5 Friday To Do’s: Sci-Fi Street Signs, Kinect Hacks, Ethics & Robotics and a new Google

A few weeks back I kicked off a experiment with a new format for our blog on friday in which I listed 5 friday to do’s. Here’s the second post containing 5 things for your friday or the weekend to read, watch, do, to think about and to share.

To think about: What The Signs of our Sci-Fi Future might look like.


Fernando Barbella has created “Signs From The Near Future,” a collection of futuristic signage that might soon be a reality. Phrases like “Left lane free for driverless cars” and “15% off on synthetic burgers!” could be the new stop signs and promotional offers of the world in which we live. More future signs here.

To read: Teach Robots Right From Wrong
We at VINT are following what is often called the second machine age. We are moving towards a period in time in which robots are smart enough to do a lot of cognitive tasks. There has also been a lot of debate on so called killer robots. These are army owned robots trained to kill people. These trends raise a lot of moral dilemmas. Now the Office of Naval Research will award $7.5 million in grant money over five years to university researchers from Tufts, Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, Brown, Yale and Georgetown to explore how to build a sense of right and wrong and moral consequence into autonomous robotic systems. Very interesting stuff. LINK.

To watch: Clever Kinect Hack Enables Outter Body Experience Into Virtual Reality
Take three Kinects, place them carefully around a room, and push the combined video feeds through an algorithm that reconstructs a model of your body. To make it extra cool, they also added an Oculus Rift to the equation as well. Sounds easy doesn’t? It’s not actually. The result is shaky and buggy, but another cool use of some immature technologies available today.

To do: Back Up The Google For The Physical World
There’s no way to Google physical objects. Sure you can type in the word “apples,” but you can’t Google the apple sitting on your kitchen counter. You can Google your medication, but you can’t Google the pill you found at the bottom of your purse. That needs to change, says Dror Sharon. He’s the co-founder and CEO of Consumer Physics, a Tel Aviv startup trying to fill that gap with a handheld device called Scio. Scio is a scanner, about the size of a flash drive, that can determine the molecular makeup of objects like food and medication.

The scanner emits a beam of light, which you can shine on, say, a piece of fruit. The device will then connect to a smartphone app that reveals the nutritional breakdown of that piece of fruit. Their goal is to build the world’s largest database of fingerprints for our physical world and give developers a platform to create new applications. More at Wired and KickStarter.

To download and share:
Our friends at SogetiLabs released their INSIGHT ON INNOVATION #3 – THE GOLD RUSH OF INTERNET OF THINGS. It’s a free download. So feel free to download the report and share it with your connections if you like it.

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