Although, in my presentations, I mention companies, no one is paying me to have their product or service mentioned. I am thrilled to say that Novaby is helping me with Bubiko, and that I have spent a little quality time with Tranzient and Scandy (listed below), but other than that, I am just sharing info gathered online and at trade shows/events.
Stephen Black is a consultant/creative director/ bestselling writer/director/producer (Fox, Cartoon Network, CNN, Fuji TV) who’s spoken about AR at MIT,Hong Kong PolyU, TechCrunch Shenzhen, PARIS (Paris Augmented Reality Influencers Show) and the Open Augmented Reality Cloud Symposium (Munich). Beach Road, his VR (360 video) movie was featured at VR festivals in Singapore, Las Vegas and Brisbane.
Also an established visual artist, he has exhibited at art spaces worldwide, including the Singapore Biennale (with Michael Lee), Image Forum Experimental Film and Video Festival (Tokyo), and numerous venues in the legendary art scene of the Rivington School/Lower East Side of New York City.
Stephen is available for creating AR/VR/traditional video content as well as consulting, creative direction and public speaking opportunities. His latest book, Bubiko Foodtour’s Ununusual Guide to Augmented Reality (reviewed here) is available on Amazon.
PRO TIPS/NEWS STORIES
Geopose. As URL is to the internet, geopose is to AR. Interested? This blog post is a must.
Geopose and GPS virtual sculpture (1st location: Paris) now in production by Vincent Trastour (Flamingo Studios/PARIS event) and Stephen Black.
Would you like to support THE GREATEST AR TOUR IN HISTORY? Do you want to learn the latest news from AWE, Austin, Japan, Detroit, Turin, Munich, Shenzhen and Japan!?
Stephen Black and Bubiko Foodtour are about to go global: learning, educating and networking at some of the biggest AR events in the world. We just need a little financial fuel...we are movin’ and groovin, but our app isn’t out yet! Startup blues!
BONNETS! (My Powerpoint looks extremely low tech. As much as I like this look, I have to say I had no choice. I was using my Chromebook , and used the baked in slide show creator. Next time, I might actually have the time to do some design work.)
DC Rainmaker does his usually outstanding job of reviewing a bicycle-related product.Jump into the video at about the 4 minute mark to see some exemplary AR techniques. Click here to see more examples and ideas related to AR+ Bicycles.
Cannondale, for the win! A great example of functional AR in an everyday situation, as opposed to a factory or medical facility.
From a presentation I did on AR and bike safety. All of those concepts need to be unified and rethought for the age of AR.
An example of an organization that has information that would be useful for AR in Detroit. Geographic Information Services… How much of what is under the road do they have records of? This info would be necessary for many AR services,
How do they make pointclouds-or do they even do this yet?
One of Magic Leap's views on how the total AR world might look like.
The layers presented include IoT (the Internet of Things, as well as AI. Photo courtesy of Tony at the Skarred Ghost, another person I suggest serious AR/VR people support and follow.
Another presentation from Magic Leap on how the total AR Cloud might look. They use the term "Magicverse".
A representation by the OARC on what the layers of the cloud would be. My suggested terms would be REAL1 (R1), REAL2 (R2) and REAL3 (R3). R1=the physical world. R2; the layer with few changes; buildings, landmarks, geography. R3 being the part of the AR cloud that changes the most, and has the most segmentation.
This system also lends itself to further classification. R2C22 , for example, could refer to a specific block in Chicago for example, and R2C22E could be the collective "channel" for all organizations utilizing traffic emergency communications for that area.
Microsoft Azure Spatial anchor systems. 'Anchor systems' refers to geoposing. There can be an endless number of clouds. Interoperability... Machines reading the world for humans... A browser...AI assisted browsers.
This is from the State of the Open AR Cloud 2019 report by the Open Augmented Reality Cloud group. Already some governing bodies are being formed.
Shenzhen's celebration used the entire city as a canvas. Something like this could be done in Detroit with AR, for much less cost, and with greater detail. AVs could travel on programmed routes... a new form of musical is born!
My report on the maker culture of Shenzhen is here.
