Reality Editor – Seeing IoT

This video is doing the rounds, Wired also reported on it. It is the latest instalment in a project from MIT. It uses augmented reality to show you the connections between your connected devices so that you can do things to those connections in the physical World. It is called the reality editor. I has been an ongoing project, see the second video for the one from a couple of years ago.
UPDATE Jan 2016 – They seem to have removed this new video from Youtube. I am currently looking for the right version.

This is very interesting on a number of fronts. Firstly the use of augmented reality to do something that you interact with, not just see adverts etc.
Secondly, it is applicable to the next generation blended reality headsets like magic leap and hololens.
Thirdly, it’s another piece of real technology that makes my sci-fi novel even more grounded in reality. The sort of interface that is used here is the sort that Roisin uses in Reconfigure, except she can move real things in space and combine materials, not just wiring and plumbing as the current technology shows.
It seems strange to write ‘just’ when referring to something so leading edge. It is that odd balance between the joy of some cool technology getting into peoples hands and everyone getting the point rather than nay saying, versus the ‘enjoy this I made it up.’ approach that I am currently taking with the science fiction.
It all is towards the same technology evangelist goal of helping people come to terms with all this change and to embrace and expand upon it.
Here is the original video from 2013 of the fluid interface concept of the Reality Editor.

Just think what you could do with this, and how far you could take it.
Soon(ish) Reconfigure will be a historical document 🙂 I am glad I put some suspense and drama in it too no just tech 🙂

More STEMnet talks – With added IoT

Tomorrow I am heading to predlet 1.0 secondary school to talk to the year eight class (including predict 1.0) about programming, tech and interesting stuff like Internet of Things and what it is relevant to them. I am putting most of the same, but updated things in there to garner interest. The extra labelling of IoT to make things more relevant doesn’t alter the vector the the future I discuss is heading towards.
It is also a talk about how my career, or whatever this is called has flowed alongside new developments and of course I do also mention the book. It is relevant in several ways. The subject matter and being able to share and explain how a programmer’s mind or a gamer’s mind works is the obvious one. The ongoing story keeping up with and accelerating past the current technology, yet keeping it just possible is pretty much where I live as a technical evangelist. You have to know how things work, you have to be able to build things in order to help push things forward. Also the feedback loop of 3d printing creating objects that become inputs for IoT is still an incredible one to consider and share.
I also found that it became a relevant IoT(ish) example.
The book started as an idea, which became a digital product. Designed, published and sold from anywhere in the World. However, it became a physical object too. I was not planning that originally. The printed object takes up space and has a presence. A pile of them become things, not internet of things but things generated from the internet. They and the intangible ebook generate digital sales figures. Data that tuned for just me and my sales becomes the intelligence I act upon for the follow up book, for digital adverts etc. It also is part of the global sales figures, the charts the overall big picture from the big data on what is being read and sold. Products always have had this of course, but the figures are now instant. The ebook is able to be borrowed in a digital library and I get figures of how many pages have been read. The printed book can’t do that, yet. However, it could with the right devices as part of it. That would be useful for me, have people read it, where are they stopping, thinking time, heart rate for excitement, stress for complexity etc. The ebook is part way there, the physical is as far away as ever from that. The question then becomes, if we related that use case to something else would it be desirable and make sense to push the instrumentation further in the product.
Another gadget I may take with me is the Emotiv headset to show them. Oh! Look! it measures brain engagement, relaxation, stress etc. for the current activity. If it just knew which book, film, game I was reading, watching, playing then it could quite happily correlate and send this brain wave data to Amazon, on to the individual author, regardless of ebook or physical version. It could then also aggregate that all up into the big data picture.
Measuring engagement with emotiv and physical book
I generated a word cloud of the first chapter to. Everyone knows what a word cloud is now I think, but it can be a relevant example of making sense or trying to make sense of massive amounts of data.
Word Cloud - Chapter 1 Reconfigure
The instrumentation loop is here, the parts of it may not flow totally without friction but we can experiment with what might work, prototype then maybe build the proper versions.
I am also going to go a bit fractal thinking on them. Reminding them everything in computing is just adding up two numbers. The half adder circuit of an Xor and an And gate is the basis of it all. The number of times you it add up is what the computer leverages. From that spawns great complexity, and also great simplicity.
Then it’s Minecraft and python demo. Virtual world, code mixed maybe with a hololens video on the end, of Minecraft of course.

