"...Get it, fold it and look inside to enter the world of Cardboard. It’s a VR experience starting with a simple viewer anyone can build or buy. Once you have it, you can explore a variety of apps that unfold all around you. And with plenty of viewer types available, you're sure to find one that fits you just right.' - https://vr.google.com/cardboard/index.html

"Second to the contact lenses that monitor for diabetes, Google's parent company Alphabet has filed a patent which takes their development to another level. The patent specifically covers a method for "injecting a fluid into a lens capsule of an eye, wherein a natural lens of the eye has been removed from the lens capsule." It's powered by "radio frequency energy" received by a small antenna inside. The gadget even has its own data storage. Forbes reports, it is designed to "improve vision."

Samsung is also one of the most recent companies to receive a patent for smart contact lenses. Their lenses are for "experimenting with new methods of delivering augmented reality interfaces and data."

".....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."

Read more - http://www.alternate-anatomies.org/


Thanks KMA.

Yet more evidence that online MMRPG games are about more than just havin' fun.

But beyond the privacy concerns there are real concerns for physical harm as I noted in a Conversation piece last year.


This from a user:

"Well, one of biggest the dangers of Ingress is driving or stepping into harm's way while playing the game, and I know of at least one nasty car accident. And then there is the risk of losing your job or relationship or use of your thumb due to its addictive properties..."

Of course- we augment more than we can cope with and we might end up dead. 

Question: anyone want to talk about liability?

Source here

Image - (c) Brian Carpani / flickr

Image - (c) Brian Carpani / flickr

The following document was originally published here - http://goo.gl/wi994a


Tips on what to do during contact with a law enforcement officer while playing Ingress

Its important to consider the possibility of coming into contact with the police. After all, Ingress calls for a certain type of late night rendezvous with other players or portals. As this game is geared for the techies in our community, not everyone is aware of the game. In addition, there are people that may be aware of it, but do not know your intentions and may call a law enforcement agency to report your suspicious behavior. Below you will find some useful information to help you should you encounter an officer of the law while on your conquest to save humanity one way or another. This is not legal advice, only a suggestion. The author of this document nor the organizations & individuals that post/share this document are not responsible for your actions.


    If you are in your vehicle:

  • Shut off the engine if it`s running

    • This will show your intention of not running from them

  • Turn on your interior light

    • This allows them to see in your vehicle better

  • Do not move after you put your hands on the steering wheel

    • Don't reach for your DL or ID, if they want it, they will ask


If you are not in your vehicle:

  • Keep your hands out of your pockets

    • Don't make any sudden movements, and keep your hands down

  • Keep your distance, the officer will move as close as they feel comfortable

    • Stay still and don't back up or move around


    General things for both situations:

  • Explain slowly what you are doing in a light and meaningful manner

    • Don't be rude, condescending or evasive in your answers

  • Stay calm, and don't worry

    • If you are not doing anything wrong, you won't be in trouble!

  • Comply with all requests and orders

    • Don't move for your ID or anything until asked. Advise the officer of where it’s at before moving to grab it

  • If you are carrying a firearm, declare it immediately in a polite manner!

    • Also advise the officer if you have a valid CCW Permit on you


Keep in mind, whoever called you into the police may have embellished your actions to hasten their response time. With that knowledge, it’s expected that the officers responding will have no idea about what is really going on. All they are told is someone is where they normally shouldn’t be, and doing something that they are not supposed to be doing. When the officer arrives, s/he will ask a lot of questions to get the story of what is actually taking place - so be patient and answer the questions without getting irritated and upset. Staying calm and not making any sudden movements will keep the tension down between both you and the officers, and prevent anything bad from happening.


It’s also a good idea to familiarize yourself with any local laws and ordinances. Keep in mind, most city and state parks close at dusk - regardless if there is a gate blocking entrance to the parking lot. If someone asks you to leave, comply with the request. If they are an agent of the property you are on, they have the final word. The same rule applies for firearms - they ask you to leave or put it away, you must comply!

Here are some local laws and ordinances to familiarize yourself with. This is only a listing to find information and should not be construed as legal advice - always consult your attorney (this applies to the entire document as well).


Title 13 of the Arizona Revised Statutes is the section for the criminal code. The big laws to remember while playing Ingress relate to trespassing and criminal damage (if you damage anything):



The original founding article was produced and accessible from Brian Wassom's website:

"...I recently stumbled across this post from a Kansas law enforcement lobbyist, originally posted in January 2014. It purports to describe “a number” of 911 calls in Park City about “suspicious persons” who turned out to be playing the augmented reality game Ingress. The article also cites one of my blog posts as an example of what “can go wrong” when Ingress players cross paths with police, and suggests that readers Google the phrase “ingress police calls” to find more. - See more at: http://www.wassom.com/ingress-ar-game-impacting-kansas-law-enforcement.html#sthash.4rB2Ub7R.dpuf

Smoke-diving helmet

"...C-Thru is a Smoke Diving Helmet designed for the firefighters to aid them through their smoke diving search and rescue missions. Since it is almost impossible to see within the highly dense smoke, The smoke divers have to crawl on the ground and find their way by keeping hand contact with the walls while carrying heavy air supports and hand held equipment. At the same time they need to keep checking the thermal imaging device and need to keep hold on to one another’s air tank handle in order not to lose each other. They also have less than six minutes to rescue all the victims within the building before the smoke kills them. C-thru provides a wire-frame vision of the interior geometry surrounding the smoke diver, and enhances the surrounding sounds selectively, thus letting the smoke divers search for the victims more accurately. It simplifies many separate layers of heat and impact protection into a single package. which stabilizes and eases the movements."

Read more

Thanks to Joshua Levitsky


Thought experiment.

Taking everything you know about the world of computers, the history of screen experience and the trajectory of emerging technologies—say with Google Glass, for example—combined with this culture’s love affair with instant gratification, recording, surveillance, narcissism, and control; what could one be left looking at?

The Entire History of You explores some of these ideas in a world where most people have an implant behind their ear called a ‘grain’ which records everything they do, see and hear. Memories can be played back either in front of the person’s eyes or on a screen—a process known as a ‘re-do.’

Nothing is off limits. Everything is recorded, archived, and scrutinised.

Scrutiny comes to social events too. ‘Re-dos’ are done with friends and family, analogous to the current culture of social media ‘sharing’ and the solipsistic sense of self lived vicariously through screens.

In this world—and of our own—what are the myriad personal, interpersonal and social implications? What do the profound repercussions for relationships and even individual existential experience look like?

The Entire History of You is part of a series of films called Black Mirror which explore different aspects of “the way we live now—and the way we might be living in 10 minutes’ time if we're clumsy.”

More to come...



Hi friends!

If you're in Toronto, please pick up a copy of today's Toronto Star newspaper (Thurs Sept 19)--I'm featured in the Business section! It's a special edition of the newspaper with Augmented Reality. Download the free Layar app on your smartphone or tablet and you can see additional content appear right on top of the newspaper, including a special video with me :)"

Read more 



Interested in purchasing dangerous things? I mean implants? Just visit this store: https://dangerousthings.com/gear/

"We believe our bodies are our own, to do with what we want, and that biohacking is the forefront of a new kind of evolution. The “socially acceptable” of tomorrow is being defined by the boundaries being pushed today, and we’re excited to be a part of it."

Courtesy: Amal Graafstra

Courtesy: Amal Graafstra

"For many parents and caregivers of daycare and elementary school age children, it is essential to know what sickness is going around in the community or at school. Busy professionals, individuals with compromised immune systems, senior centers and school nurses that need to stay healthy can all use SikBug to avoid becoming exposed. It is helpful for any health organization to identify and address the track the spread of colds, flu and other contagious disease.
Qwinix recognized this opportunity and developed an innovative application to help locate and report contagious disease. Designed for Android, iPhone and Windows Phone, SikBug is a tool that allows the app to get users’ precise locations using the Global Positioning System (GPS) or network location sources such as cell towers and Wi-Fi. These location services must be turned on and available to the individual user’s device for the app to make use of them.
Additionally, SikBug has included the API document on its website to help track the data.
Qwinix developed this platform to include check in, report and store options to monitor the sicknesses going around, and it also displays the various types of contagious illnesses and the number of reported occurrences for each based on the locations."

