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

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Virtual Reality in Healthcare

By Vanessa Radd, Singapore Chapter President

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

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

Understandably, funding is ranked as the top challenge.

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

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

Use cases

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

By Vanessa Radd, VRARA Singapore Chapter President

AI and technology taking over human jobs?

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

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

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

Vanessa Singapore VRARA2.jpeg

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

VRARA Singapore Partners with XR Alliance & Samsung for VR for Healthcare

RSVP for the event here

The XR Alliance is a global alliance for tech professionals in VR/AR/XR. Its force is in alliance-building and VR/AR/XR for Good. @xrforce

"Collaborative learning in VR Healthcare"

Medical VR applications, such as augmented vision surgery, remote treatment and distance diagnosis, are becoming increasingly common worldwide. In Singapore, new techniques are being pioneered that go further to help provide non-invasive and completely safe outcomes without using established trial-practice-and-error approaches.

Infocomm Media Development Authority (IMDA) has teamed up with Side Effects Asia Pacific to work on VR technology systems for advanced healthcare and medical training.

The new systems will enable trainees to experience realistic 3D medical emergency scenarios, allowing digital feedback and overlay information to be integrated with existing medical images. In other words, trainees will be able to experience and practice fully immersive, on-the-spot decision-making scenarios during the resuscitation of critically ill or severely injured virtual patients.

In this upcoming session, TK Ng, CEO of Side Effects Asia Pacific, will share more about their insights and experiences developing cutting edge healthcare and medical VR simulations with the new Gear VR Controller as a key interaction device. He will also give strategic tips and advice on how to deliver and scale cutting-edge medical simulations to the entire healthcare and medical industry in the most cost-effective and practical way.

Vanessa Radd, President VRARA Singapore Chapter, Featured in Women of Wearables

Original article here

Interview by Marija Butkovic (@MarijaButkovic)

Vanessa Radd, currently flies between Singapore, Shanghai and California, brings +15 years of experience in broadcast (TV Everywhere and LiveTV solutions), tech and VR/AR. Currently, Vanessa is President of the global VR/AR Association Singapore Chapter and heads partnerships in Asia for Holition, a UK-based augmented reality creative agency. Vanessa is ranked among the global Top 10 influencers in Augmented Reality. Vanessa is also the founder of the VR/AR Women in Asia Society and a member of The Media Alliance’ Board of Directors.

What projects are you working on at the moment? What does your current job role entail?

I wear several hats. I work on VR and AR consulting projects and represent several European/American brands in Asia. One of the companies that I represent is Holition, a London-based augmented reality experiential agency that provides immersive augmented reality experiences for luxury brands, entertainment and more. Holition creates beautiful experiences in augmented reality, as seen with the magic mirrors developed for Charlotte Tilbury’s Westfield store in London (which was mentioned in Forbes and New York Times as a retail trend to watch out for) and the virtual try-on makeup app for Coty’s Rimmel ‘Get The Look’ mobile app which won the DigiDay Europe Mobile App of the Year award. Holition also produced the largest augmented reality fashion show for Dunhill in Shanghai that was experienced ‘live’ by the audience present. At Holition, we believe in melding art and technology, to create beautiful experiences.

I’m also the president of the global VR AR Association (VRARA)’s chapter in Singapore. The role I take on is very industry development focused, and together with the members, and my global VRARA colleagues, we aim to promote a vibrant VR/AR ecosystem worldwide.

How long did it take you to be where you are now?

I have always taken a very independent, quintessential path in my career and in my entrepreneurial ventures.

I have a major in accounting, and a content creator’s mind in a career in media and technology. I’ve traversed from tech (software and hardware), to the broadcast and satellite industries, and now, VR and AR. I’m pretty much self-taught throughout my 15+ year career, and at every stage, I’ve taken what I’ve learned, and my skillsets and transitioned to a new product or platform.

In hindsight, perhaps there were early signs in my life of the sort of career path that I was going to get into -- the first website I had to build in one of my university courses was on satellites -- little did I know I would go into this field. It kind of seeked me out. I was also actively involved in the organizing of a regional robotics competitions in one of my earlier jobs, and have worked in helping close the broadcast-digital divide between developing and less developed countries through technology and education. Personally, I’ve always focused on using the right technology to help create content that benefits society-at-large and how it can bring diverse ideas together.

It is a natural progression for me and I feel very fulfilled in what I do in this new medium. In some way, I believe, VR/AR chose and embraced me as much as I’ve embraced it.

What was the biggest obstacle?

Broadcast technology, to many in the media circle, does not necessarily seem sexy as working in the content side of things. But I stuck at it as innovation is my passion. It’s an observation but not an obstacle.

What are the challenges of being an entrepreneur in the niche you are in? How about being a female entrepreneur?

As VR/AR is a nascent industry, people have varying expectations. In the greenfield work that I do, I find that I’m thrust into a position where I have to find the answers myself and educate the market about this new medium, and how it can be utilized. Companies are excited about VR and AR, however, to create beautiful experiences, there are specific instances that work, and some instances where VR and AR do not fit what they seek to do.

And because it’s something new, clients sometimes are not able to gauge and assess what a proper VR/AR creative agency is supposed to provide, and when traditional advertising agencies come into the picture and rebrand themselves as VR/AR companies, it may get even more convoluted. This is where, as president of VRARA’s Singapore Chapter, I’m able to help to set the guidelines on the industry standard for VR and AR to  promote really good quality VR and AR work, for the benefit of the industry and a healthy ecosystem.

Secondly, pundits may come into the picture and want to invent new jargons. We need to circumvent this for the good of the industry.

As for being a female entrepreneur, there may be some few instances where men may ask questions that they might not ask men, even if you are a senior level executive, just to test you. In these instances, you know, you just take it with a smile and some humor. For me, this is all small stuff, don’t sweat it. I think women now, are already very much empowered in this day and age, and there are more opportunities than challenges.

Just hunker down and do the work. People will notice good quality work and strong leadership.

What are your biggest achievements to date?

Being part of a founding organizer-team of a digital-broadcast conference which is running now for over a decade. Growing the VR AR community in Singapore/Asia-Pacific as part of VRARA. Founding the VR/AR Women in Asia society. Being listed as global Top 3 Augmented Reality influencer by Onalytica.

What will be the key trends in the VR and AR in the next 5 years and where do you see it heading?

  • The intersection of AI, IOT and AR/VR will transform the way we work, communicate and collaborate.

  • More great VR arcade/theme park experiences.

  • We live in a 3D world, why not market brands and experience entertainment in 3D.

  • Conversations about security concerns in VR and AR.

  • Exploration of the open source platform in VR and AR.

This is the time to leap, and a very interesting time at that. My hope though, is that VR/AR will not effect a wider digital divide.

Is #WomenInTech and #WomeninVRAR movement important to you and if yes, why?

Personally, I haven’t really being conditioned to think so much about this but I do acknowledge that my gender does give me some opportunities, as well as barriers that come along with the package. It’s recognizing this and utilizing your strengths, being fearless, and taking action with grace.

As founder of VR/AR Women in Asia, I do actively seek out women at events and ask them to join the community. My personal mission is to raise the number of women developers in the field of VR and AR.

Diversity to me is important, and beyond the gender issue, it’s great if #WomenInTech and #WomeninVRAR can help open the doors to conversation on other diversity topics as well. Let us women support each other, and in addition, help to speak up for other groups.

What is the most important piece of advice you can give to all female founders and female entrepreneurs out there?

This has been said before, but I can’t stress enough the importance of true grit. On tough days when people may beat you down or doubt you, at the end of the day, you answer to yourself. Are you going to give up? Or are you going to get up and show up? Myself, being an aikido practitioner, it helps to know how to take falls well, and also getting up and rising for the next battle.

I’ll add to this -- stay curious, maintain a beginner’s mind, and be humble.

Who are your inspirational women in VR and AR industries?

Evelyn Miralles and the inspirational VRARA women.

Twitter: @vanradd

Linkedin: Vanessa Radd

Medium: Vanessa Radd