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Panasonic Automotive introduces its new Augmented Reality HUD at CES 2021

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In Augmented Reality News 

January 11, 2021 – Today at CES 2021, Panasonic Automotive Systems of America (Panasonic Automotive) has introduced its new Augmented Reality (AR) heads-up display (HUD). Panasonic stated that it has utilized its latest advances in optics, volume optimization and imaging technology, combined with AI technology from its SPYDR cockpit domain controller to render near-field and far-field content for vehicle information, object and pedestrian detection, and mapping / route guidance, for a seamless, more engaged and informed driver experience.

“The HUD market is one of the fastest growing categories in mobility, but traditional HUDs only cover a small section of the road,” said Scott Kirchner, President at Panasonic Automotive and Executive Director, Panasonic Smart Mobility. “Panasonic’s AR HUD solutions cover more of the roadway, with traditional cluster content like speed and fuel in the near field as well as 3D overlays in the far field, showing navigation and other critical driver data mapping spatially to the road ahead. And in a future with more self-driving vehicles, our AR HUD could provide an important added level of comfort and assurance for AV passengers as well.” 

Panasonic’s AR HUD system projects 3D, AI-driven key information into the driver’s line of sight to help reduce driver distraction and potentially increase safety on the road. Panasonic’s AR HUD development utilizes what the company calls a ‘PRIZM’ process to address a variety of driver needs:

  • Precise placement – Optimal image positioning;
  • Reflection – AI smart optical graphic road overlays for object / sign detection;
  • Intuitive – Discriminates / prioritizes user focus on what is ahead, e.g. is that a deer or a box in the road?;
  • Zonal- UX optimized field-of-view organizationally displays objects along the road;
  • Mission Control – Dynamic imaging that brings visibility and the roadway together.

According to Panasonic, the key features of its new AR HUD include:

Eye tracking technology – Projects information at the driver’s level of sight based on the driver’s eye position, eliminating a potential mismatch between the projected image when the driver moves their head.

Advanced optics – Advanced optical design techniques provide expanded field-of-view (beyond 10 by 4 degrees) for virtual image distance of 10 meters or greater; detects pedestrians and objects through enhanced low light and nighttime view; tilted virtual image planes adjust visibility of objects in the driver’s field of view; embedded camera system allows discrete monitoring for the driver’s eye location.

AI navigation accuracy – AI-driven AR navigation technology detects and provides multi-colour 3D navigation graphics that adjust with the moving vehicle’s surroundings, displaying information like lane markers and GPS arrows where turns will occur and sudden changes such as collisions or cyclists in one’s path.

Vibration control – Panasonic’s proprietary camera image stability algorithm enables AR icons to lock onto the driving environment regardless of the bumpiness of the road.

Real-time situational awareness – Driving environment updates occur in real-time; Advanced driver-assistance systems (ADAS), AI, AR environment information updates in less than 300 milliseconds.

3D imaging radar – Sensor-captured full 180-degree forward vision up to 90 meters and across approximately three traffic lanes.

Compact size – Packaging to fit any vehicle configuration.

4K resolution – 4K resolution using advanced laser and holography technology, with static near-field cluster information and far-field image plane for AR graphic overlay.

Panasonic added that its strategic collaborations with emerging tech innovators have helped to provide added depth to the data-driven visuals in its AR HUD. These include: Dual plane, high-resolution laser holography from Envisics, developers of a patent-protected, dynamic holographic platform that enables true holography across multiple mobility applications (and which automotive company Hyundai is a significant investor); and 3D localization technology and AI navigation and situational awareness analytics from Phiar, developers of a patent-protected spatial-AI, AR navigation platform.

For more information about Panasonic’s new AR HUD, click here.

Image / video credit: Panasonic North America / YouTube

About the author

Sam Sprigg

Sam is the Founder and Managing Editor of Auganix. With a background in research and report writing, he covers news articles on both the AR and VR industries. He also has an interest in human augmentation technology as a whole, and does not just limit his learning specifically to the visual experience side of things.

Source: https://www.auganix.org/panasonic-automotive-introduces-its-new-augmented-reality-hud-at-ces-2021/

AR/VR

‘Farpoint’ Studio Impulse Gear Announces a New VR Game Coming This Year

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Impulse Gear, the studio behind the stellar PSVR exclusive Farpoint (2017), announced today that it has been developing a new VR game which it plans to release this year.

Following a handful of post-launch updates to Farpoint, we’ve heard very little from studio Impulse Gear on what’s next. Today, more than three and a half years after the launch of Farpoint, the studio confirmed that it’s been in development of a new VR game. And, what’s more, the game is expected to launch this year! UploadVR first spotted the subtle announcement over at the studio’s blog.

