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Flying Insect like robot - RoboBee by Harvard University

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As engineers and scientists collaborate to design ever more sophisticated aerial robots, nature has been a constant source of inspiration, with flying insects, birds and mammals providing valuable insights on how to get airborne.
Recently, a robotics team at Harvard University developed a method that would allow their insect-size flying robot — dubbed "RoboBee" — to conserve energy midflight, much as bees, bats and birds do.
By attaching a shock-absorbing mount and a patch that conducts electricity, the researchers were able to direct the tiny robot to perch on a variety of surfaces and then take off again. When activated, the electrical charge held RoboBee in place, much like how a balloon will stick to a wall after you rub it against a wool sweater. Terminating the charge enabled the robot to detach from the surface and fly away.
RoboBee is about the size and weight of an actual bee — about 0.004 ounces (100 milligrams) and 0.8 inches (20 millimeters) tall, with a wingspan of 1.4 inches (36 millimeters), according to the study's lead author, Moritz Graule, who conducted his research as a student at the Harvard John A. Paulson School of Engineering and Applied Sciences (SEAS) and the Wyss Institute for Biologically Inspired Engineering (WIBIE) at Harvard University.  
Thin copper wires send control signals and power to the robot body, and the wings can move independently and are driven by "artificial flight muscles," Graule told Live Science in an email.
The robot originally made its debut in 2013, in a study published May 3 in the journal Science. It was the first robotic insect that was capable of hovering, Graule said, and it was modified for the new study to allow it to land midflight.
Why would a flying drone need to perch? For much the same reason that flying animals pause during their flights — to conserve energy.
"Many applications for small drones require them to stay in the air for extended periods," Graule said. "Unfortunately, today's flying microrobots run out of energy quickly (approximately 10 to 30 minutes). We want to keep them aloft longer without draining too much energy."
While RoboBee's flying technique closely mimics the biomechanics of insect flight, finding a method that would allow the robot to perch on different surfaces required an approach that didn't follow natural models as closely, Graule said. Animals use adhesives or gripping mechanisms to hold themselves in place, but those weren't practical choices for such a tiny robot, according to the researchers.
The solution was electrostatic adhesion. The scientists attached an electrode patch to the top of RoboBee, which could be charged to create an attraction to a target surface. RoboBee would fly up toward a target, and at contact, the charge would be activated. Small pulses of energy kept the robot "stuck," and turning off the charge allowed RoboBee to easily drop off and continue on its merry way.
#robotics #flyingrobot #drone #infizeal #himanshulohia #robobee #harvarduniversity #latesttechnologies #roboticinsect

Advantages of virtual reality in medicine

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Virtual reality is used in many areas of healthcare which range from diagnosis, treatment, e.g. surgery, rehab and counselling. It is also used to train the next generation of doctors, paramedics and other medical personnel and has shown a range of benefits from doing so.
So what are the advantages of virtual reality in healthcare? There are several which are related to medical/surgical training, preventative medicine, counselling and architectural design of new hospitals.

Virtual reality medical training

Let’s start with virtual reality as a means of training healthcare professionals. It is used in medical schools and other similar settings as a means of education and instruction. It enables medical students to acquire knowledge and understanding about the human body by means of interaction within a virtual environment.
Medical students can perform ‘hands on’ procedures but in a safe and controlled setting. They are able to make mistakes – and learn from them but in an environment where there is no risk to the patient. They interact with a virtual patient and as a result of this, learn skills which they can then apply in the real world.

Virtual reality dentistry

But virtual reality isn’t only confined to medical schools. Dentistry is another area in which it plays a part. For example, there is a system known as ‘HapTEL’ which is based upon haptics (Greek for touch) in order to train new dentists. This virtual dental chair includes a training scenario in which the student is shown a 3D set of teeth that they work on.
They perform a range of procedures, e.g. a filling using a virtual drill which replicates the movement and pressure of a real drill by means of force feedback. This feedback takes the form of subtle changes of pressure which enables the student to adjust their technique accordingly.
This is discussed further in our virtual reality in dentistry article.

Virtual reality and paramedic training

It is also used to train paramedics and other similar personnel who need to learn life saving skills but without placing themselves and their patients at risk. They are able to do this by interaction with a simulated accident or emergency in a virtual environment but with minimal risk. These scenarios are realistic and enable them experience a high pressure situation and respond accordingly.

