Oculus Rift

Partnership with Code Crew

We are very excited to announce that The Danse has recently entered into a new internship program partnership with Code Crew

We at CodeCrew are so pleased to have two of our students intern at The Danse this summer. These two young men are getting exposure to world-class skills they would not otherwise be able to learn as high schoolers. We love our partnership with The Danse and look forward to creatively working together in other ways as well.
— Meka Egwuekwe, Executive Director at Code Crew

Code Crew is a wonderful Memphis-based organization that teaches coding skills to K-12 students through summer programs, after school programs, and in-school electives. 

Our internship program, which started this summer, involves us taking on two high school students during summer break.  These students will get to work on virtual reality projects alongside a real software development team and attend development meetings. Our goal is to provide these students some real world work experience involving projects using bleeding edge technology.  

In the fall, we hope to share the wonderful work these kids have done with us!

General Update + Development Screenshots

It's been a while since we've given an update here.  We've just been so busy with projects for all of our great clients, starting a new internship program, and still chipping away at our own internal fun projects. 

We have some cool new medical animations and a couple of great interactive projects to start showing off in the next few months. 

In the meantime, here are some screenshots from Fishy Pinch, a simple VR game we're working on!

VR Homebuilder- Model Home in Virtual Reality

We recently completed a virtual reality tour for a beautiful home designed by Magnolia Homes. The real beauty of the project is in the fact that we were able to create the entire home in 3D using only blueprints. When we started the project, the home had never been built in the real world. Magnolia Homes wanted a way to show off their new floor plan before they were able to begin construction.

 

Sharks!VR- A Work in Progress (Part 1)

We've been pretty quiet about our pet project, Sharks!VR, for the last few months, but we've been very busy with it! Sharks!VR is an educational virtual reality game that teaches children about the ocean and sharks (with a focus on the Great White Shark).

We wanted to share a bit of how our creative process typically works, so here are some screenshots to show the development process for our submersible vehicle in the game.

Just about every concept starts with a lot of ideas and some hand illustrations.

Submersible_Concepts

And then progressively gets fleshed out from there.

ship_C

sharks-screenshot7

Sharks!VR will be coming out later this year!

New Technology = Big ROI In Training

Training and Development on the Gears.  

 

The advent of accessible virtual reality application is right around the corner. This technology promises a new world of opportunity, for those seeking heightened entertainment capabilities, but more importantly for businesses looking for cost-effective solutions, return on investment for updating human resource skills, better training options, and more. Let’s take a closer look at where businesses can save money and optimize operations.

New Hardware Technology - A Better Approach

In the past, to create realism in simulated job site training, companies had to invest millions of dollars into bulky, software-limited simulator hardware.  In many cases, this hardware is completely stationary, which causes large expenses and/or inadequate training time when trainees are spread out nationally or globally.

Emerging affordable virtual reality hardware provides a 360 degree perspective of a digital world. It can be used in conjunction with various off-the-shelf motion tracking devices.  This new hardware approach allows learners to interact with what they are seeing using their arms, hands, legs, and feet.

The best part about this hardware (aside from the super low costs)

How can these devices make training more effective? 

  • Many companies hold training from a specific site (headquarters). Having to fly trainees around the country or from other countries is cost-intensive and time consuming. Sending hardware or instructors+hardware is much more efficient—bringing greater profits and lower costs.
  • Companies that deal with manufacturing of products can train their employees effectively the virtual way from various sites simultaneously without using resources. Digital models can be interacted within a realistic mode. This allows for a larger margin of error without waste.
  • Customer service training can be carried out interactively with less stress. Employees can learn how to better interact with customers on an individual basis. This can optimize time spent on training by reducing stress—a relaxed atmosphere is conducive to learning.
  • Marketing and sales training can be held virtually in a realistic way.
  • Seminars and training for specific topics for all levels of employees can take place on site simultaneously with participants from all over the world. Engineers can learn complicated new job operations without leaving town—saving lots of money, bringing increased expertise to the workforce, and thus a large return on investment.
  • Reduce the amount of time your money-making production equipment is "parked" for training.

