Tags Posts tagged with "startup"


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    Improbable SoftBank cover

    Do you remember Improbable Worlds, British startup funded by American venture capitalist Andreessen Horowitz, together with Hong Kong’s firm Horizon Ventures, and Singapore’s fund Temasek Holdings, who in March 2013 provided 22 million dollars in a “series A” round?

    A 502 million dollars bet

    Well: these days Improbable raise 502 million dollars more in around “series B” lead by Japanese SoftBank Group (round involving even the alreaady mentioned venture capitalist). It’s one of the biggest venture capital agreement ever realized in Great Britain and that’s saying a lot about the expectations Improbable raised with its distributed operating system SpatialOS used for building virtual spaces shared on a mass scale. Improbable SpatialOS

    Breakthrough technology for the gaming industry

    Virtual reality technology of Improbable Worlds seems able to revolutionize the gaming industry, but also to help explore disease, to improve cities, to understand economies and to solve complex problems. SoftBank beyond betting on the new likely “unicorn” is also closing Vision Fund, a 100 billion dollars fund investing in innovative startups already subscribed by Apple and Saudi Arabia.

    A founders meeting promoted the agreement

    As revealed Bloomberg, operation was born from a meeting between Herman Narula, Improbable Worlds co-founder and Ceo, and SoftBank founder and Ceo, Masayoshi Son, who is trying to establish SoftBank (which traditionally invested in telecommunications and gaming in Japan) as a frontrunner investor in emerging technologies. SoftBank Masayoshi Son

    SoftBank will help Improbable grow

    Improbable for its part was looking for an investor that could provide enough capital to continue to grow (Improbable is planning to hire more people on London and San Francisco) without having to sell out to some global tech giant, has appened to many European startups that in recent years have been acquired by US tech giant (for instance: Sweden company Mojang, developer of Minecraft, bought in 2014 by Microsoft for 2.5 billion dollars).

    Surely we will hear more about Improbable Worlds, therefore if you wanna know how the story ends continue to follow Mondivirtuali.it, even through our account on Twitter and our fanpage on Facebook (but remember: Mondivirtuali is also on Flickr, on Pinterest, on Scoop.it, on Paper.li and also on Youtube).

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      Alice Cittone Oralcare pro

      Having years’ professional experience gained with social media platform like Second Life, Alice Cittone (aka Alice Mastroianni) decided to capitalise on her professional experience to launch an app, Oralcare.pro, developed in 2015 in collaboration with Irish software house AddWare Europe Ltd, which has both developers both project managers involved in the growth of European projects on a daily basis.

      Oralcare.pro appNot enough prevention and dental hygiene

      As explain to Mondivituali.it Alice Cittone, Oralcare.pro “stems from my personal experience, for 14 years, as  dental hygienist and from all I saw and I still see. I realized that everyone has a smartphone, but tends to skimp on prevention and dental hygien. Yet studies and research increasingly demonstrates that working for dental prevention preserves our body from serious risks as heart attak, abortion and surgical failure, or at least it decreases the risks”.

      50% of population – goes on Alice – got the so called “periodontal disease” or periodontitis, which tipically threatens 30 to 40 years old people, i.e. those more involved into social networks, with smartphones. So was born idea of oralcare.pro app, a tool that you can leave to your patients to improve compliance at home. A programme helping with some reminders and that reveals relevant informations also relating to sex, piercing, make-up and more. Plus an area where to find a dental hygienist near you”.

      Oralcare.pro databaseThe fist dental hygienist pubblic database

      Connected to all this there is a network for dental hygienists only where you can register to be in the database, since in Italy there are less than 10 thousand dental hygienists, “but no one knows who we are”, point out Alice, underling as the one linked to Oralcare.pro is “the first public Italian dental hygienistd atabase: public, free, apolitical and unconstrained”.

      Participants in network may use services as the connection to Sipmo (Società italiana di patologi e medici orali, i.e. Italian oral pathologysts and doctors company) oral pathologysts for the project to mouth cancer ongoing prevention, or replacement serch service for illness, parenthood, study and more. Finally, we triggered a few days ago an insurance convention to provide a professional insurance and legal protection service”.

      Oralcare.proOralcare.pro, a broad target market

      The potential target market for Oralcare.pro is 38% Italia population, i.e. those people who get prevention and dental hygiene regularly, “or, maybe, we should say 29%, since not all this 38% know our professional”, Alice adds, “although it is among the jobs that provide more certain in Italy to date. Indeed, all dental hygienists find a job a month after graduation, with a turnover ranging from 30,000 to 100,000 euros per year”.

