From DSC:
There are now more than 12,000+ skills on Amazon’s new platform — Alexa.  I continue to wonder…what will this new platform mean/deliver to societies throughout the globe?


 

From this Alexa Skills Kit page:

What Is an Alexa Skill?
Alexa is Amazon’s voice service and the brain behind millions of devices including Amazon Echo. Alexa provides capabilities, or skills, that enable customers to create a more personalized experience. There are now more than 12,000 skills from companies like Starbucks, Uber, and Capital One as well as innovative designers and developers.

What Is the Alexa Skills Kit?
With the Alexa Skills Kit (ASK), designers, developers, and brands can build engaging skills and reach millions of customers. ASK is a collection of self-service APIs, tools, documentation, and code samples that makes it fast and easy for you to add skills to Alexa. With ASK, you can leverage Amazon’s knowledge and pioneering work in the field of voice design.

You can build and host most skills for free using Amazon Web Services (AWS).

 

 

 


 

 

EON CREATOR AVR

The EON Creator AVR Enterprise and Education content builder empowers non-technical users to create compelling AR and VR applications in minutes, not weeks.

ENTERPRISE
With no programming required, EON Creator AVR Enterprise empowers workers to accelerate learning and improve performance, safety, and efficiency in the workplace.

EDUCATION
Teachers and students can create, experience, and share AVR learning applications with EON Creator AVR and quickly add them to their current classroom, seamlessly.

 

 

 

 

Also see:

 

 

 

Also see:

 

 

 

Veeery interesting. Alexa now adds visuals / a screen! With the addition of 100 skills a day, where might this new platform lead?

Amazon introduces Echo Show

The description reads:

  • Echo Show brings you everything you love about Alexa, and now she can show you things. Watch video flash briefings and YouTube, see music lyrics, security cameras, photos, weather forecasts, to-do and shopping lists, and more. All hands-free—just ask.
  • Introducing a new way to be together. Make hands-free video calls to friends and family who have an Echo Show or the Alexa App, and make voice calls to anyone who has an Echo or Echo Dot.
  • See lyrics on-screen with Amazon Music. Just ask to play a song, artist or genre, and stream over Wi-Fi. Also, stream music on Pandora, Spotify, TuneIn, iHeartRadio, and more.
  • Powerful, room-filling speakers with Dolby processing for crisp vocals and extended bass response
  • Ask Alexa to show you the front door or monitor the baby’s room with compatible cameras from Ring and Arlo. Turn on lights, control thermostats and more with WeMo, Philips Hue, ecobee, and other compatible smart home devices.
  • With eight microphones, beam-forming technology, and noise cancellation, Echo Show hears you from any direction—even while music is playing
  • Always getting smarter and adding new features, plus thousands of skills like Uber, Jeopardy!, Allrecipes, CNN, and more

 

 

 

 

 

 



From DSC:

Now we’re seeing a major competition between the heavy-hitters to own one’s living room, kitchen, and more. Voice controlled artificial intelligence. But now, add the ability to show videos, text, graphics, and more. Play music. Control the lights and the thermostat. Communicate with others via hands-free video calls.

Hmmm….very interesting times indeed.

 

 

Developers and corporates released 4,000 new skills for the voice assistant in just the last quarter. (source)

 

…with the company adding about 100 skills per day. (source)

 

 

 

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

 

 



 

Addendum on 5/10/17:

 



 

 

 

The 82 Hottest EdTech Tools of 2017 According to Education Experts — from tutora.co.uk by Giorgio Cassella

Excerpt:

If you work in education, you’ll know there’s a HUGE array of applications, services, products and tools created to serve a multitude of functions in education.

Tools for teaching and learning, parent-teacher communication apps, lesson planning software, home-tutoring websites, revision blogs, SEN education information, professional development qualifications and more.

There are so many companies creating new products for education, though, that it can be difficult to keep up – especially with the massive volumes of planning and marking teachers have to do, never mind finding the time to actually teach!

So how do you know which ones are the best?

Well, as a team of people passionate about education and learning, we decided to do a bit of research to help you out.

We’ve asked some of the best and brightest in education for their opinions on the hottest EdTech of 2017. These guys are the real deal – experts in education, teaching and new tech from all over the world from England to India, to New York and San Francisco.

