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What Is Extended Reality?

Extended reality (XR) meshes all immersive technologies together, including virtual reality (VR), augmented reality (AR), and mixed reality (MR). In its final product, XR is capable of making users feel they’re inside of its simulations, making them eager for more experiences. Traditionally, immersive technologies have been associated with entertainment, but emerging technology has widened its scope of benefits. As a result, more people than ever before are interested in immersive experiences, putting XR on the rise. Did you know virtual realities could improve your life?

How Extended Reality Works

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At its basics, XR combines emerging technologies to create a super product. More specifically, it takes a team of data scientists and software developers to design immersive algorithms. Together, data scientists and software developers use biomechanical modeling, motion tracking, and machine learning to make artificially intelligent programs for consumers.

Most commonly, consumers interact with XR programs via headset. For example, users may wear a lightweight head-mounted display to interact with an XR sports simulation. On top of that, the head-mount will monitor and record all body and equipment movements during an active simulation. In other words, users can interact with a virtual world through physical movement and the software’s high-level physics engine.

The Benefits of Extended Reality

Not only is immersive technology interesting, but it also provides people with a unique way of crossing items off of their to-do lists.

For example, sports players who use XR simulations can undergo physicals from their home rather than visiting a physician. The artificial intelligence used in XR algorithms makes analyzing these standard health parameters possible. By using high-speed cameras, sensors, and computer vision to measure every action taken by the human and XR gadget, artificial intelligence can predict the user’s chances of success for tactics based on real-time data collection.

In other words, artificial intelligence engages and stimulates players in ways that mimic the real world. Because of this, XR is powerful enough to help users do many things besides entertain. Now, XR can help users with their career, travel, and exercise regimes.

FrameVR.io is growing increasingly popular in the workforce as it creates virtual meetings that can “host” up to 20 participants, making remote colleagues feel they’re in their same setting. Oculus Quest offers virtual tours of historical locations across the globe, optimizing the way we approach traveling in the 21st century. The Pregame Golf Simulator is growing popular in the exercise community, packing downloadable images of specific holes for players to practice virtually.

Although many industries are benefiting from XR, the sports sector has seemed to run with immersive technology the best. Aaron Shapiro, the founder and CEO of Graff Golf believes, “Sports as a whole are turning toward an increased amount of technology to bring about a sense of normalcy in light of the current state of the world.” Are virtual sports the future?

How Athletes Benefit From Extended Reality

how does extended reality work on athletes

The future of sports is oddly technological. However, the amount of physical activity athletes receive will stay relatively the same. How so? Patrick Henry, the CPO of Cybersports explains, “As AI becomes more mainstream, video capture powered by machine learning analysis of the athlete’s biomechanical pattern will become commonplace… athletes will receive real-time actionable feedback and amplified post-game analysis.” In other words, XR is making sports more efficient, drawing in more athletes to its algorithms.

Programs such as the VR Tennis Trainer do a great job at demonstrating the capabilities of extended reality sports. In this program, training is embedded to be fun, yet competitive. During gameplay, players can learn and perfect their movements – all from the help of real-time artificial intelligence. On top of that, players can bring the technology to their home, which comes along with instructor assistance.

On the other hand, fans of esports will have their own sector of XR technologies to engage with. Currently under development, Sportstacular venues will offer up to 100 multi-sport simulators that are designed with socially distance pods for competitive and safe esports. Additionally, Sportstacular venues will be linked city-to-city for tournaments with sponsored prizes.

The Future of Extended Reality

Experts have predicted the market for XR to reach $18 billion by 2023. Why? Perhaps because Americans age 18-24 prefer to partake in activities and high tech amenities at home rather than in public. Many industry experts believe the future of extended reality will only grow stronger. What have your experiences with XR been like?

The post What Is Extended Reality? appeared first on Dumb Little Man.

Another high-flying, heavily funded AR headset startup is shutting down

While Apple and Microsoft strain to sell augmented reality as the next major computing platform, many of the startups aiming to beat them to the punch are crashing and burning.

Daqri, which built enterprise-grade AR headsets, has shuttered its HQ, laid off many of its employees and is selling off assets ahead of a shutdown, former employees and sources close to the company tell TechCrunch.

In an email obtained by TechCrunch, the nearly 10-year-old company told its customers that it was pursuing an asset sale and was shutting down its cloud and smart-glasses hardware platforms by the end of September.

“I think the large majority of people who worked [at Daqri] are sad to see it closing down,” a former employee told TechCrunch. “[I] wish the end result was different.”

