Episode 162 – Seeing is Believing

Michael and Michael are excited that it is that special time of year again, the one where you can buy Thin Mints, and Caramel deLites, and all manner of Girl Scout cookies.  And they are even more excited about the kickstarter game being developed by the Girl Scouts where the cookies take center stage, and the scouts learn all about the various development platforms: MIT’s Scratch, iOS & Android to create the game.  Nice touch, by the way, that the Kickstarter video uses virtual audio reality with positional sound.

Turning from the savory to the visual, Michael and Michael discuss the OxSight augmented reality solution to help low vision people see better — determine the foreground from the background, improve the contrast, zoom in and more.  A tremendous use for such promising technology.  Be sure to check out the link below to see the videos for yourself.  See if you believe Michael R, that this is Geordi LaForge’s visor.

While traveling to the University of South Carolina School of Engineering, Michael M saw some of the older computing technology on display (picture above) and remembered well using his Dataman a few years ago.

Rounding out the show, Michael R would like to issue a rare personal invitation to see him perform with the Durham Savoyards as they present Gilbert & Sullivan’s The Grand Duke March 30 – April 2.

selected links 

Girl Scout Kickstarter:  Marshmallow Run game — https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/designcodebuild/marshmallow-run-game

Girl Scout cookies — http://www.girlscouts.org/en/cookies/all-about-cookies/Meet-the-Cookies.html

TechCrunch article:  OxSight — https://techcrunch.com/2017/02/16/oxsight-uses-augmented-reality-to-aide-the-visually-impaired/

OxSight — http://smartspecs.co

Geordi LaForge — https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Geordi_La_Forge

Low Vision Rehabilitation | Durham Eye Care with Dr. Henry Greene — http://academyeye.com/low-vision-rehabilitation/

Facebook React Native — https://facebook.github.io/react-native/

Achron — http://www.achrongame.com/site/

CodeCadets — https://www.codecadets.com

Girls Make Games — http://girlsmakegames.com

University of South Carolina College of Engineering & Computing — http://sc.edu/study/colleges_schools/engineering_and_computing/

Durham Savoyards — http://durhamsavoyards.org

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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

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Episode 157 – Through the 2016 Looking Glass

In their final episode of 2016, Michael and Michael explore themes where sci-fi blends with reality. In the TechCrunch IoT Redux article, Michael and Michael kick off the discussion with the state of affairs on all the data emitted from the things on the internet, and quickly go into the realm of the British Channel 4 television show Black Mirror (available on Netflix). It is simultaneously possible to have so much of your life available to you at your fingertips, and what could go wrong with such technical capability — the Kingsman movie being another example from the entertainment world.

Turning to the skies, the pair talks about a recent patent from Amazon on a creative approach to the last mile logistics of delivery — drones delivering from a platform attached to a zeppelin. Interesting to consider the example of Duracell’s battery delivery in the midwest states — providing over one ton of batteries to prevent the dreaded “batteries not included” scenario from spoiling (or delaying gratification – you pick), and how useful something like a flying drone warehouse could be. One of the commenters on the Twitter stream for this compared this story to the recent movie Storks.

Periscope announced a new 360 degree broadcasting capability — provided of course, you have a 360 degree camera — yet the functionality on the viewing side was fantastic. Panning or swiping, you can see all the way around.

Both Michaels were happy that our Android friends will get their hands on Mario Run, and Michael R was especially pleased with the earlier than anticipated delivery of the AirPods.

We are thrilled to be back for another year, and look forward to engaging with you.

selected links
TechCrunch article: IoT Redux — https://techcrunch.com/2016/12/28/iot-redux-this-time-its-personal/
Black Mirror episode Entire History of You — https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Entire_History_of_You
Wikipedia: Steve Mann — https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Steve_Mann
SingularityHub article: Lifelogging — https://singularityhub.com/2014/02/09/lifeblogging-gear-is-small-cheap-and-powerful-so-like-it-or-not-youre-going-to-be-recorded/
New York Times Bits Blog: One on One: Steve Mann, Wearable Computing Pioneer — http://bits.blogs.nytimes.com/2012/08/07/one-on-one-steve-mann-wearable-computing-pioneer/
Independent article: Gamifying Obedience to the State — http://www.independent.co.uk/news/world/asia/china-has-made-obedience-to-the-state-a-game-a6783841.html
Black Mirror episode Nosedive — https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nosedive
Kingsman — https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kingsman:_The_Secret_Service
Zoe Leavitt “Death Star of #ecommerce” tweet — https://mobile.twitter.com/zoe_leavitt/status/814212767041331202
United States Patent: 9305280 — http://patft1.uspto.gov/netacgi/nph-Parser?Sect1=PTO1&Sect2=HITOFF&d=PALL&p=1&u=%2Fnetahtml%2FPTO%2Fsrchnum.htm&r=1&f=G&l=50&s1=9305280.PN.&OS=PN/9305280&RS=PN/9305280
Ad Week article: Duracell Express — http://www.adweek.com/adfreak/duracell-saved-lot-tears-delivering-free-batteries-midwest-families-christmas-eve-175309
Storks — http://www.storksmovie.com
MacRumors article: Twitter’s Periscope Now Supports 360-Degree Live Videos — http://www.macrumors.com/2016/12/28/periscope-360-degree-live-videos/
@Feynwoman’s 360 degree tour of the Smithsonian Air & Space Museum — https://www.periscope.tv/w/azUYdjFEWUtYYk5iYXZFZ0x8MWRSS1pYcVpEd1ZKQo71GNCpXWNOcwF2Pj8lTX25w3MNUmA56MLO1oXdSEhq
TechCrunch article: Super Mario on Android — https://techcrunch.com/2016/12/29/you-can-now-register-to-find-out-when-super-mario-run-hits-android
MacRumors article: AirPods Supplier Increasing Production Capacity Due to Strong Demand — http://www.macrumors.com/2016/12/30/airpods-increasing-production/

