I Made It!

I have finally graduated from Austin Community College with an Associates Degree in Visual Communication with a specialization in Graphic Design. Now the real work begins.
Through the course of my education I would occasionally think up projects for myself but the grueling schedule of school, work, and family left no room to pursue any personal projects. I still have work and family and I’m actively looking for a career to apply my newly minted degree to, but now I have time to chase my wild hares.
I am excited about this next year and the start of my creative career.
My portfolio site is now fully live at petesmith.info. Like everything on the web it’s a work in progress so check back occasionally for new content.

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Games of the future

I remember virtual reality as a novelty and a dream forgotten. While the commercial video game industry has grown to juggernaut proportions virtual reality has been relegated mainly to military applications. Until now, or at least the soon to be now. A Kickstarter campaign for Oculus Rift made it’s goal and then some to provide dev kits of their personal virtual reality gaming system to people who make games.

The promise is a totally immersive gaming experience affordable enough for the general public. Now they are funded and presumably video game designers from some of the industry heavyweights have dev kits and are working on making games for the Oculus Rift.
I couldn’t find a single bad review from the 2013 Consumer Electronics Show (CES).
In fact, the only negative thing I could find about the Oculus Rift had more to do with the fear of what happens to people when they can be totally immersed in a video game world more exciting and better than the real world. World of Warcraft already has twelve step programs, will some people plug into VR and never come back?
As with any tool the possibilities for advancement or abuse are built in.
I am excited and cannot wait to try out an Oculus Rift and like current video games, tv shows, or books I will try and limit my immersion so I can still get work done.

You can see the Oculus Rift in action all over YouTube.

As if real VR isn’t enough, Interaxon has an Indiegogo funded gaming headset allowing users to control games with their brain waves.
I wonder if the two headsets could be combined to create a virtual world controllable by brain waves.

Wait a minute, The Matrix is just a movie right?

Gamers Rejoice

I don’t have the time these days to play video games, but I still consider myself a gamer. I’ve played on almost every system put out since the Atari, but when Final Fantasy 7 came out I knew they would someday create realistic graphics. Photo-realistic.
Well here’s a great video from You Tube about Activision’s new demo. I don’t know when consumers could expect to see this on a console near them. I don’t mean the bald guy, but the 3D realistic graphics.
When the next gen consoles come out I may have to find some time to see for myself how far gaming has come.

SXSpring Break!

SXSW seems to trump Spring Break for those of us who stay in town during the annual madness. I’m not participating this year but maybe next year…

For this week I have a medley with a heavy dose of SXSW stuff.

If you’re not sure what SXSW is, here is a look at what it is now for technology.

For the pool sharks out there, OpenPool has a great new way to enjoy shooting pool in the dark. This is still in the development stage but they will show it off at SXSW.

I like Apple, I like Matt Groening, who knew they worked together!

Coolhunting has a great Link About It this week.

They couldn’t ignore south by, 30 under 30 for SXSW

My favorites from the list are:

Matt Groening for Apple. Pre-Simpsons, subversive creator of Life is Hell appealing to college kids to get on the computer bandwagon. Certainly doesn’t take as much convincing now.

And the NYC/IO which is a competition to design a modern version of a NYC pay phone. Some smart people came up with some excellent designs, but it all feels too much like 1984. Maybe our future landscape is covered in screens.

If you’re in Austin this week enjoy our city and eat at Z’Tejas, in the bar.

Happy New Year!

Welcome to 2013! We made it through the appocolypse and this looks to be an exiting year. Check out the predictions for the coming year.

For myself, the new year will mean regular posts on Monday and Thursday, as well as my last year of school.
I’m excited for new beginnings and the continued exploration of our surroundings and beyond.

Have a safe and productive year of the Snake.

Future Art

I grew up in a land without the Internets or cell phones. Sure, TVs were ubiquitous, but we still had land lines and monochrome. I never could have imagined where we are today. I’m writing this on my phone on my front patio. The only time I need a wire is to charge the battery and I get Retina quality colors. So I forgive myself for not seeing the possibilities for art in this digital age. I’ve been using 21st century technology, with a 20th century mindset. What has this technology done to our brains, our evolution, our culture? How can our art reflect this change?
Now, I can’t really remember how we managed to survive in a wired world. If I had to rely on a home phone and an answering machine I would never see anyone unless by chance. We have evolved as the tech has evolved. Then I couldn’t imagine now, now I can’t imagine then.

Check out this article about the future of art.