Stephen Black, writer, producer and Toledo native, returns to his hometown to talk about Augmented Reality (AR). AR is a new technology now making an impact upon education, art, medicine, industry and entertainment.
The presentation is for a general audience (including children) and is based upon the best of Stephen's presentations from universities across Southeast Asia, as well as MIT. Come on down and meet Bubiko Foodtour, the Dundercats and a few other surprise guests. Toledo is the second stop of the ARphabet Tour http://www.blacksteps.tv/
Thursday, January 31: 7-8PM An Introduction to AR
CANCELLED BECAUSE OF THE COLD...Stop by on Friday, Saturday or Monday!
Augmented Reality is the technology in which digital words or objects are combined with the real world. Pokemon Go is the most famous example of AR. If you watch sports, you will often see information or diagrams overlaid on the game, especially in football. AR requires a phone, tablet or a new device called smartglasses. Soon, Facebook and Apple will make AR smartglasses.
This presentation includes examples of AR, as well as its history. Present and upcoming uses of AR in education, art, medicine and industry are shown. www.blacksteps.tv
Friday, February 1 2-3:45 An Introduction to Self-Publishing and the books of Stephen Black
One of Stephen Black's books, I Ate Tiong Bahru, is a bestseller in Singapore, and all have achieved critical acclaim. In this presentation his books as well as insights into self-publishing and Amazon are presented.
Saturday, February 2 2-3:15 In Search of the Ultimate Mango Sticky Rice
Stephen Black and Sayuri Okayama recently toured Southeast Asia, researching food for book and augmented reality projects. In this talk, mango sticky rice, the popular dessert, is discussed in terms of geography, culture, economics and nutrition.
Monday, February 46-7:15 The ARphabet Tour: Augmented Reality, Self-publishing and Mango Sticky Rice!
Stephen Black and Sayuri Okayama traveled through Southeast Asia in
2017/18, researching food, writing books and networking with Augmented
Reality companies,artists and researchers. This presentation, suitable
for all ages, features the highlights of that two-year journey.
All events will be held at the Washington Branch Public Library, 5560 Harvest Lane.
Bubiko Foodtour will appear in short entertaining AR movies full of food information. The lessons and networks resulting from Bubiko's experiences will be applied to other characters: The Dundercats (specializing in music education), The Doughbots (fun characters who promote basic math and reading skills) and Secret Donut World, a collection of whimsical characters and objects created by David Severn(UK/Japan). These original characters, stories and, eventually, software, will result in a company with the potential to become the Pixar of AR.
Revenue: freemium business model with in-app purchases, character and software licensing, digital products, physical objects like books, clothing, toys and kitchen supplies.
Additionally, Bubiko now has a database of waiting-to-be discovered SE Asian food products suitable for food lovers worldwide.
These years of research have resulted in a strong personal and professional international network: programmers, journalists, podcasters, foodies, websites, galleries, digital marketing specialists, food producers, restaurant and hotel owners; as well as personal connections with AR-related companies like Google, Amazon, Microsoft, Magic Leap, Line, Alibaba, Tencent, Kabaq and Facebook. These connections, as well as social media and online campaigns, will be activated once technical and business plans milestones are secured.
Note: At present, more than a billion devices (Apple and Android) allow users to easily enjoy Bubiko and friends. However, all movies/activities include an awareness of the possibilities offered by AR glasses and smartglasses.
Additionally developments in SLAM, meshmapping, IoT, persistent experiences, 5G etc. are being closely monitored. Facebook and Apple are among several companies planning to release AR wearables in the near future.
Upcoming AR projects like Peter Jackson's Lord of the Rings, and a Harry Potter AR game will increase AR awareness/the number of AR users. The phenomenal success of Pokemon Go continues, it has been downloaded over 100 million times on Google Play alone, and generated more than 300 million dollars, including in-app purchases.
Status as of January 20, 2019
Encouraging developments have occurred since the project began, but two workshops and presentations at the Hong Kong Polytechnic University in June 2018 were the start of extreme public and professional interactions and possibilities:
- presentations at The Hong Kong Makers Faire
- presentation at Le Wagon Shenzhen, a bootcamp school for coders
- invited to pitch to VCs at TechCrunch Shenzhen
- establishment of a personal network in Hong Kong and Shenzhen, China, including makers, government bodies, digital marketers, distributors and designers.
