Newsletter | June 29th, 2017
This week we’re talking about playing 🕹️ Super Mario Bros. in Central Park, an AR iOS app for real-time measuring, smelling with VR 👃, and one state down (Florida), 46 to go for legalizing robot delivery.
AR . It’s Me, Mario, in Central Park 🌲
Abhishek Singh is our hero. This past week, the developer released a video of himself playing Super Mario Bros. in Central Park. Oh, the most important part… he played it in augmented reality! Step aside, Pokemon Go. The video shows Singh dressed up as Mario, going through the first level, jumping over level gaps, unlocking coins and mushrooms. Considering how smooth the gameplay is, it’s impressive to hear there wasn’t any post-production editing involved.
It seems Singh portrayed the first level to a T, he was able to also jump on Goombas, kick Koopa Troopa shells, and even grab a Fire Flower and turn into Fire Mario. It’s pretty incredible to see all the different ways Super Mario Bros. has been imagined on different devices. But so far, this has to top them all. At the moment the game isn’t publically available, but let’s hope that Nintendo has something in the works.
More AR . AR rulers rule, real rulers…👎
Ok this app isn’t out yet, but it will be this coming fall when iOS 11 launches. Laan Labs will be releasing AR Measure, an app that allows you to measure objects with your iPhone. This is great for a variety of reasons. First, what if you don’t own a tape measure in the first place? Second, ok you have one, but where did you put it? And third, it really shows how AR can be a practical tool and not just a game. Though, there is nothing wrong with all the cool AR games coming out (see above).
For their demo video, released this week, they show a virtual ruler right alongside a real one. It’s accurate, and the technology supporting it is surprisingly complex. Laan Labs gives credit to ARKit, Apple’s platform for developing augmented reality software. AR apps generally use not just camera input, but also compass, accelerometer,and gyroscope information to determine exactly how a phone is positioned to ultimately simulate pixels on top of reality in real-time.
VR . Adding smell to VR, it’s here 👃👾
VR has been playing some tricks on your brain with some insanely convincing visual stimuli. So why not add smell to the mix? VAQSO VR is a VR attachment to headsets that adds smell to the experience. The built in cartridges pack a punch and directly tie to real-time VR experiences. If you walk into a virtual room with coffee, the smell of coffee gets stronger as you walk closer to the source.
Smell merged with VR actually isn’t a new phenomenon. FealReal has been around for a few years now. But, when FealReal came out it almost covered your entire face, like a motorcycle helmet. It was a lot to put on your head, and put your neck to the test. The VAQSO is pretty clever as it should be able to be added to the many different VR headsets that are coming out. The real story is probably all the hilarious QA testing involved in making the smells work correctly. 😤
LEGAL . Robot delivery is gaining ground, legally
We’ve written quite a bit about drone delivery, robot delivery, and other cool delivery technology advancements here and there. But, what about the legality of it all? This past week, Florida became the fourth state to allow robot delivery on sidewalks. One company, Starship Technologies, has been a major force behind bringing this legislation forward. Florida is joining Virginia, Wisconsin and Idaho.
A major focus been reconciling the convenience and efficiency of robot delivery with public safety. For example, one major condition within the legal approval was that the autonomous robots could be taken over manually if necessary. Other conditions were limits on weight (80 pounds max), and speed (not more than 10 miles an hour). Naturally, the thought here is, the slower and lighter it is the less damage it can do. Ah, just looking forward to a Snickers bar on demand, and all the other inevitable guilt-free deliveries bound to happen.