Varwin Begins Open Beta for VR Reality Management System aimed at streamlining the workflow between developers and clients

Varwin RMS (Reality Management System) has announced its VR creation and
management platform aimed at streamlining the workflow between developers and clients. This software allows developers to create high-quality VR projects that anyone can manage. Until now, that task was only accessible to highly-trained developers due to the complexity of VR technology.

Varwin makes it easy for clients to make small changes themselves. This is achieved thanks to the drag-and-drop logic interface based on Google’s Blockly visual language that presents coding concepts as interlocking blocks. The internal logic of objects is created by the community of developers in Unity and then transferred into Varwin for simple drag-and-drop management. Logic schemes, scenes and objects can be reused, so every creator contributes to the development of the platform and simplifies creation for other users.

For more info contact Anna Salova anna@varwin.com

VR/AR Association Day declared in Florida. Magic Leap present for the special occasion

Here’s a recap of our Orlando Chapter event!

Orlando Mayor Buddy Dyer declared July 10th 2019 as VR/AR Association Day in Orlando in recognition of the launch of the VR/AR Association Central Florida - Orlando Chapter.

Thanks to Mayor Dyer (Orlando), Mayor Jerry Demings (Orange County) and Congresswoman Stephanie Murphy (7th District) for your support of the VRARA and our mission of making Central Florida a global hub for VR/AR technology and services. Special thanks to Graeme Devine, Chief Game Wizard of Magic Leap for his presentation on how spatial computing will change our world and how he is helping to create the Magicverse. Also to Jesse Havens from Valorem Reply on how Mixed Reality and IoT are benefiting the enterprise.

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An Augmented Reality Engine Comes to Life with Avatar's SimplifyXR

True Story! Using SimplifyXR, the AVATAR Partners Team developed an Augmented Reality Engine Maintenance Application for a Patrol Boat in just a few hours.

Since we did not have the CAD drawing of the engine, we used our 3D Lidar Scanner (which took 3 minutes). From there, Dan Kelton (Multimedia Lead) generated a rendering of the Engine.

He then used SimplifyXR to build the Engine AR Experience that comes to life. The user can see the maintenance task, and validate the task accuracy, using a Microsoft Hololens, phone or tablet. The application overlays onto the Engine with an accuracy of 1/8th of an inch, while the user moves in, out and around the engine. If the engine is not readily available, his AR Application displays a high-fidelity virtualized engine, through which the user can use the experience.

Dan built the application at our AVATAR Partners US headquarters and Showcase Office in Huntington Beach, CA, just 3 miles from the ocean. If you're in the area, you must come see our Showcase Office and get a tour of the latest Augmented Reality applications and products.

Lear more at our website www.avatarpartners.com

Get involved as a Speaker, Exhibitor or Sponsor for our VR/AR Global Summit #VRARAGS

Apply to be a Speaker, Exhibitor or Sponsor at the VR/AR Global Summit in Vancouver

The VR/AR global summit is a stand-out event for the industry, bringing together the world’s most exciting thought leaders, innovations, and technology from around the world. Early bird tickets are now available for the Vancouver summit, November 1-2, 2019. 

The diverse lineup of speakers, exhibitors and sponsors is what makes this event so special – from infamous tech giants to trail-blazing entrepreneurs. The summit will see topics covering the most important issues in the field today; including in education, enterprise, training, blockchain and more.

Get involved in industry networking events and forge new connections at the conference, during and after the event. Connect with an audience driven by founders, executives, game-changers, and businesses that rely on immersive tech for business. 

Apply here

Call for Sponsors: 3D Modeling Standards and Guidelines for Virtual and Augmented Reality

If interested in sponsoring, email info@thevrara.com

Over the past few months, the VR/AR Association’s 3D Working Group within the Retail Committee has been working on these 3D Modeling Standards and Guidelines for VR/AR/Web. We are now ready to publish and help the industry accelerate VR/AR adoption. We are seeking Sponsors to help us with this effort.