They’ve given us a list of 82 amazing, tried and tested tools…


From DSC:
The ones that I mentioned that Giorgio included in his excellent article were:

  • AdmitHub – Free, Expert College Admissions Advice
  • Labster – Empowering the Next Generation of Scientists to Change the World
  • Unimersiv – Virtual Reality Educational Experiences
  • Lifeliqe – Interactive 3D Models to Augment Classroom Learning

 


 

 

 

 

From DSC:
After reviewing the article and video (below), it will be interesting to see how machine-to-machine (M2M) communications will be used in combination with augmented reality — and perhaps with virtual reality and mixed reality as well. That is, get to within a certain range of an object, and something automatically happens on your mobile device or your head mounted device. Perhaps that’s the sort of thing Apple is building into their next smart phone. It would sure open up some interesting learning and entertainment-related experiences — as such new affordances could help foster anticipation and curiosity, while grabbing someone’s attention.

This type of thing could easily become a piece of the future of art and creativity.


 

Mini-Mirages Emerge in an Augmented Reality Art Exhibition — from creators.vice.com by Nathaniel Ainley
Adrien M and Claire B’s latest series of installations basically looks like Harry Potter magic come to life.

Excerpt:

Even in its early beta stages, the new live exhibition from digital artists Adrien M and Claire B will have you rubbing your eyes in disbelief. Throughout their Mirages & Miracles display, the artist duo uses wondrous applications of augmented reality to create an orchestra of new installations, both small and large. Much like their live dance performance work at BAM, the new bundle merges the digital with the material, blurring the lines between what is real and what is fake. The multi-pronged ensemble uses augmented drawings, holographic illusions, virtual-reality headsets, and large-scale projections to create a number of unbelievable scenarios “that take root in both the mirage and the miracle,” according to the duo.

 

 

Mirages & miracles, premier aperçu… from Adrien M & Claire B on Vimeo.

 

 

 

It’s Here! Get the 2017 NMC Horizon Report

Earlier this week, the New Media Consortium (NMC) and the EDUCAUSE Learning Initiative (ELI) jointly released the NMC Horizon Report > 2017 Higher Education Edition at the 2017 ELI Annual Meeting. This 14th edition describes annual findings from the NMC Horizon Project, an ongoing research project designed to identify and describe emerging technologies likely to have an impact on learning, teaching, and creative inquiry in higher education. Six key trends, six significant challenges, and six important developments in educational technology are placed directly in the context of their likely impact on the core missions of universities and colleges.

 

 

The topics are summarized in the infographic below:

 

 

 

Per X Media Lab:

The authoritative CB Insights lists imminent Future Tech Trends: customized babies; personalized foods; robotic companions; 3D printed housing; solar roads; ephemeral retail; enhanced workers; lab-engineered luxury; botroots movements; microbe-made chemicals; neuro-prosthetics; instant expertise; AI ghosts. You can download the whole outstanding report here (125 pgs).

 

From DSC:
Though I’m generally pro-technology, there are several items in here which support the need for all members of society to be informed and have some input into if and how these technologies should be used. Prime example: Customized babies.  The report discusses the genetic modification of babies: “In the future, we will choose the traits for our babies.” Veeeeery slippery ground here.

 

Below are some example screenshots:

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Also see:

CBInsights — Innovation Summit

  • The New User Interface: The Challenge and Opportunities that Chatbots, Voice Interfaces and Smart Devices Present
  • Fusing the physical, digital and biological: AI’s transformation of healthcare
  • How predictive algorithms and AI will rule financial services
  • Autonomous Everything: How Connected Vehicles Will Change Mobility and Which Companies Will Own this Future
  • The Next Industrial Age: The New Revenue Sources that the Industrial Internet of Things Unlocks
  • The AI-100: 100 Artificial Intelligence Startups That You Better Know
  • Autonomous Everything: How Connected Vehicles Will Change Mobility and Which Companies Will Own this Future

 

 

 

From DSC:
If we had more beacons on our campus (a Christian liberal arts college), I could see where we could offer a variety of things in new ways:

For example, we might use beacons around the main walkways of our campus where, when we approach these beacons, pieces of advice or teaching could appear on an app on our mobile devices. Examples could include:

  • Micro-tips on prayer from John Calvin, Martin Luther, or Augustine (i.e., 1 or 2 small tips at a time; could change every day or every week)
  • Or, for a current, campus-wide Bible study, the app could show a question for that week’s study; you could reflect on that question as you’re walking around
  • Or, for musical events…when one walks by the Covenant Fine Arts Center, one could get that week’s schedule of performances or what’s currently showing in the Art Gallery
  • Peaces of scripture, with links to Biblegateway.com or other sites
  • Further information re: what’s being displayed on posters within the hallways — works that might be done by faculty members and/or by students
  • Etc.

A person could turn the app’s notifications on or off at any time.  The app would encourage greater exercise; i.e., the more you walk around, the more tips you get.

