Sunday, September 18, 2011

idéfestivalen at the University of Oslo and wow, it's a small world

Today was idéfestivalen (technology festival) at the University of Oslo (UIO), Blindern. We had a spot set up in the tent at Frederikkeplassen. I decided to go since I'd never been to the University before so I thought it would be interesting to check out. Moreover they needed volunteers. 4 of us showed up in the afternoon but one left an hour after.

What we do at work all day when we're not doing work all day!

The foosball table is our big attraction and that drew lots of kids! Somehow I think we're targeting the wrong crowd. :) There was a little girl there barely the height of the table and she just didn't want to leave. Her mum walked away and she still didn't want to budge.  One my work collegues played with the kids and he showed no mercy. :) I thought we could've done better with the setup. You could hear commentary and that wasn't obvious with our tiny speakers. Also there was a lack of the Cisco logo and no one was wearing Cisco shirts other than myself. I was trying to get some girls over to look at the table but I don't think they were interested. Well one of my team mates is going to be disappointed for sure. Somehow I don't think girls would join the company just because of foosball. It would've been good if we had a female volunteer in our ranks. Anyway I talked to some people about the table and how it works (lasers and magic pixie dust) and they were impressed.

There were other cool exhibits, cool but rather pointless.  The first booth showcased this idea of "smart balls".  There was a booth of a man juggling these balls and they change colours the higher they go.

I would've taken better photos but I left my memory card at home and my phone's battery died shortly after.  Alas alack it's not meant to be.

There was also another booth that featured fancy swishing sounds as you wave a sword, sort of like a light sable.  The sword is motioned tracked.  Fancy but again useless.

The third featured "air piano" through kinect.  Basically you move your fingers which are tracked and these are transformed into the appropriate movements on the piano.  Cool and possibly a little useful.

Jedi force training, no ma no hands on the piano!

The forth booth had a Google Earth of sorts projected on 4 large screens and you could zoom in and out and pan and all that.

The fifth booth had showed demos of real time face tracking using the camera on the iMac.  It overlayed a mesh on your face that you could see on the computer screen and you could move this mesh by stretching or simply dragging it on your face.  Of course you couldn't feel it, you just see how the mesh is affected on the screen.  That was interesting.

The sixth booth had a synthesizer of sorts with knobs that alter a sequence of music.  Each knob column alters one part of the music.  So 4 columns each altering a part of a music sequence.

Touch device specially built for tic-tac-toe.  Pen and paper are for seniors.

The seventh booth, perhaps the most interesting, showed a real life sized robot which looked exactly like its creator.  Narcissism?

The twin you wish you never had.  That, or this is surely the future of sex adult toys.

Guess this means he always has to shave and look exactly the same as his robotic twin.  This reminds me of that movie with Bruce Willis, Surrogates, where everyone basically lie in a perpetual sleep state and each person controls a physical representation of themselves in the real world.  Basically dreaming and controlling robotic versions of themselves.  Frankly somebody building a robot that looks like me doesn't appeal to me, at all.

All 3 of us left at around 4pm and I went shopping in the city.  And boy, was today random and unexpected.

I visit Torggata, where I do my Asian grocery shopping.  Anyway, after I finished shopping I was walking to catch the bus home and there was this young man who said hey and was trying to get my attention but I was ignoring him on purpose (I'm not a fan of the east side, perhaps because I've lost my wallet there, and the amazing number of negative stories that I hear from my Norwegian counterparts.  Sadly I admit I am a victim of my own biases).  After maybe walking 10 metres I finally turned around and he asked, "Are you Skyjuice Limo?" and at that point my curiousity level piqued.  Turns out it was somebody that follows this blog!  Well frankly I was just really amazed.  He was trying to say Hi and to thank me for sharing and I was just ignoring him!  Gosh I really felt like an ass. :)  So to the young man from Western Australia who moved to Norway 2 weeks ago and is doing an exchange here in Oslo for a year, I apologise for being so rude.

In future if any readers see me, I hope this doesn't stop you from saying Hi.  I promise I won't be an ass.  Obviously more people follow this blog than I bother to check.

I'm going to update this blog again tomorrow with posts on Javazone and Techzone tomorrow, both of which are technical conferences, the latter organised by work.  It's been a pretty fun two weeks.

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