Virtual reality preventative medicine

Virtual reality is used to educate patients about positive lifestyle choices, such as stopping smoking, moderate alcohol intake, healthy eating and exercise. There is an emphasis on educating people to make positive changes about their health which will reduce the risk of illnesses, many of which are preventative.
Both desktop and fully immersive CAVE systems can be used to demonstrate the effects of negative lifestyle choices, e.g. smoking on health with the aim of changing people’s behaviour.

Virtual reality counselling

Counselling is another area where virtual reality has been utilised. A classic example is phobia treatment, for example a fear of public speaking where the sufferer is able to learn skills and build up their confidence in a virtual environment.
This is discussed in greater detail in our virtual reality in phobia treatment article.
It also used to treat people who have developed post traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) as a result of a life threatening situation. One example is that of soldiers who have served on the front line in Afghanistan and have become traumatised as a result. They are taught a range of techniques for dealing with the symptoms of their condition using virtual reality. This takes the form of a pair of virtual reality glasses or head mounted display (HMD), data glove and input device, e.g. joystick.
Find out more in our virtual reality treatment for PTSD article
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Virtual reality architectural design

Virtual reality is used by architects and the construction industry to design and test new buildings. It enables them to walkthrough a virtual model in order to evaluate this which saves both time and money.
One example of this is the design and build of a new clinic which can be explored using a virtual reality headset, data glove and input device. The user moves around the building in the same way they would in the real world and are able to assess various aspects whilst they do so. This is a safe and controlled way of doing so which is also cost effective.
To summarise: the main benefits of virtual reality in medicine include:
  • Safety
  • Time
  • Money
  • Ability to re-use on a regular basis/skills refresh
  • Can be used remotely
  • Efficiency
  • Realistic
These benefits appear in many of the individual articles related to this section.
#Bio-Robotics, #virtual reality, #medical sciences, #infizeal, #himanshulohia, #gesture, #SuperSmart,

VIRTUAL REALITY – WHY THIS TIME IS DIFFERENT

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VIRTUAL REALITY – THE EARLY YEARS
Let’s start with a quick primer on the history of VR.  VR was created in 1965 by Ivan Sutherland – he created the “Ultimate Display”, a device that could overlay wireframe interiors onto a room.  The military was simultaneously researching and investing in VR’s potential for flight simulation and training.
Ultimate Display
The VR industry continued to develop over the next couple of decades, but appeal was limited to only the most ambitious engineers and early adapters due to the cost of components, and the computers that powered them. Even in the early 90’s, the price tag on a decent virtual reality device was over $50,000.  The high cost of entry, of course, meant that it was still very much out of the question for the average consumer.

PALMER LUCKEY AND OCULUS RIFT CHANGE THE GAME

Fast-forward 40 years and Palmer Luckey (the inventor of the Oculus Rift) created his first VR prototype at age 18 in his parents basement. Luckey eventually developed the product that would come to be known as the Oculus Rift. Oculus has ushered in the current era of VR development and breathed new life into this promising technology.
The announcement of the Oculus was followed closely by tech insiders, developers, and early adopters, all of whom had been chomping at the bit to experience this new frontier in VR development. It wasn’t long before heavy-weights like Facebook, Google, and Samsung took notice and began investing heavily in VR with the hopes of producing the first consumer ready device. Facebook believes so strongly in the Oculus Rift that they acquired the company for $2 Billion in March of 2014. Facebook’s founder Mark Zuckerberg stated that he sees the acquisition as a “long-term bet on the future of computing.”

TODAY’S CHOICES FOR CONSUMERS

The current lineup of VR products run the gamut in terms of price and accessibility.  You can get your feet wet with Google’s product (aptly named Cardboard).  Cardboard is very inexpensive, roughly $20.00. It uses easy to obtain components like cardboard, biconvex lenses, a couple of magnets, Velcro, and a rubber band.  Instead of a built-in display like the Oculus Rift, this product is powered by any Android phone running 4.1 or higher (just slide your phone into the “headset”). You assemble it all yourself, following Google’s step-by-step instructions with pictures.
The phone powers the entire experience with applications found in Google’sCardboard app store).  There are no external wires or clunky hardware to deal with…just the Cardboard case and your Android phone. At Primacy we recently built one to test out in house – the entire build took about 5 minutes from start to finish.
Google Cardboard

