Research Highlights

Comments of Members of the MIT Media Lab in the Matter of FCC NPRM 14-28 “In the Matter of Promoting the Open Internet”

Comments of members of the MIT Media Lab in the matter of FCC NPRM 14-28 “In the Matter of Promoting the Open Internet”

Andrew Lippman, Associate Director, MIT Media Lab; Sr. Research Scientist

with contributions and research from
Edward L. Platt, MIT Media Lab
Jon Ferguson, MIT Media Lab
Scott Greenwald, MIT Media Lab

Summary  more ›

07/15/2014

Hugh Herr at TED 2014: Defeating Disability with Bionics

Hugh Herr, head of the Lab's Biomechatronics research group, spoke at TED 2014 on March 19 about his group's work in creating bionic prosthetic limbs, and their goal to eliminate human disability through technology. To conclude his talk, he spoke about working with Boston Marathon bombing survivor Adrianne Haslet-Davis, a professional ballroom dancer who lost part of her leg in the attack. The group has spent the past 200 days developing a new prosthetic limb for Adrianne that would allow her to dance again.  more ›

Image Credit: 
James Duncan Davidson

Death and the Powers at The Dallas Opera

The Dallas Opera presents a new production of Tod Machover's Death and the Powers, February 12-16. The matinee performance on 2/16 will be simulcast to ten locations across the United States and Europe, including New York, San Francisco, London, and the Media Lab. In addition to viewing the live, hi-def broadcast of the production, the Powers Live mobile application, developed in the Opera of the Future group, allows viewers to virtually experience video, audio, and graphical content sync with the performance. By interacting with the app, viewers can also influence the live show in Dallas.  more ›

inFORM: An Interactive Dynamic Shape Display that Physically Renders 3D Content

Daniel Leithinger, Sean Follmer, Alex Olwal, Akimitsu Hogge, Hiroshi Ishii  more ›

inFORM project
Image Credit: 
Tangible Media Group, MIT Media Lab

Repertoire Remix: Q&A with Tod Machover and Tae Kim

Tod Machover and members of his group answered questions submitted during the Repertoire Remix event, and here they answer a few more for which they didn’t have time during the broadcast.

Question: Amazing! I am just missing Scarlatti...any chance? :-)  more ›

MirrorFugue

Grad student Xiao Xiao (Tangible Media) recently presented a talk about interactive music, featuring a performance on her project MirrorFugue, at both TEDxBoston and the Aspen Ideas Festival.

View her performance at TEDxBoston

View her performance at Aspen Ideas Festival

Tuning Social Networks to Gain the Wisdom of the Crowd

As we engage more with social networking sites, there is always the danger of a “group think” mentality–when people follow a group consensus rather than critically evaluate information; make decisions without guidance from the social network; or follow “gurus” who provide them with bad information. So how do we avoid these errors and maximize the “wisdom of the crowd”?  more ›

Slam Force Net Makes Its Debut

The Slam Dunk competition at the NBA All Star game (Feb. 25 at 8pm Eastern on TNT) will feature the Media Lab's Slam Force basketball net, which measures the energy of a dunk.


Courtesy of Turner Sports

Image Credit: 
Turner Sports
02/24/2012

Commercial Version of the MIT Media Lab CityCar Unveiled in Brussels

A full-scale version of the stackable, electric CityCar, created by researchers at the MIT Media Lab and commercialized by a consortium of automotive suppliers in the Basque region of Spain, was unveiled at the European Union Commission headquarters on January 24, 2012.  more ›

Trillion-Frame-per-Second Video

By using optical equipment in a totally unexpected way, MIT researchers have created an imaging system that makes light look slow.

MIT researchers have created a new imaging system that can acquire visual data at a rate of one trillion exposures per second. That’s fast enough to produce a slow-motion video of a burst of light traveling the length of a one-liter bottle, bouncing off the cap and reflecting back to the bottle’s bottom.

Media Lab postdoc Andreas Velten, one of the system’s developers, calls it the “ultimate” in slow motion: “There’s nothing in the universe that looks fast to this camera,” he says.  more ›

Image Credit: 
M. Scott Brauer
Andreas Velten (L) and Ramesh Raskar with the experimental setup used to produce slow-motion video of light scattering through a bottle.
Source: 
MIT News Office
12/13/2011

Minecraft.Print(): Making the Virtual Real

Minecraft is a video game focused on creativity and building. Players build constructions out of textured cubes in a 3D world–everything from a hut, to a train station, to a fully functional computer. Why can't we take those virtual creations, and bring them into the real world? Minecraft.Print() is our attempt to do so by creating a bridge between Minecraft and the real world, via 3D printers. A Minecraft player defines a 3D space to be printed, after which the software extracts the object, structure, or other creation from the virtual space and creates 3D-printable version.  more ›

Hiroshi Ishii @ TEDxTokyo

Professor Hiroshi Ishii's recent TEDxTokyo talk, "The Last Farewell."

Video | Slides | Essay | Photos

06/07/2011

Death and the Powers: US Premiere March 18

Death and the Powers is a new opera by composer Tod Machover and developed at the MIT Media Lab, in collaboration with the American Repertory Theater and Chicago Opera Theater. It is a one-act, full evening work that tells the story of Simon Powers, a successful and powerful businessman and inventor, who wants to go beyond the bounds of humanity. Reaching the end of his life, Powers faces the question of his legacy: “When I die, what remains? What will I leave behind? What can I control?  more ›

Death and the Powers: Evvy and the Chandelier
Death and the Powers: Evvy and the Chandelier
03/14/2011

Media Lab Work in MIT 150 Exhibition

The 25-year history of the Media Lab's cutting-edge research is represented by nine projects in the MIT Museum's exhibition celebrating the Institute's 150th anniversary.

