Who is Samsung Sam? Why Everyone is Excited for a Virtual Human that Doesn't Exist Yet — VirtualHumans.org
The clamor for more digital humans is real, and these leaked renders of a proposed virtual human for Samsung phones gained popularity and a thousands of likes and shares on Twitter last week. Even though Samsung has not officially acknowledged this as their new virtual assistant for their phones, we hope that they consider going down this path and doing something fun and interesting with the character. Other voice assistants don't have a "face" and being the first ones to embrace a digital human would set them apart in a highly competitive and growing market.
Meet Sua, a digital celebrity | Unity Blog
Though this is another article about a virtual human, the actual news is that the stunning graphics and movement are all recorded in real time, in 4K. Unity3D Korea has created its own digital celebrity as a demonstration of the Unity High Definition Pipeline Rendering (HDPR) outputting a high quality video stream. This allows their virtual human to host chats, respond to actual conversations, and interact with others in ways that are more engaging than pre-rendered experiences. You can learn more about their process in this Korean language-only session the Unity team released late 2020.
Lego Transforms Statues into AR Creatures at Legoland Windsor Theme Park via Mobile App « Mobile AR News :: Next Reality
We've highlighted Lego AR experiences before (Issue 11 and Issue 29), but we have another we encountered in news coming from their newly opened Mythica: World of Mythical Creature, at Legoland Windsor in the UK. Using the Legoland Windsor Resort app guests can scan codes near four of their statues to enter a portal to photograph the mythical creatures inspiring the park. If you're in the area and into Lego this looks like a fun experience.
Interactive tattoos are a fun idea, and Soundwave Tattoos™ adds a very interesting dimension to tattooing by playing a sound file based on the audio wave detected on you tattoo skin. You can't get this done at every tattoo shop, so be sure to check out their network of tattoo artists or the very nice looking work on their Instagram for creative inspiration in what others are doing to incorporate sound waves into their personal art pieces.
Using AR/XR, INKHUNTER gives you a real time preview of how a design could look on your skin. Aside from being genius, the preview is very realistic and does a great job helping visualize a design. Hopefully this saves people from getting a piece that doesn't work for them, and inspires others to take a chance on a tattoo they couldn't see themselves getting until they got a preview of the results.
How VR could bring transhumanism to the masses | by Joshua Corvinus | AR/VR Journey: Augmented & Virtual Reality Magazine
You may not know the term transhumanism but you have probably seen many stories where the central conflict is how technology augments humanity, and what defines a human once many of us are augmented by technology. This article does a good job showing the potential for VR to not only introduce transhumanism to more people, but also in normalizing changes and augmentations to be widely accepted. Definitely read this, there is much more to the concept than our brief synopsis.
Bossa Nova 2020 inventory robot includes sharper vision, smaller footprint
Solving the problem of real-time inventory location is not easy, especially since people don't always stock the shelves in the exact same manner. Pairing computer vision, advanced imaging, and machine learning to scan stores shelves (even narrow ones) the Bossa Nova 2020 is designed to map store shelves in less than a minute. By quickly scanning shelves, the data gathered can help power enhanced experiences to help a customer find products faster. And also save us the embarrassment of not finding something we have spent time not seeing on the shelf right in front of us.
Poocho VR Experience Survey: Oasis
Research and design agency Poocho has released a survey to gather “general understanding of behaviours, habits, challenges and aspirations of VR users” that looks interesting. We have highlighted a few studies and surveys in the past, and feel it's important to have as many people participate to have a useful set of results. Take a look at the consent form before starting, but if you have 2 minutes please consider taking this brief survey.
Also, if you (or someone you know) will be in the NYC area June 2021 and are up for participating in a research study get in touch with them. We will be in the area and plan on reaching out to take the study.
A New Dimension in Tabletop Gaming – The Last Gameboard
It’s been more than 11 years since we’ve seen a good touchscreen & miniature tabletop D&D experience, but this completely blows away all of the old Microsoft Surface demos. This game board brings together all of the modern advances in machine learning, multi-touch detection, network connectivity, and the ability to distinguish between a touch or a game piece to make something that looks incredible. We’re not sure yet what operating system it runs, but see potential for the hardware beyond social gaming.
One More Thing
Hologram Experts Can Now Create Real-Life Images That Move in the Air – Like a “A 3D Printer for Light” - California News Times
We’re getting so much closer to real holograms, and we couldn’t be more excited about this research happening at Brigham Young University. They’ve made a HUGE advancement in optical trap displays and created a way to use light to paint vibrant images and scenes viewable from any angle, and even support animation. These are physical projections in space that don’t require a headset or special equipment, just your own two (or four) eyes. The current demos are very small scale but fun and could change immersive in-person experiences to see things that could only be done in fantasy.
This week we highlight some news in the world of virtual humans (an admitted obsession) as well as some fun AR/XR experiences that you can download today. Also, today is the start of Apple's Worldwide Developer Conference (WWDC), where announcements are anticipated around the rumors of an Apple AR headset. There have been months of rumor and far too much speculation, but even without news of a headset the iPhone and iPad are two of the largest AR platforms currently available. And sport hardware capabilities other manufacturers are still working to catch up in order to compete. If you like you can follow along with the live stream, but Apple also does a great job of breaking the sessions up into smaller videos within their AR/VR videos section.
This week's One More Thing has implications for more than just XR, as it is actually a step into the realization of real holograms. The research is not getting nearly enough press, and that's a bit of a shame. You don't have to be a die-hard science fiction fan to be able to imagine what being able to project three dimensional holograms would mean for advancements in every aspect of our lives. Even if you don't want to read the paper check out the demonstration video and prepare to be amazed.
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