Super Reality

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

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.

The Future of Driverless Car and Augmented Reality

The first fleet of self-driving cars may be ready by 2020. Google has said that its car should be ready by 2020 and Tesla CEO, Elon Musk, says their Tesla’s will be fully autonomous by 2018. It appears that these driverless cars are still in the data gathering stage. Since increased safety is one of the top goals for these future cars, it is important for them to harvest great amounts of data in order for them to respond in the moment and react to potentially dangerous situations. One of the biggest worries of driverless car technology is that they may not be safe enough to utilize so a lot more data still needs to be gathered to help relieve this concern. Tesla’s Model S already features some self-driving capabilities known as “Autopilot” and it uses data and driving habits from many Tesla drivers in order to keep improving. Google’s self-driving cars have been driving around and collecting data since 2009 so its software already knows how to react to various real-life scenarios. As driverless cars are still gathering data, we may need another type of car technology to breakthrough before we go fully autonomous. In a sense, GPS technology could also be looked at as a tool that has been priming consumers for driverless cars for a long time. Cars that feature augmented reality may be able to further prime consumers into buying driverless cars. PSA Peugeot Citroen, a French multinational manufacture of automobiles, is working on one of the first cars that will finally implement built-in augmented reality in the cockpit. This technology aims to increase driver safety for a more convenient driving experience. If augmented reality cars become more popular, they have great potential to make the transition to driverless cars smoother. PSA Peugeot Citroen’s work-in-progress automobile features a built-in transparent display, projected onto the windscreen that allows the driver to view data and information without looking away from the road. The HUD is also able to adapt in real-time to objects on the road.   The display will feature the usual driving information such as current speed, speed limits (implied from road signs) but it could also introduce new functions. Since the HUD is capable of covering the entire width of the windshield, it could, for instance, clearly give the driver directions or show dangers with a prominent graphic warning. The most important benefit for augmented reality driving is to increase safety. Since the useful driving information could be seen extremely quickly, drivers are sure to have a better awareness of the road and they are more likely to not be taken by surprise. Moreover, their response times may be much faster since they will be keeping their eyes on the road. For instance, they will be able to look up directions while focusing their eyes on the road instead of looking down at their phones or GPS. Since we may have to wait up to 5-10 years before we see autonomous care take over the roads, the process of driving automation will have to be gradual. PSA Peugeot Citroen will be an integral member of the car industry to make sure that the jump will not be so sudden since it will be retaining manual/human functionality. The driving information that will be displayed on the windscreen may help educate the consumer and give them a better understanding of how driving aids and autonomous cars will work. There is not any word yet on the release date of PSA Peugeot Citroen’s augmented reality vehicle but it is likely to release before 2020.  

Dr. Eunseok Park Joins uSens as General Manager of Augmented and Virtual Reality Tracking Company

uSens, Inc., a pioneer in hand-and-head tracking technologies for Augmented and Virtual Reality, has appointed Dr. Eunseok Park to the new position of U.S. general manager. A collaborator on nearly 200 world patents, Dr. Park was most recently the U.S. regional director for Samsung Advanced Institute of Technology (SAIT), where he managed research and development in emerging technologies across all four U.S. sites. In his new role with uSens, Dr. Park will tap into the deep business relationships he has established with the world’s leading academic and corporate research entities. “We are so proud to have a leader with the pedigree of Eunseok Park join the uSens team,” said Anli He, CEO and co-founder of uSens. “He brings incomparable expertise in administration and management of engineering projects and in nurturing teams. uSens will benefit from his broad connections to attract the highest caliber of research and engineering talent and to build industry partnerships that will grow uSens’ footprint in the ARVR industry.” “I couldn’t be more excited at the opportunity to join uSens at this stage of the company’s growth. I look forward to experiencing the startup world from the inside and to apply my management and operational skills to take uSens to the next level of maturity,” said Dr. Park. “During my tenure with SAIT, I established deep relationships with the top research sites across the U.S. and Europe. I’m excited to mine those connections to bring more world-class research talent into uSens, and to help uSens in the commercialization of its AR and VR tracking solutions.” A Visionary Leader Dr. Eunseok Park has spent the last 11 years with the Samsung Advanced Institute of Technology (SAIT), the main research and development center for Samsung Electronics and other businesses within the Samsung Group. Beginning his career at SAIT as a senior researcher, Dr. Park eventually became regional director for Europe, where he identified and developed new areas of research in emerging technologies including mobile health. He also oversaw strategic IP for licensing or purchasing, and supported collaborations with leading European research institutes and business partners. As regional director for the U.S., Dr. Park managed R&D and operations across four sites and more than 100 employees, coordinated joint research projects with leading U.S. academic entities, and identified startups for angel and early-round investments. Dr. Park received his MS degree and PhD in electrical engineering from Syracuse University in New York, and an MBA from Sogang University in Seoul, South Korea. In addition to his extensive patent portfolio, Dr. Park is the author of many articles published for IEEE symposiums.

