Author Archives: hongyujieiris

Blade Runner

I love the movie very much in general. The scenes of the movie are pretty intriguing – the world is like a twisted big wasteland with large buildings, dark wet streets, strange lightings and dense crowd. One  big difference from the book is that it doesn’t focus much on describing the importance of having a real animal which means you have humanity (vanity). But there is one scene when Deckard asked Zhora if her pet is real, she asked back how a real snake is affordable here. This could be counted as a little hint. Sebastian could be considered a s counterpart in the movie (Methuselah Syndrome) to Isidore in the novel (genetically degraded) human beings. Isidore lives alone in an entire apartment building. Sebastian uses his talents in genetic design to create automata companions. It depicts an atmosphere of loneliness that modern technologies bring.  In both movie and book, what surprises me is how they treat androids as pet, something seems ok to be hunted and killed. The idea of robots showing emotions has always been intriguing and make me a little scary. It also reminds me a movie called Ex Machina, where the owner treats the robots he make as sex toys or experiment tools and eventually got killed by the robot who is programmed to practice the goal of escaping.

A Word Shaped Like Bones

Description: The story begins with a scene of a dead man in a spaceship and all about Maureen’s interactions with him in the rest part. In the last few years, she just sculptures  on this small spaceship in 23rd century when commercialism is out of fashion (how good is that). She assumes the body is a man even if his origin is hard to tell. Their relationship goes interesting at a point that her sculpture is beginning to shape like the dead man. Speaking of Hippocrenes, the interesting planet Maureen’s heading to, people there do not speak in sound and they wrap their tongues together when they wish to communicate.  When the man start to decay and bones are left, she started to feel a great affection for the dead man. Maureen can barely remember a time when she did not love his bones. But it turns out that the man was once someone that she loved very much – her husband…

My POV: From the story, I could feel how an artist’s works are shaped by her/his personal emotions and experience. To be honest, I can figure out a little bit she would fall in love with the bones since I read the first scene of story. Long term interactions with an object in an enclosed space may also leads to affections sometimes. However it’s not a typical science fiction in my mind. It just uses sci-fi as a media to tell a love story. Balancing between rational science and human emotions in a sci-fi story is cirtical.


/*Didn’t upload previously because of WordPress problem*/

Illumi-mory: Signals for creating and bringing reading memory


primer copy

The major inspiration of this project comes from The Diamond Age where there is the primer.This program ran on a remarkable computer called a runcible that was shaped like a book. Each page was a paper-thin display called a mediatron; the spine of the book contained the computer hardware.

How the primer teaches and informs the lady in the story inspires me to make an Augmented Reality application that can unlock meaningful information for readers. Technology wise, I think it’s interesting to combine AR with ambient intelligence so the experience is more aware of the different reading context – a good way to bring memory. I choose wearable (eg. jewelries) to display lighting because it’s intimate to people – we wear it everyday like how we bring smartphone and sensors could be integrated later to detect human body infos.



We love the tangibility of physical books. But when we are reading them, some content (eg. sci-fi scenes/artifacts) are hard to be explored and experienced via simple text. What if you want to try out the hoverboard from Back to the Future? What if you want to experience how does it feel to shrink and grow like Alice in the Wonderland?

But with the current technology, imagine, what if we can use AR/VR to immerse us in the descriptive scenes without losing the tangibility of reading physical books? What if the system is even smart enough to be aware of where we were, and send us signals from that time to remind us what we have been reading?

Illumi-mory is a system that uses AR signal as a content/memory generator and werable to create subtle signals as a reminder.

Create memory: Use AR function to unlock informations. Environment is recorded meanwhile.

Bring back memory: Play the recorded color by wearable lighting jewelries


Tools:  Unity 3D, Vuforia SDK (Software)    Samsung Galaxy Note III, Arduino, LightBlue Bean, NeoPixels, Webcam (Hardware)

For the software side, I use Vuforia SDK to do text/pattern recognition in Unity environment, where I also create overlayed information (videos/ 3D models/ images). System.IO.Ports is used to conduct serial communication between Unity and Arduino in C#.

Functions: When the camera sees a word in the first time, eg. parabolic, it gives user overlay information like a video/diagram/image explanation. Meanwhile, it also take a picture automatically to record the environment. The program analyze the color palette. It also keeps track of number of times for how you look up each word. So in the second/third/… time you look up the word, it opens the light in the dominant color of previous recorded environment.

Check out how I got my first demo to work with cables,(YAY!):

(I plan to use a BLE Arduino to communicate with phone directly via bluetooth. I purchased LightBlue Bean and tried it, but I was told from the custom support that it could only be used as a peripheral and couldn’t receive data from Unity until too late.. )

Design Test Models:




There are a lot of exciting applications out there as I could imagine using this system. Example scenarios are:

There are definitely more to explore and implement. For example overlaying collaborative comments in AR so you can see other people’s opinions. Or using Google cardboard for VR reading in order to explore some fantasy scenes being immersive. Integrate sensors in wearables to detect users’ emotions/behaviors to unlock different AR content.



Tele-Form: Display shapes with different materials, temperatures, smells…



This design is inspired by the scene in All the Childhood You Can Afford when Gavin couldn’t understand this “cakes-on-fire thing” from his parents’ birthday message. Tele-Form is a shape and material changing interface that can simulate any physical object. So you can feel the difference of textures, temperatures, smells among different displays. It could be used for delivering presents to different time and space. For example, Gavin can experience how a 1936 leather glove feels like even if Beebo sold it.


[Inspiration from a Chinese idiom story called “Wang mei zhi ke” 望梅止渴]

Tele-Form is transported to the Three Kingdoms Period (220-265), ancient China for some reason, and it is gained by Cao Cao. One hot day, He was leading his troops under a burning sun in a mountainous area and he lost the way. The journey was long and the sun was scorching. The soldiers feel suffocated. The marching speed gets slower and slower. But the spring water is in the other side of the mountain and time doesn’t allow them to take a detour. After thinking for a while, Cao Cao has a solution. He took out Tele-Form and turn it into a watermelon and a drone underneath it. He ran into the very front of the troop and let the watermelon fly pass the mountains. He told the soldiers that whoever first reach the destination can enjoy this watermelon. Everyone is greatly motivated so they quicken their steps because they are super thirsty and craving for the watermelon.

Pride Terminator

The Cards:



In 3015, A new research has been published in the magazine cover that human emotion can heal itself. Some transformations in physical body will take place to compensate negative feelings so everyone has a peaceful mind. For example, if a girl is pretty and feels too much pride, her body will be enlarged so she will be fat.


How it works:

Metabolism doesn’t just affect your weight and how fast you burn calories; it also affects your mood and the way you interact with the world around you. Mood and metabolism are interrelated in very complex ways.  Mood like pride will slow down metabolism process in order to make you fat!


Possible Implementations:

This seemingly impossible idea might has potential to be realized in Virtual Reality settings. User’s body can be scanned by camera sensors and reconstructed in virtual world. Sensors (EEG or Cameras) can be used to detect if you have pride emotions and change your perception about your own body through VR goggles. That is to say, if it detects pride, your body will be rendered bigger and not so desirable.



Detect Mood: