There is no wand in the Explorer Edition – it is just the single button Bluetooth clicker. The BRIDGET mixed reality app works with the clicker. You use the reticle in the middle of your vision to point. You can look at the robot and click to bring up a menu.
Yes, this is not documented anywhere. We’re going to have to get a lot better at first run experiences.
Anyone who programs for iOS today who wants to make the jump to the next gen should be buying this and trying to build apps and interactions.
We are going to need to retrain an entire industry from 2D to 3D. A solution that sits on top of the existing mobile ecosystem is exactly what we need.
Occipital supports Unity with a plugin for exciting VR content. But I’m excited about the opposite: a mobile Mixed Reality solution where you can program natively on iOS, rather than having to learn Unity first.
As I pointed out in my VR will be Mobile article, there are roughly 200M iPhone sales annually. How many of those can we start prototyping Mixed Reality on top of today with this solution? What developer platforms will emerge that can bridge to next-gen hardware? What interactions and UX/UI lessons will we learn?
Developers, developers, developers. You now have the capability and invitation to start working on mixed reality.
If I didn’t do development tinkering — local commandline and ability to install various UNIX tools — I could easily do web only usage.
There are a couple of professional desktop apps that I would truly miss. Keynote is one of them (both Powerpoint and Google Slides work, they just don’t work as well / easily for me).
OmniGraffle is the other. It is available for the iPad, and an iPad Pro is definitely another device I can see being a great fit for me, especially as more and more professional apps become available for it.
I’m likely to get a super cheap ASUS Chromebook ($250CAD, new!) to see how it performs, and will put ElementaryOS on it as well.
Microsoft Surface Book and Surface 4 Options for my Next Laptop
Hey Jeff, thanks for the comment.
As you know, I haven’t been a hater in a long time. I am worried about rot & driver issues (especially if I want to play a couple of games), but I’ve used Windows for long periods of time and know I could be productive. Linux? No idea!
I took a quick look at both Surface Book and the pricing scared me off. Well, that and The Wirecutter didn’t list them at the top, and I was drowning in options without that as a guide.
More than anything else, the actual experience of shopping / looking for details on Windows machines was the most frustrating.
There are a ton of articles flooding out about what people think of Apple’s latest machines, or what their focus on mass market computing means. I’d be interested in hearing what your current machine is, what apps or use cases keep you on the Mac (or drive you from it, in the case of VR!).
NACO Academy is a newly launched investor education program designed to develop higher levels of knowledge and skill among Angel investors across Canada. With its specialized Canadian content, the Academy’s ultimate goal is to increase the efficacy of Angel investments in growing entrepreneurial firms. Angels will be able to reach higher levels of success and impact through a comprehensive curriculum of course modules covering the most important aspects of Angel investing activity.
I’m just starting to think about interesting use cases for unfurling and embedding in unique ways. Have challenges getting unfurls to work the way you want? Have questions about getting your platform to do unfurling or embedding well? Do you have a fun unfurling hack to share? Tell me about it in a response!
Are there other blogs, Twitter accounts, or other sources of Kampala / Uganda information that you can recommend? I’m especially interested if it intersects with tech, but really I’m looking to read and learn widely.
Yup, jet lag is hitting. Woke up in the middle of the night and doing photo editing and writing since I can’t sleep. An unedited stream of photos is up on Flickr. Not really working out for me, especially since the photos need editing. I’ve got Snapseed on my phone which is working well. But now all the blah unedited originals are on Flickr.
I am intermittently using Swarm / Foursquare to check in to places. I’ll do more of that when I have data on my phone.
I thought I was going to go more straightforward into talking about Vancouver, but apparently I needed to detour through my childhood and teenage years first. That’s all for today, and an early night at that!
I had a lovely Persian meal at a friend’s place tonight, but I prepped a meal for later this week before going out. I was thinking about Persian flavours, but I’m not really familiar with that style of cooking yet so it was a bit all over the place. I made a piece of pork belly in a cast-iron Dutch oven. Carrots, cauliflower stalks, onions, chopped garlic, yellow mustard seed, ground coriander, coarse salt, chili pepper, kaffir lime leaves, and figs. Cooked covered for a couple of hours at 300. Everything seems to have melted together nicely, with rich sweet figs and soft onions. I’ll heat it up later this week, with a little finishing broil of the pork belly.
