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This Little Wristband Will Replace Your Passwords With Your Heartbeat

November 4, 2013 Leave a comment
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BY LIZ  STINSON 09.11.13

Companies have been dangling the promise of hyper-connected smart environments in front of us for years. We’ve been told that soon we’ll be able to walk into a room, and our devices will instantly cater to our preferences. In this world, Spotify has learned that you enjoy listening to hip hop while making dinner, and your Jambox knows how loud you like the volume. Upon entering your kitchen, the lights dim to a warm glow, just the way you like it, and based on what you’ve indicated you’re making for dinner via a cooking app, the oven presets to 400 degrees with just a wave of your hand.

Sounds pretty great, right? But the problem is, how do these devices even know who’s there? Tailoring environments to our desires is reliant on devices knowing and understanding the people who use them. But short of manually programming your preferences, there’s no easy way for our gadgets and apps to know who we are or what we like. “We see ourselves as sort of the central point in enabling that in a really simple way,” says Karl Martin, CEO of Bionym, a biometrics company based in Toronto.

Tailoring environments to our desires relies upon devices that know the people using them.

Martin an his team have created the Nymi, a plastic wristband that is aiming to be the common thread that connects your identity to the smart devices of the future. Born out of research done at the University of Toronto, the device uses a biometric sensor to authenticate identity through a person’s unique electrocardiogram. Which is a fancy way of saying, the pattern of your heartbeat could be your new set of keys.

The Bionym team found a way to extract features of your heartbeat that allows them to create a robust biometric template. So if you get nervous and your heart speeds up or you just ran a few miles, the waveform of your heartbeat might appear more condensed, but it’s still essentially the same pattern. The idea is that users will strap on the Nymi each morning, touch the topside sensor to read their ECG and will be constantly authenticated until they decide to take it off.

Other devices like the NFC Ring and Motorola’s Skip are using near field communication technology to do away with passwords and make the world more wirelessly connected, but they don’t really take the individual into account. Those devices are essentially like high-tech keys that if lost, could theoretically be used by whoever found it.

The Nymi’s biggest advantage (and biggest risk) is that it uses biometrics to validate a user’s identity. This puts the Nymi in a position to make personalization and identity more easily accessible than ever before, but it also carries a massive responsibility for protecting privacy. The band won’t work unless it detects your specific ECG, so depending on how you intend to use it, it needs to be around your wrist all day long. This allows for persistent authentication, meaning you don’t have to continually touch a pad to register your fingerprint or swipe a ring to open your front door. Depending on the proximity determined by developers, you simply have to walk into a room to engage with devices or apps. “If your identity is being used to provide a personalized experience, the value of that is that you don’t have to think about it,” Martin says. “If you had to enter things every time, that’s not as valuable.”

Martin believes the interactions between people and technology should be passive, but not absent.

Of course, wearing something all day every day is a lot to ask, particularly because no one has gotten wearable technology quite right. The Nymi looks a lot like the fitness trackers on the market: a relatively inconspicuous rubber wristband with a sensor on the wrist and at the top. Though it doesn’t scream “Look! Technology!” it’s certainly not invisible. Bionym is toying with the form factor and has considered making the Nymi into a necklace or embeddable into clothing. One thing they’re not doing, is following the shiny smart watch trend. “You have to think, ‘Well, what is it people are willing to accept?’” Martin says. “There’s been so much talk about smart watches and how they’re the next big thing, but nobody’s really justified why somebody would want to put a big screen on their wrist. We’re following the philosophy that wearable tech is less about the digital interaction with the user and more about technology that melts into the background.”

Martin believes the interactions between people and technology should be passive, but not altogether absent. The most recent version of the Nymi will communicate with users by little vibrations that let them know their identity is being used or that the band is talking to other devices. “The idea is that users want some awareness and it can be really subtle,” he says. “But it goes toward this assurance of privacy and security and this idea that it’s not doing things without you knowing it.”

Privacy is a big concern for the Nymi, and you can imagine the company is going to encounter some serious questions about the security of wearing your biometric identity around your wrist. Typed passwords and pin numbers can be discarded and easily changed, but if your ECG gets into the wrong hands, that’s a big problem since you can’t exactly reset your heartbeat. Martin says the Nymi was conceived with the idea of “privacy by design,” which is basically Bionym’s policy of building a product that’s rooted in keeping data protected. “There’s going to be major pushback if users feel their privacy isn’t protected,” admits Martin.