Given the quality of Farpoint and its innovative support of PS Aim, it’s great to hear that Impulse Studio will be following the game with another VR title, but so far we have no idea what it will be except for two tiny clues: a sleek looking ‘L’ logo which links to a ‘Decrypted Message’ audio file.

Image courtesy Impulse Gear

The Decrypted Message sounds like a garbled alien voice which reads (to the best of our hearing):

You having trouble in violence to bring peace… leeches of [unintelligible] [unintelligible]… we know the way. It is this way… to the left and then in words.

A sci-fi setting seems assured, but going with the minimal hints alone, it’s hard to say if we’re looking at a direct sequel to Farpoint or not.

Our guess is that Impulse Gear’s next game will not be a direct sequel, largely because of the current VR landscape. Farpoint was a PSVR exclusive title, and while Sony recently announced it’s working on a next-gen PSVR headset, the company said it wouldn’t come in 2021. Meanwhile, Impulse Gear says its upcoming VR game will indeed launch in 2021.

So that suggests the studio is either planning to launch a new VR game on some headset other than PSVR… or it plans to launch a new game at the tail-end of the original PSVR’s lifespan.

In any case, Impulse Gear says it will offer a “full reveal and announcement soon,” which we’ll be looking forward to.

The post ‘Farpoint’ Studio Impulse Gear Announces a New VR Game Coming This Year appeared first on Road to VR.

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Source: https://www.roadtovr.com/farpoint-studio-impulse-gear-new-vr-game-teaser/

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Quest 2 Now the Most Used on Steam, Monthly-connected Headsets Hit Record High of 2.8 Million

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Another month, another record high count for the VR usership on Steam. Quest 2, despite being a standalone headset, has helped to drive much of the growth thanks to its ability to connect to a PC to play PC VR games on Oculus PC or Steam. It has become the most used headset on Steam for the first time.

Monthly-connected VR Headsets on Steam

Each month Valve collects info from Steam users to determine some baseline statistics about what kind of hardware and software is used by the platform’s population, and to see how things are changing over time, including the use of VR headsets.

The data shared in the survey represents the number of headsets connected to Steam over a given month, so we call the resulting figure ‘monthly-connected headsets’ for clarity; it’s the closest official figure there is to ‘monthly active VR users’ on Steam, with the caveat that it only tells us how many VR headsets were connected, not how many were actually used.

While Valve’s data is a useful way see which headsets are most popular on Steam, the trend of monthly-connected headsets has always been obfuscated because the data is given exclusively as percentages relative to Steam’s population—which itself is an unstated and constantly fluctuating figure.

To demystify the data Road to VR maintains a model, based on the historical survey data along with official data points directly from Valve and Steam, which aims to correct for Steam’s changing population to estimate the actual count—not the percent—of headsets being used on Steam.

The latest shows that the holiday surge has not relented, with February bringing Steam’s monthly-connected headset count to a new record high of 2.8 million. The record figure comes immediately after January had set the prior record at 2.6 million.

Quest 2 was the most significant driver of the increase seen in February, with Quest 2 becoming the single most used VR headset on Steam.

Share of VR Headsets on Steam

Looking at the breakdown of individual headsets in use on Steam, we can see that Quest 2 is continuing to take a large bite out of the pie. While the headset saw an inflated gain last month (because it was the first month the headset got its own category Valve’s data), this month shows the headset’s true pace, picking up a whopping +5.51% in share for a total of 22.91%. This makes Quest 2 the most used VR headset on Steam in February, besting the 21.58% share held by Rift S.

Though the gains in Quest 2 appear to have come largely from other Facebook headsets; even though Quest 2 picked up +5.51% share, the share of all Facebook headsets on Steam only rose by +1.58% (suggesting existing Oculus customers are trading up to a Quest 2). Still, this furthers Facebook’s position overall, with 57.98% of headsets in use on Steam made by Facebook.

Other winners this month was Valve’s own Index headset, which has reached 16.0% (+0.17%), and Windows Mixed Reality which, despite adding a few thousand headsets, actually dropped in share down to 6.15% (−0.23%) as a result of bigger proportional gains by others (like Quest 2).

The largest losses in the share of headsets on Steam in February came from Rift S (−1.78%), Quest (−1.58%), and HTC Vive (−1.01%), with the share of all HTC headsets on Steam dropping to 17.24% (−1.29%).

