San Diego’s Nanome Inc. releases collaborative VR-STEM software for free — from vrscout.com by Becca Loux

Excerpt:

The first collaborative VR molecular modeling application was released August 29 to encourage hands-on chemistry experimentation.

The open-source tool is free for download now on Oculus and Steam.

Nanome Inc., the San Diego-based start-up that built the intuitive application, comprises UCSD professors and researchers, web developers and top-level pharmaceutical executives.

 

“With our tool, anyone can reach out and experience science at the nanoscale as if it is right in front of them. At Nanome, we are bringing the craftsmanship and natural intuition from interacting with these nanoscale structures at room scale to everyone,” McCloskey said.

 

San Diego’s Nanome Inc. Releases Collaborative VR-STEM Software For Free

 

 

10 ways VR will change life in the near future — from forbes.com

Excerpts:

  1. Virtual shops
  2. Real estate
  3. Dangerous jobs
  4. Health care industry
  5. Training to create VR content
  6. Education
  7. Emergency response
  8. Distraction simulation
  9. New hire training
  10. Exercise

 

From DSC:
While VR will have its place — especially for timeswhen you need to completely immerse yourself into another environment — I think AR and MR will be much larger and have a greater variety of applications. For example, I could see where instructions on how to put something together in the future could use AR and/or MR to assist with that process. The system could highlight the next part that I’m looking for and then highlight the corresponding parts where it goes — and, if requested, can show me a clip on how it fits into what I’m trying to put together.

 

How MR turns firstline workers into change agents — from virtualrealitypop.com by Charlie Finkand
Mixed Reality, a new dimension of work — from Microsoft and Harvard Business Review

Excerpts:

Workers with mixed-reality solutions that enable remote assistance, spatial planning, environmentally contextual data, and much more,” Bardeen told me. With the HoloLens Firstline Workers workers conduct their usual, day-to-day activities with the added benefit of a heads-up, hands-free, display that gives them immediate access to valuable, contextual information. Microsoft says speech services like Cortana will be critical to control along with gesture, according to the unique needs of each situation.

 

Expect new worker roles. What constitutes an “information worker” could change because mixed reality will allow everyone to be involved in the collection and use of information. Many more types of information will become available to any worker in a compelling, easy-to-understand way. 

 

 

Let’s Speak: VR language meetups — from account.altvr.com

 

 

 

 

Google’s VR Labs provide STEM students with hands-on experience — from vrscout.com by Kyle Melnick

Excerpt:

STEM students engaged in scientific disciplines, such as biochemistry and neuroscience, are often required by their respective degrees to spend a certain amount of time engaged in an official laboratory environment. Unfortunately, crowded universities and the rise of online education have made it difficult for these innovators-in-training to access properly equipped labs and log their necessary hours.

Cue Google VR Labs, a series of comprehensive virtual lab experiences available on the Google Daydream platform. Developed as part of partnership between Google and simulation education company Labster, the in-depth program boasts 30 interactive lab experiences in which biology students can engage in a series of hands-on scientific activities in a realistic environment.

These actions can include everything from the use of practical tools, such as DNA sequencers and microscopes, to reality-bending experiences only capable in a virtual environment, like traveling to the surface of the newly discovered Astakos IV exoplanet or examining and altering DNA on a molecular level.

 

Google’s VR Labs Provide STEM Students With Hands-On Experience

 

Also see:

 

 

 

The 50 Best Augmented Reality Apps for iPhone, iPad & Android Devices — from next.reality.news by Tommy Palladino

Excerpt:

Complete Anatomy 2018 +Courses (iOS): Give your preschoolers a head start on their education! Okay, clearly this app is meant for more advanced learners. Compared to the average app, you’ll end up paying through the nose with in-app purchases, but it’s really a drop in the bucket compared to the student loans students will accumulate in college. Price: Free with in-app purchases ranging from $0.99 to $44.99.

SkyView (iOS & Android): If I can wax nostalgic for a bit, I recall one of the first mobile apps that wowed me being Google’s original SkyView app. Now you can bring back that feeling with some augmented reality. With SkyView, you can point your phone to the sky and the app will tell you what constellations or other celestial bodies you are looking at. Price: $1.99, but there’s a free version for iOS and Android.

