Wednesday, April 02, 2014

Voice is the new touch: Amazon fire TV

Last August, after three months of wearing Google Glass, talking to it and having it talk back to me, I had an epiphany, a revelation, and I wrote this post: Voice is the new touch, or in other words, in the near future, every piece of software and every piece of hardware will include or add a new layer of voice.

In the same way now customers demand an app with touch screen for cells and tablets, after experiencing this new come back to natural interfaces such as voice  customers will expect and want voice everywhere, they'll demand voice, and we developers will have to add a new layer of voice to all of our apps. 

Amazon fire TV is the perfect example of what I meant by Voice is the new touch in the level of a hardware piece.


Augmented Reality or Virtual Reality

Virtual Reality or Augmented Reality? I say both!

While the whole tech world rebelled against the purchase of Oculus Rift from Facebook, I rejoicing in knowing that the future of Virtual Reality is nearer.

In a clear bet to the future of social 3D virtual spaces Facebook bought Oculus Rift at such an early time and low price. I trust the Oculus Rift team enough to know that as part of the deal they guaranteed their independence and roadmap to continue in an accelerated way towards their goals.

Even when inmature reactions such as Minecraft's CEO started to happen, I stick to believing in Oculus Rift and the vision that Facebook is having to bet in such a future to be relevant in the future of how we live and communicate.

Augmented Reality, represented currently by Google Glass although not technically it, as well as Virtual Reality with front runner Oculus Rift (might be closely followed by Sony) are the two most exciting future trends in tech devices. Two different ways to compute, one by augmenting our physical reality overlapping extra data and the other by offering a substitute to our real life, a substitute that might become exceedingly better in some ways.



The old new issue of privacy

Since 1890 we've been talking about the need to legislate privacy in public spaces when the first Kodak Brownie Cameras appeared. 
Maybe this conversation has been going on for too long ... I think we're getting to the bottom of it.
Transparency is like entropy, it is an arrow that only goes in one direction. The only way to compensate for losing privacy is by adding more transparency, transparency on our personal lives, on our organizations and governments.


Which side feels more human?

At the end of the awesome SXSW Glass Explorers panel, we Explorers got together for a pic. Here are the two sides of the pic which really raised the question of which one feels more natural? more human? Could Google Glass help us get technology a bit more out of the way? Judging for this picture it could ...

pic subtitling by
 

Friday, January 24, 2014

The thing about Point of View (POV)

I grew up during the times of the unilateral media.

TV was something that was broadcasted on you. Which could translate in basically shut up and listen.

I personally quit TV 4+ years ago ... TV was the dark era of our times.

With computers we re-gained our much precious and not too long ago lost interactivity.

These videos show my press conference for the Google Glass ticket from the point of view of the media, but also from the point of view of me, the interviewee. This is the new media, you point a camera at me and I point one at you (easily and low technically) and my point of view might even beat the net and be uploaded uncut before the official one does.

So, here they are, point of view of media:



And point of view, of myself, the interviee:



Since I wear Google Glass I feel safer in a subconscious way, with the power of recording what happens around me, because all I need to defend myself in any situation is the truth, and recording is giving access to others to my truth, and that's one of the values of transparency, something one day will become second nature for all of us, we'll just gain this extra level of protection because everything digital is traceable if need be.

After a few "I wish I had recorded when the officer stopped me" and "I wish I had recorded the interview that Good Morning America recorded to contrast it with the lame coverage they did on TV", I finally got it, and am building the habit of getting my shots ready exactly when I need them.

Wednesday, January 22, 2014

My first TWiT episode ever with All About Android

This is one of those things that you always wanted to do and one day you get the message, hey! come to our show! and you're just thrilled and then you just have an amazing time, with people you super admire like Jason, Gina and Ron, so, what can I say?? just watch!




TEDxTemecula: The greatest risk of all is not taking a risk


In this talk about how being a cat the strategy of being very fearful (literally as a scaredy cat) worked for centuries but for us in the current interconnected era of information it just doesn't. What works on our days is to take risks. And I tell my personal story of taking risks in my life.

Towards the end I share a bit of my life philosophy of life being like a game, a game in which collecting all the coins is not the end goal, but going after the bonus points of experimenting and experiencing to the fullest, getting outside of your comfort zone often and sharing transparently what you believe in.




Talking about wearables with IEEE Alexander Hayes

Talking about wearables with +Alexander Hayes for an upcoming issue of IEEE Technology and Society Magazine, from Canberra Australia. I love this interview as it goes a little deeper into the philosophy of wearables and the future of technology in general.



Saturday, January 18, 2014

Free to be a CYBORG

When in February 2013, at the conclusion of the Mirror API Hackathon, Google gave me a Pioneer prism I had no idea the challenges that being a Pioneer might ever involve, but I accepted the challenge because it seemed "a path with a heart" as Castaneda would call it. A path with a heart translates for me into a path in which connection, service to others and growth are guaranteed.

Later on when I got the first ticket in the US for driving with Google Glass I fastened my seatbelt because I knew the adventure had begun.




So what to say looking in retrospective:

1. It's ok to wear Google Glass when you drive.

I now know that it is ok for me to drive wearing my Google Glass, which became a natural extension of my body, a key piece of my New Digital Brain. Or in the words I like to say it, I can continue to be a CYBORG for most of my day. This really felt like a right to me, and as we gain the ability to record everything we see and search on our extended memory in a simple and natural way (which will come soon) I would be very tempted to make the case that my extended memory should have access to everything my biological memory does. So, on this one, a big sight of relief!
I doubt any informed officer with minimum understanding of the vehicle code and average IQ or above will stop any Glass Explorer for just wearing Google Glass from now on ...

2. How about actively using Google Glass while driving?

Regarding actively engaging and using Google Glass while driving the vehicle code here is clear, we should not be operating a monitor in front of the driver with the exception of a vehicle information display, a global positioning display. a mapping display, among other. The way I interpret this is that it should be ok to use Google Glass for Navigation purposes, and with awesome apps here and to come such as Drive Safe for Glass. It seems like technically, according to the current law, we should not be using any of the rest of Google Glass features, including the awesome hands free features unless one of these is true:

"27602 (5) (B) The equipment is designed, operated, and configured in a 
manner that prevents the driver of the motor vehicle from viewing the
television broadcast or video signal while operating the vehicle in
a safe and reasonable manner."


I interpret this option as the implementation, most likely by Google X, of what would be like a driving mode that detects driving and allows the user to optionally block access to content and features not considered by the law or not safe overall.

Or,

 
"27602 (6) A mobile digital terminal that is fitted with an opaque
covering that does not allow the driver to view any part of the
display while driving"


This second exception would be a built-in or 3D printed (hint, hint for some Glass Explorers such as Daniel Ward) cover for the internal side of the screen which would allow for hands free use.

Of course, there's the issue of how in all practicality would an officer prove that the device is actually operative for a use beyond the exceptions on the code. Which brings us to the conclusion that new laws will need to be written if Google Glass use were to be banned (more on #5).

3. Having awesome lawyers made all the difference

Having My Traffic Guys help me pro bono was an amazing help that I'll never be able to thank Will Coincidine and Gabriel Moore enough for. It really makes all the difference both in the process and the outcome. Going there alone to represent myself would have put me on a serious disadvantage and would have definitely been nerve wrecking and with them it seriously was a walk in the park. I had all my trust and confidence on following Will's lead on the handling of the case and he delivered 100%+ while being super nice every step of the way.
Note: At the same time it really leaves me confirming one more of the asymmetries on our social justice systems which does really worry me and makes me sad for those that don't have access to proper defense not only in the US but around the world. This seems to me as a basic right to justice that even when in theory for criminal cases should be covered I am not convinced that we all get the same level of legal advice.

4. The law worked as expected 

The law worked in California exactly in the way it should have worked and this is a relief again! Luckily it's not very often that a regular person gets involved with the law system and it's a good thing that with all its pitfalls and loopholes and asymmetries it does work as it is supposed to and this case was no exception. I was worried that the officer would say things other than the truth (different from what actually happened, that is, he did said things that were not accurate but completely true from his honest point of view) or that the judge would be partial and not apply the laws as they were supposed to, in which case the case was won before even going to court. I deeply respect both Keith Odle the officer doing his job in this case (although I obviously think he's un-informed I don't think this is his fault) as well as Judge Blair for their professional demeanor.
Yes, even in the case of the speeding ticket, the law is designed to warrant the defendant's rights during the trial process and I followed my lawyers suggestions regarding my defense. I know many people are horrified by the speed ticket but in all honesty, we drive very fast in general in Southern California (when I arrived from Chicago I was scared myself) and I see way more accidents in the highway when traffic is slow and under weather conditions than when its flowing. There are studies that challenge the link between speed and accidents occurrence. I personally pay much more attention to a flowing traffic than an stagnated, boring one.

5. Technology will acceleratedly challenge laws and ethics

This incident brings to the table the overall issue of how laws are keeping up with new tech and innovation. It is very scary to have legislators writing about tech they never experienced. These are not heavy drugs that a legislator would put themselves at risk by trying, so c'mon! That being said, a great sign is what happened in UK with the attempt to introduce legislation to ban Google Glass in driving that seems to have been dismissed for now after careful review of the tech. Smart! or how my briton friends would say: Clever!

6. The Google Glass Explorers Community is amazing

One of the most amazing parts of my whole experience as a Google Glass Explorer has been consistently from beginning to end the Explorers Community, also known as #glassfamily. In a way I ended up with the delicate and un-volunteered task of being the first to represent my fellow explorers on this matter in front of the US legal system. I can just say I did my best and I am completely honored to be a fellow Explorer. You guys are the best!!

7. Being on the other side against the general public's opinion is never fun

All I can say is that there seems to be a huge information gap.
A huge majority of the people that are informed and understand what Google Glass is and how it works, and preferably those that tried it, are on one side. And then, on the other side is everybody else, including the fearful person that is fed by lame journalism.
I do notice that there are less haters at this time that when the ticket was initially announced, hopefully information is leveling up the field.

Time is on our side! In a few years we'll all be wearing visors that augment us, expand us and connect us.




Disclaimer:
I have no affiliation with Google other than being a Google Glass Explorer.

Sunday, January 12, 2014

TEDxOrangeCoast: Resistance is futile



https://plus.google.com/114375401846819599162/posts/WKuv5sKzJLf

Resistance is futile! My TEDxOrangeCoast talk video is out: Resistance is Futile: Cecilia Abadie at TEDxOrangeCoast. Telling my story as a #GoogleGlass  Explorer and the future of Transparency. Check out +Robert Scoble shower pic at 5:43min talking about how Transparency is anti-fragile (a la Taleb). 

Link here: