Seeing Is Believing: Startup Uses 3D Modeling to Make Autonomous Driving Safer

It might come as a surprise that only 4 percent of new car buyers, according to a U.K. survey, place safety as a top priority when considering their purchase.

Make that vehicle autonomous, however, and many people become wary of the safety implications of removing the need for a driver.

And yet, each year over a million people worldwide are killed in auto accidents — most caused by human error.

Addressing the heart of this predicament, VayaVision, an Israeli startup that develops software for autonomous vehicles, aims to make self-driving cars safer.

Learning to Adapt in Changing Environments

A child running into the road, a sudden downpour of rain, bright blinding sunshine — rapid changes in the environment are one of the biggest challenges facing autonomous vehicles.

VayaVision’s system helps a car understand, monitor and adapt to such changes. To do this, the company has developed advanced 3D sensing and cognition algorithms, which it runs on the NVIDIA DRIVE PX AI car computer.

The system fuses raw data from multiple sensors, such as lidar, cameras and radar. Running on DRIVE PX, VayaVision’s algorithms process this data to create a precise 3D model of the environment.

The model is based on what VayaVision calls “upsampling” — where additional information is extracted and inferred from frame to frame measurements. These measurements help boost the resolution of the model, providing better detection and enabling the use of less expensive sensors without compromising on safety.

Smarter Cars for a Better Passenger Experience

Traditionally, software for autonomous vehicles has relied on “object-level fusion,” where the data from each sensor is first processed separately before being combined into one integrated view. VayaVision, however, has found that combining the raw data from the car’s sensors before processing, in combination with its “upsampling” technique, leads to more accuracy — with fewer missed detections and fewer false alarms.

VayaVision’s technology could also improve the passenger experience in a self-driving car. While safety is paramount, no one wants to travel in a vehicle that suddenly stops, jerks or makes hard turns due to false alarms.

VayaVision recently presented its work at our inaugural GPU Technology Conference in Israel and fought off fierce competition from other members of our Inception program to become one of five finalists in our Inception Awards. The Inception program has more than 2,000 members worldwide and helps accelerate startups by providing them with access to technology, expertise and marketing support.

The post Seeing Is Believing: Startup Uses 3D Modeling to Make Autonomous Driving Safer appeared first on The Official NVIDIA Blog.

Turtle Beach Battlefront II Giveaway

Turtle Beach Battlefront 2 Giveaway

Developing for the Vive Tracker with the VRUnicorns

With Vive Trackers and the Racket Sports Set becoming available soon, we chatted with the mystical developers at VRUnicorns, who are bringing compatibility with the new accessories to their hashtagged VR titles.

Being “game jammers by heart” our questions were answered by Horatiu Roman (Chief Technical Unicorn), and Julie Heyde (#ChickenBitch) of VRUnicorns.

 

For those who aren’t familiar, tell us a little about you, and your projects over at VR Unicorns!

We’ve been creating VR games since Julie stole an Oculus DK1 from the Copenhagen Unity office back in spring 2013, but our worlds were changed when we received the Vive in summer 2015. We are game jammers by heart and started jamming out various crazy semi realistic sports games although we were supposed to work on a Norse mythology horror game called RagnarokVR.

One day Horatiu made the very first version of #SelfieTennis, and it was so fun to play that we cancelled RagnarokVR. We started working on #SkiJump around the same time and then later teamed up with The Swedish part of VRUnicorns on #Archery. When Julie was high on steroids last year she came up with the idea for #Utopia and suddenly we had 4 games in development.

Okay, what’s the deal with all the hashtags.

#-tagging everything started as a joke as Julie really hates hashtags. So it’s more of a pun-on-pun than anything else, but now we are stuck with hashtags. Forever.

While we’re talking about existing projects, how did you come up with the ideas for these games?

#SelfieTennis was seeded when Horatiu, Milan and Julie had a late night idea jamming in the office and Milan came up with the idea of playing tennis with yourself. So Horatiu decided to jam up a game called #SelfieTennis the next day and asked Julie if she wanted to play tennis with herself and she was game. About a week later we dropped the game we had been working on for 2+ years and then went all in on semi-realistic sports games and they are so much fun!