The Fox Theatre is one of Detroit's cultural assets that could be utilized. This slide shows some of the layers of creation and co-operation that need to be considered.
Back to bROADWAY… and we have "discovered" that the Fox Theater is geofenced. Geofencing is a blocking of AR access. Military bases, sensitive areas...the interior of homes. The Fox Theatre is copyrighted, I believe. In this fictional example, Fox may have geofenced their theater to prevent unauthorized AR usage.
This is outdated. For my startup plans, write to me directly at bubikofoodtour at mark gmail.com. Please look for more recent posts. This, for example, is an overview of the first three months of AR activities in 2019. Thank you. SB
Schedule now being determined, planned stops include: Boston MA (ARIA /MIT), NYC, Washington D.C., Rochester NY, Toledo OH, Detroit, Ann Arbor MI, Chicago, Natchez MS, Denver CO, Boulder CO, New Orleans, Austin (SXSW), Los Angeles, San Francisco(GDC)
Graduate of the Rochester Institute of Technology, director/writer/producer for Cartoon Network, Fox, Fuji TV and CNN, Stephen Black was involved with a $3.2M gaming startup, from 2002-7. He then became a writer/artist while waiting for mobile spatial computing(AR/VR) to mature.
Now is the time to produce AR content for industry, art and entertainment- and games.
I have been involved with games/spatial computing since 2002, and am now ready to launch an AR startup that involves games, filmmaking and video/content production. If you, or someone you know, is interested in investing, I hope we can talk.
I can share the successful pitch I used at TechCrunch Shenzhen a week ago. As positive as the response was, it never hurts to share a vision, especially if that vision includes a unicorn. onwARd, Stephen Black
PS The flyer below is a bit out of date; the startup idea mentioned below includes games.
This blog has many posts about AR and startup plans, all of which are outdated, but do provide insights.
Hello and welcome. My name is Stephen Black and I work with media, words and art.
Media: VR, computer-generated environments,video and photography.
Words: articles and books, including Bali Wave Ghost, I Ate Tiong Bahru (a national bestseller in Singapore), Tiong Bahru Mouth, Obama Search Words and a few others.
This post gives you some idea of my current projects.
Thank you for stopping by.
Ai Wewei, Yesim Agaoglu, Stephen Black, Eugene Soh collaboration in gallery.sg
Works created with ink
If one person can be said to symbolize the Tiong Bahru Market, it might be this guy in the hat...
THIS post was written before SPOKEN started. SPOKEN is a project I am doing with Eugene Soh, an experiment in which art, text, virtual reality and social media intersect. Learn about SPOKEN here.
To enter gallery.sg and experience SPOKEN, click here.
Here is the extremely short version: from 2002 until 2008 I was involved with a visionary virtual reality project that combined educational practices with gamemaking and multimedia. However, the spiritual captain of the project was part Disney, part Microsoft and part Sex Pistols. An unexpected death, treachery, incompetence, inexperience, bureaucratic boondoggles and more made my life "interesting"... I have pages of notes about the events and the spirit of the times. We were doing things like Youtube and Second Life before they started. The project was so close... and yet so far away. (Actually, now that mobile technology has settled down, I hope that the lessons and products of that experience can be revitalized. But that's yet another story.)
In 2006, as a way of showcasing our technology, I entered a gamemaking hackathon. A theme was given on a Thursday morning and the next day at five the results were judged.The theme was something about healthy eating, I think. Working with my programmer in Hong Kong, we made a game in which the viewer learned about the calorie count of certain foods. The player competed with an AI character. It was fun to do.
However, what I remember most was a team that made an incredible flash game. I don't remember if they won or not, but I do remember two guys on that team very well. George Parel and Eugene Soh were full of energy, knowledge and bursting with creative ideas.
They still are.
I've been lucky to work with George and Eugene on a few projects since then. In 2008 I finally had to put the educational gamemaking project on hold while I waited for a programmer and the mobile device situation to stabilize.I put more time into writing and art projects. George and Eugene (that dude from Singapore) however, have kept on doing remarkably creative things with IT, art, design and more.
