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About This Club

A club for people interested in exploring this new AR/VR/MR frontier world.

  1. What's new in this club
  2. Time flies... it has now gone from the Military to Corporate use.... Look what just came out from the Mobile World Conference...
  3. We’ll know we’ve made it as a newsletter when a) we become the largest U.S. city by population and b) we get invited to Microsoft’s HQ to demo the HoloLens 2, the updated mixed reality headset it unveiled at MWC yesterday. What is it? It’s a device you wear that overlays digital images (like holograms) onto the real world. And instead of going after individual consumers, Microsoft is selling the HoloLens 2 to corporations with employees who work with their hands—think factories. And because we’re not salty at all, let’s get more insight from tech journalists who actually got the invite to Redmond, WA: Cnet’s Scott Stein: “The best way I can describe it is like Google Maps' turn-by-turn directions for real world instructions—or like a floating Lego manual for reality.” The Verge’s Dieter Bohn points out the HoloLens 2 (a “technical marvel”) reflects Microsoft’s strategy to serve “corporate and enterprise needs instead of trying to crank out hit consumer products.”
  4. Augmented reality (AR) is an interactive experience of a real-world environment where the objects that reside in the real-world are "augmented" by computer-generated perceptual information, sometimes across multiple sensory modalities, including visual, auditory, haptic, somatosensory, and olfactory. The overlaid sensory information can be constructive (i.e. additive to the natural environment) or destructive (i.e. masking of the natural environment) and is seamlessly interwoven with the physical world such that it is perceived as an immersive aspect of the real environment. In this way, augmented reality alters one's ongoing perception of a real-world environment, whereas virtual reality completely replaces the user's real-world environment with a simulated one. Augmented reality is related to two largely synonymous terms: mixed reality and computer-mediated reality. The primary value of augmented reality is that it brings components of the digital world into a person's perception of the real world, and does so not as a simple display of data, but through the integration of immersive sensations that are perceived as natural parts of an environment. The first functional AR systems that provided immersive mixed reality experiences for users were invented in the early 1990s, starting with the Virtual Fixtures system developed at the U.S. Air Force's Armstrong Laboratory in 1992. The first commercial augmented reality experiences were used largely in the entertainment and gaming businesses, but now other industries are also getting interested about AR's possibilities for example in knowledge sharing, educating, managing the information flood and organizing distant meetings. Augmented reality is also transforming the world of education, where content may be accessed by scanning or viewing an image with a mobile device or by bringing immersive, markerless AR experiences to the classroom. Another example is an AR helmet for construction workers which display information about the construction sites. Augmented reality is used to enhance natural environments or situations and offer perceptually enriched experiences. With the help of advanced AR technologies (e.g. adding computer vision and object recognition) the information about the surrounding real world of the user becomes interactive and digitally manipulable. Information about the environment and its objects is overlaid on the real world. This information can be virtual or real, e.g. seeing other real sensed or measured information such as electromagnetic radio waves overlaid in exact alignment with where they actually are in space. Augmented reality also has a lot of potential in the gathering and sharing of tacit knowledge. Augmentation techniques are typically performed in real time and in semantic context with environmental elements. Immersive perceptual information is sometimes combined with supplemental information like scores over a live video feed of a sporting event. This combines the benefits of both augmented reality technology and heads up display technology (HUD). first A.R. system, 1992, U.S. Air Force, WPAFB
  5. Virtual reality (VR) is an interactive computer-generated experience taking place within a simulated environment. It incorporates mainly auditory and visual feedback, but may also allow other types of sensory feedback like haptic. This immersive environment can be similar to the real world or it can be fantastical. Augmented reality systems may also be considered a form of VR that layers virtual information over a live camera feed into a headset or through a smartphone or tablet device giving the user the ability to view three-dimensional images. Current VR technology most commonly uses virtual reality headsets or multi-projected environments, sometimes in combination with physical environments or props, to generate realistic images, sounds and other sensations that simulate a user's physical presence in a virtual or imaginary environment. A person using virtual reality equipment is able to "look around" the artificial world, move around in it, and interact with virtual features or items. The effect is commonly created by VR headsets consisting of a head-mounted display with a small screen in front of the eyes, but can also be created through specially designed rooms with multiple large screens. VR systems that include transmission of vibrations and other sensations to the user through a game controller or other devices are known as hapticsystems. This tactile information is generally known as force feedback video gaming and training applications.
  6. This new relationship between Microsoft, and the Army (U.S. Department of Defense) began when it was called to the attention to the Pentagon Strategy Group that beginning with Windows 95, and culminating with Windows 10, every other product Microsoft produced were bombs.
  7. Microsoft secures $480 million HoloLens contract from US Army The US Army has awarded Microsoft a $480 million contract to supply the military branch with as many as 100,000 HoloLens augmented reality headsets for training and combat purposes, according to Bloomberg. Microsoft beat out other leading augmented reality headset companies, like Magic Leap, which announced that it would be joining the bidding process back in September. Microsoft has had the upper hand, focusing primarily on enterprise markets, unlike Magic Leap, which has focused on the barely-existent consumer market. Microsoft has also previously sold some headsets to the military. But this contract would go well beyond its earlier collaboration, and could greatly expand the reach of the headset. “Augmented reality technology will provide troops with more and better information to make decisions,” a Microsoft spokesperson wrote in an email to Bloomberg. “This new work extends our longstanding, trusted relationship with the Department of Defense to this new area.” Read more:
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  8. You can now get the Lenovo Explorer Windows Mixed Reality Headset for just $99 (was $349) from Newegg US. In this Lenovo Explorer, Inside-out tracking is built into your headset to deliver precise movement fidelity with no need to install hardware on your walls. And Spatial audio lets you hear sounds from specific locations just like in the real world. With this Windows Mixed Reality headset, you can personalize your virtual home with great content—travel, sports, culture, live concerts, games like Minecraft, and more. There are about 20K available titles in Microsoft Store. With Lenovo Explorer, you have the freedom to move in and around a 11.5 ft x 11.5 ft space. Hop skip, jump, or dive and Lenovo Explorer tracks your every move with superior fidelity, spatial awareness, and fluid tracking-without the need for external sensors.
  9. AR in ACTION convenes the top minds in the Augmented Reality Ecosystem to accelerate conversation and collaboration amongst industry innovators, thought leaders, investors and corporations, who are looking at real-world implementations of AR Solutions.
  10. The surgeon is about to get a few new tools. Some might even call them superpowers. For years, surgeons have relied on microscope oculars or other camera systems to operate. Even so, they typically depend on their own eyes and interpretations to execute the most precise of tasks. In these cases, his or her head is down, thereby limiting peripheral vision and communication with staff, while straining his or her back and neck muscles for hours at a time.This is not a great combination of factors, especially during the most intense operations. This past year, two of the most intricate surgical practices, ophthalmology and neurology, have been experimenting with new technology that not only keeps surgeons’ heads up, but also immerses the surgeon into a high resolution, 3D visual representation of their subject.These stereoscopic systems also use data to generate visual templates for surgeons to execute certain tasks within a surgery. Experts and surgeons that have piloted the new systems believe the added comfort and visual information will allow surgeries to operate more efficiently and effectively.Additionally, medical residents will now have a clearer picture of exactly what the surgeon is seeing and doing, thereby gaining a better anatomical and technical understanding of surgery than ever before.
  11. Google said today that it’ll be shutting down Project Tango next year, on March 1st. Project Tango was an early effort from Google to bring augmented reality to phones, but it never really panned out. The system was introduced in 2014 and made it into developer kits and even a couple consumer devices as recently as last year. But those devices required special sensors. And in the meantime, Google (and competitors, like Apple) figured out ways to bring AR features to phones with just the hardware that’s already on board. Google introduced a new augmented reality system, known as ARCore, in late August. It just brought that system to the Pixel and Pixel 2 in the form of some augmented reality stickers — immediately opening AR features to more people than Tango is likely to have reached in its lifetime. Since the system’s announcement, it’s been more or less expected that Tango would go away in favor of ARCore. And today, Google made that official. It pulled down the Project Tango website, and on Tango’s Twitter account, it wrote that Tango “will be deprecated” and “will not be supported by Google” after March 1st, 2018. It specifically called out ARCore as the reason for its demise. “Google is continuing AR development with ARCore,” the Twitter account now reads.
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  12. Guest

    Free AR Apps

    The NBA released a free AR app, where users can shoot (virtual) baskets wherever they are.
  13. Guest

    Oculus Go

    “1 billion people in virtual reality.” Zuckerberg on Facebook’s new Oculus Go headset. Just imagine: you can pet your virtual cat, while you hang with your virtual friends, and eat your virtual food. The possibilities are virtually endless.
  14. Guest

    Nokia

    The reality of virtual reality is slowly setting in. The maker of your first flip phone, Nokia, is powering down its orb-shaped VR camera, OZO. First on Nokia’s list of “what went wrong”: OZO’s $60,000 price point—apparently VR isn’t worth mortgaging your house over. But even the industry’s less-pricey models have been slow to catch on. Sony slashed its Playstation VR price in August, and Facebook has lowered the tag on its Oculus VR twice already. The decision means 310 Nokia employees will get the ax (close to 30% of its tech arm) and serves as another reminder it’s not cut out for hardware. But Nokia’s brainiacs are going to give it one more shot, turning their attention to the recently acquired consumer brand, Withings—a wearable e-watch and digital health company that competes with the likes of Apple. Luckily for Nokia, Apple is clueless about hardware.
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  15. Guest

    Altspace VR

    Microsoft (-0.47%) showcased its new virtual reality acquisition, Altspace VR, at an event in SF.
  16. Guest

    AMC

    AMC is investing $20 million in a Spielberg-backed virtual reality startup, and will install the technology at select cinemas next year.
  17. Unity is a cross-platform game engine developed by Unity Technologies,[6] which is primarily used to develop video games and simulations for computers, consoles and mobile devices. First announced only for OS X, at Apple's Worldwide Developers Conference in 2005, it has since been extended to target 27 platforms. Six major versions of Unity have been released. At the 2006 WWDC show, Apple named Unity as the runner up for its Best Use of Mac OS X Graphics category. Unity is marketed to be an all purpose engine, and as a result supports both 2D and 3D graphics, drag and drop functionality and scripting through its 3 custom languages. The engine targets the following APIs: Direct3D and Vulkan on Windows and Xbox 360; OpenGL on Mac, Linux, and Windows; OpenGL ES on Android and iOS; and proprietary APIs on video game consoles. Within 2D games, Unity allows importation of sprites and an advanced 2D world renderer. For 3D games, Unity allows specification of texture compression and resolution settings for each platform that the game engine supports, and provides support for bump mapping, reflection mapping, parallax mapping, screen space ambient occlusion (SSAO), dynamic shadows using shadow maps, render-to-texture and full-screen post-processing effects.[9] Unity also offers services to developers, these are: Unity Ads, Unity Analytics, Unity Certification, Unity Cloud Build, Unity Everyplay, Unity IAP, Unity Multiplayer, Unity Performance Reporting and Unity Collaborate which is in beta. Unity is notable for its ability to target games to multiple platforms. Currently supported platforms are Android, Android TV, Facebook Gameroom, Fire OS, Gear VR, Google Cardboard, Google Daydream, HTC Vive, iOS, Linux, macOS, Microsoft Hololens, Nintendo 3DS line,[ Nintendo Switch, Oculus Rift, PlayStation 4, PlayStation Vita, PlayStation VR, Samsung Smart TV, Tizen, tvOS, Wii, Wii U, Windows, Windows Phone, Windows Store, WebGL, Xbox 360, and Xbox One. Unity formerly supported 5 other platforms including its own Unity Web Player. Unity Web Player was a browser plugin that was supported in Windows and OS X only,[15]which has been deprecated in favor of WebGL. Unity is the default software development kit (SDK) for Nintendo's Wii U video game console platform, with a free copy included by Nintendo with each Wii U developer license. Unity Technologies calls this bundling of a third-party SDK an "industry first". In 2012, VentureBeat said, "Few companies have contributed as much to the flowing of independently produced games as Unity Technologies. ... More than 1.3 million developers are using its tools to create gee-whiz graphics in their iOS, Android, console, PC, and web-based games. ... Unity wants to be the engine for multi-platform games, period." For the Apple Design Awards at the 2006 WWDC trade show, Apple, Inc. named Unity as the runner-up for its Best Use of Mac OS X Graphics category, a year after Unity's launch at the same trade show. Unity Technologies says this is the first time a game design tool has ever been nominated for this award.[20] A May 2012 survey by Game Developer magazine indicated Unity as its top game engine for mobile platforms. In July 2014, Unity won the "Best Engine" award at the UK's annual Develop Industry Excellence Awards. Unity 5 was met with similar praise, with The Verge stating that "Unity started with the goal of making game development universally accessible.... Unity 5 is a long-awaited step towards that future." Following the release of Unity 5, Unity Technologies drew some criticism for the high volume of quickly produced games published on the Steam distribution platform by inexperienced developers.. CEO John Riccitiello said in an interview that he believes this to be a side-effect of Unity's success in democratizing game development: "If I had my way, I'd like to see 50 million people using Unity – although I don't think we're going to get there any time soon. I'd like to see high school and college kids using it, people outside the core industry. I think it's sad that most people are consumers of technology and not creators. The world's a better place when people know how to create, not just consume, and that's what we're trying to promote." In December 2016, Unity Technologies announced that they will change the versioning numbering system for Unity from sequence-based identifiers to year of release to align the versioning with their more frequent release cadence. On December 16, 2013, Unity Technologies Japan revealed new screenshots for an official mascot character named Unity-chan (ユニティちゃん Yuniti-chan), real name Kohaku Ōtori (大鳥 こはく Ōtori Kohaku) (voiced by Asuka Kakumoto), with exhibit of the character in Comic Market 85 event in the Tokyo Big Sight between December 29 to the 31st, where themed goods would be distributed and her voice actress would be present at the event. The character's associated game data were to be released in spring 2014. The character was designed by Unity Technologies Japan designer 'ntny' as an open-source heroine character. The company allows the use of Unity-chan and related characters in secondary projects under certain licenses. For example, Unity-chan appears as a playable character in Runbow. The popularity of the character also led to her appearance in VOCALOID adaptions, including her own sound library for VOCALOID4 and a special adaption of VOCALOID designed to work with the Unity Engine 5.0 version called Unity with VOCALOID.
  18. I was told today that I should use something called the "Unity Engine" and learn to code in C. It is not a free platform though. He did mention there are some open source alternatives.
  19. San Francisco startup Meta is trying to liberate the workplace of computer monitors, trading them in for its augmented reality headsets. Bloomberg Technology's Selina Wang delves into the possibilities of an office without screens.
  20.  




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