Neural Networks and the Digital Hallucination

Neural Networks and the Digital Hallucination

Artificial Neural Networks. The name alone conjures up every science fiction trope about artificial intelligence, but unlike so much "technobabble" that appears in popular culture, Artificial Neural Networks (or ANNs for short) are a very real thing, and are used every day by millions of people without knowing anything about them. 

Rather than explain what exactly ANNs are -- something Welch Labs and Computerphile have both done a reasonable job of already -- I want to talk about some personal experiences I've had working with them. Because honestly, ANNs are really cool and I want more people to get excited about them for what they are and what they can do, not just for the fact that they make a great buzzword for time-travelling assassin robots

Leap Motion, Proprioception, and the Jenga Test

Leap Motion, Proprioception, and the Jenga Test

Leap Motion quickly recognized that hand tracking is a huge and important problem to solve in virtual and augmented reality, and their sensor is uniquely well designed for the problem. This is in part related to the emergence of VR/AR headsets like Oculus and Meta. It's a great story; many cool hardware innovations have no real defined use case until a developer community joins the party. What Leap learned from their community was that their hardware filled a gaping hole in VR interface control devices.

Microsoft Hololens - Augmented Reality That Will Make You Crap Your Pants

I'm excited about the Microsoft Hololens. And here's why. Virtual reality allows designers and developers to create completely new realms and experiences, include participants remotely in believable 3D environments, and even recreate events in ways that are as emotive and visceral as if you were actually there. But the Hololens isn't offering virtual reality. It's offering augmented reality; ie: way better reality. And reality is something we can share, in real places, in real time.