Episode 193 – Icy Robotic HomePods

Curling at the 2018 Pyeonchang Winter Olympics

Michael M welcomes the HomePod and it’s robotic assistant Siri to his home, and shares some of his good experiences with his new smart speaker, not the least of which was listening to the radio broadcast of the Tar Heel Sports Network synchronized to the television video courtesy of the Tunecast app and the HomePod.

The 2018 Pyeong Chang Olympics’ opening ceremony incorporated augmented reality and drones, much to the delight of the Games At Work crew.  Michael R pointed out the challenges involved in the droneshow, remembering the Super Bowl 51 weather, wind and security conditions that required that the drone performance be taped beforehand, just like what was done in South Korea.  Nevertheless, an impressive performance by the Intel team!

Touching on The Void’s newest virtual reality experience, and remembering their earlier Ghostbusters example from episode 176, Michael and Michael discus how to optimize your home automation & Internet of Things setup, making suggestions on router configuration and the importance of frequent updates to keep current with security patches.

Closing out the episode, the team returns to Olympic competition and this time the thrill of victory goes to skiing robots, although the frozen trampoline does get honorable mention.  Hope you enjoy!

Selected Links

iFixIt article — HomePod Teardown — https://www.ifixit.com/Teardown/HomePod++Teardown/103133

CNET article: Apple’s HomePod gets a warm welcome from Google Assistant — https://www.cnet.com/news/apples-homepod-gets-warm-welcome-from-google-assistant/

The Verge article:  Sonos made a playlist for Apple’s HomePod launch — https://www.theverge.com/2018/2/9/16995262/sonos-apple-homepod-launch-day-playlist

The Scholarly Kitchen article: What Will Scholarly Information Providers Do About Voice User Interfaces (VUI)? — https://scholarlykitchen.sspnet.org/2018/02/01/will-scholarly-information-providers-voice-user-interfaces-vui/

TuneIn Radio — https://tunein.com

iMore article: Star Wars: Secrets of the Empire blew my mind and made me cry — https://www.imore.com/star-wars-secrets-empire-blew-my-mind-and-made-me-cry

The Void’s Star Wars: Secrets of the Empire — https://www.thevoid.com/dimensions/starwars/secretsoftheempire/

Games at Work Episode 176 — I Got Slimed — http://gamesatwork.biz/2017/08/24/episode-176-i-got-slimed/

Nerdist’s Star Wars Episode IX Opening Crawl Revealed?! — https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ht9kRsLLhjg&feature=youtu.be

MIT Technology Review article:  A fast-evolving botnet could take gadgets in your home to the dark side — https://www.technologyreview.com/s/610056/a-fast-evolving-new-botnet-could-take-gadgets-in-your-home-to-the-dark-side/

Gizmodo article:  The House that Spied on Me — https://gizmodo.com/the-house-that-spied-on-me-1822429852

The Verge article:  Robots compete in their own Olympics ski tournament, capture our hearts — https://www.theverge.com/2018/2/12/17004084/winter-olympics-pyeongchang-robot-ski-tournament

Mashable article:  This kid jumping onto an icy trampoline in slow motion is actual magic — https://mashable.com/2018/02/12/kid-frozen-trampoline/

What games are the hosts playing?

Michael R:  Darts of Fury — http://www.dartsoffury.com
Michael M:  Watching Olympic curling and learning new terminology, like the hog line, eh!


Episode 159 – Virtually Secure

Michael R and Michael M, go deep on virtual assistants and the security storm around WhatsApp in the news recently. We also look at how an old virtual world shopping experience may be coming to life in virtual reality.

The duo start with the Facebook/Oculus tour of the White House and think about whether movies and television shows have the layout and rooms of the building right.  Michael and Michael quickly then turn to Amazon’s focus on virtual reality shopping experiences stemming from articles from TechCrunch and Variety.  Michael R shares his experiences in developing just this kind of experience for Sears 10 years ago.

Then things get even more interesting with holographic personifications of artificial intelligences — where the Gatebox anime character looms large — or rather hovers in a coffee machine style enclosure, and interacts with the user via voice and text chat.   While speech commands are picking up steam, it is still has a social hurdle to climb.  It is embarrassing or just feels weird to talk to inanimate objects, even though the author of the Digital Trends article makes the valid connection that talking to devices is like talking to a pet, and pets do sometimes listen…

The show wraps up with an interesting discussion on the security news related to WhatsApp.  We hope you enjoy!

Show Links:
Virtual White House – http://www.usatoday.com/story/tech/columnist/baig/2017/01/13/obamas-lead-white-house-tour-virtually-help-oculus/96532192/
The West Wing http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0200276/

Amazon possibly working on VR Shopping Experience https://techcrunch.com/2017/01/19/amazon-job-posting-suggests-plans-to-bring-shopping-experiences-into-vr/
Google Daydream View https://store.google.com/product/daydream_view
Oculus Rift https://www.oculus.com
Samsung Gear VR http://www.samsung.com/global/galaxy/gear-vr/
Bridge AR/VR headset https://bridge.occipital.com
Sears VR Shopping Experience – now 10 years old https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0ABxTr8sL3U&feature=youtu.be

Variety article — Amazon VR Shopping app http://variety.com/2017/digital/news/amazon-vr-shopping-app-1201962695/

AI Assistants are like Pets http://www.digitaltrends.com/mobile/talk-to-ai-assistants-like-your-pets/
Gatebox Home AR Powered Holographic Robot http://arstechnica.com/information-technology/2016/12/the-anime-girlfriend-experience-gateboxs-ai-powered-holographic-home-robot/
Gatebox story http://gatebox.ai/story/
Gatebox https://gateboxlab.stores.jp/items/57ea607100d331404d002d77

Twitch See Bots Chat https://www.twitch.tv/seebotschat

Security Researchers call for Guardian to retract false WhatsApp backdoor story https://techcrunch.com/2017/01/20/security-researchers-call-for-guardian-to-retract-false-whatsapp-backdoor-story/?ncid=rss
SecurityNow! Transcript Episode 595 -What’s up with WhatsApp? https://www.grc.com/sn/sn-595.txt