Dad creates video-capable quadrocopter to watch his son walk to the bus stop, redefines the meaning of hovering parent
If there's anything us parents want to do, it's keep our kids as safe as humanly possible - well, one dad has taken this step in a technologically driven direction for a change.
Paul Wallich would normally walk his son to the bus stop near their house - a 400m journey each and everyday. He did this to make sure his son safely got onto the bus and was on his way to school. 400m isn't a huge distance, but it can be an annoyance during the winter, or when he was super busy.
Wallich decided there had to be a way around this, and to watch his son get escorted to school from the comfort of his warm home. Wallich built a quadrocopter that sports a camera that streams a live feed directly to his PC. This process wasn't too hard, as quadrocopter kits are available at most hobby and electronics specialty shops.
A live video feed of his son walking to the bus stop wasn't a huge feat, either, as Wallich just attached a smartphone to the hovering bodyguard, and used a video chatting application to stream video to his PC. This was the end of the easy part of this journey, the hard part was getting the now video-equipped quadrocopter to track his son's movements during his walk to the bus stop.
The makers behind the Rift head-mounted VR device, Oculus, have just come out and disappointed thousands of people across the world. Oculus' Rift was meant to see the release of a developer kit before Christmas, but now it has been pushed back four months into 2013.
The Rift's developer kit will be released in April, and has been delayed due to an overwhelming response:
We hoped to sell a few hundred kits to game developers and virtual reality enthusiasts around the world. Instead, we were blown away by the overwhelming response from a community of almost 10,000 backers, who raised nearly $2.5 million dollars to help us develop the Oculus Rift.
Obviously thousands of extra developer kits will need to be not only made, but sent out to keen users. There is one particular reason it has been delayed, and that is the internal display. The original Rift was meant to sport a 5.6-inch display, but that display is no longer available which means the team has been forced to switch to a 7-inch display. But, good has come from this - the team have said: "the new display beats the old display in almost every key area including response time, switching time, contrast and color quality."
I'm salivating at the thought of being able to use Google's Project Glass, but it looks like Microsoft have just begun throwing rumors out there that they are too, working on their own augmented reality glasses.
The Redmond-based OS giant applied for a patent back in May of 2011 for the glasses, which means that development for the new technology should be well into its life by now. Microsoft's glasses are unique in the way that instead of using a tiny transparent display, Microsoft's glasses will actually use full eye glass.
Microsoft's product will most likely end up being made more for specific events, rather than everyday use. Their glasses will be capable of displaying text, images and video directly in front of you - ideal for sporting events or a concert. There's not much else known about their glasses, but I'm sure we should hopefully hear more at CES in Las Vegas in January 2013.
New report puts Google Glass release date as late as 2014, techies breathe a collective sigh of sadness
Fans of augmented reality are excited for Google's upcoming Project Glass, which aims to put a computer into a wearable pair of glasses. Those glasses will be capable of overlaying information as wearers walk around cities, take hands-free pictures, and all kinds of other cool stuff that we can't even fathom yet.
Unfortunately, it looks like they still are a few years off. Google originally announced the glasses back in June. They could be preordered for $1,500, for which purchasers got a plaque with their queue number on it. Google isn't saying when the glasses will be completed or when they will be released, though Sergey Brin has worn them out in public.
TIME magazine may have let slip some information that puts a date on the release. According to their "Best Inventions of the Year 2012" column, TIME provides the date that we will have them by as 2014. "Consumers should be able to buy Google Glass by 2014." They don't provide a source or explanation for the time frame, but we're sure they have checked up on that date with people in the know.
So there you have it: you'll have to wait until 2014 to get your hands on Google Glass, but it'll be worth the wait.
Something I'm utterly excited for is Google's Project Glass, wearable computing, and it looks like this market is going to be huge in just a couple of years time according to a new study from Juniper.
The study reports that the wearable computing market will reach $800 million next year from existing products, such as smart watches and personal health and fitness devices. Juniper also says that consumers are expected to spend around $1.5 billion on wearable computing devices by 2014.
Google's Project Glass is going to end up being the driving force behind this, but it is now known if Project Glass is will be popular with the general public, but I have a huge feeling it will be.