I’m going to Kampala, Uganda for a week, and will be connecting with the local tech community
Next Friday, I’m getting on a plane and flying to Uganda. This will be my first time visiting anywhere on the African continent. I’ve done a little bit of research and tried to make connections with people ahead of time, but I feel like I really don’t know what to expect.
The reason I’m going is actually for a consulting project. Ed Levinson, who I’ve worked with for many years, asked me to come and work with a company he has invested in, Ensibuuko. The story of how Ed has connections in Uganda and ended up making this investment is itself an interesting one.
A bit about Uganda
As I said, my experience with Africa in general and Uganda in particular are basically zero.
I started at the wikipedia page for Uganda: a landlocked country in East Africa, on the shores of the gigantic Lake Victoria. At 37 million people, “the world’s second most populous landlocked country after Ethiopia”. The official languages are Swahilli and English, with half a dozen other languages also widely spoken.
There are seven telecommunications companies serving over 21 million subscribers in a population of over 34 million. More than 95% of internet connections are made using mobile phones. — Wikipedia
Yes, mobile is big. But it’s not smartphones being widely used by the mass market today. Ensibuuko is building mobile banking for SACCO’s (a type of small credit union), and the primary end user interface is SMS on featurephones.
Kampala, where I’ll be working, is the largest city, with a population just over 1.5 million people.
I wasn’t sure how to fly there. Turns out, there are a lot of different options, including flying from Vancouver to China and onwards “the other way around” as I thought of it. But actually it’s pretty simple. My route takes me from Vancouver to Chicago, from Chicago to Brussels, and from Brussels direct to Entebbe, the airport outside of Kampala. Brussels Air has these direct flights, so it’s just a matter of making it from Vancouver to a city that Brussels Air services.
Asking my network for Uganda connections
I talked to a number of people ahead of time (FaceTime, Skype, and WhatsApp for a “voice” call, although virtually everyone there was also introduced / connected to me through WhatsApp), and got a number of insights about the state of things on the ground.
The super-secret Canadian #ehlist connected me to Peter Park, whose company ConnectHealth is based in Nairobi, Kenya. Peter was accepted into the Y-Combinator Fellowship program to start ConnectHealth, which is building a mobile doctor booking & clinic management software.
We had a great discussion about choice of tech and communications. For instance, while many new tech projects in North America are built on Ruby or NodeJS, in Africa PHP is prevalent. In part, because if you hope to hire engineers, that is the coding language that most people know. On email, Peter told me many people don’t check their inboxes at all regularly, because they are filled with spam and too much of a hassle to deal with unless someone tells you they are sending an email.
Peter also told me about Africa’s Talking, a Twilio replacement, if we need to build more SMS-based services. I also saw that he was using Intercom on his website, which gives me confidence that we can use it for Ensibuuko as well. Peter had shared connections with folks based in Kampala and passed me on (while also letting me know that Ultimate Frisbee and tech have a strong cross over in Africa, just like here in Vancouver).
Next, leading member of the Mosquito Mafia (aka people from Winnipeg) Mark Fromson of LocalSolo introduced me to Joel Bellenson. Joel was an early pioneer in bioinformatics with Pangea Systems, where one of his cofounders was an engineer from Uganda. He lived in Vancouver’s Commercial Drive neighbourhood for many years, and moved to Kampala, Uganda in 2012. Here’s Joel on Ugandan television. I’m looking forward to hearing more from Joel on the ground in Kampala.
My last introduction into Uganda was introduced twice, through different connections, so I knew this was going to be good. One was global startup incubator 1776, the other was my friend Paschal (who is from Uganda and went to school here in Vancouver). Both connected me into HiveColab, a co-working and accelerator space right in Kampala. I had a great call with TMS Ruge, learning about HiveColab, a bit about the state of the tech startup ecosystem in Uganda, and his startup, Raintree Farms.
Meeting the local tech community through HiveColab
My week in Kampala will mainly be spent working with the Ensibuuko team. But whenever I travel for business, I do try and connect with the local tech community. I’ve run “Beers with Canadians” in San Francisco and Dublin, and in general try and run community events to see what kind of connections can get made.
