How to know whether and when your workforce is ready for AR

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Pokemon Go may have brought it mainstream, but augmented reality (AR) is more than just a tool to get kids off the sofa. The technology is finding its way into a number of uses for business, including learning and development.

What exactly is AR and how are companies using it? It's essentially a mix of virtual reality and the real world: your actual location with images or information superimposed into the picture. AR can overlay maps, steps, data and more. It provides instructions, answers questions and, for example, can compare what a worker is doing to specifications for a task, offering input to perform the work correctly.

Tomorrow’s tools working today

The technology is already in use at plenty of worksites. Using Google Glass AR headsets, GE Aviation connects mechanics to specifications: as they use their digital torque wrench, the system tells them immediately when they have the exact fit to seal hoses and fluid lines. In healthcare, surgeons and nurses may wear glasses that display a patient’s vital signs in real time as treatment is being administered. In construction, AR can map out plans against the workspace, allowing workers to see what they should be doing in 3D, rather than having to check against blueprints.

Honeywell says it's using the world’s "first and only self-contained holographic computer." A headset that uses Microsoft’s Hololens provides a mixed reality view that gives learners a chance to explore in a combination of the real world and virtual space. "These active learning methods use sight, sound and touch, codifying learning," Vincent Higgins, director of technology and innovation, Honeywell Connected Plant, told HR Dive in an email.

"We are finding that Honeywell’s Skills Insight Immersive Competency, which uses augmented and virtual reality, really boosts retention rates," he said. "Technical staff are better prepared to face the challenges of a constantly changing work environment.”

Tapping into the 'wow' factor

The tech has certainly caught users' attention. "AR has started out primarily in new customer-facing applications to bring a 'wow' factor to websites or mobile apps," said Christa Manning, vice president of solution provider research for Bersin, Deloitte Consulting LLP, in an email. It's been used to help shoppers imagine how furniture might look in a home or to show airline frequent travelers how to navigate airport terminals, she told HR Dive. But the tech has moved to address the needs of business.

Early adopters telecom, for example, are using AR to support workers in the field who are servicing remote equipment. "With lots of data being generated by the 'Internet of Things' (IoT) and devices everywhere throwing off information," Manning said. "AR can be critical to help human beings process all of this information in real time and in context."

There are three main "horizontal applications of AR in B2B at the moment," Tuong Nguyen, principal research analyst at Gartner, told HR Dive in an email: "task itemization, collaboration, and see-what-I-see video." Task itemization delineates the steps needed to perform; collaboration gives employees resources and data needed while SWIS allows others to participate in the task from a remote location.

“Augmented Reality and VR represent an innovative alternative to instructor-led training,” John Buzzell, president of You Are Here said in an email to HR Dive. “Both can dramatically reduce training times, improve consistency and enhance recall, leading to higher quality and speed that helps companies retain the employees they spend so much money to recruit.”

Making the (virtual) leap

For business considering adopting AR, the challenge may be more than just identifying a need. Preparing employees and learners to use the technology can be difficult. "As they bring new AR approaches," said Manning, "learning professionals should consider that this can cause cognitive overload for many users. Having to learn not only a new set of information but also a new tool for conveying the information and adjusting their own ways of working and learning at the same time."

She recommends learning professionals coordinate very closely with IT to make sure they have access to the right hardware, as well as Wi-Fi that can keep up with timely processing of all the data. "Like any new technology or change in the business," she said, 'learning professionals really have to focus on supporting the workers empathetically through the change and market the benefits for the worker as well as the business."

Buzzell suggests that businesses have a solid strategy before implementing new tech: “You must build a solid 'customer experience' for your team, create a framework that makes sense for your organization, and make the transition as smooth as possible," he said. There are resources available, such as professional organizations like the VR/AR Association. He also noted that many device manufacturers or solution providers offer "adoption dollars" that can help companies start the transition to immersive tech.

They might be more ready than you think

If it’s deployed properly, adoption may not be solely about teaching staff how to do something differently, Nguyen said; "it’s giving them a tool that makes their job easier/faster/safer.” If an employee has been trying to drive a nail with a shoe and you hand them a hammer, they really don’t have to “learn” how to use it, he said; you’ve simply provided a tool that makes them more effective.

Curiosity may well drive learning, too, Manning noted. “As much as AR can be overwhelming, it can be very powerful to tap into human curiosity and to make learning new things or applying new information more compelling and fun.”

Don’t overlook capitalizing on the novelty of the tech, she said. “Simply trying it out in a pilot or test area will help attract new digital workers and/or ease more hesitant employees into a new area.” But AR must be in the context of a mature and sound workforce support and enablement technology strategy. “Like any new type of technology,” she said, “there will be fits and starts and it will never be the end all be all, but [it] should be part of an overall portfolio focused on productivity.”

Source

What feeds the Seeking and Curious Minds of Children (VR/AR for Social Education)

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What, Why, When, Where Who / Whom are for asking questions in the pursuit of answers to understand the observation and the situation of daily living. They are the 5W or W5.

What if and Why Not are for digging deeper into the answers we first get and to probe into what is apparent and for firing up the imagination and the passion for further pursuit.

These are the elements of learning. It is true of all people and peoples and especially the very young.

The seeking and curious mind of the very young is a precious space and time that should be occupied with knowledge, experience, and imagination that set them in good stead in dealing with and overcoming the challenges of life as they grow.