Google's Project Glass augmented reality wonder device may be on everyone's wish lists for Christmas 2013, but that is a fair while away. Olympus have just announced their own prototype of a glasses-mounted heads-up display, the MEG 4.0.
Olympus have reportedly been working on wearable displays for a few years now, but considering the fan fare Google received and how they're moving the technology closer to consumers, the timing seems perfect for Olympus to unveil their product. Olympus' MEG 4.0 floats a 320x240 screen above the user's regular eye-line and hooks up through Bluetooth to a nearby smart device. MEG 4.0 weighs around 30g and has a decent 8-hour battery life in intermittent display mode that will automatically turn on the display every 3 minutes for just 15 seconds only.
MEG 4.0 features a built-in accelerometer that detects the position of the user's head and reacts accordingly. One major thing Olympus' MEG 4.0 doesn't include is a camera, which is something that Google's Project Glass sports, and will most likely be one of the strong points of Google's product versus Olmypus' offering. At the moment, Olympus haven't hinted at pricing, or availability, and there's no video demonstration of their technology, either.
And I say bring it on. Part of an in-depth interview with Wired, where they sat down with two of Glass' project managers, where a bunch of information on the dimensions of the project, as well as specifications were revealed.
When asked about the $1,500 pre-order price of the augmented reality wearable device, the project heads said they were aiming for a reasonable price point that would be accessible to developers. Google does view Project Glass as a premium product, and this should be obvious to most by now.
The device will hit a price somewhere below $1,500, but Google will not be aiming for entry-level at all. The project heads also think that the sort of wearable computing that Glass is, will very much be the norm within three-to-five years. Google plan to begin shipping out units to developers in early-2013, and the consumer-ready version of Glass is expected to arrive in 2014.
Want Google's Project Glass? $1,500 Project Glass Explorer Edition is now available, pre-orders for 2013 release only at Google I/O
Google I/O 2012: Do you want Google's augmented reality-powered Project Glass as badly as I do? Well, if you were lucky enough to attend Google I/O, you could enter the Project Glass Explorer Edition.
Google announced the Project Glass Explorer Edition, which is a developer version of their heads-up display glasses, and costs you $1,500. But, you'll get access to the glasses before anyone else, most likely sometime later this year.
Would you pay $1,500 to have a beta product of these glasses if all you had to do was talk about your experiences, bugs, what you loved/hated, etc? I sure as hell would, but I'm just a pure tech junkie. Throw those glasses on my face, Google!
Google I/O 2012: Google co-founder Sergey Brin, voice included, took to the stage of the Moscone West and was to deliver a demo of Google Glass, which involved a bunch of testers in a Google+ hangout, all connected through their eyewear.
Did I mention they jump out of a plane? Oh, and land on the Mascone West building and deliver something to Brin? Yep. Brin adds "being able to share what you're seeing is amazing". The trick involved four skydivers sporting the Google Glass hardware, jumping out of a plane toward the Mascone West building. The video quality is not bad considering its all transmitting over Wi-Fi on various transmitters, to the plane, and the ground.
After they touched down, Google showed off how seamless video sharing can be, with a small crew of bikers performing flips off of a carefully-placed mount, and afterward two people took the Glass on a ride as they ran down the side of the Moscone Center. Yes, ran down the damn side of the building, with Glass on.
Personally, I thought it was incredible. It really shows off just how cool this tech can be, this truly could be Google's 'iPhone moment'.
Advancements in 3D are made every day. No longer do users have to suffer through those red and cyan glasses to watch 3D movies. Some implementations nowadays, like the Nintendo 3DS, don't require any fancy headgear at all. It seems as though the future of 3D isn't that far off and the Star Trek holodeck technology may no longer remain a fantasy.
Sharp Labs Europe are leading the development of a new communication technology that will help to make 3D images indistinguishable from reality by using holographic technology. Some brush off 3D as just a gimmick, but others see it as just the first step. "The ultimate goal is to make a holographic display and what I mean by that is a display that shows images that are indistinguishable from reality," Mather says.
The first step, however, is to make it as commonplace as driving. "I think a sensible target is for 3D displays to become a natural part of modern life," Mather explains to Humans Invent. "Home cinema systems showing 3D movies, computer games played in an immersive environment and holiday photos presented with depth."
