Mindblitz, an interactive session with multiple happenings, which took place during the Shaping The Future 3 conference, was an opportunity for the MindCET community to obtain a personal impression of innovation and new ideas. The various companies and people present what they have developed, and conference participants go from one display to another, trying them out. Here are some examples of what took place during these sessions:
Google CardBoard, a cardboard installation that turns Android phones into virtual reality glasses, is used by Ronit Diamant and Avichai Halevi’s simEd application for teaching physics and biology. In the demonstration, the glasses present a space, similar to Star Trek’s holodeck, with cubes that change their behavior every time a button is pressed, to teach users about weight and gravity.
Zvika Markfeld and Saron Paz demonstrated Makeree, a free app for the iPad (with an optional component kit) for future makers. The app teaches how to be makers, and is made up of a series of courses accompanied by high quality instructional photographs. Users can purchase the Makeree component kit, or obtain the components independently. After completing a project, users can photograph their project, and upload the images to the community, including any improvements that they have added.
Virtually stepping in someone else’s shoes
The virtual reality glasses, Oculus Rift, were used for a project created by Tal Hatuka and Eliran Hachmon as part of the MindCET eX program. The project, “I Am The Other“, seeks to provide participants with an opportunity to see the world differently – metaphorically – by having them see the world differently in fact, through the eyes of a dog. Children who put on the glasses obtain not only the dog’s point of view, at the level of the dog’s eyes, but also the body of a dog: if they look down or around, then instead of their own bodies, they will see the body of a dog. A more complex project in a similar vein, also presented at Mindblitz, is the machine to be another, from the BeAnotherLab group, in which the Oculus glasses serve to make a person feel that he has gotten into the body of someone else, and will now experience that person’s behavior and reactions.
How to pick up your boss and not get fired
Start up Meta showed their augmented reality glasses during the event. On a larger screen, participants saw the images that the glasses project into the eyes of the company’s representative, who sees his surroundings, with the superimposition of additions that the software provides. He sees a block, lifts his hand to stretch it out toward the block, grasps the block, lifts it, moves it to another location, and puts it down there. It will remain in the new location, and every time he looks in that direction, he will see it there. In the 2-day Hackathon which took place just prior to the conference, participants developed, for Meta’s glasses, an app called The Atom Factory, which allows users to combine atoms into molecules using their hands in a virtual enviroment. In the Mindblitz demonstration, a Meta employee projected a hologram of the company’s founder and CEO, Meron Gribetz, speaking about the company, and then he picked the hologram up and moved it. This dangerous illusion, of being able to control your boss, blurs – for a short time at least – the differences between augmented reality and virtual reality.