Facebook’s Oculus Rift

Given the current pace of innovation it’s a safe bet that both the hardware and software for Facebook’s Oculus technology will only get better in the months ahead.  The consumer model, though not currently available, is expected to be released mid 2015. The developer model (DK2) costs $350 and comes loaded with a low latency display (the same used in the Samsung Galaxy Note 3).  The display delivers a respectable 960×1080 resolution per eye with a 75Hz refresh rate. The unit also includes a gyroscope, accelerometer, magnometer and a near infrared camera for head and positional tracking.  Applications are run on a computer which is connected directly to the headset via an HDMI and USB cable.
Oculus Rift

Samsung’s Gear VR Innovator Edition

Samsung saw an opportunity to jump into the VR mix and partnered with Oculus. They’ve produced a headset that looks like the most consumer-ready device to date. Samsung’s Gear VR Innovator Edition is exactly what you would expect from the established tech giant both in terms of quality and usability.  It’s also the most expensive option, coming in at an msrp of $200 for the headset + $750 (off-contract) for the phone required to power it.  Unlike Google’s Cardboard, the Gear VR only works with a Samsung Galaxy Note 4, so if you’re lucky enough to already own one you can save yourself a significant amount of money.
The headset itself is very well designed and quite intuitive. There’s a volume toggle, touchpad, and “back” button on the right side of the headset that can be used to easily navigate through VR experiences and applications.  The top of the headset holds a focus wheel that is used to adjust the focus to optimal range for your eyes. Two straps hold the unit firmly on your head which seals your vision off from the outside world to improve the sense of immersion.  Plus, the absence of any cables tethering you to a computer helps make the experience more enjoyable and portable.
There’s no need to take the unit off your head in order to download or switch applications…everything can be done through the Oculus Home menu or Samsung’s application library after the initial setup and configuration.  There are a handful of interesting and useful apps included out of the box such as Oculus Cinema – for watching movies and videos in a virtual cinema, Oculus 360 Photos – for viewing panoramic photos, and Oculus 360 Videos – for viewing panoramic videos.  Samsung also recently released a marketplace called Milk VR which is basically Youtube for VR.
Samsung Gear VR

THE DOWNSIDE – A CASE OF THE JUDDERS

We’ve found that many of the applications available now are graphics heavy and the experience can degrade quickly without a fairly good graphics card.  It is worth noting that experiences involving 3D graphics and rapid motion can quickly become nauseating to some folks due to frame-rate or GPU restrictions and a phenomena known as “judder” (when the images become smeared, strobed or otherwise distorted), so it is really the responsibility of developers to create “comfortable” experiences which aim to minimize judder.  Despite the drawbacks – when used in tandem with a computer that has a high end GPU, the result is a sense of immersion that 10 years ago would have seemed impossible.  The Oculus developer site currently lists both a PC and Mobile SDK which include integrations for Unity and Unreal game engines.  The PC SDK is intended for the Rift DK2 where-as the Mobile SDK is intended for Oculus powered devices which leverage mobile phones.

VR – THE FUTURE IS HERE (OR REALLY, REALLY CLOSE)

We’re just starting to crack the surface with VR. The emergence of panoramic video and photo is making it easy to “teleport” viewers to places they could never physically be.
Imagine a front row seat to watch your favorite band play live…with the freedom to look in any direction in real time.   Imagine walking (literally…walking) through your favorite national park as if you were really there.  Imagine sitting in a conference room half way around the world and interacting with others as if you were really there.  These are just a few of the amazing applications that VR devices like the Oculus Rift enable.  So stay tuned – if current progress is any indication, virtual reality is here to stay, and it’ll be invading your living room or office much sooner than you might think.


#virtualreality #oculus #samsung #gear #vr #facebook oculus rift #augmented #infizeal #himanshulohia

