Blaming MWC for missed anniversary! 9th Year of Feeding Edge

Somehow we have ended up in March, almost as if February with its short number of days decided to sneak past us all. February is an important month for Feeding Edge as that is the birthday month. This 9th year I managed to not find the time to post and celebrate like every other year In part this is because of all the preparation for heading to Mobile World Congress this year in Barcelona. I had not had the chance to attend this show before, but this time my 451 Research and IoT and AR/VR analyst work took me there, along with a lot of my colleagues.
The scale of the event and the major venue the Fira Gran in Barcelona was pretty amazing, 8 very large halls with a good 30 min walk from end to end if you didn’t stop or go into any halls. A major surprise was that it was very cold and snowed for the first time. Not ideal !

Warm sunny Barcelona #mwc2018

The analyst life is not one of joyfully hopping from stand to stand enjoying the great shows, but one of 30 min meetings every 30 mins usually 30 mins away from one another. All the big shows suffer from this, but equally we get to hear a lot of great stuff. There are the odd times when meetings move or there is a gap but in general every day is like this. Also I started the show off with moderating a presentation set on stage, so had to hold off on the dashing and do more of the imparting of information to a large crowd in an auditorium all looking to hear about IoT Security and Blockchain

A lot of walking and half that time talking #mwc2018

The best way to get from hall to hall is on the top corridor

MWC 2018

You may think of MWC as a mobile phone selling show but it is getting much more like CES with lots of huge stands and gadgets and of course cars.

MWC 2018

F1 had a significant presence too.

MWC 2018

MWC 2018

Including an esports racing challenge

MWC 2018

There was an awful lot of AR and VR on stands across the board, lots of 360 video such as Intel showing Shaun White’s gold winning winter olympic run.
Elsewhere I saw this AR based race track demo

MWC 2018

MWC 2018

A few hololens made an appearance too

MWC 2018

Make of this poster what you will

MWC 2018

Our robot masters made an appearance in a number of shapes and sizes, though AI was big news to go along with IoT and Blockchain at the event. i.e. my day job 🙂

MWC 2018

MWC 2018

MWC 2018

It was great to see the Kickstarter smartwatch with real hands that I backed have a presence at the show too – MyKronoz

MWC 2018

MWC 2018

Makes one feel a little space out!

MWC 2018

I nearly did not get home, and I know some other UK people actually didn’t so I think myself luck as we had snow. Lots of it for us. It meant driving the Nissan Leaf around to help Predlet 1.0 do her paper round, and one other round too for several hours on Basingstoke estate roads.

White stuff

Predlet 1.0 got her round and one other today so we drove around in this delivering papers.

So I think that makes a memorable belated 9th birthday. I will have to pay close attention to the decade of Feeding Edge next year, a bit more travel to do first though, Vegas, Japan, Hannover, Santa Clara takes me to June. Now if I can get everyone I meet to also just take a look at Reconfigure and Cont3xt and post a nice review that would be most useful. It may even help book 3 making its way from the back of my brain to the page.

Learning to teach – CKD and suppressing ego.

This weekend both @elemming and I, along with 140+ fellow Choi Kwang Do practitioners in the UK met for the annual instructors course led by Master Nigel Brophy (6th Dan Black Belt). @elemming has been promoted, along with her fellow cohort of willing students to an assistant instructor at Basingstoke CKD and so now wears a blue dobok. I along with 2 other fellow blackbelts were promoted to Chief Instructors and now wear black and gold.

We are all volunteers, but are willing to forego some of our personal training in order to help and explain Choi Kwang Do to others in the class. I think we all generally find that teaching, having to explain how something works, responding to questions and helping others is as rewarding as just getting on with your own techniques. IT is what makes CKD such a friendly and interesting environment to learn in.
Different people have different approaches to teaching, but everything we do is done in a positive way. This is about a journey, and meandering turns and detours are all part of it. We do have discipline, but it is more of a positive re-enforcement of the good. Who ever is out front guiding, teaching, calling etc is in charge.
One of the hardest things to work on, is not the punching and kicking, but the removal of ego. Watching and listening to Master Brophy I noticed it is possible to be a highly passionate speaker and presenter, an expert in an art form and yet not do it for the applause or the instant buzz of being the ‘star’. To motivate and educate a large body of people they have to believe in you. To do this you have to show your credentials, give them something to say, aha! they know what they are doing. If you truly have the skills, time served, awards etc that is really the easy bit. However it is so easy to tip over the top and let your brain, and mostly your ego, slip into a comfort mode of adoration, or celebrity.
When I do presentations, or evangelise about things, such as the metaverse or STEM in schools I have to switch to a more amplified version of me. If you are put in front of a camera on a TV show, standing on stage with a conference hall full of people, in a classroom full of pupils, you have to enthuse, you have to say look at this and look at me, otherwise it won’t be very interesting. I remember when I used to not want to stand up in front of people and talk. Thinking, well everyone must know what I know, I will just be boring them with the obvious. I also know the feeling of election that people do want to hear what you have to say. When what you are saying is getting a lot of traction and you are very much in demand. It is there you have to check yourself. Unless the thing you sell, enthuse etc is just your own fame and celebrity, in which case just carry on 🙂
So I came to CKD at a time when I had felt a lot of demand for me presenting, but the classes gave me a chance to empty the mental cup and just learn, just be part of a group with no specific responsibilty. It gave me time to practice the off switch.
The problem is, when I get something, when I believe in something and enjoy something so much I have to share it with others. I have forever been told I should be a teacher, but I prefer to not lecture but bring people along with me, help them discover their own path. Luckily, that is precisely what working as an instructor in CKD has enabled me to do. In class I get to both be part of the class, to switch off and focus, I get to teach individually or small groups and I also get to stand up front and do the whole thing. I feel the balance of expectations to please others, or duty to get it right and that little good part of the ego that gets fed by helping others and seeing them progress.
Master Brophy put it well, he mentioned the more you know the more you realise how much you don’t. That is the experts dilemma. He also tempered that with pointing out than when you stand in front of a new student in your blue suit or black suit to teach them something they have never done before, they may well look at you and think you are Bruce Lee.
I think the trick here is to use the fact your are Bruce Lee to them, without deluding yourself you are in fact Bruce Lee.
As with all aspects of CKD other than the physicality of the martial art it is a constant learning experience and evaluation of how we work as humans. The technology, in this case, is our bodies and minds. We explore what we can do with them, for ourselves and others. We deal with scary situations all the time. It may be not being able to remember a pattern, counting out load in Korean in front of others, wondering how to reach a distracted fellow student or holding a shield for a powerful kick. All these prepare the brain to deal with adversity. Teaching and instructing gives the scary part of ego to deal with.
So it seems to me the sooner we get people to experience this sort of thing, in schools and offices, the better. We have a cult of celebrity. This feeds directly to the ego, to the wow I want to be famous feeling. Either wanting to be a premiership footballer or a big brother winner seems to be many a kids ambition. The trappings of fame at a major level can be experienced and felt in a much simpler way, in a safe environment. Stand out in front of class and have everyone follow your every word, then stand back in the class with everyone, whilst the next person takes the stage. That I think teaches a little humility. Having felt that, the next time up front starts, just a little, to become more about the audience.
Whether you believe me or not, that is how I feel about all my evangelising, the TV show was that. I wanted to everyone to know how cool all this tech was, to feel it, to take it and do something with it. I had dabbled with the “fame” thing as one of the corporate poster children for virtual worlds. I had seen the jealousy that created in others. I felt the pressure of the spotlight. I also felt the waning of the “fame”. I dabbled with various ways of exploring my outward persona, trying very publicly to keep aligned with my private persona too, whilst also dealing with these conflicting pressures. It was a a feedback loop though, the more I had done the more I had to do to keep it going. That is not a bad thing though.
I see in Master Brophy a fellow evangelist, though one with much more experience!. Evangelists believe in something, know that its the right thing and the right way forward and want to help, really help, people to see that for themselves. What I hope to do is take my still fledgling knowledge of this martial art and make it as much a part of my willingness to share and enthuse as any of the other cool technologies. The tech I talk about has always been about how people can benefit from it, get some fun or productivity from it. Obviously I have written and blended a few time with the two like here and here. CKD is a scientific based martial art, from the neuroplasticity or the brain, to the biomechanics of the human form to the psychology of teaching and inspiring.
In all that, trying to keep that ego in check too 🙂 (though here is a picture look at me!)

Flush Magazine, Holodecks, Kinect patents and geek history

The latest edition of the wonderful Flush magazine has just been published. This issue amongst all the other great content in there I have put forward some views on how close we are to a Holodeck with respect to some inventions we already have and some that may be in the pipeline. So have a read and see what you think. Microsoft kinect and projectors and a little bit of geek history feature.

