From DSC: I’m not advocating for a future where we have drones flying all over the place — not at all! I don’t want to look up to the skies to see a bunch of dark swarms, full of noisy machines; I wouldn’t care for the visual and audible pollution that would result in such a situation/nightmare.
However, in certain limited instances/occasions — such as what occurs with firework displays on the 4th of July and on New Year’s Eve — perhaps there will be more light shows like the one in the video clip below.
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In parallel with gaming, VR is expanding into many other areas, including these:
Healthcare Surgical Theater is working with UCLA, New York University, the Mayo Clinic and other major medical centers to use VR to help surgeons prepare for difficult operations. Virtual 3D models are constructed from MRIs, CAT scans and/or ultrasounds.
Meditation promotes mental health by reducing stress and anxiety.
Education Unimersiv is focusing on historical sites, creating a series of VR tours for the Colosseum, Acropolis, Parthenon, Stonehenge, Titanic, etc. These tours allow each site to be explored as it existed when it was built. Additional locations’ virtual sites and attractions will undoubtedly be added in the near future. The British Museum offered a Virtual Reality Weekend in August 2015. Visitors were able to explore a Bronze Age roundhouse with a flickering fire and changing levels of light while they “handled” Bronze Age relics. The American Museum of Natural History allows students anywhere in the world to take virtual tours of selected museum exhibits, and other museums will soon follow.
Virtual reality is an excellent tool when the task is dangerous or the equipment involved is expensive.
Collaboration Virtual reality, augmented reality and mixed reality will form the basis for the next set of collaboration tools.
However, we see very little experienced-based learning in all levels of education today. Traditional learning consists of little more than oration through lectures and textbooks (and their digital equivalents). Experience-based learning is often very difficult to facilitate in the classroom. Whether it be a field trip in elementary school, or simulation exercises in med school, it can be tedious, costly and time consuming.
Where VR is really winning in education is in subject matter retention. The first of several surveys that we’ve done was based on a VR field trip through the circulatory system with high-school age children. We saw an increase of nearly 80% in subject matter retention from a group that used VR, compared against a control group that was provided the same subject matter via text and image. (I’ll expand on the details of this experiment, and some research initiatives we’re working on in another blog post).
The old phrase of ‘needing to see it to believe it’ is a powerful mantra across all aspects of residential design. Architecture, interior design and property development are all highly visual trades that require buy-in from both those working on the project and the client. As such, making sure everyone is sold on a coherent vision is vital to ensure that everything goes smoothly and no one is left dissatisfied when the project is completed.
It’s a way for educators to bring their students to places that would be out of reach otherwise. Google Expeditions, the VR mode of Google Street View and Nearpod’s virtual field trips are among the most popular experiences teachers explore with their students. “Some of our students have never really left the bubbles of their own town”, says Jaime Donally, creator of the #ARVRinEDU chat on Twitter. “Virtual reality is a relatively inexpensive way to show them the world.”
In the video below, a facilities manager is using a mobile device to scan a QR code on a wall, behind which is a critical piece of HVAC equipment. With one scan, we can view data on the asset’s performance and health, location data for the asset. This data is being pulled by the IoT Platform from the asset itself, TRIRIGA, and any other useful sources.
But the best experiences, VR acolytes agree, are still yet to come. Resh Sidhu leads VR development for Framestore, the high-end visual effects house that won an Oscar for the movie Gravity, and has since expanded into creating VR content. With hardware finally delivering on its promise, she believes it is now up to creatives to explore the possibilities.
There’s so much more to VR than just gaming. Which is probably why HTC has been exploring entirely new ways to bring VR to art, education and culture — starting with museums around the world.
HTC recently collaborated with TIME-LIFE on “Remembering Pearl Harbor,” a VR experience commemorating the 75th anniversary of the attack with exhibitions at the Intrepid Sea, Air and Space Museum in New York City and the Newsuem in Washington D.C. Last month, Vive also collaborated with the Royal Academy of Arts in London on the world’s first 3-D printed VR art exhibit.
Now HTC Vive has revealed the launch of a new VR center at La Geode, part of Paris’ Science and Industry Museum, as well as a partnership with the Nobel Museum for a first-of-its-kind VR exhibit showcasing the contributions of Nobel laureates.
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Alexa, Tell Me Where You’re Going Next— from backchannel.com by Steven Levy Amazon’s VP of Alexa talks about machine learning, chatbots, and whether industry is strip-mining AI talent from academia.
