While finally taking the time to sit down and read Michael Abrash's second “Two Possible Paths into the Future of Wearable Computing” blog post, I learned the term “fiducial,” a physical marker that an AR display uses as a target on which to render the augmented reality display.
A fiducial marker or fiducial is an object placed in the field of view of an imaging system which appears in the image produced, for use as a point of reference or a measure. It may be either something placed into or on the imaging subject, or a mark or set of marks in the reticle of an optical instrument.
Sean Hollister, writing for The Verge, makes a convincing case that Valve will release its own purpose-built version of Linux with its online software platform, Steam, baked right in as a sort of “Android of Video Games”:
You know what else attracts developers? Crazy tools to develop for, and a store that promises to help them profit from their work. Valve is already hard at work on the first: in addition to game controllers, the company’s prototyping virtual reality headsets. Leaks suggest that the next-gen Source Engine 2 is on the way, and it’s probably a safe bet that it will support Linux. Meanwhile, the company’s also experimenting with a program called Steam Greenlight that has the community vote to publish indie games on Steam, possibly attracting innovative, desirable diamonds in the rough that would otherwise appear first on PlayStation Network or Xbox Live Arcade.
The context is McAfee, but ultimate irrelevant. I wrote this to a person on a message board kvetching about news organizations reporting too quickly:
Here's how it works if you're a news org: You either get to be on time and possibly wrong, or late and definitely right. Both are viable strategies, but neither is ethically better than another, especially in a business predicated by audience numbers.
Also, you don't know which organizations talked to Belizean officials or not. If they called them and didn't get a clear statement, they may have decided to lean on Gizmodo's reporting instead of writing “We called them and they didn't answer” or “We called them and they wouldn't give us a clear answer.” Maybe that's not the way you'd run a news organization, but then it's awfully easy to say what you would or wouldn't do when you don't run a business with shitty margins and constant backseat drivers that tell you what you should or shouldn't be covering, when or when not to cover it, and how and how not to write it all up.
I'll tell you this: I called my sources in Belize today before I wrote my piece, which was more or less a rewrite of what Jeff Wise had at Gizmodo. I got muddled information, but nothing that made me think the Gizmodo report was off base. I wrote what I had. My outlet chose not to run it. I think it was a mistake, but at least it was a decision.
But it was a process, not a simple moral choice, and I give about as much pause for the average person who complains about how a particular news story should be handled as I do to people who try to make hay out of the idea that evolution is just a theory. News is a nuanced media, and it galls me that so many people who claim to be clever refuse to accept that there's a lot more happening in the mix than might be easy to condense into a weary, internet sigh. If we waited to triple-vet every piece of information that crosses the transom, we'd miss a lot of stories that are important to know in the right now. Your job as a reader is to understand which outlets operate under which process; if you can't handle adding a little bit of your own wisdom and assessment to your interpretation of the news, then at least have the courtesy to accept that your refusal to loof;alskf;alksfh;alksjf;alskfj
Fuck, I don't care. Whatever, we all suck. I hope you find your one true outlet. They'll appreciate your subscription.
Oculus sent out a short email to their Kickstarter backers today, which included this shot of one of the headset mockups that probably does not reflect the final design, even for the dev kits. (Which will be different than retail units.)
We finally moved into our new office in Irvine, CA with more space for the ever-growing team. We’re still getting setup, but the office is coming together nicely, with a full hardware lab, 3D printing room, even a small mo-cap VR space for testing and calibration of tracking hardware.
The last time we heard about Google Niantic project, it was regarding their geofenced walking tour trivia app, Field Trip, a perfectly nice first experiment of integrating data with real-world locations.
Now videos are popping up that imply that Google is launching an ARG–Augmented Reality Game, where “Augmented Reality” is not a word for graphics in a display, but basically means “fiction” or “role-playing”–for Niantic. A video made by a young man who buys a mysterious phone online that operates without a SIM card and lights up with graphics when in proximity to a statue. And hey, there's a man in a black suit and sunglasses lurking in the background in a post that's meant to imply oversight from a mysterious shadow organization, but mostly just looks like a bored chauffeur.
In short, it's goofy as hell. Mysterious global conspiracies went out of fashion a decade ago; even if it were an original idea now, shouldn't a multinational corporation the size of Google be aware that many people already perceive them as a sort of corporatized Big Brother? Even the kids on Reddit trying to solve it are bored with it.
All signs point to it being a milquetoast marketing campaign for a new augmented reality app that will be revealed at some point in the near future. If that's what it takes to get people to pay attention to the software, maybe Google should be spending more time making the software stand on its own.
Clearly, the uptake is already beginning. Even though the consumer version of the Oculus Rift isn’t likely to be released until next year, indie devs such as Adhesive Games and Organic Humans, as well as one-time triple-A star Chris Riberts, are all preparing Rift compatibility in their latest titles. “After being involved in VR technology early on, when the Oculus appeared it was an instant attraction,” says Bill Wright, CTO at Meteor Entertainment, the publisher of hotly anticipated mech battle sim, Hawken. “Then, knowing the CEO of the new company for many years, it was easy to get in touch with them and talk about the possibilities of Hawken and Oculus. The process is straightforward with a focus on tweaking the game controls and view to best take advantage of the Oculus’ features. Indie developers are highly flexible and imaginative. They are the teams that come up with new genres and fresh approaches. They will take the Oculus and do things we have not thought of before”.
Raytheon, a major government and military supplier, showed off VIRTSIM in June, a multiplayer environment with goggles, fake guns, and motion capture combine to create a real-life simulator environment that looks (and appears to play) a little like Rainbow 6.