Robototic Futures

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So I’ve been wanting to get this post out for a few weeks now and has been on my mind for a while, though there’s not much point to it except to wonder at the crazy technology of robots and machines that are coming out around us.

In the fictional world of The Matrix, the machines rise to self awareness is mentioned in the Animated short film in the Animatrix, The Second Renaissance. In the story a machine called B1-66ER is to be deactivated by it’s owners but of course a robot with artificial intellegence is not going to shut down easily and in a brutal act of self defense B1-66ER kills it’s masters, his two dogs and another dude called Martin Koots. This future tales of robots killing and trying to take over the world has been good fuel for many science fiction, comics, films, cartoons and stories across the world and with the fast paced world of technology we now live in and with things like nano-technology and the advancements in robotics and AI, it’s easy to see how creative imaginations always make the robots the antagonists.

We are circled by CCTV camera’s everywhere that all use complex systems to track, analyses and recognise different types of objects, people and more recently faces. I found Filmamaker Timo Arnall’s work really interesting into litrally giving an insight into how robots and machines ‘see’. His video below explores how the robots perceive and make sense of  the world. The Wired magazine online has a host of great articles about future bots, check it out at http://www.wired.co.uk/topics/robots.

Wanted to leave you with what really does look like a half-ready B1-66ER. This one eye’d fellow is bought to ‘life’ at the University of Sussex, UK and according to Professor Owen Holland it brings us closer to ‘true’  artificial intelligence. The anthropomimetic robot,  has joints, bones, muscles and tendons…Johnny 5 eat your tin out!

You can catch the full documentary on BBC’s iPlayer website (UK only) or check youtube which also has the full show, search for Horizon: The Hunt for AI.

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View to 2012

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After a long hiatus from the world of WordPress I feel it’s time to check back in and express. It would be foolish of me to think that I could possibly blog, tweet, have a social with some fun inbetween while doing all my design and project work and still have time to blog on a regular. As a freelancer I see a lot of importance in networking through the digital medium and I must admit, getting your head around Twitter and those weird looking “#FF” things can be quite bewildering, but simple and quite logical once you understand the flow of the community. With so many social networks on the rise and so many places to potentially advertise, make new contacts and connect, it can all take some time to begin to build and flourish within each one. This year, I joined Twitter and SoundCloud. Both have great potential and usability and diverse communities and I’ve enjoyed and can understand how some people can be so glued to them. However, there are times when I see people bragging about whatever they are doing and feel like some of these sites are just a playground for ego-maniacs and attention seekers. They can be a very pretentious and devious place also but am taking it all a moon step at a time. On the flip side it’s all good fun and can be wholly inspirational on days when your having a bad one.

Music is my gettaway, my fortress of solitude when I need a good fix. I’m still a vinyl junkie and DJ whenever possible and am open to all types of good music my soul likes to hear, so SoundCloud has been alot of fun and would recomeend it for any aspiring musicians. This year I began DJing on an internet radio station called Spotlight alongside London rapper S6. It’s a 3 hour drive time show packed with GOOD music from old to new which has kept me refreshed, creative and kept my vinyl spinning and put to good use. The S6 & VandaL Show has been growing in listeners and we’ve had a great response for the time we’ve been on there and I’d like to send a happy new year out to all the listeners who have been with us and supported us from the start and we hope you can all join the journey with us in 2012 and beyond. Exciting times lay ahead, S6 and me have begun working and collaborating with artists and will hopefully put something out later in the year.

2011 seemed to really pass by but I’m sure I said that about 2010 so it must be an age thing. Though, 2011 was a very productive and challenging year, it wasn’t all happy roses and smiling gerbels and mistakes and lessons have been learnt and will be worked on. On the freelance side there are things that will need amending this year and I think this will be another busy year around the desk looking into balancing the administrative and design time better. With programs, codes and keeping up to date with design trends it will be a year of learning, achieving, mentoring and building and just growing as much as possible.

