Saturday, August 29, 2009

Doctor, I'm hearing the voices again...

Via Wikipedia : "Augmented reality (AR) is a term for a live direct or indirect view of a real-world environment whose elements are supplemented with-, or augmented by computer-generated imagery. The augmentation is conventionally in real-time and in meaningful context with environmental elements. The term is believed to have been coined in 1990 by Thomas Caudell."

Proposed is an AR application that is capable of interpreting visual cues from the ‘real-world’ environment and making decisions based on the same. It will deal with vast amounts of data, collected from day-to-day life, and provide the user with meaningful information based on such data in the real-world, in real-time. This is an app intended for the system conceptualized by Pranav Mistry et. al. of MIT Media Lab’s Fluid Interfaces Group, details of which are available here.

The application, (which I'm calling 'Third-i'), would function as a virtual secretary, primarily concerned with notifying the user with relevant updates/reminders/information pertaining to appointments/deadlines/events of potential interest.

The system is customizable by nature, and the user is actively required to input his/her preferences into the database for optimal functionality. Based on the user’s preferences, the system designs an optimal schedule for him, (the schedule can be adjusted at the user’s discretion) and proactively issues ‘reminders’ to assure that the user adheres to it.

To illustrate, suppose you indicate your interest in live music. At a later date, you’re walking past a store, and you see a flyer for a rock concert. The imaging apparatus of the augmented reality system ‘sees’ the flyer, (i.e. captures an image of it) and scans it for relevant information (such as showtimes, dates, ticket pricing). It correlates and compares this information with your schedule for the day of the show, and queries you to gauge your interest. If you indicate your interest in attending the show, the system creates an entry in your schedule, checks online for the best prices, and makes a purchase based on your authorization.

The application could be customized to user-specification, as a permanent companion, able to issue alerts/reminders/event updates in real-time, either via e-mail, pop-up alerts or (my favourite) in the form of in-ear voice cues. A fully personalized 'avatar' for the application if you will, with the clipped tones of a butler; the sibilant voice of a beautiful woman; or even your dad, yelling at you to get out of bed and get your ass in gear. The options are limitless. And you'll never forget things like anniversaries, birthdays, and appointments again! XD

Suddenly, Champu (#56)

These are the ongoing chronicles of my roommate, Chimanlal Champu. Boldly going where no man has gone before, or indeed, should ever go again.

We're at home, eating dinner, and then suddenly; Champu.

Me : So I heard Abhishek Bachchan is going to be in the Indian remake of the Hangover..
Champu : O rly? Dude that guy is not hot
Me :
Champu : Dude, they need someone who is a little hot, and mischievous..
Me : ...
Champu (thinking aloud) : Hmmm.. now who are some hot, cute looking guys...?
Me : ..!..


EDIT Bonus Fact!

While I'm typing the fact above :

Me : [typing]
Champu : Dude, what're you doing? [trying to look at the screen]
Me : Posting Champu Facts
Champu : Oh. [continues to watch]
Me : ..?..
Champu (frustrated that im slowing down) : Dude, type faster man! I'm waiting to see what it is ...

Sunday, August 23, 2009

Them Bones

I'm at Molly MaGee's. Saturday night. Johnny Cash playing to the patio, walking the line, keeping himself sane, while America hunkers down, lies and misdirection flying thick and fast in the eye of the Cold War. Somewhere in time, there's a Russian girl trying to catch my eye. Another place, another time, and I'm lighting Elena's cigarette, her eyes gleaming turqoise within the flame. Now I'm drunk and puking my miserable guts out in an alleyway somewhere in San Francisco, clutching my side because it hurts like I've lost something very important.

The stars move on and keep on going. In circles, in spirals, constellations morphing into mocking figures, leering at me, smug like only the dead can afford to be. And I'm on my back and not moving, not getting up, lost in time, lost in space, miles away.

And I'm three years ago, eight thousand miles away.

Then I'm here, here and now, but you've gone and moved away.

This is the tragedy, here in the now, even though I'm here I'm still eight thousand miles away. Two years ago and counting backwards all the while. Now its one, now its two, and three's the worst of all, 'cos I haven't even met you yet and everything is telling me you're coming in fast. The sun shines through my window one day, and the light is strange, translucent, as if filtered through your hair. But surely you must see, this isn't how it could possibly be. Because you're still one year away, and getting closer all the while, and wherever you are, you're certainly not here.

Apple-cinnamon jam, and toasted bread and melting chocolate, and the taste of your sweat in the hot summer heat of your room. And I'm seventeen months ago, eight thousand miles away. And this is here, this is now, I'm three city blocks away but you've gone away again I don't know how far or how long.

Not that it matters, 'cos my chains are learning and they're tight and they're binding and they keep me still. Tied to two years ago. So many miles away.

When are you coming home? Not that it matters, I'm not really here, this isn't me, I'm just a pretender, shadow in time where's my light? Even moths know that they will burn. Me, I'm just a passenger, trapped in a temporal Moebius strip.

A smell, a taste, a fragment of memory, and I'm gone.