Farmers Insurance is using the Oculus Rift to train workers in Virtual Reality — from fortune.com by Jonathan Vanian

Excerpt:

By the end of this year, about 50 employees will have donned the Oculus Rift headsets and participated in the VR training program, said Farmers Insurance chief claims officer Keith Daly. The company plans for hundreds more to be trained using the next year, and, eventually, get all of its thousands of claims adjusters through the program, Daly said.

The goal is to build on the company’s existing two-to-three week training that workers attend before going into real world to inspect homes damaged in earthquakes, floods, and other major catastrophes.

 

 

Also see:

 

 

VR and AR: Transforming Learning and Scholarship in the Humanities and Social Sciences — from er.educause.edu b

What if a text or work of art is no longer read, but instead, experienced? What new questions are raised when it’s possible to visit an author’s home or stroll through the streets of an ancient city? How will our interpretations of literature, art, history and archaeology change when we are no longer passive recipients but co-constructors and actors in immersive experiences? How will this challenge us to think outside our current learning paradigms? These and other questions arise when we examine the impact of immersive technologies on the humanities and the social sciences.

 

Some examples mentioned there include:

 

 

 

Microsoft joins the VR battle with Windows Mixed Reality [on 10/17/17] — from theverge.com by Tom Warren

Excerpt:

Microsoft is launching its own answer to virtual reality today, taking on HTC and Oculus in the process. Windows Mixed Reality will be available in the Windows 10 Fall Creators Update, and headsets are now available to buy. Here’s everything you need to know about Windows Mixed Reality.

Microsoft is offering movement tracking (six degrees of freedom) without the need for traditional external sensors placed throughout a room. Windows Mixed Reality headsets have cameras and sensors to track the motion controllers.

Walmart looks to see if virtual shopping is better than the real thing — from washingtonpost.com by Abha Bhattarai

Excerpts:

…Walmart, the world’s largest retailer, is setting its sights on virtual reality.  Imagine this, says Katie Finnegan, who heads Walmart’s tech incubator: You need a tent for your next camping trip. If all goes to plan, you could one day virtually swoop in to your campsite and see any given tent in action. “You could unzip it, lay down, look left and right and say, ‘Oh, this is supposed to be a two-person tent? It’s kind of tight,’ ” she said. And then you could move on to the next tent — without leaving your couch.

Here are the five ideas the Bentonville, Ark.-based company says could be making their way online:

  1. 3-D holograms at Bonobos.com, the male clothing site Walmart acquired this year for $310 million, that would make it possible for shoppers to try on virtual clothing for fit and style.
  2. At ModCloth, the women’s clothing site Walmart took over in March, customers may one day be able to take 3-D photos of themselves using their smartphones, and use those images to get an idea of how something might look on.
  3. An “interactive virtual store” for designer Rebecca Minkoff, whose items are sold at Walmart.com, would allow customers to sit in on fashion shows and shop directly from the runway.
  4. Tired of shopping online alone? If Walmart gets its way, you may soon be interacting with other shoppers and experts as you pick out items for your virtual cart.
  5. Electric outlets, stove tops and door handles can all be child safety hazards — and soon, an online tool could peek inside your home and tell you where the biggest risks are lurking.

 

 

 

Explore the surface of Mars from the comfort of your living room — from haptical.com
Google’s new project allows viewers to explore the discoveries of NASA’s Curiosity rover.

Excerpt:

NASA and Google have teamed up to build a new virtual experience that lets space enthusiasts explore the red planet without having to leave their homes. Dubbed as “Access Mars”, the new project virtually transports users, wherever they are, to Earth’s neighboring planet in the solar system.

 

 

 

 

 

Chinese School Opens Full-Function VR Classrooms — from vrfocus.com by Rebecca Hills-Duty
HTC Vive have created a system which allows 50 VR units to work together with no cross-interference.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Top 10 Strategic Technology Trends for 2018 — from Gartner Research

Summary

  • The intelligent digital mesh is a foundation for future digital business and its ecosystems. To create competitive advantage, enterprise architecture and technology innovation leaders must evaluate these top trends to identify opportunities that their organizations can exploit.

