Web Discoveries for September 22nd

These are my del.icio.us links for September 22nd

WIRED Found: The Ultimate Collection

I love WIRED magazine. It has excellent features; interesting contributors; an unpatronising writing style; awesome graphic design; unannoying ads; even the paper it’s printed on is good quality. WIRED is, to many, an opinion leading and culturally significant title both on and offline.

It’s future facing attitude really suits my own, so I’ve been reading it regularly for years. Now the UK title is in print, I buy both that and the US version. Ubergeek, aren’t I?

One of my favourite features was always the back page, the ‘Found’ section, which featured potential realities of our future daily lives.
Sadly no longer supported by the magazine, ‘Found’ lives on as an online Photoshop contest, where readers can submit their own images on subjects such as chewing gum and rehab.

I wanted to find the original images though, and I’ve managed to source the earliest online record (Jan ‘04) up to the last published image (Jul ‘08).

So here they are, in reverse chronological order. They are packed with all sorts of detail and easter eggs, so click on them to see the full images:

The Final Found

From WIRED July 2008, predicted for 2018:

wired found image

Wine Spectrometer

From WIRED June 2008, predicted for circa 2020:

wired found image


From WIRED May 2008, predicted for 2096:

wired found image


From WIRED April 2008, predicted for 2027:

wired found image

Home Shopping

From WIRED March 2008, predicted for circa 2016:

wired found image


From WIRED February 2008, predicted for the near future:

wired found image


From WIRED January 2008, predicted for 2013:

wired found image


From WIRED December 2007, predicted for 2012:

wired found image

Waste Management

From WIRED November 2007, predicted for circa 2025:

wired found image


From WIRED October 2007, predicted for 2015:

wired found image


From WIRED September 2007, predicted for 2079:

wired found image

Fruit Stand

From WIRED August 2007, predicted for circa 2020:

wired found image

Comic Book

From WIRED July 2007, predicted for 2021:

wired found image

Fido Fusion

From WIRED June 2007, predicted for 2016:

wired found image


From WIRED May 2007, predicted for 2052:

Bug Spray

From WIRED April 2007, predicted for circa 2050:

wired found image

Medicine Cabinet

From WIRED March 2007, predicted for 2013:

wired found image

Speeding Ticket

From WIRED February 2007, predicted for 2054:

wired found image


From WIRED January 2007, predicted for 2013:

wired found image

Christmas Shopping

From WIRED December 2006, predicted for 2017:

wired found image

Organ Farming

From WIRED November 2006, predicted for 2015:

wired found image


From WIRED October 2006, predicted for 2019:

wired found image

Report Card

From WIRED September 2006, predicted for 2018:

wired found image

Diet Cola

From WIRED August 2006, predicted for 2019:

wired found image

Contact Lens

From WIRED July 2006, predicted for 2020:

wired found image


From WIRED June 2006, predicted for 2021:

wired found image


From WIRED May 2006, predicted for 2027:

wired found image

Tax Day

From WIRED April 2006, predicted for 2021:

wired found image

MTA Route Map

From WIRED March 2006, predicted for 2067:

wired found image

Love Tester

From WIRED February 2006, predicted for 2015:

wired found image

Mood Ring

From WIRED January 2006, predicted for 2009:

wired found image

Christmas Morning

From WIRED December 2005, predicted for 2016:

wired found image


From WIRED November 2005, predicted for 2024:

wired found image

Sharper Image

From WIRED October 2005, predicted for 2012:

wired found image

Space Elevator

From WIRED September 2005, predicted for 2032:

wired found image


From WIRED August 2005, predicted for 2019:

wired found image


From WIRED July 2005, predicted for 2017:

wired found image


From WIRED June 2005, predicted for 2022:

wired found image

Bumper Sticker

From WIRED May 2005, predicted for 2012:

wired found image


From WIRED April 2005, predicted for 2056:

wired found image

Insurance Form

From WIRED March 2005, predicted for 2069:

wired found image

Taste Tester

From WIRED February 2005, predicted for 2009:

wired found image

House Call

From WIRED January 2005, predicted for the near future:

wired found image

Barf Bag

From WIRED December 2004, predicted for 2047:

wired found image

Election Day

From WIRED November 2004, predicted for 2012:

wired found image

Bathroom Vendor

Scanned from WIRED October 2004:

wired found image

Lost File

Scanned from WIRED September 2004:

wired found image

Box Set

Scanned from WIRED August 2004:

wired found image

Power Gym

Scanned from WIRED July 2004:

wired found image

20 Big Ones

Scanned from WIRED June 2004:

wired found image


Scanned from WIRED May 2004:

wired found image

Nanobot Inhaler

Scanned from WIRED April 2004:

wired found image

Bulletproof Fashion

Scanned from WIRED March 2004:

wired found image


Scanned from WIRED February 2004:

wired found image

Mood Machine

Scanned from WIRED January 2004:

wired found image

Thanks to Rhaomi for the brilliant Metafilter article Artifacts from the Future, and to Stuart Candy for his scans that complete the collection, found here on his site.

Any I’ve missed? Let me know!

Summary So Far

In summary, Mobile AR has many paths leading to it. It is this convergence of various paths that makes a true historical appraisal of this technology difficult to achieve. However, I have highlighted facets of its contributing technologies that assist in the developing picture of the implications that Mobile AR has in store. A hybridisation of a number of different technologies, Mobile AR embodies the most gainful properties of its three core technologies: This analyst sees Mobile AR as a logical progression from VR, but recognises its ideological rather than technological founding. The hardware basis of Mobile AR stems from current mobile telephony trends that exploit the growing capabilities of Smartphone devices. The VR philosophy and the mobile technology are fused through the Internet, the means for enabling context-based, live-updating content, and housing databases of developer-built and user-generated digital objects and elements, whilst connecting users across the world.

I have shown that where the interest in VR technologies dwindled due to its limited real-world applicability, Mobile Internet also lacks in comparison to Mobile AR and its massive scope for intuitive, immersive and realistic interpretations of digital information. Wearable AR computing shares VR’s weaknesses, despite keeping the user firmly grounded in physical reality. Mobile AR offers a solution that places the power of these complex systems into a mobile telephone: the ubiquitous technology of our generation. This new platform solves several problems at once, most importantly for AR developers and interested Blue-chip parties, market readiness. Developing for Mobile AR is simply the commercially sensible thing to do, since the related industries are already making the changes required for its mass-distribution.

Like most nascent technologies, AR’s success depends on its commercial viability and financial investment, thus most sensible commercial developers of AR technologies are working on projects for the entertainment and advertising industries, where their efforts can be rewarded quickly. These small-scale projects are often simple in concept, easily grasped and thus not easily forgotten. I claim here that the first Mobile AR releases will generate early interest in the technology and entertainment markets, with the effect that press reportage and word-of-mouth behaviour assist Mobile AR’s uptake. I must be careful with my claims here however, since there is no empirical evidence to suggest that this will occur for Mobile AR. Looking at the emergence of previous technologies, however, the Internet and mobile telephony grew rapidly and to massive commercial success thanks to some strong business models and advancements in their own supporting technologies. It is strongly hoped by developers like Gameware and T-Immersion that Mobile AR can enjoy this same rapid lift-off. Both technologies gained prominence once visible in the markets thanks to a market segment called early adopters. This important group gathers their information from specialist magazine sources and word of mouth. Mobile AR developers would do well to recognise the power of this group, perhaps by offering shareware versions of their AR software that encourage a form of viral transmission that exploit text messaging.

Gameware have an interesting technique for the dissemination of their HARVEE software. They share a business interest with a Bluetooth technology firm, which has donated a prototype product the Bluetooth Push Box, which scans for local mobile devices and automatically sends files to users in acceptance. Gameware’s Push Box sends their latest demo to all visitors to their Cambridge office. This same technology could be placed in public places or commercial spaces to offer localised AR advertising, interactive tourist information, or 3D restaurant menus, perhaps.

Gameware, through its Nokia projects and HARVEE development program is well placed to gain exposure on the back of a market which is set to explode as mobile offerings become commercially viable, ‘social’, powerful, multipurpose and newsworthy. Projects like HARVEE are especially interesting in terms of their wide applicability and mass-market appeal. It is its potential as a revolutionary new medium that inspires this very series.