CamSpace Webcam Game Controller

Camspace is pretty slick. The people at CamTrax are demoing the PC camera-based interface. At first blush, I thought it similar to the gimicky Eye Toy games, but this is much better. CamTrax is a software-based technology that enables the tracking of hand-held objects in real time, with high reliability. What you see in the demo is that the software recognizes the hand-held objects and effectively turns them into pointers and other controls that can be used to act on the simple end as a cursor, and on the more sophisticated end as a game controller.

On a related note, you might be interested in checking out Chung Lee’s experiments with alternate control of the Wii.


Tina pointed to DestroyFlickr, an excellent AIR application for viewing Flickr photos.

DestroyFlickr explores alternative methods for viewing and sharing Flickr content. Its user interface provides an environment that benefits photos rather than hindering them. With the ability to look at a photo on a dark, neutral background, you can view it without the interference of a brighter surrounding. By using workspaces and canvases, DestroyFlickr is able to retain a constant history of where you have navigated, offering the ability to revisit an area without the need to reload the entire page. DestroyFlickr takes advantage of features provided by the Adobe AIR SDK that are unavailable to web-based RIAs. With the support of both drag and drop uploading and downloading, posting and saving photos is done in one easy motion. Now you can download the highest resolution version of a photo without having to see it first—just drag a thumbnail to the download menu and the download begins.

Disclaimer: DestroyFlickr does not intend to replicate or attempt to replace the essential user experience of

NameThis: Crowdsourced Project Naming

NameThis is an innovative new crowdsourced community that uses the wisdom of crowds to name products and services. Companies or individuals who are looking to name something pay $99 to request help in naming the thing. Participants provide suggestions and vote or invest a stake in the suggestions that have been posted. Kluster’s robots decide which is best, and participants get paid back when they’ve invested in the winner. You can find out more about how it works.

The UI shows the list of projects posted and a countdown for the time remaining to participate. It’s pretty interesting stuff if taken seriously by the participants. I suspect the payoffs will keep things from going sour.

Some of the winners have been good:

  • Local Shopping Search Engine = Nearbuy
  • TechCrunch Elevator Pitches = CrunchTime

Others I thought were only so-so. Sadly, I can’t find a list to view the archive of all past projects.

Definitely might be worth the price of entry for the creatively challenged.

Crowdsourced Color Explorer

I have to admit, that this crowdsourced color explorer is one of the coolest ideas I’ve seen in, oh, the last few weeks.

On the Dolores blog, Brendan explains how Mechanical Turk was used to present a set of random colors to participants in an exercise designed to observe how people name colors. The project was inspired by the World Color Survey.

The result was the color explorer, aka “The Amazing Color Label Wheel!” The explorer allows you to enter color words to filter the visualization. The data set has been released so you can do more visualizations on your own.

Webmonkey Relaunch

You remember Webmonkey, that web design resource many of us grew up with when we were cutting our teeth on HTML. Wired redesigned and re-launched with a few new articles, and some of the old tutes and cheat sheets seem to have been updated. The entire code library appears to be a wiki, so it’s open for editing.

We’ll keep our eyes open to see if anyone kicks in some quality material.