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@Eyefluence is Developing Intutive Eye Tracking Technology for #VR and #AR Interfaces

When VR headsets became something tangible, something that would fool our eyes into believing we where in a different reality, the question inevitably arised, “How would we interact with these digital worlds via virtual reality?” To compliment the immersive aspect of VR headsets, there needed to immersive control input. Vive and Rift already comes with its dual motion controllers, and Neuro Digital Technologies already have an working vibrotactile haptic device, which let’s you “feel” digital environments. But what about using your eyes to input commands? This is exactly what Eyefluence has been working on.

Eyefluence was founded in year 2013 by Jim Marggraff and David Stiehr and is powered by over 25+ people. As stated by them, “At Eyefluence, we are engineering the first and only true eye-interaction technology designed to revolutionize what’s possible in AR, VR, and MR environments.” They are designing an input interface which turns intent instantaneously to action via your eyes. Their interface is designed from the beginning to be device agnostic, meaning Rift, Vive, PSVR, StarVR and OSVR wil be able to implement Eyefluence tech into their headsets.

Augmented reality headsets are already utilized by employees in major industries. What eyefluence wants to do is make workflow a lot more intuitive and hands-free. For instance, in the medical industry, surgeons can still operate on patients, while still being able to access viable information hands-free, and construction workers can access databases, blueprints and compliance files, without searching through loads of paper or carrying around a tablet, which again frees up their hands. Eyefluene tech also provides Continuous Iris ID to take place of passwords and logins, providing an more secure and intuitive connection for employees.

Virtual reality promises to transport people into worlds undiscovered and discover new places that already exist. It will revolutionize storytelling, gaming, social activities and media in general. For those who suffer nauseous experiences in VR, Eyefluence tech will minimize head movements and automatically calibrate pupils and lens distortion. In immersive social applications, your eye movements and gaze can effectively be seen by others, adding another level of “presence.”

With much breakthroughs in eye-centric input technology, Eyefluence is being acquired by Google. This partnership will definitely fast-track their developments, which will potentially improve efficiency of VR content and applications being produced. You can keep up with Eyefluence by visiting their blog or connecting via Twitter @Eyefluence.

Thanks for reading!

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@IGreet_Co Cards Specializes in Animated Augmented Cards for all Seasons and Occassions

igreet-logo

Many leading developers and enthusiast in the mixed reality arena are predicting Augmented Reality(AR) to be the dominating immersive interface sometime in the future. One possible reason for this belief is simple, it will allow digitally interacting with the natural world a lot more seamless.

Imagine having AR glasses that would take place of having to fidget with your phone, which frees up your hands for other things while checking through your message with the swiping of your eyes or sound of your voice. Or how about bringing inanimate objects, such as cards to life.

This is exactly what IGreet Cards is providing. IGreet is an Bulgarian company that specializes in animating cards through augmented reality. By downloading their app and putting the card in screen’s view, you can view unique animations from various cards. Cards can be ordered through their app, which then you can pick up at your nearest Walgreens or through online the store, Zazzle.

They offer a range of interactive cards, including Love cards, Thank You cards, Congratulation cards, Christmas cards, Birthday cards, Baby cards, etc. IGreet also host various contests for design artists to join, such as the Easter & Flower’s Day Contest(April 2016) and Love Design Contest (February 2016). Their latest contest involved the Summer season, in which people can submit photos or videos of their best Summer experience, in order to win a AR card tailored for the winner.

If you want to add a little spark to the cards you give to your friends and family, definitely check out IGreet’s selection of cards. You can also connect with IGreet via Twitter @IGreet_co.

Thanks for reading! Let me know your thoughts on augmented greeting cards with a comment below:)

Zappar Provides a Streamlined Approach for Increasing Brand Engagement Through Augmented Reality

Zappar is a company based out of London, UK, which provides a streamlined solution for creating augmented reality applications. Founded in 2011, they have partnered up with leading brands, including MassFar Augmented Reality, Jumpr, Leovation and Utovertiser. As Zappar likes to put it, “Some people talk about ‘augmented reality’ but we prefer ‘zaps’ and ‘zapping’.”

