Jersey Hackathon – Phone Breakathon

I had a trip to Jersey this weekend, sponsored by Jersey BCS so that I could be an out of town judge at the #hackjsy game development event. The focus here was for teams to build something in 36 hours, game related. With my BCS Animation and Games specialist group hat/badge on it made a lot of sense to to and see what was going on.
I also treated the trip as a re-aquanting myself with travelling on business, the family getting a chance to see I am now there all the time, but just for a short first stint. I also thought I would test out the new clothes for travel comfort. That test worked, but in a way I was not expecting. I usually have been wearing combat trousers and my phone sits nicely in the leg pocket. Instead it was inside my new jacket/ waistcoat arrangement. As i parked the car at the airport and hoofed my overcoat on with a hunch of the shoulders, my iPhone 6s plus felt the urge to slide upwards out of the shiny new pocket and propel itself face down onto the floor. I knew it was not going to be too well but I was surprised at just how smashed it made itself.
So much for not having a screen protector
It was completely unhappy with any sort of interaction. I couldn’t power it off with a slide either. I tried the power and home button together for a few seconds and it shutdown. The Jersey flight is inly 40 minutes in a turbo prop but they don’t like phones being on. It is not so bad these days to be without a phone as if you have a laptop/pad etc wi-fi is readily available, so I let home know I was not going to be texting and Jersey know I was not going to be ignoring them if they called.
The hackathon was great though. 9 teams building stuff in all sorts of ways. javascript, node.js, python, unity3d, ruby, stencyl and a raspberry pi all featured across the projects and we had a hard time judging down to 1, 2, 3 and the special WTF award.
Whilst there I got to talk to a lot of people from all over the island in different industries. It was great to catch up with the guys from vizuality as they are making huge strides in the areas of installation experiences using VR. Tracking users in a 10x10m space and providing headset visuals as they wander around.
I spent the Saturday hacking too. I looked a little in IBM Bluemix and its Unity api for text to speech, using my own book quotes to see if it could cope. They all still have trouble pronouncing Roisin though πŸ™‚ I also then spent a bit more time on my Vuforia AR covers for the books. I decided that Reconfigure should have the variant of the block world view that Roisin sees and builds in her own Unity application.
Joining in with the spirit of #hackjsy
Then on Cont3xt I explored writing a scene changer, so at certain intervals the models and view would swap. Initially I did that by toggling the image targets, but that did not trigger the re-viewing of them, as it expected the same target to have the same stuff on it. However, swapping the game objects attached in the tree, turning them on and off worked, just as the animation works. So I now have a little bit of authoring infrastructure that makes it easier to add multiple scenes and play through them.
I was going to do something with the leap motion sensor too, but that fitted more with having an AR headset to interact with the book covers, with a broken phone and other judging work to do I parked that one.
I also had a lot of conversations around IoT in various forms, and a bit of a chat about blockchain too. Jersey may only have 100,000 people on it, but there is a vibrant tech community there. It was a great trip, and the phone is now repaired (the Jersey shop wasn’t able to do 6s plus so Apple Basingstoke did it in 1 hour) It also now has a proper case. I had avoided that for ages, not having broken the phone before. Rather than take a picture of the phone in a mirror to show the case, I sparked up the AR unity, put the Reconfigure picture on the phone and then the mac did its thing and rendered Roisin, holding her phone with a view of the world that she sees.
AR reaching out of the fixed phone + cover
Just to re-interate the loops within loops here. I am rendering an AR representation using Unity3d and an Iphone onto a digital version of the cover of the e-book that contains a story about Roisin discovering a way to see the World in terms of position and labels that she expands on by writing an application in Unity that tuns on her iPhone. I will share this post on Twitter. The same Twitter (happy 10th birthday) that she uses to accidentally discover her new found abilities when she accidentally types into the wrong window. Meta enough ? πŸ™‚
Anyway, well done everyone at #hackjsy, great organization, great participation, great fellow judges and a great island. See you all again soon I hope.

In-app purchase scam – Mustang Tuning Crash

This evening I happened to look at a couple of incoming emails from my apple account, to be greated by two in app purchases of Β£34.99 and Β£99.99. Having a family of apple users and not being able to do sub accounts we tend to run all the devices on 1 account. The predlets are very good about asking for downloads, plus they don’t have the app store password. So things seemed to be ok until these invoices.
It appears that an app called Mustang Tuning Crash was the culprit. It seemed to have been a top down simple racer, aimed at kids and casual gamers. However it appeared to have an in game app purchase delux version that clearly one of the predlets hit the menu option for. At no point was there any password challenge, just instead “unlocking” something or other for nearly Β£100.
I have no idea how anything like this ended up on the apple website given they apparently strict submission procedures.
The apparent developer of this has a number of kids style games many with in app purchases. I have no idea if this is a rogue app that the developer has been hacked or is a deliberate rip off or a loop hole in the rules.
Apple responded offering a refund, though I replied I was more concerned the rip off was sorted out. I had already contacted my credit card company and so my card was now cancelled. This is of course hugely inconvenient with so many recurring online payments in place. However it was best to check. I also remove any credit card from the itunes store.
I am not sure how many other people have fallen foul of this but it all seems rather suspicious especially as the Developer “anibal soares” appears to not be very well represented on the web.
So whatever the loophole/hack/mistake is make sure you look out for in app purchases. Turn them off in the settings, but please avoid this app. If it is a genuine mistake then I will let you know but for now its a great way to lose Β£140 on a couple of clicks and I am sure the game was not that good (though I deleted the things from everywhere I could).
****Update 23/1/13 I wrote to Apple as a separate complaint from the one dealing with my particular money issue. I am due a reply within 48 hours.
I referred to the comments and how many of them appeared to be spam names or automated in some way too.
There is not an obvious fraud or dubious behaviour section. So I had to label it with “quality of content”.
Hopefully they will act as this is surely not in the terms and conditions, though apple do have a wide set of standards I hope common sense prevails.
Here is the note I sent via the Apple website.
“Last night I reported what appeared to be fraudulent in app purchases of Β£99.99 and Β£34.99.
On further investigation it appears many of the apps by developer claiming to be Anibal Soares https://itunes.apple.com/gb/artist/anibal-soares/id538318486 have a similar set of extremely dubious in game content prices.
e.g. https://itunes.apple.com/gb/app/football-penalty-goal-kick/id538319553?mt=8 https://itunes.apple.com/gb/app/mustang-tuning-crash-chase/id582594160?mt=8
I am surprised that this content made it onto the app store and I am assuming that there was a gap in the update process that meant these were not fully checked? I am not sure if they have been hacked or if the developer is doing it deliberately. Some of the content seems to link to THE TOP BEST COOL FUN & FREE GAMES LIMITED registered (but current held by a chartered accounts firm) registered in at companies house as 08127720
The reviews of the app appear to be generated names giving the apps 5 stars they do not look in general like people.
Please can you confirm you are going to investigate this suite of apps please as it breaches a number of the app review guidelines. I would expect that a strict review can be done under “11.11 In general, the more expensive your App, the more thoroughly we will review it” as several hundred pounds of in app purchases must draw some attention.”
**Update 23/1/13 As much of what I do is about understanding how technology and trends impact us a people I have to hsare the observation about the impact this has had on the predlets. Predlet 1.0 being slightly older but the owner of her own ipad mini understood this was something that should not happen, but you can accidentally be caught out. So she has chosen to spread the word amongst her friends to look out for this app. Predlet 2.0 being slightly younger took this to heart a bit more. Despite not being told off, the explanation of what happened definitely had him worried. This morning he talked about it out of the blue again and said “but dad whenever it said buy I did hit cancel you know”. I explained that it was the same as if you have something stolen. You try and be secure, look after things, but sometimes people choose to take things from you. If there is blame it is with the people doing the stealing and scamming. Very classy though to pick on kids!
**Update 24/1/13 Still waiting to hear how this is progressing both from my reply to the original refund and to the specific extra request to investigate. So I did tweet to @AppStore too just in case. “@AppStore you need to investigate the Β£99.99 in app purchases should not have passed inspection? http://www.feedingedge.co.uk/blog/2013/01/22/in-app-purchase-scam-mustang-tuning-crash/ … still waiting to hear?”

***Update 4/2/13
I contacted Apple again asking why I had not heard any more. It would appear the reason was as they had refunded my money then everything was OK. Clearly it is not. So it would appear that no further action was being taken.

“Nadia here from the iTunes Store. I understand that you have not hear anything in regards to the charges you reported . I can certainly appreciate how motivated you must be to get this issue resolved quickly, and I would be more than happy to help you out with this today.

The order you are inquiring about was refunded on January 23, 2013, and should be available within 5-7 business days from the date it was processed.Please contact your credit card company regarding questions about when the credit will be posted to your account.

I just want to take a moment here to clarify for you what you were actually charged for. The items that you were billed for are what are known as In-App purchases. These are paid enhancements for apps. Things like weapons, items, extra levels, and other enhancements are types of in-game purchases which often fall into this category, and this is what you actually purchased, most likely unintentionally.

The Application ” Mustang Tuning Crash Chase” was free, and this is the Application that was used to purchase the in-app items. The in-app purchases were for “Deluxe Mode” and “Fun Games” to be used when playing ” Mustang Tuning Crash Chase.”

Whenever your iTunes Store password is entered on your device for your account, it is stored for up to 15 minutes, allowing new purchases to slip in without being prompted for the password. If, during those 15 minutes a new item is purchased (without being prompted for the password), those 15 minutes will start over. ”

So I am trying again! I have asked that they move this up from whatever 1st level support it is currently in. Or am I missing something that really was worth scamming people for Β£99.99 with a terrible little app?

****Update 5/2/13 This is probably getting a little bit silly now. I am trying to report a scam but Apple does not seem to have a “dealing with a scam” section anywhere. I just got a reply stating this.
“Thank you for getting back to me with this information. I see that you are very concerns about this app and believe that it is a scam and should be removed from the store. I will surely provide you with all the information I have in order for your concern to be addressed.

Ian as I stated in my previous email. I strongly suggest that you submit any feedback you have about this particular app at Apple’s Feedback page:


Our team will review all your suggestions and concerns and take the appropriate actions. If you continue to have any questions please let me know.”

So the answer to dealing with a scam is to just leave some feedback. None of those sections have anything even approaching the category this needs to be dealt with. I have asked that i get put through to the fraud department, or at least somewhere that is not level 1 support. It is not the support desk’s fault, I understand that, but I am not happy with a fob off of ask someone else by filling in another form. I wonder if there is a regulatory body that deals with these things?

****** Update 7/3/13
Having gone back to the apple itunes helpdesk with a response that this really needed to be handled in a different way and could they pass me to someone appropriate I was given another huge brush off. Presumably from the helpdesk flowchart.

“I see that you do not feel that our feedback page is the appropriate channel for your request. Ian I am truly sorry for any frustration this issue has caused and I can understand you desire to get your concerns address in regards to this purchase.

I have contacted a senior advisor in regards to this issue and they advised me that our feedback link in the best avenue in order to address your concerns. Our feedback page allow for suggestions or improvements as well as customer concerns and it is regularly checked. They also advised me that you can submit multiple request as well as having your friends and family submit there concerns about this issue using the feedback link.

Thanks for your understanding.”

This really seems strange as I have pointed out to them I am already in contact with the company and they should be the point at which this gets passed on. So I am trying one more time to get passed to the right people. I still can’t see how the comments box, not having my family and friends fill it in too is supposed to help in anyway. I am trying here to help other apple users? I do not understand them not being able to at least take a look and see?

****** Update 7/2/13 part 2.

Having written back to the helpdesk in order to try and get an explanation about why a rip off application (or genuine mistake) of this nature is allowed I attempted this response.

“That is really an unacceptable response as this is not a minor suggestion. It is not very joined up of apple. The app is on the store and that is where the link is to raise a concern.
Please put me in touch directly with the right people not redirect me to another web page where we have to go through this again.
I am considering reporting this to local authorities which I am sure is not the sort of thing that apple wants ?
Whatever your help desk process is this needs to be escalated up several levels.
I would be happy to talk personally to your supervisor as I am sure it is just the process that is failing here not you personally”

I appear to have hit some sort of counter on the helpdesk process though….. The response being this……

“I see that you believe that is issue to too major and providing feedback will not correctly address this issue. I can definitely relate to your concern as you believe this particular app is a scam and would like to report this issue.

Ian, as an advisor to the iTunes store, I cannot comment on the functionality of the in app feature for that app. Each application is built in with a possibility of upgrading and or purchasing upgrades to certain apps and games. As for this being a scam, please note that this has always been a feature and this is a feature you can turn off on your device. I would also ask that you submit feedback via the link I provided earlier. Rest assured that all submission are review our feedback link is the best avenue for your concerns to be addressed.

To turn off In App features on your devices, please follow these steps:

1) Tap Settings on your device’s home screen.

2) Tap General.

3) Tap Restrictions.

4) If necessary, tap Enable Restrictions and enter a passcode. This passcode will prevent restrictions from being disabled without your permission.

5) Scroll down to the Allowed Content section. Switch the In-App Purchases option to OFF. Enter your Restrictions passcode if prompted.

Ian I am sorry but I need to let you know that we’ve provided as much information as we can about this issue. Please note that Apple now considers this matter clearly addressed, and future replies requesting information beyond what we have clarified will not be responded to. Thank you for understanding”

So thats it, no more responses from the itunes store wheer you are able to register a concern or complaint. They seem to consider that my individual concern over money taken is all that mattered and that my concern for other people is not relevant.
I am sure it is just english cut and paste but “As for this being a scam, please note that this has always been a feature” may say it all.
So what now? This post is getting very long, but this need to be resolved Apple?

************** Update 7/2/13 part 3

I am not just trying the apple support communities see if that registers with anyone https://discussions.apple.com/thread/4785229

*************** Update 27/2/13
It seems the global problem of bait apps and Apple’s lax attitude to them has caught up with them at least in the US where the class action rules. They are having to offer compensation and refunds to people caught by these apps. It is incredibly wide spread and so they would have taken a lot of money in percentages from these scams. The ruling has been reported here and here thanks to @katerussell and @hardlib for sending me the links.
It is important that Apple have taken steps to patch the iOS to remove the daft 15 minute window of opportunity for these sneaky apps to steal the money from our kids. I am not sure how people can live with the fact they do that, but dishonesty is dishonesty.
The ruling doesn’t effect the UK, but this is not really about compensation is it about Apple finally trying to do something about a problem that have complete power to stop. It makes a mockery of their app approval process though it would seem?

********** Update 13/4/13
The OFT (office of fair trading) in the UK has decide to look into the practice of targeting kids with in-app purchases. So I have sent this information on to them to see if helps their investigation. You too can report anything to them by Friday 28th June

Curiosity – Killed the cat?

Curiosity went live on the smartphones a few days ago. It is a well named free app/game/art installation/research project from Peter Molyneux’s new company 22Cans. The company name refers to the 22 gaming experiments that they intend to create.
I was intrigued as to what the team was going to come up with and how they would strip things right down to gaming basics but apply it to the dynamics of the devices and of social media. Being an entitled an experiment is also good because it does not set the expectation that anything will work or not, merely that it is worth a try.
Curiosity is basically a giant cube, a shared cube, a cube that each client sees in the same way. The cube is covered with millions of smaller pixel like cubes. Each player can zoom into the cube surface and tap a piece of the surface to chip it away. Underneath is another layer of the cube surface. Everyone has to join in to remove an entire multimillion piece surface with their own efforts to collaboratively clear the level and be able to start on the next one. In a giant social networked version of pass the parcel there is a secret final layer at the centre of the cube, hence the title Curiosity. There is to be one and only one winner of the information in the cube, the person to click the last ever surface cubelet on the last layer. Each layer on teh way down is a different texture and coloured picture. The first layer from Day 1 was black and shiny but was soon replaced with a green blobby type of laval lamp picture.

The basic game mechanic of tapping away with your finger tips for ages and ages, emptying areas or randomly dotting around is certainly not the most taxing game idea. It does though have the pure elements of gaming grind that you find in any RPG and in particular in MMO’s. The visuals are of course basic, a textured cube covered in deliberately wonky tiled cubelets, which you only appreciate close in.
Curiosity day 3
The game lets you play completely anonymously with your fellow tappers, or you hook to Facebook for the usual friend spamming and tracking. Each tap produces a score in the shape of coins. These coins can be amassed to use special tools like bombs to remove the surface more quickly. Save up enough and you get a range of chisels.
So all in all this seems almost completely pointless as a game, it does appeal to a certain compulsion to join in, not so much to expect to be the last person discovering the end point but to see why it is worth bothering at all. This is an intriguing introspection on Curiosity, as I am curious as to how the experiment is going and peoples motivations to try it.
This is where it is very interesting as to what 22Cans are going to find out. No doubt lots of people will try it, like any free game and have a little go. They only have to tap one cubelet away, if enough people do that the cube with be cleared. The number of layers of the cube is obviously just data, so 22Cans can do what they want, unlike pass the parcel this is not a static wrapping.
How people try and maximize their scores is interesting too. A bonus multiplier builds up as long as you are tapping and clearing at a regular rate, stop and its reset, miss and its reset. So zooming in with precision to get a large enough view of the cubelets for fingers not to miss and systemically clearing a screen offers one type of reward, zooming out and fast random scattering an area also works. I am assuming that the context and usage of each player is the sort of data being collected.

I have often pointed out that many games companies do not understand true high volume sites, with the exception of the big MMO guys. The focus on 3 player shards in games is not prepared for the massive influx of small packets of information from hundreds of thousands of people at a time. The launch of Curiosity will certain level up some sys admins. The initial experience was one of the servers being all over the place. It’s free and it’s an experiment remember, so no one should be up in arms at this.
22Cans now have some detailed massive scaling experience, assuming they did not have some already. It is also a game that is both social and anonymous, something that is in my particular area of interest. Pseudo anonymity is always intriguing and Social media can be used to provide ready and willing game players so you can work as a team despite not knowing one another well. This is sort of lacking from the cube world. There is a sense that we are, to quote a much mis-used phrase “in this together” but the sense of others is an occasional server refresh and lots of your cube face disappearing as someone else clears it. You can pay a few of your chip coins to look at friends Facebook stats, but that is mostly buried away. Again this is an experiment so I am guessing they are looking too at how many people are bothered at looking at one anthers stats πŸ™‚
You can of course theorise as to the depth of experiment that this actually is. The fact I am bothering to write about it, to have even downloaded it may itself form a small part of some massive data gathering. The cube has the #curiosity hashtag and other text messages floating across its surface so engagement outside of the game is certainly being explored.
I will certainly be following the next 21 experiments with interest. I suspect many of them will start to cross over into some of the work I have been doing and even one of the patents πŸ˜‰ as Peter and his team look at how social media can be an operating system for gameplay rather than a conduit or portal for games to be delivered into. I may have to offer them some consulting time πŸ™‚
So get tapping, even if it is just to say how pointless it all is. Of course not tapping or bothering will be valuable data too. Yikes I am wrapping myself in a knot!
UPDATE 9/11/12
This video has appeared which is a great, and honest, behind the scenes admission of the size and scale of dealing with massive amounts of users and data with a small team. It is not a grovelling excuse or a press release it is genuine frustration and indicates the hard work and passion of the team. Keep going 22cans πŸ™‚

Sensing movement – BitGym

I thought I should try the Unity modules for a new motion sensing library called BitGym. A Unity/webcam based motion sensing toolkit that works with depth as well as lateral movements.

It, like many Unity3d packages, is just so straight forward to get working. You simply import the package then add a script to an object and there you have it.
An interesting twist though is that you are not locked into the laptop. Unity being able to target different platforms as a runtime (with the right licences) you can build iOS and Android sensing apps.
I have yet to explore how or if this includes skeleton tracking. It was pure Unity3d. The way it should be done πŸ™‚
Determining size and shape and motion on a camera with a single plane it is of course going to be tricky to look at detail of physical form as with the kinect which is really a 3d scanner. However for some sports applications and rep counters it may well be all that is needed. Some further investigation is on the list of things to do.
The toolkit is available to anyone to download and experiment with but that is on a non commercial licence. Obviously full licences need to be bought to do any more with the kit, but it certainly is worth looking at if you are interested in such things.

Finally an interesting advert – Gadget Show 360, F1, Second Screens

Last night at 9pm a very innovative ad aired for the new Gadget Show. It relied on an iOS application installed and running ready to go. At 9pm the tv promo started, the jingle ditty at the start cued the application to life to run the same promo advert. The TV was of course a fixed camera, but the app was a full 360 video. Moving the iPad around looking up down left right and behind you could follow the action, and it was perfectly synchronised to the TV advert. So as Jason dashed around the studio you could follow him.
The video was of course preloaded in the app, but it was a very impressive experience. It was a polished example of innovation using both the TV screen and the ever increasingly common iPad.
The video is available on the web here, in the same sort of way the old quicktime VR’s were back in 1998 πŸ™‚ It was the linking of the fixed TV showing what you would have seen combined with the physical activity of moving the iPad around whilst held up that made this more engaging than just a 360 video on the web.
Of course this would have been even better taken to the next level. If we were all in the studio too and were aware of one another. Think a virtual world synched to the TV broadcast. Where we have the same sort of control on out view of the system.
The second screen as it is being called is becoming very influential. It has been great being able to watch the Sky coverage of F1 both on the TV and with the app on the iPad letting me look at stats, track positions and in car driver feeds. It is an extension of us sitting here with our wireless enabled laptops, or having moved the desktop PC into the main living area (the previous wave) to be able to look things up, to follow links to add to our enjoyment of a previously passive experience.
It is all a part of blending realities with all the new forms of visualisation and and interaction hardware that we now have available to us. Why restrict us to one screen?

Free Unity3d for iOS and Android

I noticed a few tweets on the #unity3d hashtag about there being a free licence for the already free Unity3d for iOS and Android. Sure enough if you pop along to download Unity3d at the store you can add the ability to publish directly to iOS and Android. (offer expires april 8th 2012)
I already have the iOS basic licence and unity3d installed so it was a little less clear what to do.
On the store page there is a licence upgrade link in there you have yo paste in your existing licence number then you are able to “buy” for free the upgrade you need.
Unity will then send you a new licence number that you reactive in the unity client with the menus unity/serial number and away you go you now have targeting for publishing to web, windows, mac, iOS and android all enabled.
What are you waiting for ? It is a brilliant dev environment.
NB. As I point out at conferences when I rave about it I don’t work for unity3d I just really like what they do πŸ™‚

Physical to Digital with LEGO – Life of George

There is a definite theme of physical toy and game interaction emerging. An interesting one that appeared recently is LEGO Life of George. This comes with a build platform for LEGO bricks and a app that is used to identify your creations through the camera, which in turn unlocks new things in the app.
The video is pretty self explanatory πŸ™‚