 

 

 

A school bus, virtual reality, & an out-of-this-world journey — from goodmenproject.com
“Field Trip To Mars” is the barrier-shattering outcome of an ambitious mission to give a busload of people the same, Virtual Reality experience – going to Mars.

Excerpt:

Inspiration was Lockheed‘s goal when it asked its creative resources, led by McCann, to create the world’s first mobile group Virtual Reality experience. As one creator notes, VR now is essentially a private, isolating experience. But wouldn’t it be cool to give a busload of people the same, simultaneous VR experience? And then – just to make it really challenging – put the whole thing on wheels?

“Field Trip To Mars” is the barrier-shattering outcome of this ambitious mission.

 

From DSC:
This is incredible! Very well done. The visual experience tracks the corresponding speeds of the bus and even turns of the bus.

 

 

 

lockheed-fieldtriptomarsfall2016

 

 

Ed Dept. Launches $680,000 Augmented and Virtual Reality Challenge — from thejournal.com by David Nagel

Excerpt:

The United States Department of Education (ED) has formally kicked off a new competition designed to encourage the development of virtual and augmented reality concepts for education.

Dubbed the EdSim Challenge, the competition is aimed squarely at developing students’ career and technical skills — it’s funded through the Carl D. Perkins Career and Technical Education Act of 2006 — and calls on developers and ed tech organizations to develop concepts for “computer-generated virtual and augmented reality educational experiences that combine existing and future technologies with skill-building content and assessment. Collaboration is encouraged among the developer community to make aspects of simulations available through open source licenses and low-cost shareable components. ED is most interested in simulations that pair the engagement of commercial games with educational content that transfers academic, technical, and employability skills.”

 

 

 

Virtual reality boosts students’ results — from raconteur.net b
Virtual and augmented reality can enable teaching and training in situations which would otherwise be too hazardous, costly or even impossible in the real world

Excerpt:

More recently, though, the concept described in Aristotle’s Nicomachean Ethics has been bolstered by further scientific evidence. Last year, a University of Chicago study found that students who physically experience scientific concepts, such as the angular momentum acting on a bicycle wheel spinning on an axel that they’re holding, understand them more deeply and also achieve significantly improved scores in tests.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Virtual and augmented reality are shaking up sectors — from raconteur.net by Sophie Charara
Both virtual and augmented reality have huge potential to leap from visual entertainment to transform the industrial and service sectors

 

 

 

 

Microsoft’s HoloLens could power tanks on a battlefield — from theverge.com by Tom Warren

Excerpt:

Microsoft might not have envisioned its HoloLens headset as a war helmet, but that’s not stopping Ukrainian company LimpidArmor from experimenting. Defence Blog reports that LimpidArmor has started testing military equipment that includes a helmet with Microsoft’s HoloLens headset integrated into it.

The helmet is designed for tank commanders to use alongside a Circular Review System (CRS) of cameras located on the sides of armored vehicles. Microsoft’s HoloLens gathers feeds from the cameras outside to display them in the headset as a full 360-degree view. The system even includes automatic target tracking, and the ability to highlight enemy and allied soldiers and positions.

 

 

 

Bring your VR to work — from itproportal.com by Timo Elliott, Josh Waddell 4 hours ago
With all the hype, there’s surprisingly little discussion of the latent business value which VR and AR offer.

Excerpt:

With all the hype, there’s surprisingly little discussion of the latent business value which VR and AR offer — and that’s a blind spot that companies and CIOs can’t afford to have. It hasn’t been that long since consumer demand for the iPhone and iPad forced companies, grumbling all the way, into finding business cases for them. Gartner has said that the next five to ten years will bring “transparently immersive experiences” to the workplace. They believe this will introduce “more transparency between people, businesses, and things” and help make technology “more adaptive, contextual, and fluid.”

If digitally enhanced reality generates even half as much consumer enthusiasm as smartphones and tablets, you can expect to see a new wave of consumerisation of IT as employees who have embraced VR and AR at home insist on bringing it to the workplace. This wave of consumerisation could have an even greater impact than the last one. Rather than risk being blindsided for a second time, organisations would be well advised to take a proactive approach and be ready with potential business uses for VR and AR technologies by the time they invade the enterprise.

 

In Gartner’s latest emerging technologies hype cycle, Virtual Reality is already on the Slope of Enlightenment, with Augmented Reality following closely.

