Why Oculus Quest is an Invaluable Business Tool

Oculus Quest

Oculus Quest is an Invaluable Business Tool

Oculus just released the Quest standalone VR headset, and in doing so, it forever altered the state of the VR industry. You’re about to see these devices everywhere! 

By Kevin Carbotte

Oculus just released the Quest standalone VR headset, and in doing so, it forever altered the state of the VR industry. You’re about to see these devices everywhere!

The Virtual Reality industry has been snowballing for the last four years, and this week, it hit a milestone that is set to crank the adoption rate up to lightspeed. The Oculus Quest headset is the answer to many of VR’s obstacles. This device makes VR easy to use for consumers and businesses alike.

Superior Form Factor

When the first VR devices hit the market, they offered limited 3-degrees of freedom tracking ability. You could look all around you, but you could not move forward or back within a tracked space. These devices are great for basic experiences, and we use them often for the apps that we build at Bit Space. However, these devices lack some tracking features that limit the experiences that you can have with them.

Freedom to Move

Soon after the first 3-DoF headsets hit the market, 6-DoF tracking that enabled you to move around in a virtual space emerged. Full freedom movement in a virtual environment is a magical experience, but it came at a significant cost; both financial and technical. The headsets were expensive, and you needed a powerful computer system to drive them. On top of that, you had to contend with an elaborate configuration process. Not to mention, all the cables that were involved. Suffice to say; the drawbacks scared off many potential buyers.

Those same factors have also prevented companies from adopting VR for their training and marketing processes. However, the advent of standalone headsets is changing everything. 

Standalone Solves Everything

The Oculus Quest is the first standalone VR device (read: built-in computing hardware) that offers full-scale tracking with motion controllers. The Quest features an inside-out tracking solution—aptly named Insight—that supports movement with 6-degrees of freedom. Insight tracking technology also monitors the two motion controllers to give you the freedom to grab hold of the virtual world.

Room-scale tracking—as the industry calls it—isn’t new. HTC introduced the first room-scale VR system as early as 2014. The Quest changes the game because it makes it possible to experience room-scale tracking without the hassle of cables, exterior sensors, and without the need for an external computing device like a desktop PC or smartphone.  

Unrestricted Tracking

The Oculus Quest headset isn’t just an untethered room-scale VR system. It’s more like a warehouse-scale device because the device doesn’t require a host computer, the tracking distance is limited only by the camera’s depth of view..

Simplified Setup Process

The freedom of not having cables and sensors to set up is lovely, but the big deal isn’t the Quest’s untethered nature. The real game changer is the simplicity of the setup process.

In the past, calibrating a room-scale system required many steps, which include removing the headset multiple times, and it often takes multiple attempts to get the calibration right. Calibrating an HTC Vive or Oculus Rift headset could take as much as 15 minutes to accomplish. The process isn’t complicated, but it’s involved enough that it becomes a deterrent for most people.

Set Up in Seconds

With the Oculus Quest, the setup process couldn’t be more straightforward. When you first put the headset on, it enables a pass-through mode on the cameras, which allows you to see the real world through the headset. In this mode, you can dictate your play area without ever lifting the visor from your eyes, and you can have it up and running in under a minute.

Set the floor position by reaching to the ground with the controller, and then trace the barrier of your play area by pointing at the edges with a motion controller. Once you accept the play space, you’ll find yourself in the virtual world.

Why does Quest Matter to Businesses?

For all the same reasons that the Quest is an excellent product for consumers, the Quest is also a fantastic solution for businesses.

The hardware is:

-Affordable
-Portable
-Easy to setup

All three of those traits are extremely important for marketing departments and training coordinators, which are the typical users of VR technology in the workplace.

Bring it Anywhere!

Oculus Quest allows you to easily take your VR experience on the road to tradeshows and other industry events. Moreover, it’s just as easy to equip a travelling training coordinator with powerful immersive technology that they can take on the road. You no longer need to tote around a high-end computer, base stations with tripods, and the headset and all its accessories. The Quest headset and two Touch controllers can be tossed in a bag and brought anywhere on a moments notice. 

