Where You’ll Find Virtual Reality Technology in 2018 — from avisystems.com by Alec Kasper-Olson


The VR / AR / MR Breakdown
This year will see growth in a variety of virtual technologies and uses. There are differences and similarities between virtual, augmented, and mixed reality technologies. The technology is constantly evolving and even the terminology around it changes quickly, so you may hear variations on these terms.

Augmented reality is what was behind the Pokémon Go craze. Players could see game characters on their devices superimposed over images of their physical surroundings. Virtual features seemed to exist in the real world.

Mixed reality combines virtual features and real-life objects. So, in this way it includes AR but it also includes environments where real features seem to exist in a virtual world.

The folks over at Recode explain mixed reality this way:

In theory, mixed reality lets the user see the real world (like AR) while also seeing believable, virtual objects (like VR). And then it anchors those virtual objects to a point in real space, making it possible to treat them as “real,” at least from the perspective of the person who can see the MR experience.

And, virtual reality uses immersive technology to seemingly place a user into a simulated lifelike environment.

Where You’ll Find These New Realities
Education and research fields are at the forefront of VR and AR technologies, where an increasing number of students have access to tools. But higher education isn’t the only place you see this trend. The number of VR companies grew 250 percent between 2012 and 2017. Even the latest iPhones include augmented reality capabilities. Aside from the classroom and your pocket, here are some others places you’re likely to see VR and AR pop up in 2018.




Top AR apps that make learning fun — from bmsinnolabs.wordpress.com


Here is a list of a few amazing Augmented Reality mobile apps for children:

  • Jigspace
  • Elements 4D
  • Arloon Plants
  • Math alive
  • PlanetAR Animals
  • FETCH! Lunch Rush
  • Quiver
  • Zoo Burst
  • PlanetAR Alphabets & Numbers

Here are few of the VR input devices include:

  • Controller Wands
  • Joysticks
  • Force Balls/Tracking Balls
  • Data Gloves
  • On-Device Control Buttons
  • Motion Platforms (Virtuix Omni)
  • Trackpads
  • Treadmills
  • Motion Trackers/Bodysuits




HTC VIVE and World Economic Forum Partner For The Future Of The “VR/AR For Impact” Initiative — from blog.vive.com by Matthew Gepp


VR/AR for Impact experiences shown this week at WEF 2018 include:

  • OrthoVR aims to increase the availability of well-fitting prosthetics in low-income countries by using Virtual Reality and 3D rapid prototyping tools to increase the capacity of clinical staff without reducing quality. VR allows current prosthetists and orthosists to leverage their hands-on and embodied skills within a digital environment.
  • The Extraordinary Honey Bee is designed to help deepen our understanding of the honey bee’s struggle and learn what is at stake for humanity due to the dying global population of the honey bee. Told from a bee’s perspective, The Extraordinary Honey Bee harnesses VR to inspire change in the next generation of honey bee conservationists.
  • The Blank Canvas: Hacking Nature is an episodic exploration of the frontiers of bioengineering as taught by the leading researchers within the field. Using advanced scientific visualization techniques, the Blank Canvas will demystify the cellular and molecular mechanisms that are being exploited to drive substantial leaps such as gene therapy.
  • LIFE (Life-saving Instruction For Emergencies) is a new mobile and VR platform developed by the University of Oxford that enables all types of health worker to manage medical emergencies. Through the use of personalized simulation training and advanced learning analytics, the LIFE platform offers the potential to dramatically extend access to life-saving knowledge in low-income countries.
  • Tree is a critically acclaimed virtual reality experience to immerse viewers in the tragic fate that befalls a rainforest tree. The experience brings to light the harrowing realities of deforestation, one of the largest contributors to global warming.
  • For the Amazonian Yawanawa, ‘medicine’ has the power to travel you in a vision to a place you have never been. Hushuhu, the first woman shaman of the Yawanawa, uses VR like medicine to open a portal to another way of knowing. AWAVENA is a collaboration between a community and an artist, melding technology and transcendent experience so that a vision can be shared, and a story told of a people ascending from the edge of extinction.




