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    See and control – technical wizardry with eye tracking and magic glove.

See and control – technical wizardry with eye tracking and magic glove.

I’ve spent countless of hours in front of the computer screen throughout my life, and spending all that time has certainly made me quite efficient at using keyboard and mouse. Despite this, and even though my mouse speed is turned up to make even the smallest gesture move the mouse pointer quite a distance on the screen, I still find my self looking for the mouse pointer and feeling that it is a waste of time having to use the same input mechanism as I did thirty years ago.

Because of this, I’ve been looking at the products from the Swedish company Tobii for some time, but up until recently, their hardware has just been to expensive to get for experimenting with. If you’re not familiar with Tobii, they’re a company specializing in eye tracking devices, and as of March 2014, they’re delivering a consumer product that is – under the circumstances – pretty cheap.
Hacking time
With this sudden price drop, I decided to try out the hardware and ordered a REX developer kit, which I’ve been experimenting with for a while now. Not knowing what to expect from the hardware before hand, I was really amazed how accurate it was, but at the same time, I realized that the accuracy needed to control the windows graphical interface was even higher. To mitigate this, I did some programming and ended up with at solution in which I can zoom in and out on the screen using hand gestures with the Peregrine glove and thus making the perceived accuracy high enough to be useful.
The details
So, what did I actually do?

As you can see in the video above (which really explains things better than text – this is one […]

What Hit the Spot?

I’ve been a premium user of Spotify for many years now, and one thing that bothered me a lot was that it was so hard to know if something was added to the Spotify catalog without browsing through each of your artists and going down the list.

The reason for this, of course, is that Spotify list the albums of an artist in their release dates, but that is not the same as the date that the album in turn was actually added to Spotify. Say, for example, that you enjoy listening to the music of Dr.Dre, and you want to put together your own best-of-playlist for said artist. While assembling the list, you find that Spotify doesn’t have your old time classic from 1994, and you have to do without it. You then start using the playlist, but a year later, Spotify strikes a deal with the record label holding the rights to your missing song, and all of a sudden, it is available to you! The problem now, of course, is that unless you constantly monitor Dr.Dre, you will never find out that it has been added.
Being as I am, I got tired of looking through my favorite artists and decided to create my own program that used the Spotify Meta Api to poll artist information and pick out any differences from the last run and present them to me. This was a great step forward for me in discovering new music on Spotify and always having something new to listen to.

As I thought that this perhaps could be useful to someone else, I decided to set up a web page for the said functionality, and since a couple of years back it’s […]

Mining the news flow and building a reference library

Have you ever felt like your bookmarks are exploding out of control or that your favorite saved links service is not helping you organize your articles of interest in a convenient way? I know I have, and after thinking the problem through, I came up with a few requirements for a process that would help me get things in order.
The process

First of all, I need to gather my “stuff” when it comes to news in some sort of in basket. This step cannot take much time, and I need to be able to do it when I have a few minutes to spare without feeling that I can’t leave half way through.
Then I need to process my in basket, so that I can decide what’s worth keeping around, and what looked promising but really turned out to be less interesting than I thought.
Then I need to organize the things worth keeping in such a way that I can easily reference it later

Finding the tools
After being a victim of hammering news sites for updates for way to long, I started using Google Reader a while ago, and when they closed up shop, I moved over to Feedly which I’m currently using. Feedly really satisfies the first step of my process and is great for skimming through all the new articles being posted on my favorite feeds without having to constantly monitor them. When I get o few minutes over, I just open up my Feedly app on my iPhone and skim through a couple of pages worth of  titles, marking off the ones I want to take a better look at later. I mark all the articles I want to have a better look at for […]

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