#SelfieTennis

#Archery started at a Vive Jam in Copenhagen that Julie was part of organizing. Max brought Jakob with him to Copenhagen from Stockholm (where Max and Julie had hosted another Vive Jam a few months prior and Jakob and Julie met for the first time). Jakob and Max worked on a game called Pizzahood where you made pizzas with bow and arrow and Julie loved it. A few months later Jakob and Max joined VRUnicorns and Julie forced them to rename the game #Archery. #Archery will launch just before Xmas 2017.

#SkiJump started back in 2015 around the time of #SelfieTennis as Thorsten S. Wiedemann (organizer of A MAZE Festival) came to Copenhagen to visit us. So Julie asked Horatiu if we could make a surprise for Thorsten as he used to be a professional ski jumper. Thorsten loved it and worked on it for a bit with us and we have promised him to release it SOON.

#Utopia was an idea forming in Julie’s head when she was very sick with sarcoidosis and floating around on her back in a kayak in the ocean in Danish Winter high on steroids. She discussed the idea with Mauro and then somehow convinced Rami and Horatiu that we should make a version of #Utopia ready for GDC 2017. They said yes for odd reasons, but partially just because they were happy to have her back to work. And on steroids. We have no idea when #Utopia will release, but Julie wants to upload her soul to it and dispose her body. One day.

Let’s talk about the Vive Tracker! Did you find it easy to add Vive Tracker into your existing VR development setup?

We have already used the trackers for quite a while in #SkiJump with the animation system that Horatiu has created. We basically have a mocap system based on the trackers and recording directly in Unity, so don’t need to hand animate our characters. We were working on #SkiJump the day we received the racket tracker, so we decided to add a ponycorn to the tracker and jump around on #MountPony and shoot with bow & arrow. The implementation took a few minutes and then we were testing. The following days we jumped back to #SelfieTennis and upgraded it to the latest Unity version and then we added the Ponycorn to the tracker, so you can jump around the court with the tracker between your legs while using tools in both your hands – or just play tennis, but get all the tricky balls you play yourself easier than when standing still.

#SelfieTennis

How about adjusting your code – was it easy to integrate?

The racket tracker was very easy to integrate and we have added new features to #SelfieTennis so the gameplay is hella fun with the racket tracker. The best thing about the racket tracker is its limitation: it has no buttons, therefore designing around that makes for more interesting ideas of what you can do in the game – everything that happens is more automatic and you just play and hit stuff. 

Are there any ‘dream projects’ you now realize you can create with the Vive Tracker?

One of our main dreams has already come true in terms of animating our characters with the trackers and our own bodies instead of spending hours animating in a 3D tool. This is also very beneficial for Julie as she gets a lot of pain working on a computer due to her condition whereas spending time in the Vive moving around works as an instant pain relief. So suddenly game development is not so damaging to her body and she can work for much longer on a daily basis.

Once we got our hands on the trackers we had many ideas for their use, since we’ve already worked with alternative controllers for games. Horatiu is a piano and guitar player and he has been experimenting with bringing musical instruments in VR for a while, and the trackers are making this easier than ever. Another prototype we played with is a hammock game where the player is on a real hammock, while in VR, and has to shake the hammock to get clowns to fall off the ropes before they get too close… And when we got our hands on the racket tracker, we mostly had ideas for it that had nothing to do with tennis: use it as a giant spoon, a paddle for #SelfieKayaking, a wrench or a suitcase (if you hold it from the opposite end…). And of course as a #Ponycorn.

 

What most surprised you about using the Tracker? What was an unexpected bonus, if anything?

We have always loved the Vive and the overall tracking system with the base stations, but we were still happily surprised about how well the trackers work and how accurate they are. The trackers are a blast to work with and we are using them daily during development.

Do you think the future of VR is in full-body tracking, or is that not necessary for a truly immersive experience?

We are currently mainly using the trackers during development of our games, but we do a lot of tests on players and we see how much they love the animation system and bringing characters to life with their own movements in VR. We can definitely see a future of full body tracking in VR and we have already created a variety of locomotion mechanics over the years where trackers can work as a huge add-on.

Thanks for talking with us, VRUnicorns!


