Taking a break from AI this week to look into other cool stuff. And I got into agriculture... again. What can I say, I like food. 😆
Thing 1 - Bringing motion capture to the masses
If you wanted to immerse yourself in virtual reality, you'd need to do a lot more than just put some VR headset on and call it a day. True immersion requires more than a window to view through and some buttons to push.
If you were loaded, you'd be able to buy a lot of this for a while now. Hollywood's been using motion capture for over 2 decades. Their budgets also have many zeros.
Sony released Mocopi (with the price in hundreds rather than thousands) - 6 watch-sized sensors you put over your body. Once you've hooked it all up, your movement can control a computer avatar in real-time.
I'm more excited about bringing motion capture to indie game developers and filmmakers.
With Rokoko's video motion capture you can do it for free. From there import it to their studio software, clean it up, and export it to your 3D tool of choice.
Mo money, mo better motion tracking, sure. But the results you can get for free (or for cheap) are impressive.
Most creators haven't caught up on this yet. But they will.
Thing 2 - Agrivoltaics: Farming meets electricity generation
Sun makes life on Earth possible.
Plants convert light energy into chemical energy stored in sugars. This ends up on your plate at some point.
All the energy you use came from the Sun. Yes, even fossil fuels - what do you think dinosaurs ate before the great fireworks?
It sounds like a conflict of interest whether we capture the energy to power your phone or to grow tomatoes. But what if...
The sunniest areas are often the driest. So researchers at the University of Arizona asked "Why not both?"
Here's what happened when they did
- Soil surface temperatures and evaporation lowered = more water stayed
- Solar panels stayed cooler, leading to an increase in electricity generation
- Some crops grew better (like chiltepin peppers)
- Water-use efficiency increased in some crops, such as jalapeños
- Shade made working conditions safer and more comfortable for workers
- Solar arrays expanded in certain areas without competing for land with agriculture
Sometimes you can have your cake and eat it too.
Thing 3 - Break free from familiarity
Your brain likes familiarity above all else.
Stepping into a new life will ALWAYS feel unsettling, even if there's excitement.
Stay with it.
- Cory Muscara
Change is uncomfortable. Even when it's for the better.
Your body can't help itself. You're going into the unknown. This carries danger with it.
Your body cares about you. It wants to protect you. It says "we had a nice thing going, why do you have to ruin it?"
It's up to you to reply "this is fine, trust me, we can improve", and do it anyway. Seek this feeling. Learn to love it.