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Emerging Technologies Achievable Through The Cloud: 4 Practical Examples



Steve Sangapu

Cloud computing is the foundation beneath some of the fastest growing industries in the world, So it’s not difficult to get lost in all the buzzwords that are thrown around cloud computing and digress from actual technological advances and benefits that are achievable with smart and efficient use of the cloud.

So what’s behind the hype? Some extremely powerful technologies and workflows. And that’s exactly what we’re going to take a look at in this article — the top 4 practical examples of technologies achievable through the cloud in 2020.

Contrary to popular belief, information alone won’t give companies a competitive advantage — executives also need to be able to base their decisions on data before the opportunities pass. However, most companies generate terabytes of data every week but are unable to capitalize on any of the data. Big data analytics is a solution to this problem.

Thanks to the advanced evolution of the cloud, companies are able to gather and analyze data at a nearly instantaneous rate. Leveraging big data analytics empowers organizations to run more efficiently in terms of cost and decision making. Companies can make data-driven decisions brought to them by data analysis tools that are provided through the cloud.

BigQuery from Google Cloud has many powerful features that allow users to view their data in real-time, providing continual up-to-date information to help guide business decisions. Big Query is a serverless NoOps (no operations) platform that separates compute and storage, meaning that better autoscaling is offered as they can be independently scaled as required. BigQuery’s Machine Learning and Business Intelligence Engine analysis of various data models are quite powerful. It integrates seamlessly with the Google Cloud AI platform and other tools like Data Studio.

Cloud service providers like Google Cloud Platform (GCP) use shared computing to process large datasets extremely quickly. Also known as cluster computing, Google uses hundreds of computers interconnected together for quick data analysis and completing complex computing tasks. Businesses like yours can also make use of similar services like cloud service providers to improve insights and decision-making.

(Sources: SAS, Google Cloud, Hostingtribunal)

1. How VR could bring transhumanism to the masses

2. How Augmented Reality (AR) is Reshaping the Food Service Industry

3. ExpiCulture — Developing an Original World-Traveling VR Experience

4. Enterprise AR: 7 real-world use cases for 2021

Automating mundane and repetitive tasks is and should be the top priority for businesses in this age. Even automating the simplest tasks, most business environments can free up to 30% time for employees — allowing them to focus on more important matters.

Cloud service providers have made it extremely easy for businesses of all sizes to dabble with business process automation. For instance, at the most fundamental level, businesses can automate how they receive and sort documents through document management, to automating entire workflows including delivery pipelines and testing updates in a controlled cloud environment. Tools such as Google’s Document Understanding AI can actually help you ensure your data is accurate and compliant. This is especially helpful in highly regulated industries where accuracy and precision are crucial to operations. It is also quick and easy to request more compute if needed for deep learning and complex ML training by requesting GPUs or using a managed service like Kubeflow.

Another emerging technology that is now accessible to small to medium enterprises is machine learning. Put simply, machine learning refers to training computer algorithms to interpret and interact with data without human interference. With increasing accuracy, MI (a subset of AI) is becoming incredibly valuable to businesses as it has virtually unlimited use cases.

You can read more about how cloud solutions using AI and ML can help save time, cut costs, and improve rates of human error.

(Sources: Google Cloud, Interactions)

Although lesser-known among legacy businesses, the Internet of Things is one of the fastest-growing industries in the world and was valued at $190 billion in 2018. Alexa and Google Home are two of the most popular examples of IoT devices of which you’re most likely very familiar. Apart from that, smart TVs, smart refrigerators, smart LEDs, security systems, thermostats, and even cars (think Tesla) that operate over WiFi are all a part of the internet of things.

Think of IoT devices as part of a much larger network all of which have a backbone in the cloud. Aside from pure convenience, IoT can be seen making significant breakthroughs in other spaces such as health tech. Fitbit, for example, has partnered with Google to transform how their product integrates between fitness and the cloud. The device uses Google’s Cloud Healthcare API. The API is a service that “helps facilitate the exchange of data among healthcare applications and services that run on Google’s Cloud.” Even more interesting is that the API also integrates analytics tools like BigQuery, AI tools like AI Platform, and data processing tools like Dataflow.

Similar tools and APIs are available for businesses in different industries so they too can help connect their device to an online network and introduce security patches, fix bugs, add features, and more.

