Stephen Black/ Ipoh/Augmented Reality (almost)crowdfunding

ForwARd!

Hello!

My name is Stephen Black, and I am hoping you can help me with ideas and any kind of support you can. I want to make a simple project for the new technology of Augmented Reality. I am trying this direct approach for fundraising instead of crowdfunding. Crowdfunding will take too long and this is urgent, in a good and exciting way.

Allow me to introduce myself and my project to you:

My background is in art, television production (CNN, Fuji TV, Cartoon Network).I'm a graduate from the Rochester Institute of Technology. I worked for a gamemaking company, until 2007. I then began writing books, while waiting for AR, VR and mobile technology to become stable. This is happening now, and by 2019, there will be hundreds of millions of AR-friendly Android and Apple phones and tablets.

I have been introducing AR to food-related businesses in Southeast Asia. These activities led to an interview by the Malay Mail news service (circulation 100,000).The interview is scheduled to be be printed/go online October 14. A draft of the article is here. A concise background of my AR, VR, 360, art, photographic and other activities is here.

I hope to have a photo exhibition AR project online by then. The photos are of Ipoh, Malaysia.

So... at the moment I am scrambling to find $800.This covers the cost of the app and related expenses.

Please contact me if you can help. I am open to receiving donations that I will thankfully acknowledge and pay back/pay forward. However, I also hope to connect to individuals, companies or artists that would like to create future projects, whether art, entertainment or advertising.

THANK YOU

Stephen Black

bubikofoodtour (@)gmail.com A more detailed post on my AR activities.

PS: This is Bubiko Foodtour, another AR project I am working on, along with Secret Donut World and the Doughbots.

oppARtunity… now!

My background, as related to the possibilities of AR, the new cinema/theatre/text-artform/communication business:

- Beach Road, the 360 movie I produced with Hiverlab, was nominated for Best Experimental film at the 2016 VR Fest Las Vegas, and featured at the 2015 Brisbane Film Festival.

-established Book Merah, and have written, published/epublished eight books including one bestseller, i ate tiong bahru.

-worked as creative director for Compudia/Walker Asia, a company doing ahead-of-its-time CG VR (gaming), as well as a platform like Youtube-3 years before Youtube began.

Stephen Black teaching gamemaking in Singapore

- Curated an international assortment of very well known, and unknown artists for a critically well-received virtual gallery called SPOKEN. This was a co-production with Eugene Soh.

-directed and co-produced Kiss, a short film featuring legendary Japanese actress Kumiko Akiyoshi. The four minute film was divided into three segments and shown at a very small size due to the technical limitations of the internet at the time.It received over 3 million views inits first three months of being online.

-Firsts in Singapore: first Singapore-made ebook on Amazon, first Singapore-based Kickstarter project, first piece of edible food art in Singapore, first 360 movie.

-In SPP, an artspace co-produced with Barae, held the Japanese premiere of Wax, a movie by David Blair, which, according to the New York Times, was the first full length movie to be transmitted on the internet.

All of the above situations and projects were "ävante garde",or "cutting edge" or "at the forefront of technology and creativity". Some were opportunities for art-creation, some were economic opportunities.

Now, of course, it is 2017. Augmented Reality is soon to be making an impact on our lives, just as social media and GPS have.

I am excited and prepared to use my experiences to create in AR.

If anyone is interested in doing something with AR, get in touch. It doesn't matter if your interest is in art or business related. At this moment, the most important thing is to get first-hand experience in the creation of an AR experience. For businesses, this means the international marketing and promotional advantages that come with being a first mover. For those on the creative side, this is the opportunity to work with a new art form.

I have been researching and preparing for a long time and now I want to make something, goshdarnit!

Bubiko Foodtour update #AR

This draft will soon be appearing in a major Asian newspaper. Once the newspaper version appears online, this one will be taken down.

