Super Reality

Augmented Reality (AR) and Virtual Reality (VR) Industry News and Technology Updates

AR/VR: A Passage from Hype to Certainty

By Dr. Yue Fei, CTO and Cofounder of uSens 2017 will be a pivotal year for virtual and augmented reality, given rather precarious positioning in the trough of disillusionment on the famed “hype cycle.” Industry predictions are starting to grow lofty again, with the most recent IDC study claiming that AR and VR headset shipments will approach 100 million in the next 5 years. VR/AR funding is at an all-time high. And the number of active users is forecast to reach 171 million by 2018. But does any of that mean the long dark night is over? Not just yet. We’re going to be disappointed if we expect the industry to continue growing unabated. The promise of AR/VR may be widely understood by the general public, but that doesn’t necessarily make it a mainstream technology. Right now, the industry is still plagued by user nausea, not to mention a lack of content and affordability issues. The knight in shining virtual armor, for the near term, will be smartphone-based VR platforms. With their greater ease of use, lower cost, and wider range of games and applications, Mobile VR is like the “gateway drug” that will give way to mass adoption. Eventually. There are a few big players in Mobile VR already: Google, LG, and Lenovo. But given that there are approximately 2 billion active mobile smartphones in the world capable of providing AR/VR content, we should expect more mobile makers to jump on the bandwagon and come out with their own devices and applications soon. Mobile VR presents a much lower cost-of-entry for consumers, and much less risk for manufacturers. Naysayers will point out that current smartphones just aren’t built to handle the intense computational load that VR requires, and they’re right. Most legacy mobile devices are still apt to kick into overdrive and overheat while running a sim, which puts a time limit on any VR fun. But chip makers and smartphone manufacturers are already stepping up their game: 2017 is the year we’ll see VR-friendly devices that don’t bake as easily and are designed to handle the additional processing. Even with state of the art mobile devices distributed by the millions across the world, if there’s no content to run on them, VR won’t latch on. Some developers have taken the plunge and created crowd favorites (à la Pokémon Go), but we still haven’t seen the “killer app.” At this point, I don’t know that there will be one. We might just see content growth via user engagement campaigns from healthcare, social, and enterprise applications. Consumers often wait until “the timing is finally right” to adopt a new technology. Such timing is rarely tied directly to one event, but rather a collection of events that eventually collect enough weight to tip the scale. VR content in myriad forms will be required to supply that substance. Meeting (and then exceeding) consumer expectation will depend heavily on the available ways users can immerse themselves into the content and interact with it. Which leads me to another hurdle: There are some basic human-computer interaction problems that the industry must address this year. The ability to employ familiar interfaces — seamlessly scroll, tap, or type to navigate your way through a virtual realm — would make a world of difference. Until recently, natural gesture and position tracking have been a challenge in AR/VR, but the industry is rising to the challenge: HTC has years of investment in external trackers and the Oculus Rift will eventually deploy hands-free control. There is nothing yet on the market that successfully combines mobile 3D hands-free tracking AND robust head position tracking in AR/VR, but we’re working on it. Inside the AR/VR echo chamber, it’s easy to think that the public is ready to fully embrace our technology. But it’s still early days. Virtual reality is not for everyone, and there are going to be many more unforeseen obstacles to overcome as the sector matures. For those of us founding this entirely new industry, a clear focus on known issues as we pass beyond hype and into certainty will sustain us through 2017 and beyond.

UC San Diego Hosts a Distinctly Unconventional Event to Ignite a Future of Innovation

This is a guest blog post contributed by Rezin8 of San Diego, California. University donors, philanthropic leaders, and esteemed pillars of the UC San Diego community gathered to kick off the public phase of an ambitious $2 billion comprehensive fundraising campaign. This project will drive innovation that advances society, propels economic growth, and makes the world a better place. The public research university collaborated with Rezin8, a paradigm-shifting creative lab, to present attendees with a unique guided tour and presentation that will serve as a portal to the interactive reality. Driven by boundless curiosity and a foundational mandate to challenge traditional thinking, UCSD is pioneering breakthroughs in nanotechnology, climate science, machine learning, emerging arts, and much more. Champions of the university think it’s just the beginning. UCSD spent the evening taking a look back at the achievements their alumni were able to make in technology and medicine. More importantly, they took the time to ignite a future of innovation and advancement they want to bring into fruition. To bring UCSD’s enthusiastic vision to the reality, Rezin8 designed and developed a unique experience by leveraging interactive content coupled with augmented reality, virtual reality, futuristic presentations, performances, smart bracelets, and robotics — these were just a few of the innovative technologies deployed as part of what was a captivating and inspirational evening for all. The event transitioned from a tunnel to a cocktail area in the gymnasium. From the entrance of the tunnel, attendees had their own unique reality experience. Different settings will cater the visual displays to a more custom setting — attendees were welcomed with their names digitally displayed. To augment reality, tablets were distributed to each attendee in the cocktail area. This tablet provided a variety of special effects throughout the event. Human interactions were minimized for this special event. A robot, programmed and coded by Rezin8, traversed from guest to guest to take photos. As seen through the tablet, the augmented reality and digital content progressed with attendees as they moved through the tunnel. Special effects like rain and clouds were a part of the experience and changed depending on the attendee’s time and location within the experience. The event also included a futuristic live performance to the presentation. Nathan East, considered one of the most recorded bass players in music history, performs as a digital projection. Rezin8, UC San Diego’s creative partner for the event, is no stranger to high-tech digital performances. In 2012, the creative lab worked with Digital Domain to deliver one of the most legendary music performances in history – the Tupac hologram for Coachella. The event celebrates a halfway point to their fundraising goal, and serves as a critical moment to support the completion of their $2 billion fundraising campaign. The evening was a fully automated, tech-fueled experience, manifested in the living spirit of innovation – the very heart of UCSD. Saturday’s event inspires action from the ever-expanding community of innovators at UC San Diego and beyond — students, alumni, faculty, and philanthropists. Established in 1960, UC San Diego has become one of the world’s 15 largest research universities.

USENS and #GDC17

As five days in sunny San Francisco came to a close, it was clear that virtual reality was all the buzz throughout the duration of Game Developers Conference, especially with the first two days of the conference being completely dedicated to VR. VRDC brought VR tutorials, VR boot camps and industry relevant speakers into an immersive AR/VR experience at the Moscone Center. This was VRDC’s second year and featured two different tracks for attendees to participate in: VR and AR for game development and VR and AR for other forms of entertainment–from CG movies to filmed experiences and beyond. It’s clear that VRDC’s presence for the second year at arguably the largest gaming conference in the world, means that virtual, augmented and mixed reality is the future and the most important steps in developing games for users and progressing the industry forward. The following three days opened the exhibition floor to companies and organizations to display their relevance to the gaming industry and how their technologies and products can progress technological advances to the next level. Oculus brought a full array of systems and demos to GDC sending an army of employees donning distinctive indigo shirts to recruit attendees to use their system with Oculus Touch controllers. PlayStation and its deep lineup of games allowed GDC-goers to sample everything from Grand Turismo Sport in a sit-in pod with a PS4 Pro to bringing back the infamous Crash Bandicoot of the early PlayStation days, and showcasing its wide variety of PSVR games as well. However, while controllers in VR and gaming in general still play a prevalent part in those fields, hand tracking sparked the interest of industry professionals and the thousands at GDC. USENS INC was a trending topic of conversation over the three days on the exhibition floor of the South Hall at the Moscone Center. We demonstrated our hand tracking capabilities with demos to show to the attendees of GDC. With several FINGO demos set-up, thousands of people in attendance flocked to the uSens booth (which happened to be close to the primary restrooms of the hall for maximum foot traffic – very strategic 😉). Throughout GDC, USENS interacted in-person and over all social media channels with tech, AR/VR and gaming influencers, journalists and industry professionals — all raving about USENS and FINGO. Here are just a couple examples: @DennisScimeca: Seriously: If you’ve never tried hand tracking in VR and have time, stop by the @usensinc booth. Tech works exactly as advertised. #gdc17. @Alexis_Macklin: Enjoyed testing out @usensinc at #gdc17. From verified Twitter users who promoted uSens to their thousands of followers to the individuals on social media who post with just a passion about their interests, USENS and our FINGO were trending topics coming out of GDC. USENS INC was featured in an article by Gao Yun of CGTN featuring FINGO and our tracking capabilities: San Jose, California-based uSens – founded by two Chinese developers – created a technology that utilizes a camera to recognize all the individual bones inside the hand, and then relays that information to the application. “Right now, people cannot interact directly in VR, but holding a controller is unnatural,” said Fei Yue, co-founder and CTO of uSens, adding that they are now letting people do whatever they want to do in real world.  As VR moves further into mainstream society, technologists agree that the experience needs to become more natural, and ironically, more like everything in the real world.  

