philip lelyveld The world of entertainment technology


Can We Have Our Virtual Reality Cake And Eat It Too?

shutterstock_368015498-medThis massive potential is why giants like Intel, Facebook, Google, Apple, Amazon, Microsoft, Sony and Samsung are competing to dominate the field. Facebook alone has over 400 people working on VR, and an estimated 230 other companies are developing hardware and software.

Already, 75% of the Forbes World's Most Valuable Brands are starting to use either VR or AR for customers or employees, or are developing the technologies themselves, according to YouVisit, a company that helps brands engage consumers through interactive 360-degree experiences.

Research shows a 34% productivity increase for companies that adopt VR in the workplace. And profits are exploding, with mobile AR poised for a compound annual growth rate of 96% over the next five years.

This raises concerns in terms of what data is collected, how it's stored and protected, and who owns and controls it.  Since many AR systems are expected to be mobile and always on — so people can constantly get extra information about their surroundings — bystanders and people in a crowd can also have their anonymity compromised.

since the Fourth Amendment is based upon a reasonable expectation of privacy, the way we use VR can have a real legal effect on our constitutional rights. The more we voluntarily share intimate details, the less legal protection we may have.

Consumers should demand that privacy technologies be built in tandem with VR technologies so that we get the maximum individual and societal benefit and minimize the burdens to businesses.

The industry should also take steps, like threat modeling and making platforms easily updatable to adapt to newfound challenges. This shouldn’t be a controversial move since manufacturers will want to build trust among consumers as they roll out these new technologies.

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Virtual Reality Gives Fans Real-Life Experience With NFL Team

arizonaIn a partnership between Cox Communications, STRIVR and the Cardinals, fans attending Cardinals home games at University of Phoenix Stadium will be able to get a VR experience of the team’s locker room and field at the Cox Connects VR Huddle.

With the VR experience, fans are able to take a virtual tour through the Cardinals facility, including wondering through the locker room, running through the tunnel onto the field and getting in the huddle with the likes of Carson Palmer, Larry Fitzgerald, David Johnson and Patrick Peterson.

STRIVR, which was founded in January of 2015, currently provides VR training tools for seven NFL teams, 13 college football teams and one high school football team, allowing giving teams extra instruction without having to put on the pads and also better study guides on certain packages they may face.

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Glass Barn Uses Virtual Reality to Tell Agriculture Story

glass-barn-2-e1502939683494The Glass Barn at the Indiana State Fair has always been about using technology to teach about agriculture. Now, a new approach gives visitors a virtual farm experience.  For the past several years, visitors to the Glass Barn have been able to talk to real farmers on their farms with a 2-way, video connection. Hannah Vorsilak says this year they can also make a virtual visit, “They put on these special glasses, and you can go virtual into a hog barn. It is a 360 degree experience, so you can move  your head up and down and all around and see what the inside of a hog barn looks like.”

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Self-healing jelly bot regenerates when stabbed – just add heat

To prove the concept, researchers at the Free University of Brussels (VUB) in Belgium created a gripper, a robot hand and an artificial muscle, all with the ability to self-heal, out of rubbery polymers that look a bit like jelly. When ripped or cut they can knit back together completely. All you need to do is apply a little heat.

“The polymer has lots of different strands that lock together to form the material. When you add heat, they reorganise to stick back together without leaving any weak spots,” says Bram Vanderborght, who led the research.

The soft materials are ideal for picking up delicate items like fruit or veg, so could find uses in the food industry. Additionally, they are useful for working alongside humans, such as in factory lines, where softer robots or robotic arms will help avoid harmful accidents.

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UPS is developing virtual reality tech to train its drivers

A visitor wears a Sony Computer Entertainment Inc. PlayStation VR as he tries a virtual reality (VR) game during a demonstration by Tokyo VR Startups in Tokyo, Japan, on Tuesday, June 29, 2016. Tokyo VR Startups has launched the first Japanese incubation program focused on the virtual reality market, says the company website. Photographer: Tomohiro Ohsumi/Bloomberg via Getty Images

The company’s new VR training program will be rolling out next month at nine of the company’s training facilities, simulating some of the uncertainties and challenges of delivering packages on city streets. Trainees will interact with the content using voice commands to identify obstacles while wearing headsets. can still be an effective tool for getting prospective employees ready before they get out on the job. It’s also important because UPS drivers are a clear candidate for utilizing AR headsets in the future to more easily keep track of shipments hands-free while preparing for drop-offs and pick-ups.

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Jay Iorio – Will AI Blur the Lines Between Physical and Virtual Reality?