How to describe free in pictures

This past weekend my experiment into a free promotion of the book certainly did something. The increase in downloads was huge. A month of promoting, sharing, persuading and asking people to please take a look had built quite a base of awareness. It may have even caused some fatigue. I was feeling a little odd only talking about the book. However, needs must.
using the Amazon free promotion for four days, but on the substrate of this previous sharing and shouting about it I believe made a difference. People who were holding off, or just not got around to it now had a deadline, and something free.
There are no strings with just downloading something, even non-readers could offer some support without engaging in any payment. I do not think it is the sum of money, which is small. Payment is a barrier to entry at any price and also to an unknown, even if you know them, author.
This is what free looked like. There is no scale, deliberately so.
Figures
The launch was the first spike, followed by a constant drip feed of activity. The free period was immense in relation to the rest. Hence the scale is un important.
Amazon tracks all sorts of things in Free and paid and this, and the fantastic support spreading the message form everyone led to some great stats.

A UK Number 1 download in its genre and Number 14 in UK general science fiction.
It has reached the US top 100, as high as 52 in general science fiction, and also number 2 in its sci-fi genre on Amazon

My author rank also hit 399 in the UK, which is pretty amazing. It was in the top 4,000 books overall in the free chart in the US.

All this is with 4 five star reviews (thank you so much for those) posted. Many of the other books have hundreds of reviews. Now I am hoping the free copies maybe get read and definitely get enjoyed by lots of people. If that turned into reviews and stars it would generate another spike in paid sales I am sure. If not, well, it’s still a No.1 book and the follow up, which is taking longer because of marketing this one, will be able to be branded with the success of the promotion.
The paperback book is print on demand so it can’t be discounted in the same way. Though it would make a lovely christmas present for someone 😉
Thank you all for the ongoing support. This has been a blast so far.
reconfigurebook.co.uk
cont3xtbook.co.uk

Free book promo – Reconfigure

This weekend, from now until Monday Reconfigure ebook is FREE to download from Amazon.
http://www.amazon.co.uk/gp/product/B01720X7F0 in the UK
http://www.amazon.com/dp/B01720X7F0 in US
But is is also available in almost every Amazon store and region.
Having had this rip roaring sci-fi techie adventure on published at £1.99/$2.99 for the past month I thought I should join in with the Black Friday/Cyber Monday fun now I have an actual product, and one worth people seeing, reading and enjoying.
I have tried lots of other routes to promote the book, which is interesting from a standing start and only having the idea to write it in September. This is one more tool in the box to try.
It would dare great if everyone who follows me, who I have every presented to, worked with, trained with, amused or helped would download it this weekend. I hope a few people would then choose to add to eh reviews on Amazon and some nice stars too.
If you have not seen the promo video this explains the book a little to (no spoilers)

The next book con3xt is coming along nicely, taking the story even further.
Thankyou for all the support so far, and thankyou for taking advantage of this offer to help me out.

UPDATE 30/11/2015
Whilst there is still a few hours of the promo left I was very pleased to see the UK stats come through.
So the result of this part of the process was a very pleasing one.
A UK Number 1 download in its genre and Number 14 in UK general science fiction.
It has reached the US top 100, as high as 52 in general science fiction, and also number 2 in its sci-fi genre on Amazon.

UK Number 1 - Reconfigure

This is still time for the the numbers to go up of course, but I am taking stock and celebrating this success. It only happened because so many people were willing to go and download it. I think most people will enjoy it. Either way the No. 1 is a shared achievement. Thank you all.

The second one takes longer, but is easier.

