Saturday, November 13, 2010

hidden views

very nice examples of augmented reality in mobile apps,

especially hidden views rings bells, chimes with my wish to be able to peek around the corner or to the other side of the building.

one point I would like to add to the list in the above link, would be a metadata assistant. Like a personal secretary or assistant sitting on your shoulder and whispering to your ear:
-you met this person 2 years ago, his name is xx. He is interested in ...
-this place is rated "risky"by passers-by during last 10mins
-the car behind you has been tagged "road-rage" by 31 persons
-you should take this longer route it has less congestion

We have got so accustomed to googling whatever information we need that it's easy to imagine that tendency to drive also augmented reality. Where you can guide the googling by pointing or watching or just being in the right place. Context is everything. As well as location.

Tuesday, November 9, 2010


insanity: doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different result. - A.Einstein

so I'm by definition insane because my daily work is basically to look for anomalies and things that usually work but then sometimes fail.
And what a pleasure it is when you find something irregular after tons of white noise in your problem-o-meter. and just a second later you think - where the #¤% I put my nose again.
playing: jamiroquai - virtual insanity
also the "different result" is not so obvious unless you are counting apples.
uncertainty in study or measurement is obviously a hard term to comprehend. So frequent are the situations where people use different kind of measurement results and facts without thinking the uncertainty or confidence interval associated to them.

-election polls: party xx is up 0.7% and beat party yy
-doctor: if your lab result is 1.7 you're fine, if it's 1.8, you're gonna die.
-scientist: eating ice-cream increases death by drowning in the summer time
-weather prediction: Helsinki tomorrow +5C

and another thing. when developing new stuff you keep hearing, " we tried that 1992, didn't work". sometimes finding new stuff requires banging your head to the same experiments again and again? well somewtimes it's wise to take a short break and wait for the world to catch up you.

alignment and forestry

been studying forestry lately, one thing I learned is that a forest at particular location roughly grows the same amount (biomass m3/year) regardless of the forestry actions performed by the forest owner. maybe this is an oversimplification but all the thinning and "grooming" and selecting the right wood doesn't significantly add biomass growth. but it aligns the growth into direction the owner wants. Making room for the wanted wood species and thus increasing profits.

hmm, is there some similarity to your average workplace? all those busy bees minding their own businesses and running errands based on volume control (who shouts loudest). sometimes looks like bees without any particular reason or direction. they all find something useful and fun to do. but maybe someone sees the forest for the trees.

Friday, November 5, 2010

physical browsing

I realized I have adopted a new way to search information on internet. If i need opening hours for a shop, I don't try to google the name of the shop on that particular street whose name I don't know. Instead I fire up google maps and fly to the shop's location. then check the opening hours by looking at the sign in streetview. Realizing that the picture could be one year old. Also when planning where to park, streetview is a good place to check the traffic signs beforehand. Ok, just call me control freak.

Needless to say, I find this way of browsing very natural. At least it works with local information, I wouldn't search paddington metro station info number via streetview browsing.

This physical browsing bears a close relationship to augmented reality, I find very intriguing the idea to be able to remotely peek around the corner to the next street while walking in city centre. Or take a bird eye view on the neighbourhood.

Thursday, November 4, 2010

look around

and you find the bits and pieces for the next revolution. As stated promptly on the right pane by mr. Gibson, future is already here.

In Guardian there was a jolly good story
about the same subject. How new ideas and inventions incubate when conditions are ready for them. They actually seem inevitable, it's just about the timing. Maybe the genius is in those who foresee that development.

Also an older citation by Henry Ford (from Hargadon's "How breakthroughs happen..")

'I invented nothing new. I simply assembled into a car the discoveries of other men behind whom were centuries of work. ... Had I worked fifty or ten or even five years before, I would have failed. So it is with every new thing. Progress happens when all the factors that make for it are ready, and then it is inevitable. To teach that a comparatively few men are responsible for the greatest forward steps of mankind is the worst sort of nonsense.'

Andrew Hargadon also introduces in his 2003 book a term called "technology brokering" which is essentially the same thing as in Guardian article. Shamelessly borrow ideas from other companies and industries and disciplines to unlock the potential of distant analogies.

Standing on the shoulders of giants.

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Disappearing technology

a quick note while passing by.

Mark Weiser:

"The most profound technologies are those that disappear. They weave themselves into the fabric of everyday life until they are indistinguishable from it. "

Like transistor radios, how they were called way back in the 1950's. Later just radios. And nowadays those radios are merged to mobile phones and other apparatus. Making them invisible, immaterial memory of something that used to be concrete to us. Like leverage, downshifting, bottleneck, ...

One could argue that the more profound the technology is, the harder it is to distinguish from the realm of every day life.