Tag Archives: video

Canuck filmmaker considers streaming live video from his bionic eye

Well, this sidesteps the clunky implementations of lifelogging that we’ve seen so far. Rob Spence lost the vision in his tright eye in a shooting accident, and decided to replace it with a small camera unit, making it onto Time Magazine‘s best inventions list for 2009 (even though they’ve only had the thing working properly for a short time).

Now Spence’s eye has a wi-fi transmitter that can stream its video output to a computer; from there, it’s a short step to making Spence’s field of vision a free-to-view live feed available to anyone with an internet connection [via SlashDot]. There are some minor technical issues to iron out first, though:

The prototype in the video provides low-res images, but an authentic experience of literally seeing through someone else’s perspective. The image is somewhat jerky and overhung by huge eyelashes; a blink throws everything out of whack for a half-second.

[…]

The Eyeborg prototype in the video, the third, can only work for an hour an a half on a fully charged battery. Its transmitter is quite weak, so Spence has to hold a receiving antenna to his cheek to get a clear signal. He muses that he should build a Seven of Nine-style eyepiece to house it. He’s experimenting with a new prototype that has a stronger transmitter, other frequencies and a booster on the receiver.

It surely won’t be all that long before equivalent hardware could be slipped into a fully-functional biological eye… possibly without the knowledge or permission of the eye’s owner. Which suggests that the tin-foil bonnet brigade will upgrade their fears of surveillance through compromised cell phones to a fear of covertly-implanted audio and video capture devices… hey, it could happen, man*.

[ * Though this assumes, as do most such paranoid conspiracy theories, a level of competence, clandestine secrecy and forward planning of which most nation-state governments seem utterly incapable. I wouldn’t credit the UK government with the ability to successfully tap a barrel of beer, let alone my eyesight… and if they did somehow pull it off, they’d only go and leave the footage on the back seat of a bus. ]

Live action replays and analysis moves from the sports field to the battlefield

The Harris Corporation supplies instant replay systems to big-brand sports teams, but they may just have cracked a whole new market… one with a budget that (inexplicably) never seems to shrink. The Pentagon has decided that the ability to collect, replay and analyse battlefield video feeds will make it easier to score touchdowns instil shock and awe liberate oil people from oppressive regimes, and they’re working with Harris Corp toward that end:

The system, called Full-Motion Video Asset Management Engine (FAME) uses metadata tags to encode important details — time, date, camera location — into each video frame. In a football game, those tags would help broadcasters pick the best clip to re-air and explain a play. In a war-zone, they’d help analysts watch video in a richer, easier-to-grasp context. And additional tags could link a video clip to photographs, cellphone calls, databases or documents.

Makes a certain amount of sense, but I suspect there’ll be a point where a greater volume of incoming data will become counterproductive, and your multiscreen generals will be so caught up looking at the trees that they forget there’s a forest… which would be business as usual, I suppose, just with more cool toys for the folk behind the front line.

And hey, here’s a potential monetization stream: edit together and sanitise the daily rushes, offer ’em as live streams to warporn fans… or sell the material and outsource the marketing to someone with more experience, like ESPN. Man, this thing’s really got legs – anyone wanna form a collective to buy up Harris Corp shares?

Bruce Sterling on atemporality

I’d be remiss in my fanboy duties if I didn’t repost this video of a keynote speech from Bruce Sterling at last week’s Transmediale Futurity Now! conference in Berlin.

Appropriately enough for a conference in Berlin, a city where history lays heavily in layers of physical and psychological flotsam and jetsam, Chairman Bruce is talking about atemporality – that curious and disorientating sense that modern media gives us of all times being somehow equal.

Atemporality is “a calm, pragmatic [and] serene skepticism about the historical narrative”; it’s “a philosophy of history with a built-in expiry date”; it’s the end of post-modernism, and the end of The End Of History. But enough with the sound-bite pull-quotes – it’s only 25 minutes long, so settle down comfortably and get your mind expanded.

Nuclear bomb blast videos redux!

Tobias Buckell’s brief 2007 post of a video snippet showing a Russian weapons test described as the world’s biggest ever nuclear blast has long been the most popular post on this site for search engine traffic. And rather than kvetch about people not coming here for more high-brow entertainment (!), I’m gonna make like a Roman emperor and give out more bread and circuses… pageviews is pageviews, AMIRITE? 😉

So thanks to Wired for rounding up a bunch of video clips from assorted atomic weapons tests; there’s eight over there, if you include the rather harrowing one about the Hiroshima after-effects (which you should surely watch, if only to balance any OMGZ-awesome-big-explosionz!! vibe you get from the others). These two are my personal favourites, though – this one because the mushroom cloud formation is rather beautiful (albeit in a horrifying way):

And this one because it takes you right inside the physical brutality of the blast (not to mention reminding me of a movie about the atomic test programs that I watched as a teenager, the name and basic plot of which is long gone, but the imagery of which haunts me to this day – a Futurismic big-helper gold star to anyone who can point me in the right direction):

Aren’t you glad the prospect of nuclear war is a thing of the past? Oh, wait…

Red Faction: Guerilla

Political theatre and sock-puppet ideologies take centre stage on the dusty red plains of Mars, as Blasphemous Geometries examines the latest instalment in the Red Faction franchise.

Blasphemous Geometries by Jonathan McCalmont

###

Somewhere, out in the mists of possibility that exist between universes and states of being, there is a game that begins in this fashion :

Your character is sitting in a cramped bedroom in front of a computer. Behind him, on the wall, is the green flag of Hamas (provided by someone down at the mosque, it serves both as a political statement and as a way of covering up an old poster of Ronaldinho. Your character clicks the mouse button and the webcam starts recording.  He reads a prepared speech about Gaza and the West Bank and concentrates upon keeping any signs of emotion from his voice. Martyrs, he has been told, must be proud. He has to stop and start again when his voice cracks into an embarrassing squeak on the word ‘Jihad’. He rides his bike to a lock up on the other side of town.  A van has been packed with explosives and a primitive trigger that appears to be a wiimote.  You snort your amusement at the in-joke. Continue reading Red Faction: Guerilla