Wednesday, November 22, 2023

Augmented Reality 2


Making your own Augmented Reality experience

The first step in creating an AR experience is selecting the right platform and tools to help execute the vision. There are several AR development platforms available, such as ARKit  (for Apple iOS devices), ARCore (for Android devices), and Vuforia (compatible with both iOS and Android). These platforms, and many others, offer extensive libraries and resources and enable native AR applications for smartphones and tablets. There are many other products available online.

In addition to these platforms, 3D modelling and animation software for creating interactive objects and characters. Some popular tools include Autodesk Maya, Blender, and Unity 3D. A search for such software will offer additional vendors. 

The next phase of the process involves planning and conceptualising the AR experience. Here are a few key questions to ask at this stage:

What are the objectives of the prospective AR experience (E.g., informing, relationship management, entertainment, marketing, learning)?

What type of digital content is to be overlayed, e.g., 3D objects, text, videos - the TV programme (‘Strickly Come Dancing’ superimposes virtual theatre sets on the TV screen during contestants’ dances)?

What device(s) will the AR experience be accessible on (e.g. kiosk, screen, smartphone, glasses, headsets)?

What user interaction will be offered (e.g., tap, swipe, voice commands, sensor)?

Will the projection be still, animated or interactive?

Based on answers to these questions, the process can continue and can begin to build a clear and cohesive narrative for your AR experience.

With a better understanding of building an AR experience, it's time to start designing and developing the project. First, create the digital assets using 3D modelling and animation software. Ensure these assets are optimised for real-time rendering and compatible with the chosen AR development platform.

Next, import the digital assets into the AR development platform and construct the AR experience. Utilise the platform's given features and tools, such as tracking algorithms, to ensure smooth and accurate augmentation of the digital content. Additionally, pay close attention to user interaction and intuitiveness, as these aspects directly impact the overall user experience.

After developing the AR experience's core components, testing and refining the project is crucial. This process may involve fixing bugs, improving tracking algorithms, and ensuring seamless integration of digital content within the real-world environment. When conducting tests, analyse the experience from the user's perspective, addressing potential pain points and difficulties.

By understanding the fundamentals of AR and following a structured process of planning, design, development, and testing, you can create engaging and innovative experiences for your stakeholders. Whether you're an independent consultant or a part of a large organisation, mastering AR will place you at the forefront of rapidly evolving technology, allowing you to unlock new opportunities for growth and success in the ever-changing digital landscape.

Augmented reality (AR) can be used for communication in many ways. For example, it can overlay text, images, or videos in the real world, which can help share information or provide instructions. AR can also be used to create virtual avatars that can interact with each other, which can be helpful for remote collaboration or education. 

Additionally, AR can be used to create shared experiences between people in different locations, cultures and languages which can help to build relationships and create a sense of community.

Here are some specific examples of how AR is being used for multi-sensory communication:

  • In education, AR is being used to provide students with interactive learning experiences. For example, students can use AR to explore virtual models of historical sites or to view 3D images of cells and molecules.

  • In business, AR provides employees with training and support. For example, employees can use AR to view step-by-step instructions on assembling a product or getting help with a technical issue.

  • In the military, AR provides soldiers with information about their surroundings and helps them with tasks such as target identification.

The range of services for practitioners to use is huge. The PdF vendor Adobe has a straightforward capability called Aero (at It can be used by practitioners out-of-the-box.

There are many tools available to help practitioners to develop AR experiences. They are great fun to explore by searching for ‘augmented reality software’.

AR SDK: These tools allow users to build digital objects that will blend into the real world and will eventually become fully-fledged AR experiences.

AR WYSIWYG editor software enables users with limited to no coding background to create customised AR experiences. These tools have drag-and-drop capabilities that let users upload 3D objects and drop them directly into previously designed scenes.

AR game engine software – These solutions give game developers the framework for creating AR video game experiences. Using AR game engine software, users can create and edit 3D characters that can interact with the real world.

AR training simulator software – AR training simulator software leverages AR technology to train employees for certain jobs.

Creating an Augmented Reality experience can be an exciting and rewarding endeavour.

