There are countless times where a friend recommends a book that there is no time to read. And all of a sudden this book becomes a movie. So many people head to the cinema first and if it’s interesting they go back to the book. And yes I’ve done this many times and yes it is the lazy thing to do, but if someone wants to go deep and feel the real story there is always the hard copy.
Hold on, this does not hold only for movies. What about all these seminars, or webcasts of new technologies, doesn’t it fall roughly under the same scope? I think it does, it is in general much more pleasant to watch something and then decide if you want to go deep.
How about when it comes to writing code for handheld devices like mobile phones? Nah, you need to study, not necessarily books, but tons of documentation, APIs, specifics of programming languages and so on.
Well, not according to Microsoft and the new concept of “Windows Phone 7 development for absolute beginners”. A new “TV Series”, and as Microsoft quotes:
“It teaches beginning developers with little programming experience how to develop applications for Windows Phone 7. This series assumes that they have absolutely no knowledge of C#, Silverlight, or mobile development. In just a few hours, they will understand the needed concepts to build applications”.
Microsoft wants by all means to increase the WM7 programming community and stand tall in front of Apple and the Google Android. But will it do the trick? Well, go and find out …
Kinect, the much awaited ‘controller-free gaming device’ has been very popular the last few days through the blogsphere and twitter (Wikipedia entry here). The offspring of Project Natal has been hacked by UC Davis visualization researcher Oliver Kreylos, using open-source drivers by Hector Martin. The same NUI group that hacked the PlayStation Eye in 2008 probably got there first but did not release drivers to the public.
Check the following videos by O. Kreylos on YouTube:
Very ‘funky’ videos! This can spire new work on 3D capturing and can not help wondering if more than one Kinect’s can be combined into something. We will keep an eye on Kinect-related hacks and research efforts.
Technology Review mentions today the new Vuzix Wrap920AR Goggles today, in the midst of current AR popularity. The Wrap920AR is equipped with two video cameras that ‘see’ the front of what the wearer sees and project it on two LCD video displays, resembling what is allegedly a 67-inch video display at ten feet. The have stereo capture, 6-DOF head tracking, VGA connectivity and come bundled with some nice software bits.
Now, their price is about 2K USD which is not much compared to similar camera-equipped see-through HMDs but it is way to much for me to get a chance to try them. So… I will attempt to imagine their functionality.
Joking aside, they seem light and less obtrusive than past implementations. I imagine it wont be long before researchers use them. The fact that what the user sees is essentially a video feed from the cameras could potentially provide some nice opportunities for advance synthesis virtual and real objects. Moreover, compared to optical displays they can tackle ambient light – as the article points out.