Monday, 22 February 2016

ENTiTi Augmented reality and Virtual Reality...with no code....

Really?.... I was playing around with WikiTudes Augmented Reality mid-2015 and I was impressed at what was on offer.

Now, this startup has just sprouted and is currently offering their software for "free" - the plan looks like they will charge a monthly subscription eventually, would be interesting to know what the price range is likely to be, we'll have to wait and see.

Anyway.... have this Augmented reality creator tooling that they reckon, even Sales & Marketing can use, with no need to write any code......  :-D

Well, you know me.....I have "hotel evenings" and they have a "free download", what's to lose? apart from some time.  It might be a good investment, let's find out!

IBM is Bringing Watson to VR.... was only a matter of time  :-)

Working with IBM’s Watson platform, Rectangular Studios is creating a virtual reality experience that will allow you to speak in natural language to avatars in the virtual world and have them reply in kind.

Rectangular’s game, which is still untitled, is played underwater due to a natural catastrophe. In the game you are tasked with using your wits to find a way to fight against groups who are trying to control the little natural resources that are left. Diana Lopez of Rectangular Studios describes this as an “intelligence fight” where you are having conversations with non-player controlled avatars that are powered by IBM’s Watson platform.
Right now Rectangular’s Watson implementation is elementary, as the game is very early in its development. “You can tell it is a robot,” says Lopez, “but we are working to get to the point where it feels much more human.”
Rectangular Studios may not be the only ones who are using Watson for VR either. Today IBM Japan announced a VR experience based on the popular anime series Sword Art Online. In the announcement video, the company teased a “cognitive system” that would support decision-making and SoftLayer, which is IBM’s high performance cloud infrastructure. Alpha testing for the experience will begin next month.

Even in its early stages the prospect of Watson existing in VR is a tantalizing one. The ability to interact fluidly with AI characters will be crucial in a world where immersion is a key virtue. Even with Facebook and Oculus putting a heavy emphasis on Social VR there are going to be plenty of experiences where you will interact with computer generated characters rather than human ones. With Watson, developers could potentially help enable the kind of interactions in games that we have dreamed about for years.

Monday, 15 February 2016

Internet of Things Foundation Service on Bluemix

It's all about the IoT.....

Apparently, Gartner predicted in November 2015, that during 2016, 6.4 billion device will be connected to the Internet and will be classified as "The Internet of Things".  By 2020, that figure will rise to 20.8 billion.  Staggering.

Just connecting devices to the Internet is one thing, but it will mean that the devices will be pushing a tremendous amount of data around.  I'm pretty sure that being able to make sense of that data, to gain insights from the data is also going to bring great rewards to the companies that get smart to this.

Now, as you may or may not know, I've been making "stuff" that we used to call "Client-Server" apps (back in the day), which is great for small proof of concept stuff, ie. getting my robot to send data to a server humming away in the corner of the room, triggering events and sending a signal to activate a solenoid that opens a door before the robot hits the door.  This is all great and good, but for "proper business use", that is going to demand a highly scalable, fault tolerant and robust platform to manage all the IoT device, IBM Bluemix and more specifically the IBM Internet of Things Foundation service is a pretty good platform to do just that.

Naturally, I've been tinkering..... I decided to setup a Bluemix IoT Foundation Service, drop some client-code onto 3 (yes, 3!) Raspberry Pi's that uses MQTT for connectivity to Bluemix and then get adventurous to hook up the Arduino Robot to communicate via MQTT too.... The beauty of using shown in the image above, means it's a pub/sub protocol....ooooooOOOooo 2-way communications!  It also means I can have an Android mobile app running on my Samsung S6 that can allow me to monitor and manage the connected devices.
The beauty of using IBM Bluemix IoT Foundation Service is that I don't have to worry about the server-side stuff (apart from the initial setup) and when I then decide to scale up to 100's of Pi's and 1000's of Robots, I just have to tell IBM Bluemix to scale up, minimum effort from me.  Which I like the idea of.

As a follow up after setting up the devices and the server-side above, I've written up the following:

Thursday, 11 February 2016

MobileFirst Platform Server v7.1 running on a Raspberry Pi 2....

MobileFirst Platform Server v7.1 running on a Raspberry Pi 2....

Yes, I just did that.  Well, truth be told, I started it back in September 2014 with Worklight v6.2... I know this because I just got around to re-configuring my little collection of Raspberry Pis to use the "new" WiFi router settings.... and upon poking around one of them I noticed a /wlp folder.  It looked like I had gotten quite far, but not quite got it working....and then moved onto doing something else...

... I also noticed I had a Raspberry Pi 2 that I was just using as a Webcam motion detector, which was a bit of a waste I thought, "why not!?!"


I know...exciting stuff :-D  I really know how to live.

On a more serious geeky note, once you get to understand how the "parts" fit together for MFP, it doesn't matter if you are installing MFP with WLP (WebSphere Liberty Profile) onto a Raspberry Pi (or a cluster of Pis) or installing MFP with WAS ND (WebSphere Application Server Network Deployment) in an Enterprise on-premise setup or even inside a Docker container running in the Cloud on Bluemix, the building blocks are the same, it's just the size and colour of the lego blocks that change  :-)

Tuesday, 9 February 2016

Skills for 2016

This year, I think I shall be mostly MQTT-ing....

BLUEMIX seems to be a central element in this equation  :-)

After checking through some "old code", I wrote my own MQTT back in 2006...but got distracted and moved onto working on other things (I think it was called a "PassThru Server" or something as catchily named as that - I'll see if I can find the images/docs later) - sigh...but then again I was working for Sybase/iAnywhere at the time, so it would have get buried inside SAP by now...

Thursday, 4 February 2016

StackOverflow for Car Mechanics

Car mechanics are no longer the stereotype of knuckle scraping monkey's... some of them are smart.  Where do smart mechanics go to ask questions?  StackOverflow?  Well... to be more precise:

I wonder if the [hot rod] tag will become more popular over time :-)