Augmanity is where years of work and research across different disciplines came together for high tech and no tech solutions for various problems. technology doesn't really bring diverse groups of people together very well, instead it brings people with similar ideas and values closer. how do we get people to see that which is different from what they think, feel and know. How do you measure the qualitative aspects of man in a world that wants everything quantified? How can everyone benefit from technology, from the bleeding edge level down to the simple common sense tools to make life a bit better. This is the world of augmanity. To augment humanity.
if you desire to learn more about augmanity and the various technologies under the umbrella, just get in contact.
augmanity, simply stated, is using technology to put people in a place where they become more centered and in touch with themselves and those around them. as a result, people will be happier, productive and connected.
augment - to make larger, increase
humanity - the quality of being humane, kindness, benevolent
Agrowvillage & Agrowbox
I was sitting in Austin, TX, in 2005, house-sitting for a friend when i received a call and was asked, “Can you build a kitchen for some orphans?”
"Do you have any images or photos i can see?"
When I received the images i thought, “a kitchen isn’t going to help much. they need everything.”
For the next three weeks I sat in a starbucks from early morning till they closed and filled notebooks with sketch's, drawings and diagrams that came out of my brain. none of this made sense, because it was an area I really had no expertise in. How do you create a village for refugees, orphans or displaced people in a world where corruption, greed and not for profit inefficiency helps ensure they remain in business instead of working themselves out of a job?
What came out in those three weeks was a kitchen, but more importantly the seeds for the Agrowbox and subsequent Agrowvillage.
Agrowvillage morphed from its simple beginnings with Agrowbox (they needed food more than a kitchen) to move forward and create full villages sufficient with food, energy, shelter and water. In a year, we desire to start planting modifiedfood centers inside the USA where it is cheap to fill up on junk foods, while eating healthy costs more. The irony.
we have kept agrowbox 2 quiet as we work out the prototypes and models for the NGO and developed world sectors. a full agrowbox site will be up soon as we release the news of the product line. until then:
who knew some dirt, water and seeds would lead to such a path
i thought i wanted to be an engineer, but my love hate relationship with higher mathematics led me to find my real talent with business. sales, advertising, market research, film, sponsorship, live show merchandising, product development, licensing, research and development of shows, technology and planting seeds in dirt are some of the areas i work in. life changed post 9-11. my time went from trying to make money by getting people to forget their problems for a few hours through entertainment, to almost the opposite side of the spectrum in working to find solutions for the most rudimentary needs for people trying to survive.
part of happiness is doing what you truly enjoy and love, eventually the money will follow. if it doesn't, you will still have enjoyed a rich life
thanks and gratitude to kenneth feld and charles smith for giving me a chance.
Live audio, Immersive audio
Noise – an unwanted sound
Sound - transmitted vibration of any frequency
in our skunkworks space, we created, heard and experienced what is possible for the future of live entertainment. the music/sound was mind blowing.
Tech-cave (working title) was a show technology platform that involved imploding the audience with music from focused sound fields coming from all directions. Probably the most impressive part was that the show was an interesting tool we made that allowed the audience to impactthe live show they were attending.
it took years to transform what I imagined was possible in my mind to actually hearing it in reality. perhaps this is why I like silence so much today. Much of what I hear today sounds like noise.
In the process of taking tech-cave from the research lab into the mainstream, we created a show called “you”.Sadly, the events of 9/11 had a devastating impact on ramping up the show, yet, no one can take away what was learned with the effects of infrasonic, sonic, and ultrasonic sound on the human body.
Thanks to: François Bergeron, Kenton Forsythe and John Meyer for being inspirations that led me to try.
Vision - VR & Cave immersion
sight – an act, fact, or instance of seeing
work into visual systems came after we realized the overpowering new audio fields we had created left a huge imbalance between the eyes and ears, hindering a believable experience.
we had unwittingly created a new problem, so we needed new solutions to blue-sky "where will the future of visual systems be?" we played with holography, head mounted displays, 3d polarization (television and projection), voxel box and other inspired volumetric 3d imaging ideas. we eventransferred our knowledge from making LED light toys to lights screens and learned all about matrixed high powered projection systems. the tech-cave called for forty- 15,000 lumen projectors to synch together for the visual field. by testing on ourselves, we learned how different immersive spaces affect the human mind and body. this became apparent between moments of violent nausea and vertigo, to jaw dropping experiences of "this is amazing."
