Get your Company Featured in our VR AR Ecosystem Reports

VRARA's 50+ Chapters are producing industry reports on the regional VR/AR ecosystems to promote companies and organizations involved with immersive technologies and media from NYC to Sydney, across the world.  The reports will be promoted by VRARA and our partners reaching potentially a 1M audience. 

Would you be interested to have your company featured in these report or sponsor the report? If yes, then let us know at info@thevrara.com 

Each report will specifically highlight the following:

  • Size of the local ecosystem market 
  • Number of relevant companies in the ecosystem 
  • List of companies and company info (size: number of employees, revenue; vertical, customers)
  • Reasons why company is based in the local ecosystem 
  • Needs and hopes from and for the ecosystem

If you have any questions or are interested in being featured or sponsor, please reply to this email or email info@thevrara.com

Screen Shot 2018-07-16 at 4.14.39 PM.png

100 Companies already part of our NYC VR AR Ecosystem Report

Enter your email to receive this report:

Screen Shot 2018-05-30 at 3.23.20 PM.png

VRARA NYC Chapter is producing an industry report on the NYC VR AR ecosystem to promote NYC companies and organizations involved with immersive technologies and media. Would you be interested to have your company featured in this report or sponsor the report? If yes, then let us know at info@thevrara.com 

Given NYC is a metropolitan hub for national & international businesses, institutions, and organizations, this report will represent the brilliant minds all over the VR/AR ecosystem, from original content creators & creative distributors to innovative hardware companies to ambitious researchers.

The report will specifically highlight the following:

  • Size of the NYC market
  • Number of relevant companies in NYC
  • List of companies and company info (size: number of employees, revenue; vertical, customers)
  • Reasons why company is based in NYC
  • Needs and hopes from and for the NYC ecosystem

If you have any questions or are interested in being featured or sponsor, please reply to this email or email info@thevrara.com

A sample of the report's infographic and list of companies already included is shown below:

  • Brave New World
  • Brick Simple
  • Confideo Labs
  • Inception
  • Lampix
  • Media Combo
  • Nice Shoes
  • NKLS Media
  • Oblix
  • OffWorld Laboratories
  • Rutgers Prep
  • Saber VR
  • Sketchfab
  • SMACAR Solutions Inc.
  • StudioPath
  • ThirdEye
  • Touchstone Research
  • ViuSpace
  • VRSim

 

If you have any questions or are interested in being featured or sponsor, please reply to this email or email info@thevrara.com

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.

Screen Shot 2018-05-14 at 1.59.29 PM.png

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.

Screen Shot 2018-05-14 at 2.00.11 PM.png

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.

Lampix launches on Kickstarter: Personal-touch, no-screen tabletop Augmented Reality is here

Screen Shot 2018-03-17 at 10.18.15 AM.png

Lampix is live on Kickstarter

 

Lampix Photo 1.jpg

What is Lampix?

Lampixis a truly interactive tabletop augmented reality system that uses machine learning and blockchain-based image sourcing to recognize, reveal and react to the visual world.

Connect to what you see

Lampix merges a few simple, familiar elements—and one groundbreaking element—into something new. At its core, Lampix looks like a fashionable LED table lamp, but it houses a high definition projector and camera that does more than just display your screen on a flat surface. Lampix recognizes fine hand movements and intelligently responds to an ever-growing list of real-world objects, inviting interaction on a whole new scale.

Lampix Photo 2.png

Dynamic new scenes beyond your screens

Conference room and cubicles. Restaurants and stores. Kitchen tables and gaming tables. They all can come to life with Lampix. From sharing and collaborating on actual pen and paper documents, to rendering visually stunning worlds for gamers, with Lampix the possibilities for developers are wide open.

Powered by people, built on blockchain

Lampix is limited only by your imagination. That’s why we’ve created the PIX blockchain token system. PIX allows businesses and individuals to request and submit object reference images and category descriptions for the benefit of Lampix users and beyond. By building our robust object recognition platform this way, the system is decentralized and open to all users and developers. This will help generate a vast, always growing database of images to power unique applications across industries.

Lampix Photo 3.png

Open call for apps + images

We’ve made Lampix Developer Edition as open and simple as possible. Leverage our powerful object detection system with your own HTML5 based apps. Need reference images for your app to recognize specific objects? Set a bounty and let the community come to your aid. When you’re ready to bring your app to market, sell your apps for PIX tokens to generate revenue.

The next step—join us

The Lampix visual ecosystem needs you. We’re looking for apps to help us blaze a trail for new kinds of interactivity, and images to grow our machine learning visual engine. But first, make a pledge on Kickstarter to help us get Lampix to our product release date.

Back Lampix on our Kickstarter page.

For more information about Lampix, visit lampix.com

Lampix Announces Its Official Membership in Global VR/AR Association

Screen Shot 2018-03-02 at 4.30.52 PM.png

New York, NY - Mar 01, 2018 - Lampix, a developer of tabletop augmented reality hardware and software, is pleased to announce that it has become the newest member of the global VR/AR Association (VRARA).

Both the VR/AR Association and Lampix are dedicated to fostering growth in the virtual reality and augmented reality industries.  As a member of VRARA, Lampix will participate in the Association’s initiatives through which Lampix will be connected with VR and AR organizations to accelerate the market with smart growth. “This is an important step ahead of our Lampix Developer Edition hardware and app ecosystem launch later this quarter as we engage the developer community with the tools to create amazing desktop augmented reality experiences that magically respond to objects and gestures,” says Gordon Meyer, Vice President of Marketing at Lampix.

In response to the new membership, the Association’s Global Executive Director, Kris Kolo, commented: “We welcome Lampix to our rapidly growing ecosystem and acknowledge their unique AR hardware/software solution that can enable next-gen user experiences.”

This is an important step ahead of our Lampix Developer Edition hardware and app ecosystem launch later this quarter as we engage the developer community with the tools to create amazing desktop augmented reality experiences that magically respond to objects and gestures.

Gordon Meyer

Vice President of Marketing

“We are excited to participate in the VR/AR Association and look forward to all of the opportunities that membership has to offer,” says Meyer.

For more information, please visit www.thevrara.com.

About the VR/AR Association
The VR/AR Association (VRARA) is an international organization designed to foster  collaboration between innovative companies and people in the virtual reality and augmented reality ecosystem that accelerates growth, fosters research and education, helps develop industry standards, connects member organizations and promotes the services of member companies. 

About Lampix
Lampix is an augmented reality smart projector and camera system that recognizes hands and objects to transform any existing horizontal surface into an interactive one. Lampix uses the power of computer vision combined with high definition video projection to provide a dazzling digital experience on a desk or tabletop. Lampix has engaged with enterprise clients ranging from Bloomberg to PwC to BMW and with large retail chains. In Fall 2016, Lampix was one of the winners chosen from hundreds of participants at Highway 1, the premier hardware startup accelerator competition. In 2017, Lampix won first place in the Augmented and Virtual Reality category at the South by Southwest (SXSW) Accelerator Pitch Event. Lampix was also named Best Augmented Reality Display of 2017 by Next Reality. To learn more, visit us at www.lampix.com

The first Mixed Reality and Blockchain Conference in New York

Screen Shot 2017-12-13 at 8.43.07 AM.png

Dec. 12, 2017 / PRZen / NEW YORK -- Arcona, a new project striving to create an AR layer on the Earth's surface, is hosting BlockchainMix, the first New York area event to focus on how blockchain technology is shaping mixed reality.

The event is being supported by the VR/AR Association, a global community of the best minds in virtual and augmented reality with chapters in major cities around the world.

