

They don't intend for their camera to be covert. This is probably a PR move to rebuke critics of new camera technology, but abc revealed unintentionally that they don't aim at empowering individuals as much as empowering law enforcement, as evident in the following paragraph:

'Bajarin, meanwhile, sees a better market among special "vertical" segments � such as the law enforcement community.'

The article also says that DejaView has attained '...$500,000 in private funding to develop prototypes of the cameras. But, it's also in the process of raising the estimated $5 million needed to ramp up production and hopefully begin distribution to mass market retail chains before the end of the year.'

Not surprising. I'm wondering how long it will take for them to get anything out on the market though. Maybe Sony or Phillips will beat them to it.

The ABC article is available here, but don't bother reading it unless you're looking for information about why a Point of View camera is a good or bad idea for society. Good or bad, this technology is about to hit big time.

Posted by nym at 12:29 AM | Comments (1) | TrackBack

October 25, 2003

Wearable Cameras

Well it looks like the industry is starting to explore the idea of wearable cameras. Two cameras are actually out on the market, the Minox (german company, pictured at left), and the Philips Wearable Digital Camera (pictured on right). Both are USB cameras, but the Minox seems to be a much higher quality cam. philipscamerakeyring.jpgOn the other hand, the Phillips cam is definitely a good buy for approximately $100USD, which is much less pricey than the Minox which is � 229 (approximately $250USD).

I haven't seen photos of either of these cameras being worn, but they do seem like they're getting closer to things like the DejaView Point of View camera which we previously reported on. My hope is that more wearable cameras will enter the market, paving the way for the mass market POV cams for that TekGear would sell, like their recent camera/HMD concept prototype (pictured below).

Posted by nym at 03:45 PM | TrackBack

September 19, 2003

HP's POV Cam Prototype

hppov.jpgThe BBC has written an article on HP's newly developed prototype Point Of View camera, which uses a pair of glasses as the camera's mount/casing. While the BBC's article has some 'futureshock' fodder, there are also some interesting quotes regarding image post-processing. The article also says that they're using metadata to hold orientation data.

This extra data keeps track of how and where a picture was taken and can spot if a subject was walking or turning.

The system also inspects images to see if people are smiling or looking directly at the camera lens.

Worst line from the article:

"HP need to look at the implications on privacy and stuff like that before they flood the market with these."

Dear mister "technology analyst" Bill Thompson: go read up on "Sousveillance" and look up at all the corporate security cameras around before you start attacking HP for building a camera that individuals can protect themselves with.

Posted by nym at 12:21 PM | Comments (1) | TrackBack

June 30, 2003

GPS Tagged CamPhones

geophone.jpgWritten by dav, someone I know through I found the article on the web through muxway:

"Mie's cellphone can tag each photo she takes with the latitude/longitude coordinates. Last night she tried sending a geotagged jpeg for the first time, so this morning I started researching how to get the coordinates out of the jpeg. It turns out that the data is stored in EXIF headers.
Finally, I found a java library/util called metadata-extractor which seems to parse every bit of data it can from the jpeg, including all of the GPS data!

Now I was in business. I hacked in a call to the java util in and also some code which causes each geo-coded image to be hot linked to a japanese version of mapquest called mapfan. A better system would take a look at the coordinates and link to whatever map system was appropriate (mapquest or tiger for US and European locations) but for right now the only person using geo-tagged jpegs with my (that I know of) is Mie, and her phone only works in Japan." -Exerpt from AkuAku SF

Posted by nym at 08:30 PM | TrackBack

June 21, 2003

DejaView Announces Gargoyle Toys

dejaview5.jpgDejaView has released a wearable computer with one purpose, to capture video. The camera itself starts at $80, but to get the full working model one needs to get their CamWear 100, which costs $300 $400 and can record 250 thirty second video clips. The DejaView wearable passively records, and when you request a clip, it's of the previous thirty seconds, not the thirty seconds after you hit the button. Their more expensive model, the CamWear 200XP costs $500 and can record four hours of video.

Update (June 12th, 2004):
They just announced that they've found someone to produce their product, sans expensive model.

"Deja View was demonstrating their interesting wearable camcorder. It contains their patent-pending technology that has created a camera/microphone unit less than an inch long and smaller than a nickel. It�s designed to be worn on your eyeglasses or hat. It�s attached by a wire to a PDA-sized remote unit that clips to a belt or waistband." - Exerpt from MSNBC.

Posted by nym at 07:37 PM | Comments (3) | TrackBack

May 07, 2003

Fictional Wearables

nym's earlier entry on StartleCams reminded me of something. A fair number of scientific advances were prophesied in science fiction (I keep on forgetting to read Thomas Disch' The DREAMS OUR STUFF IS MADE OF), and Warren Ellis' Transmetropolitan mentioned something similar back in the 90s.

Spider Jerusalem, the series' grumpy antihero journalist, wears camera-shades that happen to capture evidence of an embarrassing drunken night due to anti-assault defenses. There aren't many devices out there that provide this kind of functionality, but recording is becomming a much more commonplace activity. In the 90s there was a kidnapping/murder where the victim had a casette recorder on her, and without the murderer's knowledge, captured her pleading for life. The police found the tape later, and used it in court. This was turned into a Law & Order episode. More cases of crime documentation from victims with webcams, cellphones or wearables are coming.

On a cheerier tone, Transmet has SPKF feedsite (think 30th Cent. website) listeners that provide audio/video to their audience via attractive electronic and harness combos. Again, something that could be done today. A lot of sci fi (and its hipper, somewhat brain-damaged cousin cyberpunk) skips right over wearables to cybernetic implants, but who wants to go under the knife every time a faster model comes out?
Posted by dragoon at 11:31 PM | Comments (6)

May 04, 2003


From Steve Barr: "From Slashdot, how to tune into X10 camera broadcasts while walking around" (for ~ 220USD) I had never considered trying to pick up *other* people's cameras, but I suppose it does have a voyeuristic appeal. Since these cameras are only 80 dollars and dropping, I'd bet this device would be good for removing the pesky things from unwanted areas. Personally, I'm going to stay away from wireless cameras without crypto altogether.
Posted by nym at 02:48 PM

May 03, 2003

POV and Button Cameras

bonocam.jpegPart of being a gargoyle seems to be recording video and audio. While computer software innovation is important, having cameras that are easy to wear and use on a day to day basis is very important too. Most notably, I've found a camera called the BonoCam, which is a Point Of View (POV) camera that rides on the side of a pair of stylish shades (pictured on right). This camera is only rentable, but one can buy a similar camera without the glasses, at a very reasonable price. another company that sells cameras designed for adventure sports makes a larger camera that can be attached to virutally any helmet or baseball hat. They also sell a remote that makes it easy to record with a LANC device.

I've found more concealed items such as the Button Cam (pictured on the left), which comes with ten matching buttons. For all the people who think they can find any hidden camera in a room, I've also seen this camera that looks identical to a generic screw. If you're going for a camera that costs less than a cheap laptop, go for a pager camera or a miniuture camera.

Posted by nym at 10:17 PM | Comments (3)

April 22, 2003

Wearable Cameras

A good article by Jennifer Healey and Rosalind Picard is avaliable online, titled "StartleCam: A Cybernetic Wearable Camera". StartleCam is an idea to employ body sensors to activate a camera on the person. Having recently been in a stituation where I witnessed a mother kick her daughter in a supermarket parking lot, I can appreciate the desire to trigger recording by dramatic changes in one's personal body. Perferably I'd like a device that records all the time, and would red flag pertinant data for later review, but I can undstand data storage limitations. I have wanted