Category Archives: AR

Bubiko Learns about Pasta at La Rivetta Bangkok

Three extremely simple foods that are difficult to prepare: mango sticky rice, sushi and pasta. Bubiko was very fortunate to spend time at La Rivetta Bangkok with Carlo Natale, who explained about pasta... and the Venetian Empire, Albrecht Duhrer's Melancholia and so much more.

Now Bubiko is looking for a sushi chef and a mango sticky rice expert!

Bubiko's food adventures, on Instagram.

Italian food in Bangkok

Esbe over view rough draft (AR startup, AR -themed novel)

Esbe is the name of my planned AR startup...

Augmented reality novels

Hereis glimpse into esbe

Here is Bubiko's Instagram account.

Coffee and AR: Prepare for impact!

This is a draft. A different, final version of this story will appear in Coffee Traveler magazine later this year. If you know of any examples of AR being used in the coffee industry, do let me know!

Coffee and AR: Prepare for Impact!

Augmented Reality will soon be everywhere. How can the coffee industry prepare itself for this revolutionary new technology?

2017 can be considered the start of Augmented Reality. Six hundred million iPhones became enabled for AR. One hundred million Android users also gained AR functionality. Facebook, Microsoft, Intel and other companies released or improved AR products. Time magazine, in an issue guest-edited by Bill Gates, used AR on its cover. There is no doubt that AR will become a very, very big thing, as common as GPS.

But what is AR, Augmented Reality? And, in what ways will AR impact the coffee industry?

AR is a technology that combines digital data with the physical world. The digital data can be sound, text, graphics, video or 3D models (like what you see in many computer games.) The ”physical world” can be as large as the Sydney Opera House or as small as a matchbox: books, table tops, living rooms and parks-- anywhere! At present, AR can be experienced with phones and tablets, though special glasses, like Microsoft’s Hololens or Google Glass may become common. AR is used for industrial, educational, medical, entertainment,research and other purposes.

The first huge AR success was Pokemon GO, which hides digital creatures in real world locations. With Ikea’s AR app, customers can put digital furniture in their real homes, allowing them to select the best color and size. Coca Cola and Boeing, like many companies, use AR to aid in the repair and maintenance of machinery.

An Australian wine company called 19 Crimes created an app that allows the photographs on their labels to move, speak and tell stories. According to Forbes magazine, this AR app resulted in over one million cases of wine being sold, and an increase of volume sales by 60%.

AR is nearly unlimited; it can play audio, interact with users, function like GPS, display graphics, photos, videos and more. AR gamers fight flying spaceship battles in their bedrooms. In restaurants, menu applications by KabaQ display AR models of food.

Starbucks, whose first AR project was launched in 2011, recently created a “coffee wonderland” in Shanghai. Called the Roastery, it features a number of AR experiences. Its centerpiece is a huge copper vessel covered with almost three thousand hand carved Chinese seals that tell the story of Starbucks. Using AR, visitors can “look inside” the huge structure, and see the beans being poured in, roasted, and then finally transported through copper pipes to the coffee bars.

Because they have come to the Roastery specifically to experience,and learn about coffee, visitors are likely to download the digital tour guide. There is also a QR code version. When planning to make an AR app, the first issue is: download or not? The second being the Apple/Android issue.

An augmented reality app is used in the new Starbucks Roastery in Shanghai, China. Photographed on Friday, December 1, 2017. (Joshua Trujillo, Starbucks)[/caption]

It is a wonderful idea to create a customized AR app, what is called a “native” app. However, potential users may be discouraged by file size and download time. A native app may not be the best choice at trade shows or public spaces without high speed wifi. Fortunately, not all AR requires a native app. And, there is WebAR, which works on both Apple and Android and does not requirea download, only a link.

The Roastery chose AR because it was the best solution-- not because AR is trendy. Perhaps they could have used video monitors- but how many? And where to position them? Plus, visitors would not be able to pause, replay or start the presentation.

photo by Eva Yoo. Used with permission

Location: companies with big budgets can create AR experiences for large spaces. Snapchat put giant AR sculptures by Jeff Koons in front of the Eiffel Tower and in Central Park. Waterloo Station was the site of an AR game created by Cadbury, and AR rhinos roamed in the Rotterdam train station, thanks to National Geographic.