Just how far off from this goal are we? And what is the goal? Mather explains: "The ultimate 3D display is a holographic display. Many people don't realise but there is one thing missing from today's stereoscopic 3D displays."
That small little project being worked on by Google is gathering more publicity. In a recent interview with California Lieutenant Governor Gavin Newsom, Sergey allowed Newsom to put the glasses on to see a picture that Sergey had taken with the glasses. When asked, Sergey wouldn't say how the picture was taken, but we do now know that there is a touchpad on the side behind the display.
In the picture above, you can see Mr. Brin operating the touchpad with his finger while looking for the picture he had taken previously. After being found, Newsom got to wear the glasses and commented on them: "You can easily forget you have them on, and sense the capacity of use in the future."
Newsom expressed that he was impressed with the quality of the image taken, especially since the stage isn't ideal for demoing a display. He even commented that the "image was remarkably clear." Brin also let everyone know that those are a rough prototype: "I have some hopes to maybe get it out sometime next year, but that's still a little bit of a hope."
It's likely that the final product will be a fair bit different than the current version, but with the prototype being so well received, it speaks volumes for just how great this product will be. Newsom expressed that the glasses are "a heck of a lot further along than people have imagined." Brin explained Google's view on the glasses: "The idea is that you want to be free to experience the world without futzing with a phone."
Google is sure throwing quite a bit of money and support at the Project Glass augmented reality glasses. They are trying to cram so much technology into a tiny, and hopefully fashionable, package that they should become every geek's dream gadget. We still don't know much about the project other than it's being publicly tested by Google executives.
We've seen some pictures released that have been taken using the glasses and, to be honest, they aren't that great. Most modern smartphones could easily outpace the resolution and quality, but the glasses do have one advantage: Point-of-view. Pictures can be taken hands-free and are from the perspective of the wearer.
Google has now released a 15-second video that was taken while the user was jumping on a trampoline. This really is where these glasses start to shine. It would have been near impossible to take a video like this without these glasses. The quality of the video isn't stunning by any means, but for users who video blog their lives, these glasses are an invaluable piece of technology.
Intel building Skynet, are launching research into technology that mimics the human brain and "learns" about its user
Reuters is reporting that Intel are launching research in Israel into technology that will mimic the human brain, with devices that will hopefully "learn" about their user. Intel's Chief Technology Officer, Justin Rattner told reporters in Tel Aviv:
Machine learning is such a huge opportunity. Despite their name, smartphones are rather dumb devices. My smartphone doesn't know anything more about me than when I got it. All of these devices will come to know us as individuals, will very much tailor themselves to us.
Intel Collaborative Research Institute for Computational Intelligence, as well as specialists from the Technion in Haifa and the Hebrew University in Jerusalem will carry out the research, and is aimed at enabling new applications, as well as small, wearable computers that can enhance, or help with daily life. One example cited is if you were to leave your keys in the house, the wearable system would remember where you left them, and learn this. By the second week it will remind the user to pick up the keys before you leave the house.
News on Google's augmented reality Glasses hasn't been strong since they were teased a few weeks ago, but CEO Larry Page was spotted rocking the Glasses in London. The pictures you see below are thanks to a Google employee, where they posted them on Google+.
The employee wrote alongside his pictures "My life is now complete - met Larry Page today! Thank you for visiting EMEA". Google's Glasses project is quite big, as its the company's first jump into cutting-edge hardware.
On top of this, thanks to the acquisition of Motorola yesterday, we should see Google's hardware division strengthened considerably. The best picture is the one above, where I think Page is laughing at the Facebook share prices tanking, as a layer in front of his eyes thanks to the Glasses, but that's just my guess.
Google have applied for a patent in regards to their augmented reality-based 'Project Glass', the patent in question relates to a finger ring that controls technology such as Project Glass.
The patent is described as a "wearable market for passive interaction", in the form of a ring, artificial fingernails or other wearable items that could interact with a head-mounted display. The technology would reflect infrared light, which isn't visible to the naked eye.
A single camera could determine two-dimensional positioning, backed up by a pair of cameras that would detect three-dimensional positioning. The heads-up display (HUD) would sport menus, and would be controlled by the marker's position or specific gestures. This patent would definitely make sense, especially for things like navigation, and more.
