Virtual Reality as a Tool

The VR hardware market exploded after Facebook deemed VR investment worthy with its 2 billion acquisition of Oculus in 2014. A lot of serious players entered the game and Q1/2016 is gonna be the culmination of this. All major players Oculus, HTC/Valve, Sony and Microsoft with their AR headset, announced the public release of their consumer products for the beginning of next year. What still seems the most interesting to see though is what Magic Leap can come up with.

I always thought that the real magic of VR and AR technology doesn’t lie in entertainment but in its great potential as a tool for engineering and creation in general. So far only one company, HTC, lets this idea reflect in its marketing leading up to the big battle of the platforms next year. The following video is an example for this.

Printing Magnet Patterns

Correlated Magnetics developed a printer that is able to “print” magnetic patterns into rare-earth ferrite or flexible magnetic materials. This allows them to code magnets uniquely so that a given combination binds only to its counterpart.

http://youtu.be/jcCx8J5rP6U

Special patters generate unique functions

http://youtu.be/oBHWUUtJH6U

http://youtu.be/65XwNwgyWO4

Raspberry Pi Oscilloscope and Logic Analyzer

The BitScope BS05U is a simple Oscilloscope, Logic Analyzer and Signal Generator for the Raspberry Pi. As it connects via USB and there is software for Windows, Mac OS X and Linux available it can be used on this systems as well.

Features

  • 20 MHz Bandwidth.
  • 40 MSps Logic Capture.
  • 2 Analog Scope Channels.
  • 2 Analog Comparator channels.
  • 6 Logic/Protocol Analyzer channels.
  • 8 & 12 native analog sample resolution.
  • Decodes Serial, SPI, I2C, CAN and more.
  • Windows, Linux, Mac OS X & Raspberry Pi.
  • Built-in analog waveform & clock generators.
  • User programmable, C/C++, Python, VM API.
  • Tiny, light weight (12g) and water resistant.

scope

AR Driver Assistance – The Transparent Bonnet

transparent-bonet

The British all-terrain vehicle maker Land Rover has found a practical application for Augmented Reality. They are developing a driver assist system that creates a virtual transparent bonnet/hood.

Several cameras in the grill capture the ground below the forward part of the car. The combined images of these cameras are projected onto a head-up display in the lower half of the windshield allowing to “look through” the bonnet/hood and motor block onto the ground.

The application is supposed to assist the driver in difficult situations for example steep climbs or when maneuvering in confined spaces. Additionally the application displays information about important vehicle data, including speed, incline, roll angle, steering position, and drive mode.

The concept study dubbed “Discovery Vision Concept” will be shown at the New York International Auto Show.

Capacitive Floor Touch

SensFloor, a large-area sensor system, is based on a textile underlay with a thickness of only 2mm. The sensor system has four integrated radio modules and 32 proximity sensors per square meter. Whenever a person walks across the floor, sensor signals are sent to a control unit and various different types of events are identified: The sensor system differentiates between a person standing or lying on the floor and determines the direction and velocity of movements. Static signal detection and self-test capability are important features for security applications.

WQXGA 27 Inch Multitouch Display

On the IFA 2013 in Berlin Acer presented its new WQXGA (2560x1440px) 27 inch multitouch display T272HUL. The touch surface extends to the edges of the display housing and supports up to 10 simultaneous touches.

acer-wqxga-mt

 

2D / 3D High Res 360 Degree Camera

Fraunhofer Heinrich Hertz Institute is currently working on a complete end-to-end system for the real-time acquisition and projection of immersive, high-resolution video panoramas. The approach is based on a flexible, mirror-based multi-camera rig that uses multiple HD cameras to capture very high-resolution video panoramas. These videos are then exhibited with a flexible multi-projection system in order to provide the viewers with the immersive feeling of watching the event on-site from the very best seat.

Features

  • Real-time acquisition and projection of high resolution video panoramas with large field-of-view (FOV),
  • Capturing with flexible rig for up to five HD cameras with FOV of 150 degrees,
  • Full circle rig for up to 12 HD cameras with 360 degree capturing capability,
  • Exhibition with flexible, high-resolution multi-projection system,
  • Based on CineCard PCI-card that supports up to four projectors per board (and up to 16 projectors per PC),
  • Unlimited cascading in both vertical and horizontal direction,
  • Immersive viewing experience that feels like “being there”.

360cam

GIMP Native on Mac OS

 

GIMP 2.8 is now available as a native application for Mac OS X without the need for a X11-Environment.

The ported version does require Snow Leopard or higher and can be downloaded from the website of one of its developers at:  Partha’s Place.