JigSpace (iOS): JigSpace is an app dedicated to showing users how things work (the human body, mechanical objects, etc.). And the app recently added how-to info for those who WonderHowTo do other things as well. JigSpace can now display its content in augmented reality as well, which is a brilliant application of immersive content to education. Price: Free.

NY Times (iOS & Android): The New York Times only recently adopted augmented reality as a means for covering the news, but already we’ve had the chance to see Olympic athletes and David Bowie’s freaky costumes up close. That’s a pretty good start! Price: Free with in-app purchases ranging from $9.99 to $129.99 for subscriptions.

BBC Civilisations (iOS & Android): Developed as a companion to the show of the same name, this app ends up holding its own as an AR app experience. Users can explore digital scans of ancient artifacts, learn more about their significance, and even interact with them. Sure, Indiana Jones would say this stuff belongs in a museum, but augmented reality lets you view them in your home as well. Price: Free.

SketchAR (iOS, Android, & Windows): A rare app that works on the dominant mobile platforms and HoloLens, Sketch AR helps users learn how to draw. Sketch AR scans your environment for your drawing surface and anchors the content there as you draw around it. As you can imagine, the app works best on HoloLens since it keeps users’ hands free to draw. Price: Free.

 

 

Sun Seeker (iOS & Android): This app displays the solar path, hour intervals, and more in augmented reality. While this becomes a unique way to teach students about the Earth’s orbit around the sun (and help refute silly flat-earthers), it can also be a useful tool for professionals. For instance, it can help photographers plan a photoshoot and see where sunlight will shine at certain times of the day. Price: $9.99.

Froggipedia (iOS): Dissecting a frog is basically a rite of passage for anyone who has graduated from primary school in the US within the past 50 years or so. Thanks to augmented reality, we can now save precious frog lives while still learning about their anatomy. The app enables users to dissect virtual frogs as if they are on the table in front of them, and without the stench of formaldehyde. Price: $3.99.

GeoGebra Augmented Reality (iOS): Who needs a graphing calculator when you can visualize equations in augmented reality. That’s what GeoGebra does. The app is invaluable for visualizing graphs. Price: Free.

 

 

Addendum:

 

 

 

 

10 Breakthrough Technologies 2018 -- from MIT Technology Review

 

10 Breakthrough Technologies 2018 — from MIT Technology Review

Excerpt:

Dueling neural networks. Artificial embryos. AI in the cloud. Welcome to our annual list of the 10 technology advances we think will shape the way we work and live now and for years to come.

Every year since 2001 we’ve picked what we call the 10 Breakthrough Technologies. People often ask, what exactly do you mean by “breakthrough”? It’s a reasonable question—some of our picks haven’t yet reached widespread use, while others may be on the cusp of becoming commercially available. What we’re really looking for is a technology, or perhaps even a collection of technologies, that will have a profound effect on our lives.

  1. 3-D Metal Printing
  2. Artificial Embryos
  3. Sensing City
  4. AI for Everybody
  5. Dueling Neural Networks
  6. Babel-Fish Earbuds
    In the cult sci-fi classic The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy, you slide a yellow Babel fish into your ear to get translations in an instant. In the real world, Google has come up with an interim solution: a $159 pair of earbuds, called Pixel Buds. These work with its Pixel smartphones and Google Translate app to produce practically real-time translation. One person wears the earbuds, while the other holds a phone. The earbud wearer speaks in his or her language—English is the default—and the app translates the talking and plays it aloud on the phone. The person holding the phone responds; this response is translated and played through the earbuds.
  7. Zero-Carbon Natural Gas
  8. Perfect Online Privacy
  9. Genetic Fortune-Telling
  10. Materials’ Quantum Leap

 

 

 

The NEW Periodic Table of iOS Apps for AR and VR — from ictevangelist.com by Mark Anderson

 

You can download a high-quality version of the table here.

 

 

 

Lenovo is including its standalone Daydream headset in classroom VR kits starting this Spring — from 9to5google.com by Ben Schoon

 

 

 

 

Our Screenless Future Calls For Augmented Parenting — from fastcompany.com by Anya Kamenetz
How will parents manage their children’s screen time when there are no screens?

 

 

 

8 ways augmented and virtual reality are changing medicine — from israel21c.org by Abigail Klein Leichman
Israeli companies are using futuristic technologies to simplify complex surgery, manage rehab, relieve pain, soothe autistic kids and much more.

