Creating Fresh Perspectives in Drawing

Creating Fresh Perspectives in Drawing

Julie Dorsey, founder of Mental Canvas, said the software drew upon some 10 years of research in her lab.

photo by João-Pierre S. Ruth

3D Art Born from 2D Sketches

3D Art Born from 2D Sketches

Drawings done with Mental Canvas can become scenes with many layers to be explored.

photo by João-Pierre S. Ruth

Talking to Dinosaurs Can Be Educational

Talking to Dinosaurs Can Be Educational

Donald Coolidge, CEO of Elemental Path, demoed the CogniToys Dino---a speech-based, Wi-Fi-connected toy with AI that learns how to respond to the child who plays with it. This can include telling stories, playing games, and answering questions.

photo by João-Pierre S. Ruth

An Effort for More Inclusiveness in Tech

An Effort for More Inclusiveness in Tech

Aliya Merali, from the Coalition for Queens (C4Q), spoke about her nonprofit's efforts to get the local tech community to be more diverse and inclusive. C4Q runs a program called Access Code that provides free lessons in tech for adults of diverse backgrounds.

“Our cohort is at least 50 percent women, at least 50 percent Black or Hispanic, and at least 50 percent folks without four-year college degrees,” she said.

photo by João-Pierre S. Ruth

Hack of the Month: Neverlate

Hack of the Month: Neverlate

Ayuna Vogel, Eric Sze, and Charles Kang (l-r), developed the Neverlate app under the Access Code program. Neverlate encourages people who are chronically tardy to show up on time by billing them fees if they do not arrive at the appointed hour for events, meetings, and gatherings.

photo by João-Pierre S. Ruth

Understanding How Brands and Audience Connect

Understanding How Brands and Audience Connect

CEO Tania Yuki talked about how Shareablee measures and analyzes interactions the public has with brands, celebrities, and media properties on social networks. Shareablee tracks some 120,000 properties, she said, and the platform is used by marketers and advertisers.

photo by João-Pierre S. Ruth

Dynamic Reviews and Booking

Dynamic Reviews and Booking

DIDiT, said CEO David Paschkes, is a platform that aggregates content reviews from publishers, celebrities, and experts so people get comprehensive details about events and places where they may want to book outings.

photo by João-Pierre S. Ruth

Learning How to Get Ahead

Learning How to Get Ahead

Workers need to know what skills they should pursue to further their careers, said Virgil's CEO and founder Ron Mitchell. His app and enterprise platform assesses people's skills and behavior to help them figure out what training they need to become more competitive.

photo by João-Pierre S. Ruth

Sharing the Burden for Party Planning

Sharing the Burden for Party Planning

Funnster, said CEO Amnon Israel, is an app that helps sort out who is bringing what to parties and events---and makes sure everyone chips in. That could eliminate habitual moochers who show up empty-handed, or parties where everyone brings buns, but no burgers.

photo by João-Pierre S. Ruth

Welcome to the 3D Factory

Welcome to the 3D Factory

Co-founder Jonathan Schwartz spoke about Voodoo Manufacturing, a mass production, 3D printing service born from a group of veterans from MakerBot Industries.

photo by João-Pierre S. Ruth

Making Trades from Most Anywhere

Making Trades from Most Anywhere

Henry Schwab (l) and Roko Sinovcic (r) said Trade It has developed APIs that can be used to let people make stock trades from existing brokerage accounts while they are using other apps and websites that provide news and info on the stock market.

photo by João-Pierre S. Ruth

Keeping Tabs on the Council

Keeping Tabs on the Council

Councilmatic, said David Moore, is a platform for keeping track of city council hearings and testimony to increase participation in the lawmaking process. The site shows bills, upcoming meetings, and other relevant information, which can include minutes from committee sessions.

photo by João-Pierre S. Ruth

Judging by the audience’s reaction, people who visit the New York Tech Meetup want to draw in new dimensions, talk to dinosaurs, and make their friends pay money if they are chronically late to events.

Those were a few of the extremely varied demos (see slideshow) presented this week at the monthly gathering for new ideas in technology. While there was no common element to neatly tie them all together, there were several familiar faces.

Voodoo Manufacturing, for instance, talked up its Brooklyn-based factory that uses a fleet of desktop 3D printers for mass production. Shareablee, seen at last month’s NYTM Women’s Demo Night, brought its social media insights to the stage.

Mental Canvas, which also presented at Women’s Demo Night, though led the audience on Tuesday into a digital realm where two-dimensional drawings can become 3D scenes to be explored.

Developed from some 10 years of research in her lab, Julie Dorsey, computer science professor at Yale, said Mental Canvas is an overdue evolution of sketches and drawings. “While computer technology has revolutionized text, photography, and music, drawing has largely remained unchanged,” she said.

Software to create digital drawings has been around for quite a while, but Dorsey said those program typically try to simulate drawing on paper, with a few added features such as panning and zooming. Mental Canvas lets artists pull out elements of their two-dimensional creations to give them visual depth and perspectives not seen before. Different points of view can be explored, which could be used in architectural drawings, Dorsey said.

A digital illustrated book, “The Other Side” by Istvan Banyai, uses Mental Canvas to create interactive pages that show different takes on the same scene. For instance, a pool can be seen from both above and below the surface of the water. Mental Canvas will be available to the public “soon” Dorsey said, and she believes there are many ways the software could open the door for new methods of design. “Drawing is basic to exploring ideas, creating new knowledge, and design new products,” she said.