The Rise of Augmented Reality

The rise of an intelligent social web is creating a disruptive new force in business as public appetite for immersive computing grows.

This demand for richer, more engaging computing is a compelling manifestation of Augmented Reality (AR) and Artificial Intelligence (AI) – two fields of innovation now bursting into the public spotlight.They represent a phenomenon where the real word and virtual worlds are blended on handheld devices and wearable computers.

The release of Google Glass today is a popular case in point. Google’s glasses are a form of wearable computing that locates a mini-projector in the wearer’s peripheral vision. This tiny screen overlays the real world with contextually relevant information from the web.

People wearing Google Glass can see real-time data from the web including the names of objects, mapping directions, contact information and recent social media activity. Google Glass will also give people the ability to record high-definition video, run apps, and respond to voice commands.

However, Google Glass is just the tip of the iceberg.

Wider fields of user-centric innovation are being forged across a variety of industries including health, telecommunications, property, entertainment, education, marketing, gaming, and personal training.

Well-known examples include Apple’s Siri voice recognition technology and rumours of an iWatch, Nintendo’s Wii controller, and Microsoft’s Kinect object recognition technology.

According to Dr. Ashwin Ram, Innovation Fellow at Xerox PARC and a speaker at Amplify Festival, we’re witnessing the rise of an “intelligent social web.”

Human cognition and our social interactions are set to be transformed by artificial intelligence technologies and user-centric devices such as wearable computers.

“These technologies combine the benefits of the ‘information web’ with those of the ‘social web’, enabling new consumer-centric approaches to health and wellness that increase engagement, improve health literacy and promote behavior change,” he writes on his blog Cognitive Computing.

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Yelp Monocle

Social reviewing service Yelp provided the iPhone with its first augmented reality app, the Yelp Monocle. If you’re in a strange city and you’re looking for good eats, Monocle is your best friend. It’ll use the phone’s GPS and compass to display AR markers for nearby restaurants, bars, and other businesses in real time. Given how Yelp’s high level of success as a user-generated restaurant review service, Monocle is hands down the best app for finding a quick bite to eat.

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Urban-ism determined by technology!

Now technology dramatically changed, what is the change of the city?

Some old infrastucture were abandoned, Some were changed their original funciton. What it will be in future?
Where is the best place for public housing?  How to reuse the infrastructure to enhance the quality of living environment?
What kind of infrastructure influence the food accessibility the most?


TOPIC: Analysis and visual display of the context.


INPUT:   Static data like building code from city of chicago

Dynamic data collection from ARDUINO

PROCESSING: Date base of the environment.

OUTPUT:  AR, VR Display of the context.

Collecting Data by sensors / The role of Infrared Cameras in Mold inspections

Mold Problem = Moisture Problem <= Environment Problem <Living condition>

Thermal Imaging has now been in place for a number of years within the building industry and has been used to find problems with building materials, such as: hidden water leaks, leaks within the HVAC system, general plumbing leaks and faulty electrical and mechanical systems. For example, thermal imaging has been successfully utilized to help determine whether or not there are any significant energy losses due the  incorrect amount of insulation or even missing insulation, thermal imaging has also been used successfully to help locate loose electrical connections or overheated breaker boxes by identifying “hot spots”.

While this equipment cannot readily detect mold, it does hold the “key” to finding mold by quickly and accurately identifying the conditions necessary for mold to be present. By identifying variances in surface temperature, thermal imaging has the ability to help us quickly find moisture incursions. The variances in the surface temperatures often mean that there has recently been a moisture incursion and that variance in the temperature of the moisture present behind the surface is affecting the surface temperature, which is easily detected by high quality infrared cameras. Thermal imaging cameras have quickly become the “must have tool” for IAQ Professionals as they can help to expedite the investigation process significantly, thereby providing investigators with opportunities to increase the number of investigation that can be completed on a daily basis.

This video tells us about the process of detecting by using the thermal camera


World’s First Augmented Reality Architecture Application : Sara

Developed by Netherlands Architecture Institute (NAI) in partnership with IN10 Communicatie and Layar, Sara is the world’s first augmented reality architecture application. Users of the technology simply hold up their smartphone to see photos, video, 3D models, scale models and other details about buildings currently in site as well as those from the past and any planned for the future. Although it’s still under construction, those with the app can view a 3D model of how the finished building will look.


SARA also allows users to add their own information about any building or map tours of their favourite architecture. The technology was launched last month on the Layar platform and will be downloadable from the Apple App Store and Android Market. The world’s first building to appear in three dimensions on the smartphone via augmented reality is the eye-catching Market Hall ( featured here on Freshome )which is currently under construction in Rotterdam ’s Blaak area. In future, SARA is expected to have evolved into a complete national architecture guide.


Augmented reality architecture in japan


The digital production company Qosmo teamed up terada design architects to create N Building,
a commercial tower in Tokyo that has an augmented reality facade. the two companies collaborated
to design a facade using two-dimensional QR codes that can be read using a mobile phone. users can
point their device at the building and see up to date info from all the shops within. Qosmo also
developed an iPhone application that allows people to see comments left by users, browse shop info
and even download coupons. the comments are tagged through twitter using GPS and are continuously



It’s really an amazing idea!

Is every building in cities will be like this in future?

Small Technologies Make For Big Politics

“Hacktivist” Ricardo Dominguez, head of the Calit2’s b.a.n.g. (bits, atoms, neurons, genes) lab at UCSD, is exploring the ways accessible technologies can create new constituencies around otherwise intractable problem, dislodging institutional and political paralysis, and creating a great deal of controversy along the way. His Transborder Immigration Tool is a simple cell phone app that helps guide illegal immigrants to water stations placed in the desert between Mexico and Southern California, augmented reality as a tool for basic human survival and a lightning rod for political controversy:


More info on other projects by Dominguez, and a discussion on the controversies they have created here. Domiguez’ website has a number of his articles. CALIT2 supports a number of trans-disciplinary research initiatives that straddle technology, biology, nanotechnology, political agency.