Sarah Gailey (who wrote a brilliant, wrenching short story about empathy and self-driving cars) has just published a new story about wearable computers in a series in The Atlantic edited by Ian Bogost (previously). Read the rest
70 year old Taipei fengshui master Chen San-yuan is known locally as "Pokemon Grandpa," and is a viral sensation thanks to the 15 phones he's mounted on his handlebars to help him play the 2016 augmented reality game Pokemon Go; his rig cost about $4,000 and he spends another $300/month on virtual currency to help him level up in the game. He says that playing the game keeps him socially connected and delays the onset of Alzheimer's. (Image: Reuters) (via Kottke) Read the rest
Working as a technology journalist is a privilege that allows me to play with hardware that I could never afford to own. Last week, while I was in Montreal for the opening of Sennheiser's new Canadian office, for example, I was able to spend some quality time with the company's crazy $50,000 made-to-order HE 1 headphones. For a guy that reviews audio hardware for a living, it was a ridiculous treat.
There are times that the privilege of doing what I do extends beyond all of the gear that I get to play with. Among the Sennheiser employees, audio nerds like me, and other folks attending the company's opening day bash was Dr. Andreas Sennheiser. Andreas, an electrical engineer by trade, has been co-CEO along with his brother Daniel of their family's 70-year-old audio company for the past five years.
Here in North America, Sennheiser is mostly known for their professional audio products -- microphones and reference headphones for the rich and musically famous, and conference-call hardware for high falootin' boardrooms. In Europe, Asia and Africa, the German company's footprint in consumer audio is massive. They’re one of the oldest names in audiophile-grade headphones and an early, much-respected maker of audio hardware designed to augment virtual and augmented reality experiences.
They make cool shit.
Once the celebration was over and the caterers had absconded with the all of leftovers, Andreas was good enough to spend a few minutes with me, talking about his company, his family and the notion of legacy. Read the rest
Geographic information systems used to be 2-D maps, but new AR technologies are letting users see where pipes and other underground infrastructure is through augmented reality .
Brief video showcasing a few features of the vGIS Utilities system (http://www.vgis.io/). vGIS Utilities is the most advanced augmented reality solution for GIS designed specifically with utilities, municipalities and GIS service providers in mind. The system connects to Esri ArcGIS to seamlessly convert traditional 2D GIS data into powerful, accurate and stable 3D visuals.
vGIS is the only system that supports the full spectrum of technologies - augmented reality (Android and iOS), mixed reality (HoloLens) and virtual reality.
The system is deployed in at over 40 sites across the world to bring real-life benefits to municipalities, utilities, locate service providers and multiple other organizations.
Chinese transit cops are wearing glasses with heads-up displays and cameras tied into the country's facial recognition to spot criminals, people smugglers, and riders who are using high-speed trains in defiance of rules that prohibit indebted people and people from ethnic and religious minorities from traveling. Read the rest
Dynamicland is a new nonprofit based in Oakland, where they are building a collaborative computing space, kitted out with cameras and projectors that allow people to work together to compose computer programs by scribbling on ordinary paper, have those doodles parsed by an interpreter, and then have the programs run as projections on the flat surfaces of the rooms. Read the rest
Judith Amores Fernandez, Anna Fusté Lleixà, and Jam3 created the Invisible Highway at Google Creative Lab using Unity, Tango, and the AdaBox maker kit from Adafruit.
From the YouTube description:
Invisible Highway is an experiment in controlling physical things in the real world by drawing in Augmented Reality. Simply make a pathway along the floor on your phone and the robot car will follow that path on the actual floor in your room. A custom highway with scenery is generated along the path to make the robots a little more scenic on your phone screen. Read the rest
Writing science fiction can get you amazing access to thinkers, founders, and scientists whose work touches on the stories you tell. It’s one of the great things about my job. Sure, writing cover stories for Wired would get my calls returned faster! But countless science and tech leaders trace their interests back to tales they read as youngsters -- which has lent me great success in requesting research interviews for my stories.Rob Reid's After On is available from Amazon.
Setting my books in the present-ish day, I try to keep things consistent with current technology and knowledge, so I conduct lots of these interviews. And I learn troves from them. But as I get excited about a new field, I become prone to giddy tangents about how it all works, or why it matters. Giddy tangents have a place in fiction – but a limited one, and they should be used sparingly.
I conducted dozens of interviews while writing my new novel After On (which came out out on Tuesday). Focusing on the storytelling meant leaving out huge amounts of newfound learning that just didn’t fit. Which was the right decision! But it also felt like a lost opportunity. And so I’ve created eight podcast episodes that deeply explore areas that fascinated me during my research. I’ll be posting them to Boing Boing on a weekly basis, starting with Episode One, which is all about augmented reality:
A quick word on how these episodes are structured. My co-host is grizzled podcasting veteran Tom Merritt, who has been presenting tech news and culture to the world for over fifteen years. Read the rest
I lived through the eighties and I approve of Trixi Studios’ "Take On Me" iOS (proof-of-concept only) app which turns your surroundings into a pencil-sketched, a-ha-style music video using augmented reality. The Chicago-based team created it with Apple's ARKit, which is a suite of developer tools launched in June that adds AR to apps.
Here's a-Ha's original music video, in case you're feeling as nostalgic as I am:
The most reliably impressive technology I've played with this decade is projection-mapping: using powerful LCD projectors to paint 3D surfaces with images tailored to map exactly over those surfaces, turning plaster and paint into stone, wood, or animated surfaces. Read the rest
Here's a sandbox with a topographical map projected onto it. Move sand about, and the map moves with it, like an insane tech demo of some augmented-reality version of classic God-game Populous.
Your very own AR sandbox costs $7,050 and it comes with the laptop, projector and camera rig. The software, though, is free of charge. Here's a detailed project report on the prototype if you fancy shaving a few grand off that tag. [via r/interestingasfuck]
Correction: this post originally likened the shaping of land to the activities of God. Slartibartfast is the correct object of comparison. Boing Boing regrets the error. Read the rest
DCA has been presenting their concept for Optic, an AR bike helmet at conferences and competitions this year. It includes cameras, sensors, and a clear visor that displays alerts about obstacles, directions, and other data.
Optic gives cyclists the visual information to make safer decisions on the road by integrating front and rear cameras with 360-degree proximity and collision detection. The visor doubles as a heads-up display where Optic live-streams the rear camera and highlights potential risks. This allows the user to focus on the road ahead with full awareness of their surroundings. The visor display can also show navigation and journey statistic interfaces, putting information directly in front of the cyclists without them having to take their eyes off the road.