Friday, November 28, 2014

Sony eInk Watch Project is the Most Brilliant Idea Since the Invention of Watch !

It was a rumor, and now it's not anymore: Sony is really working on a eInk Watch and as you will see in the video it'll be one of the most brilliant idea since the invention of watch. Basically, they've found a way to use e-paper not only for the watchface itself, but around the strap itself too and just at the click of a button or even by a move the strap and the watch will change of pattern or color! And you'll have 24 different choices!

Flexible E-ink displays are nothing new, but as you'll see on the other video the technology could be used for others wearable items like shoes, glasses, and all of them could change of colors in less than a second. As they say, a picture worth a thousand words, so have a look at the videos below!

Picture and video: copyright Sony

Wednesday, November 12, 2014

The Sony RX100 M3 is a Triumph... and the Best Compact Camera of All Time

The first version of the RX100 released by Sony two years ago was a huge hit from day one and acclaimed by almost everyone who owns it and tech blogs, including by the one of David Pogue who, in the New York Times, did a long review explaining why he thought the RX100 was simply "the best compact camera ever made". And, boy, did i agreed with him! Like everyone who had the good idea to buy the first version i was stunned by the quality of the pictures, due to the amazing Sony 20M pixel sensor, the quality of the lens giving amazing sharpness of each image, etc... all this in a such small camera.

And recently, after Sony released last year the Mark 2 version of the RX100, they've released the third version, the RX100 M3 and this latest one beats them all and will please both enthusiasts amateurs and professional photographers... If just like me you're looking for a camera which is at the same time small, light, and can shoot pictures of an amazing quality - almost like a DSLR - then the Sony RX100 M3 is for you, as it's case - all in magnesium - is as small as a pack of cigarettes, it weights only 290G - battery include - and yes, it's a real "pocket camera"!

Not only its design is pure and beautiful but the new RX100 M3 has all the numerous great options, settings, manual controls and capabilities which existed in the M1 and M2 but it comes with much more as you will see. First, the Zeiss lens is now a 24 -70 mm ( instead than 28 - 100 on the M1 and M2 ) and although some might regret that it don't goes up to 100mm the fact that it starts at 24mm instead than 28mm is invaluable. And by the way, you can always get closer to the subject you're shooting... or use the digital zoom which is amazingly good for a digital zoom. Have a look at the pictures below shot in wide angle. By the way, please click on each picture of this article to see them in big size as they've been uploaded in almost real size for each file.

As always the quality of the "pixel" is stunning, thanks to the new EXMOR R CMOS sensor so if you need to zoom in post production in the image without losing quality you'll be able to do it easily. The contrast is always perfect, and colors are vibrant without being over saturated.

Among all the numerous options / functions available on the RX100 you can of course choose to do everything manually but the "Auto" or even better the "Intelligent Auto" mode is doing a great work, really. And, in the SCN ( scenes ) options there is my favorite which is the "Hand Held Twilight" mode. This one is here normally to shoot great pics at twilight without a stand but i use it too when it's full night, or when i am inside a place where there is not too much light and the result is stunning. Basically, the camera shoot 10 pics in one second and make the best out of them. The result is almost 100% of the time a picture incredibly sharp with great colors and all this hand held without a stand. Have a look at some examples below, all shot in the Quai Branly Museum in Paris, beautiful but the lighting is incredibly dark! Also note that the ISO sensitivity can go up to 25600 ISO.

There is of course also several options to shoot in black and white, and the rich tone B&W or high contrast mode will give you great results with always amazing sharpness. Below, a picture of paris Eiffel tower in B&W.

Also new on this Mark 3 version, the new codec video as not only the RX100 M3 shoot great pictures but it also film HD 1080p video and the new XAVC-S codec mean less compression than with the previous AVCHD and so better quality. Just remember that you can record in XAVC-S only on a SDXC card, not on a SDHC, which is no big problem as you can find SDXC memory cards easily.

