How Virtual Reality Unveiled a Unique Brain Wave That Could Boost Learning

By Shelly Fan 

As the rats ran down a short balance beam, stopping occasionally to poke their noses at a water fountain, their brains knew something was off.

Inside the hippocampus, a brain region that documents the stories of your life, neurons sparked a strange type of electrical wave that washed over the region, altering its normal rhythm.

You see, the rats were running in virtual reality (VR), one so rich and lifelike that the rats “love to jump in and happily play games,” said Dr. Mayank R. Mehta at the University of California, Los Angeles, and senior author on a new paper in Nature Neuroscience. And shockingly, their brains responded to VR with unique activity that could impact how we learn, remember, and even treat memory disorders such as Alzheimer’s.

“This is a new technology that has tremendous potential,” said Mehta. “We have entered a new territory.”

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Virtual Reality is the future of employee training and onboarding, post-pandemic

The means of actually recruiting an employee and onboarding them with the job has changed its meaning in 2020.

By Brand Post

Virtual reality – The future or should we say the present and the most prominent technology for the best user interface. Virtual reality has changed the means of interaction and shopping. Among the successful conversion rates in eCommerce sectors, Virtual reality is incorporating itself in the corporate world, i.e workplace. Virtual reality in the workplace assures, to enhance the learning process, better produce in expressing innovative ideas and of course seamless onboarding as well as training of employees.

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Varjo Reality Cloud lets you virtually experience a real place via ‘teleportation’

By Dean Takahashi

Varjo is unveiling its Reality Cloud platform for virtual teleportation. That means one person can capture the reality of a space in a particular location and share that reality in extreme detail for a remote person to experience, virtually.

The Varjo Reality Cloud shares the details of a room in photorealistic detail, showing someone remotely located a view of the room in real time. Yes, you read that. Varjo lets one person scan a 3D space and another person experience it virtually at almost the same time, as it can transfer the necessary data in compact streams of 10 megabits-to-30 megabits per second with almost no time delays, the company said.

It’s a pretty amazing technology that comes from the pioneering work that Varjo has done in creating high-end virtual reality and mixed reality headsets for enterprises such Volvo, which uses it to design cars in virtual environments.

The caveat, of course, is if the tech really works as envisioned.

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How psychologists are using VR to profile your personality

TECH NEWS) VR isn’t just for gamers. Psychologists are using it to research how people emotionally respond to threats. But does it come at the cost of privacy?

ByVeronica Garcia,

When you put on a VR headset for the first time, most people have that ‘whoa’ moment. You’ve entered an enchanting otherworldly place that seems real, but you know it isn’t. You slowly tilt your head up to see a nicely lit blue sky. You turn your head around to see mountains and trees that weren’t there before. And, you finally look down to stare at your hands. Replaced by bright-colored gloves, you flex your hands to form a fist, then jazz hands, and back.

Playing VR games is exciting and interesting for a lot of gamers, and you would (or maybe wouldn’t) be surprised to know that psychologists think so, too. According to The Conversation, psychologists have started researching how people emotionally respond to potential threats using VR.

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Korea launches ‘metaverse’ alliance

South Korea’s ICT ministry said Tuesday the country has launched an industry alliance to bolster the development of “metaverse” technology and ecosystems.

The metaverse refers to a shared virtual space, in which users interact with each other through digital avatars and experience a virtual reality (VR) world.

The new alliance is composed of 17 companies, including major wireless carrier SK Telecom Co, as well as auto giant Hyundai Motor Co., and eight industry groups, such as the Korea Mobile Internet Business Association, according to the Ministry of Science and ICT.

The companies and industry groups will work together to share metaverse trends and technology, and form a consultative group for ethical and cultural issues related to the metaverse market. The alliance will also undertake joint metaverse development projects.

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Get to know Google’s Starline project to make video calls with life-size 3D holograms

Soon you could talk ‘face to face’ with other people at a distance, thanks to the Starline project, the system that Google is developing to project 3D holograms in video calls.

Technology is getting closer to realizing what once seemed like futuristic fantasies in the style of ‘Star Wars’, ‘Back to the Future’ and ‘The Jetsons’. Google is already working on the Starline project , a system for making video calls that project 3D holograms of people in real size.

Project Starline was unveiled this week, during the Google I / O event , where the ‘Big Tech’ presented its next news. The company assured that it is a step towards approaching the future of conversations, as it seeks to make the most realistic video calls in the history of humanity.

Google indicated that Project Starline is made up of hardware comprised of multiple cameras, sensors, and a screen or frame. Of course, it will also include revolutionary smart software.

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Europe Plans 20,000 GPU Supercomputer to Create ‘Digital Twin’ of Earth

By Ryan Whitwam 

Anyone who’s tried to buy a graphics card lately knows how tough it can be to find something in stock, let alone for a reasonable price. The European Union, however, thinks this is a grand time to slap 20,000 GPUs into a supercomputer with the aim of studying climate change with a simulated twin of our planet. The plan to create a digital twin of Earth might end up delayed due to the relative lack of available GPUs, but this isn’t going to be an overnight project. 

The EU calls the upcoming computer Destination Earth, or DestinE for short. This massive raft of GPUs will allegedly be able to create a highly accurate copy of Earth down to kilometer-scale that simulates how climate change will affect us. Users will be able to vary conditions and project the effects on food security, ocean levels, global temperature, and so on. 

This level of detail will allow researchers to predict the future, at least in some small way. Peter Bauer is deputy director of the European Centre for Medium-​Range Weather Forecasts and lead author on the new study detailing DestinE. Bauer uses The Netherlands as an example of what a digital Earth clone could do. “If you are planning a two-​metre high dike in The Netherlands, for example, I can run through the data in my digital twin and check whether the dike will in all likelihood still protect against expected extreme events in 2050,” says Bauer. DestinE could guide decisions large and small as Europe seeks to reduce emissions and plan for the impacts of climate change. 

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China Turns To Virtual Reality (VR) Technology To Hone Combat Skills Of Its Soldiers

PLA soldiers at a VR-assisted combat training session.

By Mansij Asthana

China has started training its military personnel with the help of virtual reality (VR) technologies to increase their combat capabilities, according to reports.

VR refers to a computer-generated simulation in which a participant can interact within an artificial three-dimensional environment with the help of electronic devices.

VR devices include specially-made goggles that have a screen-display and gloves fitted with sensors.

This enables the participant to have a realistic experience while carrying out activities under a simulated environment.

In virtual reality, the software used by developers creates a virtual or simulated environment that can be experienced by participants who wear the hardware devices like VR goggles, headphones, and gloves.

While the use of virtual reality has been quite common in video games and other recreational activities, there has been an increasing utilization of the technology in the military domain as well.

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Virtual reality-style goggles that ‘see’ through skin to fix face tumours and spare patients from disfiguring paralysis

By Pat Hagan

  • The goggles reveal the exact layout of delicate nerves surrounding growths
  • Around 30 UK patients have already benefited and thousands more may follow 
  • They are being trialled by experts at University College London Hospital

Virtual reality-style goggles that let doctors ‘see’ inside the body can spare patients with facial tumours from disfiguring paralysis.

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Audi’s New Virtual Office Program Sure Looks Like the Second Coming of Second Life

IT’S LIKE A EUROPEAN OEM SIMULATOR, IF YOU WORK AT AUDI AND ARE INTO THAT SORT OF THING.

BY HAZEL SOUTHWELL

Audi likes to pride itself on innovation—few car companies don’t—and in these trying, socially distant times, that can mean effectively developing a system where employees recreate themselves as The Sims and wander around a virtual office.

If that seems bleak (and it does, there’s no way around it) then it’s not intended that way. Audi Spaces was built by Audi Akademie to create more natural and spontaneous interaction, allowing employees to be in a virtual office together in some capacity without the direct intensity of a video call.

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Facebook has VR plans for your virtual office, with smartglasses coming soon

By Scott Stein

Facebook’s Quest 2 is already a successful game system. It’s aiming for more.

Facebook Reality Labs head Andrew Bosworth discusses why identity in Oculus is so Facebook-centric, how that will change, and when to expect neural input tech. (Spoiler alert: Not this year.)

After a 2020 that went entirely virtual for many people, once-fantastic concepts like VR headsets and remote chat screens (including Facebook Portal) no longer seem so strange. In many ways, Facebook’s product lineup ended up being prophetic for the times we now live in.

Last fall,  Facebook launched its impressive Quest 2 VR headset. So, in 2021, what comes next? The company plans to release its first smartglasses this year, in a partnership with glasses-maker Luxottica. But those won’t be the advanced reality-blending glasses you might be expecting. 

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COVID-19 pandemic could usher in a ‘New Digital Age,’ study claims

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The study suggests that COVID-19 can be used as a chance to rebuild the nation, by making Israel the starting point for solutions its own society needs, and then for the planet.

Israel should focus on its unique strengths in the fields of Artificial Intelligence (AI), Augmented Reality (AR), Autonomous Technologies and the Internet of Things (IoT) to be ahead of the new digital age being ushered in by the COVID-19 pandemic, a study by Start-Up Nation Central claimed on Monday.

Since the novel coronavirus has disrupted existing supply chains and industries, the report argues that Israeli talents could promote innovative solutions. AR means could be used to take over some aspects of customer service and manufacturing. As more and more people are expected to work and purchase goods and services from home, cyber security demands are expected to grow.

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