The Brazilian Mission joins other international delegations coming to our VR/AR Global Summit!

The VR/AR Association (VRARA) is proud to present the VR/AR Global Summit to be held in Vancouver, Canada on Nov 1-2, 2019. This is the 4th year of the show in Vancouver!

Vancouver is the 2nd largest VR/AR ecosystem in the world, after Silicon Valley, with over 230 companies working in VR/AR!

The summit will bring together the VR/AR industry from around the globe to discuss topics including education, entertainment, enterprise, healthcare, retail, training, blockchain and more. Featuring keynote addresses, engaging panels, educational workshops, interesting networking opportunities, demos, exhibits, films, product launches and parties, the VR/AR Global Summit will entice and engage you from the moment you arrive.

2019 Summit sponsor include Microsoft, Lenovo, Niantic, Viacom among others, with over 70+ Exhibitors, 120+ Speakers, and 1000+ executives from around the world.

More info and tickets here

Kaon's New VR/AR Marketing Tool to Design Medical Lab of Future

Come see the latest at the VR/AR Global Summit Nov 1-2

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Kaon Interactive, the leading provider of 3D marketing and sales applications for global B2B brands, has released a first-of-its-kind lab configuration tool that will redefine the way enterprise marketing and sales teams demonstrate how complex products can situate in a prospective customer’s lab using VR and AR. 

The Lab Design Tool helps B2B sales teams visualize how their laboratory could be configured to support new workflows, optimize space, improve efficiency, lower operational costs, reduce sample loss and contamination, and more.  In just minutes, this lab plan and design tool enables sales and marketing teams to configure entire customer laboratories, demonstrate future layout evolution, validate proper fit and flow, and immediately immerse users in their newly designed labs. After the laboratory is designed, it is immediately available to experience in engaging 3D. Then using an AR-compatible tablet, you literally can walk through your new lab or even jump inside with a Kaon VR station.

Kaon LDT empowers multiple constituents within the laboratory ecosystem to visualize complex instruments, equipment and workflows in a "virtual" layout, prior to purchasing equipment or committing to construction plans.

Designing a Lab of the Future
Expanding its digital transformation solutions for life science brands, the Kaon Laboratory Design Tool (LDT) is the newest addition to the portfolio of solutions built on the Kaon High Velocity Marketing Platform®. Users start configuring their lab either by free-drawing a layout themselves or selecting from pre-defined labs that meet their specific business needs. Once a floorplan has been selected or created, instruments and furnishings may be added from a library of objects, using a simple drag-and-drop action. These 2D floor plans instantly become 3D immersive and interactive experiences at the touch of a button.

The Kaon LDT is customizable to allow data-driven product and workflow suggestions for unique laboratory layouts, revealing differentiated value through calculated impact such as assay volume, energy and space requirements, and even staffing modifications. It also helps demonstrate future layout evolutions by supporting comparisons between existing and new workflows, validating proper fit and flow, optimizing space, improving efficiency, lowering operational costs, reducing sample loss contamination, and more.

Immediately Visualize and Experience Your Lab
In just minutes, the LDT enables laboratory managers, instrument sales and marketing teams, and lab scientists to configure entire laboratories and immediately immerse users in a newly designed lab. To achieve this, the Kaon LDT offers three powerful ways to visualize and experience a new, engaging, 3D, interactive laboratory layout: interactive 3D, untethered Virtual Reality (VR) and scalable Augmented Reality (AR) with real-time 3D object placement (instruments, consumables, chairs, workstations, windows, doors, pipette drying racks, sinks, etc.).

[Video] View the power of the Kaon Laboratory Design Tool (as demonstrated by a Kaon customer:

"Visual interactive applications are the next phase in digital transformation for B2B enterprises," said Gavin Finn, CEO & President of Kaon Interactive. "Technologies such as interactive 3D product and environment models, virtual reality, and augmented reality all offer enterprise teams, including marketing and sales, invaluable tools (beyond traditional digital marketing) to create uniquely memorable experiences. After successful global deployments by leading life science companies, Kaon's newly launched Laboratory Design Tool has delivered on this vision – offering companies the opportunity to share newly configured labs with other internal stakeholders, to gain consensus buy-in on floorplans, equipment purchases, workflow efficiencies and more."

Kaon Interactive's applications are created once and can be deployed everywhere. Available on devices running iOS, Android, MacOS, and Windows, Kaon Interactive's solutions are used by sales teams and marketers in over 40 countries.

8th Wall Unveils Release 12 and announces endless Image Targets, a PlayCanvas integration, new launch controls and more!

Come see the latest in Augmented Reality at the VR/AR Global Summit Nov 1-2

Hold onto your keyboards, 8th Wall is rolling out some new features that are going to improve the way you build with WebAR.

Extended Image Target Support

Up to 1,000 Image Targets

If you’ve ever had a hankering for uploading outrageous amounts of image targets to a single WebAR project, now you can! With 8th Wall’s latest release you can upload trigger images to your heart’s content. Not only that, but your WebAR project can also scan for up to 10 of those images simultaneously.

That means that you can build one app with a thousand image targets all while within the same WebAR experience. Go wild.

8th Wall image targets have the ability to work in tandem with our SLAM engine, giving you the flexibility to design experiences that interact with image targets as well as the physical space around you.

Front-Facing Camera for Image Target Detection 🤳

You can also now use your front-facing camera to recognize image targets, allowing you to design a WebAR experience that triggers AR activations while in selfie mode.

PlayCanvas Integration

We’re pleased to announce that we now support an integration with the web-based game engine, PlayCanvas. Build a WebAR experience using the PlayCanvas Editor, add 8th Wall to your project, then publish to the mobile web. Get started with a sample project here.

New Self-Serve Launch Controls

If you have an Agency or Business account, you can now launch your own WebAR campaign without having to talk to us first! And, you can schedule the end date of that campaign directly in the Console. Here’s how it works:

Creating a New Commercial WebAR Project

  1. From the Dashboard, click “Create a new project”

  2. Name your web app, then select Commercial to purchase a Develop License

  3. If you have a custom commercial use agreement with us, that will appear in your account (otherwise, a standard 8th Wall commercial use agreement will display.) Click “Accept” and proceed to checkout.

Launching Your Commercial WebAR Project

  1. Within your web app in the Dashboard, click on “Promote to” next to Develop (if you’ve already purchased the Develop License.)

  2. Promote the project to Launch.

  3. Select your desired Launch License and proceed to checkout.

Scheduling Your Commercial WebAR Project

Within your web app in the Dashboard, under Campaign Duration, select either “Ongoing” or “Schedule an end date and time.” You can always edit the campaign end date if you’d like to extend it or end it sooner. When your campaign ends, it will automatically route to the Redirect URL you’ve provided.

Try It Now

These features and fixes will update automatically ✨ View a full list of Release 12 updates here.

More speakers added to the VR/AR Global Summit's 100+ Speakers lineup from Siemens, Sector 5 Digital, Telenav , YUR Fit

See all speakers and get tickets here

Speaker topics include content creation, education, entertainment, enterprise, healthcare, investment, storytelling, training, and much more.

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

VRSim Launches New Virtual Reality Tool For Faster, More Effective Commercial Painting

Unveiling SimSpray® 3.0, VRSim releases an improved edition of their innovative tool; bringing safer, and more intuitive training for the coatings industry

Come see the latest in VR and Training at the VR/AR Global Summit Nov 1-2

East Hartford, Conn., August 13, 2019 – VRSim, Inc., an innovator in commercial training, is pleased to announce SimSpray 3.0, the next generation of their renowned virtual reality paint training tool, which uses HTC’s VIVE Pro HMD and VIVE Trackers. SimSpray’s redesign offers a more intuitive and true-to-life user experience by featuring enhanced visuals, trainee feedback, and the ability to simulate larger work environments. The HTC VIVE Pro enhanced optics and visuals provides SimSpray with the most accurate visuals to provide a realistic and immersive experience. Based on years of research, customer feedback, and insight from industry experts, SimSpray delivers a training system that lowers costs and provides faster, safer, and more efficient training.

“SimSpray 3.0 is the next evolution in virtual skills training. Through immersive learning, instant feedback, and performance analytics, students are able to train in a more efficient manner that isn’t possible with real-life training,” said Matthew Wallace, CEO and President of VRSim. ”We’re thrilled to offer this solution to our customers and the industry as the most advanced training simulation we have made to date.”

As the leading training tool for the paint and coating industry, SimSpray uses virtual reality to create engaging and educational simulations. The VR experience improves the learning process with tools that boost training productivity and immediate feedback and analytics that aren’t available in typical training scenarios. SimSpray’s tools and feedback include easy to understand performance reports, live scoring, and kinesthetic cues. This cutting-edge tool provides trainers and trainees with the ability to practice, analyze key metrics, diagnose flaws, and improve their skills in a single training session. SimSpray acts as a force multiplier for training by distilling the training experience into concise, repeatable exercises with aggressive feedback, and intuitive performance insights.

“SimSpray is the most effective tool on the market, so we’re thrilled to implement the newest version, SimSpray 3.0. Our Directors of Training have used SimSpray to recruit and train the next generation of  International Union of Painters and Allied Trades (IUPAT) apprentices since 2009,” says Anton Ruesing, Director of the International Finishing Trades Institute (IFTI).

Mike Komaromi, Director of Training for the Finishing Trades Institute of Southern New England looks forward to using SimSpray 3.0 in his Connecticut facilities. “SimSpray is a valuable tool that lets our trainees start learning on day one. The paint looks and feels real. The new design of the system make SimSpray a more capable and user-friendly tool for us.”

SimSpray 3.0 features:

  • The premium HTC VIVE Pro HMD with true-to-life precise tracking and a large training space to support the virtualization of larger parts and training spaces

  • Visual updates for paint finishes and defects for more realistic paint application and improved immersion

  • Re-designed user-experience with intuitive features and streamlined equipment setup

  • Weighted spray gun for added realism and kinesthetic training, featuring the same functional nozzle, trigger, and dials on previous spray gun versions

  • More user-control options, including in-sim controls to give trainees better access to project controls and analysis without removing the HMD

  • Customizable return-on-investment reports for clear, personalized time and cost savings

VR training provides safe, cost-effective training options for time-intensive, high-risk, or high-cost experiences. SimSpray’s ease-of-use and minimal setup requirements make it easy to capitalize on VRSim’s research, insights, and experience with innovative technology by offering rapid deployment, mobility, and accessibility. SimSpray is the most efficient virtual reality training tool designed for painters and coaters, offering numerous benefits for international education and industry organizations. First released in 2011, VRSim continues to improve SimSpray with additional processes, parts, training content, and software and hardware updates.

For more information about SimSpray products and training capabilities visit: https://www.simspray.net/


About VRSim:

VRSim is an architect of interactive training tools for skilled trades. VRSim reimagines industry tools for skilled trades training, including welding, spray painting, construction, manufacturing, and robotics. VRSim’s products are used in training and education programs for high schools and technical colleges, vocational training programs, workforce development initiatives, and global leaders, including The Boeing Company, American Honda Motor Company, Fiat Chrysler Automobiles, Caterpillar, Daimler, Saint Gobain, the International Union of Painters and Allied Trades (IUPAT), the U.S. Department of Defense, and the U.S. Navy. For more information, please visit https://vrsim.com/.

VRSim Contact:

Sara Blackstock

VRSim, Inc.

860-893-0080x226

sara.blackstock@vrsim.net

Meet VRSim at the VR/AR Global Summit Nov 1-2!

See the Brands, Vendors, Organizations, Schools, and Media participating at the VR/AR Global Summit Nov 1-2 in Vancouver (sample list)

More info and tickets here

The VR/AR Global Summit returns to Vancouver, Canada on Nov 1-2, 2019

The summit will bring together the VR/AR industry from around the globe to discuss topics including education, entertainment, enterprise, healthcare, retail, training, blockchain and more. Featuring keynote addresses, engaging panels, educational workshops, interesting networking opportunities, demos, exhibits, films, product launches and parties, the VR/AR Global Summit will entice and engage you from the moment you arrive.

Pico Interactive and LIVR bring the world’s first VR streaming service for theatre and the performing arts

Attend the VR/AR Global Summit Nov 1-2 to see the latest from Pico Interactive and other VR providers!

Wandsworth Council has teamed up with LIVR - the world’s first VR streaming service for theatre and the performing arts - and VR headset maker, Pico Interactive, to offer Nine Elms residents exclusive access to their very own on-site virtual theatre.

The first-of-its-kind pilot programme will see an eight-seater virtual reality theatre experience installed at the R.O.S.E. Community Centre on the Savona Estate in Battersea this autumn. The initiative will utilize the LIVR platform to make theatre more accessible; increasing local residents’ engagement with performing arts. 

Using standalone Pico headsets, visitors to the centre will be able to get access to content from the LIVR library where they can experience great live performances on-demand in stunning 360° VR - completely free of charge.

The extensive content library will feature new works from emerging artists and critically acclaimed productions, performed in theatres, festivals and unique spaces across London and around the country. The fully immersive viewing experience will transport users into the front row to enjoy the performances as if they were sitting in the audience at the live shows. 

I’m thrilled that theatre shows are coming direct to local residents through this incredible virtual reality experience. As arts and culture grows in Nine Elms, it’s fantastic that we can bring performing arts into the heart of the community and I hope as many Nine Elms residents as possible sign up to put a headset on and watch a performance.
— Councillor Steffi Sutters, Wandsworth Council’s Cabinet member for Community Services and Open Spaces
We’re really looking forward to starting regular VR viewing nights, which, alongside our new Community Theatre Tickets scheme in partnership with Battersea Arts Centre and Theatre 503, will offer residents plenty of affordable ways to enjoy live theatre this autumn.
The opportunity to participate in ventures like this and align ourselves with pioneers in the VR space is part of our DNA at Pico Interactive. We build hardware and offer an unparalleled level of service with the goal of helping our partners reach their visionary goals. This is an exciting time in Virtual Reality where people can be transported into unique worlds or experience live content as if they were there, that perhaps, they wouldn’t have an opportunity to do so otherwise.
— Leland Hedges, Commercial Director, Pico Interactive, EMEA

The experience was successfully trialed at the recent Nine Elms Happy Streets festival, and it will begin operating on a weekly basis from Wednesday, 25 September. It will be open to local residents of all ages and is part of Nine Elms' wider cultural strategy aimed at increasing the community's access to, and engagement with, the arts through an ongoing programme of events and initiatives. 


For more info contact Logan Parr logan@pico-interactive.com


About Nine Elms

Nine Elms has always been a critical part of London’s landscape. Its past is one of commerce and industry, its future is of enterprise, art, culture and living. The Vauxhall Nine Elms and Battersea ‘opportunity area’ sits between Chelsea and Lambeth bridges, including Vauxhall & the Albert Embankment to the east and Battersea Power Station to the west.  

The area is being regenerated by two London councils working together; Wandsworth and Lambeth. The development programme is extensive, including a two-station extension of the Northern Line, new parks and schools, and new access to the Thames River Path.  Development partners are building homes, the new US Embassy, a brand New Covent Garden Market, business premises, shops and spaces for cultural exchange.  