Today Prasad is giving an Alexa “State of the Union” address at the Amazon Web Services conference in Las Vegas, announcing an improved version of the Alexa Skills Kit, which helps developers create the equivalent of apps for the platform; a beefed-up Alexa Voice Service, which will make it easier to transform third-party devices like refrigerators and cars into Alexa bots; a partnership with Intel; and the Alexa Accelerator that, with the startup incubator Techstars, will run a 13-week program to help newcomers build Alexa skills. Prasad and Amazon haven’t revealed sales numbers, but industry experts have estimated that Amazon has sold over five million Echo devices so far.
Prasad, who joined Amazon in 2013, spent some time with Backchannel before his talk today to illuminate the direction of Alexa and discuss how he’s recruiting for Jeff Bezos’s arsenal without drying up the AI pipeline.
DeepMind’s horizons stretch far beyond talent capture and public attention, however. Demis Hassabis, its CEO and one of its co-founders, describes the company as a new kind of research organisation, combining the long-term outlook of academia with “the energy and focus of a technology startup”—to say nothing of Alphabet’s cash.
Were he to succeed in creating a general-purpose AI, that would obviously be enormously valuable to Alphabet. It would in effect give the firm a digital employee that could be copied over and over again in service of multiple problems. Yet DeepMind’s research agenda is not—or not yet—the same thing as a business model. And its time frames are extremely long.
Silicon Valley needs its next big thing, a focus for the concentrated brain power and innovation infrastructure that have made this region the world leader in transformative technology. Just as the valley’s mobile era is peaking, the next frontier of growth and innovation has arrived: It’s Siri in an Apple iPhone, Alexa in an Amazon Echo, the software brain in Google’s self-driving cars, Amazon’s product recommendations and, someday, maybe the robot surgeon that saves your life.
It’s artificial intelligence, software that can “learn” and “think,” the latest revolution in tech.
“It’s going to be embedded in everything,” said startup guru Steve Blank, an adjunct professor at Stanford. “We’ve been talking about artificial intelligence for 30 years, maybe longer, in Silicon Valley. It’s only in the last five years, or maybe even the last two years, that this stuff has become useful.”
Artificial Intelligence (AI) and Machine Learning (ML) are two very hot buzzwords right now, and often seem to be used interchangeably. They are not quite the same thing, but the perception that they are can sometimes lead to some confusion. So I thought it would be worth writing a piece to explain the difference.
In short, the best answer is that:
Artificial Intelligence is the broader concept of machines being able to carry out tasks in a way that we would consider “smart”.
Machine Learning is a current application of AI based around the idea that we should really just be able to give machines access to data and let them learn for themselves.
Yet, the truth is, we are far from achieving true AI — something that is as reactive, dynamic, self-improving and powerful as human intelligence.
Full AI, or superintelligence, should possess the full range of human cognitive abilities. This includes self-awareness, sentience and consciousness, as these are all features of human cognition.
Udacity is positioned perfectly to benefit from the rush on talent in a number of growing areas of interest among tech companies and startups. The online education platform has added 14 new hiring partners across its Artificial Intelligence Engineer, Self-Driving Car Engineer and Virtual Reality Developer Nanodegree programs, as well as in its Predictive Analytics Nanodegree, including standouts like Bosch, Harma, Slack, Intel, Amazon Alexa and Samsung.
That brings the total number of hiring partners for Udacity to over 30, which means a lot of potential soft landings for graduates of its nanodegree programs. The nanodegree offered by Udacity is its own original form of accreditation, which is based on a truncated field of study that spans months, rather than years, and allows students to direct the pace of their own learning. It also all takes place online, so students can potentially learn from anywhere.
The Great A.I. Awakening — from nytimes.com by Gideo Lewis-Kraus How Google used artificial intelligence to transform Google Translate, one of its more popular services — and how machine learning is poised to reinvent computing itself.
Google’s decision to reorganize itself around A.I. was the first major manifestation of what has become an industrywide machine-learning delirium. Over the past four years, six companies in particular — Google, Facebook, Apple, Amazon, Microsoft and the Chinese firm Baidu — have touched off an arms race for A.I. talent, particularly within universities. Corporate promises of resources and freedom have thinned out top academic departments. It has become widely known in Silicon Valley that Mark Zuckerberg, chief executive of Facebook, personally oversees, with phone calls and video-chat blandishments, his company’s overtures to the most desirable graduate students. Starting salaries of seven figures are not unheard-of. Attendance at the field’s most important academic conference has nearly quadrupled. What is at stake is not just one more piecemeal innovation but control over what very well could represent an entirely new computational platform: pervasive, ambient artificial intelligence.
