Your gaming controllers can do more than you think

Have you ever stopped to consider that your Wii controller, Xbox 360 Kinect, or PS Move could be used for things other than gaming? Well several groups of technologically savvy gamers are doing just that. Known as hacks, these modifications use the built-in components of the hardware to do things they were never designed to do.  Having started with the Wiimote, these hackers have now started to incorporate the newer 360 Kinect and PSMove into their creative process. Sadly, there is significantly less support for PS Move hacks compared to the Wiimote or 360 Kinect, and it isn’t surprising considering Sony doesn’t like people modifying their system.

I recently had the opportunity to interact with a Wiimote that operated a remote controlled submarine. After being placed in a fish tank, the minature sub was switched on and the wiimote was handed to me. As I lifted the wiimote up, the submarine surfaced, as I lowered it, it submerged. I could also control the speed of the motor by using the trigger on the controller.

This is just the beginning of what is possible. The technology is relatively new and is just now becoming accessible and affordable to the average technology enthusiast. I look forward to what else is in store, the possibilities are endless. Check out kinecthacks.net, wiihacks.com, and ps3.dashhacks.com to discover what incredible things people are creating .

8-Bit Mapping of Retro Games on the Side of a Building

The video was created by Darkfejzr, it’s an awesome Demonstration as to what they can do with a simple projector. It’s an amazing video, there is a number of videos online that show off mapping in a more realistic way, but this is by far one of the coolest one I’ve seen.

If you are still curious as to what building “Mapping” is all about, it’s when a group of people, usually graphic designers, use high tech projectors to display their art onto the side of a building. A type of virtual graffiti where every other designer is trying to “1 Up” the next.

Video-OTD: How Visual Image Stabilization Works on a Canon

I’m sure you’ve taking a picture using your high tech camera at one point or another in your life. But have you ever taken a picture with a Canon DSLR with an 18-55mm lens? Probably not. Much less opened the lens to figure out how it works. In the video located at the bottom of the post, Camera Technica did the dirty work for you so you know exactly what’s going on inside your expensive camera.

Thanks to today’s advancements in technology, we now have cameras with amazing Visual Image Stabilization. This stabilization allows you to take clearer pictures on the go. You may think that you have a steady hand, even I thought I did, I’m a PI and taking video or pictures is something that I have to do on the regular basis. The worst thing that can happen, aside from not having video, is taking a shaky video. But sometimes not even tripods help you get a steady image if you have the Image Stabilization feature turned off. But how do they work?

The whole secret to stabilizing an image is a floating lens element that is allowed to float inside of the lens. When your camera moves, tiny gyroscopes and accelerometers detect the movements of the lens, they in turn trigger circuits that move the lens in opposite directions to counteract the movement.

Normally, you don’t see what’s going on inside the lens, but the video below shows you exactly what it would look like, if you opened up your camera to see the lens in action.

Image Stabilization Revealed from Camera Technica on Vimeo.