Augmented, Virtual and Mixed Reality Directory

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For US Manufacturing, Virtual Reality and Augmented Reality is Here to Stay

For US Manufacturing, Virtual Reality and Augmented Reality is Here to Stay.   Whenever I’m asked to speak at a high school or provide training to aspiring simulation developers; I often ask them to describe ways that AR and VR technology is being used today.I often receive some interesting responses. I’ve had several people refer to Pokémon Go whenever they describe how AR is used. When it comes to VR; it’s usually associated with cool video games. It’s no surprise that when people think of AR and VR; they associate it with being a form of entertainment. Entertainment is just one of many ways that the technology is being used.AR and VR has the potential to become a huge asset to industries such as manufacturing.   Statistics show that the manufacturing industry is experiencing a major worker shortage due to the lack of skilled workers. It has been predicted that by the year 2025, there will be 2 million positions that are unfilled. The worker shortage is a huge problem that exists within the manufacturing industry. A restrained and scarce workforce makes it difficult to provide proper training and job shadowing. Although training is important, meeting production deadlines are critical to the company’s operations and revenue; therefore, key employees can’t run the risk of leaving their job to provide shadowing to new hires. There are several ways that AR and VR can benefit the manufacturing industry in this area. AR and VR allows workers to train at their own pace. Instead of relying on a physical trainer; the technology has the capability to guide trainees through a series of critical tasks while providing support as they navigate their work environment virtually.   Companies such as BMW has developed an AR and VR-based training system to improve the work of assembly line employees, customer service agents, human...

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Why HDR matters more in VR and AR

High Dynamic Range (HDR) is a term that is used in relation to describing the increased area of variation in both color and brightness made possible by displays that support it. HDR comes in a confusing handful of standards, HDR10, Dolby Vision, Hybrid Log Gamma, Advanced HDR and most recently HDR10+. What matters is that all of theses standards are mapping colors across an increased 'color space'. In the image above the smaller 'HDTV' triangle represents the colors that can be displayed using the 'Rec. 709' color area standard that was developed in the mid-to-late 1990s, for Standard Dynamic Range displays. The larger 'UHDTV' triangle represents the 'Recommendation ITU-R BT.2020.' color area (Rec. 2020) that HDR televisions aspire to cover. Color But wait! The image you are looking at is not an HDR image, and the display you are reading this on may not be an HDR display, your computer/phone is probably not rendering to a HDR framebuffer (10 bits or 12 bits per RGB channel instead of 8), and your browser is probably not capable of displaying HDR content. So the colors you are seeing above are in reality all being mapped within the 'Rec. 709' standard color area, the smaller triangle. If you could see the image in HDR it would look much more vivid. But since you cannot, lets at least examine quantization in relation to the '8 bits per channel RGB frame buffer' that displays use. 8 bits yields 2^8 = 256 possible values per channel, which makes '256 reds * 256 greens * 256 blues' possible. This results in a total of 16,777,216 possible colors. That sounds like a lot! And yet actually it is only going to contain 256 possible grey-scale values (0, 0, 0 through to 255, 255, 255). If you look carefully at the image above on a large display, you'll...

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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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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 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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Immersive Transformation Has Begun

We are entering an exciting era for immersive technology as the latest hardware, software and number of paying consumers are at an all-time best. I’ve been a follower of virtual reality since 2015 and I first used an Oculus DK2 at my local science centre in 2016. Back then the graphics were extremely basic compared to what we have available today what with volumetric photogrammetry or in other words, proper real looking stuff! The Oculus DK2 was the best we had for consumers back then. Its predecessor, Oculus DK1, was the 1st consumer VR headset since Nintendo’s Virtual Boy. Private companies and military had the only other virtual reality headsets then. So that was it, the only 2 VR headsets on the market with limited software. Fast forward to now and we are spoilt for choice in all areas! We can choose from multiple VR headsets from multiple companies from across the world. We can choose from a vast catalogue of apps, games and experiences with new ones entering the stores/market every day. But most notably, the number of paying consumers is beginning to spike too. I genuinely think that the Early Adopters segment of Everett Rogers’ Innovation Curve is starting to take flight. No longer are we explaining what virtual or augmented reality is, it is already known. It has already been seen or already being used in general society. That’s a shift worth noticing. Palmer Luckey (Oculus Founder) recently said that the Oculus Rift CV1 and GearVR sold well over 10 million units combined. The Oculus Rift S and Oculus Quest are both just over 2 month’s old yet the content on social media around them is phenomenal. Communities that are growing purely around these products alone are already massive, in particular for the Oculus Quest. A Facebook Group called Oculus Quest is just shy...

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Finding Your Village in Our Modern Society

The African proverb, “It takes a village to raise a child”, can elicit memories of child rearing in times past. Children were raised by their parents, grandparents, extended families and neighbors. Families gained varied knowledge in all aspects of life from people who were invested in their wellbeing, growth, and success. They benefited from the experience of those who had already raised their children and the support of those who were in the same boat. This created a balanced system in which questions could be asked, challenges faced, and everyone could lean on those around them with confidence to gain peace of mind. A “village” adds a buffer to making all the tough decisions involved in new ventures. Often, I tell people that I have 3 children- my 4-year-old daughter, my 3-year-old business, and my 2-year-old daughter. The middle child is the neediest by far. When we founded Underminer Studios in 2016 we did so with several things in mind. First, we wanted to be our own bosses. Second, we wanted to control our future. And last, but not least we wanted to do groundbreaking things with technology. We have accomplished all of these in their own time and they continue to morph regularly. You may ask yourself what do parenting and owning a business have to do with each other? I am here to share that both are a labor of love and will consume you in the best and worst ways. You must have a strong understanding of yourself and be willing to learn, every day, to undertake either. As a parent and a business owner, I have considered the question when is the “right time” to start. I am of the belief that there is no right time. Each and every journey will be unique. Raising a business baby comes with...

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Future is Virtual

I am the Founder of Immersion VR Fest. India’s 1st AR/VR Film Festival & Conference which was held 1st/2nd March-19 in Mumbai. Over 600 People turned up for the two-day event without any press or media support. We had over 45 speakers who spoke across different industries such as education, healthcare, enterprise plus entertainment & gaming, an addition, two breakout areas with a 30 seater space to consume immersive entertainment content and another space for socially impactful content kept the crowd engaged & hungry for more. Curated Workshops to Initiate Students into basic AR App building and another to Ignite the Imaginations of enterprise on XR present day business use cases & Its potential was well received. India is a growing Economy, 1.3 Billion people plus the largest youth population in the world makes it a hard-to-be ignored market but somehow the Global Giants fronting the XR Industry have missed out India completely. The 399 $ Oculus Quest is retailing on Amazon India for over 1000$, 4999$ Insta 360 Pro2 is selling for over 8700 $ in India. Neither Oculus, HTC, Hololens, Magic leap, PimaxVR, Samsung or any other International HMD’s have launched in India. As a passionate Evangeliser who is committed to Build India’s XR Industry I am upset with the way we have been treated & do not see a point in waiting for these Tech behemoths to drive the XR Industry here. After Immersion VR Fest, I am building another Platform which I believe will be a catalyst in shaping India’s XR Growth Story: XR-OM [ Home of Extended Reality] A place for all things related to Extended Reality here in India. It has a large vision & will start with XR News & XR Bazaar, XR News will be an India specific XR News platform, with audio/video podcasts, product reviews and un-boxing in english and local...

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Designing Our Future

XR reminds me of the early days of Cinema where opportunity was wide open. With every potential fear of failure there was something new and refreshing that was birthed out of curiosity. We are in a time and space that's ripe for curiosity and exploration. Here is an opportunity to "hack our code" not only as individuals but even corporate culture. Re-programming our processes in which we create and collaborate. As we move into automation of jobs XR could offer a new ecosystem and major paradigm shift that drives more diversity, creativity and innovation. How will we train for jobs that don't yet exist and reimagine our future? We design it. Through XR, we can build new worlds and start to virtually "beta test" our future. How do we start to think about what we will do with that extra time as artificial intelligence becomes second nature in our work and day-to-day lives. If we can embrace these emerging technologies and infuse them with the proper input XR will be a great place to build. As a filmmaker I've enjoyed how XR bridges the gap between so many wonderful trades, disciplines and talents. It's like being at the beginning of cinema over 100 years ago with creatives and technologists pushing the boundaries and now you can take that same process and cross-platform all these rich experiences. This brings to mind why XR is a good investment. As it relates to intellectual property XR offers revenue expansion for pre-existing IP. Let's not forget about the libraries of content ripe for XR's transformation. By leveraging an XR ecosystem you can take one IP across multiple revenue streams from VR, AR, Mobile, Gaming, Education and more without recycling the same experience and enriching the experience through various touch points. Now assets have a longer life cycle and...

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