Episode 154 – Heroic Wearable Brain Robots

Michael and Michael share their insight on games for good, specifically on games that have an additional benefit to the fun of playing them.  Sea Hero Quest is a game sponsored by Deutsche Telekom together with University College London, University of East Anglia and Alzheimer’s Research to help with early diagnosis of dementia.  Michael and Michael discuss the possibilities of a software layer which could be placed on top of (or alongside) other games that could capture similar data points for researchers.

The pair then turn to wearables, and the interesting way that mobile and Internet of Things devices can be used for purposes such as the detection of earthquakes as exemplified by the MyQuake Android app, and how quantified self wearables can be harnessed for similar data capture and analysis.

Recalling the Douglas Adams quote of how to fly, and that walking really is controlled falling, Michael and Michael watch the video (above) of the Boston Dynamics Atlas robot walk across a treacherous field — pretty amazing.

Speaking of amazing, Michael R has found a puzzle game like no other either Michael have played before called TraptionBakery — where you attempt to bake a loaf of bread, Rube Goldberg machine-style.  Check it out!

selected links 

Sea Hero Quest — http://www.seaheroquest.com/en/
Techcrunch article:  Neurotrack Brain Scans — https://techcrunch.com/2016/12/01/neurotrack-takes-brain-scans-home/
Neurotrack — https://www.neurotrack.com/
Techcrunch article:  Motorola wont release a new smartwatch anytime soon — https://techcrunch.com/2016/12/01/motorola/
MacRumors article:  Fitbit reportedly close to acquiring Pebble — http://www.macrumors.com/2016/11/30/fitbit-buying-pebble/
Techcrunch article:  Earthquake sensing mobile app, MyShake — https://techcrunch.com/2016/12/01/earthquake-sensing-mobile-app-myshake-captures-hundreds-of-temblors-large-and-small/
Washington Post article:  What personal fitness trackers tell us about earthquakes —   https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/the-intersect/wp/2014/08/25/what-personal-fitness-trackers-like-jawbone-tell-us-about-earthquakes-public-health-and-just-about-anything-else
TechCrunch article: Boston Dynamics’ Atlas robot walks over rubble — https://techcrunch.com/2016/12/01/atlas/

Games the hosts are playing 

Michael R — TraptionBakery by ProperBostin — http://www.properbostin.com/traption_bakery/
Post & video on the building of the game — http://www.properbostin.com/anoraks/tb/index.html

Michael M — Dungeon Boss by Big Fish Games — https://itunes.apple.com/app/dungeon-boss/id776132132?mt=8
join the guild “Knights of the Shrubbery”

Play

Email handling

This will NOT be a political post.  Over the last few years, the world has gone insane.  It has become obvious, at least to me, that people are using more and more technology that don’t have a clue how it works.  Governments, companies, and hackers are enjoying this, as many people don’t understand what data is stored where, and how that data is handled or secured.  Many people are willing to give up all of their privacy just to play a game (if you don’t believe this, take a look at how many of the freemium games on your phone “require” you to either be connected and/or have location tracking turned on).  A whole generation of consumers have given up on the whole idea of privacy online.

I was listening to a security podcast recently and they discussed the idea that we’ve all become overwhelmed with our own security requirements.  Many people have just given up on trying to stay up to date on their security and privacy settings.  When was the last time you have checked your Facebook security and privacy settings. Companies, like Facebook, assert the right to change their settings and defaults at any time, and as such just keeping up with those changes could be a full time job. 

By default, email is inherently an insecure protocol on the internet.   In order to route email between end points the meta data is not corrected.  So you already give up privacy on who you are sending email to.  Most email users will not change their settings to actually encrypt their email content.  

Over the years, I have used PGP encryption in my emails.  PGP is an example of public key encryption, which will allow you to encrypt the email content and ensure the receiver that the email has not been changed in transit, as well as ensure that it actually came from you.  However, for some reason, every time I upgrade my operating system my PGP tool fails, as they  must be hooked into the OS land thereby lag in compatibility. This is an unacceptable outcome for the average consumer.

