SMARTER EYES

My mom used to swear by eye exercises. She said they would correct nearsightedness. Science may be proving her right.

Kubota smart glasses can fix your eyesight, if you wear them 60 to 90 minutes a day, according to a report in ZME Science. They work by shortening the distance from the cornea to the retina using augmented reality and virtual reality. Fortunately, you don’t have to wear them for hours at a stretch. They’re a bit odd-looking. At a distance, the lenses look like windshields after rocks have shot through them.

The smart glasses were developed by Kubota Pharmaceutical Holdings of Japan. In Japan, 95 percent of those under age 20 are myopic. In South Korea, it’s 96 percent, a bit less in Hong Kong and Taiwan. Tests are now being conducted on 25 people in the U.S., though the first glasses will be sold in Asia 

Too much staring at close-up screens or books trains the eyes to see much better close up than at a distance. Kubota glasses stimulate the retina, using defocused virtual images to reverse myopia. I’d like to try them. Close-up vision is my superpower, but I’m no good at anything more than a foot away– unless I have my glasses on. For evidence that eye exercises help, see 8-best-eye-exercises-to-treat-astigmatism at Insight Vision Center.

 Holographic Visits

Talk about lowering your carbon footprint. Companies are transporting holograms of top executives and celebrities around the world, making them show up together on a virtual stage. 

The idea has been around a while. In 2012, a dead rapper called “2Pac” arrived in three dimensions at a music festival in Coachella, California. I looked at something similar at arhtmedia.com. Actor Colin Firth materialized out of nowhere to talk on stage. It looked like teleportation. Wow!

A techy friend is skeptical. “It’s obvious that the images are flat and not 3D,” he said. I decided to ask around, and went to Quora.com, the question-and-answer site. A gravitational wave researcher from the University of Glasgow told me that ARHT Media and others use the word “hologram” loosely. A hologram uses light that either starts from behind an image and passes through it. Or it starts in front of the image and never comes near it.  ARHT seems to be using the second kind, he said, creating a 2D version of a person instead of 3D. “They mostly give shots from the front where it looks perfect. Good luck to them; it’s probably good enough to be useful. But there’s one or two brief diagonal shots where it looks like a photo on glass.” Prices range from $15,000 to $40,000. 

For less ambitious business theater, the kind where you can see a product in 3D and explore its parts just by waving your hands, the $2,200 “Solo” from Hypervsn.com looks like a better bet. The company has sold holograms to BBC, CNN, Financial Times and USA Today. Their basic kit includes software, 3D content and hardware. They also have kits you can rent. 

Killing Spam Calls

Beware of Robokiller, a popular app for blocking telemarketers and spam calls.  Some users say it blocks their friends and paves the way for spammers. What’s worse, they can’t get rid of it. If this happens to you, go to deactivatemyphone.com to have Robocaller or one of the other Nazi programs removed. I’ve had pretty good results with the app “TrueCaller,” but am glad I now use an Android phone with automatic call screening.  Call screening is available on Google Pixel, Motorola and Nokia phones.

Internut

 Terrafugia.com is the website of a flying car maker. The site has a YouTube video showing it take off and land. This isn’t one of the awkward car-planes you may have seen before. This thing is smooth. Volkswagen also has one called the Hover Car. A YouTube video shows it in China.

App Happy 

LetsRoam.com offers an app to take you on scavenger hunts in 400 cities worldwide, such as Worcester, Massachusetts. They’re done on foot and usually last 90 minutes to two hours. As they say on their site: “It takes a courageous city to own a nickname like Wormtown but it will take even more courage to conquer the Wormtown scavenger hunt. What turned the soulful Palladium towards heavy bands like ‘Hatebreed’? Which fountain’s heating up the Worcester Common?” Find out if you can. The cost is $12 per player or you can get an annual pass with unlimited scavenger hunts for $63. 

 Learn Computer Graphics

How do you make the graphics in popular video games like Fortnite or Call of Duty? Or create animations like Toy Story or  Frozen?

Gabriel Gambetta, the author of a new book, “Computer Graphics from Scratch,” from NoStarch Press, says anyone who is familiar with high school math can do it. But it’s not a quick study. There’s enough info in his new book for a university course. In fact, the book is based on the course Gambetta taught, before he became a senior engineer at Google. Previously, he founded the game company Mystery Studio and helped get “Improbable Games” off the ground when it had just 30 employees; it now has over 500. His website, gabrielgambetta.com, includes his email if you want to get in touch with him.

 

 

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