Drones recognise and follow forest trails in search of lost people

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Quadrotor in forest making a directional decision
A team of Swiss researchers have taught drones to recognise and follow forest trails. This research unlocks applications of drones for search and rescue in wilderness. The researchhas been published in IEEE Robotics and Automation Letters and will be presented in May at the IEEE International Conference on Robotics and Automation in Stockholm.
Every year people get lost in the wild worldwide. In Switzerland alone, around 1000 emergency calls per year come from hikers, most of whom are injured or have lost their way. Drones are an efficient complement to human rescuers and can be deployed in large numbers, are inexpensive and prompt, and thus minimise the response time and the risk of injury for those who are lost or work in rescue teams.
A group of Swiss researchers from the Dalle Molle Institute for Artificial Intelligence, theUniversity of Zurich and NCCR Robotics has developed Artificial Intelligence software to teach a small quadrocopter to recognise and follow forest trails. This research is a premiere in the fields of artificial intelligence and robotics and could soon be used in parallel with rescue teams to search for people lost in the wild faster than would be achievable by human rescuers alone.
While drones flying at high altitudes are already being used commercially (see Amazon or DHL), drones cannot yet fly autonomously in complex environments, such as dense forests. In these environments, any little error may result in a crash, and robots need a powerful brain in order to make sense of the complex world around them.”, says Prof. Davide Scaramuzza from the University of Zurich.
The drone used by the Swiss researchers observes the environment through a pair of small cameras, similar to those in your smartphone. Instead of relying on sophisticated sensors, their drone uses very powerful artificial-intelligence algorithms to interpret the images to recognise man-made trails. If a trail is visible, the software steers the drone in the corresponding direction.
A team of Swiss researchers have taught drones to recognise and follow forest trails. This research unlocks applications of drones for search and rescue in wilderness. The researchhas been published in IEEE Robotics and Automation Letters and will be presented in May at the IEEE International Conference on Robotics and Automation in Stockholm.
Every year people get lost in the wild worldwide. In Switzerland alone, around 1000 emergency calls per year come from hikers, most of whom are injured or have lost their way. Drones are an efficient complement to human rescuers and can be deployed in large numbers, are inexpensive and prompt, and thus minimise the response time and the risk of injury for those who are lost or work in rescue teams.
A group of Swiss researchers from the Dalle Molle Institute for Artificial Intelligence, theUniversity of Zurich and NCCR Robotics has developed Artificial Intelligence software to teach a small quadrocopter to recognise and follow forest trails. This research is a premiere in the fields of artificial intelligence and robotics and could soon be used in parallel with rescue teams to search for people lost in the wild faster than would be achievable by human rescuers alone.
While drones flying at high altitudes are already being used commercially (see Amazon or DHL), drones cannot yet fly autonomously in complex environments, such as dense forests. In these environments, any little error may result in a crash, and robots need a powerful brain in order to make sense of the complex world around them.”, says Prof. Davide Scaramuzza from the University of Zurich.
The drone used by the Swiss researchers observes the environment through a pair of small cameras, similar to those in your smartphone. Instead of relying on sophisticated sensors, their drone uses very powerful artificial-intelligence algorithms to interpret the images to recognise man-made trails. If a trail is visible, the software steers the drone in the corresponding direction.
Interpreting an image taken in a complex environment such as a forest is incredibly difficult for a computer; sometimes even humans struggle to find out where the trail is!”, says Dr. Alessandro Giusti from “Dalle Molle Institute for Artificial Intelligence”.
The Swiss team solved the problem using a so-called Deep Neural Network, a computer algorithm that learns to solve complex tasks from a set of “training examples”, much like a brain learns from experience. In order to gather enough data to “train” their algorithms, the team hiked several hours along different trails in the Swiss Alps and took more than 20 thousand images of trails using cameras attached to a helmet. The effort paid off: when tested on a new, previously-unseen trail, the deep neural network was able to find the correct direction in 85% of cases; in comparison, humans faced with the same task guessed correctly 82% of the time.
Dr. Dan Ciresan at the Dalle Molle Institute for Artificial Intelligence comments: “In the last eight years we have developed huge Deep Neural Networks (DNN) to solve difficult problems from the fields of biology, automation and document processing. This is our first attempt at creating a small but performant DNN capable of running on a computer on our drone. I am happy to see that the same networks we have used to analyse biological brains, detect cancerous cells and diagnose retinal disorders can also be used to drive autonomous quadcopters.
Prof. Juergen Schmidhuber, Scientific Director at the Dalle Molle Institute for Artificial Intelligence says: “Our lab has worked on deep learning in neural networks since the early 1990s when only a few labs were interested in the topic. Today I am happy to find our lab’s methods not only in numerous real-world applications such as speech recognition on your smartphone, but also in lightweight robots such as drones. Robotics will see an explosion of applications of deep neural networks in coming years.
#infizeal, #drones, #arduinoUNO, #flyingrobot, #robotics #embedded system #himanshulohia