Wednesday, November 15, 2023

Augmented Reality


Welcome to the fascinating world of Augmented Reality (AR)! 

Augmented Reality (AR) technology is a form of computer-generated imagery that blends digital objects and information into the physical world. It allows users to interact with virtual elements in real-time environments, creating a more immersive experience. AR applications range from gaming to education, providing new ways to learn and engage with online and offline content. This technology also brings various opportunities to Public Relations practitioners, marketers, retailers, and other businesses, enabling them to reach out to stakeholders uniquely. AR software works with (outdoor?) projectors, tablets, phones, headsets, TV’s and more. And, try this - Big projectors can be used for playing (some) computer games on a warehouse wall.

Imagine a world where the boundaries between the physical and digital realms blur, where the real and virtual coexist seamlessly. Augmented reality is a technology that overlays digital information and virtual objects onto the real world in real-time. It enhances our perception of reality and provides us with interactive experiences like never before.

At its core, augmented reality relies on computer vision and advanced sensors to track the user's real-world environment and superimpose digital elements onto it. This can be achieved through various devices such as smartphones, tablets, smart glasses, and headsets. AR applications use the device's camera and sensors to detect the user's location and orientation, enabling them to interact with the virtual objects in real space.

There is another issue. For many gamers, the games and headsets is a part of their online experience, replacing traditional websites.

Moreover, augmented reality has many applications in various industries, such as healthcare, education, entertainment, automotive, etc. For example, AR can be used to provide directions and navigation assistance in unfamiliar environments or to simulate real-world scenarios for training purposes 

Augmented reality has the potential to revolutionise numerous industries and redefine how we interact with the world. Here are just a few examples:

1. Augmented Entertainment

AR is already making waves in gaming. With AR games like Pokemon Go, players can engage with virtual creatures and objects in their real-world surroundings. This technology extends beyond gaming into other forms of entertainment, such as live events, museums, and theme parks, enhancing visitor experiences and adding an extra layer of excitement.

2. Education and Training

AR can transform how young and old people are taught, learn and acquire new skills. It allows students to visualise complex concepts, interact with virtual models, and engage in immersive learning experiences. From virtual dissections in biology classes to interactive historical tours, AR has the potential to make education more engaging and effective.

3. Architecture and Design

Architects and interior designers leverage AR to bring their visions to life. By superimposing virtual models of their designs onto real-world spaces, they can showcase their concepts to clients and make real-time adjustments. This allows for better visualisation of the final product and aids in effective communication between designers and clients.

4. Healthcare

In the field of healthcare, AR is being used for a variety of purposes. Surgeons can wear AR glasses during operations, displaying vital information without looking away from the patient. Medical students can practice surgeries virtually before performing them on living patients. AR also assists in medical imaging, allowing doctors to overlay CT scans or X-rays onto a patient's body for more accurate diagnosis and treatment planning.

Challenges and Opportunities

While augmented reality holds tremendous potential, there are still challenges to overcome. The technology needs to become more affordable and accessible for widespread adoption. Additionally, concerns around privacy, security, and ethical use of AR need to be addressed.

However, the future looks promising. As AR technology advances, we can expect to see more immersive experiences, improved user interfaces, and increased integration into our everyday lives.

This is a really good communication tool for PR people.

Saturday, July 29, 2023

              Autumn Statement 1

Proposals for the Chancellor of the Exchequer 

policy team


This paper offers considerations to meet the Government initiative to develop ‘creative solutions’ for Treasury proposals in the 2023 Autumn Statement.

Reconstructing Ukraine

Ministers have already proposed the UK be among those nations involved in the rebuilding of Ukraine post-war.  The potential burden on the Treasury and British Taxpayer, as well as other countries, will be levied at a time of National expenditure constraints.

This promise should be shouldered without the Treasury and the Foreign Commonwealth and Development Office's financial contribution.

The proposal to fund these costs is the launch a national lottery specifically for the post-Ukraine war reconstruction.

This lottery is to be launched quickly to accumulate funds ready for post-war activity. 

This will demonstrate that the government is serious in its endeavour; is not going to lever more cost on the taxpayer and especially the poorest in the nation and will keep the issue in the minds of the electors.

