Archives For Technology

Unreal Engine – Wow.

September 29, 2017 — Leave a comment

Unreal Engine continues to take the step towards “photoreal”, it’s an important step as after photoreal exists, the game industry can’t keep repeating the past.

Once rocks are indistinguishable from rocks, we’ll want to see something new.  I can’t wait to see what designers come up with!



I’m SUPER EXCITED about the new Arduboy! This I think is the best way to learn to program computers, to start by modifying games and then to make your own. It’s way more fun than starting with “Hello World” like every long-winded book offers. As a freebie, you also get to learn about controlling electronics in the process. If you have a kid, get them one of these and spend some time playing with it, there are a TON of free games online to start with.

I’ve been watching the evolution of computer vision closely and things are getting VERY interesting right now.

We’ve always wondered when computers can think like humans, and it’s always remained that elusive “20 years away”. To really interface with us, they need some KEY things:


Of those 5 things, the first three are pretty much nailed, #4 is next.

The evidence that #4 is elusive is Siri on the iPhone, or Microsoft’s Cortana don’t ask to see what you’re talking about. Siri should say “Can you show me that?“.

When given the chance to see, the data reveals the number one question people ask a seeing computer about is problems on their body. They worry about rashes etc. It’s interesting as it shows how most companies are working on the wrong problem, learning Starbucks, Mercedes and Nike logos from all angles won’t get you there.


Looking at a simple coffee cup… Algorithms today focus on the Starbucks logo, and respond with offers of Starbucks products like “Starbucks iPhone Case”.  Huh?  At least identify it as “a white Starbucks Ceramic Mug”, why are you just showing me iPhone cases?

The step that all the companies fail at is when you break the mug… Even a kid would say “A broken mug”, but after countless millions of dollars every research tech fails to nail it.


I’ve seen multi-multi-million dollar systems analyze this kind of image above and return the word “Creamy“.  What?

I have friends at that have avoided the typical “buy data sets and crunch them” model as they knew they need cognition (understanding & comprehension) of image concepts.  They have an open API and are being used in numerous 3rd party applications today, processing countless millions of images from real people.

Most companies are working on straight “recognition” and I get it, I’m a programmer and I also love to think that programming can get us there alone, but it can’t.  It’s like the visual researchers are following the old path of audio researchers by trying to recognize individual words, that have no context.

I remember Bill Gates talking about voice recognition once, he explained just how difficult is is to understand “Do you recognize speech?” vs “Did you wreck a nice beach?” Even if a computer gets the words right, getting it to understand the question was a massive problem.  So only when researchers focused on understanding context did things start to leap forward for the cloud being able to listen.

Cloudsight Logo

The reason the solution is interesting is because they’ve spent years working on the parental teaching loop that human brains require to grow. The reason the kid can understand the broken mug is because they understand the concept BROKEN, they broke things and saw how they break.  They will see more and more evidence of this idea growing up and can recognize BROKEN in any form.  There’s lots to learn…  “Those glasses are broken“, “Those glasses are old“, “That person looks ill” etc.

Every single major corporation (Apple, Google, Microsoft, Facebook, Pinterest etc.) will need to either have the cloud see or to understand the billions of images and videos they are handling.  It’s a certain future and it’s fun watching the progress.

I just gave it a fun image to try…   It nailed it.

Fish Bike

Here’s someone testing all the top solutions:

So keep an eye on this space, it’s about to get very interesting.

FPV Car Racing!

April 28, 2017 — Leave a comment

Perhaps you like the idea of FPV (first-person view) drone racing, but you’re a little uncomfortable with the thought of piloting a rapidly-moving quadcopter through the air. If you are, then maybe FPV car racing would be more to your liking. Although hobbyists have been doing it on a DIY basis for years, there’s a…

via FPV car racing is getting kinda gnarly — New Atlas

Physics from Video?

August 22, 2016 — Leave a comment

Gotta love out-of-the-box thinking mixed with great math!

Check out this MIT research on how to learn how something moves just by watching video of it.

If you miss the days of playing Pong with old-school dial controllers but would rather not track down a vintage console or arcade cabinet, today’s your lucky day. Daniel Perdomo and crew have built a real-world Pong machine that replicates the pionee…

via Real-world ‘Pong’ might just beat the video game — Engadget RSS Feed




It’s fun to find some research that is technically very cool, but that will also (no doubt) generate a ton of really funny YouTube videos in the future.

Warning: Very “tech”.  (So it’s OK to skip to see the progress they have made.)

St. Patrick’s Day

March 17, 2016 — Leave a comment

Firstly, happy St. Patrick’s day!

I’m at an event for Irish technology entrepreneurs.  (Silicon Valley 50 Global Awards.)

Forbes has covered the afternoon here: CLICK HERE

ITLG Silicon Valley 50 sm.jpg


I learned how to program making games, it’s by far the most fun way to learn how to program (after typing “Hello World!” on the screen).

I’m a big Arduino Fan for experimenting with electronics and this Kickstarter project (I hope) ends up in every school in the country.  I think teachers would be shocked how much creativity kids could put into this device and while making the games they would tech themselves how to code.  I’m shocked it’s under $30 as I’ve previously been a big supporter of Arduino Esplora and it’s nowhere near as cool as Arduboy.

Arduboy Body

Mark Zuckerberg (CEO of Facebook):

“I do think this dynamic around kids growing up, building games and playing games, is an important one because I think this is how a lot of kids get into programming,” he explained. “I definitely would not have gotten into programming if I had not played games as a kid.”