Magic Leap One

Er valt veel te zeggen over de Magic Leap One. Het probeert een ton eye-tracking, hand-tracking, 6DoF-controllers, real-time meshing en een aantal andere functies die nog niet eerder zijn waargenomen in een mobiel MR-apparaat. En hoewel het besturingssysteem en de apps niet volledig gebruikmaken van de technologie die voor hen beschikbaar is, is de Magic Leap One een ambitieuze, goed gemaakte, maar imperfecte MR-devkit die de hype niet helemaal waarmaakt, maar nog steeds de meest complete en betaalbare mixed-reality (MR) computer die er is.

Officiële website:
https://www.magicleap.com/

Full reviews:

Road To VR:

https://www.roadtovr.com/magic-leap-one-review/

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2sKYBPxo6Vg

The Verge:

https://www.theverge.com/2018/8/8/17662040/magic-leap-one-creator-edition-preview-mixed-reality-glasses-launch

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=U2XQHLSuETs

Tested:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Vrq2akzdFq8


Dent Reality - Retail AR

Retail AR is een app die eenvoudig en doelgericht winkelen mogelijk maakt door klanten naar hun gewenste items te leiden.

Het bedrijf, Dent Reality, werd opgericht door Andrew Hart, door wiens baanbrekend werk Augmented Reality Localisatie mogelijk maakte met ARKit.

Door gps- en wifi-gegevens te combineren om de globale locatie te bepalen in combinatie met de hoge nauwkeurigheid van AR, stijgen locatie gebaseerde apps naar een geheel nieuw niveau.

Iedereen kan bijdragen en toegang krijgen tot de bron op Github.

 


uSens Fingo

 

 

Hand-tracking kan ervoor zorgen dat VR- en AR-ervaringen controllervrij zijn, Dit maakt de applicatie intuïtiever en gemakkelijker om te gebruiken door mensen die nog geen ervaring hebben met de vele VR controllers op de markt.

Met uSens zijn nieuwe product heeft LeapMotion concurrentie.

Binnen onze onderzoeksgroep werd reeds geëxperimenteerd met LeapMotion en kan er bevestigd worden dat er soms nauwkeurigheidsproblemen zijn, vooral met de ringvinger. Ook overlapping kan leiden tot verlies van hand detectie. Fingo lijkt deze problemen niet te hebben, maar zelf hebben we dit nog niet kunnen testen.

De prijs zit in dezelfde categorie als de leap, maar Fingo is iets duurder.


Making the Unknown Known & the Past Present via High-Tech Image Capture & VR

Making it possible for people to walk through history and see significant places and objects layered with stories of the past is one way VR and AR can capture the world and open it up for discovery and exploration.

While a picture is worth a thousand words, an immersive VR experience is worth a million.

I have been testing VR/360° content for the last couple of months and have really enjoyed visiting places I could or would never go and learning about topics I might have ignored otherwise - all in a much more immersive and compelling way than viewing pictures, video or text. I recently visited the White House and sort of hung out with the Obamas thanks to the virtual tour they gave me, providing a lot of information about the historic objects they pointed out along the way. It truly felt like a privilege  - Barack, Michelle and I strutting through all these important rooms in this iconic building. I felt present and the experience remains memorable.

The same goes for the immersive tour of one of the previous space shuttles via the VR experience via Light Fields I took part in a couple of weeks ago. It's not really interactive or anything super dynamic, but I got into it quickly and felt like I was as close to being there and seeing things right before my eyes as I ever could be. I knew more about space discovery after the virtual tour than before and I felt like sharing all the details with family and friends, just like I do when at a museum or on an informative tour. The only bad part - which truly felt odd and a little annoying even - was that I couldn't take pictures. It's weird - but when you start feeling immersed, that urge to capture what you're seeing to share with others is strong for those of us addicted to taking photos with our phones. You see such urges and addictions are already being "solved" in experiences like Facebook Spaces, where you can use a virtual selfie stick to take a virtual selfie. Adding that kind of ability to a 360° experience wouldn't be possible - but hopefully it will in VR content as it improves. At least in this day and age, such extras would add to the experience and create sharing and social possibilities, which might increase the interest and use of VR and AR heritage and history apps. Lets' face it, for a lot of people, if there's no picture to post of cool stuff you've seen, it didn't happen! ;-)

If you have a decent headset and are interested in US history, try out the White House experience I mentioned above yourself below or via the Oculus shop (for free). Again, it's not very interactive but it does manage to let you to feel like you are sort of there and see things in a less-distant way, while hearing the stories behind them by the former president and first lady themselves.