The industry's leading experts and investors will take part in the discussion. Here is a list of confirmed participants:

  • Dana Farbo, AR/VR/blockchain expert, COO at Augmate, a platform for smart glasses and other wearable devices
  • George Popescu, CEO and co-founder of Lampix, an AR technology platform and editor-in-chief at Lending Times
  • Catherine Barba, tech entrepreneur, investor, founder of PEPS Lab, a retail innovation center
  • Chris Dannen, managing partner at Iterative Capital Management, an alternative investment fund specializing in cryptocurrencies and blockchain technology
  • James Haft, entrepreneur, investor, co-founder of Startup Hub NYC, founder and managing partner at Pacific Alliance
  • Michael Mazier, co-founder of LendingCalc, a direct platform for institutional investor

The event will take place at Rise NYC on December 15. To register, please click HERE.

All event participants will automatically be entered in a drawing for a free piece of augmented reality land in Soho, NYC.

The discussion is part of the Blockchain conference organized by the Starta accelerator.

Recap of VRARA NYC Chapter Event ‘Narrative in VR: How to Create Compelling Stories with Virtual Reality’

Screen Shot 2017-10-09 at 8.30.49 AM.png

On a steamy late-September Monday (September 25, 2017), on the first day of Advertising Week New York, the VR/AR Association NYC Chapter hosted a panel with some of the leaders in VR storytelling, ‘Narrative in VR: How to Create Compelling Stories with Virtual Reality,’ at the NYU Tandon Future Lab.

Moderated by Chris Pfaff, the panel featured Brian Seth Hurst, Chief Storytelling and President at StoryTech Immersive; Raheel Khalid, CTO of Verizon envrmnt; Caitlin Burns, founder/CEO of Caitlin Burns & Associates, and Lewis Smithingham, president and partner at 30ninjas. An audience of 35 producers, artists, and students were part of a lively discussion regarding VR’s narrative structures, and how much of today’s VR industry has adapted game design techniques to better deliver moving experiences.

Brian Seth Hurst showed his groundbreaking piece ‘My Brother’s Keeper,’ which premiered on HTC Viveport at Sundance 2017, and was produced for PBS Digital Studios. Currently the most widely distributed VR film to date, ‘My Brother’s Keeper’ was what Hurst detailed as an invention process, as it is the first live action VR film shot at 120 frames per second, and includes innovation such as 180 framing and Bokeh inside the sphere.

Raheel Khalid showed some of Verizon envrmnt’s latest work, its ‘Virtual Sports Bar’ experience, which creates opportunities for multi-user drop-in experiences. He has helped build new tools for multi-user VR experiences that will enable producers and consumers to shape their own VR narratives in real-time.

Caitlin Burns described some of her work on Space Nation, a Helsinki-based organization that uses virtual experiences to train civilians for space travel. She also discussed some of her early learnings in VR storytelling, and how to overcome technological hurdles to maintain narrative focus.

Lewis Smithingham described challenges that he has faced with VR and AR productions, including his work for the ‘Conan O’Brien Show.’

USA Today Network’s VR Ad Studio has Shown There’s an Audience for VR Ads

USA TODAY NETWORK is a member of the VR/AR Association. 

Join our Advertising Committee here.

The in-house studio has been working with brands to develop VR and 360 branded content and with Nielsen to measure the impact of these new ad experiences.

 USA Today Network’s in-house studio, GET Creative, developed 360-degree/virtual reality branded content for Pure Michigan promoting travel and tourism to the state.

USA Today Network’s in-house studio, GET Creative, developed 360-degree/virtual reality branded content for Pure Michigan promoting travel and tourism to the state.

For the USA Today Network, virtual reality and 360-degree content is more than just hype. It’s becoming a revenue driver.

For roughly a year and a half, the Network has been working with advertisers to develop immersive branded content that can be distributed across its media properties.

The effort is spearheaded by the GET Creative unit, which launched in March 2016 as an in-house agency charged with executing projects for advertisers that can be promoted in all media that the USA Today Network operates in — including virtual reality (VR). The Network consists of over 90 local media properties and the flagship USA Today, reaching a combined audience of more than 100 million consumers in the US, according to the company.

