Displaying items by tag: augmented reality

SK Telecom successfully showcased its AR·VR platform - 'T Real VR Studio' at Google I/O 2017, held in Mountain View, California from May 17 to 19.'T Real VR Studio' is an integrated AR VR service platform utilized in multiple VR platforms including Daydream, Google's VR platform. SK Telecom has interlocked 'T real', its AR VR service platform, with Google Daydream to provide opportunities for all to easily create, share, and play the virtual content.

The highlighted functions of 'T Real VR Studio' include: VR content creation in a mobile environment, Voxel-based 3D model creation and editing, multi-user content creation and, VR virtual camera playback and recording.

SK Telecom explained that the most distinctive feature of 'T Real VR Studio' is the easy accessibility to VR content creation. 'T Real VR Studio' provides voxel-based modeling functions optimized for mobile VR controllers, building a simplified content creating environment that does not require professional knowledge. The created content is uploaded to the cloud and automatically converted to specialized 3D format (obj or Unity Scene format), and later can be modified and reloaded by professional tools such as 3D Max or Unity.

As VR content creation requires high level of technical expertise, it was originally limited to professional designers and developers, and was passively consumed by users. Now, with 'T Real VR Studio,' all users including amateurs can create and share VR content in an easy and flexible manner.

In addition, 'T Real VR Studio' works together with Tango, Google's AR platform/device. VR content created in 'T Real VR Studio' can be utilized as AR content when played in Tango. It can also be extended to other VR platforms such as Gear VR, Oculus, and HTC Vive.

SK Telecom sees great potential of VR technology and believes that inexhaustible VR content will potentially appear in various application areas such as gaming, education, construction, and marketing with the advent of 'T Real VR Studio'.

For example, the platform may help to create a block game for children which they can play at home, or an architectural simulation program to design a new city and forecast diverse situations by arranging various buildings and facilities. Furthermore, it can even design program that helps to make better design plan by reorganizing internal and external structure of the machine parts materialized in 3D.

"To popularize VR, it is essential to enrich the VR content used in educational and industrial fields in addition to consumption-based content for gaming and entertainment', says Alex Jinsung Choi, CTO of SK Telecom. "As 'T Real VR Studio' allows concurrent multi-user access to produce and modify VR content, we at SK Telecom are expecting an innovative change in the VR environment, leading to a 5G era that enables ultra-high speed and ultra-low latency transmission of massive data", he added.

SK Telecom has been involved in AR·VR technology development since 2010. The company released an AR platform 'T-AR' in 2014, and extended to 'T Real' as total AR/VR platform in 2016. Regarding T real, the company is providing Soft Development Kit (SDK) to developers at no charge. SK Telecom is also actively cooperating with partners such as Leap Motion and Inuitive in developing manipulation technology for virtual content, such as gesture recognition and tracking based on 3D depth sensor. As part of the AR·VR projects, SK Telecom has demonstrated 'T-AR for Project Tango' in collaboration with Tango, Google's AR platform, at Google I/O 2015.

Published in Gadget

Facebook announced on April 18 at its F8 2017 developer conference that it plans to make the smartphone camera the center of its augmented reality strategy. In his keynote speech at the McEnery Convention Center in Jan Jose, California, Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg said, “Think how many things we have in our lives that don’t need to be physical, they can be digital.”

Augmented reality is a layer of computer-generated imagery that overlays real world imagery. Zuckerberg, who was inspired by the hugely successful augmented reality game Pokemon Go, said he wants to take the technology mainstream by making it a more affordable alternative to a television set. Zuckerberg said, “We can put a digital TV on that wall, and instead of being a piece of hardware, it’s a $1 app, instead of a $500 piece of equipment.”

In addition to the popularity of the Pokemon Go augmented reality app, Snapchat is another app that has developed following by implementing the technology to generate entertaining visual effects on photos. These current applications are primitive, according to Zuckerberg, who believes the technology will take-off once developers create apps for Faceboopk’s in-app camera, as opposed to headsets or spectacles.

Google failed to grab people’s attention with its Google Glass optical head-mounted display designed in the shape of a pair of eyeglasses, and Microsoft’s $3,000 to $5,000 augmented reality headset HoloLens, is limited to developers and enterprises.

“In order to create better tools, first we need an open platform where any develop in the world can build for augmented reality without first having to build their own camera,” said Zuckerberg.

