VR & AR

Could VR & AR be making its way into the office?

Multiethnic Business team using virtual reality headset

Virtual reality and augmented reality provide experiences impossible with typical computers and smart devices, and their falling cost means they’re going to become prevalent in the coming years

Although games and educational tools will prove to be major parts of VR and AR, the business field stands to benefit as well, and offices in the future might look very different than those of today. Here are some of the ways VR and AR technology could find its way into corporate environments in the coming years.

Employee Training

Although videos can provide useful information when training employees, hands-on training, sometimes extensive, is needed in many fields. Because training typically involves paid trainers, the process represents a major component of onboarding new employees. Interactive VR and AR applications provide employees with interactive experiences similar to those of personal training, and training programs can reduce the cost of getting employees up and running. Some human interaction will still be needed in most cases, but the one-time cost of developing a training program will be well worth the investment.

Virtual Desktops

Despite how much workers rely on computers and other digital devices, the office desk is still difficult to replace, as the large size of desks provides ample storage space for documents and other items. Augmented and even virtual reality can provide a similar experience by offering a larger field of view than monitors can provide. Furthermore, the visual depth VR and AR simulate can help people identify items at a glance. Soon, the office desk might be more of a hollographic concept than a physical one.

New Marketing Tools

Pictures and text go far when selling products, but nothing can be the in-person experience. VR and AR, however, might be able to come close. Letting potential buyers see and interact with a realistic simulation of products should prove to be a powerful selling point, and companies able to capitalize on this technology can gain an edge. Furthermore, virtual reality platforms that allow competitors to present virtual interfaces can become popular advertising platforms in the future.

Virtual Communication

Telecommuting is already gaining momentum, as the convenience and reduced cost make it compelling. While video teleconferences work in many situations, they don’t quite match the appeal of in-person meetings. VR can provide a more lifelike experience, potentially letting companies cut back on expensive travel for in-person meetings. Morning huddles and other mainstays of business might be replaceable as VR advances.

Augmented Employees

Employees, especially those who interact with clients and customers, need information as quickly as possible, as delays in retrieving information can be frustrating. Augmented reality can provide an easy interface for employees to retrieve information at a glance, whether they’re in the office or away. One example of how AR can change employee interaction comes in automatic translation tools, which can enable employees to talk with those who speak languages in a seamless manner.

Virtual reality and augmented reality aren’t new concepts, but technology is finally catching up and making it a reality. While predicting what VR and AR will create in the future is impossible, there’s no doubt it’s going to play a significant role in many business fields.

Holographic computing takes the spotlight as the user interface of choice

Medical technology concept. Electronic medical record.

Everyone takes notice when Apple CEO Tim Cook makes a prediction

During the company’s fourth-quarter earnings call with analysts, he said, “AR is going to change everything.” He was not exaggerating.

Augmented reality (AR) is re-shaping our use of technology. , Consider how quickly we have moved from typing on PC keyboards, to the smartphone’s tap and swipe and on to simply using voice commands to ask Alexa or Siri to answer our questions and help us get things done. Now AR brings us to the age of holographic computing, providing a captivating, futuristic user interface alongside animojies, Pokémon and face filters.

Whereas textbook holography is generated by lasers, holographic computing is coming to us now through our the mobile devices in the palm of our hands. As a result, we are now witnessing a surge in the use of hologram-like 3D – and to Cook’s point, it will completely change how we interact with businesses and each other.

The evidence is everywhere. The release of Apple’s iOS11 puts AR into the hands of over 400 million consumers. The new iPhoneX is purposely designed to deliver enhanced AR experiences with 3D cameras and “Bionic” processors. Google, meanwhile recently launched the Poly platform for finding and distributing virtual and augmented reality objects, while Amazon released Sumerian to facilitate creation of realistic virtual environments in the cloud. We are also in the midst of an AR-native content creation movement, with a steady stream of AR features coming from Facebook, Snapchat, Instagram, and other tech players.

The instantly engaging user experiences of 3D are obviously attractive for gaming and entertainment, but are capable of so much more, particularly in the training and customer-experience sectors where the technology is already making substantial in-roads.