The augmented reality project that is Google Glass is demonstrating the usefulness of one of its features. While the glasses are nowhere near any sort of public release, Google clearly feels confident in them enough to let senior engineers take them out into the public. The result? Pictures like this which show the point of them.
How else would you be able to take a picture like the one above if not for the hands-free photography capabilities of Google's glasses? Simple answer? You couldn't. Not unless you want your son to go flying off into the distance in the picture. I'm not saying that would be a bad picture, but it certainly wouldn't be the same as the above one.
It's not clear what sort of plans Google has for the project, but I can tell you I can't wait to try them. This would be another great place to use Google's indoor mapping. What about yourself? Would you want to wear a set of these glasses out in public?
Where do I begin to even categorize this? Within 'Augmented Reality', I guess? Well, Microsoft have begun testing their home automation software, dubbed HomeOS, over the past few months. HomeOS can view quite a lot of gadgets, more than you probably think.
HomeOS sees smartphones, printers and air conditioners as network peripherals, all controlled by a dedicated gateway computer. HomeOS even sports some apps, which perform functions such as energy monitoring, remote surveillance and face-recognition. This is all thanks to Microsoft testing the suite out in 12 homes over the past few months.
This list will only grow, and the apps are made available through a portal called "HomeStore". These apps will surely turn into something magical over the years if HomeOS takes off.
We've talked about this a few times, but the latest news to float onto the surface that is the sea of the Internet is that Valve were hiring hardware engineers, that myself, and other tech sites presumed was for their unannounced Steam Box home console. I was wrong. It seems as though Valve are hiring for something quite different: wearable computing.
Google are doing it, Apple will wait a few years and do it and call it revolutionary, but it seems Valve are also getting into the mix. Games Industry reports from a recent blog post by Valve developer Michael Abrash where he revealed the fact that Valve are hiring for wearable computing. The project is inspired by Neal Stephenson's novel Snow Crash, where Abrash has taken it upon himself to try and shrink computers down to the point where you can have one on you at all times.
The on-going multiple wars that the United States are knee-deep in probably won't stop anytime soon, and will most likely only get worse from here on out if everyone we're being fed on the news is right: Iran, North Korea and those pesky "terrorists" that the U.S. government fund left, right and centre. But, the latest step that the United State Department of Defense is working on is something very interesting indeed.
The U.S. DoD have signed a contract with Innovega, a Washington-based firm for development and testing of its dual-focus contact lenses. The technology would make it possible to project a HUD (heads-up display) onto the center of each lens, while keeping it in-focus regardless where the wearer is looking.
This would really just give the soldier a game-like HUD, where he could view his
health stats, armor, and XP - on a serious note, the soldier could see details like notes from superiors, real-time maps, satellite view, and more. We're already seeing the consumer level of this technology from Google in the form of their Project Glass.
Interesting to see where the future of technology is, we're really looking at combining a cyber lifestyle, with our body and person. It simultaneously scares me, and makes me want it oh so much.
Google Glasses was unveiled a little while ago, but questions started popping up from people who use prescription glasses, whether this new awesome looking technology would work with them. Well, hopefully there's no need to worry if a post from Google employee +Isabelle Olsson is anything to go by.
Olsson provided a mockup of what they'd look like, as well as Google's thoughts on the subject. Olsson has said that Google really want Project Glass to work for everyone, and they are actually experimenting with designs that are meant to be extendable to different types of frames.
Olsson continues saying that most of the Google team members wear glasses, so it's something they're definitely keen to get working. The above image is an early mock-up to show us what the device would look like sitting on prescription glasses. Personally, I just want the glasses here already. Like, yesterday.
A little situation of 'why him and not me', Google co-founder Sergey Brin was testing out their Project Glass augmented reality HUD out in public. He was spotted sporting the glasses at a Dining in the Dark charity event for the Foundation Fighting Blindness.
Robert Scoble and Thomas Hawk were lucky enough to be at the same dinner, where they spotted Sergey wearing the glasses. Sergey explained that the glasses were a prototype, where they could see a "bluish light" flashing off his right eyeball. Scoble guesses the light meant that his Google+ profile was pulled up on Sergey's glasses, thanks to its augmented reality and always-on Internet connection.
He continued saying that most people around them had no idea that the glasses are actually different to normal specs. All I can say is, I want them and I want them now. So jealous.