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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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Canadian Film Centre and NFB VR Lab will Host #VR #Workshop “Open Immersion: A VR Creative Doc Lab”

What would books be, without the stories and knowledge written upon them? What would television be, without the films and documentaries broadcast to them? What would the internet be, without social media and plethora of digital content that entices us to stay online?

Point is, media platforms are nothing without content, which is why creating engaging, comfortable, entertaining and useful experiences in virtual reality will be crucial to fueling and stabilizing the immersive marketplace.

In order to leverage VR’s potential, content-creators must be able to understand how to effectively create immersive experiences. Which brings me to a nine-day creative creative workshop, titled “Open Immersion: A VR Creative Doc Lab.”

Open Immersion is a collaborative event with hosting partners Canadian Film Centre, CFC Media Lab, Just Films Ford Foundation and NFB. Each company has made a name for themselves in the entertainment industry, with CFC Media Lab being an internationally acclaimed digital media think tank and the Ford Foundation funding stories focused around social justice.

To re-enforce the immersive workshops, Creative Doc Lab has been equipped with respected artists from both Canada and America, who include Scott Benesiinaabandan(Anishinabe Intermedia), Elle-Máijá Tailfeathers(Kainai First Nation), Kevin Lee Burton(originally God’s Lake Narrows First Nation), Kai Lumumba Barrow(New Orleans visual artist), Michaela Pilar Brown(multidisciplinary artist) and RaMell Ross(Research Affiliate MIT Media Lab).

The event will take place in Toronto, Canada, with the first two days starting at the Canadian Film Centre and the next 7 days downtown at NFB’s VR Lab. First two days will be orientation and knowledge breakdown of virtual reality, then the rest of the time participants be downtown to enjoy various workshops from professionals in the field of art, academics and production.

Undoubtedly, for those who are attending, will come out with a deep understanding of how to leverage VR to create comfortable, yet creative experiences that will be necessary to bring the marketplace to the next-level. It’s been barely a year since Oculus Rift and HTC Vive has been made available for the public and there are already plenty of experiences to check out, so we can only imagine what the VR marketplace will become a year from now. Open Immersion: A VR Creative Doc Lab will start on October 11 and end on October 19. To learn more, you can visit cfccreates.com.

Vrse.Works: Pioneer in Immersive Storytelling

As humans, we are educated through storytelling. When we recollect events of our past, we structure them as stories. Even retelling events is one of the ways we create great stories to be carried out through memory and history. But storytelling is not limited to one media. Its just not a verbal exercise. It is not just a visual exercise. It involves all of our senses to capture the essence and the lessons the story has to offer. Stories are meant to teach, as well as entertain us. It is something, we humans love to be a part of. And there is one company, that is bringing a different approach to how we experience the art of storytelling.

Vrse.Works, as eloquently explained by them, “is a specialized and focused production studio that supports the world’s leading creative innovators in Virtual Reality spherical filmmaking.” They implement their own modified instruments and proprietary tech, to design and bring to life immersive stories to the virtual reality platform. Vrse.works has a immense portfolio or VR productions, and when you add in the teams past experiences in storytelling (ranging from music production, to theatre production), the portfolio grows even larger.

They have collectively earned “numerous Emmys, Cannes Lions, Grand Prixes, Palm d’Ors, AICP, D&AD, One Show, ADC, Tony, Webby Awards and a Grammy.”
The production team consists of Chris Milk (Partner/Creative Director/ Creator), Patrick Milling Smith (Partner/ President), Tamsin Glasson (Executive Producer), Samantha Storr(Executive Producer), Joseph Chen( Executive Technical Producer), and Brian Carmody (Partner).

The projects in their portfolio include “A History of Cuban Dance” (storytelling of evolution of Cuban dance styles), “Revolt” (Music video collaboration with Muse), “The Displaced” (Storytelling of refugee children), “Catatonic” (Storytelling journey through an insane asylum) and “My Mother’s Wing” (Storytelling of a mother coping with the death of her two children).

The way they go about creating these amazing stories is impressive. First they shoot the film set using 360 degree cameras made with GoPros. After the initial shoot, they quickly piece the shots together and do a offline edit, adding in music, VFX, sounds and titles. This film then goes through a approval process. Once they have the greenlight, they bring in the binaural sound(which can be thought of as 3D sound). Afterwards they fine stitch and clean up the whole film, making sure it meets quality virtual reality standards for storytelling. When they are satisfied with the mood, intent, focus, feel, and overall smoothness of the film/story, they compress and upload it to their VR app, dubbed Vrse.

This immense editing process to creating compelling stories utilizing virtual reality, is what makes them a true pioneer in immersive storytelling. Bringing a whole new experience to how we understand and are educated about culture and art throughout the world.

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