The wristband uses a cryptographic chip, which means all data is encrypted at the hardware level. And Martin says it’s impossible for  anyone to trace the signal emitting from the wrist band back to the user unless people opt-in to allow that access (the default setting is opt-out).”Whenever there’s a new technology that people don’t necessarily understand, there’s always going to be a backlash and fear,” he says. ”It’s not immediately obvious, but this product is actually a way for people to improve their privacy and take more control over their information.”

You can pre-order the Nymi for $79, but it’s not going into production until spring of 2014. In the months leading up to the official launch, Bionym’s main task is getting third-party developers on board to create a thriving ecosystem of apps and devices that the Nymi can be used with. Proving the Nymi’s value to other companies is the first step to this new technology being adopted by the larger public. “There’s almost a chicken and egg thing here,” Martin says. “You need a lot of people [users] on board to make it justifiable for others to want to integrate, and for people to want to get on board, they want to know that there’s a lot of integration and that it will do a lot of things for them.”

Bella Fantasique – Midnight Sparkle Collection

December 9, 2009 2 comments

Here are the images from Missy Lavecchia”s Bella Fantasique – Midnight Sparkle Collection. These are the fashions created for Missy’s first solo show in Second Life last Monday evening titled “Jewels of Winter”.

You don’t actually have to be in-world to purchase these virtual garments. You can go to the Xstreet SL Marketplace, purchase them there and they will automatically be delivered to your inventory in-world or if you purchase them as a gift they will be delivered to your gift recipients inventory in world.

Here is a link to Missy’s Bella Fantastique – Midnight Sparkle collection at Xstreet. If the link does not work correctly go to Xstreet SL Marketplace and search for “Bella Fantastique – Midnight Sparkle.”


Links to other related blog postings about Missy:

How Clothing is Made in Second Life: Summary

August 15, 2008 4 comments

I hope this little introductory series about how clothing is made in Second Life has been informative to you. From my own personal experience it all can be quite confusing to a new user or someone that has no past experience with 3D virtual worlds or applications. I have just about completed updating my Introduction to Second Life For Fashion OpenCourseWare Learning Module series. The video above will provide you with a quick overview of the learning modules [listed below for you] that are posted on www.fashionCAD.info

OpenCourseWare Learning Modules

  • Module One:  Getting Started in Second Life – Signing On
  • Module Two:  Getting Getting Started in Second Life After Orientation Island – Video Tutorials o f the Basics in SL; Practicing SL Basic Skills; Snapshot to Disk; Prepare First Avatar Presentation in Photoshop.
  • Module Three: Getting Started in Second Life – How Clothes are Made in Second Life: The Basics; Some Review, First Tee & Outfit in Appearance – File Permissions, Poseball, Snapshot, Make Transparent Mannequin
  • Module Four: Practicing and Modifying Pre-Made Patterns, UV Mapped Items, Flexi-Skirts
  • Module Five: How Clothes are Made in Second Life: TEXTURES Preparing and Uploading your SL Pattern Texture Files 
  • Module Six: How Clothes are Made in Second Life: UV MAPS and More File Permissions
  • Module Seven: How Clothes are Made in Second Life: PRIMS 
  • Module Eight: Fashion Collection Presentation Package
  • Module Nine: Prepare for the upcoming Fashion Show in SL & Set-Up  Franamation OverRider 
  • Module Ten: Create a layout presentation image of your fashion collection
  • Module Eleven:  Prepare for the Fashion Show

You can complete the learning modules (above] at you own pace or you can register for the Virtual Fashion class I am offering as an online and in world class this coming fall semester.

Register for College Level Intro to Virtual Fashion in SL [fall 08']

If you are interested in registering for this course – you better hurry because fall 2008 classes start 8/25/08. This class will need instructor permission to register so make sure you get permission from me before you attempt to even register for it.  You will need to have Second Life loaded on your computer and should have an introductory knowledge of Photoshop [basic functions] as well as the application itself.

One last thing – Here is an informal index to the videos I have created for Second Life. Please keep in mind that while some of these videos represent finished products others are just rough guides completed as an aid during a class project that was in progress.

