I’m just returned from eight days on Hawaii, mostly at the Hilton resort at Waikoloa Village, the NW side of the big island.
As expected, Hawaii was wonderful: the weather is great, the people are happy and friendly, and I don’t mind missing the last big storm of the winter in Illinois, not at all.
The Waikoloa Village is on the northwest, dry, side of the big island (not a drop of rain while we were there—despite weeks of soaking just over the mountain in Hilo), apparently built on giant lava flows. The development is pretty touristy, with nary a bookstore to be found, but plenty of golf courses and jewelry stores. Not really my scene at all.
The Hilton is a bit more “Disney” than I expected, with considerable amount of “scripting”, and a lot of emphasis on stuff for little kids. The kids don’t bother me too much, and the script is tolerable since the theme is “Hawaii is wonderful”, which requires restraint and respect for heritage and nature. Mercifully, no costumed characters or fake villages.
By far the best part of the visit was the whale watching. Hundreds of whales were swimming, breaching, and flapping, easily visible from shore. It was quite a show, and didn’t require any extra fee to enjoy.
One or more humpback whales cavorting.
(Phone video from Waikaloa, 28 February, Robert E. McGrath)
I was also happy to find a footpath along the shore which led to Anaeho’omalu Bay beach, where I was happy to find the Lava Lava beach club, a wonderful informal restaurant literally on the beach. Walking a couple of miles for a good lunch is much more my style.
Thinking about Augmented Reality
After a couple of days recovery from the long flight, I had recovered and started to think again. One thing that occurred to me is that there are a ton of opportunities to deploy Augmented Reality in this kind of setting.
I’ve been thinking, studying, and talking about Augmented Reality for many years now. My colleague Alan Craig and I have written (mostly unsuccessful) proposals as long as 6 years ago. We were fortunate to receive support from the National Science Foundation, and from the National Institute of Health for some of our work. Alan and I, along with our many collaborators, have mainly been concerned about non-profit sector applications, including science, museums, schools, and so on.
But it occurred to me that AR technology works the same in a resort, and many of the applications we’ve envisioned would be quite cool. And—bonus—there is actually a possibility that they could be funded and sustained.
So here is a three part article… [Read Article]