Imagine wearing glasses that could amplify your awareness of changes in your environment in real time.
For example, if you were looking for a needle in a haystack, the glasses would work like a subtle Instagram filter to make any bright, shiny object stand out from the hay, allowing you to find that elusive needle.
The glasses could alert the wearer to potential dangers as they happen, a feature particularly useful in high-risk environments such as construction sites.
They could also highlight mechanical parts in jet engine that require attention, such as a loose screw.
The rise of glasses with an integrated semi-transparent display in the user's view, known as "optical see-through head-mounted displays", or OSTHMDs, offer the potential to move beyond what is possible with purely optical prescription glasses.
However, glasses currently on the market are not designed for enhancing our vision but for games and other augmented reality applications.
Dr Tobias Langlotz of the University of Otago has been awarded a $300,000 grant to develop a computational prototype for glasses that will enhance, rather than alter, the visual field of the user.
He will design the hardware and software aimed at conventional-style eyewear that senses and amplifies the environment using a semi-transparent display with pixel-perfect precision.
The resulting glasses will provide subtle cues to the wearer so that they are not distracted from the task at hand, or have the feeling of being controlled by the glasses.
This project will contribute substantially to the growing field of wearable and visual computing and the results may also even help extend human vision and compensate for visual impairments.
Are Games Teaching Our Kids To Gamble?
Video games are big business and here in New Zealand, their development makes up our fastest growing technology export sector.
Yet politicians, gamers, and parents around the world have sounded serious concerns about the recent emergence of gambling-related design features in video games, particularly those available to children.
Traditionally, video gamers were rewarded for their skills in mastering the game, but now many video games are starting to feature what are called "loot boxes"- some of which can be unlocked and sold with real money.
It's thought this type of reward might lead to children quickly developing new behaviours which produce habits typically seen in conventional gambling.
To date, there has been almost no research exploring the potential psychological and financial risks that these gambling-related features pose.
In a new $300,000 project, Dr Aaron Drummond from Massey University, along with Dr James Sauer of the University of Tasmania and Professor Christopher Ferguson, of Stetson University in the US, will examine the psychological impact that in-game gambling-related features have on video game players
The researchers will combine online surveys of gamers with experimental psychology studies to examine how in-game random reward systems affect player behaviour.
The results will help identify the extent of excessive gameplay behaviour and the psychological and financial harm associated with these gambling-related mechanisms.
As New Zealand has more video game developers per capita than any country in the worldand with the games industry set to figure prominently our economic future and social lives - this research is both critical and timely.
I am associated with an IT museum (Techvana - https://techvana.org.nz/).
We are at the moment looking to improving and expanding its usefulness, so we have been looking at our Vision Plan for 2018 2019, an expensive project, however whilst looking through the plans, I had a thought. We are constantly looking for useful exhibits reflecting the past, but also it path through the present into the future.
Those who have been involved in the use of computing could well have equipment from yesteryear stacked away in some back cupboard that is WELL beyond its use-by date that could be of use as a display, provided that it is in a condition (or easily made so) worthy of display in a technology museum. Its origin would, if desired, be acknowledged.
This applies to ANYTHING in the way of computing data storage or processing, personal computers, gaming, telecommunications, Hollerith cards/readers or similar, programming and software, etc, etc. The older the better.
I dont expect a flood of offers, but if this elicits even just two or three items, it will have been worth it and it will have cleared some space for you to fill again !!
Some very interesting bits part way down the article
A couple of links to articles on the ethics of AI in a New Zealand context: