Projection Mapping: A Look into its Expanding Possibilities

While people do not usually think maps can grow, apparently they do. As it turns out, there is a large-scale maturing of projection mapping. It is presently conquering applications with huge funding. It is expanding its borders rapidly too as it now reaches for corporate markets, entertainment, and sports.

New doors of opportunity

While projection mapping is no longer a novel idea in the entertainment scene, the expansion that it is presently experiencing- the use of curved screens, physical props, as well as content with high frame rates and high resolution- is opening up new doors of opportunity.

Selling into the corporate and sports markets do have some challenges when compared to using projection mapping in a market that is more traditional. Events such as performing arts, sports, automotive, and fashion are just the kind that requires some unique presentation and display. The fact that projection mapping offers flexibility means that it is possible to have it integrated with impressive visual effects that are going to bring about the wow factor. The presence of customisable solutions in the use of projection mapping paves the way for new possibilities to engage customers better and to establish lasting impressions.

Better edge blending                                                                                                               

Thanks to recent developments in blending and warping technologies that are built into projectors, it is easier to come up with cleaner blends. While there is already blending software that allows quicker implementation, the hardware part tends to offer more precision. As a result, though, it makes it possible to use playback systems that are more reliable.

 

Looking back, edge blending has indeed come a long way. What used to be just based on a 2D plane now allows blending in complex 3D settings. Processes that used to take several days to align and calibrate can be performed in just a few hours. With the appropriate three-dimensional pre-visualization, it is even possible to have this accomplished within minutes.

Dodging the pitfalls

In terms of integrating, designing, and maintaining projects that have been mapped, avoiding the pitfalls involve a number of aspects. Projector positioning is one of them. When projectors are incorrectly placed, the extruding faces along the surface might create silhouettes in the projection. This is why proper placement should always be taken into account.

For content creation, a good understanding of how content may translate differently once projected is needed to make the necessary adjustments. However, the decision on whether to use positive or negative space when it comes to projecting content will usually be based on aesthetic preferences as well as branding requirements.

Emphasis should be placed on selecting a mapping software that offers flexibility so the designer is able to add touch-ups and tweaks whenever needed. A system that is flexible enough to accommodate changes would indeed be valuable to better maximise the uses of 3D projection mapping.

Hassan Sadiq is more than happy to offer guidance and information on 3D mapping and its applications. As WRLD’s chairman, he is aiming to achieve a collaborative and global effort towards building an intelligent and accurate representation of the world through 3D mapping. You can read more about Hassan Sadiq and his work here.

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Top Technology Trends for the Coming Years

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Over the last decade, the whole world has become obsessed by augmented reality and virtual reality technologies. For those unacquainted, virtual reality produces computer-generated, 3D environments which can be interacted with in a deep immersive way. Augmented reality and mixed reality are a blend of virtual reality with real life. Developers can also create imagery to blend in with features of the real world. A great example of this is that this technology can be used in museums to enable visitors to perceive an additional layer of information by animating the subject such as displaying missing parts of a damaged sculptures to replicate what it may have looked like in its original form. While all three techniques are incredibly powerful tools, optimization of this technology relies on dynamic, binaural 3D sound.

Binaural 3D sound is more authentic to the ears than 2D stereo. 3D sound is designed to replicate the way we hear spatially. It leverages how humans consume auditory facts in our natural environment. It engages the listener by offering a bearing that enables them to sense where they are relative to the noises that are around them. The origin of sounds can perceivably move about the listener, locating the listener as if they were standing in the natural environment in a 3D soundscape.

By integrating 3D sound, new spatial info is introduced to the virtual reality experience that enables the audiences to sense things happening in their virtual environment. The audience can imagine their selves in a scene from a horror movie where they are chased through the woods. You can hear the assailant sounds closer than ever and your stumbling feet kicking a bunch of dead leaves. Manipulating this type of audible sensory perception has the potential to completely reshape the virtual reality experience.

