Ayogo at Siggraph 2011 – A Round Up

08/11/2011

Game Based Learning Panel at Siggraph 2011Ayogo was invited to be a panelist on Game Based Learning that was organized by the HK-Canada ICT. The seminar consisted of 4 panel sessions. There was a lot of interesting information about trends and challenges for mobile apps, cloud computing and of course game based learning. Ubiquitous was the word of the day. Wireless will become integrated into everything, the next generation of networks will include body sensors and every device will talk to each other. Clouds will change the way people think about data and create opportunities that didn’t exist 10 years ago.

The Game Based Learning panelists showed us intriguing new educational games that use gamification as an amplifier for learning and talked about the challenges facing developers, such as, lack of resources, building to include different types of learners, the problem of standardized assessment, budget cuts in schools, regional differences within a school system, nongamers in positions of power who are hesitant to implement games into learning, and IT infrastructure issues in schools.

 

Game Based Learning Panel at Siggraph 2011Game Based Learning Panel at Siggraph 2011

Our producer Steve Palle Hoffstein gave a presentation on why gamification matters in education and showed us examples of games that are being used to teach and motivate in schools today, such as the levelling up instead of the traditional grades and immersive educational games.

 

Beyond this seminar I had a chance to checkout the Emerging Technologies Exhibition at Siggraph. Mind blowing stuff. Here is a little peek at what I saw:

Heart Monitor Mirror at SiggraphThe medical mirror is an interactive interface that can read your heart rate without the need to hook you up with sensors. The no-touch system tracks your heart rate via a webcam-equipped monitor that is wired to a laptop behind a two-way mirror. A sensor reads the light on your face and translates that data into your heart rate. According to the inventor, Ming-Zher Poh, when your heart beats, it sends a pulse of blood through your blood vessels. Blood absorbs light, so when more of it travels through the vessels, less of the light hitting your skin is reflected. A webcam can pick up those small fluctuations in reflected light. This is what the future of medicine will look like – a place where you and I can access and control our physiological data. In fact, we are currently working with USC’s Center for Body Computing on a game that uses your heart rate as a controller, called Beating Heart. So this mirror is a very exciting innovation in field to us here at Ayogo.

Another strange and novel innovation is this android, which was made by Japanese roboticist Hiroshi Ishiguro.  The work focusses on the idea of transferring the actions and speech of an operator into the teleroid so that the android has a human “presence”. It is very creepy looking at first glance but once you begin interacting with this casperesque android, you get comfortable with it. When I tried it, the android asked me about my day and offered to give me a hug. When I hugged the android it felt oddly comforting. Because of its minimal form, it becomes easy for us to project whatever and whoever we want onto it. By the same token, the operator is also able to transfer their “presence’ via the telenoid. Is this the future of telecommunications? It may well be. But before that can happen, they will seriously need to make it look a little less creepy. At the moment the telenoid looks freakishly like a hairless albino child amputee.

Telenoid at Siggraph

Hey guys, ever wondered what it’d be like to be pregnant? Well, wonder no more. You can try the Mommy Tummy that was built by Japanese researchers. The strap on suit goes through 9 months of pregnancy in 2 minutes. I could feel the fetus’s temperature, movement, and heartbeat. The kicking was really weird but I could calm the fetus by rubbing the jacket belly. The aim of the suit is to make men more sensitive to the problems their pregnant wives face. This is a really fun example of an educational tool. The guys running the demo were so excited and they got everyone in the long queue involved in cheering on the participant during the simulated pregnancy. It was extremely entertaining as you can see from the photos below.

Mommy Yummy at Siggraph

 

By Shehani Kay, Ayogo’s Blogger.

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