Quick reminder: we'll be at the Boston Hardware Workshop next week to talk about product development & prototyping



Building Things: 

  • An interesting new method for printing medium-to-large envelope parts: injecting thermosetting resins and rubbers into a vat of goo, which acts as a continuous support structure. Like many other additive manufacturing methods, it has fairly poor surface finish, so the notion of it being used for something like office furniture (Steelcase is the corporate sponsor of the research) seems unlikely and the geometric inconsistency makes it problematic for jigs or fixtures. That said, it's early stage research and shows real promise in terms of speed over other methods. 


Virtually There: 

  • There's a case in Wisconsin right now that claims 1st Amendment Rights protection for Augmented Reality games after Milwaukee County introduced a permit requirement for any games that put AR locations within the county's park system. The permit scope is  pretty extensive: providing on-site medical and security staff, a garbage clean up plan and liability insurance among other things. It's a complex area for public/private interests to be balanced with regulation: on one hand free-assembly is critical for free speech and democratic society, on the other, private companies painting public lands with digital billboards that lure masses of people with "rare" digital goods brings undue and unpredictable burdens for municipalities and their taxpayers. As one of the first AR cases, the outcome could have a huge impact on the nascent industry in establishing early legal precedents.
  • The technologies behind accurately reconstructing an individual's voice are becoming highly capable and low cost. While great from an assistive tech perspective, it presents some huge security concerns. Imagine a loved one calls your phone saying they're stranded, asking you to wire them money only to find out later it was simple voice bot running a highly effective voice-based phishing scam. Add voice to the list of things that may appear authentic but can't be automatically trusted. 


Upgrading Ourselves: 


Material Culture: 

  • "We have too many things, too many distractions, too many items offered to us..." Those were the words of Reverend Giuseppe Masseroni memorializing Emma Moreno, the world's oldest woman, who lived 117 years. The New York Times looks at the objects in her life


More next week.