Or you can just link to here though I do recommend reading the whole magazine!
As usual it looks awesome too. I think it is fasciating the journey an idea takes from words and some image suggestions to a a full layout beautifully presented. Thankyou to @tweetthefashion as usual for doing such a great job putting this all together, and a wave to all my fellow contributors.
The iPad edition will hit the shelves very soon too 🙂
Update: I just realised I am in the same Magazine as an interview with Steve Vai too – RAWK!!!!

3d printing in the desert, stand alone.

You cannot fail to be impressed with the innovation and future potential of this.

Markus Kayser – Solar Sinter Project from Markus Kayser on Vimeo.

@asanyfuleno spotted it on the Llewblog this weekend.
We had been talking about 3d printing and modelling things in situ in unusual environments. Then this popped up.
When I talk about 3d printing to people and suggest that it can be distributed across the planet to solve all sorts of issues there is usually the challenge of power and raw materials brought up. Here Markus Kayser powers with the sun, bit electricity to drive the steppers and the power of the sun to melt the abundant raw material of sand. This is also combined with some human intervention. Tools do not have to be completely automated if a quick bit of hands on solves the problem.
It’s like a real life Minecraft crafting table!

My takeaway from FCVW2011

FCVW11 was a great conference for several reasons. The first was to be able to meet and talk with the IEEE VW standards group that is forming. We got to discuss at length the Sep 20/21st summit that is planned for L.A. this year. As a group we have a number of VW old hands and gurus and I am honoured to be in the loop with them all.
Another reason was to meet quite a few people in the industry that we have only met briefly physically or it was a very long time ago. That made this conference a bit of a homecoming.
The third reason was hearing so many presentations and panels by practioners, educators, military, government and alike who are busy doing some really influential and great work.
To hear about the Post Traumatic Stress Disorder helper experiences, or Bill May’s US to Cairo project showed real, tangible and positive uses of virtual worlds.
It was less comfortable to hear about the military uses, but it shows the power of training and simulation in something that in the end could save lives.
Ren Reynolds did point out when on our panel that we were having questions asked about identity and behaviour in virtual worlds, e.g. what about furries. He bravely pointed out (given we were at the National Defence University) that using virtual worlds and games to work out how to actually kill people more effectively was far more offensive than any roleplay elements or socially awkward situations.
However, the military uses can be separated out into organisational analysis or education that applies to more regular applications.
Two of the keynotes that stood out for me, mainly because of the validation or handy terminology they provided were.
MK Haley – Faculty and Associate Executive Producer at the Entertainment Technology Center, Carnegie Mellon University
Dr Chris Dede -Timothy E. Wirth Professor in Learning Technologies, Technology, Innovation, and Education Program, Harvard University

MK was a powerful and sparky presentation that talked about looking at things differently, how creative thinking is possible by everyone but that it is often beaten out of us.

Dr Dede talked (and showed) some kids education environments that were around explore an eco system at a lake. On the surface it was a lake, trees and some overlays, but there were some innovative ideas that he helpfully referred to as “magic”. This magic is where you move from a straight simulation and help with pointers or tools that would not otherwise exist. The first was a submarine that scales you down to microscopic levels to explore the environment. The other was the ability to virtually geotag a single atom and then a HUD that tells you were it is over time as it is absorbed or moved around the environment. The “magic” layers can conflict with the “real” layers but are essential in the balance of immersive environment use. Otherwise there is little extra that the place give you. As a true educator and very well respected he, and his team, are doing the work to compare the virtual experiences with traditional teaching. Though he was very clear that if you compare something to nothing it will always be better. Of it you compare something the the worst example then you are not really helping. So he is making sure in helping explore how kids develop their reasoning.
Botgirl created some great cartoons to sum up each panel, this is the Dr Chris Dede one
FCVW 2011 How Immersion in Virtual Worlds Helps Learners in the Real World
So there are even more people doing real work with the technology and the socially changing impacts of virtual worlds and related tech. It is not dead, it is not all Second Life (in fact increasingly it appears to not be Second Life for some very good reasons). However it is well on its way, and it is helping people. Kids are learning more, patients are being treated better, entertainment is more engaging. Standards and exemplars are being re-enforced and more new people are becoming evangelists. The previous generation and generations of activists in the field are also not going away but supporting everyone else too.
So I am really happy to see this become so normal, yet keen that we push it further and make it extraordinary again.
Well done all 🙂

