philip lelyveld The world of entertainment technology

17Apr/19Off

Disney, Rutgers Scientists Use AI to Generate Storyboards

Screenplay_Production_NotesThe system first “determines if a given snippet contains a particular syntactic structure and subsequently splits and assembles it into simpler sentences, recursively processing it until no further simplification is possible,” then applies a “coordination step and a lexical simplifier, which “matches actions in the simplified sentences with 52 animations (expanded to 92 by a dictionary of synonyms) in a predefined library.”

The content is fed to the pipeline, dubbed Cardinal, which turns the actions into previsualizations in the Unreal video game engine. The system has been trained with “scene descriptions from 996 screenplays drawn from over 1,000 scripts scraped from freely available sources including IMSDb, SimplyScripts, and ScriptORama5.” The system is made up of “525,708 descriptions containing 1,402,864 sentences, 920,817 (over 40 percent) of which had at least one action verb.”

See the full story here: http://www.etcentric.org/disney-rutgers-scientists-use-ai-to-generate-storyboards/

16Apr/19Off

Sony Just Filed A Patent For Watching Live eSports Via PlayStation VR Like You’re Actually There

psvr-patentFiled in 2017 and 2018, respectively, the two patents were published just last week. The first one illustrates a way for owners of Sony's VR headset to virtually join a live event — and not just join, but be there. The proposed feature would anchor spectators to a physical location in the venue to virtually spectate and feel as though they're really there, participating in the event, crowd and all.

The second patent, on the other hand, would allow players to turn their friends into NPC crowds so they can spectate as the user players their games. "Generic spectators" don't quite match the realism of other elements in current-generation gaming, Sony stated in the patent, and it wants to populate NPC crowds with pals for "a more entertaining and engaging experience."

See the full story here: https://www.techtimes.com/articles/241520/20190415/sony-just-filed-a-patent-for-watching-live-esports-via-playstation-vr-like-you-re-actually-there.htm

16Apr/19Off

‘Superhot VR’ Has Now Generated More Revenue Than The Original PC Game

superhot-vr-1021x580Superhot VR’s next stop is Oculus Quest, where it will be a launch day title. Many of the long-reigning champions of the best-sellers lists are also making their way to Quest, including Job Simulator, Beat Saber, I Expect You to Die, Moss, Keep Talking and Nobody Explodes, OrbusVR: Reborn and more. We’ll be waiting patiently to see just how these ‘legacy’ titles fare on Oculus’ upcoming VR headset, one that promises to not only bring many of the games that ostensibly sold PC VR systems in the first place, but is doing it at a decidedly more consumer-oriented $400 price tag.

See the full story here: http://www.virtualrealitypulse.com/edition/daily-oculus-htc-2019-04-15?open-article-id=10250315&article-title=-superhot-vr--has-now-generated-more-revenue-than-the-original-pc-game&blog-domain=roadtovr.com&blog-title=road-to-vr

16Apr/19Off

First Look: Your Home Made Perfect, BBC Two’s virtual reality property show

your-home-made-perfect-bbc-two-episode-1-17950918-high-1555358063Your Home Made Perfect, the first British virtual reality and visual effects property show, is coming to BBC Two this week Tuesday (16 April).

Presented by Angela Scanlon, the 'groundbreaking' property and makeover series sees innovative architects, Laura Jane Clark and Robert Jamison, transform ordinary homes into extraordinary ones.

The concept of Your Home Made Perfect was first announced in July 2018 (with a working title called Watch This Space) and back then we were pretty excited about this new format coming to primetime TV. At the time, BBC Two controller Patrick Holland said the show 'promises to be the next great property series on BBC Two'. But is it?

Well we’ve watched the first episode ahead of its launch (Tuesday 16 April at 8pm on BBC Two), and we can guarantee that you'll love it. With state-of-the-art virtual reality (VR) and visual effects, homeowners will be able to ‘step into’ their newly imagined home in the ultimate ‘try before you buy’ experience. Believe us, it’s a game changer.

See the full story here: https://www.housebeautiful.com/uk/renovate/design/a22070303/your-home-made-perfect-virtual-reality-bbc-two-property-show/

16Apr/19Off

Is the security of virtual reality (and augmented reality) virtual insanity?

Body movement tracking data

A paper entitled “Protecting Nonverbal Data Tracked in Virtual Reality” by researcher Jeremy Bailenson looks at the privacy issues of nonverbal data. These data, which include eye movements, facial expression and similar, may seem innocuous but are routinely collected by companies. Why? Because they can potentially be used to tailor ads and target customer behavior. According to Bailenson, if you spend 20 minutes using VR you produce over “2 million recordings of body language.” The report also talks about the application of VR in the classroom and the privacy implications of collecting and analyzing children’s attention and facial expressions.