But what tops it all what is new in the RX100 M3 is the amazing viewfinder that Sony engineers succeeded to include in a such tiny camera. And an electronic viewfinder with a gorgeous definition which will be very helpful if you can't see well in the 3" display screen because there is too much sun or it's too dark. The viewfinder pop-up when you need it and when you don't you just put it down so it couldn't be more simple. Because of that the flash is now in the center with the viewfinder on the left, and it's even better to have the flash in the center.

Talking about the 3" screen this one too have something new as it can move and be adjust up to 180} which will be perfect for those who're looking to shoot some selfies.

The battery last 3 hours, even if you shoot a lot, but as always it's always better to have one more battery with you, just in case. Now, you can charge the battery directly inside the camera but if you prefer - like i do - to charge it on an external charger, Sony is doing one that you can buy.

The camera do have WIFI so you can easily download the pics on your phone or iPad to see how they look on a bigger screen while you are in vacation. And if you have a HDTV with a usb connection you can connect the RX100 directly to the TV and watch pics and movies instantly, very easily.

I'd like to find something going wrong on this camera but, honestly, each version has been from the start a delight to use with such satisfactory results that i can hardly find one. Okay, here is one: if you buy this RX100 M3, think to buy too the leather case that Sony is doing. Why? Because although the camera is remarkably small it's almost a little bit too small, and the case will add 6mm more in large and give you a better grip on the camera, and of course a perfect protection.

The Sony RX100 M3 official price is $799 which might look to you a bit high, but believe me, it's the best pocket camera money can buy and you'll love it instantly, and won't regret one cent! Have  a look below at a series of pictures shot when i was in Paris recently, all shot day or night without a stand! And for a complete list of its specification jump HERE to the Sony website.

Another version of this article, with different samples pictures, all shot at Disneyland Paris has been posted on my Disney and more website HERE. Check it out!

In conclusion, and knowing that Christmas is coming soon, this Sony RX100 M3 would be a perfect gift for the one you love or, more simply, yourself! You won't be disappointed by this amazing and powerful 20M pixels camera!

All pictures: copyright Alain Littaye : No reproductions of any kind and in any way allowed without written authorization.

Sunday, November 9, 2014

Georges Lucas Museum of Narrative Art Stunning Design

Georges Lucas has a big, big project and it's called The Lucas Museum of Narrative Art. Located at Chicago - instead than San Francisco where it was first envisioned - it will be a gathering place to experience narrative art and the evolution of moving images – from illustration to cinema to the digital mediums of the future.

What are "Narrative Arts"? Narrative Art tells a story. It uses the power of the visual image to ignite imaginations, evoke emotions and capture universal cultural truths and aspirations. What distinguishes Narrative Art from other genres is its ability to narrate a story across diverse cultures, preserving it for future generations. As there is different forms of narrative arts the museum will have different sections, one for illustrations, children's art, comic art, photography, pin-up art... another one for the Art of Cinema will present Cinematic Design, Set Design, Prop Design, Costume and Fashion Design, Makeup and Creature Design, Animation or Visual Effects. Another section will talk bout digital arts with focus on Digital Cinema, Digital Illustration, Digital Fine Art, Digital Sculpture and digital architecture.

Talking about architecture, the architectural concept for the Lucas Museum of Narrative Art will explore the relationship between nature and the urban environment. Inspired by the work of Frank Lloyd Wright and Mies van der Rohe, the design integrates the natural beauty of the park and Lake Michigan with the powerful man-made architecture of Chicago. The design furthers the Museum’s mission to be a place of education, culture, and inspiration.

The Lucas Museum design is both futuristic and timeless. Its continuous, undulating organic surface blurs the line between structure and landscape. As the harbor rises up to the land, it merges with stone surfaces that reach up to the sky and ultimately crescendo into a “floating” disc. The Museum is not an isolated object, but a spatial experience that is defined by the people who occupy it and interact with it. Its organic surface is made of a single material, a stone as primitive as it is futuristic, evoking the great achievements of architectural history. It is a place to discover and explore, to communicate and contemplate. More than a building, it is an urban vista for social interaction, bringing people closer to each other and to nature.