Stephen Black and Sayuri Okayama are preparing the Southeast Asian food industry for the Augmented Reality revolution. Their partner in this endeavor is Bubiko Foodtour, a “little chef from Thailand”, who is on her way to becoming AR’s first superstar. The three are blazing a unique trail across the region, sharing their insights on AR, as well as researching the culinary world of Southeast Asia.

Most recently based in Singapore, Black, Okayama and Foodtour left the Lion City in February, first stopping in Johor Bahru. There, they experienced a full range of food culture: from family-run warungs to the Imagineering Institute, a pioneer in creating virtual food experiences. After stops in Jakarta and Bandung, they traveled to Kuala Lumpur, where they attended both the Malaysian International Food and Beverage Trade Show, and Cooler Lumpur, a weekend showcase of AR and other technologies.

The trio are currently in Ipoh, after stops in the Cameron Highlands and southern Thailand. With these visits, Black, Okayama and Foodtour learn about local foods and, in turn, explain how AR technology will soon be available on hundreds of millions of phones. ” AR will have a huge impact upon supermarkets and restaurants,“ Black says. He suggests that companies prepare for AR now, in order to get maximum benefits from the first mover advantage.

“AR is the future, “ added Okayama, ”easily accessible to anyone, it offers unlimited creative possibilities. It combines the best of cinema, theatre and the written word. Bubiko is ready for all of this. She’s Charlie Chaplin, Hello Kitty and Anthony Bourdain, all rolled into one!” Besides business ideas, Black and Okayama introduce people to Bubiko’s colleagues, The Doughbots and Secret Donut World. “With these charming characters and original software, our company aims to be the Pixar of AR.” Black, who has a degree in Photographic Fine Art from the Rochester Institute of Technology, has worked with CNN, France 2, Fuji TV and other international media companies. One of his eight books, i ate tiong bahru, is a bestseller in Singapore. Okayama is experienced in the travel and hospitality industries.

“Ipoh’s reputation for great food was a major reason for coming here. Plus, the natural surroundings, the town’s history and architecture; this a great base. With places like pasar malam, Little India and the huge flea market on Sundays, there are many ways to learn about Southeast Asia. Recently, in Ipoh, Black did an unusual project. From the roof of the Abby Hotel, he did a live, 72 hour Facebook broadcast. He shared food research, read from his books, played videos about art, food and music- and introduced the world to Bubiko Foodtour.

"The live broadcast saw me going to the streets and visiting interesting shops, rain or shine; adding local flavour to the programme for my international audience. It was informative and all in good fun. I’m looking forward to doing this again-but probably not for 72 hours. Bubiko enjoyed it, but all she did was dance occasionally," he quipped.

(article ontinues after video)

“We plan to be in Ipoh a while longer. I’m staying near the Kinta River, between Old Town and New Town. We explore in the mornings and late afternoon, to avoid the heat. The British architecture reminds us of Singapore. The food is fantastic. Every meal is an insight into Malay, Indian and/or Chinese culture, especially the spices! Bubiko likes it too!" Black said with a smile.

The character of Bubiko came naturally to the multi-talented Black, whose background also includes conceptual art, creative direction for a gamemaking company and production work for Cartoon Network. “It was Sayuri’s idea to use an actual Thai doll as a starting point. Now we are testing our own character ideas, refining her face and personality. Her adventures are a fun way to inform people about the possibilities Apple and Google are adding to our phones. Now, AR is unknown, but it will soon be as common as GPS.”

Bubiko is also a photographer, and her adventures in Ipoh have resulted in a photo portfolio. Available on Amazon, the ebook is entitled 'IPOH: 88 iPhone photographs'.An essay about Bubiko's experiences also appears in the book Black is writing about his experiences in Southeast Asia.

As the trio’s unusual tour continues, Bubiko Foodtour’s fans on Instagram and Facebook are increasing. Soon Bubiko will be sharing meals with millions of people. Perhaps Bubiko will be bigger than Pokemon- and Ipoh hosted her first!