 Energy storage now at no cost to the taxpayer

There is an urgent need for a big power storage investment. The solution so far is to build big (vulnerable) battery parks in the countryside to the chagrin of the local (Conservative) populous.  It is also a solution that will take a long time to implement.

An alternative is to use a proposed ‘windfall bond’. This bond will be available to organisations facing a windfall tax. These organisations will be offered a return on investment from constructing and locating, and connecting large batteries at electricity substations in the next financial year.

The freight container-sized batteries will be charged with electricity bought at the cheapest rate and returned to the grid at times of high demand and higher value. The revenues go to the companies.

The organisation will be able to put the batteries as assets on its books but will not be able to sell them until the end of a statutory term of 25 years.

In effect, the batteries will be a bond-financed from tax avoidance. 

(there will be a need to mandate planning authorities to fast-track approvals (the greenhouse impact is bigger than a local planning officer’s prejudices).

Whereas Windfall taxes are a disincentive for big companies to locate their HQs in the UK, this scheme will, in effect, turn taxes into an incentive to locate in the UK.

In addition, this scheme will provide a huge, distributed power backup network. It will be implemented at speed and will create jobs in the UK.

All this at no cost to the taxpayer.

No more NHS strikes

One of the big political issues is the reduced value of NHS staff pay.

This need not be the case. There is already an inflation-protected benchmark. 

The government established the national minimum wage to provide a basic income for work. Using this benchmark, NHS employees can be paid an internationally competitive percentage of the minimum wage set at a percentage above the minimum wage pro rata between Consultants and nurses etc. 

It will have to be progressively introduced. But would then take the politics out of the process for the future.

This is a concept that can be applied to other public sector employees.

Cut the cost of Defence

The UK now manufactures battle-tested armament. It is very costly, and there is a dependence on the US.  

There are corrupt actors involved.

The EU community is squabbling over who, what, and how much contribution will be made by different nations. It is not very helpful for a country like the UK that has global commitments and which can see how bad actors waylay defence equipment.

It is possible to track military equipment and munitions from the place of manufacture to its maintenance and eventual use. The process is to have a blockchain audit trail.

A Commonwealth consortium that could use such a scheme and  spread the cost of development and implementation could resolve the cost. 

Scrap Government Arts Funding

We live in an era when the metaverse can reproduce digital representations worldwide. By developing Virtual Reality versions of national and regional galleries, concerts, museums etc. These national treasures can be available on every high street, with vacant shops turned into walk-in VR studios. This would also contribute towards increasing high street/retail locations’ footfall.

The revenues generated from such studios (asking for a modest entry fee) can then fund this initiative and bring the arts and British culture to an audience that would not normally go to such venues (and often not travel to the cities they are located).

Such facilities can also be made available to schools and universities too.

Small towns worldwide (also with the problem of dying high streets)  can also take advantage of this cultural resource offering a franchise for distributing British culture and providing revenue (there are many ‘1000’s of small towns in the USA, Canada, Australia etc.).

Build 40 Hospitals

There are now many medical facilities that are offered in standard ISO freight container sizes. In addition, there are similar-sized hospital wards. They are manufactured indoors, away from the effects of weather on construction. 

Almost any warehouse estate can be converted into a hospital with clinics, operating theatres and all the facilities needed in a modern hospital. Warehouses take very little time to build compared to the construction of hospitals. Fitting out such a building can be incremental, for example, installing wards first to reduce the backlog and adding day clinics and theatres later.

Creating the manufacturing ISO container-sized manufacturing facilities capability to fulfil the need for 40 UK hospitals and exports of these facilities will need encouragement by the health service with a strong emphasis on UK manufacturers.

Massive battery storage

There is a need to be able to store energy to mitigate the vagaries of the weather when using green production capacity. There are also major issues with the supply of gas and other forms of energy.

In addition, big battery farms take a long time to install. We also must face the prospect of political actors disrupting big installations (think Ukraine). 

Furthermore, there are a number of storage capabilities which will require a nimble selection of the best storage facilities.

The need for building such a facility is a costly process for the government. 

