In order to simplify the development tasks for my Tangible User Interface class at the Interface Culture lab in Linz, I just released a new tool for tangible interaction. nfOSC adds touchatag reader. When an RFID tag is placed onto such a device, the application sends a simple OSC message to the configured UDP port, an equivalent OSC message is sent when the tag is removed. The code is based on the libnfc and liblo libraries, and is available for download on this google code project page. This page also includes an example project for Pure Data demonstrating its basic capabilities. I am planning to include this functionality into reacTIVision, as soon as TUIO2 will become available. Alternatively nfOSC already includes an experimental implementation of the TUIO2 Symbol message in order to demonstrate its capabilities.
Well, it is pretty difficult to stay sober at Roboexotica. Back from the opening at the old Drinkomat factory in Vienna, I am still excited by the overall quality and fun-factor of this cocktail bot exhibition. There is an award ceremony planned by the end of this week, but I reckon it will be rather hard to choose the best submission. Here are my favourites starting with last year’s winning installation “Pressoir de la Fee” or Fairy Juice Squeezer, an amazing electro-mechanical device that is capable to squeeze a tiny amount of green alcoholic juice from a fairy trapped within the device.
As you can obviously guess from its name, “Plasmastaub” is set up within a kind of spaghetti western saloon bar, where one has to arm-wrestle against the robotic bartender, who will subsequently fill and toss a glass of whisky over the bar, which is not that easy to catch actually. The “Facehugger” is an alien creature, which attacks selected visitors who are tied-up on a bed within a closed room. Apparently the lucky victims eventually can suck some liquor from an alien rubber vagina monster which drops onto their face. The “loaded question” installation on the other hand manages to place the shot (more or less) directly into the mouth of its customer … from a distance well over a meter. Bartris is a modified version of the classic Tetris game, where the composition of different block colours that are eliminated within a row, determines the final ratio of a drink made of rum, coke and water. The “Miraculous Stigmatatron” – a crucified steampunk Jesusbot – is capable of turning water into wine. But I still don’t believe … even if it happens to reboot after three days. And finally the “Corps Reviver” is a beautifully crafted alchemist machine, mixing a nicely cooled alcoholic potion in perfect proportions.