Tower Optical Tourist Binocular modified with screens from a Head Mounted Display in the eyepieces.  Rotation, tilt, and zoom knob are instrumented and provide the user with an engaging experience of seeing into a sperical panorama out on the Farallon Islands.  Hotspots show historical landmarks, flora, and fauna of this unique ecosystem.


The Reading Eye Dog is a charming exhibit the images pages placed in its field of view, performs optical character recognition (OCR) on the text, and reads the text using a speech synthesizer.  They make a few mistakes, but they're the smartest dogs in the world!


Sunset is a piece of interactive fiction that plays out on two Sony JumboTrons on the facade of the Billboard Live nightclub on Sunset Boulevard in North Hollywood.  Passing motorists and pedestrians could steer the fiction by clicking their garage door openers and alarm system keyfobsat the screen.  A micropowerradio station broadcasted a soundtrack for the piece. margaret Crane, Jon Winet, Scott Minneman, Dale MacDonald.


Telephone Story is a knock-sensitive interface to a video-based portrait of JD Beltran, told in evocative imagery and cellphone messages.  Using what is often considered the detritus of everydaylife, one gets a glimpse of who the subject is from these multimedia vignettes.  The large 2-D window was made knock sensitive using a sensor-fusion approach utilizing a contact microphone and a ring of highly-sensitive capacitive ranging sensors.




The sperical multitouch display is a homebrew internally projected image on a hollow polycarbonate sphere.  The multi-touch function is done with infrared (IR) lighting and camera.  A toolkit is underway for simple content delivery and interactivity (the prototype works with Flash).


This was a consulting project for an instrument used in motion picture color correction work.  I helped harden this Lego-based film transport mechanism and built a variety of special components to interface with a few critical 35mm film components.  I also built a custom NXT sensor brick (an opto-interrupter) and created a custom printed circuit board for stabilizing the Dolan Jenner light source.


I make lamps.  They're generally based on repurposed consumer goods like cheese graters, funnels, black pipe, and old appliances.  Some are touch sensitive, others use mercury switches or hairy industrial parts, and some are Arduino-based LED circuits.  Almost all take an interesting stance with respect to their users, be it user-hostile or user-agnostic to interesting forms of physical computing.


This is a very large-bed 75W CO2 laser cutter, custom made when I needed beam time for a large scale project that needed many hours of cutting.  Typical CO2 lasercutters are not this large (the bed on this cutter is 5' x 10') because of beam dispersion issues.  Higher-powered laser cutters are prohibitively costly when you're in service-bureau mode.




The Liberty Science Center in Jersey City wanted a large interactive exhibit that communicated that science is a very current topic, not one that went stale back in Newton's day.  Inspired by Times Square, we proposed Science Mobilized -- an interactive exhibit and news dissemination piece in the form of a giant media-rich mobile.  Not unlike a giant version of the mobile that you might see hanging above a baby's crib, Times Square of Science and Technology was built by Onomy Labs to educate and inspire people -- and to get them to realize that new discoveries and developments happen in scientific fields every day.


Various forms of Interactive Digital Tables have been being made by Onomy Labs for a number of years now (the first was introduced and demonstrated in 1999).  Unlike Microsoft Surface and other touch-based screen displays, the Tilty Table actually articulaes to provide an intuitive and physical interface to the projected content.  Accelerometers keep track of the table's angle.  Variants of the table include the Twisty Table (where Torque is instrumented) and the Spinny Table (where rotation of the tabletop is instrumented).  Tilting the table caused the projected content to flow off the low side of the surface.  Spin and Torque are used to zoom an image in and out for more detail...sometimes literally (like with map data), sometimes figuratively (like with a more abstract data representation).


Material Language is body of work being done by artist JD Beltran, looking at forms of representation in a broad conceptualization of portraiture.  These pieces juxtapose painting, photography, film, and video onto a single planar surface, calling attention to the strengths and weaknesses of each medium.


Downtown Mirroris an award-winning piece of public art that JD Beltran and I did for the City of San Jose.  It consisted of a number of projected urban portraits in storefronts of the downtown area.  For a couple of weeks, the storefront displays were augmented by a huge panoramic video on the side of a building along Fountain Alley, showing dramatic views of planes taking off and landing at Mineta Airport. An audio spotlight created a sweet spot for viewers to also hear the low-flying planes, which are typically an integral part of the downtown San Jose experience.




eXperiments in the Future of Reading was a groundbreaking exhibits that speculated about how people might read in the future.  It consisted of 16 or so interactive experiences that gave people a glimpse of how people my experience the written word -- some were logical progressions of research being conducted at Xerox Palo Alto Research Center (PARC (where Scott was then a senior researcher, and where the 7 other members of the Research on Experimental Documents (RED) research group also did their work)).


The Interactive Digital Wall was another project looking at how reading with our whole bodies involved could be revived.  An update on the timelines and documentation walls that so often populate museums and trade shows, it consists of a large flat-screen display that slides along a long track.  As the large LED screen changes position, so does the content it depicts...the display becomes a magic lens into the material.  These have also been built into countertops and along curved walls.  There is another version where the display moves both left-right and up-down, allowing even further investigation.  Our technology has spawned a fair number of imitators over the years, including units built by folks who did the initial fabrication work-for-hire on the original design we did at Xerox PARC (not that IP theft from PARC is anything new).