 

 

 

 

Augmented reality system lets doctors see under patients’ skin without the scalpel — from ualberta.ca by Katie Willis
New technology lets clinicians see patients’ internal anatomy displayed right on the body.

 

 

 

27 Mixed Reality (MR / AR) Influencers to Follow in 2018 — from by Mark Metry
Influencers to Follow in 2018

 

 

 

DAQRI Founder’s Passionate TED Talk on Potential Impact of Augmented Reality Gets Personal — from augmented.reality.news by Adario Strange

 

 

 

 

The Beatriz Lab - A Journey through Alzheimer's Disease

This three-part lab can be experienced all at once or separately. At the beginning of each part, Beatriz’s brain acts as an omniscient narrator, helping learners understand how changes to the brain affect daily life and interactions.

Pre and post assessments, along with a facilitation guide, allow learners and instructors to see progression towards outcomes that are addressed through the story and content in the three parts, including:

1) increased knowledge of Alzheimer’s disease and the brain
2) enhanced confidence to care for people with Alzheimer’s disease
3) improvement in care practice

Why a lab about Alzheimer’s Disease?
The Beatriz Lab is very important to us at Embodied Labs. It is the experience that inspired the start of our company. We believe VR is more than a way to evoke feelings of empathy; rather, it is a powerful behavior change tool. By taking the perspective of Beatriz, healthcare professionals and trainees are empowered to better care for people with Alzheimer’s disease, leading to more effective care practices and better quality of life. Through embodying Beatriz, you will gain insight into life with Alzheimer’s and be able to better connect with and care for your loved ones, patients, clients, or others in this communities who live with the disease every day. In our embodied VR experience, we hope to portray both the difficult and joyful moments — the disease surely is a mix of both.

Watch our new promo video to learn more!

 

 

As part of the experience, you will take a 360 degree trip into Beatriz’s brain,
and visit a neuron “forest” that is being affected by amyloid beta plaques and tau proteins.

 

From DSC:
I love the work that Carrie Shaw and @embodiedLabs are doing! Thanks Carrie & Company!

 

 

 

Top 7 Business Collaboration Conference Apps in Virtual Reality (VR) — from vudream.com by Ved Pitre

Excerpt (emphasis DSC):

As VR continues to grow and improve, the experiences will feel more real. But for now, here are the best business conference applications in virtual reality.

 

 

 

Final Cut Pro X Arrives With 360 VR Video Editing — from vrscount.com by Jonathan Nafarrete

Excerpt:

A sign of how Apple is supporting VR in parts of its ecosystem, Final Cut Pro X (along with Motion and Compressor), now has a complete toolset that lets you import, edit, and deliver 360° video in both monoscopic and stereoscopic formats.

Final Cut Pro X 10.4 comes with a handful of slick new features that we tested, such as advanced color grading and support for High Dynamic Range (HDR) workflows. All useful features for creators, not just VR editors, especially since Final Cut Pro is used so heavily in industries like video editing and production. But up until today, VR post-production options have been minimal, with no support from major VR headsets. We’ve had options with Adobe Premiere plus plugins, but not everyone wants to be pigeon-holed into a single software option. And Final Cut Pro X runs butter smooth on the new iMac, so there’s that.

Now with the ability to create immersive 360° films right in Final Cut Pro, an entirely new group of creators have the ability to dive into the world of 360 VR video. Its simple and intuitive, something we expect from an Apple product. The 360 VR toolset just works.

 

 

 

See Original, Exclusive Star Wars Artwork in VR — from vrscount.com by Alice Bonasio

 

Excerpt:

HWAM’s first exhibition is a unique collection of Star Wars production pieces, including the very first drawings made for the film franchise and never-before-seen production art from the original trilogy by Lucasfilm alum Joe Johnston, Ralph McQuarrie, Phil Tippett, Drew Struzan, Colin Cantwell, and more.

 

 

 

Learning a language in VR is less embarrassing than IRL — from qz.com by Alice Bonasio

Excerpt:

Will virtual reality help you learn a language more quickly? Or will it simply replace your memory?

VR is the ultimate medium for delivering what is known as “experiential learning.” This education theory is based on the idea that we learn and remember things much better when doing something ourselves than by merely watching someone else do it or being told about it.