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Email handling

This will NOT be a political post.  Over the last few years, the world has gone insane.  It has become obvious, at least to me, that people are using more and more technology that don’t have a clue how it works.  Governments, companies, and hackers are enjoying this, as many people don’t understand what data is stored where, and how that data is handled or secured.  Many people are willing to give up all of their privacy just to play a game (if you don’t believe this, take a look at how many of the freemium games on your phone “require” you to either be connected and/or have location tracking turned on).  A whole generation of consumers have given up on the whole idea of privacy online.

I was listening to a security podcast recently and they discussed the idea that we’ve all become overwhelmed with our own security requirements.  Many people have just given up on trying to stay up to date on their security and privacy settings.  When was the last time you have checked your Facebook security and privacy settings. Companies, like Facebook, assert the right to change their settings and defaults at any time, and as such just keeping up with those changes could be a full time job. 

By default, email is inherently an insecure protocol on the internet.   In order to route email between end points the meta data is not corrected.  So you already give up privacy on who you are sending email to.  Most email users will not change their settings to actually encrypt their email content.  

Over the years, I have used PGP encryption in my emails.  PGP is an example of public key encryption, which will allow you to encrypt the email content and ensure the receiver that the email has not been changed in transit, as well as ensure that it actually came from you.  However, for some reason, every time I upgrade my operating system my PGP tool fails, as they  must be hooked into the OS land thereby lag in compatibility. This is an unacceptable outcome for the average consumer.

I believe we need to change the fundemantal architecture for email to make encryption, security and privacy the default setting.  It may take another 10 years or more to migrate the web to this architecture, as we have the problem with defaults – most people don’t change them.  What do you think?

Episode 149 – AR Through the Looking Glass


Augmented Reality features prominently in this episode where Michael and Michael explore a number of new and existing technologies, and how they may work together in an interconnected world to create new experiences for the people who use them. This show starts with a true 3D display called Volume, announced by LookingGlassFactory.com which has an aquarium-like display with true color and millions of pixels to render a three dimensional holographic display that can be experienced without any kind of headgear. A Buzzfeed article adds more clarity on the potential that Apple sees with AR, and both Michael and Michael explore how AR is not just visual — that audio, haptics, internet of things & sensors all play a role in the digital convergence that augments reality. They conclude with an amazing couple of medical use cases — where augmented reality assists in the surgical theater, allowing for a smaller incision and the physician to see what is happening inside the head of the patient, as well as for augmented touch reality where researchers help a man with a spinal injury feel pressure on robotic fingers.

Augmented visual reality, augmented audio reality, augmented touch reality are all part of the experiences possible. Expect that Michael and Michael will explore Smell-o-vision and augmented taste reality in an upcoming episode! Drop us a line with your ideas and thoughts about digital convergence on Twitter or Facebook!

Show Links
NC School of Science and Math
Looking Glass Factory
Tim Cook, Apple, and AR
Duke Researchers use AR for Brain Surgery
Brain interface allows robotic fingers to ‘Feel’

Games we are playing
Michael(s) – Inks

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Episode 148 – Painting with Digital and Physical Ink

In this episode, Michael and Michael struggle with the pronunciation of the Nissan Qashqai which features prominently as a recently completed work of 3Doodler art — a life sized vehicle that took 800 hours to craft. Moving to the digital realm, they discuss Google’s experiment with digital collaboration called Tilt Brush which allows multiple people to create & paint together in real time. The intersection between the digital and physical realms becomes even more tangible with the hospitality industry adoption of wearable devices to improve customer service, and an interesting sidebar on how blockchain can provide an even deeper engagement between customers and the businesses that serve them. Could a smart contract via blockchain improve your dining out experience? We think so!

Check out this week’s episode to increase your VR & AR quotient, and share your ideas with us here on the post, on Twitter or Facebook.

Show Links:
Painting in VR
VR is actually going to change things
Sears in Secondlife
Managing your restaurant with wearables
Analyst – Ian Hughes AKA – ePredator
Don Tapscott – Blockchain Revolution

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Episode 137 – Augmented Reality in the Boardroom & Beyond

Episode 137 – Augmented Reality in the Boardroom & Beyond was recorded on Friday, the 20th of May 2016.

