Episode 175 – Killing the iPhone

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.

Things are about to get amazing.

Selected links 

Mashable article:  The world’s first glasses-free holographic phone is coming, and it’s not from Apple —   http://mashable.com/2017/07/06/red-hydrogen-holographic-phone

Red Hydrogen Phone — http://www.red.com/hydrogen

BGR article: This augmented reality projector just needs a lightbulb socket — http://bgr.com/2017/07/12/augmented-reality-projector/

BGR article: This is how Apple might ‘kill’ the iPhone — http://bgr.com/2017/07/27/iphone-ar-glasses-apple/

Venture Beat article: Amber: The Dutch self-driving startup that could beat Uber, Tesla, and Google to mass market — https://venturebeat.com/2017/07/09/amber-the-dutch-self-driving-startup-that-could-beat-uber-tesla-and-google-to-mass-market/

Amber — https://www.ambermobility.com

Mashable article: BMW and other carmakers team up to take on Waze and Google Maps —  http://mashable.com/2017/07/26/here-connected-car-real-time-traffic-service

NPR article: Bikes May Have To Talk To Self-Driving Cars For Safety’s Sake — http://www.npr.org/sections/alltechconsidered/2017/07/24/537746346/bikes-may-have-to-talk-to-self-driving-cars-for-safetys-sake

Way — https://waymo.com

What are the co-hosts playing these days?

Michael R — Futurama game — https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/futurama-worlds-of-tomorrow/id1207472130?mt=8

Michael M — Neko Atsume — https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Neko_Atsume


Episode 155 – Holiday Potluck

Gearing up for the festive season, Michael and Michael serve up a veritable smorgasbord of holiday potluck delights.

Starting with well, um, leftovers from last week, Fitbit has indeed acquired the technology, software assets and intellectual property of Pebble and many of the people from Pebble will be joining Fitbit to continue their work on wearable technology. This brings up an interesting point on the nature of cloud services and the integration with physical devices — that one without the other does not work, as products and services are becoming more and more intertwined.

Moving on to appetizers, Cortana now has more capabilities in Windows 10 that allow for someone to issue a voice command to shut down the system — not just the system owner — and Pantone has announced the color of the year for 2017, a fresh vibrant green called Greenery (15-0343 TCX), expressing hope and optimism to rejuvenate, revitalize and unite.

Stopping at the main dish area, where we find all the news that’s fit to virtually experience — Michael and Michael explore how virtual reality can help the ‘reader’ become more immersed in a news story, by virtually being there and interacting. BMW is using augmented reality with their Visor for BMW Mottorad concept vehicle. And finally, how the Occipital Bridge has been just announced with the blended / mixed reality experience allowing for an iPhone 6, 6s or 7 to be coupled with a camera and Occipital’s software to provide a full virtual reality experience that you have to see to believe. And you can get one now, if you act fast!

Rounding out with dessert, Michael R shares the 3D printing test he’s done of a dragon’s head door knocker. This is something amazing — can’t wait to see the full size print!

selected links

MacRumors article: Fitbit acquisition of Pebble — http://www.macrumors.com/2016/12/08/pebble-fitbit-buyout-customer-refunds/

BGR article: New voice commands for Cortana — http://bgr.com/2016/12/08/cortana-shut-down-microsoft-windows-10/

iEEE article — VR immersion for news stories — http://theinstitute.ieee.org/technology-topics/consumer-electronics/virtual-reality-can-immerse-people-in-news-stories-and-prepare-them-for-natural-disasters

Switchpoint 2016 conference in Saxapahaw, NC — https://event.switchpointideas.com/2016

Games at Work e134 with discussion on Switchpoint — http://gamesatwork.biz/2016/03/20/episode-134-swords-and-virtual-realities/

New York Times Virtual Reality viewer — http://www.nytimes.com/marketing/nytvr/index.html

Mashable article: BMW Mottorad Concept motorcycle with augmented reality Visor — http://mashable.com/2016/10/12/bmw-motorrad/#aXY19b9M_iqz

Occipital Bridge mixed reality viewer — https://bridge.occipital.com


Episode 58 – Zombies vs Mummies

Porter Stowell joins Phaedra and Michael M for a rockin’ good time across a broad set of topics for this week’s show. Phaedra shares her stories from the Serious Play Conference in Seattle earlier this week, highlighting how Ross Smith has created a building with personality to interact with the people who enter and use it. We playfully riff off of the idea that a water fountain may say “glad to be of service” and how other aspects of the building personality may interact with people, and how municipalities could interact with citizens, rewarding them for taking action to help maintain the city.

Porter highlights how crowdsourcing has been incorporated in charity concerts, and the team speculates how technologies such as Foursquare (and Foursquare mayors) might be engaged for validation of the crowdsourced contributions.

The panel then turns to the question of ethics that was started during last week’s show, and reaches a consensus that disclosure is key for organizations using games to achieve a goal beyond that of simple entertainment. If you play a game, and the outcome of that play may be in the furtherance of another goal, the player should know in advance what their play is helping to attain so they may make an informed decision to play or not. Porter, Phaedra and Michael speculate on what it would take to gain informed consent to build the Death Star, and what kind of spin would be needed to do so.

How does Michael spend his vacation? Well, playing games! He shares his experiences with a couple of iOS games — Sid Meier’s Pirates, Plants vs Zombies 2, Motor World, and Simpson’s Tapped Out. We have an intense discussion as to whether mummies are zombies before Porter calms Phaedra and Michael back down. A thread between Motor World and the Simpsons is that both use doughnuts as a scarce currency. It’s all about the doughnuts.


Porter has been playing a game played by 30m people, growing by 60% every year, where you sorting through useless data points in order to win. Porter stumped Phaedra and Michael on this riddle – see if you can identify what game it is before Porter gives it away!

Selected show links

Serious Play Conference, Seattle August 19 – 22, 2013 — http://www.seriousplayconference.com
Ross Smith — http://www.linkedin.com/in/rosss42
Douglas Adams, The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy — http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Hitchhiker%27s_Guide_to_the_Galaxy
Bill Gates, The Road Ahead — http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Road_Ahead_(Bill_Gates_book)
Nolan Bushnell — http://nolanbushnell.com
Gabe Zimmerman — http://www.gamification.co/gabe-zichermann/
Zoran Povović — http://homes.cs.washington.edu/~zoran/
Fold.it — http://fold.it/portal/
Dragonbox — http://dragonboxapp.com
ESP Game — http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/ESP_Game
reCaptcha — http://www.google.com/recaptcha
World Community Grid — http://www.worldcommunitygrid.org
SETI@Home — http://setiathome.berkeley.edu
Waze — http://www.waze.com
Ender’s Game — http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ender%27s_Game
Sid Meier’s Pirates — https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/sid-meiers-pirates!/id499794670?mt=8
Plants vs Zombies 2 — https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/plants-vs.-zombies/id350642635?mt=8
Motor World — https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/motor-world-car-factory/id580666714?mt=8
Simpson’s Tapped Out — https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/the-simpsons-tapped-out/id497595276?mt=8
Techmo Bowl — http://tecmobowl.org