Second Life for Fashion Students-Video Tutorial Index

 I want to share this information with the hopes that others can use them for educational purposes.

Previous Posts in This Series:

© 2008 All Rights Reserved.

How Clothes Are Made in Second Life:Part IV – PRIMS

August 13, 2008 2 comments

PRIMS TO CREATE GARMENTS IN SL

Finn1 FlintlockYou may have noticed that the hair and shoes and other items you create using the APPEARANCE menu are not as visually appealing as many of the fashions you see in Second Life. This is because many fashion outfits are enhanced by belts, accessories, scarves, ties, handbags, flexiskirts, etc that are created from PRIMS. PRIMS are the basic 3D building tools in Second Life. If you like making clothing in Second Life – you need to learn to build. An excellent place to learn how to build at your own pace is the Ivory Tower of Prims in SL.

Here is a video Tour of the Ivory Tower of Prims by Torley Linden: Learn building at the Ivory Tower of Primitives

Here is a short video I made that will demonstrate how PRIM hair is different from the hair that you can create in the APPEARANCE menu: APPEARANCE and PRIM Hair.you can use the BUILD tool to create simple prims that will enhance your garments in SECOND LIFE. Here is a video that will demonstrate that for you: Create Simple Prims to Enhance Garments in SL . With regards to flexiskirts – you may be wondering, what makes the skirt panels move when your avatar walks? In the EDIT menu under the FEATURES tab the FLEXIBLE PATH field is checked, that makes a prim flexible-there are various adjustments there to fine tune the amount of flexibility you want on the panel. You set the proprieties of the skirt panel before you make it into a flexiskirt.

MORE ABOUT FLEXISKIRTS

Now more about flexiskirts – they are made from multiple panels of PRIMS but it would be an exercise in torture to try to make flexiskirts without a SCRIPT. SCRIPTS are what make all things in SL interactive. You can automate PRIMS in SL by using scripts. If you notice things like HOVERTEXT – that is the text above items that you see in SL – this text is also created by using a SCRIPT. Sometimes you click on something in SL and a NOTECARD opens or a link to a WEBSITE opens or you sit on a chair or a poseball and your avatar assumes a pose or sitting position – these are created by dragging and dropping a script and sometimes an animation into a PRIM in SL.

The very basic flexiskirt script is free. Here is a link to Natalia Zelmanov’s Blog post titled, Day 97: Flexi Skirts Part 1 (Ged Larsen’s LoopRez Script) which will provide you with excellent instructions on how to create your first flexi-skirt and there is a SURL link that will teleport you into the location SL where you can get the Loop REZ script for FREE in SL. [NOTE: you can also get it on the SLEXCHANGE for $L1]

I have some flexiskirt’s created with this script with open permission for you available on the Buffalo State Island, this is the SURL LINK. Once you complete Natalia’s basic Flexiskirt tutorial you can go to her part II post to learn how to set up the attachment set. It will adjust your flexi-skirt so that it will not melt through another PRIM when your avatar sits down. Day 433: Flexi Skirts Part 2 (Self-Adjustment with AttachmentSet).

Natalia Zelmanov’s blog has excellent detailed how-to instructions for building all kinds of clothing and textures  in Second Life including prim hair shoes and jewelry, fur, satin, semi transparent textures, animations and poses. Here is the link to Natalia’s BUILD TUTORIAL INDEX.

Ged Larsen's FREE LoopRez Script

Ged Larsen also has two other models of the Loop Rez for you to choose from. The first is the LoopRez Deluxe.  Here is a link to the LoopRez Deluxe  tutorial on his blog. In addition to purchasing the LoopRez in-world you can purchase it on the SLEXCHANGE. If you purchase something to use in-world here you pay at the SLEXCHANGE and it will automatically be delivered to you in world. Here is a link to the LoopRez Deluxe Personal Edition v0.81 [L$220]from the SLEXCHANGE but keep in mind you CANNOT SELL THESE FLEXISKIRTS IN SL that is why it is called the “personal edition.” The Permissions are : LoopRez Object: COPY [that means for you only] / NO MOD / NO TRANSFER … Skirts: COPY [that means for yourself] / MOD [that means for yourself] / NO TRANSFER

Here is a YOUTUBE Video to show you how Ged Larson’s LoopREZ Deluze works.