Snap Inc. Spectacles: A Spectacle to be Worn

Over the last several weeks, Snap Inc. jumped head first into the fashion industry when they introduced the first pair of sunglasses to the public. Coming out of a vending machine near the Snap Inc. HQ in Venice Beach, CA, Spectacles drew customers from Southern California and beyond wanting to get fresh, new, smart pair of eyewear from the social media giant. After the initial release of the glasses in Venice Beach, a Spectacle pop-up vending machine appeared up the coast of California, in Loma Point, CA (near Big Sur), allowing interested Northern California customers to hop on the Spectacle-train. The “Snapbots” have now been showing up throughout the U.S. (including Tallahassee (FL), Catoosa (OK), Catalina Island (CA), Honolulu (HI), and several other cities as well). Snap Inc. are selling the sunglasses for $129.99 at resale but according to TechCrunch, “Snapchat staff on location are apparently telling people in line the vending machine in Big Sur won’t be restocked once it sells out. The long lines from Friday, along with high selling prices on eBay that are hitting 20x the original Spectacles selling price.” Twenty times the original selling price…the question is: are the new Snapchat sunglasses even worth the initial price as a high-end, fashionable eyewear accessory, are they just a toy or are they the future of augmented reality? As far as high-tech glasses go, immediate thoughts go to the Google Glass. While starting at a mere $1,500 for the public, Google Glass prided itself on being virtually a hands-free smartphone. Many critics dubbed Google’s foray into wearable tech a flop. The massive price-tag, the marketing strategies setting an unrealistic expectation, amongst other variables deemed the Google Glass not worth the time or the money to the public. Google Glass prided itself on features and the potential of endless possibilities and that ultimately proved to be a massive letdown. Snap Inc.’s Spectacles seems to pride itself on only have three primary uses: record 10-second videos, protection from the sun and fun. While it’s 2016 debut is made for entertainment, this could be Snap Inc.’s first step into the AR and VR realm. Snapchat recently purchased Israeli augmented reality startup Cimagine for an estimated $30 – 40 million. Cimagine has developed augmented reality technology that allows its users to seen on the screen of their mobile devices how appliances and furniture look in their respective homes. In an article spotlighting Snapchat and Spectacles, Anita Balakrishnan of CNBC wrote: Already ‘the social media platform of our time,’ Snapchat could now own the means of both producing and distributing its content, said Julia Sourikoff, who heads VR and 360 for Tool of North America, an award winning commercial production company that has a rapidly growing virtual reality division. For brands, that could mean a not-too-distant future where consumers could head out to stores to meet holograms of the trendy influencers who are already avid Snapchat users. Spectacles aren’t trying to completely revolutionize the high-tech, smart technology game right away. They are simply establishing that they are becoming a player in the wearable tech and the AR/VR space. Snapchat is clearly going to be the premise for which all of Snap Inc.’s future products will be built on.

uSens Inc. Featured in USA Today

uSens Inc. was featured in USA Today on Wednesday, after a successful showing at CES Unveiled in Las Vegas. In “CES 2017: The coolest tech you have to see”, USA Today wrote that: An attendee demonstrated Fingo, a device added to virtual reality goggles to incorporate hand gestures.  Check out the article and visit uSens Inc. at CES 2017 this week!

