Robo retail: The automated store of the future is heading closer to our doorsteps. — from jwtintelligence.com’

Excerpt:

The automated store of the future is heading closer to our doorsteps.

Self-checkout and online delivery services might soon be outmoded. Automated, cashier-less and mobile, doorstep-accessible shopping outlets are popping up globally—these offer not only a quick and seamless shopping experience, but also allow customers to handpick the items they are seeking.

Retail giant Amazon launched its Amazon Go store in Seattle in late January 2018. Amazon Go stocks everyday items, Whole Foods Market goods and Amazon-branded meal kits, but has no cashiers, no check-out lines and no barcode scanners. Shoppers enter by scanning an app, shop and leave—items purchased are automatically charged to their accounts. Dilip Kumar, vice president of technology for Amazon Go, suggests the concept is Amazon’s answer to solving “time poverty,” which he calls people’s “number one problem.”

This is just the tip of the iceberg. While Amazon Go currently only operates in Seattle, two other mobile concepts are hoping to reach a wider audience by physically bringing roving stores directly to the consumer. Robomart, based in the Bay Area, is a prototype tap-to-request grab-and-go food mart. Conventional grocery delivery services like those run by Amazon, FreshDirect or Instacart don’t let customers select products for themselves. If you’re particular about the ripeness of an avocado or conscious about bruises on tomatoes, being able to choose your own produce is essential. An autonomy-focused platform like Robomart puts consumers in the metaphorical driver’s seat, while still maintaining a high level of ease.

 

 

 

From DSC:
Speaking of cashiers, I had some comments regarding the future of cashiers towards the bottom of this posting here.  Another relevant posting is: “Tech companies should stop pretending AI won’t destroy jobs” + 6 other items re: AI, bots, algorithms, & more

 

 

 

Tech companies should stop pretending AI won’t destroy jobs — from technologyreview.com / MIT Technology Review by Kai-Fu Lee
No matter what anyone tells you, we’re not ready for the massive societal upheavals on the way.

Excerpt (emphasis DSC):

The rise of China as an AI superpower isn’t a big deal just for China. The competition between the US and China has sparked intense advances in AI that will be impossible to stop anywhere. The change will be massive, and not all of it good. Inequality will widen. As my Uber driver in Cambridge has already intuited, AI will displace a large number of jobs, which will cause social discontent. Consider the progress of Google DeepMind’s AlphaGo software, which beat the best human players of the board game Go in early 2016. It was subsequently bested by AlphaGo Zero, introduced in 2017, which learned by playing games against itself and within 40 days was superior to all the earlier versions. Now imagine those improvements transferring to areas like customer service, telemarketing, assembly lines, reception desks, truck driving, and other routine blue-collar and white-­collar work. It will soon be obvious that half of our job tasks can be done better at almost no cost by AI and robots. This will be the fastest transition humankind has experienced, and we’re not ready for it.

And finally, there are those who deny that AI has any downside at all—which is the position taken by many of the largest AI companies. It’s unfortunate that AI experts aren’t trying to solve the problem. What’s worse, and unbelievably selfish, is that they actually refuse to acknowledge the problem exists in the first place.

These changes are coming, and we need to tell the truth and the whole truth. We need to find the jobs that AI can’t do and train people to do them. We need to reinvent education. These will be the best of times and the worst of times. If we act rationally and quickly, we can bask in what’s best rather than wallow in what’s worst.

 

From DSC:
If a business has a choice between hiring a human being or having the job done by a piece of software and/or by a robot, which do you think they’ll go with? My guess? It’s all about the money — whichever/whomever will be less expensive will get the job.

However, that way of thinking may cause enormous social unrest if the software and robots leave human beings in the (job search) dust. Do we, as a society, win with this way of thinking? To me, it’s capitalism gone astray. We aren’t caring enough for our fellow members of the human race, people who have to put bread and butter on their tables. People who have to support their families. People who want to make solid contributions to society and/or to pursue their vocation/callings — to have/find purpose in their lives.

 

Others think we’ll be saved by a universal basic income. “Take the extra money made by AI and distribute it to the people who lost their jobs,” they say. “This additional income will help people find their new path, and replace other types of social welfare.” But UBI doesn’t address people’s loss of dignity or meet their need to feel useful. It’s just a convenient way for a beneficiary of the AI revolution to sit back and do nothing.

