Virtual reality technology enters a Chinese courtroom — from by Jiayun Feng


The introduction of VR technology is part of a “courtroom evidence visualization system” developed by the local court. The system also includes a newly developed computer program that allows lawyers to present evidence with higher quality and efficiency, which will replace a traditional PowerPoint slideshow.

It is reported that the system will soon be implemented in courtrooms across the city of Beijing.




Watch Waymo’s Virtual-Reality View of the World — from by Philip Ross

From DSC:
This is mind blowing. Now I see why Nvidia’s products/services are so valuable.



Along these same lines, also see this clip and/or this article entitled, This is why AR and Autonomous Driving are the Future of Cars:




The Legal Hazards of Virtual Reality and Augmented Reality Apps — from by Tam Harbert
Liability and intellectual property issues are just two areas developers need to know about


As virtual- and augmented-reality technologies mature, legal questions are emerging that could trip up VR and AR developers. One of the first lawyers to explore these questions is Robyn Chatwood, of the international law firm Dentons. “VR and AR are areas where the law is just not keeping up with [technology] developments,” she says. IEEE Spectrum contributing editor Tam Harbert talked with Chatwood about the legal challenges.




This VR Tool Could Make Kids A Lot Less Scared Of Medical Procedures — from by Daniel Terdiman
The new app creates a personalized, explorable 3D model of a kid’s own body that makes it much easier for them to understand what’s going on inside.


A new virtual reality app that’s designed to help kids suffering from conditions like Crohn’s disease understand their maladies immerses those children in a cartoon-like virtual reality tour through their body.

Called HealthVoyager, the tool, a collaboration between Boston Children’s Hospital and the health-tech company Klick Health, is being launched today at an event featuring former First Lady Michelle Obama.

A lot of kids are confused by doctors’ intricate explanations of complex procedures like a colonoscopy, and they, and their families, can feel much more engaged, and satisfied, if they really understand what’s going on. But that’s been hard to do in a way that really works and doesn’t get bogged down with a lot of meaningless jargon.



Augmented Reality in Education — from


Star Chart -- AR and astronomy



The state of virtual reality — from by Rachael Schultz
How the latest advancements are optimizing performance, recovery, and injury prevention


Virtual reality is increasingly used to enhance everything from museum exhibits to fitness classes. Elite athletes are using VR goggles to refine their skills, sports rehabilitation clinics are incorporating it into recovery regimes, and others are using it to improve focus and memory.

Here, some of the most exciting things happening with virtual reality, as well as what’s to come.



Augmented Reality takes 3-D printing to next level — from


Cornell researchers are taking 3-D printing and 3-D modeling to a new level by using augmented reality (AR) to allow designers to design in physical space while a robotic arm rapidly prints the work. To use the Robotic Modeling Assistant (RoMA), a designer wears an AR headset with hand controllers. As soon as a design feature is completed, the robotic arm prints the new feature.




From DSC:
How might the types of technologies being developed and used by Kazendi’s Holomeeting be used for building/enhancing learning spaces?





AR and Blockchain: A Match Made in The AR Cloud — from by Ori Inbar


In my introduction to the AR Cloud I argued that in order to reach mass adoption, AR experiences need to persist in the real world across space, time, and devices.

To achieve that, we will need a persistent realtime spatial map of the world that enables sharing and collaboration of AR Experiences among many users.

And according to AR industry insiders, it’s poised to become:

“the most important software infrastructure in computing”

aka: The AR Cloud.





5 benefits of using Augmented & Virtual Reality Technologies in eLearning — from 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.


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 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 by David Nield
Know your augmented from your virtual







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


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 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.


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).






Digital reality A technical primer — from


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 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 by Pauline Hohl


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.





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


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 by Joe Durbin


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 by Michael Mathews
Students who are conceptual and visual learners can grasp concepts through AVR, which in turn allows textbooks to make sense.


