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VWN Resource Database: Augmented Life
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Resource Database > Augmented Life
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Augmented Life is a category dedicated to Augmented Reality.

Virtual Reality, Synthetic Reality, Physical Reality. These three are interbreeding, in a brand new wave, pushing towards Augmented Reality - a new hybrid, a fourth perspective on the worlds. What does this mean for the ordinary person? How can you expect life to change?

This category looks at all the wonderous ways AR can improve the life you lead - and the ways it can challenge it.


Sections


Extra-Sensory Perceptions (12)

The standard sensory gamut of a human, or most mammals is five: sight, sound, touch, smell, taste. Add a sixth, for balance, and that’s it for most. However, the brain is adaptive, and responsive to new input throughout life. With augmentative technologies, new senses can be, literally, bolted on. How would you like the sonar ability of a bat? X-ray to see through walls? Heat-vision, or to intuitively know the exact layout of a building you enter?
Applicable Dictionary Entries:  
Mixed RealityPhase Lag
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Augmented Reality Entertaining: Magic Show
An overview and video of the first AR magic show, where Marco Tempest wowed visitors with a demonstration of his idea of the future of magical card tricks. Marco programmed his machine vision system to recognize ordinary playing cards as magic symbols, transforming each of the 54 cards in the deck into 53 different command symbols.

Linked resource
Beating the Limitations of Camera-Monitor Mediated Telepresence with Extra Eyes
When interacting physially, you are most aware of your immediate surroundings, and less aware of objects further away. In telepresence that is usually reversed, as the telepresence screen you focus on concentrates itself on objects far away. Is there any way to combat this? Perhaps...

Brainstorm takes place in and around a government lab, where scientists are working on the technology to allow sensations and higher brain functions to be scanned directly from the brain, recorded onto a tape then played back, allowing another person to experience them in full. Both recording and playback are accomplished through the same device 'the hat'.



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Cool Running IR Sensors
A new paradigm for heat detecting IR sensors, that removes their own operating heat from the equation, and removes the need for bulky cooling systems, allowing high precision, powerful IR, in compact, cheap forms.

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Extra Sensory Perceptions: Sensing Magnetic Fields
The first known, successful implant of an extra sensory perception to detect magnetic fields the person with the new sense was near, occurred in 2005, when a small piece of neodymium, which is a rare earth metal, that forms a permanent magnet, was coated in a thin layer of silicon, and implanted into an emergency medical technician's finger.


The dream of a prosthetic limb that touches and feels like a natural limb, is still some ways away. A natural arm or leg processes sensory data at a rate we just do not have the bandwidth to recreate, much less tie into the human nervous system. That said however, significant progress has already been made, and development continues at a rapidly accelerating pace.


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Shopping Sensors to Determine Produce Quality
A prototype spectrometer, smaller than a sugar cube, cheap as mud, and designed to fit inside the next generation of mobile phones, brings the possibility of scanning fruit, veg, meat, fish, and many other items in real-time, to determine how fresh and healthy they are, before you purchase them - without damage from the scan.

The Lawnmower Man was a cult classic film that itself was responsible for a great deal of renewed VR research back in the 90s. Debuting in 1992, and starring Pierce Brosnan as a scientist, attempting to utilise brain adaptation technology for use in military technology. Direct brain manipulation made chimps smarter, able to use military equipment on suicide missions.



Ray Kurzweil is a formidable force in VR and AI. Hell, he is a formidable force anywhere he has turned his attention. He has a knack for predicting the future, and so far so far not a single one of his predictions has ever been wrong. This book is his theory on Accelerating Intelligence made flesh and a warning for the monumental acceleration of technological change in the years to come.



A prototype augmented reality jacket for emergency responders, creates an entirely hands-free communication system. The responder's jacket essentially is their phone, freeing up their hands and their attention for the tasks at hand.





