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    “Share you webcam for a more immersive experience! [block] [allow]”

    What would you pick?

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      This was the entire gimmick of the Fire Phone. It was amazing and useless, and the best waste of hundreds of millions of dollars I ever worked on.

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        This sounds like a great story.

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          Fast Company said it better than I could. I was closest to the person who worked on the art recognition part. I was the music-and-tv recognition person. Every single person involved knew that it was just Jeff setting money on fire, and that we would sell dozens of these phones. But it was so much fun, and, contrary to that article, I only really worked outside of 9-to-5 twice in 3 years on the project. I think the 3D people who sat on the other side of the floor pulled a lot more stupid hours. They were the ones doing the stuff that this article recommends spending time on. Pro tip: Don’t spend time on the stuff this article recommends.

          Anyway, awesome tech demo, terrible product.

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            Huh, can you still buy one of these for cheap with all the neat features enabled? Or do they all require some AWS backend services that have subsequently been shut down?

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              The 3d works. I think the Firefly service lives on in some Alexa products, but the basic technology is in the Amazon app. Just click the camera icon next to search.

              Edit: but I haven’t worked there for 7 years, so I’m not sure.

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        The cool technical experiment is in contrast to the off-putting motivating example: “Imagine, for example, opening your favorite brand’s website and being presented with a miniature virtual storefront.”

        Best minds of our generation working on ads etc…

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          If it makes you feel better, this sort of head/face tracking tech is already used for the far more wholesome purpose of video games. A number of the more gritty flight sim games I’ve seen (Arma, Elite: Dangerous iirc) have the ability for you to “look around” the cockpit and windows, magnifying small motions of your head. Apparently it works pretty well, though the implementations I’ve seen need some specialized hardware (last I checked; maybe not so much anymore?).

          The same basic face-tracking stuff is also used for animating virtual avatars/VTubers, which are more motivated to be able to run off of a simple camera.

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            Those are much more interesting examples, thank you.

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            The author of the piece seems to work for Shopify (or it’s their official tech blog) so it makes sense.

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            This is incredible! I’m always so impressed by applications of technology that have an almost visceral experience to them.

            I was also surprised by the fact you have to anchor the experience to one particular eye, as projecting for the mid-point between them seemingly means it no longer looks real to either eye. Our perception systems are amazing in terms of their sophistication.

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              This reminds me a little bit of the technology in the Ben Affleck movie Paycheck. The one that he reverse engineers, I mean.

              I also stumbled upon this today, which is fun: https://shiny-button.vercel.app/

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                It’s much easier to do a similar thing with a tablet or phone, changing the perspective by tracking the device’s orientation and position. Not quite the same because it’s not following your head movement, but still pretty cool.

                (I wanted to say “Augmented Reality”, but it’s not the same since it doesn’t use the camera.)