philip lelyveld The world of entertainment technology


YouTube and National Geographic team up for three VR series

dims-4YouTube CEO Susan Wojcicki said earlier this year that the company was keeping a close eye on technologies like AR and VR, since they allow creators to establish an even closer relationship with viewers. In the past, Google has teamed up with Vogue, Major League Baseball and the NFL for VR series that have aired on YouTube. Last year, the company partnered with Discovery on a 38-episode virtual reality travel series that spanned all seven continents.

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Bose Frames combine headphones, sunglasses and… augmented reality?

The most surprising part is that the Frames are the first component of the Bose audio AR platform, which offers an alternative to the visual AR systems like Google Glass and Microsoft HoloLens.

Bose didn’t provide an example of exactly how Bose AR will work, but the company noted that the tech "knows where you are and what you’re facing using a 9-axis head motion sensor and the GPS from your iOS or Android device — and automatically adds a layer of audio, connecting that place and time to endless possibilities for travel, learning, entertainment, gaming, and more.”

On paper, that sounds awfully intriguing — these smart sunglasses could give you a guided museum tour, for example, or help you navigate a new city with step-by-step directions without pulling out your phone, or provide information at the tap of a button. The possibilities for integration are endless and, depending on how it’s used, frightening.

The audio drivers are located inside the arms of the sunglasses that Bose claims will "produce discreet, jaw-dropping sound for the user, and no one else".

Finally, the Frames will be equipped with both a mini microphone and an assistant button that will allow you to summon Siri or Google Assistant.

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Oculus Patents Use Of Light Field Cameras for Eye Tracking

LightFieldEyeTrackingFacebook’s Oculus patented an eye tracking technique which uses light field cameras inside the headset. Most previous eye tracking systems used a regular or infrared camera combined with an IR illuminator to keep the eyes lit.

A light field camera differs from a regular camera in that it also captures the direction that light is travelling. This directional information can be used to understand the depth of the image, and thus 3D shape of the eye, instead of just the color and brightness. By knowing the 3D shape of the eye, the system can find out where the pupil is relative to the eye itself, and thus a more accurate estimation of the user’s gaze direction than with just the apparent 2D shape of the pupil.

Foveated rendering should one day enable much higher resolution VR headsets without requiring an expensive top of the line graphics card.

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Vancouver Film School Launches Program for Augmented Reality, Virtual Reality

The Vancouver Film School announced on Cheddar Monday that it is launching a program for augmented reality and virtual reality, betting big that AR and VR will be the next disruptive force in entertainment.

Christopher Ian Bennett, Executive Producer for the Vancouver Film School, said the 10-month diploma program launching in 2019 will make VFS "one of the first and only schools in the world that offers this for augmented reality and virtual reality design and development."

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Framestore appoints Ian Bradley as design director

6-3-9-1293639_d73956f9b94c4719b9b1981bcbed2f63_194920Framestore has hired Ian Bradley as design director, based out of the company’s New York office.

Bradley has previously worked across projects at The Mill, Method, Psyop, McCann Worldgroup, AKQA, and 360i.

Bradley most recently art directed Magic Leap’s Mixed Reality home screen, as well as Accor Hotels’ biometric data-driven installation experience. He has also created concept art for film and advertising projects, including the Spider-Man: Homecoming title sequence, and 2017’s fully CG anthem spot for the US Marines.

His roles have ranged from concept artist across cinematic, commercial, gaming and AR experiences; illustrator and character designer for children’s entertainment; front-end interactive web design and development; and UX and UI designer for devices and applications created for non-verbal children with cerebral palsy and autism.

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I Ate at a Virtual Reality Restaurant and … It’s the Future?

Opened in July 2017, Tree by Naked is the wacky masterpiece of Muramatsu, a visual artist famous for his films and global installations, and eating there, you can tell an artist is at the helm, which perhaps set this concept apart. Fortunately, the food matches the visuals; the Tree by Naked experience comes with eight precise courses of seasonal Japanese cooking.

But once you're led downstairs (the upper level acts as a chic café during the day), darkness engulfs you, only to be abruptly disrupted by stunning, intricate shows of light that tell a story of birth and rebirth and love and life and loss and humanity and everything, as illustrated by the four seasons. There are two, eight-person seatings a night at the communal table, on which the colorful magic is projected. Even more magical? There is no need or space for small talk, as the VR is so entrancing. As a perpetual solo diner, this pleased me. Within moments of the show—and it feels like a show—I could relax, which is an option not always available at super-cool restaurants.

For one course, you wear virtual reality headsets as the seats around you become occupied by farm animals dressed in dapper human clothes as they eat meals beside you. (Don't worry, they're not real!) Plants grow in front of you. Birds chirp. You watch the seasons change. The visuals are transporting, and frustratingly hard to capture on your phone.

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Want to See All the Vermeers in the World? Now’s Your Chance

04virtual-vermeer-combo-superJumboMeet Vermeer, a new augmented-reality app from the Mauritshuis museum and Google, is a virtual museum containing images of all authenticated Vermeer paintings. From left, an overhead view of the galleries in miniature; a look inside the space; and “Girl With a Pearl Earring” on the wall.

The Mauritshuis museum in The Hague, which owns what is perhaps Vermeer’s best-known masterpiece, “Girl With a Pearl Earring,” has teamed up with Google Arts & Culture in Paris to build an augmented-reality app that creates a virtual museum featuring all of the artist’s works.

“This is one of these moments when technology does something that you can never do in real life, and that’s because these paintings could never be brought together in real life,” said Emilie Gordenker, director of the Mauritshuis.

She explained that some of the 17th-century paintings were too fragile to travel, while some were in private collections, and the Gardner’s was lost.

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MIT Open Learning launches Center for Advanced Virtuality

MIT-Virtuality-D-Fox-Harrell-announcement-MIT-00_0The new center will explore how MIT can use virtual reality and artificial intelligence and other technologies to better serve human needs.

Virtual reality (VR) technologies are having a growing impact on people's everyday lives. Sanjay Sarma, vice president for open learning, and D. Fox Harrell, professor of digital media and artificial intelligence in the Comparative Media Studies Program and the Computer Science and Artificial Intelligence Laboratory, have combined their efforts to launch MIT Open Learning’s new initiative, the MIT Center for Advanced Virtuality. The new initiative will help determine how MIT can use a group of technologies including virtual and mixed reality (collectively called extended reality or XR) to better serve human needs through artful innovation of virtual experiences, on-campus and beyond.

Harrell’s research explores the relationship between imagination and computation and involves developing new forms of computational narrative, gaming, social media, and related digital media based in computer science, cognitive science, and digital media arts.

The center — “MIT Virtuality” for short — will bring faculty, researchers, and VR professionals together to create new models for the deployment of impactful XR learning. The center will focus on creation, research, and innovation, through its Studio, Lab, Salon, and Hub functionalities.

MIT Virtuality aims to enhance the production, research, and innovation capacity of VR at MIT, while investigating the social and ethical impacts of technologies as they are being innovated. Anyone interested in more information is encouraged to visit MIT Virtuality online.

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Toyota taps Docomo 5G to remotely control its humanoid robot

Toyota taps Docomo 5G to remotely control its humanoid robot


Google Play Gets A New Revamped UI: Focusing On User Experience

google-play-new-designThe all-new version of the Google Play comes with a more white-ish and simple UI which improves usability and the overall appearance of the app.

There are many small changes in the UI elements everywhere the app interface. However, the first thing we’ve noticed is that the navigation drawer is now exclusive to apps and games while shortcuts to the media apps like Play Movies & TV and Play Music are moved in the hamburger menu right underneath Settings.

The latest version of the app is 12.6.13, it contains several UI changes and improvements that focuses mostly on the user experience and many other UX factors.

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