Devices, Objects, Vehicles: Research for the Microsoft Home

As part of my work on The Microsoft Home I compiled a list of interesting device, object, and vehicle experiences.

Wearable Motorcycle

Student work from the Art Center College of Design.

Ford Nucleon

Nuclear powered car concept.

No Contact Anti-Assault Jacket

A wearable defensive apparel system that provides wearers the ability to break contact from a hand-to-hand struggle. When activated, any aggressor touching the exterior surface of the CEC receives a high-intensity non-lethal charge that causes them to immediately withdraw contact.

Skinput: Body As Input Surface

Microsoft Research Skinput - a technology that allows the skin to be used as an input surface. It resolves the location of finger taps on the arm and hand by analyzing mechanical vibrations that propagate through the body and collects these signals using a novel array of sensors worn as an armband.

Sony Nextep Wrist Computer

Designed to be worn as a bracelet, the Sony Nextep computer concept is constructed out of a flexible OLED touchscreen. It features a holographic projector screen and pull-out keyboard panels.

$1 Lycra Gesture Computing Gloves

A pair of patterned lycra gloves held in front of a webcam can generate a image that can be matched against a database of gestures to create a low-cost gesture-computing system.

Frank Gehry’s use of CATIA

Architect Frank Gehry pioneered the use of CATA 3D modeling software to make complicated structures. The software was developed by Dassault Aerospace, and developed further with Boeing’s assistance, to model close-proximity aircraft systems without physical prototypes.

Petri Soaps

Soaps modeled after petri dishes with infamous microbes growing in them.

Lamp Poster Lamp

Printed poster with embedded LEDs to light up the image of the lamp.

Low-Effort Clothes Pin

This clothespin design allows persons with severe arthritis to use them.

DARPA Anomalous Behavior Detection Software

DARPA (Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency) software to detect anomalies in behavior patterns.

Piezoelectric Dress

A dress that uses piezoelectric pickups to let light displays in the clothing respond and react to music of different pitches.


MU is an interactive multimedia installation designed for teaching children through fairy tales. The technology behind the project involves a diffused illumination display and RFID enabled objects that can be used to directly interact with the system.

OSB Furniture

Oriented Strand Board is an inexpensive building material. Chris Rucker’s work is an example of using an industrial aesthetic in fine furniture.

Teague Radio Ball

The Teague Radio Ball uses buttons on the outside surface of a ball to change channels, similar to the way radio dials used to let you explore different radio stations quickly.

Gestural Interfaces - Hopscotch Path Front Door Lock

Gestural interfaces from Core 77's One Hour Design Challenge use affordances and physical interactions to operate objects and control software. In this hopscotch example users step on the right tiles in sequence to unlock the door. In another example turning over the chairs in a restaurant activates a closed sign.

Digital Pendulum

The pendulum swings back and forth over a series of small RFID tags on the ground. A reader inside the pendulum reads each tag, coded with a corresponding sound. the sounds from the activated tags are then played creating music with each swing.s

RFID Speakers

RFID enabled speaker system that allows the user to interact with music and the environment by moving the speakers around. “Journey into sound” consists of a grid of RFID tags that correspond to different genres of music.

Anybots QB Video Presence Robot

This robot uses software to control it remotely so remote workers can participate in meetings and visits to the factory. The robot leaves its docking station and travels with the group.

HRP-4C Singing Robot

This robot uses Yamaha Vocaloid Software to sing.

Roll Up Laptop

The execution here is not all that graceful but breaking the form of the flat screen is significant.

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