Public interactives Digest

By annebalsamo | Emergent Media, New Technologies, and the transformation of human experience in urban spaces.

This $40 million robotic 'plantscraper' will feed over 5,000 people per year

By 2050, the world's population is expected to swell to 9.6 billion, with around 66% living in urban areas. This projection is leaving many cities wondering how they will feed all those people.<p>A Swedish food-tech company called Plantagon is proposing that cities consider building what it calls …

Farming

Robot restaurants put a new spin on fast casual

They're not our overlords just yet. At these restaurants, the robots are happy just to take your order.<p>When someone says the words "robot restaurant," my first thoughts usually turn to the LED and laser show of the establishment in downtown Tokyo where remote-controlled robots dance with …

Restaurants

Fully Immersive “Sea of Light” Installation Is Coming to NYC’s Seaport District in December

A one-of-a-kind installation is coming to New York City’s Seaport District in Lower Manhattan. Aptly called “Sea of Light,” the public art project — …

Manhattan

Gestures – in past, present, and future

– in the past, present, and future<p>The special exhibition “Gestures – in the past, present, and future” will run from 17 November 2017 to 4 March 2018 …

Power couple: Mixed reality will help businesses cash in on both AR and VR

Historically, VR and AR have been seen as two separate technologies both having unique case uses. VR has been embraced by gaming enthusiasts as a way to make their gameplay more immersive and relies on a display that is worn over the eyes, tricking the mind into believing it is somewhere else. AR …

Augmented Reality

Uber’s ‘flying cars’ could arrive in LA by 2020 — and here’s what it’ll be like to ride one

Los Angeles will be the third test city, and NASA will provide logistical support<p>Uber’s “flying car” project Elevate came whizzing back into view today with a number of key announcements about where it will first appear, who will be working on it, and how this futuristic service will look when it …

Uber

As cities become more innovative, they also become more unequal

There’s a reason Silicon Valley is notoriously unequal—and it’s not just a matter of misconception or misplaced blame.<p>Between 1990 and 2010, the tech industry’s growth directly caused San Francisco and San Jose’s inequality to grow as well, according to the preliminary draft of a study conducted by …

Cities

How Strava, The App For Athletes, Became An App For Cities

Strava built a popular social network for millions of runners and cyclists. But more than 100 cities and states are quietly working with the app, too.<p>Every 40 days, a million people join Strava. It’s a staggering number for a niche social network aimed at athletes–but then again, Strava came along …

Cycling

NYC’s Queens Museum Brings Back the Panorama’s Legendary Night Lighting

The Panorama of the City of New York has long been the jewel of the Queens Museum. Commissioned by Robert Moses for the 1964 World’s Fair, the …

Amazon Studios

Bundle of Shimmering Tubes Selected as Winner of NYC’s Flatiron Public Plaza Holiday Design Competition

The winner of the fourth annual <i>Flatiron Public Plaza Holiday Design Competition</i> was announced this week by the Flatiron/23rd Street Partnership …

Design

Soon, Your Streets Will Be Watching You

Michael Driver<p>Driver surveillance was designed to make streets safer and more efficient. But what else could be done with the data that shows what we’re like on the road?<p>We live in the era of mass surveillance. Most of what we do is carefully tracked: the websites we visit, the way we spend our …

Transportation

West Philadelphia History Map

This interactive map of West Philadelphia, a project of People’s Emergency Center (PEC) and the Islamic Cultural Preservation and Information Council …

History

Small European nation becomes a “living lab” for urban innovation researchers

When you think of innovation hubs around the world, Andorra, a tiny country tucked between Spain and France, may not come to mind.But, for several …

MIT

Why You Should Always Assume You’re Being Secretly Recorded

Be it for evil or for justice, being surreptitiously recorded is our new, very permanent reality.<p><i>“You’re not recording this, are you?”</i><p>So many secret …

Privacy

Alphabet will build a futuristic city within the city of Toronto

Alphabet's Sidewalk Labs will develop a futuristic, billion-dollar community along a sizable swathe of Toronto's waterfront.<p>On Wednesday, the City of …

Cities

NASA's visitor center offers a video game filled with bad facts and grammar errors

A video game at NASA’s Kennedy Space Center Visitor Complex is designed to teach young people about space exploration, but it’s riddled with factual and typographical errors.<p><i>Cosmic Quest</i>, developed by a gaming company called Creative Kingdoms, officially opened at the visitor complex in March 2016. …

NASA

Gold Shipping Container in NYC’s Times Square is a Portal that Connects Americans to Others Around the World

It isn’t at all surprising that the U.S. president and U.S. politics came up in conversation between Americans and Afghans who had just met over …

Times Square

A modern art playground for adults has taken over the Tate Modern

Miss running around a playground? The art world has your back.<p>Unveiled at London's Tate Modern on Tuesday, <i>One Two Three Swing!</i> is a new large-scale …

Art

Evan Spiegel explains why Snapchat is making virtual art installations

Evan Spiegel wants artists to have their own place on Snapchat.<p>Speaking at Vanity Fair's New Establishment Summit in Beverly Hills Tuesday, the Snap …

Evan Spiegel

Many Vegas casinos using their large signs to help victims of last night's massacre https://t.co/j6tJXtzLLf

300 million-year-old, 1.2 mile mountain range will be lit up as a giant piece of art

One canvas, two kilometres (1.2 miles) long, 300 million years old.<p>The first Aboriginal light festival of its kind in the world, Parrtjima, is back …

Australia

Canon’s New ‘Virtual Camera’ Tech is Something Straight Out of Sci-Fi

Intel isn’t the only one working on sci-fi-style virtual camera systems for things like sporting events. Canon just announced that it’s developing a …

Virtual Reality

Greenpoint LinkNYC Kiosk Acts As 'Drug Den' Concierge: Neighbors

The kiosks went up at the end of July.

Rikers Island

דניאל פרלמן

<b>Interactive Bench</b><br>Have you ever sat on a park bench seat but felt it should be played because the scenery behind you more attractive? Or maybe you’re …

Apple, Not Google Or Facebook, Will Define The Future Of Augmented Reality

At Apple’s last annual developer conference in June, one new tool captured the attention of developers perhaps more than any other product or tool introduced that day. Called ARKit, the tool for iOS 11 enables developers to create augmented reality applications that place digital objects in the …

Augmented Reality

This tiny sensor could sleep for years between detection events

It’s easy enough to put an always-on camera somewhere it can live off solar power or the grid, but deep in nature, underground, or in other unusual circumstances every drop of power is precious. Luckily, a new type of sensor developed for DARPA uses none at all until the thing it’s built to detect …

Sony Xperia XZ1's scanner comes with a 3D printing service

When Sony introduced the Xperia XZ1 at IFA, the Japanese tech giant said it was seeking partnerships with 3D printing services to go with its pre-loaded 3D scanning app. Now, Sony and Sculpteo have revealed that they've teamed up to give people the power to 3D print anything anytime they want to, …

Sony Xperia

Why 500 Million People in China Are Talking to This AI - MIT Technology Review

When Gang Xu, a 46-year-old Beijing resident, needs to communicate with his Canadian tenant about rent payments or electricity bills, he opens an app …

Artificial Intelligence

People are using Siri as a therapist, so Apple is seeking engineers who understand psychology

Perhaps you’ve stumped Siri before, asking Apple’s automated assistant things like, “What is the meaning of life?” or “How can I be healthier and happier?”<p>If so, you’re not alone in turning to your phone for existential guidance and serious, practical life advice. According to an Apple job posting, …