Episode 191 – Return of the Piper

We welcome Andy Piper @andypiper back on the show, part of the original Games At Work dot Biz trio – back together kicking off a detailed discussion of voice assistants, following last week’s discussion on Google Home, Amazon Alexa and Apple HomePod.

We then look at some of the more interesting things that came out at CES last week, and how tech seems to be looking for very niche problems to solve – are they worth it? Or are they so menial and trivial -causing more time to automate them then you save by using the automation. Would you were an airbag for your hip? While washing dishes for two? Before heading to your voice controlled toilet seat?

We wrap the show with a quick analysis of is it right for people to use the blockchain to lock in permission for sex – this is wrong on so many levels. And finally a bunch of great game recommendations for wasting your weekend

Show Links:
Follow-up from last week:
39 Million Americans now own a smart speaker – https://techcrunch.com/2018/01/12/39-million-americans-now-own-a-smart-speaker-report-claims/

CES Links:
Smart Dishwasher for two – https://www.theverge.com/circuitbreaker/2018/1/12/16882558/tetra-heatworks-frog-smart-dishwasher-chores-clothes-iot-ces-2018
Less ‘whoa’, more ‘no’! Tech fails to lean from its mistakes at annual pageant – https://www.theguardian.com/technology/2018/jan/10/consumer-electonrics-show-ces-2018-lack-of-innovation
http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0106697/

Not again: Men try to create a blockchain-based app for sexual consent – http://mashable.com/2018/01/11/sexual-consent-legalfling-app-blockchain/

Games We are Playing
Michael R. – Geting ready to delete – AdVenture Communist – https://www.hyperhippo.ca/adventure-communist
Has to be based off of the Freemium game model from South Park – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4duJdeKTwHY
Michael M. – Deleting Star Trek Timelines
Andy P. – Animal Crossing: Pocket Camp – https://ac-pocketcamp.com/
On Mobile – Dots & Co. – https://www.dots.co/dotsandco/
On the switch – Super Mario Odyssey – https://www.nintendo.com/games/detail/super-mario-odyssey-switch
On Xbox – Battlefront 2 – https://www.ea.com/games/starwars/battlefront/battlefront-2

Play

Episode 190 – Crazy to the Macs

The Michael’s welcome in the new year with a philosophical discussion on why do we need a dedicated speaker for a digital assistant? What’s the secret sauce as to why a dedicated device is worth it verses just using the one on your phone? We also tweeted out a quick poll on which device do you use?

We then discuss Magic Leap’s finally announced Developer kit. Are you getting your’s? What do you think about it’s form factor? Is it the next great dev kit, or will it just be another Google Glass like launch? We look at the design and Michael R. appreciates how people got the tethered part wrong (as they usually do from early prototypes).

Going from AR we look back at virtual assistants with two apps, Fin and Filld, which help people with a busy life get mundane things done. Is it just Task Rabbit or something more? Is it within the reach of average consumers? Not yet, but who knows.

We then look at unrolling tweet storms and turning them into a blog post, via a google chrome plug in. An finally we go back to a few old favorites with Civilizations and the Animaniacs.

What will you do this year? We plan on doing the same thing we do every year, Try and take over the world!!!

Happy new year!

Show Links:
There’s no place like HomePod –
https://www.macworld.com/article/3245730/home-tech/theres-no-place-like-homepod.html#tk.rss_all

Multi-Timer by Persapps – http://www.persapps.com – Direct link:
https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/multitimer-multiple-timers/id973421278?mt=8

A quick tweet about which device do you own? https://twitter.com/GamesAtWork_Biz/status/949363822560768006

Magic Leap Finally Reveals AR Headset – https://uploadvr.com/magic-leap-finally-reveals-ar-headset-magic-leap-one/
The Fin Assistant – https://techcrunch.com/2017/12/22/fin-assistant/
Fill Your Tank with Filld – https://www.filld.com/

Amazon will deliver to the trunk of your car – http://fortune.com/2017/10/10/amazon-phrame/

Unroll your Tweet Storms – https://techcrunch.com/2018/01/04/thread-reader-app-twitter/

Civilizations VI is now on the iPad – https://arstechnica.com/gaming/2017/12/the-full-real-actual-civilization-vi-just-came-out-on-ipad/
Animaniacs are back for another season on Hulu – http://www.slashfilm.com/animaniacs-reboot/

What are we playing:
Michael R. InstaSaber – http://instasaber.com
Michael M. – Doing yearly time-suck cleanup of apps on his phone.

