Episode 180 – Augmented Beer Goggles

 Jan 2008 Activeworlds video of Van Gogh mashup of multiple paintings

Augmented reality is hitting the news every few moments, you can crack open a cold one and start seeing things.  Or you can try on a new hair color from the app by Modiface.  Of course, you can experiment with how you would look in a new pair of shades from Ray-Ban.

For even more fun, the Art Gallery of Ontario uses the ReBlink app to have the people in the paintings take selfies of the art gallery patrons taking selfies of them.  This reminded Michael and Michael of the Activeworlds creation of the Van Gogh world, and the YouTube video tour Michael M made in 2008 (above).

Not being content with the pure visual elements of augmented reality, the pair discusses the Zach Lieberman’s example of recording sound in space — a very interesting way to visualize that there’s something auditory “there” from a geo-spatial perspective to be discovered.


Following on the auditory thread to round out this episode, Michael and Michael talk about the recent South Park season premiere, and how sound, both audible to the human ear, and not audible to the human ear can be used to issue commands.

Plenty of links in the show notes today for all the topics the team covered, so you can jump right to them and learn more.

Selected links 

Windows Mixed Reality — https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Windows_Mixed_RealityMicrosoft Mixed Reality Dev Kit — https://developer.microsoft.com/en-us/windows/mixed-reality
Digital Trends article:  Augmented Reality Bottle Labels Could Change the Way You View Beer — https://www.digitaltrends.com/cool-tech/brewery-uses-augmented-reality-bottle-labels/
Pokemon Go — http://www.pokemongo.com
Google Translate on Google Play — https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.google.android.apps.translate&hl=en
Google Translate on iTunes — https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/google-translate/id414706506?mt=8
Ingress — https://www.ingress.com/intel
Zombies Go on Google Play — https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.hitgpx.zombiego&hl=en
Zombies Go on iTunes — https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/zombies-go-fight-dead-walking-everywhere-augmented/id831751766?mt=8
Ghostsnap — https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-z4GUVzc2EY
Yelp Monocle — http://www.wikihow.com/Use-the-Augmented-Reality-Monocle-on-the-Yelp-for-iPhone-App
FastCompany Design article:  These Classical Artworks Come to Life to Make Fun of your Museum Selfie — https://www.fastcodesign.com/90133286/these-classical-artworks-come-to-life-to-make-fun-of-your-museum-selfie
Alex Mahew’s ReBlink app — http://www.ago.net/reblink
Art Gallery of Ontario — https://ago.ca/?q=home
Thespis — https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Thespis_(opera)
Durham Savoyards — http://durhamsavoyards.org
Edward Munch’s The Scream — https://www.edvardmunch.org/the-scream.jsp
ActiveWorlds virtual recreation of Vincent Van Gogh’s home in Arles, France — http://www.activeworlds.com/vangogh/index.htm
9To5Mac article: New AR demo apps preview hair coloring, and a fun way to leave messages for kids — https://9to5mac.com/2017/09/07/cool-arkit-demos/
Modiface — http://www.modiface.com
Zach Lieberman’s tweet & video of recording sound in space — https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Zachary_Lieberman
Glasses.com virtual try on — http://www.glasses.com/virtual-try-on
SixColors article: Reports of ultrasonic attack on voice assistants more sound than fury — https://sixcolors.com/post/2017/09/reports-of-ultrasonic-attack-on-voice-assistants-more-sound-than-fury/
So Long and Thanks for all the Fish — https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/So_Long,_and_Thanks_for_All_the_Fish
Mashable article: Extraordinary iPhone App Identifies 2.6 Million TV Shows by “Listening” — http://mashable.com/2011/01/31/intonow/#BSKklHnZ1GqQ
TechCrunch article:  Yahoo is Shutting Down IntoNow, Nearly Three Years After Acquisition — https://techcrunch.com/2014/01/28/to-every-social-tv-app-turn-turn-turn/
Soundhound — https://soundhound.com
Shazam — https://www.shazam.com
Uproxx article:  The ‘South Park’ Season Premier Caused Havoc With People’s Amazon Echos and Google Homes — http://uproxx.com/technology/south-park-premiere-amazon-echo-google-home/

What are the hosts playing?