Bubiko Foodtour Scrapbook

Bubiko Foodtour is introducing the world to Augmented Reality, starting with Southeast Asia.This is in anticipation of 2018, when hundreds of millions of mobile phones and tablets will be able to create AR experiences. However, the 3D model of Bubiko Foodtour is not yet available in 3D. There are several reasons for this, the primary one being that we are testing/refining what motions Bubiko will be performing in AR. These have to be carefully considered. Here are some of the Bubiko related ideas we have been thinking of, learning from, and experimenting with.
a doll from Thailand

This doll, a gift from a Thai friend, has been our "stunt double"for Bubiko.

colored pinwheel and paper doll

Paper tests like these are very helpful in trying to visualize the final Bubiko Foodtour AR experience

previsualizing AR experiences

Bubiko Foodtour (trial version) in front of sign featuring two drinks. Imagining the possibilities of AR.

doll with colorful drink

How will Bubiko interact with her environment? Can she speak?

I have been working with 3D models and computer game software since 2002, although much more on the creative side than the technical side. Having said that, to fully realize a creation in AR/computer -generated 3D, one must be fully aware of the the theory, possibilities and limitations of the softwares.

digital sculpture

Running Mamuang A collaborative design of the famous cartoon character 'Mamuang' between Thai cartoonist Wisut Ponnimit and digital sculptor Sebastian Schoellhammer. https://www.rinkak.com/jp/item/mokumake/5739477064482816?hl=jp

3D printing! In researching this, I was thrilled to discover the work of Wisut Ponnimit, especially Mamuang, his well-known character. The use of mascots by the prefectures in Japan has also been inspirational.
mascots

screen shots of Japanese prefecture mascots

Photoshop screenshot

Testing various elements to get the perfect look for Bubiko Foodtour.

This first stage of research is very open and more about capturing character. The next stage involves wireframes and 3D modeling and is more technical. Aroi mak mak!

Stephen Black: 72 hour Facebook Live Broadcast

THE BROADCAST IS HERE.

HELLO

Augmented Reality,art, Southeast Asian food, Bubiko Foodtour, VR, music, haikus, photographs, videos, unusualness... and discussions, readings from, and free downloads of, EBOOKS! The broadcast starts at 3PM September 30, Malaysia time, ends on Monday, October 2 at 3PM Malaysia time.

Until October 2, these ebooks are free downloads on Amazon:

Obama Search Words

Furikake

Fires by Cyril Wong

i ate tiong bahru (a paper copy is available at naiise)

Bali Wave Ghost

Flame Magnet

red dot SAD

Ipoh

Contact With Shadow is not a free download, but if you are interested in the future of book distribution, you should know about Unglue.

There is an audiobook version of i ate tiong bahru, narrated by Mirai Booth-Ong. And, this is 3how's debut album.

Bubiko Foodtour is AR's first superstar.

Base of operations: the Abby Hotel in Ipoh, Malaysia.

Thank you: Hock Moon Hiong BBQ meat and Jewellery Design and Management International School

If you are here because you are interested in my AR-related startup ideas, this post gives you an overview.

FWIW, I will soon have stories on Popularium and ElevenAsia

I am writing this 30 hours after the marathon went live.On one hand my blog views are double what they usually are. On the other hand, there haven't been many viewers. That is OK. I didn't do any pre-publicity, I am not paying Facebook to blast the event and there are no costs, other than my time. I hope that towards the end of the 72 hours there are more viewers. For now, I can only say if you visit the FB live page, say hi.

Here is an email I've sent out to friends and associates:

Hello everyone... I hope the weekend is a good one for you.

Just to short note to say that I am doing a live FB broadcast from Ipoh-for 72 hours. I started Friday at 3, will finish at 3 on Monday. The camera I am using isn't very good, the audio is so-so, the internet is slow and I am silhouetted during the daytime. Perfect!

Actually I am learning a lot, and my blog is seeing a nice amount of action. The free ebooks are trickling out of Amazon. I can see clicks on my blog posts about my AR startup plans. Yesterday I was interviewed by a reporter from the Malay Mail.

