Lightform promises to bring AR into physical spaces

The makers of Lightform call it “the first computer made for projected augmented reality.”

Lightform scans complex scenes in under a minute, letting you seamlessly mix real objects with projected light. It’s augmented reality without the headset.

Check out a demo made with it & read more on Wired:

The small box contains a processor and a high-res camera. Hook it up to any projector through an HDMI cable, and the projector will cast a series of grids onto the room, which Lightform’s onboard camera uses to assess, in fine detail, the location and dimensions of objects in the space. (Lightform can also scan the room periodically, allowing it to create a new map if anything moves.) The processor converts that information into a 3-D map of surfaces onto which the projector can cast light. […]

In other words: Lightform helps you quickly transform almost anything in a room into a screen

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Google introduces Blocks, a VR model creation app

Check out Blocks for Vive & Oculus Rift:

You can browse example content and read Fast Company’s coverage, “Google Is Becoming The Adobe Of VR”:

Google is essentially modeling Adobe to fill some of Adobe’s own gaps. First, it acquired Tiltbrush for VR sketching. Now, it built Blocks for VR-based, 3D object creation…

Google is laying the foundation for a massive play in VR and AR, because Blocks will be the cornerstone of an Adobe-like suite of VR creation apps from Google, which will pave the way for a new wave of user-created 3D movies and interactive experiences to come.

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[YouTube]

“Muscle-Up”: An “impossible” drone-shot tour de force

Robert McIntosh masterfully pilots his tiny homebrew drone over—and through—the landscape of Muscle Beach, resulting in this eye-popping video: 

Before you join me in saying, “Damn it, why does my drone footage always look like comparatively shite,” notice that he heavily stabilized his images using ReelSteady for Adobe After Effects, and that he was willing to endure quite a few crashes along the way. You can see the unstabilized footage & some mishaps here:

According to Cinema 5D,

Mcintosh claims to have used the “world’s smallest HD drone” which he describes as follows: The drone weighs in at an astonishing 94.7 grams WITH the stripped down Gopro! (120 grams takeoff weight with lipo flight battery and foam roll cage)For reference, a stock Gopro Hero 5 black weighs 118 grams!It’s less that 5″ wide and 3″ tall, Sporting 2″ propellers.

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As Jim might say, “This is the strangest life I’ve ever known…”

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PM’ing my way to El Segundo

Do you ever play the game of “Feature or Bug?” with your own characteristics? Being tall, for instance, could be a feature until you’re crammed into a tight airline seat.

For me it often comes down to wildly ambitious, encompassing visions. They’re exciting, they’re inspiring… and then I lose folks. Time & again I’ve found myself talking with a colleague, getting them excited about some idea or other—but then I go blasting off in my one-man rocket ship, watching through a lonely porthole as their smile & energy fade, then disappear under a plume of my conversational exhaust. As my old boss Kevin observed the other day, “It’s not leadership if no one follows.”

I still want to take people to the moon, but lately, to borrow a phrase from Chris Rock’s character Cheap Pete, I’m first trying just to take ‘em to El Segundo. It’s a little like this…

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Automatically share photos of specific people via Google Photos

Computer vision FTW!

Bad old world: Even though I’m standing next to my wife while she snaps pics of our kids, it’s only if Facebook buzzes my phone that I see what she took & shared. The rest remain a mystery.

Good new world: Every photo I take of the kids can be automatically shared with her, and vice versa. 

With shared libraries, sending and receiving photos with one person is effortless—you can automatically share your full photo library or customize just what you want to share. Suggested sharing uses machine learning to automatically identify photos and suggest recipients, making sharing as simple as a single tap. 

I’ve been waiting for this for years. Setup is super simple: pick your partner, select people to share (or whole library), send invite; goodness ensues. You can check out the details here, and you can use the feature now on iOS, Android, and Web. Enjoy!