Background

Many retailers, especially those with a strong e-commerce presence, are now using 3D to help customers better visualize their products. Today, the majority of that 3D content is being used behind the scenes to create traditional imagery. As VR and AR become mainstream, brands and retailers are increasing looking to be able to repurpose their 3D assets for these experiences. There are some challenges in optimizing 3D models for AR/VR/Web and these guidelines aim to make it easier for everyone to create models that look consistent on any platform.

A note about openness vs trade secrets: Companies that were early to the 3D space rightfully would like to protect their investments and competitive advantage, but also understand that the best value for those assets comes when consumers expect them as part of their shopping experience. To strike a balance, these Modeling Standards and Guidelines only focus on real-time 3D assets and the contributors will keep their render-ready asset production processes as trade secrets.

Main Authors:

  1. Mike Festa, 3XR

  2. Sumit Goyal, Overstock 

  3. Thomas Huang, Target 

  4. Manil Bastola, Aisle411

  5. Alban Denoyel, Sketchfab 

  6. Josh Belay, InContext Solutions

  7. Jeff Hunt, Snap36

  8. Saurabh Bhatia, Microsoft

  9. Ross McKegney, Adobe

  10. Kevin, Farnham, Mirra

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CenturyLink Demonstrates Effectiveness (400% increase in engagement) of Virtual Reality Technology in B2B with Kaon Interactive using the Lenovo VR headset

Increasing Trade Show Booth Engagement 400% with Award-Winning Application

Kaon recently crafted a case study of how CenturyLink used virtual reality to completely upend their event/booth strategy, starting at AWS re:Invent last year, with great success (and a nod from the 2019 Communicator Awards as well). The Amazon Web Services show was the first enterprise deployment of the standalone, 6-DoF, Lenovo Mirage Solo headset, and it was also the first time Kaon Interactive created and deployed a VR storytelling experience on an untethered headset.

Through successful partnership with Kaon Interactive at recent tradeshows, CenturyLink was able to generate a 400% increase in event booth engagement versus the previous year – within a smaller, more cost-effective booth space.

Looking to elevate event technologies and techniques, Becky Kelly, director of solutions marketing strategy at CenturyLink, decided to turn to a more innovative and engaging solution in an effort to generate higher-qualified booth leads.

“We wanted to create a lasting experience for show attendees without spending exorbitant amounts of money. We wanted to achieve something meaningful that we could grow for reuse. I wanted to create a theme we could tie things around to effectively tell our story and then use those best practices for future ones,” Becky said. 

After establishing its message of “Why Milliseconds Matter,” the Kaon Interactive and CenturyLink team began developing the award-winning, visually engaging, virtual reality experience that would effectively convey this critical message with two goals in mind. The first, to empower the CenturyLink booth staff to engage with tradeshow attendees faster. The second, to have more productive interactions with attendees so they understand that CenturyLink is more than just a phone company. 

Using the Lenovo Mirage Solo® standalone VR headset with Google Daydream, booth attendees were able to immerse themselves in a familiar coffeeshop (and other relatable venues) and experience how CenturyLink touchpoints enable important data to travel, within milliseconds, to execute daily transactions and activities. Because it was developed on Kaon’s High Velocity Marketing Platform®, CenturyLink has the ability to add scenarios and solutions to the application, evolving it for future trade shows. The platform also enabled the deployment of the application on the web, smartphones, touch screens, laptops, and mobile tablets, in immersive VR, to be used by customers and the sales team alike.

“There is a huge cost and time efficiency in not having to recreate this interactive content from scratch for future sales and marketing programs and devices,” Becky stated. “We want to tell our story everywhere our buyers are, and Kaon's platform affords us the ability to do that. Not only did Kaon help us push the envelope, they gave us an innovative technology platform that allows us to break new ground and raise the bar.”

This CenturyLink application was recently selected from more than 6,000 entries, from companies and agencies of all sizes, to win a 2019 Communicator Award of Distinction in the Marketing Effectiveness B2B Campaign category. Read the full case study, or schedule a demo, to learn more.

Discover the Brain Science Behind Augmented Reality (New Report)

How can industrial companies capture knowledge from retiring experts and deliver it to new workers? 