Everything You Need To Know About Virtual Reality Technology — from yeppar.com


Types of Virtual Reality Technology
We can segregate the type of Virtual Reality Technology according to their user experience

Non-immersive simulations are the least immersion implementation of Virtual Reality Technology.
In this kind of simulation, only a subset of the user’s senses is replicated, allowing for marginal awareness of the reality outside the VR simulation. A user enters into 3D virtual environments through a portal or window by utilizing standard HD monitors typically found on conventional desktop workstations.

Semi Immersive
In this simulation, users experience a more rich immersion, where a user partly, not fully involved in a virtual environment. Semi immersive simulations are based on high-performance graphical computing, which is often coupled with large screen projector systems or multiple TV projections to properly simulate the user’s visuals.

Fully immersive
Offers the full immersive experience to the user of Virtual Reality Technology, in this phase of VR head-mounted displays and motion sensing devices are used to simulate all of the user senses. In this situation, a user can experience the realistic virtual environment, where a user can experience a wide view field, high resolutions, increased refresh rates and a high quality of visualization through HMD.







This Is What A Mixed Reality Hard Hat Looks Like — from vrscout.com by  Alice Bonasio
A Microsoft-endorsed hard hat solution lets construction workers use holograms on site.


These workers already routinely use technology such as tablets to access plans and data on site, but going from 2D to 3D at scale brings that to a whole new level. “Superimposing the digital model on the physical environment provides a clear understanding of the relations between the 3D design model and the actual work on a jobsite,” explained Olivier Pellegrin, BIM manager, GA Smart Building.

The application they are using is called Trimble Connect. It turns data into 3D holograms, which are then mapped out to scale onto the real-world environment. This gives workers an instant sense of where and how various elements will fit and exposes mistakes early on in the process.


Also see:

Trimble Connect for HoloLens is a mixed reality solution that improves building coordination by combining models from multiple stakeholders such as structural, mechanical and electrical trade partners. The solution provides for precise alignment of holographic data on a 1:1 scale on the job site, to review models in the context of the physical environment. Predefined views from Trimble Connect further simplify in-field use with quick and easy access to immersive visualizations of 3D data. Users can leverage mixed reality for training purposes and to compare plans against work completed. Advanced visualization further enables users to view assigned tasks and capture data with onsite measurement tools. Trimble Connect for HoloLens is available now through the Microsoft Windows App Store. A free trial option is available enabling integration with HoloLens. Paid subscriptions support premium functionality allowing for precise on-site alignment and collaboration. Trimble’s Hard Hat Solution for Microsoft HoloLens extends the benefits of HoloLens mixed reality into areas where increased safety requirements are mandated, such as construction sites, offshore facilities, and mining projects. The solution, which is ANSI-approved, integrates the HoloLens holographic computer with an industry-standard hard hat. Trimble’s Hard Hat Solution for HoloLens is expected to be available in the first quarter of 2018. To learn more, visit mixedreality.trimble.com.


From DSC:
Combining voice recognition / Natural Language Processing (NLP) with Mixed Reality should provide some excellent, powerful user experiences. Doing so could also provide some real-time understanding as well as highlight potential issues in current designs. It will be interesting to watch this space develop. If there were an issue, wouldn’t it be great to remotely ask someone to update the design and then see the updated design in real-time? (Or might there be a way to make edits via one’s voice and/or with gestures?)

I could see where these types of technologies could come in handy when designing / enhancing learning spaces.




Web-Powered Augmented Reality: a Hands-On Tutorial — from medium.com by Uri Shaked
A Guided Journey Into the Magical Worlds of ARCore, A-Frame, 3D Programming, and More!


There’s been a lot of cool stuff happening lately around Augmented Reality (AR), and since I love exploring and having fun with new technologies, I thought I would see what I could do with AR and the Web?—?and it turns out I was able to do quite a lot!

Most AR demos are with static objects, like showing how you can display a cool model on a table, but AR really begins to shine when you start adding in animations!

With animated AR, your models come to life, and you can then start telling a story with them.




Art.com adds augmented reality art-viewing to its iOS app — from techcrunch.com by Lucas Matney


If you’re in the market for some art in your house or apartment, Art.com will now let you use AR to put digital artwork up on your wall.

The company’s ArtView feature is one of the few augmented reality features that actually adds a lot to the app it’s put in. With the ARKit-enabled tech, the artwork is accurately sized so you can get a perfect idea of how your next purchase could fit on your wall. The feature can be used for the two million pieces of art on the site and can be customized with different framing types.





Experience on Demand is a must-read VR book — from venturebeat.com by Ian Hamilton


Bailenson’s newest book, Experience on Demand, builds on that earlier work while focusing more clearly — even bluntly — on what we do and don’t know about how VR affects humans.

“The best way to use it responsibly is to be educated about what it is capable of, and to know how to use it — as a developer or a user — responsibly,” Bailenson wrote in the book.

Among the questions raised:

  • “How educationally effective are field trips in VR? What are the design principles that should guide these types of experiences?”
  • How many individuals are not meeting their potential because they lack the access to good instruction and learning tools?”
  • “When we consider that the subjects were made uncomfortable by the idea of administering fake electric shocks, what can we expect people will feel when they are engaging all sorts of fantasy violence and mayhem in virtual reality?”
  • “What is the effect of replacing social contact with virtual social contact over long periods of time?”
  • “How do we walk the line and leverage what is amazing about VR, without falling prey to the bad parts?”





Augray, An Augmented Reality Company Has Launched World’s First AR Messenger — from tada-time.com; with thanks to Mr. Woontack Woo for this resource


Never before has there been a messenger app based only on AR.

Just by downloading the app with a selfie, you will get your avatar and up get to customize them! There are many clothing and style options to fit your personality and mood. Don’t worry, you can change their appearance at any time. Once you create your digital you, you will place them in any environment around you, with the default animation’s audio or with your own voice, you really make your avatar come alive. You can record the actions in the real world, record, and chat with your friends and family or post them in the inbuilt social media for everyone to see your creative recording or the to experience your digital you in their world! This app will change your social life for the better.


Also related/see:
The Future of Social Media is Here: The Rise of Augmented Reality



The Top 5 Virtual Reality and Augmented Reality Apps for Architects — from archdaily.com by Lidija Grozdanic for Archipreneur.com; again, with thanks to Mr. Woontack Woo for this resource


Virtual reality and augmented reality tools for the AEC industry are getting increasingly better and more optimized. As prices keep dropping, there are fewer reasons why every architect, engineer, contractor, and owner shouldn’t use some form of VR/AR in bringing their projects to life.

From being a novelty a few years ago, VR/AR solutions are slowly becoming a medium that’s transforming the way professionals in the AEC industry communicate, create and experience content. Offering a more immersive experience of architectural designs, but also products and areas related to space building, VR and AR tools are becoming an industry standard that offers rapid iterations and opportunity to refine designs in collaboration with clients and colleagues.




Dell makes a VR Visor to go with its Alienware laptops — from engadget.com by Andrew Tarantola
It’ll retail for $349 when it goes on sale in October.




Microsoft’s new partnership with Valve looks like a win-win — from businessinsider.com by Matt Weinberger


  • Cheap VR headsets, priced at around $300, are coming to Windows 10 later this year
  • Microsoft just announced those headsets will support apps and games from the Steam platform, which will greatly expand selection. Plus, Microsoft says it’s working on “Halo” content for virtual reality.
  • The VR headsets will work with less powerful computers, potentially expanding the market.

