The NETLab Toolkit has a new website: http://netlabtoolkit.org. The old site was on a free wiki service that’s being discontinued, and we decided that this was a good time to reorganize and improve the content.
For those of you unfamiliar with the toolkit:
The NETLab Toolkit is a free system for tangible interaction sketching and production. It enables novices and experts to quickly integrate hardware, media and interactive behaviors for products, installations, and research. It integrates with micro-controllers including the Arduino, and through its Flash widgets provides a drag-and-drop environment for hardware and media sketching with no programming required.
There’s also a new version of the Widgets on the download page with these new features:
- Arduino support now requires Firmata 2.1 which comes with the Arduino 18 software
- Insert widget now has data logging features
- Added IfThenElse widget
If you have been using the Arduino with a previous version of the widgets, you’ll need to update your Arduino with the newer Firmata released with Arduino 18.
Please send us your feedback on the new website on our contact page.
I just wrapped up my The New Ecology of Things class at Art Center’s Media Design Program. The class addressed the design of ubiquitous, massively networked systems – i.e. emerging ecologies of things. Our topic this term was “anti-homogenous” and we looked at heterogeneous alternatives to the mouse, keyboard, screen for specific work and play activities. This continues the idea mentioned in my Microsoft Future 2019 video post, where interactions should adapt to the type of activity, rather than the person adapting to the same type of interaction for every task. The 13 students designed and prototyped projects ranging from a special table for art directors to a lamp that receives and projects video messages from your friends. The projects addressed different affordances as well as the relationships between tangible, embodied things and their meta-data/meta-content. More details and links to project websites below the photos.
There’s a new version of the NET Lab Toolkit. This release adds a new skin, single keystroke to make widgets invisible, play/pause function for VideoControl and several bug fixes. This is in addition to support for Xbee wireless sensors, the Wii Remote, and DMX lighting control that came with the ALPHA version released in July ’08.
I’ll be speaking about The New Ecology of Things and our NET Lab tools at the flashbelt conference that runs from June 8th to June 11th, 2008 in Minneapolis, MN. This conference focuses on the in-depth issues of designing and developing real interactive applications. Sessions range from experience design from Motion Theory‘s perspective, to animation design, sound design, developing in Adobe’s AIR, programming in processing, physical computing, to working with the Papervision3D library in Flash.
On April 25th 2008, Anne Burdick (MDP Department Chair), Nik Hafermaas (Dean of Communication Design @ Art Center) and I gave a talk at the USC Interactive Media Arts and Practice Program to discuss the MDP’s New Ecology of Things research initiative. This talk was webcast, and the web recording of it can be seen on Adobe’s education site.
The Media Design Program’s new transmedia publication, The New Ecology of Things, is complete. The book, website, poster and mobile phone content address the design and educational issues related to ubiquitous computing and is an ecology of essays, glossary, forum, interactive works, video, and a short story by Bruce Sterling. You can order the book here: The New Ecology of Things (NET).
I’ll be at the Maker Faire this weekend (May 19th & 20th 2007) demoing the new version of the NET Connect software. This software allows designers to create interactive objects and spaces projects without programming, using the familiar enviroment of Flash. I’ll be in a booth with Moto Development, and we’ll also be showing re.moto, an open-source wireless sensor system. For more info on NET Connect, see the website:
See you at the show!