The curious mind raises questions relative to

  • observation of things physical, such as water, colors, forests, books musical instruments etc. 
  • observation of experiential situations such as reading a book, playing a musical instrument, a noisy environment, a walk in a forest, people greeting one another etc.
  • observation of mention of abstract notions such as time, digits, subtraction, addition, imagination, cleanliness, attitude, bullying etc.

The child with such questions would love to pose them to someone they trust to provide them with good answers of explanation with facts and figures. Learning occurs when there is such interaction for Question and Answer in a dialogue.

But not all children have the opportunity to find themselves in places and situation for making the various observation due to various kinds of constraints which may be economic, geographical, cultural, political or a matter of space and time.

Such lack of opportunity can be sufficiently overcome with the use of apps and games that are purpose-designed to introduce the child to things physical, experiential situations and abstract notions with the application of

  • computer animation graphics,
  • augmented reality (AR) production,
  • virtual reality (VR) production and even
  • Mixed Reality (MR) production to present physical objects to portray experiential situations and to explain and to illustrate abstract notions. That is exactly what W5GO apps and games have attempted to do and so far they have proven to be rather good at it. W5GO™ is a Social Project by Ecocarrier Inc. to develop AR/VR/MRenabled apps and games that are fun, entertaining, informative and a way for learning English words and expressions by natural absorption or osmosis for preschoolers and kindergarten children. It is a part of Ecocarrier for Social Edification a category that consists of projects for developing and engendering social good. It proposes to achieve two broad objectives, namely: 
  • to raise the digital consciousness of the general population beginning with the very young
  • to build or influence the making of a kinder, more equitable and more enlightened society

W5GO™ now consists of 16 apps (episodes) and games. A few more are in the pipeline soon to be released and a lot more are in the plan for development including a series that is to be purpose-designed to cater to children living on the autistic spectrum.

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Download the full PDF article overview here

Visit www.ecocarrier.com

Report: The immersive economy in the UK -- the growth of VR and AR technologies

For a copy of this report, email info@thevrara.com

This report details the growth and potential of virtual, augmented and mixed reality technologies.

Details

The immersive technologies sector is growing rapidly. We estimate that there are 1,000 immersive specialist companies in the UK employing around 4,500 people. They generate some £660 million in sales, potentially representing as much as 9% of the global market share.

This publication explains:

  • the current state of the UK immersive economy
  • how immersive technologies can provide value for a range of industries
  • areas of regional strength in the UK
  • export activity and opportunities

 

Recap of our AR Cloud Webinar and Q&A (The Spatial Web)

Join our AR Cloud Industry Committee here

Summary

On May 2nd, we hosted a webinar on the “AR Cloud” with an incredible panel moderated by Charlie Fink. and featuring presentations from Ori Inbar of Super Ventures and AWE, and pioneering startups working to enable the creation and population of the AR cloud including Anjanay Midha (Ubiquity6), Matt Miesnieks (6D.ai), Ghislan Fouodji (Selerio.io), and Ray DiCarlo & David (YouAR).

Perhaps the biggest shift the introduction of AR-enabled mobile phones  brought is the use of the camera as the interface. But the camera needs something to detect, or "see". We have come to think of this geolocated content as "The AR Cloud". The implications of SLAM capable geolocated content are profound; the world will be painted with data. The technology to enable this dramatic development is in its infancy, although there are several promising startups tackling it right now. Some, like Ubiquity6 and YouAR, offer complete solutions, while others, such as 6D.ai offer key technologies that would enable developers to create their own apps.

The presentations explored key concepts around the AR cloud. Such as:

  • The role of computer vision, AI, and sound.
  • The function and form of the universal visual browser (how will it enable all AR content to be found and could existing browsers play a role).
  • Will there be open standards (so enterprises and individuals can populate the AR cloud)?
  • If a dozen developers painted data on a landmark,  like the Golden Gate Bridge, how would a user sort through it?
  • Will there be a Google for visual search? How would that work? How important are filters?
  • What are the opportunities today for developers, enterprises, and individuals?

 

Q & A

How do you capture spatial data that is aligned to real world coordinates if GPS isn't accurate enough? What is the math behind it?

It's too hard to get into here. There is no single solution that covers all use cases. Doing some googling on "outdoor large scale localization" (add "gps denied environments" for more fun) will uncover a lot of papers and all the math you can handle.

In layman terms, the GPS system is used to get in the general area, then computer vision takes over. Either via AI recognition, and/or point cloud matching, the system determines the exact 3D coordinates of the phone relative to the real world (ground truth)

The trick is to handle cases where there is no pre-existing computer vision data to match against, and to make it work from all sorts of angles and lighting conditions, and with/without GPS. It's still a very active domain in computer vision research. - Matt Miesnieks

There are several CV solutions that localize devices within point clouds. The trick is to understand the relationship between one "localization" and another.  Our approach involves positioning AR content and devices with coordinates tethered to multiple trackable physical features. As devices use our system, they calculate and compare relative positioning data between trackable features, generating measurements (and associated uncertainties). These trackable features get organized into emergent hierarchical groups based on those measurements. Our system then uses statistical methods to improve its confidence of relative position data based on additional measurements made between the trackable features organized into a group.

In plainer terms, imagine that you had a marker taped to a table to create a rudimentary form of persistent AR but that marker also knew the relative position of every other marker taped to every other table in the whole world. We call our version of this system LockAR. - Ray DiCarlo

 

How will ALL of these different AR Cloud providers work together? Are they all compatible?