Over 25,000 jobs are being created across the opportunity area, which offers over 6.5m sq ft of commercial space and high-quality locations to accommodate new and existing businesses.

The vision is a long-term one; to transform one of the capital’s last remaining industrial districts into an amazing place for Londoners old and new to call home. Today’s reality is an exciting one; new spaces and places coming to life every day.   

AR Hackathon in Australia with Amazon and Think Digital!

Are you a University student or programmer eager to showcase your AR development skills? Apply now for the Think Digital Hackathon who has partnered with Amazon Web Services at Global Table to help us hack a solution that gives consumers more visibility over the provenance of their food. The team will work under the guidance of Tim Gentle on-board the Think Digital Coach, parked within the Innovation Precinct of Global Table. The goal is to create an immersive wearable experience that will provide key product information to consumers, such as nutrition, product info, where to buy and provenance. One lucky hacker will win a 1 month paid cadetship with Think Digital in Adelaide, including flights and accommodation.

http://www.think.digital/hackathon

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How Lockheed Martin is Modernizing Manufacturing with Scope AR resulting in 35-99% ROI

Participate in the VR/AR Global Summit Nov 1-2 in Vancouver to meet aerospace companies like Boeing and others.

Lockheed Martin is an American global aerospace, defense, security and advanced technologies company. Using Scope AR’s WorkLink augmented reality platform, they are able to greatly improve efficiencies and save time on the shop floor for multi-billion dollar space programs. They have seen a 35-50% reduction in overall technician time, a 90-99% reduction in time to information, and 85% reduction in the overall time needed for training.

After its highly successful implementation of WorkLink to improve workforce training and spacecraft manufacturing procedures, Lockheed Martin is now deploying Scope AR into all four of their business units across a broad variety of use cases.

More info  http://www.scopear.com

How does a Kenyan born Canadian end up as CEO of a 30 person VR start up in Hangzhou, China? Nikk Mitchell of FXG_VR

Come meet companies from China, Korea, Japan and other Asian countries at our VR/AR Global Summit Nov 1-2!

How does a Kenyan born Canadian end up as CEO of a 30 person VR start up in Hangzhou China?

Short answer, craigslist.

Long answer;

12 years ago, 18 year old Nikk Mitchell had just graduated high school in Calgary Canada and moved to the coast to attend the Art Institute of Vancouver (also in Canada). A lack of interest in structured learning fostered escape fantasies. Instead of doing his homework he fed his fantasies surfing craigslist world wide, dreaming of anywhere, doing anything but school. One day he stumbled across a job on craigslist’s China subforum, and applied on a whim. He was surprised to be accepted, maxed out his student loan in cash, dropped out of uni, and began his journey to the east.

5 years later Nikk was still in China when the Oculus DK1 was released and his life changed drastically. His student loan was long repaid and structured education a faint memory, so why did he choose to pursue his VR dreams in China?

Historically China has been a world leader many times in culture and science. 20th century China was not. While the reasons for China’s painful 1900s are debatable, their recent steps to return to former glory is fact. Brands like DJI in new industries prove that China is past imitation and back to innovation. Now China is in transition, between a recent poor past and fortune’s future. During the internet bubble China was mostly offline, but now, only decades later China has over 800 million internet users, 98% of them on mobile. Other examples like mobile payment and shared bikes/umbrellas/cars/battery packs also show that while China was recently behind the west, they are leapfrogging ahead.  VR is going to take time to reach mass market anywhere, but Nikk believes that it will happen quicker in China than in the West. 

Another reason that influences VR in China is government support. For example last year one city alone (Nanchang) invested hundreds of millions of dollars in VR including a huge VR theme park and a 148 million dollar fund. These investments trickle down in real tangible ways. Nikk’s current VR company FXG now has 400 square meters, which are massively subsidised by the Chinese government. Including power, internet, cleaning staff and more, the total cost is 2000 USD per month. The On top of this FXG has been contracted by China State Grid, The Beijing Department of Water, and the local government to create VR content for them. Premier Li Keqiang, the second in command to Xi Jinping even visited FXG’s office this summer. 

To quote Nikk directly. “I see VR being big in China sooner than in the west. With the serious government support my company has received, I am sure we will not only survive till then, but will continue to find success in the meantime.”

More at fxg.space


Nikk Mitchell IVRPA 2018's talk on VR in China

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AuhLxxxBIM8


Nikk Mitchell on VR talk show The Hive

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WbfMyy8MrIw


Nikk Mitchell doing a dev workshop on Leap Motion (in Chinese)

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XlfPxyMRnVY


Nikk Mitchell riding a giant roomba wearing a VR headset

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9k2s5qHTwnA

RSVP for VRTL's Hands-on Cinematic VR Workshop

RSVP here https://vrtl.academy/hands-on-cinematic-vr-workshop

Also, participate in our VR/AR Global Summit Nov 1-2 to attend more workshops!