The team at HiveColab graciously agreed to host an evening event on Thursday, September 22nd, from 4pm to 7pm at the HiveColab space. You can register on Eventbrite at Vancouver Canada Meets Kampala Tech. If you know someone in Kampala, please ask them to come — we’d love to meet them!
Connecting Vancouver & Kampala
I’ve reached out to a handful of local Vancouver companies to give me some classic startup company swag — stickers, t-shirts, anything else small and portable — to give out to the HiveColab crew.
Are you a Vancouver tech company and want to give me something to take along? Drop it off at the SFU VentureLabs front desk, Harbour Centre 12th Floor, 555 W Hastings, attention: Boris Mann / Open Angel (latest end of day Wednesday, Sept. 14th).
Once I meet the team at HiveColab on the ground, I hope to make more connections. Code mentoring, peer sessions, exchanges — who knows what we might make happen when we learn about each others’ communities.
I’m excited about connecting with Uganda, and I can’t wait to share what I’ll learn.
Tell me about your email loves and hates. Tell me a sordid story about LinkedIn Messaging and the day they removed the reply-to which contained people’s real emails. This was a 500 Words a Day post that graduated to being a Real Blog Post™!
I missed 500 words yesterday. I looked at the clock at 11:45pm, and just couldn’t do it. It’s 11:10pm now, and I don’t want to miss another day. This post started out as a response to Stowe Boyd’s post on Work Processing, but I’m not focused enough to write about that right now, so it ended up being more of a short 500 Words post.
My grand plan of morning writing hasn’t worked out. I am writing a LOT, just barely finding the time to squeeze in writing here. It helps when people leave comments and seem to be enjoying even these short little writings. Thank you!
End of day right before I go to bed really isn’t the best time for 500 Words. I’ve already written words in many many other places by this time. And pretty much I’m a cheaty-mccheaterson in not getting quite to 500, which really is the point. I’m going to try for a morning run tomorrow.
Medium is both blogging interface and network. Just like Tumblr is. Any reason you don’t cross post to Tumblr? Or to Facebook Posts?
I see your posts here, and sometimes like them. But I don’t think of them as real posts. I know you’re cross posting, and I know you don’t really engage here. I’ll go to your site directly and comment if I feel strongly about it. If I were to link to a post of yours, I’d link to the URL on your site.
I enjoy Medium-the-blogging-interface and post my long form writing to a publication, with my own domain. I recommend it to people. Even without getting your own domain, if it makes people hit publish rather than not blogging, that’s great.
There are various other interface features I like. Responses are better than comments for me-the-commenter. More like a reblog on Tumblr. I’d never write something this long in your comments. Highlights, Twitter and other embeds.
I also enjoy Medium-the-network. I did see your post here and am responding to it. I use it a bit like an RSS reader of old, the discovery is pretty good, and I follow several tags. I don’t think a lot of people know about tag following, and I find good stuff from it. I can recommend something. I can highlight good passages.
But all of these network features mean you need to hang out here.
Do you want a few extra views? Do you consider it a service for Medium-the-network? Then maybe you should cross post.
But it feels like more work for you, and it isn’t your real site.
If I were to try and answer the question for some other random blogger who isn’t Brad Feld, who just wants to capture a few extra eyeballs and clicks, I’d say No! Please don’t cross-post. And I’d ask Medium to tweak their algorithm to down vote cross posts.
It’s been fun after 15 years of blogging to have these types of meta discussions again.
Having recently setup a publication here on Medium where my proper writing goes, I can potentially feel freer to scribble things here that aren’t long, or well thought, or really about anything. Just a blog post.
But then I think about how this post will be married to its Medium URL, so I don’t really own it. And having a Domain of One’s Own is something that I care about. Really care about, so much so that moving on to decentralized systems is actually what we should be doing.
Accelerate in this context could mean a number of things: take an existing company and provide some operating capital, learn from best practices, or even as simple as executing on consulting work by plugging into a wider backbone of opportunities. A kind of in-sourcing or co-op. We don’t have good existing structures or explanations for this sort of thing, other than perhaps the concept of keiretsu — “a set of companies with interlocking business relationships and shareholdings” (Wikipedia).
You may not think of Vancouver as a small or regional area, but it has challenges in starting a new consulting business. We’re a branch office town, with comparably small businesses. With a lack of larger enterprises, this means a lack of larger projects, and more generally smaller budgets and less interest in interesting, cutting-edge project.
