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 49 – Crowdsourcing & Crowdfunding

Episode 49, Crowdsourcing & Crowdfunding was recorded Friday the 14th of June 2013.

While Michael R is recovering or enjoying (or perhaps even both!) from his 6-shot espresso drinks, Michael M and Phaedra discuss adaptable games, crowdsourcing, crowdfunding and much more in this episode of the podcast.  Concepts such as gaming as a service and simulations as a service are explored, as Phaedra and Michael consider how micropayments, donations and volunteerism can speed the delivery of key functionality in games for the education and defense spaces while leveraging marketplaces such as Kickstarter and Indiegogo.  Waze and Dragon Box surface as some key examples, alongside some tried and true games such as Fold.it, Civilization, Ingress and oh, so much more.

Selected show links
From fantasy to reality: The story of Vugar Huseynzade — http://espnfc.com/blog/_/name/bootroom/id/330?cc=5901
Football Manager — http://www.footballmanager.com
The Screen Savers — http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0240295/combined
Soda, Pop or Coke — http://web.ncsu.edu/abstract/science/you-say-tomato-i-say-soda-or-is-it-pop/
Civilization — http://civilization6.com
Railroad Tycoon — http://www.2kgames.com/railroads/railroads.html
Eterna — http://eterna.cmu.edu/web/
Fold.it — http://fold.it/portal/
Ingress — http://www.ingress.com
Waze — http://www.waze.com
Noah Falstein — http://www.linkedin.com/in/gamedesignexpert
Internet Response League — http://internet-response-league.com/
Crowdsourced searching for Jim Gray — http://www.wired.com/techbiz/people/magazine/15-08/ff_jimgray?currentPage=1
Kickstarter — http://www.kickstarter.com
Indiegogo — http://www.indiegogo.com/
Dragon Box Algebra game — http://dragonboxapp.com
Microprose — http://microprose.com
Bean Traders — http://www.beantraderscoffee.com

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