The technology that powers Zappar was first created in laboratories within the University of Cambridge in England. The tech team has been improving on the coding and interface for over forty years and view themselves as “an entertainment laboratory with a collective skillset that makes for a unique type of creative tech company.”

In 2013, they introduced the Zapcode, which is a lightning bolt with barcode-like etchings encircling it. This code allows for content hidden with products, media or anything to unveil hidden content. One of the benefits for utilizing augmented reality for products is that if someone buys an do-it-yourself outdoor playset, the Zapcode will allow the amateur assembler to pull up a how-to video through the Zappar app.

Content can be created with Zapcode Creator. It utilizes a drag-and-drop approach, letting the coding behind-the-scenes do all the augmented reality transmutation process. They also provide you full control over customization through their Pro Editor. If you wanted to, you could embed the Zapcode into your own app or a tracking images, and even create widgets that pop out of the code.

Brands that have utilized Zappar’s streamlined AR approach include Rogue Magazine, Skylanders and One Direction. Rogue utilized Zappar to publicize their acquirement of Pilipino Magazine, Magnum, with the brand ambassador being zapped off the page with calls to action. Skylanders employed Zappar to bring their SWAP Force Master Eon’s Official Guide book to life. During One Directions “live” 7-hour 1D Day  event, Zapcodes popped up on the screen, giving viewers access to bonus content.

When it comes to inventing new ways for implementing augmented reality, Zappar believe in keeping people at the forefront of how AR tech will be adopted. After all, it is technology that aids people and not the other way around. You can learn more about Zappar and try their streamlined augmented reality creator free for 30 days, on their website.

Ink Hunter: Helping You Decide the Right Tattoo Through Augmented Reality

For most of us, getting our first tattoo is a big deal. For those who already have a tattoo, trying to envision if your next tattoo will compliment the rest on your body can be a brain exercise. Couldn’t there be an app that allows you to see what a inked design would look like on your skin? Thankfully there is an augmented reality app you can download, that can overlay a holographic tattoo on your skin, before you make your decision.

Ink Hunter is ran by a team of four which includes Oleksandra Rohachova as CEO, Pavlo Razumovskyi as CTO, Iryna Petrunko as UX/UI Developer and Olesya Ponomarenko as iOS Developer. Through their collaboration, they were able to create an app that can overlay a virtual version of the tattoo you’d want to get.

The app and it’s augmented reality capability is pretty simple to use. To track the area you would like to apply the tattoo, you simply draw two parallel lines with a perpendicular line underneath the two. In other words, a ‘Square Smile.’ After you’ve drawn out the tracking image, you can choose from gallery of designs or implement your own custom made design.

Each design in their virtual gallery is connected to a reputable tattoo artist that can deliver the desired results. Ink Hunter wants to monetize their app with referral fees. Meaning, that each client the app provides to an artist, the studio may provide a 5-10 percent cut to Ink Hunter. But for now, the app is free to download with in-app purchases.

As stated by Jennifer Passas from PSFK.com, “InkHunter could easily become the best second opinion you rely on before you ink and also a great resource to connect you with the best artist for your design.”

With the implementation of augmented reality, it shouldn’t be such a big deal when deciding what your future tattoo would look like on your skin. Ink Hunter is available for download in the Apple Store, Windows Store and Google Play. You can learn more about the app and it’s ambitious team by visiting their website.

The Augmented Reality for Enterprise Alliance: Comprehensive Guide to AR Solutions for Industrial Use

The Augmented Reality for Enterprise Alliance(AREA) is a dedicated non-profit organization providing insight and benefits of augmented reality applications for businesses and industries. The AREA is ran by it’s members, which includes DAQRI, Electric Power Institute, Johnson & Johnson, Huawei, Atheer Labs, Bosch, The Boeing Company and continues to grow. If you own a business and interested the kind of solutions augmented reality has to offer you, you can register to become a member.