REAL, GDC, SXSW Roundup

We had the lucky opportunity to attend three important technology conferences over the last few weeks: REAL 2016, Game Developers Conference (GDC), and South by Southwest (SXSW). During each event, which were all very different, we showed off our current tech demos to the audiences. The 2nd annual REAL 2016 Conference took place on March 8 and 9 at Fort Mason in San Francisco, CA. The event theme was “Reality Computing.” Reality Computing is something Autodesk defines as “…the principal concept for how technologies are breaking down the barriers between the physical and digital worlds for anyone engaged in the design, delivery, or management of physical things” The majority of the REAL audience included people that were heavily involved in business and enterprise technology, specifically AEC and BIM. The conference heavily supported products/technologies that digitally capture existing conditions, manipulate and analyze that data in design software, and outputs the result back in our physical world with digital fabrication methods (i.e. 3-D printing) or visually through augmented reality or projection technologies. Examples of these kinds of projects include: laser scanning, UAVs, depth cameras, photogrammetry, and virtual reality headsets. Our CTO, Dr. Yue Fei, presented a short and meaningful presentation on how hand and position tracking make better AR and VR experiences for human computer interaction. The 27th annual Game Developers Conference (GDC) also took us back to San Francisco on March 14-18. We split our time between the Open Gaming Alliance Lounge and the main GDC Expo hall in the ARM booth. The GDC audience we catered to included Game developers, media, and analysts. This popular (27K attendees) conference is a place where mainly game developers gather to discuss and exchange ideas, tools, and content to further the gaming industries. Virtual Reality was extremely popular at this event. While the VR hype seems to still consume the media, we’re beginning to see the extreme value of uSens technology for AR and VR content makers and related tools and hardware makers. We demoed hundreds of times and attracted dozens of new early DEVNET (Developer Network) beta users that are starting to use our technology in May. The 29th annual SXSW (South by Southwest) festival went on from March 11-20 in Austin, Texas. SXSW is a yearly event that features games, film, interactive media, music festivals, and tech conferences. We attended and showed off our demos in the Gaming Expo. For the first time this year, the festival also included a VR/AR Experience side event that had a limited collection of mainly 360 video and photo VR technology. We felt at home during the SXSW Gaming Expo, because many of our VR tech peers joined us there for the massive consumer crowds, including kids, families, educators, and many different types of developers. One of the AR highlights at SXSW was NASA’s Hololens presentation. Dr. Jeff Norris and Victor Luo, both fans of uSens tech, provided one of the very first public debuts of their interactive apps for Microsoft’s HoloLens device. Jeff and Victor showed the attendees how NASA is using AR and VR technology in building, executing, and virtualizing current and future missions. With NASA’s new found VR and AR technology, they have recreated some of the most accurate 3D reconstructions of spacecrafts, space physics, and Mars. Jeff and Victor shared the inception and construction of new projects and the potentials of virtual reality space exploration for everyone on Earth. It was great to see our ARVR technology being appreciated and examined in so many different verticals including business & enterprise, game developers, and consumers & educators. Despite the differences of these groups, we’ve witnessed that many people are excited for hand and position tracking to immerse them into their experiences. -Amanze Ugoh

Vision Summit 2016 for Augmented and Virtual Reality Hit a Home Run!

The 2016 Vision Summit conference took place on February 10 and 11, 2016 in Los Angeles. It was hosted by the wildly popular middle-ware engine, Unity 3D. Above, John Riccitiello, Unity’s CEO, welcomes the elated standing room only crowd of global attendees to VS16. This special two-day VIP developer focused event may have ushered in the official sea change for 3D development moving towards 4D and beyond. This conference gathered together 1,400+ hardcore Unity 3D, digital, and interactive content and business developers focused on the business of AR and VR. The energy was unfiltered AR/VR passion for 48 hours straight. The keynote presentation consolidated impressive influencers in the contemporary AR and VR landscapes. Executives from Google, Sony, Oculus, Valve/Steam, NASA, Hollywood, as well as Unity’s CTO and VR Skunkworks team showed off their current AR and VR efforts. Attendees learned curious and interesting facts in the keynote from people like Alex McDowell explaining how the Minority Report movie storyline and world came from AR technology visionaries rather than traditional script writers. Director Jeff Norris, who leads much of NASA’s virtual outreach program from JPL in Pasadena, took the Vision Summit keynote crowd to a virtual Mars, where we viewed a glimpse of our real world with ever changing virtual content. Jeff’s team and all of NASAs virtual content developers are actively using VR and AR tools for almost every part of their outreach these days. And, of course Unity 3D is there in the hands of these developers, allowing for rapid designs and output of 3D interactive VR and AR content to take us all into space. More excellent keynote content was provided by Unity’s CTO, Joachim, and other lead engineers who demoed the new Unity 3D v5.4 capabilities that optimize and streamline rendering as well as enable in-engine VR editing, such as below. Additional keynote highlights came separately from Gabe Newell (Valve), followed by Palmer Lucky (Oculus), each with their own gifts for the crowd. Gabe had his self-anointed “Oprah” moment where he gifted every attendee a gratis commercial HTC Vive unit. Oculus followed at the end with a generous gift of months of free subscriptions for Unity Pro tools for all attendees. Needless to say, the Vive chatter never stopped until a few days ago when we all got our shipment notifications. The keynote set a high benchmark for the entire two days full of panels, presentations, networking, and parties. It was unarguably the epicenter for AR and VR development and education for those awesome days. The hosts and planning team ensured there were thoughtful and well planned tracks focusing on specific AR/VR production tools and work flow, business and investment advice from related domain experts, and most importantly was the ability to share with each other in a very well-orchestrated professional social environment. The Expo hall and demo showcase halls deserve special attention too. These areas included many of the major players, like Google with Tango, Epson with their AR glasses, to indies showing off beautiful VR worlds rendered directly from Houdini and other high-end art and audio tools. Also included were independent developers who came from Denmark, Israel, and further out to impress us with their content and technology demos. Below are some examples from the expo and demo areas. VR Unicorns have built a really fun and compelling immersive tennis experience for the HTC Vive system. Shape Space VR had a mesmerizing visual mobile VR experience. Altspace VR is now providing multiplayer social media VR experiences. Vizuality Studios combines physical peripherals with immersive VR experiences that feel “real”. The entire Unity team, the VS advisory board, all participating companies and all of the developers who attended should be commended for the incredible energy that flowed for two days non-stop. The location was convenient, there were tons of drink stations, great food, and a really respectful atmosphere to interact in. Can’t wait until next year! -Mark T. Morrison