MEDICAL PRODUCTS AS A PLATFORM FOR AUGMENTED REALITY

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When Ivan Sutherland introduced his „ultimate display“ in 1965, he thought about a world existing of real and virtual objects that is presented to the observer through his natural perspective, his eyes. Most of todays Augmented Reality solutions still use hardware interfaces that do not follow this most natural form of immersion, e.g. augmented camera views of tablet PCs and smartphones. Anyhow, in the last few years more and more head worn AR interfaces have been created and released.  SDKs related to such head mounted displays have inspired thousands of developers to create AR worlds for instance to enhance industrial tasks or make cultural experiences more interactive and appealing.
However, it is extremely difficult to introduce these devices to the medical world, in particular to intraoperative tasks that require high quality standards of medical products.  One could go all the way to certify a device, such as Hololens and comparable hardware, as a medical product. This is certainly a commendable and important approach, which will happen once the benefit for patient treatment has been proven and usability and robustness has reached a level to become accepted in a high performance working environment such as operating theatres.
Another approach is the usage of existing medical products as a platform, which is extended by Augmented Reality functionality, e.g. endoscopes or microscopes. Endoscopic cameras are highly used for many types of minimally invasive surgeries to minimize tissue damages and reach anatomical areas, which are difficult to be accessed in open procedures. Furthermore, reality is captured as digital video data. For this reason, the Augmented Reality scene benefits from all advantages of a video see-through (vs. optical see-through) approach, having been discussed widely in the literature. This includes for instances the synchronization of real and virtual objects ensuring a geometrically correct overlay in any situation. There has been an interview with the company SCOPIS, which has been published some time ago on this blog. SCOPIS is a good example of augmenting the endoscopic video data with 3D planning information, registered with the 3D intraoperative anatomy of the patient.
image_M100_medical_staff-lgBeside endoscope cameras also operating microscopes are well established in today’s operating theatres e.g. in the field of neurosurgery. Microscopes are getting even closer to Ivan Sutherland’s vision of an “ultimate display”, presenting the Augmented Reality scene from the user’s natural perspective.Wolfgang Birkfellner and Eddie Edwards have introcudes groundbreaking research in this application field some years ago. However, microscopes are today still pure analog, optical devices, which means that surgeons see a magnified situs through a set of optical lenses. In fact, medical device companies such as Brainlab have started integrating Augmented Reality supported navigation systems into these optical see-through devices.
In order to take full advantage of augmented microscopic views a video see-through device would be a much better platform for augmented reality based navigation software (e.g. registration, synchronization, image composition).
Recently, the company ARRI has released the first video see-through operating microscope. The digitalization of the real world with high quality stereo cameras and optics in combination with surgical applications being characterized by complex anatomical structures, availability of 3D imaging data (CT and MRI), preoperative planning procedures can be a perfect match to develop Augmented Reality software solutions that bring a real benefit for patient treatment.
#augmentedreality, #surfacecomputing, #infizeal, #MIT media lab, #latesttechnology, 

Virtual reality is finally for real and for you, Microsoft's Magic Leap and Hololens

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Microsoft Volvo Virtual RealityOnly a handful of virtual reality (VR) headsets existed when Alphabet unveiled Google Glass, but the past half decade has seen billions invested in VR, moving a technology once thought of as a gimmick much closer to being a part of everyday existence.
Virtual reality companies raised $1.46 billion in venture capital from the start of 2012 through the third quarter this year, according to CB Insights, marking four straight quarters that these start-ups reached $100 million-plus in funding. Since 2010, these firms have raised $3.9 billion, according to PitchBook.
All that money is leading up to what should be the biggest release year ever for new consumer VR products in 2016.

Virtual reality even has its own unicorn — or a start-up with a valuation of more than $1 billion. Magic Leap, which raised a $542 million round of venture capital in the fourth quarter of 2014, is reportedly looking to raise an even bigger deal now of more than $800 million, according to a state filing. The new round would value the firm at as much as $3.5 billion. Its existing backers include Alphabet's Google Ventures,Qualcomm's VC arm, movie studio Legendary Entertainment and VC heavyweights Andreessen Horowitz and Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers.
While Magic Leap is known for its "secrecy," what's important for most people is that a multitude of commercial and developer-only models have come to market in late 2015 or are expected to debut next year, with a much broader anticipated audience than gaming junkies or techies with cash to burn.
"We're seeing a change in consumer behavior," said Ed Tang, founder and CSO of Avegant, a virtual reality tech company that has raised $36 million in venture capital and is coming to market with its own VR device next year. "People are starting to explore beyond traditional media and try new types of media. The cost of virtual reality is becoming surpassed by the quality of the user experience."
Altered states of everyday reality
Virtual and augmented reality tours are changing the consumer experience.