      Interesting market niches for the app are both dental hygienitst patients both passionates about fashion, concludes Alice. Alice and AddWare Europe ambitions are to get Oralcare.pro to grow up, starting to engage dental sector companies both to allow a better communication with dental hygienists both to develop the app making it even more useful. Soon, finally, a partnership with Bolzano University will start following a dissertation devoted to Oralcare.pro (you can find more informations on Alice’s blog).

      So far we only have to whish Alice Cittone and her team, but if you wanna keep in touch with virtual reality, augmented reality and geek technologies news and giveaways, continue to follow Mondivirtuali.it, even through our account on Twitter and our fanpage on Facebook (but remember: Mondivirtuali is also on Flickr, on Pinterest, on Scoop.it, on Paper.li and also on Youtube).

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        Haptic VR cover

        What can make virtual reality more involving? Especially if you think about apps for gaming, user’s experience is the key: to be successfull a  videogame must be not just exciting, but able to capture the player’s imagination so to trigger the “suspension of disbelief” mechanism. Haptic VR Teslasuit

        Virtual reality increasingly haptic

        If a player cannot imagine himself/herself inside the game, he/she will walk away very soon. Sofar player’s traditional experience is based on the senses of sight and sound, but in the future virtual reality games will be able to engage the player through the sense of touch to increase immersive game experience.

        How? Through controls able to let the player feel touches, vibrations, and full-body physical assaults. The ability to let players feel the recoil of a weapon, or the blow of a sword and so on, is called haptic feedback. Haptic VR Null Space

        Haptic engines for new sensations

        To succeed in reproducing this developers working on controls and devices for virtual reality video games will use “haptic engines” specially-designed embedded in gloves, vests, and other wearables able to convert gaming actions into phisical sensations.

        By using a combination of engines of varying sizes and powers, haptic feedback devices can provide sensations ranging from a tickle to a sharp blow.

        There are already startups like Go Touch VR (which we already described), NullSpace or Teslasuit which are developing such devices, others, still in an alpha phase, were seeing in the latest months in many startup contests in Italy (Shocking T, from an idea of Gianpaolo Greco and Stefano Nicosia, aka MinDBlinD Setsuko in Second Life, is a good example). Haptic VR touch

        What do you think about?

        Virtual reality will be increasingly an haptic experience? Several experts are ready to swear, but whaat do you think? Please leave a comment and if you like share this article, you will help us to cover always better the items you prefer!

        Then if you wanna keep up with virtual reality, augmented reality and geek technologies news and giveaways, continue to follow Mondivirtuali.it, even through our account on Twitter and our fanpage on Facebook (but remember: Mondivirtuali is also on Flickr, on Pinterest, on Scoop.it, on Paper.li and also on Youtube).

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        baobab studios cover

        Despite all the wonder that VR studios can realize to wow users, at the end of the day the only way to establish an emotional contact, as already explained Ed Catmull, is always the same: create great content, able to produce the suspension of disbelief just like the best movies or novels.

        Baobab Studios raises $25 million in new funding round

        Baobab Studios InvasionThat’s why is so interestng that Baobab Studios, a 360 degree and VR video producer, after the first $6 million raised from Samsung and Htc, closed $25 million Series B funding round led by Horizons Ventures and Twentieth Century Fox along with Evolution Media Partners, Shanghai Media Group, Youku Global Media Fund and LDV Partners.

        Baobab Studios whishes to develop characters that everyone can love (or hate) thanks to the wealth of experience and interactions that VR technology can offer.

        Baobab Studios last month announced that its 6 minutes VR short movie, “Invasion”, directed by Eric Darnell, already Madagascar franchise director and screenwriter, and narrated by Ethan Hawke, was going to be converted into an animated movie by Hollywood studios Roth Kirschenbaum Films (whose founders produced very popular movies like Alice in Wonderland and Snow White and the Huntsman).

        Invasion, a cheerful 360 degree alien invasion

        Invasion shows the arrival of a spaceship from wich two blue aliens land willing to conquer the Earth and how a couple of funny bunnies, one of whom is the viewer himself, managet to prevent this and to drive them away.

        So far the 360 degrees video on Youtube (wich you can see below) scored about 1.5 million views and has been used as demo during the worldwide launch of Sony’s PlaystationVR at the beginning of October (besides being one of the most popular apps for Samsung Gear VR and Oculus Rift).

        Following Invasion Baobab Studios will launch Asteroids!

