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! 

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 Immersively

Winnipeg VR

Explore the city virtually

Bit Space Development logo

By BSD Marketing

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 known, and some new businesses that show our diverse business ecosystem here in the prairies

In the App

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.

The application was developed for Google Cardboard and is released on the iTunes store and the Google Play Store. We also built an Oculus Rift version to showcase at events with the chamber. This early demo video shows the application running within Unity3D.

The idea is to expand this technology to enable any business access to this for marketing and tourism.

Future

We are currently working on future plans for the technology. For now, the Winnipeg VR 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.

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.

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.

4 Benefits of a Virtual Tour for your listings

4 Benefits of a Virtual Tour for your listings

Lede

Dan Blair CEO BitSpace Development

By Dan Blair

We all know Real Estate is such a competitive industry. Using a virtual tour in Real Estate industry is becoming more popular.  For this, you may want to consider the benefits of incorporating a virtual tour of your real estate next listing.

Check it out here to see a virtual tour for showcasing properties:

1. Buyers want to go their pace

If you use a video tour -not to mention only a sequence of pictures- it is much like taking the future homeowners by the hand. They will only look where you want them to look. But if you use a virtual tour to show your listing, you can give them the freedom to navigate at their own  pace. Therefore, they can focus more on what they really want to see, and then make a decision whether to view it or not in person later.

2. It is an easy to use Pre-selection tool

Out of all the tools available for real estate buyers to pre-select listings for later visiting, a virtual tour lets them have the best first complete view of the property as a whole. And this is way different from just pictures which can be somehow misleading.

3. Makes the property easier to understand

Having a virtual tour to show your listing helps the future homeowner to figure out which rooms lead to others, how is the transition from one of the rooms to the staircase or the patio, and many other details that, frequently, get lost when relying only on pictures. It is the closest to actually being there.

4. Stand out from your competitors

It will make your listings stand out from whatever else is in the market. It will make potential buyers more likely to remain longer in your page, exploring your interactive content.

Using virtual tours for real estate industry is groundbreaking technology. Why don’t make the best use of it?

Photogrammetry – The Real Virtal World

bit space photogrammetry experiment

Photogrammetry - The Real Virtal World

Photogrammetry is a very interesting science, it is something that is still growing but it is a technology that is going to revolutionize virtual reality. Imagine taking photos of a room and turning them into a 3D model that can be imported into Unity to walk around in. So if I walked around one of my developers (Landon) and scanned him, I can create a 3D version of him which you can see below.

Scanning The World

The crude scan above was generated using a Project Tango. The Tango tablet makes it quick an easy to scan objects, rooms, people, but it isn’t as high quality as using a dedicated rig. There are a few technologies you might already have to get started with 3D scanning. One of the best is the XBOX Kinect sensor.

Practical Applications

 

How can we use this technology in useful ways? Immediately I look at photogrammetry as something that can be used to create ultra realistic training simulators and educational tools. I scanned the entrance to the North Forge accelerator here in Manitoba where we work.

I wanted to place you inside a space. We could ideally bring this to a video game experience where users explore the actual real life space with hotspots and overlays.  The wheels are spinning now for how we can use this. How can you see this technology helping you?