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 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


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




The Washington Post’s latest augmented reality game brings the Winter Olympics into your living room — from 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 by Tommy Palladino


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




Tokyo Government uses VR to Promote Tourism — from




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


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.





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


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




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





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




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





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




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




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





Augmented Reality: Everything You Need to Know for 2018 — from by Josh Strupp


Here’s the trade-off: what we gain in development ease-of-use (native SDKs, integration into existing workflows) and performance enhancements (load times, battery efficiency, render quality, integration with native apps), we lose in universality; naturally, each company wants you staying within its own ecosystem.

In a nutshell: new AR platforms from today’s tech giants are aimed at reducing technical headache so you can focus on creating amazing experiences… but they also want you creating more apps for their respective mobile ecosystems.







This AR App Teaches You How To Play The Piano — from by Steve Ip & Sydney Wuu
AR piano learning system with improvised jam sessions.


Learning to play the piano is getting an immersive upgrade with a new augmented reality (AR) piano training software called Music Everywhere. The HoloLens app aims to help students of all talent levels build fundamental music theory and performance skills. While traditional piano lessons can cost upwards of $100 per hour, Music Everywhere is free on the Microsoft store and offers a cost effective tutoring solution that provides students with immediate interaction feedback, making it differ greatly from watching a video tutorial.

Founded in 2017, Music Everywhere began at Carnegie Mellon’s ETC with Seth Glickman, Fu Yen Hsiao, and Byunghwan Lee realizing the nascent technology could be used for skills training. The app was the first Augmented Reality music learning platform to take first prize in Microsoft’s HoloLens Developer Contest, beating more than one-thousand submissions.





Making Virtual Reality a Reality in Today’s Classrooms — from by Meredith Thompson


The market for virtual reality applications is growing at a rapid pace, and is expected to double in the next five years (Bolkan, 2017). As the cost of equipment falls and schools have greater access to technology, there is great interest in virtual reality as an educational tool. A small but growing group of educators have started to integrate virtual reality in their classrooms, with promising results (Castaneda, Cechony & Bautista, 2017). We reached out to teachers and administrators who are currently using virtual reality in their classrooms to hear their perspectives and practical strategies for infusing this resource into their classrooms.

Teachers have creative ideas for how to incorporate immersive education in current classrooms: how to select activities, how to set up the classroom, how to get support during the activity and how to transport devices. Teachers also shared their ideas for future applications of VR, including how to deepen the learning experience and to expand the reach of these technologies to a greater population of students.

Here we share three vignettes of three different approaches: a social studies class in a suburban school district, a district-wide perspective from an urban school district and a class designed entirely around understanding and implementing VR for other classrooms. We also share how we are using these ideas to inform our own project in designing a collaborative immersive virtual reality educational game for introductory high school biology.



3 best practices from VR implementation across departments — from by Andrew Woodberry
Professors across many disciplines are embracing VR technology as an integral part of their learning tools


VR is already being used for many real-world applications–hiring, training, marketing/sales, medical purposes, entertainment, and more–and is worth considering for many different university departments.

At German University in Cairo, architecture students used our platform to create tours of historical Cairo buildings, complete with educational hotspot overlays on particularly interesting features. This multimedia approach educated students without them having to travel to the buildings. It also made for a more “stickier” learning experience for the students involved in creating it.

At Emporia State University, for example, the forensic science students view virtual crime scenes recorded at the Kansas Bureau of Investigation in Topeka. Forensic-science students can look for clues and learn facts via voiceover, mimicking an actual crime-scene inquiry quite impressively.



Augmented and virtual reality products to get excited about in 2018 — from by Alistair Charlton
CES 2018 showed us the way forward for AR and VR this year


Just as televisions and driverless cars have become part of the furniture at the CES technology show, so too have virtual and augmented reality headsets.

Although the momentum behind VR’s growth slowed in 2017 – the industry seemingly unsure if it should progress with a technology destined to remain a niche – AR is being welcomed into the spotlight with open arms.

Here are six AR and VR highlights from CES 2018.



