When is un-augmented reality a better choice?

From what I can see, this is a great example of what augmented reality should NOT be. Endlessly clicking on low-rez photos of a place that you are already in. Comes to us via http://www.hci.uniovi.es/

Now, with all due respects to the video and the application, (Vadinia) the video depicts a nightmare augmented reality. Navigating through real space while tied to a handheld device. This would probably be better illustrated within a museum or other controlled area, with the point being – where does the user begin absorbing information for herself? When does the user begin to form her own impressions based on classroom learing? Can this type of information input – output be done through the interface? I welcome your comments and discussion….

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    Augmented reality film: Future of Augmented Cognition

    This unusual film depicts a hypothetical team of augmented traders which apparently are in charge of managing asset trading during world crises in real time.

    They have really important jobs to do. When these high-performing traders are stressed, their headsets automatically prioritize the information they receive and minimize or maximize windows on their computer screens. We see the character “Claudia” stress out and the system helps her to focus in order to identify a suspect in the world unrest. Later, to calm her down the headset plays “a personal musical phrase” which “alerts her and supports the cognitive rebalancing process”. In other words, the headset knows when you are stressing out and provides you with direct-to-brain stimulation to keep your concentration stable.

    The technology shown would likely require a user which had been trained (perhaps from a young age) to use and rely on such augmentation. There are a couple of clues in the film that make the predicted reality believable:
    1.) the lives these characters lead are not that different from traders today and
    2.) the idea that this device could make those decisions about personal sensory input accurately is outrageous – but outrageous new technology is accpeted rapidly, and can become mainstream within a couple of years. That is the speed at which augmentation is adopted.

    Check it out and let me know what you think.

    From http://www.augmentedcognition.org/video2.html

    “This short film takes place in 2030 in a command center that is tasked with monitoring cyberspace activities for anomalies that could threaten the global economy. The economy, which functions largely in cyberspace, is the link between countries and is extremely susceptible to instability. As might be expected, given the ever-increasing amount of data to be analyzed even in today’s world, the workers in 2030 are inundated with information from all sources. They have so much information to contend with that they are literally unable to process it all unaided.”



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    Cisco telepresence

    This official video from Cisco’s YouTube channel explains that the design of the system was centered on “human factors” and “the experience”. How much unspoken human communication can be transmitted through this real-time interface? Would people prefer to be “avatarized“? Like the video phone before it this may seem both useless and indistinguishable from magic. Either way, it illustrates further how “the Metaverse is not a simulation” but rather a newly created space that is experienced. Fascinating, Captain.

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    Is your telepresence ready for mainstream?

    Industry Week online Computerworld and Business Standard online have some new articles about telepresence – remote real-time, life-size conferencing. Businesses offering such systems include Teliris and Codian, Polycom, and Cisco Systems.

    Business Standard cites the average price of a telepresence system to be around USD$300,000. With a little math you can see that such a system would pay for itself in saved travel expenses within a very short period of time. Although the videophone has been available since the early 1960’s it never saw adoption specifically because the use of the voice telephone interface allowed freedom of movement, appearance, and multitasking that is simply not possible when looking at a small screen.


    What’s different now? The wall sized screens and bandwidth allow for a completely new experience.


    Notice how the participants in the video call it “unsettling” and “hard to get used to”. On the plus side – it makes everyone look like a news anchor! These systems are big, clunky and expensive now – how soon until telepresence is small, convenient, and cheap?

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    “Sentient” virtual worlds with virtual you being created by DOD

    The Deptartment of Defense is apparently creating a virtual world that will have you as a resident.  The Synthetic World Simulation will be an even more refined version of Synthetic Environment for Analysis and Simulations (SEAS)

    Links: http://www.theregister.com/2007/06/23/sentient_worlds/


    The Register reports:

    “Called the Sentient World Simulation (SWS), it will be a “synthetic mirror of the real world with automated continuous calibration with respect to current real-world information“, according to a concept paper for the project.

    “SWS provides an environment for testing Psychological Operations (PSYOP),” the paper reads, so that military leaders can “develop and test multiple courses of action to anticipate and shape behaviors of adversaries, neutrals, and partners”.”

    What’s different now is that YOU will be part of these models which are to be scaled 1:1 for human behavior prediction.  The virtual you will be called a “like someone“, although your name will be changed.  Developed by a company called Simulex http://www.simulexinc.com You can just imagine the possibilities and the temptation to run simulations to see if “you” get out alive or not.  Now, can anyone tell what data the sample map depicts in this story?


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    reactable: electronic music table surface

    This is not only musically interesting it also looks great. Developed by the Music Technology Group at Universitat Pompeu Fabra located in Barcelona. The multiuser table is being used by Bjork on her 2007 tour. The analogue synth style sounds generated definitely recall the Kraftwerk era and the new possibilities that were – and are now – about to unfold. It also breaks new ground with objects as instruments much in the same way the Theremin did nearly 100 years ago.

    Site: http://mtg.upf.edu/reactable/


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    Augmented reality card gaming: The Eye of Judgement

    It looks as though the olde D&D or Magic gaming is about to be augmented. This Sony Computer Science Laboratories video shows a game called “The Eye of Judgement” in which players lay out an augmented card game on a table top. The game also appears to have a screen version.

    “To praise the heroes who once saved the world, these cards were created”. When you hold up your cards to the computer, it revives the heroes and the battle resumes! Fantastic. But if your opponent is right in front of you – you may have to let the wookie win. Video from Jan. 2007.


    If anyone sees this available or has information let me know!

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    Total Immersion t-immersion.com


    Total Immersion started in France and is now active in the US, Japan, Korea, and Saudi Arabia. This demo is from early 2007. Revenues of $4M in 2006, forecasting $7M in 2007. They work with Alcatel and Lucent apparently. Hard to tell if the audience is wearing goggles or not. Explains that a core focus will be on games. See it for yourself, in the future, your avatar will dance all over print media!

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    Augmented urban architecture

    In the future, people will jump up and down and punch invisible purple spheres. This video shows a variety of applications, mostly artistic. The urban scenes are fantastic. The future will also have some pretty cool sound effects. Apparently, artists will be able to create entirely new species of animals to populate the augmented spaces. If anyone knows the source let me know. Dates from late 2006.

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    Hitlab and imagic books

    This very interesting 3 minute video focuses on augmented books and displays springing from other flat surfaces. It also and explains the use of “markers”. Looks like it comes from Australia. And, guess what, looks like some of the first colonizers of the augmented world will be furries.

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