Inside a Dead Syscraper

I’m struggling with the emotional mismatch between the event and gameplay; but I imagine that’s at least partly the point. It certainly was not on my mind 10 minutes ago. Plus, I really like the provocation leading to this interactive music video/game/experience/thing:

What if the term “music video game” didn’t evoke images of bored college kids fiddling with pathetic plastic guitars emulating the last heroes of a declining music industry? What if indie game developers allied with indie musicians, making odd games promoting odd and unknown music while still keeping their creative autonomy the way the best music-video directors have been doing for decades? What if a song (not its beats, not its spectrum, not its amplitude!) was dictating the content of a game and not the other way around?



I came across this site yesterday. I have not had a chance to dig into any of their reports yet, but it looks like interesting stuff.

Latitude uses innovative research and collective creativity to generate knowledge and applied opportunities for the connected world.

Amazon Kindle as a digital magazine platform

As folks continue debate the lasting value of the CD-ROM like publications lacking social connections, Amazon adds additional media support to their Kindle platform and launches readers on more screens.

Multi-media features

Last week, new versions of Kindle readers for iPhone, iPad and iPod Touch rolled out with support for embedded audio and video assets. 

Currently only the iDevices support these media files and Amazon’s existing readers lack the hardware to support video. However, there are other readers already available that are only limited by their software. 

More devices

Amazon wants people to be able to read their books everywhere and last week they added to the list of supported devices with the release of a client for the android os. Unfortunately, this initial version  lacks support for video and audio files.

The current devices supported by Kindle include:

  • Android
  • Blackberry
  • iPhone, iPad, and IPod Touch
  • Kindle readers
  • Windows and Mac computers

Amazon may also be headed toward releasing an HTML version of a client.

Enhanced magazines?

While there is a growing list of books (13 last week and 103 this week) with embedded media, I have not yet seen any announcements about periodicals including video or audio. But it may only be a matter of time before they do. With expanded reach and a simple subscription model, Kindle seems like a logical alternative to publishing digital magazines in app format.


Qualcomm to launch free vision-based augmented reality SDK

In hopes of driving sales of phones that use their chips (e.g. Android phones), Qualcomm plans to launch an SDK enabling developers to more easily develop augmented reality apps that don’t require obtrusive markers.

Marker based AR recognition is relatively easy to implement, but extremely limited. Significantly more advanced computer vision is possible but is not accessible to most developers. The SDK intends to change this and bring sophisticated marker recognition to applications.

The SDK includes a C++ Library to be used for Android applications and an extension for the Unity 3D game development tool. No iOS support is expected since Apple does not use Qualcomm chips.

The program is currently in private beta now and expects to go into public beta in the fall.   

Read Write Web has more information than the SDKs site, have a look at it to see a photo of Mattel’s Rock’em Sock’em Robots game being played on a empty table top.

UPDATE: Looks like improved marker recognition (and image tracking) is also coming to Flash apps. I expect this one will include a license fee.

Location specific content

Geofencing, sending alerts or content only to folks within a specific location, is a very interesting idea with applications that go far beyond beaming coupons to people as they pass by your store or tracking how much time someone spends in one place.

Making content available for folks to ‘pull’ when they are in a specific place is fairly easy. Pushing content to users in a specific place is more challenging. Continuously polling for location can quickly drain any battery and polling too infrequently may make you miss a trigger point.

Location Labs has an iPhone library library in private beta that may improve upon battery performance without missing opportunities to get the right content.