Stanford boffins invent 4D camera to improve robotic vision and augmented and virtual reality specs

A team of researchers at Stanford have designed a 4D camera which could improve vision for applications in robotics and virtual and augmented reality technologies. 

The new vision technique could also be used in autonomous vehicles, add the researchers – Donald Dansereau, a postdoctoral fellow in electrical engineering, and Gordon Wetzstein, assistant professor of electrical engineering, and others.

The new camera Stanford has developed is a proof-of-concept and the university plans to start building a smaller prototype suitable for commercialisation in the coming months.  Continue reading Stanford boffins invent 4D camera to improve robotic vision and augmented and virtual reality specs

Opinion: Augmented and virtual reality ‘open up whole new world of opportunities’

augmented-reality-glasses atheer

By Douglas Bruey, electrical engineering program lead at Synapse

At first glance, a gamer playing Pokémon Go has little in common with a surgeon saving lives in an operating theatre. But dig a little deeper and you’ll discover that might not be the case for much longer.

Augmented reality and virtual reality technologies are poised to open up a whole new world of opportunities. We’re already seeing the effects of VR when it comes to gaming. But in future could AR add a new dimension to surgery?

AR and VR both have the ability to alter our perception of the world. AR takes our current reality and adds something to it – virtual objects or information. VR, on the other hand, immerses us in a different – virtual – world.  Continue reading Opinion: Augmented and virtual reality ‘open up whole new world of opportunities’

You could be seeing things that aren’t there: Google Glass finds new home in old industries

google glass with manual
On the left is an assembly engine manual that GE’s mechanics used to consult. Now they use Glass Enterprise Edition on the right. Picture: Google X

About four years ago, when Google first showed off its Glass product – a pair of hi-tech spectacles capable of running augmented reality apps – it was met with some scepticism, incredulity even. 

Few people thought it would take off, as interesting as the idea was. Maybe people generally couldn’t see themselves walking around wearing glasses which could be seen as intrusive.

Theoretically, Google Glass could display images on pretty much everything and everyone you looked at while wearing them – and would people in your eyeline appreciate that?  Continue reading You could be seeing things that aren’t there: Google Glass finds new home in old industries

Beam me up virtually, Scotty: I canna change the laws of physics, captain

Kirk, Spock teleportation

lockA while ago, Robotics and Automation News interviewed Alex Boch about 360 cameras, and he said he would be developing a new product soon which would incorporate virtual reality. 

Now, having helped build the ALLie Camera, Boch – who is VP of operations there – is back in touch to talk about the device which he says gives users a better view of events than if they were actually there.

One of the events ALLie has been used for is the American Century Celebrity Golf Championship, which Boch mentions in the Q&A that follows.  Continue reading Beam me up virtually, Scotty: I canna change the laws of physics, captain

Husqvarna launches virtual reality game for lumberjacks

husqvarna limberjack

Husqvarna, which makes robotic lawn mowers and demolition robots among other things, has launched a virtual reality game for lumberjacks.

Probably intended to test the market for future products such as smart glasses featuring augmented reality, aimed perhaps at the forestry and logging industry, the game is called Limberjack and is available through Steam.

The company says the game is aimed at anyone who wants to test their chainsaw skills or, to be precise, “limbing” skills. Limbing is the process of removing branches from the stem of a fallen tree.  Continue reading Husqvarna launches virtual reality game for lumberjacks

PixMap launches ‘revolutionary’ 3D vision system for drones and robots

pixmap

PixMap says its “Reality Capture” technology takes robotics from 2D to 3D perception, enabling many new applications for robots and drones 

PixMap has launched what it says is a “revolutionary” 3D real-time robotics localization and mapping technology. 

This new technology, named Reality Capture, enables robots and drones to robustly map their environment in 3D and in a photorealistic manner and to know their position within the world with a millimetric accuracy, according to PixMap.

The company says that by using this technology, robots can, for the first time, see the real world by accurately capturing its geometry and colours. Reality Capture technology will enable many new applications for robots and drones, adds PixMap.  Continue reading PixMap launches ‘revolutionary’ 3D vision system for drones and robots

New Infineon chip enables Lenovo to build world’s smallest 3D camera, bringing augmented reality to smartphones

infineon chip augmented reality for smartphones

Lenovo is the first manufacturer worldwide to bring Tango technology to a consumer product.

Google’s technology that allows devices to understand spatial information is an exclusive feature in the Phab2 Pro smartphone.

Based on the Time-of-Flight principle, the Real3 image sensor chip from Infineon Technologies equips the smartphone with a 3-dimensional perception of the surroundings in real-time.

Infineon provides the only image sensor chip in the world meeting Google’s specifications.  Continue reading New Infineon chip enables Lenovo to build world’s smallest 3D camera, bringing augmented reality to smartphones

Dassault Systèmes teams up with HTC to provide virtual reality to enterprises

dassault htc vive

HTC has formed a strategic partnership with Dassault Systèmes to drive virtual reality (VR) into the enterprise space. HTC has a VR system called Vive, which the two companies will work on refining applications for. 

Dassault Systèmes has developed the 3DExperience platform as a collaborative virtual environment for businesses to create differentiating customer experiences.

Dassault Systèmes applications can already be used on the HTC Vive VR system, which is said to provide “total experiential immersion and room-scale capability”, say the companies, adding that it delivers a 3D experience in a highly accessible format that enables their customers to easily envisage potential solutions.  Continue reading Dassault Systèmes teams up with HTC to provide virtual reality to enterprises

AMD claims it has 83 per cent of global VR systems market

amd liquidvr
AMD LiquidVR

AMD claims it virtually owns the virtual reality systems market with a whopping 83 per cent market share. And yet the chipmaker says it is looking to further consolidate its dominance. 

AMD has revealed new advances in hardware and software to further the reach of VR, and unveiled its new GPU certified program that simplifies adoption of VR technology for consumers and content creators.

“AMD continues to be a driving force in virtual reality,” said Raja Koduri, senior vice president and chief architect, Radeon Technologies Group, AMD.

“We’re bringing the technology to more people around the world through our efforts to expand the VR ecosystem with VR i-Cafés in China, new Oculus Rift and HTC Vive headsets, and a wide variety of content partners in gaming, entertainment, education, science, medicine, journalism and several other exciting fields.”

AMD says it is also making VR more easily accessible to consumers and content creators with its GPU certified program featuring the new Radeon VR Ready Premium and Radeon VR Ready Creator tiers. Its forthcoming Polaris GPUs and AMD LiquidVR technology will “simultaneously advance groundbreaking VR-optimized graphics”, says the company.