The immersive nature of VR means users remember content they interact with in virtual scenarios much more vividly than with any other medium. (According to experiments carried out by professor Ann Schlosser at the University of Washington, VR even has the capacity to prompt the development of false memories.)

 

 

Since immersion is a key factor in helping students not only learn much faster but also retain what they learn for longer, these powers can be harnessed in teaching and training—and there is also research that indicates that VR is an ideal tool for learning a language.

 

 


Addendum on 12/20/17:

 


 

 

 

Program Easily Converts Molecules to 3D Models for 3D Printing, Virtual and Augmented Reality — from 3dprint.com

Excerpt:

At North Carolina State University, Assistant Professor of Chemistry Denis Fourches uses technology to research the effectiveness of new drugs. He uses computer programs to model interactions between chemical compounds and biological targets to predict the effectiveness of the compound, narrowing the field of drug candidates for testing. Lately, he has been using a new program that allows the user to create 3D models of molecules for 3D printing, plus augmented and virtual reality applications.

RealityConvert converts molecular objects like proteins and drugs into high-quality 3D models. The models are generated in standard file formats that are compatible with most augmented and virtual reality programs, as well as 3D printers. The program is specifically designed for creating models of chemicals and small proteins.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Mozilla just launched an augmented reality app — from thenextweb.com by Matthew Hughes

Excerpt:

Mozilla has launched its first ever augmented reality app for iOS. The company, best known for its Firefox browser, wants to create an avenue for developers to build augmented reality experiences using open web technologies, WebXR, and Apple’s ARKit framework.

This latest effort from Mozilla is called WebXR Viewer. It contains several sample AR programs, demonstrating its technology in the real world. One is a teapot, suspended in the air. Another contains holographic silhouettes, which you can place in your immediate vicinity. Should you be so inclined, you can also use it to view your own WebXR creations.

 

 

Airbnb is replacing the guest book with augmented reality — from qz.com by Mike Murphy

Excerpt:

Airbnb announced today (Dec.11) that it’s experimenting with augmented- and virtual-reality technologies to enhance customers’ travel experiences.

The company showed off some simple prototype ideas in a blog post, detailing how VR could be used to explore apartments that customers may want to rent, from the comfort of their own homes. Hosts could scan apartments or houses to create 360-degree images that potential customers could view on smartphones or VR headsets.

It also envisioned an augmented-reality system where hosts could leave notes and instructions to their guests as they move through their apartment, especially if their house’s setup is unusual. AR signposts in the Airbnb app could help guide guests through anything confusing more efficiently than the instructions hosts often leave for their guests.

 

 

This HoloLens App Wants to Kickstart Collaborative Mixed Reality — from vrscout.com by Alice Bonasio

Excerpt:

Now Object Theory has just released a new collaborative computing application for the HoloLens called Prism, which takes many of the functionalities they’ve been developing for those clients over the past couple of years, and offers them to users in a free Windows Store application.

 

 

 

 

Virtual and Augmented Reality to Nearly Double Each Year Through 2021 — from campustechnology.com by Joshua Bolkan

Excerpt:

Spending on augmented and virtual reality will nearly double in 2018, according to a new forecast from International Data Corp. (IDC), growing from $9.1 billion in 2017 to $17.8 billion next year. The market research company predicts that aggressive growth will continue throughout its forecast period, achieving an average 98.8 percent compound annual growth rate (CAGR) from 2017 to 2021.

 

 

A look at the new BMW i3s in augmented reality with Apple’s ARKit — from electrek.co by Fred Lambert

 

 

 

 

Scope AR brings remote video tech support calls to HoloLens — from by Dean Takahashi

Excerpt:

Scope AR has launched Remote AR, an augmented reality video support solution for Microsoft’s HoloLens AR headsets.

The San Francisco company is launching its enterprise-class AR solution to enable cross-platform live support video calls.

Remote AR for Microsoft HoloLens brings AR support for field technicians, enabling them to perform tasks with better speed and accuracy. It does so by allowing an expert to get on a video call with a technician and then mark the spot on the screen where the technician has to do something, like turn a screwdriver. The technician is able to see where the expert is pointing by looking at the AR overlay on the video scene.

