Google hands developers keys to enliven interactive rooms

center_img Explore further More information: Google’s blog This is an “initial source” release, according to Google, and a binary release will follow. Interactive Spaces is written in Java, and runs on any operating system that supports Java, including Linux, OSX and soon Windows. Javascript and Python are supported out of the box. Also, openFrameworks is supported. The latter is an open source C++ toolkit for “creative coding.” The openFrameworks community uses the toolkit as general-purpose glue, as they phrase it, with code written to be “massively cross compatible,” wrapping together numerous libraries such as OpenGL, GLEW, GLUT, libtess2 and cairo for graphics; rtAudio, PortAudio or FMOD and Kiss FFT for audio input, output and analysis; FreeType for fonts; and Quicktime and videoInput for video playback.As for Interactive Spaces, the way it works can be boiled down to concepts such as “producers” and “consumers.” The floor is a consumer of events that connects to cameras in the ceiling, which are producers of events. “Any number of producers and consumers can be connected to each other, making it possible to create quite complex behavior in the physical space,” according to Google’s notes.Scenarios for the “intelligent rooms” can be adapted with a few lines of code or original, detailed interfaces written from the ground up. Keith Hughes, who is with Google’s Experience Engineering Team, comments on what developers can expect with Interactive Spaces as a collection of libraries for implementing the activities to run in their interactive space. “Implementing an activity can require anything from a few lines in a simple configuration file to you creating the proper interfaces entirely from scratch. The former gets you off the ground very quickly, but limits what your activity can do, while the latter allows you the most power at the cost of more complexity,” he said.As the framework notes suggest, design possibilities are many and applications can range from creative designers putting together novel interactive installations, to the creation of live gaming environments, to educational events where interactions support a targeted learning experience. Google offers a sample scenario, asking us to imagine walking into a room where the room recognizes where we are and can respond based on our position in the space. Cameras in the ceiling do “blob tracking,” says Google, and those blobs are people walking on the floor. The floor responds to the blobs by having colored circles appear underneath the feet of someone standing on the floor and then having the circles follow that person around.“Blob-tracking” fits in the realm of computer vision work, where visual modules are aimed at detecting points or regions in the image that differ in properties such as brightness or color compared to the surrounding.Google, in discussing further plans for Intreractive Spaces, intends to add support for the Processing language, also open source, providing an environment for creating images, animations, and interactions. As such, Processing has become a familiar programming tool for those who generate art and graphical presentations.Interactive Spaces is licensed under the Apache license 2.0 and the source code for the project is available from Google Code.last_img read more

Study looks at immediate health benefits of renewable energy plants

first_img Explore further Is natural gas a ‘bridge’ to a hotter future? As the researchers note, most studies that look into the benefits of converting “dirty” energy production to “clean” renewable resource based systems, focus on the benefit to the planet as a whole, i.e. reducing greenhouse gas emissions and thus slowing global warming. They suggest another approach is to look at the health benefits that would occur for the people that live in the area—air pollution, it has been estimated kills approximately 200,000 people in the U.S. each year—and a lot of that pollution comes from coal fired power plants. In this new effort, the researchers wondered if it might be possible to create models that would reflect the immediate health benefits to people that live in the vicinity of dirty plants if they were replaced with non-air polluting plants.As a start, the team chose to use dollar amounts spent on health care due to pollution as a metric, because it can be quantified. Next, they chose six geographical areas to evaluate: Cincinnati, northern Ohio, Virginia, Pennsylvania, southern New Jersey and Chicago. For each of those areas, the team looked at what the impact would be of replacing a coal fired plant with either a 50 MW solar or wind plant, or two pollution reduction schemes that would involve reducing the amount of electricity meted out to customers. Then, they looked at the impact that each of the types of projects would have on the amount of electricity generated versus savings or constraints on the local grid, and of course the difference in emission of pollutants such as nitrogen oxide, carbon dioxide and sulfur dioxide.Putting it all together resulted in a model that they could use to estimate the health benefits (in dollars) under each of the different scenarios. They found it was different for each region depending mostly on population density and baseline pollution levels—savings ranged from $5.7 to $210 million each year. The researchers believe their models could be used by planners to forecast potential health benefits when considering power generation options in the future. More information: Health and climate benefits of different energy-efficiency and renewable energy choices, Nature Climate Change (2015) DOI: 10.1038/nclimate2771AbstractEnergy efficiency (EE) and renewable energy (RE) can benefit public health and the climate by displacing emissions from fossil-fuelled electrical generating units (EGUs). Benefits can vary substantially by EE/RE installation type and location, due to differing electricity generation or savings by location, characteristics of the electrical grid and displaced power plants, along with population patterns. However, previous studies have not formally examined how these dimensions individually and jointly contribute to variability in benefits across locations or EE/RE types. Here, we develop and demonstrate a high-resolution model to simulate and compare the monetized public health and climate benefits of four different illustrative EE/RE installation types in six different locations within the Mid-Atlantic and Lower Great Lakes of the United States. Annual benefits using central estimates for all pathways ranged from US$5.7–US$210 million (US$14–US$170 MWh−1), emphasizing the importance of site-specific information in accurately estimating public health and climate benefits of EE/RE efforts. (—A team of researchers with affiliations to several institutions in the Boston area has conducted a study to determine the immediate health benefits to different parts of the country if coal or gas fired plants were replaced with solar or wind farms. In their paper published in the journal Nature Climate Change, the team describes how they created their models and why they believe they could be used to help with planning energy systems in the future. Journal information: Nature Climate Changecenter_img Citation: Study looks at immediate health benefits of renewable energy plants (2015, September 1) retrieved 18 August 2019 from © 2015 Solarkraftwerk Waldpolenz, the first Solar 40-MW CdTe PV Array installed by JUWI Group in Brandis, Germany. Credit: JUWI Group This document is subject to copyright. Apart from any fair dealing for the purpose of private study or research, no part may be reproduced without the written permission. The content is provided for information purposes only.last_img read more

Nanoscale logic machines go beyond binary computing

first_imgUsing scanning tunneling spectroscopy, the researchers could measure the electron tunneling rates, and could also control these rates by controlling the voltage to the tip of the microscope along with the distance between the tip and the substrate. So the maze problem becomes a problem of finding the combination of voltages and tip distances that maximize the time an atom occupies a certain state. Due to the variability of single-electron dynamics, each atom has slightly different electron transport properties, which means some atoms have better optimal values than others. If the atoms were used as switching devices, like transistors, then this variability would be considered a drawback because it could introduce error. But here the variability becomes an advantage because it allows billions of logic devices to be compared against each other to determine which electron transport properties help keep the atom in a certain state for the longest time.The researchers expect that the results will lead to nanoscale logic devices capable of solving a wide variety of problems of increasing complexity—all by directly simulating the problems rather than reframing them as binary processes. “Nanoscale and molecular devices used as hardware for logic have potentially many advantages, from high packing density and low-power dissipation to the high number of states that can be used to encode information,” Remacle said. “However, their dynamics is ruled by probabilistic law because of the fundamental stochastic nature of thermally activated and quantum processes. The most straightforward application is then to use nanoscale devices for the implementation of probabilistic algorithms that require significant overhead in conventional deterministic hardware. For example, the mere sampling a pseudo-random number from a probability distribution requires hundreds of instructions on a modern computer while electron tunneling at truly random times is a natural process.”In the future, the researchers plan to design other types of nanologic devices, whose implementation will require positioning the components with extreme precision.”On the theoretical side, we will continue to develop different information processing paradigms tailored on the physics of nanoscale and molecular systems, with special attention to potentialities emerging from their quantum nature,” Remacle said. “This is a fundamental effort for turning into useful technologies the increased ability to control and manipulate the matter at the nanoscale. Experimentally, the biggest challenge is to achieve full control of the position of dopant atoms in the silicon matrix with atomic precision and the design of their transport characteristics.” (—Scientists have built tiny logic machines out of single atoms that operate completely differently than conventional logic devices do. Instead of relying on the binary switching paradigm like that used by transistors in today’s computers, the new nanoscale logic machines physically simulate the problems and take advantage of the inherent randomness that governs the behavior of physical systems at the nanoscale—randomness that is usually considered a drawback. © 2017 Proposed method to cause an atom to emit the same light as another atom Citation: Nanoscale logic machines go beyond binary computing (2017, March 14) retrieved 18 August 2019 from This document is subject to copyright. Apart from any fair dealing for the purpose of private study or research, no part may be reproduced without the written permission. The content is provided for information purposes only. More information: Barbara Fresch et al. “A Probabilistic Finite State Logic Machine Realized Experimentally on a Single Dopant Atom.” Nano Letters. DOI: 10.1021/acs.nanolett.6b05149 Journal information: Nano Letters (Left) The four states of the atom correspond to (right) the four rooms of a maze. The random nature of tunneling electrons in and out of an atom simulates the movement of people between rooms of the maze, and can optimize the solutions to certain maze problems. Credit: Fresch et al. ©2017 American Chemical Society The team of researchers, Barbara Fresch et al., from universities in Belgium, Italy, Australia, Israel, and the US, have published a paper on the new nanoscale logic machines in a recent issue of Nano Letters.”Our approach shows the possibility of a new class of tiny analog computers that can solve computationally difficult problems by simple statistical algorithms running in nanoscale solid-state physical devices,” coauthor Francoise Remacle at the University of Liege told new nanologic machines consist of individual phosphorous atoms that are precisely positioned and embedded in a silicon crystal at a density of about 200 billion atoms per square centimeter. Single electrons randomly move in and out of the atoms due to quantum tunneling. Since each atom can hold one or two of these electrons, and each electron can occupy a few different energy levels, each atom can occupy one of four possible states. Each atom is constantly transitioning between its four states according to a certain set of probabilities, corresponding to the random movement of electrons tunneling in and out of the atom and changing their energy levels. The researchers recognized that this physical picture can be used to simulate certain computational problems. As a proof-of-concept, they looked at a relatively simple example involving the flow of visitors in a maze consisting of four rooms connected by gates. The task is to find the optimal combination of rates for opening the gates in order to maximize the time that visitors spend in one particular room.Solving this type of problem using conventional computing requires a significant amount of effort, since it typically involves analyzing the dynamics of visitors in the maze to gather information before attempting to optimize the rates of the gate openings. However, using the new logic devices, it’s possible to find the solution more directly because the problem is physically embodied by the atomic “hardware” itself. For this particular problem, the topology of the maze corresponds to an atom’s states, and the movement of visitors corresponds to the tunneling of the electrons. Explore furtherlast_img read more

Vegan is nonviolence

first_imgAhimsa means not to hurt someone, working on the same a group of artists put up an exhibition recently in the Capital. Ahimsa’s multidimensional concept is inspired by the premise that all living beings have the spark of the divine spiritual energy, to hurt another being is to hurt oneself.Through the language of brush on canvas all the artists tried to show their concern to promote greenery and vegetarianism at Gallery Sree Art. The works of artist represent non-violence towards animals and respecting the ecological balance ‘By embracing your inner herbivore you can bring positive changes in your lifestyle, the green meals bring peace and calm and a man can live and be healthy without killing animals for food,’ said the artist. Also Read – ‘Playing Jojo was emotionally exhausting’Works of artist Jyotika Chhabra were refreshing and full of enthusiasm. Her use of  bold colours and heavy textures on canvas have brought the shades of nature together for the art lovers in the city. She made an attempt to project the supernova created in the state of reverie.Artists whose works were on display were Kanchan Chander,  Ritu Kapoor Kamath, Balbir Krishan, Alka Raghuvanshi, Nupur Sakhuja Kundu, Jyotika Chhabra,  Babu Xavier, Azis TM, Birendra Pani,  Sangeeta Gupta, Shijo Jacob,  Kiishore Chakravortee,  Sunayana Malhotra and more.last_img read more

