Summer 2017 Human++ — fromcambridge.nuvustudio.com
Human-Machine Intelligence, Hacking Drones, Bio Fashion, Augmented Video Games, Aerial Filmmaking, Smart Tools, Soft Robotics and more!

Excerpt:

NuVu is a place where young students grow their spirit of innovation. They use their curiosity and creativity to explore new ideas, and make their concepts come to life through our design process. Our model is based on the architecture studio model, and every Summer we use imaginative themes to frame two-week long Studios in which students dive into hands-on design, engineering, science, technology, art and more!

 

 
 

Here’s how Google made VR history and got its first Oscar nom — from inverse.com by Victor Fuste
Google’s short film ‘Pearl’ marks a major moment in VR history. 

Excerpt:

The team at Google Spotlight Stories made history on Wednesday, as its short film Pearl became the first virtual reality project to be nominated for an Academy Award. But instead of serving as a capstone, the Oscar nod is just a nice moment at the beginning of the Spotlight team’s plan for the future of storytelling in the digital age.

Google Spotlight Stories are not exactly short films. Rather, they are interactive experiences created by the technical pioneers at Google’s Advanced Technologies and Projects (ATAP) division, and they defy expectations and conventions. Film production has in many ways been perfected, but for each Spotlight Story, the technical staff at Google uncovers new challenges to telling stories in a medium that blends together film, mobile phones, games, and virtual reality. Needless to say, it’s been an interesting road.

 

nmc-digitalliteracyreport-oct2016

 

The New Media Consortium (NMC) has released Digital Literacy: An NMC Horizon Project Strategic Brief in conjunction with the 2016 EDUCAUSE Annual Conference.

In analyzing the progress and gaps in this area, the NMC’s report has identified a need for higher education leaders and technology companies to prioritize students as makers, learning through the act of content creation rather than mere consumption. Additionally, the publication recommends that colleges and universities establish productive collaborations with industry, government, and libraries to provide students with access to the latest technologies and tools.

Based on the variety and complexity of these results, NMC cannot identify just one model of digital literacy. Instead three different digital literacies are now evident, each with distinct standards, potential curriculum, and implications for creative educators.

 

digitallits-nmc-oct2016

 

 

The aim of this publication is to establish a shared vision of digital literacy for higher education leaders by illuminating key definitions and models along with best practices and recommendations for implementing successful digital literacy initiatives.

 

 

To be digitally literate, you need to be:
fluent at critical thinking,
collaborating,
being creative, and
problem-solving in
digital environments.

 

 

Computer science and digital media classes can instruct on everything from office productivity applications to programming and video editing, for example.  Sociology courses can teach interpersonal actions online, such as the ethics and politics of social network interaction, while psychology and business classes can focus on computer-mediated human interaction. Government and political science classes are clearly well equipped to explore the intersection of digital technology and citizenship mentioned above. Communication, writing, and  literature classes have the capacity to instruct students on producing digital content in the form of stories, arguments, personal expression, posters, and more. 

 

 

 

From DSC:
If faculty members aren’t asking students to create multimedia in their assignments and/or take part in online/digitally-based means of communications and learning, the vast majority of the students won’t (and don’t) care about digital literacy…it’s simply not relevant to them: “Whatever gets me the grade, that’s what I’ll do. But no more.”

This type of situation/perspective is quite costly.  Because once students graduate from college, had they built up some solid digital literacy — especially the “creative literacy” mentioned above — they would be in much better shape to get solid jobs, and prosper at those jobs. They would be much better able to craft powerful communications — and reach a global audience in doing so. They would have honed their creativity, something increasingly important as the onward march of AI, robotics, algorithms, automation, and such continues to eat away at many types of jobs (that don’t really need creative people working in them).

This is an important topic, especially as digitally-based means of communication continue to grow in their usage and impact.

 

 

Part of digital literacy is not just understanding how a tool works but also why it is useful in the real world and when to use it.

 

 

 

 
 

Below are some interesting thoughts and predictions from CEDIA, the leading global authority in the home technology industry.