GET Creative’s first project was for Honda. The team used VR to promote the carmaker’s ultrafast two-seat Indy race car. The branded VR experience put consumers in the passenger seat of the Indy car, rounding a race track at 200 miles per hour.  That project “showed there’s an audience for VR,” said Kelly Andresen, SVP and head of GET Creative at USA Today Network, in a phone interview.

Most recently, the team launched a 360-degree campaign for Pure Michigan to promote travel and tourism to the state. Viewers can “look around” at the various points of interest profiled in the video.

Experimenting with turnkey VR-specific ad formats & measurement

In addition to branded content opportunities, the Network is experimenting with ad formats designed specifically for VR environments. The first is what the company calls a “cubemercial,” which puts the users inside a room or cube in which advertisers can project videos and other creative assets on all four of the “walls.” The aim is to make this entirely new format turnkey for advertisers by incorporating brands’ existing creative assets.

The Network has partnered with Nielsen to measure the impact of VR on brand metrics. “It’s an amazing medium for advertising,” said Andresen, “likely because it’s so immersive people remember the content and VR has a 2x brand recall compared to TV.”

The studio takes a multiformat approach: creating true VR content that requires a headset like Google Cardboard, Oculus or Samsung Gear VR and 360-degree content that can be distributed across mobile, desktop and app and does not require a headset.

“The multiformat approach expands reach, and we see 360 as a gateway to true VR,” says Andresen.

What’s holding VR advertising back?

Interestingly, scale isn’t what Andresen mentions when asked what needs to happen for VR ads to become mainstream. “We have seen growth in true VR reach and expect to see more with the lower price points and variety of headsets available,” she said.

Instead, she named two critical things that still need to happen for VR advertising to truly take off:

We need new words.

First and foremost, says Andresen, is the need to establish a common lexicon for VR. There is no way to describe a “shot list” and story line to a client, for example, and the point of view for the story line now depends on the user’s frame of reference. The entire industry — producers, story tellers, clients, agencies — needs to be able to communicate.

We need a standard that can scale.

Second is the need for standards for VR ads and one experience that can scale. “All of us are challenged to really think creatively here. I wouldn’t want us to default to things like pre-roll. That’s not a great experience and we know this. An intrusive ad experience in VR is particularly bad because users have nowhere to go. . . Product placement is an interesting approach, but there is a challenge for scale because it’s so specific to the context,” says Andresen. “Our first foray borrowed heavily from linear video, but we see more [opportunity]. Can we move to a standard that’s scalable? Branded content has been a solution in that has filled a void.”

Google introduced an early VR ad concept this summer, and startups like Immersv and Outlyer Technologies are early entrants working on VR advertising.

There is no lack of client interest, says Andresen. Initially, clients are seeking education on the size of the opportunity and capabilities. Budgets are different for every client, with some pulling from video budget, some have an innovation budget, and some — she points to Lexus’s work with Saatchi & Saatchi’s Team One agency — have already made the investment in VR and are just looking for scale.

For its part, Andresen says, GET Creative is in position togrow adoption of this new medium that could end up changing our perceptions of advertising.

Original article

Recap of VRARA Expert Panel at Ad Week New York: What do Agencies Need to Know about VR #AWNewYork

VRARA NYC.jpg

On September 25, the VR/AR Association NYC Chapter hosted a panel during Advertising Week New York of leading advertisers working in VR/AR to spark discussion about virtual and augmented reality and possible use cases in branded work. Moderated by Friends With Holograms founder Cortney Harding (Co-Chair of the VRARA Advertising Committee), the panel featured Rori Duboff of Accenture, Robert Lester of Glow, Doug Barr of Havas, and Christine Lane of McCann.

 
 

To kick the panel off, everyone was asked about the worst VR/AR experience they’d ever seen, and what lessons could be learned from the mistakes those creators made. Lester pointed to a narrative piece that missed the mark with scale, where the user constantly changed perspectives and sizes, while Lane pointed to a more common example of a nature piece that succumbed to subpar CG. DuBoff also referenced a piece that got scale wrong, and Barr pointed out common problems with locomotion, especially pieces set on roller coasters, which can sometimes make viewers sick.

