For a glimpse of the lighter side of our sensor-driven future, check out a new 3-D social networking application called Sekai Camera (sekai means “world” in Japanese).
“Sekai Camera fuses output from the GPS, accelerometer, compass and camera into a 3-D augmented reality,” said iSuppli Corp. analyst Jérémie Bouchard. “Sekai Camera is a kind of giant Facebook hanging in midair [on the phone’s screen] around objects in 3-D. In Japan, 10 percent of iPhones downloaded it in the first four days after it became available.”
When using Sekai Camera, you merely aim your cell phone’s camera around your location and watch your screen for information to pop up that other Sekai Camera users have left at the same locale.
Using geotagging, Sekai Camera users can, for instance, stand outside a movie theater and leave a review of the movie they just saw. Other users can then read the review on the spot before they buy a ticket, just by pointing a phone at the theater.
Such apps could eventually overlay user-generated tactical information on everything in view—a crowdsourced version of the “Terminator” robot’s perspective.
Can you think of a application for which you could use the Sekai Camera app? How about a treasure hunt game where "virtual" prizes are left in odd locations that you have to track down with mid-air clues you can only see with your Sekai Camera? How about a life-sized board game where only you can Sekai Camera users can see the pieces? Can you think of a application for which you could use the Sekai Camera app?
David Patterson, known for his pioneering research that led to RAID, clusters and more, is part of a team at UC Berkeley that recently made its RISC-V processor architecture an open source hardware offering. We talk with Patterson and one of his colleagues behind the effort about the opportunities they see, what new kinds of designs they hope to enable and what it means for today’s commercial processor giants such as Intel, ARM and Imagination Technologies.