The FDA is considering whether to recognize a game aimed at schizophrenics as a “therapeutic drug.” Does that mean you can overdose on GTA? In any case, it’s interesting finally to see a convergence between the two industries that refer to their audience as “users.”

“In what’s believed to be an industry first, a developer has begun talks with the American Food and Drug Administration to get its game recognized as a therapeutic drug. ‘Brain Plasticity has been fine-tuning a game to help people with schizophrenia improve the deficits in attention and memory that are often associated with the disorder. Early next year, they will conduct a study with 150 participants at 15 sites across the country. Participants will play the game for one hour, five times a week over a period of six months. If participants’ quality of life improves at that “dosage,” Brain Plasticity will push ahead with the FDA approval process.’”

http://games.slashdot.org/story/11/09/27/060223/Developer-Seeks-FDA-Approval-For-Therapeutic-Game

Meanwhile, in other virtual health news:

“Rite Aid today announced it is offering virtual face-to-face physician consultations through an in-store kiosk. The virtual consultation services are currently being tested in the Detroit area, but the company expects they will do well and the virtual consults will expand to other regions. The service costs $45 for a 10-minute physician consultation. Consultations with nurses are free.”

http://science.slashdot.org/story/11/09/27/0541231/Rite-Aid-Drug-Stores-Offer-Virtual-Doc-Visits

But wait, there’s more:

They are the two big tech buzzwords of the moment. Now a combination of 3D printing and augmented reality can help researchers design more effective drugs.

At Arthur Olsen’s Molecular Graphics Lab at the Scripps Research Institute in La Jolla, California, research teams model biological viruses – including HIV – and attempt to work out what kind of proteins and ligand molecules can latch onto them, to see which might inhibit or disable them.

As Olsen shows in this video, 3D printing allows them to create accurate plastic models of virus segments and the potential drug molecules. With smart use of magnets they can be made to self-assemble, too.

But for calculating which drug will likely connect with a receptor area using the least energy, augmented reality comes into play: using small webcam targets on the model virus, they can map it to a computerised model of itself so the researcher can see it move on screen.

(Via Bruce Sterling)

http://www.newscientist.com/blogs/onepercent/2011/10/3d-printed-viruses-meet-their.html

And then there’s Deepak Chopra.

Leela, Deepak Chopra’s debut game for Xbox 360 Kinect and Wii, is part relaxation mechanism, part new age stoner candy.

http://feeds.wired.com/~r/wired/index/~3/vu3zE2BRepc/

Not be outdone, AT&T wants to wire health care into diapers for the young and old. (Shades of Mike Scott’s wearable computing Friend Finder…)

a growing list of people could benefit from connected clothing, says AT&T, which claims ‘the stars have aligned’ for this technology. Prices of clothing sensors have come down; Wi-Fi and wireless networks have become ubiquitous; and mobile apps have become easier to design and simpler to use. ‘For example, parents of babies could cover them in connected clothing to check on their children when they were out of the house … And relatives of elderly people who are “aging in place” in their homes could check on their vital signs and make sure their loved ones haven’t fallen. This could help the elderly stay out of assisted living facilities, as most prefer to do.’”

http://science.slashdot.org/story/11/11/04/2119205/att-pushes-connected-clothing-for-healthcare

Cheap “fabbers” and easy-to-use photo-conversion software make 3d art, medical models of organs, even a working plane. Is 3d fabrication finally taking off?

Since Photofly, a service that turns uploaded photos into three-dimensional models, was introduced in May, it has received an average of 80 uploads an hour, for a total of 70,000 images, according to Autodesk, the service’s creator….

Among the dozens of videos of 3-D models on the site are representations of stuffed animals (like Eeyore), battleships, Lego men, kitchen tables, fruit dishes, remote controls, vacation souvenirs, crab arms, Nerf guns, sneakers and remote controls. If anything, it’s notable how mundane the objects are, an indication of how easy this modeling process — once mainly the purview of laser scanners — has become.

Like Microsoft’s Photosynth service, Photofly stitches together images using stereo photogrammetry, using visual cues to reverse-engineer the geometric properties of objects. But Photofly also creates 3-D object files in various formats that can be imported into computer-aided design programs. Thus the images can be printed, reproduced, manipulated and mixed with other 3-D models. In other words, the scene from Mission Impossible 3 where surreptitiously snapped photos of a villain are transformed into a mask of his face seems less remote….

Photofly’s 3-D models can be made with as few as five photos, though the service recommends that users take at least one photo for every 10 degrees of perspective they want to cover….

Originally, the Photofly researchers thought professionals would be the main users, said Brian Mathews, a vice president at Autodesk who oversees Photofly, as there are already 150 or so industries that Autodesk works with. They saw it being used for things like architecture and the preservation of aging artifacts.

But users have come up with an ever-expanding set of applications. One forensic investigator is testing to see if the technology can be used for crime-scene investigations (here is a model of a footprint in the snow). Another designer imported computer models he had created and combined them with ones scanned by Photofly to create a hybrid reality scene.

http://bits.blogs.nytimes.com/2011/07/14/photofly-brings-3-d-models-to-the-masses/

Now made easier thanks to cheaper printers:

3-D Plastic Art for the Masses: Ready to Print

A Brooklyn company sells consumer-grade 3-D printers and preaches an open-source mantra, empowering artists and creative aspirants.

A new economy?