It has been a month since I let Reconfigure loose on the world in digital form. It started in September as a two week blast of writing, then four weeks of editing and fixing, plus some kindle layout. The follow up, Cont3xt, is taking a few more weeks to write. There is not the same fear of it suddenly losing steam that I had with the first book. Having not written an entire one before, plus the unknowns of packaging it, it was a rather manic time. My warp speed obviously doesn’t match that of any market out there for it. However, it is there and available and it has spawned the new one.
My initial seed idea offered a world and a set of near future based science adventures. They were underpinned in the merging tech I know and love and the processes I go through in developing solutions. i.e. a real base to work from. In Cont3xt that real base is able to go a further with some upgrades. The main one, and this is not a spoiler really as Roisin hints at the desire for this in book 1, is to use a fully immersive VR/AR headset.
In Reconfigure I use services like Twitter, in a realistic way and of course iPhones, android, Macs, and developing in Unity3d. Full blended reality headsets are on the horizon with Magic Leap and Microsoft Hololens. Having not built for those I chose to invent a new brand and company. I needed to take those near horizon pieces of tech and push them a bit further combining them with some other elements. So the EyeBlend was born. A fictional privately funded device that everyone wants. Roisin gets to do some cool things with it. The logo features on the current designs I have for the front page of the book. A pupil that is a globe in an eye, with arrows dashing out in radiant directions instead of lashes.
For the new cover I wanted to get across the multiple layering of quantum physics that appears in the words too. Currently I am at about 40k words. So I am well into the core of the story. Several scrapes and builds have been done, plus dealing with the end of Reconfigure.
I scouted new locations using Google Earth too. Flying around the new area really helped to get a feel for what it was like. It is a real place, but of course embellished.
This is all very meta of course as Roisin gets to see and travel using her tech. I also use the same tech to build the cover art. The basic structures are created in a stage in Unity3d game engine.
My current three I am deciding between are in the same style as in book 1 but have a bit more going on.
This has white cutouts of Roisin.
Book Cover choices #cont3xt
This has neon versions for a bit for detail
Book Cover choices #cont3xt
This has non just the EyeBlend logo on top of the multiple universes
Book Cover choices #cont3xt
It was good to be able to manage 5k words today and tinker with the artwork. It means there is one less thing to worry about formatting once I get to the proof reading stage.
I am hoping a few more friends and colleagues will take a punt on my £1.99/$2.99 story with Reconfigure, it would certainly help spur me on to make Cont3xt even better. However, I am learning to not worry about that and to just write. If it sells it sells, if not, it is still a great piece of work and a long term achievement.

Two STEMnet events this week

It has been quite a busy week of STEMnet activity. Being a STEMnet ambassador means helping schools and students however I can. Tuesday I spoke to a local secondary school teacher about all things emerging tech that might inspire the next generation. It was pretty much like rebooting Cool Stuff Collective. It is good to share my passion for new tech and some of the unusual twists and turns that I get to explore. This is all voluntary but it is still a service that I try and provide.
Today was a different event I joined about 20 other STEMnet ambassadors from all sorts of parts of industry, currently working and retired. We were at the Winchester Science Centre (I still call it Intech). It was where were shot one of the road trip episodes on Cool Stuff Collective. It was an event aimed at secondary school boys specifically. It was delivered as part of International Mens Day. This may seem strange to focus on us males in the workplace given there already lots of men in the industry. However, it is not always a good idea to ignore one part of society. These boys also needed the information and role models to talk to. So the excuse of a international day or event regardless of gender makes sense to catch some of them.
The day would work as well for groups of girls, the events and experiences were not specifically blokey.
We had groups building bristlebots and trying to make them go in a straight line. (These are DIY versions of Hexbugs. A bristle, like a toothbrush has a vibrating solenoid strapped to it. It causes the bug to shake itself forward in a very insect like way.
One of the very enterprising teams decided to forego the placing of pipe cleaners and weights etc to make the bug drive straight. Instead they build a rail system with straws as outriggers bolted to the bug bug much wider than it. It was a bit of a cheat, but as there were no rules I think it was a very cool build for the 15 mins they had.
The other even was trying to build a small ramps out of kinex and paper only for a micro RC car to jump off. The cars were very twitchy and it was q tricky task to even hit a ramp let alone build one. This made it even more entertaining to watch.
The final hands on was a robot arm test of teamwork. In cross school groups two people at a time had to control the arm and try to pick up the blocks. Every 30 seconds they were swapped out for other people in the team.
#stemnet day
The final part was a speed networking. Each of us STEMnet ambassadors had table and every 4 minutes we talked to 5 students about our life and our work. We all had props. I had the MergeVR headset, my 3d printed Makie, my Flush magazine articles and of course a copy of Reconfigure I told them all about IBM and about virtual worlds and VR and the journey via TV presenting and now authoring. Still that I am a programmer, but that there is a lot they can chose to do.
One question I got was about whether it paid well. I explained a corporate job pays very well, but when you leave that money is a different matter altogether. Trying to sell a book to generate a bit of income, or chasing contracts of any value is tricky when you do leading edge stuff. I did explain that they should focus on IoT as a way forward. That would be a lucrative set of things to invent and get into.
After lunch we were treated to a full planetarium fly through. It was a bit like playing Elite Dangerous but we went out even further. The narrator/pilot was fantastic.
It was a very rewarding day indeed I think. It was also great to meet to many other people interested in helping others grow their STEM knowledge.