The AR, MR and VR industry is just beginning now to explore the possibilities of binaural 3D audio. The efforts to harness this technology are still in its early development but is now expected to advance very quickly. In the next years, 3D spatial audio is expected to spark and revolutionize our standard for multimedia listening experience. As the same as how high-def televisions have enhanced our everyday viewing experience, binaural 3D audio is expected to re-define our listening experiences and reshape the production of music, radio and movies. The future of AR, VR and MR is on the verge of an inevitable collision course with binaural 3D audio. The pending explosion of creativity could be astounding and amazing. So, we should keep our eyes open and also listen to it. This combination of 3D art is coming soon to your ears.

Learn more about virtual and augmented realities by visiting the blog of Hassan Sadiq Himex here. Hassan is a tech entrepreneur who specializes in Smart city IOT’s and 3D Mapping. He currently is chairman at WRLD which is a software technology company. Know more about Hassan by visiting the Hassan Sadiq Himex Twitter page here.

Top Artificial Intelligence Technologies

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The market for artificial intelligence is vastly prospering. Beyond the hype and media attention, various startups and internet giants are racing to acquire the latest technologies in AI. Named in 1955 to describe a new computer discipline, artificial today includes diversity of tools and technologies that are time-tested and other relatively new.

Here are the top AI technologies of today.

Natural Language Generation
This AI technology is producing text from computer data. Currently used in customer service, report generation, and summarizing business intelligence insights. Digital Reasoning, Cambridge Semantics and Narrative Science are just some of the vendors of this technology.

Virtual Agents
This technology is regarded as “darling of the media” because of the spotlight the media has provided for this technology. From simple chatbots to advanced systems that can communicate with humans, this technology has amused people in various ways. Apple, Amazon, Google and IBM are the vendors of this technology.

Speech Recognition
The technology transforms and transcribes human speech into a format that is useful for computer programs and software. Sample vendors are NICE, Open Text and Verint Systems.

AI-Optimized Hardware
Graphics processing units and appliances that are designed and architected to run AI-oriented computational jobs that will run more efficiently.

Machine Learning Platforms
Provides algorithms, APIs, training and development toolkits and as well as computing power to train, design and deploy models into processes and applications. This is currently used in a wide range of enterprise applications that are mostly involved in prediction and classification.

Biometrics
Enables more natural interactions between machines and humans. The technology involves touch and image recognition, body language and speech recognition.

Deep Learning Platforms
This is a special type of machine learning where it consists of artificial neutral networks with multiple abstracted layers. It is currently used in pattern recognition and classification apps that are supported by very large data sets and databases.

Decision Management
Machines that insert logic and rules into AI systems and are used for initial training, setups and ongoing maintenance and tuning. Regarded as mature technology, it is used in a wide variety of enterprise apps that assist in or performing automated decision-making.

Text Analytics
This AI technology utilizes and supports text analytics by facilitating the understating of sentence structures and meaning through statistical and machine learning methods. The technology is currently used in fraud detection and security.

Robotics Process Automation
Uses scripts and other methods to automate human action that will support efficient business processes.

Want to learn more about the latest trends in AI technology? Visit the official blog page of WRLD and Hassan Sadiq Himex here. Know more about Hassan Sadiq Himex by visiting his profile page here.

Importance of 3D Mapping

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You don’t have to think too hard to understand why 3D mapping is important and useful commercially. Certainly we can see why companies might want a complete map of their real estate, so they can identify weaknesses, track preservation needs, or make improvements on a design. But 3D mapping can also help us conserve the physical reality of a place because places change over time, and when they change we lose something about what was once there, usually forever.

These aren’t limp ideas. Just think about it. The difference between a 2D photograph and a full 3D map of a historic place, including its surroundings, is huge. Photographs can give you a strong emotional connection to a place, but when it comes to understanding the physicality of it, both in case you’d like to restore or preserve it, but also simply for the sake of the future, 3D mapping provides so much detail that it’s like, well, being there yourself.