Looking to boost AR and VR technology, University of Washington establishes center in Seattle — from by Emily Tate
The UW Reality Lab will focus on “core research advances” in augmented and virtual reality.


The University of Washington, hoping to get ahead in the burgeoning field of augmented reality (AR) and virtual reality (VR), has launched the UW Reality Lab, a center for research, education and innovation in AR and VR.

One of the first research centers in the world built for AR and VR projects, the UW Reality Lab is also located in Seattle — a hotspot for technology companies, from behemoths like Amazon and Microsoft to startups still trying to get off the ground.


“We’re seeing some really compelling and high-quality AR and VR experiences being built today,” Steve Seitz, center co-lead and Allen School professor, said in the university’s statement. “But, there are still many core research advances needed to move the industry forward — tools for easily creating content, infrastructure solutions for streaming 3D video, and privacy and security safeguards — that university researchers are uniquely positioned to tackle.”




Augmented Reality: Is it the Future of eLearning


Why Augmented Reality is Important for eLearning
According to a report released by CCS Insight, augmented and virtual reality hardware is set to become a $4 billion market by 2018. Let’s take a look at how augmented reality can be leveraged in the online learning space:

Simulated working environments
One of the most common advantages of online learning is the ability to form an environment in which the users have the freedom to experiment. As people usually learn from their mistakes, when they work in a consequence-free environment, they are most likely to remember the right way to do things.

Support Gamification
As online learning management systems (LMSs) use gamification widely, augmented reality can be directly applied. In AR reality training module, employees will be rewarded for effectively performing their routine tasks in the right way, which will eventually improve performance.

Immersive Learning Environments
Using a tablet, smartphone for the online training software means the users are constantly distracted with emails, notifications from social channels etc. This is one of the reasons why elearning content uses interactive multimedia elements to engage students. With augmented reality, elearning courses can be supported with 360° video, which will engage the user and remove distractions for them.

Motion tracking
Motion and gesture tracking are part of the AR experience. They are commonly leveraged for choosing menu items or engaging with video game-based environments.

In the online learning domain, LMSs can use this technology to track learner’s progress to ensure that they are achieving the set targets without fail. This will boost real-time training performance and improve interactivity with instant feedback.

Simply put, with augmented reality the possibilities are endless. With the growing number of Bring Your Own Device (BYOD) workplaces, it is expected that employees and learners will be delighted to use augmented reality.



Virtual Reality And Beyond: The Future Of Music Experiences — from by Jen Sako


The Musical Future of VR
VR technology is still in its earliest stages, but musicians are already seeing how they will be able to connect to fans and make news ones without the expense of touring. In artificial environments, bands can invite music lovers into their world.

But beyond the obvious entertainment factor, VR has the potential to become a tool for education. Music students could enter a studio space using VR gear for lessons and practice. The immediate feedback provided and game-like atmosphere may keep students more motivated and engaged. Imagine methods for teaching that include ways to slow down and loop difficult parts or bringing in the composer for lessons.

VR can also connect music lovers to the many people behind the scenes involved in producing the music they enjoy. Listeners can learn about the industry and how a song comes to life. They’ll understand why it’s important to play a part in sustaining the music business.

For this technology to become a reality in itself inside consumers’ listening and learning spaces, obstacles need addressing. The hardware is still pricey, bulky and requires a power source. Apps need creators who will need more in the way of artificial intelligence.



ARiA, The AR Conference At MIT, Is The Anti-CES — from by Charlie Fink


“The ability to combine digital information with the real world is going to disrupt every business model, transform human/machine interaction, and generate innovative use cases across every discipline and in every vertical including education, healthcare, manufacturing,” Werner continued. “I see ARiA as the TED for AR, where the best minds come together to solve real work problems and share ideas to capitalize on the huge opportunity.”


Broadcast news and sports now routinely lay data, graphics, and animation onto the physical world. AR has become ubiquitous in ways that have nothing to do with smart glasses. “AR is on the verge.



2017 Augmented Reality Year in Review — from




Microsoft Education unveils new Windows 10 devices starting at $189, Office 365 tools for personalized learning, and curricula to ignite a passion for STEM — from by Yusuf Mehdi


In regards to mixed reality for immersive learning:

  • Pearson – the world’s largest education company – will begin rolling out in March curriculum that will work on both HoloLens and Windows Mixed Reality immersive VR headsets. These six new applications will deliver seamless experiences across devices and further illustrate the value of immersive educational experiences.
  • We are expanding our mixed media reality curriculum offerings through a new partnership with WGBH’s Bringing the Universe to America’s Classrooms project****, for distribution nationally on PBS LearningMedia™. This effort brings cutting-edge Earth and Space Science content into classrooms through digital learning resources that increase student engagement with science phenomena and practices.
  • To keep up with growing demand for HoloLens in the classroom we are committed to providing affordable solutions. Starting on January 22, we are making available a limited-time academic pricing offer for HoloLens. To take advantage of the limited-time academic pricing offer, please visit,




Microsoft Education unveils new Windows 10 devices starting at $189, Office 365 tools for personalized learning, and curricula to ignite a passion for STEM — from by Yusuf Mehdi


This week at Bett, we’ll show new Windows 10 and Windows 10 S devices from Lenovo and JP, starting at just $189, providing more options for schools who don’t want to compromise on Chromebooks. We’ll add new capabilities to our free Office 365 for Education software, enabling any student to write a paper using only their voice and making it easier to access Teams via mobile devices. And we’re making STEM learning fun with a new Chemistry update to Minecraft: Education Edition and new mixed reality and video curricula from partners like BBC Worldwide Learning, LEGO®* Education, PBS, NASA, and Pearson.




Starting in February, we will introduce dictation in Office 365
to help students write more easily by using their voice.



In regards to mixed reality for immersive learning:

  • Pearson – the world’s largest education company – will begin rolling out in March curriculum that will work on both HoloLens and Windows Mixed Reality immersive VR headsets. These six new applications will deliver seamless experiences across devices and further illustrate the value of immersive educational experiences.
  • We are expanding our mixed media reality curriculum offerings through a new partnership with WGBH’s Bringing the Universe to America’s Classrooms project****, for distribution nationally on PBS LearningMedia™. This effort brings cutting-edge Earth and Space Science content into classrooms through digital learning resources that increase student engagement with science phenomena and practices.
  • To keep up with growing demand for HoloLens in the classroom we are committed to providing affordable solutions. Starting on January 22, we are making available a limited-time academic pricing offer for HoloLens. To take advantage of the limited-time academic pricing offer, please visit,




3 ways augmented reality will find its way into your life in 2018 and beyond — from by Han-Gwon Lung
Up to 40 percent of nurses miss the patient’s vein on their first attempt at taking blood. That’s changing, because of augmented reality.


  1. A pair of glasses you can’t live without
  2. More immersive (and personalized) marketing
  3. Less guesswork in health care




The race for AR glasses starts now — from by Steven Levy


Though the Next Big Thing won’t appear for a while, we know pretty much what it will look like: a lightweight, always-on wearable that obliterates the divide between the stuff we see on screens and the stuff we see when we look up from our screens.

Not every company working on post-reality glasses shares an identical vision; some have differing views of how immersive it should be. But all have quietly adopted the implicit assumption that a persistent, wearable artificial reality is the next big thing. The pressure of the competition has forced them to begin releasing interim products, now.



And he added that “these glasses will offer AR, VR, and everything in between, and we’ll wear them all day and we’ll use them in every aspect of our lives.”




Meet the scientists immortalizing African heritage in virtual reality — from by Chris Giles


Concerned with the decay of African heritage sites, The Zamani Project, based at the University of Cape Town, South Africa, is seeking to immortalize historic spots in three-dimensional, virtual reality-ready models.

