If the past year is an indication, 2014 is going to kick ass
2013 has been a phenomenal year full of all kinds of ups and downs, and on this final day of the year I sit here at the keyboard thinking back about all that has happened.
I could focus on all of the negative things, and that would be expected... after all, it wasn’t a stellar year without any hurdles. Linden Lab has done some seriously shady stuff this year, and caused all manner of uproar. But I won’t focus on that because it’s their problem and not mine.
I’ve taken a break from Second Life for various reasons, but most importantly because I’ve been on the Parallel Worlds project with Kevin Simkins. Oddly enough, that saying I had awhile back still holds true -
Our Second Life is in proportion to our First Life. When first life isn’t as skippy as we’d like it to be, we find solace in a Second Life and vice versa. A lot of people seemed to have disappeared from SL and as far as I can tell it’s because their first life picked up and improved making them too busy to log in.
Wurlitzer has been perpetually AFK for months now, and he’s been quite busy in real life. Mewlie is engaged to San in real life, and they’ve been spending a lot of time together, so there isn’t much time in-world for them either. As for myself, it’s been hectic with projects and I’ve hit that recurring ennui that we experience on a regular basis concerning virtual worlds in general.
So I’ve turned my attention to bigger things to keep me interested and busy.
Mainly doing the impossible... which is par for the course with me.
I’ve met all kinds of cool people over the last year... I got to talk with folks at NASA, USAF, and a number of high-end government/military contractors. Some of them with clearance levels that are high enough to tickle the foot of God... but that doesn’t alter my opinion of them.
There is (of course) my ongoing conversation with Mark Skwarek from Semblance AR which is proving to be absolutely amazing. There is a gentleman over at the Mobile Life Centre in Stockholm (Kim Nevelsteen) who is using my research paper as part of his PhD thesis and project, attempting to build one of the proposed components with my work as his guide.
Very awesome indeed, and I’m quite humbled.
Unrelated to Second Life, I’ve been a long-time moderator for a Minecraft server called 222Craft. Watching those players build amazing things and come up with mind-blowing Redstone contraptions has been an absolute highlight.
I got to have a wonderful discussion with Liza over at Primesense about the capabilities of their technology, and what the repercussion of being bought out by Apple entails. I’ve learned so much this year about technologies like pmd PhotonICs and time of flight sensors, stabilization techniques for geolocation based visualization, and have dived head-first into the details of polymorphic type data systems and symbiotic hybrid networking.
Somewhere along the line I also ended up in cahoots with Anthony Chvala who is currently an executive over at Sears but prior to that was at Groupon and Amazon.com. Quite an amazing guy Anthony is... but probably just as amazing is Kevin Russell over at Metawave, who I’ve also been having long talks with lately.
The past year has definitely been chock full of mind-blowing things, and I feel privileged that I get to engage with these people... even though the irony is that most of them feel honored to talk with me!
Looking back over the past year, I’m starting to see the bigger picture. At times I can be a total pain in the ass, and I’m fully aware of it – but then I get moments like this where I realize that there are some very important people hanging on my thoughts and opinions.
I mean, this was a year that I was offered access to 32 geo-synchronous satellites! I didn’t turn that offer down, by the way... I just have to figure out what the context is and make sure my clearance level covers access to them.
In the past year I’ve been exposed to such things as Admiral William McRaven at SOCOM and his mission to create the TALOS armor system (essentially it’s Iron Man). When presented the current offerings for AR information systems being considered, I made the mistake (?) of saying out loud that those were seriously low-tech.
I suppose all of the times people told me I looked like Tony Stark wasn’t that far off after all... sorta like fate clueing me in on what was to come.
Apparently my idea of cutting edge technology isn’t the same as most people, so what I take for granted isn’t so obvious to others. I think at this point I’ve become completely spoiled by high-technology. Which probably explains why I love playing Minecraft... just to unwind and not think about the Blue Waters Super Computing Center or Geo-Synchronous Satellites, etc...
It never really occurred to me until recently just how high-end access I’ve reached in life when it comes to technology.
For instance, when Indigo Mertel wrote a recent post about Patterns and Linden Lab including a materials editor that they named Substance Editor, she asked the question about whether or not Linden Lab had licensed Allegorithmic’s Substance system. In order to answer that question, I need not guess but instead I simply asked Sébastien Deguy (the CEO) who is on my skype contacts.
It’s his birthday today, by the way, and he said no they did not license Substance from them as far as he was aware, and seemed a little miffed that Linden Lab named their materials editor Substance.
In his defense, Linden Lab did pull a pretty dickish move there... making a materials editor and naming it Substance.
But I digress (as usual). I think 2013 has been an amazing year and that 2014 is going to be the year for an explosion of Augmented Reality systems and applications. I still can’t say what I’ve actually been up to with Parallel Worlds, but it has a little bit to do with AR in a sense... but that’s really just the tip of the iceberg.
Maybe this time next year I’ll be giving you a demonstration?