In Washington DC for FCVW 2011

Right now I am in the US, in Washinton for the Federal Consortium of Virtual worlds as part of a delegation from and the IEEE to discuss virtual environment standards and eco systems. This is all very cool and forward thinking as twe are not just talking about file formats but about human experience.
Rather pleasingly though Dave Taylor has a poster session here and did a demo yesterday of the Missive Project. Around major incident simulations. This is a project very dear to my heart as various aspects of it are things that I built as Feeding Edge Ltd.
It is worth reading his post(er) and I am sure I will talk to a few more people at the conference about it.
Lots of the environments send and receive data form various sources. A web menu drives options, a remote virtual patient in a scenario model responds. I do all the brokering and message aggregation and interpretation in the middle. Old habits die hard, this was SL/opensim middleware.
It is great to catch up with friends old and new from the industry but if you need an ROI on virtual worlds (do you want to sit like this for 8 hours 🙂 )
Legroom? Sure virgin was better than this?
Also I discovered on the flight over just how pitiful the 3DS battery life is, no wi-fi on and it only lasted about 3.5 hours of playing ghost recon! Not good. Though it did make me watch The Social Network on the seat back TV instead, which was much better than I though it would be.
Anyway, off to the conference.

Gadget Show Live 2011 – the long version

I cut a longer version of the Gadget Show Live video, this time from scratch, with a Garage Band tune form loops and some sound effects. Going through it was a good memory jogger if nothing else. It also makes me appreciate even more what the pro’s do on The Cool Stuff Collective.

The show day I went to was press/professional day so it was probably a more subdued affair that then the 20,000 people per day paying public days. For a start the arena show was off bounds as the guys were rehearsing. So no crossing of gadget and games show streams there then.
When I arrived I went straight to the back of the hall and found the UK computer museum, they had a huge stand for each decade and lots of that is in the video above.
There were a lot of 3D TV’s and laptops mostly with glasses. The Nvidia stand had a huge 101 inch 3d TV playing Crysis 2 on a high end PC and it was VERY impressive. The LG 3d projector show was good too though it was more for the pure quality of the picture than the 3D effect which seemed somewhat subtle as they played the Tron light cycle scene.
Elonex were in full force, and had huge number of tablets and e-readers. For a Uk company they are right up there in the rankings getting more market share than many of the major electronic giants.
The vehicle test tracks were great, lots of electric bikes and scooters. The TP Scoot was particularly impressive. Very stable, and very fast and road legal. I skipped going on the Segways as already done that 🙂 funs as they are they are of no use here as they are not street legal. WE had a go on a smaller electric scooter that was only £100 and that was fun too but the TP was my favourite.
Sugru we are the show and it was great to see them there, the hack anything putty was getting lots of attention over near the future tech section.
In future tech (4 small stands by one wall) there was laser object capture, robot guitar hero player, a working 3d printer, Neurosky and some robotic kits. The commercial stuff is great but they could do with a much bigger future tech section. I guess thats what the wired nextfests are for though 🙂
In the gaming zone, for some reason, people had to queue to enter the 3DS zone. Matt did point out that we were wasting time queuing as I already had one , had been to the launch party and we had had it on the show. So in dipping out of the queue I managed to rip my trousers. Not very rock and roll, but it was funny. It somewhat restricted my movements but luckily the badges we had all had safety pins so I risked it and pinned what I could back in place.
When we found the new games section where gears of war 3 was running and duke nukem I had to take a phone call about sorting out an Opensim server that was having a few issues. So I stood there looking at Gears of War 3 (awesome!), talking about Opensim and rebooting a remote machine via my iphone, wearing my TV g33k tshirt with the crotch of my trousers held together with pins. It was, not to put to fine a point on it, a surreal moment. Ninty you owe me some trousers!
Game had a big store in the game zone, they had pretyy much everything at full price, just a couple of pounds off Crysis 2. That seemed a bit of a pity, though saved me spending any money.
There were a lot of motion gaming chairs at the show, which looked very expensive. One of the more interesting cockpit versions though featured a projected dome. to give a 180 degree view from a regular project source, using a convex mirror. That in 3D would be awesome though complicated.
The paintball experts at were great to talk too. They have a great lazer tag system (as in the video) and also they run kids games using foam non exploding pellets (like a fancy Nerf). Though they showed a whistling sniper bullet for regular paintball that was very cool and their custom markers were stunning. 25 rounds per minute, precise control.
It was odd seeing Flip on the Cisco stand on the day that Cisco closed the doors on the poor little thing. I am sure they are getting some flack today!
I was looking forward to the Vuzix AR glasses, but they were there but not working when I popped in.
There was a very strange couple of stands for some wrist band that is like an acupuncture pressure band, but with a “hologram” on it instead. This was just odd.
The venue was certainly full enough of some amazing kit, though equally if you pay attention to gadgets and hang around in best buy and read the tech press it was probably less surprising, but still well worth the trip.