Films From Garage Stories’ Cinematic VR Workshop To Be Showcased At Film Fest Ghent

Have you ever wanted to learn how to craft your own compelling, immersive VR film? If so, an upcoming VR workshop from Silicon Valley-based filmmaking lab Garage Stories (GS) is one to watch. GS, who specialize in running VR workshops, have partnered with VRTL, specialists in offering online theoretical VR courses. Prior to starting the offline workshop this September, participants will get access to VRTL’s online courses to gain insights into the workflow of VR filmmaking, giving them the best of both worlds. Work produced during the workshop will be showcased at this year’s Film Fest Ghent!

This unmissable hands-on VR workshop will give participants the chance to meet like-minded filmmakers and bring their cinematic VR projects to life under the guidance of expert instructors. After learning about the theory of VR on VRTLs online platform, participants will follow Garage Stories’ filmmaking techniques and be guided through the entire VR creation process, gaining a host of practical skills in the process. “I believe that, by partnering with VRTL, we’ve created a unique and blended workshop formula. We combine online theoretical courses with classroom training and field experience,” says Marta Ordeig, Founder of Garage Stories. 

This innovative workshop will teach every aspect of crafting compelling, immersive stories in VR, from developing scripts and creating user-centric story journeys to preparing production sheets and learning how to conduct effective scouting and casting. Using the latest 360° equipment, professional filmmakers will provide mentorship throughout the course as the VR films are filmed and edited. Finished work from the course will be presented and exhibited at the International Film Fest Gent, on October 12!

RSVP here https://vrtl.academy/hands-on-cinematic-vr-workshop

Also, participate in our VR/AR Global Summit Nov 1-2 to attend more workshops!

Solving retail footprint with Finger Food's AR solution and Microsoft Azure and Hololens. Case Study: outdoor retailer MEC

Meet Finger Food and Microsoft at the VR/AR Global Summit Nov 1-2 in Vancouver !

Finger Food Advanced Technology Group recently partnered with outdoor retailer MEC to solve an age old problem. How do you fit a full range of tents into a limited retail floorspace? The product is out this Summer.

Finger Food co-developed a solution that solves the problem of how to showcase the company’s vast range of tents without taking up valuable real estate. 50 assembled tents would easily take up the floor-space of a typical MEC store!

Using its proprietary Photogrammetry rig and Azure-powered data processing pipeline, Finger Food created an Augmented Reality app that works on mobile devices and is adapted for the Hololens.

An app that showcases highly realistic, life-size ‘virtual’ tent models that communicates key product information such as size, capacity, and aesthetics. This is all viewed through an augmented reality viewer or Hololens, allowing customers to quickly make tent buying decisions, without necessarily setting foot in the store.

More info https://www.fingerfoodatg.com/mec-retail-innovation

Meet Finger Food and Microsoft at the VR/AR Global Summit Nov 1-2 in Vancouver !

FounderTalk: Idea Behind Varwin for Virtual Reality is to enable easy creation of VR experiences

Alex Dovzhikov, the founder of Varwin, shares the idea behind Varwin Reality Management System:

“I believe that the world changes when people gain control of the information they own, instead of relegating it to a programmer. One day creating VR experiences will become as easy as creating websites with WordPress, Tilda or Wix. And I am talking about difficult projects with complicated scenarios and logics: in some years everyone will be able to create a professional VR training, an educational course, an adventure game or a new world with its own rules and storylines.

The USP of Varwin is the simplicity that allows to build and manage any professional VR project. There are various VR tools on the market: engines, drag-and drop tools for casual users, SDKs and plugins. Unlike engines, Varwin allows developers to produce reusable VR projects, which makes it an easier and faster tool. Unlike simple drag-and-drop tools for casual users, Varwin allows to manage and create a much more difficult scenario with much more interactivity.

Here are the 3 tips Alex would give to other startup founders:

1, Planning is way more important than plans themselves. This process brings a lot of insights and creates a knowledge base that is even more important than plans. If you haven’t planned it, most probably it will not be done.

2. Work with people, not companies or projects. When you see your clients, investors, and employees as partners and find the right people, everything works out better than you would normally expect.

3. Try and test: it’s better to fail once than stay in doubt forever.”

More info varwin.com

Come see Varwin at the VR/AR Global Summit Nov 1-2 in Vancouver !


The VR/AR Association's Defense and Intelligence Committee aims for Collaboration

Attend the VR/AR Global Summit Nov 1-2 in Vancouver to learn more about VR/AR solutions for Defense.

The ongoing mission of the VR/AR Association (VRARA) Defense and Intelligence Committee is to bring together industry, government and immersive technologists to collaborate on standards and use cases, according to VRARA’s DC Chapter Vice President Sophia Moshasha.

The defense and intelligence committee held its launch event in Washington DC in April, with almost 100 attendees amassing to discuss the development and implementation of VR technology within mainly maintenance training, wargaming and battlefield training.

Several particularities of intelligence and defense dictate a different approach going forward for the DC chapter than others within the VR/AR Association might take, according to Moshasha.

Virginia-based VR experience creator Brightline Interactive, where Moshasha works as director of immersive platforms alongside managing principle and DC Chapter President Tyler Gates, has worked with several government agencies over the past 15 years, most notably an emergency management agency on flood simulations used to raise awareness among and communicate issues to community leaders.