I believe we need to change the fundemantal architecture for email to make encryption, security and privacy the default setting.  It may take another 10 years or more to migrate the web to this architecture, as we have the problem with defaults – most people don’t change them.  What do you think?

Gaming the Bots!

As podcasters, @carolinabigblue and @michaelrowe01 have been pretty lucky.  We’ve been doing this between different shows since 2006.  I guess that makes us old timers in the world of podcasting.  In that time we’ve had the pleasure of having @Veronica Belmont on our show, and meeting her in person at least twice.  This has been a challenge given that the epicenter of podcasting appears to be San Francisco, and we are located in RTP, NC.

When we heard that she was moving into the world bots as a product manager for growbot, we just had to check it out.  Growbot monitors slack channels that you invite it to and captures metrics about employee performance.  As drones in the corporate world, our three co-hosts all have to deal with the periodic rankings and appraisals, and I for one am really bad at keeping track of all the positive things people tell me about work I am doing.   Imagine if Growbot could do that for me?

Of course, systems like this do have a challenge, people can game the system.  I tested this when I sent a “kudos” message as a repsonse to “kudos” I had received.  And growbot was smart enough to see what I was doing.


This was a fun test, and I loved the emoji that they are using for NO!

The other thought I had while playing with Growbot over the last few weeks is all about Flair.  If you’ve seen the movie “Office Space”, Jennifer Aniston’s character works at a theme restaurant where the servers are required to have buttons on their vests.  The buttons are considered “flair”.  She get’s a dressing down for not having enough flair on her vest.  I worry that if there is large corporate adoption of bots like growbot, we will end up with competitive situations where managers give you a dressing down for not having enough “kudos” this week.

In the mean time, I am enjoying playing with growbot on our podcast slack.  And I am sure that as they enhance the bot it will be more fun to figure out what makes a positive comment and what makes a negative.

What bots are you playing with lately?

Gotta engage ’em all – Pokemon Go for HR

Pokemon Go splash page

A tweet from earlier this week resonated with me — and a few others. Holger Müller ( @holgermu ) shared the following post: “Best line on #DisruptTV so far – @mikeettling – Waiting for PokemonGo app for HR – catch talent or a leader. ;-)”

Such an HR app would not just be focused solely on catching, it would include engaging and retaining as well. Novel ways of catching the attention of prospective employees, whether through puzzles, code breaking or alternate reality games have worked well, and augmented reality lends itself well as a technology to do the same. What would employee engagement and retention look like through the use of augmented reality? How could augmented reality be used for aligning strategy to employee action? What if there was a new product line that required a different sales approach… Could this HR app be used to identify ideas for how to attract the right kinds of people who are most aligned to the offering and sales approach?

Much to think about… What are your ideas?

Stay alert at all times and be aware of your surroundings!  Happy hunting.

Blog posts verses podcasts

Hi!  Your co-host and co-founder of GamesAtWork.Biz here – Michael R.  I know we’ve not been very good lately at posting shows and I wanted to just drop a note to say we are still around.  For some reason 2016 has been crazy for all of us at GamesAtWork.biz.  Crazy with Travel, Crazy with day jobs, and Crazy in our personal lives. One of the big questions I have is, as a listener to this podcast would you be interested if we posted some blog posts on those weeks when we are unable to record a show?  I know we’ve talked about posting reviews for games we are playing… but haven’t had time to get around to them, so I am not promising anything; however, would it be interesting if we get our co-hosts to post about events we are attending, games we are playing, and/or other interesting things that come to our minds.  Let us know what you think.  Hit us up on twitter, drop us an email, comment on this post, or rate us on the iTunes Store.  Thanks… now back to your regularly scheduled weekend.

Snow, Ice, and Podcasting

Snow Dragon Say's "No show this week!"

Snow Dragon Say’s “No show this week!”


Well, We’ve started off the year in a roaring fashion, between CES (you can find out more over at Michael’s blog), lots of travel, and this week’s east coast Snow and Ice.

