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Rinlo, Paper Beast & More Win Raindance Immersive Awards

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Raindance Immersive 2020 concluded just over a week ago, showcasing some great virtual reality (VR) content. This past weekend the festival held its awards event, celebrating immersive projects across 10 categories with winners including well-known titles such as Paper Beast and more obscure offerings.

This year’s event was held across HTC’s Viveport and VRChat, with the latter also playing host to the digital awards ceremony, just like the VR Awards, Venice VR Expanded and other events.

Raindance Immersive 2020 Winners:

  • Best Narrative ExperienceThe Under Presents: Tempest (Tender Claws) – A live, interactive VR show inspired by Shakespeare’s famed tale.
  • Best Documentary Experience – Fly – (Picture This Productions) – Become a time-travelling pilot, from Leonardo da Vinci’s ornithopter, to the potential future of flight.
  • Best Animation Experience – Paper Birds (3DAR) – A story about a short-sighted child with an exceptional talent for music.
  • Best Immersive Game – The Devouring (Lakuza, Fionna, CyanLaser and Legends) – A four-player VR horror experience created and based entirely inside social platform VRChat.
  • Best Multiplayer ExperienceDr. Crumb’s School For Disobedient Pets (Adventure Lab) – A live escape room suitable for 2-4 players.
  • Discovery Award: Best Debut – Rinlo (Gurashop) – A puzzle adventure set inside a steampunk dystopia.
  • Best Immersive World – The Devouring (Lakuza, Fionna, CyanLaser and Legends)
  • Outstanding Achievement in ArtPaper Beast (Pixel Reef) – Venture into an environmental puzzler with and ecosystem borning from big data.
  • Outstanding Achievement in Audio – Paper Beast (Pixel Reef)
  • Outstanding Achievement in Design – Dr. Crumb’s School For Disobedient Pets (Adventure Lab)
  • Spirit of Raindance Award – Scarecrow VRC (Sngmoo Lee and Jihyun Jung) A theatrical VR experience with a live actor for up to three players where they have to save the scarecrow.
  • Spirit of Raindance Honourable Mention – VRChat Community

“This year Virtual Reality has grown more than ever,” said Raindance Immersive curator Mária Rakušanová in a statement. “From AAA games with mind-bending physics, to virtual theatre performances with live actors and full-body tracked avatars, we’ve seen a huge expansion of innovation and creativity. We’re living in unprecedented times. When we’re unable to gather in person, VR has turned social distancing into ‘social instancing’, bringing us all closer together.”

Should this forced trend into the realm of digital events continue in 2021, VRFocus will bring you all the latest details.

Source: https://www.vrfocus.com/2020/11/rinlo-paper-beast-more-win-raindance-immersive-awards/

AR/VR

US Army using Augmented Reality overlays in its research for the detection of roadside explosive hazards

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In Augmented Reality News 

January 23, 2021 – The US Army Combat Capabilities Development Command (DEVCOM), Army Research Laboratory (ARL), has recently announced that it is employing the use of augmented reality (AR) overlays in its research for the detection of roadside explosive hazards, such as improvised explosive devices (IEDs), unexploded ordnance and landmines.

Route reconnaissance in support of convoy operations remains a critical function to keep Soldiers safe from such hazards, which continue to threaten operations abroad and continually prove to be an evolving and problematic adversarial tactic. To combat this problem, ARL and other research collaborators were funded by the Defense Threat Reduction Agency, via the ‘Blood Hound Gang Program’, which focuses on a system-of-systems approach to standoff explosive hazard detection.

Kelly Sherbondy, Program Manager at the lab, said “Logically, a system-of-systems approach to standoff explosive hazard detection research is warranted going forward,” adding, “Our collaborative methodology affords implementation of state-of-the-art technology and approaches while rapidly progressing the program with seasoned subject matter experts to meet or exceed military requirements and transition points.”

The program has seven external collaborators from across the country, which include the US Military Academy, The University of Delaware Video/Image Modeling and Synthesis Laboratory, Ideal Innovations Inc., Alion Science and Technology, The Citadel, IMSAR and AUGMNTR.

