Wednesday, February 21, 2018

AR hitting the mainstream

FoxNews
News.com.au

YOU might think you can’t live without your smartphone, but tech companies like Apple, Google and Facebook expect you to do just that in the not-too-distant future.
The titans of the tech industry are pouring billions into developing the device they think will replace our beloved smartphones — and the race is on to usher in the new age of connectivity.
So what is the device, you ask?
They are glasses capable of sophisticated augmented reality (AR) that will take the screen from your hand and fix it permanently in front of your face.
Sure, Google Glass was a major flop but Microsoft, Apple, Facebook and Google are all working on the new wearable product that, if embraced by consumers, will take us a big step down the path of cyborg consumers.




Lightwear Headset Hardware



It's important to note:
 that there will be multiple players involved. There are multiple problems to solve in the space. Software, hardware & interface. There will be sensors, displays, processors and other components to consider.

A company to do very well for its shareholders isn't going to have to dominate the space, but I think Microvision will dominate the market in displays. While I haven't tried Magic Leap, I have tried everything else out there, and Microvision's display is better.

Tuesday, February 20, 2018

Sony Teaser...

So, I'm trying to get some chili in the slow-cooker this morning, when my phone blew up with a couple of people asking what I think of the SONY teaser.

Hit google with SONY and "Teaser"


Just got done with the cooking and sit down to look. Digging in a few places.

to start with, there's WAY more that I don't know than what I do know.


The headlines on you tube:

"Hints at big changes."
"Curved phones"
"Looks to steal Samsung's limelight with curved phones"



Apparently the consensus is "curved." My impression from looking at the video? Could mean almost anything. SONY has had notoriously boxy phones in the past, who knows. maybe they're going to round off the corners. In the current market for smartphones (until PicoP arrives) that will be considered a HUGE innovation.

However.....

* I've always thought Qualper was a smokescreen, and I have no reason to change that opinion.

* I think that from the positive reviews of Ragentek's Phone that a "fast follower" would be on deck.

* I'm reasonably sure SONY has the ability to do a limited release of a PicoP powered phone without even telling Microvision about it.

* I did have an interesting traffic spike in the last few days... mostly curious because the hits to the site came from specific internet searches. (yeah, sometimes I watch that stuff for clues.) I even did a post about that Notable Traffic Spike.


* And Walt reminded me of this SONY FIRST NEW Phone factory in 20 years

Concluding this little chapter....

There isn't enough to draw any conclusions, or even speculate much based on a SONY teaser. Something could happen there at any time however, as could happen from a number of other directions.

I suspect MWC will be interesting though.




















Sunday, February 18, 2018

Notable Traffic spike

Interesting that most of it coming from a particular search term, to a particular post.

I'm not sure what to make of it yet.

Search #1

Search #2

Popular post. Lots of foreign traffic. 


Why is China So Obsessed with Mobile gaming?

Wired -- AR Shaping the future of play.

The continued gaming of this, and it's enthusiastic reception is all good news.

It will be wanting better and lighter display, we're only going to need some of this market to be doing fantastic.




Hasbro Iron man

From Wired... 


......... “Their eyes pop,” he says. “They always ask me, ‘Where can you buy this?’”



Many companies see that reaction—the immediate "wow" factor—as proof that augmented reality is the future of play. It’s what legacy toymakers like Disney and Lego are banking on to keep their brands relevant; it's what Toys R Us hopes will keep its stores open. At Toy Fair, which kicks off Saturday in New York City, it's what many toymakers hope will make their products relevant in 2018 and beyond. Whether layered on top of teddy bears, board games, coloring books, or action fictions, augmented reality promises to make last year's toys feel new again. And all it takes is a phone.

Time to Play
For a glimpse of that future, look to the world's largest toymaker, Hasbro. The company is showing off its new Iron Man mask this weekend at Toy Fair, which uses augmented reality to stage a battle against Thanos. Slip on Iron Man's red helmet and gauntlet, set up the three AR markers around the room, and watch Thanos and his armies surround you. The suit is Hasbro's first foray into augmented reality, but follows the work of companies like Disney, which introduced its Star Wars Jedi Challenges AR experience last year. The consumer appeal of this stuff is obvious: In AR, you’re not playing as Iron Man. You are Iron Man.
Hasbro's Iron Man set-up relies on a phone, placed inside of the mask, which captures the real world through the camera and overlays the digital objects from Iron Man's world. As phone-based AR improves—especially with recent pushes from AppleGoogle, and seemingly everyone else in Silicon Valley—those experiences will feel ever-more lifelike. That makes augmented reality something of a golden goose for toymakers. Take a well-designed app, pair it with a simple costume or a plastic toy, and you can create an immersive, interactive experience that kids love.
**** 

Plus, unlike virtual reality or even videogames, augmented reality toys bring kids back into the real world. Kids can run around the house playing AR laser tag, or pretending to be a character from their favorite movie, rather than sitting slack-jawed in front of a screen all day. “There's a certain satisfaction with touching something and physically manipulating it. I don't think that's going to go away,” says Trickett. "But those physical objects are going to become a lot more interesting.”

Friday, February 16, 2018

Robots in South Korea

I heard this while I was driving this morning.

I spent a while trying to figure out who's robot is the rice-cooker looking projector robot. No joy.

Thursday, February 15, 2018

Conference call Announced.

A couple of interesting things on the banner, and a new time.

I attribute no meaning at all to the new time, except new management with new preferences.

I'll welcome not being up at O500 for the call.

Link to Page





MicroVision, Inc. (NASDAQ: MVIS) is a pioneer in laser beam scanning (LBS) technology that we market under our brand name PicoP®. Founded in 1993 and based in Redmond, WA, we have developed our proprietary PicoP® scanning technology that can be adopted by our customers to create high-resolution miniature projection and three-dimensional sensing and image capture solutions. Our PicoP scanning technology incorporates our patented expertise in two-dimensional Micro-Electrical Mechanical Systems (MEMS), lasers, optics, and electronics to create a small form factor scanning engine with lower power needs than many other technologies that projects high-quality video and still image and/or uses depth sensing to capture three-dimensional data.
Our business strategy is to commercialize our PicoP® scanning technology by enabling ODMs and OEMs to produce scanning engines by licensing our technology. We also sell key scanning engine components to licensees, as needed. ODMs and OEMs can integrate and embed our technology across a broad range of display and image capture product applications. We create product concept reference designs to enable ODMs and OEMs to develop and rapidly build products that capitalize on the benefits of our PicoP scanning technology. We are also developing value-added applications intended to help our customers differentiate their potential products.

We have an extensive patent portfolio that we believe is the largest, broadest, and earliest filed LBS technology portfolio and includes applications such as automotive HUD, augmented reality, range finding, portable media devices, image capture, and projection applications. We have over 500 issued patents, pending patents and licensed patents worldwide.

Wednesday, February 14, 2018

Advertisers tuning out TV

Streaming and web-based as an advertiser advantage.

Large format will have an advantage. 


I'll go out on a limb and predict that Netflix will soon have a "with ads' package. (or they will start streaming ads for heavy users.)

Bloomberg

The decline in TV viewership is accelerating as online rivals Google and Facebook have increased their investments in video, capturing almost every new advertising dollar entering the marketplace.

***

“Facebook and Google are cleaning our clocks because they have targeting,’’ said Peter Rice, head of Fox’s TV networks group. “I don’t think the advertising product is as good,’’ adding that TV will take a bigger slice of ad sales as it implements better targeting.

Media companies have tried to use Facebook’s admission of poor audience accounting and the proliferation of inappropriate content on both Facebook and YouTube to persuade advertisers to slow spending online. A few diverted spending to TV from digital in recent years, but no scandal has slowed the growth in advertising sales at Facebook or Alphabet.

“TV doesn’t have fraud or viewability problems, but the prices are just so high now,’’ Leszega said. “We’re at a tipping point.’’



Producer leaves TV for Netflix


Saw this coming... 