#SelfieTennis and #Archery are available in Viveport Subscription. The Racket Sports Set, including a Vive Tracker and handles for tennis and ping-pong, will be available in December. More details here.

 

The post Developing for the Vive Tracker with the VRUnicorns appeared first on VIVE Blog.

Developing for the Vive Tracker with the VRUnicorns

With Vive Trackers and the Racket Sports Set becoming available soon, we chatted with the mystical developers at VRUnicorns, who are bringing compatibility with the new accessories to their hashtagged VR titles.

Being “game jammers by heart” our questions were answered by Horatiu Roman (Chief Technical Unicorn), and Julie Heyde (#ChickenBitch) of VRUnicorns.

 

For those who aren’t familiar, tell us a little about you, and your projects over at VR Unicorns!

We’ve been creating VR games since Julie stole an Oculus DK1 from the Copenhagen Unity office back in spring 2013, but our worlds were changed when we received the Vive in summer 2015. We are game jammers by heart and started jamming out various crazy semi realistic sports games although we were supposed to work on a Norse mythology horror game called RagnarokVR.

One day Horatiu made the very first version of #SelfieTennis, and it was so fun to play that we cancelled RagnarokVR. We started working on #SkiJump around the same time and then later teamed up with The Swedish part of VRUnicorns on #Archery. When Julie was high on steroids last year she came up with the idea for #Utopia and suddenly we had 4 games in development.

Okay, what’s the deal with all the hashtags.

#-tagging everything started as a joke as Julie really hates hashtags. So it’s more of a pun-on-pun than anything else, but now we are stuck with hashtags. Forever.

While we’re talking about existing projects, how did you come up with the ideas for these games?

#SelfieTennis was seeded when Horatiu, Milan and Julie had a late night idea jamming in the office and Milan came up with the idea of playing tennis with yourself. So Horatiu decided to jam up a game called #SelfieTennis the next day and asked Julie if she wanted to play tennis with herself and she was game. About a week later we dropped the game we had been working on for 2+ years and then went all in on semi-realistic sports games and they are so much fun!

#SelfieTennis

#Archery started at a Vive Jam in Copenhagen that Julie was part of organizing. Max brought Jakob with him to Copenhagen from Stockholm (where Max and Julie had hosted another Vive Jam a few months prior and Jakob and Julie met for the first time). Jakob and Max worked on a game called Pizzahood where you made pizzas with bow and arrow and Julie loved it. A few months later Jakob and Max joined VRUnicorns and Julie forced them to rename the game #Archery. #Archery will launch just before Xmas 2017.

#SkiJump started back in 2015 around the time of #SelfieTennis as Thorsten S. Wiedemann (organizer of A MAZE Festival) came to Copenhagen to visit us. So Julie asked Horatiu if we could make a surprise for Thorsten as he used to be a professional ski jumper. Thorsten loved it and worked on it for a bit with us and we have promised him to release it SOON.

#Utopia was an idea forming in Julie’s head when she was very sick with sarcoidosis and floating around on her back in a kayak in the ocean in Danish Winter high on steroids. She discussed the idea with Mauro and then somehow convinced Rami and Horatiu that we should make a version of #Utopia ready for GDC 2017. They said yes for odd reasons, but partially just because they were happy to have her back to work. And on steroids. We have no idea when #Utopia will release, but Julie wants to upload her soul to it and dispose her body. One day.

Let’s talk about the Vive Tracker! Did you find it easy to add Vive Tracker into your existing VR development setup?

We have already used the trackers for quite a while in #SkiJump with the animation system that Horatiu has created. We basically have a mocap system based on the trackers and recording directly in Unity, so don’t need to hand animate our characters. We were working on #SkiJump the day we received the racket tracker, so we decided to add a ponycorn to the tracker and jump around on #MountPony and shoot with bow & arrow. The implementation took a few minutes and then we were testing. The following days we jumped back to #SelfieTennis and upgraded it to the latest Unity version and then we added the Ponycorn to the tracker, so you can jump around the court with the tracker between your legs while using tools in both your hands – or just play tennis, but get all the tricky balls you play yourself easier than when standing still.

#SelfieTennis

How about adjusting your code – was it easy to integrate?