The brain learns most effectively when it’s presented with information in real-time and in the flow of work. This “learning by doing” approach engages multiple learning and memory systems in the brain. 

To overcome the growing workforce skills gap, expert workers need to transfer the know-how and behavioral skills that they draw from on-the-job to newer, inexperienced workers. 

Download this report from Amalgam Insights to learn how industrial companies can use AR to:

  • Simultaneously engage cognitive, experiential, and behavioral skills learning systems in the brain

  • Record step-by-step directions quickly and accurately in a format that is easy to understand

  • Train both the subject matter expertise and behavioral skills repertoire of new workers

Discover why solutions that are optimized for the way that the brain learns can speed time to productivity while reducing training costs. Download Now

Call for Participation in the Netherlands VR/AR Ecosystem Report

The VR/AR Association (VRARA) Netherlands Chapter is producing an industry report on the country's VR AR ecosystem to promote Dutch companies and organizations involved with immersive technologies and media. The report will be promoted by VRARA and our media partners around the world.

As an example, you can see our Reports for other ecosystems around the world here.

Would you be interested to have your company featured in this report? If yes, then please email netherlands@thevrara.com

The report will specifically highlight the following:

  • Size of the market

  • Number of relevant companies in region

  • Company info (size: number of employees, revenue; vertical, customers)

  • Reasons why company is based in the region

  • Needs and hopes from and for the regional ecosystem

The report will be promoted via VRARA channels and our partners, which includes:

  • Our global newsletter to 27K emails, on our website (20K unique visitors per month), and social media (1M user reach)

If you are interested in being featured or sponsor, please email netherlands@thevrara.com

VR Usage & Consumer Attitudes (New Report)

ARtillery Intelligence’s latest report, VR Usage & Consumer Attitudes examines original consumer AR survey data. Subscribe for the full report. VRARA members get a discount.

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How do consumers feel about VR? Who’s using it? What devices and apps do they prefer? And what do they want to see next? Perhaps more important, what are non-users’ reasons for disinterest? And how can VR software developers and hardware players optimize product strategies accordingly?

These are key questions at VR’s early stages that we set out to answer. Working closely with Thrive Analytics, ARtillery Intelligence wrote questions to be presented to more than 3,100 U.S. adults in Thrive’s established consumer survey engine. And we’ve analyzed the results in a narrative report.

This follows similar reports we’ve completed over the last two years. Wave III of the research now emboldens our perspective and brings new insights and trend data to light. All three waves represent a collective base of 7,065 U.S. adults for a robust longitudinal analysis. This will continue to improve.

Meanwhile, what did we find out? At a high level, 16 percent of consumers surveyed have bought or used a VR headset, up from 11 percent in 2018. More importantly, VR users indicate high levels of satisfaction with the experience: 67 percent reported extreme or moderate satisfaction with VR.

As for price sensitivity, demand seems to inflect at $400 and $200. These are interestingly the price points for Oculus headsets including Quest, Rift S and GO. This indicates Oculus’ competitive edge aggressive price competition and accelerating market share, congruent with our separate projections.

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Furthermore standalone VR – embodied by Oculus Quest, Go and other emerging headsets – represents a key inflection point for VR this year. Though still early (this survey was fielded before Quest’s market launch), standalone VR addresses many consumer objections evident in this survey.

However, it’s not all good news: Non-VR users report relatively low interest in VR ownership – 27 percent, down from 31 percent in 2018 – and explicit lack of interest. This downward trend in interest is concerning for VR but isn’t surprising given the dip in excitement we’ve anecdotally observed.

Moreover, the disparity between current-user satisfaction and non-user disinterest underscores a key challenge for VR: you have to “see it to believe it.” In order to reach high satisfaction levels, VR has to first be tried. This presents marketing and logistical challenges for the industry to push that first taste.

The same challenge was evident in our corresponding AR report, but mobile AR’s adoption barriers are lower. This is nonetheless a common challenge for immersive technologies. It will take time, acclimation and price reductions before they reach a more meaningful share of the consumer public.