While all of the problems present in these pieces are fairly easy to solve, they highlight another dilemma -- how to make sure agencies and brands don’t try one piece, have it fail, and decide that VR and AR are not worth exploring further. Barr referenced a situation where he helped a competitor fix a piece and while his client wasn’t happy about, he believes that a rising tide will lift all boats, and the more good work is on the market, the better. Lester pointed to the need for internal evangelists at agencies and brands, and DuBoff and Lane both said that advocates need to share both good and bad use cases in order for clients to learn and focus.

In terms of moving forward, all the panelists had specific new developments they were excited about, ranging standalone headsets that are rumored to be coming soon to multiplayer experiences to webVR and social VR. In terms of spreading the technology, Barr pointed out that VR has a faster adoption rate than several other well-known devices, while other cautioned patience and the need to use it in training applications to get it to users.

Augmented reality is still fairly new for the most part, as ARKit only recently launched, but all the panelists were bullish on how it would be adopted by brands. Use cases ranged from practical (tape measures, furniture placement) to informational (the MLB app that allows users to view more stats) to the ridiculous (an app that allows users to paint on the world).

The conversation then shifted to the metrics brands care about when evaluating VR and AR pieces, and the need to create stickier content that users will return to again and again. Panelists pointed out the heatmaps are a great way for brands to measure how long viewers looked at something and tweak campaigns to respond to that data. Finally, the panelists were generally behind giving away cheaper headsets as a gateway to VR, even though the quality might not be ideal.

The event was the first in what will hopefully be a series of conversations presented by the VRARA and Friends With Holograms to inform brands about the possibilities and best practices for VR and AR. 

Advertisers considered VR/AR as their number second focus in 2017 for digital marketing technologies:

 
 

We invite all to join the discussion as part of our Advertising Committee, join here.

Virtual Reality and its Impact on the Field of Criminal Justice

 VRARA Criminal Justice Committee Seminar Pictured Left to Right: Eric Dustin of FARO, Rory Wells, Esq. of Ocean County Prosecutor’s Office, Ed Williams of FARO, Eduardo Neeter of FactualVR, Greg Schofield of Toronto Police Service

VRARA Criminal Justice Committee Seminar Pictured Left to Right: Eric Dustin of FARO, Rory Wells, Esq. of Ocean County Prosecutor’s Office, Ed Williams of FARO, Eduardo Neeter of FactualVR, Greg Schofield of Toronto Police Service

Jersey City, New Jersey – Multiple law enforcement agencies, academics, start-ups, non-profits and corporations from the United States and Canada met today in Jersey City for a first of its kind seminar and discussion on the impact of Virtual Reality and Augmented Reality on the Criminal Justice System.  

The Virtual Reality/Augmented Reality Association’s (VRARA) Criminal Justice Committee held its first event today on current and future applications of virtual reality technology, where an individual or group of individuals are immersed in a 3D experience using headsets or glasses.

The meeting covered demonstrations of the latest technology, including laser scanners and VR applications from event co-sponsors FARO Technologies and FactualVR whose developing technology allows to accurately replicate and communicate the facts around crime scenes to aid in investigations, preservation and future testimony in court.     

Co-Chairs of the committee, Assistant Prosecutor Rory Wells and Eduardo Neeter, Principal of FactualVR both addressed the attendees with valuable input.  The topics ranged from training and investigations, to the use of VR at trial and the use of VR for rehabilitation/reentry after serving time in prison.   

“It’s not a matter of “if” but “when” as the technology continues to develop and become mainstream, people will eventually demand that VR be used in every courtroom” stated Co-Chair Eduardo Neeter.

For information on the committee or future events, please email us at: info@thevrara.com.

www.thevrara.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

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.

Torch Digital becomes a Member of the global VR/AR Association, NYC Chapter

New York  - Torch Digital is pleased to announce that it has become the newest member of the global VR/AR Association.

