Future Culture

Futurist Writer Lei Kalina writes her tongue-in-cheek musings and ramblings on the growing worldwide phenomenon of the growth of the Future Culture in the 21st Century

Future Culture In The 21st Century

Future Culture In the 21st Century

Futures Studies, Foresight, or Futurology , according to Wikipedia, is the science, art and practice of postulating possible, probable, and preferable futures and the worldviews and myths that underlie them. Futures studies (colloquially called "Futures" by many of the field's practitioners) seeks to understand what is likely to continue, what is likely to change, and what is novel. Part of the discipline thus seeks a systematic and pattern-based understanding of past and present, and to determine the likelihood of future events and trends. Futures is an interdisciplinary field, studying yesterday's and today's changes, and aggregating and analyzing both lay and professional strategies, and opinions with respect to tomorrow.

Monday, July 7, 2014

Google Glass' RaceYourself App: Run With The Zombies !!

From  The Pinay Sunset Runner

FOR  ALL  YE  GOOGLE GLASS NEWS  FANS AND   FOLLOWERS,   you may have already heard the news  about   the latest  killer app   that has been hitting the  tech blog headlines:    all about  Google Glass'  RaceYourself app  for running and fitness enthusiasts.    

Interestingly,  more and more  are  giving their thumbs up and elite nods , especially from  technology evangelists  ,  future tech vigilantes,  and techno-progressive  analysts and enthusiasts alike. This early,   it has garnered the first of its future awards,  recently  proclaimed as the  Best Design App in Fitness Nutrition and Diet Category by the UK Mobile and App Design Awards in London held just this June 2014

And who wouldn't take a second look at this  beauty:    what with its adrenaline-pumping  tech effects such as  simulations of  flesh-eating zombies  running after you and make you run for your life,  or  the challenging one-two punches   via  your very own avatar  with your own personal running best time --   urging you to  , as the app says,  Race Yourself. 


                         YouTube  Screengrab

And there's more:  RaceYourself takes you to  riveting and surreal heights in augmented reality fashion. 

While on your run,  you go through a myriad of scenes,  such as  running but also   "flying"  as the app takes you through a skydiving experience, showing a sea of other "skydivers"  with you,   and later  it  takes you to a virtual marathon of identically-clad runners in purple shirts,  then  brings you to a  skiing scenario  with all the snowy mountain slopes with your  other "fellow skiers".   

And next thing you know,  you later find yourself on the road running for your life  with a huge rolling boulder  seemingly  following you at each turn and out to get ya!   As you run faster and faster,  you find yourself on a  beach,  and  as you continue your workout,   you're suddenly  in the middle of a  virtual bike race with cyclists via  a surreal Tour De France.   Just when you think you have had enough,     you  later  come across   a platoon of zombies hungry to eat your brains out --  making  you scamper away through all these hoopla of uberly  cool excitement and fun.

That's  a total of  thirty  game modes in the said app,  and this defines the future of fitness and exercise  as being far from the gloom and doom of boredom.

But experts say that all these are far from kidstuff. 

Company co-founder Alex Foster  said in a recent press release:    “Imagine racing against your own personal best, chasing a friend you want to beat or even escaping a 400-tonne cargo train traveling at your target marathon pace," company co-founder    "By blending reality with virtual reality, we can make workouts a lot more interesting and motivating."

“As well as making exercise more interesting, we wanted to incorporate the addictive and social elements from gaming. That’s why we reward users with unlockable games for completing workouts, "  he says.

Foster adds:   "Exercise is incredibly good for you. Gaming is incredibly addictive and enjoyable. Our goal is make exercise incredibly addictive and enjoyable through augmented reality exercise experiences on, primarily, Google Glass.     “We are offering similar promises; more motivation, tracking, competition… but visually and live, that is, the user knows if they are beating or falling behind their personal best or target pace the whole way through the run.”

