Leap Motion

We first had the ITouch, then came along the Nintendo Wii and then we got the Microsoft Kinect. Now we have the Leap motion. We have had all these great inventions and now we look at something new that has come to the market. Leap motion snuck into the market, there were no promotional stunts and not much advertisements. All of the named inventions have one main aspect in common and that is gesture movement.  Obviously you would be wondering, what is the Leap motion and how does it work? Well it can be described as baby sized version of Kinect which uses camera to perception. It is uses your hand to control the computer interface. This basically means you can use your hand as a mouse and use the computer.

So think of movies like Iron Man or Minority Report where Tom Cruise use interacting with the computer using his hand and searching for information.  Well this little gizmo allows you to do this. The question becomes, well if this allows you to do such a thing, then why is that it was not greatly advertised and why is not been heard of. There are a few reasons for this. One is that this type of technology is still in its infancy stage and it yet to develop to become fully fledged technology.

The Leap motion is plugged in by USB and is laid flat on a surface. It has cameras and sensors it motion zone of over 120 degrees. The Zones are slip between hover and touching. The hover zone is closer to the person and the touching neared to eh computer. So if you move your hand over the hover zone the mouse would move according and if you wanted to select something you would then move your hand forward and into the touch zone, which would then select item on screen. This is an interesting concept which needs a lot more attention to as is can be developed more. The hardware can be used to create drawings, used well with Google earth and many other aspects. In the future this can be used for artistic purposes where you can create a fine art piece on the computer using your hands.

There is a learning curve in order to learn how to use the leap motion properly, at the moment the idea is good, but it is far from replacing the mouse. At the moment it can be used for games and limited application use. The potential of this concept is still untapped, there is still enough room for this idea to go further.


Sochi 2014

7th February marked the starting of the Winter Olympics in Sochi, Russia. There is where the best participants in the world have gathered to take part in the Winter Olympics to win a medal in various sports. At the moment it one of the most watched sports even in the world. They have been many great moments that have taken place. From snowboarding, ski jumping and to one of my favourites curling!!! I really do enjoy watching the Winter Olympics. While watching it, it made me think of many aspects that intrigued me, such as how do I get to see these amazing shots or how is the ice not melting.

I did look into how the recording is done for these events. I found out that there are many technologies being used to record this. One photographer had uses 2 dozen canon SLR cameras!!! Which is very expensive. For example in bob sledging cameras were set on tracks in strategic location, which were connected through Wi-Fi and were programmed to record at various intervals. This takes a lot of planning time and also testing. The result becomes clear to us as viewers when we see seamless view of the participants.

Another camera technology that has been used to record to record ski jumps and snowboarding is camera drones! Yes you heard me drones! We usually heard about drones being used by the US to do surveillance, however they are being used to captures the ski events. They are remotely controlled which fly very high in the sky and record. These images are relayed to us. There are many drones being used so that we can see from every different angle. Just looking into the technology being used in the winter Olympics has taken me back as it shows technology can be used in many different ways.

Technology as not only been used to help set up the event, it is also being used by participants to help give them the edge in the competitions. When designing attire that is worn by the participants a lot of research and development goes into it as it can lead to a gold medal.




Identity: MMORPG: Final Fantasy XIV: A Realm Reborn

Final Fantasy has been around since the late 1980s and over the years it has mesmerized people around the world with its unique fantasy storylines, its ultra-stylish, cool, sleek realistic animation character models and it multi-mecha- transport airship. The franchise has gone to release over 14 different titles with each game they have improved a lot. The creators Square Enix have gone on to globalise this brand around the world. Both the company and the game has gone onto create their identity.

The brand has its own identity, the game franchise has its own identity, also every game has is made its own identity. This leads me on to Final Fantasy XIV. It created its own identity, but for all the wrong reasons. Final Fantasy XIV was released in 2010 and it received negative reviews because there were major in game issues which would make it crash, due to this the company took the game offline and decided to recreate the game. Fast forward August 2013, Final Fantasy XIV: A Realm Reborn was released.

The game is MMORPG based, which means massively multiplayer online role-playing game. This allows you to role play a character in the game that you which to choose. However it is more than this, the player can create a character from scratch, so this game allows you to create a whole new identity on its own, from this you can choose the type of person you want to be, a warrior, mage, healer, miner, blacksmith, goldsmith and various others. In this game you can create a new identity which you would not be able to do in real life. The graphics of the game are gorgeous and look realistic which can make you forget about reality. The game is so immerse that it takes in to considerations the little things in life that make it fun to play.

The role playing aspect can allow you to do what you want and interact with people how you want. MMORPG were created to allow people to be someone who they are not and yet some people create character that resemble them in real life. Yet through this people create their own Identity which then people be consistent in how they interact with people online. In MMORPG your identity can become your reputation, so it would be important they live up to the expectations, this can be a lot of pressure. Some people in real wish they can be someone as they may not be happy or just for the experience, this game would allow you to get that experience. Anyone can play this game and have their own identity stamped in the game!

Oculus Rift

One of the oldest issues of gaming has been that how can games be made more realistic for the user. The answer was Virtual Reality(VR)!!!! That’s right Virtual Reality!!! The sense of playing a game through a first person point of view, observing the 3D generated graphics that give you the feeling of being a “Hero” and leading yourself down the line of getting in to some mischief and have an exhilarating adventure all in the comfort of your living/bed room.!! Well as a young boy that would have been amazing and as an adult it would be fun.

The concept of Virtual Reality has been around for a very long time. The very first headset based VR system was created by a famous scientist called Ivan Sutherland in 1968. Since then the concept of VR has gone through many changes and evolution. In the 1990s the VR systems arrive in the gaming industry, the notion of an arcade machine which allows you to place in a 3D environment sounds very appealing! The idea was good, however there a few problems with the system. Although the problems were few they were big problems. The hardware would have unexpected crashes and the equipment itself was very expensive to manufacture and also the physical hardware technology capabilities were limited of its time. Over time the idea of VR had subdued in people’s mind and was silently fading away in the cold, silent and lonely past.

Fast Forward to 2012. The idea of VR headset came crawling slowly into the future and it learnt from its previous predecessors. The development of the headset was funded through Kickstarter. The development gained momentum and in 2013 a prototype had shown up at a CES press event. The prototype wooed the crowd and made them thirty the for more. The 720p screen resolution, portability factor, the more than 90 degree field of view and the 5.6 inch screen left the crowed wanting more.

The Oculus Rift is still in development and is scheduled for release in late 2014/early 2015. The main reason for the positive response to the demo of this system is due to hardware. We now have the hardware capabilities to innovate the idea of VR effectively. The latest model supports 1080p resolution, the issues of ghost images when looking form one side to another has been rectified. The headset supports HDMI output and compatible with PC games. The demo of the headset showed games like DOOM 4 and Tea Fortress 2 being played. There has been a lot positive buzz around    the Oculus Rift. So far at every press conference it has not failed to amaze us. Gamers who got to try the Oculus Rift at CES 2014 were left satisfied by the results.

Oculus Rift provides us with the closest dream of playing a realistic game with us at the centre of the gaming experiance. This technology will be one for the future that may change the course of how we do gaming. The Oculus Rift has the potential to change other markets, so the scope of this system is not limited at all, in fact it has the potential to change how we interact with computer systems.