Ric Holland's Blog

Ric Holland – Extreme Digital Media

35+ years delivering design & technology innovation and disrupting how things are done. Extreme Digital Media –

Ric is a Spatial Computing specialist and for many years has been proactive in promoting the Virtual/Augmented Reality (XR) development community in Australia. He was the founding sponsor of one of the largest global AR/VR meet-ups prior to co-founding Extreme Digital Ventures, dedicated to XR investment in Asia Pacific.

Featured in this video are the many events and projects Ric Holland has become known for including:

Extreme Digital Media –
Extreme Digital Ventures –
XR Meetings –
AR & VR Meetups
Offis Multi-Cloud Innovation
SkunkMonk – Creative Technologists
ISV Speakeasy – Application Developers
eClub – Business and Technology Innovation
Ninefold – Macquarie Telecom
Wacom Technology – (Art of Making Marks)
301 Interactive – Studios 301
IBM – Interactive Branding and Design
MetaCreations Corporation

Experiencing the MASSLESS Pen

Early adopter, David Edge (ARUP Virtual) talks about experiencing the MASSLESS Pen Learn more

Structure Sensor: 3D scanning and augmented reality for iPad

The Structure Sensor gives mobile devices the ability to capture and understand the world in three dimensions.

With the Structure Sensor attached to your mobile device, you can walk around the world and instantly capture it in a digital form. This means you can capture 3D maps of indoor spaces and have every measurement in your pocket. You can instantly capture 3D models of objects and people for import into CAD and for 3D printing. You can play mind blowing augmented reality games where the real world is your game world.

If you’re a developer, Structure gives you the ability to build mobile applications that interact with the three dimensional geometry of the real world for the very first time.

SpaceGlasses – future of NUI

Meta’s SpaceGlasses video shows the huge potential of augmented reality, bringing the computing scenarios of “Iron Man” to life.

Dual-Eye Augmented Reality Goggles Recognise Faces, Gestures

Product of an experiment by the R&D department at Brilliantservice, a Japan-based app development house, the Viking operating system takes a different approach to wearable computing, relying on gesture controls and projecting a 720p image into both eyes at once. Brilliantservice threw together from off-the-shelf parts just for testing purposes, and use the Viking OS to draw a painting, open apps and even match names with people’s faces just by looking at them. Written in Objective C, Viking relies on gesture controls as its primary form of input. As hand is held out in front of face, the cameras on top of the nose bridge recorded movements and you are able to see a graphical avatar of your hand projected on the heads-up display.

All up a very interesting mashup of current tech as a proof of concept. Products combined are Vuzix STAR 1200XL glasses ($4,999), a generic RGB camera and a PMD CamBoard nano depth camera to make the demo headset we used. However, Brilliantservice has no plans to market and sell its own AR goggles. Instead, the company is looking to partner with a hardware developer who can work with the company to design and manufacture a much more attractive headset that uses the Viking OS.

Innovega Full Immersion Glasses First Look

The iOptik glasses and lenses aren’t a self-contained platform like Glass or Vuzix glasses, even leaving aside the bifurcated form factor. Instead, the company plans to partner with more consumer-facing brands that can help bring it to market. When that happens, it’ll target both the nascent heads-up display sector created by Project Glass and immersive gaming like what we’re seeing with the bulkier Oculus Rift. For now, prototypes are shipping for military testing — the Pentagon placed an order earlier this year.

Proof of principle of the project “Skin Games”


Skin Games represents an original interaction paradigm for computer games, building on the concept of “kinetic interfaces” and Spatial Augmented Reality: in ‘Skin Games’ the body acts simultaneously as the controller and as the (wildly deformable) projection surface on which to display the game’s output. This is a proof-of-principle demonstration rendered possible thanks to the Laser Sensing Display technology.

