Project Tango

Johnny Chung Lee has been on my radar since the Nintendo Wii first hit the market in 2006. He’s a developer that took the technology from the wiimote and allowed us to create projected interactive whiteboards for under $50 and a host of other amazing tools and hacks that blew my mind. So where does a superstar of this caliber go?…Google.

Johnny is now invovled with Project Tango which is looking at 3D scanning technology in a mobile phone. Bringing 3D scanning technology to a mobile device is….well game changing to say the least. I’m so stoked about the furture of mobile computing it’s not even funny. I am the Super nerd fan-boy of this project right now. No shame.

Apple’s deceptive marketing misses the point of their own message

I love all my Apple products…most of the time. I mean what’s the alternative? Exactly. So when Apple turned thirty they put out this beautiful video, 1.24.14, shot entirely on an iPhone with the message that 30 years ago Apple promised to put technology in the hands of the people and that 30 years later it really has done just that. Generally I would agree, although I wouldn’t give Apple sole credit for this. I mean, 30 years is a long time and a lot of advancements in technology and economics have made computers, smart phones, and other devices ubiquitous. Apple has played a big role, no doubt, but…I digress. Have a look at the video at this point and take in the fact that these images all came off of the same phone you probably have in your pocket right now.

Beautiful, no? Yeah it’s amazing. But my background is in film making so I’ve basically been turned into a technical analyst every time I sit down to enjoy a piece of cinema. So I started to think about all these shots and how they would have been created and it didn’t take long to realize that although the technology may technically be in my hands, it takes far more than just a phone to create video like this. It wasn’t until I watched the making-of video that I realized how much more it took. HOLY CRAP. Seriously! Watch this…

Yeah. In my hands…oh wait…except for that command centre, the hundreds of professional production people, the tens of thousands of dollars in supplementary production equipment and hundreds of thousands of dollars it must have cost to produce. But otherwise…right in my hands.

I don’t know about you, but I’d have preferred a video that was ACTUALLY shot with only the iPhone. Heck, maybe even a customer sourced montage of footage. So here’s the challenge. With technology you ACTUALLY have in your hands, what can you produce? How amazing can you make a video look using only the phone’s footage and say, iMovie or another simple editor? I’m hoping to try something like this soon if I can get a few hours of time to work on it. I think Apple really missed the point of it’s own commercial here and it’s kind of a shame. Oh well.

There ISN’T an App for that!?

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Have you ever gone to find an app for that and it wasn’t there? And you thought, “if only I had the skills and tools to develop this thing. I’d be rich!” Well MIT wants to help. They’ve developed an amazingly robust set of tools for drag and drop Android App building. Add text, buttons images, but also accelerometer functions and barcode scanners, camera access, social linking, and more. It’s still in Beta and is a little clunky to use, but far easier than learning how to code for Mobile I imagine. Take it for a spin here. http://appinventor.mit.edu