A simple programming tool can build a model of a scene in a two-dimensional photograph and insert a realistic-looking synthetic object into it. Unlike other augmented reality programs, it doesn’t use any tags, props or laser scanners to model a scene’s geometry — it just uses a small number of markers and accounts for lighting and depth. The result is an augmented scene with proper perspective, which looks so realistic that testers could not distinguish between an original photo and a modified one.
The HP 12C is my all-time favorite calculator. I love its simplicity and size, I love the touch of its keys, I love reverse Polish notation (RPN) ... Did I lose you there? RPN is a more natural way of entering equations on a calculator (see examples at calculator.org). The HP 12C can also calculate stuff like interest rates and depreciation—perfect for a finance dummy like me. —Joi Ito, founder of tech venture-capital firm Neoteny.
Five amazing, clean technologies that will set us free, in this month's energy-focused issue. Also: how to build a better bomb detector, the robotic toys that are raising your children, a human catapult, the world's smallest arcade, and much more.