Wednesday, January 7, 2009

point the projector at the mill

Most sustainable living methods, and the communities built using them ('EarthShips' in Taos, New Mexico; World Help Training Center in Macon, GA; ) that I've read of fundamentally depend on the rapid, just-in-time delivery of information to where it is needed - such as: educating people to build a house, grow vegetables, etc.

One of the interesting uses of Augmented Reality in use today is in assisting workers to perform their job well, ie. when they're learning, because if you've absorbed the perfect way to machine that part or test that jet engine, you don't need a learning aid, unless your job is quite varied and complex. This usually involves a Heads Up Display of some kind, or a screen on your arm that displays something helpful (Tab A in Slot B, before inserting worm screw C).

It occurred to me just now that a possible cheaper way to get this same functionality would be to display this relevant information on a screen near the workspace, or perhaps more effectively, by projecting an image of the desired state of the work or procedure to be followed onto the workspace itself. Lathe the piece of steel like this, until it looks like this. I was thinking of this in terms of workspaces that don't move around much and are located indoors.

It probably isn't feasible to do anything less than have the display right up against your eyeball if you're learning how to plant that new crop out in the garden, but it could be cheap and flexible if it were applied to the workspace around one of those interesting bootstrap mills in Africa. Most other hippy, sustainability oriented training could be done with a laptop/smartphone in the room with you. Outside? Maybe an OLPC, or just a podcast.

The Wiki with the sustainability tech-tree needs to be built alongside it.. where are they anyway? The closest I've seen would be Instructables.

1 comment:

cnawan said...

Now MIT is doing this with small projectors and 45 degree mirrors worn around the users neck. This plus a camera watching the users hands makes for a pretty useful device - although it's very public compared to AR glasses..