Sotheby’s International Realty: The luxury home real estate company is starting to use virtual reality headsets, including the Oculus and Samsung Gear VR, to showcase high-end homes around the U.S. It’s an initiative at the level of the independently operated real estate offices, rather than coming from the corporate level, so not all Sotheby’s International offices feature the technology. Due to the cost of a 3-D 360-degree scan — a few hundred dollars — it follows that this application of virtual reality technology would first hit the luxury home market, but it is likely to expand within the residential real estate market as costs go down. It’s an idea that is also coming to the Class A commercial real estate market: In June, Sage Realty began arming leasing agents with an Oculus headset so they could show prospective tenants, who were interested in a Manhattan office tower that was still undergoing a $60 million renovation, what it was eventually going to look like with its greenery, conference space and $6 million Sky Lounge.

How VR is being defined

What is commonly called VR is technically divided into three technology approaches: virtual, mixed and augmented reality. Thedifferences are difficult to explain succinctly — indeed, high-profile firms in this niche are often referred to in the press using more than one of these categories.
The best way to think about the various definitions are based on two factors. First, the level of "immersion" the environment creates. True VR creates a wholly alternate world that replaces your reality — today, through an "immersive" headset and most often associated with gaming, though that will change.
Mixed reality and augmented reality devices create environments that are a combination of the real world and alternate, sensory fields or superimposed visual displays. A few YouTube demos from Magic Leap shows how an alternate reality can be overlaid on actual experience. There is continuing confusion between mixed and augmented reality, but mixed is typically more "immersive" — say, for example, watching a sporting game entirely rendered in 3-D in your living room, while augmented reality may be a virtual display while shopping in a Targetretail store.
All three approaches have uses in fields ranging from education to entertainment, real estate, retail, medicine and aerospace engineering — as well as design projects across all industries.

Microsoft's mixed reality

A still image from a Magic Leap promotional video.
Source: Microsoft
HoloLens is a fully untethered, holographic headset from Microsoft — which, for the record, the tech giant defines as a mixed-reality approach, as it projects holographs onto the surrounding environment and allows people to interact with the images.
"The way we see the industry, virtual reality is great for gaming due to it being immersive, augmented reality is great for quick fixed-display alerts, and mixed reality places holograms into the real world and allows your peripheral vision to be preserved so you can walk around very freely," explained a Microsoft spokesman who is a member of the HoloLens team.
Microsoft sees HoloLens as transformative in how it adds depth, especially in creative departments. Imagine taking a three-dimensional project that two people are creating on a computer. It only has the workability that manipulating the 3-D project within a two-dimensional screen allows. "With HoloLens you're able to take those views of the project and put them on a desktop between two artists who are collaborating together," said the Microsoft spokesman.
While the development edition is more expensive than most headsets at $3,000, it will only be for handpicked developers in the U.S. and Canada. These developers will begin receiving the devices in the first quarter of 2016. 
Microsoft is planning on sending HoloLens out into the consumer world as well — in a manner similar to the Audi and Ferrari examples noted in the slideshow above. Microsoft recently announced a deal with Volvoto roll out HoloLens as part of the car-buying experience at Volvo dealerships.
Nizar Tarhuni, analyst for start-up data tracker PitchBook Data, said mobile may see the greatest use of these technologies. "Where the mass growth is going to happen is going to be on the mobile side, as there are so many less hindrances to consumers in the mobile market," Tarhuni said.

Facebook's $2 billion bet that VR is for real

Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg made a surprise appearance on stage at an Oculus Rift developers' conference to underscore the importance of the new platform, which Facebook paid $2 billion for in a 2014 acquisition.
"There is always a richer and more immersive medium," Zuckerberg said. "The next logical step is fully immersive VR," he told developers. He described the early days as "just a 360 video," adding, "In the future, you're going to feel like you're right there."
Facebook's Oculus virtual reality platform recently unveiled lower-cost hardware and a slew of media partnerships that aim to bring the technology to the mainstream — its debut is slated for the first quarter of 2016. While hard-core gamers wait for the Oculus Rift to launch for use with PCs, many consumers were anxious to get their hands on the consumer version of the Samsung Gear VR, which went on sale for $99 in November, half the price of the headset last year. It sold out on eBay and Amazon in just a few days.
#microsoft, #hololens, #virtual reality, #augmented reality, latest technology, #robotics, infizeal, 

 
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