How Virtual Reality Meets Real Life Learning With Mobile Games

Games played on mobile devices allow teachers to leverage all the information on the internet along with the lived experiences of people in real life.


10 Location Based Games that get students (of all ages and persuasions out and learning about their communities.

This is awesome! Those of you who know me, are aware that I have a huge passion for location based gamification to engage people in learning and in their community. When I first started evangelizing these concepts, the number of applications could be counted on your fingers and in some cases you had to rent a smartphone to play.

Today they are everywhere and here are 10 very cool examples of apps that you could be having fun with, These are brilliant for teachers, but they are so much more than that. Now people can truly engage with and participate in the real world, learning and helping their communities become better places and more engaged. Check these apps out and seek out opportunities to get involved in your environment.

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The Traffic Lights of Tomorrow Will Actively Manage Congestion

The humble traffic signal is gaining some new responsibilities.


Excellent story and it is very exciting the direction that traffic management is taking. There is of course some optimism when it comes to V2V communications. There are not currently any international standards and in fact many of the systems currently going into new cars are only capable of communicating with other cars of the same brand.


When looking at the effect of these V2V systems, there is a critical mass required in order to have any effect and of course most people don’t regularly buy new cars. Having said that, research by TomTom in the UK a few years ago suggested that if 5% of cars on a highway positively changed their behavior due to real time information, it could benefit as much as 15% of traffic, even if the latter don’t have car navigation with real time traffic in them.

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18 Examples of Why Up-to-the-minute maps will be critical for autonomous cars

Up-to-the-minute maps will be critical for autonomous cars
Automotive News
DETROIT — History’s most intrepid explorers were often at the mercy of their maps. The self-driving cars of the future won’t be any different.


Habour BridgeI’ve spent many years mostly as a Sales & Marketing Manager for a mapping company working with car navigation companies and being involved in the supply of map data to them.

It has been a real concern to me as some brands talk about having quarterly map updates, and in many cases they offer free updates for the life of the device. Now I know what goes into making map updates, especially quality data and there are hardly any countries in the world that offer data to that quality, that includes countries like the USA and Great Britain. In fact the UK said they were going to have a Government inquiry a few years ago because of the lack of quality of map data, especially outside of major cities.

You may read this and think I’m anti car nav or driver-less cars. Wrong on both counts. I don’t go anywhere without my TomTom with real time traffic. I love it. But after 8 years of working for a company that has developed some of the best quality maps available and having significant knowledge into the technological barriers, the human input (including when people in local Government get around to sharing important information) and the time it takes to drive all roads in a country. I know that we are decades from having the ability to provide data of sufficient quality to have autonomous cars safely drive outside of specific zones. I also know the cost of the technology, which is prohibitive.

Want some more reading? Try these :

  1. 9 Car Accidents Caused by Google Maps and GPS
  2. Google Street View Car Goes the Wrong Way, Causes Accident
  3. Poor GPS Map Data on HUD Car Nav Devices (OK this one is fictional but relevant)
  4. Why Do GPS Systems Give Wrong Directions
  5. Sat Nav Blunders Caused Up To 300,000 Accidents
  6. 4 Year Old Girl Dies Due to Car Nav Incorrect Instructions
  7. The GPS Made Me Do It NY Times
  8. The GPS Made Me Do It in Nashville
  9. Officer I can Explain
  10. Court Rejects the GPS Made Me Do It
  11. Blame the GPS
  12. Top Excuses When Getting Pulled Over
  13. 2 People Drove Into the Susquehanna
  14. Man Parks Car on House Roof
  15. High Noon in Alaska
  16. Who Is Responsible When Something Goes Wrong?
  17. Boy Racers Make Sport with Driver-less Cars (more possible futures)
  18. Truck Driver Wedges Semi in Tunnel

The problem is that many brands of car navigation are competing on price to the point that it isn’t physically possible for them to afford to purchase quality map data. Consider selling car nav devices for under $100 and then having the build cost of including not only quarterly updates, but also distributing them. It just doesn’t work.

A driver-less car would need to not only know the exact geometry of the roads, but also the current speed zones (which change all the time) the changes in intersection controls, such as roundabouts (rotators) to traffic lights and vice versa and much more. Some may say that cameras will take care of that, but I’ve been involved in that research as well and reading things like traffic signs is actually a complex science as well.

There are definitely areas in some cities that are pretty good but even things like temporary traffic management are constant. It’s not unusual for a smallish city to have hundreds of temporary traffic management changes, as simple as a 3 lane highway which is down to two. Then take into consideration the situation where the contractor starts a road closure early or finishes late and doesn’t notify the roading authority.

Who wants an automated car system that tells you every 5 minutes that it is approaching a location where you need to take control. If you have to be monitoring the car all the time, because at any moment it is going to slow down and say there is an obstacle ahead that isn’t in my database, then you are likely to just end up with more gridlock, if not more accidents.

This is a lot more complex than it sounds and I am concerned that the hype is overtaking the reality to a point where unrealistic expectations are being made. It truly is hard enough to find a normal car navigation system where the driver is still in control, that can be relied on for much more than general guidance.

I think the most likely scenario is that there may be certain toll roads or highways that may only be driven on in cars that meet certain standards, and outside of that, until a critical mass is reached of cars that not only have the technology with the latest map data on them ,but also that have the ability to identify changes and update a single common map data-set in real time. That may come in certain countries with cars that were designed for that country. But it won’t be cheap.

If you’d like to know a little more just about the car nav itself, check out my blog from last year by Googling What is the best GPS car nav for New Zealand. You’ll find it as the first return other than paid advertising and it will give you a little more insight. Or go here.

