PROFESSIONAL NERD.

PERSONAL BLOG.

What I'm Reading - 4/9/2018

Three to five links every weekday - the future in a nutshell.

LEAP MOTION DESIGNED A $100 AUGMENTED REALITY HEADSET WITH SUPER-POWERFUL HAND TRACKING

Gesture interface company Leap Motion is announcing an ambitious, but still very early, plan for an augmented reality platform based on its hand tracking system. The system is called Project North Star, and it includes a design for a headset that Leap Motion claims costs less than $100 at large-scale production. The headset would be equipped with a Leap Motion sensor, so users could precisely manipulate objects with their hands — something the company has previously offered for desktop and VR displays.

Project North Star isn’t a new consumer headset, nor will Leap Motion be selling a version to developers at this point. Instead, the company is releasing the necessary hardware specifications and software under an open source license next week. “We hope that these designs will inspire a new generation of experimental AR systems that will shift the conversation from what an AR system should look like, to what an AR experience should feel like,” the company writes.

CRYPTOCURRENCY TRADERS USE GOLD TO WOO MUSLIM INVESTORS

The global surge of interest in bitcoin, ethereum and other cryptocurrencies extends into the Gulf and southeast Asia, the main centers of Islamic finance. But because they are products of financial engineering and objects of speculation, cryptocurrencies sit uneasily with Islam. Sharia principles, in addition to banning interest payments, emphasize real economic activity based on physical assets and frown on pure monetary speculation.

That has triggered debate among Islamic scholars over whether cryptocurrencies are religiously permissible. Cryptocurrency companies are seeking to sway the debate by launching instruments based on physical assets and certified as valid by Islamic advisors.

JAGUAR WAS DEAD LAST IN ELECTRIC RACING — UNTIL IT FOUND AN EV WHISPERER

Jaguar Land Rover is one of the first companies to follow Tesla into the premium tier of the nascent electric car market. As the company created its first EV, the I-Pace SUV, it went looking for ways to promote this new focus on a futuristic technology. One answer? Pull the company’s dormant motorsports program down from the shelf, dust it off, and enter the fully-electric racing series Formula E.

That decision got off to a bad start. Panasonic Jaguar Racing came home dead last in the manufacturer’s championship in the third season of Formula E, which ended last summer. The company’s renewed racing effort lost out to big names like Audi and Renault, but also to the team backed by flailing EV startup Faraday Future. Formula E isn’t the most famous motorsport in the world, but it’s certainly the premiere all-electric series. And since Jaguar’s one of the first companies in the series now trying to sell an EV, finishing last is a bad look.

THE BLACKOUT CLUB SOUNDS LIKE STRANGER THINGS — AND THAT’S FINE WITH ITS STUDIO

Jordan Thomas doesn’t take this the wrong way when you ask him not to take this the wrong way. Buuuuuut the next game his studio is working on — a group of teens working together to unwind the paranormal mystery of their insular small town — kinda sorta sounds like maybe a riff on Stranger Things?

“If that’s the reason they remember us, I have no problem with that whatsoever,” Thomas, a co-founder of the studio Question, said cheerfully. “The first minute they play it, they may find something that draws on the familiar teens-versus-monsters genre. But from there it goes to a place they’ve never been before, where the familiar falls away.”

DISCOVER: SLOW BURN

What I'm Reading - 4/10/2018

What I'm Reading - 4/6/2018