Game on

first_imgGames have always existed in cultures and gaming has become ubiquitous with the information technology boom. Through this residency, Khoj tries to explore the idea of game and play through the lens of contemporary art practice. From games as tools of social engagement and change making to games which are studies in hardcore lucid experiences, this show explores it all.The participating artistes are Mohini Dutta, Shradha Jain, Zuleikha Chaudhary, Krishnarjun Bhattacharya and Vinit Nikumbh. Also Read – ‘Playing Jojo was emotionally exhausting’Says Pooja Sood, Director, ‘Khoj would like to incubate and be a stage for the co-inhabitation of multiple kinds of actors in this emergent community of local and independent game makers. This community defies any neat slotting and categorizing into any grouping such as art, science, technology or entertainment. This makes it an opportunity for an intersection with an art space like Khoj that celebrates the liminality of practices and seeks to expand the notions of art practice.’ Also Read – Leslie doing new comedy special with NetflixZuleikha Chaudhary, a well-known theatre person has explored the theatricality and performative aspect within games and gaming through a dramatic exploration of a basketball. She says, ‘The Bhawal case was an extended Indian court case about a possible impostor who claimed to be the prince of Bhawal, who was presumed dead a decade earlier. My project layers this trial with an audition using the framework of a game to consider being yourself and being someone else and where telling the truth and faking dissolve into each other and become indistinguishable.’ Mohini Dutta is a game developer working out of NYC and she has worked on a game that bases itself within the issues of tribal displacement in the Mahan forests. Her influences are jungle sounds, tribal aesthetics and the current political situation in Mahan. Her work explores play through the lens of cultural immersion, education, and disruptive spectacle.Shradha Jain comes from a background of film and video communication and is interested in board games. She has worked on a public installation of traditional board games. Her primary interest lies in conserving and celebrating Indian cultural heritage. She has travelled extensively in Northern and Northeastern parts of the country and is currently documenting the indigenous game culture through her travel. ‘My primary interest lies in studying and reviving the rich cultural heritage of traditional board games and play culture. I am committed to documenting and representing various forms of play that form a seamless cultural tradition overcoming geographical boundaries.’Krishnarjun Bhattacharya comes from a background in film, fantasy literature and game criticism. Having published his dystopian fantasy novel, Tantrics of Old, in June 2014, he is a graduate of the National Institute of Design, Ahmedabad, in Film and Video Communication, and has done his post graduation from the Film and Television Institute of India, Pune, in Video Editing. For this residency, he has worked on a psychological horror first person exploratory game as he likes working with stories, legends, and myths. He’s working towards a structure-less structure that allows free flow and narrative, building around long lost tales and fascinating characters. Vinit Nikumbh is an architect and is working on an App that gamifies urban planning. He also has a keen interest in cinema and urban development. When he was selected as a research fellow to work on issues of urbanism in Mumbai, he conducted a study on the issues of pedestrian access to important nodal transportation junctions in the city of Mumbai. The study culminated in a public presentation and a draft of pedestrian accessibility guidelines that could be addressed in the new development plan for the city.WHERE: Khoj Studios, S-17, Khirkee ExtensionWHEN: 4 September till 6 September 6, 2014, 11 am to 7 pm.last_img read more

Bhel is power plant equipment market leader with 89 share

first_imgBharat Heavy Electricals Ltd (Bhel) expanded its offerings and secured 89 per cent EPC-based power projects in financial year 2014-15, thereby retaining its leadership position with a 72 per cent market share. The national power equipment manufacturer synchronised or commissioned 11,941 mw of power plant equipment — accounting for more than 10,000 mw —for the third year in a row. With this, Bhel has joined the elite club of global giants with an installed base of over 150 gw of power generating equipment Also Read – I-T issues 17-point checklist to trace unaccounted DeMO cashExpanding its offerings, Bhel secured 89 per cent of its total orders in the power sector on EPC basis, thereby retaining its market leadership position during 2014-15 with a 72 per cent market share even while operating in a difficult business environment. The company’s improved focus on project execution enabled it to garner record commissioning/ synchronisation of 11,941 mw of power plants in the domestic and international markets in 20114-15.Bhel secured orders worth Rs 30,794 crore during the just ended fiscal, an increase of 10 per cent over last year from its diversified business segments, covering both domestic and international markets. Its orders in the power sector witnessed a 22 per cent jump to Rs 24,873 crore while those in the most diversified industry segment saw a 4 per cent rise to Rs 5,201 crore in 2014-15. The company booked Rs 720 crore orders for exports and ended the fiscal with a total order book of Also Read – Lanka launches ambitious tourism programme to woo Indian touristsRs 1,01,159 crore.Bhel bagged the country’s first ever 800-mw EPC order from GSECL, Wanakbori, an EPC order for the country’s first ‘9FB Advanced Class Gas Turbine’ from KPCL for the Yelahanka CCPP (370 MW), the second largest single order worth Rs 7,688 crore for the 2×660-mw Ennore SEZ from TangedcoThe national company also signed an MoU with the newly formed Telangana state for 6,000 mw of power projects and received two significant EPC orders from TSGENCO Telangana for the 1×800 mw Kothagudem and 4×270 mw Manuguru. The orders secured involve challenging project schedules of 24 months for 270 mw  and 36 months for 800 mw, in order to create benchmarks in project execution. Bhel recorded a turnover of Rs 30,806 crore (provisional) and net profit of Rs 1,314 crore (provisional) during 2014-15. The profit impact is due to low volumes as a result of the retarding force of the last three years’ market shrinkage due to issues relating to coal linkages, fund constraints, land acquisition issues, clearances, etc. The focus on cost optimisation through increased localisation of super critical technologies, higher value additions; increased vendor base and design optimisation efforts aided the company in raising margins.Bhel’s emphasis on cash realisation during financial year 2014-15 resulted in its retaining a cash surplus situation. The rising trend of debtors has also been arrested. The company’s commissioning/ synchronisation of 11,941 mw included 10,230 mw in the utility segment, 1,392 mw captive/ industrial sets in the country and 319 mw in the overseas market.  Significantly, not only has Bhel surpassed the total capacity addition achieved in the 11th Plan within the first three years of the 12th Plan itself, the company has also exceeded the Ministry of Power’s target for the year by 19 per cent. A major milestone of the year was the commissioning of four overseas power plants in Rwanda, Sudan, Ethiopia and Oman. Bhel signed an MoU with HSL & MIDHANI and formed a consortium for P 75I submarines, a stepping stone towards India’s indigenous submarine-building programme.  Fiscal 2014-15 was a year in which BHEL made significant progress in further consolidating its strengths and value propositions to emerge even more competitive for tapping opportunities in the next phase of economic growth of the country.last_img read more