A solution might be to offer energy companies a mitigation of new or increased taxes, such as windfall taxes, on the proviso that they fund the installation of batteries on or near transformer sites across the country. It will require local planning authorities to support and not object to such installations.

The participating companies will own the batteries, which will be developed to buy electricity from the Grid at times of low cost and sell it at times of high cost.

The batteries will be owned by the participating companies for 7 years (i.e. beyond the next parliament) but will be able to sell them thereafter. In effect, the battery initiative will be gilts.

At a time when these companies face high taxes across the world, this scheme will have the reverse effect and will encourage them to keep their headquarters in the UK.

Pothole Problems

Finding the revenues to fill potholes and maintain road infrastructure is a cost to the Treasury and local government.

There is also a need to reduce traffic speed for safety and environmental reasons. Enforcing such restraint is also hard and costly.

Increasing the fines for people found speeding and ringfencing the increase in revenue would be a welcome income scheme.  Part of this revenue will, in the beginning, be used to add more speeding cameras and automate collecting fines at no added cost to the government.


Autumn Statement 2 is already in draft.

It is possible to develop creative policies from such suggestions. The principle is to examine an issue and provide a solution at no cost to the Treasury.

There is a big BUT. Politicians (and notably MP’s), Governments and civil servants do not want to change. Still, if the Conservatives want to win the General Election, they must be radical and creative.

Monday, November 28, 2022

Re-building Ukraine

Ukraine needs millions to recover. Initiatives have been initiated by the Government but the truth is that Britain cannot even afford to contribute its share.

There is a need for imagination to be able to play our part. 

Reuters reports Russia's invasion of Ukraine has cost over $97 billion, according to the World Bank, the Ukrainian government and European Commission.

Meanwhile, the UK government is urged to increase payments to British families playing host to Ukrainian refugees.

There has to be another way to make a significant contribution to our national and international initiatives. 

But there is a lot of public goodwill, and many will be able to help. We need a ‘Ukraine Peace Investment Lottery’. It is a voluntary way that the population can contribute without burdening the poorest in society with more taxes. 

The initial revenues will immediately increase payments to people who have Ukraine refugees in their care or to house those who have lost their accommodation. 

After that, with the assent of the Ukrainians, funds will be deployed to rebuild public assets such as water and electricity supplies and other public infrastructure.

With compassion, jobs, re-building, and refugee problems solved we can play our part at no cost to the Treasury.

Friday, November 25, 2022

The £157 Million Robbery

Photograph: Family handout/PA
In my book (Climate Change House)  I make a lot of references to filtering air in houses. Today we see headlines about the deadly effect of mould after the death of two-year-old Awaab Ishak.
Why not save the NHS £157 million this year. The latest findings, published in a report from Public Health England, that warn these costs could reach£18.6 billion by 2035. HEPA standard filtered air and heat exchange can mitigate a large proportion of this.

There is a mindset among those who would rebuild and refurbish houses and estates to create a gentrified model. The ‘renovated/rebuilt Garden City districts of mixed dwellings designed for middle class residents, students and the retired with lots of gardens filled with poplar and willow saplings on green space lawns is faulty. It seems that various neighbourhood habits become at odds with each other as a result of introducing new residents. Particularly low income residents feel their ways of life are becoming threatened. In terms of the right to the city debate, it is important to ask the question as to how democratic the mixing process is as well as how daily neighbourhood rhythms and perceptions of neighbourhood space are affected. The disadvantaged, by their nature, are not well represented in the debate about what rebuilding means to them.

The use of socioeconomic analysis of local communities to identify a real need at a point in time is essential.

It is evident that some standards need to be adhered to. Homes need to be well insulated and warm in winter and cool in summer. Not damp but dry with clean filtered air. The accommodation has to be adequate for current and future generations of users and set in a well managed estate. Pokey flatlets in exoffice blocks rightly have a poor reputation. As we continue to evolve, it is the case that homes will continue to grow in size.
The planning process outlined in chapter 7 still needs to apply in renovation, repurposing and rebuilding. After careful research homes need to be built to suit local need.  Posh repurposed dwellings with homeless beggars at the front door and elderly relatives stuffed into a bedroom are no solution.