This past week, EpixVR attended the VR/AR Global Summit hosted at the beloved city of Vancouver thanks to sponsorship by the Rotary Club. This is our first year attending the summit and we are proud to be at the startup booth alley to demo part of the HOME Team VR experience as a teaser. HOME Team stands for HOme Maintenance for Elderly and it is an amazing program brought to you by your local Rotary Club. We are excited to bring you this storytelling experience through the medium of VR. The full experience is scheduled to be released in early 2019.
The summit was filled with many amazing demos, insightful talks, and great networking opportunity. We met many new friends who are very passionate in the VR/AR space as well as industry leaders who are paving the way with hardware and software innovations.
Some of the most notable demos were by ThirdEye Gen, TAP, Magic Leap, Volumetric Camera Systems, Barkley the Cat, and Intel's Future Class Room.
We tried on their X1 AR glasses and to our surprise, the quality was really good! It beat Hololen's FOV hands down, and it was the first pair of AR glasses that we've tried that does not feel like you need to be cross-eyed in order to see anything in the tiny window they offered. I can see perfectly with their glasses. According to the CEO, second generation of their AR glasses will be announced in CES 2019.
Haptic feedback company that created a device which enables the user to type inside VR. The device reads the signals from the user tapping their finger to determine which finger was tapped. The game they invented to go with the hardware was very fun.
Finally got to try the Magic Leap headset and I have to say that it is impressive. Definitely a more nature viewing experience than the HoloLens. Currently it lacks content so I only had the Sticker APP to play with. The Sticker APP basically allows the user to place virtual stickers in the real world. SLAM was very smooth. Does not have the few second glitch that HoloLens have. Magic Leap tracks the room almost without interruption.
Volumetric Camera Systems
This 3D capture rig was developed by the students of University of Toronto. I was impressed how they converted the rig into a portable device and used machine learning for image stitching.
Barkley the Cat
Taiwanese based animation studio with over 70+ artists and their animation quality was definitely on point. It was so clear and crisp. According to the director, they created all the assets in Maya and used Unity for the animation. The rendering time is significantly reduced. Using Unity for animation is the future of animation. This begs the question, will render farms be obsolete in the future?
Intel Future Classroom
This experience blew my mind. The experience was curated by the Smithsonian Museum and it displayed the art from the Burning Man Festivals. Not only were the 3D capture of the art pieces realistic, the experience was also social. I was chatting with someone inside the experience not knowing he was from London. The entire time I thought I was talking to someone who is in the same showroom until I took off my headset and realized that no one was next to me. VR is creating a new way of human interaction and I have chills down my spine just remembering my experience.
The topics covered in the summit was insightful, and it was interesting to hear some of the bigger players confirm that companies are adapting to VR/AR for the simple rationale that they do not want to be the next Blockbuster. This fear is pushing them to incorporate new technologies into their ecosystem. There are many retail examples of big corporations forced to face reality by their sales numbers and closed stores due to not adhering to consumer needs and operating the old traditional way, thinking that they are too big to fail. Companies that are more alert to consumer shopping changes are on the forefront of experimenting with new technologies and setting the trend for its usage.
Engineering companies are also meddling with AVR with the hopes that it delivers more efficient communication between parties. To them, the most important thing is the outcome of the project, therefore it is critical that all parties are aligned. AVR is able to deliver visual information in a way that traditional is not able to and successfully provide all the engineering parties with the same 3D information, leaving nothing to the imagination.
EpixVR as a content creator, looks forward to other industry events like this and hopes to contribute more to this exciting space of AR/VR!