This is Not the Greatest Blog in the World… Nor is it a Tribute

Hello and welcome to my blog. I am Dr J Pau. If you’re seeking medical advice you’re barking up the wrong tree. I wouldn’t know what the philtrum was if it were right under my nose. I took the easy route for getting my title and only had to slog through the process of writing a novel thesis.

My background is in mechatronics engineering, a hodgepodge of mechanical, electronics and software engineering, which culminated in an undergraduate degree from the University of Auckland. This left me with a generalist skillset with no specific field of expertise.

I have since diluted my skills further by pursuing doctoral and post-doctoral studies, both of which included a focus on biomedical engineering. This involved working with biosignals such as electromyography and electroencephalography, which are electrical signals generated from neural activity within muscle tissue and the brain, respectively. Currently, when people ask me what I do, I say I’m a biomechatronics engineer and spend the next 10 minutes breaking down and explaining the components of this excessively complicated portmanteau of professions.

For the past few years I have been an active researcher in my field, while keeping my eye on the development and growth of technology – particularly wearable devices at the consumer level. Now is an incredibly exciting time. The reduced development and prototyping costs, the accessibility to crowd-funding, and the commercialisation of research technology, have all contributed to what I like to think of as a flood of new-wave, potentially game-changing technologies that could significantly affect the way we live our day-to-day lives. Technologies (I don’t quite feel like calling them “products” yet) like the Oculus Rift, Meta, Totem, Leap, Myo, and more, are being released into the market and the developer community is playing a substantial role in determining their applications.

The main purpose of this blog is to provide my thoughts, reviews and informative commentary on these devices and technologies (when I can afford them). I offer my perspective, from a research and technology-enthusiast point of view. These are of course my opinions, so even if they are complete rubbish but spark some discussion or pondering, it’s a win in my book. I also firmly believe that technology is a tool that is best applied when solving problems. A great number of problems could be solved by taking existing technologies and applying them in different or non-conventional industries – the problem is in the lack of awareness, initiative and communication channels, but that’s another issue entirely.

The gaming industry is a good example. Any technology that enhances the gaming experience is likely able to be applied across multiple industries. Think like Microsoft’s Kinect. The multi-billion dollar gaming industry is a huge motivator for technology development, and the relative accessibility of new technologies (through APIs and SDKs) can make it relatively easy to provide a more positive impact from a societal or communal perspective.

Finally, I also believe that (technological) knowledge is still surprisingly inaccessible. While seemingly counter-intuitive, even though the internet has vastly improved access to information, it has also amplified the noise. I feel that physically being in New Zealand still has us isolated, even in the digital space, and attempting to distil through the abundance of information can be overwhelming. Maybe this blog can help with that process or at least raise awareness in a different capacity. One of my next posts will cover existing tech blogs in NZ and hopefully find you something to follow, if this blog isn’t quite what you’re looking for. No offence taken 🙂

P.S. In case you’re wondering, the title of this post is a reference to a song by Tenacious D. I occasionally do things like this.

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