See Qwinix Technologies for more.

Courtesy: Qwinix Technologies

Courtesy: Qwinix Technologies

This application is very similar in concept to that app we built with my CSCI321 group at the University of Wollongong. Here is what we documented way back in 2006- The Avian Flu Tracker. The product was demonstrated at the annual Tradeshow at UOW with a REAL working system implementation which used Nortel's Mobile Location Centre (MLC). At the time AVIAN was topical and there was a great deal of discussion about pandemic outbreaks. We learnt so much on that project! The development team consisted of: B. Stroh, O. Berry, A. Muhlbauer, and T. Nicholls. You guys were brilliant! Thanks also to the late Martin Dawson who was a brilliant mentor and never tired of sharing/mentoring the team, and to David Evans for the many meetings he provided input to.

Here is a must listen to podcast on this hot topic! An interview with Colonel Lisa Shay a professor of electrical engineering at West Point, the U.S. Military Academy, that is, in New York State. She has a Ph.D. in electrical engineering from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, also in New York.

The podcast touches on so many themes from a national workshop we hosted in February RNSA2012-  

Sousveillance and the Social Implications of  Point of View Technologies in the Law Enforcement Sector (Michael & Michael)

Shay and her fellow collaborators have previously cited dataveillance and uberveillance in a paper they wrote recently. The citation can be found here.

Here is an excerpt of the podcast write up that Shay did with Steven Cherry from IEEE Spectrum's Techwise.