(Sources: internetofbusiness, Google Healthcare API)

Though it has become significantly more popular in the last few years, augmented and virtual reality are not new technologies. Leftronic reports that the number of augmented reality users will reach 3.5 billion by 2023. Furthermore, they estimate that the AR and VR device market will hit $198 billion by 2025. In fact, large institutions like Boeing and NASA have been developing their own AR and VR technologies for training purposes for quite some time now. However, thanks to cloud proliferation, technologies like virtual reality are finally becoming accessible and more importantly, affordable for the average business to experiment with.

So how does it work?

When applications superimpose a CG image into the real world, they create an augmented reality experienced. Augmented reality places computer-generated objects in the human world, whereas virtual reality places you into a computer-generated world. Businesses can use this technology in a number of ways including giving consumers a virtual reality tour of their product or use it for training in a safe environment.

It’s also quite easy to get started with. Google’s Cloud Anchor allows developers to create experiences within their app for users to add virtual objects into an augmented reality environment. Thanks to Google’s ARCore Cloud Anchor service, experiences are allowed to be hosted and shared between users. Virtual Reality allows you to be transported to distant places and immerse yourself in foreign environments. Devices such as the Oculus Rift or Quest and the HTC Vive provide outstanding experiences that can run independently of a computer. When used at its capacity, Virtual Reality can be transformative for gaming, education, and immersive experiences.

These emerging technologies unlock a completely new frontier that businesses can compete in without exorbitant investments or technical knowledge. With all the right tools already available at their disposal, most businesses only need a helping hand to get started. If your organization is considering using the cloud to leverage an emerging technology but are unsure about the intricacies, reach out to D3V and set up a free strategic consultation with our certified cloud experts. Our team can help determine the best set of options for your company based on your business needs and aspirations.

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Peek Into Song in the Smoke’s Creation With This Behind the Scenes Documentary



One of the surprises revealed during March’s PlayStation Spotlight was 17-BIT’s Song in the Smoke, a mystical survival adventure coming to PlayStation VR and Oculus headsets. For the Electronic Entertainment Expo (E3) 2021 this week the studio has released a behind the scenes documentary called The Call of the Wild – this is the unabridged version – giving some backstory to the teams’ first virtual reality (VR) project.

Song in the Smoke

Created by Japanese gaming documentarian studio Archipel, the video features 17-BIT founder and creative lead Jake Kazdal as he talks about the challenges of making the VR experience over the past three years. Having previously created Skulls of the Shogun and GALAK-Z with a tight-knit team who usually all work in the same room, Kazdal discusses the challenge everyone is all too aware of, remote working, and how that affected production.

But you also get to see more of Song in the Smoke, it’s beautiful environments as well as learning about some of the gameplay elements like the wild animals. The team wanted to created creatures that lived and behaved like real wild animals, so they’ll be hungry, afraid and tired, likely to attack or run away.

Song in the Smoke is a colossal departure from our previous work,” said Kazdal in a statement. “When I first tried VR I was instantly struck by how utterly immersive it is, which opened up a whole new world of possibilities. I’ve always been moved by exploring nature, with its overwhelming mix of majesty and danger, where you’re constantly reminded of both how expansive the world is and how small you are. With VR’s all encompassing presentation, I felt like I could actually make a world that captures this quietly beautiful feeling of aliveness. Where nothing is canned and everything feels organic. Song in the Smoke is the result of this.”

Song in the Smoke

Featuring art by renown illustrator Katsuya Terada (The Legend of Zelda, Blood: The Last Vampire, The Monkey King) Song in the Smoke is part survival adventure and part mysterious narrative. You’ll be able to hunt with bows and axes, forage for resources to craft new items whilst uncovering this prehistoric world’s secrets.

Song in the Smoke is coming to PlayStation VR, Oculus Quest and Oculus Rift later this year. Take a look at the documentary below and for further updates from 17-BIT, keep reading VRFocus.

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Major ‘Waltz of the Wizard: Natural Magic’ Expansion Will Launch on July 6th



Waltz of the Wizard is set to see a major free expansion called ‘Natural Magic’ which will add a new “simulated magic” system to expand player capabilities alongside a dungeon for players to plunder and battle new enemies.

Waltz of the Wizard is a long-running VR title that’s been in continuous development by developer Aldin for years now. What started as a sort of VR sampler platter is evolving with a larger magic-based sandbox and a brand new dungeon for players to conquer. This is all coming in the free ‘Natural Magic’ update that’s now set for a July 6th release date.

While the current version of Waltz of the Wizard lets players experiment with various magical abilities, potions, and more, ‘Natural Magic’ is promising to expand the game with a “unique simulated magic system with intuitive controls and temporary power-ups that change how it works.”