On [December 12th, 2016], Microsoft announced a new Microsoft Ventures fund dedicated to artificial intelligence (AI) investments, according to TechCrunch. The fund, part of the company’s investment arm that launched in May, will back startups developing AI technology and includes Element AI, a Montreal-based incubator that helps other companies embrace AI. The fund further supports Microsoft’s focus on AI. The company has been steadily announcing major initiatives in support of the technology. For example, in September, it announced a major restructuring and formed a new group dedicated to AI products. And in mid-November, it partnered with OpenAI, an AI research nonprofit backed by Elon Musk, to further its AI research and development efforts.
Whether Artificial Intelligence (AI) is something you’ve just come across or it’s something you’ve been monitoring for a while, there’s no denying that it’s starting to influence many industries. And one place that it’s really starting to change things is e-commerce. Below you’ll find some interesting stats and facts about how AI is growing in e-commerce and how it’s changing the way we do things. From personalizing the shopping experience for customers to creating personal buying assistants, AI is something retailers can’t ignore. We’ll also take a look at some examples of how leading online stores have used AI to enrich the customer buying experience.
Only 26 percent of computer professionals were women in 2013, according to a recent review by the American Association of University Women. That figure has dropped 9 percent since 1990.
Explanations abound. Some say the industry is masculine by design. Others claim computer culture is unwelcoming — even hostile — to women. So, while STEM fields like biology, chemistry, and engineering see an increase in diversity, computing does not. Regardless, it’s a serious problem.
Artificial intelligence is still in its infancy, but it’s poised to become the most disruptive technology since the Internet. AI will be everywhere — in your phone, in your fridge, in your Ford. Intelligent algorithms already track your online activity, find your face in Facebook photos, and help you with your finances. Within the next few decades they’ll completely control your car and monitor your heart health. An AI may one day even be your favorite artist.
The programs written today will inform the systems built tomorrow. And if designers all have one worldview, we can expect equally narrow-minded machines.
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Some conference participants were concerned that this beleaguered region might grow. In fact, one attendee — an old friend who strategizes about technology for a big New York bank — commented that perhaps Wall Street would become “the new Rust Belt.” His concern was that automation of the finance industry would hollow out jobs in that field in the same way that robotics and other technologies have reduced manufacturing employment.
This is a sobering prospect, but there is plenty of evidence that it’s a real possibility. Key aspects of the finance industry have already been automated to a substantial degree. Jobs in the New York finance field have been declining for several years. According to data from research firm Coalition Ltd., more than 10,000 “front-office producer” jobs have been lost within the top 10 banks since 2011. Coalition also suggests that global fixed-income headcount has fallen 31% since 2011.
According to a new report, organizations are moving away from hierarchies, focusing on improving the employee experience, redesigning training, and reinventing the role of HR.
Business and HR leaders should rethink almost all of their management and HR practices as the proliferation of digital technologies transform the way organizations work, according to predictions for 2017 from Bersin by Deloitte, Deloitte Consulting LLP.
This year’s report includes 11 predictions about rapid technological, structural, and cultural changes that will reshape the world of work, including management, HR, and the markets for HR and workplace technology.
Get ready for AI to show up where you’d least expect it.
In 2016, tech companies like Google, Facebook, Apple and Microsoft launched dozens of products and services powered by artificial intelligence. Next year will be all about the rest of the business world embracing AI.
Artificial intelligence is a 60-year-old term, and its promise has long seemed like it was forever over the horizon. But new hardware, software, services and expertise means it’s finally real — even though companies will still need plenty of human brain power to get it working.
AI was one of the hottest trends in tech this year, and it’s only poised to get bigger. You’ve already brushed up against AI: It screens out spam, organizes your digital photos and transcribes your spoken text messages. In 2017, it will spread beyond digital doodads to mainstream businesses.
The design world has seen its own changes and updates as well. And as we know, change is the only constant. We’ve asked some of the top creatives to share what 2017 design trends they think will be headed our way.