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 Variety

After CES Unveiled in Las Vegas on Tuesday night Janko Roettgers, senior Silicon Valley correspondent for Variety, featured uSens Inc. Roettgers tweeted out that: The Fingo VR hand tracking module is one of the cooler things I got to see at CES Unveiled. Check out the article and visit uSens Inc. at CES 2017 this week!

Facebook F8 / Facebook’s Fate

Facebook F8 is an annual conference keynote that took place on April 12 and 13 at Fort Mason in San Francisco, CA. The event was directed at developers and entrepreneurs who build products and services for the social network. During the conference, Zuckerberg mentioned that virtual reality could be the best form of social networking because of its strong communal immersion. He illustrated this idea by showing off the Toybox Demo for Oculus Touch. Facebook also presented an open source camera rig that they are calling the “Surround 360 Camera”. The camera, made with 17 combined cameras, will be able to shoot 3D-360 8K video at a smooth 60 frames per second. According to Chris Cox, Facebook’s vice president of product, the company plans to share the hardware design and stitching algorithm on Github this summer. The Oculus team also demoed their VR selfie stick that aims to make VR social. With the virtual stick, users will be able to take photos of their avatars in front of famous landmarks. Once the photo is taken, the user can share it with their Facebook friends’ virtual mailbox so they could post it on the site. After talking about VR, Zuckerberg, shifted the topic to augmented reality. Surprisingly, it was the first time that Zuckerberg revealed Facebook’s interest in AR. The Facebook CEO said that we could use AR apps to replace physical objects such as an AR TV set. Facebook also showed that they wanted to combine both AR and VR into their devices, which is also what we are working on here at uSens Inc. Near the end of the conference, Zuckerberg presented a photo of a pair of black glasses. These glasses were only a glimpse into the future of Facebook tech with Zuckerberg saying that VR/AR headsets will look like a regular pair of eyeglasses in 10 years. VR and AR were also featured at the end of Facebook’s 10-year road map, along with artificial intelligence and connectivity. Now that Facebook is officially on the AR train with Google and Microsoft, it should be interesting to see how this competition will help bring AR to new heights. -Amanze Ugoh        

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

uSens’ Impression Pi at SVIEF 2015

We recently brought Impression Pi’s ‘Moon Walk’ demo to the Silicon Valley Technology Innovation & Entrepreneurship Forum (SVIEF) 2015. SVIEF 2015 had over 100 high profile speakers, including Ashton Kutcher. The virtual reality technology from Impression Pi transports the user to the surface of Earth’s moon. Impression Pi’s gesture recognition capabilities also allow the user to ‘touch’ each planet in our solar system and view its information. We were happy to show case our technology to the attendees of SVIEF 2015, but were ecstatic to be given the opportunity to have children interact with it as well.         We had a great time at SVIEF 2015 and enjoyed having a diverse audience interact with our technology!     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

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

The hopeful shift from isolated social engagement to enhanced human cooperation

What if we could evolve the disconnecting effects of social technology into increased human interaction? It is a brilliant idea to ponder, and I am going to do my best to expand on it. We independently use social media to advance our own agendas. It is an isolative & and self fulfilling process we take to seemingly advance our own worth in the eyes of others. What is advancing our own specific & subjective plans going to do for excelling humanity as a whole? Nothing at all – we are actually devolving ourselves the more we are enveloped with these mediums. What if we could utilize technology to harness the potential of many individuals, and place their combined power into an overall goal of furthering human progress? It is a lot to consider, but the end result would be incredible human synergy and an evolution of our own personal capabilities. It is a win-win for society and the individual. The unfortunate truth is that most people cannot think in a cooperative social mindset. A good amount of individuals are even repulsed by it. The past decade or so of technological development has focused on ‘what you can do’ instead of ‘what we can do.’ It is time to change that. Interactive virtual and augmented reality will supercharge human potential. The technology will allow us to operate on our own and cooperate with ease in a team. In the engineering and architecture industry, holograms will be displayed by simply wearing a device over your eyes. Everyone at a specific meeting could interact with a 3D design displayed in front of him or her. Another example is evolving our interaction with video games, from sitting down, to physically running around in an open area. These are only two mind-blowing examples that will change the way we view modern interaction. You might say: “Alright, we know that technology sucks the life out of you, but VR & AR will project a fake world on top of the real world. It will be worse for us than just being limited to the computer screen.” Interactive VR & AR will enhance real world tasks with applications. It is not disconnecting us, but boosting our potential instead. Things that normally would not be viable will be possible with interactive VR & AR. It will help us accomplish amazing things, effectively making us superhuman. Some of us can already imagine the infinite human potential when incorporating interactive VR & AR, but we need everyone to see it.  When the technology becomes popular, we will begin to see the positive shifts in the way we interact with one another. For more about uSens, Inc. and Impression Pi, please visit our social media sites: Twitter: @usensinc Facebook: uSens, Inc. – Impression Pi Google+: uSens, Inc. – Impression Pi On LinkedIn: uSens, Inc. Company Profile