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A Camera That Can See Through Walls
Camera Culture Research Group's Time-of-Flight Microwave Camera
Modern cameras cannot see through fog, in the dark, or through walls, making the development of driverless vehicles or better search and rescue equipment difficult. Where visible light fails, radio waves can easily penetrate these obstructions; but, radar imaging devices are complex, low resolution, and unable to image certain geometries and angled surfaces. To address this, the Media Lab’s Camera Culture group has taken a camera-like approach to microwave imaging, resulting in a simpler camera architecture that can capture fuller 3D images through walls. more ›
Unbounded High Dynamic Range Photography Using a Modulo Camera
Camera Culture group research may be the beginning of the end for over-saturated images
Trying to take pictures in the dark or through a window is difficult for professional photographers and everyday people alike. A group of researchers at MIT have proposed a camera that can take a perfect picture, no matter what the lighting contrast is. Called a “modulo camera,” this camera is designed to never overexpose an image, enabling high dynamic range photography. This achievement was awarded the best paper runner-up at the 2015 International Conference on Computational Photography. more ›
New Faculty Publication
Why Information Grows:
The Evolution of Order, From Atoms to Economies
An interdisciplinary theorist, Cesar Hidalgo, the Macro Connections group leader at the MIT Media Lab, invites us to understand the economy in an entirely different way. more ›
The Media Lab Digital Currency Initiative
The goal of the Media Lab Digital Currency initiative is to bring together global experts in areas ranging from cryptography, to economics, to privacy, to distributed systems, to take on this important new area of research. The effort will reach across the MIT campus, and we look forward to including collaborations with leading experts around the world. Heading the initiative is Brian Forde, former senior White House advisor for mobile and data innovation. more ›
FOLD is an authoring and publishing platform for creating modular, multimedia stories. Authors can search for and add “context cards” to their stories directly within the platform. Context cards can contain everything from videos, maps, tweets, music, interactive visualizations, and more. FOLD was created by Alexis Hope from the Civic Media group and Kevin Hu from the Macro Connections group, in collaboration with developer Joe Goldbeck.
Press about FOLD: more ›
NailO is a wearable input device in the form of a fingernail art sticker. It works as a miniaturized trackpad that can connect to your mobile devices; it also enables wearers to customize the device to fit the wearer’s personal style. NailO was created by Cindy Hsin-Liu Kao of the Living Mobile group and Artem Dementyev of the Responsive Environments group.
Unique in the Shopping Mall: On the reidentifiability of credit card metadata
In a new study published in Science, a group of researchers from the Human Dynamics group led by student Yves-Alexandre de Montjoye, found that "anonymized" credit card users could be reidentified with just a few pieces of information. The researchers analyzed transactions made by 1.1 million people in 10,000 stores over three months. Although the information had been “anonymized” by removing names and account numbers, each purchase made by the same credit card was tagged with the same random identification number. more ›
New technique enables nanoscale-resolution microscopy of large biological specimens
In a new study published in Science, researchers from Ed Boyden's Synthetic Neurobiology group detail a new technique that allows them to use a polymer commonly found in diapers to physically enlarge brain tissue samples, enabling them to get high-resolution images of cellular activities. Learn more about how expansion microscopy works in this video, and explore the research and process in-depth at http://expansionmicroscopy.org/. more ›
White House Event to Feature Neurotechnology Architecting Network Leaders from MIT
Self-organizing network of innovators commits to developing a dozen new neurotechnologies
On September 30, 2014, the White House is hosting a BRAIN Initiative Conference to highlight commitments, investments, and progress by the Federal government, private sector companies, universities, and non-profit organizations to develop technologies to radically accelerate our understanding of the brain. more ›
BioGlass and SenseGlass
Using Google Glass to Track Health and Emotional Wellbeing
What if you could see what calms you down or increases your stress as you go through your day? What if you could see clearly what is causing these changes for your child or another loved one? People could become better at accurately interpreting and communicating their feelings, and better at understanding the needs of those they love. This work explores the possibility of using sensors embedded in Google Glass, a head-mounted wearable device, to robustly measure physiological signals of the wearer. more ›
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 ›
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 ›
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 ›
Repertoire Remix: Q&A with Tod Machover and Tae Kim
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
Commercial Version of the MIT Media Lab CityCar Unveiled in Brussels
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 ›
Source:MIT News Office
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 ›
Media Lab Projects Are Semi-Finalists in $100K Contest
Congratulations to five groups with Media Lab members who have made it to the finals in The MIT $100K Entrepreneurship Competition.
The projects include:
All Cows Eat Grass (Mihir Sarkar, Robin Bose, Sean Leow), an online platform for real-time private music lessons. The system connects music instructors and students using a low-latency audio and video link, provides motivational support to practice between lessons, and lowers the barrier to learn music. more ›
Media Lab Research at White House Conference on Bullying Prevention
On Thursday, March 10, 2011 Henry Lieberman, head of the Media Lab's Software Agents research group, along with Karthik Dinakar and Birago Jones, first-year master's students working with Lieberman, joined President and Mrs. Obama, Secretary of Health & Human Services Kathleen Sebelius, and Secretary of Education Arne Duncan at The White House for a Conference on Bullying Prevention. more ›
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 ›
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.
- Tech Night at the Pops, MIT Alumni Association and Boston Pops, 1896 to present
- CityCar Electric Vehicle, Smart Cities Group, MIT Media Lab, 2006–Present
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 ›
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 ›
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.
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 ›
Source:MIT News Office
Pattie Maes & Pranav Mistry: Unveiling the "Sixth Sense," Game-Changing Wearable Tech
SixthSense (also known as WUW: Wear Ur World) 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 uses a camera and a tiny projector in a pendant-like device to see what we see, and visually augment the surfaces or objects with which we interact. SixthSense projects information onto any surface—such as walls and other objects around us—and allows us to interact with the information through natural hand gestures, arm movements, or with the object itself.
SixthSense: A Wearable, Gestural Interface to Augment Our World
Turning any surface into a touch-screen display
Meet TOFU: A Squash and Stretch Robot
Soybeans not required
Can traditional values be embedded into a digital object?
'Chameleon Guitar' Blends Old-World and High-Tech
The Chameleon Guitar—so named for its ability to mimic different instruments—is an electric guitar whose body has a separate central section that is removable. This inserted section, the soundboard, can be switched with one made of a different kind of wood, or with a different structural support system, or with one made of a different material altogether. Then, the sound generated by the electronic pickups on that board can be manipulated by a computer to produce the effect of a different size or shape of the resonating chamber.
Source:MIT News Office
Sandy Pentland Discusses His New Book at Google
Alex (Sandy) Pentland gives an overview of the work discussed in his new book, Honest Signals
Meet (and Watch) TOFU
Yes, it's cute as cute can be, but TOFU is more than just a bundle of fuzziness: it is an example of a new generation of robots that can display cartoon-like physical behaviors.
Meet TOFU, A Squash and Stretch Robot
TOFU is a project to explore new ways of robotic social expression by leveraging techniques that have been used in 2-D animation for decades. Disney Animation Studios pioneered animation tools such as "squash and stretch" and "secondary motion" in the 50s. 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.
Sharing everyday data
Intelligent sticky notes
GIRLS Involved in Real-Life Sharing
Reflecting on emotions by constructing pictorial narratives
Recent Lab Headlines
Updates on Media Lab news mentions
- "Revelations from the Mouth of a Babe": Human Speechome Project in the Boston Globe
- "Symposium Addresses Tech Issues": a Variety magazine follow up to Friday's Media Fabrics for Media Makers event
- Alyssa Wright's "Hero Reports" on John Hockenberry's "The Takeaway" on WNYC
- Hiroshi Ishii, CHI 2008: "Renaissance" panel recap
- "Military Inventions Hit the Civilian Market"—Hugh Herr in the Christian Science Monitor
Kudos for LabCAST
Webby award for Lab podcasts