Call for Participants for an artificial intelligence experiment

Are you tired of reading documents?

Would you like to help us, in our research to change the way we perceive and interact with information?

Curious how Tokyo from the National Institute of Informatics looks like?


Please contact me when you are interested and available for an hour in the period of Tuesday 24th of April to Thursday 26th Friday 27th of April to visit us at the National Institute of Informatics.

The experiment takes about an hour and you will receive 1,000 JPY for your help!

You won’t need any prior knowledge or skills, the experiment takes place behind a laptop, after which you will be asked to answer some questions.

No recording will be made of your participation.

Visualisation of earthquakes in 2011

It has been almost a year ago since the Tohoku earthquake and tsunami, below you can find two video’s visualizing the earthquakes of 2011 in Japan and worldwide.


Japan earthquakes 2011


World earthquakes 2011

Hayaku: A Time Lapse Journey Through Japan

It has been over a year ago since I returned to Japan, a country which I find hard to describe in all of its facets, yet love to discover and be submerged in. Brad Kremer managed to catch some of these, from the crowds and the skyscrapers in the city to the tranquillity of the mountains and ocean.

Hayaku: A Time Lapse Journey Through Japan from Brad Kremer on Vimeo.


I live about a 15 min walk from the Shibuya crossing displayed in his artwork.

Welcome to the age of exploration

“There is so much in the universe we don’t know about.” [PhD comics]

A virtual haircut

While Avatar blew many minds with the capabilities of 3D video, I would like to share another outlook, realistic 3D audio.

“The ‘Virtual Barber’ (aka ‘Virtual Barbershop’, ‘Virtual Haircut’) is a binaural recording of someone getting a haircut. It starts off with you sitting in the chair then you hear the virtual barber coming in the door. The virtual barber then proceeds to give you a virtual haircut. You can actually hear him breathing down your neck. This recording is very realistic and immersive, a must hear.” []

Step 1. Plug in an headset.

Step 2. Download this MP3.

Step 3. Close your eyes and enjoy!

In particular I could almost feel the razor moving up and down my neck.

Back to Tokyo!

SB-1516Last week I received a call from the Embassy of Japan, the Ministry of Education, Culture, Science & Technology has granted my admission to the Monbukagakusho scholarship.

From October 2010 I will be studying Creative Informatics at the Graduate School of Information Science and Technology, the University of Tokyo.

“The department aims to educate leading researchers and engineers with high creativity for realizing new information technologies and systems based on novel ideas. To perform this mission effectively, the main base of the department is located in Akihabara, a new metropolitan IT R&D area in central Tokyo.” [IST]

Akihabara is The gadget area of Tokyo, where the first six month I will focus on the Japanese language, followed by a two year master degree programme.

Needless to say I cannot wait to get back to Tokyo!

[Picture by Sander Bockting]

New Year in Kazakhstan

Every year I travel one time-zone further east than last year, this year Sander Bockting and I chose for Almaty (GMT+6), the formal capital of Kazakhstan in Central Asia. The deal: Sander took care of the pictures (See Best selection, All), I of the programme.

During our ten days trip we met several Couch surfing members to join their life in Kazakhstan, experienced the hospitality of the Uyghur community during New Year’s eve and travelled by train to the mountains near Kyrgyzstan’s for a home stay and horse riding with the park ranger of the area.

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Augmented reality is slowly getting available to the public, Pranav Mistry shows a different approach decreasing the gap between the digital and real-life world and allowing a more natural interaction. I am very much impressed by his ideas and looking forward to the release of the code sources.

At TEDIndia, Pranav Mistry demos several tools that help the physical world interact with the world of data — including a deep look at his SixthSense device and a new, paradigm-shifting paper “laptop.” In an onstage Q&A, Mistry says he’ll open-source the software behind SixthSense, to open its possibilities to all. Ted.Com



Dining for me is an experience that has to meet all senses. An experience which starts from the moment you enter the hallway, submerged in an atmosphere brought by the design of an interior, and by the presence of the waiters. A place where you can feel at home, and where you can relax with old friends. Foodorama in Berlin is exactly such a place, here you can find an extraordinary ecological kitchen, an inspiring crew, and to my surprise a mid-ranged price tag.


Images are taken from

One Very Slick Desktop Multi-Touch Concept

“It brings up some key issues surrounding the future of touch input from both a hardware and software perspective. 10/GUI’s solution is to create a multi-touch pad that lays on your desk in the area that a keyboard or mouse would. You then use this pad to interact with the monitor in front of you, just as you would with the more traditional methods of input.” Tech Crunch