The post Quest 2 Now the Most Used on Steam, Monthly-connected Headsets Hit Record High of 2.8 Million appeared first on Road to VR.

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Source: https://www.roadtovr.com/quest-2-most-used-vr-headset-steam-record-high/

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Microsoft Mesh to Enable Shared Experiences Across XR Platforms

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Microsoft Mesh

Today see’s the start of Microsoft Ignite, its online virtual event which has started with an XR bang. Taking to AltspaceVR’s virtual stage was Microsoft Technical Fellow Alex Kipman to announce Microsoft Mesh, its new mixed-reality (MR) platform which aims to make shared holographic experiences effortless across multiple devices.

Microsoft Mesh

Showcasing Mesh by hosting the keynote in the social app, Kipman welcomed various speakers including Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella, director James Cameron, Niantic CEO John Hanke and Cirque du Soleil co-founder Guy Laliberté as viewers tuned in from around the world, in both VR and via other devices.

The platform is powered by Microsoft Azure, its cloud-computing service, benefiting from its enterprise-grade security and privacy features. The core focus of Microsoft Mesh is to enable multi-user XR, where companies and consumers can take a device with a Mesh-enabled application and swap ideas, learn or simply socialise. It’ll support 3D models for users to interact with, whilst a full suite of AI-powered tools will enable avatar creation. spatial rendering and more.

“This has been the dream for mixed reality, the idea from the very beginning,” said Kipman in a blog post. “You can actually feel like you’re in the same place with someone sharing content or you can teleport from different mixed reality devices and be present with people even when you’re not physically together.”

Microsoft Ignite, Alex Kipman and John Hanke
Alex Kipman and John Hanke at Microsoft Ignite

“Our part of this is the work of stitching the digital and physical worlds together, connecting the bits and atoms so these experiences can be possible using the Niantic platform,” Hanke said. “But social connections are really at the heart of everything we do, and Microsoft Mesh innovations just enrich that.”

Microsoft Mesh will work on HoloLens 2, Windows Mixed Reality, Oculus headsets, PCs, Macs and smartphones so its not restricted to one particular platform. While an official launch date has yet to be confirmed, a collaborative preview of the Microsoft Mesh app for HoloLens is available and access can be requested for a new version of Mesh enabled AltspaceVR. Eventually, Mesh will be integrated within Microsoft Teams and Microsoft Dynamics 365.

As further details are released for Microsoft Mesh, VRFocus will keep you updated.

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Source: https://www.vrfocus.com/2021/03/microsoft-mesh-to-enable-shared-experiences-across-xr-platforms/

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Pokémon GO Demo Shown on HoloLens 2 at Microsoft Ignite

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Pokemon Go HoloLens 2

During today’s Microsoft Ignite event, in collaboration with Niantic Labs, the companies showcased what the possible future of Pokémon GO could be. They demoed a prototype of the augmented reality (AR) videogame on HoloLens 2 for the first time.

Pokemon Go HoloLens 2

Currently just a proof-of-concept, the demo was part of Microsoft’s Mesh announcement to build shared experiences in mixed reality (MR). In the video which firmly pointed out that what was being shown wasn’t for consumer use, Niantic CEO and Founder John Hanke strolled through a park with various Pokémon running around his feet.

Using HoloLens 2’s hand tracking he then brings up his left hand which activates a menu UI, giving three options; a Poké Ball, Fruit and Pokémon, the latter offering a list of his available creatures. Selecting Pikachu, Hanke goes onto feed the famous yellow character some fruit before continuing with the presentation which doesn’t involve a battle, unfortunately.

It’s a tantalising look at the future of arguably the most popular AR title, where players no longer have to look at their phone screen because it’ll all appear in a set of AR glasses. That’s going to be some way off as devices like HoloLens 2 aren’t for consumer use, yet the next generation of smart glasses could well achieve that.

Pokemon Go HoloLens 2

“We’re committed to leveraging and expanding our platform to build real-world AR experiences for as many devices as possible and reaching a diverse set of players no matter their physical location,” says Hanke in a blog post. “We’ve only scratched the surface. We know the years ahead to be filled with important achievements which will serve as waypoints in AR’s journey to become a life-changing computing platform.”

AR is viewed by many companies as the future of mobile computing, offering hands-free access to a digital world that interacts with the real one, whether that’s for gaming, work or any other use case. And it’s these kinds of partnerships that help to build that groundwork. As Niantic and Microsoft continue to announce more from their collaboration, VRFocus will keep you update.

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Source: https://www.vrfocus.com/2021/03/pokemon-go-demo-shown-on-hololens-2-at-microsoft-ignite/

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