For decades MIT Media Lab didn’t have a logo; now it has the potential for 40,000 of them. Brooklyn-based designers E. Roon Kang and Richard The came up with a fitting symbol to represent the preeminent research center dedicated to the convergence of design, multimedia and technology. Using three colors plus black, the algorithmic design features three intersecting spotlights that can be arranged into 40,000 unique shapes and 12 colors. Researchers can individualize the logo for their business stationery yet still link themselves to the Media Lab. The concept is geeky, serendipitous, and a melding of math and design to arrive at a different way of looking at things.
Augmented reality, or AR. If you don’t know of it, you should. If you haven’t used it yet, you will. What used to dwell in the realm of science fiction and extreme geekdom is finding practical application in all kinds of areas, including marketing, packaging, exhibits, sales demonstrations, technical training, maps, architecture and entertainment. The possibilities are just beginning to be recognized. Augmented reality lets the user see the world around him with superimposed computer graphics that appear in 3-D animation, visible from every angle and following the sight-path of the viewer. In its simplest version, the user can print out a high-contrast black-and-white pattern of squares and point it at a computer webcam. The webcam reads it like a laser bar code and sends a fully formed image back that appears to come alive right on the paper in the user’s hand.