The Alternate Anatomies Lab is an interdisciplinary lab that interrogates the aesthetics, the ethics and the engineering of prosthetics, robotics and virtual systems. Its interest encompasses the post-modern condition, post-humanism, identity, embodiment and the evoking of agency in machine systems. Thus it creatively incorporates biomechanics and biomimicry in exploring aliveness with robots. AAL aims to generate concepts of the future that can be contested, critically examined and possibly appropriated.
The technological singularity is a hypothetical moment in the future when artificial intelligence becomes indistinguishable from human intelligence—and capable of creating smarter iterations of itself. Apply the same general idea to simulations and you get the "simulation singularity": when a simulated world is indistinguishable from reality.
This was the theme of a talk this week at London’s Digital Shoreditch festival by engineer Andy Fawkes, who works for global simulation software company Bohemia Interactive Simulations (BIS) and is director of tech and training company Thinke. "Will there be a world where the simulation may be just as good as the real world?" he asked. Could it even be better than the real world?
Andreessen Horowitz backs a lot of winners. The Silicon Valley venture capital firm invested early in Facebook, Twitter and Airbnb. But in 2013, when one of its partners first donned a virtual reality (VR) headset from a start-up named Oculus, the experience swept those giants aside. “I’ve seen five or six computer demos in my life that made me think the world was about to change,” Chris Dixon later told Wired. “Apple II, Netscape, Google, iPhone… then Oculus. It was that kind of amazing.”
Our course is for anyone who is interested in using Minecraft on your platform of choice to help others to learn. You could be a Teacher in Primary school looking to get kids interested in History, or a High School Teacher looking to run lunch clubs in coding and crafting, or maybe you are a parent who is home-schooling their child and would like to use the power of their favourite game to get them interested in writing fiction.
Advances in technology are enabling different and interesting ways of experiencing education outside the traditional classroom. For example using network technology it is possible for people to follow courses remotely via technologies such as
Decades of studies have shown that students learn a subject better when asked to help another learner. Traditionally, this meant taking the time to pair off students into peer-tutoring arrangements. Now, education researchers at about a dozen universities around the world are trying to supercharge the idea with technology. They’re creating virtual learners that need a human student to teach them everything from history to earth science.
At Arthur Olsen’s Molecular Graphics Lab at the Scripps Research Institute in La Jolla, California, research teams model biological viruses – including HIV – and attempt to work out what kind of proteins and ligand molecules can latch onto them, to see which might inhibit or disable them.
As Olsen shows in this video, 3D printing allows them to create accurate plastic models of virus segments and the potential drug molecules. For calculating which drug will likely connect with a receptor area using the least energy, augmented reality comes into play: using small webcam targets on the model virus, they can map it to a computerised model of itself so the researcher can see it move on screen.
The WorldWide Telescope team has produced a virtual reality and dome experience on the subject of impacts in our Solar System. This show can be used for free in virtual reality (VR) systems - currently Oculus Rift, domes running WWT and flat screens. The show includes a narration and original music soundtrack and brings your audiences to the locations of impacts in the past several billion years. Made for VR and domes, the show creates new levels of immersion to bring the visitor to the surfaces of bodies in our Solar System as well as a tour of the International Space Station. The senses of immersion and physical presence in the virtual environments are especially powerful using Oculus Rift VR device. Moreover, the show illustrates how WorldWide Telescope can be used in high level production. Additionally, the components of the show are made available for adaptation, customization and re-use.
Mark Zuckerberg wants the Oculus Rift to close the gap between virtual reality and mainstream entertainment, but he may have some surprise competition. Yesterday, a concept ad for THE VOID (“Vision Of Infinite Dimensions”) — a VR gaming center in Salt Lake City, Utah, which plans to open in 2016 — went massively viral.
Looks awesome, even if those of us old enough to remember Virtual Boy, Nintendo’s clunky ’90s headset console, may be skeptical. Ken Bretschneider, CEO of THE VOID, who “grew up as a ’Star Trek’/’Star Wars’ kid” and is financing the project himself from money he made by founding a web security company, told MTV News about his vision of building centers worldwide, and how he hopes to change gaming, education and even law enforcement.
Kim Flintoff's insight:
I guess this has the potential to expand the scope of transmedia assets that can add value to the big media properties... The opportunities for creatives also grow....
Augmented reality is an enhanced media experience in an environment for a user. There are multiple types of experiences. These computer generated environments let you hear music or sounds, watch videos, move and scale a 3D model, or place you in a scene that can be anywhere. All of these possibilities are interactive and require the user to trigger the possible experience.
Virtual reality and augmented reality are exciting – Google Glass coming and going, Facebook’s $2 billion for Oculus, Google’s $542 million into Magic Leap, not to mention Microsoft’s HoloLens. There are amazing early-stage platforms and apps, but VR/AR in 2015 feels a bit like the smartphone market before the iPhone. We’re waiting for someone to say “One more thing…” in a way that has everyone thinking “so that’s where the market’s going!”
A pure quantitative analysis of the VR/AR market today is challenging, because there’s not much of a track record to analyze yet. We’ll discuss methodology below, but this analysis is based on how VR/AR could grow new markets and cannibalize existing ones after the market really gets going next year.
Kim Flintoff's insight:
Some big predictions and impressive projections about the scale of growth in AR and VR investment. Keep an eye open for actual consumer uptake.
Ambient Intelligence (AmI) has historically addressed the interaction of people with computer controlled physical worlds. More recently, there has been interest in their virtual counterparts, such as Second Life in which humanoid avatars interact
Immersive interfaces like virtual reality (VR) and augmented reality are becoming ever more powerful, eliciting investment from the likes of Google, Samsung and Microsoft. As these technologies become commercially available, their use in education is expected to grow.
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