 

 

 

 

Virtual Reality: The Next Generation Of Education, Learning and Training — from forbes.com by Kris Kolo

Excerpt:

Ultimately, VR in education will revolutionize not only how people learn but how they interact with real-world applications of what they have been taught. Imagine medical students performing an operation or geography students really seeing where and what Kathmandu is. The world just opens up to a rich abundance of possibilities.

 

 

 

Technology from “Harry Potter” Movies Brings Magic of Brain into Focus — from scientificamerican.com by Bahar Gholipour
Software lets scientists explore the brain in 3-D and perform “virtual dissections”

Excerpt:

The same techniques that generate images of smoke, clouds and fantastic beasts in movies can render neurons and brain structures in fine-grained detail.

Two projects presented yesterday at the 2017 Society for Neuroscience annual meeting in Washington, D.C., gave attendees a sampling of what these powerful technologies can do.

“These are the same rendering techniques that are used to make graphics for ‘Harry Potter’ movies,” says Tyler Ard, a neuroscientist in Arthur Toga’s lab at the University of Southern California in Los Angeles. Ard presented the results of applying these techniques to magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) scans.

The methods can turn massive amounts of data into images, making them ideally suited to generate brain scans. Ard and his colleagues develop code that enables them to easily enter data into the software. They plan to make the code freely available to other researchers.

 

 

 

 

 

Expo: Towards Rapid VR Prototyping — from medium.com by Jon Wade

Excerpt:

After several cycles of development, it became clear that getting our process into VR as early as possible was essential. This was difficult to do within the landscape of VR tooling. So, at the beginning of 2017, we began developing features for early-stage VR prototyping in a tool named “Expo.”


Start Prototyping in VR Now
We developed Expo because the tools for collaborative prototyping did not exist at the start of this year. Since then, the landscape has dramatically improved and there are many tools providing prototyping workflows with no requirement to do your own development:

  • Facebook Spaces and SteamVR Home allow teams to create quick doodles and play with props together.
  • MasterpieceVR has professional-grade sculpting tools and the critical feature of multi-user interaction.
  • Mindshow allows a single user to pantomime and record avatars and objects interacting to create shareable vignettes.

 

 

 

 

Google’s new ‘Poly’ service makes it easier to build VR and AR apps — from mashable.com by Karissa Bell

Excerpt:

It’s no secret that one of the biggest issues holding back virtual and augmented reality is the lack of content.

Even as bigger studios and companies are sinking more and more money into VR and AR development, it’s still difficult for smaller, independent, developers to get started. A big part of the problem is that AR and VR apps require developers to create a ton of 3D objects, often an overwhelming and time-consuming process.

Google is hoping to fix that, though, with its new service called Poly, an online library of 3D objects developers can use in their own apps.

The model is a bit like Flickr, but for VR and AR developers rather than photographers. Anyone can upload their own 3D creations to the service and make them available to others via a Creative Commons license, and any developer can search and download objects for their own apps and games.

 

 

 

For a long, successful career, LinkedIn says nothing beats a liberal arts major — from qz.com by Dan Kopf and Amy Wang

Excerpt:

“There is a real concern that these labor-market-oriented degrees that focus on specific technical skills are not as durable,” says Guy Berger, a LinkedIn economist and one of the researchers who worked on the report. Berger believes that “cross-functional skills” like management and analytical know-how are more adaptable across a range of work environments. As technology changes the nature of work across nearly every industry, it’s important to have a wide range of such talents, rather than a narrow subset applied only to a particular sector that may not look the same in the near future (or, indeed, exist at all).

 

 

Ed Dept. Names Finalists for Virtual and Augmented Reality Competition — from campustechnology.com by Sri Ravipati

Excerpt:

The finalists are:

  • Case Western Reserve University, which developed “Holographic Anatomy to Transform Healthcare,” a simulation that provides an alternative to using cadavers to teach medical anatomy. Combining the Microsoft HoloLens and the VR experience, medical students can practice dissection techniques in a virtual environment.
  • Embodied Labs for a series of VR patient experiences called “The Alfred Lab,” designed to teach students how to take better care of elderly populations.
  • Octothorpe, the creator behind “The Irregular: Sherlock Holmes,” which challenges students to work together on chemistry and psychology problems.
  • Osso VR, for its realistic, hands-on orthopaedic surgical training platform; and
  • Smart Sparrow, an education company that created “LifeCraft,” which explores life on Earth through various archaeology, biology and astronomy expeditions.

 

 

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