There is of course a website and a facebook page to like
I like the 8 bit nature of the LEGO. It reminds me of those days in the 80’s with graph paper working out sprites for the C64. The 8 bit style is certainly en vogue with Minecraft taking a similar block approach to graphics and many apps such as Tiny Tower and Game Dev Story using pixel art in the same way. It is also very Little Computer People (if you remember that πŸ™‚ )
I like that George is a software engineer. A fellow g33k but with lots of interests outside his cubicle.
The tone of the site is also self deferential as the lead paragraph indicates “I am George …and this is the game of my life. It uses an awesome LEGO Brick capture technology that turns your iPhone/iPod into a revolutionizing new experience, giving you hours of building fun with endless possibilities (marketing told me to put that in).”
This will of course be the start of a greater interaction between the physical and the virtual world. Whilst this is pattern matching and creating relations to visual tags it will not be long before we can scan in something we have built with LEGO in 3D and drop it into a virtual environment.
The lines are blurring, and that is good πŸ™‚

Xfactor vs Star Wars

For some reason we had XFactor on tv last night whilst we were both messing with iphones and the web. I decided it was about time to try the Star Wars Arcade Falcon Gunner on the iphone. This app uses an entire sphere around you as the playing field as you shoot down incoming tie fighters. You can move the gun turret in the playing space both by moving and spinning your body around and by a little bit joystick control. In a nod to AR and to give a bit of a frame of reference along with the Elite style scanner it patches in the video from your iphone.
Millennium falcon xfactor
This led to the accidental mashup whereby I was about to start shooting overlayed tie fighters and as I spun around Simon Cowell and Xfactor came into view.
Gets you thinking about head up displays and being able to see and maybe share information on people and things around you doesn’t it.
XFactor (which is the first we have really seen this series) was truly awful too as many great Beatles songs were ruined IMHO. Star Wars is truly awesome!. Net win in the favour of Star Wars though.

Star Wars AR – StAR wARs I guess?

This video is doing the rounds of using the world around you as a backdrop for playing a tie fighter shooting turret game on the iphone.

There have been some great advances in using the iphone tilt and touch to control Star Wars related games and I am sure the Kinect game will be equally evocative with motion control for force and lightsaber.
It is probably that 1977 and Star Wars in general has been the grounding for many of the gamers and inventors of today that it is so obvious to replicate the things we saw back then into games tech in out hand today.
Likewise these advances in holography quickly get on to referencing the holograms seen in Star Wars.

All very amazing tech indeed and closer than we think.

Augmented Reality – Evolution in 3 mins

On The Cool Stuff Collective this week, that just aired. I got to talk a little about AR. Whilst we did not show any of the more traditional camera/marker overlay for various reasons I think we covered a lot of AR ground from marker triggering with fiducial markers and creating magic mirrors all the way to the Vtech kids video camera that acts as a live AR magic lens. Then mentioning the display contact lenses as a future way of delivering information to us in physical world.
Magic cubes
It was particularly cool for me to be able to use the Junaio triggering Royal Mail stamps that kick in a video of Bernard Cribbins.
AR video camera
Its a real bind getting a video feed out of some of these smartphones, this was a Droid, but the Iphone is also very awkward. So whilst we did connect and did trigger the video and it really does work it was better for Archie Productions to edit in the actual video.
I think we may end up with some more AR content down the line though as there are some really good products and demos like the ones we got to see in Finland OEM 2010 using Total immersion D’Fusion.
For the program I had created a Junaio channel for Feeding Edge which you get a floating Cool Stuff text model floating above the Cool Stuff TV logo if you point at it. Its all very doable! Just did not come out on the screen too well without that pesky video feed and screen shots don’t do AR justice.
Also the website going live with some Uk only video did mean I could pop into SL and do some virtual world augmented reality.
lego universe via TV in SL
Epredator getting to see G33K me streaming into a media texture talking about another virtual world the brilliant Ledo Universe Online which goes live in a few days. You have to love the meta loop !
Also great to see the CYGLO tyres running on the TV more on those at http://www.nightbrighttyre.com/