        Waiting to see Invasion converted into a feature film, Baobab Studios, which hired about 20 workers and which is recruiting a management team to growth further, among whom the new Cto Larry Cutler, ex Pixar/Dreamworks, and the director and Within (Virtual Reality) founder, Chris Milk, who joined the Baobab Studios board of directors, has already claimed that the second installment in the Invasion! series will be “Asteroids!”, in 2017.

        If you wanna keep updated about VR and geek technologies, keep following Mondivirtuali.it, even through our account on Twitter and our fanpage on Facebook (but remember: Mondivirtuali is also on Flickr, on Pinterest, on Scoop.it, on Paper.li and also on Youtube). Share this article, you will help us to follow always better topics that you are interested in!

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          Remoria VR Lignum Controller cover

          You have time until 30 September 2016 to try to be a beta tester receiving free of charge a Lignum Controller, Bluetooth Low Energy device designed by Italian startup Remoria VR specifically for those who wanna try virtual reality on a iOS or Android smartphone, as well as with Cordova (but the device is compatible even with Windows, Mac OS and Linux desktop operative systems).

          Remoria VR, startup for mobile virtual reality

          Remoria VR Lignum Controller alphaRemoria VR is a startup being accelerated by Luiss Enlabs founded this year by Marco De Falco and Matteo Pisani to develop innovative devices for mobile virtual reality.

          The first exemple of these devices is Lignum, a wireless controller that, thanks to inner sensors (gyroscope, magnetometer and accelerometer) allows you to integrate controls previously unavailable for virtual reality through smartphone.

          Particularly the devise integrates the orientation tracking and the motion gesture, creating a low latency immersive input system (at the moment latency is 10 ms, but final version should halve these times).

          The intent of Remoria VR is to develop a compatibility for Apache Cordova/Phonegap platforms, but also for Unreal and further virtual reality platforms. In short, Lignum could turn a precious device for all those developers interesting in creating virtual reality experiences close to those implemented by devices such as Oculus Rift and Htc Vive but at a more affordable cost.

          How to become a Lignum Controller alpha tester

          Remoria VR Lignum alfa prototype with headsetTo request the Lignum Controller to test you need to fill in this form then wait to be contacted by Remoria VR, or you could request directly through Remoria VR site of being part of the alpha testers group.

          As to the technical specifications, Lignum Controller, currently compatible with graphic engine Unity3D but soon with UnrealEngine 4 also, is equipped with classic analog joystick analogico and three buttons (besides the on/off button), has a three axes tracking system based on an accelerometer, uses a 8 MHz Atmel SoC processor, has an accuracy in the order of millimeter and is equipped with a battery 3.7V Li-Po 240Mah with a range of about 15 hours of operation.

          Hoping that Lignum Controller is just the first of a long series of mobile devices for virtual reality successfully developed by Remoria VR, we just have to remember that if you wanna keep updated, keep following Mondivirtuali.it, even through our account on Twitter and our fanpage on Facebook (but remember: Mondivirtuali is also on Flickr, on Pinterest, on Scoop.it, on Paper.li and also on Youtube). Share this article, you will help us to follow always better topics that you are interested in!

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            Improbable SpatialOS cover

            Improbable SpatialOS developer programImprobable, British startup which in March 2015 raised 20 million dollars from venture capitalist Andreessen Horowitz to develop a platform (SpatialOS) that makes it possible to create virtual worlds on a large scale, returns to be talked about with the launch of the new Development Partner Program.

            Give the option for developers to use Spatial is interesting, because only entering the platform and starting to use it each content creator can understand if the environment is a good resource for their game. SpatialOS it is not a virtual world, but an operating system that allows you to create online persistent massively games and in this sense it seems much more similar to Project Sansar rather than to the “oldSecond Life, in which the contents could only be created, modified and distributed within the same platform.

            SpatialOS has instead given rise to a multitude of virtual worlds and video games of which the most famous is perhaps Worlds Adrift (you can see below a video trailer), developed by Bossa Studios (already famous for having created Surgeon Simulator), whose studio chief, Henrique Oilifiers, told to Gamasutra that the development of this product would not have been possible without the use of SpatialOS.

            Improbable now leveraging this success invites developers using the Unity platform and with an “ambitious game design” to request access to Development Partner Program so to be able to try SpatialOS understanding the advantages. A strategy that maybe Linden Lab should learn to follow if it wants to avoid that Project Sansar remains a niche product, eve if profitable, as happened to Second Life.