Meantime,  the  app's  Beta version,  now  open for applications  but limited to American citizens who are over 18,    will  be more accessible to  a wider audience  later this year ,  according to the app developers.   

                         YouTube  Screengrab

                        YouTube  Screengrab

                         YouTube  Screengrab

                         YouTube  Screengrab

With the Glass'  voice recognition technology ,  wearers  of the smarrt  eyewear  can  just   whisper   "O.K., Glass"  to activate  it,   and  can give you an array of  choices on what to do while  on your run:  "Take a picture",   "Record a video",   "Give me directions  to the  nearest  fastfood"  ---  and  Glass would dutifully  do its job for you.  

RaceYouself's  Chief Operating Officer  Richard Goodrum said in a statement that  the growing RaceYourself fans,  this  early,  would enjoy  more upcoming features  to further enhance the  app ,  taking it to  the next level via another game mode,  which is the race track. 

"Taking  RaceYourself  to the racetrack  is definitely something we have been thinking about and we have already started talking to a company regarding Google Glass integration with helmets.  To put a car avatar on the track that drives ahead of you,  much like in the game Gran Turismo,  would actually be more accurate than a running man avatar."

"We could even adapt the chasing aspect of RaceYourself  to beat your previous lap around the track,  you can be driving away from a monster truck or Godzilla. "

"When it comes to the safety aspect of it,  some do not realize that the Google Glass display  is  slightly  off to the top right of your vision,  meaning that you can easily obtain a clear view of the road ahead without serious distraction." 

2236060 orig 730x408 Flee from zombies and giant boulders with the Race Yourself fitness app for Google Glass
YouTube  Screengrab

YouTube  Screengrab

Goodrum further says that the  app's  newest version,   available later this year, would  also be "revolutionizing the racetrack experience"  for  track day enthusiasts and professional racing drivers  as they  see a visual representation of their lap to  beat.

"With the release of the RaceYourself app aligned with the Google Glass' recent launch,  we will be looking to pursue the car aspect of the app  later in the year. "

Meantime,  amidst all the media razzmatazz ,   recent news  reported banning  of Google Glass in  UK cinemas,   with  theatre operators alarmed about the device's recording function which  wearers can use inconspicuously to  record the films being shown for the public.

Google Glass has just arrived in the UK  last June 23,  but this early,  while early Glass Explorer beta testers  have been pouring to check out the smart eyewear,   controversy is blocking its marketing strategies  for a full take-off.

Photo from Google Glass'  RaceYourself site

Photo from Google Glass'  RaceYourself site

London's  The  Independent reported the growing concern  among theater owners regarding the idea and possibility of  the device wearers easily recording pirated copies of their  films being shown in their theatres. Cinema Exhibitors Association  CEO    Phil Clapp told the paper  that   "recording in cinemas is the source of more than  90 per cent of all illegally copied fils in their release form.  Customers will be requested not to wear these into cinema auditoriums,  whether the film is playing or not."  

As  UK filmgoers  enter the cinemas,   they will be greeted by this sign: 

"“As a courtesy to your fellow audience members, and to prevent film theft, we ask that customers do not enter any cinema auditorium using any 'wearable technology' capable of recording images. Any customer found wearing such technology will be asked to remove it and may be asked to leave the cinema.”

The  UK  stages a first by  getting  the frontseat of initial  global sale of the Glass  outside the US, with  units  priced at   1,000 British Pounds, equivalent to  about   US$1703.  However,   the ban  stays  ---   covering  some  750 cinemas within  the UK,  which includes England,  Scotland,  Wales and  Northern Ireland.  

Related to the  most recent controversy,  Google issued  its  statement:

"We encourage any cinemas concerned about Glass to treat the device as they treat similar devices like mobile phones: simply ask wearers to turn it off before the film starts. Broadly speaking, we also think it's best to have direct and first-hand experience with Glass before creating policies around it. The fact that Glass is worn above the eyes and the screen lights up whenever it’s activated makes it a fairly lousy device for recording things secretly.”


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