The Work Has Already Begun

Here at Bit Space Development, we’re already exploring porting our existing content to the Quest platform. It makes everything easier for our clients. And we’ve already begun talking to our clients about the potential of the new Oculus Quest headset and they’re already excited about the prospects.

Trying on The Trades in Northern Manitoba

Try on the Trades in the North

Trying on the Trades in Northern Manitoba

Bit Space Development and the Manitoba Construction Sector Council recently traveled to northern Manitoba to promote work in the trades and the immersive technology used for training in that industry.

By Kevin Carbotte

In the second week of April, part of the Bit Space Development team took a trip to northern Manitoba to share our learning experiences with kids who live in communities that don’t often get access to technology that we use daily here in the office.

On an early Tuesday morning in March, four people from Bit Space and one from the Manitoba Construction Sector Council piled into a minivan with a staggering amount of technology. We brought 22 Apple iPads, 27 Pico Goblin standalone VR headsets, 2 Acer Windows Mixed Reality headsets with laptops to power them, and a whole bunch of extra equipment just in case, which included two HTC Vive setups and extra laptops.  

Honestly, it was a small miracle that everything fit with enough space left for five people in the van.

First Stop: Norway House

Day One of our trip was spent entirely in the van. Our first destination was Norway House, which is a reserve community north of Lake Winnipeg in Manitoba. According to Google, the drive from Winnipeg to Norway House takes 9-hours. After making the drive ourselves, we can confirm that trek took longer than a typical work day.

The following day, we made our way to the Helen Betty Osborne Ininiw Education Resource Centre in Norway House, where we took over the gymnasium for most of the day. Here we played host to several groups of kids ranging from Grade 5 through Grade 9. The Helen Betty Osborne Ininiw Education Resource Centre is a large school with nearly 1300 students, and we met roughly one-third of the students throughout the day.

The technology experience demonstration featured three stations for the kids to cycle through. The first station offered iPad tablets running our Trades Town board game that teaches kids about the different trades in Manitoba. This was a favourite station, and the kids got engaged with the game.

The second station offered the kids a chance to see what it’s like to work in the trades. We shared our Try on The Trades video series, which features 15 immersive 360-degree videos of different construction industry and manufacturing sites.

Goblins For Everyone!

With 27 Pico Goblins to go around, we were able to share the Try on The Trades experiences with every student who showed up to try. Many of these kids had never been outside of their small community, so they were fascinated with seeing sites from Winnipeg and other locations.

The Try on The Trades experiences was a big hit, but our third station with the room scale VR simulation was by far the most engaging experience. We had two Windows Mixed Reality systems running our Power Tools VR simulator. With our simulation software, the students were able to learn how to use one of eight different power tools such as two different drills, a variety of saws, a grinder, and nail gun.

Many students expressed a desire to try again. However, the time constraints of the event prevented the students from having a second turn.

Second Stop: Wabowden

One the second leg of our journey, Bit Space and MCSC rolled into a small community called Wabowden and set up shop at Mel Johnson School (the only one in town) for the day. Wabowden is a small town with very few people and to make the career fair a worthwhile endeavour, the school division bussed in kids from Grand Rapids—a community 3-hours away.

With such a small group, the second day was much easier on our team. But more importantly, the kids were able to get much more out of the experience. Instead of a select few kids getting to try one tool in our Power Tools game, everyone got to try the game, and most people attempted to use more than one tool. We even had one carpentry student who was so impressed with the simulator that he got back in line to try all eight options.

Day Three: Cranberry Portage

Following our stop at Wabowden, the five of us piled back into the van and drove to The Pas for some food and some sleep. The next stop on our tour would be at the Frontier Collegiate Institute in a town close to Flin Flon called Cranberry Portage.

The event in Cranberry Portage was a little bit bigger than the one in Wabowden, but it was still on the smaller side, which allowed the students to spend a significant amount of time with our technology. We didn’t have anyone who got to try all eight tools, but everyone interested in trying more than one had to opportunity to try another tool.

The Pico Goblins with the Try on The Trades videos weren’t as popular at this stop, but the iPad games were a big hit with the kids.

Over four days, we spend nearly 24 hours driving across Manitoba, we stopped at three schools, and we spent an hour on our feet running tech demonstrations. But the feedback that we received from the Frontier School Division made the whole trip worth our time.

