5 Years into the Future

(Attributed to Loic Le Meur)

Smartglass: one of our future technology

Your smartphone wakes you up with the newest alarm app. There’s no sound you can hear — no loud ringing, jingling noise that tends to wake up your neighbours instead of you — because this app doesn’t need any. Its sensor just detects when you’re in your lightest sleep state, and then it vibrates and emits sound that’s inaudible to human ears but nevertheless can bring you back from your sleep state.

You get up, and immediately after, you’re greeted with a “Good morning, owner” from your smartphone. You say, “What’s today’s schedule?” and one of Siri’s younger siblings (which you can give a personal name) opens the corresponding apps and gives you the to-do list for today. Then you say, “Check my email” and automatically the Intelligent Voice opens your inbox and chirps a brief summary for each new message.

After taking a bath and making some breakfast, you turn on the TV and check out today’s news. No remote is needed. You just voice the command “Turn On” and the TV will do so. You slide your hand in the air, a few inches from the screen, and the TV will browse through the channel, without any static interference in-between.

It’s time to go to work. You pick up your smartglass — if not Google Glass then certainly one of its younger siblings — and connect it to your smartphone. It may take a few seconds until it’s ready, so you use that time to set up your smartphone on the small holder on the car’s dashboard, and automatically it will connect to the car, wirelessly. Then you say to your smartglass, “Show direction to my workplace” and the glass accesses the map apps you have and detects the traffic condition for each street. Another few seconds later, a semi-transparent map appears on your smartglass, detailing the best directions from here on.

As you get closer to the downtown area, you notice one or two flying car above the busy street, looking all luxurious or (because lately there’s been a lot of rains) merely disheveled. You say, “Take a picture” and your smartglass captures the image of that flying car. And with a few more voice commands, you edit the photos, changing the colouring and the brightness, and post it in the latest social network.

***

Don’t you think this is like something out of sci-fi movies? But all of these might come true in 5 years time — or even less.

Even now we’ve had the Sleep Cycle app, which — as mentioned above — can detect various sleep state you’re in and only wake you up when you’re in the lightest sleep state (i.e., when you’re the easiest to wake up). This app still uses a little bit of noise to wake you up, but compared to how loud the old days’ alarm clocks can be, this one is super quiet. So, in 5 years time, it’s possible the developers will find a way to wake us up without causing any ruckus. I know I don’t like waking up because of my next-room neighbour’s alarm, so this one will be very useful.

You must’ve heard of Siri: the Intelligent Voice feature in iOS that can — through your vocal command — search Google, check contacts, set up calendars and other automatic responses. But frankly, the current Siri sucks. I’ve tried it a few times and it never does what I tell it to do. I said, “Search Google for Iron-Man” and it came up with “abandonment”. I said, “Search Google for Sherlock Holmes” and it came up with various articles about humps. Humps! Is this because Siri can’t detect accents yet?

I hope the future Intelligent Voice will be easier to deal with. I know Cortana — the Intelligent Voice for Windows Phone — is under development, but who knows how its performance will be.

We’ve heard of remote-free TVs for some time — the kind of TVs that doesn’t require any remote because your voice and the movement of your hand are enough to control it. I’ve seen one of those some time ago and frankly, it looks pretty awesome. But the price is also awesome, so I prefer to wait until it gets a little bit cheaper. In 5 years time, though, it’s possible the remote-free TVs will replace most of the current TVs.

The first smartglass — or Intelligent Glass, or Personal Glass, or whatever it will be called — will be available for consumers in 2014. Google Glass it is called, although rumour has it that Microsoft is also developing another smartglass that will rival this upcoming gadget. Today, a war between smartphones; tomorrow, a war between smartglasses. And even until now I’m still not sure how people already wearing glasses can wear this gadget.

The world’s first flying car will be ready for sales in 2015, according to US company Terrafugia. Sadly, it’s still expensive (nearly $300,000) and to drive it you’ll need at least 20 hours flying experience (which means more money for the flying practice). But a lot of things can happen in 3 years, so by 2018 — who knows? Maybe a number of you will have flew around in your cars. When that happens, should I call you “drivers” or “pilots”?

All of these are just speculations, of course — speculations based on what we’ve had today and the info we’ve got on coming technology. Some of these might be take longer time until it’s ready for consumers, while the rest might be released for consumers but don’t work as well as promised. Things happen. Still, it’s kinda exciting to see what our life will be like in 5 years time.

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Virtual Retinal Display: A Different Approach to Virtual Reality

No, I promise: It WON’T look like this.

The future equals to virtual reality. That seems to be the message developers are trying to say when more and more efforts are poured into the development of VR devices. The latest one is Avegant’s Virtual Retinal Display, of which the consumer-friendly prototype will be ready early next year.

VR itself is not something new. The idea has existed a long time in popular fiction, including the game .Hack franchise and the anime Sword Art Online. And of course, we’ve had other VR devices such as MyVu, HMZ-T1 and — the one that recently makes a notable ripple in the tech world — Oculus Rift.

But Virtual Retinal Display uses a different concept altogether. If its predecessors are developed by placing a high-resolution screen on the back side of the glasses-like exterior, Virtual Retinal Display projects light directly into your eyes. This concept allows for higher resolution imagery and less eye strain.

What many of us want to know next, of course, is how this device will react to the user’s eye movement. Its predecessors require us to move our heads if we want to see left and right. But because Virtual Retinal Display projects light directly into our eyes, is it possible to make a sidelong glance and still see those virtual surroundings without turning our heads at all? It will be interesting to see how Avegant is going to address this matter.

