Month: March 2016

Discovery Taps Virtual Reality For Show Promo

Discovery Communications is venturing into the supernatural for its latest virtual reality production: The Destination America network show “Ghost Asylum” is at the center of a new VR video that Discovery released simultaneously on, Littlstar and the Discovery VR Android and iOS apps Friday. Shorter version of the clip will also be distributed on Facebook 360 and YouTube. The six-minute clips take viewers straight into Preston Castle, a former reform school in Ione, California, where they will be hunting ghosts and spirits with the team of the Tennessee Wraith Chasers. The clip is an extension of an episode of the show’s next season, which will debut on Destination America on April 3. “You are immersing yourself right in a ghost hunt,” said Destination America GM Jane Latman during an interview with Variety this week

Nest: more than a thermostat

Nest has several new products in development that together could help form a smart home security system, according to a report last week from The Information. The four products reportedly in Nest’s pipeline are:

Flintstone: a wireless gateway device that will connect all of the devices in a user’s home using Nest’s Thread wireless networking protocol. The device would also wirelessly connect those devices to the home Wi-Fi router and translate commands sent between the Thread and Wi-Fi networks. The thread networking protocol uses less battery power than Wi-Fi, making it a better option for connecting small, low-power devices like sensors and smart locks.
Pinna: a set of security sensors that send alerts to the Flintstone hub whenever a homeowner’s doors or windows are opened.
Keshi: a Thread-connected sensor that could be used for a variety of purposes. For instance, the sensor could be placed in a key fob and used to unlock a smart lock when the user gets home.
Voice-recognition device: Google is working on its own voice-recognition device that will compete with Amazon’s Echo, and Nest is part of the project, according to The Information. Google already has its own voice-recognition technology that is installed in the Android mobile operating system. The device Google is working on would bring that technology into the home and allow users to control their smart home devices by voice command.
Nest isn’t the only company that has struggled to make successful smart home products. There are many major barriers in the market that providers have yet to address including the high cost of smart home devices, the vulnerability of these devices to hackers, and the lack of standards that would allow different devices from different manufacturers to communicate with each other. Despite these overarching issues, improved home security is one of the biggest benefits that consumers want from their smart home devices. So Nest’s potential move into the home security market would be a logical one

Watch as augmented reality brings ‘Alice in Wonderland’ to life (VIDEO) | Read | Mobile | Malay Mail Online

I continue to get excited about the future of product marketing, education and training. AR is a game changer.

AUSTIN, March 26 — Sony Future Lab showcased a new device at the recently concluded SXSW festival that transforms any flat surface into an augmented display.

Using an Alice in Wonderland book as an example, a Sony representative demonstrated how touching any character will take them out of the pages and turn them into interactive animations.

And if you’re wondering how it works, The Verge did us all a favour by explaining it in a nutshell.

Basically, the technology is built from two components: A camera and projection.

The former “map[s] the terrain and tracks changes while hand and finger recognition provides the controls,” and the latter creates the images that appear in the physical space.

– See the video at

Intel Champions IoT at Embedded World 2016

Via Intel blog

Intel tech at Embedded World 2016Intel’s Internet of Things Group (IoTG) demonstrated embedded technologies serving a wide array of industry verticals—from smart transportation and smart factories, to the healthcare sector and beyond at Embedded World 2016.

Attendees of the annual Nuremberg, Germany event engaged with Intel IoT products and solutions while learning how IoT can improve real-time decision making, boost revenues, and lower costs. From the Linux Foundation’s collaborative Zephyr Project to the Intel IoT Commercial Developer Platform, here are some of our favorite

The open source Zephyr Project is a collaborative IoT project among the Linux Foundation and Intel companies Altera and Wind River. The open source project enables a scalable, real-time operating system that supports multiple architectures. Learn more.

Wind River’s Things to Cloud demo featured Wind River Rocket, a tiny-footprint, cloud-connected operating system for microcontrollers (MCUs). It directly connects to Wind River Helix App Cloud, a cloud-based development environment for building IoT applications. The demo showcased the development, debugging, and deployment of a Rocket-based agriculture application. Learn more.

The Adlink Smart Factory demo utilized the Adlink IoT Gateway, an EtherCAT solution, a smart camera, USB DAQ with Microsoft Windows 10 IoT OS, and the Microsoft Azure cloud computing platform. It included features to monitor operating conditions of equipment in the production line and production performance in real-time. It also displayed a database of alarm tags from equipment that was set up for equipment failure analysis. Learn more about Adlink factory

This demo showed how developers and device manufacturers can use Wind River Helix to create safe, secure, and reliable intelligent systems that connect through IoT. It showed how to move system data from secure and managed devices at the edge, through the gateway, across the critical network infrastructure, and to a cloud. Watch a video of the demo

To demonstrate a rapid path-to-product edge IoT solution for transportation, a proof of concept was created using the Grove IoT Commercial Developer Kit, and scaled as an industrial solution using an Intel IoT Gateway, industrial sensors, and Wind River Linux 7 OS. The gateway gathered data from a temperature and magnetic sensor for edge data analytics and monitoring. Learn more about the IoT Commercial Developer Kit.

The Intel IoT Developer Program for commercial solutions provides a fast, flexible, and scalable path for IoT solutions. It features a comprehensive set of resources, developer kits, tools, knowledge, and technical support for professionals to rapidly prototype, test, and deploy commercial IoT solutions. Based on the Intel IoT Platform, this demo included a temperature-controlled environment and included three edge devices that monitored temperature, light, and loudness. The sensors provided continuous streaming data to the Intel IoT Gateway, including indications of failures. Learn more about the Intel IoT

Intel’s Enhanced Privacy ID (EPID) technology provides an “on-ramp” designed to help devices securely connect in alignment with the Intel IoT Platform. Intel’s EPID hardware-enforced integrity provides fixed device identity in a manner that is compatible with existing ISO and TCG standards, and helps protect privacy with sophisticated anonymity technology. Extending use of Intel EPID across the industry will help make IoT solutions more secure regardless of vendor choice. Watch a video of the demo from the show floor

The SRC-0800-4C smart gateway-based IoT energy efficiency management solution demo simulated the main energy equipment by way of multi-sectional LED lights. It collected meter data and status info from voltage sensors, current sensors, temperature and humidity sensors, and energy consumption via Modbus. When using 2G, 3G, or 4G networks, the system realizes real-time data upload to a cloud-based energy efficiency management platform. This enables real-time monitoring of power consumption data and operation status of each device for energy efficiency and emission reductions. Learn more about SRC-0800-4C.

An example featuring Intel System Studio, this demo showed microcontrollers being used to develop and debug firmware on an Intel Quark D2000 MCU-based device. It demonstrated an IoT-connected device being used to record transportation events including monitoring shock sensitive containers. Watch a video of the demo from the show floor.

ParceLive Product Tracking
ParceLive Product Tracking demo in the Intel booth at Embedded World 2016

ParceLive’s credit card-size shipment tracking module enables global shipment tracking using cellular connectivity, combined with sensors monitoring location, pressure, temperature, and humidity. The solution utilizes Intel EPID security features. Watch a video of the demo from the show floor.

That’s a wrap from this year’s Embedded World. To learn more about Intel IoT  developments, subscribe to our RSS feed for email notifications of blog updates, or visit, LinkedIn, Facebook, and Twitter.

Being a Mentor: Give and Get @founding #FIworldwide

I have truly enjoyed being part of Founders Institute over the last several years.

As pulled from their website:

“Starting a company is an arduous and lonely journey, and technology entrepreneurship is a constantly evolving discipline. The Founder Institute’s vision is to “Globalize Silicon Valley” and help entrepreneurs across the globe launch meaningful and enduring technology companies.”

These Orange County founders are courageous, disciplined and innovative. I wish them the best as their businesses flourish. Check them out!

Quick Read: The WebVR 1.0 API Draft Proposal

Virtual reality has come a quite long way since Oculus Rift entered the stage a few years ago, opening up a whole new range of possibilities to experience digital content. Although its use cases were blurry and undefined, it gained huge traction which lead to Facebook acquiring Oculus for $2 billion. Such great expectations also lead to the inevitable influence of VR on the web, which is not likely to be a 2D exclusive environment by the year 2020.

WebVR Cardboard Headsets

As one of the main players advocating an open and free web, Mozilla has been actively helping chart the course of virtual reality on the web. As a result of their exploration of the area, the MozVR project was founded, which today is one of the key contributors to WebVR standards alongside Brandon Jones from the Google Chrome team. These contributors recently teamed up to announce the version 1.0 release of the WebVR API proposal. This is a big step for the future of virtual reality on the web so let’s have a look at what this means.

Note: Our very own Patrick Catanzariti covered WebVR and how to get started last year at SitePoint, so if you haven’t dipped your fingers into the big and immersive world of VR, make sure to check out his article.

Concretely, as detailed in the official Mozilla Hacks blog post, the updated APIs offer various improvements. These are in a nutshell:

VR specific handling of device rendering and display.
The ability to traverse links between WebVR pages.
An input handling scheme that can enumerate VR inputs, including six degrees of freedom (6DoF) motion controllers.
Accommodation of both sitting and standing experiences.
Suitability for both desktop and mobile usage.
Feel free to check out the API draft for more changes and details (especially if you have tinkered with VR before).


IMMERSV LAUNCHES AD PLATFORM FOR VR APPS: In an attempt to get ahead of the impending wave of virtual reality content that will follow the widespread adoption of new VR headsets, former smartphone ad companies are looking for ways to promote VR ads. One such offering is Immersv, a new ad platform for VR content.

The platform, which launched last Thursday, works in a similar way to pre-roll ads, such as those on Facebook or YouTube. For example, a VR user playing a game or watching a video may be shown an ad for separate content and would then be given the option to download the app.

The benefit of VR video advertising is that it provides advertisers with the opportunity to fully immerse consumers in their world — on mobile, interactive videos are much more engaging than static ads, notes IAB. But the early stage of the VR market makes serving ads complicated. This is in part because of new formatting challenges associated with converting videos to run on VR devices, but also because developers don’t want to run the risk of upsetting users so early on with intrusive ads.

To address this concern Immersv ads are played like movie trailers, and require opt-in acceptance from consumers. Early trials of the new ad format suggest that consumers are taking to it. So far, its video ads have reported 80% completion rates. While promising, this is probably due in part to the novelty factor of the new technology and may not be representative of eventual completion rates.

But Immersv isn’t the only VR ad platform to emerge. Last year, another mobile ad network called AirPush went live with VirtualSky, its VR ad platform, with similarly high levels of interest from VR developers, according to Business Insider.  And as the smartphone ad industry gets increasingly competitive, it’s likely that other mobile ad tech groups will make the shift as well.