            If you want to know how it will end, continue to follow Mondivirtuali.it, even through our account on Twitter and our fanpage on Facebook (but remember: Mondivirtuali is also on Flickr, on Pinterest, on Scoop.it e su Paper.li and also on Youtube).

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              magic leap cover

              The announcement came on February 2: Magic Leap added 793.5 million dollars in a third funding round lead by Alibaba Group which involved also Google and Qualcomm, already shareholders of the startup, as well as Warner Bros, Fidelity Management and Research, Jp Morgan Investment Management, Morgan Stanley Investment Management, T. Rowe Price Associates and Wellington Management Company. The total funding raised in the three rounds now stands at $ 1.385 billion.

              magic leap logoThe investor group is interesting since they are the parent company of one of the biggest marketplace in the world, of some high-tech companies, of a media group, of some merchant banks and investment funds. Everything suggests that each one wants to make a contribution to the success of startups (which among its partners already includes venture capitalists such as KKR, Vulcan Capital, Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers, Andreessen Horowitz, Obvious Ventures and more), and then launch an Ipo.

              Setting aside the purely financial aspect of the news, it is evident that even Magic Leap contributes to split the rising virtual reality market along with companies like Oculus Rift, Sony or Valve, just to name a few. Specifically Magic Leap talking about mixed reality lightfield”, because its viewer superimposes 3D computer generated images to reality. Watch this video to better understand what it is.

              While other manufacturers of 3D viewers use stereoscopic images to create the illusion of depth, the Magic Leap devicewhich no one has yet seen, should project a light beam into the user’s eyes stimulating these in the same way that you would have if the superimposed images belonged to the real world. In order to achieve this Magic Leap is trying to create a chip able to create a light field using silicon photonics, something that has never been done.

              Before to be able to announce a consumer version of its 3D viewer, still in the prototype stage, Magic Leap must therefore create the components and equipments necessary for its production. It will take a few more years, but at that point the virtual reality and augmented reality could merge into a single technological environment and Magic Leap could dominate the market that will be born. If you want to know how it will end, continue to follow Mondivirtuali.it, even through our account on Twitter and our fanpage on Facebook (but remember: Mondivirtuali is also on Flickr, on Pinterest, on Scoop.it e su Paper.li and also on Youtube).

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                Dassault Systèmes, French company that develops 3D design software, advanced simulations, virtual reality and product life cycle management, announced that Faraday Future, Californian startup started in 2014 to produce new generation electric cars (the earliest cars should be on sale from 2017), choosen 3DEXPERIENCE platform and has already implemented the solutions “Target Zero Defect” and “Smart Safe & Connected” to develop a new electric concept car, model FFZero1 (presented at Las Vegas in CES 2016) offering a connecteddriving experience .

                In addition to contributing to the realization of the Faraday Future‘s concept car, the 3DEXPERIENCE platform will also be used in the establishment of a billion dollars that the company is building in North Las Vegas. Dassault Systèmes solutions for manufacturing, includinglean production run”, are used by companies such as Faraday Futureto optimize the activity of the production installations, manage the quality control and have a real-time visibility of the activities of the factory.

                Faraday Future facility for FFZero1By leveraging the capabilities of 3DEXPERIENCE platform for manufactoring, Faraday Future can build and operate a high-tech factory built to the latest standards, anticipating future demand for cars of new generation, which imposes on automakers to integrate the traditional design disciplines with Internet connectivity solutions, alternative energy sources and autonomous driving systems.

                We have adopted an approach to the design of our vehicles centric and technology, with the specific objective of linking the driving experience with all the other areas of our daily lives” explained Nick Sampson, Faraday Future senior vice president and past Tesla Motors top manager. More and more 3D technologies are entering therefore in the design and manufacture of everyday objects as FFZero1 aspires to be (although details on the new car and its performance are still very limited, thing that annoyed many). If you want to know how it turns out, continue to follow Mondivirtuali.it even through our account on Twitter and our fanpage on Facebook (but remember: Mondivirtuali is also on Flickr, on Pinterest, on Scoop.it, on Paper.li and also on Youtube).

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                crowdfunding death of dragons cover

                crowdfunding death of dragonsIt’s again crowdfunding time for virtual reality applied to the video game industry, which seems to be one of the first and most interesting areas where such technology could find a large number of users, as well as that of the indoor sports (do you remember of Widerun, the Trieste startup of which Mondivirtuali.it spoke a few months ago?).

                For the moment, however, venture capitalists and ideas accelerators as the Italian SeedUp, currently in the process of selection of the first projects that can be accelerated, (pending the launch of an event which we will talk about in 2016) preferred to focus on development of hardware and software rather than contents, even videogames.