In her work at Brightline, Moshasha and her colleagues have learned that “government agencies want to prove out the technical capabilities of VR fast”.

She says: “They want a quick turnaround in the research and development and rapid prototyping, so they can start investing in building out this immersive ecosystem.”

The defense and intelligence professionals attending the event April, particularly those from Department of Defense contractors such as Booz Allen Hamilton, also needed the committee to have a Washington DC presence.

Moshasha explains: “It made sense to host the committee here. That’s not to say that the committee doesn’t have global appeal, but in order to attract the defense players, we needed a physical presence here in DC to draw them in and get their hands on the tech. That was the purpose of the launch, and we’re planning similar events.”

The end goal is to get defense and intelligence professionals involved in shaping future initiatives for immersive technology.

“Our major goal is to set the standards for the creation and implementation of virtual environments within defense and intelligence, and the only way we’re going to do that is with collaboration between government, industry and the makers of the technology.”

“That’s what I’m trying to do—gather those three groups to collaborate on standards and research, and have that one voice. I think the VR/AR Association is a great place for industry to develop those standards of practice.”

Source

Attend the VR/AR Global Summit Nov 1-2 in Vancouver to learn more about VR/AR solutions for Defense.


CBC News reports on Geopogo using Magic Leap to showcase how Augmented Reality will change how we plan cities!

Attend the VR/AR Global Summit Nov 1-2 in Vancouver to learn more about VR/AR solutions for AEC.

Geopogo software and Magic Leaps headsets was used to showcase to the public a where an inner city hospital could be located. This controversial site spurred much conversation and gave community leaders the opportunity to see what an inner city hospital would look like and the benefits it would have.

AR technology will transform how we design and present cities to the public by showcasing potential futures.
— Mike Hoppe, Geopogo

People with autism face special risks dealing with police. This virtual reality program could help

Attend the VR/AR Global Summit Nov 1-2 in Vancouver to learn more about VR/AR solutions for your use case!

VR Floreo VRARA.jpg

By Rita Giordano

Skylar Armstrong, a 17-year-old high schooler from North Philadelphia, has been fielding a lot of attention from police lately.

Officers on the beat have been peppering him with all sorts of questions: “What are you doing here?” “Can you tell me your street address?” “Can you show me your ID?”

But Skylar hasn’t been perturbed by any of this. Quite the contrary.

“It’s fun,” said the student at Jules E. Mastbaum Area Vocational/Technical School.

He is part of an ongoing, $1.7 million federally funded study that one day may affect how young people like him learn. It may also save lives.

Skylar, who is on the autism spectrum, is learning how to interact with police officers through the use of virtual reality. The Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia’s Center for Autism Research (CAR) and the creator of Floreo, an immersive viewing/education system, are examining whether virtual reality can be an effective tool to teach people with autism how to respond to law enforcement officers they may encounter in the real world.

A 2016 Florida case that almost ended in tragedy was the inspiration for the Floreo system. In an incident that drew national outrage, a North Miami police officer fired three times at an autistic man holding a silver toy truck, which the officer said he mistook for a weapon. The shots missed the autistic man, but struck and wounded his caretaker, who was on the ground with his hands raised, shouting at the officer not to shoot.

Many police officers receive training in dealing with emotionally disturbed people. However, far less common is instruction about autism, the fastest growing developmental disability in the United States. A person with autism may not make eye contact or even look away in an uncomfortable situation. To a police officer, that may seem to be evasive. The person with autism may not answer a question or even have the verbal capacity to answer the question. Or put hands in the pockets, possibly leading an officer to think they’re concealing something, or worse, going for a weapon. Or may simply walk away, even after being told not to. Any of that can end in disaster.

A really useful tool

Virtual reality training, researchers hope, can help people with autism learn to handle difficult encounters. A virtual encounter with an officer has the person with autism getting experience being questioned — What are you doing here? What is your name? — and give appropriate verbal responses. (Some programs go so far as to advise people with autism to come out and say it to an officer.)

“A virtual interaction is a really useful tool because people on the spectrum need more practice than other people, and police officers are not readily available to handle that,” said Joseph McCleery, a lead researcher with the study and executive director for academic programs in the Kinney Center for Autism Education and Support at St. Joseph’s University.

For people on the autism spectrum, technology can be an especially appealing way to learn.

“Ever since the first computers came out and people with autism were very drawn to them, people have been trying to figure out what it is about technology that’s so motivating for people with autism spectrum disorder,” said Julia Parish-Morris, another leader of the CAR study and a research assistant professor of psychology with Penn’s Perelman School of Medicine. “Maybe it’s that technology is more predictable. It’s a more controlled way to learn. Other people have said it’s about novelty — trying new stuff.”

Still others have suggested that technology, as a means of learning and communication, acts as a bridge for people on the autism spectrum — an engaging, comfortable link between the autistic brain and the neurotypical world.

Research has found that technology-based learning can be appealing to people with ASD for several reasons. It’s consistent. It can provide a specific focus of attention that reduces distractions from extraneous sensory stimuli, as well as freedom from social demands.

And as Skylar, a video game aficionado, found, virtual reality can be a lot of fun.

