Virtual Reality in Healthcare

By Vanessa Radd, Singapore Chapter President

Virtual reality has most often been associated with gaming while other sectors such as healthcare and education where VR can play a major role, has been overlooked.

In our recent VR in Healthcare session with Samsung, the XR Alliance and VR AR Association shared VRARA's findings from the latter's Digital Healthcare Committee in the U.S.A.

Understandably, funding is ranked as the top challenge.

In the next group of challenges, workflows of clinical organizations are cited - they need to change and adapt. Circumventing through organizational challenges to implement a new workflow for VR is a major barrier. Of course, the lack of VR/AR knowledge and VR/AR research is where we are at now. And the lack of data and research for VR in the APAC markets is even more so stark.

Each region would have different cultural barriers in terms of acceptance of new technology. Something to bear in mind when implementing new tech in new markets.

Use cases

MindMaze uses VR and AR to treat Parkinsons patients, amputees and stroke victims. Their VR solutions seek to help these patients to train their brain to stimulate limb movements.

Applied VR embarked on a VR trial that looks into alleviating pain management via interactive games and relaxing landscapes in 150 clinical organizations.

Cambridge University's research lab is working on rendering 3D VR treatment for cancer. With VR, they are able to study cancer tumors in 3D to come up with better treatments.

Birmingham University's VR research team, led by Bob Stone (a founding member of the XR Alliance), is looking into the use of VR for restorative therapy and, more recently, for lower limb rehabilitation and lung/diaphragm recovery support for patients in intensive care.  

In Singapore, Side Effects Asia Pacific Pte Ltd is working on VR technology systems for advanced clinical training. It simulates medical emergency scenarios in 3D to train medical students in highly stressful, decision-making scenarios.

Other examples of VR for healthcare are treating PTSD patients, ticking off bucket lists(!), pain alleviation while in the dentist chair...we are in an experimental age indeed.

We continue the discussion and maintain these questions as we work with industry players and partners.

  • How can healthcare leap into VR?
  • How can the company's technology be integrated into and optimized for clinical workflows?

Special thanks to Funan our event partner. Follow FunanSG on Facebook and Instagram.

Transforming Digital & Marketing Agencies with VR and AR | Q&A Series with Intergalactic

This series will feature Vancouver digital and marketing agencies (non-traditional VR/AR companies) 

Our own Laura Ryu (Marketing and Communications Manager at VRARA Vancouver) sat down with Michael Farquhar, Managing Partner of Intergalactic based in Vancouver and London. They've worked with a number of clients on their interactive digital strategy including SXSW, HP and Sundance Film Festival. 

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Tell us about your agency & what you've been working on.

Intergalactic is a creative technology agency that specializes in the creation of amazing interactive experiences. We’re this unique blend of creative folks and business edge, a culture that we created on purpose with the goal of creating solutions that are both inspired and effective.

We’ve been busy! We have a number of projects on the go at any time in both our Vancouver and London (UK) offices. Right now in Vancouver we’re using Apple’s ARKit to develop an AR app that provides a 1000m view of a new mountainside community. You feel like you are looking down from Olympus through the clouds at the future of this development. Computer vision reads a physical topographical model of the mountain and then we display virtual renderings of the community, lifestyle, trails, transit, and amenities. This is combined with beautiful 360 photos of the entire area and interactive points of interest; It's a great way for our client to help convey the scale and quality of their development while embracing and respecting its surroundings.

Our London office is busy building a 3D retailing visualizer to help their global retail client plan the layout of their stores and associated merchandise. When the project is complete our client will be able to switch between 2D views to full 3D VR views of their stores with all their next season merchandise laid out according to their merchandising rules. These visualisations will then push critical product information into their ordering system to trigger the fulfillment of clothing and accessories through the supply chain.

In the UK, We also have a strategic partnership with Aisle411, who’s indoor mapping and production search technology is used in over 15000 locations. Aisle411 are working closely with Google’s Tango team to leverage AR in the retail environment. Of course we still have other web and mobile projects on the go for clients such as Cisco, Microsoft and BC Liquor.

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Tell us about a VR campaign that you enjoyed or was inspired by.

There are quite a few and more coming out everyday and each is genre expanding. We actually have a dedicated internal Slack channel just to keep up on what’s new. However, one we’d mention is the Beyond Mars Experience Schoolbus by Lockheed Martin (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=X5JTb_7qv78) - I like that this is a shared experience designed to inspire.

Some other mentions: Walking on Mars (hey we’re called Intergalactic so you may see a theme) - https://youtu.be/e76uBfWxD74; Haagen-Daz’s Honeybee VR Experience which combines brand, social consciousness and amazing cinematography. From a CG excellence and technological progress standpoint using real time rendering - The Better Days https://youtu.be/JThuL6Aq1Qg and from an art perspective - Microsoft’s Raven Mask using Hololens http://www.booooooom.com/2017/07/14/transformation-mask/.

We are starting to see competition build up in advertising, especially with big players such as Saatchi & Saatchi building on-site VR labs. What are your thoughts on competition and what do you think will set apart the strong agencies from the rest?

It's funny, I just finished a round of informal reviews within the Vancouver team and asked everyone the same question. We are in many ways a young organization and everyone sort of embraces competition. We look at it as a way to learn from others in the field and see how we can take ideas in new directions and use them to deliver more value. I don’t see the big agencies cornering the market on any of these technologies. In fact VR technology itself is very accessible and a great leveler; the best will be determined by what they create, not their head count. Of course some clients will play it safe and go with bigger multinational agencies, but what they don’t always know is that those same companies approach companies like Intergalactic to ideate and create the end experience. This is something we’ve been hired to help with on more than one occasion.

How do you think the structure of agencies and its landscape will change in the next 5 years given anticipated rapid growth in VR/AR technology?

I believe we will start to see roles expand or additional roles appear within agencies as they deal with 3D interface design. Up until now we’ve focused on good 2D design, now we will need to think in the third dimension and how information can be overlayed to convey priority. I also think everything will be tried through the lens of VR, which will need to be tempered by the need to make things of value, either functionally or aesthetically. As always, agencies that get this and find ways to reach broad audiences will do well.

What is currently your biggest challenge (or as the industry) in regards to integrating VR/AR?

The biggest challenge is finding ways to create multi person experiences that are truly immersive. We all know how important social is in the technology realm so we focus on using ubiquitous devices such as smart phones or enclosed environments to help us deal with shared social VR experiences.

We know that VR/AR will be disruptive in many different industries, how will this affect your company and your clients?

The bar keeps getting raised in terms of experiences. Our clients already acknowledge this truth and have been very keen to embrace VR/AR. As a result we’re seeing a lot of our very marketing conscious sectors such as Events, Retail and Real Estate be very open to our proposals. Interestingly enough, it isn’t just for the novelty, but seems to be for the long term as there is recognition that VR/AR present more complete ways to experience products and remove barriers to a sale. For Entertainment oriented clients and other Agencies we were already there and everyone we speak to just seems to be glad that the technology is catching up with our imaginations.

 
 

Why is it important for agencies to be onboard now and join the VR/AR Association?

Easy, so you don’t get left behind. Things are evolving so quickly, it’s nice to have a way to keep up to date that doesn’t require you to do all the research first hand - no one has time for that.

What benefits do you see in being a member?

Simply, visibility, information and analysis. We want to keep our mind share for our clients, be inspired and share what we’ve learned.

We'd like to thank Michael from Intergalactic for participating and you can check them out at www.intergalactic.com

VRARA & Cisco Execs: VR and AR are Changing Retail

NEW YORK — Augmented reality (AR) and virtual reality (VR) are already being used by retailers to enhance customer experience and those dealers that aren’t taking advantage of these nascent technologies yet should seriously consider jumping on the bandwagon, according to Cisco executives.

Some retailers don’t allow their store sales associates to use email or tablets, or even go online to check inventory, Amit Chetal, digital solutions lead at Cisco, said during an VR/AR panel discussion at the CE Week conference July 13. He classified that as a mistake. It’s important for retailers to instead “empower” their store associates by allowing them to make use of AR, VR and other technologies, and “get rid of that legacy thinking” that may be standing in the way of companies evolving and remaining competitive, he said.

By empowering store associates with all the new technological tools available, they will be able to better serve their customers and retailers will also be able to cut down on associate turnover, Chetal said. At the same time, “security is paramount” with whatever technologies companies decide to take advantage of, so that must be factored into their plans, he said.

It’s imperative for retailers to harness new digital technologies, even if they think that something like the mobile game “Pokemon Go” – which some retailers were able to capitalize on — will be just a short-term fad, Kathryn Howe, director of Retail Industry Digital Transformation-Americas at Cisco, said. It’s important for companies to “look at the disruption” to their businesses and not necessarily just “the disruptor,” she said. Retailers that were able to harness the popularity of “Pokemon Go” quickly did so because they “were ready” and “had security in place,” as well as Wi-Fi.

VR and AR represent the “fourth major computing platform,” following PCs, the Internet and mobile devices, Nathan Pettyjohn, founder of the VR/AR Association, said. He recommended that retailers “harness” these and other new technologies to their advantage because “it’s really easy to leverage what’s out there right now.” If they don’t do it now, he warned, “you’ll be left behind.”

Pettyjohn pointed to retailers including Lowe’s and Tommy Hilfiger that have already set up VR headset stations at their stores where consumers, in those two respective cases, can use the technology to see what a new kitchen will look like or feel like they’re at a fashion event where new clothes were unveiled.

Although Google Glass failed, “the technology is getting there” for more successful AR glasses and eventually there is “going to be a very elegant pair of glasses” that are probably, at least initially, going to be powered by our smartphones and that we “won’t look ridiculous” wearing, Pettyjohn said.

Store associates will be able to use those glasses to provide extra information about the products they are selling, he said. He also predicted we’ll “all have AR glasses on” in 5-10 years, and those glasses will “be able to detect millions of data points every second” as shoppers walk through stores, allowing them to receive product recommendations.

Tony Scherba, CEO and founder of San Francisco design and application development company Yeti, also urged retailers to “embrace change.” He stressed that this change “doesn’t have to be a dramatic change and can be a “step-by-step process.”

VR was also touched on later in the day at the conference, during a session called “Get in the eSports Game,” where executives at Intel, distributor/wholesaler Ingram Micro and computer maker Micro-Star International (MSI) focused on the soaring popularity of eSports, but also pointed to the increasing popularity of VR.

“ESports has exceeded every projection” and “continues to grow,” Barry Heller, client platform specialist at Intel, said, noting that his company continues to heavily invest in eSports. In addition to sponsoring eSports competitions, Intel is “continually coming out with new technologies to really take advantage in this space,” he said, pointing to his company’s powerful new processors.

He predicted that “we’ll start to see a tipping point maybe within the next five to 10 years,” in which everybody knows about eSports and the competitors become household names. “It truly is a worldwide phenomenon” that is popular among males and females, he said.

Half a billion viewers will be watching eSports competitions live within the next three years, he predicted. Intel is also investing in VR, he said, predicting that technology will be a major factor in the gaming space as well.

Original post here

Opinion: The AR Market will be Determined from your ‘Home’

With the launch of Apple’s HomeKit, which enables users to control their HomeKit devices from a singular app; and in tandem with ARKit, Apple is positioned to prove first to market does not always mean best. Like Amazon’s Alexa, Siri powers Apple’s HomePod smart-speaker. The AI behind Siri is what drives the actions and makes life easier for its user. Now that HomeKit makes control of these connected devices ubiquitous, users can do even more daily tasks with less friction. In addition, with the functionality of AR now being developed into Apple’s ecosystem; users can expect more powerful tools inside the ‘Home’ environment beyond the physical. Think of the list of your daily or weekly action items specifically related to your ‘home’ life and then think of the ways a digital solution could merge with the physical all with one click. Now you’re in control. Finally, to piggyback off the rumor-mill, Apple is said to have enhanced depth-sensing AR-focused camera sensors for the next iPhones. It all adds up to one powerful system. A close second is Amazon (which just patented AR for "home use") and we will have to wait and see about Google and Facebook.

Updated: VRARA Public Safety & Emergency Response Committee Presented at Stanford

Seven participants of the VRARA Public Safety & Emergency Response Committee presented to several hundred industry professionals at the Stanford National Accelerator Laboratory on June 2nd. The focus was a 90 minute segment provided by Committee members and included content from various disciplines, all with the goal of VR/AR enhanced Next-Gen community risk reduction platforms for citizens and first responders. Co-Chair Kirk Mckinzie has been on federal out of state travel to receive a NIST Virtual Public Safety Test Environment Challenge grant award. 

See the presentation slides below:

Recap of VRARA LA Event - Investor Summit

By Natalie Cole, VRARA LA Chapter

Ralph Waldo Emerson once said, “What lies behind you and what lies in front of you, pales inc comparison to what lies inside of you.”

Even though those words were said quite some time ago, it still holds true. This statement is the best description that described the energy that radiated from The Fox Innovation Plaza on the evening of Tuesday, June 27th. Passion and determination emitted from the selected few who was privileged enough to take part in the VRARA Los Angeles Chapter’s 2017 Investor Summit The Path to Funding.

The Summit took place at the coveted and innovative space of the Fox Innovation Lab which is located at the Fox Plaza on the rightly named street called Avenue of the Stars. Attendees walked into a bustling mix of varied members in the VR/AR community as they greeted one another, enjoyed cool glasses of wine on a hot Los Angeles evening and enjoyed light refreshments.

The Panel: The Path to Funding was led by the LA Chapter Vice President: Doug Lorenzen who led the discussion of the certified informed experts. The panel consisted of Gregory Milken (March Capital), Anu Bhardwa (Women Investing in Women), Barry Downes (Sur Valley Ventures), Selina Troesch (Touchdown VC), and Francis Pollara of (Luma Launch VC).

From left to right: Doug Lorenzen (VRARA VP), Francis Pollara (Luma Launch VC), Gregory Milken (March Capital), Selina Troesch (Touchdown VC), Anu Bhardwa (Women Investing in Women)

From left to right: Doug Lorenzen (VRARA VP), Francis Pollara (Luma Launch VC), Gregory Milken (March Capital), Selina Troesch (Touchdown VC), Anu Bhardwa (Women Investing in Women)

The energy was on high and the passion was evident. It was a place and space where people can come together to not only be inspired but to have access to speak to people, they only dare to. To contribute and to be able to foster relationships within the VR/AR community, well that is what we aim to do and in this case, we can say: Mission Accomplished!

Our hosts and speakers had some great feedback on the event:

Clayton Biele,  Director of Fox Innovation Lab stated  “We just had the honor of sponsoring and hosting the VRAR Association event here at the Fox Plaza and the Fox Innovation Lab. It seemed to all go off well without a hitch. We had a number of companies come up and do pitches and I thought they were very well received. I think that going forward we really need more of these types of events to spread the community outreach and get the awareness growing for AR, MR and VR, especially as we grow the market.”

Sophie Wright, Co-Founder / COO of Human Interact “I really appreciate the opportunity to get a chance to pitch at some VC’s. This is going to help put me in touch with the people that I need to talk to to help complete our vision of making truly interactive movies and VR. These folks have the resources and we have the vision and you guys have basically put us together in a room. We couldn’t ask for a better situation to happen.”

Anu Bhardwa from Women Investing in Women - “I thought it was a great event  and it was informative for me also meeting some awesome co-panelists. In terms of the audience questions, I think they were totally on point. I think it’s really great that you are putting this together because everyone needs to have a fundamental knowledge of how to raise capital.”

Francis Pollara with Luma Launch VC stated “I really enjoyed the event and had great conversations and everyone participating was really open and challenging their thoughts on AR and VR and they were thinking about the state of the market”

Gregory Milken from March Capital - “I thought it was a great event networking to meet all the VR/AR companies who are doing exciting things in the early stages in the Los Angeles area. I am really excited about the opportunity for future companies and great big businesses in the digital media and the VR/AR space.”

And the feedback didn't stop there as attendees wanted to share their experience as well: 

“I am so thankful for a place where we can come and discover what is happening in the industry. It’s moving so fast and quickly. The networking that we are able to do here and the ideas that we are able to share, really helps us to stay at the forefront for the industry.”

“It was absolutely an amazing event. We really appreciate the knowledge that was brought here and just the level of camaraderie in the community. I didn’t know anybody coming in and I am leaving with a whole bunch of people who I can reach out and get a bunch of different questions answered as well as who I can have my future opportunities with as well.”

Once again, we are so grateful to Fox Innovation Lab for hosting and to TriNet for sponsoring the event!

We look forward to seeing you at the next one!

Until next time…

Watch the full video below: 

Bay Area: Join us in December at VRX 2017

In VRARA's continued partnerships throughout the event world, the latest is VRX 2017. Taking place 12/7 & 12/8 in San Francisco it features heavy-hitter speakers from HTC to Audi. 

With a theme grounded in VR's business growth and cultural immersion, it promises lots of concrete learnings, not to mention networking with industry influencers. 

VRARA SF is proud to be a media partner, meaning we'll not only be there but members can receive a 15% discount code to attend. Contact us if interested. We hope to see you there.

More from the event organizers:

Now in its 3rd year, VRX has established itself as the world’s premier gathering of senior-level virtual reality business leaders. Previous speakers include a global who's-who of those pioneering the way in VR, with CEO’s and senior decision makers making waves in gaming, film, enterprise, broadcasting, healthcare, education and more. Expect more of the same this year, with more to be announced.

 

 

Google Signals Moves in VR Advertising

The Mad Men of VR are coming. Google just released ‘Advr,’ a virtual cube that will show ads by a user tap or gaze. The idea is much like a pop-up but for VR platforms. The SDK is available on an invite only basis but it gives a glimpse of the new normal for VR Advertising. However, human behavior is what will truly drive change in Advertising. We already know that the user or in this case, audience comes first. So the ad must be easy to engage with. We also know if the user journey or touchpoints can provide insight into user/audience ‘intent’ then we can meet the want or need better. As a result, the ad must serve a purpose within context. And finally we know that timing is everything. If a person is searching for a specific product or service and has only a limited amount of time then an ad of convenience would be perfect. Smart and creative ads will connect with users/audience in these moments in VR just like they do in traditional platforms. But just like on traditional platforms, nobody necessarily likes any old pop-up.

Join Google and other VRARA members including ADVR, AdVir, burgeon(digital), KitestringvizLlamazoo, Orange, Retinad, Yahoo, You Are Here, YuMe in our Advertising Committee to work on best practices, guidelines, and standards for VR in advertising.

 

Bay Area: Come Talk About Social VR Development

Among VR's many areas of development, social will arguably unlock the most value and network effect. In fact, the catalyst for the current wave of VR activity was Facebook's 2014 Oculus acquisition.

To that end, VRARA SF Chapter is partnering with ARVR MunchnLearn on its next event, coming up on Wednesday in Palo Alto: Social in VR: developer, marketer and platform perspectives.

The event is sure to draw an influential crowd of developers and enthusiasts in Social VR. See the link above for speakers and logistical details, and reach out to us with any questions.  

Georgia Tech Brothers Aim to Connect Finnish-Estonian Tech Scene

Original article here

By James Conroy; Journalist – former Assistant Psychologist – Technical Communicator – Connector – Contributor @Irish_TechNews.

I first met the Doudy brothers – Mikhail and Sergey – during the Virtual Reality World Congress in Bristol and more recently at the Latitude 59 conference in Tallinn, Estonia. Latitude 59 is the flagship start-up and tech event of the world’s first digital society which is now in its 10th year.

Having moved to Georgia from St. Petersburg with their parents in 1995, the pair subsequently went on to graduate from Georgia Tech with degrees in industrial engineering (Mikhail) and mechanical engineering (Sergey).

The duo always had a passionate interest in technology, where a young Mikhail “made rockets, gunpowder from scratch, and trebuchets in school”, while Sergey’s fascination with automotives and electronics inevitably led them down similar trajectories.

After spending years in the consultancy world and working for Panasonic, John Deere and Manhattan Associates, Sergey decided to buy a one way ticket back to St. Petersburg in pursuit of new opportunities and Mikhail soon followed.

Since their return the brothers have become well-known faces on the VR (Virtual Reality) and AR (Augmented Reality) scene and recently took the reins as co-presidents of the VRAR Association’s Russian Chapter.

I recently caught up with the brothers to find out what’s next on their radar.

So why Virtual Reality and Augmented Reality?

Sergey: We soon realised that our backgrounds were really useful – being Russian/American – it really pushed us forward. We got back in the tech scene and became really obsessed with VR/AR and decided to start pushing those technologies forward in Russia and became the co-presidents of the Russian chapter of the VRAR Association.

What about the technology excited you?

Sergey: Well VR/AR is interesting because it’s a potential tsunami. I mean, myself and Mike talked about it potentially becoming the next ‘dotcom boom’ – although we all know what happened to that later, it crashed – but this is definitely a more slow moving process which is a good sign because if you get into the game early you can be there and grow with it.

Mikhail: Every single aspect of VR and AR is amazing. It can affect every single aspect of your life. It can affect every industry. Every single thing is bound to be affected by it. Anything you can image that’s physical can be replaced virtually. A lot of problems humanity has can be helped through augmented and virtual reality, even in terms of poorer countries like India who can’t teach doctors because of limited physical equipment who could be educated through virtual reality. You can just create one software and then transfer it to billions, to everyone.

Mikhail also thinks it could really help in terms in terms of job satisfaction when it comes to the more taxing aspects of business travel. “Through VR you could zap into virtual locations and bypass what annoyed Serge about consultancy. You can have meetings in VR and have that physical presence. There’s so many possibilities.”

Is there a risk that this technology will make people more anti-social – a point often cited about mobile devices?

Mikhail: I don’t think VR will make people more anti-social, I think it will actually make them more social. So with Altspace VR – the social VR app – I was communicating with people in Germany, California, communicating with them all in the same room and it was amazing. It makes the world a whole lot smaller and opens opportunities. I was even in a virtual club with people dancing and I was like ‘wow, I’m as socially awkward in VR as I am in real life’. So what about when it becomes more realistic, what’s the difference.

Sergey: Social VR can actually improve social skills… When people are texting and writing to each other their written-English suffers greatly. They get lazy. In VR you can talk again, and it can help people communicate and interact in a more social way where you actually have to speak.

Mikhail: I agree with Serge there, I think texting is actually a low point of technology, when you think about Facebook, it’s just pictures, words… letters essentially. So once Facebook implements VR which everyone sees is happening, it’s going actually come back to talking, seeing body language, being able to see more emotions and feel more emotions.

Sergey: I think outside of the social aspect completely we can see tourism as a great example. I know a lot of my friends in the US from the south are a bit sheltered and haven’t been to places like New York or California. Travelling to Canada would be like travelling to the moon. It’s crazy. VR makes it very easy to travel to new locations and in a way it could be the actual stepping stone to make people really go somewhere. If they do it in VR they might think, ‘this isn’t so scary’ or ‘this place looks cool’ – Venice or London for example – and then they get a feel for it and might actually go in real life.

What did ye take away from Latitude 59 and what are ye trying to achieve for St. Petersburg?

Mikhail: There’s three cities, everyone knows Tallinn, then there’s Helsinki and St. Petersburg, and they are very close to each other with tech scenes that are moving very fast. Tallinn and Helsinki are already working with each other with a lot of investments coming into them and Estonia is very forward thinking in terms of start-ups and entrepreneurship. St. Petersburg is doing this also but there’s also a huge gap. I recently read some information about Russia where the engineers and entrepreneurs in Russia are second only to Silicon Valley and Russian entrepreneurs have huge experience working on big projects, yet there’s a gap in terms of investments. 96% of investments in Russia are from within, so only 4% external. So the best talent and no investment which is obviously influenced by sanctions, but this also means opportunity to help St. Petersburg work with cities like Helsinki and Tallinn to drive the ecosystem in all of these counties forward. We’re still developing concrete step but this is big scale. We see this as an amazing opportunity to help everyone work forward.

We heard at Latitude 59 about the big plans Finland and Estonia – from the proposed Hyperloop to IoT companies like Sigfox working with Connected Baltics and Connected Finland – is the plan to help bring some of that attention and investment to Russia, or to potentially connect some of the Russian talent to move outwards?

Sergey: I think it’s a bit of both really. Say you have a start-up idea or group in Tallinn who maybe don’t have the greatest network or investment yet, I think this ecosystem could help these companies – the ones with good ideas – to tap St. Petersburg for talent or activate them in all three cities to move forward. The goal is to create a massive network, an ecosystem, where you can almost tap talent, investment and resources from each one of the cities in a massive pool.

What would you say to players a little further afield – such as in Ireland – who might hear what’s happening in locations like Tallinn, Helsinki and Finland and want to find out more about these ecosystems?

Sergey: First we want to focus on building a core structure here but then we’d love to start reaching further out in Europe and elsewhere to people who want to reach out. Currently our focus on Scandinavian countries, the Baltics, and at that point, definitely countries further afield like Ireland who are coming on the scene.

Mikhail: We’re focusing on a niche location and of course there are many niches in technology. So we’re focusing on these three cities, but this is a long term plan. Right now we’re focusing on tech start-ups and early to mid-stage entrepreneurs but if there’s any very keep entrepreneurs in Ireland or in Cork that would like to talk to us they should definitely get in touch.

Sergey: Or if they know about similar ecosystems, they should connect with us to discuss similar case studies, successes and failures. Yesterday we were talking to someone in Amsterdam who’s looking to start an accelerator there and trying to connect an ecosystem between Paris, Berlin and Amsterdam. So we’re connecting, learning and moving forward faster and maybe eventually we’ll even collaborate together.

Podcast: Women in the VR/AR industry talk with New Reality Arts founder Jodi Schiller

Listen here

New Reality Arts founder Jodi Schiller is our guest this week and we chat about what led to the creation of the company along with why she also founded the rapidly growing ARVR Meetup for Women in San Francisco.

If you are looking for a company to help you get noticed at trade shows and other events utilizing VR & AR technologies, make sure to reach out to Jodi and the team at New Reality Arts to see how they can help you do just that.

Morph into an Augmented Human Worker with DAQRI’s Intel-powered Smart Helmet

By Vanessa Radd, VRARA Singapore Chapter President

AI and technology taking over human jobs?

Not quite. Put on DAQRI’s Smart Helmet and you will see why. It allows you to be an ‘Augmented Human’ worker. Targeting businesses rather than consumers, the wearable seeks to help boost employees’ productivity at work, by helping companies improve their workflows as well as troubleshooting on the factory floor or at construction sites — making for a great return on investment.

DAQRI’s Smart Helmet comes with a hard hat with safety goggles attached and is powered by Intel’s M7 chip and RealSense camera sensors.

Putting on the helmet, for so many human-tech capabilities it provides, I was surprised by how light and snug it was.

Vanessa Singapore VRARA2.jpeg

Its human-machine interface overlays schematics onto real objects and allows for pattern recognition, head tracking amongst others — very useful for workers who need to troubleshoot on the factory floor.

It also grants you ‘X-ray’-like vision to see through, and inside of the objects. Workers can be alerted to danger zones, ensuring their safety, and which pipe or factory equipment need attention.

The whole experience is very fluid and does not feel clunky or gimmicky at all. Though you would need some time to get used to the menu navigation, it only takes minimal time to get up to speed.

The plus point is that the helmet allows you to be hands-free. All you need is to follow the instructions as projected into your vision by your helmet and your ability to select next steps on your menu with your eye and head movement.

Switching to the next item on the menu, I was then able to view and participate in a simulation of an operation on a human hand. This operating room application is a great way to bring augmented reality into medical training.

I’d be keen to see how the Smart Helmet can be utilized by emergency responders and those in law enforcement.

Besides the Smart Helmet, I also got to try on DAQRI’s prototype enterprise smart glasses. Lightweight, it can be used in many industries such as automotive, aerospace and healthcare.

DAQRI’s Smart Helmet and AR glasses offer both useful on-the-job and real-life applications.

All I can say is, the future of work is pretty rad.

About the author
Twitter @vanradd Contact: vanessa (at) thevrara (dot) com

Vanessa Radd is ranked the global top 3 augmented reality influencer and is the founding member of the XR Alliance. The XR Alliance is a global alliance for tech professionals in VR/AR/XR. Its FORCE is in alliance-building and VR/AR}XR for Good @xrforce. Vanessa is also the President of the global VR AR Association Singapore chapter.

###The DAQRI helmet was showcased for the first time in Singapore at a private event organized by the XR Alliance and Protiotype with the VR AR Association and TNB Ventures. ###

Video of the making of DAQRI Smart Helmet
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fCAShzXhBCI

VRARA Education Committee & WebGuyz VR Education Platform

By Ross Cohen, WebGuyz.nyc, Co-Chair VRARA Education Committee

WebGuyz is an industry agnostic startup on a mission to innovate the way students learn in the education system. WebGuyz's revolutionary SaaS platforms makes up the structure of educational programs, unifying all students and teachers, online and offline. WebGuyz created an entire modern and idealistic approach for education using VR & AR technology from Microsoft HoloLens and Oculus Rift. The solution provides students with a higher caliber of technology and puts them in a VR setting that enables each student with a visual, hands on, educational portal; The environment is controlled by the school’s administrator, and is fully integrated with the school’s curriculum.

Currently the program is running in several schools across the five boroughs of NYC with prodigious success and most importantly impeccable results. Student involved in the futuristic curriculums reported having new born set of skills and eagerness to scale and sharpen. WebGuyz program involves high demand curriculums such as, 3D design, backend managing skills, front-end management, developing applications for IoT devices as well as launching them, and cyber security awareness.

Together, the VR/AR Association (via the VRARA Education Committee) and WebGuyz will expand to more schools, revolutionizing and strengthening the learning process of the education system. The collaboration of The VR/AR Association will bolster the variety of devices and custom programming utilized within the curriculums, additionally improve the program as a whole from the input of industry leading experts within the association. The future for all looks virtually bright, teachers of the school systems will receive more classroom engagement, student attention span increases, and be prepared for the competitive world awaiting them, and the school district reputations rise from happy parents, students, and teachers.

WebGuyz has worked with Microsoft, CISCO, Google Education, New York State Career & Technical Education Organization, NYC Department of Education, Jump Into the Light VR Lab, New York Institute of Technology, and Metaverse.

The modern day teenager has a lower attention span than a goldfish, teenager coming in at 8 seconds and goldfish coming in at 9 seconds. The average attention human span back in 2000 was a whopping 12 seconds, and research proves the impact of this decrease in classrooms all around the country. The students are not to blame, the surrounding environment is the issue, giant social media platforms with massive amounts of content easily accessible with the touch of a finger, and evolving technology that trends for a day before the new best thing is introduced.

Instead of stripping students from their technology (i.e., mobile phones), and trying to control their personal environment in the classroom, WebGuyz strategically innovated an entire modern and idealistic approach using VR & AR technology from Microsoft HoloLens and Oculus Rift. The solution was to provide students with a higher caliber of technology, and to put them in a controlled VR environment, contrary to controlling their personal environments. A VR setting, entering each student into a visual, hands on, educational portal, completely controlled environment by the school’s (or university’s) administration, and fully integrating the school’s curriculums.

Not only do the students enjoy their technology ‘fix’, their attention span will increase as the WebGuyz program embeds into the education system. That’s just the immediate effects, the SaaS learning platforms is the other arm of this operation, working parallel to the controlled virtual reality environment. The learning platform is designed not only to help increase attention span, it increases engagement between teacher and student (a teacher’s dream come true), encourages teamwork (getting them ready for the real world), teaches responsibility and sharpens essential skills of tomorrow and beyond. Providing each student with a head start in a highly competitive and busy career environment.

VRARA Criminal Justice Committee Visits a School in Queens, NY to talk VR

Assistant Ocean County Prosecutor Rory Wells, Co-Chair of the VR/AR Association’s Criminal Justice Committee, had the opportunity to speak with students at the Irwin Altman Middle School 172 in Floral Park, NY on Thursday June 15, 2017.

School Media Specialist and Librarian Margaret Borger invited Rory to speak with students researching new technology.  The students were looking at how developing technology will continue to affect all areas of our life with one group choosing law and criminal justice as a focus.

Rory spoke on current topics in criminal justice and potential criminal applications for new technology such as virtual reality, augmented reality and the use of 360-degree cameras for investigations.

The student interaction was high with lots of questions and it was a great visit overall.  “We are at the point where advanced technology is organic to this coming generation, what they are starting with today, we only dreamed about.  The next three to five years will move at lightning speed”, says Assistant Prosecutor Rory Wells (Ocean County, NJ).

ALERT: Tonight's SF Chapter Event Postponed

Due to the logistics and road closures for tomorrow's Golden State Warriors Victory Parade (closures start at 6pm tonight) we are forced to postpone tonights SF chapter event.

After long discussions with the venue and Oakland PD, we regretfully arrived on this conclusion as the safest option. The venue is in downtown Oakland in the middle of the parade route.

Registered attendees will receive an email to this effect, automatic admission to the new date, and something extra. We will issue full refunds to anyone who can not make the new date.

That date will be devised ASAP, as we are able to line up speaker schedules and venue availability. More to come, and we apologize for the curveball. We are bummed to say the least.

In an ironic twist for the sake of comic relief: The Golden State Warriors have been a double edged sword for SF Chapter events: as a great past speaker, and now source of postponement.

But we'll roll with it. Here is more from our past events and stay tuned for more. Go Warriors. 

VRARA Vancouver Member Spotlight: Miguel Testa of PanoRabbit

VRARA Vancouver Spotlight:

Miguel Testa, CEO of PanoRabbit

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Interview with Laura Ryu, VRARA Vancouver Marketing Manager

What attracted you the most into the VR industry? I got hooked into the VR industry after an HTC Vive Game Jam hosted by CDM. At the time, neither the Vive nor the Oculus Rift have had consumer releases, so I’ve never really tried before then. Before starting on coding our team’s entry, we had the chance to try some room-scale demos by the sponsors. I was overcome by awe of how real it felt. But it was the moment I uploaded a test build I created with Unreal Engine 4 that I really came to love VR. I made a room whose walls are made from the stock UE4 materials with a single light in the centre. The moment I put on the headset is the single most transformative experience in my career. I was inside a world, simple as it maybe, that I created. I could walk through it, see it’s details, see how the light bounces from different angles. From then on, I decided that I wanted to build more worlds like that one.

What is your company all about? PanoRabbit is all about making VR and 360 panoramas simple. At the time, there were not a lot of tools to upload 360 content to share and view in Virtual Reality. Most of the time, you had to make a basic Unity scene to view 360 photos in VR. I found this to be a pain, since I was doing some work in the Real Estate space making VR walkthroughs. My co-founder, Kenny Wong, approached me and shared the idea of making a platform that simplifies the process of sharing panoramas to be viewed in VR.

What do you love the most about your company (product, service-wise, culture, etc)? I love our users. We have been laying low for the past little while because we’re thinking of reworking a lot of aspects of our product, but we have a couple of core users who still upload panoramas regularly.

What excites you the most about the VR/AR industry and how is your company going towards it? The VR/AR industry is always evolving and there’s always something new around the corner. One particular aspect of the industry that is getting a lot of steam lately is the new frameworks and tools coming out for mobile and web VR development. Among these are A-Frame, Viro VR, and React VR. These new tools will help us integrate new and exciting features into our product. We look forward bringing those into our new builds.

What is one thing that we can expect from PanoRabbit in the future? We’ve been experimenting and working on a major overhaul these past few months, so expect a big upgrade sometime in the future!

 

If you want to learn more about PanoRabbit, check them out:

https://panorabbit.com/

https://www.facebook.com/panorabbit/

https://twitter.com/PanoRabbit