Saturday, July 23, 2011

Smart Hood 1.0

This summer I have the best job ever! I'm working at the MIT Media Lab with High-Lo Tech, a cool group that does a lot of e-textiles and electronic craft applications research. Basically I get to do fashion engineering and learn new things, which is always super awesome. Anyway, one of the projects I'm working on is this smart hood that lowers/raises itself in response to light and temperature, and also heats itself up. Not finished yet, but I have a video of it being silly, so hey. :D

3D Pocket Locket!

I've been kinda lazy with blogging ever since the summer started. Sorry! But I do want to share with you my latest full-creation.

For this class I took with Camera Culture from the MIT Media Lab, I made a 3D pocket-sized display. It's based off of a stereoscopic display from Instructables. The difference is mine is about the size of a deck of cards. As this utilizes stereoscopy, you need polarized glasses. If you wanted to be all fancy and make a Nintendo 3DS display, you'll need a fancy lenticular set-up (think of those rulers and stickers you had in grade school that moved if you tilted them from side to side. Lenticular lenses look like that grated plastic). Lenticular lenses are awesome in that they allow you to see 3D without spectacles. They are autostereoscopic displays that basically allow each eye, right and left, to see its specific image due to specific light refraction.

Unfortunately, I wasn't that fancy, so my pocket locket needs glasses, but since it fits into your pocket, I think it's kind of dandy :)

I need to get a real digital camera, but I'm a poor college student :P
If you look at the center lens, it's a 2-way mirror. What happens is that the mirror allows an overlay of 2 images, left and right. When each image is viewed by its respective eye, the right or left, the brain puts the two images together as one 3D picture. Now the 2-way mirror is great in that it reflects one image, the one in front of it, and lets another one through, the one behind. Hence, when you look at the mirror you see 2 pictures. Now, all LCDs are polarized. However, when you bounce an image back, you reverse the polarization. So now on the mirror, you have 2 differently polarized pictures! That means, when you wear your 3D glasses, each eye sees its particular image (and only that particular image due to the polarized light), so your brain sees 3D! Pretty neat! If that was confusing to understand, I suggest looking at that Instructables page. If you want to know how bad my papers are (or want to read it for the lolz), continue down. Either way, hope this spiced up your interest in 3D imaging. :D Now if only someone made some 3D display jewelry. I can see this going in a real locket someday.