We Like: Illumiroom, Automatic, and MagnaReady Reply


IllumiRoom is a proof-of-concept system from Microsoft Research. It  uses Xbox Kinect and a projector to augment the area surrounding a television screen with projected visualizations that extend the gaming experience beyond the borders of the television. While a prototype was presented at this year’s Consumer Electronics Show, documents released on Microsoft’s Research hub indicate the project has moved beyond proof-of-concept. The video above shows how the IllumiRoom uses light and sound tricks to distort reality around the TV, like turning the living room into a cartoon world or making it black and white.




In the age of Big Data, ubiquitous computing, and personal analytics, why do we still know so little about what’s happening inside our cars? Automatic, a personal-driving-assistant app designed by a team of Y-Combinator-backed Berkeley School of Information grads, wants to teach you.  Automatic does four things: It keeps track of where you park, notifies 911 in the case of a crash, monitors engine performance, and most importantly, teaches you how to drive more efficiently using a series of subtle audio cues. The app leverages information from your car’s onboard computer to make you a better driver–not just in terms of safety but in terms of fuel efficiency.



MagnaReady is a clothing line that makes magnetically infused dress shirts for people with limited mobility. The company’s CEO Maura Horton, got the idea for the shirts when her husband, a college football coach with Parkinson’s Disease, told her he was embarrassed after having to get a player to help him button his shirt after a game. As a former children’s clothing designer, she knew she could help him right away by magnetically infusing the buttons on his shirts.  She soon realized the product could help offer the same freedom and independence to others struggling with mobility, and the MagnaReady business was born.

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