In Phase I of the program, researchers took 15-months to evaluate mostly high-technology readiness level (TRL) standoff detection technologies against a variety of explosive hazard emplacements. In addition, a lower-TRL standoff detection sensor, which was focused on the detection of explosive hazard triggering devices, was developed and assessed. According to the Army, the Phase I assessment included probability of detection, false alarm rate and other important information that will ultimately lead to a down-selection of sensors based on best performance for Phase II of the program.

Researchers use various sensors on Unmanned Aerial Systems equipped with high-definition infrared cameras and navigation to enable standoff detection of explosive hazards using machine learning techniques.

The sensors evaluated during Phase I included an airborne synthetic aperture radar, ground vehicular and small unmanned aerial vehicle LIDAR, high-definition electro-optical cameras, long-wave infrared cameras and a non-linear junction detection radar. Researchers carried a field test in real-world representative terrain over a 7-kilometer test track and included a total of 625 emplacements including a variety of explosive hazards, simulated clutter and calibration targets. They collected data before and after emplacement to simulate a real-world change between sensor passes.

Terabytes of data was collected across the sensor sets which was needed to adequately train artificial intelligence/machine learning (AI/ML) algorithms. The algorithms subsequently performed autonomous automatic target detection for each sensor. The Army stated that this sensor data is pixel-aligned via geo-referencing and the AI/ML techniques can be applied to some or all of the combined sensor data for a specific area. Furthermore, the detection algorithms are able to provide ‘confidence levels’ for each suspected target, which is displayed to a user as an augmented reality overlay. The detection algorithms were executed with various sensor permutations so that performance results could be aggregated and determine the best course of action moving forward into Phase II.

“The accomplishments of these efforts are significant to ensuring the safety of the warfighter in the current operation environment,” said Lt. Col. Mike Fuller, US Air Force Explosive Ordnance Disposal and DTRA Program Manager.

The Army noted that future research into the technology will enable real-time automatic target detection displayed with an augmented reality engine. The three year effort will ultimately culminate with demonstrations at multiple testing facilities to show the technology’s robustness over varying terrain.

“We have side-by-side comparisons of multiple modalities against a wide variety of realistic, relevant target threats, plus an evaluation of the fusion of those sensors’ output to determine the most effective way to maximize probability of detection and minimize false alarms,” Fuller said. “We hope that the Army and the Joint community will both benefit from the data gathered and lessons learned by all involved.”

Image credit: US Army

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/us-army-using-augmented-reality-overlays-in-its-research-for-the-detection-of-roadside-explosive-hazards/

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LIV Now Supports Full-body Avatars from ReadyPlayerMe, Making it Easy to Stream VR Without a Green Screen

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Many VR streamers use complicated mixed reality setups to show themselves from a third-person perspective inside the virtual world. LIV, a leading tool which makes this possible, now supports free, customizable, full-body avatars from ReadyPlayerMe, making it possible to stream your avatar inside of VR without the need for a green screen.

In addition to true mixed reality streaming, Liv has supported streaming with avatars for some time. However, actually finding a unique avatar for yourself was no simple task. Now, Liv has partnered with avatar maker ReadyPlayerMe to make it as simple as can be.

ReadyPlayerMe allows you to build a free full-body avatar—optionally based on a photo of yourself—in mere minutes. You can use the avatar as the character in select Liv-supported VR games, allowing stream viewers to see your movements in third-person.

Here’s an example of a ReadyPlayerMe avatar in Pistol Whip streamed via Liv:

What Sadie said! They have improved on them, they now are full body and support finger tracking and full body tracking! It’s pretty smooth! pic.twitter.com/J8rY5UwWOo

— AtomBombBody (@AtomBombBody) January 17, 2021

Avatars from ReadyPlayMe are moderately customizable, and easy enough to get something you’re happy with relatively quickly, though we hope to see more customization options in the future (like height, build, and more control over outfits).

Image courtesy ReadyPlayerMe

You can make your own ReadyPlayMe avatar to import to Liv right here. If you want to download your avatar for some other use, you can make one here and download it at the end of the process as a .GLB file for use in other applications.