Key Findings

  • Artificial intelligence (AI) delivers value to every industry, enabling new business models. It does so by supporting key initiatives such as customer engagement, digital production, smart cities, self-driving cars, risk management, computer vision and speech recognition.
  • As people, places, processes and “things” become increasingly digitalized, they will be represented by digital twins. This will provide fertile ground for new event-driven business processes and digitally enabled business models and ecosystems.
  • The way we interact with technology will undergo a radical transformation over the next five to 10 years. Conversational platforms, augmented reality, virtual reality and mixed reality will provide more natural and immersive interactions with the digital world.
  • A digital business is event-centric, which means it must be continuously sensing and adapting. The same applies to the security and risk infrastructure that supports it, which must focus on deceiving potential intruders and predicting security events.

Table of Contents

Analysis

Trend No. 1: AI Foundation
Today’s AI Is Narrow AI

Trend No. 2: Intelligent Apps and Analytics
Augmented Analytics Will Enable Users to Spend More Time Acting on Insights

Trend No. 3: Intelligent Things
Swarms of Intelligent Things Will Work Together

Trend No. 4: Digital Twins
Digital Twins Will Be Linked to Other Digital Entities

Trend No. 5: Cloud to the Edge
Edge Computing Brings Distributed Computing Into the Cloud Style

Trend No. 6: Conversational Platforms
Integration With Third-Party Services Will Further Increase Usefulness

Trend No. 7: Immersive Experience
VR and AR Can Help Increase Productivity

Trend No. 8: Blockchain
Blockchain Offers Significant Potential Long-Term Benefits Despite Its Challenges

Trend No. 9: Event-Driven Model
Events Will Become More Important in the Intelligent Digital Mesh

Trend No. 10: Continuous Adaptive Risk and Trust
Barriers Must Come Down Between Security and Application Teams

Gartner Recommended Reading

 

 



Also see:

 


 

 

 

 

Google AR and VR: Get a closer look with Street View in Google Earth VR

Excerpt:

With Google Earth VR, you can go anywhere in virtual reality. Whether you want to stroll along the canals of Venice, stand at the summit of Mount Kilimanjaro or soar through the sky faster than a speeding bullet, there’s no shortage of things to do or ways to explore. We love this sense of possibility, so we’re bringing Street View to Earth VR to make it easier for you to see and experience the world.

This update lets you explore Street View imagery from 85 countries right within Earth VR. Just fly down closer to street level, check your controller to see if Street View is available and enter an immersive 360° photo. You’ll find photos from the Street View team and those shared by people all around the world.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Samsung to develop VR mental health diagnosis tools for hospitals — from by Cho Mu-Hyun
Samsung Electronics will work with Gangnam Severance Hospital and content maker FNI to develop mental health diagnosis tools that use virtual reality.

Excerpt:

Cognitive behaviour therapies for suicide prevention and psychological assessment will be the focus, it said.

The companies will make chairs and diagnosis kits as physical products and will develop an application for use in psychological assessments using artificial intelligence (AI).

 

 

 

Augmented reality 101: Top AR use-cases — from wikitude.com by Camila Kohles

Excerpt:

Before we proceed, let’s make one thing clear: AR is not just about dog face filters and Pokémon GO. We kid you not. People are using this technology to bring ease to their lives and many forward-thinking companies are working with augmented reality to improve their workflow and businesses. Let’s see how.

 

 

 

The Top 9 Augmented Reality Companies in Healthcare — from medicalfuturist.com with thanks to Woontack Woo for the resource

Excerpt:

When Pokemon Go conquered the world, everyone could face the huge potential in augmented reality. Although the hype around the virtual animal hunting settled, AR continues to march triumphantly into more and more industries and fields, including healthcare. Here, I listed the most significant companies bringing augmented reality to medicine and healing.


Brain Power
The Massachusetts-based technology company, established in 2013, has been focusing on the application of pioneering neuroscience with the latest in wearable technology, in particular, Google Glass. The start-up builds brain science-driven software to transform wearables into neuro-assistive devices for the educational challenges of autism. Their aim is to teach life skills to children and adults on the autism spectrum. They developed a unique software suite, the “Empowered Brain” aiming to help children with their social skills, language, and positive behaviors. The software contains powerful data collection and analytic tools allowing for customized feedback for the child.