 

 

To Fight Fatal Infections, Hospitals May Turn to Algorithms — from scientificamerican.com by John McQuaid
Machine learning could speed up diagnoses and improve accuracy

Excerpt:

The CDI algorithm—based on a form of artificial intelligence called machine learning—is at the leading edge of a technological wave starting to hit the U.S. health care industry. After years of experimentation, machine learning’s predictive powers are well-established, and it is poised to move from labs to broad real-world applications, said Zeeshan Syed, who directs Stanford University’s Clinical Inference and Algorithms Program.

“The implications of machine learning are profound,” Syed said. “Yet it also promises to be an unpredictable, disruptive force—likely to alter the way medical decisions are made and put some people out of work.

 

 

Lawyer-Bots Are Shaking Up Jobs — from technologyreview.com by Erin Winick

Excerpt:

Meticulous research, deep study of case law, and intricate argument-building—lawyers have used similar methods to ply their trade for hundreds of years. But they’d better watch out, because artificial intelligence is moving in on the field.

As of 2016, there were over 1,300,000 licensed lawyers and 200,000 paralegals in the U.S. Consultancy group McKinsey estimates that 22 percent of a lawyer’s job and 35 percent of a law clerk’s job can be automated, which means that while humanity won’t be completely overtaken, major businesses and career adjustments aren’t far off (see “Is Technology About to Decimate White-Collar Work?”). In some cases, they’re already here.

 

“If I was the parent of a law student, I would be concerned a bit,” says Todd Solomon, a partner at the law firm McDermott Will & Emery, based in Chicago. “There are fewer opportunities for young lawyers to get trained, and that’s the case outside of AI already. But if you add AI onto that, there are ways that is advancement, and there are ways it is hurting us as well.”

 

So far, AI-powered document discovery tools have had the biggest impact on the field. By training on millions of existing documents, case files, and legal briefs, a machine-learning algorithm can learn to flag the appropriate sources a lawyer needs to craft a case, often more successfully than humans. For example, JPMorgan announced earlier this year that it is using software called Contract Intelligence, or COIN, which can in seconds perform document review tasks that took legal aides 360,000 hours.

People fresh out of law school won’t be spared the impact of automation either. Document-based grunt work is typically a key training ground for first-year associate lawyers, and AI-based products are already stepping in. CaseMine, a legal technology company based in India, builds on document discovery software with what it calls its “virtual associate,” CaseIQ. The system takes an uploaded brief and suggests changes to make it more authoritative, while providing additional documents that can strengthen a lawyer’s arguments.

 

 

Lessons From Artificial Intelligence Pioneers — from gartner.com by Christy Pettey

CIOs are struggling to accelerate deployment of artificial intelligence (AI). A recent Gartner survey of global CIOs found that only 4% of respondents had deployed AI. However, the survey also found that one-fifth of the CIOs are already piloting or planning to pilot AI in the short term.

Such ambition puts these leaders in a challenging position. AI efforts are already stressing staff, skills, and the readiness of in-house and third-party AI products and services. Without effective strategic plans for AI, organizations risk wasting money, falling short in performance and falling behind their business rivals.

Pursue small-scale plans likely to deliver small-scale payoffs that will offer lessons for larger implementations

“AI is just starting to become useful to organizations but many will find that AI faces the usual obstacles to progress of any unproven and unfamiliar technology,” says Whit Andrews, vice president and distinguished analyst at Gartner. “However, early AI projects offer valuable lessons and perspectives for enterprise architecture and technology innovation leaders embarking on pilots and more formal AI efforts.”

So what lessons can we learn from these early AI pioneers?

 

 

Why Artificial Intelligence Researchers Should Be More Paranoid — from wired.com by Tom Simonite

Excerpt:

What to do about that? The report’s main recommendation is that people and companies developing AI technology discuss safety and security more actively and openly—including with policymakers. It also asks AI researchers to adopt a more paranoid mindset and consider how enemies or attackers might repurpose their technologies before releasing them.

 

 

How to Prepare College Graduates for an AI World — from wsj.com by
Northeastern University President Joseph Aoun says schools need to change their focus, quickly

Excerpt:

WSJ: What about adults who are already in the workforce?

DR. AOUN: Society has to provide ways, and higher education has to provide ways, for people to re-educate themselves, reskill themselves or upskill themselves.

That is the part that I see that higher education has not embraced. That’s where there is an enormous opportunity. We look at lifelong learning in higher education as an ancillary operation, as a second-class operation in many cases. We dabble with it, we try to make money out of it, but we don’t embrace it as part of our core mission.

 

 

Inside Amazon’s Artificial Intelligence Flywheel — from wired.com by Steven Levy
How deep learning came to power Alexa, Amazon Web Services, and nearly every other division of the company.

Excerpt:

Amazon loves to use the word flywheel to describe how various parts of its massive business work as a single perpetual motion machine. It now has a powerful AI flywheel, where machine-learning innovations in one part of the company fuel the efforts of other teams, who in turn can build products or offer services to affect other groups, or even the company at large. Offering its machine-learning platforms to outsiders as a paid service makes the effort itself profitable—and in certain cases scoops up yet more data to level up the technology even more.

 

 

 

 

5 benefits of using Augmented & Virtual Reality Technologies in eLearning — from elearningindustry.com by Christoper Pappas
Are you looking for ways to make your eLearning course stand out from the crowd? What if I told you there is technology that can help you achieve not only that but also increase online learner engagement and motivation? In this article, I’ll share the most notable benefits of using Augmented and Virtual Reality technologies in your eLearning course.

Excerpt:

Although their full implications are yet to be explored, alternate reality technologies make eLearning more engaging and productive. They are here to stay, and who knows what benefits they will bring to future learners. As the technology evolves, so too will the applications in eLearning. Which is why it’s essential for eLearning pros to keep up with cutting-edge tech and think of new and innovative uses for AR and VR tools.

 

 

 

National Museum of Finland Offers Virtual Time Travel — from vrfocus.com by
Visitors can step into the world of Finland in 1863 with the power of virtual reality.

 

National Museum of Finland Offers Virtual Time Travel

 

 

Every type of AR and VR explained, from Rift to HoloLens and beyond — from t3.com by David Nield
Know your augmented from your virtual

 

 

 

 

 

 

Augmented reality lets doctors peer inside the body like never before — from nbcnews.com by Tom Metcalfe
New devices will end ‘historic disconnect’ in doctors’ treatments of patients.

Excerpt:

Augmented reality (AR) technologies that blend computer-generated images and data from MRI and CT scans with real-world views are making it possible for doctors to “see under the skin” of their patients to visualize bones, muscles, and internal organs without having to cut open a body.

Experts say AR will transform medical care by improving precision during operations, reducing medical errors, and giving doctors and patients alike a better understanding of complex medical problems.

 

 

 

Healthcare VR innovations are healing patients — from cio.com by Peter Nichol
Virtual reality is healing patients with augmented technologies. The patient experience has been transformed. Welcome to the era of engaged recovery — the new world of healing.

Excerpt:

Three emerging realities will change the hospital experience with unparalleled possibilities:

  • Virtual reality (VR): full immersion, a simulated reality.
  • Mixed reality: partial immersion, virtual objects in a real world.
  • Augmented reality (AR): information overlay, simulated information on top of the real world.

Today, we’ll explore how advances in virtual reality are creating worlds that heal.

The next generation of clinical education
The list of possibilities for VR is endless. Augmented and virtual reality medical solutions are removing distractions, improving the quality of critical thinking, and maturing learning solutions, saving time and money while supercharging the learning experience. Explosive developments in 3D virtual and augmented reality have taken clinical education and hands-on learning to the next level.

Innovation is ever present in the virtual reality space for healthcare.

  • Mindmaze has developed a breakthrough platform to build intuitive human-machine interfaces combining virtual reality, computer graphics, brain imaging and neuroscience.
  • MindMotionPRO is a healthcare product offering immersive virtual reality solutions for early motor rehabilitation in stroke patients.
  • Live 360 uses consumer-level virtual reality devices such as the Oculus Rift.
  • Medical Realities offers systems designed to reduce the cost of training.
  • ImmersiveTouch is a surgical virtual reality technology that offers a realistic surgical touch and feel. It also brings patient images to life with AR and VR imaging.
  • BioFlight VR offers a broad range of medical VR and AR services, including VR training and simulations, AR training, behavior modification and 360-degree video.
  • Zspace is an immersive medical learning platform, virtualizing anatomical representations into complete procedural planning. zSpace brings a new dimension to medical learning and visualization across three spaces: gross anatomy VR lab (13,000 plus anatomical objects), teaching presentation view (share the teaching experience with the class via HD TV) and DICOM Viewer (volumetrically render 2D DICOM slices).