Streamer Atom Bomb Body also has a detailed walkthrough for configuring Liv with your new avatar here:

The post LIV Now Supports Full-body Avatars from ReadyPlayerMe, Making it Easy to Stream VR Without a Green Screen appeared first on Road to VR.

Source: https://vrarnews.com/details/liv-now-supports-full-body-avatars-from-readyplayerme-making-it-easy-to-stream-vr-without-a-green-screen-600b772745b9dcae3e9a590f?s=rss

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Pinterest’s new AR feature lets you try on virtual eyeshadow

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Shopping online is the primary way people get most of the items they want or need, but there are some downsides: you can’t try on clothes to make sure they’ll fit right and it’s not easy to determine whether a particular makeup color will look good on you. Pinterest has introduced another feature that addresses the latter problem, one that … Continue reading

Source: https://vrarnews.com/details/pinterests-new-ar-feature-lets-you-try-on-virtual-eyeshadow-600b6e18c1c62e453a615b12?s=rss

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Magic Leap announces partnership with Google Cloud to Spatial Computing to enterprise and Google Cloud customers

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In Augmented Reality and Mixed Reality News

January 22, 2021 – Magic Leap has today announced that it has entered into a multi-phased, multi-year strategic partnership agreement with Google Cloud to deliver spatial computing solutions to businesses and Google Cloud customers.

Through the partnership, Magic Leap will deliver its enterprise solutions on the Google Cloud Marketplace and explore potential new cloud-based, spatial computing solutions running on Google Cloud.

Magic Leap stated that as enterprises have evolved their operations over the past year to meet the needs of the changing business environment, demand for solutions that support business continuity, agility and borderless collaboration has accelerated exponentially. The partnership is therefore designed to meet those demands.

Beginning in 2021, select Magic Leap solutions that provide tools for businesses will be available in the Google Cloud Marketplace, allowing developers who create solutions on the Magic Leap platform to reach global customers via Google’s marketplace. Magic Leap’s own solutions, such as its Communication, Collaboration and Co-presence platform, will also be made available in the Google Cloud Marketplace as well.

“As we continue to build momentum for spatial computing in the enterprise market, we are very excited to partner with Google Cloud to deliver unique cloud solutions to their customers and ours,” explained Walter Delph, Chief Business Officer, Magic Leap. “Google Cloud offers best in class infrastructure for leading edge solutions designed to provide efficiencies, continuity and innovation to businesses across the globe.”

In the second phase of the partnership, the two companies will jointly explore opportunities to integrate Google Cloud capabilities in artificial intelligence (AI), machine learning, and analytics into Magic Leap’s Communication, Collaboration and Co-presence platform to support co-presence in any enterprise setting globally. According to Magic Leap, potential use cases involve applying cloud capabilities to help capture data and knowledge from experienced technicians in manufacturing settings, enhancing remote-technical support and training using augmented reality (AR), or providing complex or personalized procedure support in the healthcare industry.

Magic Leap added that it is working on the development of an AR Cloud product that will help to “advance the activation of spatially-aware enterprise solutions across multiple industry verticals.” The ‘Magic Leap Augmented Reality Cloud’ will allow enterprises to build applications that are spatially-aware and collaborative. The company also stated that it will explore the optimization of its AR Cloud by working in collaboration with Google Cloud, leveraging its network, content delivery services, and evolving 5G network edge compute services.

“More than ever, organizations are looking for ways to keep teams connected and support employees with innovative solutions in the cloud,” said Joe Miles Managing Director of Healthcare and Life Sciences at Google Cloud. “We are excited that Magic Leap has selected Google Cloud to expand the availability of its solutions for productivity in the enterprise. We look forward to working together to help Magic Leap scale its cloud-based solutions globally, and to help customers deploy next-generation collaboration and productivity solutions in the workplace.”

For more information on Magic Leap and its augmented and mixed reality solutions for enterprise, please visit the company’s website.

Image credit: Magic Leap

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/magic-leap-announces-partnership-with-google-cloud-to-spatial-computing-to-enterprise-and-google-cloud-customers/

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