These points join several other strategic implications that flow from latest consumer VR sentiments. We’ll examine those takeaways in the coming pages, including the latest wave of findings, and our narrative analysis for what it means. The goal is to empower you with a greater knowledge position.

Subscribe for the full report. VRARA members get a discount.

Extality developed the CNN Experience app for Magic Leap showing us the potential of News using Immersive Media

Extality was the developer for the CNN Experience app for Magic Leap, and worked in collaboration with Magic Leap and CNN/Turner Broadcasting to bring it to life.

We are excited about this new way for people to experience news content in 3D all around them, and Extality’s first example is the story about the Thai soccer team being trapped in a cave, which shows the potential for future journalism in Mixed Reality!

Here are some articles about it with screenshots/videos:

From Magic Leap

From Reality News

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Call for Participation in the Israel VR/AR Ecosystem Report

The VR/AR Association (VRARA) Israel Chapter is producing an industry report on the country's VR AR ecosystem to promote Israeli companies and organizations involved with immersive technologies and media. The report will be promoted by VRARA and our media partners around the world.

Would you be interested to have your company featured in this report or sponsor the report? If yes, then please email info@thevrara.com

The report will specifically highlight the following:

  • Size of the Israel market

  • Number of relevant companies in Israel

  • Company info (size: number of employees, revenue; vertical, customers)

  • Reasons why company is based in Israel

  • Needs and hopes from and for the Israel ecosystem

As a sponsor, you will receive:

  • Recognition on the front cover of the report, in our newsletter to 27K emails, on our website (20K unique visitors per month), and social media (1M reach)

  • Email blast to the contact list of people downloading the report

As an example, you can see our Reports for other ecosystems around the worldhere.

If you are interested in being featured or sponsor, please email info@thevrara.com

VR/AR Association Publishes the Taiwan Ecosystem Report for Virtual Reality and Augmented Reality; Big Opportunities in Medical/Healthcare, Biotech, Pharma

Members can download the report from our Cloud Drive. To apply for Membership, click here

Big Opportunities in Medical/Healthcare, Biotech, Pharma for VRAR (x AI x IoT + other emerging technologies e.g. blockchain)

Taiwan companies will be represented at our VR/AR Global Summit Vancouver Nov 1-2. More info here

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Taiwan is sometimes called the "Asian Miracle", a small island of just 23.5 million people, yet it has become one of the top 20 economies in the world, hub of APAC/ASEAN and bridge to China. Taiwan is currently undergoing a digital renaissance with billions of dollars being dedicated to building a "Asian Silicon Valley" and "5 + 2" Industrial Innovation Plan. Taiwan has some of the best talent in the world, consistently ranking globally in the top 5 or 10 of STEM scores. The Digital Giants are investing heavily to develop Emerging Technologies in Taiwan. Taiwan provides a wonderful environment to do business or start a company. One can now find literally hundreds of startup events, incubators and accelerators. Besides all this Taiwan is consistently listed as one of the top 10 or 20 Best Places in the World to Live, Best Places to Travel, Best Places for Foreigners to Live and Work!

By being strategically situated in Asia-Pacific region, Taiwan is an excellent route for foreign companies into the emerging healthcare economies of Asia, while also being an ideal platform, from which to enter the Chinese market. Taiwan’s welcoming culture and reliable business environment underpin the potential for strong partnerships. Joint R&D opportunities lie in Taiwan’s ICT strengths, as Taiwan excels in hardware development with a well-established and professional supply chain. Taiwan’s leading ICT giants are actively seeking investment opportunities and R&D projects as they diversify into the healthcare industry. They welcome horizontal and vertical integration models of emerging technologies such as VRAR, especially for medical devices and healthcare services through M&A or forming strategic partnerships.

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In the biotechnology sector, capitalization of local publicly-listed biotech companies is valued at $23.9B USD with a total revenue of 7B USD up 17% since 2015. With over 105 bio-related IPO companies, Taiwan is a prime location for industry investment, partnerships, and licensing opportunities, as a result pharmaceutical companies like GSK and AstraZeneca are actively running clinical R&D centres in Taiwan. Taiwan is a significant global market, with National Health Expenditure accounting for 6.3% of GDP (34.7B USD) this is expected to grow annually at a rate of 4.8%. It applies WHO/FDA healthcare standards and has a high level of IP protection. Taiwan’s high quality universal health coverage single payer National Health Insurance (NHI) program covers 99.9% of the island’s 23.5 million population with public satisfaction at 83.1%. Looking ahead Taiwan has a number of serious health challenges that need to be addressed, not least of all an aging population, international cooperation will be vital to solving these issues.