SAN JOSE, Calif.–(BUSINESS WIRE)–The market has evolved from technologists looking to learn and understand new big data technologies to customers who want to learn about new projects, new companies and most importantly, how organizations are actually benefitting from the technology. According to John Schroeder, executive chairman and founder of MapR Technologies, Inc., the acceleration in big data deployments has shifted the focus to the value of the data. John has crystallized his view of market trends into these six major predictions for 2017…
2016 was a rich year for medical technology. Virtual Reality. Augmented Reality. Smart algorithms analysing wearable data. Amazing technologies arrived in our lives and on the market almost every day. And it will not stop in the coming year. The role of a futurist is certainly not making bold predictions about the future. No such big bet has taken humanity forward. Instead, our job is constantly analysing the trends shaping the future and trying to build bridges between them and what we have today. Still, people expect me to come up with predictions about medical technologies every year, and thus here they are.
Artificial intelligence (and machine/deep learning) is the hottest trend, eclipsing, but building on, the accumulated hype for the previous “new big thing,” big data. The new catalyst for the data explosion is the Internet of Things, bringing with it new cybersecurity vulnerabilities. The rapid fluctuations in the relative temperature of these trends also create new dislocations and opportunities in the tech job market.
The hottest segment of the hottest trend—artificial intelligence—is the market for chatbots. “The movement towards conversational interfaces will accelerate,” says Stuart Frankel, CEO, Narrative Science. “The recent, combined efforts of a number of innovative tech giants point to a coming year when interacting with technology through conversation becomes the norm. Are conversational interfaces really a big deal? They’re game-changing. Since the advent of computers, we have been forced to speak the language of computers in order to communicate with them and now we’re teaching them to communicate in our language.”
Google changed the world with its PageRank algorithm, creating a new kind of internet search engine that could instantly sift through the world’s online information and, in many cases, show us just what we wanted to see. But that was a long time ago. As the volume of online documents continues to increase, we need still newer ways of finding what we want.
That’s why Google is now running its search engine with help from machine learning, augmenting its predetermined search rules with deep neural networks that can learn to identify the best search results by analyzing vast amounts of existing search data. And it’s not just Google. Microsoft is pushing its Bing search engine in the same direction, and so are others beyond the biggest names in tech.
3 Forces Shaping Ed Tech in 2017— from campustechnology.com by Dian Schaffhauser
Ovum’s latest report examines the key trends that are expected to impact higher education in the new year.
Institutions Will Support the Use of More Innovative Tech in Teaching and Learning
Schools Will Leverage Technology for Improving the Student Experience
The Next-Generation IT Strategy Will Focus More on IT Agility
We’ve seen a lot of exciting new innovations take place over the course of 2016. This year has introduced interesting new uses for virtual reality—like using VR to help burn victims in hospitals mentally escape from the pain during procedures—and even saw the world’s first revolutionary augmented reality game in the form of Pokémon Go. The iPhone 7 was also introduced, leaving millions of people uncertain of their feelings regarding Apple, while Samsung loyalists just prayed that their smartphones would stay in one piece.
Undoubtedly, there have been quite a few ups and downs in technology over the past year. With any luck, 2017 will provide us with even more new innovations and advancements in tech. But what exactly do we have to look forward to? TMC recently caught up with Jordan Edelson, CEO of Appetizer Mobile, to discuss his thoughts on 2016 and his predictions for what’s to come in the future. You can find the entire exchange below.
2016 is fast drawing to a close. And while many will be glad to see the back of it, for those of us who work and play with Virtual Reality, it has been a most exciting year. By the time the bells ring out signalling the start of a new year, the total number of VR users will exceed 43 million. This is a market on the move, projected to be worth $30bn by 2020. If it’s to meet that valuation, then we believe 2017 will be an incredibly important year in the lifecycle of VR hardware and software development. VR will be enjoyed by an increasingly mainstream audience very soon, and here we take a quick look at some of the trends we expect to develop over the next 12 months for that to happen.
Every December, we take a look back at big ideas from the past twelve months that promise to gain momentum in the new year. With more than eleven thousand projects launched between our Design and Tech categories in 2016, we have a nice sample to draw from. More importantly, we have a community of forward-thinking backers who help creators figure out which versions of the future to pursue. Here are some of the emerging trends we expect to see more of in 2017.