South View
Rising up from the land and crescendoing to a “floating” disc, the tallest points of the Lucas Museum will feature an observation deck, providing visitors with stunning views of both Chicago and Lake Michigan.

North View
Earth, stone and sky merge seamlessly in the innovative design of the Lucas Museum.
The tallest points of the Lucas Museum will feature an observation deck with 360-degree views, providing visitors with stunning panoramas of both Chicago and Lake Michigan. Inside, four levels of exhibition space in infinite loops will inspire the imagination to ponder endless possibilities, both in content and design.

The design for the Lucas Museum mirrors the objective of the artwork inside: It tells a story. The narrative ushers in the future of architectural design, exploring the relationship between man and nature. Its iconic design aspires to join the ranks of Chicago’s many cherished landmarks.

Wide-Angle View
Situated between McCormick Place and Soldier Field, the Lucas Museum of Narrative Art will expand public access to green space on Burnham Harbor.
To keep the community up to date, The Lucas Museum website will feature a live web-cam as well as time-lapse photography to showcase the progression of the building's design.

With its architecture looking like Space Mountain over which would float an alien mother spaceship, i instantly loved it! If you want to learn more about the architecture watch the video below in which architect Ma Yansong shares his vision. And to learn more about The Lucas Museum of Narrative Art, jump HERE.

All pictures: copyright The Lucas Museum of Narrative Art

Tuesday, October 28, 2014

The Future of Flight : A Plane Without Windows !

Those of you who have dizziness may avoid the future of flying as the British company Centre for Process Innovation (CPI) unveiled "Aerospace Aircraft Windowless" his airplane project where windowless cabin walls are covered with a "digital wallpaper" that rebroadcast the sky and the landscape that surrounds the device, all in real time filmed by cameras located outside. These technologies display ultra-soft high definition which will allow passengers to choose their preferred view or use the screen as an on-board multimedia entertainment device.

The screens, which work with organic light emitting diodes (OLED), also appear on the back of seats. This innovation would also help to make the plane lighter and more aerodynamic at the same time, reducing fuel costs and carbon footprint.

Although the technology is still in development, ICC has developed flexible OLED lighting devices of different thicknesses and colors. Recently, the company has also shown that such devices could be bent to a radius of a millimeter without being seen to decline in quality in their operations.

A few months ago, Technicon Design had already unveiled its "Ixion jet", a private aircraft without window that transforms the walls inside his cabin into a giant screen to offer a panoramic view to its passengers, as you will see on the other video below.

Videos: copyright British Centre for Process Innovation, Technicon Design

Saturday, October 4, 2014

Watch This Magical Cirque du Soleil Drones Ballet To Undersrtand Why The WDI Drones Patent May Be More Important Than You Think

If you've read my update posted on August 24, one month ago, then you're probably aware of this new patent filed by WDI showing an amazing use of a fleet of drones, whether it would be in a show above the castle or as puppet masters during a parade - if you didn't read the article jump HERE first.

Although the idea looked impressive some had some doubts that it could become real, mainly because the patent described an outdoor use of the drones and unpredictable wind could create real problems due to the light weight of quadcopter drones.

But today, i've found these two videos released by the Cirque du Soleil - actually it was done by the C-Lab, the creative laboratory of the Cirque du Soleil. Although what they did here with drones is very different than the use intended by WDI, you must watch these videos to understand how it's possible to create something truly magical with a ballet of drones. It has the typical "spirit" of the Cirque du Soleil, and i think they did something truly great.

The first video below shows the short movie itself called "SPARKED: A Live Interaction Between Humans and Quadcopters" and watch it until the end credits...

And the other not-to-be-missed video is this one called "SPARKED: Behind the Technology" in which they speak about the different tests they did using these drones. I'm sure you'll envision what WDI could do with the same technology, including show effects not necessarily described in the WDI patent.

Picture and video: copyright Cirque du Soleil