 

EyeSim

 

 

 

Digital reality A technical primer — from deloitte.com

Excerpt:

Digital reality is generally defined as the wide spectrum of technologies and capabilities that inhere in AR, VR, MR, 360° video, and the immersive experience, enabling simulation of reality in various ways (see figure 1).

 

 

 

 

Key players in digital reality

In terms of key players, the digital reality space can be divided into areas of activity:

  • Tools/content—platforms, apps, capture tools, etc.
  • Application content—information from industry, analytics, social, etc.
  • Infrastructure—hardware, data systems, HMDs, etc.

Increasing investment in infrastructure may drive the growth of software and content, leading to new practical applications and, possibly, an infusion of digital reality software development talent.

 

 

 

 

This All-Female Founders Pitch Event Was Held in VR — from vrscout.com by Malia Probst
Hailing from 26 countries across the world, people came together in virtual reality to cheer on these top female founders in the XR industry.

 

 

 

 

 

How AR, VR and MR can Revolutionise Consumer Tech — from kazendi.com by Pauline Hohl

Excerpt:

Enterprise leading consumer tech adoption
Concerning the need for a VR/AR eco system Max referred to the challenge of technology adoption: people need to be able to try different use cases and be convinced about the potential of AR ,VR and MR. In order to become available (and affordable) for consumers, the technology would have to be adapted by businesses first as the story of 3D printing shows as one example.

He also highlighted the importance of the right training for users to reduce the general learning curve for immersive technology. Poor instructions in the first instance can lead to bad user experiences and cause doubt and even a dismissall of ‘new’ technologies.

We see this firsthand at Kazendi when users try out Microsoft HoloLens for the first time. Max commented that: ‘When people try to make the basic hand gestures and fail they often take the device off and say it’s broken.’

We do have a robust entry demo process to combat this but at the consumer level, and this is as true for VR as much as it is for MR and AR, there is little room for error when learning curves are concerned.

 

 

 

 

 

Mapping the Trends on Our Doorstep: The Pace of Change Has Changed — from an article that I did out at — and with — evoLLLution.com [where LLL stands for lifelong learning]; my thanks to Mr. Amrit Ahluwalia, Managing Editor out at evolllution.com and to his staff as well!
The higher education industry has changed significantly over the past decade, and given the pace and significance of change hitting other industries as a result of technological advances, it’s fair to say the postsecondary space is ripe for further transformation.

 

From DSC:
From the perspective of those of us working within higher education, we see massive changes occurring in the corporate world, and we see innovations and changes also occurring in the world of K-12. Higher education should also be adapting, changing, questioning, and reflecting upon how we can best prepare our students for a rapidly changing workplace.

Below is another interesting item that I believe gives credence to the idea that we are now on an exponential pace of change. Companies are coming and going on the S&P Index…at an ever faster pace.

The 33-year average tenure of companies on the S&P 500 in 1964 narrowed to 24 years by 2016 and is forecast to shrink to just 12 years by 2027 (Chart 1).

 

Here is the video:

This is the transcript with the original graphs in it.

This is a nice PDF file from evoLLLution.com with the transcript, with some different graphics and some other

 

 

 

 

What is Artificial Intelligence, Machine Learning and Deep Learning — from geospatialworld.net by Meenal Dhande

 

 

 

 

 


 

What is the difference between AI, machine learning and deep learning? — from geospatialworld.net by Meenal Dhande

Excerpt:

In the first part of this blog series, we gave you simple and elaborative definitions of what is artificial intelligence (AI), machine learning and deep learning. This is the second part of the series; here we are elucidating our readers with – What is the difference between AI, machine learning, and deep learning.

You can think of artificial intelligence (AI), machine learning and deep learning as a set of a matryoshka doll, also known as a Russian nesting doll. Deep learning is a subset of machine learning, which is a subset of AI.

 

 

 

 

 


Chatbot for College Students: 4 Chatbots Tips Perfect for College Students — from chatbotsmagazine.com by Zevik Farkash

Excerpts:

1. Feed your chatbot with information your students don’t have.
Your institute’s website can be as elaborate as it gets, but if your students can’t find a piece of information on it, it’s as good as incomplete. Say, for example, you offer certain scholarships that students can voluntarily apply for. But the information on these scholarships are tucked away on a remote page that your students don’t access in their day-to-day usage of your site.

So Amy, a new student, has no idea that there’s a scholarship that can potentially make her course 50% cheaper. She can scour your website for details when she finds the time. Or she can ask your university’s chatbot, “Where can I find information on your scholarships?”

