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When you wear a screen on your face, “there’s a lack of situational awareness of the actual world,” says Leap Motion co-founder Michael Buckwald, sipping a soda at a demo at the company offices in San Francisco. “Also, every time I want to take a sip of Coke, I have to take the Oculus Rift off.”
“In a first-person shooter, you need to be able to turn around quickly,” says Omar Khan, the lead Unity developer at Austin-based Chaotic Moon, which designed a humorous Oculus Rift game called Shark Punch. “And if you’re sitting in a chair, tethered to a computer, it’s very difficult to be able to turn. And to aim — it’s very awkward, it’s kind of weird.”The system gives a user full awareness of the real world while immersed in a virtual one.
Most importantly, Leap has released an application programming interface (API) that will essentially turn the device into a 3-D camera, by letting programmers access infrared data about the user’s surroundings. Using this API, raw infrared imagery of the real world can blend with a representation of the virtual realm. This is a crucial milestone on the way to true augmented reality.
“We’re able to take the live feed of what [users] see and convert it on the fly into a virtual world,” says Khan. “That is something that is quite different.”
Google Glass bombed with many early adopters because it was essentially a “phone for your face” that did nothing more than display output from conventional apps. The new API will incorporate the room into the game. This is true augmented reality.Medical students might take nanoscale walking tours of the brain.
“Let’s say we wanted to create a game where we create creatures that come out of the environment around us, like my office,” says Khan. “Because of the ability of [the new API] to give you raw image data, you could make a tree grow right in the middle of your office. Or, if you want enemies to come spawning at you, there’s your desk, and all of a sudden, there’s this goblin in your desk. So there’s a lot of things you can do that haven’t been seen before.”
Medical students might take nanoscale walking tours of the brain. Or high schoolers might go on intergalactic journeys. The ability of the device to track tiny .01 millimeter finger motions, far finer than those by the Microsoft Kinect, permits sculpting of 3D virtual objects that might give rise to a new generation of claymation artists.
But in the short-term, virtual reality will sink or swim with gaming. Khan thinks game studios will be attracted by the possibility of doing something entirely new. After all, in theory, the raw-image data will allow you to turn your ordinary living room into the infested space station from Aliens.
“We know that our office looks like this, has a wall over here, but we want to render something from Aliens. We could do that. Or you could create a Nerf battle virtually, or a paintball game virtually, in your office,” Khan says. “Everyone is walking around Oculus Rifts and Leap Motion cameras, pulling data from where they’re at.”
These games can get gamers off their behinds in a far more elaborate way than with the Wii or the Kinect, because you’re no longer tethered to your T.V. or to your same-old surroundings.
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Will You Spend More Time in Metaverse than in the Real World? What is Metaverse?
The Metaverse is a term used to describe a virtual reality world that is fully immersive and interactive. It is a digital world where users can interact with each other and with digital objects in a way that feels real and natural. The Metaverse is essentially a virtual universe that is accessible to anyone with an internet connection. It is a combination of virtual reality, augmented reality, and the internet, it allows users to interact, create and engage in a wide range of activities that were previously limited to the physical world. The Metaverse is considered to be the next step in the evolution of the internet and it promises to change the way we interact with technology, entertainment, education, and each other. Companies like Facebook and Google are already investing in this technology, and it are expected to have a significant impact on various industries, from gaming to e-commerce, from social media to education, etc. The Metaverse is an exciting concept that is already starting to take shape, and it’s worth paying attention to as it continues to develop and evolve.How metaverse is different from virtual reality
Metaverse and Virtual Reality (VR) are related but different technologies. While VR provides a fully immersive experience in a digital environment, the Metaverse takes it one step further by allowing users to interact, create, and engage in a wide range of activities in a virtual world that feels real and natural. The Metaverse is a virtual universe that is accessible to anyone with an internet connection and it’s an evolution of the internet, it goes beyond gaming and entertainment to education, e-commerce, and social interaction. While VR is mostly used for gaming and entertainment, the Metaverse has a wider range of applications and it is expected to have a significant impact on various industries. The Metaverse is a highly connected, interactive and social space, it’s a place where people, businesses and organizations can meet, interact and exchange information, ideas, and value. It is different from virtual reality as it does not just provide an immersive experience but also a new digital environment with endless possibilities.What are the benefits of the metaverse?
The Metaverse offers a wide range of benefits to individuals, businesses, and society as a whole. One of the most important benefits is its ability to connect people in ways that were previously not possible. The Metaverse allows users to interact and engage with each other in a virtual world that feels real and natural, this opens up new opportunities for social interaction, collaboration and building communities.