                Thus many startups trying to launch their own project through crowdfunding platforms: the latest in chronological order is Incendiary Games, a San Francisco startup which aims to start producing video games for virtual reality, which has just launched its campaign on Kickstarter (you can follow through this link) to finance the development of Death of Dragons, an action role playing in third person inspired by famous franchisee as Path of Exile, Diablo and Zelda. The crowdfunding campaign target of Incendiary Games is to raise 50 thousand dollars by January 8, 2016; at the moment they have already collected donations for 3,255 dollars from 34 backers.

                The plot of the game is in full fantasy style: dragons, creatures once feared and respected, returned to Earth searching for an artifact so powerful that should it fell into the wrong hands could mean the death of all the existing dragons. If you want to see at what level of development the Incendiary Games guys have achieved so far and what does it mean play a video game wearing a 3D viewer for virtual reality, take a look at the video below.

                Virtual reality, as well as adding immersion to the  experience, lets use the head tracking in a new way: Death of Dragons use head tracking to target monsters or specific body parts on boss monsters. For instance, you can point to the wing of a dragon and shoot it in the sky. But Incendiary Games is also developing a new system to distribute rewards among players wich will be very “VR friendlyand generally more innovative uses of VR technology applied to videogames.

                crowdfunding death of dragonsWhile we suggest you go and read the complete description of Death of Dragons on the crowdfunding campaign page of Incentiary Games on Kickstarter, we have also to remember how other developers who tried Oculus Rift and other 3D viewers have discovered that they can give rise to some sharing problems (trivially: many people do not like having to wear something on their face worn by others), which is likely to greatly limit the application of virtual reality condemning this technology for a personal use only that on exhaustion of the “wow effectcould lead the players to put viewers and VR in the corner to go back to using the classic, but shareable, game console and its controllers.

                In the era of sharing this seems a limit to be reckoned with. If you want to know how it will end the Incendiary Games crowdfunding campaign for Death of Dragons and overall keep updated about the latest news on virtual worlds, videogames, virtual and augmented reality, continue to follow Mondivirtuali.it, even through our account on Twitter and our fanpage on Facebook (but remember: Mondivirtuali is also on Flickr, on Pinterest, on Scoop.it, on Paper.li and also on Youtube).

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                Ebbe Altberg Eric Bono Bloomberg interview cover

                Ebbe Altberg Bloomberg interviewThe media hype related to virtual reality is now clearly visible, but reagarding the “stunning” possibilities of this technology there is still a lot of uncertainty among the experts. A confirmation has come from a television interview (you can watch it following this link) run by Emily Chang for Bloomberg Business to Ebbe Altberg, Linden Lab Ceo, and to Eric Bono, founder and Ceo of AltspaceVR, about the future growth of both the virtual reality and the augmented reality.

                These days circulates indeed one more report which estimates from here to four years an explosion of the market of virtual reality which would rise from $ 6.7 billion in worldwide sales expected for 2016 to 70 billion in 2020. Ebbe Altberg (who between the lines pointed out that after more than 12 years Second Life continues to be profitable, so much that Linden Lab had sales of $ 60 million even this year through the sale of its services to Second Life users) and Eric Bono appeared optimistic, given that virtual reality isa paradigm shift as were PCs or smartphonesand indeed the same growth in the number of startups involved in virtual reality (from 20 in 2008 up to 162 in 2015) would seem to confirm that efforts to makethe leap” are consistent.

                Eric Bono Bloomberg interviewOther analyzes such as those of Digi-Capital, of which Mondivirtuali already reported are less optimistic on the spread of virtual reality and focus more on growth of augmented reality, which by its nature seems to have more mass-marketapplications than virtual reality, for which Ebbe Altberg admitted that at least initially the aim is to niche markets, albeit important, like the gaming and professional applications (eg for designers, architects and engineers, or professionals who need to interact with objects and three-dimensional spaces).

                Some SL bloggers like Inara Pey add that while the augmented reality does not isolate the user from the world around him/her (indeed he/she  does interact with it), virtual reality ends with isolating the user, which could make augmented reality more attractive to a wide range of daily activities, thus creating a potential user base much wider than that of the virtual reality. We’ll see how things will go, btw if you want to keep informed of new developments in virtual reality and augmented reality you just have to continue to follow Mondivirtuali.it, even through our account on Twitter and our fanpage on Facebook (but remember: Mondivirtuali is also on Flickr, on Pinterest, on Scoop.it, on Paper.li and also on Youtube).

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