Merging Cool Stuff Collective and Second Life for the BCS

Last night I was invited by the BCS Berkshire branch to give a follow up presentation to my Washing Away Cave Paintings but this time do the pitch in Second Life. It seemed a great time to join some dots. I offered to talk both about the experience and content in Series 1 of The Cool Stuff Collective, and at the same time show some other ways to deliver information in a virtual environment to a mixed audience of new SLers and some very experienced ones.
Also it was a goto time to use Robert Gittin’s Bangor university sim where an auditorium and BCS office is located. Robert is treasurer of the committee that we have with the BCS Animation and Games Development specialist group and a long time fellow metaverse evangelist. He very kindly came along too to chaperone and help what turned out to be quite a large group. Gatherings in SL of 5-6 people are manageable, but once you get to up to 20+ as we did it is good to have more than one person helping everyone.
I was busy talking and presenting so I did not take very many pictures, though in the post event mingle I snapped this one.
For me this was almost a flashback, having been in virtual worlds so long it is refreshing to see new people come and try it. Whilst there is sometimes some embarrassment from new people to an environment it is nice to be able to settle those nerves and show that we are all new to this and there things for anyone to discover, ways to work, things to see that are just as easily spotted by someone new as an old hand.
I opened up with some traditional powerpoint, just a few slides on a single screen. Mostly about the BCSAGD, but primarily it was about the simplest way to present, replicate real life.
I then rezzed a giant Cool Stuff Collective poster, the aim to start filling the virtual space and start the line of conversation about the technology and some anecdotes about the show.
In order to start to be a little more extreme in presentation terms I rezzed a shot of the cool stuff website hovering horizontally across the floor. This page is a grid of thumbnails and labels for each of the pieces of tech I presented on the show. Rather than a static image behind me I made it a phantom object which allowed my to walk around in and on the image. Using the avatar as a pointer and having the image cut through me is a very basic way to break the real world illusion. A reminder that things don’t have to mimic real life.
Here I started talking about Lego universe, and its similarities in building and programming to Second Life.
As I went on I started to use more in world rezzed props. This started when I explained how I rehearsed the very first show items using my own virtual world. I have written about this before but this was the first time I had talked about it in world and live. In order to get the points I needed to make in the piece when talking to Sy I built some small plinths in my local Opensim to represent the key points. I then walked past them in turn making a mental note. It meant when I was talking about it in the concise 3 minutes I had a visual cue of where I should be and what was next in my minds eye. In the pitch last night I started to build some of those plinths live to demonstrate how easy these visual sketches can be. You can see the remnants of that quick live build in the top photo in this post on the left.
I had two other main props, my Parrot AR drone, which was another quick build but a physical item in SL. I rezzed to of these and was then able to lift them up, hover them over the audience (just with edit tools), and then describe how the emergency cut out works on the device and how it drops to the ground. Which I did by dropping into the audience. Again its quick and easy and much more effective when you are telling a story or getting a point across. The other prop was my Kinect in SL, which I built when this was called project natal.
Project Natal SL Style
A nice piece of reuse as I built this back in June 2009 ! Part of the conversation about Kinect was about the rise of the Kinect Hacks and how important it was that people shared what they did and that the web and social media is a powerful force that, when used to share, makes things happen really quickly. This was an excuse to rez the old favourite, the giant hands attached to my avatar and explain and show how that can have a different impact on a pitch.
My final quick prop was about audience participation. I rezzed a physical sphere and kicked it into the audience. As a presenter it is hard to know if people are listening, the visual cues and feedback from an audience is hard to judge, but when you throw a ball into the audience and people start kicking it around it is a very obvious reaction. That is not to say I did not think my audience was engaged, they were, we had some questions both voice and text, but it seems better to get people using their avatars, either doing things that make them look around and cam around, click on things, or in the case of the ball have a kick around.
I finished up on using web pages, with the Cool Stuff Collective website as an example. Of course at this point the older residents of SL pointed out they were using different clients, so I kept that a bit more brief but tried to explain to those new to SL how web on a prim works, and how it can be confusing.
After the official end of the hour lots of people stayed to talk and ask questions, we also formed a BCSAGD group in SL, open to anyone as we are very keen to have more presentations and gatherings and build on the BCS work that Robert has been doing.
I really enjoyed doing this pitch, for me being able to talk both about the technology and gadgets, about the future, whilst referring to the experience of the TV show and at the same time demonstrate some ideas of how to engage people in SL was such a multi dimensional conversation that it really got the adrenalin flowing. I have obviously be enthusing about virtual worlds for years now, but still the spark of human connectedness, the ability to be open and natural whilst still in a quirky virtual environment is fascinating. If you have not tried to demonstrate something in ways other than powerpoint, do on give it a go 🙂

