May 1, 2006
Happy May Day everyone.

Gadget of the Moment
I think it's only inadvertently an infomercial, but this video of a guy tooling around with the Quickcam Orbit software's facial recognition software, giving himself funny virtual hats, noses, and even some total avatars (i.e. he becomes a bunny, or a dinosaur, etc, and the avatar matches up to his lip and head movements) makes it look like a hell of a lot of fun, and a great use of technology.

Fun with computers fiddling with images from a camera has been around for a while. A few years ago Sony released the Eye Toy, a cheap webcammy looking thing with a disc of fun minigames...slapping away tiny ninjas was especially fun. But the basic technology behind that has been around for over 35 years... Myron Krueger did some amazing stuff, all in real-time. here's a webpage about his videoplace work, and you can also watch this video. Keeping in mind that this was coming out right around "Pong" being invented, never mind Pong being widely released, and you can see how utterly amazing it was, from both the technology and creativity standpoints. (I'm finally getting around to ordering his book...I think its been on my wishlist since before Amazon had the used books connection.)

Quote of the Moment
"Talent hits a target no one else can hit; Genius hits a target no one else can see."
--Arthur Schopenhauer