links for 2009-02-06

  • Use of texture in Web design is extremely common. Part of the reason textures are so useful to designers is the relative ease of the integrating one into a design if a high-quality textured image already exists, not to mention the endless possibilities. Fortunately, plenty of photographers and designers are willing to share their work with the rest of us so that we can use them in a number of different ways.

    In this post, we’ll look at 100 different textures in a wide variety of different categories. Of course, each image is linked to the source where it can be downloaded. As with any type of freebie, be sure to read the terms and conditions or stipulations by the owner before using it in your work.

  • LONG BEACH, California — Students at the MIT Media Lab have developed a wearable computing system that turns any surface into an interactive display screen. The wearer can summon virtual gadgets and internet data at will, then dispel them like smoke when they're done.

    Pattie Maes of the lab's Fluid Interfaces group said the research is aimed at creating a new digital "sixth sense" for humans.

    In the tactile world, we use our five senses to take in information about our environment and respond to it, Maes explained. But a lot of the information that helps us understand and respond to the world doesn't come from these senses. Instead, it comes from computers and the internet. Maes' goal is to harness computers to feed us information in an organic fashion, like our existing senses.

    The prototype was built from an ordinary webcam and a battery-powered 3M projector, with an attached mirror — all connected to an internet-enabled mobile phone.

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