In training, holography is useful for virtual hands-on guidance to explain a process, complete a form or orient a user. It also can effectively simulate real-life scenarios such as sales interactions or emergencies.

Holographic computing interfaces add new dimensions to traditional instruction methods. AR enhancements can be overlaid for greater depth and variety in information presentation, such as floating text bubbles to provide detail about a particular physical object. They can generate chronological procedure-mapping for performing a task, or virtual arrows pointing to the correct button to push on a console.

There are countless opportunities for adding more digital information to almost anything within range of a phone camera. Why should staff travel to a classroom if an interactive, immersive 3D presentation can be launched on any desk, wall, or floor and “experienced” through the screen in the user’s hand? And unlike passively watching video, holographic interfaces add an extra experiential element to the training process. As a result, users can more readily contextualise what they are learning.

In customer experience, consumers are using AR and holographic computing for self-selection, self-service, and self-help. And it will not be long before the range of uses expands. IKEA’s AR app, for example, lets a customer point a phone at their dining room to see how a new table will look in the space. Taking this further, it should be possible to point the phone at the delivery box in order to be holographically guided through the assembly process when the table is delivered.

Holographic computing will also emerge as the preferred means for obtaining product information and interacting with service agents. Walk-throughs of hotel rooms and holiday destinations with a 3D virtual tour guide, travel planner or salesperson are also not too far away.

There are other appealing use cases, of course. And as adoption and implementation spread, there will be many instances where this new user interface is preferable and will quickly become standard.

Along with the Apples, Googles and Facebooks of this world, there are a number of new entrants to the AR arena. The sheer amount of money being thrown at speedy development shows that the ultimate nature of the holographic user interface is up for grabs. Will it remain phone-based or involve glasses? Will it shift to desktop or evolve beyond our current hardware, to be integrated into on-eye projection technology? Or will it be all of the above – who can say?

The one certainty is that significant brain-power is being invested by companies of all types in the development and application of this emerging technology. The increased dispersal of AR experiences in all their incarnations, combined with the mounting accessibility afforded by our smartphones, will drive mass-adoption and widespread affinity for the holographic interface.


About The Author

Holographic computing takes the spotlight as the user interface of choice TechNativeSimon Wright is Director of AR and VR at Genesys. Genesys, the world’s #1 Customer Experience Platform, empowers companies to create exceptional omnichannel experiences, journeys and relationships. For over 25 years, we have put the customer at the center of all we do, and we passionately believe that great customer engagement drives great business outcomes

Why Brands are Turning to Augmented Reality

girl in black paint and neon powder

Mixed reality is opening up a new world of opportunity for marketers

Ever since the emergence of modern virtual reality, experts have been predicting a sharp spike in advertisers and brands taking advantage of virtual reality technology, with augmented reality expected to play a major role. Only recently, however, has the technology enabled advertisers to begin exploring what is a truly novel means of showcasing products.

Personal Virtual Augmentation

As anyone who has seen makeover shows knows, a bit of makeup or style can go a long way. Encouraging customers to try out various ideas, however, has long proven difficult. Through augmented reality, stores can give customers virtual makeovers in mere seconds and with only a few taps. Companies are already exploring this option, and customers will soon be able to try out lipstick, false eyelashes, and other cosmetics without having to spend time manually applying them. Tony Parisi of Unity3D gives us a few examples of brand experiences using VR below.

Street-Level Augmented Reality

Street-level advertising is popular in population centers, and some companies already use interactive displays. Pepsi has been a pioneer in this field, having used augmented reality in it’s Unbelievable Bus Shelter last year, which featured alien abductions, meteor strikes and tiger attacks which was effective as capture attention from passers by.

In doing so they proved augmented reality doesn’t necessarily have to be strictly related to a specific product being sold, as increasing attention on a brand can lead to higher sales.

Home Products

Furniture is practical, but most people are also concerned with how a piece of furniture will look in their homes. Through it’s augmented reality Ikea Place app, everyone’s favourite furniture company is now allowing customers to try out various options through their smartphone screen, showing how the product will look in the room. Buyers are often concerned with whether a piece will fit in their space, and they want to ensure furniture they purchase isn’t too large or small aesthetically for their rooms.

