Posts tagged: Wii

2009 Predictions

By , December 18, 2008 4:51 pm

Whoa… 2008 saw me put up almost a thousand posts, not to shabby. But I think that would have been higher if I wasn’t able to tweet at least a few of the things that would have otherwise been given a one liner post. And as I see the calendar is almost ready to show 2009, it’s time to look forward to 2009 and look back at what I predicted at the start of 2008 (ok, late 2007) to see what I got right in my predictions. So first, the looking forward:

  • Rise of mobile data/3G in Canada – we see mobile data as being very important everywhere else on the planet and come 2009, we’ll be less than a year away from Vancouver 2010. This means that we’ll have all manner of international handsets roaming around on the various networks starting in 2009. To make them happy, Canada’s mobile data network and rates will have to improve. But at least our data speeds are not that bad right now. Having more players in the wireless market will certainly help as well. It also seems that the telcos are pricing SMS rates way too high and this is going to lead to people using generic data instead – IM or other means of chat.
  • A change in form factor preference – Everything seemed to be getting smaller and smaller all the time, hence the rise of the netbook. But it doesn’t look like netbooks are doing so well (especially with smartphones rising and pico projectors not far behind). I’m thinking that the iPhone is going to get some pretty cool accessories that will allow it to connect to all manner of additional devices.
  • Mobile UIs – Part of this change in form factor preference is going to be a marked improvement in the way that mobile UIs are constructed and the way that data is presented on a mobile screen. This is key to getting people away from thinking that they need to see everything on the small screen the same way that they do on the desktop. If this doesn’t happen and netbooks manage to get 3G modems and long battery life, this point might be mute. We might see an early example of this idea looking at how various SNS have “just enough info for the road” via their mobile portals, the trick is to do the same thing for the office/classroom.
  • Technology abandonment – I think we are going to see a drift away from little tech gadgets (aided by the economic situation) and a move toward more “appliance like” technologies – TVs that handle downloads, photos etc. With so many gadgets and UIs, people are only barely scratching the abilities that are available – though this is likely as not a reflection of just how many “features” get tacked onto a gadget. To go with this, there will likely be a trend in gadgets to better fit the broad spectrum of users as opposed to the early adopters. We saw a bit of this already with things like the Selphy printers.
  • Photo/Video convergence – With the Nikon D90 and the Canon 5DMkII there is even less to compromise between systems to create quality images, moving or not. Of course this does not mean that the average level of content produced is going to be any better, just that there are now fewer compromises. This new breed of devices is going to make broadband sharing even more important as people will find value in their relationships as opposed to their material wealth as a result of the economy (who am I joking?? It just sounded noble). As these files are also increasingly “ready to go” and disc is cheap and sharing easy, there will be an increase in personal story archiving.
  • Rise of mLearning and mobile linked services – Services like Evernote allow mobile devices to become sensors for less mobile or desktop devices, this setup allows people to capture their world and then bring it back for further reflection and processing. We already see quite a bit of this with the mobile versions of SNS. This will get rid of the “edit on small device” problem and as many of these services are already web based, they are likely to be cross platform. This will certainly help people get used to the idea and as acceptance spreads generally, it might find it’s way into classrooms as teachers start to think of mobile devices as collection and communication tools as opposed to annoying toys.
  • Net neutrality and Copyright – boring topics that will come to the floor as changes here will impact the “utility like” perception that many people have of their broadband connection as well as the feeling that they should be able to do within the walls of their home what they want with that which they pay for (EULA be damned!).
  • Microblogging going more mainstream and perhaps becoming the search jump point – I’m starting to think that the Semantic Web might turn out to be Web4.0 and not 3.0. I think the “realtime web” is going to be an important step between the semisolid web that we currently have in Web2.0 to the fully fluid, intelligent (knows before you do) web that some might argue that a semantic web might be. Some might call this Web2.5 as it is leveraging 2.0 technologies… but I think this is a definition that will only be seen years down the road. I can certainly see Google and others putting twitter or, more likely, identi.ca updates (tweets are not “creative commons” where as dents are) right underneath the sponsored results so that a searcher will be able to see just how relevant the results are to their original query. This will also make advertisers much more responsive to what the consumer needs are, maybe allowing Google to charge more for that slot.
  • “This is me” – hopefully via OpenID, but more likely under one of either Google Facebook’s systems, a single account system will become more widespread. You choose which provider you trust the most and keep all your account info there. I don’t mind having accounts scatterred everywhere, but every now and again, I feel that nagging… why do I have to create another account! I just want to see what there is here! If I’m feeling this, I’m sure there are many more folk… and a great number of them who are less tech savy/patient who are not using some of the really cool tools out there because they can’t be bothered with yet another account. I’m thinking the way to get this to abolutely boom is if a bank would start using this system. Granted you’ll then have a very vulnerable point of failure, but then again, if not the banks, who else out there is motivated to create some manner of “next to iron-clad” system to protect credentials. With this, I can see there being better ways to update the various SNS out there and to interact with them at the most basic level. The walled garden model of the SNS is fine as a means to contain specialized tools to manipulate information, but the inputting of the raw info (thinking status updates) should be much easier to do from a single point. Socialthing, Ping.fm and hellotxt are certainly a start along this path. This might end up being really important if there is a new “cooler” SNS that emerges and people are wanting to transition from one to another. Otherwise this will be a tools for those of us who have more than one place where we play.
  • The depression/recession/retrenchment – This is going to likely change things around as to how people think about upgrades  and on how fast companies update models – just look at what is happening to the auto industry. I think we might see the lowest replaceable unit return to something less than the entire machine for computer systems if the troubles continue. I know this is already the case – your Win/*nixtel box looses a power suppy and you can get another – but finding one that will fit a Dell/HP what have you might be a chore at your local computer shop. This is one idea… the other is that we might not see the same number of new models this year as the old models get blown out at bargin prices (ever dropping if deflation takes hold).