It’s probably time for me to road test some new models for this year. In the meantime, if you have a car navigation unit, especially one that you paid around $1-200 for, but even a top of the line unit, make a note of how often it is wrong, even slightly wrong and then think about whether you would trust that map data to totally control your car, with your family in it, while you read an eBook, newspaper or watch a DVD.

I’d love you to leave a comment on my blog about that. If there is sufficient interest, I’ll approach the nav manufacturers and do some more more road testing research.

Just for the record, I have driven with car navigation in the US, Europe, Asia Pacific and other places and I haven’t been to a single country where the nav is fully accurate. The cost of doing that is just too high. I know from direct experience.

Will it happen one day? Absolutely, at least in cities and small countries where the massive cost of real time data collection, independent from manual data input from humans into databases, is justifiable.

Detroit might have you think it is all about the technology in the cars. Trust me, that’s the easy part.

I would really welcome your comments and stories. Has car navigation ever given you an incorrect instruction that could have caused an accident, got you in trouble with the law (e.g. incorrect speed zone) or sent you in the wrong direction?

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Cut the cord: Four wireless options for turning your car into a tech-savvy cabin – New York Daily News

New York Daily News Cut the cord: Four wireless options for turning your car into a tech-savvy cabin New York Daily News In other words, if you enjoy being able to search for subway directions with ease and speed, you’ll love it when your car’s…


This isn’t exactly a location based technology, although your car wasn’t built to stay at home was it?

There are a few question’s about things like wireless to me. If I put a Wireless hotspot into my car, who get’s to pay the mobile account?

I’m big on wireless charging though. If there was one thing that would have got me to upgrade my iPhone 5S, it would have been factory inductive charging. As a power (no pun intended) user of my phone’s GPS and Internet I carry cables to work and back. I want a mat at each end so that whenever I go out, my phone is fully charged.

I’d love the Caddie but it’s a very expensive phone charger.

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Nice One Orcon

Luigi Cappel:

Do you contract out your front desk to a 3rd party call center?

Originally posted on Luigicappel's Weblog:

317019_10150310135863188_76190173187_7703929_5794010_nWhy is it that the little things are so hard? Why do I really dislike credit departments? Do you know how yours talks to your customers?

So today I got home after a long but great day at the office. I found a ‘letter’ from Orcon saying that I had 5 days to pay my overdue account or risk getting my phone and Internet disconnected. I previously took up the option to pay by American Express to make sure that it was always paid on time, along with my power bill.

I rang Orcon and their credit department answered way faster than their support help desk ever has, less than a minute! I gave them my details and said I had received the letter and the person on the phone (Philippines accent I think) responded with “and when are you going to pay it?” I was taken aback. As far…

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North Attleboro residents concerned new flood maps could force costly … – Attleboro Sun Chronicle

North Attleboro residents concerned new flood maps could force costly …


The same thing is happening in Florida and other parts of the world and in some cases home owners are getting maps redrawn, having argued that they are not in flood risk areas. Councils in some cases are bending to the pressure from their rate payers who are concerned about increases in real estate insurance, decrease in property values and the properties being harder to sell.


Of course the other side of the argument is, what happens if the maps are changed and the houses then end up underwater? Do they blame the councils for getting it wrong?


This is a difficult situation that is being faced in coastal areas all over the world. Part of the problem is that when many subdivisions were approved years ago, climate change wasn’t something people knew or thought about, definitely not from the perspective of the average person’s lifespan. Tsunamis were the same, 20 years ago I couldn’t have told you what a tsunami was. Now I’m hoping that my house which is in a once in 100 years risk zone, doesn’t happen in my time. As far as I know it has never happened in my area. Of course you could argue that means it’s due soon.


It does make me glad that I could never afford one of those awesome waterfront properties…..

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Driverless cars: Who is responsible when something goes wrong? – Orlando Sentinel

Driverless cars: Who is responsible when something goes wrong?
Orlando Sentinel
The car itself is navigating into the spot, which it manages without a scratch.


It is good to see car manufacturers looking to prevent driver-less cars from being hacked. It’s also good that authorities are seeing that there is a risk of hackers taking control of driver-less cars, even groups of them and turning them into dangerous weapons.


It’s ironic that while they are working on ensuring security, the FBI is suggesting that driver-less cars will easier for them to track. It will be interesting to find out what the privacy trade-off will be in that driver-less cars will need to communicate with the grid for safety and navigation purposes. That means if the transport systems know where vehicles are, so will the transport authorities and then if that data is subpoenaed, then legal authorities will also be able to track them.


This raises lots of interesting concerns. There are other industries that will encourage location based information, as I have blogged about before, for example Pay As You Drive (PAYD) insurance wants to know where you drive, how safely you drive, and other industries such as automobile associations breakdown services want to know where you are if you’re airbag deploys. These types of services are typically something you opt into and the laws are there to ‘protect’ your privacy. They apply to all forms of vehicles, not just those without drivers.


The next step starts to get more interesting. If DOT’s start using your location for things like automatic payment on Toll Roads using Fleet Management systems, they can technically track your vehicle anywhere. You could find that your car tells on you whenever you exceed the speed limit and you get instant fines. Law enforcement could find out where your car has been if you are a crime suspect and lots more. Of course they can already do a lot of that by tracking your mobile, but that’s another story.


What it comes down to is that car manufacturers and government in general needs to ensure that our privacy is protected. To make it very clear with any system what information is shared, with who and what restrictions are in place on the purpose of use. If they don’t, car manufacturers could find a resurgence of interest in old school cars that don’t have computers.

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