The Feedback Made It All Worth While

We spoke with the organizers of the trip a week after we returned, and they told us that the teachers and the kids had nothing but great things to say about our presence. They all appreciated the chance to try our training experiences, to learn more about the trades in Manitoba, and to get a taste of what we do in the Interactive Digital Media industry. 

Are you ready to take your training to the next level?

Lets explore how we can help implement Interactive innovation in your organization.​

Bit Space Equipment: Pico Goblin

 

At Bit Space Development, we are always experimenting with new technology, and we’ve had the opportunity to play with many new devices. But just because we try a piece of tech doesn’t mean that we’ll use it in production. Some devices stand out as superior, and we tend to gravitate to the best hardware for the job.

One such device is the Pico Goblin mobile headset. These versatile little devices feature built-in processing power and storage. The Pico Goblin functions as a standalone device that doesn’t require external processing, which means you don’t need to give up your smartphone to power the headset, and you don’t need to tether it to a computer.

 

The Goblin headset features a Qualcomm Snapdragon 835 CPU, which is a similar processor to those found in modern smartphones. The headset includes a 1440 x 1600 pixel screen, which provides impressive image clarity. The display also features a 90Hz refresh rate, which helps to reduce eye strain and prevent motion sickness.

Pico Goblin G2

At Bit Space, we use two versions of the Pico Goblin. We have equipped a handful of clients with Pico Goblin G1s, which is the first-generation of Pico’s standalone lineup. Pico has since discontinued these devices, but they still work great for our purposes.

Goblin G2

The current version of Pico’s headset is called the Pico Goblin G2, which features more powerful internals and better displays than the original model. The Goblin G2 is available in two configurations. The standard G2 features 32GB of internal storage, whereas the G2 Pro includes 64GB of storage.

Pico has also revealed an updated version of the Goblin, called the G2 4K. It includes a 75Hz 4K display for crisper image clarity. We have not yet gotten our hands on a 4K model, but it will be an option for our clients later this year when the new device his the market. The G2 4K includes the same internal specifications as the G2 with the 3K display, so we don’t expect better performance from it — just better image clarity.

Pico Goblin

Pico’s Goblin headsets are our Go-To device for trade show events and classroom training. They are easy to carry around, and because they have internal batteries, you can easily pass them from person to person without worrying about tangling wires.

Buy From Bit Space

 

Bit Space Development is also an authorized reseller for Pico hardware, which enables us to offer volume purchases for our clients. Whether you need a single unit for marketing purposes or a fleet of headsets for a classroom setting, we can find a solution that’s right for you.

 

The Pico devices are especially useful for our purposes because they include a Kiosk Mode feature that enables us to lock down the headset for a specific application. The Goblin headsets also include a micro SD card slot, which makes it easy to add custom content to the device.

 

 

Pico Goblin G2 4K

Pico Goblin G2 Pro

Pico Goblin G2

Display

4K

3K

3K

CPU

Qualcomm Snapdragon 835

Qualcomm Snapdragon 835

Qualcomm Snapdragon 835

Weight

278g

268g

268g

Refresh rate

75Hz

90Hz

90Hz

Storage

32G

64G

32G

Content

Pico Store, Viveport

Pico Store, Viveport

Pico Store, Viveport

Tracking

3DoF

3DoF

3DoF

External camera

None

1 RGB Camera

None

It’s Conference Season!

360-degree conference photo

It has been a busy couple of weeks here at Bit Space Development. In the last three weeks, we took part in three different off-site events to help promote our software and our clients. Such is the nature of conference season!

Partying with SkipTheDishes!

The 2019 Bit Space conference tour–as I’m calling it–kicked off with an event at SkipTheDishes, where we showed off our SkipTheDishes 360-degree video tour and the SkipTheDishes LevelUP VR demo. 

Partying with SkipTheDishes

The SkipTheDishes event wasn’t a promotional event for us. However, when a client asks us to help them promote the work we’ve done for them, we’re usually happy to oblige. So, the BSD Business team packed up our gear and joined SkipTheDishes at their party in late January. 