So lets see how I did from last year:

  • SNS (Ads, Buyout, search) – I kinda was right here. There were no buy outs (though there was certainly value given to Facebook and others)kinda, buyouts didn’t really happen, but Facebook was given a value. Social search, which I’m again thinking about didn’t really find a popular vector, but they may have now.
  • LMS changes – Blackboard did integrate a building block for Facebook, and with BB Connect, there has been some appreciation for the social element of student life online. Other systems likely have similar modules. BB has also started to look into a mobile friendly version for BB NextGen.
  • Technology literacy continuing to lag – I can’t really tell this as much any more, not being in the Faculty of Ed. But I can tell anecdotally that based on one course that has a representative sample of all Science disciplines that literacy is serviceable for most web services and for the creation of basic content, it actually is not too bad. But I wonder what the skills of those that didn’t make it to university are like. I’m betting it’s not as high. It also doesn’t help as schools (I’m looking your way Edmonton Public) are wasting money on SmartBoards rather than PD and projectors… model for students!
  • Technology fractionation – this seems to have happened as more niches to “drop in a gadget” have opened up. But at the same time, there are many more gadgets that have  been abandoned because they are “too hard” or they got set the first time and then forgotten (think about how many times one updates the photos on thier picture frame… and how often they even get turned on). The interesting example here seems to be the phone (which now refers to the cell and not the land line – those still exist!) where people seem to be looking for new features as they find a need for it. Some people grow into their phones, others find the basic talking stick and are happy.
  • HD media wars – Bluray won… what can I say? But what is really shocking is how fast prices for players have fallen below the PS3 and/or $200. Now, at least in my house, the only reason to buy the DVD is if it is going to be used at school. But even there, DVD players, disposable as they are will likely start to get replaced by BD players.
  • Net neutrality – Got this one, both Canada and the US saw this come up in the news as the “management of the network” vs the “management of the content” debate rages.
  • Blogging – Almost got this one. Not everyone started writing, but people certainly all started to dump all manner of bloggable content into  SNSs and microblogging via status update seems to have exploded quite nicely.
  • Canadian data rates – Well, it took most of the year, but they did come down and look to keep falling as new entrants come online. The only rates that didn’t fall are those for SMS (think twitter stopping SMS updates to Canada – I really hope Google doesn’t get stung by the rates such that they stop the service here as well).
  • Casual gaming – yup Wii was on top all year. Interesting games and an accessible interface makes up for technical specs as people happily bowl, golf and get fit with the little white box.

So for education… what does this mean? Maybe the Wii will see it’s way into more schools as other institutions bring it online for therapy, personal archiving will help the push for more digital storytelling as the tools to create these stories become far easier to use (though we are still saddled with the problem of assessment). The stories around net neutrality and copyright will find their way into schools – who are very controlling of their networks (rightly or wrongly) and where copyright is already a muddied topic. People will also become annoyed when their children have timelines imposed by “the law” on content that they download from school… this is likely going to deter more teachers and instructors from doing anything online as it won’t be worth the legal hassle and depending on the content/service level/what-have-you might disadvantage students trying to access material from home/off campus. This was the reason why teachers didn’t use the ‘net back when I was going through my B.Ed. but back then it was a dialup/broadband debate, not traffic shaping.

Turning to microblogging, if teachers/instructors turn their students loose there before sending them off to Google for research, they will very quickly find a community that is interested, at least peripherally, in that topic. And they might find that there are resources that are linked there that are far more useful than what the search engines pull up because there are “experts” (accredited/pro-ams/geeks) who are sorting the information as opposed to algorithms.

So this is one of my last posts for the year (expect a couple of POW). If you read all this and I don’t hit your eyeballs until the new year – all the best to you and yours and if you only read me on RSS – drop into the site in the new year, there might be a new look.

Another Wiimote hack – the Theremin

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By , November 30, 2008 12:09 pm

YAWH (yet another wiimote hack) – the coolness keeps rolling:


Doc Wii – iPhone Doc coming soon?

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By , August 7, 2008 8:30 am

It seems that the Wiimote has another kudo headed it’s way from the medical community. Via The Gaurdian on a study taking place at the Banner Good Samaritan Hospital in Phoenix Arizona:

“The surgeons develop an increased efficiency, less errors, more fluid movement – basically they’re just better,” says Dr Mark Smith, director of the hospital’s Simulation Education and Training (SimET) Center. To be precise, the doctors who regularly played on the Wii scored 48% higher on tool control and performance than those who didn’t.

Later in the article:

It soon became apparent that the game benefiting the lab rats most was Marble Mania (called Kororinpa in the UK) – a game that requires slight hand movements to guide a marble through a maze. Hand movements were tracked using a Cyberglove covered in sensors and the readouts showed the manoeuvres had a 90% correlation to those of a surgeon performing a laparoscopic surgery.

I’m thinking that the Wii might be tag teamed shortly by iSlate users playing games like Super Monkey Ball – a game that will also require the same level of control and dexterity.

I find it interesting that both the Wii and the iSlate are not really new in terms of the games that they present in these surgery related studies – they are just electronic versions of older games, that are unfortunately larger and not very portable. So why do they work? My guess is that they work because there are a wide array of games to practice the surgery related skills – in the classic head game… play golf and tennis for power and control, play monkeyball for fine motor control.

Wii are not bored

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By , April 23, 2008 6:54 am

At the risk of sounding like and apologistic fanboy, I really do wonder about stories like this one and other stories like it that say the Wii is slowing down because people don’t buy as many games or because as others have noted – it’s not a technical marvel:

That’s because third-party companies such as Epic Games don’t want to make titles for the Wii because the specs of the 360 and PS3 allows them to push the technological envelope, to stand above the hundreds of titles released annually. The third-party companies that do make Wii titles often make better versions on the other consoles.

So based on this, games are relying on technology in the “hardcore” 360/PS3 market to sell and I would think that the Wii with it’s meager technology would be relying on it’s unique interface. For my money, I would think that the technology would get old fast, but the interface would keep me hooked. That on top of the fact that the Wii is lower cost and targeting a different demographic – slow stable types vs twitchy hardcore gamers.