Tuesday, February 13, 2018

Adoption of Smart Speakers... fast followers

"Fast followers" is an important concept when watching consumer electronics.

New products happen usually this way: Someone sticks their neck out and takes a chance...

...the herd watches to see if the pioneer thrives... or is eaten by predators... or falls off a cliff...


... if the pioneer thrives, the rest of the herd follows in a stampede.

This happened with cell phones, personal computers, smart phones & tablet computers. (The first smart screens) and with Smart speakers

Check out "Smart Speakers."





Wikipedia
Release dateNovember 6, 2014

Amazon had been developing Echo devices inside its Lab126 offices in Silicon Valley and Cambridge, Massachusetts since at least 2010 in confirmed reports. The device was part of Amazon’s first attempts to expand its device portfolio beyond the Kindle e-reader.[3] The Echo was prominently featured in Amazon's first-ever Super Bowl ad in 2016.[4]





Wikipedia
Google Home is a brand of smart speakers developed by Google. The first device was announced in May 2016 and released in the United States in November 2016, with subsequent releases globally throughout 2017.


Now, there are 107 Smart Speakers in Consumer Reports List




A quick trip down memory land for "tablet computers." Do you remember the "Grid Pad?" Palm Pilot? Apple Newton? Pocket PC? All these runs at it since the late 1980's and early 1990's before the concept finally got traction -- when the technology was good enough to inspire mass adoption.  Early Tablet Computers 

With the iPad it passed the "anyone can use it" threshold.

*********** 

We have had the first SMART Screens. They are tablet computers. We have had the first smart speakers (voice activated personal assistants.)

Combining the technology -- the adoption rate of this is going to be very rapid. It takes something we're used to, (Tablet computers) and combines it with something most of us are getting used to (Smart speakers) to increase the utility dramatically.

Google has telegraphed that "smart screens" are coming. With the smart speaker combined with a screen and voice activation.  

Some of their partners in this are also partners with MicroVision. (Goertek and particularly RockChip -- here) Yes, on the WPG Holdings list of "hottest" items is a MicroVision projector engine combined with the RockChip processor dedicated to voice recognition. (Unfortunately, they close their site for Chinese New year. 

********* 
Over the weekend I met someone who carries a Motorola phone with the projector mod. She loves it, uses it at work(for work) and at home and while out and about.

However it's use case is a lot like an early tablet computer. It's not convenient technology. It's power hungry, not very bright, and requires playing with a particularly finicky (technical term!) focus wheel. It's not convenient and easy for just anyone to use. 

Projection in smartphones has now reached that all-important threshold. Ragentek has the "anyone can use it" projector smartphone.

...and a lot of interest in lasers... by some companies playing with near-eye displays.







Friday, February 9, 2018

Interesting Language....

Interesting language used here... 


Oculus.com Careers

The Laser Safety Lead partners with Oculus Research, Oculus and User Study teams to establish safe operating procedures for hardware, manufactured systems, and research study protocols for various test conditions and prototype devices across multiple locations. This position will serve as safety representative for protocol design changes involving radiation in research studies including providing expert review of changes relating to hardware devices, software functions, and testing environment. Use of lasers and LEDs are vital in the development of Augmented and Virtual Reality and this role will play a key part in ensuring the safety of research teams. This role serves as laser and radiation safety officer. The ideal candidate collaborates with many research teams, lab managers, legal and site operations in a fast-paced environment to provide sound input to improve the safety of our researchers and study participants.

Thursday, February 8, 2018

STM Robot Demo

Notice the sign (Mems Mirror and ASIC)

Nice at about 3:25


Thanks Joe 

UPDATED: (Picture of splash screen, and comment.)  This robot is cool sure. It uses MicroVision.... but it's not the big story. The Big story is smart displays a couple of posts down. I'm not far out on a limb here to day...Google is going to be producing "smart screen" devices and MicroVision will be part of it.

STM made no secret of how highly they think of MicroVision... check presentation link for a refresher. I attended that presentation, and they think very highly of Microvision's talent, the tech possibilities, and the future of laser projection.

STM HUD
STM LBS Presentation




Good Catch!!!