Published in Gadget

French telecom giant Orange Group and Huawei announced that they have signed a partnership to cooperate in 5G and cloudification. Teams of both companies will work together on these technologies and related use cases, in order to foster 5G innovation on three areas: infrastructure, operations, and ecosystem development.

As telecom partners would have to focus their preparations to 5G on three areas: infrastructure, operations, and ecosystem development, Huawei and Orange will cooperate on key 5G enabling technologies, such as: Massive MIMO (Multiple-Input Multiple-Output); cloudification of the mobile network; Network Slicing; 4G and 5G power and channel sharing within spectrum bands. Both partners will also focus on specific 5G use cases: Augmented Reality/Virtual Reality; Ultra large Coverage for Africa; Energy Efficiency; and Fixed Mobile Convergence.

“Preparing network evolution from 4G to 5G is key for Orange,” said Alain Maloberti, Senior Vice President Orange Labs Networks at Orange. “We are happy to collaborate with Huawei on technological challenges that will make augmented and virtual reality future usages possible, as well as increase our mobile network performances such as very low latency and even higher throughput when and where it matters for our customers in Europe and in Africa.”

Zou Zhilei, President of Carrier Business Group, Huawei, added, “We are happy to announce a new step in our long-term cooperation with Orange Group, in mobile technologies and especially with 5G around the corner. Until today this cooperation has led to the successful introduction of new solutions, including 4G and 4.5G; and now we jointly explore the potential of 5G networks in order to make 5G a reality for Orange in the coming years. Also, it perfectly showcases our commitment with our top customers to help them build a better connected world.”

Published in Telecom Operators

Pokémon Go gripped the world’s attention this year, becoming a cultural landmark for the augmented reality (AR) gaming market. The gaming app is a collaboration between The Pokémon Company and Niantic Labs. Unfortunately, despite Pokémon Go’s mega recent success, comprehensive data analysis by the group Axiom Capital Management suggests that its popularity is officially on the decline.

Axiom gathered data from several sources and released graphs depicted its research, resulting in what some reports say should have Nintendo “shaking in its boots”. The Japanese gaming giant was experiencing a major low-point at the beginning of this year, but the launch of Pokémon Go resulted in massive growth for the company at an extraordinarily fast pace. The new data analysis released by Axiom however, shows that Nintendo could see Pokémon Go decline just as fast as it became a hit.

A graph released by Axiom displays the number of active users of the Pokémon Go app across the world. As you can see in the diagram, the number of active users is steadily decreasing, after its peak in late July. Because of the mass popularity of the app when it was first released, just about everyone downloaded the app to try it out. Now Nintendo’s biggest challenge is finding new people to download the app.

Another graph provided by Axiom shows that daily engagement with the Pokémon Go app is also declining steadily. Augmented reality has always sat below virtual reality in terms of popularity, until Pokémon Go was launched this year and boosted AR to almost the same level of popularity as VR. But now that Pokémon Go’s popularity has declined, VR is once again proving its dominance over AR according to the Axiom graph.

Published in Apps

Pokémon Go, the recently released free-to-play, location-based augmented reality game developed by Niantic for iOS and Android devices, has taken the world by storm. A New Zealand man reportedly quit his job to catch Pokémon full-time. For all the tips and tricks that have amassed on the internet to aid Pokémon Go players in their quest to “catch ‘em all”, a new innovative product from Vixole has emerged to help improve your game through interactive sneakers.

Vixole have come up with the first customizable e-sneaker featuring a built-in display. These ‘e-sneakers’ called Matrix have LED lights installed throughout the shoe that light up and animate via custom designs and patterns. The sneakers can be synched with mobile AR (augmented reality) or VR (virtual reality) games, like Pokémon Go for example, where the sensors can detect if a Pokémon is nearby, vibrating to let the user know.

Not a lot is known about the product at this stage and the model is simply a prototype for now. A video released by the company is the only clue as to how these e-sneakers will function. Not available to the public yet, the Vixole matrix will go live on Kickstarter this September. According to Tech Insider, the model will come in three colour-ways at an early bird price of roughly $200.

Published in Gadget

Virtual Reality: The next big thing in content consumption

Written on Monday, 01 August 2016 08:03

The explosion of video consumption and the different ways that people now view content has caused internet traffic to grow exponentially. Think phones are a big part of our digital life. Virtual and augmented reality will be even bigger; a key player in the tech industry. It’s the next big thing in content consumption that will be used in all manner of activities, not just games.