Augmented reality lets customers try out various options to find the perfect fit. Integrating this technology with social media also encourages customers to effectively advertise Ikea’s products to their online contacts.

Virtual Sales Agents

Sales agents serve as valuable educators for store products. However, sales agents can be expensive to employ, and some customers prefer to avoid interacting with sales agents. Through augmented reality, stores can provide in-depth information for to visitors using smartphones, providing the facts customers need to make an informed decision. Databases can store more information than any sales agent can memorize, making them powerful tools for customers looking for specific features. Chain stores can also load information about stock in nearby stores, increasing the odds of landing a sale.

According to Parisi (below), with all these marketing uses AR has the potential to become even more popular than fully immersive virtual reality.

Augmenting Live Performances

Movie theaters and live venues are facing increased competition from high-quality and affordable home theaters and interactive entertainment. As the trend away from traveling for entertainment seems all but inevitable, theaters and live venues are looking to adopt new technology instead of fighting it. Visitors with smartphones can enjoy an enhanced experience using augmented reality, and virtual reality itself is finding its way into more traditional media. This technology is still new, but various entertainment venues are sure to embrace it in the coming years to remain competitive.

Augmented reality presents an array of new options, and it’s not yet clear which will fade away and which will remain. Regardless of how this new technology shapes up, consumers can expect new and interesting ideas to continue emerging over the coming years.

Five ways VR & mixed reality are set to transform how we do business

ネットワーク

The benefits of VR & AR go way beyond entertainment

Virtual reality and augmented reality provide experiences impossible with typical computers and smart devices, and their falling cost means they’re going to become prevalent in the coming years. Although games and educational tools will prove to be major parts of VR and AR, the business field stands to benefit as well, and offices in the future might look very different than those of today. Here are some of the ways VR and AR technology will find its way into commercial operations in the coming years.

Employee Training

Although videos can provide useful information when training employees, hands-on training, sometimes extensive, is needed in many fields. Because training typically involves paid trainers, the process represents a major component of onboarding new employees. Interactive VR and AR applications provide employees with interactive experiences similar to those of personal training, and training programs can reduce the cost of getting employees up and running. Some human interaction will still be needed in most cases, but the one-time cost of developing a training program will be well worth the investment.

Virtual Desktops

Despite how much workers rely on computers and other digital devices, the office desk is still difficult to replace, as the large size of desks provides ample storage space for documents and other items. Augmented and even virtual reality can provide a similar experience by offering a larger field of view than monitors can provide. Furthermore, the visual depth VR and AR simulate can help people identify items at a glance. Soon, the office desk might be more of a virtual concept than a physical one.

New Marketing Tools

Pictures and text go far when selling products, but nothing can be the in-person experience. VR and AR, however, might be able to come close. Letting potential buyers see and interact with a realistic simulation of products should prove to be a powerful selling point, and companies able to capitalize on this technology can gain an edge. Furthermore, virtual reality platforms that allow competitors to present virtual interfaces can become popular advertising platforms in the future.

Virtual Communication

Telecommuting is already gaining momentum, as the convenience and reduced cost make it compelling. While video teleconferences work in many situations, they don’t quite match the appeal of in-person meetings. VR can provide a more lifelike experience, potentially letting companies cut back on expensive travel for in-person meetings. Morning huddles and other mainstays of business might be replaceable as VR advances.

Augmented Employees

Employees, especially those who interact with clients and customers, need information as quickly as possible, as delays in retrieving information can be frustrating. Augmented reality can provide an easy interface for employees to retrieve information at a glance, whether they’re in the office or away. One example of how AR can change employee interaction comes in automatic translation tools, which can enable employees to talk with those who speak languages in a seamless manner.

Virtual reality and augmented reality aren’t new concepts, but technology is finally catching up and making it a reality. While predicting what VR and AR will create in the future is impossible, there’s no doubt it’s going to play a significant role in many business fields.

Why Europe’s augmented reality players must join forces to compete globally

Men playing virtual reality with hololens

International working group to boost Europe in AR

Spending on Augmented Reality technologies will reach $60 billion in 2020 according to Michael Porter and James E. Heppelmann in their Guide to AR in the Harvard Business Review. This represents a lucrative market, as Europe has many strengths in research, engineering, training, and creativity that will allow it to play an active role in the global rise of this technology. But doing so will require an open ecosystem where new trail-blazing services can be developed.

