2014 | 05 | 08

Innovation through...

As part of the "Innovation through..." panel, Hunter Lee Soik, Rainer Stiefelhagen and Johannes Grenzfurthner discussed the world's largest dream database, the relationship between technology and porn, and surveillance technology as a video search tool.


Hunter Lee Soik on his Dream App SHADOW

"A dream we dream alone is only a dream. A dream we dream together can become reality."

Hunter Lee Soik presented his SHADOW app after putting the audience through some warm-up exercises ("Everybody stand up, it's been a long day!"). The app wakes you up in the morning and asks you to enter the dreams you had that night, which are then saved in the cloud as images and stories. SHADOW can be described as a type of "Instagram and Tumblr for dreams." Soik admitted that the data collected would indeed be very valuable for advertising purposes, but he noted that this was not the app's intended use: "SHADOW is supposed to be a long-term platform. It's designed to serve future generations too," Soik argued. The app could also be used to identify dominant social themes and patterns. SHADOW will be available starting in July.


Rainer Stiefelhagen on the Possibilities of Video Search

"I want to build machines that can see."

"Interactive detection" allows programs to identify people based on various characteristics, such as age, gender and clothing. For example, this process can be used as a tool for very detailed video search requests ("story based video retrieval"). However, the technology also provides the capability to evaluate footage from surveillance cameras.


Johannes Grenzfurthner on Innovation via Porn

Humans are sexual beings and they use tools - "These two things drive us forward – sometimes more, sometimes less."

On his journey through the history of mankind,  Johannes Grenzfurthner makes stops at some interesting stations, for example at the first pornographic film (which was made only two years after the first film), at the first zero-gravity sex film (1996) and at more recent computer-generated pornography. Indeed, the first thing sold on the internet was pornographic material, and even Google Glass has been widely linked to pornography. In other words, technology and sexuality have always been connected – even when a new technology was developed completely independently of pornography. As Grenzfurthner noted, "You can't influence what people do with technology."