Back in my day, the only smart phones were the toy ones that could say the numbers as you pressed them. (I also had one that could predict the future, but no one ever believed me, especially the cops.) But now they’re being used to do nearly anything the imagination can come up with, not the least of which is beating 500 levels of Candy Crush instead of going grocery shopping. Here we’ll be focusing on smartphones being used to create a workable facsimile of The Matrix‘s “bullet time,” as well as a video camera that only records what your brain is actually interested in. It seems like there would have to be a strict interview process to see who gets to qualify for the latter.
But first, let’s talk about the awesomeness that is Qualcomm’s Snapdragon Booth, a 540° spiral rig set up in Venice, California and New York City to show off the impressive capabilities of its Snapdragon 600 processors. Volunteers of all kinds took part in creating the videos you’ll see below, including skateboarders, breakdancers, Frisbee-loving dogs and, of course, a fire breather. Unfortunately, no one who qualified as “The One” entered the ringed booth to take on an army of Hugo Weavings, but it is all pretty damned cool nonetheless. And if you want loads more examples of people doing crazy things from all angles, just head over to the Snapdragon Booth website to see a slew of GIFs.
And we go from The Matrix to the excellent British futuristic thriller anthology Black Mirror, which aired an episode featuring electronic implants that record everything the wearer’s eyes see. That isn’t quite the extent reached by the Neurocam, a Japanese creation backed by ad giant Dentsu, but it’s still early going.
Simply put, the Neurocam is a head-strapped iPhone (though other phone brands will certainly get their turn if this becomes a successful venture) with a prism fitted on the end so that it sees things from the user’s point of view. It runs an brainwave monitoring app, developed in part by Keio University’s Yasue Mitsukura, which applies a scale of 1-100 on brainwave activity to judge just how interested a person is in what they’re looking at. If the rating goes above 60, it automatically records a five-second GIF, probably leading to eventual small-time lawsuits and/or big-time lawsuits. Also, a lot of dead phones at sporting events and concerts. But it’s still a pretty interesting concept that will eventually carve an “anti-Google Glass” hole into wearable camera tech. See it in action below.
I’m waiting on this kind of a program to get added to smartwatches, since my hands can get into more visually appealing places than my head can. Crap, somebody just gave me a subpoena.