One of the best things I done this year was buying my Nikon D60. Yes yes, it’s not the greatest slr in the world I know, but I think it’s a fantastic peice of kit and hate any other type of camera now. My father was a photogapher in his young days and always had an eye for the creative, probably where my love for the arts comes from and it has been something that has bought me closer to my father and appreciating the world he would have liked to have captured behind the lens. SLR’s are amazing cameras but can be a pocket shocker in these hard economic times, so while the temptation is to buy every fantastic lens thats out there, it’s worth putting into perspective how much I was going to use it, so I decided to get a D60 to start with and it’s been a complete joy to use. This finally gave me an excuse to get a Flikr account, another social to get my head around which again has been very inspirational.

With all the hype of 2012 I guess there’s just  so much to look forward to. I’m particularly anxious to hear about the findings from Cern around the Higs particle and interested in gesture systems like Pranav Mistry’s Sixth Sense device and possibly some of the uses around this. I would love to see Wacom and Moleskin to collaborate and bring forth somekind of new digital writing pad, I think this would be awesome and would save many a tree. I’d also like to see digital stuff more affordable so that people can keep the carbon footprints down, the prices of some technologies is just ridiculous in these so called tough times, the Sixth Sense device was built on a small budget that apparently was supposed to be an open source project, however since they showed it on TEDtalks, I’ve not heard anything about the technology and it almost seems like they are waiting for the Apples and others to catch up. Bring it to the masses Pranav! It’s needed!

Recently caught the 7 min trailer of the Dark Knight Rises at the Mission Impossible: Ghost Protocal Imax experience. Could just about understand what Bane was saying, the mask is muffled and I hope the sound is improved when the film finally comes out, but all in all it looks like it’s going to be a good outro for Nolan on the franchise. Looking forward to all the other superhero flicks this year also, as long as they aren’t as shite as Green Lantern flick that is.

Well, I hope ye all had a great 2011 and I wish you all the best for 2012, minus the doomsdays and the mayhem Mayan calender stuff, lets hope it’s a prosperous and fulfilling year for all. Happy New Year.

Accessible Technology

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“We live in a society absolutely dependent on science and technology and yet have cleverly arranged things so that almost no one understands science and technology. That’s a clear prescription for disaster.” – Late Great Carl Sagan

Exciting times lay ahead for technology and it’s going to be equally interesting to see some of the products that will be spawned from the likes of nano tech and quantum computing. Already the online world with the help of social apps and websites is creating an always online culture always wanting real time news or live information and as the information gets better and easily accessable we will naturally want these applications to do more and more, all the while keeping in mind the aesthetics of the product, service and tool.

I’ve seen the introduction of the mobile phone since the early 80’s into main stream culture, dials we’re always cool and who remembers this notorious number:

Telephones became Mobile phones, Mobile phones are becoming smartphones and the trend for live information, social apps and this fast food type of looking at information, or viewing it rather, is something that thrills my soul to wonder at the potential designs, interfaces and user interactions, shapes and characteristics of products and so much more that could be designed and worked on in the future. Even simple old TV’s are changing and becoming more online, it’s a fast moving World connecting together a multiple host of personalities and digital persona’s into an almost single online conciousness known as the Internet. However, even within this fantastic bag of binary, we all still want a presence and a sense of belonging.

When I began my Multimedia Design & Technology studies at uni, things seemed very new and fresh back then as many of the lectures didn’t even understand the modules and just seemed to be thrown into the course. It was a new BSc course at the time for the uni and I landed into the it’s second year of inception. However, it was an interesting course that developed my understanding and general workings throughout all types of media from studying the ancient glyphs to writing Java. Most importantly was the work and literature written by Robert S. Tannenbaum and his ideas and insight into the theoretical foundations of multimedia. He made me realise the importance of human-computer interation (HCI) and in later years Apple proved Tannenbaum’s work by showcasing how important information is when viewed in a beautiful and creative way, which engages the viewer while savouring the brands presence.

It feels like a great time to be a media designer especially when conceptualising  and working on technologies that require such an immense level of interaction. I often work on designs for retail kiosks and touch screen GUI’s, an area which again is developing within the retail World in the UK but is getting much more accepted, as my brother mentioned today “the machines are taking over *dun dun dundun dun (*sing terminator theme)”.  Retail kiosk do come with some baggage in that the target audience is there to shop and not stand around the whole day in front of a 17″ screen tapping buttons, instead the information must be clear, concise, easy to understand by a number of people and nationalities/tourists etc while retaining those hard retail brand guidelines. It’s fantastic to be a part of these projects and I can’t wait to see the time when projectors or interactive surfaces become more tuned and accessible, even though MIT Phd Student Pranav Mistry has already shown the World the possiblities of his Sixth Sense invention that can be potentially made on a shoestring budget, but I believe this is the technology that will begin to appear slowly across our many devices in the future, really bridging the digital – natural divide.. An exciting time indeed.

I found an interview from David Deutsch, an award-winning pioneer in the field of quantum computation an interesting read from this month edition of the best online mag around, in style and content, WONDERLANCE!

10 years from now hoverboards will be a true reality and we will be using magnets like Rodin’s coil or some other Mr Fusion to hopefully power our tech resources without undue waste and damage to the planet and environment…I hope.

Digicova – The new authority in digital art!

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Visit Digicova

What joy!! It’s finally landed! I was asked to design the logo and website for a new site that will be showcasing and celebrating the best in Digital Art, Comics, Games and Anime.

Digicova (word derived from an amalgamation of the subjects it will cover) hosts all the recent and up to date information, news and gossip dedicated to bringing the best of these four subjects to a sexy screen near you. With the rise of digital comics and digital content it is evident that digital art, comics, video games and anime are all becoming more and more interconnected, and lets not forget the media attention superhero flicks are getting at the moment!

Once I heard the idea, I was amped to create a design that would work well with the bombardment of colours that would be expected from any images within 4 different topics and its articles. Seeing the site finally in action is always a wonderful feeling and believe it’s created a nice harmony of the pages. Overall Digicova is a wonderful, informative, fun and visually appealing site. Would love to hear anyone’s feedback on the site and thoughts so far.

Check out DIGICOVA today, share your thoughts and let others interested in this know that score! It’s the new authority baby!

You can also support Digicova through Facebook and follow the green eye on twitter.

DNA Visualised!

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Stumbled across this today, thought I’d share the love. It’s an intriguing and amazing video showing the wonders of DNA and how it works and is definitely worth a watch, especially when you think that this is happening in all of us right now! The animated short takes you through coiling, replication, transcription and translation. The video was created by Drew Berry of The Walter and Eliza Hall Institute of Medical Research. Just wish it was in HD!!

Super Cool Morning…brrr

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Wow is it me or are these months just flying past faster than you can say Clark Kent? I can almost hear the fine tune of Christmas songs being whistled just across the horizon. The weather’s dropped and gales are blowing in London, and it’s not nice out at all, so waking up this morning to an update to the November issue of  Wonderlance’s online magazine, started my day off with a smile! I’ve contributed to a review on tv series Smallville which is in it’s last season and poor old Clark is still impotent at flying. You can catch the review here.  This months magazine focuses on a dual theme of Creation & destruction and features a host of great interviews and articles from around the globe. Recommended reads this month come from an interesting interview and insight with Denis Delestrac on The Weaponization of Space (a completly ridiculous and vain concept currently being deployed in the heavans) , Robots (Friends & Enemies) in the SCIENtech section,  some awe inspiring work from the amazingly talented paper sculptor (yes you heard), Jeff Nishinaka. There’s also some great neo soulful jamz from The Floacist so I hope you all check that out and show some support!

I leave you for now with one of Jeff Nishinaka’s an awe inspiring paper sculpture. Enjoy and marvel.

 

 

New New

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While I’ve been hard at work on projects I’ve had little chance to update my website and have kept the evening busy working on getting this sorted. Finally, had the opportunity to upload some new content for my portfolio and stuff I’m working on at the minute. View it at http://www.veeladwa.com or just click on the image below and take a wonder.

Much of this is very recent so it will be nice to see the evolution of these projects in the future.

The image below was a concept for a children’s book cover and something I thought I’d share and added this to the ‘Other’ section on my site instead of it collecting electric dust on my archives.