Augmenting You (15)

Applicable Dictionary Entries:  
Quantified Self
Locally Hosted resource
?Smart skin? holds promise for morphing wings and wearable computers
Industry News

Industry news, originally posted 09-08-2004, deemed too important to allow to fade. A piece of some rubbery substance, fairly translucent, yet can hold a current as well as a piece of steel. It is scrunched up into a ball, twisted back upon itself like a squeegee, then stretched to twice its normal length, blasted in a furnace, and doused with fuel. All throughout this, and after, it continues to conduct as well as it did before - and returns to its normal shape after you've finished, without even a blemish.

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Biosensor That Warns when Athletes are about to 'Hit The Wall'
A new biosensor actively monitors the production of warning signs an athlete or anyone performing intense physical activity, is coming to the end of their physical endurance, and is about to simply lock up, with their muscles physically unable to go any further.

Linked resource
Body 2.0 - Continuous Monitoring Of The Human Body
A detailed and in-depth article by the singularity hub, on the quest for integrating the human body with a sensory network, and what such will mean for us as individuals, health and life-wise.

Locally Hosted resource
eStadium: Using Smartphones for the first Augmented Stadiums
On the 7th November 2009, the eStadium application for iphones went live for the first time. It is a novel concept, designed to turn sporting events into augmented reality centres with a minimum of infrastructure in place.

Locally Hosted resource
GPS for Buses
German researchers are working on a system which they hope will encourage more people to use public transport: A vehicle-independent and company-independent GPS navigation system for public transport, modelled on the way in-car GPS navigation systems work.

This text offers an overview of the N-generation, the generation of children who in the year 2000 will be between the ages of two and 22. This group is a "tsunami" that could force changes in communications, retailing, branding, advertising, and education. The author contends that the N-generation are becoming so technologically proficient that they will "lap" their parents and leave them behind.



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Horizon: Human 2.0
Horizon is the BBC's flagship science documentary. This is the web-form of documentary 2.0, a 47 minute long look at improving the human condition through radically augmenting technology, over the coming half-century.

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Large Image Display: Animatrix: Matriculated: Cyborg Watchers
This still from Animatrix: Matriculated, shows something that may well be in our future. This solitary pair, one human one monkey, sitting by the sea shore, are both cyborgs, wired together in an intimate network of friendship, closer than any pure physical bond.

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Prosthetic Monitors - and May Control - Blood Sugar Levels Without Breaking the Skin
German researchers have created an inexpensive to manufacture, tiny biosensor not much larger than a splinter. It is designed to pierce the skin and sit under the outer layers, monitoring swet and tears for glucose levels, and reporting back its findings, continuously.


Augmenting or upgrading the body via the attachment of prosthetic limbs, new organs, neuroprosthetic devices, and integrated computer circuitry is fundamental to so many of the ways technology is changing the way we view the world, the limitations we face, and the effects of major injury. In order to do the most good, there are three critical issues we have got to overcome:



The body has no shortage of locations that are accessible for implantation of prosthetic devices, or electronic systems. However, one area is particularly attractive, as it involves minimal surgery, and no skin damage or scarring. This location? The mouth. The disadvantage of using the mouth as a place to anchor or hide devices, is that there is only one logical place to put them ? where the teeth currently sit.



The dream of a prosthetic limb that touches and feels like a natural limb, is still some ways away. A natural arm or leg processes sensory data at a rate we just do not have the bandwidth to recreate, much less tie into the human nervous system. That said however, significant progress has already been made, and development continues at a rapidly accelerating pace.


Locally Hosted resource
Smart Fabrics ? Wear your Augmented Interface
Industry News

Woven cicuitry turns your clothing into the interface for your life. Just add your phone or ipod, and let that program your clothes for you.

Ray Kurzweil is a formidable force in VR and AI. Hell, he is a formidable force anywhere he has turned his attention. He has a knack for predicting the future, and so far so far not a single one of his predictions has ever been wrong. This book is his theory on Accelerating Intelligence made flesh and a warning for the monumental acceleration of technological change in the years to come.





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External Nervous System (5)

One of the hallmarks of a truly augmented world, is that the mind which controls your body might not necessarily be yours. In fact, it might not be in your body at all.
Applicable Dictionary Entries:  
SimStim
Locally Hosted resource
How Augmented Reality Will Work
An introductory level guide for augmented reality - what it is, how it works, what you can expect from modern systems. Reproduced with permission from howstuffworks.com, this guide is slightly behind the times in terms of sheer bulk of the technology, but is likely to be sound for a very long time to come.