Some of the use-cases they demonstrate augmented reality to be effective in is Product Design, Assembly, Training, Marketing & Sales, and Field Service. For instance, the AREA explains AR allows low-cost process of conceptualizing and prototyping product designs without relying on 2D schematics or wasted material costs.

Augmented Reality will provide a more streamlined approach to training individuals in real-world industrial environments, with instant access to modules or policies and reducing human-error. Marketing & Sales has already seen a increase on ROI, utilizing augmented reality, for the sheer fact that customers are able to virtually try-on or instantly learn more about products of interests. The AREA goes into more detail about the different interfaces and solutions for many use-cases.

They also have scheduled events they attend, to showcase and explain the value of immersive interfaces and solutions for major industries. Their latest one, AR VR Innovate, was held on April 28th, 2016 at Dublin, Ireland. This was “a one-day conference and exposition focusing on the business aspects of Augmented and Virtual Reality.” They covered the Industrial/engineering, Marketing Communications, Tourism/events, Construction/real-estate and Gaming Markets. Director of marketing at DAQRI, Regan Wynne, was a speaker at the conference. You can see the rest of their scheduled events on their AR Community Events page.

They also provide a monthly newsletter. This ranges from topics such as, Industrial Internet of Things, Augmented Reality for Enterprise Alliance Webinars and the direction of AR capabilities. Past issues can be viewed on their Newsletter Archives, but you can sign up to be a member to view their future issues.

The Augmented Reality for Enterprise Alliance is the first of it’s kind to have a extensive database, dedicated to providing industries a go-to reference area for AR and VR solutions. Since it is member-oriented, you’ll be getting feedback, insight and successful solutions from companies rooted in marketing/sales, manufacturing, product design and so forth. If you haven’t yet, go ahead and check out The AREA. Now I just need to find a website dedicated to catalogging companies bringing the augmented and virtual reality industries to life.

Image Metrics: Pioneer in Facial Recognition Technology Utilized in Virtual and Augmented Reality Applications

Image Metrics is a pioneering augmented reality company, founded in January 2000 by a team of computer scientists in Research & Development. With over 60 years in combined experience and 6 patents, they specialize in “breakthrough technologies based on computer vision, facial analysis and facial recognition.” Their proprietary software is able to, in real-time, recognize human facial expressions and emotions “with nothing more than a camera on a laptop, tablet or smartphone.”

Image Metrics team consists of Ron Ryder (Chief Executive Officer), Dr. Kevin Walker (Chief Technical Officer), Nick Ramsay (Vice President of Production), Dr. Mike Rogers (Vice President of Research). The board consists of Dave Rolston (Chairman), Pete Norris (Director) and Ranjeet Bhatia (Director). Through their dedicated efforts and collaboration with one another, they were able to provide sophisticated software to both elite expert animators and interested companies.

Image metrics has a long history, stretching back at the beginning of the Twentieth-first century. One of their early adopters was Sony Computer Entertainment of America. They utilized Image Metrics technology in the game “The Getaway,” in 2002. Since then, over 40 AAA titles, such as Red Dead Redemption, Halo: Reach and GTA IV have took advantage of Image Metrics facial recognition technology. They’ve also developed FaceWare to continue assisting animators in developing photo-realistic human features for production.

Optasia Medical was created from Image Metrics core computer vision technology, To aid physicians in the medical industry. “Optasia Medical aids physicians in the diagnosis and monitoring of patients with osteoporosis, rheumatoid arthritis and osteoarthritis.” For people who like wearing face-paint, Image Metrics collaborated with companies (such as Nissan)  to create augmented reality face-paint masks. If you are a sports fanatic, you can use your phones camera to overlay digital face-paint of your favorite sports team on your face to share on your Twitter or Facebook.

They continue to offer and enhance their proprietary AR tech to assist developers in creating photo-realistic animations through facial recognition. You can partner up with them and check out what they are all about on their website. With the unparalleled software Image Metrics has to offer, it is no doubt they are a pioneer in the emerging virtual and augmented reality industry.

Quiver Vision: Immersive Educational Coloring Book App

Being creative, is being human. Many things in society, if not all, is conceived as an creative thought. This is why it is crucial in a child’s life to explore their creative thoughts and see them come to life. Augmented reality and Virtual reality enhance the creative processes in young mind. Through creating, the young mind learns and becomes immersed in educating themselves about the world around them. One company is doing a great job in binding AR applications with the learning and creative process.

QuiverVision, formerly known as colAR, has been developing apps for creative and educational purposes for the past few years. They do this by bringing coloring books to life. Similar to Crayola’s immersive coloring books, characters on the page come to life. Children and adults alike, can add their own flavor of colors to a character and watch it become animated in 4D. One unique thing that Quiver does, is letting the user interact with their creations through games or educational exercises through the Quiver app.

One example from their portfolio, is “Murphy the Sheep.” Once you color in the page, the quiver app utilizes augmented reality to bring the character of the page. You can then play a little game of soccer, helping Murphy score goals. Another page from their portfolio, is “Hectors Dolphin.” What’s unique about this one is that once the dolphins come to life, they swim around in the air with a voice educating the user about the different attributes and history of the dolphin. Besides being a great way to educate and distract kids at home, educators can also utilize Quiver for their lesson plans.

They have a dedicated section on their website that provides resources for educators. Instead on in-app purchases, “Quiver Education has a one time purchase price for all content, (and) is compatible with the volume purchasing program and includes educational discounts for schools!” Imagine how much fun children will have, when learning about why volcanoes erupt or what the platonic solids consist of. This sort of immersive education, gets children involved in the learning process and also have fun while doing so. It also helps eliminate the mundane and sometimes painful atmosphere of a classroom. This is one great benefit augmented and virtual reality has to offer. Now schools, inexpensively can liven up and make learning more intuitive and a process to look forward to.

If you are a educator, parent or guardian, this is one app that you should look into. One of the greatest sights in the world, is to see a child exhilarated about learning about the world around them. Quiver definitely helps with this process. Go ahead and visit their website to check out their extensive augmented reality coloring books.

Definitely look out for more educational immersive apps that provides children and adults alike more intuitive way to explore their creative process while learning about something fascinating.

Alzheimer’s Australia Vic: The Dementia Friendly App

Dementia describes “different symptoms, including memory loss, word-finding difficulties, impaired judgment and problems with day-to-day activities, which are caused by injury or loss of brain cells (neurons).” Alzheimer and autism is a form of dementia. Family members and friends are greatly affected by seeing their loved-ones suffering from dementia. People experiencing this symptom, usually find themselves outside of reality and have a hard time coping with changing environments and holding interactions with other people. These sufferers have to rely on family members or caregivers to navigate through daily activities. Luckily there are companies and non-profits that provide informative information and solutions regarding patients suffering from dementia.

Alzheimer’s Australia Vic was founded in 1983, with Maree McCabe as Chief Executive Officer. “It was created in response to public concern about the lack of information, resources and appropriate residential care for people with dementia.” Before its current name, it was formerly known as Victorian Alzheimer’s Syndrome Association to Alzheimer’s Disease and Related Disorders Society of Victoria Inc., to Alzheimer’s Association Victoria and finally resting with the name Alzheimer’s Australia Vic. Even through it’s name changes, the company still remains dedicated to helping people affected by dementia.

Every year 20,000 people acquire services from Alzheimer’s Australia Vic resource workers, educators and counsellors. “Education, support, information, advocacy and awareness are the five main areas through which we help make the lives of people with dementia a little bit easier.” They provide a quarterly newsletter, caregiver support groups, advice via telephone and capital fundraising to establish resource centers for families and caregivers. With over 32 years in providing educational resources and solutions to people affected by dementia, Alzheimer’s Australia Vic a reliable and credible company for getting the answers you need regarding symptoms of mentally crippling diseases.