Drones make 3D mapping possible using photogrammetry, which is “the use of photography in surveying and mapping to measure distances between objects.” Originally photogrammetry happened using high quality cameras in airplanes, which flew back and forth over the location being mapped. Now, using drones, most of which come equipped with high quality cameras, photogrammetry can be done pretty inexpensively and quickly.

Here is how drones collect the data needed to create a 3D map:

First, you take a Point of Interest flight. The drone flies around the object or site to be mapped in a circle, taking a bunch of pictures as it flies. The GPS in the drone will record the drone’s exact location when a photo was taken, where the camera was faced, and other related information necessary to create a full 3D map.

Second, you take a scanning flight. In this flight, the drone passes back and forth across the site taking pictures, again with the GPS recording all of the locational details that will be used later in creating the 3D map. Now you have all the data you need to create a 3D map. And when you look at these maps, it’s like being there yourself.

Many people are offended at the thought of drones flying over their homes and invading their privacy. But looking at practical applications for this technology, there are some big positives. Beyond the preservation of historic sites, which is in and of itself a great thing, this new technology has a powerful potential for motivating students to pursue studies in STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics). Given how accessible this technology is now, students could create their own 3D maps fairly inexpensively, and take on projects that could be of great importance to them and their communities while also forwarding their interest in fields that could lead to rewarding careers.

Learn more about WRLD chairman Hassan Sadiq here, Connect with Hassan Sadiq through Linkedin here and follow Hassan Sadiq on Twitter here.

HOW TO USE ARKIT WITH THE WRLD UNITY SDK

WRLD recently announced that they are working in ARKit. Weve had a lot of interest since this should here our steps for anyone wanting to get started ARKit and WRLD SDK

Please check the requirements mentioned in the Unity-ARKit-Plugin for the software and hardware required for ARKit.

To get started simply set the platform to iOS on your project and follow the steps below.

Step 1: Import ARKit Unity Plugin

The team at Unity has created a great plugin that allows us to utilize ARKit easily in any Unity projects. Currently it requires that you are using Unity version v5.6.1p1 or later. For detailed documentation please see the download page for the ARKit Plugin.

Step 2: Import WRLD Unity SDK from Asset Store

Download and import the WRLD Unity SDK. If you need a key and then click “Get Key” when prompted or simply click later if you already have one.

Step 3: Modify a couple of files

WRLD SDK is built to be used with real world scale such that 1 unit in Unity is considered 1 meters. You can read more about our coordinate system on our Unity documentation. ARKit however require objects to be quite small, so we will need to scale down our map. In order to do that we need to add a couple of lines of code in our SDK. We will add an API to enable this more seamlessly in future release.

In /Assets/Wrld/Scripts/Streaming/GameObjectFactory.cs go to Method CreateGameObject and Add

Below

In /Assets/Wrld/Scripts/Streaming/GameObjectRepository.cs go to Constructor and Add

Below

Step 4: Making a scene for ARKit

Create a new scene so we can set up ARKit and follow the steps below.

    • Create a new GameObject called CameraParent and make Main Camera its child.
    • On Main Camera make the following changes
    • Building Control system status
      • Set Clear Flags to Depth Only
      • Set Field of View to 60
      • Set Clipping PLanes to 0.1 Near and 30 Far
      • Set Depth to 0
      • Add Component UnityARVideo (In Clear Material set YUVMaterial)
      • Add Component UnityARCameraNearFar
      • See the image below for reference
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    • Create a new GameObject and name it ARCameraManager
      • Add Component UnityARCameraManager
      • In Camera field drag drop our Main Camera
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    • Save your scene.

And that’s it!, ARKit is ready to be used.

Step 5: Setting up WRLD SDK

Now that we have ARKit ready, we can start setting up our map. Follow the instructions below.