Conductor's Jacket
01/10/2011

The Glass Infrastructure

Building an open, social information window

This project builds an open, social information window into the Media Lab using 30 touch-sensitive screens strategically placed throughout the Media Lab complex. The experience of using these screens is optimized for guests and visitors who collaboratively explore and uncover the people, ideas, and connections behind the research of the Lab. The system also makes suggestions about who to meet, where they may be, and what projects and people—represented as "charms"—one ought to collect, trade, and share.  more ›

The Glass Infrastructure
Image Credit: 
Andy Ryan
Interactive touchscreens placed throughout the Media Lab complex create a richer experience for visitors.
11/01/2010

NETRA

Combining inexpensive optical elements and interactive software components to create a new, portable, and low-cost optometry system.

MIT Media Lab researchers have created a quick, simple, and inexpensive way to use mobile phones to measure refractive errors of the eye, including nearsightedness, farsightedness, astigmatism, and age-related vision loss. Until now, these measurements have only been possible using specialized equipment operated by a trained professional.  more ›

NETRA
Image Credit: 
Andy Ryan
NETRA is an inexpensive and easy-to-attach add-on for self-testing eyesight quickly, easily, and accurately with a mobile phone.
06/22/2010

Merry Miser

A financial watchdog that watches out for you

Merry Miser is a mobile application that helps its users make better decisions about spending. The application uses the context provided by a user's location and financial history to provide personalized interventions when the user is near an opportunity to spend. The interventions, which are motivated by prior research in positive psychology, persuasive technology, and shopping psychology, consist of informational displays about context-relevant spending history, subjective assessments of past purchases, personal budgets, and savings goals.

Merry Miser
Merry Miser provides interventions when a user is near an opportunity to spend. Locations and messages are personalized using information fr

Bokode: The Better Barcode

Tiny labels packed with information

The ubiquitous barcodes found on product packaging provide information to the scanner at the checkout counter, but that's about all they do. Now, researchers at the Media Lab have come up with a new kind of very tiny barcode that could provide a variety of useful information to shoppers as they scan the shelves—and could even lead to new devices for classroom presentations, business meetings, videogames or motion-capture systems.  more ›

Comparison of Bokode to regular barcodes
Bokode (shown in the center) is a new, optical, data-storage tag that can store—in only 3mm of space—a million times more data than a bar co
Source: 
MIT News Office
07/24/2009

SixthSense: A Wearable, Gestural Interface to Augment Our World

Turning any surface into a touch-screen display
SixthSense is a wearable, gestural interface that augments our physical world with digital information, and lets us use natural hand gestures to interact with that information. SixthSense brings intangible, digital information into the tangible world, and allows us to interact with this information via natural hand gestures. SixthSense frees information from its confines, seamlessly integrating it with reality, thus making the entire world your computer.
SixthSense
SixthSense and some of its applications (clockwise): taking photographs, watching news video, checking the time, drawing, using a map, and r

Meet TOFU: A Squash and Stretch Robot

Soybeans not required
TOFU is a project to explore new ways of robotic social expression by leveraging techniques that have been used in 2d animation for decades. Disney Animation Studios pioneered animation tools such as "squash and stretch" and "secondary motion" in the 50's. Such techniques have since been used widely by animators, but are not commonly used to design robots. TOFU, who is named after the squashing and stretching food product, can also squash and stretch. Clever use of compliant materials and elastic coupling, provide an actuation method that is vibrant yet robust.
Tofu
02/18/2009

Chameleon Guitar

Can traditional values be embedded into a digital object?
In this research we implement a special guitar that combines physical acoustic properties with virtual capabilities. A wooden resonator - a unique, replaceable piece of wood that gives the guitar a unique acoustic sound, will embody the acoustical values. The acoustic signal created by this wooden heart will be digitally processed in a virtual sound box in order to create flexible sound design.
Amit Zoran and the chameleon guitar
Image Credit: 
Webb Chappell
Graduate student Amit Zoran and the "Chameleon Guitar."
Source: 
MIT News
02/03/2009

Mycrocosm

Sharing everyday data
The rise in popularity of the Weblog, and the development of its many variants such as photoblogs, vlogs, moblogs, and tumblelogs, demonstrate that people are increasingly willing to share what they are doing, seeing, and thinking. Micro-blogging has opened this space up even further to those who would not at all consider themselves authors; services like twitter and the status updates common to social networking sites open up a form of publication that is well suited to this wide and fundamentally amateur audience.
mycrocosm data
09/17/2008

Quickies

Intelligent sticky notes
‘Quickies’ brings one of the most useful inventions of the twentieth century—the ubiquitous sticky note—into the digital age. Sticky (aka Post-it) notes help us manage our to-do lists and capture short reminders and information needed in the near future, but keeping track of them can be a task in and of itself. Quickies enrich Post-it notes, making them trackable and manageable; we give these stickies intelligence and the ability to remind us at the relevant time about the task we ought to perform.
quickies
09/02/2008

GIRLS Involved in Real-Life Sharing

Reflecting on emotions by constructing pictorial narratives
Girls Involved in Real-Life Sharing (G.I.R.L.S.) allows users to reflect actively upon the emotions related to their situations through the construction of pictorial narratives. The system employs common-sense reasoning to infer affective content from the users' stories and support emotional reflection. Users of this new system are able to gain new knowledge and understanding about themselves and others through the exploration of authentic and personal experiences. Currently, the project is being turned into an online system for use by school counselors.
G.I.R.L.S. Involved in Real-Life Sharing
08/06/2008