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Episode 189 – Year End Tech Blues

Did you know if you play In the Air Tonight from the Secret Policeman’s Ball starting at any time before midnight on the 31st of December, you won’t hear the drum solo at all?  Well, we did.

As we wrap up the last episode of 2017, we have several examples of tech you may find as intriguing as we did.

First, non-powered, non-battery operated devices that can communicate with WiFi, simply explained by sound waves.   Michael R highlights the DTNS show where the concept of transmission over a wet string is explained.  Michael M remembers the Monty Python String sketch with Mr. Adrian Wapcaplet.

Then, for the new Pixel phones, you can place augmented reality stickers of stormtroopers in your pictures & videos.  This thread (ha) leads to the Instasaber site, where you can create light sabers, once the app is released.

Later, a discussion on jobs & the workplace of the future, specifically around bots and legal work.

Then, a conversation about Apple’s recently announced iMac Pro.

From all of us at Games at Work, we wish you a very happy new year, with health, happiness, prosperity and augmented goodness in 2018!

Selected Links

In the Air Tonight from The Secret Policeman’s Ball — https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uOuKgVR3Xeo

Digital Trends article:  Scientists create unpowered 3D-printed objects that can communicate via WiFi — https://www.digitaltrends.com/cool-tech/3d-printed-wi-fi/

Monty Python Sting sketch — https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7qNj-QFZbew & http://www.montypython.net/scripts/string.php

DTNS 3178 – Broadstrand Inter-Wet — http://www.dailytechnewsshow.com/dtns-3178-broadstrand-inter-wet/

Digital Trends article:  Insert Stormtroopers into your life with Google’s new AR stickers for Pixel — https://www.digitaltrends.com/mobile/google-launches-ar-stickers-for-pixel/

Instasaber — http://instasaber.com

MIT Technology Review article:  Apps That Hint at a Fanciful Fake Future — https://www.technologyreview.com/s/609235/apps-that-hint-at-a-fanciful-fake-future/

MIT Technology Review article: Lawyer-Bots Are Shaking Up Jobs — https://www.technologyreview.com/s/609556/lawyer-bots-are-shaking-up-jobs/

Apple’s iMac Pro — https://www.apple.com/imac-pro/

MIT Technology Review article: Your Next Password May Be Stored in Your Shirt Cuff — https://www.technologyreview.com/s/609264/your-next-password-may-be-stored-in-your-shirt-cuff/

Smallball — http://smallball.com

What games are the hosts playing?

Michael M:  Retro Soccer by EightPixelsSquare — http://www.eightpixelssquare.com/retrosoccer/

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Episode 188 – Star Wars Bucks

With the opening of the latest installation of the Star Wars saga this weekend, Michael and Michael start off this episode, recorded a week earlier, with the new AR capabilities of the Star Wars app.  Michael M, being the enterprising person that he is, boldly managed to try this out by loading up the image on a website to allow the AR experience to work.

The newest Starbucks opened in Shanghai and in addition to being the largest in the world, coming in at 30,000 sq ft, is also AR-enabled.  Visitors to this Starbucks can walk around with their AR-enabled phone to learn more about the inner workings of this Starbucks, earning badges to receive a custom roastery photo filter when all the badges are collected.