14Enthusiasts will probably argue that our perception is already an electrochemical illusion, and implants merely enhance our natural selves. In any case, opting out would become impractical at best. This is the stage of the technology that will raise practical questions we have never had to address before.

What Happens to Individual Choice?

At that point, what is real? How much agency are we humans deprived of when we are making decisions based on AI-generated content and guidance that may or may not be working at cross-purposes to our needs?

What if societal behavior became deliberately manipulated for the greater good, as interpreted by one entity? If efficiency and order were to supersede all other criteria as ideal social values, how could an AI-driven AR capability be dissuaded from manipulating individual behavior to those ends? What happens to individual choice? Is a person capable of being good without the option to be bad?



China Set to Toughen IP Laws in Pursuit of Tech Dominance

Artificial_Intelligence_AI_Circuit_BrainThe country’s Made in China 2025 plan, in which it compares “controlling global technologies and standards [as being] on par with building military muscle,” is a key driver of an effort “to strengthen laws on patents, copyrights and trademarks.” The plan “focuses on sectors like electric cars, robotics, semiconductors and artificial intelligence.”

China wants to become the most dominant nation in artificial intelligence, and it’s got three advantages that might help that become a reality. In addition to strong government support, which includes a willingness to share data about its citizens, China also has an immense number of engineers to write software and 751 million Internet users who can test out the work they do. As China seeks to gain market share, President Xi Jinping seeks to strengthen intellectual property laws to give its startups an advantage.

“In China, the population is huge, so it’s much easier to collect the data for whatever use-scenarios you need,” he said. “When we talk about data resources, really the largest data source is the government.”

Companies elsewhere in the world are also pursuing AI, but have a much tougher time getting access to data; according to Bloomberg, “DeepMind, the AI lab of Google’s Alphabet, has labored for nearly two years to access medical records from the U.K.’s National Health Service for a diagnostics app.”

“AI needs big data, and Chinese regulators are now on the side of making data accessible to accelerate AI.”

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Stanford built a ‘4D’ camera for cars, robots and VR

Assistant prof. Gordon Wetzstein and postdoctoral scholar Donald Dansereau with a prototype of the monocentric camera that captured the first single-lens panoramic light fields.

Assistant prof. Gordon Wetzstein and postdoctoral scholar Donald Dansereau with a prototype of the monocentric camera that captured the first single-lens panoramic light fields.

A team of Stanford scientists have created what could be the perfect "eye"for autonomous vehicles and delivery drones thus far. It's a 4D camera that can capture nearly 140 degrees of information, allowing it to gather more information than conventional cameras in a single image. The researchers call their design the "first-ever single-lens, wide field of view, light field camera." It relies on light field photography for the additional info to make its results four dimensional. That means it can observe and record the direction and distance of the light hitting the lens and bundle it with the resulting 2D image.

As a result, the team's robot eye has the ability to refocus images after they're taken, which is light field photography's most popular feature. Remember Lytro?

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Multiple Apple Teams Are Competing To Create AR Headset Prototypes

But inside Apple, engineers and designers are contemplating different ways of going about this, each defined by the level of independence of the headset from the paired iPhone.

Apple is big on thinking hard about real-life use cases, and only then thinking about the technology that might enable them. That’s a very good thing. Apple is now thinking seriously about possible killer apps for augmented reality. The internal disagreement comes down to how, exactly, people might want to use a headset or glasses.


“One group of engineers is said to be advocating for a pair of glasses that have 3D cameras but no screens, leaving the iPhone as the hub and main display,” Bradshaw writes, citing unnamed sources within Apple.

There’s a third option, and likely one we’ll see. Apple is likely to give the AR glasses projects time to develop internally, let the components market mature, and wait until consumers are warmed up to the idea of AR glasses, before finally trotting out a new piece of hardware.

In the meantime, it will very likely build additional sensors into new iPhones that support Pokémon-style phone-based AR experiences.

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This new game shows what the world might look like after the death of the smartphone

along-the-same-lines-the-ar-recordings-in-tacoma-that-are-used-as-employee-logs-could-also-be-applied-to-say-burglary-analysis-or-monitoring-pets-at-home-from-afar"Tacoma" showcases the potential AR future for stuff we usually do on smartphones and computers, which seems highly plausible given examples we've seen from places like Magic Leap.

In "Tacoma," set in 2088, you're an employee sent to explore an abandoned space station (named "Tacoma"). You can watch employee AR logs to unravel the game's story. In reality, that means you can watch their their lives play out through ghostly silhouettes and voice recordings.if-these-skeletal-frames-look-familiar-maybe-youve-seen-motion-sensing-cameras-in-action-before-microsofts-kinect-for-example-views-humans-through-a-similar-perspective

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