For several years technologists and others focused on the future of computing have looked at devices such as Microsoft’s Kinect controller as a means for desktop control. A small portion of these people, myself included, were interested in knowing if 3D sensing devices coupled with voice recognition could replace input devices such as the mouse, keyboard and remote control sometime in the near future. Several large companies including Verizon and Microsoft have invested money in these types of technologies yet consumers don’t appear to be quite ready to give up their mouses, keyboards, and remote controls just yet. Are consumers too attached to current technologies, do they know something that is not apparent to technologists or are current technologies too cumbersome for mass adoption? These were the types of questions that I began thinking about when I began my first course on Wearable Computing and alternative forms of computing.
While doing a small research project on this topic I quickly discovered some of the key issues associated with using gestures and other forms of non-traditional computational input. My project began with investigating desktop computer applications that utilized the Kinect device to detect voice and gestures in order to control presentations or media players. I quickly learned that several companies have developed applications for this purpose and some were expecting consumers to pay quite a bit for gesture control functionality. Because I wasn’t allotted a budget for this research I settled on a free solution called KinEmote that would allow me to customize the keystrokes associated with several pre-programmed gestures. Unfortunately, voice recognition was not included and therefore my assumptions regarding voice functionality have not yet been substantiated. Read More
About a year ago when I decided to study abroad in Germany, I knew that it wouldn’t be easy or cheap, I also knew it would help me in the long run but I had a hard time identifying exactly how. Now that I’m back in Seattle I’ve begun to see how it affected me. Thanks to Course Hero, I have a fancy infographic with the results of a survey to help illustrate my experience!
One of the main reasons that I decided to study abroad was to learn more about how wearable computers can be used to change the way we communicate and to better understand the technological differences between the US and Germany. For some reason I had grand illusions that Europe and especially Germany was more technologically advanced than a lot of other countries including the US. What I found was a large digital divide between regions, age groups and social classes much like we have here in the US. Read More
Over the last month several of my fellow MCDM students and friends have asked “what are you doing in Germany?” Well now that I’m all settled down and blazing across the country on the train whenever possible, I’ve finally found the time to fill everyone in and hopefully offer some inspiration and insight into how you might be able to chase your dreams as I am doing here.
I’ve been interested in studying in Germany for several years. Some of this interest comes from my mom’s side of the family who were born here and the rest comes from the amazing German ingenuity that thrives because of the culture and large amounts of research funding.
While past endeavors to study here have failed for various reasons, I decided again in April to make another go of it. I began searching for digital media programs that had classes in wearable computing and augmented reality. One of the first Google search results was Uni Bremen’s Digital Media Master of Science program. Although the site looked like it hadn’t been updated in over a decade, the course content was exactly what I was looking for. Best of all, the classes I was interested in were taught in English and acceptance into the program meant that tuition would be payed in full by the German government. Read More
Several months ago when Facebook questions were just starting to get traction, I answered one of the first questions that popped up in my stream (I can’t seem to unfollow it now but I’ll leave this for another post). The question, posted by the Common Language Project, was “Should NPR’s federal funding be cut?” After pondering over it for a minute and thinking about the small proportion of funds that actually come from the government I cast my vote. I reasoned that NPR’s federal funding should be cut because I don’t think it’s a vital part of NPR’s operating budget and because I believe that it should be “listener powered” much like KEXP here in Seattle.
The Media Monopoly by Ben H. Bagdikian made me revisit my previous stance on “federal funding” and forced me to look at it more as “public funding”. Some of Bagdikian’s rant has been abolished or “disrupted” by the Internet however there are several timeless pieces that are still worth thinking about. I think there is still a false limitation between broadcasting being perceived either as “government propaganda” or commercial broadcasting (“two-model fallacy”) and would argue that if anything it’s only grown stronger in recent years. I also agree that objections to public broadcasting are primarily ideological but as economic issues continue to come to the forefront, ideological battles for privatization framed in-terms of budget cuts become a winning strategy. It will be quite fascinating to look back at the current debates and to see how our economic status influenced our public policies. Read More
Thesis (revised May 2):
By looking at the technological, social and political evolutions responsible for America’s mobile network, I hope to identify what it takes to become a prominent competitor in the U.S. cellular market. I will explore telephone networks, GSM, HSPA+ & LTE network evolutions, and some of the current hot topics and trends. CDMA is excluded in an effort to narrow down the scope of this project. Within this exploration I hope find out how the government and other forces effect the motivation and ability of industry participants to compete in the U.S. market.
Research Intent (revised May 2):
I intend to break this research into three parts: telephone networks (copper), mobile networks (CDMA/GSM) and future networks (4G/LTE). To begin this research I will look at the evolution of the telephone network and the effects of government regulations that were put in place in order to establish a public utility and to prevent a network monopoly. Next I will look at the motivations and ability of those who created mobile prototypes and ultimately invented a working mobile network that developed into the CDMA and GSM data transmission technologies we still use today. To complete this research, I hope to apply some of the insights gained along the way to the next generation of mobile networks (4G/LTE) to see if I can determine whether or not having one less mobile network provider in the U.S. (T-Mobile) would stifle further innovation.
Pelkmans, J. (2001). The GSM standard: explaining a success story. Journal of European Public Policy, 8(3), 432-453.
Xiaoni, Z, & Prybutok, V. (2005). How the mobile communication markets differ in China, the U.S., and Europe. Communications of the ACM, 48(3), 111-114.
Hazlett, T.W. (2003). Is federal preemption efficient in cellular phone regulation? Federal Communications Law Journal, 56(1), 155-238.