Everyday artificial intelligence
Whether chatting with a device as if it’s a virtual assistant strikes you as a sci-fi dream come true or a dystopian nightmare, we’re going to see an increasing number of products that use voice-controlled artificial intelligence interfaces to fit into users’ lives more seamlessly. Among the projects leading the way in this arena are Vi, wireless earphones that double as a personal trainer; Bonjour, an alarm clock that wakes you up with a personalized daily briefing; and Dashbot, a talking car accessory that recalls Kit, David Hasselhoff’s buddy from Knight Rider. One of the factors driving this talking AI boom is the emergence of platforms like Microsoft’s Cognitive Service, Amazon’s Alexa, and Google’s Speech API, which allow product developers to focus on user experience rather than low-level speech processing. For the DIY set, Seeed’s ReSpeaker offers a turnkey devkit for working with these services, and we’ll surely see more tools for integrating AI voice interfaces into all manner of products.
During Microsoft’s Build Conference earlier this year, CEO Satya Nadella delivered the three-hour keynote address, in which he highlighted his belief that the future of technology lies in human language. In this new wave of technology, conversation is the new interface, and “bots are the new apps.” While not as flashy as virtual reality nor as immediately practical as 3D printing, chatbots are nevertheless gaining major traction this year, with support coming from across the entire tech industry. The big tech enterprises are all entering the chatbot space, and many startups are too.
Out with the apps, in with the chatbots. The reason for the attention is simple: The power of the natural language processor, software that processes and parses human language, creating a simple and universal means of interacting with technology.
Developments in computing are driving the transformation of entire systems of production, management, and governance. In this interview Justine Cassell, Associate Dean, Technology, Strategy and Impact, at the School of Computer Science, Carnegie Mellon University, and co-chair of the Global Future Council on Computing, says we must ensure that these developments benefit all society, not just the wealthy or those participating in the “new economy”.
Artificial Intelligence (AI) is an important development and consumers globally will see it playing a much more prominent role — both in society and at work — next year, a new report said on Tuesday. Ericsson ConsumerLab, in its annual trend report titled “The 10 Hot Consumer Trends for 2017 and beyond”, said that 35 percent of advanced internet users want an AI advisor at work and one in four would like AI as their manager.At the same time, almost half of the respondents were concerned that AI robots will soon make a lot of people lose their jobs.
From driverless cars to robotic workers, the future is going to be here before you know it. Many emerging technologies you hear about today will reach a tipping point by 2025, according to a report from The World Economic Forum’s Global Agenda Council on the Future of Software & Society. The council surveyed more than 800 executives and experts from the technology sector to share their respective timelines for when technologies would become mainstream. From the survey results, the council identified 21 defining moments, all of which they predict will occur by 2030. Here’s a look at the technological shifts you can expect during the next 14 years.
… The first robotic pharmacist will arrive in the US 2021.
A new year is quickly approaching and Microsoft Research is offering a glimpse at what the tech scene has in store for 2017 along with some hints at the Redmond, Wash., tech giant’s own priorities for the coming year. This year, the company gathered prominent women researchers to share their thoughts on what to expect next year. Surprising nobody’s who’s been following Microsoft’s software and cloud computing strategy of late, the company is betting big on artificial intelligence (AI).
It’s still early days for the Internet of Things. As recently as 2014, 87 percent of consumers had never heard of the technology, according to Accenture. In 2016, and 19% of business and government professionals reported that they had never heard of the Internet of Things while 18% were only vaguely familiar with it, according to research from the Internet of Things Institute. Although the technology is getting the most traction in the industrial space, the most promising use cases for the technology are just starting to come to light. To get a sense of what to expect as we head into 2017, we spoke with Stanford lecturer and IoT author Timothy Chou, Ph.D.; Thulium.co CEO Tamara McCleary; industry observer and influencer Evan Kirstel; and Sandy Carter, CEO and founder of Silicon-Blitz.
From DSC: Recently, my neighbor graciously gave us his old Honda snowblower, as he was getting a new one. He wondered if we had a use for it. As I’m definitely not getting any younger and I’m not Howard Hughes, I said, “Sure thing! That would be great — it would save my back big time! Thank you!” (Though the image below is not mine, it might as well be…as both are quite old now.)
Anyway…when I recently ran out of gas, I would have loved to be able to take out my iPhone, hold it up to this particular Honda snowblower and ask an app to tell me if this particular Honda snowblower takes a mixture of gas and oil, or does it have a separate container for the oil? (It wasn’t immediately clear where to put the oil in, so I’m figuring it’s a mix.)
