Posts Tagged ‘ gaming ’

Augmented Reality Apps that I want to see today !

and How long it might take in reality.

[tweetmeme] Everyone remembers the movie Terminator 2, where Arnold gazes around his surrounding to find a lot of information about his environment which he uses to make appropriate decisions. The viewer is told about this awesome gadget when we are allowed to view through his eyes per say. Augmented Reality is demoed sort of for the first time, commercially.

Engineers, designers and futurists have been trying to make it a reality along with making demos of how it is going to look like. Based on what we have been seeing in the past few months, it is clear that it is possible and the feasibility and working details need to be worked out. Various smartphones have started offering clunky AR apps that show you things like restaurant reviews when you point your camera at a store’s facade. But with all the crazy technology already on today’s market, we’re saying that’s not enough! Here are some applications we want to see today.

1. Augmented Reality Gaming :

The experience of gaming is to take an awesome overhauling through Augmented Reality, there are a few demos available on YouTube. With the advent of the Playstation EyeToy as well as Microsoft Project Natal the gaming industry is reaching a point where they are not only happy to embrace the technology but also make it awesome.

I Want to have awesome gaming experience like first player shooter games to be available now. But seriously I think this can be made completely available after the invention of good AR spectacles or the contact lens (See below)

2. Augmented Reality Windscreen for the Car

Yes I did write about how GM is working its way forward to getting this feature enabled in our cars. But having this instead of a normal screen is so much more cooler, getting all the information that you would need while driving around is a great feeling along with making life so much more simpler.

Driving around to not only not loose your way, but be guided to emergency services when you are lost for direction is also an advantage of Augmented Reality.

GM / Siemens already have prototypes available, so this might be available in the next 2 years on a large scale.

3. Door Peepholes with embedded AR

Augmented Reality in doors can enable to have a look at the person on the door, making it safer to check on the person. When someone knocks on our door, we want to know not only if they look like a murderer, but also their name and age. This could be possible using a facial recognition camera built into the peephole. While we’re at it, why not a quick popup of our visitor’s Facebook profile or their most recent tweet? In an AR world, ain’t nobody taking us by surprise!

We already have Business cards which make use of Facial Recognition for identifying people. This needs to get extended. Lets hope that this happens soon and the product can be available in two years tops.

4. Augmented Reality Maps

Be it the Pandora of Avatar, or just Lakshya from Bollywood, 3D maps are cool. Not to mention the fact that in the age of combat preperation and planning they provide an added advantage to be able to see the actual scene where you would be able to go. Add to it, Google Maps, Sketchup and the Google Map Builder. You have all the information available to make a 3D map of most of the  places.

This technology will not only help combat, but will be able to provide support in terms of relief as well as interesting addition to the classroom as well. I would say this should be available now, as the technology allows it to be possible.

I guess I will do more of these applications in the part 2 of this post. Look out for it 🙂

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3D screens coming to a living room near you

Avatar, and there is my reference to the path breaking, game changing movie that I just ‘experienced’. Like I have mentioned in my post regarding the movie earlier, I would like to touch upon the aspect of 3 Dimensional viewing. And would it be possible to have the technology in homes, as my whole point of returning to the theaters to experience a movie would be completely lost if it was possible to have this at home. I was both overjoyed as well as shattered when I saw this.

Overjoyed because it is absolutely fantastic that a similar experience can be achieved at home, so you might be able to have a more immersive experience with your regular TV Series, not for your average soaps but maybe for other great series like Dexter / CSI / Fringe whatever. Can’t wait for something like that to happen. But having said that, the whole edge that movie makers have would be lost to this new find, well maybe not entirely.