Human endeavour – it is what counts

On Saturday we took a family trip to London to the Lee Valley Velodrome on the 2012 Olympic park site. We had tickets to see the Revolution series. Here various pro cycling teams and riders from around the world compete indoors on the banked circuit. WE had been to see some of the Olympics during 2012 but that was the gymnastics at the O2/Millennium Dome so we had not seen the big stadium, giant sculpture nor the velodrome yet.
As predlet 1.0 is currently on crutches, with a heavily sprained ankle, we chose to go overland from Waterloo station to the park in North East London. The cabbie set off North, but our visit clashes with the road closures for the Lord Mayor’s show. So after a u-turn we skirted around the city and then he headed up towards the Velodrome. It was a drizzly rainy day but we did get to see a lot of London.
The Velodrome itself is a fantastic looking building from the outside.
Cycling at the velodrome
It is a huge bowed wood clad curve. The entire building is raised up on a plinth and the glass walls around appear to support the wooden structure. You are let in through an air lock in small groups. The idea is to keep the air and temperature stable inside to protect the track.
Inside it makes sense that the entire structure is raised up as the banked track is incredibly deep and steep.
Cycling at the velodrome
There are two tiers of seating, but everyone can see everything. The riders and track were very close to our seats, and we got a good view down a straight.
The preparation area, for warm up and warm down is located in the infield. So there is always something going on, some form of activity.
We got to see several types of races and mass warmups around the track in between too. The first was with individual riders. It was just them against the track and the clock. Whilst not being bike racing affiecienados it was amazing how quickly we all saw the minute differences in technique and speed that led to different times. You just knew when the winning time was being made. You could feel the wonderful interlocking of all the training with the effort on the day coming into play. The first 200m race (which the clock started a little after the start finish line) was separated by milliseconds. The top time were around 10 seconds to cover the 200m, after 2 laps to wind up to the sprint.
The predlets had not really come across fixed wheel bikes but they soon got the gist of how they worked and the fact these athletes were traveling at over 40 miles and hour with no brakes.
The sprint races were great, it was very crowd friendly and we were able to cheer and support everyone, but particularly the locals. Everyone was cheered though. It is incredibly obvious the effort that they have to put in to be able to move at those speeds. The banked curves and the pressure to try and control the bike, choosing the right line etc it less obvious but was intriguing to watch.
The one on one races were interesting too. These are the ones where the try and catch one another out. They have three laps to complete, but the first one or two are done at a very slow pace, keeping an eye out for the break. The acceleration and power as they wind up the bikes means a fraction of a seconds jump on someone matters. Equally, go to early and you loose power or the other person gets a slip stream. Again these were easy to follow.
The most impressive races were the mass races of 20 or so riders. The Women’s race was 80 laps and the Men’s 120. They tended to stay in a streamlined group unless one chose to break away. Every 10 laps was a sprint lap with points awarded for the top people crossing first. Extra points were on offer for lapping the field. Here is got a bit confusing, the comentator did their best but we got a bit lost as to the rules. When and where the lapping occurred and if it got reset after the sprint lap. It was very impressive though. a constant almost silent whoosh of power sooting past every 10-12 seconds.
Cycling at the velodrome
Cycling at the velodrome
Another race format was the elimination. Each lap the one at the back dropped off until there were 10 then they raced.
The final race was the strangest. A large proportion of it involved not racing at all. It was called the Longest Lap. Here all the riders attempted to balance near the star finish line, on the banked straight. They had to stay upright, no crossing the line for 3-4 minutes. A foot down or holding on and they were out. Then the signal would go and they all raced form a standing start for 1 lap. About 1/3 dropped out before the race.
It was interesting, but seemed a little odd. Then I remembered we used to do this as kids. How long can you balance on your bike without moving. So it is not quite so odd. As a spectator sport watching people balance was actually good too.
We had a great time at the Velodrome. I have to say the tea at the canteen was great too. Lots of venues have food places that are pretty bad or just non-descript. The fresh crepes, cakes and tea at Lee Valley are very nice though.
I entitled this post human endeavour – it is what counts. The combined experience of the science and technology and engineering that created the building, with the effort that the athletes and their teams put in and the variety of experiences over and above just cycling fast combined with a willing and happy crowd of spectators was and is very uplifting.
Everything is about building and improving. That includes hard work and effort, that making it worthy of celebration.
The previous weekend we had our annual trip to see Jools Holland and his Rhythm and Blue Orchestra. It was another amazing show, as usual. In fact it was probably one of the best yet. It is another example where the hard work and effort of the musicians to learn their craft is celebrated by them sharing it with us. The dexterity of Jools Holland on the piano is stunning, the drum solo by Golson Lavis is always a fantastic highlight. Not only one of the greatest drummers ever, but he is there all the time for the whole 2 hour show. These solos everyone else leaves and lets him get in with it. Here is an example. It is well worth the listing to the whole thing and feeling the effort and the effortlessness combine with all his years of experience.

Everyone should have the opportunity to find their talent and to work at to, building on all that came before. It is human endeavour that counts.

A book interview, stickers, emblems and a cross-post

On Friday I had the great pleasure to be asked back to GamesAtWork.biz to talk about the relevance of writing a sci-fi book and how it fitted with both games and software development processes. In order to get my thoughts in order I decided to write a post on Linkedin’s Pulse blogging platform. I have tended to avoid posting other places as I though a central place, here, made more sense. It would seem that it is worth doing both, all, everything though. The fact it was a different platform made me think in a slightly different way. The full post is below, just in case you don’t get around to reading it on Linkedin.
A few more additions to promotional opportunities have happened since too.
I created a Call Of Duty Black Ops iii emblem (not quite as good as the car decals but the tool set is a little less rich I think)
Reconfigure emblem in #callofdutyblackops3
Also there is now an evolving Icon that you can apply from Zymge.com to your Twitter avatar There are lots of other types of overlay stickers that this service can do for you too. Well worth a look.

Here is the Linkedin Pulse post.
I have not written directly on Linkedin before. However now seems a good time. As a long time blogger and contributor to all sorts of other forms I thought I would share here some of what led to me turning my hand from building virtual worlds and making sense of new technology for people, to creating a science fiction novel, and now working on the sequel. The book is linked from Reconfigurebook.co.uk

As a creator of a single person company in the emerging technology space it is quite tricky to get the right sort of work that both pays, is fulfilling and increases the skill base that I have gained over the past 26 years in the industry.

Creating code and architecting systems allows me to use a full stack of skills. In the world today it is much easier to punch above your weight. I recommend everyone, who is a techie, to just have a go making something end to end. I have done that a number of times, but usually for other people. I have never had a product of my own as such. I have worked with and helped a number of startups, those are long term investments in time and emotional effort. They seldom have yet yielded a product I could point to and say there… that’s what I built.

I had a short TV career, by short I mean 3 years of 39 episodes of weekly TV. That is something I was very proud of but the TV companies do not keep that sort of stuff up on the web. Even though the slots on tech were still relevant today they are really tied up in licensing and not just sitting on Youtube. Again no product.

My 20 years at IBM did see a number of project that were flagship ones in the development of the web, but the end results are now no longer there. The virtual world work, which I still continue today is constantly shifting. The old build in Second Life are now just memories. A few stills and movies remain. There is nothing to share as such. Reputation is fleeting after all.

So I was left thinking I need to build something. I needed to create something end to end as a challenge. I was contemplating various games to make, I started on a few but they did not grab me. I know when I am stoked, and with those I was not.

Sat on Holiday I read the Martian. I loved the scientific depth and a sense of genuine substrate to the emotional layer and adventure on top. A few days later I had an image in my head, related to virtual worlds and gaming. An image of a character being rotated in space. A thing we often have to do in virtual worlds. I imagined what it would be like to do that for real. Again another thing people often talk about when they have used a virtual reality system for a while. If only we could manipulate the real world like this. I then thought of the Internet of Things, and how we instrument the world. I then consider how we could use that to reconfigure the world. Boom I had a title Reconfigure.

As I noodled the idea I realised I wanted to get real tech that I knew into the story. I wanted to go full g33k in the set up. Taking real virtual world tech and code and then extrapolating it. I also wanted my main character to make the same mistakes we all make. That was where the idea of the starting point came. She, (and it just happened She became a She instinctively) makes a misplaced Tweet. Types in the wrong window. It is a thing we have all done. I think that makes a good hook. Instead of just hassle though she makes contact with someone or something.

Having got that basis I came home and sketched a story board. I had key types of things I wanted to happen. I had these initial images in my head but had to find the peril, the adventure. I had to find things that were difficult to solve in clever ways.

This is where is became a lot like coding a system. I had problems and sticking points in the storyboard. I had an architecture. I had to work out the code (in this case, words) to pass the tests that allowed this to work and flow.

It became an obsession for a couple of weeks flat out writing. It felt like binge-watching a boxed set. I did not always know what was going to happen, or if I did I didn’t know the details until I started. It was invention, just like a patent. I felt duty bound to make sure it stood up to some degree of reasoning and logic despite getting into the fictional elements.

That was the really fun part. I was, and I am, really happy with the story. So much so I just started on the sequel. It seems to be flowing in the same way though I have learned from my experience on the first book about hen to stop and check. Just like code, sometimes you find a better algorithm and just have to break the code again to fix it.

Doing this myself I had to learn about the formatting and setting for e-readers and specifically Kindle. I also created a sort of beta reader programme for some friends and family to help iron out the typos and bugs. It is impossible to see it all yourself when you are so close to it. That was a humbling experience in itself.

The vagaries of the US tax system, despite being Uk based and a few other little quirks all took a little time. The cover design and using the right format and size all took a while. I am not a designer, but I wanted to give it a go. I tried a couple of covers and got comments about them before settling on this one.

However a the end of October 2015 I published the e-book.

I was expecting, like most first time authors, a massive blip as friends, family, former colleagues and anyone who pays attention on social media or virtual worlds to say “Hey! epredator had written a book, I will take a look at that!” This is a mother humbling experience. There are some very close friends who have done that for me. However I realised that I needed to go wider. My friends and family blip at launch was not going to be big enough to tip the book into the charts.

I was then faced with the almost full time job of advertising and promoting the book. I am still working out the best routes. Amazon is an obvious place to advertise but I also have Facebook, dabbled with Twitter, and some Google Adwords in place.

The advice always seems to be do lots of other things. One of the first things was to brave CreateSpace and typesetting to create the paperback. A physical product still seems to make people think you have done something real. So I did that, and it went live a few days ago.

I always done lots of twists and turns on ideas so these are some of the things I have done in the past few weeks.