Steven Cherry: All right, so a cop can see someone speeding or driving recklessly, and they’re able to snap a picture instantly, and with improving, at least, accuracy. What’s wrong with that?
Lisa Shay: Well, potentially there’s not a whole lot wrong with that. If a policeman is using this system because they’ve identified that there is a crime being committed, and they’re using this as a way of enforcing a law that they’ve already determined has been broken, I think that’s fine. The question is really the broader topic that was brought out in your introduction, that there are many cameras that are set up all over the country that are photographing traffic. And the question then is, Where is that data being sent? Who is analyzing it? And what is being done with it? Is it being used for what purpose? Because traffic cameras that are just continuously on are recording data from people who are perfectly law abiding, who are simply driving to work on a public highway.
Steven Cherry: I said that the license plate data can be correlated with a lot of other databases. Are they, in fact, being correlated? And who’s doing that?
Lisa Shay: Well, there was just actually published in a conference in Boston in October a paper discussing exactly that by a group of investigators in the United Kingdom. They assert, in fact, that, yes, these license plate readers in the UK are being combined with the police, with other data from either cellphones or other location-based information, to identify criminals or to track criminal suspects. The technology certainly exists for police to, or other organizations to, do this because every cellphone nowadays just about has a GPS in it, and the cellphone companies know where each cellphone is, so that data is available to them. And license plate data is available to whatever entities operate these roadside traffic cameras, which are a variety of different entities that operate those systems. And, of course, there’s private companies that operate the cameras that do the repo men, as you mentioned.
So these datasets exist. They exist in digital form, and any dataset that exists in digital form can be easily transmitted somewhere else; it can be easily processed. And that can be done intentionally, because the companies that own these datasets desire to aggregate them, or it could be done unintentionally, because someone hacks into this database of this information and then correlates it. So there’s the privacy concern that’s twofold: One, that this information might be accessed illegally by hackers, or that the companies that collect this data could then sell it to each other for either market research or for some other purpose.
Steven Cherry: In the movies, we often see the government with a sort of perfect ability to track someone as they move around a city or across a country. They do this in the TV show Homeland all the time, for example. It’s completely unrealistic now, but I gather you fear it’s becoming quite realistic, and that this license plate technology could end up becoming a key part of that equation.
Lisa Shay: Well, that’s a concern. There’s two parts to that: One is, can someone be tracked perfectly? What are the limits to this system? Because every technological system, every tracking system, has false alarm rates. There’s false positives and there’s false negatives, and those are inherent to any system, and there’s not a lot of rigorous analysis being done on these systems to determine what are those false alarm rates. And so it is possible that you have this illusion of perfect tracking, but in fact you’re not tracking the right person.
And then on the flipside, even if you are tracking people, then at what point do we have a right to privacy? There’s certainly expectations of privacy in one’s own home that can be violated because your GPS signal is, in many cases, detectable outside of your home. So there’s strict privacy that’s clearly violated by some of these systems. But then there’s even a less-precise notion of privacy, that at any given moment in time that I’m walking down the street, I’m in public, and anyone, of course, can see me, but that’s a very transient phenomenon. The people who see me, 99 percent of them don’t know who I am. They don’t remember me more than three or four seconds after they’ve seen me, and unless I’m looking for somebody, I’m looking to meet a friend, say, at a restaurant, it’s almost an anonymous system. Yes, I’m in public, but my data isn’t persistent in any way.
That all changes when this data is stored electronically, because now a log, a record, is being kept of my whereabouts that could be viewed later. It is a persistent record. It can be viewed not just by the 10 people on the sidewalk that I happen to pass, but anybody anywhere in the world that has electronic access to this dataset.
Steven Cherry: And to connect it up with everything else you’re doing in your day . . .
Lisa Shay: Right. Yes, and then to note that I went to a grocery store, and then the data collected by my grocery loyalty card can be linked to the fact that I didn’t go to the gym that day and instead bought a package of cookies, and then that goes to my health insurance company that says, “Oh, you’re no longer exercising and your diet has gone downhill. Perhaps we need to relook at your insurance premiums.” This all becomes very dystopian.
Steven Cherry: Yeah, and I was going to ask you, Is it a bigger problem when the government is doing this, or private companies ?
Lisa Shay: It’s no longer just the government that we have to concern ourselves with. Back in the Cold War, we certainly thought of Big Brother as the government, because the organizations with the most resources to devote to this sort of issue tended to be governmental, but that’s no longer the case. And that’s an even bigger concern, because in countries like the United States, we have a Bill of Rights. We have laws that regulate governmental behavior that’s different from the laws that regulate corporate behavior, and the corporate law hasn’t necessarily caught up with these notions of privacy and sharing data and aggregating data.
Steven Cherry: In your writings you’ve used the phrase “police state.” You say we don’t have one, but we have the technology to have one. Actually, the problem in a way goes beyond that, right? It’s not just the police that can know everything about us, it’s Walmart, it’s our insurance company, it’s our bank, it’s everybody.
Steven Cherry: So the technology keeps getting better and cheaper and faster, and it seems that it is just going to become used more and more widely until we have no privacy at all. Do you see any way off of that roller coaster, which seems to be entirely downhill?
Lisa Shay: No future is inevitable. There are certainly courses of action that can be taken. My colleagues and I have analyzed this phenomenon from a couple of different perspectives. First, you look at who are the owners of these surveillance systems and what is their interest in setting these systems up. They typically have a legitimate interest in a very specific purpose, and then the people who make these systems should then target their applications to meet that single need—and either through voluntary standards and best practices of how these systems are designed from the ground up, or from regulations and laws bounding how these systems can be operated.
There are definitely ways to allow the owners of these systems to meet their immediate need for safety or security, or for monitoring employees’ behavior that are within the bounds of their employment contract, to meet those objectives in a way that doesn’t excessively violate our privacy. And we advocate designing systems with privacy built in from the ground up, so making these systems do their intended purpose but not more than that. But in many cases it may take government regulation or laws to limit how data is released. Something as simple as having individuals having opt-out or opt-in policies for surveillance would be a step in the right direction.

[ image: hclilab ]

"...The 4th Augmented Human (AH) International Conference will be held in Stuttgart, Germany, on March 7–8 2013, focusing on augmenting human capabilities through technology for increased well-being and enjoyable human experience.

Read more

[ image: ARE2013 ]

"...ARE is where the people working on and using Augmented Reality technologies come together to explore best practices and innovations in software development, tools, business strategies, design and marketing. Developers, technologists, marketers, hardware manufacturers, mobile operators, researchers, designers, startups, business developers, and entrepreneurs gather to share their experiences and learn from their peers."

Read more