The Internet Of Things & Augmented Reality

[ Comments Off ]Posted on March 5, 2011 by admin in Technology

Saturday, March 5th, 2011

Your first life wasn’t enough, so they created Second Life. Apparently that wasn’t enough for you either. No worries, soon you can augment your reality and live in your “Internet of Things”.

Having trouble recognizing
reality? There’s an app for that.

Reality just not real enough for you lately? Having a hard time identifying the objects around you? Well, no worries. There’s an app for that. Or at least there will be before too long. We’ve talked about Augmented Reality before, but another concept is gaining traction as the next big thing. It’s called the Internet of Things . It’s based on the idea that since the coming IPv6 addressing system for the web will make it possible to encode 50 to 100 trillion objects, well heck, we just might as well. And since the average person only has about 1000 to 5000 objects around them, we’ll just give all of them addresses so we can attach information to them, since there are plenty of URL’s for everyone! We jest of course. In (ahem) reality, these technologies make some amazing stuff possible. One implementation of the idea that has gotten some press is Green Goose, an activity monitoring system that uses green, egg-shaped sensors to track your activities and help you to reach goals that you select. Their tagline is “Play Real Life”. ReadWriteWeb covered the start-up in February of last year and again this year,  if you’d like to learn more. Personally, I’m already busy enough living my life that I don’t feel a need to do it twice. But the system points to interesting possibilities. We’ve already seen some of the cool tools made possible by object or environment analysis and universal connectivity. The song recognition app SoundHound and Quest Visual’s instant translator app Word Lens are two popular examples. But in the future, we may be able to access information about nearly anything around us, with tools similar to the “terminator vision” used in T2: Judgment Day. Let’s just hope this stuff works better than autocorrect. Below is just one example of the possibilities of having detailed information about the things and people around you with point and shoot simplicity. Just make sure you keep that antivirus software updated! Read the rest of this entry »

Finding Reality Boring? Augment It.

[ Comments Off ]Posted on August 28, 2009 by admin in Technology

Friday, August 28th, 2009

Reality is much more interesting when it’s all commented on and tagged like a Facebook status post or Flickr set.

Check Out The iPhone “Stalk Her” App

We looked at the future of augmented reality back in April, but had no idea at the time that so many developers were on the verge of launching apps so soon. Acrossair has a cool app that tells Londoners where their nearest tube station is via their iPhone’s video function. RobotVision AR is a little more interesting; it integrates Bing local search, geotagged Flickr photos, and Twitter connections with an app that lets you simply point the camera in different directions to locate the shops, hotels, or tourist spots you’re looking for. The Austrian startup Mobilizy is developing AR driving directions with text-to-speech functionality called Wikitude Drive. They plan to include more “social navigation” features in future releases. Japanese company Tonchidot is introducing “airtagging” via their tool SekaiCamera. This is all incredibly cool stuff, but being the future-obsessed late adopter I am, I think I’ll hold out for the holographic version where life will be like one big “Pop Up Video”. Read the rest of this entry »

Hyperlinking Reality

[ 1 Comment ]Posted on April 7, 2009 by admin in Technology

Tuesday, April 7th, 2009

What if you could click on the objects around you for more information about them?

Imagine you’re in Rome, and by pointing your iPhone at a statue, you’re able not only to identify the statue, but also able to click on links to Wikipedia about it, and then switch to Google Maps to locate the nearest cafe for a break from sightseeing. This scenario is quickly becoming less and less like science fiction, thanks to new tools like Photosynth and Mobvis. We touched on Photosynth a while back, but they’ve more recently teamed with CNN to bring you an interesting and different way to look at the 2009 Presidential Inauguration. Unfortunately, if you’re on a Mac, you won’t be able to see how interesting and different. They say they’re working on a Mac-friendly version, but for a more cross-platform look at what these tools have to offer in the meantime, see the Photo Tourism project page at Washington University. You might also check out the short video Hyperlinking Reality Via Camera Phones (also below), which presents the concept in a simpler, more visual manner. And although the presenter and narrator step randomly into programmer gobbledy-gook, cut them some slack. At least they have the courtesy to do it in English! The project is being developed by Visual Cognitive Systems Lab, at the University of Ljubljana, Slovenia. This technology has amazing possibilities, but I’m also always a little leery of the possible negative uses. Imagine a more highly developed version of this that merges the tools with Google Street View (with which I’ve previously expressed some annoyance) and Facial Recognition Systems. You could literally click on the faces of people around you for biographical information. Unless of course they had an adequately-developed tinfoil hat, as I apparently do… Read the rest of this entry »