saying, "you can put any idea you want visually inside the space and immerse the audience," left most people going "huh?" so we started building the actual show and called it YOU. 9-11 could not have come at a worse time. :o(
thanks to - douglas trumble & george lucas for inspiring imagination
outer space scene
the idea was to take the audience for a spin to the outer reaches of the universe and back
we liked the effect of lightning so much, that it made for an amazing moment rolling a storm in, through and by the audience
one version was to fly across the united states about 500 feet abouve the ground, the other was to go via car and experience a myriad of beautiful sights that would take your breath away
Smell, Touch & Taste
smell – toperceivesomethingbyitsodororscent.
olfaction turned out to be the most fascinating of our little research lab.while our core issues involved live shows, olfaction became a line extension once we proved the immersive audio and visual systems could work. the prototype path for smell was creating cartridges that could be loaded and synched with cues to computer gaming or display systems producing just enough microbursts to trick the mind into perceiving and believing. it solved a common problem in olfaction systems - that being room contamination.
once we got the small units tested, we designed a system that could be transported and work in an arena or theater settings. ahead of its time it had a bit of rube goldberg with practicality. the "torpedo's" educated us to so many new ways to change, alter and steer human emotion with olfactory triggering. i still am amazed at how the human mind processes it all. here is to one day understanding the limbic system.
the most lasting memory of the power of smell came when we casually tested alzheimer’s patients to see what effects smell cues could have on memory.It was amazing to listen to long term associated memories opened up and old men and women were transferred back to a memory in their past.sadly, we did not succeed in using smell to enhance short-term memory of the present.
touch & taste –we didn’t have the budget to do much in the world of physical prototyping of tactile response except conceptualizing many ideas and a few rudimentary tests.we could have funded all of our ideas, I just couldn’t see spending the time on virtual sex products with telepresence applications. i remember one potential client saying, “mark, you are smart, can you figure a way to build a virtual blowjob machine?”
“yes, I can.but I won’t”
food, flowers, and perfumes.
it was surprised how much of an impact smell had upon steering the consumer in making purchases.
this is most varied, complex and difficult of any smells to accurately reproduce because it is so different everywhere on the planet.
fresh tilled soil
this scent was one of my favorite when we tested elderly people. many had grown up near farms and the smell took them back to childhood memories and amazing stories
reality isn't all pretty
bringing stench, mold, musk, trash, and other olfactory cues into the mix, much like subsonic audio, deepens the emotional message to the viewer
illusions in smell
while the ocean was impossible to fake, we did realize that changing an audio cue could fake some smells. for example, engine exhaust, rocket launch, or jet engine could be the same smell, but provide a different audio/visual cue, the mind would accurately perceive and fill in the blanks.
my journey around this planet surpassed my childhood dreams of traveling to the mississippi river to see what mark twain was writing about. much of the travel was my time with feld entertainment's (www.feldentertainment.com). merchandising wing, sells-floto. life involved hopping continents for a few years learning how to move a lot of things all over the planet very quickly in a world where each country has its own rules. i learned the entertainment business is simply hard work disguised as glamorous.
the greatest gift was working with the local labor in each host country.it was an education no university can provide. it also lead me to change, grow and realize, that while we all want the same things in life, we all have a slightly different idea of how to get there.
despite how much i did get to see while traveling and working in 40-50 countries. the more i saw, the more i realized how more there was to our planet and how little i really knew.
“looks like you’re shooting pictures today.”
big bob then handed me a camera with a 600mm lens.i was stunned, looked at the huge lens and explained I had never used anything like it before
bob let out a gargantuan sigh of frustration and said, “well, you can’t do any worse than him!”pointing to his number two photographer, passed out in the corner.
before i knew it, I was shooting images of NFL, NBA and NCAA games as a stringer for Reuters. it was a fun hobby.
when asked about their great images, most photographers reply, "i was just lucky."the same can be said about how I became a photographer.
today, i feel much has been lost with photography. the need to understand light, aperture and manual focus has given way to computerized cameras and image editing software that can forgive most mistakes. i wonder, is it talent firing machine gun shutter bursts?or, is it more like fishing with dynamite?
i have changed as well. who knew that a phone would take most of the pictures on this site.
many thanks to – robert padgett, donald r. winslow, jose amigo for showing me how to take pictures.
A debt of thanks to christopher porche-west for showing me how to enjoy "seeing" photos.
respect your elders
the elderly are walking history books. this charming man sat down, woo'd my friend and had me wondering why he was alive after his time in "camp danube" under ceausescu's oppressive rule.
this little boy's time on earth was short, yet, his love still radiates to everyone that came in contact with him
fish that need no water
you will find the most interesting things in life if you take a turn, not knowing where you are going, off the beaten path called life.