An Industry Specification Group with b<>com, Fraunhofer HHI, the CEA and Institut Mines Telecom as founding members was launched at ETSI last December to define an interoperability framework for augmented reality applications. Industrials are starting to join the effort with Siemens as a new member and actors like Bosch, Technicolor and Orange contributing to the discussions while considering joining. The focus on interoperability will benefit both technology providers and end-users.

b<>com CEO Bertrand Guilbaud believes the European market “boasts a diverse range of skills and know-how”.

These are nascent industries, so the industrial ecosystems are not yet in place. Now is the time for us to build them in order to unleash the potential in all fields of work and enable the birth of a strong European industry. ”We must facilitate market access for European technology suppliers to enable them to compete globally and take full advantage of this sector.

Augmented reality (AR) is the ability to mix spatially calibrated digital content with the real world, in real time. Automotive, media, telecom, health care and retail: There are few industries that aren’t exploring the technology. And partnerships between businesses and tech suppliers are proliferating. The latest example in France is Hôpital Avicenne in Bobigny, which hosted of one of the first surgical procedures carried out via Microsoft’s HoloLens and TeraRecon’s Holoporta mixed-reality collaborative platform.

b<>com is a European research institute with over 230 researchers who develop tools, products, and services that aim to make everyday life easier. They chair ETSI’s industrial specifications group, the ISG ARF. It acts as a European standards body, developing world class standards for global use, specifically in augmented reality technologies. “Participating in the global structuring of new industrial ecosystems in digital sectors is one of b<>com’s most important missions,” adds Guilbaud.

Collaboration on technology projects between Europe’s leaders in the field like the Fraunhofer institutes and France’s CEA, allows us to compete with the largest players either directly or indirectly, and thereby develop a European economy.

b<>com will be exhibiting at Mobile World Congress next month

Could VR Help Us Prepare to Colonize Mars?

mars

 New VR experience Mars Home Planet aims to prepare us for a journey to the red planet

Concrete plans for sending humans to Mars haven’t yet been set but multiple projects, including the Dutch Mars One initiative are already building momentum. Although the systems that could take people to Mars will obviously be more advanced than trips to the moon, any journey will still present challenges moon-bound astronauts didn’t have to face.

Astronauts took about three days to make it to the moon. By comparison, travelers will take closer to six weeks to make it to Mars even planetary alignment is perfect. While en route, travelers will need to endure cramped quarters, difficulty with sleep cycles, and having to get along with others. Virtual reality can show travelers what the journey will look like, making it feel more comfortable when they finally embark.

How will humans adapt to an alien world for an extended period of time? Except for relatively short trips to the moon, no research exists. Experience in a VR simulation could help travelers prepare, and it can provide valuable feedback for researchers and those planning the mission.

Home Away From Home

Today’s virtual reality technology has advanced tremendously, and future advances will make the gap between virtual reality and the real world even smaller. HP, NVIDIA and their partners are hoping bridge the gap with their new Mars Home Planet simulation. The global project will simulate what a Mars colony could look like with a human population of 1 million in the near future. “We have our sights set on Mars,” says HP’s VP of product management for workstations Josh Peterson.

Through HP and partner technology, we are unleashing engineers, architects, designers and students to help anticipate and solve the real world problems we’ll face to inhabit Mars one day.

The simulation allows participants to experience and solve the challenges presented by urbanization on the red planet. The experience is set in the real-life location of Mawrth Vallis, which was handpicked by NASA as a potential landing zone  for future missions thanks to it being seen as relatively hazard-free. Engineers, developers and designers from the Launch Forth community will manage the project and companies including Autodesk and Technicolor

HP’s involvement in the Mars Home Planet project comes hot off the heels of its newly announced VR strategy and recently launched HP Z VR Backpack. Powered by its Z-series workstation technology, the HP Z Backpack is a first of it’s kind as it allows people to experience VR completely untethered, giving users complete freedom to roam and creating a much more immersive experience.

We recently met HP’s Gwen Coble to talk about the launch and the Mars Home Planet Simulation.

