mit media labs


I’ve working with a team at the MIT Media Lab for a month now on a project to make commissioning artists as easy as possible. We call it PortrayIt and we are looking for our first wave of artists before launch. 

The idea behind PortrayIt is simple: Bring the audiences and the artists to one place. Designed by and for artists. 

The first step is the artists. 

Who can join? Anyone with figure-focused artwork! Artists are juried to maintain quality and to keep variety. 

With this site:

- We’re helping to standardize the commission process and prices, keep things fair for all artists and prevent undercutting. 
- Cutting out the “popularity contest” that comes with traditionally posting on social media with the use of filters. We’re making it easier for customers to find the artist for them without depending on follower count/reblogs/retweets/shares.
- Provide an efficient and easy to use platform, one that is still accommodating to both the artist and customer of all levels of experience with commissions.  
-Artists still have control over their own process, all rights to their work, and pricing. All while maintaining the interpersonal experience that comes with a commission.
- Through the site both the artist and client have accountability and helps to make the process is transparent as possible.
- No sign up fees, no membership charges, no risks. 

Email me with a link to your art (portfolio site/blog/IG/etc)  at for info on how to join up. Spots are limited and juried, so the sooner the better! 

(please boost!)

Bitcoin micropayments: Coming to smartphones—and toasters?—everywhere

Micropayments might not top your list of most compelling inventions, but they’re a sought-after capability. Small payments of less than a dollar, or even less than a cent, have the potential to shake up old, established business models, and open up new doors for the Internet of Everything.

Small digital payments have been tried again and again—in fact, Web inventor Tim Berners-Lee tried to embed micropayment capability into the original World Wide Web, but without success. So far, inherent transaction costs have been an unsurpassable hurdle.

Some argue that digital payment methods like bitcoin are the way forward.

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MIT Media Lab video John Maeda @johnmaeda


Perceiving Light at Trillion Frames per second !!

I have shown these gifs time and again to people, but they don’t believe me at first when i tell them that this is indeed Light, at a staggering Trillion Frames per second! This was achieved by a technique known as femto-photography at MIT Media Lab.

Is that really how a single photon of light looks?

Unfortunately no! If the experiment was conducted with just one single photon, or with a very small amount of photons, a complete picture of the interaction of the light could not be achieved.

So, what you are actually seeing are Pulses! Pulses contain many photons and the photons interact with each other as well. 

Ergo, this is indeed Light- Light that travels at 299 792 458 m / s captured by Human Intelligence! Wows me every single time!

Thirsty for more?

Check out the TED Talk by Ramesh Raskar.

Wearable Device Reads Text for the Blind

FingerReader is a wearable ring that scans written text and reads it out loud to visually impaired readers.

The prototype is created by MIT Media Lab’s Fluid Interfaces Group.  As readers trace lines of text with their finger, the camera determines the words on the page and translates the text to speech to recite each word out loud to the reader. The ring will vibrate if the user’s finger starts to shift off the correct line of text, or if they’ve reached the end of the line.

When moving to a new line, the device compares the words it’s already processed to make sure it doesn’t repeat a piece of text.

While only in the prototype stage, if successful, this piece of wearable tech could render braille books obsolete.  What other types of technology have you see that help those with disabilities?

What are “Knotty Objects?” Next week’s MIT Media Lab​ summit explores the idea of four objects—the brick, the bitcoin, the steak, and the phone—that entangle practices, processes, and policies. When successful, they’re transformative. MoMA curator Paola Antonelli collaborated with Neri Oxman and Kevin Slavin of the MIT Media Lab to organize this summit, which will convene designers, scientists, authors, and curators to explore design at the intersection of science, engineering, and cultural production. You can join in remotely via live streams of events and by searching the hashtag #knottyobjects. 

Map Your Mind While Cycling with MindRider

Riding your bike in the city can be a stressful experience. Avoiding traffic, pedestrians and dogs off their leash requires a tremendous amount of focus and courage. Imagine being able to map your bike routes to show not just where you’ve travelled but your state of mind getting there. This is the intent of a wearable project called MindRider.

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30 years after freezing his legs off, a man finally enjoys his favorite activity with bionic prosthetics.

This definitely shows that diversity in STEM benefits us all, even fukken-a-white-males. Let’s meet the strong, independent woman of color who made it possi…


Not only it’s a guy, a White guy, but it’s also the same guy.

Hugh Herr, PhD; director of the Biomechatronics group at The MIT Media Lab.

Men are titans.

Girls, either deal with it, or join in. The treehouse headquarters of cigar-chomping cabal of misogynists “Let’s Make The World a Better Place” has been open for a couple centuries now. All what you need is a) good heart, and b) deep, VERY deep dedication.

Oppression points don’t count.

Tomorrow: Follow MIT Media Lab’s Knotty Objects design summit, organized in collaboration with MoMA curator Paola Antonelli, via streaming video and #knottyobjects on social media. The summit will bring together designers, scientists, engineers, makers, writers, curators, and scholars to discuss four complex, omnipresent objects, along with the rich stories they can tell.

A hairy situation

Software from an MIT Media Lab-led research team has successfully enable quick and easy 3D printing of hairs, furs and other dense arrays of fine features on a conventional 3D printer, bypassing the use of CAD software to draw thousands of individual hairs that require lengthy computational time.

The software, titled Cilllia, allows the user to define the angle, thickness, density and height of hairs quickly.

The MIT team, led by graduate student Jifei Ou, argue that 3D-printed hair could fulfil tasks that have evaded previous 3D-printed materials including adhesion. To demonstrate the adhesive qualities, the team printed array that act as Velcro-like bristle pads.

Ou commented, ‘The ability to fabricate customised hair-like structures not only expands the library of 3D-printed shapes, but also enables us to design alternative actuators and sensors. 3D-printed hair can be used for designing everyday interactive objects.’

IDEO designer Kelly Schaefer remarked, ‘Perhaps more inspiring than any single output from this team is the idea of rethinking the 3D printing process itself, and the purpose of 3D-printed objects. The Cilllia team has challenged some of the current constraints of 3D printing processes, which makes me wonder what other constraints can be challenged and potentially eliminated.’
The Next Phase of Wearable Tech: Tattoos (VIDEO)

Click the above link to see video

The video introduces DuoSkin, a new piece of wearable tech co-developed by MIT Media Lab and Microsoft Research. It’s a fantastic idea: a paint-on temporary tattoo with circuitry that makes it an on-skin interface with three practical applications. 

It’s a trackpad, it’s a display, and it can hold data.

The tattoos use near-field communication to connect with other devices. This is the same protocol your phone uses for cashless payments at stores and gas stations. The tattoos are made from gold leaf, a benign-for-your-body material you may have even eaten as a decoration on a fancy chocolate.

The tattoos work as displays capable of changing in response to body temperature or feelings—mood tattoos, essentially. They also hold data, so it’s easy to imagine something like DuoSkin replacing, for instance, boarding passes and movie tickets on your phone.

That said, this would all mean nothing if this particular type of wearable tech didn’t look like something someone would want to wear. With metallic gold and silver geometric patterns, though, they’re just flashy enough to potentially be on trend. They’d make quite the personal statement even before you switched them on.