Newsletter | May 25th, 2017
This week we’re talking about MLB getting in on virtual reality, Danish augmented reality windows, blockchain for environmental sustainability, and the PGA using augmented reality to up their viewers’ game.
VIRTUAL REALITY . MLB joins in on 3D fun ⚾
This coming June the MLB is launching their own virtual reality app. The MLB has been really stepping up to the tech-plate lately, with recent approval of new wearables during competitive gameplay. The first wrist-based wearable for the MLB, WHOOP, just got approval in March to help players measure strain levels. So, what kind of stuff can you do in the MLB’s VR app?
First off, the VR app is actually an update to the MLB’s At-Bat game-streaming app. Bad news, it’s only compatible with Google’s Daydream platform. Sorry Samsung Gear VR or Google Cardboard users 😞. And not to steal the fun, but the actual games will displayed in boring old two-dimensional form. For this app, imagine being surrounded by walls, with each wall being an app screen with player statistics and scores. Doesn’t seem like a homerun of an app, but maybe a 1st base hit?
AR . Smarter windows better than AR goggles & glasses? 🚀
If you’re not looking to sport those hip Google Glasses, or Microsoft’s own version announced last week, then maybe the idea of augmented reality windows is up your alley. The Danish 🇩🇰 company Realfiction cleverly announced their new AR window product in Copenhagen this week. It’s called DeepFrame. If there’s an AR engineer reading this, don’t you wish you thought of that name?
At the national aquarium in Copenhagen, the Realfiction team stealthily set up a DeepFrame and simulated a rocket launching out on the water to the shock of onlookers. It was part of marketing move, sure, but the spectators seemed pretty impressed. There’s already a lot of interest in this technology for advertising, with big clients like Louis Vuitton and Tag Heuer working with the Danish company. Will we need smart glasses just to tell us what is real and what isn’t? 🤔
“SusTECH” . Blockchain adding accountability to environmental sustainability?
The blockchain is doing more than make some cryptocurrency speculators rich. Its use can be applied to enforcing intellectual property, data security, and health & life insurance to name a few. And now, it’s being considered to help protect the environment. First, a refresher on blockchain. Blockchain is a digital ledger in which transactions are recorded publicly, and immutably. What’s key is that these transactions can’t be modified or copied, building trust. These transactions don’t need to be trade a cryptocurrency like bitcoin, but any piece of information.
When it comes to environmental problems, many issues can be traced to a fundamental corruption of information. This past week, Swedish ecologist Guillaume Chapron walked through an example of how falsified information in the the supply chain of fish and other natural resources results in environmentally unsustainable products entering the market. Hypothetically, a blockchain-based supply chain would guarantee that the products you buy are truly coming from their purported sources. That extreme accountability could go a long way. 🌱
AR . AR now being used for analyzing golf ⛳
In a sport all about evaluating distance and elevation, being confined to a 2D screen can be a bit limiting. This past week hosts of the PGA TOUR incorporated augmented reality in its golf analysis during The Players Championship. Well, they actually filmed the segment with a paper model and then added augmented images in post-production. But for the purposes of the viewer, they were able to navigate the course in a completely new way.
For a sport looking to engage younger users, this might do the trick. Much like the MLB’s efforts, the PGA TOUR has been offering virtual reality content through a Samsung Gear App, and augmented reality content with Microsoft’s HoloLens.