What is InC?InC is the Innovative Communication research Group at the IT University of Copenhagen. It focuses on
- design and development of interactive technologies in the contexts of prior and emerging cultures of information
- advanced and innovative communication trends
- historical and rhetorical methods of innovation
Category Archives: .feature
During the last weeks, the Gaze Group at ITU has been working hard to have the ITU Gaze Tracker ready for the CHI Conference that is taking place in Boston this week. The software was released last Saturday and presented on Monday during the reception that took place in the evening. Quite a lot of people dropped by our booth and tried our systems.
The system was tested successfully by almost all the test subjects. One of them rejected to bite on the piece of balsa wood, but apart from him people was glad to test the gaze tracker. John recorded a video of the demo and uploaded it to Youtube.
Check out Nick Barber’s news coverage for IDG:
Two weeks ago I had the honor of exhibiting the PLANKS for the first time. The PLANKS are a collaboration between the artist Henrik Menné and I and they are part of my research on computers as a material for design. The PLANKS bend when they detect a sound above a certain threshold. Each PLANK work individually but together create a stronger expression.
The PLANKS are placed outside the 3D hallway and will be exhibited until March 12.
For more information see: akav.dk/PLANKS.html
Last week I examined a Master Thesis project with four students. The external examiner and I agreed readily on grade B (for all of the four) as the work was good, coherent, and convincing. The students were very surprised to get a B – they had expected C or D. I asked them why? “The last week was so busy that we did not manage to maintain an overview of the work and the report – and we also tended to focus on the things that we missed!” Yes – fine – that’s perfectly understandable. But what I find difficult to understand is that the perception of the quality of their work established through intensive supervision with nuanced feedback in the preceeding 25 weeks has slipped so much in the background. According to my garage-house-palace metaphor on thesis project quality, the last week is basically polishing and adjusting as the house has been built, its organisation has been established, the materials and their interplay have been selected in the preceeding 25weeks. In sum, in spite of intensive pondering over the years on good supervision, especially feedback, I still have a lot of ground to cover!
I am writing this while an Indian television station runs stories in loop about the terror actions in Mumbay – in fact all the major news stations here – the Indian (English language) CNN and others have almost no other stories than what happened in Mumbay – before, during and now after the horrible events. Even if terror bombs have been frequent all over India during the past decades it seems that this is much worse because it was so organized and took place simultanoeusly in many areas and because the terrorists went directly for foreigners (US and British citizens). The level of security here in Hyderabad which is far away from Mumbay is very high – in the airport, at the hotel (all cars are carefully examined before entering the area, you are lead thorugh scanners by police officers with machine guns when you enter the hotel) and the conference let all of us know that they cooperate with the police in all possible ways during the conference which starts in two days.
Seen from my professional view the television coverage of the terror bombings hold some interesting and frightening information: e.g. the way the terrorists coordinated their actions via mobiles and GPS. It is something to think about: actions dependend on the newest communicationtechnologies but ideologically rooted in ancient ideas about what values are worthwhile. The stations also run constantly incoming messages from blogs and moblogs and pictures taken by those who where there – as we have seen it before in NY, in London, in Madrid. The popular documentation of the events adds very personal but also extremely valuable and very scary digital traces and historical pictures. These news stories add more and more diverse bits to my puzzle of the picture of digital media, mobiles, democracy and empowerment.
At the annual meeting of Society for the History of Technology in Lisbon in October (SHOT 2008), Janet Delve from Portsmount University presented the paper “New Perspectives on ’Jacquard’ Looms and the Development of Punched Cards”. The paper rewrites history of computing – albeit in the small. How come? Punch cards is one of the pillars of computing as these were the basis for the extensive administrative data processing practices in the first half of the last century. [Mind you, as late as in 1959, 65% of IBMs income in the US came from punch card equipment.] In the history of punch cards two names stand out: Herman Hollerith and Joseph Marie Jacquard. Hollerith employed punch cards successfully in the US census in 1890, paving the way for later extensive administrative use of this technique, while Jacquard invented a loom based on punch cards. According to Wikipedia: “The Jacquard loom was the first machine to use punch cards to control a sequence of operations”. Janet Delve’s research challenges this widespread belief. To put it short, the “Jacquard” loom ought to have been called the “Breton” loom as the hitherto unknown Jean Antoine Breton made most of the developments of the loom.