Virtual reality may seem to be an artificial place, but the gallery Eugene has created fills me with memories and hope. I am honored and very thankful for I Ate Tiong Bahru to be on display in gallery.sg
This informal essay is my way of marking the end of a certain era in ebook history. It's part snapshot, part reference materials, part journal.At the end of this post are notes about me, my experiences and my books.
Thanks to Doug Rolph for his insights on economics, Eric Hellman for his input and my dad for having taken care of our family by selling books.
το πνεύμα του Ιανού
After I finish writing eight books, I will begin marketing. Until then, I'll probably study the ebook world less and hopefully do more writing, arting and engaging with Life. When it does comes time for me to contribute to the marketing conversation, I hope I have something to say. For now, I present the following notes, quotes and thoughts as a means of punctuating a phase in the development of ebooks as I have seen and experienced it.
This is an exciting time. The ebook delivery platforms are finally stable, self-publishing has proven to have great value and a number of services have recently appeared that shorten the distances between readers and authors. It seems to me that indie ebooks and ebook marketing are about to enter a new era.
This blog post makes little mention of traditional publishing. This is simply because, as much as I would like to enjoy the benefits of being a Big 5/6 author, that fruit is not now within my reach. I am however, considering joining the Author's Guild.
Although I've done almost no marketing, I have studied the environments in which ebooks are created, presented, bought and sold. Some observations:
1. Except for uploading, nothing about ebooks is easy.
Writing is the anti-social social media, full of long, long hours of pressure-filled solitude. Assembling an error-free book is never simple. The social part, finding an audience, is an immense challenge. I respect all of the authors mentioned in this post for they have successfully met these challenges and more.
Talent is cheaper than table salt. What separates the talented individual from the successful one is a lot of hard work.Stephen King
Based on my experiences, the work breakdown of an 88,000 word novel looks something like this: 1000 words a day (88 days) or, more likely, 500 words a day (176 days). Call it 200 days to prepare something for a proofreader. Two months for corrections, art, and ebook conversion. So, a book takes about 300 working days to finalize. About...
And then there are the thousands of actions needed to connect with readers... The title of Guy Kawasaki's excellent book says it all: APE, meaning Author, Publisher, EntrepreneurThis document, by Mark Coker, the founder of Smashwords, is a data-based analysis of the ebook market. Highly recommended, it covers topics important for newbies and veterans. It touches upon issues like word count, pricing, marketing and more. For instance, his research shows that the average bestseller on Smashwords is 100,000 words, and the average romance is 112,195 words. (There are more links to resources at the end of this post.)
Very few traditionally published authors became bestsellers; the same is true for ebook publishing. My goal is not to become a bestseller, but to connect with the largest possible community of people who enjoy the art of reading.
2. A great writer or a great marketer.......or, the frustration of being caught between not doing enough writing and not doing enough marketing. A writer writes, a salesman sells.
Self-publishing does not equal self-marketing. Spending money wisely on promotion money means income and time to write. (See the links below)
Twitter, Goodreads, FB, LinkedIn and blogging? All have their advantages and disadvantages...3. There are no independent, hugely successful ebook-only self-publishers.Note: Two days after this post went up, I became aware of this great piece by Dana Beth Weinberg on Digital Book World. Thank you Jacqueline Church!
Amazon is huge, Apple is huge, Kobo and Smashwords are very big. Unless you are selling from your own website or the back of your car, you're not truly independent.
OK, A bit of an attention grabber there...but the author's need for a partnership with Amazon and ebook distributors is a dependence that cannot be overlooked. These "automatic partners" will always protect their interests first. They call the shots. Amazon is a business, not an author.
Amanda Hocking is a hugely successful author. At one point, the average daily sales figure of her self-published ebooks was 9000. Again: average DAILY book sales: nine thousand! Her success was based on hard work, technological first mover advantage and an indirect tie-in with Hollywood.
-the successful and pioneering integration of ebook readers into tablets and mobile as well as the launch of the Kindle (2007) and the iPad(2010)
-the large demographic of young women who bought readers and tablets
- the fact that, having written many books, Hocking could quickly provide a new and large market with a variety of new titles
- writing books about the paranormal when Hollywood is pushing the same cannot hurt. Twilight, the hugely successful series of movies about teen vampires began in 2008. Hocking's first book, My Blood Approves, began selling in 2010.
E.L. James' book phenomenon began in the fan fiction chat rooms for Twilight. The characters in Fifty Shades of Grey were originally the characters from Twilight. Could Master of the Universe, as her series was originally called, have achieved its success without an existing network of thousands of Twilight fans?
These two women made their mark upon society in two different ways. As shared, collective book-based experiences: WOW!
However, the writing is..."not terrible" or worse
I remember SF/F authors complaining (back in 2011) that their readers hadn’t switched to e-books yet, casting jealous eyes at the outsized romance audience. But as readers did move across, we saw people like David Dalglish and BV Larson breaking out, and the rest of “genre” fiction soon followed.
There are "indie success stories" about authors who "rode into town" on the backs of traditional publishing. Funded by Big 6 money these "indies" were advertised and publicized, sent on book tours and given things like business cards. Possibly, audiobooks were made. Hundreds, if not thousands, of their books were given away, many to reviewers.
As the 'first mover'possibilities of the ebook market became clear and realistic, these authors, knighted by the Big 6 and armed with credibility and connections, rode onto a battlefield with little opposition... Undoubtedly hard work was involved, but to label them as indies brings to mind the quip about George Bush: "...was born on third base and thinks he hit a triple."
There certainly are "ebook only" indies connecting with many readers and enjoying sales. I just don't know of any. (FOUND SOMEONE: LINDSAY BUROKER Please tell me about others! them! Somewhat related to this, are there any "ebook only" awards?
Here, authors talk about their sales experiences.
4. The ebook world evolves to reward the reader; the prepared author benefits from this.
Fan fiction. Goodreads. Ebook readers on mobile phones. The mashup between big data and metadata. Entrepreneurs with vision who see ways to connect authors and readers in a new ways.
It is an exciting time.
Ebooks: Born to Click, Part 2 of 3visit www.blacksteps.tv for parts 2 and 3 of this post, as well as information on art, books and ebooks
Well, I could write about all of my experiences in Rochester and I could explain how I unexpectedly ended up there last week and how nice it was to stay with friends and listen to music and talk and keep the fire going, but, for now, I will simply share the two videos made.
Hello. Stephen Black here. This is my personal, self-initiated, self-funded and unofficial project to create accurate and simplified definitions about GeoPose. I am doing this because:
I do (worldwide) presentations about AR, and need to be able to explain GeoPose clearly, and with technical accuracy. Short definitions increase comprehension, work well on Powerpoint, and save speaking time for other topics.
GeoPose and AR are topics for journalists, bloggers and reporters, not all of whom have technical backgrounds. Clear and simple definitions allow for the maximum flow of accurate information.
Although my ultimate goal is to create AR experiences/produce AR apps, I am now an AR educator/evangelist: speaking mainly to general audiences. It is clear that AR is not easily understood. GeoPost will be easy to use, but, for now, the concept will likely be intimidating to many people.
English is not always the first language within the tech community.
I'm a writer: I like using the fewest words to create most results.
So... all comments are welcome, and needed. By the time I give my presentation at ARIA/The MIT Media Lab, I hope to present the following ideas with the input and approval of those who are far more knowledgeable than I am.
Of course , once the following are clear, I hope the information can be shared by anyone, anywhere. I will also include the information in my ebook guide to AR project, which is updated as often as possible.
Thank you for your time and attention to this.
Please comment upon the italicized sentence. Thank you.
stephen black will be giving presentations in Toledo OH, MIT and elsewhere. Details here.
A TEAM OF HACKERS, MINUTES AFTER A MASSIVE EARTHQUAKE. Their mission: study car navigation usage to identify surviving roads, and the traffic upon them. Location: Tokyo, immediately after the 2011 Tohoku Earthquake and Tsunami. The team: members from Toyota, Honda and Nissan; the first time in history the car manufacturers worked together.
This was one of the pieces of information shared by an attendee of my presentation about Autonomous Vehicles and AR. The point of the Japanese automaker story was to illustrate the powerful advantages of interoperable standards. For AR to reach its full potential, AR service providers like Microsoft, Amazon, Apple and others must agree upon standards that are interoperable and respectful of privacy. In other words, a GeoPose standard must be established.
GeoPose is a term given to a 6DoF geospatial reference or link of an object (physical or digital) to the real world. It can be used to anything from visual positioning systems for AR to self driving cars or flying drones. As URL are vital to the internet, GeoPose will be to AR and real-world spatial computing.
GeoPose is a part of a larger vision for an Open Spatial Computing Platform (OSCP) inspired by the web, but for the era of real-world spatial computing.
At the bottom of this post is an update from Jan-Erik Vinje, regarding the recent activities of the OGC GeoPose Standards Working Group.
Imagine an eight story industrial building which houses 20 large workshops, six of which belong to one company and two workshops are shared by all. Question: will each company have an independent AR guidance system? Will visitors have to switch AR apps when going from one workshop to another? Will inventory suppliers have to download apps for the building and for each workshop? Will repair and maintenance crews have access to one AR system that shows wiring, water, conduits, etc? In emergencies, will fire fighters, police and first responders be able to use one system that indicates where all occupants are, where all combustibles are, where the fire escapes are?
There are countless reasons why GeoPose should be standardized, but emergency responses, medical and traffic regulation are the most obvious. On my website are three posts regarding GeoPose, my ”favorite” being one on the difference between GeopPose and GPS. I am very appreciative of the time and thoughtful explanations of the Open Augmented Reality Cloud team, especially Jan-Erik Vinje, OARC’s managing director.
OARC is a volunteer-run dynamic group who are now working on how to create GeoPose standards that are open to all. If you are serious about AR, please consider joining OARC.
The talk popped from topic to topic, driven by audience questions and observations, with videos providing starting points.
There was one thing I forgot to mention in the presentation: Bubiko Foodtour’s Unusual Guide to Augmented Reality. ARPost wrote this about it:
There’s a great ebook out there that’ll introduce you to all the jargon you need. Whether you want to understand an article better, contribute more to a conversation, or start developing with AR technology, this is a good place to start.
The guide will be updated periodically. I have started the second edition, and after the MIT symposium I will update it again. Those who have the first edition will get a free version of the second, as well as all future updates.
Thanks to all those who have bought the first edition (please leave a review :). I am self-funded, have no sponsors and, so far, only one paid speaking engagement. Your purchase really helps.
The kick-off meeting had participants from across the geospatial industry, government, academia, NGO’s and large corporations like Google. It is important to note that the GeoPose standard, although an initiative from Open AR Cloud, is not being primarily going to be developed inside of Open AR Cloud, but rather in a leading standards body of the geospatial sector.
The day after it came out of its box, my iPhone was put to the test: courtside, at the Huntington Center, to shoot the Harlem Globetrotters.
To push it to the limit, the camera was on auto. All image processing was done with the built in apps.
I am pleased with the results, considering they were not made from RAW files. This shoot was a week ago, and I have been shooting with the iPhone every day, including video.
My review: the iPhone 11 Pro Max used on automatic/no apps is very impressive, but, for professionals, apps are needed to be fully in control at the time of exposure, as well as have RAW files and the ability to bring out the best of the camera's potential.
I really would like to write in depth about this shoot, but am swamped. If you have any questions, I will be happy to reply. Just leave a comment below.
Click here if you would like to see my "automatic" results with food, and here if you would like to see some portraiture and art. Glassblowing!
I am looking forward to shooting another sports event, with the apps. With indoor sports, the lighting is constant and the area is limited. The variables are positioning, timing and the magic on the court.
On the last day of the decade, I wandered around Toledo and discovered the hottest (and coolest) place in the city: Gathered Glassblowing Studio. I am very thankful that Adam was so open minded, and allowed me to shoot him in action.
I will rewrite this post very soon, and include the name of the other glass master, whose name I didn't get... I will also add more details about the process, the studio and Adam.
For now, here are the photos. I am looking forward to shooting the finished piece. (The first and second image are out of sequence, the others show the process in chronological order.)