Both the VR/AR Association and Torch Digital are dedicated to fostering growth in the virtual reality and augmented reality industries.  As a member, Torch Digital will participate in the Association's initiatives by which Torch Digital will be connected with VR AR organizations to accelerate the market with smart growth.

In addition, Torch Digital is excited about partnering with other developers to create a bridge for their talent to our wide berth of contacts with advertising, Fortune 500 and major media companies hungry for engaging innovations in VR and AR.

“We are happy to have a VR veteran and pioneer such as Carlo Spicola, the Founder of Torch Digital,” says Kris Kolo, Global Executive Director of the VR/AR Association. He has pioneered VR as both an interface and content for some of the first Enhanced Music CDs for Skinny Puppy and the Wu-Tang Clan as early as the 90’s. He also created the first hit VR downloadable ‘app’ Hey Arnold! VR Room for Nickelodeon, which became Nick’s most downloaded digital toy in the USA and three additional markets. “We are excited to see what comes next and look forward to his(Carlo’s) growing involvement with the association,” says Kris Kolo.

“We are excited to participate in the AR/VR Association in New York and abroad” says Carlo Spicola.  “We look forward to creating VR and AR content solutions that serve our core values of using VR/AR to educate, engage and entertain the general public.”

For more information please visit torchdigital.com 

Recap of the VRARA NYC Chapter & NYTV People Event "Future of VR/AR" at The Mill, NYC

By Julian Locke, NYTV People

The VR/AR Association partnered with The Mill and NYTV People for a panel and networking event called the Future of VR/AR. Panel members included Boo Wong, Group Director of Emerging Technology at The Mill, Cindy Mallory, Business Analyst for DreamSail Games, Michael Owen from Media Combo, Amy Peck, Founder Endeavor VR and Moderator Chris Pfaff, CEO, Chris Pfaff Tech/ Media LLC.

 It wouldn’t be a VR event without VR! Boo Wong and The Mill let people experience some of their latest cool projects.

It wouldn’t be a VR event without VR! Boo Wong and The Mill let people experience some of their latest cool projects.

VR Changed My Life – the usual panel introductions were turned upside down when Cindy Mallory told the incredible story of how a chance encounter with VR on a date had such a profound impact on her she ditched her career as a Biochemist at Rutgers University and joined DreamSail Games. Now instead of studying the isolation and purification of the Celb2-MBP from Ecoli PMAL Vector she focuses on the analytics management for virtual reality development game creation with emergent technology!

The Realities of VR - Michael

Owen discussed the challenges of producing cinematic VR in uncontrollable environments where none of the production team can be physically present “You leave your camera in a busy market place and it’s gone!”

Those VR Headsets will soon be $10 on Ebay! Amy Peck spoke about how the technology is moving in the direction of an immersive experience that will be shared with friends in a virtual world. Rather than the solitary experience we mainly have today.

NYC Media Lab becomes a member of the global VR/AR Association

NYC Media Lab is pleased to announce that it has become the newest member of the global VR/AR Association (VRARA), the largest directory of over 3,500 organizations involved in virtual, augmented, and mixed reality.

Both the VR/AR Association and NYC Media Lab are dedicated to fostering growth in the virtual reality and augmented reality industries.  As a member, NYC Media Lab will participate in the Association's initiatives by which NYC Media Lab will be connected with VR AR organizations to accelerate the market.

"We are excited NYC Media Lab has joined our global association. NYC Media Lab is the epicenter of all VR AR in NYC and we look forward to accelerating the market together with smart growth in NYC and globally," Kris Kolo, Global Executive Director, VR/AR Association. 

Learn more about NYC Media Lab here nycmedialab.org

VR for Producers featured Verizon envrmnt, Littlstar, and Associated Press at NYU Data Futures Lab

By Chris Pfaff 

The first VR/AR Association New York Chapter event of 2017, ‘Virtual Reality for Producers: How to Create and Deliver for the New Content Frontier,’ took place last Wednesday night, February 15th, at the NYU Data Futures Lab, and it delivered not only a full standing-room-only crowd of 95 people, but some of New York’s finest producers working the VR scene.

