philip lelyveld The world of entertainment technology


Wingnut AR Pest Control shows augmented reality can be silly

wingnutThe narrator, talking through a speaker in the wall, welcomed me to my first day at Wingnut AR Pest Control. Before me was a table with virtual lab equipment and a box. I picked up a stick and was told to “take care of the spider problem.” The spiders were colorful things in a cartoon landscape. I had to move around a bit and squish them. Then I got a baseball bat, and moved around more aggressively. It reminded me of other games with the silly British accents from I Expect You to Die.

Since the glasses have only a wire leading to the puck in your pocket, you are free to move around. So I did. I went up to the spiders crawling around and squished them with the bat. They turned into spider jelly. I barely noticed that they were climbing on real world furniture, like chairs and tables. The narrator suggested I upgrade and so I traded the bat for a sawed-off shotgun. It wasn’t really that accurate, but it did the job.

The Wingnut demo highlighted one of the biggest problems of the glasses, the limited field of view. When you’re looking for spiders, you can’t use your peripheral vision because you don’t have any.

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Dubai Customs to use virtual reality to find hidden drugs, weapons

EP-181019419.jpg&MaxW=780&imageVersion=16by9&NCS_modified=20181015184159Speaking to Khaleej Times on the sidelines of the GITEX Technology Week, Khawla AlSaleis, the administration affairs director at Dubai Customs, said: "The virtual reality teaches them how to start their day before the inspection - all the safety tools should be ready before they go to the ports. It will teach them how to inspect hidden and illegal items, such as drugs, weapons and others. Each time the inspector finds an illegal item, he will get points. When he receives enough points, he can go on to the next level."

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The History of Augmented and Virtual Reality, From 1838 to the Present (Infographic)

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RBC’s augmented reality payments rely on a human touch

Banks are still in their experimental phase of using virtual and augmented reality to interact with customers, and the key to their success will be embracing the technology's social nature.

And sometimes that means making an app designed for non-customers.

The Royal Bank of Canada is integrating augmented reality — a technology that overlays a digital interface over the real world — into peer-to-peer payments and digital gifting.

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Augmented reality helping future proof school lessons

RM_20181014_GITEX_53At Gitex Technology Week, Apple is showing off a new range of interactive learning tools designed to make learning less of a chore, with coding central to the skills being taught.

Modules like Everyone Can Code are being delivered in selected schools via apps, books and teacher resources from kindergarten level through to university.

“We have a very active professional learning programme in Arabic and English with Apple, here in the UAE,” said Michael Pazinas, who runs his own UK education company, Athena Enhanced Learning.

“The curriculum is tiered, so if you are an adult you don’t have to learn from a child’s perspective. A series of books take pupils through the learning process.”

Using data from approximately 20,000 telephone interviews with parents, researchers from the Oxford Internet Institute and Cardiff University assessed the relationship between their children’s technology use and well-being.

Over the course of a month this relationship was measured in terms of impact on emotional resilience, curiosity and positive effect.

“By mixing the physical world with augmented reality, we find that children become much more sociable and are also aware of their surroundings.

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Adobe’s next canvas is augmented reality

1539605880066Adobe is always looking for the next area where creatives will need good authoring software tools. The lack of such tools has been hindering both AR and VR, says Adobe CTO Abhay Parasnis.

  • "Before they become mainstream somebody has to step up and write authoring tools," Parasnis told Axios. For AR, at least, Adobe has decided the time is right.

Details: The private beta of Project Aero will focus on iPhones, iPads and a cloud service, for now, with plans to have native desktop versions for Mac and Windows next year. Adobe is not yet talking about how Aero will be priced or bundled into the company's existing subscription products.

The big picture: For brands looking to move into AR, Adobe's move is important because today's augmented reality often requires developers to be familiar with advanced coding or game engines — skills in short supply. The goal with Aero is for a much wider array of creators to bring their work into mixed reality.

What about Android?: The fragmentation of Android hardware makes this effort harder in the Android world, according to Adobe. And while there are already 700 million iOS devices capable of running Apple's ARKit, Google's similar ARCore is only supported on about 150 million devices.

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Onshape lets engineers collaborate on 3D designs with Magic Leap’s AR glasses

Onshape-Magic-Leap-CAD-app-1“This is our first venture into AR/VR,” said Onshape engineer Evan Novak, in a demo at the event. “For us, there’s a lot of potential here. Having the ability to manipulate 3D CAD objects with your hand makes a lot of sense. You can do this today in a browser, but it’s a little clumsy in a 2D space.”

Onshape is making its CAD app for the Magic Leap One Creator Edition, a lightweight, wearable computer that allows digital content to step out of the screen and into the real world. Engineers will be able to bring life-size 3D CAD models into their surroundings and collaborate on design changes. I tried out the software with the Magic Leap glasses. I was able to grab a mechanical part and resize it so it was smaller. Then the other guy in the demo with me grabbed the part and made it bigger. I could see the part in three dimensions, and I could walk around it and see it from different angles. In the long term, the idea is to get CAD model changes to be visible in real time.

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Mounds View senior honors sister’s memory with MRI app to calm kids

ows_153921443760664Michael Cao remembers how brave his sister was as she battled cancer, before she died at age 11 in 2009, but he also recalls the thing that scared her most: the tight confining tube of an MRI scanner.

His sister, Amy, panicked during her first scan, at age 10, and couldn’t finish it. Her terror became an obstacle throughout treatment.

“That first traumatic experience set the tone for a lot of other MRIs that she had,” said Cao, 17, now a senior at Mounds View High School. “They became very difficult for her.”

So, in her memory, Cao sought a solution: something that would save other children from suffering the same anxiety. The result is an app that syncs with virtual reality (VR) goggles, providing children interactive simulations of MRI scans before they go through the real ones. Gillette Children’s Specialty Healthcare in St. Paul now offers it to all children scheduled for the scans.

The app gives children a digital simulation of entering an MRI, accompanied by the real whirs, beeps and buzzes that a scanner makes.

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Startup Spotlight: ARtGlass uses augmented reality to communicate culture and history

5bbf4e8124a2e.imageVisitors to the historic home of James Monroe near Charlottesville can now “see” a re-creation of the original house where the fifth president lived, even though the building burned sometime in the 19th century.

The trick is a new technology called augmented reality, or AR, which enables visitors to wear special transparent smartglasses that can superimpose three-dimensional images or text on a landscape, or objects.

In August, ARtGlass received an investment from Trolley Venture Partners, an investment fund created this year to back early-stage business ventures in central Virginia.

More than 700,000 people have used the technology at cultural sites in Europe, and Werkheiser said the company’s potential U.S. market is enormous.

“It binds together all of our narratives,” Woodle said. “It is not just about Monroe. It is not just a piece about slavery. It is about how all of those personalities were interacting and making Highland a working place.”

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Apple buys Danish augmented reality start-up Spektral

googleglassearbudupdatemangreenshirt-580x358Apple appears to have bought-up a Danish computing vision start-up called Spektral in a bid to augment its in-house augmented reality expertise - as it reportedly gears up to launch products by 2019.

Formally called CloudCutOut, the company Apple appears to have purchased specialised in software that can cut out figures from backgrounds in photos and videos.

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