NOTES: What is Augmented Reality? AR is not a technology unto itself, but a collection of technologies brought together to achieve a given result, so it is not a simple question to answer.
NOTES: (shown: Bruce Sterling, Vernor Vinge, Amber Case) Bruce asked the same question of attendees at the Augmented Reality Event keynote speakers’ dinner in May of last year. It would be the subject of his opening keynote. At the time, my self-serving special effects house answer was, “Special effects, renderedin real time, over real life.” A broader definition might be, “Interjection of virtual content into one’ssensory perception, within the context of the real world.”
NOTES: For the purposes of our presentation, we are going to make some assumptions. Augmented Reality defined as some combination of these four technologies, when used together.
NOTES: Also — What this talk is, and is not. It is not a claim that ARPA invented Augmented Reality half a century ago and we’re just catching up with them. It is, however, an argument that many of the core conceptsbehind what we know of as AR were part-and-parcel of the research being funded by ARPA,and furthermore, that this work was being done without our preconceived notions about what apersonal computer is. Human augmentation was, in fact, at the core of their research.
NOTES: The US responded by creating ARPA, the Advanced Research Projects Agency, with the mandate to fund rocket and missile research, and to put satellites into space.
NOTES: Within months, the US also created the civilian agency, NASA.
NOTES: This was all during the Eisenhower administration. Eisenhower was an advocate of NASA.From the start, ARPA faced a crisis of purpose: Its mandate was taken from it — rocket researchwas transferred to NASA, missile research was assumed by the various branches of the military,and ARPA was adrift. The need for its very existence questioned.
NOTES: In 1962 ARPA’s third Director, Jack Ruina, was busy managing the design of an incoming-missile early warning system. He was tasked by the Pentagon to create two new departments ...
NOTES: Bother new departments would fund research into computer / human interaction. One was a Behavioral Sciences department, and the other was for Command and Control.Jack believe he had the perfect candidate to lead both, and they would shortly be merged intowhat became the IPTO: the Information Processing and Techniques Office.
NOTES: Tell anecdote: “JCR Licklider, but you can call me ‘Lick’.” Tell anecdote: Much to colleagues dismay, Licklider resigned from MIT the year hemade tenure. After joining Bolt, Beranek & Newman, he would shift again to the public sector, asthe founding director of the IPTO.
NOTES: There was another candidate: Licklider’s friend Fred Frick, of MIT’s Lincoln Laboratory.
NOTES: (Audio) Not that kind of “Psycho” ... or that kind of “Acoustics.”
NOTES: Licklider’s background was in Psycho-Acoustics. Not an electrical engineer, or engineer of any kind. An HR department would have neverconsidered him for this position.
NOTES: His qualifications came from a paper he wrote in 1960, Man Computer Symbiosis.
NOTES: According to Licklider — henceforth, man and computer would co-evolve ... this, at a time when computers were rare, huge and expensive; punchcards were the common interface, and even by those who used them, were generally looked upon as little morethan glorified calculators.
NOTES: Computers Text here. viewed as glorified calculators.
NOTES: 1930s — A “Computer” was a title given to women who did computations by calculator.
NOTES: 1936 — Alan Turing creates the Turing machine, a conceptual machine for binary computation and algorithms.
NOTES: 1946 — transition from mechanical analog to electrical analog. Eniac has a patch cable interface. In its lifespan, Eniac alone did more calculations than all of mankind up until that point in human history.
NOTES: (Audio) The Daleks. Just kidding ... they didn’t arrive until 1963.
NOTES: 1949 — The Manchester Mark 1 had the first stored computer program heralding the birth of the software industry.
NOTES: Grace Hopper created the first compiler. Tell anecdote: Coined the term “bug” after finding a moth inside the computer.
NOTES: Fortran was the first successful high level programming language.
NOTES: IBM used punch cards as their standard input/output device.
NOTES: Due to ubiquity of punchcards, magnetic storage had a very slow adoption rate.
NOTES: The Univac was the first commercially available computer with magnetic storage and direct keyboard access.Tell anecdote: Though innovative, not a commercial success, due to companies’ largeinvestments in existing IBM standards, including punchcards.
NOTES: 1958 —Light Gun interface, shown here used on SAGE (Semi Automatic Ground Environment) aircraft tracking system.
NOTES: One point worth noting about Licklider’s Man Computer Symbiosis is that he made clear this was not a “tool” relationship. The computer was not the newest tool along the lines of the wheel, or the locomotive, this was true symbiosis.
NOTES: He anticipated a time when our interface with computers would be through talking to them. It cannot be overstated, that this was in the time of punch-cards.
NOTES: Possibly the most important thing Licklider brought to ARPA was agency culture. He was nicknamed, Johnny Appleseed.Tell anecdote: Declined purchase of or building of agency laboratories, choosing instead tofund research done at different universities and other institutions. It did not have to be this way.Licklider established that, and it has been maintained, now via DARPA, to this day.
NOTES: ARPA financed Artificial Intelligence research done by Marvin Minsky, inventor of the world’s first artificial neural network.
