Sunday, February 18, 2018

Wired -- AR Shaping the future of play.

The continued gaming of this, and it's enthusiastic reception is all good news.

It will be wanting better and lighter display, we're only going to need some of this market to be doing fantastic.

Hasbro Iron man

From Wired... 

......... “Their eyes pop,” he says. “They always ask me, ‘Where can you buy this?’”

Many companies see that reaction—the immediate "wow" factor—as proof that augmented reality is the future of play. It’s what legacy toymakers like Disney and Lego are banking on to keep their brands relevant; it's what Toys R Us hopes will keep its stores open. At Toy Fair, which kicks off Saturday in New York City, it's what many toymakers hope will make their products relevant in 2018 and beyond. Whether layered on top of teddy bears, board games, coloring books, or action fictions, augmented reality promises to make last year's toys feel new again. And all it takes is a phone.

Time to Play
For a glimpse of that future, look to the world's largest toymaker, Hasbro. The company is showing off its new Iron Man mask this weekend at Toy Fair, which uses augmented reality to stage a battle against Thanos. Slip on Iron Man's red helmet and gauntlet, set up the three AR markers around the room, and watch Thanos and his armies surround you. The suit is Hasbro's first foray into augmented reality, but follows the work of companies like Disney, which introduced its Star Wars Jedi Challenges AR experience last year. The consumer appeal of this stuff is obvious: In AR, you’re not playing as Iron Man. You are Iron Man.
Hasbro's Iron Man set-up relies on a phone, placed inside of the mask, which captures the real world through the camera and overlays the digital objects from Iron Man's world. As phone-based AR improves—especially with recent pushes from AppleGoogle, and seemingly everyone else in Silicon Valley—those experiences will feel ever-more lifelike. That makes augmented reality something of a golden goose for toymakers. Take a well-designed app, pair it with a simple costume or a plastic toy, and you can create an immersive, interactive experience that kids love.

Plus, unlike virtual reality or even videogames, augmented reality toys bring kids back into the real world. Kids can run around the house playing AR laser tag, or pretending to be a character from their favorite movie, rather than sitting slack-jawed in front of a screen all day. “There's a certain satisfaction with touching something and physically manipulating it. I don't think that's going to go away,” says Trickett. "But those physical objects are going to become a lot more interesting.”

Friday, February 16, 2018

Robots in South Korea

I heard this while I was driving this morning.

I spent a while trying to figure out who's robot is the rice-cooker looking projector robot. No joy.

Thursday, February 15, 2018

Conference call Announced.

A couple of interesting things on the banner, and a new time.

I attribute no meaning at all to the new time, except new management with new preferences.

I'll welcome not being up at O500 for the call.

Link to Page

MicroVision, Inc. (NASDAQ: MVIS) is a pioneer in laser beam scanning (LBS) technology that we market under our brand name PicoP®. Founded in 1993 and based in Redmond, WA, we have developed our proprietary PicoP® scanning technology that can be adopted by our customers to create high-resolution miniature projection and three-dimensional sensing and image capture solutions. Our PicoP scanning technology incorporates our patented expertise in two-dimensional Micro-Electrical Mechanical Systems (MEMS), lasers, optics, and electronics to create a small form factor scanning engine with lower power needs than many other technologies that projects high-quality video and still image and/or uses depth sensing to capture three-dimensional data.
Our business strategy is to commercialize our PicoP® scanning technology by enabling ODMs and OEMs to produce scanning engines by licensing our technology. We also sell key scanning engine components to licensees, as needed. ODMs and OEMs can integrate and embed our technology across a broad range of display and image capture product applications. We create product concept reference designs to enable ODMs and OEMs to develop and rapidly build products that capitalize on the benefits of our PicoP scanning technology. We are also developing value-added applications intended to help our customers differentiate their potential products.

We have an extensive patent portfolio that we believe is the largest, broadest, and earliest filed LBS technology portfolio and includes applications such as automotive HUD, augmented reality, range finding, portable media devices, image capture, and projection applications. We have over 500 issued patents, pending patents and licensed patents worldwide.

Wednesday, February 14, 2018

Advertisers tuning out TV

Streaming and web-based as an advertiser advantage.

Large format will have an advantage. 

I'll go out on a limb and predict that Netflix will soon have a "with ads' package. (or they will start streaming ads for heavy users.)


The decline in TV viewership is accelerating as online rivals Google and Facebook have increased their investments in video, capturing almost every new advertising dollar entering the marketplace.


“Facebook and Google are cleaning our clocks because they have targeting,’’ said Peter Rice, head of Fox’s TV networks group. “I don’t think the advertising product is as good,’’ adding that TV will take a bigger slice of ad sales as it implements better targeting.

Media companies have tried to use Facebook’s admission of poor audience accounting and the proliferation of inappropriate content on both Facebook and YouTube to persuade advertisers to slow spending online. A few diverted spending to TV from digital in recent years, but no scandal has slowed the growth in advertising sales at Facebook or Alphabet.

“TV doesn’t have fraud or viewability problems, but the prices are just so high now,’’ Leszega said. “We’re at a tipping point.’’

Producer leaves TV for Netflix

Saw this coming... 