Another key benefit is its ability to drive innovation and creativity. The Metaverse offers endless opportunities for users to create and build new digital worlds, and this is expected to lead to new technologies, products, and services that were previously not possible.
The Metaverse also has the potential to drive economic growth and create new job opportunities, particularly in fields such as gaming, e-commerce, entertainment, education and many more. It is also expected to bring new opportunities for training, simulation, and research in various fields.
Additionally, the Metaverse has the potential to improve education and access to information. It provides an immersive and interactive learning environment, that can be accessible to everyone with an internet connection.How will the metaverse change the way we live?
The Metaverse has the potential to revolutionize the way we live by changing the way we interact, create and engage in the digital world. It allows users to connect and interact with each other in a virtual world that feels real and natural, this opens up new opportunities for social interaction, collaboration and building communities. It has the potential to change the way we work, learn and play by providing new opportunities for businesses, education, and entertainment.
The Metaverse is expected to drive innovation and creativity by providing new ways to create and build digital worlds, and this is expected to lead to new technologies, products, and services. It also has the potential to drive economic growth and create new job opportunities, particularly in fields such as gaming, e-commerce, entertainment, education and many more.
Tinder just swiped right on some new people.
The dating startup is announcing its second acquisition today, buying a company called Humin that specializes in figuring out the context of social connections.
But Humin isn’t a dating app or a social network. With this addition the company, Tinder is starting to break from the mold in which it was formed.
Humin CEO Ankur Jain, who will join Tinder as VP of product and head of special projects, says that Tinder’s longterm play is to help manage more of our social interactions.
“Today, Tinder stands for dating,” Jain said. “I think tomorrow Tinder stands for meeting people in the real world, of which dating is a huge component.”
In this potential future, you might open up Tinder to see if anyone at the nearby bar has common friends or hobbies, and wants to meet up. You might use it to see which friends are available to hang out, or remind you of acquaintances’ names or interests. It’s less about screen time, and more about streamlined social information.
To Jain, Tinder is augmented reality. The app’s entire mission is to enhance communication in the real, physical world. The goal isn’t to keep talking online— it’s to meet, connect, and stay in touch. Other services, like Facebook, Jain compares to virtual reality. There’s no implication of meeting in real life when talking on the service. It’s a virtual space for virtual communication. And Jain says that’s less authentic, in a way.
“Virtual reality, while it offers a tremendous new world for us to play in, is a different kind of social experience,” he says. “It’s one, I think, where you’re more detached from the human connection we all seek.“
This isn’t augmented reality like Microsoft’s HoloLens (yet). Instead, it’s using the hardware you have with you, usually your phone, to augment the specialized information you have about the people around you. Jain does say, however, that Tinder will adapt to whatever hardware platform is popular and helpful for users.
Tinder is succeeding by applying this augmented reality strategy to dating, but this shift means they see a wider audience on the horizon.
“There are 7 billion people in the world. You can’t meet every single person, but that doesn’t mean there aren’t amazing people that you would want to meet if you could.” Jain says.
Tinder’s goal now is to augment that information, and help put into context; in other businesses this would be called “actionable information.” It’s figuring out how your friends might know each other, or the ability to know that someone else at the bar also really likes the 90s Nickelodeon cartoon Street Sharks. This information is valuable because you can make real-world decisions based on it. A conversation can start out of the blue, or a relationship can be strengthened.
But this new direction will be an uphill battle for the brand. Tinder has firmly placed itself as a dating app. There’s a cultural relevancy to the mobile software, from /r/Tinder, the subreddit where more than 200,000 people swap screenshots from the app, to people hashtagging that they #SwipedRight on their wedding photos. Jain sees this is a five to 10-year progression, and not something that they can change overnight.
The Humin app itself, which is an algorithmic address book that manages contacts based on your relationship with them, will be shut down shortly after the acquisition. The Humin team’s other app, “Knock Knock“, which sends contact information between two people with just an external tap on the phone, will also be pulled from the app stores.
Humin has received media and investor attention in the past for its apps, with previous financial support from the likes of Sir Richard Branson, chúng tôi and Sophie Bush.
The idea of Tinder buying Humin started in November of last year, when Jain and Tinder CEO Sean Rad were catching up in Dublin. The two had been friends, but didn’t know how closely their visions aligned.
They started talking about how Tinder’s scale could be used as a platform for Humin’s technology, and over the last four months decided to work together to merge ideas.
Many might ask why this needs to be a feature of Tinder. Surely, we’ve made friends for thousands of years prior, and it’s seemed to work fine.
In that regard, Jain points to the fundamental goal of technology.
“Technology is rarely creating new behaviors,” he said. “It’s what we already do, it’s just facilitating so you can find things better, faster quicker. What should I do tonight, who should I meet up with?”
