Yipikiyay Blog

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For the love of Tech #3

It's been a while! What with global pandemics and work stuff, the blog fell down our list of priorities for a short while. But now here's the first post for 2021 and part of our (ir)regular looks at new (and not so new) interesting technology. Anything that uses technology in a cool way, either from a technical perspective, design angle or to solve a problem in a interesting way will get posted here. AR is still a firm favourite in the tech world; using game tech to power and enhance film production is another ongoing theme; plus ongoing enhancements to the way we work remotely.

Flash game history

Flash in recent years got a bad rap, driven by its terrible security flaws, and widely criticised by the tech community until it was abandoned by its creators and the web as a whole at the end of 2020. However back the in day, games written in Flash were how many of us accessed games. Bear on mind that was a time when consoles were not as prevalent and before smartphones had arrived, unless you had a Nokia with Snake that is. Flash Game History is a part visual essay and part love letter to those games created in Flash and how they helped shape modern games. It has lush visualisations of gameplay screens along with data and infographics showing the popularity of each game. See if you can spot your favourite amongst the bubbles.

Art takes cues from film production

In a previous post we spoke about how films are replacing the traditional green screen with modern physical real-time powered environments, but this is a neat art interpretation using a similar technique. It drops the presenter, Dr James Fox in this case, into the iconic Hopper painting "Nighthawks", which has been recreated in 3D using handmade and AI-generated content to bring it to life. They took it a stage further by adding some effects such as real-time lighting and time of day dynamics, to help make it feel real.

Read the full article, plus see some behind the scenes footage.

Gestures for video calls

Video call gestures

Seeing as the new normal seems to be video calls, to such an extent now that you meet people via video calls (but do you really meet them?), this is a neat hack that translates physical gestures into overlays on your camera feed. It's cool because its fun!

Check it out on Twitter.

Augment curved objects in AR

AR Curved Objects

Being able to map an AR image target and object to a curved physical item, has always been tricky and buggy. But no more! The guys at 8th Wall have created an AR solution, that allows you to bring things like coffee cups or lampposts to life via AR.

Check it out on Medium.

Virtual workout partner

Ghost Pacer

Racing against a ghost player is common place is old school video games, especially car racing, but now you can do that in the real world too! These, slightly nerdy looking, mixed-reality glasses allow you to race against a superimposed figure, helping motivate you and drive you to faster run times. In and of itself that's helpful, especially given these socially-distanced times we now live in, but it also gives extra benefits like a heads-up display giving you live stats.

It's fully funded now on Indegogo, but worth a look.

Apple makes its own silicon

Apple event

For us techie types it's really exciting as it signals a masive shift in how computers can be made, but the short story is Apple has made its own silicon chip, the brain inside your computer, having historically relied on Intel for their supply. This means that for the first time the people that make the operating system, most of the software and the hardware it runs on are one in the same - we've not seen that very often in tech. And to cap it all its Apple! They are people pasionate about the highest quality products. Reviews are flooding in and it's all very positive so far, with claims being made that you can stream videos for upwards of 18 hours without recharging the battery. You should check out the announcement video which goes into more detail plus is an excellent example of how to make a fun and exciting tech announcement.

Video conference upgrade

Many on-board web cams are poor, yet we all run around with high quality cameras in pur pockets attached ot our phones - or are they cameras with phones attached? Well now you can use the power of that camera during your conference calls with Camo. Basically it's a bit of software that allows you to interface with your phone's camera and use that as your web cam, but do much more in the process suck as adjust the contrast and brightness, or do colour correction. Plus a British company no less!

Until next time. Yipikiyay!

by Rob Mason.