 

 

 

VR’s higher-ed adoption starts with student creation — from edsurge.com by George Lorenzo

Excerpt:

One place where students are literally immersed in VR is at Carnegie Mellon University’s Entertainment Technology Center (ETC). ETC offers a two-year Master of Entertainment Technology program (MET) launched in 1998 and cofounded by the late Randy Pausch, author of “The Last Lecture.”

MET starts with an intense boot camp called the “immersion semester” in which students take a Building Virtual Worlds (BVW) course, a leadership course, along with courses in improvisational acting, and visual storytelling. Pioneered by Pausch, BVW challenges students in small teams to create virtual reality worlds quickly over a period of two weeks, culminating in a presentation festival every December.

 

 

Apple patents augmented reality mapping system for iPhone — from appleinsider.com by Mikey Campbell
Apple on Tuesday was granted a patent detailing an augmented reality mapping system that harnesses iPhone hardware to overlay visual enhancements onto live video, lending credence to recent rumors suggesting the company plans to implement an iOS-based AR strategy in the near future.

 

 

A bug in the matrix: virtual reality will change our lives. But will it also harm us? — from theguardian.stfi.re
Prejudice, harassment and hate speech have crept from the real world into the digital realm. For virtual reality to succeed, it will have to tackle this from the start

 

 

 

The latest Disney Research innovation lets you feel the rain in virtual reality — from haptic.al by Deniz Ergurel

Excerpt:

Virtual reality is a combination of life-like images, effects and sounds that creates an imaginary world in front of our eyes.

But what if we could also imitate more complex sensations like the feeling of falling rain, a beating heart or a cat walking? What if we could distinguish, between a light sprinkle and a heavy downpour in a virtual experience?

Disney Research?—?a network of research laboratories supporting The Walt Disney Company, has announced the development of a 360-degree virtual reality application offering a library of feel effects and full body sensations.

 

 

Relive unforgettable moments in history through Timelooper APP. | Virtual reality on your smartphone.

 

timelooper-nov2016

 

 

Literature class meets virtual reality — from blog.cospaces.io by Susanne Krause
Not every student finds it easy to let a novel come to life in their imagination. Could virtual reality help? Tiffany Capers gave it a try: She let her 7th graders build settings from Lois Lowry’s “The Giver” with CoSpaces and explore them in virtual reality. And: they loved it.

 

 

 

 

learningvocabinvr-nov2016

 

 

 

James Bay students learn Cree syllabics in virtual reality — from cbc.ca by Celina Wapachee and Jaime Little
New program teaches syllabics inside immersive world, with friendly dogs and archery

 

 

 

VRMark will tell you if your PC is ready for Virtual Reality — from engadget.com by Sean Buckley
Benchmark before you buy.

 

 

Forbidden City Brings Archaeology to Life With Virtual Reality — from wsj.com

 

 

holo.study

hololensdemos-nov2016

 

 

Will virtual reality change the way I see history? — from bbc.co.uk

 

 

 

Scientists can now explore cells in virtual reality — from mashable.com by Ariel Bogle

Excerpt:

After generations of peering into a microscope to examine cells, scientists could simply stroll straight through one.

Calling his project the “stuff of science fiction,” director of the 3D Visualisation Aesthetics Lab at the University of New South Wales (UNSW) John McGhee is letting people come face-to-face with a breast cancer cell.

 

 

 

 

Can Virtual Reality Make Us Care More? — from huffingtonpost.co.uk by Alex Handy

Excerpt:

In contrast, VR has been described as the “ultimate empathy machine.” It gives us a way to virtually put us in someone else’s shoes and experience the world the way they do.

 

 

 

Stanford researchers release virtual reality simulation that transports users to ocean of the future — from news.stanford.edu by Rob Jordan
Free science education software, available to anyone with virtual reality gear, holds promise for spreading awareness and inspiring action on the pressing issue of ocean acidification.

 

 

 

 

The High-end VR Room of the Future Looks Like This — from uploadvr.com by Sarah Downey

Excerpt:

This isn’t meant to be an exhaustive list, but if I missed something major, please tell me and I’ll add it. Also, please reach out if you’re working on anything cool in this space à sarah(at)accomplice(dot)co.

Hand and finger tracking, gesture interfaces, and grip simulation:

AR and VR viewers:

Omnidirectional treadmills:

Haptic feedback bodysuits:

Brain-computer interfaces:

Neural plugins:

  • The Matrix (film)
  • Sword Art Online (TV show)
  • Neuromancer (novel)
  • Total Recall (film)
  • Avatar (film)

3D tracking, capture, and/or rendering:

Eye tracking:

 VR audio:

Scent creation:

 

 

 
© 2016 Learning Ecosystems