Adonis Diaries

Archive for September 11th, 2016

Augmented reality tackling sports activities?

Chris Kluwe wants to look into the future of sports and think about how technology will help not just players and coaches, but fans. Here the former NFL punter envisions a future in which augmented reality will help people experience sports as if they are directly on the field — and maybe even help them see others in a new light, too.

Chris Kluwe. Punter and author

As a punter, most recently for the Minnesota Vikings, Chris Kluwe consistently set team records. As an advocate for equality, he proudly and profanely broke the NFL’s code of omertà around locker-room politics. He tweets a lot about World of Warcraft. Full bio

Filmed Mar. 2014

What do augmented reality and professional football have to do with empathy? And what is the air speed velocity of an unladen swallow?  I’m only going to answer one of those questions today

0:28 When most people think about augmented reality, they think about “Minority Report” and Tom Cruise waving his hands in the air, but augmented reality is not science fiction.

Augmented reality is something that will happen in our lifetime, and it will happen because we have the tools to make it happen, and people need to be aware of that, because augmented reality will change our lives just as much as the Internet and the cell phone.

 how do we get to augmented reality?

Step one is the step I’m wearing right now, Google Glass. I’m sure many of you are familiar with Google Glass. What you may not be familiar with is that Google Glass is a device that will allow you to see what I see. It will allow you to experience what it is like to be a professional athlete on the field.

Right now, the only way you can be on the field is for me to try and describe it to you. I have to use words. I have to create a framework that you fill in with your imagination.

With Google Glass, we can put that underneath a helmet, and we can get a sense of what it’s like to be running down the field at 100 miles an hour, your blood pounding in your ears. You can get a sense of what it’s like to have a 250-pound man sprinting at you trying to decapitate you with every ounce of his being.

And I’ve been on the receiving end of that, and it doesn’t feel very good.

I have some footage to show you of what it’s like to wear Google Glass underneath the helmet to give you a taste of that. Unfortunately, it’s not NFL practice footage because the NFL thinks emergent technology is what happens when a submarine surfaces,

Patsy Z and TEDxSKE shared a link.|By Chris Kluwe

So let’s pull up some video.

(Video) Chris Kluwe: Go. Ugh, getting tackled sucks. Hold on, let’s get a little closer. All right, ready? Go!

Chris Kluwe: So as you can see, small taste of what it’s like to get tackled on the football field from the perspective of the tacklee. Now, you may have noticed there are some people missing there: the rest of the team. We have some video of that courtesy of the University of Washington.

(Video) Quarterback: Hey, Mice 54! Mice 54! Blue 8! Blue 8! Go! Oh!

 CK: So again, this takes you a little bit closer to what it’s like to be on that field, but this is nowhere what it’s like to be on the NFL.

Fans want that experience. Fans want to be on that field. They want to be their favorite players, and they’ve already talked to me on YouTube, they’ve talked to me on Twitter, saying, “Hey, can you get this on a quarterback? Can you get this on a running back? We want that experience.”

once we have that experience with GoPro and Google Glass, how do we make it more immersive? How do we take that next step?

we take that step by going to something called the Oculus Rift, which I’m sure many of you are also familiar with. The Oculus Rift has been described as one of the most realistic virtual reality devices ever created, and that is not empty hype. I’m going to show you why that is not empty hype with this video.

(Video) Man: Oh! Oh! No! No! No! I don’t want to play anymore! No! Oh my God! Aaaah!

CK: So that is the experience of a man on a roller coaster in fear of his life. What do you think that fan’s experience is going to be when we take the video footage of an Adrian Peterson bursting through the line, shedding a tackler with a stiff-arm before sprinting in for a touchdown?

What do you think that fan’s experience is going to be when he’s Messi sprinting down the pitch putting the ball in the back of the net, or Federer serving in Wimbledon?

What do you think his experience is going to be when he is going down the side of a mountain at over 70 miles an hour as an Olympic downhill skier? I think adult diaper sales may surge. (Laughter)

But this is not yet augmented reality.

This is only virtual reality,

V.R. How do we get to augmented reality,

A.R.? We get to augmented reality when coaches and managers and owners look at this information streaming in that people want to see, and they say, “How do we use this to make our teams better? How do we use this to win games?” Because teams always use technology to win games. They like winning. It makes them money.

 a brief history of technology in the NFL.

In 1965, the Baltimore Colts put a wristband on their quarterback to allow him to call plays quicker. They ended up winning a Super Bowl that year. Other teams followed suit. More people watched the game because it was more exciting. It was faster.

In 1994, the NFL put helmet radios into the helmets of the quarterbacks, and later the defense. More people watched games because it was faster. It was more entertaining.

In 2023, imagine you’re a player walking back to the huddle, and you have your next play displayed right in front of your face on your clear plastic visor that you already wear right now. No more having to worry about forgetting plays. No more worrying about having to memorize your playbook. You just go out and react.

And coaches really want this, because missed assignments lose you games, and coaches hate losing games. Losing games gets you fired as a coach. They don’t want that.

 But augmented reality is not just an enhanced playbook.

Augmented reality is also a way to take all that data and use it in real time to enhance how you play the game. What would that be like? Well, a very simple setup would be a camera on each corner of the stadium looking down, giving you a bird’s-eye view of all the people down there.

You also have information from helmet sensors and accelerometers, technology that’s being worked on right now. You take all that information, and you stream it to your players. The good teams stream it in a way that the players can use. The bad ones have information overload.

That determines good teams from bad. And now, your I.T. department is just as important as your scouting department, and data-mining is not for nerds anymore. It’s also for jocks. Who knew?

What would that look like on the field? Well, imagine you’re the quarterback. You take the snap and you drop back. You’re scanning downfield for an open receiver. All of a sudden, a bright flash on the left side of your visor lets you know, blind side linebacker is blitzing in.

Normally, you wouldn’t be able to see him, but the augmented reality system lets you know. You step up into the pocket. Another flash alerts you to an open receiver. You throw the ball, but you’re hit right as you throw. The ball comes off track. You don’t know where it’s going to land.

However, on the receiver’s visor, he sees a patch of grass light up, and he knows to readjust. He goes, catches the ball, sprints in, touchdown. Crowd goes wild, and the fans are with him every step of the way, watching from every perspective.

this is something that will create massive excitement in the game. It will make tons of people watch, because people want this experience. Fans want to be on the field. They want to be their favorite player. Augmented reality will be a part of sports, because it’s too profitable not to.

But the question I ask you is, is that’s all that we’re content to use augmented reality for?

Are we going to use it solely for our panem, our circenses, our entertainment as normal?

Because I believe that we can use augmented reality for something more. I believe we can use augmented reality as a way to foster more empathy within the human species itself, by literally showing someone what it looks like to walk a mile in another person’s shoes.

We know what this technology is worth to sports leagues. It’s worth revenue, to the tune of billions of dollars a year. But what is this technology worth to a teacher in a classroom trying to show a bully just how harmful his actions are from the perspective of the victim?

What is this technology worth to a gay Ugandan or Russian trying to show the world what it’s like living under persecution?

What is this technology worth to a Commander Hadfield or a Neil deGrasse Tyson trying to inspire a generation of children to think more about space and science instead of quarterly reports and Kardashians?

8:47 Ladies and gentlemen, augmented reality is coming. The questions we ask, the choices we make, and the challenges we face are, as always, up to us.

Euro-American Immigration Crisis? Different in nature?

On Sept. 4, Germany’s Christian Democratic Union (CDU) (Merkel’s party) was defeated in its race to control the Mecklenburg-Western Pomerania state government.

The CDU finished third, after the anti-immigrant Alternative for Germany party, which came in second. This defeat is significant because this was the home region for Angela Merkel, who has been German chancellor for over a decade.