Taiwan companies will be represented at our VR/AR Global Summit Vancouver Nov 1-2. More info here

Gabriel René of VERSES's book, The Spatial Web, is Published, on Web 3.0 and VR/AR

Get a copy of the book here

The essential guide for how humans, machines and AI will unite to create a new web in the physical world. Be among the first to get your hands on it.

Come see Gabriel speak at the VR/AR Global Summit in Vancouver Nov 1&2

Gabriel Rene, who’s on the VR/AR Association’s Board of Advisor’s, describes the future of how AR/VR, AI, IoT, Blockchain and Crypto converge to form Web 3.0. Him and his co-author Dan Mapes, lay out the critical missing components needed to ensure that Humans, Machines and AI can collaborate together. They describe the ethical, cultural and environmental applications and implications and lay out a roadmap for how individuals, businesses, governments, and communities can work together to turn the tide of our current social and environmental state and responsibly use these technologies to enable a smarter, safer web and world.

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Augmented & Virtual Reality: Navigating the Emerging Legal Terrain

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With a continuously expanding market for Virtual Reality technology, from Google’s Daydream to Facebook’s Oculus Rift, the legal landscape is beginning to follow suit. According to market intelligence provider TrendForce, merchandisers sold 14 million virtual reality devices worldwide in 2016, and it projects that VR device sales and software will snowball into a $70 billion market by 2020. With such expansion, the recent $500 million verdict in the U.S Zenimax v Oculus case suggests that intellectual property disputes in virtual reality tech may become the next litigation “cash cow”, with billions riding on the outcome of each case.

Virtual Reality IP Ownership Disputes

As AR/VR technologies continue to evolve quickly, they have led to the development of considerable intellectual property and other assorted legal issues in the AR/VR space.

Copyright

Disputes over who holds the copyright to VR software will be an important source of liability in the future. One prime example is Zenimax v Oculus, where Oculus was found guilty of misappropriating copyrighted intellectual property from Zenimax in order to develop their Rift technology. The court ruled in Zenimax’s favour, requiring Oculus to pay $250 million for the copyright infringement.  Copyrights protect original IP, including computer programs and dramatic works, both of which play a large role in the development of AR/VR technologies. Undoubtedly, frequent litigation will follow suit.

Trademarks

Trademarks may be a combination of words, sounds or designs used to distinguish the goods of one creator from those of another – and last fifteen years. However, and particularly notable in the relatively new VR industry, expensive legal battles can arise when a company must prove the authenticity of their non-registered trademark. Imagine this: your VR avatar stumbles upon a vending machine and buys a drink – a bottle in every way identical to a real-world Coca Cola can. If the consumer reasonably believes the untheorized patent holder was the source of the goods, or endorsed the goods, liability can arise. Would anyone think Coca Cola produced the game – likely not. Is it possible that some might think they endorsed it – definitely. A second layer of complexity arises if the avatar can interact with the product, by buying or drinking it rather than just having it appear on screen. Treading through this novel VR terrain could bring with it many trademark claims.

Patent Disputes

Through a patent, the Canadian government grants inventors the right to stop others from making, using or selling their invention for up to twenty years. What does that mean for companies involved with or entering the AR/VR space? A significant recent increase in patent applications in respect of AR/VR technologies reveals companies’ desires to maintain a competitive advantage and protect their inventions.  As the field grows more crowded, it will become necessary for companies to protect their IP through patents.