Anyhoo...stop by and chat with the silhouette... and meet Secret Donut World, the Doughbots and steamboatbubikofoodtourwillie. http://www.blacksteps.tv/stephen-black-72-hour-facebook-live-broadcast/

onwARd,

Steve

This was the schedule for Friday...

FRIDAY

3pm Ipoh (3AM NYC)8AM London

Son Mn Chinese Lantern Exhibition

4:30-5:30 Ipoh(4:30-5:30AM NYC)9:30-10:30 AM London

reading from Obama Search Words

5:30-6:15 Ipoh

Ipoh food adventures

6:15-7PM Ipoh

Ipoh evening tour

7pm(7AM NYC)12PM London

Bubiko: Adventures in Photoshop at Thanas Wedding Photography

9pm(9am NYC)2pm London

Ipoh Evening food adventures

9-10 Ipoh

Free ebooks introduction

10pm(10am NYC)3pm London

Stephen Black and VR

11pm(11am NYC)4pm London

Stephen Black startup ideas

12am(12pm NYC)5pm Lon

Stephen Black and AR

SATURDAY SEPTEMBER 30, 2017 (in Ipoh)

coming soon!

Notes for an AR Project

Trademark

The ARt School Project

The ARt School (an example for discussion and learning)

An art school sets up a web based app. The school is not concerned with showing up in search or reaching anyone besides its students. The school and its students are happy that there are no downloads. The app allows one jpeg of a painting to be shown in AR.

One day, a teacher records a 10 minute video of herself talking about the painting's technical aspects and history. The app is capable of showing this video and the jpeg at the same time. A student creates a sculpture inspired by the painting. A Unity version of the sculpture is created, and the app shows this sculpture, the video and the original jpeg.

Choreographers, working with musicians and students specializing in Unity and 3D motion, create a short AR dance piece full of leaps and spinning. The app can handle the performance of the eight CG models...

The app can do all of these things and information is shared and everyone lives happily ever after.

I am planning an AR startup. The file size issue is a huge challenge. In the story about the school, the line about "no downloads" is probably incorrect.... or is it? We can watch movies on youtube without downloading them...

Is there any way to avoid heavy downloads for AR? I know technology will improve, but for now it seems like what I want to do could easily be 100 megs, likely much, much more. I have been researching how to "eliminate" file size, but have not yet found anything directly related to AR and progressive web apps... Finally, although I am extremely interested in programming and computer languages, I have only superficial knowledge about them.

Yes, I know about ARKit and ARCore, but have no experience with them yet. It would seem that they automatically must utilize the Apple/Google platforms. Plus, I am researching Vuforia, Wikitude and anything else that I discover.

Thank you for your time and comments.

onwARd,

Stephen Black

Here are some excellent posts related to Progresssive Web Apps:

https://www.quora.com/What-are-the-advantages-and-disadvantages-of-Progressive-Web-Apps-over-Native-Apps by Alex Russel, Google employee

https://whatwebcando.today/

https://medium.com/javascript-scene/native-apps-are-doomed-ac397148a2c0

https://hackernoon.com/the-wisdom-of-the-crowd-c7aff954bd5f

Notes on AR Startup Business Model

The startup will generate revenue in the following ways:

- Software (original IP, and possible synergies with Unity, Google and Apple)

- Digital Products, AR and 2D (direct download to individuals, bundling and through online stores)

- Character Goods, Advertising and Licensing (SDW, TD, Bubiko Foodtour)

- Character and AR Content Creation for Third Parties

"the Pixar of AR"

AR is a new medium. There are countless opportunities for entertainment, business and self-expression.

The following are now being reviewed:

Startup Growth Calculator by Trevor Blackwell

https://techcrunch.com/2014/01/31/the-complete-quantitative-guide-to-judging-your-startup/

The 10 Most Important Metrics In A Startup's Financial Statements by Tomas Tunguz http://tomtunguz.com/ten-financial-metrics/

Notes on a Million Dollar Budget for an AR Startup

My company aims to be the Pixar of AR: original characters and software, with a surprise or two. Assuming that I am fortunate to receive one million dollars, how would the money be spent? Actually, I would prefer to bootstrap, but after ten years of only writing books and purposely doing no marketing, that might not be very efficient: it takes money to make money. It is said that bootstrapping teaches one how to earn money, while investor funding teaches one how to spend money... In any, event, the following exercise is good practice.