Learning About the Future of Work

Bit Space at DisruptED

Next up, BSD participated in the ICTAM DisrputED conference, which explores the future of work and education. Immersive technology was a big theme at the event, and our Virtual Reality demonstrations were a big hit. 

DisruptED featured speakers from all around North America to speak about different facets of modern education and the future of work, which is getting more and more disrupted by new technology. Many of the speakers mentioned VR in their talks, which made our booth a hot-spot on the show floor.

Bit Space demonstrated LevelUP VR at the event, which is designed to introduce kids to the mentality of watching for hazards at work. We spoke with people in various levels of education and decision makers at several local businesses. We also demonstrated some of our 360-degree content and our VRSafety training platform

DistruptED

Overall, the reaction to our wares was positive, and we got some great feedback to improve the things we build, and we got some new ideas to create new experiences. 

The third stop on our Conference tour was the Construction Safety Association of Manitoba (CSAM) safety conference, which was our biggest event so far this year. BSD has worked closely with the construction industry ever since the company was established four years ago, and we have multiple clients who attended the event.

VR Was Prominent Feature at CSAM

Bit Space CSAM Booth

Bit Space Development was all over the CSAM show floor. We had our booth where we demonstrated some of our safety training tools. We also helped run the Manitoba Construction Sector Council’s booth, where we showcased MCSC’s new Power Tools VR application, which we’ve been building since last year.

MCSC CSAM Booth

 The Power Tools VR app is meant to be a component of a training course which teaches you how to use a variety of power tools, such as drills and saws. The CSAM conference was the first time that we showed Power Tools VR to the public and the reaction we got from those who tried it was very positive. We spoke to far more people about the concept of teaching you how to use tools than the number of people who tried it. But the people who donned the headset saw the value in learning through VR. 

Bit Space at CSAM

At the MCSC booth, we also had a couple of Pico Goblin mobile headsets that were pre-loaded with the confined spaces app that we built for MCSC a year ago. 

Level Up VR

Our client, Safe Workers of Tomorrow, also had a significant presence at the CSAM conference. The company rented a large booth in one corner of the show floor, and it was allowing anyone interested in trying the game, and the company representatives couldn’t be happier with the response from the people who stopped by for a visit. 

A New Product Launch

Dan Presenting Indicator

We also launched a new product at the CSAM conference. The Construction Safety Association of Manitoba commissioned Bit Space Development for an analytics tool, which we call Indicator Dashboard. CSAM and BSD have worked together for more than a year to put Indicator together, and we debuted the tool at the end of this year’s event. 

More Events to Come

We’re just five weeks into 2019, and we already have three events complete. However, we’re just getting started with our promotional schedule for the year. Stay tuned for more details about where we’ll be and what we’ll be showcasing. 2019 should be an exciting year at Bit Space Development! 

HTC’s Eye-Tracking VR Headset Offers Key Advantages for Business

Vive Pro Eye

HTC’s Eye-Tracking VR Headset Offers Key Advantages for Business

HTC’s Vive Pro Eye will disrupt the VR industry with its built-in eye-tracking hardware. It offers distinct advantages for businesses.

By Kevin Carbotte

The Consumer Electronics Show (CES) is the world’s largest electronics trade show and every year companies from around the world attend the event to show off their upcoming devices. Being developers in the immersive technology space, we were particularly interested in the new trends in virtual reality and augmented reality.

This year, HTC held a press event ahead of CES, in which it revealed a handful of Vive-branded products. HTC is one of the leading companies in the virtual reality industry, and it is one of the few VR hardware makers that is thinking about the enterprise market as much or more than the consumer market.

New Headsets on the Horizon

Naturally, we were excited to learn about HTC’s upcoming product line. In past years at CES, it revealed the HTC Vive headset, the Vive Pro enterprise-level headset, the Vive Tracker accessory platform, and the Vive Wireless Adapters. This year, the company announced two new headsets, including a new consumer-targeted device called the Vive Cosmos.

Businesses that are interested in virtual reality should take note of the new Vive Pro Eye, which includes built-in eye-tracking cameras from Tobii Technology.