The backpack includes an NVIDIA Quadro P5200 GPU, making it the first mobile solution to pack a workstation-level graphics card. It also comes with a docking station that switches the device to a high-powered workstation, letting VR content creators transition between design and testing in seconds. These features illustrate HP’s intent to set the HP Z VR Backpack apart from other devices available as they lend well to the use of VR in business settings like engineering and design. Sean Young, HP’s Worldwide Segment Manager, Product Development & AE gave us a demo.

Traveling to Mars remains a distant dream for people interested in expanding the reach of the human race. However, virtual reality now offers us all a very real and immersive way to experience the red planet. Budding explorers can sign up for Mars Home Planet here.

8 Ways VR Could Transform Media & Entertainment Forever

Virtual entertainment

Virtual reality is coming..and bringing new business models with it

As screen resolutions, low-cost graphical processing, and consumer-targeted devices continue to improve, VR is going to find its way into more and more homes. As with any burgeoning technology, however, predicting the precise impact of VR is difficult, and consumers and businesses will eventually decide its overall impact. However, it’s fair to assume the impact on the media and entertainment industries will be large. Here are eight ways VR could reshape the media and entertainment industries.

Supplemental Material

Whether televisions programs and movies are going to be fully available in virtual reality remains to be seen. Already, however, media companies are using VR to create compelling supplemental material, building brand recognition and keeping fans engaged. Fans interested in the environment that hosts their favorite television program or movie can use VR to become virtual guests. In an era when companies seek to building cinematic universes, VR can serve as a compelling supplement.

More Engaging Advertising

Perhaps the biggest drawback of VR technology is the effort it requires. While it’s easy to look at or away from screens and televisions, contemporary VR technology requires wearing a headset. Because of this, users can’t simply glance away from advertisements, meaning advertisements can be far more engaging than those in traditional media. Companies may need to exercise some restraint, however. VR often tracks head movement, and advertisers can even require users to look at particular parts of the advertisement before it ends. Striking the balance between engagement and annoyance will be critical for making VR advertising a success.

Bridging Gaming and Traditional Media

Ever since the multimedia boom of the early 1990s, media companies have sought to combine video with gaming, and results have been mixed. However, the dream of interactive movies and video-based gaming might find a niche in virtual reality. The immersive nature of VR has the potential to hook people who have no interest in more traditional gaming experiences. Still, the challenge of making video into engaging gaming remains, but VR provides better interactive options than traditional gaming controllers and keyboards.

8 Ways VR Could Transform Media & Entertainment Forever TechNative

Beyond Entertainment

The interactive nature of VR gives it potential beyond screen-based entertainment. Already, companies are exploring making educational programs that provide information in a more compelling manner. Television programs about astronomy, for example, might be better fits in the world of VR, where users can virtually navigate through the solar system and beyond. Instead of scrolling through information in a document, users can turn their heads in a virtual world to find information in a more natural manner.

Useful Augmented Reality

Virtual reality requires users’ full attention. Augmented reality, on the other hand, is designed to provide information or interaction while keeping the user engaged in the world beyond the screen. The novelty of AR will make inroads in many business fields, but developing regular users will require providing real value. Advertisements can fuel profits if integrated in a natural manner, but companies may also consider subscription services, as most AR fields require companies to provide regular updates.

Escaping Reality

When trying VR for the first time, many people are astounded by how engrossing the experience is. VR technology transports users into a new world, providing a level of detachment other types of media can’t match.

8 Ways VR Could Transform Media & Entertainment Forever TechNativeBusinesses will explore ways to make mundane tasks more tolerable; long plane flights, for example, might be easier to tolerate with a VR headset on. Certain medical procedures can benefit from VR technology as well, as patients might be better able to relax while enjoying VR content.

Training

It’s possible to learn many skills using books, video, and online resources. Other skills, however, demand a more interactive experience, and repetition can be essential. Through VR, companies can provide training not possible with other media. The labor required to train new employees on day-to-day tasks, for example, can be partially supplemented by VR technology. Drivers and those who operate machinery might find virtual reality to provide tremendous value. Already, airlines and militaries rely on virtual cockpits for training pilots. The more general-purpose design of VR headsets offers tremendous potential.