Good question. Some of us are trying to figure out Open Standards, but honestly I think that's premature. We need to show value to the market that these enablers are valuable. The market is nascent and we are all working to grow the market. Interop just isn't a problem anyone has right now. Down the road, who knows. Some forms of data will probably be "open" and others proprietary, this will probably be use-case dependent, and we don't know the use-cases yet - Matt Miesnieks

We are in a great innovation period! The giants will buy up the companies they like, and leverage their network effects to push them into the consumer world. Compatibility will exist only when its value outweighs the profit of closed systems. We'll see. The decision to give away proprietary technology when you are ahead is a hard one. But often the right one, with a big enough vision and umpteen billions of dollars to help prop up AR Cloud SaaS models. - David

 

How will you handle point cloud data sets in mobile on existing 3G networks?

6D.ai does everything on device, as close to real-time as possible (inc generating point-clouds & meshes). We minimize the data upload & download. We are targeting wifi and LTE networks initially. 3G will work, but will be slower *unknown if too slow. - Matt Miesnieks

Clouds can be sparse; they do not have to be that "heavy".  They will be cached, and load as a device gets within range. We can reduce the amount of polygons and limit the level of RGB fidelity — but it's all going to be better on 5G.  5G is coming soon, and its arrival will transform the AR Cloud into a mass media platform accessible by all, with infinite data, and crazy high bandwidth. - David & Ray from YOUAR

 

What is the threat you pose of one company controlling access to "the" AR Cloud. Doesn't that assume there can be only one? And isn't it the case that the number of potential AR clouds is infinite--just multiple layers over the same physical space?

This question confuses the enabling infrastructure and the content. There can be infinite content in one place. The enabling infrastructure is too early to tell how the market will emerge. It's unlikely that one company will control everything. Nearly all tech markets have a dominant leader and a strong #2, then lots of small players. The ARCloud market will eventually fit this model, but what services and products will that be, who knows, the term ARCloud is too broad right now. - Matt Miesnieks

We agree! There will be many disparate AR Clouds at first, each using their own CV methods to understand that physical space. At some point, protocols may be developed that make some clouds obsolete, and allow others to coexist.  We incorporate otherwise incompatible CV localizations on a common map. Most likely, Apple, Google, and Microsoft will continue to develop in their separated, siloed ecosystems for a while. Everyone will be searching for a near-term solution to the table as we wait for the giants to open their store of feature sets for common use. --Ray & David from YOUAR

 

Why the ARCF? We all share the roads, why not share an AR Cloud? Wouldn’t we all be better off with a generally common one?  

Different AR Clouds will begin to pop up; we must unify this somehow, or at least agree to index them together coherently.

Get in a room (or chat room) and reach out to everyone.  Do simple things first, realize basic goals, test out the first collection of applications.

Sign up for our ARena SDK and use it as a way to populate the ARCF's persistent, global map! The ARCF holds a collection of dynamic and versatile ".6dof" files — openly available SLAM maps. These files are generated by providing end-users with a way to "scan" environments, saving the data in a way that other devices on our network can use to "see" the same space. 
 

In the future how do we create experiences that don't care what device you are using?

6D.ai is working to solve this, we intend to support all major AR platforms & hardware. Partially this is also a factor of the creation tools being cross-platform (eg Unity) and the platforms being open (ie not Snap). - Matt Miesnieks

Our approach was to build an SDK (available soon), so developers can immediately start building AR applications in Unity with the ability to interact with each other on ARCore and ARKit enabled devices. A key goal was to mitigate complex 3D interactions, and to allow both devices to see AR content together in a common space. If developers would like to stay iOS or Android native, they can use our soon-to-be-available UberCV SDK, or other companies soon-to-come out equivalent which will enable you to be in a common space without using any particular backend solution.

Here is an example from YOUAR

 

What are the panels thought as far as conflict resolution? What if multiple entities try to place persistence objects in the same public place & what about property owners having control over what virtual objects are on their property?

It'll be up to the user to choose what app to use, and that will display the content for that app. No one will force you to look at content you don't want (though I expect there will be completely open/public free-for-all AR content apps, which will quickly die due to abuse). - Matt Miesnieks

We believe in a layer-based filter system. Similar to current content filters on apps and websites like Reddit; users will filter their visual content based on any number of attributes, such as by author, rating, maturity level, or location. -- George from YOUAR

 

 

Do you believe that with new Google ARCore developments other AR SDKs and clouds would probably disappear?

No. Each startup will need to figure out how to work with the big players and how to bring differentiated value. None of us want to compete head-on with the distribution power of the big platforms - Matt Mieskieks

Is AR a vitamin or a painkiller? Besides use cases in entertainment/games, training/education or retail/tourism, what are the world-changing use cases that will dramatically improve people's lives?

AR right now is like smartphones in 2004 (I know, I used to work for Openwave who invented the smartphone web browser). It's a cool feature but not a painkiller apart from very specific instances. But all tech infrastructure being built now will also run on whatever AR glasses come along later and supplant/support/enhance the glass rectangle form factor. AR will be a feature on glass rectangles, but will be core to glasses. - Matt Miesnieks

It is a disruptive medium that will change the way we think about, gather and process information. The age of spatial information - David from YOUAR

 

In your opinion, is there a place for the term Mixed Reality vs Augmented Reality? Ie, is the Pokemon behind the pole, with shadows correctly cast, does that make it MR?

