"You can control time when you can see it." Things I like here: half-day resolution; tracking time as a group, rather than solo activity; the value of projects that may be numerically "over budget". Meetings as "0" is interesting; I'm not sure about that yet.
"The film was shot back through the earth's atmosphere in buckets that parachuted over the Pacific Ocean, where C-130 Air Force planes snagged them with grappling hooks." You cannot make this stuff up. Hexagon sounds phenomenal.
Kevin‘s talk from Momo Amsterdam a few weeks back. I know it’s been linked elsewhere, but really, it’s marvellous, and if you’ve ever used “AR” in a meeting or room – or even been in a meeting or room where it’s been mentioned – you need to sit down and watch this. It is a good 26 minutes of your time.
I, personally, am very bored of screens as magic windows, especially when they have to be held between the eye and the world; the Wii U video with the controller held up between eye and TV made me very sad.
Using screens liks this turns them into a kind of “reality gobo“. So much optical AR suggests it’s overlaying information on reality, and thus augmenting it – but really it sits between our senses and reality, getting in the way.
Optical AR, viewed through screens, derived from markers, or marker-less technologies, or through QR or barcodes or god knows what else, I think – I hope – will feel like a distraction, a false turn, in the years to come. And yet right now, it’s cropping up in more and more places in increasingly irrelevant implementations. And if I don’t care, why will a consumer? There are many wonderful ways to augment reality, many wonderful learnings to gain from new sensory input (be it seeing through satellites or feeling, at a distance, when a bridge opens). But this whole cameras, screens, and gobos thing? Tiring. Not to mention: computationally expensive for under-rewarding output.
And so: that talk felt like a solid distillation of a bunch of truths, backed with excellent examples and a lovely thread. Also, I always enjoy watching Kevin talk; he’s a coherent and thoughtful speaker.
…the initial buzz was slightly misleading as it suggested that the presentation was an outright dismissal of AR. I don’t really think this was the case… My reading of the talk is that Slavin is extremely curious about augmenting reality—as praxis—and suggesting we (startups, developers and consumers) need to be considerably more thoughtful in our application/exploration of the emerging medium and consider how it might activate other senses – AR should not distill down to “an overlay for all seasons”.
I think the key takeaway point is in Slavin’s suggestion that “reality is augmented when it feels different, not looks different” – which basically echoes Marcel Duchamp’s (almost) century-old contempt for the ‘retinal bias’ of the art market. If AR development (thus far) is lacking imagination, perhaps the problem is that we’re very much tethering the medium to our antiquated VR pipe dreams and the web browser metaphor.
"In AR Monster, you use your iPhone's GPS system and camera to discover and battle more than 600 monsters hidden in the real world. By playing the game in different locations and pointing the handset in different directions, you'll be able to find new kinds of monsters." As is increasingly becoming my reaction to all things AR: "so what?"
"…the bullets biodegrade when they hit flesh, leaving nothing behind but a blog post." It is a little sad that, as ever, I'm the millionth person to write "I LOVE VALVE" on the internet, but seriously, as I keep saying: I love Valve so much. (I want my white earbuds).
"But then, nobody’s expected to be able to sight-read the Pro guitar tracks. It’s meant for actual students of the guitar. And if you use the game’s slowed-down Practice mode, the game packs the potential to become a real tool for learning to play music." The notion that Harmonix were always a music company, who just happened to make games, becomes ever more true. Proper tab notation, proper strings on the Pro instruments? Well done.
"The dwarves hide in the shadows of the trees from the wandering light. The burning tea-light (adult player) moves through the dark forest and tries to find the small dwarves in their hiding places. If a dwarf is touched by the light, it is frozen and not allowed to move anymore. The other dwarves try to release it. To achieve this they must wait until the light has gone far enough so that one of them can join it in the shadow. All the dwarves try to unite under one tree while the candle tries to freeze the dwarves. Who will win, the light or the dwarves?" How the hell did I not know about this? Asymmetric boardgame for adult/children – one player, made of light, hunts down other players, hiding in shadow, shutting their eyes between turns. Magical.
"Augmented Shadow, by Joon Moon, 2010. used openframeworks. It's a tabletop interface on where artificial shadows of tangible objects displayed. You can play with the shadows lying on the boundary between the real, virtual, and fantasy." Now stop reading and watch. Beautiful, simple, engaging, playful and storyful all at once.
"The physical act of moving around a window into the greater world makes your spatial relationship to the globe profoundly more tangible. The experience of being oriented to a larger context creates an unforgettable sense of wonder."
"This is a selected list of gairaigo, Japanese words originating or based on foreign language (generally Western) terms, including wasei-eigo (Japanese pseudo-Anglicisms)." One of my new favourite Wikipedia pages; there is some fascinating stuff in here.
"It was at that moment that I understood, more fully than ever before, why revolutionaries succeed and then fail. It's because they're switching genres. They take over the country in a third-person (or first person) action game, but then they have to play an RTS to govern the country."
"Think about it: These two guys were carrying the gross domestic product of New Zealand or enough for three Beijing Olympics. If economies were for sale, the men could buy Slovakia and Croatia and have plenty left over for Mongolia or Cambodia… These men carrying bonds concealed in the bottom of their luggage also would be the fourth-largest U.S. creditors." Um, wow.
"After a stint shuttling back and forth from his farm in upstate New York to LA, where he consulted on a project for Steven Spielberg and EA, Rohrer has now joined the roster of multimedia stars at Tool of North America, which produces high-end commercials and interactive campaigns for the top advertising firms in the nation." Hmm.
"What if Ulysses had been written before the construction of Dublin? That is, what if Dublin did not, in fact, precede and inspire Joyce's novel, but the city had, itself, actually been derived from Joyce's book?" Geoff Manaugh expands on a comment he made at Thrilling Wonder Stories; the stuff about 'quipu' is also awesome.
"I’ve always been interested in the relationship between gameplay and musical performance. Theres a remarkable structural similarity between certain game systems/mechanics and compositional ones. There is also a risk/reward/challenge aspect that is core to both practices. Anyway, for a short talk I took part in for the Leeds Evolution Festival I wrote a quick augmented chess/draughts app." And the result is a video-processing step-sequencer. Nifty.
"It is easy to have fresh bread whenever you want it with only five minutes a day of active effort. Just mix the dough and let it sit for two hours. No kneading needed! Then shape and bake a loaf, and refrigerate the rest to use over the next couple weeks. Yes, weeks! The Master Recipe (below) makes enough dough for many loaves. When you want fresh-baked crusty bread, take some dough, shape it into a loaf, let it rise for about 20 minutes, then bake. Your house will smell like a bakery, and your family and friends will love you for it."
"I think in films, zombies are cyclical. They come around, they get reinvigorated. I think in games, they're a constant. In games, zombies just represent this thing around which you can construct a game. There's no morality to them. There's no worries about racism that games are having right now. If it's a zombie and it's a pure zombie, a stupid zombie like the ones we have, they're a game mechanic. They're fodder, they're whatever you want to put in a game, however you want to deal with it."
"This is John Connor, leader of the Human Resistance… Microsoft’s Project Natal must never be completed, no matter what the cost. This machine, with its RGB camera, depth sensor, multi-array microphone, and custom processor running proprietary software, as well as its ability to track up to four human users for motion analysis, is clearly the precursor the killing machines of the near-future that haunt my dreams every night."