The Unknown

Companies are already investing heavily into new VR technology, and investment will only ramp up as VR devices reach critical mass. With investment will come innovation, and it’s possible VR’s main driver will be an app of paradigm currently being developed in a small lab. Media giants will inevitably play a role, but it may well be a relatively unknown player entering the market that makes a real splash. Money is critical for tech development, but nothing can be the value of innovation, especially when combined with the low entry cost of distributing software.

Anticipation for VR technology continues to grow as it becomes more affordable and more robust. Consumers stand to benefit from more engaging ways to enjoy media, and businesses can carve out exciting new ways to reach a growing market. While VR’s role in society isn’t yet clear, the technology is here to stay.

What Are The Technology Priorities For Broadcasters?

Digital Multimedia

The broadcasting industry often operates at the forefront of cutting-edge technology

However, the shift from analog to digital operations has been slow and is still ongoing. Determining how to maintain profitability in the internet age is tough for many traditional media outlets, and even newer media companies are having to adjust to changing consumer preferences and new technology.

Is Technology Killing Traditional Television?

Cable television presented a threat to traditional broadcast stations in the United States and Europe, but broadcast stations survived. The concept of “cord cutting” has gained some traction, yet studies show that traditional television, including broadcast networks and cable, still reign supreme. As networks are typically the only source of local broadcasting and news, they still have an inherent advantage over newer technology. Furthermore, the simplicity of plugging in a digital antenna to receive free programming will likely retain some appeal, and the brand recognition of broadcasting television means it’s likely to survive even as newer media providers grow.

Basic Security Measures

Before investing in new technology, media companies need to ensure their basic security is strong. Would-be pirates are great at hacking servers hosting content, and the leak of popular programs can cost media outfit, such as Netflix, subscription money if they’re not the first to broadcast new content. Making platforms easy to access is important, but so it ensuring those streaming the content have legitimate accounts.

Technology to Reduce Bandwidth Costs

Although bandwidth is growing at a dramatic pace, so are the demands of media. Already, streaming services are offering bandwidth-heavy 4K content, and 8K content is likely not far away. Investing in better compression technology can lower costs, as can re-encoding media for different devices; mobile screens, for example, might be better served with a different compression technology than large televisions. Peering agreements can help as well. By storing content on internet service providers’ servers, for example, media companies can reduce the cost of delivering programming.

High-Tech Subscription Services

Netflix has been a bigger hit than many anticipated, and the company is now a giant in the media field. However, many competitors, some with large libraries of content, are trying to replicate its success, with mixed results. While established subscription-based platforms will likely maintain a strong position, newer players will have to find ways to differentiate themselves from the competition, as consumers won’t be willing to pay for more than a handful of subscription services.

Technology-Fueled Advertising

Although consumers are willing to pay for their media, free services are great for building an audience. One of the drawbacks of traditional television is that stations can’t target their ads towards individual viewers and homes. Tracking viewing habits and inferring demographic information can help companies provide more effective advertising. Another technology to consider is watermarks for a show’s sponsor. By avoiding traditional television ads and instead leaving up a small watermark noting that that the program is sponsored by a particular company, new media outlets can reduce the annoyance people often feel with advertisements.

Although Netflix and YouTube have made tremendous inroads in media, traditional outlets still stand tall. Furthermore, broadcast and cable stations are aware of changing tides, and they’re investing heavily into new technology to ensure their relevance. Although new media players are establishing a firm hold, more traditional outlets still have plenty of time to make adjustments as viewing habits evolve.

Even the most established players can be disrupted in any industry, just ask Blockbuster Video. We recently met David Ingham from IBM to find out how new devices, viewing habits and data sources are transforming media and entertainment.

b<>com goes immersive at the Amsterdam IBC

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From September 15 to 19, for the second year in a row, b<>com is presenting its innovations at the Amsterdam IBC, Europe’s world’s leading Media, Entertainment and Technology tradeshow.

Under the motto “Tech that makes yours better”, b<>com was once again selected to join the Future Zone, a space dedicated to emerging technologies and innovations on the industry’s cutting edge.