Magic Leap confused everyone by calling "AR with occlusion & physics" MR. MR refers to a superset of both AR and VR. - Matt Miesnieks

 

How important do you believe patent portfolios, IP,  will be in the development/commercialization of the AR cloud?

Somewhat but it will be distribution and user retention that becomes the sustainable advantage in this domain - Matt Miesnieks

With the concern of fragmentation across AR Cloud solutions, what standards are being discussed so the upstarts are able to work together as their unique approaches evolve?

See above. Cloud interop isn't a problem that anyone has right now. It's premature to try and solve an imaginary problem. Providing end user benefit needs to be solved first. - Matt Miesnieks

Fragmentation is a usual first step in bleeding-edge tech — just look at how many automobile and internal combustion engine patents existed by 1900. It was the assembly line that changed everything, not the patent designs.

We hope that an archival 6D standard can be agreed upon in the near future. This would mean that advancement in technology and CV localization methods will not be limited by current scans; this should be to everyone's advantage. -- Carlo and Ray from YOUAR

1st: We can now run multiple different fast algorithms to create 3-D convex hulls as bounding areas, thus being able to produce real-time object classification. How long before physical properties can be classified in real-time?

2nd: Part:How many months multiple camera feeds filming a person in their everyday lives would it take an AI, Neural Net or other, to learn a person's mannerisms to a point of seeming like the real person;  but not necessarily be able to pass the Turing test?

I don't know. I believe the first part (physical properties) has been somewhat solved by Adobe Research, I assume they've published something on it. - Matt Miesnieks

 

Can you give some examples of current open-source opportunities to collaborate in a major global project?

Open AR Cloud is an excellent effort toward open geo-pose. Help them!

There needs to be an advisory board on blockchain issues that will be essential to the AR Cloud and the AR economy. (Join our Blockchain committee here )

Incentivized "scanning" needs to be directed toward high-value data targets guided by a decentralized group. Sharing a common map, with privacy of data and an open AR net is a responsibility we all have to our collective future.

 

Join our AR Cloud Industry Committee here

ThirdEye to Showcase their new AR Smartglasses at the VR/AR Global Summit (Hardware)

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ThirdEye's X1 Smart Glasses™  represents the latest in powerful AR smart glasses technology .

ThirdEye X1 Smart Glasses and Enterprise Software are used by Fortune 500 companies as a total solution straight-out-of-the-box.   ThirdEye also develops custom software solutions and integrate them directly into the X1 Smart Glasses-  so no need to learn how to configure a 3rd party software app- the full solution comes to you as a fully integrated product.

ThirdEye's powerful ThirdEye software platforms are used across 20+ Enterprise verticals.  They allow you to increase efficiency, maximize savings and use Augmented Reality to enhance your operations.  

Learn more about ThirdEye here

RSVP for our VR/AR Global Summit here

VRARA President to Speak at SPAR3D on the Future of 3D with Autodesk, Intel, and Shell

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3D sensing, 3D processing and 3D visualization tools are changing the landscape of how assets are managed, projects are pitched, and designs are created. From AEC to asset management, and more. Whether sensing with drones, mobile rigs or hand-held devices to VR/AR and 3D printed deliverables, everything 3D is here at the only vendor-neutral, cross-industry, 3D event in the market.

Chat with VRARA's President Nathan Pettyjohn and other experts discussing realities and timeline for profitable and widespread use of AR/VR, AI/computer vision, autonomy and more.

For discounts email info@thevrara.com 

For event website see here

Download our VR Tech Setups for Events, Arcades and Venues White Paper Infographic

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Our Location-Based Entertainment Committee produced this white paper ready to help venue owners setup VR tech for arcades or events for different types of VR experiences.

It includes:

  • The benefits, tradeoffs, and considerations
  • Mixed Reality setups
  • Sanitation options
  • Shipping checklist
  • Typical event problems & suggested solutions

 

Enter your email here to get the white paper: 

Thank you to YDreams Global for support in this white paper

 

 

 

Snap36 to Exhibit at the VR/AR Global Summit (Retail)

Snap36 is revolutionizing the online shopping experience with simple, scalable and cost effective, professional 360° and 3D product photography.

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YOUR PRODUCT IMAGES ARE WORTH MORE THAN 1000 WORDS. THEY’RE WORTH 1000 MORE ONLINE SALES.

Online shopping is not a utilitarian function, but a process of discovery. Snap36 creates engaging experiences that fill in the details and answer unspoken questions.

Snap36 creates images with context as consumers shop with their eyes. Words can describe how a product might be used, but 360 degree & 3D product photography shows it in action, providing essential visual information to make a purchasing decision.

Snap36 is the premier provider of scalable and cost effective 360° & 3D product imagery. Founded by industry experts who identified an underserved market and were inspired to offer a more visually interactive online experience, Snap36 delivers turnkey photography services and provides the equipment, technology and expertise to implement 360° & 3D photography.

Lear more about Snap36 here

RSVP for our VR/AR Global Summit here

Survey results: 82% of Enterprises predicting that AR Smartglasses will be used by their businesses in the next 3 years

To get a copy of this report, email info@thevrara.com

Meet with Toshiba at our VR/AR Global Summit. RSVP here

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Toshiba’s future IT landscape survey:

"One notable area of enterprise innovation is that of wearables which, while long-mooted, have yet to impact the professional world in earnest to date. A ripening of market conditions make this set to change in the coming months and years.