 

CEDIA’s Tech Council Sees the Future, Part 1: In No Particular Order

Prediction 1: Mixed reality rooms will begin to replace home theater.
As Eric Johnson summed up last year in Recode, “to borrow an example from Microsoft’s presentation at the gaming trade show E3, you might be looking at an ordinary table, but see an interactive virtual world from the video game Minecraft sitting on top of it. As you walk around, the virtual landscape holds its position, and when you lean in close, it gets closer in the way a real object would.” Can a “holographic” cinema experience really be that far off? With 3D sound? And Smell-O-Vision?

 

CEDIA’s Tech Council Sees the Future, Part 2: Wes Anderson’s Favorite Screen

Prediction 13. Full-wall video with multiscreens will appear in the home. Here’s something interesting: The first three predictions in this set of 10 all have an origin in commercial applications. This one — think of it more as digital signage than sports bar — will allow the user to have access to a wall that includes a weather app, a Twitter feed, a Facebook page, the latest episode of Chopped, a Cubs game, and literally anything else a member — or members — of the family are interested in. The unintended consequences: some 13-year-old will one day actually utter the phrase, “MOM! Can you minimize your Snapchat already!?!”

 

CEDIA’s Tech Council Sees the Future, Part 3: Glass, Moore’s Law, and “Autopilot”

Prediction 22: Intelligent glass will be used as a control interface, entertainment platform, comfort control, and communication screen. Gordon van Zuiden says, “We live in a world of touch, glass-based icons. Obviously the phone is the preeminent example — what if all the glass that’s around you in the house could have some level of projection so that shower doors, windows, and mirrors could be practical interfaces?” Extend that smart concept to surfaces that don’t just respond to touch, but to gesture and voice — and now extend that to surfaces outside the home. 

 

Prediction 28: User-programmable platforms based on interoperable systems will be the new control and integration paradigm. YOU: “Alexa, please find Casablanca on Apple TV and send it to my Android phone. And order up a pizza.”

 

CEDIA’s Tech Council Sees the Future, Part 4: “Anything That Can Be Hacked, Will Be Hacked”

Prediction 34. Consumer sensors will increase in sensitivity and function. The Internet of Things will become a lot like Santa: “IoT sees you when you’re sleeping/IoT knows when you’re awake/IoT knows if you’ve been bad or good…”

 

CEDIA’s Tech Council Predicts the Future, Part 5: Getting Older

Prediction 47. Policy and technology will drive the security concerns over internet and voice connected devices. “When you add the complexity of ‘always on, always listening’ connected devices … keeping the consumer’s best interests in mind might not always be top of mind for corporations [producing these devices],” notes Maniscalco. “[A corporation’s] interest is usually in profits.” Maniscalco believes that a consumer push for legislation on the dissemination of the information a company can collect will be the “spark that ignites true security and privacy for the consumer.”

 

CEDIA’s Tech Council Predicts the Future, Part 6: Lights! Uber! Security!

Prediction 53. The flexible use of the light socket: Lighting becomes more than lighting. Think about the amount of coverage — powered coverage — that the footprint of a home’s network of light sockets provides. Mike Maniscalco of Ihiji has: “You can use that coverage and power to do really interesting things, like integrate sensors into the lighting. Track humidity, people’s movements, change patterns based on what’s happening in that room.”

 

CEDIA’s Tech Council Predicts the Future, Part 7: Networks, Voice Control, and The Three Laws of Robotics

Prediction 64. Voice and face recognition and authentication services become more ubiquitous. Yes, your front door will recognize your face — other people’s, too. “Joe Smith comes to your door, you get a text message without having to capture video, so that’s a convenience,” notes Jacobson.

 

 

 

Virtual reality: The hype, the problems and the promise — from bbc.com by Tim Maughan
It’s the technology that is supposed to be 2016’s big thing, but what iteration of VR will actually catch on, and what’s just a fad? Tim Maughan takes an in-depth look.

Excerpt:

For Zec this is one of VR’s most promising potentials – to be able to drop audiences into a situation and force them to react emotionally, in ways that traditional filmmaking or journalism might struggle to do. “We really cannot understand what the people [in Syria and other places] right now are going through, so I thought maybe if we put the viewer inside the shoes of the family, or near them, maybe they can feel more and understand more rather than just reading a headline in a newspaper.”

 

The aim of Blackout is to challenge assumptions New Yorkers might have about the people around them, by allowing them to tap directly into their thoughts. “You’re given the ability to pick into people’s minds and their motives,” says co-creator Alex Porter. “Through that process you start to realise the ways in which you were wrong about all the people around you, and start to find these kind of exciting stories that they have to tell.”

 

From DSC:
Virtual Reality could have a significant impact in diversity training. (I don’t like the word diversity too much; as in my experience, everybody in the Fortune 5oo companies where I worked belonged in the realm of diversity except for Christians, but I’ll use it here anyway.)

The point is…when you can put yourself into someone else’s shoes, it could have some positive impact in terms of better being able to relate to what that person is going through.

 

 

 

Star Trek in VR – Why can’t we do this with VR in education? — from digitalbodies.net by Maya Georgieva

Excerpt:

What if there was a new way to start this journey? What if you walked into the room and boarded a starship instead? What would a school experience be like if we sent our students on a mission, joining a global team to learn and solve our world’s most pressing problems? What if they met in Virtual Reality? For example, literally experiencing the streets of Paris if they were studying French culture or urban planning. Examining first hand the geology of volcanoes or building the next generation transportation? What would happen if they are given a problem they could not answer on their own, a problem that requires collaboration and teamwork with colleagues to find a solution?

Here is how VR and AI can empower the future of learning. The Star Trek: Bridge Crew VR Game gives us a glimpse of how we can engage with our students. Or, as Levar Burton (Geordi La Forge from Engineering) in the video trailer puts it:

There is something different being in a shared virtual environment . . . The team does not succeed unless everybody does their job well.


In the true spirit of Star Trek it is through cooperation rather than competition that we learn best. In VR, you can sit on any of the crew chairs and be the captain, engineer, or doctor and experience events from very different point of views. In Star Trek: Bridge Crew, you are flying the ship but have to work collaboratively with your team. You have to work with your crew to reach goals and accomplish the mission as this is virtual reality as a social experience. It demands that you be fully engaged.

 

 

 

Not just for gamers: CSU launching Virtual Reality Initiative — from source.colostate.edu by Lauren Klamm

Excerpt:

Think “virtual reality,” and it’s probably video gaming that comes to mind. CSU is looking to expand the breadth and depth of this emerging technical field with a campus-wide Virtual Reality Initiative, launching this semester.

The initiative will give students and the science community hands-on experience with virtual reality, for research and educational applications.

Virtual reality (VR) is a way of experiencing virtual worlds or objects – the cockpit of a spaceship, an anatomy lesson, a walk through a historical building – through devices like computers, goggles or headsets designed to immerse someone in a simulated environment. VR touches fields ranging from design to art to engineering.

 

 

VR Learning: How Virtual Reality Will Democratize Learning — from iamvr.co

Excerpt:

In case you haven’t heard, there is a lot of hype right now about virtual and augmented reality. Three months into 2016, investors have already spent 1.1 billion dollars to get a piece of the action.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Still, I am confident that virtual reality will revolutionize how we learn, and the reason is simple. Virtual reality is not just a technology, it’s a medium. And I’ve seen how powerful that medium can be.

 

 

 

 

Augmented reality has surgical application — from thestack.com by Nicky Cappella

Excerpt:

A Chinese surgeon has discovered a practical application for augmented reality in the medical field. Using the same technology by which a Pokemon character is layered onto a real-life setting, two surgical images can be combined into a single view, eliminating the need for surgeons to watch two separate screens simultaneously.

Catherine Chan Po-ling, a surgeon in Hong Kong and co-founder of MedEXO Robotics, says that the use of augmented reality technology in keyhole, or minimally invasive, surgery can solve one of the biggest problems for surgeons performing these procedures.

 

Currently, surgeons in keyhole procedures must create and view two images simultaneously. In Chan’s example, when checking for cancerous cells in the liver, the surgeon operates a regular camera showing a view of the surface of the liver, and at the same time operates an ultrasound probe to check beneath the surface of the liver.