Let me explain, the 3D technology by itself is not a particular standard and many different standards exist for how the movie makers can trick the viewer into looking at a 3D image on a 2D screen, and the most popular ones, or the ones that we have been seeing over the past few years implemented in movies are primarily listed below :

I have linked them to wikipedia so that you can check out technical details on them if interested. However I wanna look at technology that would come to your home, and lo and behold as of January 2010, Toshiba, Samsung, Sony, Panasonic, and LG all have plans to introduce 3D capabilities (mostly in higher-end models) in TVs available sometime in 2010. 3D Blu-Ray players and DirectTV broadcasts are also expected in 2010. Philips is developing 3D television sets available for the consumer market by about 2011 without the need for special glasses. In fact the festival city mall, Festival Center in Dubai already have some TV screens that project 3D images without the need of 3D glasses.

At this year’s Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas, four of the top selling TV manufacturers–Samsung Electronics, Sony, LG Electronics and Panasonic–showed off their latest versions of 3D TVs. Panasonic set up a mini-home theater where its 103-inch, plasma 3D screen showed clips from New Line Cinema’s Journey to the Center of the Earth and Walt Disney Pictures’ animated film Bolt. They also showed high-definition 3D footage from NBC’s broadcast of the 2008 Summer Olympics in Beijing.

While some manufacturers, such as Mitsubishi, Phillips, Samsung, and Sharp, have already begun selling 3D-ready TVs, the top four manufacturers plan to have new, advanced 3D TVs on sale toward the end of 2009 and into 2010.But the big question is whether consumers, will be willing to upgrade to a new TV just because it has 3D. Pricing for today’s 3D ready TVs is comparable to other flat-screen HDTVs. I guess the only other hold up with the whole thing is to be able to transmit on 3D and I was really surprised to know that there have been TV episodes that have been showing on 3D, ,a small search on wikipedia revealed this :

As of 2008, 3D programming is broadcast on Japanese cable channel BS 11 approximately four times per day. Starting on June 11th, 2010 ESPN will launch a new channel dedicated to 3D sports with up to 85 live events a year in 3D.

And Also the following :

Perhaps the best example of groundbreaking 3D production on television was the sitcom 3rd Rock From The Sun, which peaked in international popularity when it produced the two-part episode, Nightmare On Dick Street, where several of the characters’ dreams are shown in 3D. The episode cued its viewers to put on their 3D glasses by including “3D on” and “3D off” icons in the corner of the screen as a way to alert them as to when the 3D sequences would start and finish.

So is it going to be another technology that will catch on with time like the flat screen TV’s or just be another digital flop. Only time will tell, but for the time being I have complied a list of some awesome 3D web clips already available which you can watch on your monitor with just your cheap 3D glasses. In case you did not have one, NASA has an awesome tutorial which gives step by step instructions to make one yourself. Check it here. Getting to the actual videos

3D wide angle night drive

Roller Coaster Simulation

A Simple 3D movie with a 3D Webcam

3D Anaglyph

Scene from Matrix Reloaded

Of course when you open YouTube you will see more related videos in YouTube. Until next time have fun in 3D.

Cricket and Technology !

Most people do not know that the International Cricket council (ICC) has over 140 member countries and the sport is being played and watched by an ever larger group of audience now than ever before. The 10 larger cricket playing nations are the more famous of the lot, but definitely the audience of cricket considering that India and china are also in the 140 countries means that the audience is now massive. The introduction of technology for the betterment of the viewing experience as well as the training of players and umpires is something that gets majorly overlooked in the context of a cricket match. I have here enlisted a few technologies that have shaped my viewing experience with cricket and look forward to the future with some more innovative technologies.

Instant replay

One of the first change of the cricket viewing experience was the instant replay, today we see the replay of every ball and each and every shot played and great moments in each game, this was one of the “state of the art” introductions to cricket viewing, we now take it for granted to check each ball in the replay as much as possible.


Super slow motion

Well the Instant replay required a real uplift since it is being around for a long time. The latest addition that is not yet widespread used is the super slow motion cameras, showing the frames that are missed out by the regular cameras. The very few executions of these cameras have shown how split seconds are as important in this game as any other.


