Online fundraising apps

IronSource Announces KudosKits, Allowing App Users To Show Their Appreciation With Money Israeli company IronSource has come up with a new way for developers to ask their users for money or other forms of support. Chief Design Officer Dan Greenberg told me that the product, called the KudosKit, evolved from an experiment conducted with the iOS app good weather, which was initially developed by Fried Cookie and distributed by IronSource (IronSource has since acquired Fried Cookie). Greenberg added that developers are “all struggling to earn money for the work that we’re doing,” because for many, existing monetization systems such as … Continue reading Online fundraising apps

Five predictions about our virtual future

A Scientist Predicts the Future When making predictions, I have two criteria: the laws of physics must be obeyed and prototypes must exist that demonstrate “proof of principle.” I’ve interviewed more than 300 of the world’s top scientists, and many allowed me into laboratories where they are inventing the future. Their accomplishments and dreams are eye-opening. From my conversations with them, here’s a glimpse of what to expect in the coming decades: 1. Computers Will Disappear. According to Moore’s Law, computer power doubles every 18 months. That means in a decade or so, chips will cost about a penny, the … Continue reading Five predictions about our virtual future

Virtual environments for virtual hands

‘Virtual Reality Hands’ May Help Stroke Survivors Recover Hand Function “Virtual reality hands” — controlled by stroke survivors’ thoughts — could help them recover use of their hands and arms, according to a small study presented at the American Heart Association’s Scientific Sessions 2013. “Using a brain-computer interface, we’ve created an environment where people who may be too physically impaired to move can practice mental imagery to help regain use of their arms and hands,” said Alexander Doud, M.S., lead author. Brain-computer interface technology can help tell if patients are activating regions of their brains in ways that have been … Continue reading Virtual environments for virtual hands

Virtual worlds best practices in education

3 virtual environment platforms that inspire learning Much has been said about using virtual environments for teaching and training. While it is an inescapable fact that no environment, real or virtual, can make up for a dedicated, well-prepared teacher with a passion for their subject matter, there is merit in the concept that a virtual environment can open new pathways for learning by engaging the student with the creation and exploration of ideas in 3D. What makes a great virtual environment for teaching? In this blog post, we will seek answers to that question across three platforms: Second Life, OpenSim … Continue reading Virtual worlds best practices in education

Flow is the key to happiness in virtual reality

Why gamers can’t stop playing first-person shooters In the fall of 1992, a twentysomething college dropout and former juvenile offender named John Carmack was hard at work in Mesquite, Texas, on a new concept for a video game. It would merge the first-person perspective of games like Myst with the direct combat of the shooter game Wolfenstein 3-D and the multi-player capacity of Spectre, and it would do so in a more realistic three-dimensional environment than any game before it. The following year, Carmack and his five colleagues at id Software released the product of that vision: Doom. They knew … Continue reading Flow is the key to happiness in virtual reality

Virtual reality is cheap and everywhere

Immersive VR is here and it’s awesome Virtual Reality is one of those ideas that has been part of the tech folklore for ever, but that haven’t quite taken off. Popularized in the 80s, VR has seen a number of ups and downs, hits and misses, hypes and backlashes — the most recent one being the rise and fall of Second Life. With VR, it’s always been two steps forward, one step back. Suddenly, a programmable, kickstarter-funded $300 headset falls in our laps from out of nowhere, and… it’s another two or four steps forward! All this time, the consumer-grade … Continue reading Virtual reality is cheap and everywhere

What does a digital lollipop taste like?

Getting to the Bottom of a Digital Lollipop How many licks does it take to get to the bottom of a digital lollipop? That’s the question you could soon be asking yourself thanks to a team of researchers at the National University of Singapore who are trying to build a digital lollipop that can simulate taste. While it might sound complicated, the technology is relatively simple. When the lollipop, which is made of a silver electrode, touches the tip of the tongue it reproduces four well-known tastes: salty, sweet, sour or bitter. Together these flavors can create different simulations close … Continue reading What does a digital lollipop taste like?