Feedback on the physical appearance of Bubiko has been very encouraging. A Bubiko 3D model will soon be created, and used to create standardized 2D versions.
Bubiko has made an ebook about the food of Ipoh Malaysia, available on Amazon. She is currently compiling notes for a food guide to Shenzhen. are no comparable books; additionally the book introduces the different provinces of China.
The Dundercats characters, a partnership with Six Cat Studios, are now being made in 3D, in addition to merchandising and real world musical instruction activities. Scripts and story ideas are being refined for both Secret Donut World and The Doughbots; they presently exist in 2D only.
Postproduction will continue on Lotus Mountain, a 360VR movie shot in Shenzhen, using 8K cameras supplied by Kandao. Although Bubiko is not featured, the finished film will result in beneficial publicity. A previous VR 360 film, Beach Road,was featured at festivals in Singapore, Brisbane and Las Vegas.
Time spent in Shenzhen resulted in numerous contacts and possibilities,one being the bundling of Bubiko and the Doughbots into tablets made for children.
We're waiting 'til the day we have budget and a coder or two, so that Bubiko can walk and talk... For now, we sketch and improvise.. like this.
Currently bootstrapping, they have established a worldwide network of collaborators, and look forward to speaking with potential partners of any kind, including investors and VCs.
Stephen Black and Sayuri Okayama aim to be the Pixar of location-based AR: original characters, stories and software.
Stephen’s “unicorn”, a separate AR project, can be discussed by appointment.
Stephen is a bestselling writer, has a degree in Photographic Illustration and is an established visual artist. As a producer, he has worked in theatre, butoh, music (3how) and network television (Fuji TV, Fox, CNN and Cartoon Network).
Sayuri has extensive research in the travel industry, and conducts research related to all aspects of the startup. More biographical information at the end of this document.
The Bubiko Orwell Tour 2017/8 Stephen and Sayuri: digital nomads in SE Asia, planning AR/VR/MR, building a network, sourcing distinctive air-freightable food products, and researching food/culture. Attended Rise (“the largest and most exciting tech conference in Asia” – Forbes), HK Book Fair, Ani-Com and Games Expo HK, Supercharger Fintech Incubator Year in Review event (HK),Thailand Design Week and Amazon AWS events.
Participation: HK Food Hackathon, Ipoh Malaysia Tourism Rebranding campaign.
Presentations: Ipoh, Malaysia, Sasin School of Business (Bangkok), HK PolyU, Hong Kong MakerFaire, TechCrunch and Le Wagon (Shenzhen).
Alphabet Spikes is the book Stephen is writing about the tour. www.blacksteps.tv/
Three separate components: AR, Books/Writing and the Mango Sticky Rice Experience
Beginning with ARIA@MIT, the 100 day tour now includes stops in Phoenix, at SXSW(Austin) and the Game Developers Conference (San Francisco), as well as NYC, Washington DC, and the Chicago/Detroit area.
A combination of deliciousness, AR, and food culture! Inspired by Bubiko Foodtour’s favorite food! Featuring real mangos, as well as an AR version of mango sticky rice created by Kabaq, the leaders in augmented reality food applications. More information here.
Bubiko Foodtour (current model is a work in progress)
Bubiko is a little chef from Thailand. Her catchphrase is “aroi mak mak”, the Thai phrase for ‘very delicious’. Knowledgeable about all food, especially that of Southeast Asia, Bubiko is entertaining and informative.
On a technical level, Bubiko is a flagship for our other characters. We have plans to use SLAM and IoT to create cinematic, educational and entertaining table top experiences.
On a commercial level, Bubiko branding and merchandising possibilities are being explored, including, with a tablet manufacturer, bundling Bubiko AR experiences and her favorite recipes.
The Bubiko Orwell Tour resulted in the discovery of numerous local, often organic, food products suitable for international food fans, as well as tea and coffee lovers. An area of exploration is a Bubiko brand/marketing channel.
Bubiko is a guest star in an ARkit/Unity game demo featuring Green Bean Boy.
Created by Stephen Black and David Severn(UK/Japan), the Secret Donut World characters combine David’s wit with Stephen’s ideas on spatial computing. David is an internationally exhibited visual artist/painter and his work has been published in numerous Japanese magazines, children’s books and travel publications.
Another Severn/Black collaboration, the Doughbots will teach basic spelling and math skills in a fun and interactive way. (Designed for SLAM, spatial recording; with accompanying book).
After years of writing and self-publishing books, including the best sellingi ate tiong bahru, Stephen Black is ready to share what he has learned. His strengths include description, the musicality of words, how to use research invisibly and the relationship between length and structure. Also experienced with self-publishing; Stephen is prepared to do presentations and workshops on this topic. The workshops are geared to the level of those attending and questionnaires are used to determine this.
Stephen Black has taught poetry performance (Poetry Slam) and 3D gamemaking in Singapore, and English/writing classes in Japan. In addition to writing classes inuniversity, he has studied with screenwriting legend Robert McKee, both in a public class, and in an invitation-only private class.
The workshops can be conducted online or in person; individually or in groups.
The topic of AR and books will be only briefly touched upon, unless requested otherwise.
With eight books and many published stories, Stephen Black's readings can be geared towards the nature of your event or organization. Obvious topics include Augmented Reality, the food and history of Southeast Asia, the Tiong Bahru area of Singapore, the pre-presidential life of Barack Obama, contemporary Bali as well as insights on being a digital nomad/startup founder/entrepreneur.
Video interviews and information on Stephen Black's books here.
A collaboration between David Severn(UK/Japan) and Stephen Black, Secret Donut World is whimsical, colorful and unpredictable. A combination of David's imagination and Stephen's spatial computing ideas, Secret Donut World exemplifies the potential of AR and MR.
At present there are a total of 50 characters and objects, many having unique spatial computing "special powers".
The ARphabet Tour has three platforms: AR, writing and food. These platforms are separate, yet linked. In regards to press releases, for example, one platform is dominant, but the other two are also given visibility. The result is exposure to three different demographics at once.
Although the active timeline lasts until April, 2019, there will be continued online activity for long afterwards.
Brands will be exposed to the large, and continually growing, number of people interested in AR. In addition to a large tech-savvy community, AR is attracting much interest due to announcements and plans by companies such as Facebook and Apple
Exposure from the writing community, as well as those organizations interested in the topics in Stephen Black's books. Topics include Asia, Bali, art, entrepreneurship, traveling and other lifestyle/cultural topics.
Bubiko Foodtour is a character created by Stephen Black and Sayuri Okayama. Bubiko is a little chef from Thailand who loves mango sticky rice. She is very knowledgeable about food, especially the foods of Southeast Asia. Her favorite phrase is "Aroi mak mak".
The ARphabet Tour is a direct result of the Bubiko Orwell Tour of Southeast Asia, which took place from 2016-18. Being on the road constantly is both extremely rewarding and extremely challenging.
The following are the organizations and companies that kept us going; they are lights that kept the darkness from defeating us. As for the individuals, I am still thinking of how I can ever thank them all.
Please at least skim through this list, and click on as many as you can. They are all good people offering great value in their respective fields.
For now, links and short descriptions; the behind-the-scenes stories will appear in Alphabet Spikes.
The ARphabet Tour has three platforms; the Mango Sticky Rice Experience, the Readings/Workshops Dimension and Augmented Reality. All three are related; yet all are separate.The AR presentation, for example, will only be about AR.
In 2018, Stephen Black gave two workshops and three presentations, plus several "semi-official presentations.
This blog post contains a summary of the topics presented at the Hong Kong PolyU workshops and presentations. For the upcoming ARphabet Tour presentations, the topics will be tailored to meet the interests of the organizations involved.
2019 Presentation: Bubiko and the Unicorn ARIA @ MIT
This talk shares the results of a two year digital nomad research tour which resulted in data bases of AR-related information as well as Southeast Asian food. Additionally, ideas on a "theoretical" AR-based unicorn are presented.