And the chatbot can tell her, “Here’s a link to all our current scholarships.”

The best chatbots for colleges and universities tend to be programmed with even more detail, and can actually strike up a conversation by saying things like:

“Please give me the following details so I can pull out all the scholarships that apply to you.
“Which department are you in? (Please select one.)
“Which course are you enrolled in? (Please select one.)
“Which year of study are you in? (Please select one.)
“Thank you for the details! Here’s a list of all applicable scholarships. Please visit the links for detailed information and let me know if I can be of further assistance.”

2. Let it answer all the “What do I do now?” questions.

3. Turn it into a campus guide.

4. Let it take care of paperwork.

 

From DSC:
This is the sort of thing that I was trying to get at last year at the NGLS 2017 Conference:

 

 

 

 


18 Disruptive Technology Trends For 2018 — from disruptionhub.com by Rob Prevett

Excerpts:

1. Mobile-first to AI-first
A major shift in business thinking has placed Artificial Intelligence at the very heart of business strategy. 2017 saw tech giants including Google and Microsoft focus on an“AI first” strategy, leading the way for other major corporates to follow suit. Companies are demonstrating a willingness to use AI and related tools like machine learning to automate processes, reduce administrative tasks, and collect and organise data. Understanding vast amounts of information is vital in the age of mass data, and AI is proving to be a highly effective solution. Whilst AI has been vilified in the media as the enemy of jobs, many businesses have undergone a transformation in mentalities, viewing AI as enhancing rather than threatening the human workforce.

7. Voice based virtual assistants become ubiquitous
Google HomeThe wide uptake of home based and virtual assistants like Alexa and Google Home have built confidence in conversational interfaces, familiarising consumers with a seamless way of interacting with tech. Amazon and Google have taken prime position between brand and customer, capitalising on conversational convenience. The further adoption of this technology will enhance personalised advertising and sales, creating a direct link between company and consumer.

 


 

5 Innovative Uses for Machine Learning — from entrepreneur.com
They’ll be coming into your life — at least your business life — sooner than you think.

 


 

Philosophers are building ethical algorithms to help control self-driving cars – from qz.com by Olivia Goldhill

 


 

Tech’s Ethical ‘Dark Side’: Harvard, Stanford and Others Want to Address It — from nytimes.com by Natasha Singerfeb

Excerpt:

PALO ALTO, Calif. — The medical profession has an ethic: First, do no harm.

Silicon Valley has an ethos: Build it first and ask for forgiveness later.

Now, in the wake of fake news and other troubles at tech companies, universities that helped produce some of Silicon Valley’s top technologists are hustling to bring a more medicine-like morality to computer science.

This semester, Harvard University and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology are jointly offering a new course on the ethics and regulation of artificial intelligence. The University of Texas at Austin just introduced a course titled “Ethical Foundations of Computer Science” — with the idea of eventually requiring it for all computer science majors.

And at Stanford University, the academic heart of the industry, three professors and a research fellow are developing a computer science ethics course for next year. They hope several hundred students will enroll.

The idea is to train the next generation of technologists and policymakers to consider the ramifications of innovations — like autonomous weapons or self-driving cars — before those products go on sale.

 


 

 

 

From DSC:
Here’s a quote that has been excerpted from the announcement below…and it’s the type of service that will be offered in our future learning ecosystems — our next generation learning platforms:

 

Career Insight™ enables prospective students to identify programs of study which can help them land the careers they want: Career Insight™ describes labor market opportunities associated with programs of study to prospective students. The recommendation engine also matches prospective students to programs based on specific career interests.

 

But in addition to our future learning platforms pointing new/prospective students to physical campuses, the recommendation engines will also provide immediate access to digital playlists for the prospective students/learners to pursue from their living rooms (or as they are out and about…i.e., mobile access).

 

The Living [Class] Room -- by Daniel Christian -- July 2012 -- a second device used in conjunction with a Smart/Connected TV

 

 

Artificial intelligence working with enormous databases to build/update recommendation engines…yup, I could see that. Lifelong learning. Helping people know what to reinvent themselves to.

 

 


 

Career Insight™ Lets Prospective Students Connect Academic Program Choices to Career Goals — from burning-glass.com; also from Hadley Dreibelbis from Finn Partners
New Burning Glass Technologies Product Brings Job Data into Enrollment Decisions

BOSTON—Burning Glass Technologies announces the launch of Career Insight™, the first tool to show prospective students exactly how course enrollment will advance their careers.

