Vol.1 No.2

July 2003

Alberti's Window at the AAPT Summer Meeting, Madison, WI


Join in the excitement and educational importance of 3D-motion analysis with an in-depth perspective on using Motion Visualizer 3D in the classroom. Come to our free, 2-hour workshop at the AAPT Summer Meeting in Madison, Wisconsin. Nathan Kimball and Steve Cremer will demonstrate many possibilities for enhancing your curriculum using Motion Visualizer 3D both for standard classical motion studies such as projectile motion, and by studying motions that could not easily be studied before, such as gymnastics, and juggling. Everyone will have a "hands on" opportunity with all aspects of the system including setup, data recording, and analysis. Nathan and Steve will also discuss using Motion Visualizer 3D for demonstrations and student investigations.

The workshop is taking place on Tuesday, August 5, 2003 from 8:00 - 10:00 AM in Meeting Room K of the Monona Terrace.

For more information, please see the AAPT page on the Alberti's Window website.


Alberti's Window is also exhibiting at the AAPT Summer Meeting Exhibition Hall. Please visit us at booth #207 to see Motion Visualizer 3D's new features.

Also in this Issue:

Product News and Development

New Features

Product development is continuing here at Alberti's Window. New software features, to be shown at the summer AAPT meeting, include a one camera 2D mode, multiple color options, adjustable signal averaging, and changeable minimum object size:

  • One camera/2D mode—allows for simplified setup in situations where 2D is adequate, and also makes it easy to record motions remotely on a camcorder and later extract the data by playing the tape into Motion Visualizer 3D.
  • Selectable tracking object color—for those of you presenting on Valentine's Day (when everyone wears red) or in a difficult color environment, you can now select red, yellow, cyan, or blue as the color to track.
  • Adjustable signal averaging—allows the user to adjust, from 3 to 9, the number of points involved in calculations. This adjustment can improve accuracy of data in situations of rapidly changing or noisy data.
  • Changeable minimum object size—Motion Visualizer 3D can now track objects as small as 1/4 degree versus 1/2 degree previously. The "minimum object size" is selectable to better prevent small interfering objects, reflections, and artifacts from creating motion tracking problems.

New Accessories

We now have a single-use battery pack available. We find the battery pack very useful for working outdoors, for example, in sports motion tracking applications. The battery pack powers the VP01 for approximately 45 hours. Cost is just $25.00.
We now include a pair of brightly colored gloves with the Motion Visualizer 3D package. These one-size-fits-all, flexible nylon gloves are useful for tracking hand motion in many common activities such as walking, twirling a yo-yo, and juggling. We even used one of these gloves to track the motion of a baseball pitcher. If you are an existing customer, please call or email us to receive two gloves for free.
We have also located a sporting goods store that sells brightly colored soccer balls for about $25.00. Call us for ordering information, or, if you prefer, we can ship you one for cost plus shipping.

New Activities

We are working with Ricardo Nemirovsky, of TERC, and Apolinario Barros of the Burke School in Boston, on two new units of activities. Field trials this spring in Apolinario's class, that involved generating "Model" data and comparing it to "Experimental" data, were very exciting.

Amy Picard's Physics Class

Paul, Nathan, and David enjoyed spending time this spring with the students of Amy Picard, who has been using Motion Visualizer 3D in her physics classes. Amy has taught physics at Newton North High School, Newton, MA, for five years, since graduating from Wellesley College. How did Amy get interested in teaching physics? Read more about Amy in the Winter 2003 "Education Edition" of the Wellesley magazine.

During the past school year, Amy had each student choose an individual "Capstone Project", in which a motion of particular interest to the student became the subject of an investigation. Some of the topics that involved the use of Motion Visualizer 3D were gymnastics, basketball, soccer, and bowling.

Here we see three of Amy's students capturing the flight of a free-throw and a three-point shot in basketball. The students analyzed and compared data, then created a graph that displayed the flight of each ball from the initial shot to the point that the ball fell through the basket. The ease of use and excellent data quality of Motion Visualizer 3D enabled students to investigate aspects of their own world, leading them to greater engagement in their studies.

Amy presented some of her curricular work at the spring meeting of the New England section of the AAPT, at Williams College. We all look forward to working again with Amy and her students next school year. Much more information about Amy and her class will soon be posted on our website.

Company Update

Thanks to support from the National Science Foundation, we now have two undergraduate students working with us for the summer. Our interns are working primarily on development of new activities for physics and physical science classes. Wellesley College sophomore, Karen Chan, and Worcester Polytechnic Institute senior, Charles Chretien, are exploring and developing activities in the study of motion. Potential topics include ping-pong, the "body as pendulum", and the motion of water over a waterfall.

We selected Karen and Charles from an outstanding group of applicants. We hope to involve more undergraduates next summer. If you have a student(s) you think would benefit from spending their summer working with us, please let us know.

In the Pipeline

We are researching potential uses for Motion Visualizer 3D in sports applications. Find out the result of using Motion Visualizer 3D to track the pitching motion of several young pitchers on a local youth baseball team in our next newsletter.

Also in the next newsletter, award winning physics teacher Steve Cremer begins a column about his philosophy of teaching and how Motion Visualizer 3D benefits all students.

Work with Alberti's Window!

Do you enjoy making presentations? Or developing activities? Contact us for details and learn about getting actively involved with Alberti's Window.

Previous Newsletters:

March 3, 2003