Future vision: Wearable tech at CES 2013

Innovega’s approach requires FDA approval because it involves wearing a specialized contact lens. And that process, co-founder and CEO Steve Willey told me, won’t be in the cards until 2014. Yet Willey, whose company is based in San Diego and Seattle, is making impressive progress and, unlike at last year’s CES, Willey now has a way to show how it all works. The goal here is to get away from the Google model, which uses what’s known as a glanceable display. When you look through those types of specialized glasses, you see a postage-stamp type image off to the side that shows media — your text messages, say, along with your Twitter feed or, potentially, ads. (It’s Google, after all.)

While this is great, Willey said it falls short of what people will eventually want — a full-media overlay that either becomes the only thing the user can see (as would be necessary for a video game), or a mix of media and reality. The problem with creating the full, panoramic view is that human eyes can’t focus on objects that are right up against them. That’s where the specialized contact lenses come in; Innovega’s lenses enable the wearer to focus on objects that are superclose while also focusing on whatever’s in the distance.

The other part of the setup is fairly simple: A small camera attaches to a pair of lightweight glasses — in theory, they could be any sports glasses — that projects the media onto the lenses. Because of the contact lenses, you — or, for now, the mannequin — can focus on an overlay displayed across the lens of the eyeglasses.

“People want a big image,” said Willey, who formed the company in 2008. “Natural vision is full HD and panoramic, and what we’re delivering starts to rival natural vision — a blend of virtual and real world for cool entertainment depending on where you’re standing, where you’re looking. The main thing is that you see both in perfect focus.”

His key customer so far is the military. Last spring, Innovega won a contract to supply the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) with a prototype of its iOptik spectacles and accompanying contact lenses. The goal is to offer soldiers in harsh conditions a way to get information about battles without having to look at a handheld device or interfering with their normal view. “If you’re in the middle of a desert in sunshine, a handheld doesn’t work,” Willey pointed out. “The military wants a rich display that gets a device out of their hands.”

Now Willey is hoping some big consumer companies also want in. He said he talked to a few last year, hoping to find strategic partners, but people didn’t believe him. “They all said it sounded like science fiction,” he said.

So Willey rigged up the mannequin to demonstrate that they can make a person see the real and virtual world around them. And should he win FDA approval, the market could be huge: These contact lenses could replace regular contacts for many people, he said, because they work fine even when you’re not looking at a virtual world.

It’s easy to imagine plenty of use cases — a surgeon, say, who is watching images within a body while operating — but Willey says he wants to tackle the consumer market, hoping to partner with, say, Microsoft, Sony, or Qualcomm, to bring this to market in ways to be determined. I could see use cases for athletes, and plenty more. Willey said he feels certain of the appeal for gamers. “3D gaming is still on a flat screen,” he said. “What you really want is to believe you’re inside the game.”

For a sense of the whole thing, check out this video:

Sight: Contact Lenses with Augmented Reality – Futuristic Video

The initial applications for liquid crystal-based contact lens display might be to help control light transmission in people with damaged irises or replace colored contacts, allowing wearers to change the color or pattern on the go. They also imagine these contacts working as adaptable sunglasses. However, since the lenses can project images sent to them wirelessly, the potential is there for these displays to show directions, texts from a smart phones or ultimately provide an augmented reality experience predicted in this video.

Augmented reality takes another step closer thanks to new contact lens display technology

The Centre of Microsystems Technology’s Ghent University-based team recently declared that they have developed a spherically curved LCD display which can be imbedded into contact lenses, the implication being that in future we could all be steaming films directly on to our eyeballs.

Whilst contact lens displays aren’t an entirely new technology, researchers at the University of Washington tested LED based lenses on rabbits back in 2011, the real breakthrough made here is the use of LCD displays. Previous LED-based displays meant that the content which could be displayed was limited to only a few small pixels located in the middle of the lens, however the ground breaking LCD-based technology allows for the use of pixels across the whole surface. This is possible thanks to some very cleaver development ideas using thin conductive polymer films integrated into a smooth spherical cell.

Along with the announcement the researches also showed off a prototype which demonstrates a dollar sign being displayed on the curved lens. So far the display is limited to only fairly simple patterns and unfortunately it seems that the image cannot be seen by the wearer at this stage.

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