 

 

Stanford Journalism Program’s Guide to Using Virtual Reality for Storytelling — from storybench.org by Geri Migielicz and Janine Zacharia

Excerpt:

Given the explosion of interest in virtual reality among media organizations, we sought in January to establish best practices and ideal scenarios for using the technology in storytelling through our inaugural immersive journalism class at Stanford University.

During the 10-week course, 12 undergraduate and graduate students evaluated a range of virtual reality experiences published by the New York Times, Wall Street Journal, ABC News and others. We compared commercially available virtual reality headsets (Google Cardboard, HTC Vive, Samsung Gear/VR and Oculus Rift) for ease and quality as well as virtual reality cameras — the (more expensive but expansive) GoPro and the (more affordable) Ricoh Theta S.

 

 

 

12 ways to use Google Cardboard in your class — from ditchthattextbook.com

Excerpt:

Virtual reality used to be the thing of science fiction books and movies. Now, it’s inexpensive, works with the technology we carry in our pockets, and can transform us to real and imaginary places.

 

 

 

These 5 Incredible HoloLens Videos Will Make You A VR/AR Believer — from uploadvr.com

 

 

 

 

Upload And Make School Graduate Their First Class Of VR Developers — from uploadvr.com

 

 

 

 

GoldmanSachs-Jan2016Report
With thanks to Fred Steube for this resource

 

 

Virtual reality facilitates higher ed research and teaches high-risk skills — from edtechmagazine.com by Jacquelyn Bengfort
From neuroscience to ship navigation, virtual environments deliver real-world learning inside the classroom.

Excerpt:

Simulators are an important part of their education. Stepping into one of three full-mission bridge simulators replicates the experience of standing in an ocean liner’s pilothouse and lets students practice their skills in handling a ship — without risk.

“In the simulator, you can push the limits of the environment: increase the amount of current that’s there, go to the limits of the amount of wind that can be handled by the tugs,” says Capt. Victor Schisler, one of Cal Maritime’s simulator instructors.

 

 

 

 

Oculus Launches Virtual Reality Program in High Schools — from thejournal.com by Sri Ravipati
The new initiative provides students with VR equipment to create short films on social issues.

Excerpt:

Oculus has announced a new pilot program for high school students to use virtual reality as a tool for social change.

As part of the VR for Good initiative, the 360 Filmmaker Challenge will connect nine San Francisco Bay Area high schools with professional filmmakers to create three- to five- minute 360 degree films about their communities. Students will receive a Samsung Gear VR, a Galaxy S6, Ricoh Theta S 360 cameras and access to editing software to make their films, according to Oculus.

 

 

 

 

How Adobe is connecting virtual reality with the world of product placement: 360-degree video mixes atmosphere and ads — from adweek.com by Marty Swant

Excerpt:

Interested in watching the 2015 hit film The Martian from the surface of the moon? Adobe wants you to take you there.

Adobe isn’t entering the latest next-generation space race to compete with SpaceX, Blue Origin or Virgin Galactic anytime soon. But it is for the first time entering the worlds of virtual reality and augmented reality through new Adobe Primetime products.

[On May 17th] Adobe debuted Virtual Cinema, a feature that will allow Primetime clients to develop experiences for users to enter a virtual environment. According to Adobe, users will be able to view traditional video in a custom environment—a cinema, home theater or branded atmosphere—and watch existing TV and motion picture content in a new way. There’s also potential for product placement within the virtual/augmented reality experience.

 

 

 

From Samsung Gear 360 Unboxing and Video Test — from vrscout.com by Jonathan Nafarrete

 

360-degree-camera-comparisons-May2016

 

 

Could HoloLens’ augmented reality change how we study the human body? — from edtechmagazine.com by D. Frank Smith
Case Western Reserve University is helping to revolutionize medical-science studies with a new technology from Microsoft.

Excerpt:

While the technology world’s attention is on virtual reality, a team of researchers at Case Western Reserve University (CWRU) is fixated on another way to experience the world — augmented reality (AR).

Microsoft’s forthcoming AR headset, HoloLens, is at the forefront of this technology. The company calls it the first holographic computer. In AR, instead of being surrounded by a virtual world, viewers see virtual objects projected on top of reality through a transparent lens.

CWRU was among the first in higher education to begin working with HoloLens, back in 2014. They’ve since discovered new ways the tech could help transform education. One of their current focuses is changing how students experience medical-science courses.

 

 

 

 

How to make a mixed reality video and livestream from two realities — from uploadvr.com by Ian Hamilton

Excerpt:

Follow these steps to record or stream mixed reality footage with the HTC Vive
A mixed reality video is one of the coolest ways to show people what a virtual environment feels like. A green screen makes it easy for a VR-ready PC to automatically remove everything from a camera’s feed, except for your body movements.  Those movements are then seamlessly combined with a view from another camera in a virtual environment. As long as the two cameras are synced, you can seamlessly combine views of two realities into a single video. In essence, mixed reality capture is doing what Hollywood or your weatherman has been doing for years, except at a fraction of the cost and in real-time. The end result is almost magical.

 

 

 

 

Teaching while learning: What I learned when I asked my students to make video essays — from chronicle.com by Janine Utell, Professor of English at Widener University

Excerpt:

This is not exactly a post about how to teach the video essay (or the audiovisual essay, or the essay video, or the scholarly video).  At the end I share some resources for those interested in teaching the form: the different ways we might define the form, some of the theoretical/conceptual ideas undergirding the form, how it allows us to make different kinds of arguments, and some elements of design, assignment and otherwise.

What I’m interested in here is reflecting on what this particular teaching moment has taught me.  It’s a moment still in progress/process.  These reflections might pertain to any teaching moment where you’re trying something new, where you’re learning as the students are learning, where everyone in the room is slightly uncomfortable (in a good, stretching kind of way), where failure is possible but totally okay, and where you’re able to bring in a new interest of your own and share it with the students.

Take two:  I tried this again in an upper-level narrative film course, and the suggestions made by students in the previous semester paid off.  With the additional guidance, students felt comfortable enough being challenged with the task of making the video; a number of them shared that they liked having the opportunity to learn a new skill, and that it was stimulating to have to think about new ways of making choices around what they wanted to say.  Every step of realizing their storyboard and outline required some problem-solving, and they were able to articulate the work of critical thinking in surprising ways (I think they themselves were a little surprised, too).

Some resources on the video essay/scholarly video:

 

 

From DSC:

A couple of comments that I wanted to make here include:

  1. I greatly appreciate Janine’s humility, her wonderful spirit of experimentation, and her willingness to learn something right along with her students. She expressed to her students that she had never done this before and that they all were learning together. She asked them for feedback along the way and incorporated that feedback in subsequent attempts at using this exercise. Students and faculty members need to realize/acknowledge/accept that few people know it all these days — experts are a dying breed in many fields, as the pace of change renders it thus.
    .
  2. Helping students along with their new media literacy skills is critical these days. Janine did a great job in this regard! Unfortunately, she is in an enormous minority.  I run a Digital Studio on our campus, and so often I enter the room with dismay…a bit of sorrow creeps back into me again, as too many times our students are not learning some of the skills that will serve them so well once they graduate (not to mention how much they would benefit from being able to craft multimedia-based messages and put such messages online in their studies while in college). Such skills will serve students well in whatever future vocation they go into.  Knowing some of the tools of the trade, working with digital audio and video, storyboarding, working with graphics, typography, and more — are excellent skills and knowledge to have in order to powerfully communicate one’s message.

 

 

 

 

I’m convinced this virtual reality short is the future of animation — from techinsider.io by Kirsten Acuna

Excerpt:

If there’s one takeaway I’ve gathered from the Tribeca Film Festival, it’s that people are doing some incredible things with VR.

The New York City festival has 18 virtual experiences on display for attendees to check out this year in a Virtual Arcade, and one I kept hearing a lot of chatter about was “Allumette,” a nearly 20-minute animated short from startup Penrose Studios. I heard several people declare it the best VR short of the festival by far.

I agree. It’s excellent.

I checked out “Allumette” (French for Matchstick), which first debuted at the Sundance Film Festival earlier this year, Wednesday evening and was blown away by the experience.

 

 

It’s that level of immersion — where you feel like a participant in the actual story — that makes me excited to see what else filmmakers and artists will continue to do in this medium.

 

 

 
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