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Future Tech

  • The case for QR codes

    There has been a lot said over the past few months (and probably longer) over whether or not QR codes are a good device for bridging the gap between the mobile world and the real one. But what is the real problem with QR codes and is there a place for them? How does a QR code work? The basic idea behind a QR code is that users who scan a QR code with their mobile device are directed to a mobile website where they can then interact with the site and either enter a competition or get additional information about...

  • Five reasons why QR codes are — mostly — a crock

    Dear everyone. Please stop using QR codes. Stop putting them on your billboards. Your posters. Your magazines. Your flyers. Your websites. Just stop. Until you sit down and think about it a lot more carefully. Thank you. It’s a funny thing when people get hold of a new technology. As people prone to hyperbole, we start shouting from the rooftops how this new thing is going to "revolutionise" (our favourite word) the way people communicate. With QR codes, we’re nattering on about how “virtual and real world communications have finally merged” and how we can now offer “a seamless consumer...

  • 10 of the most innovative Kinect hacks

    Now that the dust has settled over the Kinect bounty wars that had the open source community in a 'Kinect-driver' development frenzy and had Microsoft tap-dance around the whole debacle, we can safely return to the comfortable position of reviewing some of the most innovative features to have spawned from last year's hack-the-Kinect phenomenon. The release of an open-source Kinect driver for Windows has seen a huge spike in the number of "hacks", which range from simple 3D user interfaces to robotics, physical science applications and much more. Here's our extended list of some of the better Kinect Hacks: Autonomous Robotic...

  • Viewdle gives mobile phones the ability to ‘see’

    High-powered players are pumping US$10-million into Viewdle, a technology startup crafting ways that enable smartphones "see" things the same way people do and identify faces. The influx of cash announced this week is coming from Qualcomm, BlackBerry Partners Fund, US electronics retail chain Best Buy, and Anthem Venture Partners, an investment firm that has backed Viewdle from the outset. "We are giving smartphones human eyes," said Viewdle co-founder and chief executive Laurent Gil. "Letting them see the world the way people do... it is artificial intelligence," he said. "It is happening." Northern California-based Viewdle bills itself as the leading independent facial recognition company...

  • Augmented reality for everyone?

    Metaio has released a completely new version of its open augmented reality browser junaio, taking further steps in enabling everyone to create and experience mobile augmented reality. Version 2.0, which is now available in Apple’s App Store, offers new unique features such as indoor usage, web- and user-based information channels, and an open API for developers. With junaio, users can flip through channels like entertainment, nightlife, travel and many others, and see information digitally...

  • The future of social networking – a concept investigation with Augmented Reality

    Here are some concept designs that myself and ace designer Philip Langley put our heads together to create. It's an investigation into how social networking may work in the future, focusing on mobile and augmented reality (AR). Our investigations were inspired in particular by these brilliant (AR) concept drawings which I often use in presentations I give. There are some crude, but fascinating, implementations around too that inspired us. After some brainstorming and quite...

  • A vision of 2019: Interface eye candy

    It's a vision of the future from Microsoft Office Labs. If you're into interfaces and devices -- and how they may look in the future, you'll love the video below: (You can watch a crisper version too)var vglnk={key:"cc324b6567a9637aa0ff15bc9564b2a5"};!function(e,a){var t=e.createElement(a);t.type="text/javascript",t.async=!0,t.src="//cdn.viglink.com/api/vglnk.js";var n=e.getElementsByTagName(a);n.parentNode.insertBefore(t,n)}(document,"script");

  • The future of mobile computing

    I love these images.* It's a tale of what our future may look like. In many respects it's happening now, albeit in a crude form, via apps available for the JesusPhone like Locly, AroundMe and Snaptel. Locly and Aroundme instantly provides your phone with relevant information pertaining to your immediate location, aggregated from sources like flickr, twitter, blogs and wikipedia. Snaptel processes photos taken by your phone of real-world objects such as books, CDs,...