Michael R:  Colorcube — https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/colorcube/id1076402133?mt=8
Michael M:  Flic button to turn pages on your favorite music app — https://flic.io/blog/Musicians-turn-page-Flic


Episode 179 – May The Merch Be With You

BB-9E augmented reality

In honor of Force Friday part deux, Michael and Michael geek out on all the awesomeness that is Star Wars merchandise now available for sale.

You could use have a Lenovo-enabled lightsaber battle.

You could build your own R2-D2 with a littleBits kit.

You could own your very own Corellian freighter of your very own, putting together over 7,500 pieces in the new, and most awesome Millennium Falcon model from Lego.

Switching gears, the team discusses the interaction among & between conversational artificial intelligences, and how they could do a platform of platform strategy play to talk with other AIs to gain the benefit of those services, all via natural language as the interface.

You’ll find drones, droids and how to do much more in this episode!

Selected links 

Star Wars iOS app — https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/star-wars/id960108075?mt=8

Business Insider article:  The hype around ‘Star Wars: The Last Jedi’ is kicking into high gear — here’s what Disney just announced — http://www.businessinsider.com/new-star-wars-the-last-jedi-toys-2017-8

Battle Chess (Commodore 64) — https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Battle_Chess

Archon — https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Archon:_The_Light_and_the_Dark

TechCrunch article:  The littleBits Droid Inventor Kit lets you build an R2-D2 of your very own — https://techcrunch.com/2017/08/31/the-littlebits-droid-inventor-kit-lets-you-build-an-r2-d2-of-your-very-own/

Nerdist article:  New Lego Millennium Falcon Is The Largest Set Ever — http://nerdist.com/star-wars-lego-millennium-falcon-largest-set-ever/http://nerdist.com/star-wars-lego-millennium-falcon-largest-set-ever/

TechCrunch article:  Bragi’s Dash and Dash Pro wireless earbuds to get Amazon Alexa — https://techcrunch.com/2017/09/01/bragis-dash-and-dash-pro-wireless-earbuds-to-get-amazon-alexa/

TechCrunch article: Nobody is going to ask Cortana to talk to Alexa — https://techcrunch.com/2017/08/31/nobody-is-going-to-ask-cortana-to-talk-to-alexa/

Dark Sky — https://darksky.net/app

TechCrunch article: Google reveals the top things people want to find out ‘How to” do — https://techcrunch.com/2017/09/01/google-reveals-the-top-things-people-want-to-find-out-how-to-do/

How to Fix a Toilet — http://how-to-fix-a-toilet.com

Icon Factory — https://iconfactory.com

The Noun Project — https://thenounproject.com

An Event Apart Josh Clark: The Tools I Use — https://aneventapart.com/news/post/josh-clark-the-tools-i-use

The Durham Savoyards — http://durhamsavoyards.org


Episode 178 – L33T Learning Siri


Just say no to enabling autonomous bots & drones with the ability to apply lethal force.  Following on last week’s episode 177, Michael & Michael start off with a continuation of the discussion on the Pandora’s Box of armed robots.

Moving on to a happier topic, while still staying on the machine learning concept, the pair talks about how Siri and other voice interactive systems have been improved with deep learning.  Not just recorded scripts, but actual intelligence, and more natural interaction is apparent when you listen to how far things have come since the earliest days of Siri — listen to the examples from the Apple Machine Learning Journal article, and we think you’ll agree.

Understanding that you’re talking with a bot vs a human is important to help avoid the uncanny valley where the interaction becomes weird vs expected — perhaps this is why Michael R preferred the Australian accent reminiscent of J.A.R.V.I.S, and how in Star Trek and other science fiction, interaction with the computer was prefaced with “computer!” before issuing a request.

Feedback loops getting faster & faster, which is really evident in machine learning examples applied to games.  When the machine — the program — is experimenting with the game to learn, and figure out what is rewarded, what is not rewarded, and determine a heuristic model for playing the game, which for a human is for fun and for the machine learning example is to maximize the outcome.  The example from the O’Reilly article was particularly intriguing to Michael M who wondered why the AI playing the game did not scoop up each and every present while playing the game.  Michael R made the interesting point that if the machine learning algorithms assume that there’s an infinite number of presents ahead, it makes more sense to quickly move forward and grab the presents because there are more ahead of you than behind.  The screenshot above is from a machine learning model playing Super Mario Kart, where it is easy to see how machine learning quickly gets better and better with successive plays of the game.