These body-tracking data are part of our deep-seated identity data and should require special attention in terms of privacy protection.

Virtual reality data and related online transactions

Game machines like Oculus Rift are not just VR headsets. They are connected to online transactions which use personal and financial data. The whole picture afforded by a rich set of data that links personal, financial, body movement tracking, geo-tracking and behavioral monitoring creates the perfect privacy storm.

See the full story here; https://resources.infosecinstitute.com/virtual-reality-vr-security-concerns/?utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=feed&utm_campaign=Feed%3A+infosecResources+%28InfoSec+Resources%29

16Apr/19Off

Jack Daniel’s Joins the Augmented Reality Marketing Fray with Interactive Label & App

giphy-4 giphy-5While Jack Daniel's is one of the most iconic brands in the liquor business, when it comes to augmented reality marketing, it's joining a long list of others telling a very familiar story in the growing marketing medium.

See the full story here: https://mobile-ar.reality.news/news/jack-daniels-joins-augmented-reality-marketing-fray-with-interactive-label-app-0196200/

16Apr/19Off

OpenAI’s Dota 2 AI steamrolls world champion e-sports team with back-to-back victories

OpenAI, the AI research organization, can claim a world first: its artificial intelligence system trained to play the complex strategy game Dota 2 has bested a world champion e-sports team. The competition was held in San Francisco today and dubbed the OpenAI Five Finals, ending the organization’s public demonstrations of its Dota-playing technology on a high note.

The competition on the human side included five top Dota 2 pros from team OG, which won the world’s most coveted e-sports prize last year when it took the No. 1 spot at The International, the premiere annual Dota 2 tournament with prizes now totaling $25 million.

OG faced off in a best-of-three contest against the OpenAI Five bots, all trained using the same deep reinforcement learning techniques and controlled independently by different layers of the same system. Reinforcement learning is effectively a trial and error approach to self-improvement, wherein the AI is dropped into the game environment with zero understanding of how the game works and trained extensively using reward systems and other incentivizing mechanisms.

See the full story here: https://www.theverge.com/2019/4/13/18309459/openai-five-dota-2-finals-ai-bot-competition-og-e-sports-the-international-champion

15Apr/19Off

Virtual Reality Experience: The Middle Passage

The virtual reality immersion project “The Middle Passage Experience: African Captivity in Brazil, 1750-1850” documents the transitional period from Africa to the Americas. The ship journey from Elmina Castle in Ghana to Salvador, Bahia (Brazil) took between forty and fifty days from Luanda, Angola to Rio de Janeiro. This six to seven-week period was essential in transforming the captive’s body and mind from free to newly enslaved person.

In this interactive VR, participants are first presented to Elmina castle. They line up with other captives as they enter the ships. Participants may interact with others while in line, though the majority of the experience takes place on the ship. As a matter of survival, participants must make choices. They may do a variety of things, including winning favor by cleaning the deck, make a friend, steal food, and so on. The ship stories are based on research obtained from visual and archival materials, the database www.slavevoyages.org, and the numerous primary accounts from African captives, creoles, elite, ship captains, and ship logs.

See the full story here: https://events.ucf.edu/event/1237731/virtual-reality-experience-the-middle-passage/

15Apr/19Off

Within Co-Founder Chris Milk on the Biggest Challenges of Augmented and Virtual Reality Storytelling

CM-headshot-Crop-Portrait-682x1024The company launched its first AR app, Wonderscope, in late 2018. Primarily aimed at kids, Wonderscope brings interactive stories to life, allowing viewers to talk to characters and actively participate in the experience. The AR stories run between seven and 13 minutes long, depending on the pace of the viewer.

The app is made possible by Apple’s ARKit, which allowed developers to create AR apps for about half a billion iOS devices around the world. Now, months after launching, Wonderscope has reinforced Milk’s belief that viewer participation will play a key role in the future of entertainment and education. (Wonderscope, which is up for a Webby Award in the Education and Reference category, declined to share just how often the app has been downloaded.)

See the full story here: https://www.thewrap.com/augmented-reality-virtual-storytelling-within-ceo-chris-milk-wonderscope-vr-ar/

15Apr/19Off

China joins 5G race with 8K 3D livestream of 30,000-person marathon

While U.S. and South Korean wireless carriers have already launched early commercial 5G cellular networks, Chinese carriers are still running tests and setting up infrastructure ahead of launches. In an atypically wide public demonstration of what 5G will make possible for virtual reality livestreams, carrier China Unicom used a 45-kilometer 5G network to broadcast a marathon in 360-degree 8K 3D, and you can now see the results for yourself online.

See the full story here: https://venturebeat.com/2019/04/12/china-joins-5g-race-with-8k-3d-livestream-of-30000-person-marathon/