Rimo phone holder uses hand gestures to move your view around

Even though we’re two years into doing all sorts of virtual communication, there is still much we need to improve about it. There are a lot of products, gadgets, and devices that can be designed and produced to make video calls more interesting and convenient. One particular issue while doing video calls is when one party is moving around in the room and you want to be able to follow them or see the rest of the room or surroundings.

Designer: Hatch Duo

Rimo is not just a phone holder although that’s the original design for it, to have a device to hold your phone if you need to move around while talking to someone. But it gives you more than that as it will let you “follow the action” so to speak so that you can see the room or the surroundings of the person you’re talking to, whether they’re cooking in the kitchen or taking care of kids running around, or they’re in a party and you want to join them virtually.

It’s a wireless device that doesn’t need Bluetooth in order to be connected to the smartphone. You just have to place it on the Rimo device and it will be able to work with the smart sensor. Even better, you don’t need to use any remote control; it will follow the wave of your hand. You will be able to control the device’s movements and follow them around as they move about the room or even see what you need to see even without the person on the other end. The stand itself is simple and efficient in design. You get a circular base and also a circular holder which makes it easier to rotate your phone.

The Rimo device itself is the one rotating your phone and is stable enough to hold it without teetering or falling off the stand. As with the video above, it can sometimes take some people to learn how to use their hand gestures to move the device around as the tendency is to move your phone around if you want to see the other parts of the surroundings. But once you get the hang of just flipping your hand to see what else or who else is in the room, it’s a much easier way to have your video calls.

The post Rimo phone holder uses hand gestures to move your view around first appeared on Yanko Design.

Google’s Project Starline is redefining how we video-chat by using 3D capturing and holograms

Probably spurred by the way the pandemic absolutely upended social communications, Google unveiled Project Starline today at its I/O 2021 event – a one-of-a-kind teleconferencing system that ditches the camera and screen for something much more advanced. Dubbed as a ‘magic window’, Project Starline creates a lifelike hologram of the person you’re chatting with. Rather than interacting with a 2-dimensional representation of them, Starline makes it feel like you’re in a chatting booth with a real person sitting behind a sheet of glass… and it’s all thanks to incredibly complex 3D scanning, imaging, and AI recognition technology.

The video does a pretty standup job of explaining how Project Starline basically works. Instead of two parties staring at their phone screens, Starline’s video-booth allows people to interact with each other via rather futuristic holograms. It literally feels like having the opposite person right in front of you, and the 3D hologram can be viewed from multiple angles for that feeling of ‘true depth’.

The technology Google is currently using is far from anything found in regular consumer tech. According to WIRED, Project Starline’s video booth uses an entire slew of depth sensors to capture you and your movements (while an AI isolates you, the foreground, from the background). 3D video is then sent to a “light field display” that lets the viewer see a complete 3D hologram of the person they’re talking to. In a demo video, people using the tech describe how lifelike the experience is. It’s “as if she was right in front of me,” one person says.

Project Starline is still in an incredibly nascent stage. It uses highly specialized (and ridiculously expensive) equipment, and it hasn’t even been cleared for sale by the FCC yet, which means we’re potentially years away from being able to chat with 3D holograms of each other. There’s even the question of how our existing internet connections could support this dense and heavy image transfer – after all, you’re not video chatting, you’re 3D chatting. Notably, the tech also seems to work only with one-on-one chats (there’s a small snippet of a 3-person chat although the third person’s a baby) and group chats seem a bit like a stretch for now. However, if the demo is as real as the Google Duplex demo we saw a few years back (where an AI booked a reservation at a salon via phone call), Project Starline might have completely reinvented video chats. Can’t wait for a day when smartphones have this technology within them!

Designer: Google

The Eyecam: A Webcam That Looks Like a Moving, Blinking Human Eyeball

Because it was inevitable we reach the pinnacle of human achievement at some point, researcher Marc Teyssier has developed the Eyecam, a webcam that resembles a moving, blinking human eyeball. One thing’s for certain: it’s going to be nearly impossible to look away from the camera during Zoom meetings now.

Developed at Saarland University’s Human-Computer Interaction Lab, the Eyecam was designed to make us “speculate on the past, present, and future of technology.” And, I think I speak for everyone when I say if this is the future of technology, maybe 2020 wasn’t as bad as we’re all making it out to be.

The Eyecam uses six servos to replicate the human eye muscles, and the autonomous eye can move both laterally and vertically, with the eyelids closing (and webcam briefly going dark as a result) and eyebrow moving. Per Dr. Ian Malcolm in Jurassic Park: “Your scientists were so preoccupied with whether or not they could, that they didn’t stop to think if they should.” Truer words have never been spoken, particularly in the case of human eyeball webcams.

[via The Verge]

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