This means that a consulting company in Vancouver needs to invest in business development in Toronto, New York, London, Chicago, SF and beyond. With the high cost of living, and less access to clients, Vancouver companies have a disadvantage to larger markets and a disadvantage vs. more remote areas.
Can business development be shared and streamlined? Can we break the one company model, the agency model, the freelancer model and put it together into a community of like-minded business owners that work together?
Thanks to Bud Caddell for continuing to talk out loud about his ideas (read his whole tweetstorm) and evolution of his company, NOBL. NOBL’s Future of Work site is an example of some of the work they do consulting with larger organizations.
Remote, distributed, and new types of business organizations are part of this #futureofwork.
Interesting to think we’re going to see new takes on email & messaging, where each hardware manufacturer builds their own client.
Part of this is because each hardware device has divergent input & output mechanisms (as well as different SDKs), which leads to different UX optimizations.
At the same time, the commonality of a 3D plane to design on should provide some similarities.
One area of interest is the re-use of existing accounts. Users of AR/MR systems aren’t going to get new email accounts, so how to link or create settings for your IMAP, Google, or Exchange account will need to be done for all systems. It’s these unglorious areas of designing a setting or account linking interface which we’ll need to get right for good early experiences.
Much like setting up a router or IoT device, perhaps we’ll use a companion mobile website and our smartphones to do initial setup, or for other tasks that are “settings page” intensive.
We’ve already seen the rise of QR-code-like symbols in WeChat, Snapchat, and even FB Messenger, so this might be another mechanism to link between systems.
Boris Mann is a COO-for-hire that likes building products and businesses. He is a Founding Director of Open Angel, a non-profit society dedicated to connecting founders & funders. Find out more and subscribe to his fortnightly newsletter at bmannconsulting.com.
Hey Alan, this a good post topic that doesn’t get enough ink from a Canadian perspective — for both founders & funders.
On this point about SAFE — do you have any personal opinions on the SAFE? Or issues with particular terms in it?
I’ve written extensively on Canadian Early Stage Term Sheets — like the fact that we don’t have any common terms at all in Canada, which means that there is a dearth of founder education on the topic. Whereas the US has multiple well documented term sheets.
(yes, I understand that multiple standard docs aren’t ideal, but the US ones are all pretty similar with the same intent embedded in them)
I don’t see anything wrong with the Canadian-ized SAFE, other than I’d like a canonical one that we can all talk about. Similarily, as 500 Startups 500CAN fund revs up, I assume they’ll be using a Canadian-ized version of their KISS documents.
So far, I don’t see enough Canadian angel investors offering their own term sheet (waiting for the startup to offer them one), or I keep seeing various hand-rolled term sheets with wacky, bespoke terms that just cause legal wrangling and fees for everyone involved.
What do you think? Should we have a broader discussion about both valuation and common terms in Canada?
For the record, I think that Wikipedia or the Internet Archive would be much better homes than Adobe. Thinking about the Flickr Commons alone, never mind the people who set permissive licenses on their personal photos, we probably need to be thinking of these digital artifacts as legacies that should be part of a commons.
If you poke around a bit, you’ll see that there is an existing AR market out there, used primarily for business purposes.
It is held back by older technology, but more importantly, by older distribution mechanisms: proprietary hardware and proprietary development platforms, with only custom deployment at high cost and high risk.
Two interesting devices in the market today are the Epson Moverio and ODG R-7 glasses:
The ODG glasses are what Microsoft licensed (plus patents) as the basis for HoloLens. They are stuck on Android 4.4, not exactly something that is current from a developer platform perspective.
As far as I know, the Moverio is also on this old version of Android.
So to your point, a lot of these platforms — both current and older — have the same issue: they need to focus on developer experience and developer adoption to make the apps, content, and experiences that will attract more businesses.
Consumer AR? Yes, it’s definitely somewhere around 5 years off — or around the amount of time it will take to build sunglass sized / shaped smart glasses.
Business AR? The Meta & HoloLens demos are ushering in the next wave, today. Given the price points and shipping projections, it’s a year to a year and a half behind where VR is, which is just starting to ship this year.
I’m actually going to end with one more quote from Keith Horwood’s Hello Nodal intro post: