Sunday, March 30, 2014

"Facebook, Oculus, And Businesses' Thirst For Virtual Reality"

One of the least talked about aspects is the use of VR in education. Because the mind has trouble distinguishing between virtual reality and the outside world you should be able to get people to believe almost anything you want them to accept, given enough repetition and an engaging story line. Whether the learner has deep understanding is pretty much immaterial.

Pearson, the edu/testing co. with the Financial Times and Economist attached will be moving in this direction.
Think deeply immersive multiplayer gaming as an example, then put on some virtual reality goggles.
Quite amazing.

From Forbes:
Facebook’s $2 billion acquisition of Oculus VR is just one sign of the growing business thirst for using virtual reality technology to change ways of working and improve customer experiences.

The acquisition – which was made this week and swiftly followed by polarized reactions from Oculus’ Kickstarter backers and the stock markets – brings Facebook a brand new way to enable people to communicate and share experiences. Experts note that it also demonstrates the growing opportunity for revenue gain through the technology in other industries.

The potential of virtual reality, an interactive digital 3D image or environment which can be experienced through special helmets or glasses, has clearly not been overlooked by Facebook.

Mark Zuckerberg, the social media network’s founder and chief executive, said this week that while mobile is the key platform of today, virtual reality will be one of the major platforms of tomorrow.

It can “change the way we work, play and communicate”, he explained, with potentially strong applications in communications, media, entertainment, and education, among other sectors. “Imagine enjoying a courtside seat at a game, studying in a classroom of students and teachers all over the world or consulting with a doctor face-to-face, just by putting on goggles in your home.”

Virtual reality has been around for decades as a gaming technology, and there has been mixed success with its adoption in business, notes Mark Little, principal analyst at Ovum. But he says that as the technology advances and businesses seek new opportunities, there is plenty of potential for it to benefit niche areas.

It is already being used in the medical world, for example, with Conquer Mobile and VRcade partnering to introduce immersive medical simulation. “High-tech manufacturers of spacecraft, aeroplanes, and cars have also used VR to simulate and test product design and assembly for many years”, he says – and in retail, U.K. fashion chain Topshop has experimented with VR, letting shoppers see the runway show of its latest clothing lines....MORE
And from Silicon India some names to be aware of:

Beyond Oculus VR, 5 Tech Cos Working On 3D Virtual Reality  
BANGALORE: “Virtual-reality could emerge as the next social and communications platform,” said Mark Zuckerberg, CEO Facebook. He also finds that the technology will go beyond its current boundaries of gaming to make great impact in the areas like architecture, automobiles, marketing and education. Finding huge future in 3D virtual-reality, Facebook is to acquire Oculus VR, the makers of virtual reality headset Oculus Rift for a whopping $2 billion. On the occasion where the virtual reality is making headlines around the world, read on to know 5 tech companies that are working on 3D virtual reality as compiled by Mashable.

#1 Sony’s ‘Project Morpheus’

Sony recently  unveiled its immersive virtual reality device for its Playstation 3. Codenamed  ‘Project Morpheus’ , the device creates presence by sound, sight, tracking and much more.

Sony has worked for more than 3 years on the virtual experience device. The device features a head mounted 1080p display, with a 90 degree viewing angle. Accelerometer and gyroscope sensors are built into it and has a Playstation camera which tracks head orientation and its movements, which means the virtual display turns along with the head in the real time. It also has 3D sound technology which has stereoscopic sounds to give real time effects when the head moves. It also works with the DUAL SHOCK 4 wireless controllers and the Playstation Move.

#2 Microsoft Kinect
The Kinect was the device which had both the worlds together, the virtual and the augmented reality . The virtual one was shown to us on the monitor or on a wall by the Kinect may not on par with Oculus Rift, but it is pretty awesome.

For the augmented reality, Microsoft researchers have created a concept which uses virtual simulator reactions based on the physical world. It has a sensor called the Kinect Fusion, which makes the projections of objects react differently. The device which connects the Kinect sensor and the projector called the Beamatron is connected to a rotary head on the ceiling and it scans and maps the whole place.

 It has realistic motion sensors and projects the image anywhere in the room. Even if it bumps into obstacles in the room the image is never distorted. It also  shows virtual objects interacting within the physical objects like never before and the projector can sense what is happening in the room and shows changes in seconds....MORE