According to ABI Research, global wearable device shipments to the enterprise will reach 154 million by 2021 – a significant jump from approximately 34 million in 2016. Verticals leading the way in this area include healthcare, manufacturing, transportation and warehousing, according to the research company, and Industry 4.0 is certainly a major influence in this sphere as such companies seek to derive greater intelligence from the Internet of Things (IoT) and related data revolution.

This trend is notable in the anticipated adoption of smart glasses into the enterprise. 80 per cent of organisations are aware of such solutions, but only two per cent have already deployed one. This is set to accelerate rapidly over the next few years, with 89 per cent of engineering, 83 per cent of logistics, and 77 per cent of manufacturing businesses set to implement smart glasses within the next three years."

To get a copy of this report, email info@thevrara.com

Meet with Toshiba at our VR/AR Global Summit. RSVP here

Plessey Semiconductors to Exhibit at the VR/AR Global Summit (Hardware)

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Plessey shines in the spotlight with its globally unique monolithic MicroLED technology

Plessey’s high-brightness displays will be able to comfortably power the next generation of smart-glasses and wearable display applications with its light weight and energy efficient microLEDs without restricting the overall experience for AR, MR and HUDs applications.

Renowned for being an innovative technology design and manufacturing company, Plessey is a world leader in producing GaN-on-Silicon LEDs selling to a range of blue chip global customers.

As a technology company we are passionate about providing intelligent electronic solutions using solid state lighting and sensing to enhance people’s quality of life.

Plessey LED products make use of our innovative GaN-on-Silicon technology to provide lighting solutions across the industrial, architectural, retail, outdoor and residential sectors.

 

Click here to learn more about Plessey

RSVP for the VR/AR Global Summit here

VR/AR Association NYC Chapter Brings ‘AR for Producers’ to The Alley in Manhattan

By Chris Pfaff

Some of New York’s leading AR technology developers attracted a crowd at The Alley, Verizon’s 5G collaborative lab and work space in Chelsea last Tuesday, May 8th, at an event sponsored by the VR/AR Association’s New York chapter. ‘AR for Producers: How to Engage Audiences on Multiple Platforms’ was well-titled, as most of the audience was comprised of new media and television producers who are looking at AR for a wide range of production elements, including fan engagement, 2nd-screen extensions, and location-based entertainment.

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Eric Schwertzel, head of business development for eyecandylab’s US presence, demonstrated the AugmenTV concept, in which TV content triggers experiences on mobile using an AR app. This is a long sought-after play, and should have traction in sports as well as episodic TV.

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Gordon Meyer, head of marketing for Lampix, demonstrated the company’s projector-based AR solution, which is ideal for retail and public venue experiences.

JR Dawkins, head of business development for Envrmnt by Verizon, showcased the Envrmnt AR Designer tool, the industry’s first true drag-and-drop AR tool. The simplicity of the tool enables anyone – with no coding experience – to create AR triggers on physical objects, and more.

Far beyond what previous generations of AR solutions have provided, the presenters discussed the value that 5G will bring to AR, enabling seamless, low-latency experiences with greater connectivity levels.

For many in the audience, it was their first time in The Alley, which opened last spring, and has gained a following among the technorati of the city.

VR AR in Healthcare is the Future of Care and the Future is Now. Read about VRARA Members Leading the Way

Join our Healthcare Committee here 

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Gone are the days of trial and error practice on ‘real’ patients, for medical students and mature Doctors alike. Thankfully for all of us who might be either getting a routine procedure done or nervous about an invasive complex surgery; we can rest a little easier knowing our Medical Professionals have probably practiced and honed their skills in VR. The technology is finally giving healthcare the tools it desperately needs to improve training, provide services in a virtual environment, and educate patients.

Companies like Precision OS Technology, enables users to perform critical aspects of fracture surgery in an immersive, highly realistic setting; which allows for repetition and objective performance measures.  Likewise, Trois Prime Lab provides VR Training procedures including knee surgery, hip replacements and sleeve gastrectomy. Similarly, one of the benefits of immersive technology is that the user feels the same amount of mental pressure and physical stressors of a procedure in a modified environment tailored to meet the requirements of specific real-life situations. In effect, VR/AR environmental simulations are giving healthcare professionals the vital experience they need when performing under adverse emergency and natural disaster conditions.

For example, the Thomas Jefferson University DICE initiative is preparing providers to work successfully in high-acuity disaster and emergency situations.  In addition, the company INVIVO, enables Surgical Simulation with full interactive large-scale medical devices to smaller hand tools in a typical operating room environment. Both help practitioners know what to expect and prepares them to work efficiently in varied circumstances and environments.

With an aging large generation of baby boomers, in conjunction with average population medical needs, there are not enough Doctors to keep up with the overall demand of care. As a good first step, VR/AR can now enable some medical services to be performed in a virtual environment. For example, the VRHealth Group VRPhysio enables a series of full-body exercises for physical rehab, stimulates patients to perform specific movements and provides real-time data to track progress.

Thomas Jefferson University DICE initiative also provides rehab in VR for cardiac patients. The gamified experiences provide immediate feedback and encouragement to help patients stick with their rehab program, while tracking real-time data and  generating progress reports. This can be used for supervised remote in-home care. Some other companies in VR/AR medical services include VR4Neuropain, which combines VR headsets with haptic feedback and bio-medical sensors to integrate virtual and conventional rehabilitation for neuropathic pain; and RelaxVR which provides immersive experiences for stress relief and behavior modification.

