Surprise bag, August 25

Surprise!This is the first in an irregular series of posts where I bring you nice surprises I’ve found while browsing the Internet.

I found today’s surprises in my RSS aggregator just waiting to be shared with the rest of the world*.

Both of today’s surprises come from totally different sources, but they do have one thing in common: innovation. Both concern technology that is not yet available, but that’s totally awesome. They actually have a second thing in common which I discovered just before writing this post, but I’ll let you watch the videos first to see how keen your eye is.

So, today’s first surprise comes from the O’Reilly Radar post entitled Context Aware Image Re-Sizing. How cool does that sound? If you’re not convinced, I’ll let you see the video then:



Now what do you think? One of the things I’d really like to do with my blog is enable a FlowDocument-like experience for reading my posts. Unfortunately, you can resize and reflow text as much as you like, images will always be a problem; well, until technology like the above is widely available, of course.

The second surprise is called LucidTouch and I found it through Engadget. The name by itself is not very compelling to me, but take a look at this demo:


I’ve always wanted an “Origami” PC because I feel that in the future we’ll probably all have one of those in our bags most of the time. If technology like LucidTouch actually gets into devices like UMPCs, I’m sure my feeling will become a prediction.

So, did you figure out what else these two technologies have in common?

Well, even though the second one is said to come from Microsoft Research on Engadget, really only one of five researchers works there**. The other four work at MERL, where the two researchers of the image resizing application also work.


Yes, MERL: Mitsubishi Electric Research Lab, the American branch of Mitsubishi’s R&D. If you’ve never heard about them, you might want to take a look at their impressive project list.

Well, that’s all for today, but the Web is host to plenty of secrets, so expect more Surprise bags in the future.

* Yes, I know that if I found them in my aggregator and if they’re already on the Internet, they have already been shared with the rest of the world. That unfortunately is not true when I’m talking about “the world,” because when I say it I’m obviously talking about the only world that matters: the one that revolves around me.

** I am not at all implying that because only one researcher comes from MSR they’ve had lesser impact or influence on the development of the technology, I just want to bring more attention to Mitsubishi to make the link between both videos.