So, How important does Kelly think VR tech in games and general use is going to be going forward?
“For kids in the future, this is one of the most important things that we have touched upon in terms of technological development. Simply put, it’s giving them an opportunity to do something that we couldn’t do.”
“It’s not that long since we were making calls from our landlines, to then having one of those massive Motorola brick phones. Back in the day if you had run out of change in your pocket and needed to make a call you were kinda screwed, or you missed your bus or whatever. Technology allows us now to not even think about it.
“In the future kids are not even going to be able to think about the differences between reality and virtual reality because it is going to be as simple as talking to you wherever you are through AR and VR.”
“Perhaps, more importantly, they will be interacting with things in games in a way that we currently can’t. I’ve worked on some pretty big games in my lifetime where I’ve wanted to escape because it’s a safe place or a better world. There is more opportunity in virtual reality.”
And in schools? Where we currently have a very obvious issue keeping children interested. using antiquated teaching methods that bear no resemblance to the way they live their lives electronically?
“Kids are going to learn much more in education by being able to touch, feel, experience, and do. We as developers are going to be able to measure that so in effect, we will be the teachers. The more we create, the more we can measure. The more that we give parents and kids to do, the more they are going to be able to interact with real life.”
“We think that it’s such a barrier to real life when actually it isn’t. I thought the same when I first started at So Real. How do we convince people that what they are buying in VR is an apple?. You will think this is ridiculous but at the moment we are scanning in 100 different types of pomegranate so that we can use machine learning to pick the type of pomegranate you want. We are doing the same thing with sushi.”
“If you can give that to young people we can say there is no disconnect between the real and the virtual, then we have won.”
This can often be when your mind is actively processing other things at the same time, such as an intense space battle in Elite Dangerous or moving to dodge a punch in Creed.
It doesn’t always have to be during these moments, however. I used my Rift a few months back to play around with Google Earth and Street View. Once in VR, I headed to a small town in Ireland where I used to go on vacation each year with my parents. Using Street View I ‘walked’ up the street past the hotel we used to stay in. I turned around behind me and the large funfair and miniature golf course I remember from my childhood was there. My mind was temporarily flooded with memories and that provided me with a sense of immersion I haven’t experienced in games as yet.
Ever gotten off a treadmill or a moving sidewalk in an airport and had the unnerving feeling that the whole world was moving at a different pace? It isn’t, but new research from scientists at Johns Hopkins University offers detail about what is actually happening in rats—and in us.
Rats and humans both have a hippocampus, the region of the brain that deals with memory and with navigation. Some neurons in this area of the brain, known as “place cells,” light up when a human or a rat returns to a location it recognizes. These place cells fire at a certain location known as the “firing field.” What causes firing field formation still isn’t fully understood, but this new research sheds some light on the matter.
Getting these answers took some quirky experiment design. Researchers constructed a dome with a circular table within, where they could project images of “landmarks.” Then they added rats and monitored their hippocampus function in real-time, to see which neurons lit up when.
“There are three landmarks projected, and the rat is running around in a circle,” says study Manu Madhav. Madhav is a postdoctoral associate working in neuroscience and mechanical engineering at Johns Hopkins. “As the rats run around, the landmarks are initially not moving at all.” During this process, the rats’ neurons behaved as anticipated: the place cells fired at stable locations on the table, indicating that the rats recognized the location.
Later, however, the researchers started moving the landmarks. Imagine the rats were playing a first-person video game with scenery blurring by around them: by moving where landmarks appeared to be, the researchers created a visual illusion telling the rodents they were moving faster or slower than their actual pace. Finally, the researchers exactly matched the pace of the landmarks with the pace of the rats, so it looked like they weren’t moving at all in relation to the images.
This led to an unexpected discovery. The researchers had expected that the illusion would affect the place cells in the brain, which would be confused about where the rats were in space. This is because, like us, rats interpret their surroundings by constantly triangulating their position in relation to the things around them. Given visual information suggesting they were moving at a different pace, the place cells—the internal GPS, if you will—would presumably recalibrate.
But the researchers didn’t expect that this recalibration would stretch to instances where landmark motion made it look as though the rats weren’t moving at all, even though they obviously were. “You would expect that at some point these neurons would give up,” says Madhav. But they just kept telling the rat it was standing still. In a human, that might feel something like the momentary disorientation after you leave a moving walkway in an airport.
The researchers also tried vanishing the landmarks altogether and found that the changes—the perceived faster or slower motion—persisted in the hippocampi of the rats.
