Weeknotes 144; Showing off AR and chroma-key-chic.

Dear subscriber, As expected this email lands a bit later in your mailbox due to the public holiday yesterday. For the first time here? You might consider subscribing and receive this email around 18:00 CET on Mondays.

First a look back at last week as always. In general terms, especially living in Rotterdam, I did follow the excitement of Eurovision. I am not a fanatic follower but keep track of it, and this year the connection was much more. Even in the situation that the city was not a big party place due to covid of course. Apart from the music, more interesting is to see what is used of the current state of technology in an event with almost no budget limits and a lot of prestige. The stage design was impressive although not so much on the stage itself, even less than other years. It was mainly about huge screens with props, and the difference between being in the room and watching on TV was more than ever a big difference. Most striking there are the additional AR layers. We are getting used to AR-lenses of course in our favorite social apps, it was nice to see how it mixed with normal screens. 

In one song they used a more well-known technology: the green screen, which was used all the way (Greece). Nice was how the movies from people in the room became part of the experience, with green dancers and props moving around. So AR versus Chromakey-Chic I would almost say. It resembles the difference in apps like Snap and TikTok where chromakey is used as a kind of amateur technology for DIY in visual effects, while with AR it is part of the newest technology as with the lenses of Snap. They just announced more attention event to build on this technology and applications with the introduction of a developer-Spectacles (Snapchat AR glasses). In an interview in the podcast Sway CEO Evan Spiegel projects that mundane AR is a decade away. We will see how quickly Apple is ramping up here.

Furthermore, last week the usual mix of working with the master graduation students, both existing as possible new projects. We did a workshop with the first group of participating companies in the Cities of Things field lab. And we had the third session in Trust in IoT in the meetup with Eindhoven Internet of Things. And lots of other things.The rest of this week is pact with the usual mix of activities. Looking forward to Jim graduating (if all goes according to plan) on Thursday. I might check the inaugural lecture of Reint-Jan Renes this afternoon, and I probably will miss most of Dutch Innovations Days organized in Enschede and online. Wednesday evening the new One Seconds Institute is organizing a meetup with Space10 as a speaker which should be interesting. Also, a bit conflicting in my calendar but still aiming to check it, on designing cities for all.

Ok, so far, let’s jump to the news of the week. Find the links here.

Published by


I am a design director at Structural. I curate and organize ThingsCon Netherlands and I am chairman of the Cities of Things Foundation. Before I was innovation and strategy director at tech and innovation agency INFO, visiting researcher and lab director at the Delft University of Technology coordinating Cities of Things Delft Design Lab.