Daniel Sheehan


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Where's my jetpack? TED foreshadowing that either hit or missed.

TED has been having a good run over time, and has tried to keep itself at the crest of innovation and present it as it established a spot on the radar. Some of these radar blips got stronger and became part of our environment, others faded and fell off the radar and we've moved on.

Let's take a bit and dust off those "I saw it here first." or "What ever happened to...?" TED videos.

What has happened with Jonny Lee's WII hack?

Did Burt Rutan nail it?

Are we creating more people space in the ghettos?

Is there a talk that should be put back on the radar?
Is there an idea that grew through the TED talks that became second nature to us?

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    Sep 7 2011: Johnny Lee's story is an interesting one, in particular regarding corporations and innovations, web 2.0 stardom, open technologies and the DIY and hardware hacking open communities.

    I can only comment as an outsider. But short story seems to be like this:

    Nintendo apparently had no interest in Johnny's innovations and shortly after his rapid rise to YouTube/TED fame, Microsoft made him "a core contributor to the human tracking algorithms for Kinect" since "the very early days of incubation (even before it was called "Project Natal")".

    After two and a half years, he was snatched by Google to "join a special projects team" on January 2011 (see his "Hi, Google, my name is Johnny" post on his blog at http://procrastineering.blogspot.com/2011/01/hi-google-my-name-is-johnny.html ). You can follow Johnny's blog at http://procrastineering.blogspot.com

    However, Wii hacks have proliferated, a good deal inspired by Johnny's work, and kits and plenty of interesting (and not so interesting) hacks can be found around the world and profiled on YouTube and around the web.

    But they have yet to make it to mainstream consumers or commercial products.

    The closest thing I've seen to a professional approach to DIY and hacking of gaming and mobile consoles is the work of National Instruments Waterloo Labs "DIY Projects from Deep in the Heart of Texas" ( http://www.waterloolabs.com/ ). They have a pretty cool hack that allows playing Super Mario Bros. 2 on a classic Nintendo Entertainment System using your eyes as controllers (now you know what to get Stephen Hawking for Christmas ;-) ), and plenty of other innovative and experimental uses and hacks of Nintendos, iPhones and other popular, relatively inexpensive devices. Johnny is a fan of them. You can watch plenty of their videos at: http://www.youtube.com/user/WaterlooLabs
  • Sep 8 2011: Wii lost it to Kinect. That's all of a story.