At a stand twice as large as before, b<>com has chosen to promote its technologies in two leading themes. First, an avant-garde vision of virtual reality (VR) experiences, with a special focus on spatialized audio and new image and compression formats. 4 technological demonstrations are presented exclusively:

The [Virtual Arctic Expedition]: An immersion into the ocean’s depths, made accessible through virtual reality. The “Virtual Arctic Expedition” experiment, created in collaboration with experts from the ocean exploration park Océanopolis, has mobilized many skills in order to achieve a stunningly engaging experience: A high degree of realism, natural interactions with virtual entities (animals) thanks to artificial intelligence, a collaborative experience that enables divers to be seen and interact while in immersion, a soundtrack made with spatial audio, etc.

*Spatial Audio Toolbox* for VR: A suite of 360 audio plugins in High Order Ambisonics format dedicated to the production/post-production of immersive content (VR/360). This suite will be illustrated through audio mixes created for a music video production (Fanfaraï Group, Tour’n’sol Prod) as well as a short fiction film (Vaudeville, DVGroup). This content will make it possible to demonstrate a complete production, distribution and playback system MPEG-H 3D Audio (Fraunhofer IIS).

b<>com [SDR-HDR converter]: The SDR-HDR conversion technology recently honored at the Las Vegas NAB Show will particularly be presented for the first time in Ultra-High Definition and real time. It makes it possible to benefit from the performance of new HDR screens while preserving the artistic intent of SDR sources.

Beyond HEVC: An objective comparison of next-generation video compression systems JEM and AV1 with the H.264 and HEVC codecs in terms of bitrate used and perceived quality.

Find b<>com’s teams at the IBC’s Future Zone, Hall 8 – stand G14!

b<>com demonstrations will also be visible at partner stands:

To register for free online, the b<>com guest code: 22006

b<>com is Pushing the Boundaries of Virtual Reality in The Virtual Arctic Expedition

Vue subjective 2 ©bcom

b<>com take theme park visitors to new depths with immersive VR

Right before 2017’s annual IBC (International Broadcasting Convention), research institute b<>com is rolling out its latest VR demo to the public. b<>com is working with the French theme park Océanopolis to bring park attendees down 20 meters into the depths of the Arctic Ocean through virtual reality. Instead of just testing in-house, they’re going to be bringing their new developments right to the public.

Integration of Hypermedia, Security, and e-Health

Instead of being singularly focused, b<>com aims to innovate in a variety of different fields at once. The Virtual Arctic Expedition shows off a lot of impressive new technology that has applications outside of the “entertainment” people come to expect from VR.

• Six degrees of freedom: Instead of a limited demo environment, the Arctic Ocean represents something boundless—the demo achieves the “next step” in VR with wireless and lagless movement.
• Smart VR: Users interact both with each other and the environment, with AI incorporation and real-time behaviour adaptation. VR has ceased to become solitary technology, as virtual divers can interact with each other.
• Social VR: The Virtual Arctic Expedition exists outside of the demo itself through social media as well.
• 3D Audio: Collaboration with scientists has led to perfection of spatialized audio, leading to the most immersive possible VR experience imaginable.

The demo is also a good illustration of the Usage and Acceptability Lab works with non-invasive measurement of psychological and physiological reactions. This integration of platforms will allow b<>com to become a player in the digital revolution of medicine while also being at the vanguard of network development and cloud computing.

b<>com is Pushing the Boundaries of Virtual Reality in The Virtual Arctic Expedition TechNative

“The expertise that we have developed in the field of virtual reality, immersive interaction, cognitive sciences, artificial intelligence, and audio/video/graphics formats allow us to offer engaging virtual reality experiences,” says Ludovic Noblet, Director of Hypermedia at b<>com. “The potential is enormous for content creators and distributors. Our work with Océanopolis allows us to apply our technologies to “edutainment” content, but we are also looking at several professional sectors, like health and industry.”

Thanks to the results of this live tests at Océanopolis, b<>com will be showcasing enriched versions of the experimentation at IBC in September. From the 14th to the 19th, the Virtual Arctic Expedition will be on display, as well as a several other developments including their award winning real-time SDR-HDR conversion through an FGPA-based platform, as well as next-gen video compression in a 5G context.

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