links for 2009-09-17

  • "The International Symposium on Mixed and Augmented Reality (ISMAR) will launch its inaugural program featuring the latest developments in the Arts, Media and Humanities (AMH) research and applications.
    Artists, designers, media producers and futurists will present new frontiers in the power of Mixed and Augmented Reality to express, convey, impact and improve human experience and interpretation in the areas of education, training, entertainment, communications, design and media production.
    The programs will be covering how Mixed and Augmented Reality is revolutionizing diverse application domains and how its innovators are applying the art and craft of melting the boundaries between the real, virtual and imagined."
  • Excellent reading list for research topics in Ubicomp created by Jason Hong, of CMU.
  • Sterling pitches his vision of the 'dawn of the AR industry' – 50min video.
  • "Bing Local Search has some interesting features you won't find in Google, so the prospect of seeing Bing listings appear on top of your iPhone's camera viewer when you point at a restaurant or business is intriguing. That's what forthcoming iPhone app RobotVision offers – and it displays a view of Tweets and Flickr photos published nearby wherever you are.

    RobotVision is a new Augmented Reality (AR) app for the iPhone 3Gs. It's not available yet, but it will be as soon as AR apps are formally welcomed into the App Store by Apple, probably sometime next month. AR browsers "turn the world inside out" by exposing latent online information about your surroundings; there will soon be enough of them that they will compete based on user experience. RobotVision looks like it could be a good one."

  • The book Digital Cityscapes: Merging Digital and Urban Playspaces has been released recently. The description goes as follows:
    "The convergence of smartphones, GPS, the Internet, and social networks has given rise to a playful, educational, and social media known as location-based and hybrid reality games. The essays in this book investigate this new phenomenon and provide a broad overview of the emerging field of location-aware mobile games, highlighting critical, social scientific, and design approaches to these types of games, and drawing attention to the social and cultural implications of mobile technologies in contemporary society. With a comprehensive approach that includes theory, design, and education, this edited volume is one of the first scholarly works to engage the emerging area of multi-user location-based mobile games and hybrid reality games."
  • An article addressing the role of SciFi as a mediator between imagination and technology development: "In 1993, on NPR’s “Fresh Air,” science fiction author William Gibson famously said, “The future is here. It’s just not evenly distributed yet.” In the work of Gibson and his fellow writers, we often find the tension between two key pillars of future thinking: our future stuff and our future selves.
    As a form of communication, science fiction (especially written) presents its own usability challenge. Like many things, it’s easier to use if you already know how it works (I think this is why I struggle with jazz). There are many recurring tropes that get little exposition… The more we read and watch, the more interface standards we absorb, and the easier it is to quickly move past this interface of tropes to the actual story."
  • Old PDF outlining Philips Future Vision:- "Predicting the potential of a technology is difficult because its success depends not only on its intrinsic value as an innovation but also on a wide variety of 'real-world' variables. These include commercial viability, social need, governmental policies, international standards, and often other technologies which may boost its widespread acceptance. In reviewing technologies which now exist or look extremely promising, we decided to concentrate on those which have the most realistic chance of success and which are most relevant to Philips' field of operations: electronic engineering, software, materials, lighting technology, telecommunications and medical systems. We concluded that the most far-reaching changes in the next decade are not likely to be the result of dramatic new innovation. Rather, they will almost certainly result from the focusing, refining and merging of existing technologies and their extension to more areas of our lives."
  • BBC News item from 2002 on internet fridges:- "Imagine this," says Adrian King, president of ICL's Retail System Division. "You're in the kitchen and notice that you are running low on eggs. "You swipe the carton past the barcode scanner, which makes a note on its personal 'shopping list'. You do this for all the items that you need. When you're ready, you send the list to a nominated supermarket who can then make up and deliver the order to your home."
  • "Ubicomp. Oh yeah. I know it's got a million names. All kinds of jargon. Pervasive computing. Wearable computers. Intelligent environment. Wireless internet. Peripheral computing. Self-configuring, adaptively coordinated Embedded Nets. Things That Think. Locator Tags. JINI. Wearware. Personal Area Networking. And so forth. This kind of disruption in my beloved English language is like the rumblings of a tectonic fault. The signs are very good that something large, expensive and important will tear loose there.
    I personally prefer the word "ubicomp" because it sounds so cheap. Ubicomp: that sounds like you go down to the hardware store and buy a few gallons. You don't have to genuflect to it, but it's still a grand challenge. Because ubicomp is truly a profound idea. It has grandeur, and better yet, it's not metaphysical. You don't have to handwave with any big verbal catch-all terms like "artificial intelligence". Or "evolution." Or "nano-" anything. Or "virtual" anything."
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