Haha, that video is so great! I found it reading Scott Hayden’s article The 10 Coolest Things Being Built with Apple’s ARKit Right Now. Definitely give it a look if you want to see some funny and/or innovative uses of ARKit. The creator of the video is Tomas Garcia– follow the link to subscribe to his youtube channel! According to their site, ARKit is “a new framework that allows you to easily create unparalleled augmented reality experiences for iPhone and iPad.” Sounds really neat for experiments!
Pitter patter then. I went through the full gamut of emotions when I read James Vincent’s article: Augmented reality startup Blippar hopes to turn your face into a digital billboard. Quite predictably, my initial reaction was shock and horror at our society’s collapse into a futuristic dystopia where people’s faces are erased and forever emblazoned with garish Micky D’s logos or something. Yikes! And then I read the article. In short:
- People’s faces are not being erased. Phew!
- The company who is creating this technology is BlippAR, and they call them Augmented Reality Face Profiles – Halos.
- After reading Tim Hardwick‘s article AR Startup Blippar Showcases ‘Halos’ Facial Recognition Feature in its Mobile App, I realized there was much more to this technology than just making human billboards.
- According to James, Halo was being used a year ago but only made available to celebrities. Now it is made available to common people like you and me (assuming Robert Downey Jr. isn’t reading this post right now!).
- Tim says “The Blippar app generally relies on users aiming their phone camera at everyday objects, products or images and “blipping” them to unlock helpful information, interact with brands, play videos, games, music, and more.” Well that doesn’t sound too scary!
- Tim writes for Mac Rumours. Hmmm, I wonder how impartial they are.
My two cents- I don’t see anything much different from this technology than wearing brand names and sponsorships and such. Virtual Reality is beautiful, it is innovative, and it has lots of potential for doing good. It also has a lot of potential for mediocrity. It is the status quo for people to dress themselves up as billboards for products that they like. They, ahem, just do it (couldn’t help it!).
Also, a lot of people are already receiving sponsorships on Instagram, Youtube, and Snapchat for instance. This isn’t just another way to use technology to make rich people richer- social media is already being used as a vehicle for advertisement. You can dislike that aspect of our culture and hate what it does to youth, of course: according to this Australian teenager with more than 612,000 Instagram followers: Essena O’Neill took down most of her pictures and critiqued the others herself in 2015. On one of her captions she said “see how relatable my captions were – stomach sucked in, strategic pose, pushed up boobs. I just want younger girls to know this isn’t candid life, or cool or inspirational. It’s contrived perfection made to get attention.” She has since taken down her Instagram account.
All that to say Virtual Reality didn’t bring this type of social media branding- it’s been a part of our culture for quite a bit now. Personally, I think it is a great avenue for creativity and self expression. Take InkHunter for example: it’s an app available in Itunes that “projects any tattoo design, on any part of your body to let you see how it will look”. Now imagine being able to express yourself on the Halos like that; your own expressive designs rather than corporate sponsorship. As with all things, technology isn’t the bad guy, we just have to learn to be responsible users.
And while I was looking up this video I came across another gold nugget by Scott Hayden: in an update he writes “Oculus today confirmed that the Blade Runner 2049: Replicant Pursuit VR experience will launch on July 21st on Gear VR. “ Ok either you don’t know what Blade Runner is or I am just going to tell you because I like Blade Runner; it is a groundbreaking scifi that gave inspiration to movies like The Fifth Element, Ghost in a Shell (Anime and Live Action), Strange Days, Gattaca, and Dark City. Well they are doing a sequel called Blade Runner 2049, starring Harrison Ford (please don’t kill him again!) and Ryan Gosling. So one of my favourite movies of all times is being remade starring T.O.G. Mr. Ford and it is going to be available to watch on my new Samsung Gear! I just bought Samsung Gear yesterday, and my whole world is different now.
Well that was a long Tl;dr. Xennials are all about the irony. If you stuck it out this long, you may as well comment and subscribe, but if you have to choose just one, please comment- I live for feedback! Anywho, have an amazing rest of your day, and may your Virtual Reality dreas come true in Real Reality.