“It’s going to be huge... It has the opportunity to eclipse the smartphone market,” said Clive Downie, chief marketing officer of Unity Technologies, whose software is used to build thousands of games on phones, personal computers and game consoles. “VR and AR will be the next in a series of technologies - electricity, radio, movies, TV, smartphones - that profoundly changes everything we do,” he said.

Virtual reality presents a computer-generated 3D world to people wearing special goggles that track head motion to offer an immersive artificial realm. Augmented reality is related, but adds a virtual layer atop a view of the real world. Both require you to buy high powered, expensive computing equipment and burden your head with awkward gear, but computing giants like Google, Facebook, Samsung and Microsoft are scrambling to improve the technology so they’ll be at the center of the next stage of digital living.

What makes the development of virtual reality worthwhile?  The potential entertainment value is clear. Immersive films and video games are good examples. The entertainment industry is, after all, a multi-billion dollar one and consumers are always keen for novelty. VR has many more applications which include architecture, sports, medicine, art and entertainment.

Moreover, virtual reality can lead to new and exciting discoveries in these areas with the capacity to impact our day-to-day lives. Wherever it’s too dangerous, expensive or impractical to do something in reality, virtual reality is the answer. From trainee fighter pilots to medical applications as trainee surgeons, virtual reality allows us to take virtual risks in order to gain real world experience. As the cost of virtual reality goes down and becomes more mainstream, you can expect more serious uses, such as education or productivity applications to emerge. Virtual and augmented reality could change the way we interface with our digital technologies, continuing the trend of humanizing technology.

When it first started, initial attempts at VR failed to take off, with the Virtual Boy headset by Nintendo, for example, discontinued after one year following an influx of customer complaints. However, where Virtual Boy failed, many more are now gaining momentum. In fact, a report by CCS Insight predicts that augmented and VR hardware will become a $4 billion market by 2018, increasing from 2.2 million shipments to 20 million in the next three years.

Understandably, VR is a concept that many people are extremely excited about, and when VR is done right, it can create incredible results. One of the most exciting areas that VR presents for content creators is shared experiences such as the Eve: Valkyrie game due to ship with Oculus Rift. Then there’s Red Bull and its plans to launch a full-time linear Red Bull TV channel, which will bring virtual reality elements to its sports, music and entertainment content. Imagine putting on a headset, which transforms your surroundings and puts you in the midst of your favorite band performing to a crowd on their headline tour, live.

While all of this sounds exciting, the additional strain that VR will put on networks is a major concern. To be able to support data-powered innovations such as VR, global connectivity providers have invested heavily in capacity, engineering a future-proofed backbone that shouldn’t buckle under the extra pressure. The biggest challenge lies in last-mile networks which need to be able to carry VR content to homes and provide a seamless, genuinely immersive experience for consumers.

The issue is the huge increase in bandwidth demand generated by VR content: VR requires about five times as much bandwidth as HDTV, as well as very low latency to support an immersive experience. While large service providers offer the backbone capabilities, cloud footprint, advanced traffic management and content delivery networks at the core, many of today’s access technologies at home do not support such requirements, preventing high quality live streaming of VR content from the cloud. Instead, the user will need to buffer or store the content locally, which limits commercial opportunities with VR, starting with online gaming.

Intelligent traffic management solutions, compression algorithms and investments in very low latency, high throughput networks will help last-mile networks to cope with the demands of VR content. Only such investments will prevent a stop-start and delayed connection that could dampen the experience, or potentially destroy it.

In the future, as VR begins to reach the masses, the next natural development will be for these technologies to go mobile. Today’s 4G connections won’t be able to handle VR, so fiber networks will play a central role as the backhaul for delivering the seamless, high quality connectivity that these immersive experiences will demand.

Beyond the hype of the latest and greatest VR gadgets, there needs to be a deeper understanding of the pressure that this rich traffic will place on networks, to ensure that networks are smart enough and robust enough to provide the brilliant user experience that consumers expect.

According to Downie, VR and AR will be for gaming first, but eventually will spread far beyond that, touching upon training, education, virtual travel, and just hanging out with our fellow humans. It’ll add another very significant twist to social media and how people interact with each other, including virtual meetings and collaboration at work.

VR’s success will be largely dependent on last-mile networks which will enable it to flourish – taking entertainment to a new level and opening up new revenue streams for content providers through cloud-based distribution on-demand. Investments in low latency, high throughput and intelligent networks could mean that a technology that was dreamt up around 60 years ago will finally become a reality for millions.

Published in Reports