The racket tracker was very easy to integrate and we have added new features to #SelfieTennis so the gameplay is hella fun with the racket tracker. The best thing about the racket tracker is its limitation: it has no buttons, therefore designing around that makes for more interesting ideas of what you can do in the game – everything that happens is more automatic and you just play and hit stuff. 

Are there any ‘dream projects’ you now realize you can create with the Vive Tracker?

One of our main dreams has already come true in terms of animating our characters with the trackers and our own bodies instead of spending hours animating in a 3D tool. This is also very beneficial for Julie as she gets a lot of pain working on a computer due to her condition whereas spending time in the Vive moving around works as an instant pain relief. So suddenly game development is not so damaging to her body and she can work for much longer on a daily basis.

Once we got our hands on the trackers we had many ideas for their use, since we’ve already worked with alternative controllers for games. Horatiu is a piano and guitar player and he has been experimenting with bringing musical instruments in VR for a while, and the trackers are making this easier than ever. Another prototype we played with is a hammock game where the player is on a real hammock, while in VR, and has to shake the hammock to get clowns to fall off the ropes before they get too close… And when we got our hands on the racket tracker, we mostly had ideas for it that had nothing to do with tennis: use it as a giant spoon, a paddle for #SelfieKayaking, a wrench or a suitcase (if you hold it from the opposite end…). And of course as a #Ponycorn.

 

What most surprised you about using the Tracker? What was an unexpected bonus, if anything?

We have always loved the Vive and the overall tracking system with the base stations, but we were still happily surprised about how well the trackers work and how accurate they are. The trackers are a blast to work with and we are using them daily during development.

Do you think the future of VR is in full-body tracking, or is that not necessary for a truly immersive experience?

We are currently mainly using the trackers during development of our games, but we do a lot of tests on players and we see how much they love the animation system and bringing characters to life with their own movements in VR. We can definitely see a future of full body tracking in VR and we have already created a variety of locomotion mechanics over the years where trackers can work as a huge add-on.

Thanks for talking with us, VRUnicorns!


#SelfieTennis and #Archery are available in Viveport Subscription. The Racket Sports Set, including a Vive Tracker and handles for tennis and ping-pong, will be available in December. More details here.

 

The post Developing for the Vive Tracker with the VRUnicorns appeared first on VIVE Blog.

Winners of “HP Mars Home Planet” Conceptual Design Phase Announced

Life on Mars is one step closer to ‘virtual’ reality as nine winners have been announced at Autodesk University Las Vegas 2017, for the first phase of HP Mars Home Planet – a global project pairing co-creation on the Launch Forth platform with virtual reality (VR) to simulate a utopian civilization of one million people on Mars.

From buildings, vehicles, farms and clothing, this co-creation project of professional architects, engineers, designers and artists from around the world explores how one million humans could thrive on the Red Planet given its climate and atmospheric challenges.

HP Mars Home Planet runs on Launch Forth, a product design platform powered by a robust co-creation community of 120,000 designers, engineers and solvers. This community-powered platform allows people everywhere to collaborate on ideas, solve problems and create solutions for challenges, both big and small, using open innovation to accelerate the product development process.

HP Mars Home Planet launched as a three-phase, yearlong project in August when HP Inc., NVIDIA®  and Launch Forth teamed up with Autodesk, Epic Unreal EngineFusion, HTC Vive, Microsoft and Technicolor.

In the first phase of Mars Home Planet, participants submitted conceptual designs for the buildings, vehicles, smart cities, and transportation systems that will support one million humans in an area of Mars called ‘Mars Valley’. The challenge was so popular, it broke Launch Forth’s record of 34,000 participants and close to 500 entries in around two months.

