Pokemon Go Is Driving Insane Amounts of Sales at Small Local Businesses. Here\’s How It Works | Inc.com

Augmented reality is no longer a fringe curiosity. It’s having real commercial potential.

For $1.19 an hour, you can have more customers than you’ve ever seen in your life

Source: Pokemon Go Is Driving Insane Amounts of Sales at Small Local Businesses. Here\’s How It Works | Inc.com

Empire produces cyber-gladiators

The first thing I thought when I saw this IndieGoGO campaign was, “Oh, great, now we have gladiators.” For indeed, everything about this smacks of spectacle, and the appropriation of cultural legacies to serve the collapsing core. So much of this reminds me of “The Hunger Games,” and Ancient Rome. It also speaks to the proliferation of a culture of combat, the continued militarization of everyday life, the socialization of young men for aggression, and therefore preparation for war, and all the downstream consequences like violence against women.

The other thing I saw in was a culture of rich “wankers” buying this stuff—wankers being not only British slang, but a term used by cyclists to denote people with all the best equipment, but no cycling skill. How to countervail these tendencies, augmented by the digital?

‘Anki Overdrive’ Bringing Modular Tracks and New Cars to AI Racing Game – Mac Rumors

Anki Overdrive

More augmented reality for fun and games.

Anki today announced a sequel to its innovative iOS-compatible Anki Drive slot car racing game. Called “Anki Overdrive” and set for launch in September, it will include brand new cars, a customizable track – courtesy of magnetically interlocking track pieces and “bridges” that adjust track height – and even jump ramps (via Re/code).

Originally debuted on stage at WWDC 2013, Anki has slowly grown support for the original Anki Drive by adding new cars and track support but keeping the same basic static roll-out mat technology. The sequel, which the company plans to announce today at the New York Toy Fair, will retain the same basic concept of using a smartphone to control a physical toy car around a track, battling against an A.I. opponent or other players.

via ‘Anki Overdrive’ Bringing Modular Tracks and New Cars to AI Racing Game – Mac Rumors.

Augmented Education

I know that I am supposed to like this product because of its advertising—the simulacra of spontaneous discovery and multicultural cast—but I do anyway.

Here is a wonderful example of subordinating the machine to the use of actual “manipulatives” in a potentially one–to–many relationship with children. Here the machine facilitates action and interaction IRL, “in real life.” I love the simplicity of the hardware, a plastic stand, plastic–housed mirror for the front–facing camera, and plastic manipulatives; and the sophistication of the artificially intelligent classroom.

I can only hope that this would be adopted in classrooms that already have iPads in use. I give you Osmo, “play beyond the screen.”

A Chinese Company 3D-Printed 10 Houses In A Day – Business Insider

3D-Printed House

Every day, I think we head closer to the world of cyberpunk, in this case to Neal Stephenson’s grand vision of The Diamond Age.

There’s a lot you can do with a 3D printer. Now add “building a house in a day” to the list.

Make that 10 houses.
The WinSun Decoration Design Engineering Co. has printed 10 homes in 24 hours out of recycled materials.

via A Chinese Company 3D-Printed 10 Houses In A Day – Business Insider.

Kid Cyborg

I loved seeing this report about the Dad who printed his kid a cybernetic prosthesis. The unthinkable is always just around the corner, and next door.

Two years ago, Paul McCarthy began searching for an inexpensive yet functional prosthetic hand for his son Leon, who was born without fingers on one of his hands. McCarthy came across a video online with detailed instruction on how to use a 3-D printer to make a prosthetic hand for his son. Michelle Miller reports.


The Professor Who Printed a Handgun – Wired Campus – The Chronicle of Higher Education

The Liberator

This is only the latest example of “augmented reality,” in which the material world is somehow enhanced by the digital. The implications of a 3D printed handgun are staggering enough before considering the myriad ways in which the digital continues to colonize the material. What is the impact on our legal and other societal systems, in which we respect the free flow of information, but there is increasing impetus to control firearms?

People have often seen cyberspace as separate from the physical world. But technologies like the augmented reality of Google Glass or the desktop manufacturing of three-dimensional printing are blurring that line. As the digital and physical converge, the results will have “a transformational effect on the nature of human experience,” says Matt Ratto, a critical-information scholar at the University of Toronto.For starters, people will be able to print gun parts.Mr. Ratto drove home that reality recently in an academic project that has provoked widespread discussion across Canada. Using the 3-D printer in his critical-making lab, housed at the university’s Robarts Library, he printed a nonworking handgun. It’s called the “Liberator.” Mr. Ratto and his colleagues assembled it from plastic components that were produced from a blueprint downloaded off the Web.

via The Professor Who Printed a Handgun – Wired Campus – The Chronicle of Higher Education.

3D-Printed Skull Implant Ready for Operation

Welcome to the latest therapeutic cyborgology. The possibilities are quite staggering. This is nothing new. When I was a kid, one of the dads involved with Cub Scouts had a metal plate in his head, courtesy of service to his country (Vietnam, if memory serves). This would be so much better.

3D printing technology has helped replace 75% of a patient’s skull with the approval of U.S. regulators.

The 3D-printed implant can replace the bone in people’s skulls damaged by disease or trauma, according to Oxford Performance Materials. The company announced it had received approval from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration for its skull implant on Feb. 18 — a decision that led to the first U.S. surgical operation on March 4.

“We see no part of the orthopedic industry being untouched by this,” said Scott DeFelice, president of Oxford Performance Materials.


DeFelice’s company is already selling 3D-printed implants overseas as a contract manufacturer. But the FDA decision has opened the door for U.S. operations using the implants.

via 3D-Printed Skull Implant Ready for Operation.

Brown University creates first wireless, implanted brain-computer interface | ExtremeTech


We take another deceptively incremental step toward “transhumanism.”

Researchers at Brown University have succeeded in creating the first wireless, implantable, rechargeable, long-term brain-computer interface. The wireless BCIs have been implanted in pigs and monkeys for over 13 months without issue, and human subjects are next.

via Brown University creates first wireless, implanted brain-computer interface | ExtremeTech.

While the article discusses, and posts a video of, welcome applications for the disabled, it also alludes to the possibility of “elective” applications. The possibilities are mind–boggling. Just because we can do something, does that mean we should?