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The Wrap: 5 March

Case in point

Personalised iPhone cases are nothing new — we’ve all seen Angry Birds splashed across these protectors, or crazy rabbit ears protruding from the top of them. Now 3D printing is stepping up the level of phone case chic. Individuals who own 3D printers are making their own cases or small promotional runs of them. But Fraemes is hitting Kickstarter with a snazzy new way to get cool designs and swap them out.

They’re interchangeable because the design is an insert that goes with a separate rubber bumper. It’s the latter piece that’s set the venture on the crowdfunding road. Fraemes has partnered with 150 young designers and you can also opt for your own work of art.

Out of body, in the machine

A Spanish group aims to show us what it’s like to be in the body of another person. Unfortunately that doesn’t mean we’ll get the body of a supermodel or a top athlete, because this is a virtual experience that makes use of head mounted goggles.

The Machine to be Another experiment is a Creative Commons project that lets users move around in a view brought to the by another goggle-wearing user, at the same time listening to their thoughts on what they see. Whether it’s a wheelchair user finding out what it’s like to stand or a daughter getting insights on her mother’s life, the performance installation is about promoting empathy for other cultures and ideologies.

We know where you live

Among the endless stream of location-based apps coming out with helpful yet stalkerish ideas is Connect, which drags the traditional alphabetised paper address index into the digital age. It’s billed as a living address book because it puts your social network friends on the map and lets you know when they’re in your town and could pay you a visit.

If you really want to make close contact with someone, you can tell them where you’ll be and for how long, from your desktop or mobile.

In sweet harmony with the WOOTube

The World Online Orchestra brings together a community of musicians who want to hear classical music performed in new ways. Now it’s gone even more modern by raising US$30,000 on Kickstarter to take the idea further. The collaborators want to develop the beta version so instead of exploring and and experiencing a work’s pared-back parts, listeners can become participants and play along, co-creating music via their brower.

The creators say they want to develop the WOOTube. “Our work will focus on the process of converting audio and video captured by webcam or other attached hardware into a binary stream directed into the WOO server, where it is mixed with meta-data, and reassembled into a functioning member of the WOO systems.”

Amanda Sachtleben is an Auckland writer and social media type, who's also Idealog's former tech editor and business journalist.

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