They have also delved into mixed reality applications with their app “The Dementia-Friendly Home,” which implements augmented reality to recommend practical changes. “This app aims to enable people living with dementia to maintain their independence and continue living at home,” CEO Maree McCabe states. “It  may also help build on their self-esteem, which can have a profound impact on the quality of life for a person living with dementia, as well as families and caregivers.”

The app utilizes augmented reality, by placing suggestions in a given area to optimize the environment for the affected person. This could be range from a simple digital note suggesting to put a physical label on a door; to “installing motion sensors that turn lights on and off when people walk through the house.” It is essentially an app that compiles all the data, research and knowledge gathered by Alzheimer’s Australia Vic’s team into a nifty app that utilizes augmented reality to display real-time information and solutions in the physical environment for optimizing living for dementia affected patients. The app can be purchased for $2.99 in the Apple Store or Google Play.

JBKnowledge: Augmented Reality Building Information Models IT Solution

JBKnowledge is a specialized BIM (Building Information Models) software company that “develop information technology solutions for construction and insurance companies around the world.” The company was brought to existence in 2001, while the co-founders where finishing up their University degrees.

James Benham (Chief Executive Officer & Co-Founder), has developed IT solutions since the age of 11 years. He also received his Bachelor of Business Administration in Accounting in 2001 and Masters of Science in Management Information Systems in 2002 from Texas A&M University. Jim Benham (Executive Vice President, Co-founder & James Benham father), has directed five companies in the past 32 years. His immense experience revolves around “manufacturing and service companies,… extensive financial planning and management.” Sebastian Cost (Chief Operating Officer & Co-founder), gained his Bachelor of Science in Computer Science in 2001 from Nicholls State University. He directs JBKnowledge team of designers and developers for products and services.

Under their command, Jennifer Heninger (Administrative Director), Diego Heinrich (Product Division Director), German Maurino (Services Division Director), Pablo Landriel (Creative Director), Liz Welsh (Marketing Director), Mark Fly (Support Director), Adam Denno (Strategy Director) and Mike Bentley (Network Services Director) help bring JBKnowledge products to life.

So what are the IT solution JBKnowledge provide for the construction, manufacturing and insurance industry? SmartBidNet provides a streamlined “pre-construction process from prequalification to bid invitation.” General contractors are able to work with subcontractors, through a centralized online portal, on big details and project documents. SmartCompliance utilizes Optical Character Recognition (OCR) technology “to scan, analyze, store, and search certificate documents and data for complete risk management.” This provides authorized users a streamlined approach for managing vendor certificates of insurance. SmartInsight, their latest IT solution, is a “web-based dashboard (that) helps construction businesses securely maintain and share operational, risk management and project qualification data to find more projects that meet their skill set.”

The JBKnowledge software that I want to bring up to the forefront and that also stabilizes them in the future of immersive interfaces is SmartReality. SmartReality is an mixed reality “mobile app for construction project visualization.” It is considered the ultimate BIM interface. Through a immersive interface or tablet, the application transforms 2D representations of construction details and plans into a full-scale 3D model. This makes it convenient for users to share and collaborate with a complete 4D visual of the project.

Contract Construction CEO, Greg Hughes, recognizes SmartReality as a way “to capture the attention of audiences who historically were unable to comprehend two-dimensional plans.” Standish Design classifies SmartReality “as a paradigm shift in the Architectural, Construction, and Project Management Profession which meets the ultimate BIM interface.” JBKnowlegdge also partnered with Mortenson Construction, HOAR Construction and Turis Systems to flesh out and sharpen their augmented reality information technology BIM software before its scheduled release, sometime in 2016.

SmartReality showcases one advantages way that augmented reality can benefit businesses. It makes collaboration and sharing of ideas, much more intuitive. As well as provides a solution for people who have a hard time mentally visualizing 2D images in 3D. This is extremely important for engineering and architectural designs. You can learn more about JBKnowledge SmartReality Solution on their website.

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