This might sound like a small detail, but place cells are more than just our “internal GPS.” Research suggests they’re deeply involved in memory formation as well. Understanding how this region of the brain works could help with everything from creating new treatments for Alzheimer’s Disease to designing more efficient robots. “Place cells are extremely fundamental for us,” says Dori Derdikman, a neuroscientist who teaches at the Israel Institute of Technology and was not involved in the current research. By learning about how they work, he says, “we learn how our memories are organized.”
That means this research is big news, because it offers more details about what causes our place cells to form the firing fields they do. Neuroscientists know it has something to do with the way we remember paths and places in relation to ourselves. But it wasn’t totally clear whether place cells fired just because they recognized landmarks or as part of a process of figuring out paths and remembering them for future use. This study shows that visual landmarks are an important way that rats learn paths and calibrate their position in relation to the other places they remember having been.
That’s surprising in rats, says Derdikman, since rodents aren’t generally considered to have a very strong visual sense. “I think it’s a very clever experiment,” he says.
Big data is creating unprecedented opportunities for organizations to achieve faster, better insights that strengthen decision-making. However, the traditional methods and tools for the analysis of data is not sufficient to capture the potential value that big data represents. Capitalizing on the true value of big data requires a completely different approach. Analytics Insight captures an exclusive interaction with Rion Graham, Data Scientist at , who highlights how harnessing effective big data analytics platforms can help organizations successfully drive real business impact. Analytics Insight: Kindly brief us about the company, its specialization and the services that your company offers. Rion: GoodData is an integrated set of data management, analytics, and insight application deployment and management tools and is a leader in the Platform as a Service category. GoodData combines an organization’s internal and/or external data (both structured and unstructured) to deliver business critical insights to users. GoodData goes beyond traditional business intelligence and analytics delivering insights at the moment of action to drive better business outcomes. The company primarily serves insurance, retail, financial services, and ISV customers, but works with various other industries as well. Analytics Insight: Tell us how your company is contributing in the Big Data Analytics industry and how the company is benefiting the clients. Analytics Insight: Kindly share your point of view on the current scenario of the Big Data Analytics and its future. Rion: The analytics product market remains focused on visualizations as a key differentiator. There’s good reason for this, as they help to turn a series of numbers into a story with real-world business context. However, visualizations alone are often insufficient to describe the sheer volume and variety of metrics that are distributed and unstructured big-data is generated. Artificial intelligence (AI) is ideally suited to bridge this gap and is already being used to automate the process of insight discovery. As the role of AI within analytics expands, a new dialect of insights will emerge to complement existing visualizations. Analytics Insight: How are disruptive technologies like big data analytics/AI/Machine Learning impacting today’s innovation? Rion: Machine learning (ML) and AI are impacting innovation in part by extending the domain of analytics beyond traditional tabular business data to include images, video, unstructured text, and more. One interesting example is the use of AI and natural language processing (NLP) to identify and remove malicious bots and other bad actors on social media platforms by identifying patterns of interaction and conversation. Rather than listing static lists of blacklisted words, new AI algorithms can look at new individual users and how their language evolves over time — and how that relates to the platform as a whole. Not only semantic tagging, but also audio/visual tagging. Analytics Insight: How is your company helping customers deliver relevant business outcomes through adoption of the company’s technology innovations? Rion: We work closely with our clients to understand their underlying critical business needs and thereby design with specific end-users in mind, delivering only the data they need, in a manner they expect. By integrating ML-driven insights at the point of work, whether they be classifications, predictions, or suggested actions, we close the insight-to-action loop and drive ROI. For example, we used ML to help one of our clients (a billion-dollar per year company) redesign its quarterly renewals forecasting process — replacing a series of manual, Excel-based business processes and turning them into a streamlined program for greater data accuracy and a broader spectrum of insights. It’s now obvious to users what actions they should take based on the data presented so they are able make a real impact on their business. Analytics Insight: What is the edge your company has over other players in the industry? Rion: GoodData has been built from the ground up to distribute analytics at the point of work. While competitors struggle to connect insights with their audience, especially at scale, GoodData can deploy analytics and ML models to multiple personas and many thousands of users with ease. Additionally, GoodData’s platform provides continuous retraining of ML models, which means they don’t live in a vacuum. Rather, models and their end-users work in coordination to define and improve real-world business practices. Analytics Insight: How does your company’s strategy facilitate the transformation of an enterprise? Rion: Currently, most companies don’t view analytics as “mission critical”. GoodData’s customers rely on our platform largely when the abundance of their data mandates a shift in analytics from being a “cost center” to a mission-critical activity. Our approach of distributing embedded analytics at the point of work highlights actionable insights to the end users, transforming transactional reports into strategic decisions. Analytics Insight: Which industry verticals are you currently focusing on? And what is your go-to-market strategy for the same?
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