Last week, Donald Trump met with the Mexican president and, upon his return to the U.S., delivered a major address on immigration.

Also, the Hungarian and Serbian prime ministers met this week and warned of increasing migration into Europe, discussing plans to stem the tide.

Merkel’s party’s defeat in her home region comes exactly a year after Hungary, overwhelmed by the inflow of migrants from Syria, tried to block their movement, and Merkel redefined European policy on immigration by opening German borders to all refugees.

The election result shows not only the political unpopularity of her move in Germany.

It also drives home that the reaction against immigration in both Europe and the United States is not dying down.

It has not yet reached a point where anti-immigration sentiment is taking widespread political control in most countries involved. But it has become a transnational movement that cannot be ignored and is not going away.

Dominant mainstream parties’ first strategy to marginalize anti-immigration elements was to identify them as racists.

The assumption was that if anti-immigrant forces were equivalent to the Nazis and the Ku Klux Klan, those who saw themselves as mainstream would shun the anti-immigrant movement. The strategy had little effect.

The anti-immigration sentiment was sufficiently strong and widespread that the charge of racism did not deter it. The movement was large enough that it could not be marginalized by the label.

I would argue that the label had, to some extent, an effect opposite to that which was desired. The anti-immigration faction would not shift and took the position that if that meant they were racists, well and good.

For those opposed to immigration, the charge tended to legitimize racism, rather than marginalize the anti-immigrant movement. The mainstream parties had lost the power to define the mainstream.

Where do you stand on immigration?

There are obvious reasons for the hostility to immigration.

One is economic.

Since 2008, the European economic system has at different times deteriorated or stagnated. In the United States, the economy has stopped growing rapidly.

Throughout Europe and the U.S., life has become more difficult, particularly for those earning the median income.

These segments of society especially feared the impact of large numbers of immigrants on wages and unemployment. Those political parties on the left that had historically supported the interests of the lower half of society were the most vociferous opponents of the anti-immigrant sentiment.

That lower-income half of society was left with no representation.

Therefore, the door opened to the emergence of parties that were opposed to immigration. They merged this position with hostility to the mainstream parties that many in the lower half felt had abandoned them.

The issue of immigration became entangled with terrorism and crime.

There is a war underway, and on occasion radical Islamists launch attacks in Europe. Large waves of migrants likely include at least a handful of jihadists, and a handful is enough to launch a terrorist attack.

The fear in countries like France was palpable, and leaders like French President François Hollande announced that there was a war.

Large-scale migration, which provided cover for terrorists, seemed to make no sense. The sense of embattlement forced the mainstream to take anti-immigrant sentiment much more seriously, further opening the door for anti-immigrant parties.

In the United States, the fear of immigrant criminality is not frivolous.

Throughout the United States’ history, immigrants such as the Scotch-Irish, the Catholic Irish, the Italians, the Jews and so on contained significant criminal elements. As these groups settled in the U.S., elements of the first and second generation peeled off into criminality.

I have no doubt that their grandchildren are on the boards of hospitals and museums.

But Mexican migration is no different from other migration and it brings with it street crime and, similar to Italian migration, organized crime stretching to the home country. This builds wariness, if not ostracism, from earlier generations of immigrants.

I grew up in the Bronx. Running numbers, dealing dope and shaking down store owners was part of life for some first-generation immigrants.

Most of us kept our heads down and looked forward to when we could leave the old neighborhood, which for some bizarre reason I am now sentimental toward.

I knew the Jews who ran the gambling, hired Irish muscle and paid Italians for protection.

And when the Puerto Ricans moved in, they took over the gambling, and the Jews, Irish and Italians moved to the suburbs.

Ninety-nine percent of the Puerto Ricans were like our parents, busting their chops to make a living and sending us to school. But it was the 1 percent that scared us, and anyone not afraid was not in touch with reality.

There was a phrase used back then: limousine liberals. They were people who went to Groton and Yale and came back to lecture us on how we should embrace each other.