Return on Investment and Cost Effectiveness

Being able to train employees for new operations, skills and job positions often costs a lot of resources and brings a questionable amount of return of investment. Investing in new technology costs less than 1000 USD per unit and can be used repeatedly by any number of employees. The amount of seminars that can be participated in virtually is limitless. The interactions that can take place between people all over the world are infinite. ROI becomes easier to measure based on the new skills and training programs undertaken, via this exciting new technology.

While many of these technologies are not yet on the market, they will be soon, and to stay competitive on the worldwide market will mean investing in new methods of doing business on an international scale. Flying and other forms of travel are expensive. The new way of communicating and learning interactively carries little risk and a lot of benefits.

Training Benefits for Using the Virtuix Omni

Omni HD 1  

 

The Omni takes virtual reality to an all-encompassing new place for more than just games and entertainment.  Gamers can feel immersed in the games they play as the device allows them to move their feet, walk and run along with the program. With the use of Oculus Rift to view their virtual world, the Omni places the user right in the middle of the action. But this is just for starters, as there are applications beyond fun and games that can be extremely useful out there in the real world.

The Virtuix Omni looks like a round treadmill, complete with a railing. The pack for 699 USD includes a special belt and shoes to be used with it. Purchase of the Oculus Rift is separate, but necessary to complete the virtual simulation.

The Omni allows for:

  • More interactive remote employee meetings
  • Virtual exhibitions for on the job
  • Simulations of workplaces
  • Increased ease and realistic simulation of training on the job

Particularly for jobs that are more hands-on, is this last point especially relevant. Instead of training EMTs with dummies, they can run to the scene, check the pulse of their charge, load them into the ambulance, and then drive away. They can practice every aspect of their job using the Omni.

Training for a Variety of Job Fields

Some of the other fields which can benefit from practicing job scenarios using the Omni include:

  • Nurses and nursing assistants
  • Doctors and dentists
  • Engineers and those who deal with hardware
  • Production line workers
  • Those who work in retail
  • Clothing designers
  • Architects
  • Artists
  • Office workers who need to tour new locations in advance
  • Those who need to practice sales and marketing scenarios
  • Those who need training speaking before large audiences
  • Training motivational speaking

 

The Training Benefits for Using the Virtuix Omni are Plenty

Any job with a hands-on aspect can use simulation that incorporates feet and movement, as well as the viewing function (from Oculus Rift). Colleagues can demonstrate job functions from a remote location and have the feeling they are in the room together, handing each other instruments and approaching one another. Despite location restraints, they can have the sort of team building and bonding that was previously only possible in person. This will serve to speed up the training process and optimize employee efficiency and cost effectiveness—in saving money on expensive flights, for example.

Virtual reality is a powerful tool for job training that will continue to be optimized as the technology is developed and made readily available on the market. The Virtuix Omni in conjunction with the headset from Oculus Rift are forerunners for improving the on the job training experience and will surely be fixtures on educating individuals in the future.

New Immersive Tech Series: Oculus Rift vs. Microsoft HoloLens (Part 2)

virtualroom  

A varying array of applications for work and play with the newest technology, Oculus Rift and Microsoft HoloLens are making big waves in tech news. They are making reality augmentation and virtual reality that much more integrated into work and play. As highlighted a bit in part 1, Rift is a headset that allows the user to experience the images displayed from a first person perspective while HoloLens is a device that has the user controlling holograms and imposing them over their view of the world around them.

At first glance, the headsets look similar. They are worn by users like glasses over the eyes, but with varying degrees of transparency. Rift totally wipes out the outside world and puts the wearer into a virtual reality based world. HoloLens lets you see your desk, your computer, your windows and coffee cup, but with digital images imposed onto the scenery by way of the lens. Let’s take a deeper look at the features.