Embedded in institutional sites and powered by Burning Glass’ unparalleled job market data, Career Insight’s personalized recommendation engine matches prospective students with programs based on their interests and goals. Career Insight will enable students to make smarter decisions, as well as improve conversion and retention rates for postsecondary institutions.

“A recent Gallup survey found that 58% of students say career outcomes are the most important reason to continue their education,” Burning Glass CEO Matthew Sigelman said. “That’s particularly true for the working learners who are now the norm on college campuses. Career Insight™ is a major step in making sure that colleges and universities can speak their language from the very first.”

Beginning an educational program with a firm, realistic career goal can help students persist in their studies. Currently only 29% of students in two-year colleges and 59% of those in four-year institutions complete their degrees within six years.

Career Insight™ enables prospective students to identify programs of study which can help them land the careers they want:

  • Career Insight™ describes labor market opportunities associated with programs of study to prospective students. The recommendation engine also matches prospective students to programs based on specific career interests.
  • The application provides insights to enrollment, advising, and marketing teams into what motivates prospective students, analysis that will guide the institution in improving program offerings and boosting conversion.
  • Enrollment advisors can also walk students through different career and program scenarios in real time.

Career Insight™ is driven by the Burning Glass database of a billion job postings and career histories, collected from more than 40,000 online sources daily. The database, powered by a proprietary analytic taxonomy, provides insight into what employers need much faster and in more detail than any other sources.

Career Insight™ is powered by the same rich dataset Burning Glass delivers to hundreds of leading corporate and education customers – from Microsoft and Accenture to Harvard University and Coursera.

More information is available at http://burning-glass.com/career-insight.

 


 

 

The Future of Design, Part II — from 99u.adobe.com by Madeleine Morley; with thanks to Keesa V. Johnson for posting this on Twitter
For the second straight year, we asked 10 creatives to predict what is coming up in the world of design and how they will prepare for it. This year’s installment includes designing for voice-controlled tech, holograms, and the rise of the hybrid designer.

 

Design is always changing, and wider changes are often spearheaded by design itself. Now with tech and the creative industry increasingly aligning, we’re on the precipice of a truly momentous period in the history of design, something unprecedented that is difficult to predict and prepare for.

 

Excerpts:

With quickly evolving tools, tumultuous shifts in the economy, the relentless growth of the gig and freelance lifestyle, and global networks, the working landscape for young designers is a tremendously uncertain one. There’s no model to follow: The known and well-trodden career path of previous generations is overgrown.

It’s an uncertain time for design, but in its difficulty and complexity, it is an inspiring and crucial one: Those with the skills will help decide the way that innovations in tech not only look but function, too, and influence our daily lives.

Although we can’t predict the future, we can speak to those with experience who think about what’s in store. We asked each participant to give us their advice: What does their future of design look like? What will it do to the very idea of design. And how can we prepare for it?

 

Design will be for ears and not eyes.

 

We’re always getting our heads around designing for the latest technology, methodology, application, media, or format. It’s a fascinating time to be a designer. There will always be space for experts, for those who specialize in the things they are really, really good at, but for others there is the need to diversify.

 

We won’t tell stories; we’ll live them.

 

 

 

Hacking Real-World Problems with Virtual and Augmented Reality — from campustechnology.com by Mary Grush
A Q&A with Tilanka Chandrasekera

Excerpt:

Oklahoma State University’s first inaugural “Virtual + Augmented Reality Hackathon” hosted January 26-27 by the Mixed Reality Lab in the university’s College of Human Sciences gave students and the community a chance to tackle real-world problems using augmented and virtual reality tools, while offering researchers a glimpse into the ways teams work with digital media tools. Campus Technology asked Dr. Tilanka Chandrasekera, an assistant professor in the department of Design, Housing and Merchandising at Oklahoma State University about the hackathon and how it fits into the school’s broader goals.

 

Also, on a different note, but also involving emerging technologies, see:
Campus Technology News Now Available on Alexa Devices — from campustechnology.com by Rhea Kelly

Excerpt:

To set up the audio feed, use the Alexa mobile app to search for “Campus Technology News” in the Alexa Skills catalog. Once you enable the skill, you can ask Alexa “What’s in the news?” or “What’s my Flash Briefing?” and she will read off the latest news briefs from Campus Technology.