They hadn’t a clue about what went on in the streets and we were pretty sure they didn’t care. They weren’t talking to us.

They were talking about us, trying to demonstrate our ignorant fear, and how they hoped to make us better people. God knows they weren’t going to tangle with the guys with knives and guns.

I don’t live in an area with a large contingent of Mexican immigrants. But I am sure that 99 percent of them just want to get out of those neighborhoods and have their kids become doctors or accountants.

I also know that the 1 percent of punks and gangsters are no joke and if I had no education and no job I’d be living among them. And I know I would be afraid, as those who lived in the Bronx before the Jews, Irish and Italians settled there were afraid of them.

In the end, I would like to think that those of us who survived came out better citizens, as will happen to Mexican immigrants. But let’s not kid ourselves. Being a stranger in a strange land is a dangerous thing all around.

It is not this process that alienates those in the bottom half of society from those way above them. It is the dishonesty or the ignorance that tells us there is nothing to be afraid of and we should be ashamed of being afraid.

This has opened the door to Donald Trump and the European right. When Trump talks about Mexican rapists and killers, he is speaking about a small handful of Mexicans.

From the point of view of those who went to Groton and Yale, that is very few and not worth talking about. For those who walk the streets with them, it is that tiny handful that terrifies. And when the mainstream parties dismiss their fear, they make the anti-immigration movement stronger.

I am pro-immigration. I have to be. I was born in Hungary. I went through the grinder of assimilation, the fear of violence and the contempt of the better born.

I also know from American history that the country I live in could not have been built without immigrants.

Where would we be had the English not migrated here? And I know that Europe’s population numbers are falling and that they need workers and many of the available workers will be Muslim.

But the advocates of immigration should not make it sound so easy. Many of them do not live in the neighborhoods where immigrants sort themselves out.

They don’t apply for jobs where the willingness to work for a few cents less an hour means the difference between working and telling your kids you didn’t get the job.

It is not that immigration isn’t necessary, but the pious advocates for immigration don’t live in the meat grinder where the old poor and the newly arrived poor meet.

There is finally the question of assimilation.

I don’t think it ever occurred to me that I could choose to Not learn English or look like other Americans. I knew in my bones that my only road out of the old neighborhood was to transform myself into an American.

Why else would my parents have brought me here? I was bilingual and still am. But I spoke Hungarian only at home and English at school.

I knew a secret that seems to have been forgotten today. At home, there is one culture. Outside, there is another. The latter is the culture of those who could throw a curveball, live in the apartments on Central Park South and give their kids what I didn’t have.

They were decent people, they invited me in to play. But it was their bat, their ball and their rules. Now, they are mine.

In Europe, it is harder to get into their game and that is what makes Europe different from the U.S.

In the United States, the meat grinder grinds fine, but there is an exit if you can find it. In Europe, I’m not sure whether you can ever get out of the meat grinder.

I became an American by playing by American rules. I’m not sure there is such a path in Europe.

But I know this about both places. Immigration is tough and it is dangerous both to the immigrants and those who welcome them.

Immigration is necessary, but it carries a price for all sides. Until the real story of immigration is told, the anti-immigration parties will rise and the center will become harder to believe or respect.

Note 1: The flux of immigrants and migratory workers to colonial Europe received a strong boost from enterprises after WWII. Business needed cheaper workforces from North Africa, the Sub-Sahara, Turkey…

Did the former colonial powers managed to swallow and overcome their sense of humiliation after being defeated in war? Did they treated the new comers with a decent level of dignity?

During the economic booms, these immigrants/autichtone probably obtained higher levels of life security than back home: better pay, health care, schooling…

Did integration stopped here? Do these autochtone of different colors, race…have to return back home, reverse migration, after decades of settling in the new nation, simply because the economy  is bad?

Or to cajole these far-right parties who claim losing their existential character?

And if the Jews in Israel are forced to return to their country of origins, simply because we believe their colonial behaviour is trampling on our existential characters?




September 2016

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