Was 2015 the summer of VR love?

2015 is a memorable year for Virtual Reality (VR). It’s the year we may look back and remember the beginning of a new technology renaissance. The first PCs and smart phones each provided evolved human computing interaction. This new VR movement feels more collaborative within its competitive landscape. It also feels like this VR movement is going to be the best storytelling media individual consumers have had yet. Game consoles were a lot of fun for kids and playful adults who wanted to be interactively entertained, but VR represents a more natural experience for almost every use case and human being. ‘Immersive’ really is a good description for VR nowadays. The interactive development landscape has changed drastically towards more ubiquity and compatibility. From 2010-2013, middle-ware and content creators both helped to reinvent the app and game space. Developers are at the forefront of the VR movement now, creating different content flavors from immersive 2.5D games to emotionally engaging cinematic stories. Commercial VR wasn’t possible 20 or even 5 years ago, mainly because computing and graphics had not yet evolved enough in consumer’s hands. Software and hardware makers were competing with each other, rather than working together to realize self-sustaining content platforms that could benefit consumers, which equals bigger business. We’ve come a long way since mobile carriers and console manufacturers dictated our daily dose of interactive content. Now, those choices are more in the hands of consumers and the developers especially. Consumer tastes, development tools, and technology innovations have all played active roles in growing a world ready for mass market VR. One thing that appears to be set now is the race to the top of the VR ecosystem. Three big players are ready for 2016 releases and offer different value propositions to consumers in a higher priced setting. AT THE TOP PSVR (aka Morpheus): PSVR has a great launch advantage. It’s plug and play into an existing PS4 system that its users already own or might purchase for their VR experiences. Sony has really improved its 3rd party developer network over the last few years. Sony has also positioned the opportunity for its large install base of indie Unity and Unreal developers to design and publish their games directly to PSVR. The PlayStation Network (PSN) makes it easier for developers to reach consumers with their content, receiving professional support and PR from a global software and hardware manufacturer. Oculus: Oculus is synonymous with VR. It was the first (modern) VR product most of us read about in the news a few years ago. It was also invented out of a humble R&D educational setting with a broad input from many inventors, students, and researchers. While some of the original participants may not have all ended up as Oculus employees, many have continued to innovate and invent in the same VR space. Having a parent company in Facebook won’t hurt the Oculus movement as they can reach a wide target of end users, many of whom will still need to prepare their experience with expensive equipment they might not own for current Candy Crush game play. Vive: Vive is a compelling entry at the top. Many professional VR tastemakers have expressed that the Vive is the best VR experience they’ve had. This product comes from one of the top game developers in the world plus a reputable hardware partner. It’s going to be fueled by the successful Steam store, although there currently are far less Vive compatible games than those offered on Steam. In The Middle GearVR: There’s also a middle spectrum of the VR medium being created and supported by the Samsung GearVR Head Mounted Display (HMD). It’s safe to assume that other competitors will help grow out this mid-spectrum layer supporting higher-end mobile devices and experiences. StarVR: It may be premature to place StarVR into this category until they expose their tech more. It would be great to have another serious player in this middle playing field.  ??? It would be very smart for Amazon to leverage a Kindle compatible HMD in this middle VR niche. Amazon has a lot of related computer vision and AI experience as well as 126 reasons to extend the VR medium to their Kindle and App store customers. AT THE SURFACE While the mid-tier experiences might not be as high resolution as the top-tier systems, being able to experience VR on the go could ignite a lot of initial excitement and loyalty to a global smart phone install base that is quickly reaching 2B users. Google and The New York times will release 1M free ‘Cardboard’ HMDs in this Sunday’s NYT edition, all of which can be used with the new NYT VR mobile app. If this is a successful campaign, we might start to see large brands and entertainment firms using mobile VR for marketing and promotions similarly to billboards and TV commercials. There are so many perspectives and angles to look at in the future of VR business, but perhaps the easiest and potentially most lucrative near term VR opportunities are already in our pocket? Most people don’t yet realize they can experience a ton of VR content from their smart phone today, both on Android and iOS platforms. – Mark T. Morrison For more about uSens, Inc. and Impression Pi, check out our other social media sites: Twitter: @usensinc Facebook: uSens, Inc. – Impression Pi Google+: uSens, Inc. – Impression Pi LinkedIn: uSens, Inc. Company Profile