Eye-tracking in VR

Interacting With Software With Your Eyes

Eye-tracking technology is considered one of the most important innovations in VR technology–a holy grail if you will– and developers and consumers alike have been waiting for years to get their hands on VR headsets with this coveted technology. Eye-tracking has many benefits for VR, including new ways to interact with digital interfaces, advanced analytics possibilities, improved system performance, and more convincing social interactions. In short, eye-tracking in virtual reality is a bit of a game changer.

 

The most obvious advantage to eye-tracking technology is the ability to interact with software without required physical input from your hands.

Gaze-based menu systems allow you to interact with software with a simple glance, which frees your hands for other tasks,  which can be particularly useful in training simulations like the ones we build here at BSD.

For example, we built a welding training simulation for one of our clients and we fashioned a peripheral to go along with it. Unfortunately, the peripheral doesn’t include a button, so the user must switch between a controller and our custom device to start the training application.

With an eye-tracking system, you wouldn’t need to switch between the wand controller and our welding prop to launch the simulation.

https://twitter.com/htcvive/status/1083113212306833413

Advanced Metrics Analysis

Eye-tracking hardware also enables developers to capture analytics data to study the effects of VR simulation applications. By looking at the eye-tracking data, we could determine what trainees pay attention to and when they shift their focus from one object to another. OvationVR is using the Vive Pro Eye’s eye-tracking hardware in its public speaking VR simulation for exactly that purpose. The company uses the eye-tracking tech to analyze how much time speakers spend looking at the teleprompter instead of the audience they’re supposed to be speaking to.

https://twitter.com/htcvive/status/1083468525661011973​

That type of information would enable us to measure the effectiveness of training simulations to a higher degree than currently possible.

Eye-Contact Brings Avatars to Life

Right now, you can hop into a multi-user simulation (or multi-player game) and collaborate with other people in a virtual space. But the avatars that we currently use to represent people in virtual experiences are devoid of realistic physical traits. Eye-tracking enables use to get a step closer to using realistic virtual representations of ourselves by animating your true eye movement, which can lead to better animated facial expressions that can bring an otherwise emotionless character to life. It may not seem like an important detail, but eye-trackers make interactive experiences much more realistic because they enable eye-contact with non-player characters (NPCs) and other avatar characters. Life-like eyes on virtual characters make the experience much more convincing. Even when a character looks like a cartoon, you still get the impression that they’re there with you in the virtual world.

Performance and Fidelity Improvements

Perhaps the most important feature that eye-tracking enables is something called Foveated Rendering, which is a complicated technology that enables higher performance and better image quality at the same time. Today, if you want to run a VR application, your computer must drive the full scene at once, which is hard for all but the best computers to perform. With eye-tracking, we can render the area of a scene that you’re specifically looking at high-resolution while limiting the image quality of the space outside of your direct line of vision.

At Bit Space Development, we’re not yet experimenting with Foveated Rendering. However, other development firms are, and they are excited about what this new technology brings to the table. A company called ZeroLight is working on an automotive visualization tool, and thanks to the Vive Pro Eye’s built-in eye-tracking technology, the company is able to render its application at 9x the resolution of the headset, to produce a vivid and crisp image.

We look forward to what we can do with this tech once we get our hands on Vive’s new headset.

VR Sims Are More Engaging Than Traditional Training

woman in vr

VR Sims are More Engaging than Traditional Training

Virtual reality technology is improving workplace safety and training standards because it’s more engaging that traditional training methods.

By Kevin Carbotte

Training employees in Virtual Reality is safer than training on the job site and more engaging than training in a classroom.

Virtual Reality technology is changing the way the construction industry prepares its workers for the job site. VR offers safer alternatives to on-the-job training, which leads to fewer on-the-job accidents and more efficient workers.

Construction workers deal with life-threatening hazards on the worksite on a daily basis and to navigate these dangerous conditions safely; one must be trained to spot the dangers before they cause harm.

Virtual reality simulations make it possible for new employees to learn the ropes without putting them in dangerous situations unprepared. Simulations can be helpful to familiarize new employees with safety procedures and best practices before they ever get to the job site. Trainees can learn how to use unfamiliar equipment, or they can be shown the proper procedures for a given task, all while in a safe and controlled environment.

