Archiv der Kategorie: Miscellaneous

Florida – Miami and Key West

Since a few years my brother and I were talking about a trip to Florida. He’s never been to the US, and it was settled, that if he ever would travel to the States, it’d be with me.

It was clear that it’d be a challenge to travel together, and I confess, we have our times … not unexpected. But we manage and I really enjoy watching him being totally excited about all the things I – after many years of traveling through the US – take for granted.

We flew into Miami and stayed at a hotel close to the airport. For me it’s the most relaxing way to visit a city after a long flight. You just pick up the rental car at the airport, drive a few minutes and sleep in a nice, not too expensive hotel. On the next day take the free shuttle to the airport and public transportation downtown. A day pass for the Metrorail downtown Miami and the Metrobus to Miami Beach is $5.65, no stress driving, no stress finding a parking space.

We just had one day in Miami and spent most of that day at Miami Beach, Roland even went swimming.

On the second day we drove south to Key West. If you’ve ever been there or seen pictures, you know how beautiful the drive along the Florida Keys is. The Pelicans gliding over the surface of the ocean are such a majestic view. If it’s your first time it just takes your breath away. On the way back we made a short stop at the Bahia Honda State Park to go swimming in the Atlantic and the Gulf of Mexico. 😉 We were very lucky to not just see (probably) a white headed sea eagle but also a Manatee.

In Key West we took bikes to ride around. It’s a great way to see as much of the island as possible in one day, and really worth the $10 rent! And yes, on the first evening we joined the crowd at the sunset party point, but the one on the eastern side the next evening was even better and the people on the planks made a nice motive.

Next stop will be Everglades NP.

Happy Holidays! Schöne Feiertage!

There have been many happy moments in 2014, though all in all it’s been a tough year for me. As always at this time of the year I’m looking forward to all the new things awaiting for me. There is so much to explore, to learn, to experience, to enjoy!

I hope you do too! Thanks to all my readers for stopping by!

See you! 🙂

Viele schöne Momente gab es in 2014, auch wenn es ein eher schwieriges Jahr für mich war. Ich mag die Zäsur am Jahresende (wie ich in meinem Jahresrückblick erwähnt habe) und freue mich immer auf eine Art Neustart und die Dinge, die mich im neuen Jahr erwarten.

Vielen Dank liebe Leser, dass ihr bei mir vorbeischaut!

Bis bald! 🙂


InsideAR – Augmented Reality Conference in Munich

The InsideAR Conference, hosted by Metaio, took place on October 29th and 30th in Munich. I had the chance to attend on the second day only, but even that was really worth the experience.

InsideAR 2014 InsideAR 2014 As I’m not so much into technical matters, more fascinated of the possibilities a technology like Augmented Reality gives us to present content, I used the opportunity to listen to the presentations about smaller projects and enjoyed the ‚talks between the talks‘.

The first time I learned about Augmented Reality was just recently. It must have been a year ago, and I was captivated immidiately. Sure the big money industry provides us with further development of the technology, but that’s not my playground.

Museums, tourism, the publishing industry, cultural institutions … can use the technology for an entertaining, exciting, playful approach to our historical and cultural heritage. And yes, I’ve heard about the criticism you might lose attention for the object (for example the painting, the sculpture, the historic site and so on) by focusing on the virtual enhancements. But hey, haven’t we always tried to find ways to make teaching, educating easier by using games, mnemonic tricks, visualizations, stories, songs etc.? Why not use a new technology for the same reasons?

Science Fiction scenarios out of my youth are not longer Science Fiction. It’s real, and in case of Augmented Reality it’s absolutely stunning!

Imagine (well, you no longer have to imagine parts of it, as there are already many projects being implemented) you walk through an ancient Mayan site with your AR glasses and don’t just see the empty buildings, ruins, but also the life how it was back in time, with people telling their stories. Or the knight in his armor in a museum is not just standing around, but giving you a tour through the museum. Or for a kid to get entertained in an art exhibition with different animated tales popping out of a painting. The possibilities are virtually endless.

Four projects on the InsideAR Conference caught my attention in a special way.

  1. A German bookstore chain, Mayersche Buchhandlung, is InsideAR 2014releasing an AR App in early November with interesting possibilities to search, learn more about and order books/ebooks. For the mostly rather traditional book industry it’s a huge step into the future.
  2. In remembrance of the War of Spanish InsideAR 2014Succession 1714, when Catalonia became part of Spain, in 2014 a large map was painted on the pavement of a famous plaza in Barcelona, provided with different markers to connect with an AR App. Downloaded to your mobile device, connecting the App with the markers you got some nice animated information about the special historic places on the map and activities within the city.
  3. Timetraveler Berlin, with the AR App you get a virtual insight of the history of the Berlin wall while walking along the site.
  4. A book project from the USA, will be published in 2015. Veterans InsideAR 2014of WWII, Korea and Vietnam telling their stories, sharing their feelings in a book equipped with AR. The reader can use the App for example to watch a video with a Veteran talking, or get more information about how it feels to fight in a war. A very moving project.

All in all it was great to be at the conference, to learn more about the Augmented Reality technology, to – always most important – talk to the people behind the projects!

A big Thank You to Metaio and all the people who made this such a great event! InsideAR 2014 InsideAR 2014

You can read (and hear) more about the InsideAR Conference (in German) on