If you want to purchase a flexiskirt LoopREZ so that you can create and sell the flexiskirts you create you need to purchase the LoopRez Deluxe Commercial Edition v0.81[L$2200]It is the same as the LoopREZ Deluxe but the permissions are set so that the skirts you create can be copied, modified and transferred.

Here is an interesting video of a Flower Power2 Building tool to create a Flexiskirt…

Previous Posts in This Series:

Virtual Fashion FRI Spring/Summer 2010 Courses

© 2008 All Rights Reserved.

How Clothes Are Made in Second Life:Part III – UV MAPS

August 11, 2008 5 comments

UV MAPS TO CREATE GARMENTS IN SL

 

Finn1 Flintlock
Another way to create fashion in SL is to download the UV maps and create garments directly on to the UV maps an upload them to SL and apply them on your avatar in APPEARANCE. Avatar UV Maps are 2D representations of a 3D virtual avatar. The markings on the UV map serve as guides to help with matching the seams of the virtual garments that are created that will then be virtually “mapped” on to the 3D avatar.

An excellent way to start is to follow Robin Wood’s T-Shirt Tutorial and create your very own T-shirt graphic for your avatar. Robin provides a link to download a ZIP file of the T-Shirt Template and there are links included  to follow the step by step tutorial.

 

 
Here is a link to a video tutorial I made to demonstrate how you can use Robin’s T- Shirt Template to very quickly make a custom T-Shirt & upload it to Second Life. The next video in this mini-series will demonstrate to you how to create multiple garments that coordinate with the new T-Shirt you created and explains the file permissions on the new garments. It is titled Make Outfit in Appearance, Save it and Set Permissions. Once you created and saved your new outfit you need to wear it and go to the poseballs and take a snapshot to disk – here is a third video tutorial titled Pose With the Poseballs, Snapshot to Disk in Sl. The fourth video this mini-series will demonstrate for you how to make a mannequin for Second Life by extracting the background, making a transparency channel, using the Smudge Tool and uploading it to SL.

Once you get the idea how UV maps are used by using Robin’s T-shirt template you can download a full set of her UV templates from her site and move on to creating more UV mapped garments. Robin’s site is an excellent resource and there are additional links to how to make lace textures, how to add transparencies, adding patterns to cloth and so on.

Just like in the real world of fashion there are many different quality levels of fashions in Second Life. Some UV Mapped garments in particular can require an exceptionally high level of digital graphic illustration skills. There are many extremely talented and highly skilled digital virtual fashion design artists in Second Life. SL fashion design artists use their digital illustration skills on the UV Maps to create highly detailed garments from scratch and they often enhance their creations with prim attachments like flexi-skirts, hats, collars, shoes, belts, etc. UV Maps are also used to create a variety of custom avatar skins as well as tattoos.

There are many beginner SL fashion designers and amateurs that create and try to sell tons of rip-off or knock-offs of fashion items just like in the real world of fashion. Many of the freebie garments in Second Life are created by placing the front and back of a Web image on to the UV Map. Some of these images are then modified and others are just copied “as is” from the real world item. Also as there are technical “product quality” issues in the real world there are also digital quality issues such as “are the seams closed?” “are the seams matched?” What is the digital overall technical quality level of the UV Mapped garment in addition to creative originality of the virtual UV Mapped fashions?

The creation of TEXTURES correlate indirectly to the creation of surface print patterns for industry that fashion designers in the real world need to make but the skills needed for UV Mapped garments and PRIM building in Second Life are only remotely related to the skills that real world fashion students require. Real world fashion students need to know how to create fashion product sketches [flats or fashion croquees], technical product specification and costing sheets, a variety of client presentation boards as well as to gain flat pattern drafting and pattern-making skills to actually create the garment pattern and then acquire the skill to assemble the garment in the real world. The file organization skills that are required to create and sell fashion garments in SL are excellent organizational and basic business start-up skills for fashion students as well as learning to work in a 3D environment. [ex: store layout & design and fashion show production] The fashion industry is shifting over to multi-dimensional product development for use in design as well as merchandising so gaining 3D conceptional skills in a virtual application like Second Life is a valuable transitional skill for fashion students.