Virtual reality, real rewards in higher ed — from universitybusiness.com by Jennifer Fink
Using augmented and virtual reality to attract students and engage donors





Australian Library Design Awards 2017 — from
The Australian Library and Information Association has announced the five winners of its inaugural Library Design Awards at its conference in Melbourne.


Thirty-three stunning libraries were entered in the awards and there is a winner in each category: public, school, academic and special libraries all feature in the entries.

The Australian Library Design Awards were created to showcase the best in contemporary library interiors and exteriors in Australia, and to celebrate the investment in libraries made by Australia’s institutions, corporations, local, state and territory governments.







Some applications of VR from vrxone.com

Virtual Reality to teach the skills needed for the future by enabling learners to explore, play, work as a team, compete, and be rewarded for their achievements through interactive lessons.

  • Virtual Field Trips
  • Immersive VRXOne Lab
  • VR for Arts & Design
  • Safe Laboratory Practicals through VR
  • Game based Learning
  • Geography, Marine Life VR Exploration
  • Astronomy & Space Research through VR
  • Architecture & Interiors
  • VR for Sports & Games
  • VR to improve Public Speech

Corporate Training
Virtual reality (VR) enhances traditional training methods through a new, practical and interactive approach. Improve Knowledge Retention by doing things in an immersive Environment.

* VR based Induction/ Onboarding
* Improving Health & Safety through VR
* Increase Knowledge Retention
* Hands-on VR Training Simulations
* Customer interactivity through VR
* VR to improve Marketing Strategy
* Special purpose training in VR
* High Risk Environment VR Simulation
* Critical National Infrastructure brief on VR
* VR for Business Planning

Virtual Reality has proven great results with 34% of Physical Health and 47% of Mental Health Improvements through various applications and learning programs.

* 360° Live streaming of Surgical Procedure
* Medical & Nursing Simulation
* Emergency Drill Scenario
* VR for pain & anxiety relief
* Assistive Technology for Special Education.
* Interactive Anatomy Lessons
* Yoga, Meditation and Recreational Therapy
* Virtual Medical Consultation
* Motivational Therapy for Aged Citizens
* VR for Medical Tourism




Review: From Revit to VR — from aecmag.com
Greg Corke gets hands-on with three Virtual Reality (VR) applications that work seamlessly with Autodesk Revit, weighing up their capabilities and assessing how well they combine with the HTC Vive and workstation GPUs


Virtual Reality (VR) is one of the most exciting technologies to hit the AEC market in years. Architects, engineers and clients alike can experience a realistic virtual prototype of a building long before it is built.

A fully immersive VR experience gives you a sense of scale, depth and spatial awareness that simply cannot be matched by a rendering, walkthrough or physicalscale model. The feeling of presence – of existing inside the 3D model – is quite incredible. Users have the freedom to explore a building at their own pace, to understand how it will feel and function. Walking across rooms, teleporting through doors, peering around corners – it’s all possible with a fully tracked roomscale experience.

The impact on the design process can be huge – but only if VR can be used at the precise moments where it adds most value.






Stryker is using Microsoft’s HoloLens to design operating rooms of the future — from digitaltrends.com by Mark Coppock


Augmented reality has a number of increasingly important applications in a variety of industries, from engineering to retail to interior design. One of the most exciting applications of AR, and the one that promises perhaps the most immediate impact on our lives, is in medicine, where AR can help educate, diagnose, and even treat disease in new and innovative ways.

Microsoft’s HoloLens AR solution is perhaps the most advanced today in terms of becoming a part of the real world, even while it’s not yet a retail option aimed at consumers. Global medical technology company Stryker, which is using HoloLens to redesign the operating room, provides a clear example of the potential of AR in this setting.



From DSC:
Microsoft uses the term “mixed reality” when they are discussing their Hololens product:



Using HoloLens and Stryker’s new By Design solution, hospital stakeholders are now able to envision the ideal operating room configuration with the power of holograms and the benefit of mixed reality.







