The Fantastic Tavern and My Special Friend

by michaelmcclary 7. February 2010 23:19

On Thursday 28th January I went along to The Fantastic Tavern organised and run by Matt Bagwell and Michelle Flynn from EMC.

The idea was ‘Trends of 2010’ and for a summary of the evening I will defer to Ioko’s Simon Gallagher and his excellent review of the night here.

On my part, I’d like to thank Matt, Michelle and EMC for organising and sponsoring the event and thanks to the crowd for going easy on the Microsoft guy speaking at the front.

My 5 minutes was called ‘My Special Friend’ on the advancement of Natural User Interface and the potential for pico-projectors on phones to bring NUI to the mobile space and finally to consider the idea of interacting with your internet buddies via real-size projection anywhere.

This was prompted by a few people, videos below, which should give a feel for the session.

Firstly, Bill Buxton, always inspirational, speaks about the future of advertising.  Part of his message is using your mobile with larger advertising canvases, linking them together to use the advert as your mobile 10-foot experience.  This is currently being done in large shopping centres; bluetooth communication and interactive advertising screens.



Project Natal is the upcoming controller-free Xbox User Interface based on 3D camera research with multiple body point recognition, facial recognition and infra-red depth analysis.  I’ve seen live demos of this and it’s pretty awesome.  What strikes me is the potential for ecommerce such as the screenshot below where two friends are talking about clothes purchases.


Pranav Mistry on Sixth Sense on shows the use of a small webcam and pico-projector to create an interactive canvas anywhere.  This is from last year and shows the progression of recognition software – take it from about 5 and half minutes in to see the main demos.

Finally this video shows the unboxing of the LG Expo Pico Projector Phone; why not experience a phone-video-projector full-size video chat with your Facebook colleagues anywhere you can find a surface?  May lead to discussions about clothes in a changing room or sob stories with a friend on a wall.  And if you don’t have real friends, why not engage with a full-size 1:1 chat with a virtual Special Friend in a shopping mall somewhere?



P.S.  This is great; the Pomegranate.  It may be a spoof but, forsaking the coffee-maker and razor, maybe we’ll get there one day :-)