One of the biggest issues in healthcare is lack of staff and funding to educate patients on a myriad of programs to improve their outcomes and overall health. VR/AR applications are tackling this problem by educating patients before and after medical treatment. Many Doctors agree that mental preparation before a procedure is just a critical for the patient, as is the surgeon. The company IKONA for example, provides immersive pre-op VR experiences for patients and medical personnel to address factors that may improve patient outcomes. Another patient application geared for aftercare, is an AR enabled pill box that helps heavy prescribed patients order and manage their medication schedule. This can reduce post-op anxiety and give the user a sense of control over their lives. Also helping educate patients in VR/AR is Order 66 Labs; which provides simulations of treatment with groups and medical specialists for recovering addicts. As a result, patients are more likely to participate,  and stress less during and after a procedure or intervention.

Ultimately, healthcare is adapting to the changing needs of the population by creating new tools and methods of care. VR/AR is helping in training, providing services and of course, education. Never before have opportunities in healthcare had such a reach and impact in people’s lives. Even in remote places like the Pacific region, VR in healthcare is making a difference. The company Second Muse Legends, created interactive narratives that teach children and their families about traditional eating and how to make healthy food choices to combat obesity. VR/AR in healthcare is the future of care and the future is now.

Join our Healthcare Committee here 

Toshiba to Exhibit at the VR/AR Global Summit - dynaEdge AR Smartglasses (Hardware)

Toshiba dynaEdge™ AR Smart Glasses

A New Vision for the Workplace

The dynaEdge™ AR Smart Glasses are a wearable, hands-free "Assisted Reality" solution designed to help large enterprises improve efficiency, quality and operating flexibility. Backed by decades of mobile computing design expertise, the dynaEdge™ AR 100 Smart Glasses provide enterprises a complete solution, incorporating both hardware and software in one turnkey package.

Combining Windows 10 Pro functionality, Intel® Core™ processing power, up to 512GB internal storage and enterprise-level security, Toshiba’s augmented reality solution is in a class of its own, capable of tackling any hands-free task.

These are Toshiba’s first enterprise-grade, mobile wearable AR solution running Windows 10 Pro, which seamlessly integrate into an organization’s existing infrastructure and IT security standards.

The compact, waist-mounted mobile mini PC design and a lightweight, industrial-grade Head Mounted Display (HMD) creates a balanced augmented reality solution geared for comfortable, extended usage models.

Optimized for field work, the Toshiba AR solution offers a variety of methods to input and navigate, including a touchpad and programmable buttons on the HMD and directional buttons on the waist-mounted mobile mini PC. Advanced software options enable voice and gesture capabilities.

Toshiba’s goal is to sell something that lets workers view documents and PDFs, record and send photos, and even launch remote video chats directly from the headset, all without having to use their hands.

 

Based in Tokyo. Toshiba Corporation is a world leader and innovator in pioneering high technology, a diversified manufacturer and marketer of advanced electronic and electrical products covering consumer, enterprise, industrial and the infrastructure markets. Toshiba Corporation is one of the largest electronics and technology companies in the world.

 

More info about the VR/AR Global Summit here

Download our VR & AR in Training Best Practices White Paper

 

To get your free copy, enter your email address 

 

Thank you to our supporters who made this white paper possible:

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This 20+ pages white paper was written by our Training Committee and industry experts.

The VR and AR landscape is fast evolving and provides benefits across many industry verticals. One of the most widely hailed applications of VR and AR is in Training/ Learning & Development because of the seemingly boundless array of possibilities and benefits compared to traditional training methods.

This document outlines and details a set of best practices, aiming to capture the rapidly-evolving field of VR and AR and its use in training and skills development. It is intended for novices to VR and AR technologies which are knowledgeable in current training methodologies and experienced in the general training market. While this document provides an extensive discussion of current best practices and usages, VR and AR continue to grow organically and rapidly. We encourage you to experiment and push the boundaries of what is currently possible with this technology.

The VRARA Training Committee will ensure this document is current through regular updates every six months.

If you want to participate in the Training Committee email info@thevrara.com 

Philip Wogart of VRARA Germany interviews Philipp Wilhelm of CEBIT

If you would like to get discounts to attend or exhibit CeBIT, email philip@thevrara.com 

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As part of the run up to CEBIT this year, I had the chance to speak with Philipp Wilhelm who heads up the activities for the Deutsche Messe in Hannover as regards immersive tech. This year the conference will be in the second week June, and the German Chapters of the Association are excited to be partnering with Germany’s largest technology conference to showcase our members and expertise in Hannover. 

Hello Philipp and thank you for taking the time to sit down with me and discuss CEBIT with us. I want to jump right in and ask for our international audience what does CEBIT mean? It’s an acronym no? But more importantly what its legacy has been and where it is headed…

Thank you very much for having me! That’s kind of a hard questions at the beginning. The name CeBIT is quite old, the show exists for over 35 years. So when its first episode started I assume more than 70% of the technology we have today did not exist back then in the show. In the past the name ment  in German “Centrum der Büro- und Informationstechnik” something like “marketplace for office IT” and back then it was pretty accurate. But CEBIT has changed a lot over the past years and the meaning too. For the 2018 edition CEBIT has a brand new concept. The old known and valued business focus still remains valid but we add a younger component to the show, a festival for digitization and some new topics triggering younger and more creative professional visitor groups. As a result we are also rebranding the name by letting the small “e” grow up to a capital “E” for “Experience the digitization”. CEBIT is a feeling and place to be, not an acronym any more. 

This rebranding is quite exciting actually. The festival approach will certainly appeal to a younger generation of attendees and exhibitors I imagine. Please tell us a little about the diverse technologies that will be showcased this year.

CEBIT has 4 core elements all focusing on digitization that’s where the “d!” comes from. The festival is named d!campus it is an open air area in the middle of the exhibition ground and will be hosting festival stages with artist, showcases and networking back yards, all focused on casual networking after the business hours. The biggest part and most similar to the “old” CEBIT is the d!cononomy part. There visitors find everything they need to digitize their company. From accounting software, datacenters, office IT, security software down to workplace IT. The really game changing technologies as AR/VR, AI, drones and other technologies among startups are hosted in the d!tec part of the show. This will be the most interesting for your members to browse around, test some tec and listen to conference talks. These conferences are the last of the 4 elements named d!talk and are located in the halls and free to attend. Spread over the show and conferences are our lead topics as: VR/AR, Future Mobility, IoT & 5G, AI, Human Robotics, Security and for sure Blockchain.


Well all these are gonna be real hot topics for the coming years for sure. Let me focus in a bit more on spatial computing now. Virtual and Augmented Reality being the name our of association, I’m sure the readers want to know more to expect this year. Can you share with us about any exciting demos that will be coming to the expo or d!talks?


Absolutely, we will have great content and demos at the show. Something that impresses me all the time is from holofill, it’s a hologram in a box/ screen and you can see it without a headset. We will have the latest gloves for VR by Sensoryx, great AR-Kit demos by VuFrame and even some cool demos by Innoactive. Beside these Startups there will also be companies who are in the market for a very long time as Leica Geo Systems showcasing special cameras for, I think you call it “point cloud scanning”, sorry not an expert. Collaborative workplaces in VR  will be shown and some more great showcases and technologies I am unfortunately not allowed to talk about at the moment. But some headsets no one has seen before will be showcased too. ;-) 
So for everyone from B2C to deep B2B solutions will be showcased at the show.

The Association is privileged that you have invited us to participate too, so thank you for that. At this point I feel obliged to mention that we have secured discounts for our members to visit and exhibit this year and hope to continue our participation for years to come. Let me ask you Philipp how did you get into VR yourself? And personally where do you see it headed now that the hype has died down?

We are very happy to cooperate with the VRARA, you have a great international network and we love to support you and the growing spirit of the, let’s call it XR-Industry. My first contact with VR was with a DK2 Headset at an event I attended around 2 years back in the US. Being very fascinated I decided to do some research on the topic and even did my MBA-thesis on “Immersive technologies in the sales process”, doing that I experienced how open minded, giving and forward thinking this great industry is. It’s always a great pleasure working with XR-people. 

I have also been astounded how amazing the community is, in person and also on social media. I look forward to infinite potential Social VR has to offer and concerned at the same time of course, but I’m an optimist in this respect.

So I’m excited for my first year at CEBIT as an attendee, exhibitor and speaker ;) 
Thank you so much for taking the time to give us a heads-up about all that going on in Hannover this June 11-15 (FYI: Monday is conference only, from Tuesday the expo opens to the public). 

 

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VRARA Member Stambol Studios partners with Health & Technology District to Create XR LAB to Embrace VR/AR

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Health & Technology District Creates XR LAB to Embrace Emerging Technologies in Partnership with Conquer Experience and Stambol Studios

New XR LAB leverages mixed reality & emerging technologies to inspire healthcare solutions

Surrey, BC – May X, 2018 – The Health and Technology District, together with Conquer Experience and Stambol Studios, are launching a new XR LAB, a demo studio leveraging mixed realities and other emerging exponential technologies to inspire future healthcare collaborations. 

Located within the District’s HealthTech Innovation HUB in Surrey, the new dedicated XR LAB offers a fully equipped virtual reality workspace where companies can get access to mixed reality demo opportunities, shared spaces and facilities, workshops and programs and a whole suite of business services as part of the HealthTech Innovation HUB’s amenity offerings. 

Users of the XR LAB have the opportunity to co-locate with innovative thought leaders at the District, to built and inspire creative health and wellness collaborations and encourage the cross-pollination of forward-thinking ideas that bring real world healthcare solutions to patients everywhere. 

“The new XR LAB is a new venture and a natural fit for Conquer as we rebrand and transition into new markets leveraging our core virtual reality strengths and successes,” says Angela Robert, CEO and Co-Founder of Conquer Experience, formerly Conquer Mobile. “BC is at the forefront of innovative technologies and Surrey has a rapidly growing health and technology presence. The XR LAB and the resources at the HealthTech Innovation HUB will help advance health-tech innovations and further the successes of companies within the District.” 

Building upon Conquer Experience and Stambol Studios’ BC-built virtual reality successes, the XR LAB attracts businesses, entrepreneurs and emerging start-ups to use the highly specialized equipment within the LAB to build mixed realities in the areas of health and wellness and beyond as BC builds and commercializes disruptive global solutions in health. 

“We are pleased to partner with the Health and Technology District and Conquer Experience to showcase our mixed reality technologies and applications related to the District,” says Dogu Taskiran, CEO of Stambol Studios. “Immersive mixed reality technologies can provide creative solutions and bring to life various environments that benefit a variety of industries, including healthcare. We look forward to creating applications that will further innovate the health and wellness space utilizing various exponential technologies.” 

