With Sayuri Okayama, I would like to thank Novaby for doing such a great job in creating the 3D version of Bubiko. The version on display is a work in progress, and already the reception has been very positive.Thank you Novaby!
Stephen Black: This post is a breakdown of my experiences with AR/VR/Spatial Computing. It starts with 2002, though I received a BFA in Photographic Illustration from the Rochester Institute of Technology well before that.
Before 2002, I lived in Tokyo, Manhattan, Paris and Hong Kong, and worked in network TV, fine arts, photography and music. A fuller biography can be found here. But AR is the topic of this post...
2002-2007. In Singapore I worked as a creative director for a 3D game making company that was also doing something like Youtube,-- but three years before Youtube. Although I was not a developer, I learned a great deal about spatial computing, and taught 3D gamemaking in Singapore, including classes at the Singapore Science Center. It was during this time, that David Severn and I developed the Secret Donut World characters.
2007- 2014 Singapore/Bali: wrote novels, including a bestseller, was involved with 3how and researched VR and AR.
2014 SPOKEN, with Eugene Soh; a curation of a wide range of artists.
2014 The Oculus signaled the emergence of VR, and I began notes for a book about VR cinematography.
2015 In Singapore, a chance meeting with Ender Jiang, the founder of Hiverlab, resulted in the opportunity to make my first 360 film. Ender provided me with technical support and creative freedom and I am extremely grateful for that opportunity. The resulting film, Beach Road, featured a soundtrack by Bani Haykal and Chen Yi Qi, and was selected as a demo VR film in the Hybrid Arcade session of the Brisbane Asia Pacific Film Festival in November 2015, and was nominated as the Best Experimental VR Film in the VR Fest Las Vegas 2016. It was also fetured in a VR film festival at the Singapore national Museum. Beach Road was receiving a healthy number of views and comments before a technical change in Google Play took it off. At the time of this writing, Beach Road is on Veer and has received almost 5000 views.
2016 The year began with discussing a VR startup idea with VCs in Singapore. Though the discussions went well, the lack of a prototype slowed things down. Shortly after, the release of ARCore and ARKit resulted in a halt to VR the possibilities of AR were assessed.
By April, AR had become the focus and the decision was made to become the "Pixar of AR": original characters, stories and software. With Sayuri Okayama, Bubiko Foodtour was originated.
2018 A presentation about AR was given at Sasin School of Business in Bangkok, later followed by two presentations and two workshops at Hong Kong PolyU, all at 80% capacity or higher.
2018Lotus Mountain, a 360 film was shot and post production began including VR art contributions from Scobot and a soundtrack by Rei Shimizu. The film is at least 80% done and finishing funds are now being searched for. Lotus Mountain was supported by Kando, and 8K Obsidians were used for most of the shooting. Noted Chinese VR filmmaker Leo Wei co-directed and produced.
Bubiko at the Rise festival in HK
Hong Kong Comicon
2018 Cross-promotional and development partnership with Six Cats Studios (HK), focusing on their original IPs, Ollie and Charlie.
2018 Presentations in Shenzhen, including Le Wagon and Tech Crunch Shenzhen.
A free download of the Artivive app. This should go on a mobile phone or tablet. Either Android or iOs will work.
A copy of the 2019 Ohio Bicycle Events calendar. If you do not have a printed copy, you can get the same effect by pointing your phone or tablet at this image, featuring "Tour Legs", an artwork by Sassan Filsoof.
To see the AR in action, simply point your phone at the image above or the cover of the printed Ohio Bicycle Events Calendar.
Please note: This project was self-initiated and NOT endorsed by the Ohio Bicycle Event Calendar nor the Ohio Bicycle Federation.
The Ohio Bicycle Events Calendar can be found here.
Thanks to David Black, the rider.
Information on my presentation at the Great Ohio Bike adventure can be found here.
If you are interested in how AR can improve bike safety, click here.
Lenovo ThinkReality A6 headset: an inspiration for bicycle safety?
I am independent; Lenovo is not sponsoring this; the following is simply a way for me to introduce AR to people. I am now working on a book about the impact AR is having on the world of bicycling, especially safety. I am not crowdfunding the book. An early version is now on Amazon. If you would like to support this project, it would be much appreciated.
A list of all of teh AR+bike posts on this blog can be found here.
The A6 is NOT designed for bicycling. Battery power is an obvious example of why the A6 is not likely to be used on the road. The A6 is claimed to have four hours of power. Bike trips longer than four hours would require consideration for recharging and/or batteries (and their weight). The A6 is not even being offered to individual consumers; it is a B2B product.
An excellent overview of all of the features of the A6 is here.
The A6 features worth discussing are:
This refers to the quality of the image. The A6 provides 1080 lines of resolution, which is very good, like a high definition television. A discussion of image quality must include the brightness of outdoor scenes. You cannot see any kind of information if it is lost in the brightness of the sun.
The advantage of voice control is obvious. Just say "Display an alternative route" and see the suggestion appear on your visor (or smart glasses). Safer and faster than pushing buttons, or even stopping to look at a phone or other device. The audio requirements that are unique to bicycling need to be considered.
