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.
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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.
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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:
Thanks, Robert Scoble! Read the rest
Magali Barbé's short film Strange Beasts depicts a futuristic augmented reality product for kids and parents -- a piece of design fiction with a serious sting it its tail. (via Beyond the Beyond) Read the rest
Adam Debreczeni stitched together Unity + ARKit + Mapbox + Strava to make a 3D topographic map of a bike ride he took. Read the rest
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
Nearly 250 million people in the world have impaired vision. Oxsight is developing augmented reality glasses that could supplement or even replace canes and seeing eye dogs for many. Read the rest
I just got through dropping off several bags of groceries and wrapped presents for my daughter's school's annual, very successful charitable drive that benefits local families living in poverty as well as our local, excellent food bank. 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.
• DCA Optic website Read the rest
A new report from Axiom Capital Management suggests that Pokémon Go is on a downward trend in daily active users and engagement of those users. The data comes from Sensor Tower, SurveyMonkey, and Apptopia.
Additionally, "The Google Trends data is already showing declining interest in augmented reality, whereas interest in virtual reality remains high," says senior analyst Victor Anthony.
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Augmented reality, where stuff is visually superimposed on the real world using special glasses or whatever, is often touted as a more convincing and likely future than, say, everyone ending up in some kind of VR entertainment matrix hooked up to nutrition and shitting tubes. Sadly, AR will be even worse, at least if it resemble Keiichi Matsuda's hellish Hyper-Reality. Read the rest
In Wired, BB pal Kevin Kelly wrote a definitive feature about the current (and future?) state of virtual reality, technology that many of us first tried in the late 1980s but took nearly thirty years to be ready for prime time.
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I first put my head into virtual reality in 1989. Before even the web existed, I visited an office in Northern California whose walls were covered with neoprene surfing suits embroidered with wires, large gloves festooned with electronic components, and rows of modified swimming goggles. My host, Jaron Lanier, sporting shoulder-length blond dreadlocks, handed me a black glove and placed a set of homemade goggles secured by a web of straps onto my head. The next moment I was in an entirely different place. It was an airy, cartoony block world, not unlike the Minecraft universe. There was another avatar sharing this small world (the size of a large room) with me—Lanier.
We explored this magical artificial landscape together, which Lanier had created just hours before. Our gloved hands could pick up and move virtual objects. It was Lanier who named this new experience “virtual reality.” It felt unbelievably real. In that short visit I knew I had seen the future. The following year I organized the first public hands-on exhibit (called Cyberthon), which premiered two dozen experimental VR systems from the US military, universities, and Silicon Valley. For 24 hours in 1990, anyone who bought a ticket could try virtual reality. The quality of the VR experience at that time was primitive but still pretty good.
Bill Shunn writes, "The second and concluding part of my science fiction novelette 'Our Dependency on Foreign Keys' is available now at the online magazine Across the Margin (part one). Read the rest
The Hattrickwear is an improbable ball-cap designed to mount your phone horizontally along your eyeline with a mirror and prism that keeps your screen in your field of vision all the time. Read the rest