 

 

 

A WMU Professor Is Using Microsoft’s HoloLens AR Technology to Teach Aviation — from news.elearninginside.com by Henry Kronk

Excerpt:

Computer simulations are nothing new in the field of aviation education. But a new partnership between Western Michigan University and Microsoft is taking that one big step further. Microsoft has selected Lori Brown, an associate professor of aviation at WMU, to test out their new HoloLens, the world’s first self-contained holographic computer. The augmented reality interface will bring students a little closer to the realities of flight.

When it comes to the use of innovative technology in the classroom, this is by no means Professor Brown’s first rodeo. She has spent years researching the uses of virtual and augmented reality in aviation education.

“In the past 16 years that I’ve been teaching advanced aircraft systems, I have identified many gaps in the tools and equipment available to me as a professor. Ultimately, mixed reality bridges the gap between simulation, the aircraft and the classroom,” Brown told WMU News.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

VR and AR: The Art of Immersive Storytelling and Journalism — from er.educause.edu by Emory Craig and Maya Georgieva

Excerpt:

Storytelling traces its roots back to the very beginning of human experience. It’s found its way through multiple forms, from oral traditions to art, text, images, cinema, and multimedia formats on the web.

As we move into a world of immersive technologies, how will virtual and augmented reality transform storytelling? What roles will our institutions and students play as early explorers? In the traditional storytelling format, a narrative structure is presented to a listener, reader, or viewer. In virtual reality, in contrast, you’re no longer the passive witness. As Chris Milk said, “In the future, you will be the character. The story will happen to you.”

If the accepted rules of storytelling are undermined, we find ourselves with a remarkably creative opportunity no longer bound by the rectangular frame of traditional media.

We are in the earliest stages of virtual reality as an art form. The exploration and experimentation with immersive environments is so nascent that new terms have been proposed for immersive storytelling. Abigail Posner, the head of strategic planning at Google Zoo, said that it totally “shatters” the storytelling experience and refers to it as “storyliving.” At the Tribeca Film Festival, immersive stories are termed “storyscapes.”

 

 

 

 

Virtual Reality in Education: How VR can be Beneficial to the Classroom — from edtechtimes.com by Coralie Hentsch

Excerpt:

Learning through a virtual experience
The concept to use VR as an educational tool has been gaining success amongst teachers and students, who apply the medium to a wide range of activities and in a variety of subjects. Many schools start with a simple cardboard viewer such as the Google cardboard, available for less than $10 and enough to play with simple VRs.

A recent study by Foundry10 analyzed how students perceived the usage of VR in their education and in what subjects they saw it being the most useful. According to the report, 44% of students were interested in using VR for science education, 38% for history education, 12% for English education, 3% for math education, and 3% for art education.

Among the many advantages brought by VR, the aspect that generally comes first when discussing the new technology is the immersion made possible by entering a 360° and 3-dimensional virtual space. This immersive aspect offers a different perception of the content being viewed, which enables new possibilities in education.

Schools today seem to be getting more and more concerned with making their students “future-ready.” By bringing the revolutionary medium of VR to the classroom and letting kids experiment with it, they help prepare them for the digital world in which they will grow and later start a career.

Last but not least, the new medium also adds a considerable amount of fun to the classroom as students get excited to receive the opportunity, sometimes for the first time, to put a headset viewer on and try VR.

VR also has the potential to stimulate enthusiasm within the classroom and increase students’ engagement. Several teachers have reported that they were impressed by the impact on students’ motivation and in some cases, even on their new perspective toward learning matter.

These teachers explained that when put in control of creating a piece of content and exposed to the fascinating new medium of VR, some of their students showed higher levels of participation and in some cases, even better retention of the information.

 

“The good old reality is no longer best practice in teaching. Worksheets and book reports do not foster imagination or inspire kids to connect with literature. I want my students to step inside the characters and the situations they face, I want them to visualize the setting and the elements of conflict in the story that lead to change.”

 

 

 

 

 

What really is the difference between AR / MR / VR / XR? — from medium.com by North of 41

Excerpt:

Extended Reality (XR)
Extended Reality (XR) is a newly added term to the dictionary of the technical words. For now, only a few people are aware of XR. Extended Reality refers to all real-and-virtual combined environments and human-machine interactions generated by computer technology and wearables. Extended Reality includes all its descriptive forms like the Augmented Reality (AR), Virtual Reality (VR), Mixed Reality (MR). In other words, XR can be defined as an umbrella, which brings all three Reality (AR, VR, MR) together under one term, leading to less public confusion. Extended reality provides a wide variety and vast number of levels in the Virtuality of partially sensor inputs to Immersive Virtuality.

