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You're fine. These trees really ARE talking to you

  • This week's 5 most fantastic innovations and ideas!
  • Trees come to life in wild, imaginative outdoor project
  • Robot paints your dreams while you sleep. Cool or creepy?
Trees come to life in wild, imaginative outdoor project

Editor's Note: Karyn Lu is Turner Broadcasting's manager of New Media Insights & Inspiration. Each week, she scouts out amazing innovations, cutting edge technology and, well, just really awesome stuff and shares them right here. Before it goes mainstream, it's going to be one of her favorite 5 Things From The Future!

1. Talking trees light up Hyde Park

It looks like a scene out of a sci-fi flick, but in Sydney’s Hyde Park, artist Craig Walsh has literally made the trees come to life. Walsh projects animated versions of people’s faces onto treetops for a hugely eerie effect. Moreover, these animated tree-faces actually talk to you and tell you about the park’s history as a place of protest. Hey, you’d be much more likely to listen to a talking tree than a tour guide, right?

2. Water projection is 'stunningly ethereal'

Have you seen how amazing water projection mapping looks yet? It’s a simple, but beautiful twist on projecting video mapped onto a building (if you don’t know what I’m talking about here, check out Ralph Lauren’s 4D projection mapping example). Somehow, when you do the same thing onto a wall of water, the effect is stunningly ethereal.

Check out this campaign from Nissan Canada, where the video was projected onto a 120-foot wall of water, pumping 3,300 liters of water per minute into the air to create a “screen.”  Just watch; it’s something that must be seen with your own eyes to understand the effect.

3. Going shopping? Be sure to bring your Big Brother

When you’re in a public space like a mall, do you still expect a certain level of privacy? Would you give up some of it willingly in order to get recommendations that are customized for you? At a shopping mall in Seoul, South Korea, a series of 26 new kiosks are testing those very limits.

The kiosks, which are each composed of a large LCD screen, two cameras and a motion detector, are designed to use facial recognition software to approximate your gender and age, and to make recommendations based on those detections –- say, a jewelry store (if you’re a middle-aged woman) or a steakhouse (if you’re a man looking for food). How do you think this type of technology would go over in a U.S. mall?

4. Does your door knob recognize your hand?

What if everything around us was smart enough to know who we are, not through a login password, but merely by touch? Using a technique called “Capacitive Fingerprinting,” researchers are currently working on an ID technology that does just that.

Essentially, by measuring the way the biochemical makeup of your body interacts with certain frequencies, the system can identify who you are just by your touch. So, whether it’s playing a game with three other friends on a touch screen (where the system knows exactly who’s making what move) to –- more excitingly -– the possibility of making “dumb” objects smart (e.g., your door knob knows who you are & only turns for you). The future may literally be at our fingertips!

5. The painting of your dreams. Literally.

Spend a night in a hotel, and leave with a personalized painting derived from your sleep patterns? It may sound strange, but if a piece of “sleep art” sounds appealing to you, check out one of the Ibis chain hotels in London. Their “Sleep Art Project” literally measures your sleep patterns (nocturnal sounds, temperatures and movements recorded by your sensor-equipped bed) and sends them to a robot who will literally create a personalized acrylic painting based on these inputs.

Creepy concept, or totally unique takeaway from your vacation experience? What do you think?

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