So how does this relate in any way to teaching? Well, think of it this way – you can throw all the flash (or Flash) you want at a student, but unless they can interact with the content in some unique and meaningful way, it’s likely to be forgotten as they move on for the next fix.

TED meets Johnny Lee

By , April 16, 2008 9:20 am

I posted about this video earlier, but now that it’s a TED talk, it’s got some additional creditability:

 

GH3 Replacement Process

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By , March 12, 2008 4:54 pm

I got an envelope in the mail today that told me that if I wanted to get my GH3 fixed, I’d have to go without it for 3-4 weeks as I send it off to Activision in Phoenix. Thankfully you can track the process, but I really wish it was handled the other way around. You request a disk and they send one and you send your old disk back so you are not out your game. I don’t know what they are going to do with the old disks, but I hope they don’t get sold off…

GH3 Wii Fix Form Online

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By , January 15, 2008 9:17 am

If you have GH3 and live in “Northamexica” you can get signed up for your replacement disc, but the date that any replacement might show up is somewhat vague “1Q08”.

Endless Ocean

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By , January 9, 2008 4:20 pm

Hopefully this will be the start of many new simulations on the Wii; Endless Ocean, (Youtube) lets you dive and discover the ocean as created by the game’s publisher. It also acts as a screen saver.

If this takes off, this could be a great little COTS title to get kids to start to get interested in marine biology.

2008 Predictions

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By , December 20, 2007 7:43 pm

This is one of the few last posts of the year as I take a bit of a break and as has become tradition, here are my predictions for the coming year and a review from what I said last year. So here we go.

  • Social Systems
    • Advertising
    • Buyout
    • Search

    I think that this coming year we are going to see a more rounded implementation of social networking and we’ll find it in more than one part of our lives. Facebook’s Beacon program showed where the line was as they assumed that personal information actually was their’s to do with totally as they pleased. Granted, it’s in the fine print when you sign up, but between the range of privacy laws and common sense, one would assume that Facebook and others would not take their most valuable resource for granted. That resource is of course the mass of volunteered metadata that users attach to their user name. If this isn’t respected, people are going to stop providing it. Many people already have. People will hopefully also start asking real questions about what apps do with your personal data, what happens to that data when you remove an app and what is with being able to receive messages from apps that you haven’t installed and then find that there are messages waiting for you there (eg. Superwall).

    I think there is also going to be a buyout of some of the smaller networks, or those networks will simply wither because there isn’t a critical mass of individuals subscribed. My guess is that Google, MS, Yahoo, Facebook and MySpace will suck up other systems like Ning and Spock. Since MS and FB already have a relationship, I think this will get closer, or FB will be a common ground where the search engines battle for advertising. Fox owning MySpace certainly helps it stick around, so I don’t have an idea how the search engines will approach it, or if MySpace will even look to the engines for clicks.

    Speaking of search, social searching systems will likely become much more common. Del.icio.us and other social content sharing systems will likely become more important as the companies that want to take your money online start looking for ways to ensure their add dollars hit the eyes of only those who have a hope of caring about their product.

  • Change in LMSI think the LMSes that are out there right now will all start to be questioned. Blackboard will have to move faster to keep up with things like social networking, and it won’t be good enough to create their own networks. Blackboard will have be able to connect into Facebook or other systems if it wants to stay relevant with students. This also means that educational admin will have to learn to let go of the idea that they can/have to control all their related data all of the time.Moodle has a leg up in that it can link into Open Social, but it needs to get it’s Open Source attitude cleaned up. It should only have features enabled that are ready to go completely out of the box for the main download. It’s fine for there to be soft spots for institutions that can afford to tweak, but I don’t know how many of those there are out there. Back to the social network thing, this could be what takes Moodle over the top in terms of adoption.

    There is also going to be a change in what people will consider to be vital as part of a PLE. So with that, I think there is also going to be a boom in the use of Wikis and other collaborative software.