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The company’s 18,000+ square foot Los Angeles headquarters (above) is currently listed as “available” by real estate firm Newmark Knight Frank. The company’s Sunnyvale offices appear to have been shuttered sometime prior to 2019.

Daqri’s shutdown is only the latest among heavily funded augmented reality startups seeking to court enterprise customers.

Earlier this year, Osterhout Design Group unloaded its AR glasses patents after acquisition talks with Magic Leap, Facebook and others stalled. Meta, an AR headset startup that raised $73 million from VCs including Tencent, also sold its assets earlier this year after the company ran out of cash.

Daqri faced substantial challenges from competing headset makers, including Magic Leap and Microsoft, who were backed by more expansive war chests and institutional partnerships. While the headset company struggled to compete for enterprise customers, Daqri benefitted from investor excitement surrounding the broader space. That is, until the investment climate for AR startups cooled.

Daqri was, at one point, speaking with a large private-equity firm about financing ahead of a potential IPO, but as the technical realities facing other AR companies came to light, the firm backed out and the deal crumbled, we are told.

As of mid-2017, a Wall Street Journal report detailed that Daqri had raised $275 million in funding. You won’t find many details on the sources of that funding, other than references to Tarsadia Investments, a private-equity firm in Los Angeles that took part in the company’s sole disclosed funding round. We’re told Tarsadia had taken controlling ownership of the firm after subsequent investments.

In early 2016, Daqri acquired Two Trees Photonics, a small UK startup that was building holographic display technologies for automotive customers. The UK division soon comprised a substantial portion of the entire company’s revenues, sources tell us. By early 2018, the division was spun out from Daqri as a separate company called Envisics, leaving the Daqri team to focus wholly on bringing augmented reality to enterprise customers.

The remaining head-worn AR division failed to gain momentum after prolonged setbacks in adoption of its AR smart glasses, including difficulties in training workers to use the futuristic hardware, a source told TechCrunch.

All the while, the company’s leadership put on a brave face as the startup sputtered. In an interview this year with Cornell Enterprise Magazine, Daqri CEO Roy Ashok told the publication that the startup was forecasting shipments of “tens of thousands” of pairs of its AR glasses in 2020.

Daqri, its founder and several executives did not respond to requests for comment.

Google AR search now pulls animals off the screen and into your room

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Is that a panda in your living room?

Yes, yes it is. Google mobile search for different animals on smartphones now brings up the option to view them as augmented reality images that you can place into your surroundings, whether that’s your backyard, on the couch next to your brother watching TV, or in the middle of the kitchen.

According to 9to5Google, as of this week, searches for lions, tigers, bears, alpine goats, timberwolves, European hedgehogs, angler fish, emperor penguins, and giant pandas bring up a 3D image within search that can then be “transported” into your reality through an AR filter. Searches in Chrome or the Google app bring up a 3D card on the screen.  Read more…

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Microsoft HoloLens delivers first ever augmented reality Easter Egg hunt

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Easter Sunday is just hours away, and since it’s 2017, and we’re apparently living in the future, Microsoft has unveiled the first ever augmented reality Easter Egg hunt. 

The game was unveiled this weekend in Los Angeles at the VRLA conference where Microsoft and a team of AR developers allowed me to enter a surrealist forest construct where holographic eggs could be found using the HoloLens headset. 

While the rest of the world can only see the physical environment of the forest room space, using the HoloLens I was immediately presented with a living landscape, filled with the sounds of birds, animated flowers and rabbits furtively scurrying around the space. And when I discovered my first Easter Egg, the egg responded to my gaze by exploding open into a Disney-like flourish of color and sound.  Read more…

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Confirmed: Magic Leap acquires 3D division of Dacuda in Zurich

magicleap-shutterstock_344631905 Magic Leap, the augmented reality startup that has raised $1.4 billion in funding but has yet to release a product, has made an acquisition to expand its work in computer vision and deep learning, and to build out its operations into Europe.
The company has acquired the 3D division of Dacuda, a computer vision startup based out of Zurich. One of Dacuda’s focuses had been… Read More

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Let's turn off Magic Leap's mixed reality hype machine

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There is vaporware and then there’s oh-shut-up-and-just-release-the-damn-product-ware. The latter is what many have come to think of when the name Magic Leap is mentioned. 

And with good reason.

Founded back in 2011, the hype train for what many believe is an augmented reality headset or glasses company left the station around 2014. Since then, the company has racked up investments from the likes of Google and others amounting to over $1 billion, as well as tantalizing testimonials from high-profile names who have tried the technology and have indicated that it’s so impressive it may change computing forever.   Read more…

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