Already, 3D printing has been used to make tools and artworks, custom-fitted prosthetics for amputees, components for aviation and medical instruments, solid medical models of bones and organs based on MRI scans, paper-based photovoltaic cells, and the body panels for a lightweight hybrid automobile.

http://tech.slashdot.org/story/11/08/01/1723212/3D-Printing-and-the-Replicator-Economy

oh, and a plane:

“It was printed on an EOS EOSINT P730 nylon laser sintering machine, which fabricates plastic or metal objects, building up the item layer by layer. No fasteners were used and all equipment was attached using ‘snap fit’ techniques so that the entire aircraft can be put together without tools in minutes. The electric-powered aircraft, with a 2-meter wingspan, has a top speed of nearly 100 miles per hour, but when in cruise mode is almost silent.

http://tech.slashdot.org/story/11/07/30/1832201/Aircraft-Made-From-3D-Printing

Graffiti just got more compact, thanks to Processing, QR codes, and media artist Golan Levin and his pals.

For the uninitiated, QR codes are those pixelated-looking little squares you sometimes see on business cards and posters. Scan ‘em with a smartphone and they reveal a message or send you to a Web site or map. Thanks to QR Stenciler, you may be seeing more of them in unlikely places.

(Via Bruce Sterling)

QR_STENCILER Version: 01 August, 2011 http://fffff.at/qr-stenciler-and-qr-hobo-codes/ By Golan Levin and Asa Foster III for FFFFF.AT

Developed with Processing v.0198, a free, cross- platform Java programming toolkit for the arts. http://www.processing.org

ABOUT This free program loads a user-specified QR code image, from which it generates a topologically correct stencil PDF, suitable for laser-cutting.

INSTRUCTIONS >> QR_STENCILER has been tested in MacOSX 10.6.8. 1. Make a QR code image which embeds a short text. Try GoQR.me, Kaywa, or the Google Chart API. 2. Download and install ‘Processing’ from http://www.processing.org/download We used v.0198 but v.1.5.1 seems OK too. 3. Unzip ‘QR_STENCILER.zip’ to a folder. 4. Put your QR code image in ‘QR_STENCILER/data/’ 5. Launch Processing and open ‘QR_STENCILER.pde’ 6. Press ‘Run’ (Command-R) to start the stenciler. 7. You will be prompted to Open your QR code image. A default will be opened if none is provided. 8. After doing so, the program will generate a stencil PDF in the ‘data’ folder. 9. That PDF can now be opened in your favorite CAD software, for laser-cutting cardboard, etc. 10.After marking your stencil, test it with a QR reader, such as TapMedia’s free iPhone app.

LICENSE

QR_STENCILER shall be used for Good, not Evil….

Like making stuff? Like filming movies? This film festival is looking for you.

Power of Making On Screen

Call for Submissions:

You are invited to create a short film that celebrates making – Each film can be between 10 and 120 seconds in length and will celebrate the power of making – it may explain, illustrate and/ or observe ‘making’ skills, techniques and process.

The films will be creative, inspiring, exciting and perhaps unexpected, and will explore a diverse range of skills and look at how materials can be expressed in imaginative and spectacular ways.

Around 40 of the submitted short ‘making’ films will be selected for inclusion in the forthcoming V&A/Crafts Council exhibition Power of Making (6th September – 2nd January 2012) and screened throughout the duration in a dedicated area of the exhibition known as the ‘Tinker Space’.

We are looking for short films that depict and/or creatively respond to the making process of an object, including; crafting, experiments, demonstrations of making skills, use of tools, equipment /machinery, hacking objects etc.,

Films do not need to be highly polished and edited and we welcome material from hi and lo-fi sources such as digital camera or mobile phone.

Keywords that describe the ways in which skills and craftsmanship should be demonstrated in the type of film we are looking to select, are;

• Innovative

• Engaging

• Skilful

• Improvised

• Witty

• Meticulous

• Dexterous

• Experimental

Submission requirements and guidelines:

• You can submit as many films as you wish – they can be old work or new work, however we cannot accept nudity, sexually explicit scenes, swearing and violence.

• Your film must be non-commercial; all your own work, and you should have obtained copyright or relevant permissions for all images and films used in your piece.

• Acceptable film lengths range from a minimum of 10 seconds to a maximum of 120 seconds of content.

• Each submitted film must include a black front screen with text credits WHITE ON BLACK –to include your name and title of the film/work, your geographical location (town & country) and the date the film was made. This front end section should be no longer than 5 seconds in total.

• Each film may have acknowledgements at the end which should not exceed 5 second on screen. Each film must end with a 1 second FULLY BLACK screen.

How to enter:

• Go to craftscouncil.org.uk/powerofmakingfor full instructions on submitting your film(s) to the dedicated Vimeo site, and if your work fits the brief we will publish it. If selected by our Panel of Experts, your film will feature in the Power of Making exhibition.

• Should be no longer at 136 seconds long (max 10secs Title credit / max 120secs film content/ 6secs end-screen).

Closing date for submissions is Sunday 31st July 2011 For more information see craftscouncil [DOT] org [DOT] uk/powerofmakingor contact exhibitions [AT] craftscouncil [DOT] org [DOT] uk

Desert3d digital fabricators are all the rage among DIY designers, and promise to decentralize the physical economy in the way the Internet decentralized the information economy. On the other hand, many environmentalists just see the fabber as another energy-sucking contraption that fills our world with plastic gewgaws.

Now an art student has juryrigged a “solar sinter,” replacing a fabber’s high-tech laser with focused sunlight and toxic resin with sand. It all fits in a suitcase he brought to the Egyptian desert for a test run.

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