The A6 can be "trained" to recognize specific components used in industrial or medical applications. For example, a connecting rod, or a femur. With bicycling, the ability to detect cars, pedestrians and other bicycles is advantageous, especially when combined with tracking. Imagine knowing that an 18 wheeler, traveling 80 miles an hour is 100 yards behind you- without having to turn your head or use your mirror.
Parents could be aware of where their children are. Bike team members can monitor their teammates and competitors.
HEAD GAZE TRACKING
This allows the digital information you are looking at to be properly positioned in your viewing area no matter where you are looking.
GESTURE CONTROLS and THREE DEGREES OF FREEDOM HAND CONTROLLER
These two functions may have no importance while riding, but once off the bike, the ability to control functions and displays by hand could be important for maintenance and repair.
At races and tournaments, barcodes could enable quickly changing information to be shared easily. A barcode could be designated for weather updates for example. A rider looking at that barcode would immediately know what to expect, as the weather information is automatically displayed in his or her viewing area.
The A6 has two fisheye cameras on the front. For bicyclist, one camera on the back is hugely advantageous, as the need to see what is behind is a primary concern.
The A6 has a light. Probably not powerful enough for bicycling, but worth thinking about. Like all things related to bicycles, weight and comfort are issues, as well as price, of course.
These are just some of the ways bike enjoyment and safety can be increased. When we add GPS and impact sensors, we create the opportunity for first responders to immediately know the location of the incident. Two way communication via cameras and voice allow for decisions and preparations to be made in the shortest time possible.
One last point: AR is just starting, which increases the chances of bicyclists having their needs met. If individuals, bike organizations and traffic regulatory agencies and bike equipment manufacturers start communicating now, the shorter the path towards increased AR-enhanced safety will be.
I welcome any questions or comments. Feel free to post below.
PS. I don't want to confuse things, but if you want to see how information might be displayed in visors or smart glasses, take a look at indoor bicycle training. The Rouvy system is full of examples. Look here. (Rouvy is not paying me!)
Following is the brief introduction to a collection of notes, links and thoughts related to AR/bike safety.
AR’s future is very bright but, presently, it is barely known by the general public. This is surprising, as AR is the most magical part of Pokemon Go, an app that has been downloaded over a billion times, and earned over $200 million its first month. AR is also widely used in military, scientific and industrial applications. Boeing, for example, has been using AR for jet engine maintenance since the late 1980s. With AR, Ikea revolutionized shopping for furniture. Facebook and Apple are both producing smart glasses specifically for AR. But my opinion, based on my own research, and many discussions with AR professionals in Asia, at MIT, at SXSW, and online, is that AR is not yet widely known. AR is not yet like TV.
My own experiences with AR began in 2003, when I was a creative director with a 3D gamemaking company in Singapore. In 2016, with Sayuri Okayama, I began to act upon ideas for a startup that aims to be the “Pixar of AR”. Our first character, Bubiko Foodtour, will soon have her own AR app.
Discovering the existing, and future, AR/cycling app possibilities is exciting and important to me. My own experiences may allow me to see parts of the AR/bicycling picture that others may possibly not.
An important part of this ebook is to clarify, and raise questions about, the technical interactions between autonomous vehicles, human controlled vehicles, traffic controllers, GPS and bike/AR apps. A woman pushing a bicycle was the first fatality involving an autonomous vehicle: what have we learned from this tragedy?
This is an ebook; it can be easily updated. The interactions between AR and bicycling will only increase, and this project will be updated. If you would like a free copy of the latest edition, send an email to the address below.
Finally, I should say that the AR apps shown within are not paid endorsements. If, in the future, sponsorship occurs, it will be made very clear. If a product appears within these pages, it is because it seems to be a good example.
I welcome your comments, critiques, suggestions and questions.
Book Merah has primarily published the works of Stephen Black, the exception being Singapore Literature prize winner Cyril Wong.Book Merah is now open to discussions with writers.
Stephen Black's books and stories are often set in Asia, and combine research with storytelling. The links below lead to reviews, descriptions, photos and videos, as well as links to Amazon and Unglue.
"a truly enjoyable reading, between a memoir and a travel diary in which one can easily recognize fragments of oneself.
- Carla Bonollo, whose Italian language blog can be found here.
Furikake is the Japanese word for the spices and ingredients sprinkled upon rice. It is one of my favorite foods, and in Clementi, i ate it often. I wrote this while I was living in the Clementi is an area of Singapore, and, for about two years, my three room apartment there was extremely cheap. More importantly, I became very good friends with a group who represented the diversity and tolerance of Singapore. In i ate tiong bahru, there is a short story about the day we met at an Indian temple for the memorial service of one of our group.
Clementi was close to the water and a park. There were great places to eat. Clementi is where I met Joe the Diver, who not only became a great friend, but also joined 3how on stage several times. Here is a story about one of those times.
At the i ate tiong bahru launch party, Joe sang a song...
Furikake was a challenge to write, for a few reasons. Ebooks were very new at the time. Amazon had just released the Kindle, but the take up in Singapore was very slow; if I remember correctly it was not possible to buy ebooks in Singapore at the time. And, of course, my writing style and topics are not exactly mainstream. Unkown writer, unknown publisher. Furikake was a commitment to the art and craft of writing; despite the odds against success.
PS There is a blog post with more excepts from Furikake. the formatting is strange, so I am not linking to it, but it can easily be found. The post also explains why Furikake once had the ugliest cover on Amazon.