What Google Glass, Augmented Reality and p2pkit have in common?
In my previous post, I talked about the different faces of proximity and how the People face was missing in the picture of Things and Places. In this post, I’m going to demonstrate by X,W,Z why p2pkit is THE true Augmented Reality (AR) technology.
You all know the late Google Glasses [†RIP — Feb. 2013-Jan. 19th 2015] which failed to make it to the broad public. After all, the best use of those things was taking pictures or having a hangout session with another Google Glass user where “what you saw was what the other was seeing” (vs. “you saw the other” with a normal webcam). Already by the length of the description you feel something is wrong. Nonetheless, Google Glasses made their way to industry and happen to be very useful for production lines. They can overlay user instructions on how to handle or assemble an object. Conclusion: these things are great to deal with other Things.
We forgot that Google Glasses were one of the first wearables before watches focusing mainly on AR. If you don’t know what AR is all about, Wikipedia defines it as “a direct or indirect view of a physical, real-world environment whose elements are augmented (or supplemented) by computer-generated sensory input such as sound, video, graphics or GPS data“. Many frameworks are available to develop AR-based apps for your smartphone. They allow you to point your phone’s camera at an object and overlay infos you attached to this object. If you want to feel what AR is at its best, try the great Blippar app and point your phone to whatever. There’s also great apps for sightseeing providing you with infos about the monument standing in front of you.
Now you must wonder where I’m heading. Well, I have a scoop for you! Some of you might know Silicon Valley, the HBO TV show. If not, I highly recommend it. Silicon Valley takes you through the rollercoaster journey of a fresh young startup, PiedPiper. I feel very connected to those guys coz they also have Hooli as one of their competitor. Anyway, let’s get back to business. In episode 7 of the first season (don’t worry, no spoiler), the whole PiedPiper startup crew is hanging at their booth at Techcrunch Disrupt (we’ve been there also) and Jared comes with a huge pile of paper with the profiles and pictures of the VCs (done that also) so that they can spot who is who (never worked in the end).
Of course, there’s an app for that! Dinesh (smart guy, co-CTO btw) takes his smartphone out of his pocket, points it at a guy across the alley and finds out that it’s Rick Smith, VC at CrossCut Ventures. “Hey Rick!“, btw. Well, the scoop is that the app used by Dinesh is powered by p2pkit. No way!* Yes, and how this could have been done otherwise?
Well, here’s how it works. Your smartphone camera is actually very accurate at measuring distance to an object or a person (check the EasyMeasure app). And p2pkit now comes with a new great feature called “Proximity range”, which provides you with 5 levels of proximity strength attached to any discovery of nearby smartphones. Mapping the distance provided by your phones’ camera and our p2pkit proximity strength will yield a few hits with the profile pictures of the matching persons. Let your brain, the best non-AI thus far, figure out who is who. The best of all is that you don’t even need to point your smartphone at someone else. Getting the distance to the other person is optional but will cost you some more brain power to figure out who is who in the list of potential profiles.
All this needed (i) no GPS for the distance estimation, (ii) no crowd-sourcing of Rick’s online profile pictures, (iii) no expensive cloud computation to match his profiles with the picture you’ve taken and (iv) you’ve saved a whole damn forest. Simple. The problem with all the other AR technologies is that they can feel quite intrusive. With p2pkit, Rick could have decided not to be “ranged” by disabling discovery in his app. So, think different! (taken…), let’s do it! (also taken…), Think p2pkit 😉 and “Let’s also make the world a better place”. And please make sure to teach your kids not to point their
finger smartphone at someone else and prefer p2pkit-enabled apps.
Carpe Diem et Technicam!
*: I forgot, the name of the App used by Dinesh is AR-Keen but sadly enough, just like the show, it’s fiction and hence doesn’t exist… but as you may have guessed, not for much longer. Check out our latest release with its proximity ranging (Beta, iOS only) – we’re getting there and faster than you think. Our whole team is keeping a close watch on this one.