When moments become memories

first_imgTravelogue, a solo photography exhibition by debutant photographer Amira Chanana, 17, showcased her memories from round the world through her camera. The pictures served as a timestamp of her travel moments across the globe.Unlike the contemporary way, Amira’s approach to express herself through black and white photography made the exhibition unique in its own kind. When asked about her approach she said, “In this rapid, fast-paced and impatient world, colours are merely glanced upon and barely appreciated. On the other hand, black and white medium, renders emphatic emotions and has a deeper connect with the viewer.” Also Read – ‘Playing Jojo was emotionally exhausting’Rohit Gandhi and Rahul Khanna, the directors of the Pallette Art Gallery said, “We, at the Palette Art Gallery are happy to promote a young talent like Amira Chanana, whose work speaks for itself. Photography is a medium of art we believe in and while Palette has exhibited the works of renowned artists like Raghu Rai, Dinesh Khanna, Gigi Scaria in the past, we feel that it is equally important to encourage young artists by giving them a platform to showcase their works to a discerning audience.”The quest to capture every moment at its finest and the fear of missing out on moments leads a traveller to take some magnificent pictures. Amira’s pictures, which she maintained as her chronicle of travel, not only depicted the mood of the place but also spoke about its culture and people.last_img read more

HUL sells Modern bread bakery biz to Everstone arm

first_imgFMCG major Hindustan Unilever Ltd (HUL) on Tuesday said that it has sold the bread and bakery business under ‘Modern’ brand to Everstone Group’s Nimman Foods Pvt Ltd for an undisclosed sum. “HUL’s decision to divest is in line with its strategy to exit non-core businesses, while continuing to drive its growth agenda in the core packaged foods business,” the company said in a BSE filing.“It (transaction) includes sale and transfer of the ‘Modern’ brand and business on a going concern basis. HUL and Everstone will work together to secure the necessary approvals to complete the transaction over the next few months. HUL will continue to manage the operations until the completion of the transaction,” it said. Also Read – Punjab & Sind Bank cuts MCLR by up to 20 basis pointsHUL CEO & Managing Director Sanjiv Mehta said: “Since its acquisition in 2000, HUL has strengthened the Modern business, driven consistent topline growth and significantly improved profitability. Having turned around the business and built a sustainable growth model, we believe that the sale to Everstone will unlock the full potential of the Modern brand.” The business includes products such as cakes, muffins, buns, pavs and cream rolls.last_img read more

Man dies while crossing metro track

first_imgAn unidentified man allegedly jumped in front of an approaching train at the Tilak Nagar Metro station on Saturday in a bid to reach one platform.  He died on the spot. Police have not ruled out the possibility of suicide and are investigating the matter under Section 174 of the CrPC. According to cops, the man is in his mid-forties and was crossing the Metro tracks as he wanted to go from platform number 2 to platform number 1 at the Tilak Nagar Metro station when a train crushed him. No documents were recovered from the man’s possession to establish his identity.last_img read more