360-Degree Video Simulations

Bit Space Development has been working with construction companies for most of its history. Our VRSafety platform enables us to create custom-tailored safety simulations to improve onboarding and safety awareness procedures. Each VRSafety simulation features unique 360-degree images of real job sites, and we can add custom pop-up images and notes to help get new employees up to speed.

Competence Assessment

Our clients report that VR simulations make it easier for employees to spot hazards because they get a better understanding of what to look for on the real job site. They also love that they can look around in all directions as if they were at the site. It gives people a better perspective of what a job site looks like in person. This is especially important when onboarding people that are fresh out of school because there’s a good chance that they’ve never been on a real-world worksite.

VR simulations can also be used to assess the competence of a new worker without risking injury to them and others, or damage to your equipment and the facility. This is especially important when dealing with potentially hazardous power tools, welding machines, and heavy equipment.

More importantly, people–especially young people–find that VR training simulations are more engaging than traditional training methods, such as videos and standard pictures. Higher engagement during training means that employees will retain more of the information for future reference. When instructional material is dry and dull, people tend to tune out. VR-based training manages to grab your attention.

Interactive VR

Bit Space Development can also create fully rendered, room-scale VR experiences (that allow you to move around and use your hands), which include interactive environments and objects. These simulations offer a deeper understanding of the work environment, and they enable users to experience real-world safety scenarios so that they can be prepared in the event they experience an incident at work.

We can tailor room-scale simulations for any use case. For example, some of our previous work includes building a welding simulator that consists of a physical prop that emulates a welding torch. We’ve also made simulations that help familiarize people with dangerous power tools, such as saws and grinders.

Make VR part of a Well-Rounded Training Regiment

Training in virtual reality has many benefits, but it’s not a be-all-end-all solution. VR Training simulation is an excellent tool for people who learn best by getting their hands-on. Some people need a tactile experience to retain information, and interactive VR simulation is the perfect tool for that type of person. Not everyone learns this way, but there are so many hands-on learners out there that it’s a good idea to offer these types of training solutions for the up and coming workforce.

Trades Town – An educational game about trades

Trades Town game

Trades Town

An Educational Game About Trades

Bit Space Development logo

By BSD Marketing

Manitoba Construction Sector Council (MCSC) aims to promote and coordinate the development of a diverse, inclusive, well-educated workforce in support of careers of choice in a dynamic and evolving construction industry.

This year, MCSC team wishes to create a fun-to-learn experience for kids and younger student groups to generally learn about different trades, which contributes to their knowledge and consideration of future career.

Game Idea

MCSC and Bit Space team have been working together to come up with a game idea that simulates one of the most popular board games ever – Monopoly. We believe such a board game can stimulate players’ learning by great interactions. On the one hand, it is fun to play with multi-players; and easy to absorb knowledge on the other hand.

Game Description

The Trades Town game is similar to the Monopoly board game. Up to 4 players compete to take over the town with their knowledge of the trades industry! Build your workshop by moving around the board and collecting all 6 of the industry icons: Wood, Metals, Electric, Machines, Pipes and Mud/Concrete.

Players can learn about 17 different careers in the trades industry such as Welder, Tilesetter, Plumber and Carpenter. Each career is detailed with important information to get players started on the road to thinking about the trades including salary range, future outlook, and apprenticeship requirements.

Cruise through the Career Prospect Pages to study each career outside of the game action, including videos of people who work in that trade and their experience on the job. Small town domination is just a click away!

Players

It is a board game application intended to teach kids grade 4 and up about the trades in Manitoba.

It features information and animations for a variety of different industries.

Highlights

  • 6 Factions

    Wood, Metal, Machines, Electricity, Pipes, Mud/Concrete

  • Multiple Locations

    5 spots per faction

  • Multiple Questions

    30 total question tiles per game 5-ish questions per faction (around 52 possible questions)

  • Randomization

    Randomized board faction placement

  • Multiplayer

    Playable and fun with 1 to 4 players

  • Fact Sheets

    Fact sheets are directly tied to the question (to reduce the amount of facts written to each fact sheet)

  • Embedded Media

    Audio/Videos are also embedded.