Here are three excellent links from Natalia Zelmanov’s Blog that explain the UV Maps and how to use them to create clothing in Photoshop. Natalia has a variety of highly detailed and well-illustrated  step-by-step directions on how to build all sorts of fashion related items for Second Life. Robin Wood’s and Natalia Zelmanov’s blogs were a Godsend to me when I first “literally fell” into the virtual world of Second Life.

Clothing Texture Templates: A discussion of SL clothing templates (Robin Wood’s in particular) and how the flat template files map onto the avatar’s body

Creating Clothes Pt 1: Making clothes using the Second Life texture maps

Creating Clothes Pt 2: Making clothes using the Second Life texture maps

Here is another link from Natalia’s  blog that will show you how to create clothes using the UV maps with GIMP (free program like Photoshop) and UV maps to create a garment. Day 181: Creating Clothes with GIMP

Next Post in this Series: How Clothes Are Made in Second Life:Part IV – PRIMS

Previous Posts in this Series:

Virtual Fashion FRI Spring/Summer 2010 Courses

© 2008 All Rights Reserved.

How Clothes Are Made in Second Life:Part II – TEXTURES

August 8, 2008 5 comments

Finn1 Flintlock

TEXTURES

A very easy way to make your SL APPEARANCE clothing look more unique is to create and upload your own textures. Before you begin using this method you should understand how textures work in SL. Textures work differently in the APPEARANCE MENU then with the TEXTURE TAB in the BUILD tool that is used to create PRIMS. I created a video to explain the difference for you – here is a link to the About Textures in Sl video.

Once you understand how textures work differently in APPEARANCE and with the TEXTURE TAB in the BUILD tool you can make adjustments when you create and upload your own textures. In a nutshell – the textures that are on a prim [like a flexi-skirt panel] can be tiled and flipped and set into different scaled repeats – this is not possible in the APPEARANCE. I personally think this is a BIG DRAWBACK for flexibility and creative expression using the APPEARANCE menu with custom textures in Second Life but we have to work with what we have.

I have lots of student-created free fiber design seamless textures on the Buffalo State island and I made a video that will demonstrate how you can insert them into garments you create using the APPEARANCE menu in SL. There is a color set and a grayscale set that you can add your own tints to. Here is the link to the video: Fiber Textures in Second Life. The SURL pasted below in this post will take you to the location in Second Life [pictured above] where there are plentiful textures for you to experiment with and the permissions are all opened for you.

Here are a short series of video tutorials that will get you started with creating your own custom textures in Photoshop that you can use on garments you create in the APPEARANCE menu. [NOTE: in these videos I make the textures 256px by 256px – you can make them more detailed by creating them 512 X 512 px or even 256px by 512px , or 1024 or 1024 px but keep in mind larger texture files will need more processing time to come in clear. To get fine detail into your textures you can create them at a very high resolution and creating them in Illustrator will give you even more control. Once you have completed them you can resample [rescale] them down in Image Size before you upload them. I would not go over 512px unless there is very fine detail that is very important to keep in. Here is a link to a site where you can download free high resolution texturesto get your creativity going with custom texture development. You will get a really good look if you create a seamless texture of an area you apply filters to and then place it into a half-drop and make it seamless again.

SL TEXTURES/PATTERN DEVELOPMENT FOR INDUSTRY

The pattern repeat techniques for developing seamless TEXTURES for Second Life correlate somewhat with the pattern repeat development skills that CAD Textile Print Designers for industry need. The primary difference is that when you are developing print repeat designs for industry you need to know how to create and work in reduced colors as well as tonals, there are size constraints that need to match print methods and skill is required to recolor the pattern to match current color trends. If you are working in tonal images [photographic or true color scans of maybe watercolors] you need to know how to create layer masks to recolor your tonals.

PRACTICING APPLYING TEXTURES & TINTS TO CLOTHING

I have created a series of videos that will demonstrate to you step by step how to change colors and textures on UV clothing and flexi-skirts. All of these items in the video are available for you with the permissions open so you can modify, and or transfer them and  customize them to make them your own. Here is a SURL that will take you to the location on the Buffalo State island[pictured above] where these garments are available so you can follow along with the videos. All permissions on the garments and textures for the video tutorials are open.