A virtual bridge to real communication

Manoj Ravindran thinks so, too. A few years ago, Manoj, then a 6-year-old with ASD from the Washington area, was so intrigued by Google Maps and navigation that his father, Vijay Ravindran, a software engineer and former Amazon engineering director, introduced him to virtual reality.

“He really enjoyed that, and he started engaging in pretend play, which was a big developmental milestone that is often delayed with kids with autism,” said Ravindran, a member of the board of managers of the Lenfest Institute for Journalism, which owns The Inquirer.

That led Ravindran and Manoj’s mother, Vibha Sazawal, a computer scientist, to develop Floreo. Manoj, now 9 and an enthusiastic partner in Floreo, helps introduce other children to VR at exhibitions. The Floreo system has been put to use as a learning tool in schools, autism programs, and homes.

Concern about the safety of her son and young people like him helped convince Skylar’s mother, Sheila Armstrong, to have her son take part in the study.

“I have an African American male teenager,” said Sheila Armstrong, a city probate clerk and education advocate. “It’s scary because my son is special needs, and I didn’t know if he knew how to react if he was stopped and frisked. If you look at my son, he looks like a million other African American boys.”

Armstrong said her hope is that the study can be a learning experience for people with autism as well as for police.

“I look at this as one of many tools that can be used to bridge communication and understanding for both groups,” she said.

Even though police training is not a goal of the study, Capt. Michael O’Donnell, commanding officer of Philadelphia’s 17th Police District, saw its potential for both police and people on the spectrum, and got his officers involved.

“It’s giving them good training and cues to look for when they’re dealing with people with autism,” O’Donnell said. “Instead of escalating a situation, they can recognize those cues and actually de-escalate a situation more quickly.”

In the study, participants on the spectrum are randomly assigned to one of two groups. The VR group gets three Philly-centric lessons with the Floreo device. The other group also gets three lessons, but with more conventional materials, such as a video, verbal instruction, and worksheets. Each then gets to practice what they’ve learned with a real police officer.

This summer, the study is being conducted at CHOP, but the plan is to expand it to such community settings as schools. The researchers are still looking for participants, age 12 to 60, and partner institutions for both legs of the study.

“Our hypothesis is not that VR will be better for everybody,” Parish-Morris said, “but that these different programs will help different people.”

If so, this study may be able to show that virtual reality can also be a promising tool for people on the spectrum to learn other skills.

Skylar, who is in his Kensington high school’s culinary program, said he’d like to try virtual reality cooking lessons.

His mother wonders whether virtual reality might be a safe way to start learning the basics of another skill Skylar is eager to acquire: driving a car.

For now, though, Skylar seems to have gotten a kick out of his law enforcement learning experience. Even before the study, he was a fan of such cop shows as Blue Bloods and Criminal Minds, and he has chatted with the officer at his high school.

“He knows a lot about police officers,” said Linda Nagle, one of the officers helping with the study. “I was impressed.”

And young people such as Skylar may have their own lessons to share.

“That’s why I told him, ‘Son, it’s important for you to do that study,’” Sheila Armstrong said. “'You see the world differently, and we need that.'”

Individuals and families interested in participating in the study can contact Lucero Cordero at CORDEROLE@email.chop.edu or 267-425-1152.

For more info see floreotech.com

Source

Virtual Reality Changing Rehab

Attend the VR/AR Global Summit Nov 1-2 in Vancouver to learn more about VR/AR in Healthcare!

By Eran Orr of XR Health

There is an old joke in the medical world about minor surgery—it is only minor if it’s being done on someone else. The same thought can also be applied to rehab.

It is generally positive to hear that someone is in physical rehab (which, of course, is short for rehabilitation). It conjures up the notion that they are on the mend and working towards a full recovery from whatever condition that ails him or her. But we sometimes forget the real drudgery that rehab entails. It can be tedious and painful to manage injury and promote recovery.

It can involve infrared radiation, laser therapy, massage, and manual resistance training. It can involve physicality; swimming, use of chairs, exercise balls and even stairs. And it can involve utilizing intricate equipment-- electrical devices, heat, ultrasound or even stimulating the patient’s body manually using body contact.

But now, it can also involve Virtual Reality (VR) technology which, at its most basic, provides the opportunity to incorporate encouragement and fun into the rehabilitation process. For example, with the use of a VR headset, a virtual environment is created to help patients suffering from pain and injury. Patients exercising their lower limbs on a treadmill can find themselves experiencing a walk in the park or countryside.

VR has been used successfully to treat stroke victims, walking disorders and back pain. A study conducted in 2015, featuring 15 trials with 341 participants, shows that VR actually helped patients regain mobility after experiencing a stroke. Some of the stroke victims underwent only traditional rehabilitation. Others underwent rehabilitation augmented with VR experiences, either shown videos through a VR headset or placed in “simulated settings” while performing a basic exercise like walking. Researchers concluded the data showed that VR created a statistically significant improvement in “walking speed, balance, and mobility,” the metrics used to determine whether a patient was recovering efficiently.