Rift

  • Ideal for gamers who want to get inside the games they play. — Rift will support a variety of games when it is available for consumers on the market.
  • At 350 USD, a competitive price tag for medical students who need to simulate the practice of surgery. —Technology already exists to simulate surgery scenarios, but this device is a cheaply priced alternative that could put it at the forefront  (we're actually working on applications like this).
  • Educating school children and teens in a more hands on way. — Students can explore countries and structures (like government buildings, pyramids in Egypt) remotely. Instead of an expensive class trip, this can allow students hands-on experiences at a fraction of the price.
  • Watching movies. — As more films are made in this format, it could change the way viewers experience films. They can watch a film as a part of the film, in the first person.

 

HoloLens

  • Can optimize the skype experience. — For families forced to be at a distance in today’s society, being able to see loved one’s as a part of the scenery can give the feeling they are there with them in the room while talking via skype.
  • Making remote business meetings more effective. — A complaint often heard in the business world is that virtual meetings are less effective than meeting in person. A holographic generated image of a colleague could make them feel they are interacting in a more personal way, and thus connect optimally to get more done on the job.
  • View a model of an engine while doing idle chores. — Multi-tasking taken to new levels.
  • Team building events will be more amusing. — Scenery can be created to resemble a beach, a desert, the set of Game of Thrones, and more. This can be a springboard for fun and open teambuilding events.
  • Training new employees. — A more three dimensional approach to getting new employees acclimated using holograms to demonstrate tasks.

 

The future promises to be an eye-opening journey into the world of reality augmentation and virtual reality, on and off the job. The Oculus Rift and the HoloLens will surely be at the forefront.

New Immersive Tech Series: Displays, VR, and AR

Reality of Knowledge  

Technology is becoming more and more futuristic, including the way we view what we’re doing. Lenses, headsets and other assorted viewing devices offer total or partial immersion in virtual worlds, or at the very least: augmentation of the so-called real world.

Popular displays like the Oculus Rift, the Microsoft HoloLens, the Google Cardboard, and the Samsung GearVR are among the up and coming technology virtual reality devices have to offer.

Oculus Rift: 

  • A bulky headset that allows users to see digital worlds from a 360 degree angle based on how the user turns his or her head. It can be supplemented with the Virtuix Omni to include hands, arms and feet motion for an even more realistic experience
  • It’s impossible to see out of the headset, users are totally immersed in what they are playing—working on or viewing.

Microsoft Hololens:

  • Slightly smaller than the Rift and lighter weight. It also allows the viewer to see their work from various perspectives but is also transparent to the outside world.
  • Provides only partial immersion, depending on what applications are utilized.
  • Augmentation to the world outside instead of blocking the outside world.
  • Runs only in conjunction with Windows 10.

Google Cardboard:

  • Consists of a simple cardboard viewer.
  • Applications on the user’s mobile phone provide the view.
  • Affordable, lightweight, and simplistic.
  • The cheapest virtual reality option that works with a variety of mobile phones.

Samsung GearVR

  • Only works with one Samsung mobile phone: the Samsung Galaxy Note 4
  • The headset is similar to Oculus Rift
  • Provides total immersion
  • Only costs 199 USD

Various Degrees of Virtual Reality 

Whereas Oculus Rift and Microsoft Hololens are more intensive and have the potential to be used for a lot of business related operations including training and design, the Google Cardboard and Samsung GearVR viewers are easily affordable and can provide virtual reality experiences for consumers looking to just stick a toe in the water. They are less bulky than the Rift and more transportable. Though the Samsung GearVR only runs on Galaxy Note 4, more models could be added in the future and it’s already possible to go out and buy the Google cardboard and the GearVR—unlike the Hololens that is only out there as a prototype (that not everyone can get their hands on).

The Rift and the HoloLens are less accessible to start with, but may prove to be more realistic in immersing users. Once they arrive on the market to consumers, it will be interesting to see what applications are picked up. Google Cardboard and Samsung GearVR can be tried out now, giving us a taste of what is to come.