Closing out this episode, Michael and Michael include David Ma’s videos of food imagined in the style of  famous directors, a funny song about waffles and a discussion on Zork.  Hope you enjoy these tasty treats!

Selected links 

last week’s show, E177 — What could possibly go wrong? — http://gamesatwork.biz/2017/08/31/episode-177-what-could-possibly-go-wrong/

An open letter to the United Nations Convention on Certain Conventional Weapons — https://futureoflife.org/autonomous-weapons-open-letter-2017

We don’t have long to act — https://qz.com/1058280/we-do-not-have-long-to-act-teslas-tsla-elon-musk-and-others-warn-the-un-about-autonomous-weapons

Six Colors article:  Deep Learning Improves Siri’s voice — https://sixcolors.com/link/2017/08/deep-learning-improves-siris-voice/

Apple’s Machine Learning Journal:  Deep Learning for Siri’s Voice: On-device Deep Mixture Density Networks for Hybrid Unit Selection Synthesis — https://machinelearning.apple.com/2017/08/06/siri-voices.html

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

J.A.R.V.I.S. — https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Edwin_Jarvis#J.A.R.V.I.S.

O’Reilly article:  Bringing gaming to life with AI and deep learning — https://www.oreilly.com/ideas/bringing-gaming-to-life-with-ai-and-deep-learning

YouTube:  Super MarI/O Kart Commentary — https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=S9Y_I9vY8Qw

Food by Favorite Directors (Sort Of) — https://www.subtraction.com/2017/08/14/food-by-famous-directors-sort-of/

YouTube:  What if Alfonso Cuaron made pancakes?  — https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6_hpJHNt4IE

Do You Like Waffles?  By Parry Gripp — https://itunes.apple.com/us/album/do-you-like-waffles/id468568946?i=468568983

MIT Technology Review — The Enduring Legacy of Zork — https://www.technologyreview.com/s/608670/the-enduring-legacy-of-zork/

MIT Technology Review article:  Siri for Business — https://www.technologyreview.com/s/600990/siri-for-business/


Episode 166 – Interactive Interaction

Episode 166 – Interactive Interaction

Teachers Breaks the Code

Interesting news this week about two new interactions for people in AR – Voice and Tilts. So our co-hosts Michael R. and Phaedra looking a bit further to see what it may all mean. But first we start off with a look at the teacher who solved Adobe’s Semaphore challenge. We continue looking at AR, VR and voice input and how this may play out as the future for human-computer interaction.

Speaking of computer interaction, we talk some TV with quick discussions on both Black Mirror and Humans. If you haven’t seen either of these shows, stop what you are doing and go – right now – watch some TV! This gets us thinking about Kurzweil’s talk at South by Southwest. Will AI’s have rights? If you upload your brain, is it you? Or is it a new consciousness with separate rights? Think about it for a while…

And while you’re at it, go and drop us a review over at iTunes, we’d love to hear from you!

Show Links:
Math Teacher Cracks Adobe’s Semaphore code: http://www.mercurynews.com/2017/03/13/adobe-semaphore-code-cracked-by-tennessee-high-school-teacher/

Tilt gesture control: https://techcrunch.com/2017/03/17/tilt-gesture-keyboard-could-hold-promise-for-typing-in-vr/
Surgeon Simulator: http://www.surgeonsim.com/

Amazon Alexa on your iPhone: http://fortune.com/2017/03/16/amazon-alexa-iphone/

Black Mirror: http://www.channel4.com/programmes/black-mirror/episode-guide/
Humans: http://www.amc.com/shows/humans

Kurzweil at SXSW: https://www.facebook.com/SXSWFestival/videos/10154414699178994/

What we are playing:
Michael R. – Bit City: http://www.gamezebo.com/2017/03/16/bit-city-review-best-of-both-worlds/
Phaedra – Lara Croft and the Guardian of Light – https://www.playstation.com/en-us/games/lara-croft-and-the-guardian-of-light-ps3/


Episode 163 – Chat Me Maybe?

Hey! I just met you. And this is cra-zy. Here’s my bot. Chat me maybe.

Michael and Michael get together to enjoy some of the material covered in the Feb 22nd edition of the Daily Tech News Show, particularly around text based chat services, and where the medium is going. Michael M dives headfirst down the rabbit hole — imagining how people used to use arcane terminal commands to get things done, when this wasn’t the intent of the story — it is much more around augmenting communication with insight to enhance understanding and using context (location, time, preferences, etc) to get to better/faster outcomes.

This isn’t the 2017 version of Clippy saying “it looks like you are trying to schedule lunch. would you like some help with that?” — there’s much more to it — have a listen and see what you think. And in the meantime, I’ll have my bots 🤖 talk with your bots 🤖.

From the same Daily Tech News Show, there’s a link to an app that got Michael & Michael’s attention — a remake of the classic Tomagotchi reimagined with elected officials in the Netherlands called Kamergotchi where you feed, energize and give ideas to members of the Netherlands house of representatives. Let’s see if this expands to other countries.

Other ideas that are worth spreading include a report on Tesla’s lifetime maintenance and insurance bundled with their cars. This drives the discussion forward with concepts such as:

what is a car’s lifetime?
where does the maintenance cost increases cross the line of the insurance cost decreases?
how modular are cars, and could they become more modular in future, especially given the rate/pace of software enhancements?
how long could one keep a ’57 Chevy or Trabant running with such modularity?

Michael and Michael throw the brakes on the automotive discussion to close the show with a safety design concept designed to appeal to children (and maybe a few adults) who ride bikes — a helmet that looks like Lego / Playmobil hair. Talk about #helmethair !

selected links

Daily Tech News Show (DTNS) 2971 – Scrapping Apps — http://www.tommerritt.com/2017/02/21/dtns-2971-scrapping-apps/

Gartner Survey showing the strength & growth of messaging apps — http://www.gartner.com/newsroom/id/3614818

Games At Work e159 Virtually Secure Twitch See Bots Chat — http://gamesatwork.biz/2017/01/22/episode-159-virtually-secure/

Little Computer People — http://www.mobygames.com/game/c64/little-computer-people

Zondag met Lubach (featuring Kamergotchi with English subtitles) — https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_qNjpTn6RUM&feature=youtu.be

Kamergotchi — http://www.kamergotchi.nl

Tomagotchi — https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tamagotchi

Mashable: Tesla so sure its cars are safe that it now offers insurance for life — http://mashable.com/2017/02/23/elon-musk-tesla-lifetime-insurance.amp

Boredpanda: Someone Made a Real-Life LEGO Hair Bike Helmet — http://www.boredpanda.com/lego-hair-bike-helmet-simon-higby-clara-prior-moef/


Episode 153 – Chicken and Mushrooms

Michael and Michael get together to cook up an episode chock-full-o tasty post Thanksgiving treats — starting off with the promise of solar, with the example of the American Samoa island of Ta’u and the new solar roof tiles made available from the Tesla/SolarCity team. The Google Project Sunroof site is still up & running, so you can check your own roof to see how suitable it may be for solar.

Alexa has teamed up with Allrecepies to help out in the kitchen, providing step by step guidance on how to cook delicious dishes. The video shows an example of how Alexa can use the Allrecepies API to suggest what can be done with a set of ingredients in the fridge. While we won’t spoil the surprise, the answer has something to do with chicken and mushrooms.

A news report from Marketplace highlighted the work done by Alibaba to create virtual reality shopping experiences for Chinese consumers in stores like Macy’s and Target. This reminded Michael and Michael of the work they had done years ago, and discussed most recently in episode 148 (http://gamesatwork.biz/2016/10/02/episode-148-painting-with-digital-and-physical-ink/). Michael R’s video on his work on the virtual Sears store is in the show notes below. One of the pair’s patents outlines how a virtual store could be created dynamically based on the shopper’s preferences.

Rounding out the show with a little Star Trek goodness, are the Propel Star Wars Battle Quads, and an IFTTT mashup using the Force Band by Sphereo. We are in for a very happy holiday season.

Drop us a line with your ideas and thoughts about digital convergence on Twitter or Facebook!

show links
SolarCity Roof
Google Project Sunroof
Island of Ta’u goes 100% solar

Alexa, what can I make with chicken & mushrooms?

mobile & enterprise are keys to VR & AR scale

VR shopping

MyVirtual Model
Tag Along Shopping Patent
Sears Second Life Walkthrough

Star Wars laser battle quadcopters
Use the force… to make coffee