Unlike Oculus Rift, Virtual Retinal Display is not created with VR gaming in mind. Avegant plans to focus its development towards mobile video entertainment. Which is why the company is currently developing a new design for the device — one that won’t embarrass the users when worn in public.

However, this does not mean VR gaming will not be possible. Given how in the past arcade gaming adapted to the development of TVs, I find there are a lot of reasons to remain optimistic.

You can follow the development of this fancy device in their Twitter: https://twitter.com/avegant

(Source: cNetKotaku)

Wishlist: Preview of Batman Arkham Origins

The bad-ass Batman. Attributed to HarryBana.

“I don’t care who does it. I don’t care how they go.” In one Christmas Eve, The Black Mask watches, impassive, as his henchmen bring in today’s victim and forces him down to his knees. Another henchman hands over a still-burning cigarette and The Black Mask bends down, letting the red light illuminate his grinning skull.

“I just want The Bat dead,” he whispers — and fills the victim’s eye with a Christmas present: a red-hot cigarette end.

***

In another place and in the later time, a man wakes up to find himself hanging upside down with The Batman holding on his leg. “Where’s The Black Mask?” the dark knight demands, then drops him from the clock tower. Soon the cord around his leg twangs and the man is a big yo-yo, bawling his eyes out and banging his face on the clock’s surface. Then The Batman hears the man’s phone ring, informing him of his destination: Diamond District Tower.

>> Read the rest of this article here.

This article is my attempt for the narrative game writing that seems quite popular nowadays. I’ve seen it for a while, but embarrassingly enough I’ve never tried it until now. It doesn’t seem much different from the standard short-story writing I did all the time — except that I’ve seen the visual before I describe it in writing. Which is far more fun.

This game has a lot more cool stuffs to write about — the detective vision, for example — but I’ve already hit the word limit. (I might need to work around this problem later.) If you’re interested, you can check out the video from which I write this story down: http://goo.gl/bOhQ5P

Batman: Arkham Origins is coming to PS3, Xbox 360, Wii U and PC on 25 October.

Wishlist: Upcoming Superhero Movies that Look Bad-Ass

Superhero Movie Art. Attributed to marvelousRoland http://flic.kr/p/bCsgvb

Superhero movie art (attributed to marvelousRoland)

A few days ago I re-watched Kick-Ass. And since then I’ve had this craving for more superhero movies.

But like in all cases of waiting for something, that something never comes out soon enough. Especially with all the hints and teasers of what will happen in these movies, which make me less and less patient. So, I thought, I might as well take note of which superhero movies are coming to the cinema, starting from the end of this year and beyond.

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Thor: The Dark World (November 2013)

The last one that will appear in the cinema this year — to be exact, next month — before the five months of waiting for the next movie.

In Iron Man 3 we have seen what’s happening in Tony Spark’s life following the events in The Avengers, so I can’t wait to see what’ll happen with the rest of the team. But what makes me really go frenzy is that, this time, Loki — who’s played the supervillain role in Thor and The Avengers — is going to work together with his brother. In the last few days the internet has been full of bromance speculation of the two. If you’re a fan you may make a high-pitched fan-girl scream right now.

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Captain America: The Winter Soldier (April 2014)

I wasn’t too happy with the previous Captain America movie, so the only reason I put this in the wishlist is to see what will happen to him after the events in The Avengers. Fingers crossed, may this movie be better than the first.

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The Amazing Spiderman 2 (May 2014)

I love the first movie. Peter Parker’s new personality is much spicier than the all-around good-boy of the previous trilogy (which is epic, nonetheless). Also looking forward to any possibility of Spiderman crossover with another superhero. Fantastic Four is a good one — I heard Spidey’s first comic book appearance has something to do with his attempt to join Fantastic Four. True or not true?

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Transformer: Age of Extinction (June 2014)

I don’t really follow the news updates for this movie, since I’m disappointed with Transformers 3. It was too full of damsel-in-distress scenes. The heroine (I’ll remember her name in a minute …) can do nothing but screaming and waiting to be rescued — unlike the previous two movies where she really take part in the events that are happening. Hopefully the fourth instalment will be better.

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X-Men: Days of Future Past (July 2015)

The Wolverine is awesome. If you haven’t watched it, watch it right now. I can’t wait to see what Logan is going to do next, especially after what’s happened with his claws …

There’s also a rumour going around that Logan will die in this coming movie.

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The Avengers 2 (May 2015)

I must admit, the first Avengers movie is epic. I was sceptical at first, since it was the first superhero crossover movie, but it turned out better than I dared to imagine. The downside, of course, if you want to enjoy it fully, you’ll have to watch the previous movies related to each of the superheroes. This graph sums it up pretty well: http://goo.gl/fp7se

Rumour is, Aaron Johnson — who in superheroes circle is known as Kick-Ass — is also going to appear as one of the new heroes.

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Kick-Ass 3 (Unconfirmed)

It’s not known yet when the third instalment of Kick-Ass saga will appear, but the creator Mark Miller says it’s going to be the last one. Is this good news or bad news? Personally, I hate it when a movie ends so perfectly then a sequel appears and ruins the original ending. But on the other hand, if it ends here there will be no more Kick-Ass and Hit-Girl. So I’m not sure how I should react to this news.

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Superman vs Batman (Unconfirmed)

Yet another attempt for a superhero crossover movie — at least, according to the rumours. Personally, I don’t like how Man of Steel turned out, but I do love The Dark Knight saga. The idea of combining the two into one epic movie — well, it’s something to die for.