HCI Tiny Letter #1 – Blowing up a HoloLens, seeing more, being human and automation

HCI Tiny Letter Cyborg

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HoloLens goes to Space. Almost

Just 4 days after announcing a collaboration between NASA & Microsoft on further HoloLens projects there were 2 Holo units being sent on their way to the International Space Station. There's a NASA press release that also has a video of people spinning about in in an airplane : [ http://www.nasa.gov/press-release/nasa-microsoft-collaborate-to-bring-science-fiction-to-science-fact ]. Unfortunately, the Spacex rocket that was taking them up to the ISS blew up, you can also watch that online here : [ https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OXB5-VbRhlk ]. I like the silence in the control room and the way the camera pans about the empty sky after the rocket explodes.

Be My Eyes & Cities Unlocked

Here's two very different and very human examples of what can be achieved with technology to aid visually impaired people. I saw Be My Eyes as an entry to the Cannes Advertising Festival a few weeks back. Be My Eyes allows visually impaired people to connect via an app to a sighted person who can describe what's in front of them via the camera in a smartphone [ http://www.bemyeyes.org/ ]. Taking this to another level is the Cities Unlocked project which aims to embed technology deeper into the fabric of our cities to give visually impaired people more independence : [ http://blogs.msdn.com/b/ukgovernment/archive/2014/01/15/microsoft-citynext-helping-guide-dogs-support-people-with-sight-loss.aspx ]

TV – Humans on Channel 4

This series questions the impact of androids on human society.  What's nice about this is that the rest of society appears to be untouched by technology. So the focus is completely on AI droids. I'm looking forward to seeing how this progresses. This is a UK based channel so could someone let me know if you're able to view it from outside the UK? Watch it [ http://www.channel4.com/programmes/humans ]


Automation is coming, we can't stop it, but we appear to be doing a very good job of avoiding the ethical discussion around what is the right or the wrong way to do it. The latest 2 episodes of 99 Percent Invisible [ http://99percentinvisible.org/ ] discuss automation in terms of transport – airplanes and cars and how we could approach the automation paradox.
Part 1 [ http://99percentinvisible.org/episode/children-of-the-magenta-automation-paradox-pt-1/ ]
Part 2 [ http://99percentinvisible.org/episode/johnnycab-automation-paradox-pt-2/ ]