Every month I pick out 5 projects from Intel® Developer Mesh that I find interesting and share them with you. Virtual Reality (VR) is a popular theme this month so I’ve picked out a few to showcase here, along with a couple other projects that grabbed my interest. I hope you’ll join me in discovering the amazing innovation that is happening in this community.
“I want to be an astronaut when I grow up.” I think that is a fairly universal idea for all kids, and some adults. It’s an adventure waiting to happen. Our world has been explored, so let’s see what else is out in the galaxy. For most of us, this is just a dream or an imaginary world we see through books and movies. But for those that are part of a space program, it can be a reality. Ramy Mounir suggests using the MSI* VR One Backpack PC as a solution to improve astronaut training. Ramy proposes to create a VR game to use inside a chamber with zero gravitational force. Astronauts in training will then complete tasks in a very similar manner to how things would be in space. By having your PC and equipment all in the backpack you don’t have to worry about tripping over cords, getting tangled up in wires, or running into the equipment during your simulation training. I can definitely see the entertainment value in this as well, outside of the commercial training that Ramy is considering. I know that I can drive down the street and go to an indoor skydiving place, and I could easily see myself paying good money to simulate a VR astronaut experience with this kind of setup.
News by Gifs
We are overwhelmed with news outlets today. Most of us don’t spend the time reading the news, and listening to the talking heads can be redundant and polarizing. We know we need to know what’s going on so we can stay on top of things happening around the world, which is why Arturo Jamaica has come up with a new way for us to digest the information. Arturo’s project is a bot that can pull the most important parts of a news video and generate a gif that will auto-publish to social media. Gif’s are quick and easy, and can really bring the point home. Using TensorFlow* and convolution neural networking, Arturo hopes to take his project from just a proof of concept into a browser extension for videos to see animated gifs instead of clickbait thumbnails. I know that for me, being able to ignore the click bait and to get to the point of the matter in the news would be a time saver and I think I would enjoy consuming the news this way too.
VR First Person Shooter
Pablo Farias Navarro designs online courses to teach people how to design games for both mobile and desktop platforms. His latest course in the making consists of a VR first person shooter demo that contains a free-roaming teleportation component that can be dropped into any Unity project. Pablo explains how to seamlessly add this component to your game. If you are interested in designing your own game, this is just one course out of many that Pablo offers online to teach you how to create the game that you envision. VR is the hot, new trend that you will definitely want to be a component of your game.
VR Escape Room
Escape Rooms are the current trend right now and using VR with them is the next step. But being tethered to a computer can make for a frustrating experience. Corey Warning is experimenting on using the MSI* VR One Backpack to give you a much more realistic and physically interactive experience as you try to get out of the Escape Room. Using physical objects in a mix of real space and virtual space creates a unique experience, especially when you’re able to walk through doorways and barriers without tripping over cords or pulling on wires. Using VR, or mixed reality, not only are you trying to escape from the physical room, but also from whatever digitally-designed scare tactic (maybe a ghost, monster, or serial killer?) that comes your way.
Air Pollution Monitoring System
On a more serious note, air pollution is a real concern. The government policies on pollution in Kenya haven’t come to fruition due to inadequate budget and resources. Gilbert Kigen has come up with a simple way to monitor gas emissions using an Intel® Edison board and some sensors to collect smoke emission data and stream it for storage and aggregation. Using Internet of Things (IoT) to solve problems where conventional means have failed, Gilbert plans to expand the project to acquire even more data and incorporate machine learning to generate trends in emissions in order to develop more effective policies. This is a great example of seeing a problem not being adequately addressed, and using technology to easily and quickly gather the data needed so that next steps can be taken to address the situation. This kind of forward thinking, especially in terms of real world problems, is a great example of the creative and innovative work that technology can help to realize.
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