Locally Hosted resource
Remote-Controlled Humans
Industry News

Industry news from August 2005, featuring the debut of 'galvanic vestibular stimulation' or GVS. GVS is a means of controlling the input sent to the body's balance centres via a pair of devices behind the ears. Capable of tilting your balance to make you think you are moving in any direction at any time, GVS offers many hopes for cheap, mass-market movement simulation.

Locally Hosted resource
SimStim
SimStim is a concept first created in the VR novel Neuromancer, penned in 1984 by William Gibson. It is the third form of alternate realirty. VR is the replacing of all outside stimulae with artificial. AR is the augmenting of natural stimulae with artificial. SimStim is replacing your natural sensory stimulae, with that of another person.

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Wafer Thin Flexible Integrated Circuits
A team of researchers from the University of Pennsylvania has shown that nanoscale particles, or nanocrystals, of the semiconductor cadmium selenide can be "printed" or "coated" on flexible plastics to form high-performance electronics that can be bent, flexed, and even folded, without losing their capability to computate.



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Integrating Computer Components (11)

Aside from interlinking all the sensor systems and data storage devices together, which is a topic covered by The Sensor Web, the most difficult aspect of creating an augmented reality paradigm is embedding the computerised components into everything, making them 'smart'.
Applicable Dictionary Entries:  
Near Field Communication

Written for a broad audience, this book demonstrates how to blend sewing and assembly techniques with traditional electronics to assemble simple circuits using conductive thread, solder joints for snaps, and switches for buttons. With the sewing machine as a viable substitute for the soldering iron, you can craft a new generation of objects that are interactive, quirky, and fashion-conscious.



Linked resource
Living in Augmented Reality: Ubiquitous Media and Reactive Environments
An introduction to the notion of expanding the working environment through 'ubiquitous media' such that offices disparate across the country, or multinationally, still function as one office both computationally and physically.

Locally Hosted resource
Reactive Silver Ink Allows Reliable Printed Electronics
One of the key issues when printing electronic circuits on the fly, is ensuring reliability. You don't wish to be in the situation where you have to go over the new circuitry by hand to look for places the conductive ink has not affixed to the surface properly, not if you are making complex 3D shapes with internal circuitry, and aiming to keep the price as low as possible.


AR based Medical imaging technologies really began to take off in the early 2000s. There are a growing range of holographic, projective, interactive gesture recognition tools available, which can really make training and diagnosis so much easier.


Locally Hosted resource
Smart Fabrics ? Wear your Augmented Interface
Industry News

Woven cicuitry turns your clothing into the interface for your life. Just add your phone or ipod, and let that program your clothes for you.

Locally Hosted resource
Swipe Card Telephones for the Elderly
For some people, particularly some of the elderly; their sight starts to go, rheumatoid arthritis seeps into every joint, they find themselves unable to interact with devices as a young person would. So, don't force them to interact. How about an RFID swipe system, instead of buttons?

Switch Craft is filled with all manner of home stitch and sew projects, imbruing clothes with computing parts, diodes and electropigment systems. Ideal for the computer geek who augments their own clothes for computing ability with style, and augmented living, wearably.



Locally Hosted resource
Teleconference, 3D surround virtual Booths
Industry News

Industry news, originally posted 22-10-2003, deemed too important to allow to fade. Tholos Systems, an Australian-based firm, are looking to install 10 foot tall total-immersion, video-conferencing facilities in London and Vienna in 2004. These booths broadcast the image of the person (or people) on the other end of the line, along with the cityscape of the place they hail from, in one seamless image.

Linked resource
Time to heal: The materials that repair themselves
A BBC article exploring the rise of self-healing materials as a subset of augmented reality. Machines with vascular systems just below the surface; shipping new material to heal any cracks or breaks caused by accidental or malicious damage.

The pulse is a pen, a biro which is held and written with like any other. However, unlike most, it digitally records every pen stroke, and picks up the audio in the room at the same time, linking the two together and storing them on an internal 1GB or 2GB flash memory system.





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Integrating Virtual Data (23)

When you merge virtual data with physical objects, one of the most fundamental problems is devising ways to marry up the two kinds of sensory data. Fundamentally, virtual and physical data have no common physics that will bind them as one object, so you need to create that from scratch.
Applicable Dictionary Entries:  
Context Aware Service
Locally Hosted resource
AR Development > ARToolWorks (ARToolkit 4.4)
A version of ARToolkit has been released for use with the iPhone. Codenamed ARToolWorks, and based on ARToolkit version 4.4, it is slimmed down to operate on the reduced computing power of an iPhone when compared to a desktop PC.

Locally Hosted resource
AR Sights
AR Sights is a novel application for augmented reality that ties into Google Earth landmarks. It requires an internet connection, a printer and some form of computer-connected camera system. This could be a web cam, an iPhone, an AR HUD, or any similar device.

Locally Hosted resource
Arhrrrr - An AR Shooter without Magic Symbols
Magic Symbol technology is the cornerstone of augmented reality devices, so to stumble across an application that at first glance doesn't use them, seems incredible. What's more the same app interacts with physical objects at a previously unprecedented level - and that is the secret to its success.

Locally Hosted resource
Augmented Flight: Physical and Virtual Planes Compete
Late September, 2008. In the skies over Spain, two and a half planes swooped and soared. Two physical stunt planes, piloted by Castor Fantoba and Bruno Van Waenberghe, competed with a virtual ghost - a virtual aircraft piloted from the ground by Ernest Artigas, and racing the same course as the other two.

Locally Hosted resource
Augmented Reality Goal System
FIFA, the international body overseeing the game of football, finally relents and agrees to two separate augmented reality technologies being used on the pitch to augment (or overrule) the referees decisions.

Locally Hosted resource
Connecting Twitter to a Light Display
An augmented reality exercise for the London Olympics - connect the lights of the London Eye up to twitter, and scan all the feeds simultaneously for mentions of them. Positive toned comments light bulbs. Negative toned comments turn bulbs off.

Locally Hosted resource
Cyberbullying Versus Physical Bullying: Differences Highlighted
It has taken a few years, even with the increased hubbub (and rightly so) about cyberbullying, where the internet is used to harass and bully an individual rather than physical bullying. But researchers are finally starting to take note that physical bullying and (current) cyberbullying are not the same thing. Both can be devastating, but the very different mediums mean that different methods must be used to tackle the two.


A bitesize look at the IBM/EZFace partnership virtual mirror kiosk, designed to act as a VR mirror, using your face as an avatar upon which to display an almost infinite combination of make-up products.


Locally Hosted resource
Layar Realtor Augmented Reality
Layar, created by Dutch AR firm SPRXmobile, is an augmented reality browser designed for Android powered phones. It launched in the Netherlands essentially as a realtor's guide set-up.

Locally Hosted resource
Lego AR Kiosks: Colour Magic Symbol
At the beginning of 2009, Lego announced in a press release that they were teaming with German AR developer Metaio to develop an augmented reality solution for Lego kits. This went on sale in Germany and California, as test markets. So far, the test is not over, but from all indications they are doing very well.

Locally Hosted resource
MR Aquarium
MR Aquarium was demonstrated in 2008, as a spatial VR project using multiple magic symbol displays on walls and pedestals, to bypass the problem, of turning the HUD away from the magic symbol, at which point the AR disappears.


Visual augmented reality elements are amongst the simplest AR elements to integrate into the physical environment. That said, tracking and adjusting for a continually changing user viewpoint, without it becoming obvious that the data is superimposed from VR, is a major undertaking.


Locally Hosted resource
Star Trek: The Original Series, & VR ~ A Taste of Armageddon
A war fought entirely by simulation, yet with physical consequences, and the dark side of virtual voices combine.

Locally Hosted resource
The Augmented Reality Skyline
In mid December 2008, Nokia designer and human behavioural researcher Jan Chipchase posed the question on what the skyline of our towns and cities would look like under the tinting of augmented reality displays, filtering systems, and projection technologies.

Locally Hosted resource
Touching Molecules With Your Bare Hands
Industry News

Industry news, originally posted 15th April 2005, deemed too important to allow to fade. A group of scientists at The Scripps Research Institute have developed a new haptic AR process, allowing tiny objects to be manipulated in your hands.

Locally Hosted resource
TwittAround
TwittAround is a novel AR application, combining the technologies of visual augmented reality, Geolocation, Twitter, and the iPhone.

Locally Hosted resource
US Research Indicates Thousands are Using Pokemon Go Whilst Driving
It would seem that when mirror worlds combine with mobile phones, there is a very real problem that too many users don't understand that it is not always safe nor appropriate to access the mirror world. A study here looks at the incidence of driving with or near misses with pedestrians whilst playing Pokemon Go via social media in a ten day period, with alarming results.

Locally Hosted resource
Virtual Clothing Mirror
An augmented reality mirror powered by quite considerable computing resources, allows clothes to be tried on virtually, realistically, and accounting for all body movements in real-time.

Locally Hosted resource
Virtual Manniquin - You!
Industry News

Industry news, originally posted 02-02-2004, deemed too important to allow to fade. Tired of battling with wardrobe accessories in crampt changing rooms? Fed up of trying oh-so-carefully not to damage items whilst your body does its best to get in the way, and the stall is falling apart around you? VR may have a solution, in the form of a system developed by Toshiba. The company is developing a 3D, realtime system uses video cameras to create a virtual copy of your body on a screen, and not only moves with you, just as a mirror would, but also tries on clothes, without you having to. The system is still at an early stage, but it could in use in stores within three years.


Counterpart to a news story in February 2005, New Augmented Reality Position Tech contained details of a breakthrough in augmented reality. This slideshow forms the visual element of that.



A group of scientists at The Scripps Research Institute has developed a new way of looking at and interacting with the tiniest of molecules ? holding them in your hands and manipulating them.


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Wearable Display Jackets
The concept of clothing that integrates lighting displays is one that has only recently been realised, yet it hasd been in cyberpunk a long, long time. The original 'electropigment' dating back to Snow Crash itself.



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Implanted Systems (1)

An aspect of augmented life, closely related to prosthetic pieces, is the necessity for some of these ubiquitous sensors, data storage devices and power systems, to be human-implanted. In order to be fully linked in an augmented lifestyle, our minds need to be part of the greater network, and so do our bodies. That means some of these devices will be inside us, with all the issues that creates.
Locally Hosted resource
The man with the RFID arm
Industry News

Industry news, originally posted 16-02-2005. Joseph Krull, an executive at Flanders, N.J. based Virtual Corporation, had a doctor stick an RFID tag from VeriChip under his skin on Jan. 10...



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Smart Homes (5)

Applicable Dictionary Entries:  
Invisible Computing
Locally Hosted resource
A Smartphone as a Secure Building Access Key
Using the smartphone as a door key is not a new capability. With electronic locks on the home network, a remote device (such as a phone) with security access can send a signal to ask for the door to be unlocked, without coming into contact with that door. What has been missing from the picture is the ability to do so securely.

Locally Hosted resource
Large Image Display: Chrysalis: Optical Door Locks
This still from Chrysalis shows a very different method of locking and unlocking your front door than we are used to. There is no key and no key hole. Instead, what there is is a retinal scanner embedded in the door level with the average head. Peer in and if it recognises you, it unlocks. If not, there is nothing to pick.

Locally Hosted resource
Large Image Display: The Stepford Wives: Smart Home Interface
Here we see Claire, acting in her guise as spokeswoman for Stepford, showing off the smart house system. In a manner so eagerly aped in our world by electronics firms from all developed nations, Stepford has been striving to create a truly smart house, in which all appliances are networked together, controlled by a central brain, making the house 'smart'.

Locally Hosted resource
Living in a Phone-Controlled Home
An augmented reality control network for the home, known as the HexaBus home automation system is entering the market. It's primary aselling point? The ability to securely control your home's power consumption over the internet, and via sensors as well as house owner input.






 



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