  • Setup iOS Assets through the Assets Menu.
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  • Create a new Camera and name it Streaming Camera. We will use this camera to stream our map. Disable the Camera component as we will not be using this to draw anything.
    • Set Y position to 1000. This means we will be streaming from an altitude of 1000 Meters.
    • Set X rotation to 90 so our StreamingCamera looks towards ground.
    • Remove all the extra components such as AudioListener etc
    • Set Near to 10 and Far to 5000
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  • Create a new GameObject and name it WRLD Map.
    • Add component WRLD Map
    • Set your API Key
    • Set Camera to StreamingCamera
    • Set scale to 0.001
    • Set y position to -0.3
    • Set the Latitude to 40.748376 and Longitude to -73.985632
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  • Save your scene.

We are now ready to view WRLD Map in ARKit.

Step 6: Build Unity Project

We have completed all the necessary steps, we can finally build our xcode project and see it running on an iOS Device.

If you are having trouble with compiling libStreamAlpha.a then just set “Enable Bitcode” to No in Xcode Build Settings. Also make sure that you add Camera Usage Description for iOS in Player Settings->Other Settings.

If you are having trouble getting shadows then you might need to go to quality settings and set the Shadow distance to 2 and Shadow Near Planes to 0.01.

Step 7: Further improvements

Now that you have a working project with WRLD in ARKit you can start to build new exciting things. Read more WRLD blogs here

Like Hassan Sadiq on Facebook here, Follow Hassan Sadiq on Twitter here and Read more Hassan Sadiq blogs here

The Importance of 3D Mapping & Visualisation

WRLD visited Realcomm/IBcon to keep in the loop in regards to Commercial Real Estate and who is actually implementing Smart Buildings. This was WRLD second year attending the conference. This time around we came with a fresh look, brand, and vision. It was a major success, but mostly made us very excited to be a technology player in this evolving sector at a crucial time.

Data Visualisation

 

The commercial real estate industry need a clear data visualisation solution – WRLD holds a key position in helping understand what’s really going on in our buildings and facilities with our 3D maps. As an industry, both real estate and building automation is still in the infancy stages, but the proliferation of property, location and IoT data is growing exponentially.

It was markedly clear to us that the next stage to organizing and visualizing data is giving it spatial context for actionable insights.

The many of the building operations and technology companies we spoke to strive to provide a holistic view of buildings and management systems, but most lack a true visualisation layer that accurately depicts the physical world. The value our 3D maps provide was immediately understood by these companies at Realcomm. Many of these building systems work in silos and require an open and intelligent integration platform such as a 3D map to plug in sensor and performance data, such as from HVAC systems, so facility managers are empowered to make better decisions and detect and diagnose issues faster.  Unified spatial analytics has the potential to transform the occupancy experience, operational costs, and overall efficiencies in smart building management. Intuitive spatial visualisations deliver faster insights, and with this knowledge comes the power of intelligent prediction.

There is a lot of talk about Smart Buildings, but what that means varies greatly. We discussed helping deliver interfaces that power a wide range of “Smart Building” features, including:

  • Conference room search & booking
  • Lighting configuration and efficiency
  • Building Control system status
  • Parking
  • Utility and energy management
  • Security and cleaning staff route optimization
  • Leak detection, safety checks and detector servicing
  • Air quality checks

User Management

Same map, different customisation experiences. Our 3D maps also allow for select visibility of relevant content served to facility managers, occupants, executives, or even just visitors to a building or venue. Many companies saw the value in being able to easily create different user experiences using the  same base application.

To be able to strip away base level needs for executives who need to only see where open meeting rooms are available and where employees sit, was something previously unheard of to everyone we met.

Flexibility, customisation, and control are key differentiating factors to using the WRLD platform. We are also a cloud-based streaming map available on web, mobile, desktop, VR and AR, so that map owners can make updates to their application and see it on any platform or device immediately.