Winnipeg VR – Explore The City

Winnipeg VR title

Winnipeg VR - Explore The City

Over the past several months we have been working on a 360-degree video experience with the Winnipeg Chamber of Commerce called Winnipeg VR. This experience takes you to multiple different businesses including some well know, and some new businesses that show our diverse business ecosystem here in the prairies.

Some of the businesses included in this app:

  • CN Rail
  • The City of Winnipeg
  • Frescolio
  • Mere Hotel
  • The Winnipeg Blue Bombers
  • Save on Foods
  • Across The Board Cafe
  • Vera Chiropractic
  • The Royal Aviation Museum of Western Canada
  • North End Family Center
  • Lennard Taylor Design Studio

When we initially approached the chamber to talk about the potential technology we had very loose guidelines on how we needed to produce this application. We wanted to give them creative freedom over whom to include, as long as they had a good role to play in the application.

The Technology

We shot the content using a couple different cameras. All of the content is in 360-degree photos and video. The cameras we used were:

  • Ricoh Theta S - Great for shooting large areas quickly, like the CN Rail Training Facility
  • Samsung Gear 360 (2017) - This camera we actually got later on, it shoots great photos and uses HDR. We used this for our outside locations like with the Blue Bombers.

Supported Devices

360-Degree Content

  • Supported
  • Android Smartphones
  • Apple iPhone
  • Apple iPad
  • Unsupported
  • Android Tablets

VR Content

  • Supported
  • Android Smartphone (with accelerometer & gyroscope)
  • Apple iPhone 5 and Up
  • Unsupported
  • Android Smartphone (without accelerometer & gyro)
  • Apple iPhone 4S and older

VR Viewer

  • Supported
  • Google Cardboard
  • Plastic Cardboard Compatible Devices
  • Unsupported
  • Oculus Rift
  • HTC Vive
  • Gear VR
  • Daydream VR

Future

We are currently working on future plans for the technology. For now, this application is a good example of businesses coming together and utilizing technology to build something of cultural significance.

Eventually, we would like to turn this into a framework for creating tourism focused VR applications. There are limitations to 360 videos and photos, but until better technology like photogrammetry becomes more accessible. We don’t want to create something the average user can not handle.

Downloads

You can download the app onto your smartphone, you do require a Google Cardboard enabled VR HMD to operate.

Registration Process

  1. Registration with Winnipeg Chamber of Commerce
  2. BSD will set up an appointment with you for a shoot day
  3. Upon scheduled day, BSD will come to your place and shoot for content.
  4. BSD will finalize the shots and publish on app.

Shoot Day

What to expect?

Team will arrive with 360 cameras on location

– We will shoot your space in high resolution 360 images

– Images will be embedded in the application.

You will provide a high resolution logo

You will provide a paragraph of info about your organization and some interesting facts

FAQ

How long does it take?

Photoshoots take roughly 30 – 45 minutes depending on your location and how prepared you are.

Who owns the images?

The content generated for the app currently is owned by you, this may change in the future as the app evelolves but current content will not be repuposed for future applications. 

Can i have the content?

Unfortunately, no. The content is specific to the application. However, if you wish to schedule a 360 content shoot for other purposes, you can contact us at [email protected] 

Do i need a vr headset to view?

No. The Winnipeg VR app is accessible through most smartphones without a VR viewer. 

Who can download this app?

The application is free, and available from the iOS and Android app stores. Anyone with a modern smartphone can use the app. 

What is the cost to participate?

There is an annual license of $240 ($20/month) to have your business featured in the Winnipeg VR application. License fees are handled by The Winnipeg Chamber of Commerce.

How much does the 360 photo shoot cost?

Bit Space Development charges a one-time $100 fee for the photo shoots for the Winnipeg VR application. This price does not reflect our standard photo shoot price. It is a special price for Winnipeg VR participants. 

Who has my data?

The Chamber of Commerce handles all billing information. BSD does not store or use this data at all. 

The application does not store any personal data, and participation in the app does not put you on any mailing lists.

