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 173 – Babel Fish

Computer to computer communications protocols used to start with a high pitched whine & crackle over a telephone line, using a modem – a modulator / demodulator – to establish a handshake.  Computer to computer interactions are nothing new — but AI to AI interfaces are becoming more and more common.  We discussed some of the ramifications in earlier episodes of the podcast — links below for those — and now we turn to how artificial intelligences create optimized methods of communication between themselves.  Like the Twitch example of two Google Home bots talking with one another, the first few articles tell the story of how Facebook and Google AIs created a new way to communicate more effectively by negotiating with one another.

The Google example for the translation services reminded Michael and Michael of the Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy Babel Fish translation concept of a fish that fits in your ear to automatically translate one language to another.  The Bragi Dash in ear headphones are designed to do just this.  Pretty futuristic stuff.

Riffing on what our friend @epredator tweeted, the team discusses the ramifications of knowing what people are looking at in VR in the YouTube Creator Blog.   And the last item deals with gamification to improve cyber defense.  What would you think could benefit from a blue team vs red team gamified process?

Selected links 

The Atlantic article:  An Artificial Intelligence Developed Its Own Non-Human Language — https://www.theatlantic.com/technology/archive/2017/06/artificial-intelligence-develops-its-own-non-human-language/530436/

Tech Crunch article:  Google’s AI tool seems to have invented its own secret internal language — https://techcrunch.com/2016/11/22/googles-ai-translation-tool-seems-to-have-invented-its-own-secret-internal-language/

The Atlantic article:  What an AI’s Non-Human Language Actually Looks Like — https://www.theatlantic.com/technology/archive/2017/06/what-an-ais-non-human-language-actually-looks-like/530934/

Twitch: C:>Bots Chat — https://www.twitch.tv/seebotschat

Edelweiss Little Singers of Armenia — https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6JMHXbxZYf4

Wired article:  Bragi’s Fancy New Earbuds Translate for You in Real Time — https://www.wired.com/2017/05/bragis-fancy-new-earbuds-translate-real-time/

Babel Fish, probably the oddest thing in the galaxy — http://hitchhikers.wikia.com/wiki/Babel_Fish

Games At Work Episode 51:  Tea.  Bojangles.  Hot. — http://gamesatwork.biz/2013/06/30/episode-51-tea-bojangles-hot/

Games At Work: Episode 159:  Virtually Secure — http://gamesatwork.biz/2017/01/22/episode-159-virtually-secure/

Games At Work Episode 163:  Chat Me Maybe — http://gamesatwork.biz/2017/02/27/episode-163-chat-me-maybe/

YouTube Creator blog:  Hot and Cold: Heatmaps in VR — https://youtube-creators.googleblog.com/2017/06/hot-and-cold-heatmaps-in-vr.html

Mind over Machines blog: Symphony of Big Data — http://mindovermachines.com/blog/a-symphony-of-big-data/

Security Intelligence:  Game Over: Improving Your Cyber Analyst Workflow Through Gamification — https://securityintelligence.com/game-over-improving-your-cyber-analyst-workflow-through-gamification/

What are the co-hosts playing these days?

Michael R:  TechCrunch article:  SEGA’s new SEGA forever collection brings classic games to mobile for free — https://techcrunch.com/2017/06/21/segas-new-sega-forever-collection-brings-classic-games-to-mobile-for-free/

Michael M:  Yoga Studio — https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/yoga-studio/id567767430?mt=8


Episode 154 – Heroic Wearable Brain Robots

Michael and Michael share their insight on games for good, specifically on games that have an additional benefit to the fun of playing them.  Sea Hero Quest is a game sponsored by Deutsche Telekom together with University College London, University of East Anglia and Alzheimer’s Research to help with early diagnosis of dementia.  Michael and Michael discuss the possibilities of a software layer which could be placed on top of (or alongside) other games that could capture similar data points for researchers.

The pair then turn to wearables, and the interesting way that mobile and Internet of Things devices can be used for purposes such as the detection of earthquakes as exemplified by the MyQuake Android app, and how quantified self wearables can be harnessed for similar data capture and analysis.

Recalling the Douglas Adams quote of how to fly, and that walking really is controlled falling, Michael and Michael watch the video (above) of the Boston Dynamics Atlas robot walk across a treacherous field — pretty amazing.

Speaking of amazing, Michael R has found a puzzle game like no other either Michael have played before called TraptionBakery — where you attempt to bake a loaf of bread, Rube Goldberg machine-style.  Check it out!

selected links 

Sea Hero Quest — http://www.seaheroquest.com/en/
Techcrunch article:  Neurotrack Brain Scans — https://techcrunch.com/2016/12/01/neurotrack-takes-brain-scans-home/
Neurotrack — https://www.neurotrack.com/
Techcrunch article:  Motorola wont release a new smartwatch anytime soon — https://techcrunch.com/2016/12/01/motorola/
MacRumors article:  Fitbit reportedly close to acquiring Pebble — http://www.macrumors.com/2016/11/30/fitbit-buying-pebble/
Techcrunch article:  Earthquake sensing mobile app, MyShake — https://techcrunch.com/2016/12/01/earthquake-sensing-mobile-app-myshake-captures-hundreds-of-temblors-large-and-small/
Washington Post article:  What personal fitness trackers tell us about earthquakes —   https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/the-intersect/wp/2014/08/25/what-personal-fitness-trackers-like-jawbone-tell-us-about-earthquakes-public-health-and-just-about-anything-else
TechCrunch article: Boston Dynamics’ Atlas robot walks over rubble — https://techcrunch.com/2016/12/01/atlas/

Games the hosts are playing 

Michael R — TraptionBakery by ProperBostin — http://www.properbostin.com/traption_bakery/
Post & video on the building of the game — http://www.properbostin.com/anoraks/tb/index.html

Michael M — Dungeon Boss by Big Fish Games — https://itunes.apple.com/app/dungeon-boss/id776132132?mt=8
join the guild “Knights of the Shrubbery”


Episode 105 – Glad to be of Service

Risk game board

Phaedra and Michael M start off the year talking about InterConnect 2015, where Phaedra will be on the main stage speaking about the power of games.  Continuing on into how the card game for Rejection Therapy operates, a couple of throwback shows from Ross Smith’s experiences with personification of water coolers and buildings at Microsoft and David Szilagy’s & Balás Vedres experiences with Gravitent are recalled.

The concept of how brands such as @AmericanAir have a personality based on on the way that people interact with them, or in Ross’ case, how people at Microsoft interacted with a water cooler that expressed sadness when people didn’t drink are compared to granting applications personalities too, so that they may communicate their health, status and engage with their user communities.  Douglas Adams used such personification in how the Hitchhiker Guide to the Galaxy Heart of Gold’s spaceship doors expressed their sentiment “glad to be of service” to people passing through them.

The Gravitalent software for solving the problem of building diverse and compatible teams is combined with the idea of cognitive computing tuning and customizing learning in real time to optimize the information delivery for the learner.  Fascinating concepts now becoming possible with high speed networks, personalization, instant sentiment analysis and cognitive computing.

All this, and Phaedra shares her secret meeting location at Interconnect so that you can find her there!


Selected Links

Interconnect — http://www.ibm.com/cloud-computing/us/en/interconnect/ 

NPR Rejection Therapy story — http://www.npr.org/blogs/health/2015/01/16/377239011/by-making-a-game-out-of-rejection-a-man-conquers-fear

Rejection Therapy — http://rejectiontherapy.com 

GamesAtWork.biz Bubbly Bubblers — http://gamesatwork.biz/2013/09/08/episode-60-bubbly-bubblers-in-gamified-buildings/

GamesAtWork.biz GraviTalent Interview — http://gamesatwork.biz/2014/08/17/episode-91-gravitalent-interview/

GraviTalent — https://gravitalent.com

World of Goo — http://www.bigfishgames.com/games/5079/world-of-goo/?pc


Episode 60 – Bubbly Bubblers in Gamified Buildings

Happy Water CoolerPhaedra, Michael and Michael were delighted to be accompanied by Ross Smith, Director of Test in the Skype division of Microsoft for this show, centered around games for employee engagement.

Ross described the recent work that he and his team have done with giving personality to buildings and using the building itself as the ‘game master’, to orchestrate and facilitate employee engagement.

Games for health
One of the intriguing examples (also discussed in Episode 58, but without the benefit of Ross’s first hand experience) uses a water cooler with personality as the mechanism for gamifying health.  While drinking eight glasses of water a day is a pretty well known health tip (I’m drinking my 4th big glass as I’m writing this!), it is easily forgotten in the hectic business day.  The team at Microsoft gave their water cooler a bubbly user interface and 4 emotional modes (sad, happy, attract/flirt and party) to experiment with increasing the amount of water consumed by the building’s people.  The results:  more water for more people, and a wealth of data, feedback and ideas to continue the innovation.  The picture above was inspired by Ross’ story and is my low-tech example of giving the water cooler in my apartment some personality as well!
Another example is classifying the food choices in the cafeteria as green, yellow and red, and then using that data to guide behavior.  If less healthy food choices are selected, the building might suggest using the stairs or a longer route for a meeting later in the day.  This has helped the team learn more about what people are willing to share, and what they are not, and inform future game design on what should have individual vs team collective goals to maximize participation while respecting privacy.

Games for social / business interaction
The game ISHI was used as the buildings were being opened to help the team come together in an open office, connected community.  Ross described how people may respond to some survey questions indicating preference between skiing and snowboarding, or cat / dog fandom, and then how that kind of data can be used to create groups and teams with common interests and help people to get to know one another even better.  The building invited people to come to a central space, then you have met a number of people with common interest across job roles and functions, with the goal of beating the clock to figure out what do they have in common.  This method of dynamic team creation could be leveraged to bring a creative team together to brainstorm how to solve a client’s problem just as easily.
Windows Language Quality Game was another game with similar tremendous results, this game wound up attracting more than 4,000 people play and review over half a million screens, separating actionable feedback from non-actionable feedback received from public beta testers of Windows software.  Ross noted that rigorous data collection is key, and his experience of 4x – 16x increased participation and results because of the game mechanics can demonstrate even to the skeptics the business impact and win them over.

We were delighted to have Ross on the show with us today, and if you would like to learn more about him and the projects he’s involved in, you can find him on the following links:

Web www.42projects.org
Twitter   @42projects
Facebook  www.facebook.com/42projects
blog  http://42projects.blogspot.com/

We are happy to have had you dialed our way.  You can find us on G+, Tumblr, Facebook, Twitter and more.  Please comment, friend, tweet and send us topics you would like to hear more about!

Selected show links
ISHI game for the Skype team at Microsoft — http://research.microsoft.com/apps/video/default.aspx?id=200275
ISHI game documentary rough cut — http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=l0W431tP6SM&feature=youtu.be
Water Cooler — http://www.businessinsider.com/like-to-flirt-at-the-office-water-cooler-a-microsoft-intern-built-a-water-cooler-that-flirts-back-2013-8
Vote for Sentient Buildings for SXSW — http://panelpicker.sxsw.com/vote/21393
Microsoft Interns — http://research.microsoft.com/en-us/news/features/interns13-082613.aspx
Magic Circle of Play — http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Magic_Circle_(virtual_worlds)
Everymove.org — https://everymove.org
Chore Wars — http://www.chorewars.com
uTest — http://www.utest.com

Games we’re playing (or thinking about)
Madden 25 — http://www.easports.com/madden-nfl
Assassin’s Creed — http://assassinscreed.ubi.com/en-us/home/index.aspx
SimCity — http://www.simcity.com
Bioshock 2 — http://www.bioshock2game.com/en/
Call of Duty Black Ops 2 — http://www.callofduty.com/blackops/
iPad games for toddlers?  Phaedra would like your suggestions!
Dragon Box — http://research.microsoft.com/apps/video/default.aspx?id=200275
Motor World — https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/motor-world-car-factory/id580666714?mt=8
Plants vs Zombies 2 – https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/plants-vs.-zombies-2/id597986893?mt=8


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