Facebook-owned Oculus VR on Monday launched a new initiative called “VR for Good.” It’s a platform that seeks to build a better reality through the use of VR, and starts with two pilot VR film programs that the company hopes will inspire the next generation of VR content creators. With these programs, Oculus VR is targeting high school students, rising VR filmmakers, and nonprofit organizations.
The first program focuses on students only. Called the 360 Filmmakers Challenge, nine San Francisco Bay Area high schools will be tasked to create 360-degree films ranging in length from three to five minutes that showcase their communities. To create their films, these schools will receive a Samsung Gear VR headset, a Galaxy S6 smartphone, a Ricoh Theta S 360 camera, and exclusive access to editing software. The students will be helped by professional filmmakers and “VR film mentors” during the process.
"People's machines and VR hardware will improve faster than the networks that connect them," Jim told me. "We're going to end up with a situation like the shiny beemers with burst low profile tires siting on the side of pot holed SF roads. Building higher fidelity experiences for higher fidelity devices over networks that are improving more slowly than the devices is going to be challenging, certainly. Especially if you want to connect the world and not just people with good fixed broadband connections."
"Hardcore Dungeon & Dragons enthusiast Miguel Zavala has taken it upon himself to use his hobby of 3D design and printing to make the world a better place. How? By creating a library of every monster from the Dungeons & Dragons Monster Manual as 3D-printable miniature patterns. The library includes the entire monster manual, plus all the miscellaneous creatures from Appendix A and the NPCs from Appendix B.
Miguel Zavala The creations can be printed with PLA using Printbot simple metal. Zavala recommends using 0.05 to 0.1 layer resolution, 100% infill, and supports. You can download all of the designs via Shapeways through this link. Don’t be deterred by the “Not For Sale” labels. Just go into the individual items and you will find links to the patterns. Besides, would wouldn’t want their very own zombie beholder?"
One of the reasons Minecraft has been so popular in classrooms -- beyond students just flat-out loving it -- is its versatility. Minecraft has the utility and flexibility of a learning management system, without all the boring bits. It presents teachers and students alike with a sandbox of possibility for interest-driven, student-centered, project-based, and personalized learning experiences.
Maybe the best thing of all, though, is that just about any classroom or lesson, no matter the subject, content, or objective, can make use of it.
So whether you're already using Minecraft in your classroom or thinking about taking the plunge, check out the great ideas below for how to use Minecraft. There's sure to be something that'll inspire you.
Tilt Brush lets you paint in 3D space with virtual reality. Unleash your creativity with three-dimensional brush strokes, stars, light, and even fire. Your room is your canvas. Your palette is your imagination. The possibilities are endless.
Western Australia’s Curtin University has unveiled one of the most advanced driving simulators in the southern hemisphere.
Housed at the university’s Technology Park campus, six kilometres from the Perth CBD, the CKAS Mechatronics simulator’s installation is the product of the collaboration between Curtin University and independent road research body, ARRB Group.
Officially launched by Deputy Premier and Minister for road safety in WA, Liza Harvey, the university says the simulator will enable the Curtin-Monash Accident Research Centre (C-MARC) and ARRB to undertake “highly sophisticated driver behaviour and road infrastructure research” by recreating the forces, loads, sounds and feel of real-world driving.
GRASP (GestuRe Augmented Simulations for supporting exPlanations) is a NSF-funded collaboration between the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign and Concord Consortium. The goal of this project is to understand the role that gestures play in reasoning about critical concepts in science. Specifically we are working with middle school students to help us understand how moving their hands can help them explain things such as what causes air pressure and why we have seasons. We are also creating new computer simulations that can respond to students’ gestures and allow students to become part of the simulation! We believe that this “hands in” approach to learning will provide new opportunities for students to learn complex ideas and construct new explanations. Go here to learn more about this project.
A social virtual reality demo by Facebook at its F8 developers conference showed two people separated by 35 miles interacting in VR with hand gestures, voice chat and head movements. The pair connected in VR as naturally as if they were standing together.
In reality, they were in two Oculus Rifts holding Oculus Touch hand controllers. In VR, the social app demo showed the pair taking a virtual selfie inside what looked like a 360-degree photo of London, and uploading it to their Facebook account.
From the Collision Conference last week, here's Linden Lab CEO Ebbe Altberg revealing some new footage of Project Sansar -- both creating scenes in VR, and some new sample scenes, including a photographic recreation of an ancient Egyptian site, a North Pole/Antartica scene, and more footage of that sample Mars we've seen in recent months -- including more than one avatar. Scroll past the opening boilerplate, which is mostly stuff regular readers are already familiar with -- the action starts at about 8:18 in.
Cogswell Polytechnical College has launched a new Virtual Reality/Augmented Reality (VR/AR) certificate program for professionals in the computer graphics industry looking to join content development teams in VR and AR.
The VR/AR certificate program will teach cognitive and perceptual aspects of VR/AR experience, human/computer interface and interaction design, VR design principles and applications of VR/AR in storytelling, according to information on the program’s site. Participants must complete the program’s six courses to earn a certificate.
Virtual and augmented reality have been around for decades now, but the revolution has only really just begun. Major headset releases are happening at every turn ,and game developers are not far behind. Further applications abound in science, healthcare, travel. Will our brave new virtual world be populated with boundless explorers, or despondent couch potatoes? Time will tell.
Coloring books capture the imagination of children and provide them with one of their earliest opportunities for creative expression. However, given the proliferation and popularity of digital devices, real-world activities like coloring can seem unexciting, and children become less engaged in them. Augmented reality holds unique potential to impact this situation by providing a bridge between real-world activities and digital enhancements. In this paper, we present an augmented reality coloring book App in which children color characters in a printed coloring book and inspect their work using a mobile device. The drawing is detected and tracked, and the video stream is augmented with an animated 3-D version of the character that is textured according to the child’s coloring. This is possible thanks to several novel technical contributions. We present a texturing process that applies the captured texture from a 2-D colored drawing to both the visible and occluded regions of a 3-D character in real time. We develop a deformable surface tracking method designed for colored drawings that uses a new outlier rejection algorithm for real-time tracking and surface deformation recovery. We present a content creation pipeline to efficiently create the 2-D and 3-D content. And, finally, we validate our work with two user studies that examine the quality of our texturing algorithm and the overall App experience.
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