Episode 177 – What could possibly go wrong?

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.

Check out the show — check out the games!

Selected links

Boy Genius Report article: UPS is going all-in on VR — http://bgr.com/2017/08/15/ups-vr-htc-vive/

Early space journeys began at Morehead Planetarium — http://www.unc.edu/spotlight/early-space-journeys/

there.com — https://www.prod.there.com

ZDTVfan’s YouTube channel with old The Screen Savers episodes — https://www.youtube.com/user/zdtvfan/featured

Jim Grosse on Massively Multiplayer Simulator for Asymmetric Warfare using There.com on Tech TV’s The Screen Savers — https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cGyOHTrh0wM

Patently Apple article: Apple’s Next iOS will deliver a Big Win for Apple Regarding Augmented Reality that Leapfrogs Microsoft’s HoloLens — http://www.patentlyapple.com/patently-apple/2017/08/apples-next-ios-will-deliver-a-big-win-for-apple-regarding-augmented-reality-that-leapfrogs-microsofts-hololens.html

Bloomberg Businessweek article: Tim Cook on Donald Trump, the HomePod, and the Legacy of Steve Jobs — https://www.bloomberg.com/news/features/2017-06-15/apple-s-tim-cook-on-donald-trump-the-homepod-and-the-legacy-of-steve-jobs

Apple’s WWDC iOS 11 Wingnut AR Surreal Demo — https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jAsxW5YtWrM

ARKit demo pictures from Michael R in E172 — http://gamesatwork.biz/2017/06/19/episode-172-shining-a-light-on-ar/

Magic Leap — https://www.magicleap.com

Wired Article: Why ‘Gorilla Arm Syndrome” Rules Out Multitouch Notebook Displays — https://www.wired.com/2010/10/gorilla-arm-multitouch/

TechCrunch article: Minibar Delivery alcohol marketplace picks up $5 million in funding — https://techcrunch.com/2017/08/15/minibar-alcohol-marketplace-picks-up-5-million-in-funding/

Somabar — https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/somabar/somabar-automated-craft-cocktail-appliance

Tech Crunch article: A defense company puts a machine gun on a drone — https://techcrunch.com/2017/08/17/a-defense-company-put-a-machine-gun-on-a-drone/

Daniel Suarez book Kill Decision — https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kill_Decision

What are the co-hosts playing these days?

Unstable Unicorns — https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/ramybadie/unstable-unicorns

Exploding Kittens — https://www.explodingkittens.com

Imploding Kittens — https://shop.theoatmeal.com/products/imploding-kittens-expansion-pack


Episode 172 – Shining a light on AR

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.

Selected links 

Apple ARkit — https://developer.apple.com/arkit/

Apple ARkit WWDC video — https://developer.apple.com/videos/play/wwdc2017/602/ 

Ballroom dancing robot — https://twitter.com/qz/status/874061192196534272

Ms PacMan — http://time.com/4819067/microsoft-pac-man-maluuba/

Maluuba — http://www.maluuba.com

Hybrid Reward Architecture for Reinforcement Learning — https://arxiv.org/pdf/1706.04208.pdf

Minecraft — http://www.businessinsider.com/minecraft-unites-all-platforms-2017-6

Binky — https://techcrunch.com/2017/06/10/binky/

Cow Clicker — https://cowclicker.com

BikeSphere — http://bgr.com/2017/06/14/bikesphere-michelin-safety/


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


Episode 107 – Do Nothing

Michael and Michael talk about the latest IFTTT (IF-This-Then-That) incarnation on iOS, where they are rebranding to “IF” and release some cool new ways to get more and more people engaged with the IFTTT ecosystem. If you are in Las Vegas the Week of Feburary 22nd thru 26th, stop by and see your co-hosts Michael Rowe and Phaedra Boinodirs at the IBM InterConnect conference! We also look at the iOS App WorkFlow and ask for any listener who has tested the pizza button to give us a review of how that worked for you. Michael R also orders a $59 WinBook Tablet. Here’s a review he found on line:

Show Links:
Do App
Workflow for iOS


Episode 71 – Grinding at Work

Board Games
Episode 71, Grinding at Work was recorded Friday the 3rd of January 2014 — Happy New Year!

Phaedra, Michael and Michael start the new year off with a bang, sharing the games that they’ve been playing over the holidays, discussing the Virtuix Omni 360 degree treadmill device, and exploring how grinding gaming experiences may lend themselves to improved customer and employee engagement. A very interesting gamification idea emerges for how Kinect-like devices could provide biofeedback to call center employees to help them stay “in the zone” and be as effective as possible. Have a listen!

Selected show links:
Games we’re been playing over the holidays
Clumsy Ninja — https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/clumsy-ninja/id561416817?mt=8
Real Racing 3 — https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/real-racing-3/id556164008?mt=8

Apples to Apples — http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Apples_to_Apples
Cranium — http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cranium_(game)
Blackjack — http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Blackjack
Texas Hold ‘Em — http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Texas_hold_%27em

Lego Hobbit — http://www.lego.com/legogames/en-us/Products/Details/3920.aspx
Tiny Thief — https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/tiny-thief/id656620224?mt=8
Mega Dead Pixel — https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/mega-dead-pixel/id667405556?mt=8

Association of Virtual Worlds — http://www.associationofvirtualworlds.com

Omni videos, including Minecraft, Skyrim, and much more — http://www.virtuix.com/videos/

Math before mailing (from 2008!) — http://gmailblog.blogspot.hu/2008/10/new-in-labs-stop-sending-mail-you-later.html

Simpsons Tapped Out — https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/the-simpsons-tapped-out/id497595276?mt=8

Kinect — http://www.xbox.com/en-US/kinect