Augmented Reality is now used in homes, factories, airplanes, and living rooms. It is becoming a new medium, like radio or television. AR is becoming an artform and, in advertising, AR is connecting producers and consumers in new ways. It will be interesting to watch the seeds of AR grow in the world of coffee.

Stephen Black is an artist, writer and producer. He is now completing a novel about an archild, an AR software that looks like a ten-year old girl. His startup aims to be the Pixar of AR. Look out for Bubiko Foodtour! www.blacksteps.tv

A very special thanks to Antony Vitillo for technical proofreading and great ideas galore. Antony’s blog is called The Ghost Howls (http://skarredghost.com). He is a consultant at New Technology Walkers (http://ntwalkers.it/en)

Photo of phone/Chinese seals: courtesy of Starbucks

Photos of screenshots: Eva Yoo

Antigone Cloud and Yves Arc: Dialogue Sample

Thanks for joining this adventure!

Antigone Cloud is the name of the novel I'm now working on (it is related to my AR startup). I won't say anything more, as the text below should give a clue or two. Please keep in mind that the following is minimal; in the book, there are visual cues and other devices to provide more information. My thinking is that if the following basic dialogue can be understood, then the planned text additions will only make the scene easier to understand, and more pleasant to read.

PLEASE leave a comment or question, of any kind. THANK YOU

And, if you have any visual materials that are even remotely related to young adults, AR and/or Southeast Asia, I would be very happy to feature them on my blog and elsewhere. Drawings, 3D scans, 3D models.. anything. I would really love to see images of young people recorded with 3D volumetric cameras. I would, of course, credit and backlink, as well as share information about your image/software/company/artistic motivation.

Antigone meets Yves

Yves Arc: Hello... archild. (He emphasizes ‘child”, drawing it out, stretching his mouth into a terrible smile.)

Antigone Cloud: I’m...I’m...

Yves Arc: You're the blip that popped up on TPS last night, correct? 6:17PM. Your Source is on the 5th floor, room 521. In the Life Shelter, on a shelf above a bicycle.

Antigone Cloud: Your voice is like Sir Caboose! Are your Pparents from Cambridge? Do you have a bedder?

Yves Arc: Someone has the international pop culture app, now don’t they? Your Pparents would seem to have excellent taste. Yes, my voice was inspired by Sir Caboose.

And your voice? American? (Yves coughs).

Antigone Cloud: Yes. Sailor Jayne.

Yves Arc: ... oh. A pop star...

(Yves coughs again.)

Well, we can’t all have the voices of Liz and Dick, now can we?

Antigone Cloud: I am sorry; can you repeat that?

Yves Arc: Repeat it? Why? I enounced and pronounced perfectly. 57 decibels. The ambient noise is easily canceled out. Obviously you lack culture-related software. Richard Burton. Elizabeth Taylor. Dick and Liz! Superstars of stage and cinema. The most fabulous couple of the modern age. Nec plus ultra!

(Yves looks at her, sees his reflection in her glasses. Sighs.) I suppose I should simply state everything in Star Quest mode. Or would you prefer cartoon mode?

Antigone Cloud: Star Quest mode, please. (in a quiet voice). Thank you.

Yves Arc: What age you are supposed to be?

Antigone Cloud: Ten.

Yves Arc: Ten? Why, when I was a ten-year old, I was in charge of a factory with 34 air conditioners,18 surveillance cams, 9 quality control systems, 6 robots and an assembly line 28.9 meters long that constantly needed replacement parts from a mythical place in China! Plus, overseas clients. Six languages!

Antigone Cloud: I don’t believe you! You're just a boy!

Yves Arc:: First of all, in three days I will be upgraded to arman. Second, I have been carefully curated by...

Antigone Cloud: Curated!? You mean you’re made with a bunch of mixed up old software junk with a bunch of new programs that are buggy. Buggy buggy buggy! (Antigone sings the last two lines of a commercial.)

We are curates, tried and true,

Helpful curates and we love you!

Yves Arc: Please stop. It's tacky. (Antigone’s expression shows that she doesn’t understand.) The commercial... it takes advantage of lonely people who don’t have much money. It doesn’t care for them. It doesn’t care for arbots. (Yves watches the palm trees react to the wind).

Antigone Cloud: But it has achieved economic success.

Yves Arc: Yes, Commander, affirmative. A lot of us have been sold.

Antigone Cloud: 37% of all curates are removed from TPS within the first month.

Yves Arc: That statistic would seem to be true. (He looks worried.) I must reSource now. The increasing humidity is decreasing my strength.

Antigone Cloud: Me too. (She looks at Yves with apprehension) Your TPS is a fifth floor flat above Books Hontoni? In the Life Shelter, on a rattan chair with a broken seat?

Yves Arc: Affirmative, Commander, affirmative. (Yves sighs and walks away.) Why can’t Pparents ever respect privacy mode?

.........................................

Thanks for reading this far. Looking forward to your comments.

Writing and the Digital Avante-garde

The slides are explained here.

TEST READERS WANTED: If you would like to be one of the first to read about ANTIGONE CLOUD, email Stephen Black at bubikofoodtour@gmail.com

Antigone Cloud is a ten-year old girl who is actually an arbot, a softwre program made of light. Antigone, who lives in Singapore, has the body of a ghost and the mind of an emotional computer.

Lida Cloud 1

A gao yord tattoo just below one boxer’s Adam's apple, a tiger on the back of the other. Their bones and muscles glisten beneath the stadium lights like warm, metallic oil. They study each other. They move. Flicker. The fighter in red pirouettes, then launches a punch made of rock. Impact! The crowd roars. Bravely, the one in blue stumbles. He finally gains focus again; his gloves shoot up like a shield. He moves forward. Jabs: left, left, left. An elbow to the right. His eyebrow becomes a dripping red line...

The girl looks bored.

...........................

The above, or a version of it, is likely the opening of Lida Cloud, the book I am in the midst of writing. Lida is an arbot in the form of a ten-year old girl.

...................

The story of Lida is a topic for another day. For now, the image of the boxing ring is symbol for both Life and AR.

I would like to thank Thaifight for allowing me behind the scenes for their recent tournament. I am still compiling my notes on those two days into a documentary type article. Thanks also to Graham Meyer for responding so professionally. The opportunity to write about the tournament happened very quickly, and all I had was an iPhone. Graham magically appeared, thanks to Christian Hogue. Graham's other images of the tournament are are excellent, so much that they would overpower this bit of writing!

Notes on Lida Cloud… a novel featuring an AR character (Augmented Reality)

Lida Cloud is a ten year old girl with a body like a ghost and a mind like a computer. She is an archild, an augmented reality companion. Lida lives in Singapore, but wants to live on a mountaintop. Lida and her two friends, a dolphin named Sinus and a giraffe named Mugi, journey across Southeast Asia looking for the perfect mountain.

I will be talking about Lida Cloud at the Singapore Young Writers Festival. The book is a personal writing challenge and a way to increase my understanding of how markerless AR might work. Though the book is fictional, the AR used in the book is based on a unified light field delivery system which does not yet exist. Unified light field system AR seems to be the basis of Magic Leap's research.

After some thought, I decided that Lida would exist within a 3 meter square space. She can be seen from anywhere, any distance away, but all of her motions must take place within that 3 meter cube.

Lida is projected from a Source. A Source is a fictitious device/app that is like a Kinect, but in reverse. A Kinect is all about recording sound and motion within a 3D space; a Source is about projecting light and sound into a space.

A Source would require huge amounts of battery power. To maintain realism, I am treating battery life almost as though it were part of Lida’s personality. However, Lida is not based on hard science.

Lida is an archild, or an arkid. The words combine AR (augmented reality) with “child” and “kid”. The word “arbot” also appears in the book. After I had been using the word "arbot " for a while, I researched to see if the word is actually being used. I could only find this. Presently, there are, of course, robotic companions. Books have been populated by robots since the playwright Karel Capek created the word “robots” almost one hundred years ago. Physicality may be the biggest difference between robots and arbots. Arbots, though they appear to be three-dimensional, are made of light. This means that they cannot perform actions like picking things up.

“Beings made of light” could be a description of an arbot. The phrase itself is loaded with religious and new age associations. Not a bad thing, perhaps, but Lida will be as "normal" and "human" as she can be, even in fantastic and unrealistic situations.

Lida Cloud and Publishizer are now in discussions about crowdfunding. Please get in touch if you can support, especially if you know of any book clubs or libraries. Lida Cloud will be likely presented as a novel for young adults, but it is also full of information on Southeast Asia. Food too!

The base of the header image is by Tarotski, who is extremely talented.

Year of the Duck

Happy Year of the Duck!

The Bubiko Foodtour rolled into Udon Thani, Thailand!

Thank you to Chumnannit Srisuporn, the Director of Public Health and Environment, and to the Deputy Mayor, Suraphon Jamnootibeecha, for a very pleasant exchange of ideas. We shared information about the Jeff Koons/AR project, and learned the background of the Udon Thani rubber ducks. The ducks were inspired by a sculpture by Dutch artist Florentijn Hofman. They attract people from around the world and have posed for countless selfies.

We truly enjoyed the tour of the Udon Thani museum! Highlights: Richard Nixon, the history of Udon Thani and how the Thai royalty kept Thailand out of the hands of the French.

Thank you to our informative tour guide and to Nattapicha Rachakhang, who gave us a tour of the city.

If you are in Bangkok on Wednesday...

https://feb2018sundowner.eventbrite.com/

The Bubiko Orwell Tour/Startup/Pitchdeck/Presentation

Risk is what differentiates business from entrepreneurship, separates art from craft. It is said that the greater the risk, the greater the rewards. I hope this to be true: last year, my partner and I took the biggest risk we possibly could.

A visa complication presented us with a choice: we could return to our homelands or we could do a research and networking tour of Southeast Asia, focusing on food, AR and VR.

We decided to tour. We had only the clothes we were wearing, no computer, no significant savings. No firm plan, only ideas. That was a year ago.

Now:

- I have completed the first draft of Eating Where Orwell Ate, a collection of stories and essays about Singapore, Malaysia, Indonesia, Thailand and Myanmar.

- We have a database of food, restaurants and culinary experiences. A sample. Bubiko Foodtour has been launched on her journey to AR superstardom.

- We have established a physical and digital network of individuals, associations, companies and educational that are genuinely interested in AR.

- We have characters! Bubiko Foodtour, Secret Donut World and The Dobots(with David Severn) and The Dundercats(with permission from the IP owners).

- We’re finalizing the world’s first AR photo exhibition!

In short, the past year has been extremely productive.

I will be giving a presentation at the February session of the Sundowner networking event at the Sasin School of Management. Sasi is an AACSB and EQUIS accredited business school founded in 1982 through a collaboration among Chulalongkorn University and the Kellogg School of Management and the Wharton Business School.

Here is the info:

AR: An Introduction for Entrepreneurs, Adventurers and Artists

There will soon be over a billion AR-friendly phones and devices. This presentation explains what AR (Augmented Reality) is, and discusses noteworthy projects, ideas, business models and artworks. The AR-related investments of Google, Apple, Microsoft, Epson and Facebook have created a frontier full of possibilities. Are you ready?

About Stephen Black

An American who has spent most of his life in Asia, Black has worked for Fuji TV, France 2, Fox, CNN and Cartoon Network, as well as with exceptional musicians, artists and writers. He is experienced with the creation of 3D games, and has taught gamemaking classes. He is also an established visual artist with a BFA in Photographic Illustration from the Rochester Institute of Technology.

With Eugene Soh, Stephen curated SPOKEN, a virtual art exhibition. With hiverlab, he wrote, produced and starred in Beach Road, a 360 VR film which was featured at festivals in Brisbane, Las Vegas and Singapore.

Stephen has written eight books, including i ate tiong bahru, a bestseller in Singapore. His next book will be Eating Where Orwell Ate, inspired by his 2017 Southeast Asian AR research tour. Its cover will feature AR.

Stephen enjoys helping Bubiko Foodtour research mango sticky rice. His website is www.blacksteps.tv

19 Crimes AR: the artwork of the millennium (Viva la ARPOP!)

19 Crimes has created the most relevant artwork of the millenium. With it, ARPOP is born. Ponder its relationship with:

- Rembrandt, Dodd, Warhol, and Anderson

- the legacy of black and white photography

- the world becoming MOMA

- the innovations of VR artists

- the act of viewing. AR can become a form of performance art on a private, intimate level

- cinema!

- a companion piece: Duchamp's urinal.

- the "lighthouses"(galleries, theatres and museums) that are no longer the dominant guides for social and cultural navigation. AR, GPS and social media, viewed on glowing phones and tablets, are replacing ivory towers. Decentralization is the future. 19 Crimes exemplifies the future of art.

-ARPOP is born.

I will be discussing ARPOP at ECHA this weekend:

Check Stephen Black on Facebook for details on live broadcasts.