Film/Video/New Media · Human-ities

HISTORY OF A NATURAL

When David Attenborough joined the BBC, 60 years ago this September, Britain had only one television channel. Cameras had to be wound up like a clock and could only film live or in 20-second bursts. There was no way to capture sound and vision at the same time, or to broadcast from anywhere but the studio. Attenborough, like most people, did not own a television set; he thinks he had seen only one programme in his life. He had applied for a job in radio, as a talks producer, and been turned down, and it was only by chance that his CV was seen by a television executive, the head of factual broadcasting, Mary Adams. She gave him a chance—but when he first went in front of the camera, she said his teeth were too big.

By 1956, Attenborough had persuaded the BBC to let him try a new way of filming—from and of the natural world. With only a cameraman and animal expert for company, he would go off for months to remote lands in search of rare beasts. In Borneo, some days’ walk from civilisation, he was on the trail of orangutan when he spied a man paddling up the river, wearing only a sarong and bearing a message tucked in a cleft stick. It was from the BBC, giving instructions on how to use their new toy: colour film. What started in a makeshift fashion with “Zoo Quest” matured over the decades into “Life on Earth”, “The Private Life of Plants”, “Life in Cold Blood”, “Frozen Planet” and many more. With Attenborough, the phenomenon of natural-history film-making was born.

Excerpt from an article written by Samantha Weinberg at Intelligent Life. Continue HERE

Design · Digital Media · Fashion · Technology

Not Flashy Enough? Wear your LED Television

Wearable displays have been used to make a high-tech game of tag, and some have been made into tattoos. One tinkerer in Arizona decided to make one that could be worn as a jacket and show his favorite characters from The Simpsons.

David Forbes, an electrical engineer by trade, wanted to build something really cool to wear at the Burning Man festival. So he re-purposed a relatively simple flexible circuit board covered with LEDs. He made the first with 30 rows of four LEDs each and then contracted a manufacturer to build 175 more of them. He attached them to an old coat and was able to build a display with a 160 x 120 resolution, which he notes on his blog is exactly

Part of the set-up is the same kind of chip used to scale down the images for security cameras, and another is the same type of chip used to control the big LED signs used for advertisements. Adding a small set of circuits that convert the video output of the iPod to the smaller resolution, he was able to put together his wearable display.

The only down side seems to be getting through airports. Forbes also noted that he wasn’t able to create a pair of pants, as the curves over the thighs proved complicated. But he has designed vests.

If you want a coat like this it will be expensive, largely due to the cost of the LEDs. For $39,995 Forbes will make you one that is a full wrap-around display; a front-only will set you back $24,995. Wait time is about four months.

Besides creating a walking billboard one idea is to attach a camera that transmits a picture of the scene on one side of the wearer, creating a kind of optical camouflage. On the other hand, it could be great dance club wear — this might be a big seller among trance music and Daft Punk fans. Text by Jesse Emspak. Via Discovery News