The Reality Wire features PIXO, Crunchfish, Dispelix and SimX
PIXO aims to eliminate ‘sideloading’ with new in-headset launcher
Extended reality solutions provider, PIXO, whose content distribution solution PIXO Apex enables simplified deployment and management of virtual, augmented and mixed reality apps and data analytics for enterprise, has released a new launcher for HTC Vive and Pico Interactive devices.
What is PIXO Apex Hub?
PIXO Apex Hub overcomes an enterprise barrier to adoption for XR. ‘Sideloading’, or installing large software files intended for an all-in-one or untethered headset via a PC and cable, is time consuming and inconvenient, particularly if it has to be repeated across multiple headsets.
Scott Oliverio, chief product officer at PIXO: “We built PIXO Apex Hub so businesses, including ours, could smartly and efficiently deploy XR content to devices anywhere in the world without sideloading, downloading directly from the cloud to end-users.”
How does it accomplish this?
After registering with PIXO Apex, HTC Vive users gain access to PIXO Apex Hub simply by logging in with an existing Vive Enterprise account or creating a new one, at which point they can navigate to the Vive Enterprise area, in-headset, and download the launcher directly to their device and begin accessing and using their content. In this same area, users are notified when updates to the hub become available for download, straight from the cloud.
For Pico users, the process is even easier, allowing them to skip another step by simply browsing the Pico enterprise store, in-headset, and downloading PIXO Apex Hub, as well as available updates.
In both cases, the result is the same: a free app that makes enterprise XR more accessible and scalable than ever. Upon logging into the hub, admins see both licensed and available XR titles from the PIXO Content Collection, or, in the case of organisations using Apex to securely distribute internally developed or custom content, their own private content library.
With the PIXO Apex solution, the entirety of an organisation’s XR content can be centrally managed, and titles provisioned to thousands of authenticated end-users worldwide, then downloaded directly to their devices.
What else did PIXO say?
Oliverio adds: “Some say we’re like Netflix for XR, and it’s not a bad comparison. We want it [XR] to be that easy. For us, this is a bit like when Netflix went from a mail-based DVD rental company to a streaming service. We think it’s that big. I’ve been asked, ‘how long does it take to download and start using it?’ And my response is, ‘how’s five minutes?’”
Crunchfish reveals full body tracking with single camera
Crunchfish is planning to launch a new solution that enables full body tracking using a standard camera sensor.
The solution shows the versatility of the XR Skeleton platform where detection and tracking of new objects can be added in a short time frame by training of algorithms using new image data.
What is Crunchfish XR Skeleton?
Crunchfish XR Skeleton, its existing solution, was launched late last year and is a software technology for gesture control that enables hand detection and tracking of 21 points on the hand. The software is primarily designed to be used on augmented and virtual reality devices and mobile phones.
How does the new solution work?
Crunchfish FB Skeleton tracks a person’s body in three dimensions using a standard RGB camera. By feeding the neural networks with a combination of synthetic data and annotated images of human bodies, a solution that enables full body tracking has been created in only a few months. FB Skeleton will be available as a commercial solution later this year.
What did Crunchfish say?
Daniel Milesson, director of research and development at Crunchfish Gesture Interaction: “The speed of development creating a wide variety of new solution areas demonstrates the technical prowess and the versatility of our Skeleton gesture control system.”
Dispelix lands new financing and funding for AR waveguide displays
Dispelix, a developer of waveguide displays for augmented reality smart glasses, has secured €10 million in new financing and investment.
In addition to the company’s raise of €5 million in new equity from investors, Flashpoint, an international technology investment firm, has provided €5 million in venture debt financing.
How will Dispelix use the financing and funding?
Dispelix will use this new capital to further accelerate its innovation and product development supporting full colour laser beam scanning (LBS) projection technology and expand customer acquisition and support worldwide.
What has Dispelix been working on?
Dispelix unveiled its concept for the next generation of augmented reality glasses at CES 2021 in partnership with STMicroelectronics and Osram.
Leveraging Dispelix’s technology, the new glasses feature the thinnest ever augmented reality waveguides that are as thin as 0.3 mm. In October 2020, STMicroelectronics, Dispelix, Osram, Applied Materials and Mega1, set up LaSAR Alliance, to accelerate LBS ecosystem creation for augmented reality wearables.
This year, Dispelix will deliver new innovations and performance enhancements to its augmented reality waveguide technology platform, which will optimise the compatibility of Dispelix’s standard and custom product offerings with miniature projection technologies.
With that, Dispelix and its go-to-market partners ensure accelerated lead time for customers’ aesthetic, lightweight and user-friendly augmented reality glasses targeted at the mainstream wearable markets.
What did Dispelix and Flashpoint say?
Antti Sunnari, chief executive officer and co-founder of Dispelix: “This is a very exciting time for Dispelix, and it is an honour to have such strong and committed financial partners join us along our journey.”
“Dispelix expects significant growth in eyeglasses form factor AR wearables. Secured funding enables Dispelix to integrate its leading AR waveguide display technology with its strong ecosystem partners’ core technologies to meet and exceed industry needs for all-day-wearable AR glasses.”
Donatella Callegaris, managing partner at Flashpoint: “With its incredible team, Dispelix has done tremendous work to broaden its product portfolio and strengthen its technology and IP assets to better serve customers on a global scale.”
“We look forward to working with Dispelix and are eager to support them as they accelerate their innovation and growth.”
SimX wins new US Air Force contracts to develop VR training simulator
SimX has expanded its partnership with the US Air Force and Space Force to develop innovative training solutions for special operations forces, with four new contracts totalling more than $1.5 million.
These contracts, part of the $2.5 million Virtual Advancement of Learning and Operational Readiness (VALOR) research and development programme, seek to further develop fielded capabilities for training the Air Force’s elite medical personnel with the SimX Virtual Reality Medical Simulation System.
How will the funding be used?
The new funding is targeted primarily towards enhancing the capabilities of the system to train operational medical handoffs between roles of care, train missions involving multiple simultaneous caregiving teams, train in dynamic and realistic environments (such as night and weather operations), and provide more customisable and adaptable training capabilities.
Additional funding has also been allocated to adapting virtual reality medical simulation training for in-flight medicine during aerial and space operations with the Air Force and Space Force.
These partnerships provide a capability for special operations medical personnel of the 24th Special Operations Wing, to train through simulated medical scenarios based on real-world experience and reinforce learning on the relevant medical techniques, tactics and protocols
All newly developed capabilities will be fielded for operational testing and evaluation at the existing SimX deployments at installations across the US as well as Air Force installations in Europe and Asia.
What did SimX say?
Karthik V Sarma, VALOR principal investigator and chief technology officer at SimX: “The practice of medicine depends on high performance teams working together fluidly and transferring knowledge and responsibility rapidly, efficiently, and effectively. The US Air Force and Space Force’s continued investment in the VALOR programme will enable us to continue to push the envelope of VR medical training by ensuring that we can train for these critical interactions.”
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Images: PIXO, Crunchfish, Dispelix, SimX