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As most of you know, I've spent the vast majority of the last 2 years not working -- instead I've chosen to focus on developing other skills and experiences, including traveling the world, fixing my insomnia, improving my nutrition, developing an exercise plan that's changed my body, improved my health, and taught me lots of fun physical skills (rock climbing, snowboarding, parkour, yoga, and hang gliding), doing lots of creative projects, and getting involved with the disorganization of the Ephemerisle festival.  

Despite the fun of my laid-back adventures, I've been missing working on a big, meaty, potentially worldchanging project.  I have looked at various opportunities, but I've been hesitant to jump into anything, knowing firsthand just how much work a startup can be.

However, at this point, I'm excited enough about new possibilities created by low cost 3D computer vision that I'm eager to start something new.  Technologies like the Kinect allow people to capture the world around them in 3D, enabling them to easily bridge between the physical and virtual worlds.  How important is 3D capture?  I think it will ultimately become as important as photography.  By capturing objects and environments in 3D, you will be able to do many things you cannot do with photographs.  You will be able to rotate around objects and see them from many perspectives, or walk through real environments as virtual worlds.  It's the difference between looking at a scene and being *in* the scene.  Better yet, you will be able to seamlessly mix physical and virtual worlds -- you could upload all your favorite physical objects into an online virtual world, drop virtual annotations and objects onto a physical environment, and preview changes to the physical world (such as new furniture in your living room or new clothing on your body), among numerous other things.  While many of these things are happening already, they have not been within reach of consumers until now.  

While some of the more far-out visions for the seamless merging of physical and virtual worlds will take years to come to fruition, I'm looking at some ways that I can provide some useful tools (and make some money) in the short term.  Unlike my last company, which took on a lot of funding and became divorced from the realities of the market, I intend to dramatically shorten the cycle of market feedback.  

I'm developing a toolset that will make it as easy as possible to use a Kinect for various 3D capture applications.  I should leave the specifics out of this public post, but I encourage those of you who share an interest in the possibilities of 3D vision to contact me.  I'm already working with two potential clients.  

This is all very exciting, which is exactly what work should be.
mattbell: (Default)
Some of you have been asking what I'm planning to do work-wise.  Basically, my plan is to spend the next six months or so converging on a new idea for a business.  I'm going to start by creating an intellectual sandbox which allows be to brainstorm widely and play around, and then I will gradually start to focus in on what's most likely to succeed.  Here's how I break it down:

Phase 1:  Gather & play
-    Go to lots of meetups and conferences on different topics of interest.  Meet experts in various fields and talk to them.
-    Play around with lots of different technologies and pieces of content.
-    Create a big cluster chart of areas of interest.
-    Maintain lists of complaints about the world as it is as well as ideas

Phase 2: More targeted play
-    Pick up skills and do small projects in areas of interest.
-    Do more targeted brainstorms with others around specific projects.

Phase 3: Focus
-    Evaluate various efforts, and pick most promising one.
-    Areas to consider around a promising business idea:
     -    Where I can most leverage my existing skills
     -    Where I’m most passionate
     -    Short time to proof of concept?
     -    Short path to profitability?
     -    Who else I find that shares passion for the idea
     -    Competitive landscape

More press

Jun. 21st, 2008 02:30 am
mattbell: (Default)
MIT's Tech Review just did a nice article on us.  See it here.   
mattbell: (Default)
You can see the Today show segment here:

(You have to click on "Jan 8: Technology you can touch" and then wait through the noninteractive ad.)

The reporter had some trouble with his mic feed so things were cut short and he didn't have time to introduce me, but you can see our technology and see me playing Punch the Panda with the reporter.
mattbell: (Default)
Our company's new product was just launched at CES. It's a flat panel TV with the capability to sense in multiple people in 3D in front of it. The display can track your hand gestures and body motions in real time, essentially giving you a Wii-like interface without the remote.

In any case, we've had a ton of media attention, including a live segment on the Today show at 6:20 this morning.

I'm as happy as I can be at this hour, and wanted to share.
mattbell: (Default)
We're looking for qualified software engineering candidates for our effects engine team at React.rix, so I thought I'd reach out to you all and see if you know someone who would be interested.

As many of you know, we create the interactive floor projected video games that you see in malls and movie theaters.

(Here's a live demonstration by the famous dog)

We're looking for people who can work on designing and programming the next generation of the effects engine. The effects engine is what allows artists to quickly create interactive content on the display. It contains hundreds of building blocks that artists can easily assemble, plus a scripting interface that allows custom behaviors to be written. It's programmed using a mix of C++ and Perl. We want to find people who are proficient in C++ and have good design sense. Recent college graduate is OK, though we like senior people too.

If you have any questions let me know.
mattbell: (Default)
Small fast hyper dogs really love soccer balls, even virtual ones.


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