Microsoft’s new technology transforms your room into a video game

In an unprecedented and long-awaited move, Microsoft has patented a new gaming console that blends projector and Xbox/Kinect technology to take the video game environment literally outside the box and into your home.  The patent should serve to keep Google’s competing Interactive Spaces project at bay, a project that also uses projection and cameras to map locations and movement using blob-tracking.  The console, being touted as Xbox 720/Kinect V2, projects the 360 degree video game display onto all four of your walls, encompassing you in the game and making your room into the game environment.  It tracks furniture positions and adjusts the projection to visually eliminate them from the environment.

Thanks to science, we are one step closer to creating the Holodeck.   I’m so excited that this is happening in my lifetime.  I think it’s something that every gamer has dreamed of at least once in his or her childhood.  The project is estimated to be under construction for another few years.  In the meantime, you can start working on your startle response so you don’t wet yourself when Left 4 Dead’s Hunter pops out from behind your bed.

Here’s some more technical context for the ‘Immersive Display Experience”  (Source: US Patent via WP7’s site.)

A data-holding subsystem holding instructions executable by a logic subsystem is provided. The instructions are configured to output a primary image to a primary display for display by the primary display, and output a peripheral image to an environmental display for projection by the environmental display on an environmental surface of a display environment so that the peripheral image appears as an extension of the primary image.

An interactive computing system configured to provide an immersive display experience within a display environment, the system comprising: a peripheral input configured to receive depth input from a depth camera; a primary display output configured to output a primary image to a primary display device; an environmental display output configured to output a peripheral image to an environmental display; a logic subsystem operatively connectable to the depth camera via the peripheral input, to the primary display via the primary display output, and to the environmental display via the environmental display output; and a data-holding subsystem holding instructions executable by the logic subsystem to: within the display environment, track a user position using the depth input received from the depth camera, and output a peripheral image to the environmental display for projection onto an environmental surface of the display environment so that the peripheral image appears as an extension of the primary image and shields a portion of the user position from light projected from the environmental display.

[0002] An immersive display environment is provided to a human user by projecting a peripheral image onto environmental surfaces around the user. The peripheral images serve as an extension to a primary image displayed on a primary display.

[0003] This Summary is provided to introduce a selection of concepts in a simplified form that are further described below in the Detailed Description. This Summary is not intended to identify key features or essential features of the claimed subject matter, nor is it intended to be used to limit the scope of the claimed subject matter. Furthermore, the claimed subject matter is not limited to implementations that solve any or all disadvantages noted in any part of this disclosure.

Source: US Patent via WP7’s site.



American Drones to Delay Flights Even More…and more

It’s a bird! It’s a plane! It’s Superma–wait…

It’s a drone.

While these UAV’s (unmanned aerial vehicles) have long been in use for military purposes, Congress just passed a new bill for 2015 that allows the drones to patrol above civilian ground for any purpose–commercial, private, and military.  I have so many hang ups on this, I don’t even know where to start.  Mostly, I’m starting to think that we are taking one too many notes from George Lucas (and that’s coming from a huge Star Wars fan, by the way).

What does this mean for us? Here’s what comes to mind for me.

1. All flights will be delayed at some point or another by some stupid company’s broken drone.

2. Companies as well as the government can stalk you from their computers and use you as data.

3. Is this safe, for both people and the environment?

4. Is this necessary, and does it aid in the creation of jobs?

I enjoy being able to go for walks and not once have the question cross my mind of whether or not some company is seeing which bar on Clark I walk into, and then selling that data to some crappier bar.  Marketing research companies will haul in the cash monitoring people’s actions and selling the results. But is it good for people?  Since we’re allowing them to watch us, shouldn’t we be getting a cut? I think any company that uses these drones for commercial purposes should get slammed come tax time. Absolutely. Slammed.

I don’t think that commercial drones have any place in our airspace.  They already have satellites-let that be enough.  I do think this is an invasion of privacy, and an unnecessary one.  When you think of all the real problems in the world, this is just another action that proves Congress is full of crooked people who live for the money, not the love.  America is built on the values of life, liberty, and justice–but this takes our definition of “liberty” to a new low.  Justice is being taken care of by our police force, so why do we need flying video cameras so badly?

It's not 1984, it's 2015.

Plus, when one considers facial recognition software developed by companies like Facebook, it’s just all too stalker-ish.  I’d hate to be a celebrity with TMZ drones flying overhead.

What do you think? Do you like the idea of being watched all the time?  Because I’ll bet you didn’t when you were streaking through the sorority quads at your college oh-so-many years ago….

Read TIME’s article by Keith Wagstaff here

Gawker’s “Privacy Death Stars Approved by Congress”