September 3, 2013
I spent some quality time with the Oculus Rift this week and submerged myself in a few different tech demos and games including Mirror’s Edge. The experience was almost perfect; the head tracking was spot on, the stereoscopic 3D was the best I’ve experienced considering all the different glasses tech, the weight and comfort of the unit was fine, just the resolution broke the illusion of ‘being there’ with a screen door effect.
It’s clear that VR is ready for the prime time.
As I found software and information about the rift I stumbled upon http://www.roadtovr.com/, which is a fantastic resource on the consumerisation of virtual reality. They referenced the below projection chart presented by the Oculus team back in April 2013 that gives an ideal view of how sales will drive the availability of the Oculus.
Here’s a primer on the high-level psychology behind VR:
May 7, 2013
I used Google Glass for the first time today and was disappointed that it didn’t include my most eagerly awaited feature — being able to take a photo of the past. The battery is the most obvious culprit for why the Explorer Edition of Glass won’t let you take photos of the past. You see, to take a photo of the past the device will always need to be caching so you can rewind what you just saw in order take a snap of it, which would consume a lot of battery life.
S01E03 of Charlie Brooker’s Black Mirror explores the sociological tear caused by rewatchable audio/visual memories. This is not the same as taking a photo of the past; though it is close. By opting into capturing a moment vs. passively logging we ensure control over our personal experience. Of course the technology is there to infinitely record to the cloud but will that be how we will choose to use it?
Having a 1 minute video cache — just long enough to rewind and capture that once in a life time moment — is viable. 1 minute of 1080p cached video could be easily be stored locally, that’s only 160mb. How long will be people opt to have this cache then? As much as their device can hold?
Shared images that happen in the past will be much more fascinating than those that consist of framed shots. Other than crimes being recorded and shared (posthumously?), what other moments will be capture from photos of that past that aren’t simply novelties?
May 6, 2013
Online music delivery in 2013 is tremendously flavourful;
- Soulseek is providing a Napster like experience
- Bandcamp is giving music sales to the artists
- Plug.dj is allowing us all to take a chance at being a DJ for a minute with Youtube and Soundcloud audio.
For a while there Grooveshark was my infinite jukebox of choice; now my go-to now for label published music is rdio and more importantly it’s the go-to for my friends.
What rdio brings to the table is peer awareness for music. Having about 1/5 of my Facebook friends using rdio with about 40 active at any given moment has created a new way to find music that kils niche tunnel vision(s).
The lack of tags or sponsored music clears rdio of financial interests and classic issues of nomenclature. Music that is new, popular and interacted with by friends is what surfaces for discovery. rdio is more tied to a causal zeitgeist than toward personal interest — that’s what annoyed me about hypem, it made stuff popular just because it was “cool”, not because people actually listened to it.
For less than the cost of a beer a month I’m able to listen, collect (like) and share my likes (playlists) without clutter. The flat and noiseless design of rdio makes it more of an appliance than an app.
Now, I say rdio is my favorite tech product right now because of one thing, the human element of its big data. Money or even bandwidth doesn’t impact music there — the only music that gets played is music that is being listened to. rdio presents each of us as an identity sculpted by our cultural preferences. We can share our tastes with our friends in a non-intrusive way much like we do with clothing, but since all the music is free and we don’t feel social pressure to like it (as happens on soundcloud), we are more true.
Having access to people’s social profiles and rdio preferences would be an amazing way to better understand how different people like their music, their art, their culture.
April 16, 2013
The following video gives a really good look at the built-in latent features of Bitcoin. Many of these coded features act in ways that increase the versatility and trust involved with Bitcoin.
Mike Hearn who is giving the talk and who is an active Bitcoin contributor has worked directly with Satoshi. He is currently responsible for anti-spam initiatives at Google, where he has been since 2006.
April 14, 2013
The FB Home launcher turns your Android device into a social network first and a general computer second. Cool.
The new functions provided in the Home experience require additional permissions, these permissions are all asked in the standard Facebook app, whether you install Home or not. This is surprising.
Out of these new permissions, including being able to draw over other apps and checking battery status the ability for Facebook to see what other apps are running is the most reaching.
While it’s easy to understand the business and technology cases for requesting more permissions than required it’s not necessarily a good user experience.
The following screenshots were taken with the Galaxy Nexus, which can’t even run Home unless you sideload the APK.
April 13, 2013
The film Summer Wars inspired this blog and its themes; primarily how technology pushes the evolution of society and how it’s this change forms the foundation of our universal culture.
The last time this blog got off the ground there the content was corrupted and lost. This is a second attempt.