Posts Tagged ‘ future ’

Pimp up your car with the new AR Windshield

I love technology, Augmented Reality is a favorite technology of the future and like a lot of people around the world I am insistent that it is going to be as big as technology can get. Companies are slowly realizing the potential of this platform as not just a great marketing and advertising tool, or a toy, but a definitive tool to help bridge the virtual and real world. Proof of the above statement is now car manufacturers are looking at making the technology available through Heads Up Displays on the windshield. Yes you read that right, AR is coming soon to a car near you. Well beofe we see what is available, lets see what it can look like ?

General Motors has been working with several universities to develop a working next-generation heads-up display that turns an ordinary windshield into an augmented reality information dashboard. Such a system can improve safety and advance knowledge behind the wheel, visually identifying important objects in physical space like road signs and the edges of the road you’re on in conditions of poor visibility. It can even bring GPS functions right into the dashboard by outlining the exact building you’re going to.

According to Technology Review, to turn the entire windshield into a display, GM used a special type of glass coated with red-emitting and blue-emitting phosphors–a clear synthetic material that glows when it is excited by ultraviolet light. The phosphor display is then activated by tiny, ultraviolet lasers bouncing off mirrors bundled near the windshield.  Three cameras mounted on the dashboard track the driver’s head and eyes to determine where she is looking.

The HUD windshield uses night vision, navigation and camera-based sensors to gather data relevant to your surroundings as you drive, and ultraviolet lasers project corresponding images onto the windshield surface. GM says to look for this system being incorporated into its vehicles in the near future.

Microsoft shows how we might use a Tablet device

[tweetmeme] One of the biggest giants of the software industry alongside Google is Microsoft and unlike Google which relies on fans and partner companies to do most of the innovation in relation to hardware, Microsoft is taking on the task by itself. Against, a common competitor Apple and the iPad. Sometime earlier we looked at how the tablet industry is shaping up across the world, especially since Apple announced the iPad. It was more than just disappointing to see that Apple did the intro of the device which was not really great, however world over people seem to think that Apple has the right pulse when it comes to handhelds especially after the tremendous success of the iPod and the iPhone. So, without really performing any sort of sanity check all companies seem to jump on to the Tablet bandwagon, maybe through direct involvement or indirect. Today lets see one of the offerings that will be available just after the iPad.

Microsoft courier

Definitely one of my favorite devices in the list. Why ? well it embodies the concept of a hand held notebook (quite literally). I guess I might be speaking too soon, but the demo’s and concept photos that have surfaced recently, including windows mobile 7, seem to show Microsoft’s intent to start from scratch to make their offering better. Some of the pictures below here might just show how good this device might turn out to be, and a video showing how Microsoft thinks we will use this device.

The below video highlights the usability and how we might use it as a true journal.

I believe that we might really use this device and it is a lot more practical than the iPad.

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Nokia imagines technology in 2015

[tweetmeme] What does the future look like? Gadgets without keyboards, touchscreen devices, and phones that feature augmented reality, GPS, web browsing, and more. See for yourself in the video below.

Although clearly just concepts at this point, the devices shown in the animated video paint a picture of how we’ll be using devices and services. Connecting to TV, so we can share TV watching experiences with people on the other side of the world, or even using the mobile device as a projector. Contextual awareness plays a big part too, with the device working together with the cloud, both pulling information down to the device, and also sending information back.

Take the fisherman in India. Not only is he using his device to get the best prices for his fish, but he’s making extra money by selling his data to overseas universities who can tap into his and other fishermen’s information for their research.

It might not be a single device either. We saw an example of the user who’s main device is his mobile computer, acts as a satnav and a multimedia centre – much as our devices do today. However Mr 2015 also has a smaller, sub device which he can use for sport. With the same interface as his main device, and the addition of the cloud, means he can move seamlessly between the two.

Of course, this is all still conceptual, but we can see easily how the services and strategy being laid down today form the backbone of the lives we’ll be living tomorrow.

The Boring User Manuals version 2.0

[tweetmeme] A lot of applications for Augmented Reality are available in the market, in fact a lot of them are available for free and need not be purchased. But just like most new platforms it misses practical usages, at least at this early stage, and new applications are the ones that define how the success of the technology and platform performs.

Most user manuals are not very user friendly. They’re full of poorly written text and confusing diagrams which can really throw off people from reading them. Worse still, the gap between problem and solution is vast because we’re forced to apply a linear format to a specific question. There is no search box in manuals for a specific function.

But here’s an idea: What if instead of leafing through pages or scrolling through an online manual, you could simply see your way through a task? Just slide on a headset, hold your phone in front of you or extreme wear the Augmented Reality Lens and work your way through a bit of customized, augmented-reality education.

That’s what Columbia University computer science professor Steve Feiner and Ph.D. candidate Steve Henderson are trying to do with their Augmented Reality for Maintenance and Repair (ARMAR) project. They’re combining sensors, head-worn displays, and instruction to address the military’s maintenance needs. Take a look at this project video and you’ll quickly see how the same application could extend to all sorts of use cases:

The user can see five kinds of augmented content presented on the see-through head-worn display:

  1. Attention-directing information in the form of 3D and 2D arrows, explaining the location of the next task to perform.
  2. Text instructions describing the task and accompanying notes and warnings.
  3. Registered labels showing the location of each target component and surrounding context.
  4. A close-up view depicting a 3D virtual scene centered on the target at close range and rendered on a 2D screen-fixed panel.
  5. 3D models of tools (e.g. a screwdriver) and task domain components (e.g. fasteners or larger components), if applicable, registered at their current or target locations in the environment.

There are many day-to-day tasks in which consumers currently need to consult written or computer-based instructions. Think of assembling a bicycle or a piece of furniture, making a complex recipe, wiring a home entertainment center, or fixing a balky lawnmower. These are just some examples of tasks in which systems like ARMAR could make the task easier and faster to perform, and make it more likely that it’s performed correctly. Another Video below:

How technology is helping rebuild places like Haiti

[tweetmeme] The greatest perils of modern human life is the reaction to “Acts of God”, no one knows when these will actually happen and however ready we humans seem to be to react to these earthquakes, tsunamis, tornadoes etc, we never seem to be ready enough. Haiti and the earthquake there has just proved it even more. Scientists are working all over the world to actually come up with a solution for early warning solutions, while that seems to be eluding us; there is another aspect of this problem that technology is really helping with, and that is rehabilitation and rebuilding, and they are doing it in a way that is ecologically sustainable.

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Containerization has revolutionized cargo shipping. Today, approximately 90% of non-bulk cargo worldwide moves by containers stacked on transport ships. The humble containers are now moving not just goods, but are getting to provide safe housing and quick. Shipping container architecture is a form of architecture using steel intermodal containers (shipping containers) as structural element, because of their inherent strength, wide availability and relatively low cost. There are inherit advantages to this soltuion if using shipping containers, Strength and Durability, Modular,  Transport, Availability and the obvious, Cost . The other side of the coin is actually that there is a downside which are, Temperature inside the cabin, Building permits to use this might be a problem, and others. However in places like Haiti where massive rebuilding needs to happen and quickly, these seem to be what the doctor ordered.

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Researchers at Clemson University are scurrying to figure out how to turn their project, known as SEED, into a way to contribute emergency housing to Haiti right now. SEED was initially conceived as a way to utilize some of the estimated 30 million shipping containers that were languishing in ports all over the world by turning them into homes for victims of hurricanes in both the Caribbean Islands and the United States. The design from SEED optimizes the usage of the container where it is simply cut in a few strategic places to allow for airflow and light while it is still in the port, then transported to the site for further modifications such as a coated with ceramic paint for insulation and fitted with wooden shipping pallets that act as “pods” for bathing and cooking.

Additionally, the containers are augmented with another surplus item: 55 gallon drums fitted with an interior slip to protect against leaching. On the roof of the container they become the real “seeds” of the project” filled with dirt and planted for “emergency food restoration.” Christensen says other surplus items such as old tires can also be made into raised beds for growing food.

Interestingly, the idea of using Shipping containers for housing has been around for a long time, in fact its very pracical usage is the Data Centers, Google maximizing the usage of these. Well housing is not something new as well, in fact if you scout the web, you will really find awesome examples of these containers. Check out some awesomely designed examples below:

all terrain cabin 10 Brilliant, Boxy and Sustainable Shipping Container Homes

mobile dwelling unit

port a bach 10 Brilliant, Boxy and Sustainable Shipping Container Homes

12 container house 10 Brilliant, Boxy and Sustainable Shipping Container Homes

If you are interested more, you could check out these great lists with more of these shipping container styled housing designs :

Now your face is your Business Card

[tweetmeme] Interestingly, I wrote about the Augmented Reality Business Card a few days back talking about how Augmented Reality is getting into business cards in ways that makes them more interesting and really awesome. Check out the previous post on the same here. Well now, Polarrose has come up with a solution where one’s face can be used now as a Social Business Card along with TAT (The Astonishing Tribe).

The concept video from Polar Rose on You tube has received over 400,000 views so far as the “Augmented ID” combines Augmented Reality and with Face Recognition, to deliver the worlds first AR application that recognizes people seen by the mobile phone’s camera in realtime and displays icons around their heads with direct links to the person’s profiles on sites such as Facebook, LinkedIn, YouTube, Slideshare and others.

The technology is breakthrough because it will help designers now look to more than just the ugly black marks (sort of ugly) to pull up Augmented Information, if it can work with faces (Which are quite complex) they can be used with normal shapes such as brand logos, objects etc.

The first biggest step since the introduction of the Augmented Reality technological previews.

Another future vision from Cisco

[tweetmeme] Cisco, like most companies in the new economy are striving to be one of the first in an industry such that they are able to capitalize the most of the market. So just like Nokia, Microsoft or even Apple, they have begun to showcase their future visions. Guess what ? It features Augmented Reality, which is what excites me.

Cisco has not only looked at the Augmented Reality feature but showed it as a fun experience for the user as well. Thats one point for combination.

Additionally there are a few more videos for the Future visions of Cisco. Here is a look at some; Healthcare and education system included.