Apple wants to put AR navigation in your car

C65607FB-26CC-4D99-9109-DE4C5424351C

Apple Maps could make driving easier with augmented reality navigation tips.

Apple is exploring ways to build augmented reality into Apple Maps. Rather than top-down views of roads and intersections, the company is considering overlaying route information onto live views of the road ahead of the car.

Apple Maps has always lagged behind Google Maps. Building in AR could help it jump ahead.

Continue reading… “Apple wants to put AR navigation in your car”

0

A new immersive classroom uses AI and VR to teach Mandarin Chinese

B29AAB5C-CE3D-42EC-8B99-AE7E270686B4

Students will learn the language by ordering food or haggling with street vendors on a virtual Beijing street.

Often the best way to learn a language is to immerse yourself in an environment where people speak it. The constant exposure, along with the pressure to communicate, helps you swiftly pick up and practice new vocabulary. But not everyone gets the opportunity to live or study abroad.

In a new collaboration with IBM Research, Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute (RPI), a university based in Troy, New York, now offers its students studying Chinese another option: a 360-degree virtual environment that teleports them to the busy streets of Beijing or a crowded Chinese restaurant. Students get to haggle with street vendors or order food, and the environment is equipped with different AI capabilities to respond to them in real time. While the classroom is largely experimental, it is being used for the first time in a six-week, for-credit course at the university this summer.

Continue reading… “A new immersive classroom uses AI and VR to teach Mandarin Chinese”

0

Walmart is using VR to help decide who should get promotions

6BBA1213-453C-4DB2-BFA2-735371B1BA59

Walmart, the largest private employer in the U.S. with 1.5 million workers, is using virtual reality to help find candidates for management positions in all 4,600 stores, the Wall Street Journal reported. The VR headsets and the assessment program were designed by Strivr, a Menlo Park, Calif.-based company.

Walmart’s idea for a VR assessment was rooted in seeing how its workers might respond to challenging situations and how they prioritize different tasks—things that would be hard to identify in an interview. So far, 10,000 employees have undergone the VR test as part of an initiative to identify potential high performers and cut back the overall number of managers in each store. This is part of a larger plan to change how many higher paid managers are overseeing teams and to give its frontline workers more decision-making power in their jobs, according to an earlier report in the WSJ.

Continue reading… “Walmart is using VR to help decide who should get promotions”

0

Worlds’s first AI universe simulator knows things it shouldn’t

 

0AAFA54D-539A-4329-81E3-52D97ED37516

Great Mystery

 “It’s like teaching image recognition software with lots of pictures of cats and dogs, but then it’s able to recognize elephants.”

Since we can’t travel billions of years back in time — not yet, anyways — one of the best ways to understand how our universe evolved is to create computer simulations of the process using what we do know about it.

Most of those simulations fall into one of two categories: slow and more accurate, or fast and less accurate. But now, an international team of researchers has built an AI that can quickly generate highly-accurate, three-dimensional simulations of the universe — even when they tweak parameters the system wasn’t trained on.

Continue reading… “Worlds’s first AI universe simulator knows things it shouldn’t”

0

Logitech made a VR stylus you can use on a table or in the air

FC9540CA-AD09-4832-ABAD-4AF63CA8609B

Less Tilt Brush, more CAD

Logitech has announced a new VR stylus called the Logitech VR Ink Pilot Edition that’s designed to make it easier to draw and sculpt in virtual reality. Unlike existing VR controllers from the likes of HTC, you hold Logitech’s VR stylus like a traditional pen, and it can seamlessly transition between drawing in the air and drawing on a flat surface.

It’s a neat idea, but it sounds like Logitech is still going through the process of working out its reason for being. A teaser video shows the stylus being used mainly for 3D CAD work to design cars and planes, but the company also says it’s seeking industry partners and app developers to work out more use cases for the accessory. Either way, Logitech seems to be aiming this squarely at professional designers rather than part-time Tilt Brush hobbyists.

Continue reading… “Logitech made a VR stylus you can use on a table or in the air”

0

Google says the new Google Glass gives workers ‘superpowers’

508A7EFA-C845-4625-8CD6-BBC0073D7879

A new version of the device–Glass Enterprise Edition 2–comes with a new look, a faster processor, and a brighter display.

In the workplace, nobody calls them Glassholes. Employees at hundreds of companies are wearing Google Glass, the heads-up display glasses that have found a new home in factories and healthcare facilities after getting off to a rough start in the consumer space.

Now Google has a new version of the device–Glass Enterprise Edition 2–with a new look, a faster processor, and a brighter display. The glasses actually come in two parts: Google makes the right side of the glasses–the side that holds all the technology–and Smith Optics makes the safety glasses that the Glass attaches to. This makes it possible for multiple employees to own their own pair of safety glasses and share one Glass.

Continue reading… “Google says the new Google Glass gives workers ‘superpowers’”

0

Ford designers are dropping their pencils and reaching for VR goggles instead

1F978D9C-15F8-43D1-A879-1A841D4DCD9B

Ford Gravity Sketch

Ford outlined how it’s increasingly using virtual reality (VR) technology to eliminate the distance between its design studios in North America, in Asia, and in Europe. The Co-Creation tool the firm created jointly with Gravity Sketch lets engineers work on the same project even if they’re located thousands of miles apart. VR is part of the company’s effort to streamline its design and development processes, and it illustrates an ongoing trend in the automotive industry.

Instead of drawing on a piece of paper, or sketching using CAD software, Ford designers are beginning to use VR headsets and controllers to bring their ideas to life. Significantly, the co-creation tool lets Ford skip the 2D stage of design when it wants to save time, and go straight to 3D. Designers can use the technology to transfer virtual ideas. For example, if a designer prefers an upcoming car (like the born-again Bronco) with a more upright grille, he or she can send a VR-wearing colleague a file containing a sample design.

 

Continue reading… “Ford designers are dropping their pencils and reaching for VR goggles instead”

0

Top 5 Predictions for VR/AR Breakthroughs

FDD98010-832B-4875-9E5B-F4CA45614E4C

Convergence is accelerating disruption… everywhere!

Exponential technologies are colliding into each other, reinventing products, services and industries.

In this third installment of our Convergence Catalyzer series, I’ll be synthesizing key insights from my annual entrepreneurs’ mastermind event, Abundance 360, which takes place every January in Beverly Hills. This five-blog series looks at 3D Printing, Artificial Intelligence, VR/AR, Energy & Transportation, and Blockchain.

Today, let’s dive into Virtual and Augmented Reality…

Continue reading… “Top 5 Predictions for VR/AR Breakthroughs”

0

Facebook can make VR Avatars look – and move – exactly like you

9846A936-E193-436D-98E3-978C0DFC7378

Research assistant Autumn Trimble sits inside “Mugsy,” one of the capture facilities Pittsburgh’s Facebook Reality Lab uses to create “codec avatars.”

“There’s this big, ugly sucker at the door,” the young woman says, her eyes twinkling, “and he said, ‘Who do you think you are, Lena Horne?’ I said no but that I knew Miss Horne like a sister.”

It’s the beginning of a short soliloquy from Walton Jones’ play The 1940’s Radio Hour, and as she continues with the monologue it’s easy to see that the young woman knows what she’s doing. Her smile grows while she goes on to recount the doorman’s change of tune—like she’s letting you in on the joke. Her lips curl as she seizes on just the right words, playing with their cadence. Her expressions are so finely calibrated, her reading so assured, that with the dark background behind her, you’d think you were watching a black-box revival of the late-’70s Broadway play.

There’s only one problem: Her body disappears below the neck.

Yaser Sheikh reaches out and stops the video. The woman is a stunningly lifelike virtual-reality avatar, her performance generated by data gathered beforehand. But Sheikh, who heads up Facebook Reality Labs’ Pittsburgh location, has another video he considers more impressive. In it, the same woman appears wearing a VR headset, as does a young man. Their headsetted real-life selves chat on the left side of the screen; on the right side, simultaneously, their avatars carry on in perfect concert. As mundane as the conversation is—they talk about hot yoga—it’s also an unprecedented glimpse at the future.

Continue reading… “Facebook can make VR Avatars look – and move – exactly like you”

0

Harman just patented a futuristic system of flying robot speakers for 3D audio

AF0422D7-927C-45F2-9AEA-21A79219A62E

Speakers could be moved around using quadcopters or even jet propulsion

Harman, the audio company that was purchased by Samsung two years ago, has filed a patent for a sound system that uses robots to create the impression of surround sound (via Variety). The patent details how the speakers could move and hover around the user with the help of quadcopters or even “vertical gas jet based propulsion mobility platforms” in an attempt to provide better audio in a virtual environment.

Continue reading… “Harman just patented a futuristic system of flying robot speakers for 3D audio”

0

Magic Leap wants to build AR “Layers” over the entire earth

C9E3B563-5082-43C4-9357-80610415836F

 Augmented reality startup Magic Leap wants to merge the digital and the physical worlds.

In October, CEO Rony Abovitz first shared the idea of the “Magicverse,” a series of digital layers that would exist in AR over the physical world.

On Saturday, the company elaborated on the concept with a blog post and new interview — and its vision of the future is one in which the line between the physical and digital realms blurs until it almost disappears.

Continue reading… “Magic Leap wants to build AR “Layers” over the entire earth”

0

Magical new AR demo transforms 2D photos into ‘Harry Potter’-style 3D animations

Imagine if you were able to point your smartphone, tablet or augmented reality (AR) headset at a still image, and watch it come to life before your very eyes. This is something that’s possible using the latest augmented reality technology, such as Apple’s ARKit or Google’s ARCore. However, while we have seen it done before, typically it has been limited to just one or two select images — for instance, as a tool for animating advertising billboards.

Researchers from the University of Washington and Facebook have built something that’s a whole lot more versatile. Their new “Photo Wake-Up” project will animate stationary characters in any image, resulting in them springing into action to sprint toward you out of the background. Because who has time for boring old still images as we reach the final days of 2018?

Continue reading… “Magical new AR demo transforms 2D photos into ‘Harry Potter’-style 3D animations”

0