Augmented Reality, Pop-up Books and Gardening

I saw an item in the news today about Google contemplating using augmented reality (AR) to turn old-school paper books into dynamic pop-up books.

http://techxplore.com/news/2016-03-google-envisions-delivery-ar-elements.html

An illustration of Google's idea for using augmented reality to create virtual pop-up booksThis is a fascinating idea. Physical media are part of the real world. If you can augment reality, you can also augment physical media. This would give you augmented physical media. Continue reading “Augmented Reality, Pop-up Books and Gardening”

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VR in Therapy, Therapy in VR

Virtual reality has obvious applications in the field of entertainment, particularly for gaming. But there are other areas in which the ability to create an immersive visual reality, without any of the dangers associated with its real-world equivalent, can be beneficial. One interesting example is the use of VR in therapy. Continue reading “VR in Therapy, Therapy in VR”

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Passive VR – what is “passive virtual reality”?

Today, I stumbled on the term “passive VR” in an article I was reading about VR headsets at different price points.

http://www.cbc.ca/news/technology/virtual-reality-1.3455804

(That’s a pretty good article about the broad range of VR headsets available in early 2016)

Google Cardboard - Passive VR on the cheap.
Google Cardboard – Passive VR on the cheap.

The article was talking about Google Cardboard, which is essentially a cardboard phone-holder and lens-holder that a specific app can use to give the simplest virtual reality experience. Continue reading “Passive VR – what is “passive virtual reality”?”

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The Fifth Industrial Revolution

We hear a lot these days about the “Fourth Industrial Revolution”. There are people who refuse to acknowledge such a thing – there was one industrial revolution, and that’s all there is to it. If this is you – you may as well skip this post. If you don’t consider the possibility that we are entering the fourth industrial revolution, I’m not interested in convincing you it might be fun to consider what the nature of the fifth industrial revolution will be. Continue reading “The Fifth Industrial Revolution”

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Virtual World Behavior

Not long ago, I set up a Minecraft Realm for my kids, their friends, and myself to putter around in. Fun for them – fun and educational for me. And it was here that I really started to get an appreciation for the crossover between peoples’ real-world behaviour, and their virtual world behaviour.

It is known that there are parallels between how people behave in a virtual world, and how they behave in the real world. It’s been many years since I first heard of big retailers testing out floor plans and display units by setting them up in a virtual world, and analyzing peoples’ virtual world behavior to glean insights into what would be effective in the real world. I’ve heard of many other examples since. Continue reading “Virtual World Behavior”

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Meeting my daughter in a virtual world

And that was it. We’d met. I’d met my first person in a virtual world. And it was my daughter, who just happens to be a bit of an expert in just that type of virtual world.

I recently had the pleasure of meeting my daughter in a virtual world. This was the first consequence of what I describe in my previous post – setting up a Minecraft Realm.

A couple of things I dabbled in back in the ’90s were virtual worlds, and using servers to connect web users together in real time. I certainly imagined that a time would come when those two things would go hand-in-hand – a 3D world where people can interact, from separate locations, in real time, in virtual space. Continue reading “Meeting my daughter in a virtual world”

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Plasticine, Lego, Minecraft, and the 3D Web

Most people have modeled stuff with clay, play-doh, Femo, or plasticine. Lots of people have used Lego to make 3D things. But very few of us have created 3D content using digital tools, much less deployed it on the web for others to enjoy.

Everyone alive today is intimately familiar with creating 2D content. We’ve all written on a piece of paper – and most of us have used a word processor to make our content easier to produce and publish. We’ve all drawn a picture on a piece of paper – and most of us have taken photographs to capture much more visual information in the blink of an eye. Continue reading “Plasticine, Lego, Minecraft, and the 3D Web”

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Minecraft and the 3D Web

In some ways, Minecraft is an early merger between video games and content. Rather than viewing a flat page, like you would with the flat web, you move around inside a virtual environment. And rather than interacting with just the stuff the game developers (or modifiers) put in the virtual environment, as you would with a video game, the creation and sharing of content is one of the key raisons-d’etre of Minecraft.

For this, the second post on my new 3dspace.com site, I’d like to look at a 3D technology that doesn’t really have anything to do with the web – Minecraft.

My kids play Minecraft. In fact, they love Minecraft. They not only play Minecraft, they enjoy derivative media based on Minecraft. They watch Continue reading “Minecraft and the 3D Web”

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