This is how my dog Gracie becomes the drone patrol hero instead of me. By popular request (from my remotely extended clan, seniors and nerdy dog loving cronies etc.) I decide to dedicate this chapter to the dog in depth so you won’t think of her as a mere caricature, stereotype, or cliche.
She has come to our family as an abandoned new born. She probably has labrador retriever blood in her but she neither retrieves nor can she swim. She belongs to the house as many of us travel in and out and whoever is around adopts her as his or her personal dog. Despite her being uninterested in being trained she is smart in many ways. For example she can stealthily sink her canine teeth into your shoe with such precisely calculated depth without hurting you foot a bit. Her motive is to deter you from causing harm to yourself or others.
On the second night of my drone patrol Gracie comes along but this time she wears a muzzle. I am confident of a good and peaceful night out. After setting off the drone to do its patrolling, I sit on a park bench and play with my newly acquired Pokemon Go**, submerging into the world of augmented reality (AR).* Having fortified myself during the day by sleeping I am now alert and fresh. I have the whole little park to myself and a few aliens are floating nearby for me to conquer and capture. What more can I ask for?
A physical commotion which does not come from my virtual world wakes me from my solo bliss. Gracie is running like crazy chasing her aliens too! She plays her version of Pokemon Go? I marvel at the sight. I decide to follow her and solve the mystery of a dog (not a human) without a mobile being able to detect or receive digital signals and actually see the overlays in the virtual world without wearing or holding a digital gadget? What a discovery which will sure make me million.
That is how we start having the real adventure of tonight’s drone patrol. Gracie runs furiously ahead with me tailing her and running like a mad person over uneven terrain cluttered with many natural and artificial obstacles in the middle of the night in a park surrounded by a ring of houses. Gracie is growling loudly at something, which has no business to be around, she obviously sees or smells despite the muzzle. I am just running without any clue or direction. Then I see a huge shape of something falling from a tree, crashing into the bush, rolling down the stone steps, splashing into the pond. It is like a KungFu movie stuntman in slow motion revealed by the superbly positioned spotlight of the supernaturally bright moonlight. It is a man in black. Before he can struggle to his feet in the slimy fungus infested pond, our Gracie (who by then has shaken off her muzzle) jumps into the pond wth her 20,000 megawatt amplified ferocious roar and sinks her canine teeth into his leg/foot.
Once again, like the previous drone patrol night, all the lights are suddenly switched on. Every resident of this retirees’ community comes out with baseball bats/golf sticks/ shotguns in hand. While I try to figure out why Gracie has picked on that poor guy Gracie finally lets go and comes out of the water with her trophy, the drone in her mouth. That thief has intercepted our drone and Gracie has retrieved it!
Well, this is how Gracie, a dog, has decidedly become the dronexit hero number one of the neighborhood of senior nerds. (To be continued)
*Quoted from Mashable:
Augmented reality (AR) is a live, direct or indirect, view of a physical, real-world environment whose elements are augmented by computer-generated sensory input such as sound, video, graphics or GPS data. It is related to a more general concept called mediated reality, in which a view of reality is modified (possibly even diminished rather than augmented) by a computer. As a result, the technology functions by enhancing one’s current perception of reality. By contrast, virtual reality replaces the real world with a simulated one. Augmentation is conventionally in real-time and in semantic context with environmental elements, such as sports scores on TV during a match. With the help of advanced AR technology (e.g. adding computer vision and object recognition) the information about the surrounding real world of the user becomes interactive and digitally manipulable. Artificial information about the environment and its objects can be overlaid on the real world.
**Quoted from nyTimes: Many technology companies thought A.R. might first take off through specialized business applications that, for example, allow architects to visualize finished building projects in situ. Instead, it took a game based on a beloved entertainment franchise from the mid-1990s in Japan to help the technology go mainstream.
Pokémon Go represents one of those moments when a new technology — in this case, augmented reality or A.R., which fuses digital technology with the physical world — breaks through from a niche toy for early adopters to something much bigger. The idea behind the technology is to overlay digital imagery on a person’s view of the real world, using a smartphone screen or a headset.
In the case of Pokémon Go, players traverse the physical world following a digital map, searching for cartoon creatures that surface at random. People look through their smartphone cameras to find Pokémon. When an animated creature appears, they toss Pokéballs at it until it is subdued. (http://www.nytimes.com/)