Subscribe to the Podcast
Cathi’s Novel, Night Town
Nora’s Book, The Virtual Self
Howdy! It's been a long time, but we are back with a new episode! This time around, after years - and years - of talking about virtual reality, and augmented reality, they're finally here, and that means figuring out how to actually make it work seamlessly in daily life. Researcher Pulkit Budhiraja and his colleagues have been thinking about a problem with virtual reality: how do you pick up physical, real world objects while you're in an immersive, virtual environment? (Via Technology Review) Nora Young also mentions the Reality Cave at Communitech. Has this happened to you? You get a link on social media that sounds like an interesting read, and then you're taken to a 5,000 word article? Great read, maybe, but so long! Cathi Bond talks about Pith.li, a sort of 'highlighter for the Internet' that allows you to share an article but highlight what you find interesting (via PSFK).
We are back after a bit of an absence! On this podcast, Cathi Bond talks about the Plant Sex Consultancy, a design concept for helping plants pollinate in an era of problems like bee hive collapse or changes brought about by commercial breeding (via PSFK). With a wink, the Plant Sex Consultancy aims to protect plants from STIs, give plants vibrators to shake pollen loose and more. Underneath it all, they seem to be making a point about the problems we humans create, and our anthropocentric approach to solving those problems. Meanwhile, Nora Young talks about composer Keiichi Shibuya's plans for an all-robot performance (via The Globe and Mail). It got Nora thinking about all the tech innovation happening in live performance now, such as the play Helen Lawrence, which was recently in Toronto. You can watch a sample from Shibuya's previous opera, The End, which featured the virtual pop star Hatsune Miku and computer-created music. You can watch a sample here. Nora also mentioned this post about public wifi insecurity. Hat tip to her colleague, Dan Misener.
This time around on the podcast, Cathi Bond talks about an experiment at some movie theatres in China: allowing moviegoers to text comments about the film, which turn up on the side of the screen! The future of social moviegoing, or a distracting nightmare? (via The Verge). Nora Young talks about an intriguing personal assistant A.I. called Amy (read more at PSFK). The bot schedules your meetings and pops the time of the meeting into your calendar. Certainly a cool idea, but it had Nora wondering about future etiquette in a bot-ified world. Should you disclose to the person you're meeting with that they're about to be conversing with a non-human entity? Finally, quick source of free, public domain images for you. The Internet Archive has been taking images from the public domain books it has scanned and is posting them to their Flickr account (Via Ars Technica). The Flickr account is here!
Yay! We're back for season ten(!) of The Sniffer, and excited about another year of trendwatching and sniffing out what's happening in the technoculture. If you're just finding us now, you can learn more about Cathi Bond here, and Nora Young here. Nora is fascinated by technologies of self-tracking, technology and the body, advances in A.I., and bicycle tech. Cathi loves to sniff out trends in arts, culture, and publishing, with a side dish of robots, rural tech, and wacky gear. Hope you'll join us! This time, Nora looks at the story of Ellie, the A.I. psychologist, and wonders if, nearly 50 years after Eliza, A.I. therapy might be ready for its closeup. Would you engage with an artificial intelligence therapist? (Via The Economist). Cathi takes a broader view with a recap and thoughts on Nell Watson's recent talk about the future of A.I (via Gizmodo). Have we reached a point where A.I. is actually ready to do the kinds of things the past ~50 years have promised? Will they take all our jobs? You can watch the video for Humans Need Not Apply here.
Hi there, Cathi and I are taking a much needed break over the summer, but we'll be back for our TENTH(!) season right after Labour Day. Have a wonderful summer!
Hi! This time, Nora talks about QuantifiedToilets.com, a project she encountered while at the recent CHI conference in Toronto. Art project? Provocation? What do you think of it? Meanwhile, Cathi discusses the Dean Street Express, a London UK clinic for testing for STI's that free and stylish (via Gizmag). Can it encourage more people to get tested for sexual health?
Hey, trendwatchers! This time on the podcast, Cathi Bond talks about "Stockholm is Your Canvas" a project of Stockholm Art Week, to make billboard space in downtown Stockholm available to anyone who wants to submit their digital art, in a revolving series of 30 second intervals (via PSFK). What would your ideas be for making public art more...public? Nora Young mentions an interview with Rick Barrack, Chief Creative Officer at CBX, a branding firm. He talks about bringing the physical and the tactile into the creative process (via Fast Company). Nora and Cathi love sticky notes (NY particularly likes ones from Muji). What are your physical cues for creativity?
Apologies for the absence, but we're back! This time, Nora talks about Ring, a very cool project on Kickstarter (via Core77). You tap the side of the ring, then use finger gestures to control your various devices. Check out the video and let us know if you'd use this. Are Minority Report style gestural interfaces the future, or will we stick with our phones and purpose-built devices? Cathi brings you the story of "selfie money" (via PSFK). Artist Jonathan Keats has an ironic proposal for saving cash money: appeal to our narcissism by printing bills with 'selfie' images of individuals on it! Nora also mentions Duolingo, the fun, free online language learning website she's been using. Check it out!