Michael M was fascinated by the way the Kuri robot emotes by changing the shape of the eyes using “eyelids” that come up from the bottom of the eyes, as well as from the top.  Michael R shared an intriguing app that reads audio waveforms, which the PhonoPaper app describes as “the 2D audio barcode (by analogy with the QR-code)”

Selected Links

The First Order Arrives… In The Star Wars App — http://www.starwars.com/news/the-first-order-arrives-in-the-star-wars-app

The Star Wars App — http://www.starwars.com/games-apps/star-wars-app

Mashable article:  The world’s biggest Starbucks outlet is also AR-enhanced — http://mashable.com/2017/12/05/starbucks-shanghai-outlet

Wired article:  The Genesis of Kuri, the Friendly Home Robot — https://www.wired.com/story/the-genesis-of-kuri/

Rosie the robot from the Jetsons — https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_The_Jetsons_characters#Rosie

Twiki the robot from Buck Rodgers in the 25th Century — http://buckrogers.wikia.com/wiki/Twiki

IEEE Spectrum article:  New Carbon Nanotube Sheets Claim World’s Top Heat-Sink Performance — https://spectrum.ieee.org/nanoclast/semiconductors/nanotechnology/new-carbon-nanotube-sheets-claim-worlds-top-heatsink-performance

Handbrake — https://handbrake.fr

Apple App Store article:  From Hit Game to Arcade Sensation — https://itunes.apple.com/us/story/id1309536407

Kate Bush’s album Ariel — https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Aerial_(album)

PhonoPaper app — https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/phonopaper/id865947553?mt=8

Play

Episode 187 – Bionic Eye

On an unseasonably warm Friday, Michael & Michael get together to discuss a sports to business application of virtual reality, that of training retail store employees to prepare for the oncoming rush of bargain hunters on Black Friday instead of the rush of oncoming defensive backs.

A favorite topic of ours — augmented reality use methods — resurfaces in this episode, this time prompted by the recent Apple acquisition of a Canadian AR company called VRVANA, which leads to a conversation about miniaturization of this technology, ultimately embedding into bionic contact lenses, or even a potential direct optic nerve connection.  At the very least, we don’t bring up spiders in this episode.  Whew.

The team talks about home robotics, and Rosie from the Jetsons seems to be cropping up in many articles.  The concept of a friendly companion robot is one that many companies are chasing after, and the article for this show comes from an experience with a robot called Jibo.

Closing out the show with a discussion on wearables, Michael and Michael are amazed at the new capabilities enabled by the Kardiaband, and what this implies for future medical devices to improve and save lives.

Selected links 

MIT Technology Review article:  Finally a Useful Application for VR: Training Employees — https://www.technologyreview.com/s/609473/finally-a-useful-application-for-vr-training-employees/

Business Insider article:  Apple bought a Canadian AR startup for $30 million — and it could give Apple an edge in the next big thing — http://www.businessinsider.com/apple-buys-vrvana-totem-mixed-reality-headset-2017-11

VRVANA — https://www.vrvana.com

Hackday io — Joo Janta 200 Super-Chromatic Peril Sensitive Sunglasses project — https://hackaday.io/project/580-peril-sensitive-sunglasses

Futurism article: Bionic Contacts: Goodbye Glasses. Hello Vision That’s 3x Better Than 20/20 — https://futurism.com/bionic-contacts-goodbye-glasses-hello-vision-thats-3x-better-than-2020/

Transitions photochromic transition eyeglasses — https://www.transitions.com/en-us/

Wall Street Journal article:  This Cute Little Robot Made My Family Mad — https://www.wsj.com/articles/this-cute-little-robot-made-my-family-mad-1511980911

Rosie from the Jetsons — http://thejetsons.wikia.com/wiki/Rosey

Jibo — https://www.jibo.com

Roomba — http://store.irobot.com/default/robot-vacuum-roomba/

Sphero BB-8 — https://store.sphero.com/products/bb-8-by-sphero

Thomas Friedman’s Thank You for Being Late — http://www.thomaslfriedman.com/thank-you-for-being-late/

TechCrunch article:  FDA clears AliveCor’s Kardiaband as the first medical device accessory for the Apple Watch — https://techcrunch.com/2017/11/30/fda-clears-alivecors-kardiaband-as-the-first-medical-device-accessory-for-the-apple-watch/

Kardiaband for Apple Watch — https://store.alivecor.com

Chuck Norris facts — https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Chuck_Norris_facts

What games are the hosts playing?