Personality Rights

Like trademark claims, the idea of personality rights will inevitably arise in the virtual world. In Krouse v Chrysler Canada Ltd, the court decided that regardless of the degree of public notoriety, an individual has the same rights as celebrities. In other words, if an individual can prove that their name, voice, or likeness was used in VR content without their consent, they may have a potential claim. This expands the net of liability, especially in the realm of gaming and advertisement. Misappropriation of personality goes so far as to include “look-alikes”; if you create a Morgan Freeman inspired avatar, hire a Morgan Freeman look-alike, or record voice imitation, there is potential for liability.

VR companies can encounter another liability issue; users importing unauthorized “personas” to a metaverse. While the law in this area is still developing, companies may be subject to such claims, and should take precautions to avoid them. Overseeing the use of VR technology and removing any evident personas – including celebrities – is a crucial step.

Product Liability Claims

In part due to the nature of VR products, there will inevitably be claims made by users against VR companies. Since most VR technologies require the use of a headset and other equipment, the potential for personal injury is great. Without being able to see the environment one is in, falls, trips, hits and other injuries are likely – especially if the VR technology requires physical movement. Nausea and motion sickness are also likely, mostly when a user’s body movement does not align with the visual stimulus because of subtle delays in screen responsiveness. Finally, privacy issues may arise where users are asked for personal information, or data storing.

Long term physical and psychological effects can also result in liability against VR technology manufacturers. Some scholars suggest that because of the lure of VR, users may become more detached from reality, leading to psychoses. In certain instances, copycat violence, insurance claims, negligence, nuisance, and product liability suits will follow. Therefore, companies and manufacturers are wise to require terms of use, including disclaimers waiving liability to minimize the chance of litigation against the company.

Virtual environments raise complex and novel legal issues for both VR content creators and rights holders alike. While it is easy to allow yourself to be lost by the technical advances of the virtual world, without proper legal support, a return to reality may bring with it a host of legal liabilities.

By: Marius Adomnica, Associate and Natasha Vlajnic, Law Student

For more information, or to connect with one of our lawyers, please contact us at: inquiries@segev.ca or 604-629-5400

This article is for informational purposes only, does not constitute legal advice, and should not be relied upon as legal advice.

Join us at our VR/AR Global Summit Vancouver Nov 1&2 to learn more about the legal aspects of VR/AR

Early Bird tickets now available for our VR/AR Global Summit happening in Vancouver Nov 1-2

More info and tickets here

VR/AR Global Summits are world-class events bringing together the best knowledge and networking in VR and AR for enterprise, hardware, software and content providers from across the globe.

Join us Nov 1 & 2 at the Parq Vancouver, a new international entertainment and conference destination, located in downtown Vancouver. 

Lenovo is growing its VR/AR team! Here are the job postings!

Lenovo is looking to grow its team in becoming a global leader of commercial AR and VR solutions and is hiring in software and hardware positions. The recently announced ThinkReality brand is Lenovo’s solution offering consisting of both a software platform that allows enterprises to build, deploy and manage AR and VR solutions, and additionally it’s ThinkReality A6, the first AR headset offering in a line-up of AR devices. The ThinkReality A6 is a lightweight fully featured AR headset.

72471 --  AR integration Test Engineer 

72800 --  Android OS Engineer

72799 --  AR Engineer – Apps Dev Lead

72470 --  AR Customer Deployment Technical Lead

71867 – Head of Commercial VR

72356 – Hardware Product Manager, Commercial AR/VR

72415 – Software Product Manager , Commercial AR/VR

About Lenovo

Lenovo (HKSE: 992) (ADR: LNVGY) is a US$45 billion Fortune Global 500 company and a global technology leader in driving Intelligent Transformation through smart devices and infrastructure that create the best user experience. Lenovo manufactures one of the world’s widest portfolios of connected products, including smartphones (Motorola), tablets, PCs (ThinkPad, Yoga, Lenovo Legion) and workstations as well as AR/VR devices and smart home/office solutions. Lenovo’s data center solutions (ThinkSystem, ThinkAgile) are creating the capacity and computing power for the connections that are changing business and society. Lenovo works to inspire the difference in everyone and build a smarter future where everyone thrives.  Follow us on LinkedInFacebookTwitterInstagramWeibo, read about the latest news via our StoryHub, or visit our website at http://www.lenovo.com.