Monday, July 12, 2010

Google's Android App Inventor: App Development for the Rest of Us - based on Open Blocks visual programming


 About App Inventor (info from the Google App Inventor website)
  • Complete this form and we'll have you building apps soon!
More info from Google App Inventor:
"In creating App Inventor for Android, we're fortunate to be able to draw upon significant prior research in educational computing, and work done in Google on online development environments.
The blocks editor uses the Open Blocks Java library for creating visual blocks programming languages. Open Blocks is distributed by the Massachusetts Institute of Technology's Scheller Teacher Education Program and derives from thesis research by Ricarose Roque. We thank Eric Klopfer and Daniel Wendel of the Scheller Program for making Open Blocks available and for their help in working with it. Open Blocks visual programming is closely related to the Scratch programming language, a project of the MIT Media Laboratory's Lifelong Kindergarten Group.
The compiler that translates the visual blocks language for implementation on Android uses the Kawa Language Framework and Kawa's dialect of the Scheme programming language, developed by Per Bothner and distributed as part of the Gnu Operating System by the Free Software Foundation.
The educational perspective that motivates App Inventor holds that programming can be a vehicle for engaging powerful ideas through active learning. As such, it is part of an ongoing movement in computers and education that began with the work of Seymour Papert and the MIT Logo Group in the 1960s."

More on this topic later!

Sunday, July 4, 2010

MeeGo for Tablets: Video Demo (Pre-Alpha)

Technology in the Sunday Paper, Tourists on Segways in Charlotte, NC.

This morning, the Charlotte Observer ran an article about 3-D TV, a topic I've recently blogged about:

"But the first sales figures on 3-D TVs and a newly released consumer survey indicate that the industry has a long way to go before the new technology catches on in a big way, if it ever does...In the sets' first three months on the market, beginning in February, consumers nationwide spent about $55 million on new 3-D-capable TVs and related equipment, according to an NPD Group survey of some of the largest retailers carrying the products, including Best Buy and"  -3-D TV sets are selling, but no instant craze
Kristena Hanson, L.A. Times, 7/4/10, in the Charlotte Observer

In the wad of ads that came with my Sunday paper,  I noticed a huge glossy spread by Sony, highlighting the company's 3D system and other newer technologies:

An ad from Wolf Camera and Image featured a Nikon COOLPIX S1000PJ, with a built-in mini-projector:

Back to the Sony spread, I noticed the Sony Dash Personal Internet Viewer:

"Hello, I'm Dash"

"As the Dash™ Personal Internet Viewer, I use over 1,000 free apps and your Wi-Fi®connection to deliver the information and entertainment you crave—right to your bedroom, kitchen or office. Now you can access always-fresh web content with the touch of a finger, without being tethered to your PC."

"Easy to customize, just choose the apps you want to display—weather, traffic, sports, social networking, movies, music, games and more."

Why not just get a kickstand for your iPad, slate, or smartphone?

I also noticed the ad for the Sony Reader Touch Edition:

Technology in my world:

Later in the day, I was driving down Central Avenue in Charlotte's Plaza-Midwood neighborhood. Stopped at a light, I snapped a picture of some tourists on Segways:

Technology, as it is embraced in Charlotte, North Carolina!

Direct HD 3D TV website

Friday, July 2, 2010

The Future of Social Relations: Pew Internet and American Life Project Future of the Internet Survey Results

Imagining the Internet

Pew Internet and American Life Project has been studying all thing related to the internet for a long time. One of the most recent studies looks at how the internet has impacted social relationships and how it might impact social relationships in the future.  Below is a link to the survey results, and an excerpt from the report:

The Future of Social Relations

"While they acknowledge that use of the internet as a tool for communications can yield both positive and negative effects, a significant majority of technology experts and stakeholders participating in the fourth Future of the Internet survey say it improves social relations and will continue to do so through 2020" 

"The highly engaged, diverse set of respondents to an online, opt-in survey included 895 technology stakeholders and critics. The study was fielded by the Pew Research Center’s Internet & American Life Project and Elon University’s Imagining the Internet Center."


Elon University's Imagining the Internet: A History and a Forecast website has a wealth of information about internet history and predictions.  An interesting place to start is the "Early '90's Predictions" section, which includes a link to the 90's database search. The Visionaries Multimedia section includes video of various conferences, forums, and events such as FutureWeb and WWW2010, held in Raleigh, NC. during April of 2010.  For teachers, parents, and kids, there is a KidZone resource section.

Links and Resources

Thursday, July 1, 2010

Reactable Live! at Sonar Barcelona 2010 - (You can see one at Discovery Place in Charlotte, NC.)

I like music technology. I like interactive, tangible table systems.  I like the Reactable!

To understand this system, see it in action!

Below is a video of Reactable Live!, Performed at Sonar Barcelona 2010 on June 18th. The music and performance is by Carles Lopez, and the video was by Marc Morera.

"Reactable in Concert by Carles L√≥pez sounds like electronic house, minimal, electro, techno, idm, dnb…"
Here is a video of children playing with the Reactable, at Sonar Kids, Barcelona, 2009:

I recently learned that there is a Reactable in my hometown!
The Reactable Experience was installed at Discovery Place in Charlotte.  Discovery Place is the children's science museum for the metropolitan Charlotte, N.C. region. Below is a picture from the Discovery Place museum:

The Reactable is part of a new exhibition, "Think it up"  Here's the description from the Discovery Place website:

"The Reactable is a cutting edge electronic musical instrument merged with a visual experience. Special objects are placed on a translucent surface which trigger sound clips and audio modulation. The sound produced by the objects is represented visually on the surface, providing feedback and guidance for the creation of new music."

This version of the Reactable is for museums, science centers, schools, universities, and other public spaces.  It is an outgrowth of the original Reactable that was designed for musicians. This version is intuitive and invites people to share and create music collaboratively.

Reactable Experience brochure (pdf)

Cross posted on the Interactive Multimedia Technology blog.