Smartphones Acting In Concert, At A Concert

An MIT engineer has designed a system that links phones together wirelessly, creating a network of shared cameras and, potentially, thousands of different photos to choose from.

What's the Latest Development?

MIT engineer Eyal Toledano has built a software system, CoSync, that links smartphones together via Bluetooth or wi-fi, allowing their users to share cameras, microphones, and other phone features. In a demonstration, six phones were connected to a master phone, which instructed each phone's camera when to take a picture. The resulting photos created by this network of cameras "evenly [lit] subjects and [avoided] washed out, overexposed images." Toledano says that camera flashes controlled in this way could also provide unique lighting, among other photo effects.

What's the Big Idea?

A wireless local area network comprised of smartphones could prove beneficial in several ways. Consultant David Uhler says CoSync would offer an enhanced experience to audience members at a concert or sporting event: "Could you get a virtual front-row experience while sitting at the back? Could you be the spectator that catches the most epic play ever?" Additionally, people in volatile settings, such as war zones and disaster situations, could set up a network quickly to assist aid workers.

Faraways /

Read it at NewScientist

Car culture and suburbs grow right-wing populism, claims study

New research links urban planning and political polarization.

Politics & Current Affairs
  • Canadian researchers find that excessive reliance on cars changes political views.
  • Decades of car-centric urban planning normalized unsustainable lifestyles.
  • People who prefer personal comfort elect politicians who represent such views.
Keep reading Show less

How to split the USA into two countries: Red and Blue

Progressive America would be half as big, but twice as populated as its conservative twin.

Image: Dicken Schrader
Strange Maps
  • America's two political tribes have consolidated into 'red' and 'blue' nations, with seemingly irreconcilable differences.
  • Perhaps the best way to stop the infighting is to go for a divorce and give the two nations a country each
  • Based on the UN's partition plan for Israel/Palestine, this proposal provides territorial contiguity and sea access to both 'red' and 'blue' America
Keep reading Show less

NASA astronomer Michelle Thaller on ​the multiple dimensions of space and human sexuality

Science and the squishiness of the human mind. The joys of wearing whatever the hell you want, and so much more.

Flickr / 13winds
Think Again Podcasts
  • Why can't we have a human-sized cat tree?
  • What would happen if you got a spoonful of a neutron star?
  • Why do we insist on dividing our wonderfully complex selves into boring little boxes
Keep reading Show less