Next Post in this Series: How Clothes Are Made in Second Life:Part III – UV MAPS

Previous Post in this Series: How Clothes Are Made in Second Life:Part I- THE BASICS

More textures here: Buffalo Loves Cotton Texture Gallery for Second Life

© 2008 All Rights Reserved.

How Clothes Are Made in Second Life:Part I- THE BASICS

August 6, 2008 3 comments

Finn1 Flintlock

This is a first of a series to present an overview of the different ways clothes are made in Second Life.

There are multiple ways clothes can be created in Second Life: adding custom colors and pattern textures, creating UV mapped garments and fashion items created from prims. You not only need to know the different ways clothes are made but if you want to create or try to give away or sell clothing in SL you also need to understand file permissions.

Clothes can be created from the basic APPEARANCE menu and built-in TEXTURES available to everyone from the SL LIBRARY folder in your INVENTORY. You can enhance your SL garments by adding your own custom TEXTURES to make the APPEARANCE garments more unique. You can add custom tattoos and unique avatar clothing by getting a set of UV MAP files  and using a program like Photoshop or Gimp [free] to create custom clothing for your avatar, and finally you can add loads of fashion items by learning to use the BUILD tool in SL. You can make single and multiple linked prims that turn into shoes, hair, belts, necklaces, earrings, bracelets, pins and lots of other customized fashion accessories.

BASIC CLOTHING FROM THE APPEARANCE MENU

The fist and most simple way to make clothing in Second Life is to create garments in the APPEARANCE menu. When you create articles of clothing using the APPEARANCE you can save each individual article of new clothing you create before you exit the APPEARANCE menu. Here is a YOUTUBE video from Torley Linden that introduces you to using APPEARANCE.

 

BASICS: Editing your appearance – Second Life Video TuTORial

When you are in the APPEARANCE MENU you can add colors and tints to your garment and you can access the universal Second Life LIBRARY folder in your inventory to place a TEXTURE file on to the garment you are creating. The TEXTURES in your LIBRARY folder are available to everyone in Second Life. You can also create your own custom textures and upload them to SL for L$10. You will notice that some texture files do not have all over texture patterns on them – they are shaped and formed like your avatar. These are custom avatar garments that were created using UV maps of your avatar. If you received some textures or custom garments for free in Second Life – you should take note of the fact that some of the file permissions for these items may be set to no-copy or no- modify or no-transfer.  You can easily see what the file permissions are set to by right mouse clicking on the file in your INVENTORY and reviewing the permissions That is why it is best to create your own content in SL  – because then “you” can set all the permissions. Previously set file permissions are the reason why you may run into a bit of confusion and difficulty if you try to make modifications to UV garments you either purchased or got for free in SL and try to save additional copies in APPEARANCE by making an outfit or try to make a copy of the file from your INVENTORY or try to give [transfer] it to someone else.

New articles of clothing you create in SL are all located in your CLOTHING folder in your INVENTORY. Fashion items you got for free or purchased may be placed into your INVENTORY in it’s own folder. You can mouse-click and drag any other folder containing fashion outfits  to be a sub-folder in your clothing folder. You can easily rename any file you created in your INVENTORY by right clicking on it and selecting RENAME.  You can create a new SUB-FOLDER under your CLOTHING FOLDER by right mouse clicking on your CLOTHING FOLDER and selecting NEW FOLDER and naming it. You can move the files by dragging and dropping them to a new location.

WEAR & TAKE OFF CLOTHING FROM APPEARANCE

To wear an article of clothing from your inventory – right click on the file and select WEAR. There are multiple ways to take an article of clothing off that was created in APPEARANCE. You can go to EDIT>TAKE OFF CLOTHING>SELECT THE ARTICLE YOU WANT TO TAKE OFF; you can right mouse click on your avatar and select TAKE OFF>CLOTHES>SELECT THE ITEM TO REMOVE or you can right click on the files itself in your inventory and select TAKE OFF.

Here is a link to a video I just created that will review for you how to organize your CLOTHING folder in SL. Organize Your Clothing Folder in Second Life.

Next post will provide and overview of TEXTURES in SL.

Virtual Fashion FRI Spring/Summer 2010 Courses

© 2008 All Rights Reserved.

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