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Zoomer

The Zoomer is another natural propagation of the camera replays and the super slow motion cameras just to display the accurate position of the ball of whether the ball touched the ground before being caught or the ball hit the bat before hitting the pad and take a catch. There is definitely an inquisitiveness that involves in finding out what actually happened especially if it was a crucial wicket etc.


Eyes and ears of the stump

The next great change for viewing the cricket for the Television audience was the eyes and ears of the stump. I think everyone has seen the stumps being broken either by the bowler bowling the batsman over or the fielder breaking the stumps, all through the eyes of the stump cam. Well there has been more than one proof of sledging between players which are very clear through the microphone in the stump. This microphone also then gave another interesting addition to cricket, which is our next topic.


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Snick-o-meter

With the camera being in the stump, the miniature noises around the stump could be magnified and the image representation of the sound file could be seen, this was instrumental in using the snick-o-meter to specifically check if the batsman had nicked the ball on the way to the wicket keeper. This is a very interesting technology but not without its shortcomings, in very close calls between the bat, ball and the pads, it could not distinguish the sound of the ball hitting the bat or the pad or the bat hitting the pad, even through the snick-o-meter is seen in conjunction with a super slow motion video.


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Reaction time

Reaction timers are something that show the skill of fielders and bowlers with unbelievable proof. I have been awestruck at the fielding of Johnty Rhodes, Herschelle Gibbs and even India’s Yuvraj Singh on how they are able to pick the ball out of seemingly thin air. And the fact that the fielders did it in less than half a second was even as astounding as the catch itself. I think that along with the batting and bowling averages, the fielders need to have statistics as well, with their fastest reaction times shown.


SpeedBall

Speed gun

Radars have been known to most of the western world as a tool used to fine them when they speed up on the highways in their cars, but having them on the cricket field gives people an interesting perspective in the bowlers mind. Especially, when the world has seen the enormous success that T20 cricket has bought to the game, the variations of the bowlers in speed as much in line and length have been praised and appreciated by commentators, players and viewers alike. Its bringing the viewers closer to the game than ever before.


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Run out ruler

People always were of the view that close photo finishers were only for the track and field events, and that was shattered by the introduction of the cameras for cross verifying the field umpires doubts of the run-out decisions. But there was no quantifiable measure to check how much the ball won over the batsman or vice versa. Well Run out ruler to the rescue, although I have not seen too many implementations of this technology in many matches, this seems to be a technology that will grow on users.


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Hawk eye

Hawkeye is different from other technologies used in Cricket, in that it is a predictive tool. The way Hawkeye is supposed to work is, it observes the trajectory of a delivery at various points, till say it hits the batsman’s pads, and then predicts its trajectory past that point based on various additional factors, like speed, how it got off the pitch, etc. Now, I understand that there are limitations to the predictive curves that Hawkeye gives, that it’s not 100% right, and probably won’t be in the near future. But then before a gadget is discarded, we must measure its effectiveness — both absolute and w.r.to. the alternatives! And the introduction of Hawk eye has brought along with it a host of other statistics that are invaluable for statisticians as well as viewers, here are a few below.


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Wagon wheel
The singles, 2s, 3s, 4s and 6s that make up quick-fire 50s or vital centuries are represented by the different colors of the Wagon Wheel, which shows the areas of the field that the batsman has been targeting. Hawk-Eye now has the ability to display wagon wheels over photo realistic or virtual realistic backgrounds, giving broadcasters even more scope to tailor the Hawk-Eye ‘look’ towards the style of their production.


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Pitch map

Simple yet effective; Pitch Maps make a useful pause for reflection after the frenetic exchanges of the opening overs and highlight a bowler’s consistency or expensiveness, line and length. Hawk-Eye can now display comparative Pitch Maps in a split screen format, as shown in the example to the right.


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Beehive

Beehives show where the ball has passed the batsman. As with the Pitch Map, the colored balls correspond to the number of runs that the batsman has achieved from that delivery. Hawk-Eye Beehives can now be shown against a photo realistic or virtual realistic world, as with the Wagon Wheel feature.



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Ball Speed

Hawk-Eye now has the ability to supply ball speeds as reliably as a radar gun, as demonstrated during the ICC World Twenty20 in South Africa.


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Deviation

Hawk-Eye DeSpin Graphics demonstrate how far a delivery has deviated after pitching. Whilst the blue trajectory below represents a ball that does not spin or seam, the red ‘actual delivery’ shows just how much turn the spinner has achieved.


Railcam

Rail cam

The ‘RailCam’ (side view) shot of the VR World can be used to represent differences in speed, bounce and delivery. The trajectories are animated, whilst the speeds provide further evidence of a bowler’s variation or a telling comparison between athletes.


New Technolgogies that are being introduced or are coming around the corner


Hotspot

Heat seeker

In a fascinating and unusual tale of technology transfer, the latest broadcasting device to enrich the armchair fan’s viewing experience is based on a system more commonly found on armoured tanks and fighter jets. Hot Spot, unveiled by Sky Sports during the summer’s first test match between England and the West Indies, uses powerful infrared cameras to detect the distinct thermal signature left when a cricket ball hits a pad, clips the edge or flies off the middle of the bat. Hot Spot technology has also detected a few other distinct heat signatures that viewers have hitherto not been made privy too. If you thought technology was putting the Umpire’s decision making under intense scrutiny, you’re right, but the scrutiny doesn’t end there. Hot Spot, it transpires, can also detect flatulence aka farts. That’s right. The Channel Nine technicians “see” Umpires and Players breaking wind. One can only wonder if they’ve actually been keeping score, as it were. You’d have to imagine baked-beans-on-toast Warney would be somewhere at the top end of the rankings.


Bowling Machine

Bowling gun

A machine that can replicate the spin and swing of bowlers has been developed at a UK university. The robotic bowler has been created at Loughborough University as part of a virtual reality project to improve match training for cricket. “Cricketers want to be able to face bowlers like Shane Warne,” said project lead Dr Andy West. The machine will help us to figure out the science of bowling and the mysteries of spin and swing and that’s for the future spinners to benefit from. The spin and swing is put on the ball by a combination of two spinning wheels and a barrel which uses rifling theory to add side-spin.


Pulse SMS Predictor

Pulse – SMS

With the advent of the web 2.0 revolution and all the great additions of social media, Cricket and sport in general is being trying to find a way to use the wave to its advantage. Pulse is a free online application that connects us the fans with live sporting events. What’s unique about Pulse is that it’s integrated with the live television broadcast. Pulse asks fans questions relating to the event, we then take the answers and broadcast them on television to show the public’s opinion. For fans who like to predict the outcome of the match/race then the Pulse Predictor is for you. Predict on a variety of outcomes and win points if you’re right. Pulse also features live text commentary and live stats giving you a deeper insight into the game. I really enjoyed using pulse this time during the IPL 2009.

Future Technologies for cricket

Technology, however, is constantly improving. Infrared cameras have been tested in place of snick-o-meters; they can pick up friction readings, and are close to 100 per cent accurate in detecting snicks. There are now also balls available with built-in speedometers. Fit a transmitting device on such a ball, and you can have the speed of the ball at any given instant. With so much competition between rival broadcasters, the race is on to maximize the viewing pleasure. One plan is to put wireless tracking devices on individual players. This device would measure and transmit live data during the game, to a central computer. Parameters tracked by this device include the running speed of a player, a bowler’s speed during the run-up, the maximum speed and average running speed, the number of times a player changes direction, distances travelled, heart rates, etc. Very soon, such data relating to the bowler and fielders will be flashed to viewers. Commentators will also have a lot more data about individual players at their disposal. But imagine the pressure it will put on the fielders. Today it is only the umpires who are scrutinized for their decisions. Soon, it will be possible to minutely analyze every player’s activities on the field in real time. Lets take a closer look at some of the changes that are happening now

now continuing the topic from this piece in the age.