The Nightfall installation was a moody room, populated by displays and artifacts that responded to visitors, all of which presented an unfolding narrative depicted in text and images that played out, based on the ever-shifting mood of the room, on numerous screens throughout the space.  The piece, done in collaboration with Jon Winet, Margaret Crane, and Dale MacDonald, showed at Yerba Buena Center for the Arts.  Interaction with individual installed elements in the space contributed to the room's mood.  Gazing into a crystal ball brought life to video images projected onto the base of it and foretold the path of the narrative; examination of items in a museum case with a magnifying loupe told us what objects and topics visitors were curious about; proximity to a filing cabinet with a video document inside yielded hints about the characters' pasts.


This was a 4-person human powered vehicle designed by a student group of myself and fellow Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) students to compete in HPVA World Human Powered Vehicle Championships.  Sponsored by Shimano and others, the bike was a purpose-built speedster.  Very fast even before being ridden by competition cyclists and prior to being equipped with a fairing, the bike's completion and event competition was prevented by project and institutional politics.




This is a modern computer and display artfully shoehorned into a 1958 and 1959 Philco Predicta.  We (I was wearing my Onomy Labs hat) have done several of these over the years, for a client who wanted to show off an embedded product in an unusual way.  The Continental and Pedestal models have both played host to this contemporary hardware.  The monitor is a flatscreen LCD with an ovalized mask which wastes a few pixels but makes the result look so very much nicer.


This award-winning device, which I invented for my Master's Thesis Project at MIT, creates readable text when people type sentences using the Touch-Tone keypad, using the redundancy of language to decide which of the three letters on a given key was the intended one.  The device I built was intended to serve the needs of deaf telephone users (I'd had a deaf roommate and understood the problem he faced quite well), by enabling them to simply and rapidly receive text from communicative partners who had no special equipment at their end of a phone connection.  It was a groundbreaking innovation, worked very well, and won the National Student Design Contest from the Rehabilitation Engineering Society of North America.  The software used a hybrid algorithm that incorporated a dictionary-lookup method and a Markov-chaining technique.  This hybrid algorithm allowed the system to perform well in both the routine situations where the text strings were in the dictionary yet also come up with readable words that weren't in the dictionary.  Today, with memory cheap and plentiful, most algorithms for this purpose can do without the probabilistic element.  This work was done years before the introduction and spread of the cellular phone, and I cannot say that I was anticipating the rise of texting when I performed this research and implementation.  In fact, it was seeing the needs of my deaf roommate and realizing that the Touch-Tone keypad could alleviate some of his frustrations with the telephone (and partly the introduction of chipsets that could decode Touch-Tones in consumer devices) that got me started on this project.  My work was released into the public domain, and it's a mystery to me and legal experts alike how the T9 algorithm was ever granted a patent, and even more of a mystery that major corporations licensed it.  I'll happily testify, if anyone wants to be free of the legal shackles around text entry on ambiguous keypads.


The brief was to animate a physical object to show fluid flows and operational modes.  Gore makes surgical technologies that are used in diagnostic settings that greatly reduce undesirable side-effects of, for instance, dyes used in brain imaging procedures.  Explaining what the equipment does though, even to knowledgeable people, was a big challenge.  Gore wanted the technology present, but they wanted to augment it with virtual flows of fluids in various colors and directions.  The solution embedded the Aortic Stent apparatus in a mixed-media setting with printed graphics depicting the human body along with lit and sequenced LED paths for the tubing and fluids.  The sequenced LEDs gave a very convincing and clear indication of fluid flows in the system.  EL backlighting made for striking graphics of the instrument's context.  Capacitive sensors arrayed at key locations in the exhibit allowed Gore representatives to demonstrate that would be done over the course of a procedure (e.g., turning a valve, or pushing a syringe plunger).  Arduino powered.  Octobrite LED light bars from MaceTech were employed.


Clerestory, Transitory was an invited, site-specific artwork installed in the SomArts gallery in San Francisco. The project, done in collaboration with Dale MacDonald, probed issues of how suggestions of enclosure and lighting can reshape space and, in turn, affect behavior.  Designed for the vaulting, sixty-foot-tall rear gallery in this historic industrial building leased from the San Francisco Arts Commission, the piece consisted of a dozen or so strips of silk suspended in the gallery.  The attachment points at the quarter, half, and three-quarter locations were motorized, and could be raised and lowered in response to sensors.  The installed piece, with its dramatic light and bold catenaries of draped cloth, illuminated with cross-cutting beams of colored wash, was striking even when stationary.  When in motion, it took on an even more-dynamic quality.  The piece could radically reshape the gallery space – with a vocabulary that ranged from cathedral, to circus tent, to harem.  Transitions varied from sudden to subtle -- visitors were often heard commenting about the changes in the room without knowing for certain that they had occurred.