Since past few years, we have been talking regarding AR, VR, and MR, and probably in coming years, we will be speaking about XR.

 

Summary: VR is immersing people into a completely virtual environment ; AR is creating an overlay of virtual content, but can’t interact with the environment; MR is a mixed of virtual reality and the reality, it creates virtual objects that can interact with the actual environment. XR brings all three Reality (AR, VR, MR) together under one term.

 

 

 

Audi AR App Brings Advertising Into Your Living Room — from vrscout.com by Joe Durbin

Excerpt:

Audi has released a new AR smartphone application that is triggered by their TV commercials. The app brings the cars from the commercial out of the screen and into your living room or driveway.

According to a release from the company, the Audi quattro coaster AR application “recognizes” specific Audi TV commercials. If the right commercial is playing, it will then trigger a series of AR events.

 

From DSC:
How might this type of setup be used for learning-related applications?

 

 

 

Will Augmented and Virtual Reality Replace Textbooks? — from centerdigitaled.com by Michael Mathews
Students who are conceptual and visual learners can grasp concepts through AVR, which in turn allows textbooks to make sense.

Excerpt:

This past year, Tulsa TV-2, an NBC News affiliate, did a great story on the transition in education through the eyes of professors and students who are using augmented and virtual reality. As you watch the news report you will notice the following:
  • Professors will quickly embrace technology that directly impacts student success.
  • Students are more engaged and learn quicker through visual stimulation.
  • Grades can be immediately improved with augmented and virtual reality.
  • An international and global reach is possible with stimulating technology.

 

 

How augmented and virtual reality will reshape the food industry — from huffingtonpost.com by Jenny Dorsey

Excerpt (emphasis DSC):

Within the food industry, AR and VR have also begun to make headway. Although development costs are still high, more and more F&B businesses are beginning to realize the potential of AR/VR and see it as a worthwhile investment. Three main areas – human resources, customer experiences, food products – have seen the most concentration of AR/VR development so far and will likely continue to push the envelope on what use cases AR & VR have within the industry.

 

 

 

The Future of Education Can Be Found Within This AR Tablet — from futurism.com

Excerpt:

Hologram-like 3D images offer new ways to study educational models in science and other subjects. zSpace has built a tablet that uses a stylus and glasses to allow students to have interactive learning experiences. Technology like this not only makes education more immersive and captivating, but also can provide more accurate models for students in professional fields like medicine.

 

 

Architecture, Engineering and Construction Embrace VR — from avnetwork.com

 

 

 

The Washington Post’s latest augmented reality game brings the Winter Olympics into your living room — from journalism.co.uk by Caroline Scott
The publisher hopes the game will help audiences better engage with the different sports while becoming more familiar with AR technology

 

 

 

 

Augmented Reality Skates into New York Times Coverage of Winter Olympics — from mobile-ar.reality.news by Tommy Palladino

Excerpt:

Just days after previewing its augmented reality content strategy, the Times has already delivered on its promise to unveil its first official AR coverage, centered on the 2018 Winter Olympic Games in PyeongChang. When viewed through the NYTimes app for iPhones and iPads, the “Four of the World’s Best Olympians, as You’ve Never Seen Them Before” article displays AR content embedded at regular intervals as readers scroll along.

 

 

AR Magic Portal—The Beginning Of Your Next New Adventure — from invisible.toys

 

 

 

Tokyo Government uses VR to Promote Tourism — from vudream.com

 

 

 

Is VR the Next Big Thing in Retail? — from virtualrealitypop.com by Sophia Brooke

Excerpt:

Retail IT is still in its infancy and is yet to become general practice, but given the popularity of video, the immersive experience will undoubtedly catch on. The explanation lies in the fact that the wealth of information and the extensive range of products on offer are overwhelming for consumers. Having the opportunity to try products by touching a button in an environment that feels real is what can make the shopping experience more animated and less stressful. Also, through VR, even regular customers can experience VIP treatment at no additional cost. Sitting in the front row at the Paris Fashion Week without leaving your local mall or, soon, your own house, will become the norm.

 

 

 

 

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

Excerpt:

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

Excerpt:

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

Excerpt:

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

Excerpt:

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

Non-Immersive
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.

Excerpt:

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!

Excerpt:

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

Excerpt:

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

Excerpts:

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?”

 

 

 

 

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