Qualche giorno fa il Wall Street Journal ha pubblicato una recensione su una stampante 3D, la MakerBot Replicator Mini. Niente di troppo insolito, se non fosse che il giornale è andato oltre la solita presentazione.
In primo luogo, ha fatto un video animatoriale di due minuti. Poi ha usato un modellatore 3D per creare un grafico a barre tridimensionale che mostra la crescita delle vendite di stampanti 3D e in seguito lo ha trasformato in un oggetto fisico proprio tramite una stampante di questo tipo.
Successivamente la testata ha caricato il modello del grafico su Thingiverse di MakerBot, in modo che altri utenti muniti di stampanti tridimensionali possano scaricarlo e creare la propria versione reale.
Infine ha usato l’app Augment per incorporare sul giornale cartaceo una versione del grafico creata con la realtà aumentata, visibile attraverso lo smartphone come se fosse nello spazio reale.
Considerando tutto il lavoro che c’è dietro, è facile pensare che un semplice grafico a barre in 2D avrebbe comunicato bene le stesse informazioni. Tuttavia è significativo che un editore tradizionale sperimenti nuovi modi per ottimizzare la presentazione di una storia e per raggiungere un nuovo pubblico.
The preconception that video games are only for boys, geeks, or kids still exists in some quarters. But an insight into where the industry is heading suggests it will soon be banished entirely.
The gaming market is the fastest-growing entertainment sector in the world, worth $75.5bn last year, and expected to be worth more than $100bn by 2017. The biggest event in the video-game calendar is the Electronic Entertainment Expo (E3), where publishers and developers gather to reveal the most anticipated – and surprise – announcements of the year.
The industry-only event welcomed nearly 50,000 people this year for a show that requires more bandwidth than most US cities need in a year, and for the first time, gamers around the world could tune into video-streaming service Twitch to watch the shows – and millions did.
The main events take place in the LA Convention Center across a space that could fill nearly eight US football fields. E3 is bustling; everyone exhibiting wants to be the next big thing, and everyone else wants to be among the first to play it. But of the hundreds of games shown at the event, the main competition is often considered to be between Sony and Microsoft. Last year, it was all about the move into “next-gen” gaming. It was just five months before the release of their new consoles, the PlayStation 4 (PS4) and Xbox One.
Sorseggiare un caffè o una bibita mentre si gioca in mondi alternativi, virtuali, ma più veri del vero. È questa l’idea di Good Game Café, il progetto del primo bar dedicato alla realtà virtuale al mondo, che potrebbe aprire presto a Boston se l’idea di Nick Lee sarà finanziata su Kickstarter .
D’altra parte non c’è da meravigliarsi perché la realtà virtuale è stata al centro dell’attenzione dei partecipanti all’E3 di Los Angeles, la conferenza mondiale sui videogame appena conclusa, dove Oculus e Sony col suo Project Morpheus sono state protagoniste con vari prototipi di giochi immersivi, dallo sparatutto alla Matrix in cui bisogna evitare i proiettilipiegando la testa, al videogioco americano Adr1ft , ma prodotto dall’ italiana 505 Games, dove si veste la tuta di un astronauta che galleggia nello spazio, fino all’esperienza da sub proposta da Sony con The Deep , in cui si viene attaccati da uno squalo.
Un’esperienza simile a quella che aveva impressionato persino un veterano della fantascienza come George Takei, il timoniere Sulu di Star Trek, per la sua serie sul web . L’idea del caffè specializzato di Lee non è strampalata, perché nonostante si preveda che i costi dei caschi saranno bassi (sotto i 200 dollari) è plausibile che molti vorranno sperimentare la novità con gli amici, prima di acquistarla. E comunque maneggiare i kit di sviluppo attualmente distribuiti e funzionanti, in attesa del prodotto finito che arriverà nel 2015, non è cosa alla portata di tutti.
The BBC has given us a startling look into the future by recording a news bulletin with 360 degrees that will allow you to take a good look around with a virtual reality headset like an Oculus Rift.
The BBC has always been a trailblazer when it comes to new tech, and they have gamely filmed Fiona Bruce’s news bulletin in a novel new way to get us in the mood for virtual reality television.
The experiment is just part of the BBC’s look into next-generation viewing, including 3D sound.
The purchase of Oculus Rift by Facebook appears to have been something of a catalyst for the Beeb, with head of business development Cyrus Saihan explaining just why he is pushing immersive experiences in a blog which includes the all important making of video.
Artist J. Robert Feld noticed something that if you’ve been to a gallery or art museum recently, you’ve probably seen too. “People rush through a museum, like a scavenger hunt, capturing images in their devices, as if that’s an appropriate substitute for pausing and contemplating the work,” he told Fast Co. Design. This invasion of technology in a formerly tech-free zone inspired him, ironically, to create a series of paintings that actually require the viewer to look at them through the lens of a smartphone in order to properly experience the work.
Feld’s “Mondrian Inverted: The Viewer Is Not Present” series features reproductions of Piet Mondrian‘s famed geometric compositions with inverted color schemes. In order to see the paintings with their intended colors, one must look at them through the function on an iPhone or Android that allows for the inversion of colors.
He chose Mondrian because his work is both aesthetically pleasing and widely known, and his use of primary colors also makes the contrast between the inverted and intended colors stark. In an added twist, Feld insists that the paintings themselves are not the actual work.
“The act of looking through the phone and seeing the painting appear more real and recognizable on the screen than on the wall in front of you is the concept of the series,” he says. Though a bit gimmicky, the point resonates.
The ubiquity of smartphones and social media apps dedicated to photo sharing has made it almost impossible to do, look at, or experience anything even somewhat remarkable without feeling the urge to whip out that device and capture it, even at the expense of enjoying the moment for what it is. And, as we’ve seen, sometimes on-the-spot Instagram uploads can be less than tasteful, if not downright dangerous.Any art project that makes us question our collective iPhone obsession can only be for the best, right?
Augmented reality toys have become a small but steady part of the gaming market, but augmented reality as a concept has always been hit or miss. If the companion app isn’t a tacked-on bell and whistle, the toy itself often isn’t much fun to play with. But Lego, which has a long history of blending tech into its traditional building sets, may have struck a decent balance with a new project called Fusion.
Fusion’s premise isn’t too different to that of similar toys: put an object on top of, or next to, or under a tablet, and a version of it will appear in a corresponding app. It begins with four fairly normal-looking sets, each based on a different Lego theme: race cars, a town, a medieval castle, and a resort (part of the girl-focused and frequently maligned Friends lineup.) But among the pieces is a small plastic base, each set’s version emblazoned with a different pattern. Build on top of them, and your tablet’s camera will be able to recognize and scan the resulting design, as long as it’s not too big and adheres to some other rules. Whatever you make will end up being part of a mobile game.
BUILD A FACADE, AND THE APP WILL TURN IT INTO A 3D BUILDING
In the Town Master set, for example, you build a house’s facade on what looks like a piece of sidewalk. Start the app, point the camera at your creation, and you’ll be asked to line up its base with a small box on the screen. Once you get it right, the app scans the bricks and matches them by color and shape, reconstructing a virtual counterpart.
The app stretches it into a 3D model, and you can place it in a town-building game that’s reminiscent of a highly simplified SimCity. In the beta version I tried, scanning success depended on good lighting and a few retakes, when the design came out with random black horns or missing bricks. It wasn’t difficult, though, and it didn’t require any special features like NFC. Once a building is scanned, you can check citizens’ needs and assign it the role of a hospital, restaurant, "Segway store," or any number of other businesses and utilities.