AR glasses

I’ve written previously about advances in AR (Augmented Reality), and one critical part of this is how the information is transmitted to the user – having to look at a smartphone screen will doom this technology to failure. Companies like Lumus are great examples of what will be the first major breakthrough in AR – overlaying information on a user’s field of view using eyeglasses (next step will be contact lenses, then direct neural interface). Lumus’ latest technology offers HD video (720p) in a transparent lens. For a video review from Engadget, hit the ‘more’ link below to see the rest of this post.
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Aurasma AR platform

Using image and pattern recognition, Aurasma’s new 3D augmented reality platform helps expand the possibilities for AR…you don’t need special targets or predefined images to be recognized, in theory it could work with any object.  Pretty cool, check out the video below.

You’ll be seeing me write a lot about augmented reality (AR) on this website. This is partly because it’s an emerging technology with massive potential, but also because I see it as a possible solution to our consumption problem as a species. If you can modify the data between the light being transmitted off an object, and that received by the brain, it opens up some fascinating possibilities. No longer would we need to build and purchase new TVs, for example, we’d just need a flat wall (or nothing at all!). Etc. It’s going to be a wild ride. For now, the user interface is confined to mobile phones, but the display technologies are advancing fast (contact lenses with embedded LEDs; transparent eye glasses that can overlay an image onto your field of view, etc). Watch this space for more.

Biological fuel cell

Energy storage and consumption is the bane of any new technology, especially portable ones.  Researchers at the Case Western Reserve University have accomplished something that I find quite incredible…tapping into a living organism’s biological energy system, and converting that to electricity which can then be used by human technology that has been added to the organism.  A true step closer to a living cyborg.  Awesome.  Ok, so it’s really more suitable to invertebrates at this point, but it still has incredible potential.  It also brings back memories of that scene in the Fifth Element, where a cockroach is equipped with a microphone, transmitter, and remote control, to enable Zorg’s men to eavesdrop on the President (the image here).  Read more about it over at Gizmag.

MAME system build has started

I found an empty arcade game cabinet on Craigslist for $20, so that’s kick-started my MAME system build.  Starting out with a fan-less Shuttle XS35 system, with a 16GB compact flash card for storage.  Installing an OS onto a barebones system can be tough without an optical drive, but I cobbled together a functional (but slow) external drive setup using an old IDE drive and external hard drive enclosure.  Did I mention it’s slow?  Well no matter, it’s just for the OS install, then everything will be done over the network.  Stay tuned here for updates as the build progresses.