News / 18.03.2019
SXSW 2019 – Our Top Five
SWSW 2019 was a whirlwind of enlightening talks, networking, tech innovations, and Texas BBQ! While we are still on
Accenture Interactive was showcasing the art of the possible with VR, AR, and AI at SXSW. One demo was the Teslasuit, which is being hailed as the world’s first fully integrated smart clothing apparel with Haptic Feedback, Motion Capture, Climate Control, and Biometric Feedback systems.
Teslasuit aims to make the VR experience deeper and more realistic by allowing the transmission of touch, which Accenture says “increases immersion, stimulates neural activity, fosters muscle memory, thus improving learning”.
Apart from obviously improving VR gaming experiences, the
2. Magic Leap Tabletop Theatre Productions
“The Seven Ages of Man” and “The Grinning Man” where two experiences Magic Leap showcased to demonstrate its intentions to merge with traditional art forms.
Andy Lanning, executive creative producer at Magic Leap, who led both projects sees these experiences as just the very beginning of what Magic Leap is capable of. The goal was to create a sense of performance, and that was definitely achieved.
What’s next? Real-time Tabletop Theater. Imagine a West End production that can be seen in your living room as it takes place on stage, or perhaps theatre-goers donning a headset to fuse the real-life production with virtual elements to heighten their experience.
Whilst we saw re-makes of traditional theatre at SXSW, it’s going to get really exciting when technology can create a brand new form of theatre.
3. Digital Ghost Hunt
Digital Ghost Hunt is a project that seeks to restore coding and digital technology as a tool of the imagination. It’s a ground-breaking fusion of coding education, AR, and live performance.
We spent a lot of time hanging out with the founder, Elliott Hall, at SXSW. We are fans!
Elliott describes the start of the performance in a blog post: “It begins with the most boring coding class in history. Students spend about 15 minutes programming a meaningless square to turn pointlessly blue. After about 10 minutes, just as students are about to lose the will to live, their screens go blank. After a few seconds of nothing, the face of a woman appears on every screen. She looks down the camera and says: “I need your help…The GHOSTS need your help.” Then there is a knock on the classroom window from outside. It’s the woman, and she wants to be let in!”
The most exciting thing about this project is the fact that students have to learn to code their own paranormal devices through a Ghost Hunter apprenticeship – a series of four coding challenges given to them by ‘Professor Bray’. Students have to think like a programmer – learn to read and debug code, think about the steps of an algorithm, and basic logic structures – through coding their ghost detector in MakeCode.
No current program combines coding and drama in this way. It’s a brilliant learning tool.
4. Traverse and Audio AR
Jessica Brillhart and her company Vrai Pictures unveiled Traverse, a spatial audio platform that allows users to map their surroundings with the help of mobile AR technology, and then explore immersive audio experiences. It changes the way we experience audio.
“From Elvis in Memphis” allows users to experience the music of Elvis Presley by walking through a physical space, with Traverse’s app making it spatially sound like they’re in the studio with the King of Rock and Roll himself.
Vrai also debuted a second audio experience called “The Arm of InSight” that has been produced as an audible narration of NASA’s Insight Mars mission.
Traverse replies on Bose’s custom AR platform, so only owners of Bose’s QC35 Headphones II or Frames audio shades can use it.
5. UK Immersive Pitch & Demo
We took part in the UK Immersive Pitch & Demo event where we got to showcase our work on the Three Mobile 5G Mixed Reality Fashion Show with Magic Leap alongside Digital Ghost Hunt (King’s College London), Digital Laocoön (Glasgow School of Art), Space, Place, Sound, And Memory(Edinburgh College of Art), Virtual Avebury (Bournemouth University) and more.
It’s fantastic to have this sort of support from the UK government and be given a platform to showcase the best of British immersive to US and international commissioners, distributors, investors, and other potential collaborators.
Autism is what is known as a spectrum condition, meaning it affects individuals in different ways. Adults and children with autism have challenges in behavior, social skills, verbal and non-verbal communication, as well as sensory and attention issues that impact their lives.
At South by Southwest in 2018, Bose introduced its AR glasses to showcase what sound-based AR might look and feel like. Combining data from embedded motion sensors with GPS information from your phone, the glasses knew where you were and which direction you were looking and moving. Small speakers fed sound to the wearer’s ears.
Throughout time, humans have used visual-based methods to help them remember information – from early cave drawings to modern day video. VR is not only the next logical step but a step in the right direction: research suggests we retain more information and can better apply what we have learned after participating in virtual reality exercises.
Virtual reality can change what a person sees, how they think, what they feel and even how they behave. This is because users believe they are present in the virtual environment they find themselves in.
HP’s new virtual reality headset, ‘Reverb – Professional Edition’, launched yesterday, joining HP’s comprehensive commercial VR portfolio. The headset has a staggering 2160 x 2160 panel per eye and 114-degree field of view.
We have been working with Great Ormond Street Hospital Children’s Charity (GOSH Charity) over the past few months on an engaging VR tool to highlight the impact of GOSH Charity funding on the hospital. We are delighted to see it launch today, 14th February – GOSH’s 167th birthday!
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