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”.
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!
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.
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!
This episode has it all — from virtual reality, to augmented reality to mixed reality to real reality. Starting off with UPS’s VR driver training for their truck fleet, journeying to the Apollo astronaut training efforts with the Zeiss Model VI Planetarium Projector and the excitement of Apple’s recent World Wide Developer’s Conference, Michael and Michael discuss the exciting developments caused Tim Cook to say that he’s so excited about it, “I just want to yell out and scream.” Michael and Michael reminisce about the early days of the US Army’s use of there.com to provide a “real” virtual reality experience with soldiers in the field playing the roles of people at a checkpoint, to train others on the tactics being used by both regular people and enemy combatants. The video above is from the episode of The Screen Savers on the US Army’s use of there.com.
To file under the title of this episode, an octocopter drone equipped with optical recognition, recoil-handling aerodynamics and an ability to fire rifles, grenade launchers and the like is being developed. What could possibly go wrong indeed.
Closing out on a much happier note, one of the games that Michael M is excited to be playing soon is Unstable Unicorns, a Kickstarter that he backed in the early days that is now up to $672,000 in pledges, and there’s still time to get in on this fun.
Who you gonna call? Three friends, we hope, to rush over to Madam Tussaud’s Ghostbusters Experience to check out the Void’s “Hyper-Reality” take on your becoming a Ghostbuster, and immersing yourselves in a full body simulation, where you can walk around wherever you wish within the bounds of the simulation. This is different from the classic VR experiences where you are tethered to a small location by the wire on your Oculus Rift or HTC Vive. From the YouTube video, this mixed reality experience overlays the special effects of the Ghostbusters world over real world objects, wearing a proton accelerator and headset while interacting on a stage specially built for this experience. Michael and Michael discovered this while reading up on the new virtual reality Star Wars experience that The Void is working on with Disney. If the Star Wars version is as good as the Ghostbusters experience, Star Wars fans are going to be in for a treat! Michael R shared some links related to the Avatar movie, and Disney’s other immersive experience/rides for people to enjoy the Na’vi world.
Augmented reality and self-driving automobiles. Two great topics that really get Michael and Michael’s engines revving! Staring off with the Mashable articles, one of which inspired the episode name with it’s similar name, the pair talk about ways for holographic projection can be used for augmented reality without glasses. The first example is the Hydrogen phone by the high end video camera manufacturer Red, which projects the holographic image up from the phone. A second example from the Future Interfaces Group at Carnegie Mellon University is an augmented reality projector that fits into a lightbulb socket and projects down from the ceiling onto a desktop, and sensors connected to the projector allow the user to manipulate the user interface, dock user interfaces onto real objects like computers and books, resize them and much more. The video above shows what they have accomplished — pretty amazing. The namesake for this episode deals with more of the glasses-driven approach for how the next generation of augmented reality could replace the iPhone, and while this is plausible, the article does point out that the referenced patent indicates a reliance on a computer (read as a phone) that the glasses connect to.
The automotive section of this episode deals with self driving vehicles, such a the Dutch startup Amber — whose business model focuses on mobility as a service, where transportation is ready for you when you need it to be because of the predictive analytic models and the self driving vehicles optimizing traffic patterns to have a vehicle near you when you need it. Continuing on the machine learning of fleets of self driving vehicles, the pair discuss an NPR article that focuses Alphabet’s Waymo used a fleet of Googlers driving around on their bicycles to create a model to predict how unpredictable bicyclists behave and better avoid accidents.
Michael and Michael are back — and take a long careful look at the newest capabilities that Apple is bringing to light in augmented reality with the new iOS 11 operating system. Michael R has already downloaded the development framework, and has started bringing into mixed reality the digital test objects, to great effect. The pictures included in this post are from Michael R’s experiments with the framework thus far, and it is quite amazing to see the fidelity of the objects, as well as the recognition by the software of the planes, shadows & angles of placement. There much to be very excited about here, and once the digital augmented reality experience is not through the screen of an iPhone, but in a more natural way (dare I even bring up the possibility of contact lenses again?) — then, then we are really onto something. Until that point, this version of augmented reality is an interesting step in the right direction, but the consumption cannot be via holding a phone at arm’s length or wearing a ski goggle-esque contraption that distances the person from the reality they are looking to more deeply engage with.
