I have been following BeBop Sensors “smart fabric” technology for a few years now and hoped that this particular sector of their development efforts would be the one that in the end would catch my eye as an important touch and haptics element of AR and VR applications. They appear to have been working non-stop on their enterprise-friendly haptic technology! Simulating the sensation of touch while in a virtual space is not a simple task, therefore many of the other available solutions are rather cumbersome. Their haptics producing wearable allow users to “feel” virtual objects while immersed in a VR experience and is simply a glove (less than a glove, actually :-)  

The important additiion to the functionality is that the latest iteration of its one-size-fits-all Forte Data Glove can now be combined with the Oculus Quest controllers, integrating BeBop’s hand tracking technology with the Quest’s 3D tracking for real life VR experiences. Together, these two tech systems, along with BeBop Sensors SDK, enable users to experience force, location, size, weight, bending, twisting, and various other senses of touch. BeBop Sensors software can now actually be integrated into the Oculus controllers’ 3D tracking functionality, so available to third party developers can now include haptics in their VR content and applications experiences. The Forte Data Glove has an adapter that quickly straps the small Oculus 3D controller onto the gloves so users can “feel” with their hands what they are exploring in their 3D Virtual experiences.
Forte Data Gloves are already in use by Fortune 500 Customers for Training, Medical Trials & Rehabilitation, Robot & Drone Controls, VR CAD Design & Review, and more, but I will now be most keenly watching the AR and VR applications and content sectors for killer apps for adding this element of our five senses to their experiences. (Smell is next BTW)

Published in VR, AR, 3D/360.

Contextual technology gathered up and situational relevance and intelligence added. To call this security conscious "vehicle-to (and from)-everything" platform a Dash Cam is a bit of an injustice to the scope of this connected car ecosystem. Connects directly to the car's OBD port so know's what's going on internal to the vehicle systems and puts that into the contexts of info, location plus driver and family to deliver valuable set of person centric capabilities. The feature list is long, but the Raven, with cameras looking out and in and all knowing connectivity delivers peace of mind while driving. Not just for driver and passangers, but for family as well. This caught my eye because of what the overall technology combination delivers when the IoCar intelligently intersects with access to information, the IoT and IoMe and mine. 

So many stated features. Here's what they say. (my comments in parenthesis) 
Raven gives cars the intelligence and voice needed to proactively communicate with drivers and their families, making them smarter, safer and more connected while on the road.
At home, at work or a thousand miles away, Raven’s always-on and always-connected system gives family members and car lovers unprecedented peace of mind with:
*  Live streaming camera views, both road-facing and in-cabin 
* Security alerts (car broken into?)
* Departure and arrival notifications (mapping)
* Driving reports (even capture time lapse synopsis of journey)
* Gesture controls (and voice commands coming soon)
* Next-turn navigation
* Weather condition updates
* Vehicle diagnostics
* Wi-Fi hotspot
Raven unmasks the sophistication and intelligence locked under the hood in today’s vehicles and makes it readily accessible to drivers.
Raven has been designed and engineered from the ground up by a highly accomplished team passionate about best in-class performance and user experiences.

(The connectivity to the web and to a defined group of friends and family is a real value proposition understated here)  Worth a visit to the Raven Website for more details on use cases and how it works.

Published in VR, AR, 3D/360.

A good example of a "connected sensor" becoming a complete and very portable capability when used with a Smartphone App. Third Eye wireless thermal attachment is a smart solution for thermal capability on the go. Paired with Smartphone or Smartglasses, Third Eye delivers lightweight, hands-free thermal imaging - creating a multitude of use cases and putting them into the hands of anyone. The Signal Sensor can also be clipped to normal glasses to capture a first-person point of view on the Smartphone.

At CES2018 I met with Ivan Arbouzov, President of RoundConcept, makers of the Signal Thermal Sensing device and “Third Eye” App (iOS and Android) 

Third Eye turns smart glasses and mobile devices into advanced thermal vision systems for real time viewing and analysis or to capture a thermal video or still picture. Even capable of Live-video streaming.
The precise remote temperature measurements and scanning are ideal for many applications such as in the medical, industrial, environmental sectors plus night vision applications for professional and amateur uses such as hunting and for search and rescue. 
Accuracy plus small size and simplicity of operation make this an enabler for many applications where thermal sensing would be valuable, but previously impractical or simply not available.

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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