The winners, who, will be awarded $38,080 in total prizes, were determined by public voting and an illustrious panel of judges, including:

  • Dr. Robert Zubrin, President of Mars Society
  • Daniel Libeskind, Architect
  • Dr. Sanjay Vijendran, Mars Mission, European Space Agency
  • Andrew Anagnost, CEO of Autodesk
  • Chris deFaria, President of DreamWorks Animation Group
  • Ryan Church, Concept Artist and former Star Wars Art Director
  • Android Jones, Conceptual Artist
  • Stacy Wolf, VP of Industrial Design, HP
  • Jay Rogers, CEO of Local Motors

The winners are:

Infrastructure 1: Kenny Levick (United States), Mars-Genesis & Mawrth-Integra: Interplanetary Design

Infrastructure 2: Kadek Wicaksana (Indonesia), Mars Colony 1.0

Transportation 1: Xabier Albizu (Spain), MARS M. U. V (Multi Utility Vehicle)

Transportation 2: Justin Carlo Punay (Philippines), Mars General Utility Vehicle 

Innovation of Architecture: Jesús Velazco (Venezuela), Solar Powered Colony

Innovation in Design: Jorge Moreno Fierro (Columbia), Bio System

Innovation in Engineering: Yih Foo Looi (Malaysia), Living Environments from Hostile Wastes

Innovation in Engineering– Special Acknowledgement: Jose Daniel Garcia Espinel (Spain), Metropolis First City on Mars

Innovation in Science: Lake Matthew Team (United States), Artificial Geomagnetic Field to Protect a Crewed Mars Facility from Cosmic Rays

Phase two of HP Mars Home Planet, the 3D Modeling Competition, opens for submissions today. Participants are being asked to use Autodesk software to create 3D models of buildings, city infrastructure, vehicles, sports stadiums, city parks, schools, furniture, and anything else that might be found in a utopian Martian human civilization of one million humans. Participants will be inspired by the phase one conceptual design winners, but they are free to use their imagination and create whatever they desire. Submissions close February 25, 2018.

With creative and technical leadership from Technicolor, co-creators will bring the winning 3D models into the Unreal Engine to create a VR simulation of what life on Mars could be like for one million people. The environment will build on Mars Valley terrain from Fusion’s “Mars 2030” game, which is based on NASA Mars research and high resolution photography.

The entire project looks to a time in the future where there are families and communities living a utopian lifestyle on Mars. The goal of the project is to engage creative thinkers to solve some of the challenges of urbanization on the Red Planet. Ultimately, through the VR experience, people here on Earth will be able to experience what life on Mars might be like.

For more information about the winning concepts, and to join the 3D Modeling Challenge visit http://launchforth.io/hpmars.

The post Winners of “HP Mars Home Planet” Conceptual Design Phase Announced appeared first on VIVE Blog.

Are you managing your airport as effectively as possible

airport

What Can You Do to Drive Collaboration in Your Meeting Room?

BenQ Corporation

The holidays are upon us, and we all know what that means for travel.

(Here’s a hint: it’s not going to get any less hectic).

Air travel fare can be shockingly affordable, especially when you bargain shop, and prices have actually dropped over the last few decades. That’s not to mention a myriad of other benefits: it’s safe, it’s quick, and you don’t have to sit in a car for hours on end with nothing to do. As millions of travelers take to the skies across North America and beyond, airports find themselves inundated with exhausted, weary and irritable vacationers who are trying to find their way from Point A to Point B (and sometimes C, D and E) as quickly and expediently as possible. They’re all eager to get to where they’re going, hug the loved ones they haven’t seen for far too long and relax with a mug of hot chocolate.

So the question becomes, with all of these people relying on you to get them to their destinations quickly, safely and comfortably, are you managing your airport as effectively as you possibly can?

The number of people traveling by air is steadily rising, and it’s only projected to increase over the next 20 years. So it’s more important than ever before for airlines to make sure they’re putting efficient and effectual measures in place to facilitate the travel process as much as possible.

For smaller, regional airports with limited space and facilities, the need to plan ahead and anticipate problems is even greater.

As the number of travelers increases, the margin for error in airport operations decreases, and making sure that all available square footage is being used effectively becomes extremely necessary. Travelers should have all the information they need to make their way to security, through the checkpoints and find their gate as quickly as they can.

Unexpected weather delays resulting in gate changes and other last-minute switch-ups can create additional confusion, creating the need for a way to quickly communicate changes and disseminate necessary information.

When you’re managing an airport, it’s your job to be proactive and ensure your passengers make it to their respective destinations on time and intact.

Next week, we’ll discuss the factors that contribute to effectively running a regional airport. Don’t miss out!