Leap Motion + Fleksy is Genius Typing in the Air

A post showed up on Engadget this morning that caught my eye.

Laser projected virtual keyboardsSo 2004. These days, tech firms are dreaming up completely invisible typewriters, or at least Syntellia is. By marrying a Leap Motion sensor with its own Fleksy predictive keyboard, the company has created a system that seems to let you type on thin air

Yet another crazy-cool thing coming out of SXSW this year. You might say I predicted this. Last week I wrote posts about each of these companies and how I was excited about the work they are doing. I ended my Leap Motion post remarking on the promising future the miniscule device has. I suggested it could read sign language and allow people with arthritis to control computers without the joint pain, to control of a television without a remote.

Then, in my Fleksy post I suggested ways Fleksy could make the move out of touchscreen devices and incorporated into computers. I wrote specifically how it could be used to speed up typing and allow a dramatic increase in accuracy.

But what I neglected to put together was what would happen if Fleksy worked with Leap Motion. Well, turns out they were already thinking about this and have announced Fleksy integration with Leap Motion, and it’s pretty brilliant. Imagine controlling your AppleTV with the Leap Motion, swiping in the air through videos and songs. When it came time to do a search in the Netflix app, you’d have the ability to simply type in the air using Fleksy integration instead of the traditional, and painfully slow, method of input with the AppleTV onscreen keyboard.

I’m not sure if I’m a genius for thinking abstractly of these two ideas or dense for not thinking of combining the two. Either way I’m even more looking forward to the delivery of my Leap Motion. Apple being the silo that it is, we might have to work with some XMBC hackers to get the above integration working but it would be worth it.

A Bad Lip Reading of the First 2012 Presidential Debate

Big thumbs up to Thomas Sanchez who posted this on Facebook earlier today. It is, by far, the funniest thing I have seen all week. And believe it or not, Denver debate moderator Jim Lehrer seems more in control of the debate in this parody video than in real life. Ok so that isn’t so hard to believe. Sadly President Obama still loses this debate, bad lip reading or not.

This was created by the brilliant people over at Bad Lip Reading. Can’t wait to see what they do with the next debate. Hopefully President Obama will bring his A Game instead of whatever that was he brought to Denver. Oh and, you’re welcome.

Show Me Where Ya Noms At

I found this video on a friend’s Google Plus stream this morning and made me actually laugh out loud. This is the sort of video I imagine my friend Amy DiFrancesco and I would make if we had the time. I am just about this corny.

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Tokyo in Beautiful Slow Motion

I’m a total sucker for videos like this. Using some sort of high speed video camera, Alex Lee shot more or less ordinary shots of Tokyo. Then, he slowed down the playback from high speed to a standard 24 or 30 frames per second. Some of these cameras can shoot over a million frames per second! The recently release RED Epic camera shoots at 120fps.

Most people think that to shoot a video like that, you shoot in slow motion but you actually do the opposite. It’s part of why people are so intrigued with what they are seeing. You hear “I shot this bullet at 30,000fps,” and you think you’re going to see a speeding bullet. Well you are, only you’re going to see it at 1/1000th the speed it actually traveled. Super cool.

The video is beautiful and yet really simple. The mixing of the different video speeds with the music is spot on. I am not sure what I think about the video effects just yet, whether they add or subtract from the already good video. If you wanted to know what GenArts Sapphire Edge can do, those effects above could easily be accomplished with that plugin.

Netflix’s apology uncovers something much worse

This morning I, along with 23 million others, received an email from Reed Hastings apologizing for keeping everyone in the dark about the changes afoot at Netflix. These changes weren’t simply the price increase for DVD + Streaming use, it also includes a total rebranding and restructuring of the company.

Now Netflix, as far as physical media goes, will be called Qwikster. Yes you will be able to get games as well as DVDs in the mail now but it will be a totally different site which does not connect to Netflix at all. Netflix will become solely the streaming service. The names are explained as follows.

Netflix because they are Internet flicks aka interNET FLIcksX versus Qwikster because its QuWIcKSTER. Not only is the name stupid, but breaking this once great company into two for nearly any reason is stupid. Seriously though, Qwikster is a horrible name. It sounds like a Napster clone.

You will now receive two bills each month, one for Netflix and one for Qwikster. We still don’t know for sure of stock owners’ situation. They originally held stock in a DVD mailing fulfillment company. Then they owned stock in a DVD mail fulfillment and video streaming company. Now they own stock in a DVD and games mail fulfillment company and a separate video streaming company.

Finally, why this change is truly horrible? Check out the new process for renting a DVD.

It can now take up to twice as many steps to rent a DVD in the mail if streaming is not an option. Instead of it all being under one roof, Netflix.com, you will have to first search Netflix and then search Qwikster. You will also have to have the two completely separate memberships and will have to manage two distinctly different movie queues.

This is the most insane part. Netflix, what were you thinking? Reed Hastings, how did you create such an amazing and innovative company only to pull a HPCompaq-Palm, AOL-Time Warner and drown it with obstacles, barriers and complications?

In a modern world where everyone else is scrambling to catch up to Netflix in both subscribers, available content, streamlining and awareness; Netflix just gave everyone else in the game a massive boost.

Oh and let’s not forget the ten years of branding and name recognition we have with Netflix. Qwikster has now become yet another company and service that will have to be re-explained to the masses.

“Qwikster, it’s like the old Netflix only now it’s really like the new Netflix but you have to wait a few days to enjoy your movie.”

What were you thinking? Am I alone in this? Is this not just a horrible mistake? 

Red Giant Software Goes Viral with Plot Device

Ok so this is pretty awesome. The people at Red Giant Software created this video with the help of an indie film maker in an effort to push their sweet software package, Magic Bullet. A suite of software used to create and manage color styles in film/video.

I have wanted to own their software for a while now but it is a little out of my price range, even though, considering the competition, it isn’t so bad. Here’s the Mashable version of how this entire production went down.

With less than $10,000 in their pockets but armed with a great idea and serious filmmaking skills, the company enlisted the help of indie filmmaker Seth Worley to create “Plot Device,” a viral video that topped 540,000 views on Vimeo and YouTube in its first two weeks.

via Mashable

Part of the fun in this video can only be enjoyed by the serious film-goer. I love that sort of stuff. It’s what sets these sorts of videos apart from the crap that other agencies put out there claiming “this will go viral”. It has to be at least one of the following to go viral:

  • Hilarious, like lol, side splitting funny.
  • Disgusting, see Two Girls, one Cup, or don’t.
  • So amazingly produced that your mind is blown, you forget it’s an advert (check).
  • Smart. Not like Studio 60 smart (dare to dream) but at least Robert Reich smart.
  • So racist/homophobic/sexist/stupid/ignorant that we can all universally laugh at it.
  • Super emotional, think It Gets Better
  • Lowest common denominator, a kick in the balls, so to speak.

This video exhibited at least three of these traits.

This is pretty much the first time a YouTube video has me lusting over a piece of software. Lusting over it as if owning it would give me the incredible mad skills required to make a video like this.

Though the color effects wouldn’t be so bad would they? Now if they could make a version for Final Cut Pro X, and that doesn’t cost $799 to own the entire suite. Yikes. A steal to the serious video professional but a barrier to entry for video guys like me.