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.​

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.

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

New Features on Roadbuilders Safety Training

New Features on Roadbuilders Safety Training

RoadBuilders Safety Training

Roadbuilders Safety Training (RSTS) is a 16-module training course for Roadbuilders to learn and get more practice on safety training at the work site. The training app is powered in Virtual Reality that requires a VR Headset and a controller.

New Features

  • Naratives

    RSTS gameplay has been enhanced with narratives

  • Instructions Arrow

    Arrows guide learners to their next objective to keep the course on pace and on topic

About Roadbuilders Safety Training

WORKSAFELY, Manitoba Heavy Construction Association is dedicated to increasing safety in the industry. The Workplace Safety and Health Act and Regulations provide legal controls for the many hazards you will face. The heavy construction industry also has control measures in place to protect your safety.

Hazard assessment provides this assurance of safety. A hazard assessment is the identification of a safety or health hazard with communication of implemented control measures. A hazard assessment must be completed before beginning each job and at regular intervals thereafter. Your supervisor is responsible for ensuring it is done. He or she must also request input from you if you are available.

When the hazard assessment is completed, the supervisor must review it and clearly describe the control measures that ensure it is complete safely. That is why you attended a safety orientation on the first day of work and why safe work practices and safe job procedures are reviewed with you to ensure your competency.

VRSafety – The New Way To Learn

vr safety title card

VR Safety App

BSD Logo

By BSD Marketing

With the current astonishing facts and figures about serious safety issues in construction industry, Bit Space Development came up with an app idea that leverages Virtual Reality in safety training. With Virtual Reality, the training experience is immersive but very hands-on as the content is taken from the real job site, and is simulated in a 360-degree environment. By this, learners are totally placed in a real construction site that enhances their discovery, learning and safety practices.

OFFICIAL WEBSITE: HTTP://VRSAFETY.NET/ 

Safety Issues

Injuries Statistics from 2014 – 2016

(related to head, eyes, hand and foot injuries)

  • Trucking – 731

  • Heavy construction – 491

  • Building construction – 2095

Of these there are 2883 that are reported to have lost time at work because of their injury. This is costing industry big bucks.

*Data was provided by SAFE Work Manitobaand WorkersCompensation Board of Manitoba

The Big Idea

Read more about Benefits of Virtual Reality in Training.

VRSafety is our customized platform for 360-degree photos and videos. They are an engaging and immersive type of media content which has gained popularity in recent months with the likes of Facebook, Google and Youtube. It allows the viewer to move around the camera without limits, giving them control of what they see.

Our VRSafety platform is special, as we can add “hotspots” in your 360-degree panoramas. These are like the links between different types of media in one panorama. This can make your content not just a normal panorama, but a port of various information that viewers can see.

Its Applications

  • Travel to job sites virtually

  • Cost effective solutions for businesses to implement awareness training

  • Adaptable for any classroom training

  • Dynamic deployment options

  • Scalable design for businesses

  • Integrated assessments

Current Features

  • Easily built using a single JSON file and a folder of pictures
  • Support for multiple VR platforms
  • Integrated SCORM compliance for web embedded simulators
  • Narration support for limited literacy
  • Integrated quizzing for assessment

Hotspots

‘Hotspots’ is an incredible feature that can enhance the interactive VR experiences. Hotspots are the spots that contain a link to a different media type. When you gaze at a hotspot in your headset, you can gaze through to next piece of content. With our VRSafety, you can add various types of media by hotspots that can enrich your VR content for training or in the classroom.

  • Image hotspot
  • Flashcard
    • Similar to image with hidden text behind for studying
  • Text hotspots
  • Audio hotspots
  • Transition
  • Video

Platforms

The VRSafety App can be applied on most of the current VR platforms, including:

  • Google Cardboard
    • iOS
    • Android
  • Google Daydream
  • Oculus Rift
  • Oculus Gear VR
  • HTC Vive
  • Microsoft VR
  • Microsoft Hololens

* We have Non-VR enabled build support for iPad and the web.

Bit Space on Pulse on VR

HTC Vive Pro on a desk

Bit Space Development Pulse on VR

Bit Space Development logo

By BSDMarketing

The following content is taken from Pulse on VR website. 

The last week of June 2018 was a great chance for Bit Space to share our story with Pulse on VR. We would like to thank the team for this meaningful article which clearly explains what we are visioning and doing.

Company Origins

This Winnipeg-based firm is creating interactive educational experiences, and producing specialized hardware to bring those experiences to consumers across Canada and internationally. Daniel Blair did not intend to found a VR company – he was working at another successful startup on a side project, an educational game using panoramic 360-degree photography. Eventually he got an office where there was a group of student interns available, and began building games. Later, he began networking with other businesses in Manitoba, and after 6 months realized that they had become a de facto VR studio. They were conducting research, from which they developed new technology, and were working with a hardware manufacturer to produce it.