 

 

How VR Can Ease the Transition for First-Time Wheelchair Users — from vrscout.com by Presley West
Designers at innovation and design company, Fjord, have created a VR experience that teaches brand new wheelchair users how to safely maneuver their environment in a safe, empowering way.

 

 

 

How Eye Tracking is Driving the Next Generation of AR and VR — from vrscout.com by Eric Kuerzel

 

 

WebVR: Taking The Path Of Least Resistance To Mainstream VR — from vrscout.com by Vanessa Radd

Excerpt:

Content and Education
In the midst of a dearth of content for VR, WebVR content creators are coming together to create and collaborate. Over a million creators are sharing their 3D models on Sketchfab’s 3D/VR art community platform. Virtuleap also organized the first global WebVR hackathon.

“For application domains such as education and heritage, developing VR scenes and experiences for the Web is highly important,” said Stone. “[This] promotes accessibility by many beneficiaries without the need (necessarily) for expensive and sophisticated computing or human interface hardware.”

This democratized approach opens up possibilities in education far beyond what we’re seeing today.

“I also think that WebVR, as a JavaScript API, also enables a wide range of future students and young developers to ‘dip their toes into the water’ and start to build portfolios demonstrating their capabilities, ultimately to future employers,” said Stone. “I remember the promise of the days of VRML and products such as SGI’s Cosmo and Cortona3D (which still available today, of course). But the ability to be able to open up interactive—and quite impressive—demos of VR experiences that existed in higher quality form on specialised platforms, became an amazing marketing tool in the late 1990s and 2000s.”

 

 

 

 

 

AR and VR in STEM: The New Frontiers in Science  — from er.educause.edu by Emory Craig and Maya Georgieva

Excerpt:

Virtual and Augmented Reality are poised to profoundly transform the STEM curriculum. In this article, we offer several inspiring examples and key insights on the future of immersive learning and the sciences. Immersive technologies will revolutionize learning through experiential simulations, modelling and spatial representation of data, and a sense of presence in contextual gamification.

Understanding our place in the universe, building the next Martian Rover, designing new transportation systems, fostering sustainable communities, modeling economic stability — finding the solution for these pressing and interconnected challenges brings us to STEM and STEAM in teaching and learning. The movement behind STEAM advocates incorporating the arts and humanities to the science, technology, engineering and math curriculum.

 

 

Also see:

 

 

 

A New Frontier For Agencies: Immersive Training — from forbes.com by Sarah Mannone

Excerpt:

We’ve all seen how new technologies like AR and VR are being incorporated into print and digital marketing, but what I have come to realize is that there is an opportunity for the agencies that have invested in these technologies and have developed an expertise to offer a new service: immersive training.

What is immersive training? Immersive training experiences use augmented and virtual reality to bring training content to life. Think roleplaying a customer service call using a VR headset, or exploring a 3D model of a new piece of equipment before using it on the factory floor. Companies are beginning to use these immersive experiences to engage learners — and to save time and money — by offering digital training anywhere, anytime.

Whether employees are learning specific processes and products or more conceptual skills like sales and communication, companies are using interaction and immersion to increase knowledge retention. Even big companies like Walmart are getting on board with immersive training: The retail superstore is using virtual reality to train new employees in a classroom setting before letting them loose in the aisles.

Immersive training allows companies to meet people where they are ? on the mobile devices they use every day. It gives learners ongoing, on-demand access to training materials and supporting content, far beyond the printed page.

 

 

 

5 reasons iPhone 8 will be an augmented reality game changer — from techradar.com by Mark Knapp
Augmented Reality (AR) will be everywhere!

Excerpt (emphasis DSC):

Most of us are at least vaguely familiar with augmented reality thanks to Pokemon Go sticking Charmanders in our sock drawers and Snapchat letting us spew stars and rainbows from our mouths, but Apple’s iPhone 8 is going to push AR to point of ubiquity. When the iPhone 8 launches, we’ll all be seeing the world differently.

iPhones are everywhere, so AR will be everywhere!

The iPhone 8 will bring with it iOS 11, and with iOS 11 will come Apple’s AR. Since the iPhone 8 is all but guaranteed to be a best-seller and earlier iPhones and iPads will be widely updated to iOS 11, Apple will have a massive AR platform. Craig Federighi, Apple’s Senior Vice President of Software Engineering, believes it will be “the largest AR platform in the world,” which will lure AR developers en masse.

 

Apple AR has huge potential in education.
Apple has been positioning itself in the education world for years, with programs like iTunes U and iBook, as well as efforts to get iPads into classrooms. AR already has major prospects in education, with the ability to make Museum exhibits interactive and to put a visually explorable world in front of users.

 

 

Apple could guide you around your city using augmented reality — from techcrunch.com by Romain Dillet, with thanks to Woontack Woo for this resource

 

 

 

Startup Simulanis uses augmented and virtual reality to skill professionals — from economictimes.indiatimes.com by Vinay Dwivedi

Excerpt:

[India] The widening gap between the skills required by businesses and the know-how of a large number of engineering students got Raman Talwar started on his entrepreneurial journey.

Delhi-based Simulanis harnesses AR and VR technology to help companies across industries— pharmaceuticals, auto, FMCG and manufacturing—train their staff. It continues to work in the engineering education sector and has developed applications that assist students visualise challenging subjects and concepts.

Our products help students and trainees learn difficult concepts easily and interactively through immersive AR-VR and 3-D gamification methods,” says Talwar. Simulanis’ offerings include an AR learning platform, Saral, and a gamified learning platform, Protocol.

 

Also see:

 

 

 

 

Campus Technology Announces 2017 Impact Award Honorees — from campustechnology.com

Excerpt:

“When you consider the use of technology in education, one of the most important factors is impact — how it benefits students, improves teaching, streamlines costs, contributes to the community, furthers the institutional mission, etc.,” said Rhea Kelly, executive editor of Campus Technology. “These 10 projects are making a difference in higher education in variety of inspiring ways, and we are so pleased to recognize them with this year’s Impact Awards.”

 

From DSC:
I was a Member of the Review Board for this year’s Impact Awards program. As such, I want to extend my sincere congratulations to these recipients! I also want to extend congratulations to the many other people/organizations who — though they didn’t win an award this year — are doing some great work out there as well!

 

 

 

More Than Just Cool? — from insidehighered.com by Nick Roll
Virtual and augmented realities make headway in courses on health care, art history and social work.

Excerpt:

When Glenn Gunhouse visits the Pantheon, you would think that the professor, who teaches art and architecture history, wouldn’t be able to keep his eyes off the Roman temple’s columns, statues or dome. But there’s something else that always catches his eye: the jaws of the tourists visiting the building, and the way they all inevitably drop.

“Wow.”

There’s only one other way that Gunhouse has been able to replicate that feeling of awe for his students short of booking expensive plane tickets to Italy. Photos, videos and even three-dimensional walk-throughs on a computer screen don’t do it: It’s when his students put on virtual reality headsets loaded with images of the Pantheon.

 

…nursing schools are using virtual reality or augmented reality to bring three-dimensional anatomy illustrations off of two-dimensional textbook pages.

 

 

 



 

Also see:

Oculus reportedly planning $200 standalone wireless VR headset for 2018 — from techcrunch.com by Darrell Etherington

Excerpt:

Facebook is set to reveal a standalone Oculus virtual reality headset sometime later this year, Bloomberg reports, with a ship date of sometime in 2018. The headset will work without requiring a tethered PC or smartphone, according to the report, and will be branded with the Oculus name around the world, except in China, where it’ll carry Xiaomi trade dress and run some Xiaomi software as part of a partnership that extends to manufacturing plans for the device.

 



Facebook Inc. is taking another stab at turning its Oculus Rift virtual reality headset into a mass-market phenomenon. Later this year, the company plans to unveil a cheaper, wireless device that the company is betting will popularize VR the way Apple did the smartphone.

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