Alas, naturally, it follows that rehab “assignments” can be turned into a video game-like experience through the use of VR headsets. This is happening because we are learning that those folks aged 50 or over are becoming more accepting of video and computer gaming. Technology doesn’t freak seniors out perhaps like it once did. So it is becoming easier to sell them on the use of VR and its close relative, Augmented Reality (AR), for their rehab efforts.

Why is this important? As an example, for those with limited mobility, practicing walking skills can get boring pretty quickly. Adding the elements of “keeping score” and/or “competition” has proven to help patients engage in their exercises and treatments. The experience generally becomes more dynamic and enjoyable. VR has been shown to spike a user’s motivation. This motivation improves a patient’s motor learning and coordination skills when doing physical therapy. Patients are more likely to put in a greater effort. And, perhaps most importantly, VR allows physicians to stimulate a patient’s brain, as well as their body. Being able to see an “avatar” that depicts the movement of patients (while they are moving) helps stimulate the motor cortex in the brain that produces the movement. And this “observation loop” activates the brain regions damaged by a stroke.

Pain management/reduction is another area where VR therapy is changing attitudes and may even someday reduce the reliance on painkillers to help people get by. New evidence shows VR can be used to help people their brain from processing pain. Studies have discovered that the parts of the brain linked to pain are much less active when a patient is immersed in virtual reality. It becomes a coping mechanism for the patient with the pain and, eventually, helps overcome it. The end result of pain reduction is a faster recovery process, thus shortening the length of a patient’s stay in the hospital, which in turn lowers healthcare costs.

From a futuristic standpoint, the therapeutic and rehabilitative potential of VR will be demonstrated by what’s known as computer assisted rehabilitation environment or CAREN. Down under, in Australia, engineers are developing “virtual” environments such as city streets in order to help researchers calculate the motion of a person’s limbs while walking along the streets, mimicking a real situation thus creating an appropriate response to it. CAREN is has a particular application in the world of sports, with in-depth studies taking place in muscle and joint function in the human body and how diseases or injury affect motor performance. CAREN can accurately evaluate how people generate joint motion pre- and post-operatively. It is possible now to look at how a joint replacement is affecting a person’s ability to move a joint after surgery, or how a stroke patient’s balance and fall risk is affected by rehabilitation.

VR is a major part of all of these are all technological advances leading to concrete improvements in the medical treatment and management of diseases and conditions that were previously thought to be unmanageable. Physical therapy and rehab are very important health restorative procedures and there are many more discoveries to be made utilizing VR. Used either in isolation or in combination with other treatment procedures, VR will continue to help manage many of the injuries and conditions that befall human beings. Even better, as VR technology keeps advancing, physical therapy and rehab will become a more engaging, fun and thrilling experience.

For more info, see www.xr.health

Attend the VR/AR Global Summit Nov 1-2 in Vancouver to learn more about VR/AR in Healthcare!


De La Salle-College of Saint Benilde in the #Philippines organizes week-long celebration with AR projects

Attend the VR/AR Global Summit Nov 1-2 in Vancouver to see projects and products from around the globe!

Achieving a 20-year Milestone

Last July 2019 marks the 20-year milestone of De La Salle-College of Saint Benilde’s Multimedia Arts Program. Established in 1999, the Multimedia Arts Program was the first college degree course offered in the Philippines that merges arts, technology, animation, and design subjects. 

To commemorate this event, students and faculty members of the Multimedia Arts program organized a week-long in-campus celebration entitled “One to 2020” last July 2019. The event, headed by Sir Mito Tubilleja, featured talks from industry professionals, jobs fairs, bazaars, hologram exhibits, and fascinating augmented reality projects of the students.  A facial augmented reality feature, developed by Sir Rexcel Cariaga, was also presented during the event for everyone to try in their Facebook Camera app. 

TO TRY THE AR APP, CLICK THIS LINK: http://bit.do/MMA2020

Augmented Reality Projects of Multimedia Arts' Students

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As of this writing, thirteen (13) students from the Multimedia Arts program are in a two-week excursion around Washington D.C where they will be exposing themselves to present-day technologies being adapted in said state. The students, accompanied by Ms. Sharon Mapa (Associate Dean of the New Media Cluster) and Mr. Roy Nicolas Molon Jr.  (Multimedia Arts Chairperson), also had a one day XR workshop at Notiontheory where they were able to immerse themselves in VR and AR experiences. They were also introduced to spacial computing through Magic Leap’s Mixed Reality device. 

The two-decade accomplishments of De La Salle-College of Saint Benilde’s Multimedia Arts Program, nonetheless, do not stop there.  The college is now preparing its groundwork in establishing projection mapping and motion capture courses which they will soon incorporate in their virtual reality subjects. 

DESIGNATIONS:

Ms. Sharon Arriola mariasharon.arriola@benilde.edu.ph

Associate Dean, New Media Cluster 

Mr. Roy Nicolas Molon Jr.  roynicolas.molon@benilde.edu.ph

Chairperson, Multimedia Arts

Mr. Rexcel Cariaga rexcel.cariaga@benilde.edu.ph

Augmented and Virtual Reality Coordinator

Mr. Mito Tubilleja mito@benilde.edu.ph

Event Head