But what I would have liked to have happen was:
I launched an app on my iPhone that featured machine learning-based capabilities
The app would have scanned the snowblower and identified which make/model it was and proceeded to tell me whether it needed a gas/oil mix (or not)
If there was a separate place to pour in the oil, the app would have asked me if I wanted to learn how to put oil in the snowblower. Upon me saying yes, it would then have proceeded to display an augmented reality-based training video — showing me where the oil was to be put in and what type of oil to use (links to local providers would also come in handy…offering nice revenue streams for advertisers and suppliers alike).
So several technologies would have to be involved here…but those techs are already here. We just need to pull them together in order to provide this type of useful functionality!
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Freelancers now account for nearly35% of the U.S. workforceand the trend is only picking up speed with more professionals opting to create their own jobs in lieu of more traditional full-time employment.
As we head into the new year, we want to shed a bit more light on this burgeoning sector of the workforce. What kind of location, industry and demographic trends are surfacing among the freelance professionals of 2016? You might not know, for example, that a whopping 40% of our freelancers are concentrated in just four states: California, Texas, Florida and New York. Or that more senior men are most likely to take the leap into freelancing.
The time is ripe to be a freelancer in America so we’re revealing insider insights like these to help you learn more about this trending profession. Check out the report below – gleaned from a survey of more than 9,500 of our ProFinder professionals – to see what we discovered.
From DSC: Besides the workforce moving towards the increased use of freelancers, the pace of change has moved from being more linear in nature to more of an exponential trajectory.
Some important questions, therefore, to ask are:
Are our students ready to enter this type of workplace?
Can they pivot quickly?
Do they know how to learn and are they ready to be lifelong learners? (Do they like learning enough to continue to pursue it? Peoples’ overall quality of life would be much higher if they enjoyed learning, rather than be forced to do so in order to keep the bread and butter on their tables.)
Are they able to communicate in a variety of ways?
How are their customer service skills coming along?
How are their problem-solving skills coming along?
Do they know how to maintain their businesses’ books and do their taxes?
Are they digitally literate and do they have an appreciation for the pluses and minuses of technology?
I sure hope so…but I have my serious doubts. That said, many institutions/organizations representing K-12 and higher education are not doing a great job of innovating either. Though there certainly exists some strong pockets of innovation in some of our institutions out there — and the ability to pivot — taken as a whole, our institutions and organizations haven’t been as responsive, nimble, and innovative as our students need them to be.
After all, we are trying to prepare students for their futures (with the externality effect being that we, too, will also be better prepared for that future).
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From DSC: After seeing the sharp interface out atAdobe (see image below), I’ve often thought that there should exist a similar interface and a similar database for educators, trainers, and learners to use — but the database would address a far greater breadth of topics to teach and/or learn about. You could even select beginner, intermediate, or advanced levels (grade levels might work here as well).
Perhaps this is where artificial intelligence will come in…not sure.
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“Every child is a genius in his or her own way. VR can be the key to awakening the genius inside.”
This is the closing line of a new research study currently making its way out of China. Conducted by Beijing Bluefocus E-Commerce Co., Ltd and Beijing iBokan Wisdom Mobile Internet Technology Training Institution, the study takes a detailed look at the different ways virtual reality can make public education more effective.
“Compared with traditional education, VR-based education is of obvious advantage in theoretical knowledge teaching as well as practical skills training. In theoretical knowledge teaching, it boasts the ability to make abstract problems concrete, and theoretical thinking well-supported. In practical skills training, it helps sharpen students’ operational skills, provides an immersive learning experience, and enhances students’ sense of involvement in class, making learning more fun, more secure, and more active,” the study states.
CALIFORNIA — Acer Starbreeze, Google, HTC VIVE, Facebook’s Oculus, Samsung, and Sony Interactive Entertainment [on 12/7/16] announced the creation of a non-profit organization of international headset manufacturers to promote the growth of the global virtual reality (VR) industry. The Global Virtual Reality Association (GVRA) will develop and share best practices for industry and foster dialogue between public and private stakeholders around the world.
The goal of the Global Virtual Reality Association is to promote responsible development and adoption of VR globally. The association’s members will develop and share best practices, conduct research, and bring the international VR community together as the technology progresses. The group will also serve as a resource for consumers, policymakers, and industry interested in VR.