In the below video, you can also get an idea of the Light Fields experience (I mentioned above regarding the space shuttle tour), which could become a powerful way to explore heritage sites. The image quality gets better and better due to high-tech cameras (GoPro Odyssey Jump with 16 rotating cameras) that capture light in an extraordinary way. You can see an example of the cameras at work in the video and get a taste of several visually and historically significant locations.

The big news on VR in heritage this week came from none other than the mighty Google thanks to its new Open Heritage Project.

Working with the non-profit company CyArk, Google hopes to preserve important places that might not be around forever and make them accessible to the you's and the me's of the world from our living rooms, work desks and classrooms, rather than just at museums. This isn't a particularly new idea, though it is a noble one of course. Google probably has more money and power to hopefully make the project into something valuable, powerful and significant. You can see a lot of professional, semi-pro and starter 3D -VR heritage work via sites like Sketchfab, which is worth a look. Google and CyArk will bring such  photos and renders to life thanks to laser scanning, photogrammetry and LiDAR technology that CyArk is using.

Watch this video to see how "we are losing the story of where we came from" thanks to "natural disasters and human conflict" and how Google, CyArk and so many other 3D and VR content producers are trying to help us hold on to what is or will be lost by capturing it and sharing it with us in an immersive and memorable way. Right now, there are 27 heritage sites you can explore via the Open Heritage project, with more surely on their way.

Photogrammetry is essential to capturing high quality images, which are vital to creating immersive and rich heritage, history and travel experiences in VR. Such experiences can be extremely useful for education - and to achieve a deep view and the feeling of being present. It's easy to imagine the limitless possibilities as the image capturing and rendering, as well as headsets, content, computing power and memory, continue to develop and improve. If you want to know more about what CyArk is doing and about the power of photogrammetry, here's a just under 30 minute inteview with CyArk from February 2018. You can also see more of their heritage creations here. Just to be clear, LiDAR image capturing technology is far more accurate, especially for heritage projects, but it's too expensive technology for most projects. In the video, the guys from CyArk explain the LiDAR definitely serves their heritage projects better (so luckily they have now teamed up with Google who can afford it ;-)) - but that photogrammetry is good enough for general VR usage. Have a look at this article to get some info on the difference.

Going back to outer space, below you can see some takeaways from a January 2018 presentation by Charles White, a JPL’s Knowledge Management Specialist for the Office of the Chief Engineer. White talks about "Virtual Heritage: Knowledge Management in VR" during the "Virtual and Augmented Reality for Space Science and Exploration" symposium at the Keck Institute for Space Studies. Even though it's mostly about VR uses for space simulation, discovery and practice, White draws our attention away from "project management" and turns to "knowledge management." He looks at VR storytelling as the modern-day campfire, with people sharing stories, knowledge and experience.

Scroll down for the full presentation via video and have a quick view at some of the slides below. There's a lot of food for thought about how VR can preserve, create, stimulate, make it easy to collaborate - and how "experience" is the key to knowledge and learning. VR can help us experience places and stories that are out of our reach, such as outer space, underwater worlds, war-torn monuments, far-off lands and buried treasures, just to name a few.

 

Storytelling was the first way to be "immersed" in a virtual environment.

Stories transfer knowledge to others in order to survive.

 

Can you see what I see? We are telling stories...

We are getting more value - We are saving money!

Learning is experience. Everything else is just information. ― Albert Einstein

There's a lot more to be said about using VR for heritage - and using AR, which down the line will probably be much more important and interactive. Keep your eyes open for evolutions in not only VR but also AR and heritage.

by Sarah Markewich – SIVAR project intern spring 2018


Real Life Uses of Virtual & Augmented Reality - Coming Soon to a Shop, House, Company, Comic Book & Music Video Near You!

If you do a search on AR and VR "news" each week, you'll see a whole lot of information about the latest uses and developments in the field, which seem to be increasing daily. Skeptics might say that VR is dying (other than in the gaming business) and AR is the only one of the two that really matters anymore. The verdict is not out on that yet. Searches reveal a lot of sectors launching new ways to use VR to save and earn money. As usual, the best advice is to keep your eyes open and on the current VR and AR trends to stay sharp in your field.

Let's have a look at a few of the "news" items the popped off the page in today's search.

Perhaps inspired by Ikea's pioneering use of VR, now Macy's retail and department store is launching a VR experience to help customers walk through their possible, future living rooms to see how the space feels and if the products are right for them. Using a tablet, Macy's clients can design the perfect furniture set-up for their dream home and then immerse themselves in it in one of the 60 Macy's locations to set up this VR furniture pilot. Macy's says that the VR service will drive sales by increasing the customer experience by helping them to choose new furniture in way that is closer to home. It also means more space for Macy's as they see it as a way to show furniture that isn't necessarily present in the shop but can be ordered directly from the warehouse the moment the customer is ready to purchase. You can check out a video of Macy's new VR offer here.

Is it time for your furniture business to look into providing your clients with a VR simulation of their future dream rooms and homes?

What do you think of the Ikea kitchen simulation? Have a look below!

Now that we've talked shop, lets get back to the work floor and have a look at what the major, US conglomerate Honeywell has in mind for VR and AR. As a manufacturer of just about everything, so it seems, Honeywell, like so many companies, is faced with transferring the jobs of an older generation of retirees to a younger one of millennials.  If we are to believe the trend reports, the millennial generation stays in most job positions for no more than 2 years, which can be a nightmare in terms of positions that sometimes require up to 6 months of training. VR and AR training could help solve this issue, which so many businesses face.

Have a look at this recent Forbes article to learn more about what Honeywell has planned.

According to the article, it's also important to keep in mind that younger generations are not fans of passive training. Another Forbes article goes on to say that millennials will not join or stay long at companies that are behind on technology. Studies show that the younger workforce expects to use seamless tech in their daily jobs and would not only look for using VR and AR for training but also for entertainment breaks on the job. While working, it could also be an advantage to set the atmosphere as desired with the sounds and virtual spaces that make them feel more productive. Virtual meeting spaces and the flexibility to work from anywhere and still easily attend meetings will also be a requirement for many future workers.

Take 6 minutes to watch this interview about VR and AR training at Honeywell if you want to know more about their approach.

We've all heard about VR films and we saw when part of the world was taken over by Pokemon Go! Yet, it still came as a surprise to see this exciting news about Will.i.am of the band the Black Eyed Peas talking about his latest dive into the AR world via a graphic comic that comes to life and into VR through music videos, or "projects" as he calls them.

If you like graphic novels, comics, music and want to see some of the potential of augmented reality to literally (or is it figuratively or virtually or "augmentedly", in this case?) make things jump off the page, make sure to watch the Masters of the Sun video below. It's surprising and impressive. Just by seeing the technology in the video, you can already imagine how many ways it could be used for and way beyond entertainment.

In this recent NME article, Will.i.am is quoted saying the following:

If he's right and a shift is indeed happening, a change, then it's probably time for us all to start getting more familiar with VR and AR and to say "fuck yeah" to it as well.

As far as my VR research goes, it actually all started to take shape in my mind while watching this random Bjork VR video that a friend showed me while I was using her mobile VR headset. It made a huge impact on me that I couldn't shake as I love music and had never experienced it in such a way, with so many senses, as I did in that moment. I felt the potential of VR then and have said fuck yeah to it ever since. You definitely have to try it to believe it! My suggestion is to try VR and AR any chance you can to get used to the idea of them as there is no escaping some form of them in the future, whether while choosing furniture, training for jobs,  via experiencing music, comics entertainment and more!

Get your VR headset on and jump in the video below with Bjork!

Immerse yourself in more VR and AR news here next week.

by Sarah Markewich – SIVAR project intern spring 2018


Are VR & AR Tools Under your Company's Radar?

There is always a lot of discussion of when and how AR and VR will finally take off. Some say it is in the process already and others predict 20 years from now. These conversations always come back to headsets, cables and content, among other things that get in the way of a seamless user experience. One thing for sure is that businesses should pay attention to VR and AR trends.

Through my current internship at Howest DAE for the SIVAR project and my VUB master thesis focus on VR in the journalism field, I have been trying out different headsets, content and immersive experiences, and watching and reading about other users’ experiences as well.

When I recently saw mention of the new Asus Windows VR Headset with a flip-up visor, I got excited because it seems like a good direction to head in to allow users to jump back and forth between being present and immersed. One of the aspects I both love and hate about some of the headsets I have used so far is that you can totally lose track of where you are and not even realize there are people in the room right next to you. That might be fun for gaming or truly immersive experiences but it seems and feels unsafe and uncomfortable for a work environment, especially one that involves training.

Speaking of training, it appears to be the part of AR and VR that are already starting to take off. Consumers are more aware of VR thanks to the gaming market but only really know AR via things like Pokemon Go. For CIOs and CTOs, according to a recent article in TechRepublic, awareness of VR and AR as training tools is essential. In that article, J.P. Gownder, vice president and principal analyst at Forrester, says that businesses have to keep VR and AR tools under their radar, especially when it comes to training. In the same article, Tuong Nguyen, principal research analyst at Gartner, says that it is essential to consider which problems VR and AR tools can help solve rather than just to start guessing and trying.

Nguyen also says that task itemization, design and collaboration and video guidance are the top three uses for such technology for enterprises right now. High-risk training situations take precedence as well. In the TechRepublic article, he points out that investing in technology has to make or save a company money to make sense. CIOs, he says, should be expecting cost savings through augmented and virtual training that leads to fewer accidents and mistakes and better accuracy.

In a recent White Paper I wrote about how journalists should approach virtual reality, my conclusion was that the absolute least they should do is to keep a good eye on it and what their colleagues and competitors are doing with it – that the days of simply ignoring it are over. That seems to ring true for many fields. If you want to stay on the cutting edge and remain competitive, as Gownder said, you need to keep AR and VR tools under your radar.

And if you are a headset developer, please keep working out how to go wireless and use flip-up visors or something, anything, that makes the real world and the virtual and augmented ones easier to enter and leave, especially when it comes to training situations on the work floor.

Check out this video discussing the state of  AR and VR in both consumer and business technology.

For more information about the flip-up Asus and how TechRepublic sees it, look here: https://www.techrepublic.com/article/asus-takes-ar-to-the-enterprise-with-flip-up-windows-mixed-reality-headset/

For more insights into the use of VR and AR for training, read this: https://www.techrepublic.com/article/are-ar-and-vr-training-technologies-ready-for-the-enterprise

by Sarah Markewich - SIVAR project intern spring 2018


Upskill hoopt AR naar Mainstream te brengen

Upskill wil het ontwikkelingsplatform zijn voor onze smart glasses, ongeacht het merk. Deze agnostische aanpak is tamelijk ongebruikelijk voor bedrijven die augmented reality-applicaties bouwen en biedt bedrijven een neutrale manier om deze applicaties te bouwen voor verschillende smart glasses-systemen.

GE, Coca-Cola, Johnson & Johnson en Boeing zijn allemaal Upskill-klanten die het Skylight-platform gebruiken in combinatie met Google Glass. De AR-markt is booming, met de herboren Google Glass. ABI Research verwacht dat AR in bedrijfsapplicaties een verbuigingspunt zal bereiken in 2018, met een CAGR van 227%.

ABI Research kondigde ook aan dat Augmented Reality (AR) -logistiek in 2017 goed zal zijn voor 24 procent van wereldwijde 'smart glasses'-zendingen, met een omzet van USD 52,9 miljoen en een groei tot US $ 4,4 miljard in 2022.

"AR smart glasses met zichtbaarheid maakt de handen van de arbeider vrij van traditionele papieren lijsten en pickinstructies en stelt hen in staat om comfortabel, veilig en efficiënt te werken in magazijnen. AR stroomlijnt het werkproces en biedt op zijn beurt aantrekkelijke ROI voor adopters door minder fouten en een hogere efficiëntie, "zei ABI.

 

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kYgERc3A1tI

Officiële website:
https://upskill.io/

Het volledige artikel kan u vinden via deze link:
https://vrworld.com/2017/10/11/upskill-hopes-bring-ar-mainstream/


Iristick

Iristick ontwerpt, ontwikkelt en produceert slimme brillen voor industriële toepassingen. Alle slimme brillen van Iristick ieen gecertificeerde veiligheidsbrillen waarmee live streamingtechnologie voor hands-free assistentie op afstand, doe-ik-zie-ik-toepassingen en software voor procedurele instructies beschikbaar zijn. Iristick heeft use cases in technische dienstverlening, geneeskunde, telecom, onderhoud, beveiliging en logistiek.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7evbaXQZtq4

Officiële website:
https://iristick.com/


Remote AR met ARKit

Scope AR voegt de ARKit van Apple toe aan de softwaretoolset. Aan de hand van deze demonstratie kunnen we zien hoe de samenwerking van op afstand word veranderd door het gebruik van deze technologie.