Pursuing Growth

Daniel gave a TEDx talk in June 2016 in which he emphasized VR’s ability to reach a new set of eyes. Taking a scientific approach to VR means learning new ways of telling stories using video and interaction. He sees VR as a stepping-stone to AR (augmented reality), and eventually to physical computing. Importantly, he would like to develop tools to bring dangerous situations into safer settings, like the classroom, or a museum installation, where they can become active learning experiences.

  • Bit Space is hard at work building two key components of its overall strategy
  • Building XR (VR and AR) tools to facilitate educational experiences (e.g. to bring a training course ‘to life’ through interactive elements)
  • Building a research company devoted to the study and creation of educational content.
  • An example of the first element might be a custom headset attachment designed to monitor the effects of the technology on the body. Bit Space is working with numerous partners, including MS hololens, HTC, Oculus, and universities (who may have the training and resources needed to tackle large or especially complex problems).

    Factor For Success

    Daniel sees Bit Space’s competitive advantages as lying in its access to the local market, the constant focus on VR research, and the presence of professional educators on the team,

    leading to a very high-level understanding of research in the industry. In Daniel’s view, Bit Space’s main goal is to help clients explore these new technologies in order to solve problems.

    Looking Ahead

    In terms of challenges, Daniel notes a lack of digital media-focused VC (venture capital) firms. As a result, Bit Space is concentrating on a bootstrap model. Additionally, developers can be very expensive, and he stresses the need to locate them early on in the process. Finally, there are challenges relating to access to the innovation ecosystem (e.g. IRAP). As a company focused on the intersection of learning and VR, it can be difficult to see where the proper funding pathways lie.

    For further reading, the article can be found via this link http://pulseonvr.ca/case_study/bit-space/

    Or download the PDF by clicking this link http://pulseonvr.ca/wp-content/uploads/2017/06/Case-study-BITSPACE.pdf

    About #Pulse on VR

    Launched by CFC Media Lab and OMERS Ventures in collaboration with Nordicity , Pulse on VR: A Living Ecosystem represents an ongoing snapshot of the Canadian Virtual Reality (VR) ecosystem as it evolves. Presenting data gathered from an ongoing survey of the Canadian VR ecosystem, the study – a living and continuous research project – examines the workflows, tools, challenges and opportunities that VR creators and technologists face. Its goal is to publish fresh data on a quarterly basis here and track how it takes shape over time.

    Bit Space at Skills Canada National Competition 2017

    Skills Canada

    Bit Space at Skills Canada National Competition 2017

    By Kevin Carbotte

    Last weekend was a busy time in Winnipeg where a large competition and trade show took place at RBC Convention Centre for Skills Canada National Competition 2017. A part from being an exciting event of trades, it is also a gathering place for in-the-field innovations and decision-makers in various organizations.

    The Applications

    We had several applications being displayed at the event. These experiences ranged from GearVR, HoloLens, Oculus, and Google Cardboard applications.

    Red River College

    On the ground floor next to the networking and programming competitors, you could come to try the Red River College VR tour created in our lab. The booth ran the Oculus CV1 to send you to the Exchange District Campus on Princess Street to explore the ACE department.

    The application aimed to bring prospective and international students a quick taste of the campus and its facility being offered before flying halfway around the world to experience it. Learn more on our website.

    Manitoba Construction Sector Council (MCSC)

    On the second floor in the trades area, you could try 2 applications at the booth of the Manitoba Construction Sector Council.

    Framer Course

    Developed for the Samsung GearVR, learners were able to explore a real job site where a house was being built. Experience different stages of homebuilding, and gain valuable knowledge. Learn more on our website.

    Road Builders Safety Training System (RSTS)

    One of our more complex titles, developed through funding provided by the WCB of Manitoba‘s innovation program and guided by the professional knowledge at the MCSC and the Manitoba Heavy Construction Association. RSTS is a game designed for the GearVR that has you explore 16 modules and teach you the different aspects of road building. Learn more on our website.

    IBEW / UA Canada

    Identification of Safety Hazards on Virtual Construction Worksite (IBEW Local 2085)

    On the third floor right beside the cranes, trucks, and mechanics you were able to experience one of our pilot applications for the IBEW, MCSC, and WCB. This application like RSTS uses 360-degree photography and interactive hotspots to drive a learning experience about slips, trips, and falls. 

    This application is the first in a series of safety games. Learn more on our website.

    Prototypes

    Throughout the show at various booths, you were able to try one of our Hololens prototypes. We used augmented reality to place a holographic excavator on the tradeshow floor with you. This video shows you a taste for what is possible.

    This demo application was last shown alongside Microsoft at the Web Summit 2016 conference in Lisbon Portugal.

    Reception

    We received a lot of really positive feedback on the applications. Because of our locations on all 3 floors we were able to gain the maximum amount of eyes on our products. A lot of people at Skills Canada were trying VR for the first time, which is really encouraging to us to be able to give these users a good first experience in a new medium.

    If you want to know more about our products, frameworks, and previous work you can find at on our website.