The XR LAB complements the Health and Technology District’s unique ecosystem that supports the collaboration, experimentation and innovation in health and wellness experiences that will have profound impacts in the future of health care services, delivery, training and most importantly, experiences. 

Technologies from the XR LAB will be showcased at the Health and Technology District’s booth at the upcoming BCTECH Summit taking place May 14-16 at the Vancouver Convention Centre. 

About the Health and Technology District: 

The Health and Technology District is one of BC’s most rapidly growing and dynamic new health-tech sectors located in Surrey’s emerging innovation ecosystem. It has a unique advantage being ideally located directly across from Surrey Memorial Hospital, one of Canada’s busiest hospitals where a collaborative cluster of multinational and start-up companies, international partners, clinical and research facilities, scientists, innovators and entrepreneurs, work together in partnership to accelerate the implementation of technologies and solutions towards health care impacts and improvements. www.healthandtechnologydistrict.com

About Conquer Experience: 

Conquer Experience (www.conquerexperience.com) is a digital simulation company focused on delivering ‘Education as an Experience’™. With deep expertise in UX, VR and simulation gaming, the company has created the Experience Platform™ that brings learning to life. Our award winning product PeriopSim (www.periopsim.com) is built on the Experience Platform, available on the iPad, HTC VIVE and Windows Mixed Reality headset and has been used in over 200 North American Hospitals, saving dollars and improving patient safety from day one. PeriopSim is the subject of the top ranking international peer reviewed academic research paper on BMC Medical Education. 

PeriopSim (www.periopsim.com) is an award-winning digital simulation training solution for clinicians who need to learn surgical instruments, passing technique, sharps safety, sterile technique and procedures. The product enables surgical staff to practice safely before surgery. PeriopSim was part of an 18-month pilot program with the Association of Perioperative Nurses (AORN). 

About Stambol Studios: 

Stambol is a distinguished creative technology studio specializing in highly immersive content and interactive applications for architecture & real estate marketing, enterprise and brand engagement applications through Virtual Reality and Augmented Reality. Headquartered in BC, Stambol Studios employs a team of dedicated artists, designers and engineers with a proven track record of success to create inspiring and memorable virtual experiences for businesses to showcase their products and brands. www.stambol.com

Watch VRARA Members at VRLA and the VRARA After Party

We did quick video interviews at VRLA and demos at our VRARA After Party to showcase the different VR and AR solutions from our Members and Sponsors. 

Classroom of the Future

Immersive Art Experience with HoloLens

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Recap of Virtual Reality Arcades Conference in Mountain View, CA

By Deborah Worrell, Member of the VRARA LBE Arcades Committee

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The Virtual Reality Arcade Conference took place last weekend at the Samsung Research Center in Mountain View, CA.  The conference brought together companies specializing in VR hardware, software and distribution; VR content studios and publishers; VR research; and experts in funding and financing for VR LBE.

The recurring theme from presenters and exhibitors was one of consultation, cooperation, education and support. Daisy Berns, General Manager of Exit Reality, summed up the spirit of the conference, saying, ‘Virtual Reality is an extremely new industry and it is important for all of us to work together to elevate the entire location-based sector and be mindful that we will be introducing VR experiences to the masses’.

Panels focused on best practices and speakers shared insights based on their own successful models with the audience of arcade owners and interested attendees. Along with seasoned VR location owners a significant number of individuals came to learn about VR LBE and how they can become VR entrepreneurs themselves.

One particularly memorable panel (Jan Goetgeluk, CEO of Virtuix, Brad Scoggin, CEO of SpringboardVR, Shauna Heller, NA President of AiSolve, McKay Christensen, CEO of VR Junkies and Daisy Berns, GM of Exit Reality) had a spirited back and forth about end-user pricing, revenue projections, minimum number of stations and thoughts about keeping high-end VR experiences at an affordable price point.  Listeners learned a lot about VR business models, planning for success and the importance of exceptional customer service. The speakers were unanimous in extolling the benefits of marketing services and cautioned the audience against relying on foot traffic.

Attendees and exhibitors had a great time demoing all the new hardware at the conference. Lines were long to try the new omni-directional treadmill from Avatar=VR and the Omni total immersion body rig. Tactical Haptics showed off new gun-like controllers and everyone enjoyed playing Rocket VR’s games. Exit Reality brought a Cube—their complete B2B solution for VR content, distribution and customer service.

Virtual World Arcade showcased a large free roam arena VR set-up and Jeremy Lam, CEO of Virtual World Arcade, delivered Saturday’s keynote on VR Content Development and Mobile Events as well as Sunday’s talk on How to Prevent Motion Sickness in VR Arcades and Games.

The conference drew to a close on Sunday afternoon with an important panel on financing and funding for VR start-ups. In the cooperative and consultative spirit of the program the audience heard experts from the venture capital world (Angelo Del Priore, HP Tech Ventures, Ken Sobajima, KDDI Open Innovation Fund, and Ryan Wang, Outpost Capital) offer best practices, insights and examples.

Overall the event was a huge success—the panels and speakers were insightful and practical, the demos were fun and illustrated where the industry is headed, and the opportunity to network and build partnerships with VR professionals was outstanding. Mark your calendars for Virtual Arcade World Conference next year.

 

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