NOTES: Due to its discretion in dispersing money, ARPA had a huge influence over what kind of research was done, and what work was not, and the director of the IPTO could essentially steer research across the field.
NOTES: Minsky was also the mentor to a young Ivan Sutherland.
NOTES: For his PhD thesis, Sutherland created Sketchpad.
NOTES: Then Sutherland became the 3rd Director of the IPTO. Shown here, he took an idea of his mentor’s, the head mounted display, and saw it to actualization. It was stereoscopic, and transparent (viewing virtual content over one’s view of the real world).Tell anecdote: My phone call with Ivan Sutherland in 2011, attempting to hire him as a speaker.
NOTES: Sutherland’s description of the use of a transparent lens head mounted display from his paper, The Ultimate Display, gives what is still one of the most common use-cases for advanced AR eyewear.
NOTES: Industry transitioning from vacuum tubes to transistors: faster, reliable, smaller, cheaper.
NOTES: The invention and adoption of the integrated circuit. Gordon Moore (cofounder of Intel) and Moore’s Law: The number of transistors that can be placed on an integrated circuit doubles approximately every two years.
NOTES: Two breakthrough technologies. Hardware industry core concepts haven’t changed much.
NOTES: Creation of higher level, user friendly programming languages. Writing programs becomes easier. More complex problems, cost is still huge.
NOTES: Leonard Nimoy and his 1964 Buick Riviera. Tell anecdote: Getting Star Trek date wrong.
NOTES: Was poached by ARPA from NASA. Taylor was first interviewed by Licklider, and hired by Sutherland to be his Deputy Director. He was groomed to take the helm — the succession plan.
NOTES: Tell anecdote: Amazing parallels in Taylor & Licklider’s lives. Both were sons of ministers. Both were psychologist. Both studied psycho-acoustics. Got his masters in psycho-acoustics at The University of Texas at Austin.
NOTES: Another thing Licklider and Taylor had in common: They were both already funding research being done at the Stanford Research Institute.
NOTES: Specifically, they were both funding the research of Douglas Engelbart.
NOTES: At his Augmentation Research Center. Tell anecdote: The invention of the mouse (with Bill English).
NOTES: Douglas wrote an influential paper, itself influenced by Licklider’s Man Computer Symbiosis, titled Augmented Human Intellect, a Conceptual Framework. And as the name says, it is a framework.
NOTES: In it, he makes the case for advancing human-computer interface design, whereby computers would come to be “Augmentation Systems” to the human mind.
NOTES: All of this work culminated in a presentation that has now come to be know as the Mother of All Demos, performed by Douglas Engelbart at the Fall Joint Computer Conference held at the San Francisco Convention Center in December of 1968.First public demonstration of a Mouse, of hyper-text, of video conferencing, and ...
NOTES: The first public announcement of the ARPAnet, predecessor to the Internet. Tell anecdote: How Bob Taylor got the financing to build the ARPAnet in one 20 minute conversation with Charlie Herzfeld.
NOTES: (Video & Audio) Douglas Engelbart, in his own words.
NOTES: 1. Ivan Sutherland’s head mounted display. 2. JCR Licklider’s Man Computer Symbiosis. 3. Douglas Engelbart’s Augmented Human Intellect & Augmentation Research Center. 4. Marvin Minsky’s artificial intelligence research.But it’s clearly more than just a checklist.
NOTES: Some post ARPA history. Bob Taylor became the Founding Director of Xerox Parc Research Center, poaching a lot of talent from Douglas Engelbart, in the process.Tell anecdote: Bob Taylor on the myth that Xerox didn’t capitalize on Xerox Parc.Tell anecdote: Where Steve Jobs first saw the graphical user interface that inspired the Mac.
NOTES: Augmented Reality becomes a pop-culture meme as “Terminator Vision.”
NOTES: Being engineer, Tom Caudel says he coined the term “Augmented Reality” in 1991. Tell anecdote: Caudel, safety goggles, and the Boeing assembly line.
NOTES: The same year that Caudel claims to have coined the phrase (some even say, “invented”) Augmented Reality, the top grossing action film was, Terminator 2 — Where might one have come up with such an idea as virtual content over one’s view of reality?
NOTES: In the mid-90s Paul Milgram and Haruo Takemura publish a paper that introduces what has come to be known as Milgram’s Continuum.
NOTES: By the late 90s the first functional mobile Augmented Reality system was developed for the PhD project of Blair MacIntyre and his professor, Steve Feiner. Blair is now Director of the Augmented Environments Lab at Georgia Tech, and Steve continues to teachComputer Science at Columbia.
NOTES: Recent Developments in AR eyewear: Google
NOTES: Recent Developments in AR eyewear: Apple patents
NOTES: A Vision for what’s to come. Before dedicated AR eyewear ever have potential to go mainstream, I expect to see Bluetooth mobile accessories ... for your eye.
NOTES: Was impressed with the form factor of the Docomo/Olympus collaboration from 2011. Whether by docomo/olympus, or another brand or team, this is the form factor I expectthe first successful eyewear to take. I also speculate we will see something in market in the next12 to 18 months.