Virtual Reality for architecture: a beginner’s guide — from aecmag.com
With the availability of affordable headsets like the Oculus Rift and HTC Vive, VR is now within reach of AEC firms of all sizes. Greg Corke explores this brave new virtual world


It’s an all too familiar scenario: an architect enters a building for the first time and the space doesn’t quite match the vision of his or her design. However beautiful a static rendered image may be, traditional design visualisation can only convey so much, even when the scene is rendered at eyelevel with furniture for scale.

At Gensler, design director and principal Hao Ko knows the feeling. “You still have to make a translation in your mind, in terms of how tall this space is going to feel,” he says. “More often than not, I’ll go to my own projects and I’ll be like, ‘Wow! That’s a lot bigger than I expected.’ You still have those moments.”

This, he says, is where virtual reality, or VR, comes in – and others in the industry are starting to reach the same conclusion.

VR head-mounted displays (HMDs) such as the Oculus Rift and HTC Vive have the power to change the way architects design and communicate buildings before they are built. The wearer is instantly immersed in a true three dimensional environment that gives an incredible sense of scale, depth and spatial awareness that simply cannot be matched by traditional renders, animations or physical-scale models.



Augmented and Virtual Reality for Architecture, Engineering and Design — from brainxchange.events by Emily Friedman


What is the potential for Augmented Reality and Virtual Reality in the AEC industry? How might viewing virtual objects integrated into one’s physical environment or immersing oneself into a virtual world benefit the AEC sector? In this article, we will focus specifically on the use of augmented and virtual reality technology on head-mounted displays by architects, engineers and designers in the building design process.



Enscape – Realtime rendering plugin for Revit



Architectural Visualization – Virtual Reality VR Demo



Addendum on 2/16/17:

Step Inside a Virtual Building of the Future
Architects are embracing virtual reality and the complex designs they can create there





From DSC:
The following article reminded me of a vision that I’ve had for the last few years…

  • How to Build a Production Studio for Online Courses — from campustechnology.com by Dian Schaffhauser
    At the College of Business at the University of Illinois, video operations don’t come in one size. Here’s how the institution is handling studio setup for MOOCs, online courses, guest speakers and more.

Though I’m a huge fan of online learning, why only build a production studio that’s meant to support online courses only? Let’s take it a step further and design a space that can address the content development for online learning as well as for blended learning — which can include the flipped classroom type of approach.

To do so, colleges and universities need to build something akin to what the National University of Singapore has done. I would like to see institutions create large enough facilities in order to house multiple types of recording studios in each one of them. Each facility would feature:

  • One room that has a lightboard and a mobile whiteboard in it — let the faculty member choose which surface that they want to use








  • A recording booth with a nice, powerful, large iMac that has ScreenFlow on it. The booth would also include a nice, professional microphone, a pop filter, sound absorbing acoustical panels, and more. Blackboard Collaborate could be used here as well…especially with the Application Sharing feature turned on and/or just showing one’s PowerPoint slides — with or without the video of the faculty member…whatever they prefer.





  • Another recording booth with a PC and Adobe Captivate, Camtasia Studio, Screencast-O-Matic, or similar tools. The booth would also include a nice, professional microphone, a pop filter, sound absorbing acoustical panels, and more. Blackboard Collaborate could be used here as well…especially with the Application Sharing feature turned on and/or just showing one’s PowerPoint slides — with or without the video of the faculty member…whatever they prefer.





  • Another recording booth with an iPad tablet and apps loaded on it such as Explain Everything:



  • A large recording studio that is similar to what’s described in the article — a room that incorporates a full-width green screen, with video monitors, a tablet, a podium, several cameras, high-end mics and more.  Or, if the budget allows for it, a really high end broadcasting/recording studio like what Harvard Business school is using:







A piece of this facility could look and act like the Sound Lab at the Museum of Pop Culture (MoPOP)







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