Entries in Transhumanism (1)


AR, H+ & R'n'R

Augmented Reality, Transhumanism & Rock’n’Roll

What a weekend!

Saturday was the first annual ARDevCamp (Augmented Reality Developer Camp). Originating in San Francisco, with an East coast camp quickly organized in New York City. It was embraced with such enthusiasm that smaller satellite camps were organized in Amsterdam, Netherlands; Brisbane, Australia; Seoul, South Korea; Manchester, UK and others.

I’ve said many times that the community surrounding AR, especially mobile AR, is like Déjà vu from the early days of the web. There is something unique happening here, something technologically revolutionary, and the word is spreading.

The best thing about these events is meeting other people that share a common interest, that share your enthusiasm. I can talk about this with friends and business acquaintances… to a point. But I’m the one talking. Some have a top-line knowledge, but with most I’m sharing information and they’re asking questions. Among this circle, I’m in the median. A little more knowledge than some, but a lot less than many others. Seeing new things, picking up new knowledge.

The only formal presentation was Ohan Oda, showing his Goblin XNA project, part of his Ph.D. study at Columbia. One one his colleagues, Dr. Steven K. Feiner, Professor of Computer Science at Columbia shed additional light on the project. Matt Shapoff was industrious enough to get this live-streamed from his laptop:

Ohan Oda was kind enough to share his slide presentation.

The real highlight was finally meeting Noah Zerkin, whose worked I’ve followed and with whom I’ve corresponded, but only now just met. He was generous enough to let me demo a Microvision Nomad HMD. This older discontinued model was a monochrome display in red, which had a look eerily reminiscent of the Terminator.

Noah does NASA funded research in the Neurology Department Human Aerospace Lab at Mount Sinai Medical Center. He has particular expertise in dataglove technology, but is also a connoisseur of video eyewear.

After posting a tweet regarding the Microvision display, I received a message from a friend in California who works for NASA, inviting me to demo the Mars seamless virtual reality CAVE at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory. A “CAVE” system uses similar stereoscopic 3D technology as an IMAX theater wearing polarized lenses, but with screens projected onto the walls of a cube that the viewer stands inside of… and a “seamless” CAVE has a curved wall interior. I plan to take him up on his generous offer as soon as I can get back out West.

As the evening wound down, Steven Feiner, Tish Shute and Heidi Hysell appeared intent to talk augmented reality game-play into the night, but I had other plans.

My good friend Al Risi had the run of the Gibson Guitars NYC Showroom, in the former space of The Hit Factory recording studio, for a private birthday party for both himself and Jessica Daponte… and a few hundred of their closest friends. Our highlight was hearing jam sessions with both Kenny Kramme and Ric Agudelo. Two good friends, both drummers, neither of whom I had ever seen play.

Much of Sunday was spent following the Humanity + Summit (streamed live on TechZulu). This was the first event organized by The World Transhumanist Association since they changed their name to HumanityPlus (with the acquisition of H+ magazine, to which I contribute).

I watched all four of the speaker in the Artificial Intelligence series. Ben Goertzel’s presentation was particularly entertaining. Although it was streamed, it does not (yet anyway) appear to have been posted anywhere. Hopefully they will eventually post the lectures on the HumanityPlus website. There were many speakers, Alex Lightman, RU Sirius and Brian Selzer among others, whose talks I would still like the opportunity to see. If and when they do so I will update this page. Two clips:

Brian Selzer: Reinventing Reality with AR.

Ed Lantz: Pervasive Projections and Social Space.

You can view 36 videos from the Humanity + Summit in this directory.

And this officially begins the holiday season party week. How will anything live up to this weekend?