Is the Steam Machine confusing gamers?

Near the end of 2012, Valve announced that it would be developing its own video game console. This new console was excitedly & unofficially termed the “Steam Box” from industry journalists. The official name for the Steam Box was announced to be the Steam Machine in late September 2013 by Valve. With an initial release date of November 2015 (and now delayed until 2016), Valve’s Steam Machine is stirring up interest within the gaming population. It promises to fuse the compactness and design of a console with the CPU/GPU capabilities of a powerful PC. What it can do: The Steam Machine will run SteamOS, a Linux-based operating system. Users will be able to install SteamOS on any other PC computer that has the minimum SteamOS specifications. When users purchase a Steam Machine, they may also want to get a Steam Controller. The Steam Controller combines dual trackpads with an analog stick. There are many more features for the controller, but the main take-away is that it is highly customizable and unique. Finally, the HTC Vive virtual reality system (SteamVR) will support SteamOS in early 2016. The Steam Machine intends to sell hardware that: can run SteamOS is console sized and can be stored next to and played on TV has PC functionality, running Windows if users uninstall steamOS or dual boot Valve’s Steam Machine is searching to appeal to users interested in bringing SteamOS into their living room. SteamOS will allow consumers to launch Steam, search through the Steam store, download compatible games and content, and enjoy the SteamOS experiences in their living room. Potential Obstacles: There are already living room gaming PCs as well as gaming consoles in use for broader family appeal. These are in our living rooms and can function as a multi-use entertainment center that connect into TVs. Windows usually operates on the non-console desktop computers. Some possible competitive Steam Machines can be found here and here. Valve is promoting the Steam Machine by advertising SteamOS’ growing popularity. Is this enough? They claim their Linux based operating system will overtake Windows at some point, as more developers make games designed for SteamOS. Is this true? This is one take on Valve’s sales pitch for the Steam Machine: Games should be made for Linux, or in Valve’s case, SteamOS Microsoft isn’t as good Steam doesn’t have as many compatible games as Windows yet, but will someday the Steam Machine is going to be awesome Confusion? With every new console comes fan boys and naysayers. As the Steam Machine gets closer to release, more and more gamers are forming opinions. Confusion has grown from what the Steam Machine can and cannot do on launch, with more questions long term. This seems to be the existing sentiment amongst the gaming community when discussing the Steam Machine online. Message boards that have direct individual reactions to the upcoming release of the steam machine, show some bewilderment from the gaming community. Possible confusion from gamers may come from attempting to compare the pros (+) and cons (-) of the Steam Machine. Here are some potential Pros for the Steam Machine: Valve develops incredible games Steam market place is popular and successful SteamOS is open source, allowing developers to build and customize their source code SteamOS is free SteamOS works with Xbox One, Xbox 360, PS3, and PS4 controllers The Steam Controller is innovative Here are some potential Cons for the Steam Machine: SteamOS is compatible with only a fraction of the games available on the Steam store currently There may be very few games designed exclusively for SteamOS The hardware is fairly expensive, ranging from $500-$4,000 USD Valve is also selling the Steam Link, which pairs users’ gaming desktop computers with their living room televisions. Users will be able to stream games they play from their desktop computer to their T.V., in their living rooms. The biggest selling point for the Steam Machine is its SteamOS operating system paired with the Steam Controller. The customizable controller does look awesome. The Steam Machine is a great idea, and it may need to be expanded on before the majority of gamers get behind it.   For more about uSens, Inc. and Impression Pi, check out our other social media sites: On Twitter: @usensinc On Facebook: uSens, Inc. – Impression Pi On Google+: uSens, Inc. – Impression Pi On LinkedIn: uSens, Inc. Company Profile

