France-based Easy Web develops 3D video projection systems for 'monumental architecture', but could they be developing new cultural expectations for human-city interfaces where everything becomes a template?
The day when anyone can create a stunning 3D Augmented Reality simulation is getting closer. Last month, General Electric's innovative AR media campaign to promote its 'Smart Grid' platform helped to push Augmented Reality out into the masses by giving users a chance to try it at home using a printable marker download and webcam.
In one of those wonderful historical anomalies, February 12, 2009 was the 200th anniversary of the birth of both Abraham Lincoln and Charles Darwin.
Lincoln is recognized as one of the greatest American presidents for helping end slavery. Darwin, of course, is the father of evolutionary biology.
It might appear these two historical giants have little else in common except the same birthday, but Darwin’s theory of evolution will soon call forth a new political debate which could, if not peacefully resolved, rip this country apart as surely as slavery did.
Will OLED screens kill paper? Or converge to strengthen the human cultural bond with paper?
What if the future 'death' is not paper, but book inventory?
That is what 'on demand' printing businesses hope will be true. Their strategy is to target the problems of inventory (e.g. excees; 'long tail' demand), not paper.
The OnDemandBooks Espress Book Machine (EBM) can operate 12 hours a day, 7 days a week, and produce over 60,000 books per year with minimum supervision. And HP is reported to be developing a massive MEMS printer that can deliver thousands of book pages per minute.
The key question is: when will 'on demand printing' come up from the bottom of the Hype Cycle.
Chris Martenson has created a series of videos called The Crash Course 'to provide you with a baseline understanding of the economy so that you can better appreciate the risks that we all face.'
Martenson shows how important it is for us to understand the enormous implications of exponential growth, debt-deficits, wealth creation, asset bubbles and demographic shifts, resource production plateaus, hedonic models, fuzzy numbers of GDP, et al.
Martenson is not necessarily trying to sell a vision of inevitable collapse. Rather he makes a strong case to highlight the observable fundamental flaws in our current economic behavior and models, and the dire consequences of what might happen if we do nothing to change our course.
This is a must watch set of videos for thinking about the future.
Bloggers agree that this might be the worst viral software product video ever to hit the web. But maybe that was Microsoft's plan - generate buzz with cheesy singing and acting to feature its new song-writing software program Song Smith.
Augmenting Creativity Microsoft is using its Research and Live Labs divisions to extend the applications of software beyond business environments. Song Smith is not the end game. It is the beginning of a new age of software that augments real-time creativity using complex algorithms and databases of things like sound, rhythm, color, texture, design, et al. Microsoft has also released Kodu a software program that teaches children how to visually program new games.
Forget about Microsoft's future operating systems. What is their vision of software for learning and creativity as we enter a Post PC era of touch and voice interfaces, plus networked objects with sensors and microcontrollers?
Microsoft's founding vision was 'a PC on every desk'.
Is their new vision 'software (or algorithms) driving every creative act'?
Byron Reeves is a man with a vision: using video games to teach and to help mold behavior. When we get a smart grid and smart devices that track and report on their energy consumption, we'll have the data we need to understand our energy usage in the home. But will we really take advantage of that information?
"Games have the potential change behavior," says Reeves a professor at Stanford University and co-founder of Stanford's MediaX; he conducts research on the emotional and social effects of immersive environments including complex online games . "I became interested in building a game platform that could change behavior around energy usage," he says. To that end, he's been showing a vision video he created with Millions of Us in which he brings to life a game where homeowners compete with each other to see who can become the most energy efficient.
I mentioned in my post yesterday that we were moving towards a time when the powers that be that influence tech Zeitgeist are seeing their reach and effect increase in a profound fashion. One manifestation of this can be seen in the nimble teams of developers that are and will assemble to make a proposed or roughly designed product or prototype quickly. This coincides closely with the trend towards DIY and making. In this post by leading gadget blog Gizmodo, they lay out a mock-up of a next generation Iphone. The Dream IPhone Pro basically combines the features people would like to see most in today's personal communicators - a Blackberry style qwerty keyboard combined with the full size touch screen beauty and facility of the Iphone (plus a couple of other requisite additions such as wholesale improvement of camera/video). It's a pretty simple idea and one that would satisfy a lot of folks (me included). As a result, there are probably a bunch of people tearing apart Iphones, Blackberry's and Nokias as we speak trying to create a hack.
Reuters reports that most leaders in the mobile phone industry see sales plummeting in response to the global economic crisis. "On average, the poll of 36 analysts shows global market volumes shrinking 6.6 percent next year and 5.7 percent in the fourth quarter -- traditionally the strongest period for the industry due to holiday sales." The interesting note is that a similar poll in early November saw predictions that the market would grow by 2.6% next year.
We all know the economy is going to crap, so it's not surprising that people are going to stop buying things they don't really need. For many, that's a brand-spanking new cellphone. Our culture has become (or always has been) a sort of throw-away culture where if your technology isn't the latest then you're way behind the curve.
iPhone after iPhone is thrown away, replaced by a new one ten times better and sexier, only to get replaced less than a year later. This economic jolt might be what it takes to get people to start sticking to their stuff, quell the need for the latest and greatest, and stop shopping smartly. Imagine a phone where you could switch out some of the components instead of buy a whole new product. Like a computer tower, just upgrade the parts instead of buying a whole computer. Honestly though, I see this as unlikely.
Retro gaming is a bizarre phenomenon. Being a technology driven medium, games go through generations in just a few years. However, the differences between generations is more profound than technological advances. It seems that more advanced possibilities change the entire landscape of gaming culture.
Retro gaming is a growing trend, but it is becoming hard to define. There are so many generations of games now, all differing so significantly, that the definition of retro changes according to age, tastes, and personal nostalgia. It's not enough to simply say "Retro means old" any more.
The reason for this blurring of definition, is that games advanced so fast, that human creativity couldn't even keep up. To understand this, remember how old 8-Bit games had such primitive sound, yet the creators did what they could to make the sounds good. We still remember the old music with fondness, not as impressed by today's music that was created with no limitations.
We are now in the transition from the Information Age to the Shift Age. In recent columns I have positioned the recent financial melt down and global economic collapse as the beginning of a painful transitional restructuring between ages. Just as the 1970s with all its stagflation and unprecedented turmoil was the transitional period between the Industrial Age and the Information Age, so is this time a transitional period between the Information Age and the Shift Age.