Michael R: Injustice 2 — https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/injustice-2/id1109008423?mt=8

Michael M:  Nonstop Chuck Norris — https://itunes.apple.com/ph/app/nonstop-chuck-norris/id1154002816?mt=8

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Episode 186 – Accio Mjolnir

 

Michael and Michael use their prognostic skills to divine what the next Niantic game might be in 2018 based on the non-specific reports in the media about the Wizards Unite game to be unveiled in a few months.

Could there be a spell collecting game that drives players to bookstores and libraries to discover & unlock spells?  Maybe use newspaper vending machines as something to check into in order to open powerups.  How about zoos to collect your own fantastic beasts into your virtual menagerie?

Speaking of pictures, the data in the pictures can provide an huge amount of value in monetizing the activities of.the players. Warby Parker is doing this — using the new capabilities of the iPhone X facial mapping to recognize the contours of the user’s face in order to match the best glasses to the face of the user.

Any sufficiently advanced technology looks like magic, and Michale R has found a couple examples of two Avengers, Thor and Iron Man whose mighty feats are duplicated by a drone and micro-gas turbines, respectively.  Check out the videos to see these in action.

Selected links 

Tech Crunch article:  Niantic’s follow-up to Pokemon Go will be a Harry Potter AR game launching in 2018 — https://techcrunch.com/2017/11/08/niantics-follow-up-to-pokemon-go-will-be-a-harry-potter-ar-game-launching-in-2018/

Fortune article:  Commentary: Pokemon Go’s Creator is Making a Harry Potter Game.  Will It Bomb Too?  — http://fortune.com/2017/11/14/harry-potter-pokemon-go-game-augmented-reality/

Pokemon Go Starbucks drink link — 

9 to 5 Mac article:  Warby Parker is using face mapping on the iPhone X to provide glasses recommendations — https://9to5mac.com/2017/11/07/warby-parker-is-using-face-mapping-on-the-iphone-x-to-provide-glasses-recommendations/

Warby Parker iOS app — https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/glasses-by-warby-parker/id1107693363?mt=8

Mashable article:  Real-Life ‘Iron Man’ sets Guinness World Record because of course he does — http://mashable.com/2017/11/09/iron-man-guinness-world-record-tony-stark-richard-browning

Tech Crunch article:  Boston Dynamics’ Atlas robot is a parkour master — https://techcrunch.com/2017/11/16/boston-dynamics-atlas-robot-is-a-parkour-master

Reddit: AI email program designed to reply to email scammers — https://www.reddit.com/r/Futurology/comments/7brzw4/rescam_ai_email_program_designed_to_reply_to/

Tech Crunch article:  They turned ‘Rampage’ into a movie (and here’s the first trailer) — https://techcrunch.com/2017/11/16/rampage-trailer/

Play

Episode 185 – Transparency

Jimmy Kimmel’s Tonight Show, Tonight Showbotics, featuring Hanson Robotics’ Sophia

They’re playing basketball! 🏀 Both for the start of the college basketball season, and at the state fair.  Michael R found an interesting article about how one can win those games of skill and chance at the state fair, leveraging a combination of science and professional sports talent.

In addition to making transparent the ways that a Mets pitcher can win the games at your local carnival, the team takes a look at the transparent skull of Sophia, the artificial intelligence android by Hanson Robotics, how NPR is crowdsourcing journalism with the recently made public JFK Files, that Facebook & Twitter are making strides in ad transparency and how a recently created Soduku Solver uses augmented reality and optical character recognition to do it’s thing.

Michael M remarks that these examples show a gateway to where augmented reality and artificial intelligence is about to explode in a very short amount of time.  How do you think that the combo of AR & AI will change the world?

Selected links 

Kurtis Blow Basketball video —

Mets — http://mets.com

NC State fair — http://www.ncstatefair.org

TechCrunch article:  Watch a real rocket scientist figure out (and beat) carnival scams — https://techcrunch.com/2017/10/26/watch-a-real-rocket-scientist-figure-out-and-beat-carnival-scams/

TechCrunch article:  Saudi Arabia bestows citizenship on a robot named Sophia — https://techcrunch.com/2017/10/26/saudi-arabia-robot-citizen-sophia/

Hanson Robotics — http://www.hansonrobotics.com/robot/sophia/

Tonight Show with Jimmy Kimmel Tonight Showbotics with Sophia — https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Bg_tJvCA8zw

Future Investment Initiative where Sophia was announced as being the first robot to receive Saudi Arabian citizenship — https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Bg_tJvCA8zw

NPR article: The JFK Files: Calling On Citizen Reporters — https://www.npr.org/2017/10/26/560220148/the-jfk-files-calling-on-citizen-reporters

TechCrunch article: Facebook says its ad transparency features will go live next month — https://techcrunch.com/2017/10/27/facebook-says-its-ad-transparency-features-will-go-live-next-month/

TechCrunch article: Twitter announces new ‘transparency center’ for ads — https://techcrunch.com/2017/10/24/twitter-advertising-transparency/

Prototypr blog post:  Behind the Magic: How we built the ARKit Sudoku Solver — https://blog.prototypr.io/behind-the-magic-how-we-built-the-arkit-sudoku-solver-e586e5b685b0

Magic Sudoku — https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/magic-sudoku/id1286979959?ls=1&mt=8

Watson on Jeopardy —

What games are the hosts playing?

none!  Busy busy busy!

Play

Episode 184 – Floating Krack

From @guuuuugl’s ICAROS tweet from #AWE2017

Recording on a crisp October day, Michael and Michael start off this episode with the ICAROS virtual reality fitness rig @epredator shared from his experience at Augmented World Expo #AWE2017. The pair continue their mixed reality discussion with a thought experiment on Tinder prompted by an iMore article on the best AR experiences for social media. Michael R shares his understanding of a vulnerability in the WPA security profile stack known as Krack.  The net is, it is best to set up a separate router and separate network for your internet of things devices.  Michael R recommends “keep your stuff updated”.

Selected links 

ICAROS — Virtual Reality Fitness Experiences — http://www.icaros.com

Virtuix Omni 360 degree treadmill — http://www.virtuix.com

Augmented World Expo — https://www.augmentedworldexpo.com

iMore article: Best AR experiences for social media right now! — https://www.imore.com/best-ar-experiences-social-media-right-now

Tinder — https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/tinder/id547702041?mt=8

Wired article: Why the Krack Wi-Fi Mess Will Take Decades to Clean Up — https://www.wired.com/story/krack-wi-fi-iot-security-broken/

Motherboard article:  KRACK for Dummies — https://motherboard.vice.com/en_us/article/3kaxz3/krack-wifi-hack-attack-guide-explainer

Security Now podcast show notes on KRACK — https://www.grc.com/sn/sn-633-notes.pdf

 

What games are the hosts playing?

Michael R — Gunman Taco Truck — http://www.gunmantacotruck.com

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Episode 183 – Enhanced Reality

Michael & Michael talk about the promise of bots who listen into meetings, take notes & action items on your behalf, entering them into your tool of choice for follow up.  Talk about the power of the pen — and quite a step up from “Alexa, add eggs to my grocery list”.

Michael R brings up the fact that we’re still in a generation 1.1 world when it comes to AR — really in the beginning stages.  Starting point will be in enterprise and entertainment before AR applications begin to really show up outside of these areas.

Intriguing question:  are the Stormtrooper’s helmets augmented reality viewing devices?  What do you think?

It’s Only A Model
Michael and Michael talk about 3D models launching off the example of Sketchfab and move quickly to the concept of integrating blockchain for provenance.

Looping back to the start of this episode, the Macworld article speculating on Apple’s work on a head up display to allow people to interact with the world through augmented reality lenses that are wearable, and not something that the user needs to hold in front of their eyes makes sense, and will be the breakthrough method to truly accelerate the use of the technology.  Do you think that this is the main hurdle to mass adoption and use?  Let us know!

