Posts

Is Meta's Metaverse really what the world needs right now?

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I started this blog in the late 00s to write about Transhumanism, Technology, and Virtual Reality. Technology has always been a passion. Growing up in the 80s I lived through an incredible evolution of electronics and computing. Mass mobile communication was a science fiction wonder I read about in the technology magazine Quest . My internet was Teletext , I wrote letters to pen pals. It was a time of hope and wonder for what the future of technology could bring. Until the last few years, this wonder has continued. Smart phones have brought us closer together, and the digital world has matured into a significant piece of our lives. I think it was the Apple watch when things changed for me. The iphone was an incredible, though incremental, world changing gadget. We all know that. But when the Apple watch was announced it became obvious that these technology companies had peaked. They were no longer about pushing boundaries, they were no longer interested in trying to evolve society with

Adventures without a smartphone

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Photo by Raychan on Unsplash I spent a day without a smartphone. As most of us have, I’ve grown addicted to the conveniences and dopamine hits of smartphones. So I decided to see how, and if, I would function without one. The night before I was due to go into the office, I took the SIM out of my Pixel 2 and inserted it into my old Nokia E63. In the morning, I got up, grabbed both phones, and headed for the train station. I had the Nokia in my pocket and my Pixel tucked away safely in my bag. I decided to take the Pixel too in case there was something urgent that I had forgotten about that I might need my phone for. I had no intention of using it. Also, I don’t have wifi at work, and I’m not sure if you’ve realised, but smartphones are almost useless without internet. Almost all apps require it, and those that don’t are not apps that you would generally spend a lot of time on. So without the SIM, I wasn’t likely to use the Pixel at all. I arrived at the station and had t

Free Roam VR is as immersive as it gets

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I recently visited Zero Latency — a Virtual Reality company specialising in free-roam experiences. I was expecting a fun, entertaining, but overall gimmicky experience. I was blown away. From the moment you put on the headset, you are immersed . What makes the experience so unique is the way that you have to physically interact. It starts when you pick up your gun. It’s really there, physically in front of you on the ground. And when you pick it up, you can see it in the game. You can see it and you can feel it. Then, you look around at your teammates. They are really there — physically and virtually. How far away they look is how far away they really are. You’re even guided by proximity warnings to stop you bumping into them. This actually increases your senses, essential when your eyes and ears are completely covered. The social element makes it so much fun. It’s hard to believe that’s a real person standing next to you. Not like in an online game where they’re miles

The Possibilities of Augmented Reality

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  The creative potential of Hololens and "Mixed Reality"is huge. There are a wide variety of applications we can develop for it. I believe the demos shown so far are barely scratching the surface of what we can do with the Hololens. Once the imagination of the development community warms up, we're going to see world changing ideas. Industries will be turned upside down, lives will be changed, and millionaires will be made. I'm going to make some assumptions on its abilities, but try and highlight some of the many directions we can take in creating for the interface of the future. Presence Sharing One of the most interesting uses for the Hololens is allowing others to share your experience, and interact with it. This opens up many prospects for communication and collaboration in virtually every industry. Think about how cool GoPro cameras are and what we're able to do with them. Now imagine seeing the video live and being able to interact with

R18 certificates are not an excuse for being a bad member of society

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I've been a gamer for 3 decades, seeing the games industry mature from dots on a screen into a prolific mainstream industry. I'm not afraid of controversy in games. I want to make it abundantly clear: I'm not advocating banning anything.  I've seen many disturbing titles, far worse than Grand Theft Auto. But this was when games were a cult market, and the technology was so basic, it was easy to dismiss the phenomenon. Now, games have matured. They can do more and they reach more people. Like movies and other entertainment, they have the power to influence society. With this influence comes some level of responsibility. It's not an obligation - games are art and should be able to push boundaries - but rape in a video game is not art. It's gratuitous indulgence in a sickness, a sickness that hides behind freedom of expression. If we're going to get philosophical about it (and I guarantee the proponents will) you could ask “where does it end? Should we

Guns Might Be the Least of Our Worries

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Whatever side of the gun debate you sit, it's important to remember why this is such a potent issue. It's not so much that guns kill, it's that they empower. Weapons have always elevated humans above other species and their peers, but none quite so much as the gun. And the ability to instantly kill without fail has been a game changer in our social order. This empowerment goes a long way in shaping our entire civilisation. In some countries, it is used to completely control the population in fear, in others, the same idea but a more subtle effect, we are forced to pay taxes and obey the law for threat of arrest at gunpoint. Guns tip the balance of power because of the ability they afford us. That it's the ability to kill is in no way insignificant, but the ability could be anything. They are an enabling technology. Enabling technology elevates individuals and shifts society's order. In the past, this has been fairly limited to weapons; guns, nuclear mis

The Ethical Implications of Dismantling the Planet Mercury

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George Dvorsky's article about How to Build a Dyson Sphere was absolutely fascinating and I feel the concept deserves much further exploration. "By enveloping the sun with a massive array of solar panels, humanity would graduate to a Type 2 Kardashev civilization capable of utilising nearly 100% of the sun's energy output. A Dyson sphere would provide us with more energy than we would ever know what to do with" Now, this is the kind of ridiculous, overambitious idea that that really captures my imagination. It would be a hyper structure, like the Hoover dam but on steroids, where we would create unfathomable devastation, calling on the skills and labour of thousands, enduring the harshest that nature can throw at us in order to tame it - all in the name of energy. Where the Hoover dam transformed a country, this would transform our entire solar system. But it's not without cost. And that's what I want to discuss. In order to get the materials to