Augmented, Virtual and Mixed Reality Directory

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Immersive Storytelling – Which Came First: The Technology or the Creative?

There I was in a cinema 10 years ago captivated, pupils fully dilated, and hit squarely between the retina, chasing technicoloured humanoids and hybrid creatures through a fantasy world across the big screen. The movie? James Cameron’s, Avatar. My emotional and visual senses were in overdrive following complex characters and multi-layered storytelling. I was immersed in these elements, but what also had me jumping in my seat was an insight to the future of technological advancements for instinctive human interactions with technology itself. That magic moment in the movie was seeing data captured and transferred with the quick and casual swipe of a finger from the translucent curved monitor directly on to the movie character’s tablet. Bam! Right there, I knew I needed to be a part of this future. Since then, over the last nine years I’ve been fortunate to work with top industry creative and technical individuals and development teams, sharing our company successes and celebrating theirs. These studios and companies develop mind blowing real-time virtual reality projects and experiences, where authentic motion for 3D animated avatars is needed to deliver a highly convincing and believable player and audience experience. They reside across a broad spectrum of sectors in motion capture, game development, training and simulation, virtual YouTubing, R&D for next-gen realism in facial animation, live broadcast, film and TV, VFX, real-time production, pre-vis, post- production, advertising, live performances, LBVR, holograms, education, social VR, VR collaboration and more. The real-time technologies that support and drive their projects and systems are both cutting-edge and innovative–when they pack the punch with memorable immersive storytelling, then they’ve delivered the full picture to their audience. Human interactions within XR needs to become second nature where our instinct overrides considered actions, which means when all our senses are fired then the more tangible and emotionally connected...

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Why XR is a natural fit for Health and Telemedicine

With the global telemedicine market expected to reach $30.12 billion by 2026 and Virtual Reality (VR) in healthcare expected to reach a market value of $3.8 billion by 2020, it is an area that we need to monitor closely. Telemedicine allows patients to access medical expertise quickly, efficiently and without travel.  Telemedicine can also be of great use to big pharma who cannot access patients with enough frequency to monitor drug efficacy. This is a game changer for the healthcare industry and with growing Medicare reimbursement for telehealth services, XR technology is perfectly poised to integrate. XR technology in the health / telemedicine sector is not new. In 1990, early experiments of virtual reality and gaming for patients was done by Dr. David Warner, a medical neuroscientist from Loma Linda University.  Warner gained international recognition for pioneering new methods of physiologically based human-computer interaction incorporating VR and gaming with paraplegic and quadriplegic patients allowing them to interact with computers for the first time using BioMuse (www.biocontrol.com) EMG sensors that detected eye/facial muscle movement to drive a cursor and jaw clenching to be the mouse click.  Warner's research efforts focused on advanced instrumentation and new methods of analysis which can be applied to evaluating various aspects of human function as it relates to human-computer interaction. This effort was to identify methods and techniques which optimize information flow between humans and computers. Movies such as Ironman, Robocop and others over the last few decades have depicted the future of human machine interaction and telemedicine. One person behind some of that future fantasy AR interface design and interaction is Ian Dawson who is the COO at MotusXR, www.motusxr.com, our company specializing in real time biometrics using XR. Utilizing wearables, the MotusXR platform can remotely monitor patients at home. Imagine Mrs. Jones at home putting on a wearable and the doctor or pharma company being able to receive her biometric data in real...

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The need for more simulations of the human body

There are many known and unknown elements, ways and conditions of the physiological external and internal structure of the human body. The way in which health practitioners have come to learn in particular fields of study have been mainly by way of books, illustrations, cadavers and living beings. In the natural scale of progression; technology has been a vehicle in which educational platforms have ushered in content for students to learn on; be it hardware of tablets, laptops and desktops. In the evolutionary scale of hardware; spatial computing, or rather, virtual and augmented reality, its beginning to be accepted as the next-in-line technology in which education is to be taught. A useful vehicle that provides its users with interactive and immersed 3D experiences in closed digital and open terrestrial environments. At some point, we must begin to realize, that it’s okay to look at the most promising and sought after technologies as mere tools, parts and pieces to higher functioning means. The technologies we build today, will in-time fade to obsolescence or over extend the stay in the ethos hierarchy. Every thing and Every one has a role to play and they must be allowed to play them. Computer vision, in the eyes of a developer is use-case fluent. We’ll never have a firm unadulterated fixture on preferred uses of computer vision, at least not for another ten years, if not more. But we must consider how this artificially intelligent identifier can and will effect medical immersive simulation. If we look at the pairing of ai and spatial computing, we’re now in the folds of immersive intelligence, catalyzed by a merge pairing within the greater eco-habitat of emergent technology. Now, let’s consider the accompaniment of ai + xr embedded into medical head mounted displays, haptic systems and spatial environments. The ability for health practitioners to work with...

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Voice + VR, the Next, Next Frontier of Storytelling

There’s a lot of activity happening in the background on Amazon’s Alex platform. Developers and designers are creating voice skills (apps) that allow us to interact with computers and the internet in dynamic new ways. But what happens when that level of interactivity continues and is merged with XR? While there are many implications for this and some tangible examples (RealWares voice-enabled AR headset for virtually assisting field and manufacturing technicians), the opportunity I haven’t heard much on and am personally most excited for, is voice AI and interaction in VR. As a fan of Skyrim I thought, “How cool would it be if I could actually shout the ‘shouts’ (or Thu’um for the hardcore) while playing?’. What if I could have a dynamic conversation with anyone of the characters living in the world and not be limited to the ‘Arrow in the knee…’ conversation. What if I can tell my Mass Effect squad mates where to defend or attack in the middle of a firefight and then learn about their backstory or joke around in a face-to-face conversation afterwards? The opportunity to streamline the VR experience from a UX perspective is important (typing in VR sucks), but the storytelling and immersive aspect is immense. Everything from video games to movies could be incorporated into experiences that are differentiated only by the purpose or objectives while sharing the same level of interactivity. Education could also be transformed. Learning history could become an experience of walking through a military camp, talking to any soldier about the previous battle, about their families, and why they’re fighting, in any order, at any time. What was it like to be an artisan or trader during the Renaissance? Or a Native American? And if the best way to learn a new language is to be immersed in that culture,...

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How XR technology could help to close the gender gap

We faced more transformation in the last two decades than we face in all human history, and these changes are considering just the tip of the iceberg, there are much more to come. There are light and shadows in this journey, and one of them is the gender gap, as pointed out by UN Woman. In that regard the Extended Reality industry has the opportunity to promote research and develop products and/or applications to reduce the distance between genders in science and many others fields. I'm talking about Female Technology that was mentioned for the first time in 2013 by Ida Tin, a Demark founder of Clue. Female Technology refers to software, diagnostics, products, and services that use technology to improve women’s health. Accordingly with Frost & Sullivan, Femtech has a market potential of $50 billion by 2025. Startups dedicated to female health market reached more than U$ 1 billion fund from 2014 to 2018 and it is considered to be the next disruptive sector. For centuries, male body was taken as default to study human anatomy, all the images showing muscles and skin was based on male build and that is causing lots of misleading doses and treatments to woman, even when more than a half of global population are made from women. "Just think about the images of skeletal, nervous and muscular systems you’ve seen before. Without skin (and a face) it’s not immediately obvious that you’re looking at a man. And yet it’s also clear that the default is a man." The average woman's weight are two-third than man's weight but it is not taken into account when the researchers are calculating a dose drug, because the vast amount of tests are made by men. “Here we see a troubling but thankfully well-publicized example of what happens when women are not...

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The Lost World of Spatial Computing

VR + AR will Never be Strong Without Great Marketing! Not going to happen. Nor should it. Thousands of hours. Yes. Thousands of hours you’ve put into your beautiful platforms. Only to fail by dismal marketing? I see so many thousands of new platforms, headsets, content and machines of XR every year and 90 percent of them no one will barely know exists. A lot of these brands have some type of bandwidth to market, it’s just they don’t know how. We’ve taken the 101 steps of mobile marketing on traditional social and have hit a dead end. You come across occasional content with an image, a couple words and a buy button. That’s it. We need more. We need much more. This is one of the reasons I built the Immersive Directory. Consumers/Enterprises Interested in VR + AR, take a look at the Immersive Directory. Inside, you’ll find incredible Agencies from around the world and Amazing Augmented + Virtual Reality Platforms. The very up-and-coming makers of Mixed Reality, incredible filmmakers and thought leaders in the immersion. Quotes from industry members, brilliant technological platforms unlike anything you’ve ever seen and there even might be a brand or two that can help companies outside of XR in whatever endeavors they may seek when it comes to Virtual, Augmented and Mixed Reality. Promoting the directory isn’t easy, but adding fresh blog content and building community helps; to better understand one another, support each other’s initiatives and to find ways to collaborate and share in marketing distribution in mutual ecosystems. Marketing is treated as the lowest value in the pipeline of immersive development. While in fact it should be the second highest consideration, with culture buy-in as the first. We cannot continue to treat the world of XR marketing or any other emergent technology as the mobile era. We have to dig deeper, tell more stories and really drive into...

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The Culture of XR Technologies

"‘People don’t buy products and services, they buy culture’ - Simon Sinek" The immersive technology industry does two things amazingly: Making impressive technology (The What), and memorable names (The Who). Oculus Go Quest and Rift, Vive and Vive Pro, Odyssey and +, Hololens, Lightwear, Teslasuit, even Labo VR. Inside out tracking, room scale, haptic suits, and more. It feels cool, advanced, cutting edge, and doesn’t matter in the slightest without the why. We as an industry have gotten so caught up in our own hype that we’ve lost sight of why. Why are we here? Because we’ve been here. Why did we start? For many of us, a little book about bringing every cultural phenomenon into a single shared virtual space. Who doesn’t want to climb Mount Everest with Batman, or get into a lightsaber battle with Darth Vader on board the Serenity while The Borg attack through the giant Stargate in space? Why - This is the core belief of the business. It's why the business exists. How - This is how the business fulfills that core belief. What - This is what the company does to fulfill that core belief. As shown in Simon Sinek’s golden circle, why is the foundation of a business’s existence, and their marketing. This, in its entirety, is what culture is made of. Why, How, and What, in that order. Three great examples of this done right in different ways are Pokemon Go, Beat Saber, and Superhot. Pokemon Go took an established franchise with a massive fanbase, and used XR technology to create a new experience that melded naturally with the franchise’s culture of being a normal person going on an adventure to capture and train adorable creatures. This prevented it from feeling gimmicky, and satisfied a long held desire of the fanbase effectively. Why - Giving...

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Blog on Industry 4.0 opportunities (XR, AI, Robotics, IoT)

In a world painted with data and guided by experiences there will be little tolerance in the visual display of too much data. Manufacturers of Smart IoT products however are doing their very best to simplify the user experience component at least. Companies such as PTC and Reflekt AR for example are creating enterprise tools using augmented reality to visualize technical data for predictive and prescriptive maintenance. There is a chasm however to be crossed when it comes to simply creating and distributing big data visually ‘in a proposed AR Cloud’ or Fog architecture, and this is driving intelligent companies big and small to consider edge computing from a value proposition standpoint. In order to create something that delivers value, analytics, data science and ultimately use cases will be the determining factors in creating a Smart Data Ecosystem, designed specifically for the IoT space. While the Cloud is transforming technology architectures as we understand them today, Fog is the upgrade which promises true data ubiquity. Fog computing architectures are true distributed models, and these will be designed to connect and transmit data efficiently.  Fog computing is the current answer to distributing quantitative amounts of data quickly and utilizing nodes which then speak with several IoT or Smart devices, referred among technologists as edge computing devices. Edge enables hyper-connective smart devices. These are devices which are collecting and communicating data constantly. Large tech companies in the meantime are not only exploring edge computing for IoT but also trying to work out some fundamental problems in taking legacy data storage and transforming them into valuable purposeful data. Success in this new digital transformation will be measured by end user adoption and the ability to take unique data points and turn them into tangible value that can be experienced. Ultimately to experience this data, Mobile, Wearable AR, MR, Spatial and...

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The Extension of Reality

Where do I start? How does one begin to document history? Where do we start and how do we say it? How should we say it? And, why? The purpose of this blog series is manifold. I have the pleasure of hearing from people everyday who’re building immersive technology. They share their stories of inspiration, obstacles and triumphs. Hard working folks from all backgrounds. Many that are working in giant awesome corporations that are building amazing hardware and software. Some who are working in startups that are in there 3rd and 4th years and others that have just begun. Some that are award winning, and some whom no one ever heard of before. There are those that have put in their last dime and all that’s left to give are tears and hard work. There are those who are seeking direction on where to start...

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Trust, Privacy and Safety will define the success of XR Technologies

Be Responsible, Build Strong!    -XR Safety Initiative  XR Safety Initiative – XRSI – is viewed by many stakeholders as a necessary component to proactively anticipate and address the cybersecurity challenges faced by globally dispersed researchers when establishing baseline standards and discovery of novel cyber attacks in emerging technologies. These are very exciting times for technology enthusiasts, especially when it comes to  immersive technologies such as XR (AR/VR/MR). With 5G network technologies on the horizon and standalone headsets in play, competition is growing fierce, and that’s great. Every passing day, it is becoming easier to author immersive content, all of which is driving towards mass adoption. While the excitement builds, the immersive tech industry is inevitably facing some crucial challenges.  XR Industry is moving fast, so is the urgency to create standards, guidelines and awareness for XR stakeholders. Recent news about data, privacy and security concerns are growing as the technological advancements take place. So how exactly does XRSI plan to tackle this? XRSI has an impressive team of seasoned professionals and advisors who are driven by passion and knowledge. The team lives and breathes in immersive virtual environments. Most of the team members are skilled in anticipating risks associated with new trends and technologies. XR Safety Initiative strives to shed light on and help combat risks via research, collaboration, advocacy and building standards and regulations. Last month, the founder of XRSI, Kavya Pearlman met with Computer Emergency and Response Teams (CERT) from around the globe at Global Cybersecurity Awareness Symposium in Bucharest and established that Regulations are the quickest way for enterprise entities to act quickly and positively. She has since then, opened a dialogue with the European Commission and actively looking to partner with big tech firms to ensure privacy and security are not left behind as we build these new technologies. For that...

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