Player Equipment: the modern player is spoiled when compared to his forbearers light weight pads that offer more protection then ever before. The modern batting helmet which is light and much cooler than the enervating motorbike helmet that Tony Greig wore during WSC (Greig still annoyingly refers to the modern batting helmet as a “Crash Helmet”). The dynamically designed bowling boots, which are light but offer much more support than the heavy military style boots that Lol Larwood had to wear.

But it is the modern bat that technology has had the greatest impact, light weight and ‘all middle’. Even the handle which was once just a turned piece of cane, is now anywhere from a two to a 12 piece cane handle with multi-rubber insertions bound with synthetic glue. Modern bats themselves are around three pounds and pick up like toothpicks. The pitch will also have a large impact on which bat the modern player will choose. For a slow wicket the bat will have a lower swell anywhere from four or five inches from the toe. For a faster wicket the swell will be about seven to eight inches from the toe. The face of how the bat looks is also changing at a very rapid pace, the infamous Ricky Ponting bat using carbon fiber was center of great controversy, have a look at what else might be in the pipeline. Read about the bat that could change cricket forever. And a bat that has a lot more technology built into it. Check out the work by the MCC and closer universities.

The cricket ball is not to be left behind in the technological revolution, after especially proving that cricket balls are not consistent during manufacture even being from the same make and company there has been a great need to include technology into cricket balls as well, to try to make it consistent. So lo and behold, the cricket ball that measures its own speed featuring one which is patented in china and also the new pink colored cricket balls to avoid the visibility issues with the red balls as well as the white balls which get dirty quickly.

Augmented Reality – The possibilities are endless !

What is the future of search, some people might say it is fetching results faster, more relevant and as close to what you expect to find. But like me there are those who think otherwise. This is a look at the hottest new technology on around called augmented reality. Here is the Wikipedia for those who need a textbook definition of the technology.

For the past couple of years I have been following this awesome technology called augmented reality, what is it ? and how is it going to shape our next world is the question that I keep finding myself trying to find the answer for. It is strange, for something that was a concept this technology is now seriously changed the way we might be doing our work in the next few years. It is going to change the way we search for information !! A few years back when Google earth, Android OS and Google images was in its inception, Google announced that they wanted to make a technology that a person using a camera enabled phone would click a picture and Google would fetch information about the place or event. Well you don’t really need to “fetch” information anymore. Augmented reality, provides all the information you need when you see through the camera of the phone.

This was something that I was very interested to see in reality, since I had seen the first application the wikitude demo. When I visited the GE website, looking for information about their eco friendliness. I came across the world’s first large scale implementation of augmented reality. It blew my head off. I started to see the future that Google spoke about in the background. In fact you could start picturing the uses. A few months later, there are numerous tests being done worldwide for augmented reality based applications. There was this unbelievable futuristic vision pointed out by petit inventions that started people thinking in very open ways. Nokia has an application that runs on their phones that does some searching based on pictures called Nokia point and find. You can also see a demo on youtube here. Apart from the above few demo’s, there are now within a few months a lot of applications that people have worked on and come up with. There are applications ranging from Advertising, entertainment, gaming, medical training  etc that are now in labs as being tested.

The Bionic Vision lens

The Bionic Vision lens

The only hindrance of extreme wide spread use of this technology is the fact that it needs an external device for the technology to work well, including the camera, processing, and display. Now think of this technology being used in conjunction with another technology that is the Bionic vision. Check it out here.  The possibilities by connecting these two technologies are endless. Let me know if you think of any others.

Infotainment = Information based Entertainment

Amazing 3D Movies

Advertising

Magazines

Gaming demos

Hands on training and instructions [BMW Car Service]

Education – Encyclopedia

Architecture and Urban Planning

Architectural design and presentation