Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Tron Part I: The the world of programmable atoms and Immersive Augmented Reality

I just recently saw the movie Tron: Legacy. Besides the painted suits and special effects, having such a good movie about Tron being virtual reality is not very far ahead in science fiction.  There has been many movies and TV shows (Mostly Anime) about having virtual reality or molecular structures creating structures that can be considered to be real, powered by an electronic source holding the atomic bonds together loosely.  This is not an academic paper please don't treat it as such =)
Protagonist and the Silicon Life form =)

A few other interesting TV shows:

Fractale - a Japanese Anime about the world 400 years in the future, with a supercomputer matrix making body doubles for parents and families, soldiers and doctors, which are nearly indistinguishable from the other humans.  There is Nano-materials implanted into the sensory organs which allows people to see and hear the  characters from within Fractale, as well as providing medical care for the humans.  Nobody has a job or money, the machines do nearly all the manual work as well as produce manufactured goods.  The AI machines on the other hand, function on a capitalist system which supports the socialist human system.
Fractale Virtual City

The humans are controlled by a cult of priests, who have forgotten the technology that was even built, but have a system of data-syncs disguised as a religious ritual to refresh the nano-materials through photonic excitations given off by a machine that appears to be a building.

DennĊ Coil - is a Japanese science fiction anime television series depicting a near future where semi-immersive augmented reality (AR) technology has just begun to enter the mainstream. The series takes place in the fictional city of Daikoku, a hotbed of AR development with an emerging city-wide virtual infrastructure. It follows a group of children as they use AR glasses to unravel the mysteries of the half real, half Internet city, using a variety of illegal software tools, techniques, and virtual pets to manipulate the digital landscape.

Denno Coil- Glasses having a DDOS attack

Many of these dystopian fictional accounts, are caused by a control society attempting to create a utopia; However I think that any future reality will have little to do with the events in these TV shows, however they are very inspiration as seeing in video or cartoon the implementation of augmented reality. The science behind these TV shows is not far off.

Denno Coil is a dramatization of Project Glass - a research and development program by Google to develop an augmented reality head-mounted display (HMD).[2] Project Glass products would display information in smartphone-like format[3] hands-free and could interact with the Internet via natural language voice commands.[4] The prototype's functionality and minimalist appearance (aluminium strip with 2 nose pads) has been compared to Steve Mann's EyeTap.[5][6]

The second technology being developed to further society into augmented reality is the Electronic Contact Lenses electronic contacts lenses, with press releases written in 2008. This is merely to create a visual/audio immersive HUD system connecting to a computer system.

Christie 3D visualization systems are available however 3D holographic projectors are not considered retail goods and are custom priced by need for large display.  Flat projectors are available on the market right now but 3D holographics may take 5-8 years to come out on the market for portable devices.

Optics/ Sound/ Cloud computing is currently available on the market or are in development.  However nano-science is taking another leap ahead in university research labs and in academia as mentioned in "Hacking Matter":

"THE FLICK OF A SWITCH: a wall becomes a window becomes a hologram generator. Any chair becomes a hypercomputer, any rooftop a power or waste treatment plant. We scarcely notice; programmable matter pervades our homes, our workplaces, our vehicles and environments. There isn't a city on Earth-or Mars, for that matter-that isn't clothed in the stuff from head to toe. But though we rarely stop to consider it, the bones of these cities-their streets, their sewers, the hearts of their telecom networks-were laid out during a time when the properties of matter were dictated exclusively by Mother Nature. Just imagine: if specific mechanical or electrical properties were desired, one first had to hire miners to extract appropriate elements from the Earth, then chemists and metallurgists to mix precise proportions under precise conditions, then artisans to craft the resulting materials into components, and assemble the components into products that could then be transported to the location of desired use. The inconvenience must have been staggering.
Single Atom Transistor

Wil Mccarthy. Hacking Matter: Levitating Chairs, Quantum Mirages, and the Infinite Weirdness of Programmable Atoms (Kindle Locations 19-24). Kindle Edition.

