Gaikai: Photoshopping on a Cloud

Streaming video games has been the new hotness in the gaming world since OnLive revealed itself in March with the the ability to stream games onto a PC at HDTV resolution from distant servers with a web plugin or a small piece of hardware. Basically, cloud gaming. I was impressed when the news came out, but not being a gamer, I lost interest. Until I found this video above. Until I watched the 10th minute of the video above. Please watch the 10th minute on the video above. Gaikai, a similar service to OnLive, is able to stream Photoshop to a browser using only Flash. And it opens in 2 seconds. Gaikai needs to think about shifting its focus away from just games. And investors should be throwing money at this company.

Bringing Sight to the World

adaptive eyecare glasses - joshua silver

Joshua Silver, a physics professor at Oxford University, has created a solution to bringing affordable glasses to a billion of the world’s poorest people by 2020. His invention is a pair of glasses composed of plastic lenses with clear sacs of fluid sandwiched in between. The wearer can then adjust the amount of fluid in the sacs through a syringe to fit their prescription without the assistance of an optician.

30,000 pairs have already been distributed in 15 countries but the global need for basic sight-correction is estimated at more than half the world’s population. And in poor communities, the ability to see will improve literacy rates and will allow people to continue pursuing jobs even as their vision deteriorates with old age.

As with all great ideas with great ambition, scale, manufacturing, distribution issues abound, but I am rooting for this guy and for Adaptive Eyecare.

More good reading and information here.

Nikon D90: Buy It for Me Please

The above video was shot with the newly released Nikon D90. The Nikon D90 is a D-SLR camera. That shoots video. 720p HD video. And because it is still a D-SLR at heart, the ability to switch lenses (eg. telephoto, fisheye, macro) and the high performance in darker situations actually gives the D90 an edge over most camcorders. See for yourself here: D-Movie sample clips.

However, while my D70s weeps for its inferiority, the revolutionary D90 is only a scratch in the surface for the future of high performance cameras and camcorders. RED CEO Jim Jannard is already rabble-rousing about its plans in the future in this space.

Real Faces Have Never Looked This 3D

Alter Ego is the “facial performance” division of Pendulum, an animation studio. They have produced some software and animation process innovations that lead to the amazing results above in a cost and time effective manner.
Regardless, it’s still very creepy (especially when they start speaking at the end of the clip).

Jajah and Jajah.Babel

For all of you lucky enough to witness the Olympics firsthand or are traveling to China for the next semester, Jajah.Babel is a pretty impressive voice translation tool that you should try out. Jajah built this service in conjunction with IBM which lets users call a free number to get a voice translation from Chinese (Mandarin) to English and vice versa. I wasn’t going to blog about this service since it seemed gimmicky, but I tried it myself and after the first translation, I was immediately impressed. Even if you don’t think you’ll find any utility for this service, it’s not everyday that you can experience some advanced language translation and speech recognition technology for free. So give Jajah.Babel (horrible name) a call at 1-718-513-2969 or visit the site for more local access numbers.

Why ASUS Matters

ASUS officially announced the Eee Stick today, and my first response was “What were they thinking? And how is this necessary?” However, after further thought, I think I can argue that ASUS has done something right. Many may complain that ASUS has diluted its Eee brand after the success of its first product, the 7″ Eee PC. Since the launch of the Eee PC, ASUS has announced a whole line of Eee PCs, an Eee desktop, Eee monitors, TVs, hard drives, optical drives, 3G cards, and now this Stick. Behind ASUS’s gall and disregard for normal progression, however, is the determination of a company that, if it plays its cards right, is on the verge of an enviable position and a great opportunity. ASUS is becoming more reminiscent of the young Sony that was poised to conquer personal entertainment and the digital household. It is obvious that Sony has lost some its edge in the last few years, and it seems that ASUS could pick up the slack. A company that can deliver vertically integrated goods in the consumer electronics space is in a desirable if not threatening position. Microsoft’s new strategy is to be embedded everywhere, ASUS can help deliver that. Apple wants to meet your digital consumption needs, ASUS can compete with that. ASUS used a unique product and coupled it with a unique proposition (cheap, highly utilitarian) and unfortunately a horrible brand name. A flurry of seemingly distracting product announcements later, and ASUS has, in one short year, weasled its way into competion.

Hopefully Asus realizes its fortunate situation and does not lix things up. And hopefully they’ll hire some designers and brand managers as soon as possible.

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