- Date: 2009-present
- Motive / Client: A roller coaster ride in pure creativity after ten years as CEO.
- Stage of Development: Launched in May of 2010. Apple iPod, Facebook, and Web apps deployed later that fall. Character development workshop held at Colorado State University in April of 2010. API opened to developers in the fall of 2011.
- Overview: iConji is a digital, pictograph-based system for international communication. iConji was born of my desire to develop a simple, fun-to-use universal means of communicating in a digital world which brings people to understand each other in a new way.
While increasingly functional each year, automated translators reside in the middle, parsing phrases from speaker to recipient. With iConji, communication is direct. While simple in form, the speaker must consider the means by which the message is generated, thereby connecting her own frame of mind with that of the recipient. In the end, iConji is not designed to replace Google’s Translate nor learning a new language, but it is fun to use, beautiful to behold, and often quite humorous along the way.
In the process of developing the iConji applications with my team, we also created 1,200 characters. Midway through this effort, I found myself literally seeing iConji characters flying across my field of view as I was talking to someone, even face-to-face. It was a true transformation of the way I was thinking, graphical symbols became foundation of my thought process. During the year of development, I read every book I could find on the history of human communication, symbols, myths, and the evolution of the human brain to support vocalization of our emotions. It has been a wonderful, educational journey for me and my team.
- Date: Summer 2011-present
- Motive / Client: prototype development
- Stage of Development: All parts purchased for prototype development.
- Overview: A means by which an in-line skate may become ubiquitous with daily commuting.
- Date: December 2010-present
- Motive / Client: prototype development
- Stage of Development: All parts purchased for prototype development. Experimented with hand-wrapped electrical field generators (solenoids) and the ability to store the electricity in a small capacity. Analyzed the motion associated with walking, seeking the optimal angle for maximum electrical generation.
- Overview: A means by which a human may generate ample electricity to maintain the charge of a cell phone through the simple act of walking.
- Date: Fall 2010-present
- Motive / Client: Inspired by my work at RoadNarrows Robotics
- Stage of Development: Prototype “walker” used to gage torque required to lift limbs, minimal number of joints required to simulate human motion over smooth terrain.
- Overview: During my three months work with RoadNarrows Robotics as a contract business developer and designer, I was inspired to learn more about how humanoid robots may move in close facsimile to that of humans. On my own, I built a very simple puppet, named “P9K0″ (sounds like Pinnocchio) from PVC pipe, metal joints, and a puppet like control system. While potential exists for this to grow into a go-to-market product, for now, it remains an investigation and learning experience for me.
Human Behavior Analysis & Prediction
- Date: 2002-present
- Motive / Client: Inspired by Isaac Asimov’s “Foundation” Series; personal project
- Stage of Development: Brainstorming and research continues …
- Overview: The concept of applying numerical data to human behavior has its foundation in the social sciences. But where it may go with advanced analysis tools and super computers has its theoretical foundation in the fictional work of famed textbook and science fiction author Isaac Asimov. In the Foundation series, Asimov described a group of mathematicians called the Psychohistorians who worked diligently to describe the prior twelve thousand years of human psychological, social, geo-political, and economic evolution in a means which could be captured, described, and then visualized mathematically.
These historic data sets were then projected to the future, with a high degree of accuracy, in order to be shared with later generations of Psychohistorians through time capsules opened every one hundred years. The result was not only the accurate prediction of the general trends, but also an uncanny ability to predict the behavior of individuals, as with a powerful dictator or in the case of the Foundation series, a mutant who gained the power to manipulate others to his own means.
Yes. This is science fiction. But for more than a century, science fiction has been an outlet for human creativity. It has also provided a carrot just slightly ahead of real-world innovation. Often is the case that science fiction has become science fact only a short time after its publication. The undersea adventures of Joules Vern, airborne and space fairing vehicles, lasers, even transportation (of very, very small objects) via Star Trek beaming are now science reality.* * *
While Asimov was a visionary in his concepts for how societies might unfold, his estimation of the evolution of computational power fell very shy of reality. In the 1950s Asimov could not have known that in just fifty years supercomputers would be able to perform the kind of data analysis he described. Today, countless tens of thousands of public and private sector agencies and companies the world-over build mathematical models to predict broad weather patterns, insurance pay-outs in a given geopolitical climate, and the rise and fall of the stock market. The seasonal trends of consumers are imperative to economic monitoring for the buying and selling of electronics, clothing, automobiles, and homes, as was made strikingly clear in the summer and fall of 2008.
In 2002 I was struck by the realization described in the above summary, and for the next five years played with the concepts while further developing my understanding of data analysis and increasing computational power while my company Terra Soft designed and delivered supercomputers. I have developed these concepts in a few documents. However, there are three barriers which will be challenging to overcome: 1) a means by which the data may be gathered in consistent manner which upholds the scientific method; 2) the massive systems required to store and process the data in an integral model; 3) funding.
In December of 2008, I shared a conversation (and beer) with my former business partner Dan Burcaw, seeking a means by which human communication (as one aspect of social behavior) could be captured and analyzed for trends—and iConji was born. Ultimately, it took a different direction, more focused on art and communication than data collection, but it felt good to take that risky first step.
Learn about Kai’s current research and development conducted at Over the Sun, LLC.