VR has the potential to be the next great computing platform, improving sectors ranging from education to healthcare, and contribute significantly to the global economy. Through research, international engagement, and the development of best practices, the founding companies of the Global Virtual Reality Association will work to unlock and maximize VR’s potential and ensure those gains are shared as broadly around the world as possible.
Occipital announced today that it is launching a mixed reality platform built upon its depth-sensing technologies called Bridge. The headset is available for $399 and starts shipping in March; eager developers can get their hands on an Explorer Edition for $499, which starts shipping next week.
From DSC: While I hope that early innovators in the AR/VR/MR space thrive, I do wonder what will happen if and when Apple puts out their rendition/version of a new form of Human Computer Interaction (or forms) — such as integrating AR-capabilities directly into their next iPhone.
Unlike virtual reality, which creates an immersive, computer-generated environment, the less familiar augmented reality, or AR, technology superimposes computer-generated images and overlays information on a user’s real-world view. This computer-generated sensory data — which could include elements such as sound, graphics, GPS data, video or 3D models — bridges the digital and physical worlds. For an enterprise, the applications are boundless, arming workers walking the warehouse or selling on the shop floor, for example, with essential information that can improve productivity, streamline customer interactions and deliver optimized maintenance in the field.
2016 is fast drawing to a close. And while many will be glad to see the back of it, for those of us who work and play with Virtual Reality, it has been a most exciting year.
By the time the bells ring out signalling the start of a new year, the total number of VR users will exceed 43 million. This is a market on the move, projected to be worth $30bn by 2020. If it’s to meet that valuation, then we believe 2017 will be an incredibly important year in the lifecycle of VR hardware and software development.
VR will be enjoyed by an increasingly mainstream audience very soon, and here we take a quick look at some of the trends we expect to develop over the next 12 months for that to happen.
IN an Australian first, education students will be able hone their skills without stepping foot in a classroom. Murdoch University has hosted a pilot trial of TeachLivE, a virtual reality environment for teachers in training.
The student avatars are able to disrupt the class in a range of ways that teachers may encounter such as pulling out mobile phones or losing their pen during class.
The Epson Moverio BT-300, to give the smart glasses their full name, are wearable technology – lightweight, comfortable see-through glasses – that allow you to see digital data, and have a first person view (FPV) experience: all while seeing the real world at the same time. The applications are almost endless.
Volkswagen’s pivot away from diesel cars to electric vehicles is still a work in progress, but some details about its coming I.D. electric car — unveiled in Paris earlier this year — are starting to come to light. Much of the news is about an innovative augmented reality heads-up display Volkswagen plans to offer in its electric vehicles. Klaus Bischoff, head of the VW brand, says the I.D. electric car will completely reinvent vehicle instrumentation systems when it is launched at the end of the decade.
For decades, numerous research centers and academics around the world have been working the potential of virtual reality technology. Countless research projects undertaken in these centers are an important indicator that everything from health care to real estate can experience disruption in a few years.
Virtual Human Interaction Lab — Stanford University
Virtual Reality Applications Center — Iowa State University
Institute for Creative Technologies—USC
Medical Virtual Reality — USC
The Imaging Media Research Center — Korea Institute of Science and Technology
Virtual Reality & Immersive Visualization Group — RWTH Aachen University
Center For Simulations & Virtual Environments Research — UCIT
Duke immersive Virtual Environment —Duke University
Experimental Virtual Environments (EVENT) Lab for Neuroscience and Technology — Barcelona University
Immersive Media Technology Experiences (IMTE) — Norwegian University of Technology
Human Interface Technology Laboratory — University of Washington
Augmented Reality (AR) dwelled quietly in the shadow of VR until earlier this year, when a certain app propelled it into the mainstream. Now, AR is a household term and can hold its own with advanced virtual technologies. The AR industry is predicted to hit global revenues of $90 billion by 2020, not just matching VR but overtaking it by a large margin. Of course, a lot of this turnover will be generated by applications in the entertainment industry. VR was primarily created by gamers for gamers, but AR began as a visionary idea that would change the way that humanity interacted with the world around them. The first applications of augmented reality were actually geared towards improving human performance in the workplace… But there’s far, far more to be explored.
I stood at the peak of Mount Rainier, the tallest mountain in Washington state. The sounds of wind whipped past my ears, and mountains and valleys filled a seemingly endless horizon in every direction. I’d never seen anything like it—until I grabbed the sun.