  • Technology integration failingJust as there has been a massive push to integrate technology into the K-12 curriculum, it seems that isn’t going to work out as politicians have planned. There are an enormous number of kids coming up into the university system who are not actually computer literate – in being able to use the computer as a whole – but only application literate (Word, PPT, IE/FF). Seeing this, there should be an examination of what really needs to be taught as computer skills. Are we trying to teach everything overly generally?
  • Fractionation of technology useJust as all the advances in technology have made it easier to get all manner of content created, creating this content well however has become a challenge as the tools don’t just make things magically. It takes some skill, effort and patience, something that many people aren’t willing to invest. So this is going to fractionate the use of technology again as to make really good content, the tools are getting ever more complicated.
  • HD WarsIn the theme of the fractionation of technology, the HD wars are going to leave heaping mounds of spent coin and plastic. People are not willing to go through the VHS/Beta thing again. If there is going to be a winner, I’ll predict it’s going to be Blu-Ray. PS3 will slowly come down in price to be only slightly higher than a stand alone player, at which point, the second wave of early adopters will start to pick it up as a player first and a console second. Without a “vector”, I don’t think HD DVD will have as good a chance. I also know that combo discs are not going to get anywhere as it’s going to cost whoever makes them a fortune just to get both logos on one disc (assuming that is even allowed by the legal teams).
  • Net neutralityThis is certainly going to heat up as there are more ways than ever to get online and the ability to “control the pipes” is such an abhorrent idea to users that many would likely rebel. But wait, the free bastion that is the ‘net is no longer free and all the democratization that came from blogging and other technologies in terms of being able to put forward your own voice will be in jeopardy if ISPs and the like are allowed to shape traffic and modify content “in stream”. Well then, encrypt the data you say? Well they will just block that as well? What about the banks? Well, I think that is where the ISPs will be forced to show their hand. I doubt that many banks would be willing to lose their online banking services because customers can’t use encrypted connections. Of course, this is just an idea and I have no idea if it is actually something that would ever come to pass should the neutrality of the net be compromised.
  • BloggingOn the topic of free speech, I think we’ll certainly see blogs in the news again with another US election, an election in Alberta and perhaps nationally as well. But I think there will be a shift in the type of blogs that are considered relevant. Everyone has a blog now because they are cool, so there are going to be many to choose from. The trick will be to find the wheat. This will be an exercise that will also reveal any neutrality issues as there will be rather obvious changes to a message if traffic is being shaped or content is being modified. Now, on the NN side, it might end up just being traffic, but the free nature of commenting and participation online will keep showing why it is important to keep all data equal.
  • Canadian mobility ratesIt’s a pipe dream, but between the stronger dollar and the spectrum auction, I can certainly see there being significant changes to the wireless landscape in Canada. Not anything that will make it cost effective to use in schools (darn last year), but enough to make mobile computing something that is “average joe” stuff.
  • Casual gaming and alternative interface explosionThe Wii is still selling out, that tells you something. People are getting the new interface and I think that these alternative interface games are just going to take off and with them, the casual game – the ones that are on phones and other ultra portable devices. We’ve already seen this happen, but I think it’s going to move into the public eye more this year and not just in the eyes of teens and phone geeks. – and yes, I finally have a Wii and GH3

Now from last year, what happened in terms of what I said?

  • The Wii is the top console
  • Living room computing is getting closer (the Apple TV almost ran and Media Center with the PS3 are starts again)
  • Mobile computing has boomed, but not ultramobile. The price of laptops has crashed and with the arrival of the XO, they are at commodity prices.
  • There was a boom in web based apps
  • Dirt cheap cell service did not arrive
  • The spec race seems to have died in computers at least – you don’t hear the processor specs as loudly in ads anymore, noe it’s all about how big the hard drive is. Cameras are still having a bit of a race, but not in MP as much as color depth.
  • The semantic web hasn’t arrived, but there is some inkling of it with the creation of mountains of metadata with the boom of social networking.

That’s all for this year deep post wise. The last post of the year will be the picture of the week

More info on Wiimote tricks

By , December 14, 2007 12:15 pm

Visit Johnny’s site to get all the plans and software that you need to build that Wiihite Board.

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