Looxid Labs explores the user's mind and their unspoken emotions! Using human physiological signal sensors, their VR Headset monitors your eyes and brainwaves to determine your emotion, attention and interest while watching VR content. Two eye tracking cameras and six brain-wave sensors are built into the specialised VR headset. Theoretically allows the tracking of what the user themselves can't describe. Potentially valuable use cases!

Similar to well established MyndPlay VR in the UK who have been doing this for a few years, but the MyndPlay brain sensors can be worn and user response analysed in conjunction with most existing VR headsets and the actual VR content can be triggered to change depending on user's emotion and reactions.

A very interesting area, so carry on Looxid and Myndplay!

Published in VR, AR, 3D/360.

I am sometimes a skeptic about VR/AR gaming. Seems to be rather too techy and even often quite low resolution for my liking. And the storytelling and educational aspects often seem a bit lacking. But I would say that, being one who is always looking for the bigger story and valuable use cases rather than just for killing time.  The Lenovo STAR WARS:Jedi Challenges technology and Smartphone games Application is of a different breed. Very clever how they use the smartphone at 45º in the headset in a way that lets you see the room you are in (visual see-through, not video) and then lets you play Star Wars Chess or challenge the various Star Wars charactors to Light Sabre duels. But first, to qualify to fight, you need to learn how to use a light sabre! Light Sabre Training also done well, and fun. The light sabre itself is stunning to look at and hold and in your virtual vision and hearing pops out just like in the movie. Lots of virtual charactors and action in your living room or kitchen. Virtual Star Wars charactors and in fact everything in your line of sight is life-sized and lifelike and of course, it is also taking place in the reality of your home setting. This is a great piece of technology Lenovo and a great gaming experience Disney! Fun, fun, fun. Credit goes to the partnership with Disney (and Lucasfilm) to produce interesting, authentic and compelling experiences. Oh yes, and an amazingly reasonable price of $199. to boot. More, More, More please Lenovo and Disney!

And in Lenovo's words:

Inspired by the Star Wars Holochess game shown in Star Wars: A New Hope, the Lenovo Mirage AR headset was built truly from the ground up to recreate an immersive augmented reality experience for Star War fans of all ages. Users were able to truly enjoy key moments in the Star Wars films – a new type of experience that had never existed until now.
Star Wars: Jedi Challenges lets fans live their dream of battling with a Lightsaber in augmented reality and other in-game experiences through the Skywalker Lightsaber and Lenovo Mirage AR headset.
This product comprises three pieces of hardware: The Lenovo Mirage AR headset, the Lightsaber controller and the Tracking Beacon.
* The Lenovo Mirage AR headset is an all-new augmented reality head mounted display (HMD) designed to give Star Wars fans an opportunity to recapture some of their favorite Star Wars moments.
* The Lightsaber Controller is a Lightsaber device that pairs with the Lenovo Mirage AR headset for fans to experience Star Wars in AR. The Lightsaber was intricately designed by Lucas film to be modeled after the Skywalker Lightsaber.
* The Tracking Beacon acts as a stable base and zero reference point for the sensors in Lenovo Mirage AR headset.
Starting price $199 at Best Buy and also available at Lenovo.com.

Published in VR, AR, 3D/360.

ORBI 360

Sometimes products appear just because they can - in other words the technology is there, but so often the appliications and valuable use cases are not. A sad sight for me to see as someone doing due diligence on consumer targetted products being developed for a (IMHO) non-viable market. Two bits of good news here - the technology exists to support the application, and I believe there is a real market for this. This is another one of the two "First Person Shooter" 360º cameras I saw at CES. Both claim to be the first and only! Very interesting and encouraging to see this new category of 360º photography emerge at this time.  This whole sector will depend on content, storytelling and distribution posibilities, but devices and apps like will this really turn things on. A very wearable design, a pair of glasses with four cameras on board and Smartphone App. For taking "selfless" situational selfies (without you in them). Great idea and I am excited, but another Crowdfunded/preorder product, not yet fully baked so I will let them make the claims!     

  

ORBI specializes in developing innovative hardware and software that unlocks extraordinary new ways to capture and share life's most cherished moments. The world of video recording is changing and people demand more from their realities. Leveraging the power of 360˚ video, ORBI is embedding four 1080p HD cameras into eyewear – the world’s first, first-person 360˚ video recording glasses.
The world of video recording is changing and people demand more from their realities. Leveraging the power of 360˚ video, ORBI is embedding four 1080p HD cameras into eyewear – the world’s first, first-person 360˚ video recording glasses.
ORBI specializes in developing innovative hardware and software that unlocks extraordinary new ways to capture and share life's most cherished moments. The world of video recording is changing and people demand more from their realities. Leveraging the power of 360˚ video, ORBI is embedding four 1080p HD cameras into eyewear – the world’s first, first-person 360˚ video recording glasses. Powered by Socionext’s Milbeaut image signal processor.

I will be watching this space. Real ones later this year or at least by CES2019 please!

Published in VR, AR, 3D/360.

Pleased to see a very large and action packed Humaneyes booth at CES very much dedicated to AR/VR/3D360º capture and distribution. As with other application sectors, with their prosumer priced camera commercially available, it is now all about relevant content, applications and widespread access to content.  
Was very happy to see the latest Humaneyes VUZE 3D360º camera on show, of course as I covered it in a CES2016 WCME Entry when they also were finalists and then won the Last Gadget Standing award that year.

But this year Humaneyes made some big announcements - firstly, an Underwater housing and software needed for their 3D360º camera. This is a mean feat given the difficulties getting full sphere and 3D stitching working underwater.

They also announced the selection by the National Geographic Channel of the VUZE camera to capture 3D360º footage inside the International Space Station. European Space Agency astronaut Paolo Nespoli will use a Vuze VR camera to document life on the ISS for a VR companion to National Geographic's upcoming series "One Strange Rock."

In addition, Humaneyes are also developing a hosting facility (“Humaneyes Zone”) for 3D360º content so VUZE user's content and projects can be stored and made available to others. The Humaneyes Zone is an open platform, which takes VR storytelling to the next level, providing an end-to-end solution for prosumers. The site enables anyone, without a need for a technical or programming knowledge, to quickly and easily create a VR website to showcase their VR content and to tell a story in 3D360º, whether it’s a tour of an apartment, a training session, a wedding or just showcasing a vacation.

So three biggies for Humaneyes this year - capturing 3D360º content underwater and outer space and hosting of 3D360º projects!

Published in VR, AR, 3D/360.

Vuzix stole the show with Best in Show AR Glasses at CES this year - the Vuzix Blade Smart Glasses. Also declared so by all the major technology news publications and networks. A full spec, non-tethered pair of glasses which will be targetted for the industrial/enterprise space due to the rich portfolio of applications that will already run on the Blade Smart Glasses (and initial price). They are also real evidence that proper consumer grade (style, price and function) AR glasses are just around the corner. Consumer applications writers, start your engines! These are certainly a potential prosumer “item” now with improvements in price and styling surely coming soon I suspect.
Vuzix also upgraded their well established M100 smart glasses now used by in many industrial applications, and showed a better, brighter M300 model complete with a suite of out-of-the-Box applications for industry. Ready to turn on and deploy - as easy as Click - Connect - Collaborate.

These two products will now move us rapidly from the Smartglasses technology emphasis of the past to the real world applications and valuable use cases.

Published in VR, AR, 3D/360.

Went to BETT yesterday in London (Europe’s largest Technology in Education exhibition). Past years have been all about interactive whiteboards, then large touch screens (basically blackboard replacements and teaching aids) This year was much more about “Interactive Learning” and student involvement. BETT2018 was all about Robots and learning how to code and having fun doing it. And being introduced into classrooms at and early age. I am 100% behind this and at CES2018 (Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas) saw some really good examples of this too (for example ROOT). I have captured only some of the “Learning Coding through fun with Robots” examples here, but not sure how a teacher or an educational curriculum decision maker, can chose from these. Lots of early stage stuff. This will no doubt mature a bit and become more focussed by next year.

Four other significant findings that also caught my eye at BETT:
1. If you follow the wearable technology, IoT, IoMe, IoCar, IoHome and AI areas as I do, you will have noticed the innovation in the Smartphone + Sensor’s area. Saw some interesting education tools in this area from Vernier and IDS Education (their distributor in the UK) at BETT2018. “Go Direct Sensors” that now work directly with Smartphones to let students apply technology to create real world solutions. These education curriculum tools are ready for prime time and caught my eye.

VUZE Sensors Parrot small2. AR/VR/360º capture, content and storytelling. Not as predominant as I had hoped as this is a “learn by actually being there” proposition. Devices are readily available, and the Education based content is coming, but early days of a big opportunity to learn in an experiential way. As with other application sectors, this is now all about relevant content and applications and then blending that into an existing way of working. But provides a very experiential way for students to learn. Kind of like when years ago classes started using soundproof booths and headphones with mikes to individually learn languages. 
Was very happy to see the Humaneyes VUZE 3D360º camera on show, and its “Borderless Education Experience”. The VUZE camera is an affordable tool for students to create meaningful content and learn storytelling in this new medium. Humaneyes is also developing a hosting facility (“Humaneyes Zone”) for 360º content so student projects can be stored and made available to others. Well done Humaneyes for recognising the Educational sector and providing the tools for learning.

3. Also at CES2018 in Las Vegas this year there was a whole huge hall dedicated to two things - Robots (discussed above) and Drones. These technologies are progressing rapidly into seriously valuable application areas, and it is appropriate that emerging graduates learn the dynamics and skills needed to be productive in these emerging areas. The subject of Drones was not covered well at BETT, but very pleased to see Parrot exhibiting on this very topic with it’s Parrot Mambo Edu Kit. This really caught my eye and will be looking for more at BETT 2019.

4. Innovations from Octagon studios to learn by creating. Building on their huge library of AR Cards for children of all ages to view, manipulate and interact with animals, cars, space ships, dinosaurs, etc.  Octagon Collage

I had a discussion with Hasbi Asyadiq, CEO of Octagon spinoff Assemblr World.  Assemblr World is a Smartphone/Tablet App to “virtually” build things from a library of over half a million objects and then Augment the Reality of the real world with your creations. You can also work collaboratively and share your personal projects. This is potentially a learning tool to create, collaborate, share and place these virtual objects and environments into the real world around you for viewing on your or other's smartphone or tablet screens in an "Augmented Reality" way. Looking forward to seeing this develop into a real learning tool.

Published in Stop Press

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