Microsoft’s Hololens NFL of the future —

Phaedra and Michael M take time out to talk about mental wellness gaming applications, a “first person shooter” from the perspective of a civillian struggling to survive, and corporate collaboration applications making great use of data visualizations for problem solving now, and for the opportunities for machine learning and augmented reality for the future.

Michael was very impressed with the Microsoft Surface he saw at the SAP SapphireNow coference in Orlando last week, and made the connection for how the Microsoft Hololens product could make the collaboration even greater with augmented reality — not just for business applications, but also for medical scenaros, where a specialist could ‘beam into’ the operating theater, and highlight what needed to be done for the surgeons in the room.

We hope you enjoy the show!

Selected Links

War of Mine by 11 bit studios — http://www.11bitstudios.com/games/16/this-war-of-mine

SapphireNow — http://events.sap.com/sapphirenow/en/home

Knowledge Workspace (play at 1:26:00 mark) — http://tinyurl.com/zx5blzq

IMG_5400  IMG_5399
Digital Boardroom — (play at 38:51 mark) — http://tinyurl.com/h6zgbj6

IMG_5347 IMG_5348

Virtual Reality & the Digital Boardroom — http://blog-sap.com/analytics/2016/05/16/check-out-the-sap-digital-boardroom-and-virtual-reality-experience-at-sapphirenow/

Washington Post “Why virtual reality won’t transform sports viewing” — https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/innovations/wp/2016/05/16/why-virtual-reality-wont-transform-sports-viewing/

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Episode 86 – App Granularity & Gamification

App Granularity & Gamifcation

Sandy, Phaedra and Michael R. are traveling, on vacation or otherwise engaged in important work, so Michael M. takes a shot at a solo show to explore some thinking on how a number of major apps are breaking down their function into smaller bite sized bits and deploying them as individual apps.

Examples of this are FourSquare, with its Swarm app, Facebook, with the Messenger app, alongside some of the recent acquisitions like Instragam and WhatsApp.

Linking to the Gamification theme of this podcast, Michael muses on how this application functionality breakdown allows for smaller component pieces of functionality can be recombined in a way to allow for games and play — how quickly the same exact functions can be reorderd and recombined to create innovative ways to deliver new sets of function from the same component parts.

Michael thanks @AltonBrown for his ‘unitasker’ design language, and Berke Breathed for giving us Opus and the Turnip Twaddler.

A very happy Father’s Day to all the Dads listening in to the podcast!

selected links
Turnip Twaddler vs Swiss Army Knife twitter post — https://twitter.com/carolinabigblue/status/475941050901876737
Berke Breathed —http://berkeleybreathed.com
Berke Breathed / Opus on Turnip Twaddlers — http://www.gocomics.com/bloomcounty/2010/05/08
Alton Brown — http://altonbrown.com
Alton Brown on unitaskers — http://gizmodo.com/5347140/alton-brown-kitchen-gadget-judgment-calls—yea-or-nay
Swarm — https://www.swarmapp.com
Foursquare — https://foursquare.com
Facebook — https://www.facebook.com
Facebook Messenger — https://www.facebook.com/about/messenger
Instagram — http://instagram.com
WhatsApp — http://www.whatsapp.com
Flight Track — http://www.mobiata.com/apps/flighttrack

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Episode 80 – ExtraLife!

Phaedra and Michael R. Talk about Facebook’s acquisition of Oculus VR, and what it may mean for gaming. We also speculate on what Facebook may do with this new technology, as well as what other players may be in the game worth watching. Michael discusses his experience with the Glyph at MacWorld this year. And while Michael get’s a number wrong, how much has been invested in Oculus already, we correct it in the links below.We then look at Prediction markets and if the wisdom of crowds is actually smarter than the CIA?

We end the show with a few quick interviews with the team at Extra-Life.org. Check them out!

Show Links:
Occulus Rift Acquired by Facebook
Occulus VR Investment to date
Avegant
Glyph
Sony VR Headset
Smarter than a CIA Agent?
Prediction Markets
Wisdom of Crowds
Chore-inator for kids
BabiIs
Age of Context – by Robert Scobble and Shae Israel
Extra-Life – Gaming to help Kids
Michael’s Day by Day Account of MacWorld
Day 1
Day 2
Day 3

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Episode 57 – These Are Not The Hosts You Are Looking For

While our Co-Host Michael Martine is on a bit of a well deserved holiday, Phaedra and Michael R look at wether Carrot is a good example of a social to do app. We also review how social investment may work based on Wired magazine’s work with Kapital, and then we go off on a tangent when Michael R – mis-reads an article. We look forward to our rescheduled interview with Emotiv CEO Tan Le. And, we tee up the idea of ethics and a game’s actual intent – should they be obvious to the player? All this and more – on Games At Work dot Biz!

Show Links:
Emotiv Kick Starter
Stealth Version
Carrot App
The Social Index
When the Title is mis-leading

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