N900 Cyber Kanny

Here’s my hardware hack idea for Nokia’s N900 Push contest, the N900 Cyber Kanny:

Prototype image of the Nokia N900 + NIntendo Power Glove + Arduino + Bluesmirf hack

In Finland, the homeland of Nokia, mobile phones are referred to as Kannys, which literally means “an extension of the hand”. I would like to make this extension of the hand very visceral by combining Nokia’s N900 with retro virtual-reality peripheral, the Nintendo Power Glove. The resulting hardware hack would enable hand gesture based interaction with the N900, controlled through the glove interface.

In order to answer a telephone call, the user makes the ‘telephone gesture’ and their hand becomes the handset, bringing a whole new meaning to “talk to the hand”!

N900 Cyber Kanny - Telephone Gesture

19. October 2009 by Kieran
Categories: Arduino, Electronics, Hacking, Tangible Interfaces | Tags: , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

ISEA 2009 workshop slides

Here are the slides from the Hacking Toys Into Tangible Interfaces workshop that was held at DKIT last week for the ISEA / International Symposium of Electronic Arts 2009 conference. Thanks to everyone that participated 🙂

06. September 2009 by Kieran
Categories: Electronics, Hacking, Physical Computing, Tangible Interfaces, Video Games | Tags: , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Post Posthumanism

Here are the slides for my paper ‘The Real Virtual Living’, presented at the Posthumanism strand of ISEA 2009 at the Waterfront Hall, Belfast.

29. August 2009 by Kieran
Categories: Electronics, Posthumanism, Tangible Interfaces | Tags: , , , , | Leave a comment

ISEA 2009 paper and workshop

I’m presenting a paper at the ISEA 2009 Conference (International Symposium on Electronic Arts) in Belfast this August. It’s under the ‘Posthumanism’ category and called ‘The Real Virtual Living’. Basically in it I’m examining what people thought the ‘cyberfuture’ would be, how it actually turned out and how that future vision has inspired creative work in different digital and electronic mediums, both in cyberspace and meatspace 🙂

Also as part of ISEA 2009 I’m running a workshop on ‘Hacking Toys Into Tangible Interfaces‘ at Dundalk IT. We’ll be building unique game control gizmos by adding usb connections to cheap electronic toys. The workshop is an introduction to physical computing, covering some basic interaction design theory along with practical hardware hacking techniques. There’s more on the workshop and everything else that’s happening as part of the conference at isea2009.org.

04. July 2009 by Kieran
Categories: Electronics, Hacking, Physical Computing, Tangible Interfaces | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Atari 2600 Study

At the moment I’m reading ‘Racing The Beam‘, an in-depth study of Atari’s VCS console from 1977 (renamed the 2600 in 1982). The book traces the systems history and talks about how it’s game designers creatively worked around the machines limitations. One major constraint been how it was designed to show just 2 sprites (objects, aliens or whatever) onscreen at once.

In the name of research I’ve scored a cheap woodgrain 2600 from ebay and will conduct some serious playtesting of the games mentioned in Racing The Beam, starting off with Combat, Pac-Man and Space Invaders. Then it’s onto Empire Strikes Back. Even E.T. will be tested. It’s gonna be a tough job 🙂

Anyhows, there are still applications been made for the 2600, albeit in a homebrew capacity. For instance, Atari 2600 OS, a point and click GUI with Pong embedded is a marvel of minimalism. While the 2600 Full Midi interface allows direct control of the VCS audio for making music, if you’re into the gritty low-bit sound!

20. May 2009 by Kieran
Categories: 8bit, Books, Video Games | Tags: , , | Leave a comment

Mongi Slim

The Random Album Cover Game has been around the last year, but I had a go at it a couple of days ago.

Not sure what genre it’d fit into exactly… possibly folk meets downtempo meets dnb…

18. April 2009 by Kieran
Categories: Design | Tags: , | Leave a comment


Found these great flash cartoons on youtube, by animator Hiroshi Namiki. All feature this ape with a snot bubble hanging out of his nose, who mostly spends his time harassing a bulldog, which has similar nose hygiene issues. The use of sound adds to the surreal humor, particularly the canned laughter and applause. The same animator also has a series of short sixteen second pieces about a mischievous piece of sushi called Okapa-makiko. Anyhows, it’s exercise time with WarangUtan and company…

15. March 2009 by Kieran
Categories: Animation, Flash | Tags: , | Leave a comment

Short and Tweet

The blogosphere probably doesn’t need another post about Twitter but I’ll write one anyways. I’ve been using this a lot over the last couple of months (partly why this blog hasn’t been updated), so if you want take a look at twitter.com/kierannolan.

Also this site can now be reached at kierannolan.com <-trying for a more business card type url 🙂

22. January 2009 by Kieran
Categories: Misc | Tags: , | Leave a comment

Tinker.it talk, This Happened #6, Doodle Earth

I was over in London recently to check out a couple of talks that were taking place as part of Onedotzero’s Adventures in Motion festival. First up was a presentation about digital means of creating music, controlling music and creating musical controllers by Tinker.it. Afterwards a number of music related Arduino and Processing projects were shown, including a granular synth and the Brokenspiel, which plays a sequence of notes generated from a barcode or magnetic card’s unique id number.

Then later on that evening was This Happened #6, where the audience learned all about the creative processes behind four unique tech art projects. These were Touched Echo by Markus Kison, Audience by rAndom International and Chris O’Shea, Troika‘s ‘Cloud‘ and the responsive installation at Covent Garden by United Visual Artists. One thing that was striking about all these was the ammount of time put into planning and pre-visualisation, leaving little or no room for error when the final product was delivered. Also they were made in very tight timeframes, Cloud for instance was nine months from initial idea to the final installation.

In the lobby of the BFI there was a project I really liked called Doodle Earth, which basically encourages people to draw. An animated map dotted with buildings and moving vehicles is projected onto a blank wall and people are encouraged to fill in the blanks with coloured markers. I drew this dragon head thing burning the building in the projection (someone added the ‘Cheese’ speech bubble and ‘JAFC rules…’ messages later on). All the art meets technology stuff is great but this really suceeds at creating a fun, collaborative user experience in a fairly lo-tech way. It’s good to draw!


28. November 2008 by Kieran
Categories: Arduino, Design, Physical Computing, Processing, Tangible Interfaces | Tags: , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Analog vs Digital & Music Interfaces @ DEAF 08

Yesterday I headed to the Digital Hub in Dublin to listen to some talks about making music and to watch a film screening, all these were happening as part of the Dublin Electronic Arts Festival. Continue Reading →

27. October 2008 by Kieran
Categories: Hacking, Music | Tags: , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

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