Robots are not just for vacuuming your floor — they are also quite useful for teaching ballroom dancing, and in determining the skill level of the human student, the artificial intelligence can quickly adapt the lessons to be challenging for whatever level the student is at. And speaking of AI, the recent Microsoft acquisition Maluuba has crushed Ms. Pac-Man using a new method called Hybrid Reward Architecture to more effectively manage the very difficult problem of balancing the multiple rewards (and threats) in a game like Ms. Pac-Man to achieve the maximum score.
Staying on the Microsoft theme a moment longer, the team discuss Minecraft as a platform, his where multiple operating systems and devices are now converging on a common Minecraft environment.
Binky has loomed large in the news this past week — what started as a joke has turned into something more. In this app, you can experience all the joy of social media likes & shares but not have anyone ever see your posts. Michael M is reminded of Ian Bogost’s Cow Clicker social media game.
Michael and Michael kick off this episode with holographic dragons demoed by the folks at Microsoft Research. Beside the amazing ability to project monoscopic holograms within the frame of a normal set of eyeglasses, another really exciting aspect of this innovation is the ability to use the processor to correct for astigmatism or other eyesight issues.
Moving from one collaborative display means to another, Michael & Michael talk about Google’s recently announced Jamboard and Michael R shares his experiences with the Ricoh interactive whiteboards. Mural is another example of a collaboration solution that allows for multiple people to interact on the same board together, and this spurred a discussion on other ways to accomplish in software what the Google & Ricoh hardware can do.
Michael & Michael both joined Pinguin to see what they could learn about this new chat system, and naturally, after the article said that the #podcasts room was empty, that was precisely the first place they went. It wasn’t empty by the time they got there, and Michael M used the opportunity to do some marketing for this podcast.
The CNN Money article about John Oliver’s efforts to encourage his viewers to comment on the FCC proceeding 17-108 Restoring Internet Freedom caught the team’s attention, and highlighted how such requests for public comment can be spammed — FCC McFCCFace anyone? And how in a strange circular logic, evidence that someone had loaded voter addresses and spammed the public comments with messages in favor of the new FCC regulations could be used to undermine the validity of nearly 3m public comments (at the time of this posting).
Michael and Michael close out this episode by imagining what video games could be created using the plot lines of movies. While neither Michael is a big horror movie fan, they did come up with some interesting ideas.
Michael and Michael start this episode off with an excellent roundup of how technology gets that dopamine drip going with an article from The Guardian that focuses on the newly published book by Adam Alter, Irresistible. Starting with the psychological and cultural affinity with liking content, and proceeding quickly to the linkages between gambling and games, the article walks the path to augmented reality and virtual reality — what makes an experience repeatable and desirable to come back to again and again.
Turning their attention to augmented reality, Michael and Michael imagine the the future of not only designing 3D spaces with the Microsoft Hololens, but also how the perspective of the user of such technology is afforded the chance to see directly what could not be physically possible. Not everyone can have a front row seat in the operating (or other) theater, but with AR & VR you can — and this begins to open up whole new worlds of possibility.
Michael M shares his experience from an Uber ride in New York this past week, where the car was outfitted with a Mobileye device that watches for speed limits, distance between the driver’s car and those ahead, as well as lane departure warnings. This aftermarket option provides visual and audio alerts to the driver, and sparked a conversation on the nature of event data recording in automotive black boxes.
The team rounded out the episode with the Sony Xperia Touch Projector, which turns any surface into an interactive environment, prompting Michael R to break out his Magic Cube virtual laser keyboard. Only a matter of time before the sharks with lasers appear…