The Impression Pi AR+VR headset may change the way we interact in our daily routines

The next generation of technology is upon us, and uSens, Inc is leading the advance with it’s Virtual Reality/Augmented Reality Impression Pi headset.  uSens, Inc is a small Silicon Valley startup, but the company is taking the virtual and augmented reality industry to the next level. To give a brief background; virtual reality (VR) is a term for a “computer-generated simulation of a three-dimensional image or environment that can be interacted with in a seemingly real or physical way by a person using special electronic equipment, such as a helmet with a screen inside or gloves fitted with sensors.” Augmented reality (AR) is a term used for “a technology that superimposes a computer-generated image on a user’s view of the real world, thus providing a composite view.” The terms have evolved throughout the years as the technology has advanced. So why would anyone want Impression Pi?  The answer is complex for the developers, but very simple for us.  Impression Pi is not only able to display a virtual reality world, but also an augmented reality world.  The device also allows the user to physically interact with the displayed world, with 3D hand-gesture control and position tracking. It is the first device able to do this, out of a myriad of others. This effectively opens up a technological universe for any company or organization.  Companies that develop social media, video games, and video streaming technologies can release entertainment applications for Impression Pi.  Applications can also be made for healthcare, education, and business training.  As mentioned earlier, the opportunities are endless. Impression Pi is compatible with most newly released smartphones, which serve as the main screen for the device.  The device opens up and allows you to insert the phone into the opening.  After connecting your smartphone to the USB/Lightning port, you can select the specific application you want Impression Pi to interact with.  It is brilliantly simple, and incredibly user-friendly. Impression Pi achieves the VR/AR affect by mounting two cameras at the front of the device and inserting an array of infrared sensors around the headset.  The cameras are able to allow you to see what is happening in front of you.  The infrared sensors around the device track the physical movement of the headset and your hand movements.  You can interact with the virtual universe displayed in a 3-Dimensional format with your hands and body movement.  It is also wireless – you can move anywhere without being restricted. To this date, Impression Pi has gathered over $300,000 in pledges from its Kickstarter campaign.  The company’s initial goal was to raise $75,000. The outstanding reality is that uSens, Inc started creating motion capture technology in 2013.  They started developing the VR/AR Impression Pi near the end of 2014 and have already managed to create an innovative product in less than a year. So what companies are actually interested in developing applications for it?  Well, everyone; but they need to discover it.  Let’s think about the video game industry.  Video game companies are looking for a big break in the visual technology realm.  Graphic engines are already photo-realistic, but we are still limited to staring at a computer or phone screen in order to view them.  Imagine integrating those incredible graphics into a 3-Dimensional world and the real world. Impression Pi is almost here, and its technological advancements are going to revolutionize the VR/AR industry.  Lucky for all of us, this is just the beginning. “Virtual Reality” Def.1. OxfordDictionaries.com. Oxford Dictionaries, n.d. 1 Oct 2015 “Augmented Reality” Def. 2. OxfordDictionaries.com. Oxford Dictionaries, n.d. 1 Oct 2015 For more about uSens, Inc. and Impression Pi, please visit our other web sites: Twitter: @usensinc Facebook: uSens, Inc. – Impression Pi Google+: uSens, Inc. – Impression Pi LinkedIn: uSens, Inc. Company Profile