  • Join Author central on amazon.com and .co.uk
  • Create videos – I did a show and tell rather like this post and an advert using my son in a style that fitted with an element of the story (all very meta)
  • Create a Forza6 car design – Yes building a lambo with Reconfigure and the book cover all over it let me drop images all over the place and add another promo video around brands hatch. Quite unusual I think?
  • Tweet.. A lot ( I am still hoping the saturation with prompt a few more friends to help 🙂 )
  • Facebook page – I set up the specific page for Reconfigure before going live and then made that available putting a few extras on there
  • Flickr – lots of images, books arriving, weird images of me holding the book etc
  • Free prize draw on Amazon.com – Offering a copy of the book in a prize draw run by Amazon to get Twitter followers
  • Podcast – Tonight I am talking on Gamesatwork.biz after a kind invitation
  • Pay a twitter promoter – I used Bookbear, but there are loads. I may be cheaper than ad clicks
  • Change my job title here to Sci-Fi Author at Feeding Edge Ltd.
  • Added the logo to my twitter avatar
  • Built a second life box to with a link
  • Pinged my old eightbar group on in Second Life
  • Wrote this post 🙂
  • Update 8th November – I also just did the podcast interview on gamesatwork.biz

There are probably more, and there will be more of course. Now much of the chatter I create relates to things in the new book. It’s called Cont3xt at the moment. It follows on and meshes with the timeline of Reconfigure. It is very exciting again. I am back on binge-watching my own series.

I have realised that the aspirational nature of writing, wanting people to enjoy your work and your product is more humbling and scary than exciting. If people don’t buy the book, it’s not because it is not good. They wouldn’t know. With only a few reviews at the moment and not really enough sample size to judge it by I just have to leave it there to be its own thing now.

If every follower and like that I had bought the £1.99/$2.99 e-book today, right now it would hit the top 100. I can see the variance that even a single sale makes to the rank. I don’t have an agent or publisher pushing it. However, I have created what I set out to do and learned a lot in the process about things I was not expecting to learn. That can only be a good thing.

I care about Roisin Kincade, my lead character. Right at the moment she is in quite a difficult place. So I need to keep writing to rescue her. I have the storyboard/architecture and I have some experience in code/writing and testing/editing plus I know how to publish and try to market it. So I best get on with it.

The book, it’s blurb and links to where to get a copy are all on Reconfigurebook.co.uk

Blended Reality – Hiding under tables.

Having been somewhat preoccupied with, you know what, the past few weeks I had not had a chance to comment and share the current wave of demos relating to Google’s Magic Leap. This video was published, ‘shot through magic leap technology’ a few weeks ago.

It has some interesting features to take note of. The little character is under the table. However he is also behind the leg of the table. The real world object clips him and obscures him as the camera pans across. He is floating around and bobbing a little, but the registration with the physical in a hand held karma shot is very impressive.
Also intersting, and more obvious in the solar system shot, is the use of focus. The objects are not always in focus just as a real camera would need to adjust as it got closer. Many AR experiences and blended reality experiences do not have that. They may have lighting and a presence relative to a physical space but they are like 3d stickers.
It is a lot more convincing and real than the large Whale jumping one that was doing the rounds. That looked like an aspirational PR video of what we could expect one day.
I am really looking forward to the next few months/years as these devices become accessible. It is way more exciting than just pure VR (though I love that too!)
It enables us to start instrumenting the world visually as much as we are under the covers with the Internet of Things.

Virtual becomes physical part ii

Today the paperback version of Reconfigure (my sci-fi novel I may have mentioned a few times!) went live. I was really happy with the proof that came from Createspace.

The amazon.com version is also there
I am setting up matchbook so it should mean that the digital copy is available to anyone who buys the physical copy. I am not sure how that pans out or works out, but it works retrospectively is someone buys the physical book and then would like the digital one once the scheme kicks in.
I got predlet 2.0 to help out with an advert for the book. It is a little easter egg, there are a few of them out there, based on the contents so readers or would be readers get a little in the know payoff.

I have been bouncing around the various advert platforms. I am still not sure which works, but I know which ones cost way too much 🙂
Anyway, this new solid paper version might make a good christmas present for someone ? Plus is is something I can wander around and show people, just in case they don’t believe me.
The plans that tomorrow is day 1 of storyboarding book 2. I have a rough idea what that is, there are plenty of hooks on the first book to work with and mesh into, though I don’t want to make each book mandatory. That may be asking a little too much, but it’s an aim.