It has been almost a year since Chris Pfaff Tech Media helped launch the New York chapter of the VR/AR Association (www.thevrara.com), and the organization now boasts chapters in 12 countries.

Kris Kolo, New York chapter head of the VR/AR Association, introduces the goals and benefits of the organization

As more New York producers learn the craft of producing in VR, the industry will grow concomitantly. Wednesday’s session was an ideal session for learnings from the likes of Paul Cheung, direct of interactive at Associated Press (AP); Alissa Crevier, global head of partnerships, at Littlstar, and Christian Egeler, director of VR/AR product development with Verizon envrmnt.

Chris Pfaff introduces the speakers and sets up the event

 

Paul Cheung guided the audience through his learnings with the almost dozen VR cameras that he and his team have tested. He discussed some of the work that AP has done with branded content partners, and how to adapt the standards of the AP (an organization that literally developed the journalistic standards known as “AP Style” over the past 180-plus years) to VR production. In other words, while shooting a scene, do you keep the DP and/or the producer in the shot, or matte that out? For AP, that choice is obvious: leave the production team in the frame. Cheung described some of the learnings in VR as they apply to the overall production work that his interactive has to deal with, enabling a smoother workflow scenario.

Paul Cheung discusses the range of VR cameras that AP has tested and and used

For Alissa Crevier, Littlstar’s work has grown to the point where the company is as much a platform for content as it is a stand-alone producer of VR content. This has created a new kind of channel for VR partners, and the Littlstar roster of clients includes the who’s who of major content distributors, including Disney/ABC, Discovery, Nat Geo, Showtime, and the Wall Street Journal, among others. Crevier’s experience with Spotify, and the music industry in general, have helped her navigate clearances and understand the vagaries of the live music scene, and live streaming, to understand the value of WebVR versus individual VR platforms, such as Oculus, Gear, or Vive, among others.

Alissa Crevier presents Littlstar’s productions and its content platform model

Christian Egeler took the audience through the Verizon envrmnt learnings, and how they have applied to the studio’s growth in areas that include their Social VR platform. The envrmnt cross-platform SDK has gained traction in the industry, including with the March, 2017 issue of Cosmopolitan magazine, which includes an AR app, a native app, and integrated envrmnt SDK so that trigger images are easier to recognize. Egeler also showed an Alpine Village demo with dynamic updates (first showed at the Amazon Web Services Invent and Nvidia conferences). He hinted at the possibility that envrmnt might release a “build your own” 3D engine later this year. A VR experience produced for Super Bowl LI was also demonstrated.

Christian Egeler shares learnings from Verizon envrmnt’s studio work, and showcases new work, including its Social VR platform

The audience, mostly comprised of producers, was intrigued by the experiences that the three presenters had. The lively panel discussion dove into issues surrounding the growth of an industry that still has yet to standardize areas of production and post-production, as well as the growth of WebVR, in the wake of a still-early headset market.

Paul Cheung during the panel discussion

Mina Salib (right, speaking), program manager at the NYU Futures Labs, introduces the audience to new opportunities at the Labs

Paul Cheung (rear of photo, against window), and Alissa Crevier (right front), address audience questions after the ‘VR for Producers’ event

Recap of VRARA NYC Event: VR for Producers

At the heart of the VR experience is a core group of producers who, on a global basis, are leveraging early funding from state organizations, as in France, as well as major media firms, in Canada and the United States. As with high-definition video, a small but passionate group of production companies have taken on the task of defining the early grammar of VR. Teams such as RYOT have created immersive journalistic VR experiences, while Felix & Paul Studios have delivered high-end commercial experiences. Dozens of small shops create new worlds for clients daily (just search theDirectory to see just how many!).

Speakers and demos included:

 

See pictures from the event including the lessons learnt shared by the Associated Press (AP):

 

Verizon also demoed their Social VR: