computers entertainment mobile technology

Buzzword: Augmented Reality

Augmented Reality in the Classroom Craig Knapp
Augmented Reality in the Classroom Craig Knapp (Photo credit: caswell_tom)

What it means. “Augmented reality” sounds very “Star Trek,” but what is it, exactly? In short, AR is defined as “an artificial environment created through the combination of real-world and computer-generated data.”

via Buzzword: Augmented Reality.

Nice little survey from the people at Consumer Reports, with specific examples given from the Consumer Electronics Show this past January. Whether it’s software or hardware there’s a lot of things that can be labeled and marketed as ‘Augmented Reality’. On this blog I’ve concentrated more on the apps running on smartphones with integrated cameras, acclerometers and GPS. Those pieces are important building blocks for an integrated Augmented Reality-like experience. But as this article from CR shows, your experience may vary quite a bit.

In my commentary on stories posted by others on the Internet, I have covered mostly just the examples of AR apps on mobile phones. Specifically I’ve concentrated on the toolkit provided by Layar to add metadata to existing map points of interest. The idea of ‘marking up’ the existing landscape for me holds a great deal of promise as the workload is shifted off the creator of the 3D world to the people traveling within it. The same could hold true for Massively Multiplayer Games and some worlds do allow the members to do that kind of building and marking up of the environment itself. But Layar provides a set of data that you can call up while merely pointing the cell phone camera at a compass direction and then bring up the associated data.

It’s a sort of hunt for information, sometimes it’s well done if the metadata mark-up is well done. But like many crowd-sourced efforts some amount of lower quality work or worse vandalism occurs. But this should keep anyone from trying to enhance the hidden data that can be discovered through a Layar enhanced Real World. I’m hoping the mobile phone based AR applications grow and find a niche if not a killer app. It’s still early days and mobile phone AR is not being adopted very quickly but I think there’s still a lot of untapped resources there. I don’t think we have discovered all the possible applications of mobile phone AR.

computers data center flash memory technology

CES 2011: Corsair Performance Series 3 SSD Benchmarks – AnandTech :: Your Source for Hardware Analysis and News

Image representing SandForce as depicted in Cr...
Image via CrunchBase

The next wave of high end consumer SSDs will begin shipping this month, and I believe Corsair may be the first out the gate. Micron will follow shortly with its C400 and then we’ll likely see a third generation offering from Intel before eventually getting final hardware based on SandForce’s SF-2000 controllers in May.

via CES 2011: Corsair Performance Series 3 SSD Benchmarks – AnandTech :: Your Source for Hardware Analysis and News.

This just in from Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas, via Anandtech. SandForce SF-2000 scheduled to drop in May of this year. Get ready as you will see a huge upsurge in releases of new SSD products attempting to best one another in the sustained Read/Write category. And I’m not talking just SSDs but PCIe based cards with SSD RAIDs embedded on them communicating through a 2 Lane 8X PCI Express interface. I’m going to take a wild guess and say you will see products fitting this description easily hitting 700 to 900 MB/s sustained Read and Write. Prices will be on the top end of the scale as even the current shipping products all fall in to the $1200 to $1500 range. Expect the top end to be LSI based products for $15,000 or third party OEM manufacturers who might be willing to sell a fully configured 1TByte card for maybe ~$2,000. After the SF-2000 is released, I don’t know how long it will take for designers to prototype and release to manufacturing any new designs incorporating this top of the line SSD flash memory controller. It’s possible as the top end continues to increase in performance current shipping product might start to fall in price to clear out the older, lower performance designs.