Op deze video kunnen we zien hoe een medewerker een reeks aantekeningen of annotaties op objecten in de echte wereld kan achterlaten met de Remote AR-software van het bedrijf, terwijl een externe medewerker live kan observeren op een tweede apparaat. Het idee is dat u een expert op locatie kunt hebben die een minder ervaren medewerker begeleidt. Scope AR's technologie is opgebouwd rond augmented reality-gebaseerde instructies die nuttige informatie bieden, zoals assemblagestappen, over een weergave van de echte wereld, met als doel bedrijven te helpen tijd en geld te besparen door mensen te laten leren op het werk of snel toezicht te houden door externe experts.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vKnGTOQQM-I

Officiële website:
https://www.scopear.com/

Het volledige artikel kan u vinden via deze link:
https://uploadvr.com/remote-ar-scope-arkit/


Qwake C-Thru helpt brandweerlui meer te zien

C-Thru wordt ontwikkeld door het bedrijf Qwake en heeft als doel brandweerlui te helpen bij het navigeren door een brand.
Momenteel werkt de technologie door live beelden van een normale en warmte camera te gebruiken en hier edge-detection op toe te passen. Dit wil zeggen dat software op zoek gaat naar de contouren in de beelden. Deze contouren worden dan bovenop de werkelijke beelden of werkelijkheid getoond. Hierdoor kan men veel duidelijker zien waar de bijvoorbeeld de randen van de muren of deuren maar ook personen zich bevinden. De technologie is toepasbaar met drones of met handheld camera, maar de focus ligt vooral bij de AR headsets.

Ontdek er meer over op de website van Qwake:
https://www.qwake.tech/


Studenten New Media & Communication Technology ontwikkelen toepassingen voor Hololens

Enkele studenten die aan Howest de opleiding New Media & Communication Technology(NMCT) studeren stelden onlangs de toepassingen voor die ze ontwikkelden voor de Microsoft Hololens.
Zo maakten de studenten bijvoorbeeld een applicatie die de gebruiker leert een Ikea stoel in elkaar te zetten. De gebruiker krijgt bovenop de echte stoel extra digitale aanduidingen te zien die aangeven hoe de verschillende stukken in elkaar passen en waar vijzen moeten aangevezen worden.
Een andere groep studenten werkte samen met Vyncke aan een prototype rond "Control Room of The Future". Hierbij kan men via de Hololens extra status informatie weergeven op specifieke locaties binnen het bedrijf.

Studenten:
(Ikea Assembly)
Benjamin Naesen
Brecht Valcke
Thuur Vandeplassche

(Control Room of The Future)
Robin Vandenbrande
Sebastiaan Van De Casteele
Stijn Vandendriesche


Augmented reality op restaurant

Ook de horeca zet in op Augmented Reality.
Met een nieuwe app kunnen klanten verschillende gerechten in 3D bekijken alvorens te bestellen.
Door met een tablet of smartphone naar je bord of menukaart te kijken wordt er een digitaal model van het eten gepresenteerd bovenop de werkelijkheid.
De 3D modellen worden gecreëerd op basis van photogrammetry, waarbij gebruik gemaakt wordt van tientallen foto's waardoor het er zeer realistisch uitziet.

Bekijk op de onderstaande links hoe het werkt:
https://www.facebook.com/techinsider/videos/772897732908585/
www.kabaq.io


Dreamworld maakt AR bril voor minder dan 350 dollar

Er zijn al meerdere spelers op de AR markt die een goed resultaat beloven. De prijzen van deze oplossingen liggen echter meestal aan de hoge kant. De Chinese start-up "Dreamworld Vision" heeft momenteel een AR bril in ontwikkelingen die daar verandering in brengen. Met een voorlopige richtprijs onder de 350 euro grens zou het een van de goedkoopste spelers worden. Hoe de prijs zo word gedrukt? Door de kracht van een smartphone te gebruiken.

In de eerste fase is er nog sprake van 2 versies van de bril. Foto's van de brillen mogen nog niet naar buiten gebracht worden. Voorlopig hebben we dus enkel de feedback van de UploadVR journalisten die de apparaten ter plaatse mochten testen op het Dreamworld hoofdkwartier. De testers spreken over de twee versies als volgt:

  • Een kleinere, lichtere versie die de grote FOV in de verf zet en head tracking voorziet.
  • Een beduidend groter model, voorzien van huis-tuin-en-keuken-dieptesensoren, die basis positie tracking.

Het eindproject zou met zelfontworpen componenten gemaakt zijn en eerder aanleunen bij het design van de kleinere versie van de bril.

Op meerdere fronten komt er met Dreamworld een echte speler bij. Echter waar het prototype door de mand valt is op het vlak van tracking. Voorlopig spant Microsoft daar nog de kroon met hun Hololens en het zal wachten worden of Dreamworld daar een waardig alternatief voor vind.

Als voorproefje kan je hieronder een kleine interactie demo zien vanuit het oogpunt van de gebruiker

(Bron: UploadVR)