Image courtesy Aldin

Beyond the expanded magic system, there’s a large courtyard for players to experiment in, along with a fortress with enemies that players can take on once they’ve learned the ins and outs of their abilities. Inside the fortress, developer Aldin says players will be able to find artifacts that tell a story, and on the whole, the studio says the expansion adds “hours of entertainment” to the game.

Image courtesy Aldin

The expansion will be free for players who already own the game (currently $10), though the studio says the base price will increase around the launch of the expansion. Waltz of the Wizard: Natural Magic is set for a July 6th release date on Quest, RiftSteamVR.

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Vertigo Games Shares a Triple VR Update for E3 2021



This weekend was filled with virtual reality (VR) updates as part of the Electronic Entertainment Expo (E3) 2021 this week, with the likes of A Township Tale coming to Oculus Quest and NERF getting its own VR shooter. Some studio had more than others to share with Vertigo Games making three announcements for After the Fall, Unplugged and Traffic Jams.


After the Fall is Vertigo Games’ next major in-house project, originally revealed back in 2019. A co-op first-person shooter (FPS) set in a frozen LA wasteland, for the E3 2021 announcement the studio released new gameplay footage combined with some of the videogames’ developers discussing the project.

One of the core features the team wanted to get right was the cross-platform gameplay, so it doesn’t matter if you’re on an Oculus Quest, PlayStation VR or PC VR headset, the gameplay remains the same even when the graphics have to be adjusted depending on the platform. Still no release date though, with a summer 2021 window still in place.

Next up is Unplugged by indie team Anotherway, which is being published by Vertigo Games. A rhythm action title which evokes those classic air guitar moves, Unplugged utilises the hand tracking on Oculus Quest and PC VR headsets. This weekend’s announcement saw the reveal of a new track “The Kids Aren’t Alright” by The Offspring as well as features like mini-games and crowd interactions. Unplugged is expected to launch Fall 2021.

Traffic Jams - PSVR

Finally there’s some Traffic Jams news. The quirky VR title where you have to manage evermore insane amounts of vehicles, pedestrians and catastrophic events originally launched for Oculus Quest and PC VR headsets in April. Soon it’ll be the turn of PlayStation VR. Created by Little Chicken Game Company, Traffic Jams arrives for PlayStation VR on 26th August 2021, with its solo campaign as well as the asymmetrical multiplayer.

Check out all the new footage below and for further updates from Vertigo Games and E3 2021, keep reading VRFocus.

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Team up With the Autobots in AR Game Transformers: Heavy Metal in 2021



Niantic Labs is used to bringing big name IP’s like Pokemon and Harry Potter into augmented reality (AR) and today it’s revealed another. The AR specialist company has announced a collaboration with Hasbro and TOMY on a new AR videogame called Transformers: Heavy Metal.

Transformers: Heavy Metal

Built on the Niantic Lightship platform Transformers: Heavy Metal will see players team up with Optimus Prime, Bumblebee and other Autobots as they battle the Decepticons. Seattle-based Very Very Spaceship is leading development creating a narrative where players join the Guardian Network, a group of humans helping the Autobots. As one of these Guardians, players have to discover resources and regions across the world whilst battling Decepticons in turn-based battles, either solo or with friends.

“Transformers is the perfect franchise for AR. Battling and interacting with giant robots in the real world is an amazing experience,” said John Hanke, CEO of Niantic. “We want to live up to the high expectations of Transformers fans around the world and bring them a game unlike anything they’ve played before.”

If you’ve played either Pokemon GO or Harry Potter: Wizards Unite then you’ll know the type of real-world gaming Niantic Labs encourages through its projects, requiring players to get out and about to maximise the experience. This is thanks to the Lightship platform Niantic has developed, providing real-time 3D mapping and multiplayer social experiences which developers can use to build their own AR worlds using the Niantic Lightship ARDK.

Transformers: Heavy Metal

Specific gameplay details for Transformers: Heavy Metal have yet to be revealed but there shouldn’t be too long to wait to find out. While a global launch is slated for later in 2021 a soft launch will be taking place in select markets soon.

Transformers: Heavy Metal is in no way the franchises’ first foray into immersive gaming. There’s been Transformers: VR Invasion and Transformers: VR Battle Arena for location-based entertainment (LBE) venues, while back in 2017 saw Cade’s Junkyard AR Experience allowed players to control Bumblebee.

As further details for Transformers: Heavy Metal are released, VRFocus will keep you updated.

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