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Talking taxidermy and breathing stones- Objects Sandbox startup award winners announced

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by Startacus Admin

Oh we do love a spot of creative technological innovation here at Startacus…shock horror…so we are rather pleased that REACT (that’s Research & Enterprise in Arts and Creative Technology) have just announced the 6 teams which are going to be taking part in their Creative Sandbox over the coming 3 months.Objects Sandbox Awards Annouced

For those of you who aren't yet familiar, Objects Sandbox is an initiative which aims to advance the integration of objects and the internet through creative and innovative technologies. In just six years time ‘in the know’ tech people estimate that there will be at least 50 billion objects with internet connectivity in the world- a class of objects collectivly known as 'the internet of things'. Sandbox has tasked itself with exploring new innovations surrounding the way we interact with objects both in the and physical and virtual worlds. It creates the opportunity for collaborations between an academic partner and a creative company, who in addition receive;

  • A commission of £50,000 in order to create a prototype
  • A community of peers working in a similar area to share progress, questions and contacts
  • A panel of leading industry advisers who help develop ideas and routes to market
  • A business development consultant
  • PR assistance and participation in a showcase event.

But now for the really exciting bit… this year’s successful products.

Objects Sandbox Awards AnnoucedBreathing Stone - From the outside, this won’t look much different from your average hand sized pebble but really it will be packed with complicated technological things that we don't really understand… However, from what we can gather, this stone will be something of a stress ball for the 21st Century, sensing your heart rate and breathing rate to create music that reflects and adjusts to your psychological state. It is the brainchild of entertainment and healthcare startup Adaptive Media along with a number of clever folks from the University of Bath.

Fans on foot - This is one especially for lovers of cult TV and movies and consists of jewellery which alerts the wearer to nearby locations of interest from their favourite shows and films. Never again will we find ourselves wondering… didn’t the Tardis touch down here? The technology is being developed by Cardiff University’s Naomi Dunstan and Ross Garner along with technologists from Media Playgrounds.

InTouch - With the amazing advancements in video conference technology in recent years, it’s easier than ever for parents away from home to interact face to face with their kids and maybe even read them a bedtime story. But it's undeniable that the flat, sterile screen takes away some of the thrill and magic of the process. Intouch are setting out to create a physical story portal, a magical object which will use cutting-edge technologies to link teller and listener through sound and touch. It’s being developed by the University of Bristol along with award-winning product design company Kinneir Dufort who are keeping keeping their ideas well under wraps for the time being!Objects Sandbox Awards Annouced

Curpanion - This will (in a morbid yet intriguing sort of way) bring new life to the taxidermy displays of museums and galleries through an internet-connected, personalised curatorial device developed by University of Bristol and creation studio, Play Nicely. It will take the form of a customisable keepsake and as well as curating your visit will unlock augmented taxidermy exhibits and allow you to create your own online menagerie of the animals that you see.

The God Article - This will be a brilliant and innovative fusion of ancient and modern technologies as a team of ethnomusicologists and user experience designers bring a new twist to one of the world’s oldest known instruments, the Turkish Ney. The problem is that this is devilishly tricky to play (like really really tricky) and as a result only a handful of people around the world are able to teach it. The God Article will be a replica of the original ney with breath sensors to enable learning online and there are suggestions that the technology will have a number of applications including healthcare and entertainment.

Reflector - Historical artefacts are an incredible source of information about the time from whence they came, but many people (including us if we are honest) feel somewhat disconnected from them behind the glass barrier of their display unit- or even tucked away in a distant corner of a museum’s archives. Reflector will explore how connected devices might open up new ways to contemplate and share the stories embodied in rare archeological objects. It is being created by the University of Bristol and design agency Uniform and for the time being, the form that the technology will take remains fittingly elusive.

We’re rather excited to see the finished articles and will of course, be taking a closer look at them in about 3 months time!

If you, like us, love hearing about new tech innovations then it’s quite likely you’ll enjoy some of these

Murmurs- Playful furniture for office environments

Robots to roam Tate Britain at night

The playable city awards

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Published on: 12th March 2014

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