Contacts

For any inquiries please email

BSD’s official website: https://bitspacedevelopment.com

Winnipeg VR App official website: https://winnipegvr.ca

Kohler Brings Augmented Reality Product Previews to iOS App – Kohler View

Kohler View AR application
Bit Space Development logo

By BSD Marketing

In the last two years, we have seen a booming era of Virtual Reality and Augmented Reality widely applied in various industries. More and more companies are adding “AR as a feature” to enhance shopping experience for customers.
This year, Kohler Canada dipped its toes into Augmented Reality with “Kohler View”, enabling iPhone users place virtual furniture items in their own home space with the AR app, adding a little more depth to the consumers’ online shopping experience than before.
This project was a joint effort between two Winnipeg-based companies: Bit Space Development Ltd., an interactive digital media studio, and ZenFri Inc., an innovative creative arts studio.

Currently, the app has 7 bathroom items for a try. What’s interesting is users can see some product animations to better understand the product itself. For instance, in the Sunstruck® freestanding air bath, users can see airjets pushing air through the water. This bath delivers a one-of-a-kind hydromassage experience, while the heated surface warms your back, shoulders, and neck, or the Numi® toilet combines unmatched design and technology to bring you the finest in personal comfort and cleansing by letting you fine-tune every option to your exact preferences, from ambient colored lighting to wireless Bluetooth®* music sync capability to the heated seat and foot warmer. From its striking form to its exceptional water efficiency, the Numi® toilet marks a new standard of excellence in the bathroom.   

About Kohler's App

How Kohler app works

Kohler’s augmented reality app is made easy to use and fast. Simply open the app and select “enable camera”. Then scan your room space to define the area. Once finished, the list of bathroom items will appear. Select any of the Sunstruck®, Numi®, Sensate®, Verdera®, Prolific®, Corbelle® and Reveal® to position in your defined space.

Using touch gestures, users can move it around or rotate it until they find the perfect spot. Once an item has been placed in the area, users can select a few different animations that typically demonstrate how the item operates.

The current mainly features some Kohler’s signature bathroom items, and it does not have the purchase feature embedded. Users still have to go on the site or visit the store to place an order.

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Device Support

If you’re an Apple fan, Kohler View is for you. By running iOS 11 or up, you can download the app from the App store, and check it out. Currently, you’ll also need iPhone 6S or newer, and mostly all the new iPad versions. More details can be found in the App store.

Trades Town – An educational game about trades

Trades Town game

Trades Town - An Educational Game About Trades

Trades Town game

Manitoba Construction Sector Council (MCSC) aims to promote and coordinate the development of a diverse, inclusive, well-educated workforce in support of careers of choice in a dynamic and evolving construction industry.

This year, MCSC team wishes to create a fun-to-learn experience for kids and younger student groups to generally learn about different trades, which contributes to their knowledge and consideration of future career.

Game Idea

MCSC and Bit Space team have been working together to come up with a game idea that simulates one of the most popular board games ever – Monopoly. We believe such a board game can stimulate players’ learning by great interactions. On the one hand, it is fun to play with multi-players; and easy to absorb knowledge on the other hand.

Trades Town Game Description

The Trades Town game is similar to the Monopoly board game. Up to 4 players compete to take over the town with their knowledge of the trades industry! Build your workshop by moving around the board and collecting all 6 of the industry icons: Wood, Metals, Electric, Machines, Pipes and Mud/Concrete.

Players can learn about 17 different careers in the trades industry such as Welder, Tilesetter, Plumber and Carpenter. Each career is detailed with important information to get players started on the road to thinking about the trades including salary range, future outlook, and apprenticeship requirements.

Cruise through the Career Prospect Pages to study each career outside of the game action, including videos of people who work in that trade and their experience on the job. Small town domination is just a click away!

Target Players

It is a board game application intended to teach kids grade 4 and up about the trades in Manitoba.

It features information and animations for a variety of different industries.

Features

  • 6 Factions

    Wood, Metal, Machines, Electricity, Pipes, Mud/Concrete

  • Multiple Locations

    5 spots per faction

  • Multiple Questions

    30 total question tiles per game 5-ish questions per faction (around 52 possible questions)

  • Randomization

    Randomized board faction placement

  • Multiplayer

    Playable and fun with 1 to 4 players

  • Fact Sheets

    Fact sheets are directly tied to the question (to reduce the amount of facts written to each fact sheet)

  • Embedded Media

    Audio/Videos are also embedded.

Screenshots