Selected links 

zoom.ushttp://zoom.us/

Zoom, the 1970s children’s TV show — https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Zoom_(1972_TV_series)

TechCrunch article: Zoom brings a dash of augmented reality and artificial intelligence to meetings in latest release — https://techcrunch.com/2017/09/26/zoom-brings-a-dash-of-augmented-reality-and-artificial-intelligence-to-meetings-in-latest-release/

Zoomtopia — http://zoomtopia.us

Meta — http://www.metavision.com

Meta blog: Check Out What Our Partners Have Achieved with Meta — https://blog.metavision.com/the-meta-2-now-supports-rendering-of-steam-vr-applications

Uncanny Valley — https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Uncanny_valley

TechCrunch article: Sketchfab’s app may be the best way to try ARKit — https://techcrunch.com/2017/09/26/sketchfabs-app-might-be-the-best-way-to-try-arkit/

Sketchfab — https://sketchfab.com

Thingiverse — https://www.thingiverse.com

Adobe Capture CC app — https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/adobe-capture-cc/id1040200189?mt=8

Blockchain — https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Blockchain

Camelot (It’s only a model) —

Macworld article: Why Apple is probably working on a heads-up display — https://www.macworld.com/article/3229744/consumer-electronics/why-apple-is-probably-working-on-a-heads-up-display.html

The making of Ren & Stimpy documentary Indigogo — http://www.slashfilm.com/happy-happy-joy-joy-ren-and-stimpy-documentary/

What games are the hosts playing?

Michael M: Star Trek Timelines — https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/star-trek-timelines/id1001250333?mt=8

Play

Episode 182 – Dungeons and Nike

Thanks to @andypiper for sharing with us this cool Dungeons & Dragons tabletop, that Michael and Michael imagine could be brought to life via augmented reality like the Holochess example in Star Wars Episode IV.

What can be more personal than something you wear?  Nike’s new brand engagement digital experience with their recently announced Connected NBA jersey is precisely that.  Once a fan has committed to buy a team jersey financially, and linking that jersey to an account, the idea of what you could do next with all that data is extremely intriguing.  What if this was not an NBA thing — what if the wearable is tied to a band, and they could monetize their fan experience, with exclusive potential access backstage at their concerts?  What if, this was not sports or music — rather a political group — you could check in with your special rally hat to gain access?  Is the (potential) value of what could be offered worth the tradeoff of sharing your data and allowing tracking by a third party?

What do you think?  Inquiring minds want to know!

Selected links 

Polygon article: D&D group builds custom tabletop with 4K touchscreen — https://www.polygon.com/2017/9/18/16329482/dungeons-and-dragons-digital-table-4k-touchscreen-fantasy-grounds

Dungeons & Dragons — http://dnd.wizards.com

Fantasy Grounds — https://www.fantasygrounds.com/home/home.php

Overhead holographic projector (discussed in episode 175) — http://bgr.com/2017/07/12/augmented-reality-projector/

Roll 20 app — https://roll20.net

Polygon article:  D&D now on Steam, complete with dice and a Dungeon Master — https://www.polygon.com/2015/4/22/8470473/dungeons-dragons-virtual-tabletop-fantasy-grounds

Wizards of the Coast — http://company.wizards.com

Nike’s new Connected NBA jerseys  — https://www.nike.com/us/en_us/c/nba/jerseys

Discovery’s Manhunt:Unabomber — https://manhunt.discovery.com/unabomber/

Swarm — https://www.swarmapp.com

IntoNow — TV check in app — https://techcrunch.com/2014/01/28/to-every-social-tv-app-turn-turn-turn/

Spotify — https://www.spotify.com/us/

What are the hosts’ favorite D&D quests?

Michael M — created our own.

Michael R — not canned adventures, we created our own too!

What games are the hosts playing?

Michael R — Eggs, Inc.  — https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Egg,_Inc.

Michael M — looking forward to some new AppleTV apps

Play