Professor Heinz Ruther steers the project. He ventures up and down the continent — visiting Ghana, Tanzania, Mali, Ethiopia, Kenya and elsewhere — recording in remarkable detail the structure and condition of tombs, churches and other buildings.

“I’ve seen how sites are deteriorating visibly,” Ruther told CNN.

The project’s aim is to build a database of complex, lifelike 3-D models. Presently, they’ve mapped around 16 sites including Lalibela in Ethiopia, Timbuktu in Mali and Kilwa in Tanzania.




4 augmented and virtual reality projects that point to the future of education — from by Justin Hendrix


Education has been a recurring theme throughout the many programs of the NYC Media Lab, a public-private partnership where I serve as an Executive Director. How will virtual and augmented reality change the classroom? How can teachers use immersive media to educate citizens and keep our communities vibrant? In what ways can enterprises leverage innovation to better train employees and streamline workflows?

These are just a few of the top-of-mind questions that NYC Media Lab’s consortium is thinking about as we enter the next wave of media transformation.

Researchers and professionals at work across the VR/AR community in New York City are excited for what comes next. At NYC Media Lab’s recent Exploring Future Reality conference, long-time educators including Agnieszka Roginska of New York University and Columbia University’s Steven Feiner pointed to emerging media as a way to improve multi-modal learning for students and train computer systems to understand the world around us.

NYC Media Lab merges engineering and design research happening at the city’s universities with resources and opportunities from the media and technology industry—to produce new prototypes, launch new companies and advocate for the latest thinking.

In the past year, the Lab has completed dozens of rapid prototyping projects; exhibited hundreds of demos from the corporate, university and entrepreneurship communities; helped new startups make their mark; and hosted three major events, all to explore emerging media technologies and their evolving impact.



4 virtual reality desktops for Vive, Rift, and Windows VR compared — from by Dominic Brennan


While it’s all too easy to lose ourselves in the countless VR worlds at our fingertips, sometimes we just need to access the desktop and get things done in Windows. Thanks to a few innovative apps, this is possible without removing your headset.




From DSC:
After reviewing the article below, I wondered...if we need to interact with content to learn it…how might mixed reality allow for new ways of interacting with such content? This is especially intriguing when we interact with that content with others as well (i.e., social learning).

Perhaps Mixed Reality (MR) will bring forth a major expansion of how we look at “blended learning” and “hybrid learning.”


Mixed Reality Will Transform Perceptions — from by Alexandro Pando

Excerpts (emphasis DSC):

Changing How We Perceive The World One Industry At A Time
Part of the reason mixed reality has garnered this momentum within such short span of time is that it promises to revolutionize how we perceive the world without necessarily altering our natural perspective. While VR/AR invites you into their somewhat complex worlds, mixed reality analyzes the surrounding real-world environment before projecting an enhanced and interactive overlay. It essentially “mixes” our reality with a digitally generated graphical information.

All this, however, pales in comparison to the impact of mixed reality on the storytelling process. While present technologies deliver content in a one-directional manner, from storyteller to audience, mixed reality allows for delivery of content, then interaction between content, creator and other users. This mechanism cultivates a fertile ground for increased contact between all participating entities, ergo fostering the creation of shared experiences. Mixed reality also reinvents the storytelling process. By merging the storyline with reality, viewers are presented with a wholesome experience that’s perpetually indistinguishable from real life.


Mixed reality is without a doubt going to play a major role in shaping our realities in the near future, not just because of its numerous use cases but also because it is the flag bearer of all virtualized technologies. It combines VR, AR and other relevant technologies to deliver a potent cocktail of digital excellence.





Plan now to attend the 2018 Next Generation Learning Spaces Conference — tour USC’s campus!

From DSC:
I am honored to be currently serving on the 2018 Advisory Council for the Next Generation Learning Spaces Conference with a great group of people. Missing — at least from my perspective — from the image below is Kristen Tadrous, Senior Program Director with the Corporate Learning Network. Kristen has done a great job these last few years planning and running this conference.


