Just Playing or Profound Research?

I’ve been checking out what those clever bods at MIT’s media lab have been working on. Their latest augmented reality stuff is interesting, there a video of some of their work here .

I’m as interested in the comments made on U.S. Newswire messageboards about this technology as I am in the research itself (to get some idea of how ordinary folk see it being applied). The universal view seems to be that it’s only going to come into it’s own for porn and first person gaming and is otherwise just a gimmick. To contridict this public view I noticed that similar technology is now being used by interior designers in the U.S. to give clients a 3D view of their ‘proposed’ layout which allows them to walkthrough and inspect the fixture and fittings from any angle (like 3D CAD syle but with a real world backdrop). Also I’ve seen that one of the spin-offs of the media lab work is the 3D T.V. stuff coming on stream this year.

What may seem to some like just a bit of fun can have some very useful real world applications. I’m still not convinced that researching the correct sogginess of Rich Tea biscuits dunked in tea is going to have any profound spin-offs but maybe I’ll be proved wrong and perhaps correct sogginess is important to avoid global conflicts or some such. Chaos theory triumphs again! Oh Mandelbrot.

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About willwoods
I'm Head of Learning and Teaching Technologies in the Institute of Educational Technology at the Open University.

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