Using my HTC Vive virtual reality wand, I reached into the heavens in order to spin the Earth along its normal rotational axis, until I set the horizon on fire with a sunset. I breathed deeply at the sight, then spun our planet just a little more, until I filled the sky with a heaping helping of the Milky Way Galaxy.
Virtual reality has exposed me to some pretty incredible experiences, but I’ve grown ever so jaded in the past few years of testing consumer-grade headsets. Google Earth VR, however, has dropped my jaw anew. This, more than any other game or app for SteamVR’s “room scale” system, makes me want to call every friend and loved one I know and tell them to come over, put on a headset, and warp anywhere on Earth that they please.
In VR architecture, the difference between real and unreal is fluid and, to a large extent, unimportant. What is important, and potentially revolutionary, is VR’s ability to draw designers and their clients into a visceral world of dimension, scale, and feeling, removing the unfortunate schism between a built environment that exists in three dimensions and a visualization of it that has until now existed in two.
Many of the VR projects in Architecture are focused on the final stages of design process, basically for selling a house to a client. Thomas sees the real potential in the early stages: when the main decisions need to be made. VR is so good for this, as it helps for non professionals to understand and grasp the concepts of architecture very intuitively. And this is what we talked mostly about.
A proposed benefit of virtual reality is that it could one day eliminate the need to move our fleshy bodies around the world for business meetings and work engagements. Instead, we’ll be meeting up with colleagues and associates in virtual spaces. While this would be great news for the environment and business people sick of airports, it would be troubling news for airlines.
Imagine during one of your future trials that jurors in your courtroom are provided with virtual reality headsets, which allow them to view the accident site or crime scene digitally and walk around or be guided through a 3D world to examine vital details of the scene.
How can such an evidentiary presentation be accomplished? A system is being developed whereby investigators use a robot system inspired by NASA’s Curiosity Mars rover using 3D imaging and panoramic videography equipment to record virtual reality video of the scene.6 The captured 360° immersive video and photographs of the scene would allow recreation of a VR experience with video and pictures of the original scene from every angle. Admissibility of this evidence would require a showing that the VR simulation fairly and accurately depicts what it represents. If a judge permits presentation of the evidence after its accuracy is established, jurors receiving the evidence could turn their heads and view various aspects of the scene by looking up, down, and around, and zooming in and out.
Unlike an animation or edited video initially created to demonstrate one party’s point of view, the purpose of this type of evidence would be to gather data and objectively preserve the scene without staging or tampering. Even further, this approach would allow investigators to revisit scenes as they existed during the initial forensic examination and give jurors a vivid rendition of the site as it existed when the events occurred.
The theme running throughout most of this year’s WinHEC keynote in Shenzhen, China was mixed reality. Microsoft’s Alex Kipman continues to be a great spokesperson and evangelist for the new medium, and it is apparent that Microsoft is going in deep, if not all in, on this version of the future. I, for one, as a mixed reality or bust developer, am very glad to see it.
As part of the presentation, Microsoft presented a video (see below) that shows the various forms of mixed reality. The video starts with a few virtual objects in the room with a person, transitions into the same room with a virtual person, then becomes a full virtual reality experience with Windows Holographic.
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High engagement schools start from a different conception: knowledge co-creation and active production. They design a very different learner experience and support it with a student-centered culture and opportunities to improve self-regulation, initiative and persistence–all key to self-directed learning.
… Why Does Self-Direction Matter?
Growth of the freelance- and gig-economy makes self-direction an imperative. But it’s also increasingly important inside organizations. David Rattray of the LA Chamber said, “Employees need to change their disposition toward employers away from work for someone else to an attitude of working for myself–agency, self-discipline, initiative, and risk-taking are all important on the job.
Many adults are working in roles where they need to be more independent and efficiently manage their own time often through a series of projects. Employers are looking for candidates that on their own are able to identify a driving question, determine a team they need to help answer that question, able to effectively work with that team, execute and manage the project–through multiple iterations with lots of feedback–and then reflect and evaluate their work. Students should be developing self-direction by learning in the same way.
… Where to Start
If you’re a teacher or parent, you can ask good questions rather than provide simple answers; you can help students use a to-do list, develop a personal learning plan and a portfolio of their best work.
If you’re a principal, you can propose advisory period to promote self-direction and other success skills. You can make time in the schedule for more self-directed work. For example, Singapore American School added a makerspace with a genius hour and independent study courses to encourage to pursue self-directed learning.
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