Last updated April 13, 2017

Conferences provide the opportunity to assemble like-minded people together to share and disseminate knowledge and ideas. They provide a place for people to meet face to face and learn about what each other are doing and thinking through formal presentation and informal dialog. They serve as a catalyst for ideas to recombinate and minds to meld and often result in the advancement of research or commercialization.

There are a number of conferences around the world that are focused on different aspects of Augmented Reality. The number of events and their far flung locations point to the fact that AR is truly a global phenomenon. Some of these are commercially oriented, some are scientific while others are focused on the social aspects of the technology. I have listed conferences that are either centered on augmented reality or feature AR prominently in their program. In my research I found that there are many other conferences that are adding sessions and topics on augmented reality in order to introduce their audiences to the future of what’s to come within the context of their respective industries and disciplines. These conferences where AR is a merely tangential topic are not listed here. All in this list are known to be currently active. Read More →

david a. smith wearality2

At last month’s Augmented World Expo I had a chance to sit down with David Smith, CTO and co-founder of Wearality, for a conversation about how the Sky open source headset came to be. I had never heard of David or Wearality prior to arriving at the conference. During my first lap of the Exhibitor Expo I came across the Wearality booth, which was really just a high table with a poster hanging behind it and a few early production samples scattered about. The appearance was decidedly more start-up than established business. Next to the table was a man (who turned out to be David Smith) exuberantly extolling the virtues of his product to an attendee. The other company representatives were also deeply engaged, so I poked around at the plastic lens framesets sitting on the table but didn’t have any context to understand what I was looking at. It didn’t seem that I would be able to get attention any time soon so I moved on.

Shortly thereafter I found myself at the Smart Glass Introductions conference session where founders and executives from nine AR and VR glasses makers were given a few minutes each to promote the progress on their products. When it was David’s turn, he took the stage with no slides to show, no demo and no rehearsed spiel — a disposition that matched the sparse vibe of his booth. With the confidence of a quarterback, he launched into a brief promotion of the Wearality Sky that made the product sound absolutely revolutionary. “We think this is a game changer, in fact we know this is,” he pronounced. Read More →

The assertion that the pornography industry has always been at the cutting edge of the adoption and exploitation of new developments in communication technology has pretty much reached axiomatic status. Perhaps the most storied example of this is its fateful selection of VHS over the superior Betamax because of JVC’s decision to lower the cost of the tape duplication machines for production companies. But the demands of the porn industry are also often credited for the accelerated adoption of other technologies such as Polaroid photos and Super 8 film; pay per view and interactive TV; camcorder, DVD, and Blu-Ray; World Wide Web, VoIP, e commerce payments, and video chat. Arguably the Internet itself would not have grown so quickly without the bandwidth demanding, low friction, high privacy enablement of porn consumption.

The question at hand (pun intended) is whether the pornography industry will now step up and push the agenda for virtual technologies? Will pornography change from something we view to something we experience? Can augmented and virtual reality expand the way humans communicate and experience their sexuality? What are the technologies that will play a role in this transformation and how will they be used? What will be the social impacts of the availability of these experiences and how will they change society? These are all very heady questions that I intend to explore in this post.

[Warning! This article is NSFW] Read More →

In my previous post, I explored the many definitions of augmented reality and what it means to persons with different perspectives. In this post I have set out to couch augmented reality in the context of other related concepts in order to further define the space where it exists and better understand the distinction between AR and these related terms. Read More →