It could be as simple as...

250,000 for IT: research, model creation,programmers, cloud storage

250,000 for staff and rent (although I strongly believe that for the first year the company benefits most from being a "digital nomad" )

250,000 for promotion

250,000 held in reserve

Realistically, more detailed planning usually eliminates inefficiency.The first 18-24 months could look like this:

Model creation of 35 3D characters (textures,rigging etc.).200K

Staff......................................................200K

Promotional Tour...........................................150K

Cash Balance on Starting Date..............................200K

Domain/Name/Cloud Services/Big Data.........................50K

Research:.................................................. 50K

Digital Marketing...........................................50K

Equipment/Storage Rental....................................50K

Start Up expenses...........................................50K

For now, the above is a good starting point.Elsewhere, I have started an Excel document that will go into much more detail on a month by month basis.

The Wall Street Journal Startup Calculator

U.S. Small Business Association Guide to Startup Costs

EMU: Notes on a Promotional Tour for an AR Startup

Potential investors in my AR startup need to know the company's GTM strategy, GTM meaning Go To Market. Based on my experiences in teaching gamemaking, art and network television promotion; I strongly believe that live demonstrations and instruction are the strongest ways ways to gain users and create outstanding services for them. Although AR is simple to use, a deeper appreciation usually results when there is a personal connection. The advantages of watching and listening to users cannot be overestimated.

A carefully planned "digital nomad" approach to business growth/promotion/publicity/marketing can result in a large and diverse user base, as well as networking opportunities that are difficult to obtain online. This approach has been successfully tested, even without a product. The 2018 tour, properly funded and planned, will build upon the network established in 2017.

Starting in January, 2018, the tour is based upon a successful crowdfunding campaign concluding at the end of October, 2017.

EMU= Events, such as South by Southwest + Meet Up events, self-organized.

Tour Ideas, subject to change:

2017

NYC, NY DMWF Digital Marketing Conference, November 7, 8

2018

PARK CITY, UTAH Slamdance Film Festival http://www.slamdance.com/ January 18-25

PROVO, UTAH One of the top ten American cities for Startups and Entrepreneurs

ROCHESTER, NEW YORK

TORONTO, ONTARIO Toronto Gift Fair, Canada’s largest, produced by Canadian Gift and Tableware Association January 28-Feb 1

MONTREAL, QUEBEC

Festival of Lights Feb 22- March 4

AUSTIN, TEXAS SXSW March 9-18

SINGAPORE

All In! Young Writers Festival, organized by the Singapore Book Council March 16-18 Confirmed participant, now developing programs for storytelling in AR and VR

Internet of Things/Iot Asia March 21-22,2018

KUALA LUMPUR, MALAYSIA

JAKARTA, INDONESIA

BANGKOK, THAILAND

HO CHIH MINH CITY, VIETNAM

HANOI, VIETNAM

HONG KONG, SAR

OSAKA, JAPAN

TOKYO, JAPAN Design Festa late May

VANCOUVER, BRITISH COLUMBIA

SEATTLE, WASHINGTON

PORTLAND, OREGON

SAN FRANCISCO,CALIFORNIA

SANTA CRUZ, CALIFORNIA

LOS ANGELES, CALIFORNIA

SAN DIEGO, CALIFORNIA

NEW ORLEANS, LOUISIANA

LAS VEGAS,NEVADA

BOULDER,COLORADO

DENVER,COLORADO

NASHVILLE,TENNESSEE

ATLANTA, GEORGIA

MIAMI, FLORIDA

BOSTON, MASSACHUSETTS

NEW YORK CITY, NEW YORK New York Comic Con

BROOKLYN, NEW YORK