We hope to be back up to full strength soon! So in the mean time why not drop us a comment or tweet and tell us what are you playing.

A Thankful Post

While we are not recording a show this week, it is the U.S. holiday of Thanksgiving this week, we do want to take a minute to say thank you to all of our listeners and guests. Without each of you, this podcast would not be possible (well technically we could sit in a room or on Skype and record a conversation). Your input, feedback and support mean a lot to us. Each week that we hear from you via email, twitter, Facebook or even on this site, let’s us know that this podcast is worth while. it is in that spirit that we will be expanding our format to include more tech topics. While we still are big supports and fans of gamefication technology – it has become apparent that this may be too narrow of a niche. What do you think? Drop us a note and let us know.

Episode 126 – Reconfigure

This week Michael R. is really excited to have long time friend and friend of the show Ian Hughes on the show. We talk about his new book “Reconfigure” – A techno-thriller about Roisin Kincade, a talented full stack programmer, who enters a brave new world after accidentally tweeting out a command… and the Twitterverse responds! This is a very fast paced read that addresses many of the thoughts and concepts we talk about here at Games At Work… And we’d love to hear your thoughts about it. Also, don’t forget to follow Ian on twitter at @epredator

Show Links:
Reconfigure
The Martian
Terminator Genisys
Amazon’s Physical Book Store

Play

Crossy Road for the new AppleTV

Crossy Roads for AppleTV

with the new AppleTV released on Friday, one of the most exciting games I was looking forward to playing was multiplayer Crossy Road, partially because of my memory of playing competitive Mario Brothers on the Apple ][ and partially because my kids just love playing the game and unlocking new characters.  It was with great anticipation for my kids to get the AppleTV set up — which was very easy to do with the iPhone, as was the installation of the app from the AppleTV store.  What proved to be more challenging was getting the iOS device to be recognized by the AppleTV for the second player to control their Crossy Road character.  Looking on the web for help, there were some good articles, such as the one from iMore, however there was one important tip that the Crossy Road app itself pointed out, but in our zeal to play, we had ignored.

in order for the AppleTV to recognize the iOS device, they both need to be on the same WiFi network.  in our home setup, I have the AppleTV hardwired with an ethernet connection to the router so as to help with bringing down movies in the absolute fastest possible way, and because the AppleTV was smart enough to recognize the ethernet wire, it did not enable a wireless connection.  Then, once we had rebooted the AppleTV on WiFi, restarted Crossy Road and selected two player, the iOS device was recognized, and as they say, hilarity ensued.  the kids proceeded to play, pushing one another’s characters into oncoming trucks and the water, giggling and laughing.

 

 

Getting All Emotiv(tional)

Co-Host Michael R here … it seems that things keep conspiring against the cohosts getting together to record a show, so I thought a quick blog post of things going on would be helpful.
Emotiv Insight Box
First – this week both Michaels received their Emotiv Insight headsets. We are both iOS users for our cell phones, so we are in a bit of a quandary. Tan and the team over at Emotiv, had a great Kickstarter that we both supported and this past week the headset arrived. Unfortunately for us both, Apple recently changed their BTLE implementation which broke the iOS app for the headset. At this time they are expecting to be able to ship the iOS app sometime in August.
This got me to thinking… Can I still capture the data on the headset and then upload it to the app in August? I had a very bad set of migraines over the last few days, and it would be amazing if I could see how my brain was behaving during the migraine. To be honest, this is one of the reasons I got the new headset… I want to be able to start quantifying my headaches, and aligning them to the data from the headset.
I was also excited to that a local company had an app for the headset. Neuro+ is a local company that is looking at how ADHD can be addressed in kids. To that end they are using the headset in a new game. I tried to download the game, but was disappointed to learn that I needed to sign up for a monthly service to even try it out. (Yes, they did offer 30 days free trial, but after you put in your credit card, and given the number of security breaches in the news lately, I figured I didn’t want yet another website to have my data).
Have any of our listeners ordered their Emotiv Insight? Do you have the android app? What do you think? We’d love to hear about your experiences.