Tuesday, February 13, 2018

Adoption of Smart Speakers... fast followers

"Fast followers" is an important concept when watching consumer electronics.

New products happen usually this way: Someone sticks their neck out and takes a chance...

...the herd watches to see if the pioneer thrives... or is eaten by predators... or falls off a cliff...

... if the pioneer thrives, the rest of the herd follows in a stampede.

This happened with cell phones, personal computers, smart phones & tablet computers. (The first smart screens) and with Smart speakers

Check out "Smart Speakers."

Release dateNovember 6, 2014

Amazon had been developing Echo devices inside its Lab126 offices in Silicon Valley and Cambridge, Massachusetts since at least 2010 in confirmed reports. The device was part of Amazon’s first attempts to expand its device portfolio beyond the Kindle e-reader.[3] The Echo was prominently featured in Amazon's first-ever Super Bowl ad in 2016.[4]

Google Home is a brand of smart speakers developed by Google. The first device was announced in May 2016 and released in the United States in November 2016, with subsequent releases globally throughout 2017.

Now, there are 107 Smart Speakers in Consumer Reports List

A quick trip down memory land for "tablet computers." Do you remember the "Grid Pad?" Palm Pilot? Apple Newton? Pocket PC? All these runs at it since the late 1980's and early 1990's before the concept finally got traction -- when the technology was good enough to inspire mass adoption.  Early Tablet Computers 

With the iPad it passed the "anyone can use it" threshold.


We have had the first SMART Screens. They are tablet computers. We have had the first smart speakers (voice activated personal assistants.)

Combining the technology -- the adoption rate of this is going to be very rapid. It takes something we're used to, (Tablet computers) and combines it with something most of us are getting used to (Smart speakers) to increase the utility dramatically.

Google has telegraphed that "smart screens" are coming. With the smart speaker combined with a screen and voice activation.  

Some of their partners in this are also partners with MicroVision. (Goertek and particularly RockChip -- here) Yes, on the WPG Holdings list of "hottest" items is a MicroVision projector engine combined with the RockChip processor dedicated to voice recognition. (Unfortunately, they close their site for Chinese New year. 

Over the weekend I met someone who carries a Motorola phone with the projector mod. She loves it, uses it at work(for work) and at home and while out and about.

However it's use case is a lot like an early tablet computer. It's not convenient technology. It's power hungry, not very bright, and requires playing with a particularly finicky (technical term!) focus wheel. It's not convenient and easy for just anyone to use. 

Projection in smartphones has now reached that all-important threshold. Ragentek has the "anyone can use it" projector smartphone.

...and a lot of interest in lasers... by some companies playing with near-eye displays.

Friday, February 9, 2018

Interesting Language....

Interesting language used here... Careers

The Laser Safety Lead partners with Oculus Research, Oculus and User Study teams to establish safe operating procedures for hardware, manufactured systems, and research study protocols for various test conditions and prototype devices across multiple locations. This position will serve as safety representative for protocol design changes involving radiation in research studies including providing expert review of changes relating to hardware devices, software functions, and testing environment. Use of lasers and LEDs are vital in the development of Augmented and Virtual Reality and this role will play a key part in ensuring the safety of research teams. This role serves as laser and radiation safety officer. The ideal candidate collaborates with many research teams, lab managers, legal and site operations in a fast-paced environment to provide sound input to improve the safety of our researchers and study participants.

Thursday, February 8, 2018

STM Robot Demo

Notice the sign (Mems Mirror and ASIC)

Nice at about 3:25

Thanks Joe 

UPDATED: (Picture of splash screen, and comment.)  This robot is cool sure. It uses MicroVision.... but it's not the big story. The Big story is smart displays a couple of posts down. I'm not far out on a limb here to day...Google is going to be producing "smart screen" devices and MicroVision will be part of it.

STM made no secret of how highly they think of MicroVision... check presentation link for a refresher. I attended that presentation, and they think very highly of Microvision's talent, the tech possibilities, and the future of laser projection.

STM LBS Presentation

Good Catch!!!

Wednesday, February 7, 2018

Smart Displays. Voice Recognition. Google.

There has to be a pony in here somewhere.

"Android Things" Android Developers

"Starting tomorrow, you can visit the Google Assistant Playground (booth CP-21) at CES to view new products, chipsets, and reference designs by our partners. In addition, these devices are also available for display in other company spaces throughout the conference, including Lenovo, LG, JBL, Qualcomm, MediaTek, NXP, Rockchip, iHome, Goertek, and Tymphany."

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Rockchip "Hey Google"

CES2018 Rockchip announces Android Things™ Turnkey SOM

Rockchip announced its new Android Things™ Turnkey Solution - RK3229 System-On-Module (SOM). It will help developers build multiple categories of IoT products and bring them to market more quickly.

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From Here: WPG

RockChip TV Boxes

Good Company

So, who else is distributed by WPG Holdings?

Good company.

Tuesday, February 6, 2018

Moves into Hottest Position, WPG Holdings

Been watching, 10th to 5th to 7th, now first.
WPG Holdings IOT program

FYI -- I use Google Chrome and the translator function.