Imperial Treet – Hospitals, Patients and SL

This week Dave Taylor/Davee Commerce and Robin Winter had a special on about lots of the virtual world projects in Second Life that Imperial College London have been up to. It is a great show to watch to see the variety of ways Dave has got Second Life working from public information, targeted patient experiments and doctor training.

The doctor training and evaluation that appears around about 32 mins in Dave says. “This is where we have our virtual patients, and these patients are controlled by software actually outside of Second Life. That software has a knowledge of the patients physiology and condition.” He also explains there are 3 wards and 3 patients in each giving 9 levels of difficulty in scenario.
“We are using this to research how we can asses trainee doctors at different levels of training”. “We have tested about 60 doctors so far on this”.
I am glad this is out in the public as this has been part of the work I have been doing in SL. I can’t explain exactly what does what as its a private project but as Dave points out the patients and the interactions are controlled from outside of Second Life, my part in SL is the broker talking to that external model. I also ended up building the dynamic menus and handlers in world. The menu’s are based on the data coming back, and align to the correct place in world so they are designer friendly. This was built before the web on a prim existed, and we aimed to do everything in world. As you know handling text can be a problem in SL and variants of Fasttext and xy text came to rescue. Though rezzing a dynamic button and making it know what it is supposed to do is a non trivial task. This was also before HTTP in world servers were stable so SL is the controller asking the external software what to do next.
It has been a fascinating project, as has its follow on ones that have increased in complexity and in interactions. Making SL a component in a system not the sole piece of the project makes for a greater richness and flexibility. After all SL is not a database/data handling application.
What is great is that Robin, who is one of SL’s foremost designers (along with his other half) and has been for years(he built the original Dublin sim), is able to craft animations and objects and then trigger them into existence using our message protocol, after the external software model tells my broker code that its got some changes to display.
There are a few of us pushing the bondaries of data interchange with SL and also with opensim and other virtual worlds. I hope this helps people understand that we can do very complex integrated tasks using the best of a Virtual World and the best of a traditional server application. Integration is the key.

Web chop shop serendipity

Serendipity and patterns in what I bump into out there on the web always attracts my attention. It becomes a way for a train of thought or voyage of discovery to be documented and shared. Just a few days ago I was thinking back to my early days on the web, precipitated by reconnecting with someone on Facebook because of an amusing experience with the word banana which came to mind because of Monkey and The Cool Stuff Collective.
This led me to think back to the way we used to use sounds in an open plan office as a bonding experience. It was somewhat playful but part of the vibrant nature of early web development. WAV file battles and soundboard battles would bubble up across the office, certain sounds becoming catchphrases in their own right.
One development, which I can’t remember when we originally bumped into it, was Let Them Sing it For You which I was amazed to find still there, or at least resurrected. This has a set of samples from hundreds of songs where just an individual word is used. You type in text and it matches the word to the sample and you end up with a bizzare mashup of the words you type sung by lots of artists in lots of styles.
Just a few days later I noticed this Twist Our Words from Channel 4, a video mashup version of the same sort of idea. It would have normally caught my eye anyway but in this particular flow of thoughts it was more meaningful. Not only that but to complete the loop I decided to use the fact that they had Monkey and Donkey as words to use for one of my contributions.

These sort of things really help anyone get a little laugh, but also show them that creativity with digital tools comes in very many sizes and shapes and also user generated content can be very simple to do (for the end user, making the tools is a bit more tricky!)