Navigation and Tracking

Do you know that we spend 90% of our time indoors? And soon every phone will know exactly where it is at all times indoors, down to the millimeter. This newfound capability will unleash billions of dollars in value; we’re already seeing innovative indoor solutions for enterprises, hotels, airports, shopping malls, and other large connected spaces.

For example, we met large hotel property operators and developers who were very excited by the opportunity to track and visualize when guests check out through our heat-mapping feature, so that they efficiently route their housekeeping staff to the ready rooms and optimize usage of their resources and services.

Some companies we met really valued the seamless outdoor to indoor navigation and asset tracking capabilities we can provide. As these companies are tracking such things as mail, supply & inventory, and printer fleets, they require a complete picture of their assets in motion, which includes both indoor and outdoor environments.

Building Simulation

Many commercial real estate developers and property owners require building renderings for simulation modelling. Many don’t have these readily available or accurate. Our solution almost seemed too easy, especially as they can own their own building data for private control. Our proprietary engine quickly renders 2D floor plan data to 3D, and our true to life visualisation creates an intuitive understanding of any space. We can build to any level of detail – so basic, procedural renderings could serve the owners’ need to run various simulations. Our map is a digital twin of the physical world – we want to not only be an accurate representation of your space but also a beautiful and engaging one!

Find out more about WRLD here, Like Hassan Sadiq on Facebook here, Follow Hassan Sadiq on Twitter here and Read more Hassan Sadiq blogs here

eeGeo Services

eeGeo  mission is to enable their customers to create intuitive and engaging experiences, by delivering a new approach to mapping.

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Their platform delivers a true 3D representation of the world in which information, content, services and data visualisation can be presented in a visually attractive way that encourages discovery, interaction and provably aids user engagement.

eeGeo are a software technology company whose cloud based, SaaS platform has its origins in the gaming industry. We use gaming know-how married to mobile
technology and big data to create beautiful, geo-spatially accurate renditions of cities, countries and continents to create a fast and fun, interactive 3D map.

To help you bring your 3D mapping application to market quickly and cost effectively with the best differentiation and user experience, eeGeo offers a range of professional services that can be delivered in partnership with your development team.

Map Creation & Customisation
Build new 3D maps to support the regions in which your users will explore, discover and engage with the information, content and services in your application. New cities, regions, countries or continents can be created and delivered through the eeGeo Platform to meet your requirements.
Custom Landmark Modelling
Sometimes particular recognisable landmark areas need that human touch. The eeGeo team can create beautiful, detailed, hand-crafted models of particular buildings, campuses or regions to enhance user engagement and orientation and help with discovery of your content and services.
 Application Development
Our team of developers have extensive experience in building mobile and desktop applications using the eeGeo Platform and SDK. We can help you build all or part of your application and advise on how to get the best out of our 3D mapping. As well as application development for iOS, Android, Windows and OSX, we have experience in integrating a range of third party data and information sources with our mapping.
 Content Creation
Whether building card carousels for self-guided tours of your destinations, or creating a database of information to deliver in the maps as points of interest, our team can help create content from your existing sources as well as integrating new feeds. We can advise on the best mechanisms for delivering information and help differentiate the service experience you deliver through the 3D maps.
 Indoor Maps
We can create detailed models of the interior of your venues and integrate them with our 3D mapping, allowing users of your applications to explore both inside and outside your destinations. The models can be for single or multi story buildings, and can be created for shops, retail malls, sports stadia, tourist attractions, real estate marketing and a multitude of other venue types.  Find out more about our indoor maps.
 Bespoke Features
If your application requires functionality that is currently unavailable in the eeGeo Platform our team can develop dedicated capabilities within the platform to address your use case

Find out more about Hassan Sadiq by visiting Hassan Sadiq Himex Linkedin page.Like Hassan Sadiq on Facebook and Follow Hassan Sadiq on Twitter. Read more about Hassan Sadiq Himex on his blog including latest industry updates.