Tango project

December 4, 2015

I had the chance to explore Google’s Tango with a team of developers. Great software and it is to hope that it can live up to its potential. The first consumer implementation will be in a package with Lenovo’s PHAB PRO later next year.
The essential aim is to give your mobile device full spatial awareness, or the ability to understand your environment and your relation to it, to get your smartphone to understand the world around it, enabling it to provide augmented reality experiences. A Project Tango device ‘sees’ the environment around it through a combination of three core functions.

First up is motion tracking, which allows the device to understand its position and orientation using a range of sensors (including accelerometer and gyroscope). Further, it involves depth perception, it is able to examine the shape of the world around you. Here it relies on Intel’s RealSense 3D camera. it helps the device to gain accurate gesture control and snappy 3D object rendering among a number of other features.

Additionally, Project Tango incorporates area learning, which means that it maps out and remembers the area around it.

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Benjamin Seide was a guest of our CGI – International Seminar series. Seide, an Associate Professor for Visual Effects and Animation at the Nanyang Technological University Singapore gave insights into the Art of VFX and his work on JJ Abraham’s Star Trek ­ Into The Darkness, Martin Scorsese’s Hugo (Academy Award Oscar 2012 for Best Visual Effects) and HBO’s Game of Thrones ­ Season 2 (Emmy Award for Best Visual Effects).

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Saschka Unseld  Creative Director, Oculus Story Studio

In virtual reality, you are at the center of every story. Saschka Unseld, head of Oculus Story Studio, wants to keep you there, experiencing virtual worlds directly, with characters who interact with you in real time. You read a book and you watch a film, but in virtual reality, you experience a story. It’s told through your senses, and Unseld and his team are now discovering what that means—how characters should react to you, how to make your experience interactive and responsive. It’s a learning curve that’s just beginning—built on a heritage of storytelling but breaking down the fourth wall in a new way. Unseld shared some of what his studio is learning at this year’s Future of Storytelling Conference.

The studio has already released two short form experiences, Lost and Henry. The latter was intended to be a comedy, but as Unseld explained, it was difficult to keep if from being a tragedy:

With Henry, for example what we did, we thought, “Okay, let’s try to tell a comedy — typical slapstick kind of animated character comedy.”

The final film turned out to be more sad than funny. If you would cut it as a film, exactly the same thing, you would have a lot of laughs. But in VR, you don’t. If someone falls on their face right next to you, it’s not funny.

In cinema. you have something like the fourth wall, which means there is this wall between the story and the world and the audience. In VR, there is no such thing as a fourth wall, because in VR you are right there with the characters in the world.

Magic Leap

October 26, 2015

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Magic Leap, Inc., a developer of novel human computing interfaces and software, announced in a newsletter the recent closing of its A round of venture capital. Magic Leap has now raised more than $50 million in its series seed and A rounds to develop its proprietary technology platform. Magic Leap will use the funds to advance the product development and commercialization of its proprietary human computing interface technology, known as “Cinematic RealityTM”.

At engagdet – Mariella Moon states that she can’t decipher what Magic Leap exactly is – but she argues that Magic Leap is:

a headset that superimposes digital images onto the real world. In that respect, it’s similar to Microsoft’s HoloLens, which is just slightly less mysterious (since we’ve actually seen it). But based on the things Abovitz said in his AMA at reddit, like “Our vision for AR and VR is a true replication of visual reality,” there’s a chance that it can also block the outside world entirely with virtual reality. (Update: Rachel Metz confirmed to engagdet on Twitter that it’s capable of doing full VR.)


This points out  that there’s a reason why the company is calling its technology “cinematic reality” rather than AR or VR: it works a bit differently than either of them. Standard AR and VR use stereoscopic 3D, a technique that tricks you into thinking an object is three-dimensional by showing each eye a different image and a different angle of the same object. The Oculus Rift and Samsung’s Gear VR headset are two well-known examples of this technique.

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In his AMA Abovitz revealed that he’s not a fan of stereoscopic 3D and believes it can cause “temporary and/or permanent neurologic deficits.” So, Magic Leap uses a Lilliputian projector to shine light and images into the user’s eyes instead, the startup told Metz from MIT’s Technology Review. Your brain apparently won’t be able to detect the difference between light from the projector and light from the real world: The result is life-like digital images that show reflections like real physical objects would.

Sources:

Magic Leap

reddit

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Understanding Perception

October 10, 2015

Lazy Chief, a Studio in London, translated the studies of neuroscientist Beau Lotto into motion design.

The 4-minute short film explains the way that evolution has shaped the way we perceive the world.

One important statement for visual designers, is that our brains don’t differentiate between imagined stimuli and real stimuli. Professor Lotto explains:

[W]hat’s remarkable is that when we imagine something, it activates the same part of our brain as if we’re actually seeing it. So imagined perception is the same as a real perception.

This has tremendous impact for thinking about the narratives that a culture tells itself.

HoloLens

July 22, 2015

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Microsoft HoloLens puts you at the center of a world that blends holograms with reality. With the ability to design and shape holograms, you’ll have a new medium to express your creativity, a more efficient way to teach and learn, and a more effective way to visualize your work and share ideas. Your digital content and creations will be more relevant when they come to life in the world around you.


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by Dieter Schmalstieg (Author), Tobias Hollerer (Author)

Augmented Reality (AR) is one of today’s most fascinating and future-oriented areas of computer science and technology. By overlaying computer-generated information on views of the real world, AR amplifies human perception and cognition in remarkable new ways. Do you like the virtual first-down line in football games on TV? That’s AR — and AR apps are rapidly coming to billions of smartphones, too. Working in AR requires knowledge from diverse disciplines, including computer vision, computer graphics, and human-computer interaction (HCI).

 

Augmented Reality: Principles and Practice integrates all this knowledge into one single-source reference, presenting the most significant AR work with scrupulous accuracy. Dieter Schmalstieg, a pioneer of both AR foundation and application, is drawing from his two decades of AR experience to clearly present the field. Together with mobile AR pioneer and research colleague Tobias Höllerer he addresses all aspects of the field, illuminating AR from both technical and HCI perspectives. The authors review AR’s technical foundations, including display and tracking technologies, show how AR emerges from the symbiosis of computer vision and computer graphics, introduce AR-specific visualization and 3D interaction techniques, and showcase applications from diverse industries. They conclude with an outlook on trends and emerging technologies, including practical pointers for beginning practitioners.