The Advisory Board for the 2018 Next Generation Learning Spaces Conference

The above graphic reflects a recent change for me. I am still an Adjunct Faculty Member
at Calvin College, but I am no longer a Senior Instructional Designer there.
My brand is centered around being an Instructional Technologist.


This national conference will be held in Los Angeles, CA on February 26-28, 2018. It is designed to help institutions of higher education develop highly-innovative cultures — something that’s needed in many institutions of traditional higher education right now.

I have attended the first 3 conferences and I moderated a panel at the most recent conference out in San Diego back in February/March of this year. I just want to say that this is a great conference and I encourage you to bring a group of people to it from your organization! I say a group of people because a group of 5 of us (from a variety of departments) went one year and the result of attending the NGLS Conference was a brand new Sandbox Classroom — an active-learning based, highly-collaborative learning space where faculty members can experiment with new pedagogies as well as with new technologies. The conference helped us discuss things as a diverse group, think out load, come up with some innovative ideas, and then build the momentum to move forward with some of those key ideas.

If you haven’t already attended this conference, I highly recommend that you check it out. You can obtain the agenda/brochure for the conference by providing some basic contact information here.


The 2018 Next Generational Learning Spaces Conference- to be held in Los Angeles on Feb 26-28, 2018


Tour the campus at UCLA

Per Kristen Tadrous, here’s why you want to check out USC:

  • A true leader in innovation: USC made it to the Top 20 of Reuter’s 100 Most Innovative Universities in 2017!
  • Detailed guided tour of leading spaces led by the Information Technology Services Learning Environments team
  • Benchmark your own learning environments by getting a ‘behind the scenes’ look at their state-of-the-art spaces
  • There are only 30 spots available for the site tour



Building Spaces to Inspire a Culture of Innovation — a core theme at the 4th Next Generation Learning Spaces summit, taking place this February 26-28 in Los Angeles. An invaluable opportunity to meet and hear from like-minded peers in higher education, and continue your path toward lifelong learning. #ngls2018





Will blockchain help make Virtual Reality more social? — from by Alice Bonasio


Emerging social VR platforms are experimenting with new ways of democratizing access and ownership of content and information.

VR has often been considered something of a solitary experience, but that’s changing fast. Social VR platforms are on the rise, and as the acquisition of AltspaceVR by Microsoft shows, major players in that space are taking notice.

This shows how momentum is building around social VR, and although it’s unlikely that such platforms will replace social media in terms of popularity overnight, the question is certainly being asked about who will emerge as “Facebook of VR.”

“We believe virtual reality will flourish once users have a more prominent role in controlling their creations. Currently, the companies that create the virtual worlds own all of the content built by the users. They are the ones who profit, reap the benefits from the network effects, and have the power to undo, change or censor what happens within the world itself. The true potential of VR might be realized, and certainly surpass what already exists, if this power were put into the hands of the users instead,” believes Ariel Meilich, founder of blockchain-based virtual platform Decentraland.

A blockchain is a digitized, decentralized public ledger of cryptocurrency transactions. Essentially each ‘block’ is like an individual bank statement. Completed ‘blocks’ (the most recent transactions) are added in chronological order allowing market participants to keep track of the transactions without the need for central record keeping. Just as Bitcoin eliminates the need for a third party to process or store payments, and isn’t regulated by a central authority, users in any blockchain structure are responsible for validating transactions whenever one party pays another for goods or services.


From DSC:
As this article reminded me, it’s the combination of two or more emerging technologies that will likely bring major innovation our way.  Here’s another example of that same idea/concept.




Warby Parker Uses Face ID in iPhone X to Measure Your Face for Glasses — from by Tommy Palladino


Online glasses retailer Warby Parker built its reputation by selling fashionable yet affordable eyeglasses, so it perhaps a surprise that it’s one of the first developers to take advantage of the technology in the least affordable iPhone yet.

