Jake Sims is a wizard. He manipulates reality for a living. An academic researcher at the University of Portsmouth in the UK, Jake is a programmer focused on applications in virtual and augmented reality.

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His website, augmentedworld.co.uk, shows how he’s using bleeding-edge technology to give people superpowers and change how we interact with the real and digital worlds. He spoke to Thalmic Labs about his work.

What are you working on right now?

"Currently I have three projects on the go that include the Myo, but one is specifically for a client and is sealed by an NDA. Of the projects I can talk about, the first is an early experiment with the Myo: an augmented keyboard linked to an armband marker. One arm is the source of the augmented keyboard, the other manipulates it using a Myo armband."

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"Ideally I would like to apply this sort of program to the Google Glass, but I need to gain access to one first (haha). The second project I am working on came about because of a silly newspaper headline:"

"Myself and a friend are making a “Sandwich Simulator” for the PC that you can control with a keyboard and mouse or the Myo armband. We developed it with the Myo armband in mind, to give our users a truly immersive sandwich-making experience."

Using technology to fix British sandwichry

"Really, we made this to give ourselves something fun to work on in the midst of other projects. It lets us play with new ideas that come up while working with gesture controls for virtual and augmented reality.”

What have you built specifically for the Myo armband?

"I was a Myo Alpha Developer, so I’ve been experimenting with a few different paths since June. Originally I had a basic augmented interface with a wrist marker that the user could manipulate using gestures and a Myo armband: moving windows with (literal) drag-and-drop controls."

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"After that, I made a test program which I would like to export to Android once the odd script is made. It was a basic ‘Final-Fantasy’-like battle system that the user controlled with a Myo armband, but the entire scene was augmented. I was trying to see how much I could have going on in that scene, stress testing the method of augmentation and seeing if I could break it while thinking of different ways to use the Myo in augmented programs."

"Other programs from that point have been experiments in my free time where I would try the latest firmware update from Thalmic and see what I could do with the changes made. Back in early October I experimented with a world-building program where the Myo would allow the user to create scenes, augment them, and have a player node running around. That project has been put on hold until a few more advancements are made with the Myo."

Any tech trends really exciting you lately?

"Optical head mounted display hardware such as the Google Glass. Easily this sort of technology. It has a ton of potential for the future, an example being other featured dev Joseph Evans who already has the opportunity to apply the Myo to his own Google Glass headset. I want to eventually reach the same stages programming augmented applications for the Myo/Google Glass combination. I’ve noticed that other companies and groups are creating their own innovative hardware and changing the way users interface, but I have high hopes for optical head mounted displays. They won’t be perfect right away, and haven’t been, but like all good hardware/software they need to work past errors and issues to reach that standard."

What’s one Myo application that you would love to see?

"One day I would like to see a Myo application for Android and Google Glass that would allow the user to have an augmented armband producing a little personal planner interface, perhaps with Facebook windows, browser windows, note pages, and so on. It is a program I would love to see in the future."

With talented, imaginative developers like Jake Sims on the case, that future will be here before we know it.

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