One of the major technology issues involving augmented reality or robotic control is the ability to control robotics or mechanical processes with thought, and/or holographic touch screens.  Holographic touch screens were a registered patent in 1989 from Hughes Aircraft company (expired), however this requires a physical controller, either a wii-style controller, or a keyboard.  Being able to control or operate an transparent interface by hand on a touch screen is possible using current technology using organic film touch screens.

There is a non invasive method to roughly move a cursor and read various words using the mind-reading (EEG) cap.  However the resolution on the EEG is not good enough to create a non-invasive way of perfectly reading a brain scan to differentiate every thought or impulse, the slightest movement of the helmet will through off the scan, making this a useful devices for some uses, but perhaps inaccurate as a controller.

Ion Channel Quantum Dot
Using inject-able Nano-antennas it is theoretically possible given the correct quantum confinement of the gold nano-particles to give off a radio band frequency capable of exiting the cranium skull case;

"The presented antenna transforms the non-directional QD luminescence into a directed light source that can be efficiently collected, simply with a low NA. Further optimization of the many Yagi-Uda design parameters, including the addition of more director elements, might sharpen up the unidirectional cone and tune the central emission angle. The operation bandwidth can be increased by the use of a log-periodic design (C. A. Balanis, Antenna Theory: Analysis and Design (Wiley, New Jersey, ed. 3, 2005).).

Nano-antennas may be used as bio-sensors to detect neuron activation which then can be triangulated into precise imaging using z-slice reference angle to create a precise brain map and diagnostic (Invasive yet uncumbersome:

"Neurons transmit electrical signals by adjusting their interior and exterior ion concentrations using membrane-bound proteins, known as voltage-gated ion channels. These channels consist of six transmembrane-spanning subunits containing positively-charged alpha helices, which are believed to mediate the opening and closing of ion channels through electrostatic interactions with the membrane surface.11 Typically, this occurs through modulation of the membrane voltage, resulting from the opening or closing of a ligand-gated ion channel in response to the binding of a chemical neurotransmitter. However, external manipulation of these pores is possible, as evidenced by the success of patch-clamp and microelectrode array devices.  It may also be possible to produce a voltage change using the electric field produced by the dipole moment of an optically-excited nanocrystal. Nanoparticle dipole moments result from charge separation between the electron and hole in the exciton. This occurs primarily because of electron trapping at the nanoparticle surface. These dipole moments create an electric field and associated potential."

This would allow computer systems and living things to have an effortless interface, bringing the machine world closer to the human world.

Another concept addressed in Tron was the idea of spontaneous creation of a silicon life-form.  This may not be entirely possible as in Tron, but bacteria have been shown as the Mono Lake NASA testing to use Arsenic atoms instead of Phosphate.  Tron was very similar to "Honey I Shrunk the Kids", the idea that the entire movie was dramatized as being on the NanoScale, and that the entire time the world was represented as digital data.  The other argument is that Tron was perhaps not a physical world, but a simulation of reality, where the persons themselves were actually not taking up physical space at all, but were a digital persona which was copied into a computer via DNA sampling and personality sampling or brain-reading if memory can be accessed (The physical body disappearing was just hypothetical)

This is why Tron is unlikely to happen as in the movie, or the person in the movie would not likely be the "real" selves as the people, who wanted to create a digital world space as an alternative reality.

Wednesday, October 3, 2012

Coursera Classes!

I am very pleased with my Coursera Classes. I am a few days behind on my lectures (I am supposed to have another class start on the 15th).

I had a hassle free drop from the introduction to Mathematical thinking (It was too basic for me to need it); Yet my Statistics I class is so in depth that I with that the www.getstudygroup.com was working all the time, because the R software is so difficult to use.

I need to get some more books on the R software because it is one of the most amazing analytical software pieces I have ever seen for data manipulation, far beyond mathematica stats package.

I have already taken stats in Community college (I didn't get a C, a D instead), but it was decent enough that I am taking it again.  I love the interface for the program, unfortunately not all of the students are doing the assignments and there is not quite an accreditation, so I am just listening to lectures and trying to plink away on R (I am having a file detect problem).  I can see R being useful in almost every field of study.