While other developers are making adjusting to their apps to account for the infamous camera notch, Warby Parker decided to update its Glasses app to directly leverage the Face ID facial recognition system. Now, in the updated version of the app, Glasses can measure the user’s face to estimate which frames will fit best.




Apple Is Ramping Up Work on AR Headset to Succeed iPhone — from by Mark Gurman


Apple Inc., seeking a breakthrough product to succeed the iPhone, aims to have technology ready for an augmented-reality headset in 2019 and could ship a product as early as 2020.

Unlike the current generation of virtual reality headsets that use a smartphone as the engine and screen, Apple’s device will have its own display and run on a new chip and operating system, according to people familiar with the situation. The development timeline is very aggressive and could still change, said the people, who requested anonymity to speak freely about a private matter.



“The power is that we can take the user anywhere in the entire universe throughout all of time for historical experiences like this.” (source)



AR navigation app promises better accuracy than GPS alone — from by Jon Fingas
Walk the streets as if you had a local by your side.








Want to Really Teach a Robot? Command It With VR — from by Matt Simon


Ask a robot to do the same and you’ll either get a blank stare or a crumpled object in the cold, cold grasp of a machine. Because robots are good at repetitive tasks that require a lot of strength, but they’re still bad at learning how to manipulate novel objects. Which is why today a company called Embodied Intelligence has emerged from stealth mode to fuse the strengths of robots and people into a new system that could make it far easier for regular folk to teach robots new tasks. Think of it like a VR videogame—only you get to control a hulking robot.


From DSC:
To remain up-to-date, Engineering Departments within higher ed have their work cut out for them — big time! Those Senior Engineering Teams have many new, innovative pathways and projects to pursue these days.




Daqri ships augmented reality smart glasses for professionals — from by Dean Takahashi


Daqri has begun shipping its augmented reality smart glasses for the workplace.

Los Angeles-based Daqri is betting that AR — a technology that overlays digital animations on top of the real world — will take off first in the enterprise, where customers are willing to pay a higher price in order to solve complex problems. The idea is to help people solve real-world problems, like fixing a jet engine or piecing together an assembly. Daqri argues that the gains in productivity and efficiency make up for the initial cost.

At $4,995, the system is not cheap, but it is optimized to present complex workloads and process a lot of data right on the glasses themselves. It is available for direct purchase from Daqri’s web site and through channel partners. Daqri is targeting customers across manufacturing, field services, maintenance and repair, inspections, construction, and others.






The NBA really wants you to watch games in VR — from by Terry Collins
The basketball league has now struck two partnerships to broadcast games in virtual reality. Are fans willing to watch them?


What’s keeping you from watching NBA games in VR?

Is it the bulky headsets? Is it the slow camera switches that don’t follow the players quickly enough? Is it too expensive?

The NBA is betting that one reason is it just doesn’t have enough partnerships yet. So, the league is teaming up with Turner Sports and Intel TrueVR to air weekly games on TNT in VR starting with the All-Star weekend festivities from Los Angeles in February.

NBA fans will soon be able to see more of MVP Russell Westbrook in virtual reality.
NBAE/Getty Images

This partnership represents a doubling down of NBA’s VR efforts, despite indications it isn’t actually working. Last year, the NBA began airing games with NextVR as part of a multiyear deal.




Microsoft: Here’s how Mixed Reality will aid information workers and boost digital transformation — from by Alison DeNisco Rayome
At Microsoft Future Decoded, the tech giant explained how mixed reality can help workers and companies achieve more.


The 3 big takeaways

  1. At the Microsoft Future Decoded conference in London, executives from the tech giant offered a vision for integrating Microsoft 365, Microsoft HoloLens, Windows Mixed Reality, and 3D capabilities into modern workplaces to aid digital transformation.
  2. Firstline workers and information workers will likely be the first to benefit from mixed reality in the workplace, using the technology for collaboration, training, and more.
  3. Microsoft has made a number of moves into the mixed reality space recently, including expanding its HoloLens headset into new European markets.








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