Check Out Our DeepFrame One at the Great Exhibition of the North

Animersion UK | User Interface Development | Holograms Logo

We are delighted to be headlining the country’s largest event of 2018 – The Great Exhibition of the North – with Animmersion’s unique revolutionary mixed-reality display, DeepFrame One.

The event – launched 22nd June – will feature a programme of exhibits, live performances, displays of innovation, new artworks and experiences packed into 80 days and spread across three hubs in the city of Newcastle. 

We are proud to be showcasing these experiences through the UK’s first DeepFrame One – invented by the Danish company Realfiction – which is set to change the way viewers see things. Merging the real and virtual world allows viewers to experience lifelike visuals never before seen without the use of traditional and immersive VR eyewear.

With a window like display, the DeepFrame One is the largest mixed-reality display of its kind and will be featuring in The Great Exhibition of the North for nine weeks across some of the exhibition’s key venues.  These include:

·        Eldon Square for two weeks showcasing how car showrooms could look int the future together with a Lego display that will include some of the most breath-taking visuals

·        The Hancock Museum for a further six weeks where an incredible raptor experience will take viewers into the prehistoric world together with a commissioned artist, Arcus Studios, that take the viewer on a journey through five hundred and seventy million years of Earth’s history, stopping off at the Paleozoic, Mesozoic and Cenozoic eras

·        The Sage Gateshead where the public will be invited to create their own immersive musical experience encompassing some of the North Easts best known landmarks.

As one of the most high-profile and visually stimulating events that the region has seen for some time, we are absolutely delighted to have been asked to be an integral part of this through the use of the DeepFrame One.

To find out more about the event, please click here.





Are we Sims or like Neo in the Matrix?

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The concept of a simulation has been around for a long time. Using computers, we have been able to predict how certain series of events may play out, using simulations, which has the benefit of being pretty much risk free in the real world, at worst, they waste a bit of power.

But with the international success of the movie The Matrix, and of course the amazing ‘Ready  Player One’ a new idea, that we ourselves could be living inside a computer simulation, has been thrust forward, with some very high profile exponents – according to Elon Musk

“The strongest argument for us probably being in a simulation I think is the following,” Musk said. “40 years ago we had Pong. Two rectangles and a dot. That’s where we were.”

“Now 40 years later we have photorealistic, 3D simulations with millions of people playing simultaneously and it’s getting better every year. And soon we’ll have virtual reality, we’ll have augmented reality.”

“If you assume any rate of improvement at all, then the games will become indistinguishable from reality, just indistinguishable.”

When you consider the developments in VR and AR, is it impossible to believe that one day both VR and AR – combined with haptics – will become indistinguishable from reality? If so, then statistically it is likely that this has in fact already happened, and we are indeed living within it.

Whether Musk is right or not, we would probably never know, what is more interesting, we believe, is what sort of simulation is the most likely?

There are a two main different prospects, both of which have been championed by different thinkers. The two kinds of simulation we will be talking about are the kind proposed in Nick Bostrom’s now famous Simulation Argument (2003), which is available online, and the Neural Simulations proposed by Barry Dainton in his piece “On Singularities and Simulations.”(2012)

Bostrom proposes something he calls an “ancestor simulation” which involves our descendants using their super powerful computers to simulate consciousness within a machine. From there, they would simulate humanity’s history, complete with their ancestors, all of who would be fully conscious beings, but would exist in a computer like in The Sims video game, rather than a brain.

The other kind of simulation is more like what we see in the movie The Matrix, where we are plugged into something that makes us think we are living a certain life, with certain memories. Our own consciousness would be saved on a back-up, ready to be re-installed at a moment’s notice. Put simply, it is a controlled hallucination, where we think we are someone else, and have all their memories instead of our own.

Both of these ideas have their positives and negatives. To create an ancestor simulation requires that we be able to create consciousness in a machine. Philosophy of the mind has a huge body of literature, but what is clear is that people disagree as to whether consciousness can exist outside a human brain or not. A neural simulation doesn’t have this problem. But, it is a lot harder to successfully manipulate consciousness to the sufficient degree that one might think. But if Musk is right, then despite it being featured in a blockbuster movie, we think it is the most likely.

For more information about this, and in order to make up your own mind about which option is more likely, we thoroughly recommend you seek out the work of the two philosophers we have discussed.

The Simulation Hypothesis by Nick Bostrom is available free online, and Barry Dainton’s On Singularities and Simulations was published in the Journal of Consciousness Studies in 2012.

Bostrom, N, Are You Living in a Computer Simulation?, Philosophical Quarterly, Vol. 53, NO. 211, pp. 243 – 255, 2003
Dainton, B, On Singularities and Simulations, Journal of Consciousness Studies, 2012

What is the future of achievements in VR and Games

Animersion UK | User Interface Development | Virtual reality logo

The words “calm down, it’s only a game,” have been heard, in all likelihood, by almost everyone over their lifetimes. It tends to come in response to a negative reaction to something in a game, from losing Monopoly to the Champions League Final.

And for those of us who play video games, this turn of phrase is even more common, and even more aggravating.

Being killed or otherwise defeated in a video game, over and over again, is at best annoying, and at worst, costly in terms of in-game currency. Perhaps you lose experience points, or virtual money used to buy items, but whatever it is, the outcome is often the same. A heartfelt, often passionate feeling of anger and sadness. But why? Because, as is rightly pointed out, often in the immediate aftermath of such an outburst, it really is just a game. So what if you lose in-game money?

You can’t spend it in real world anyway. You haven’t actually lost anything. Or so what if you die in game? You can just try again, you haven’t actually died in real life, so stop complaining. The answer is, of course, that we have failed to achieve our targets in game, and this failure is what generates these negative emotions. The odd thing is that, in some cases, the feeling is exactly the same as if we fail to do something in the real world, although often not as long lasting or as extreme.

Now this last point is key. At the moment, if you concede a 90th minute equaliser on a football game, what happens? You are annoyed, sure, maybe even genuinely upset. But no one would argue that this feeling compares to how you would feel if you were actually a footballer whose team had just conceded the same equaliser in real life. Why? Well because that’s real, whereas the video game isn’t. Why does that matter? Well because you’ve trained years for that one moment, enduring plenty, and to have victory snatched away so cruelly in real life, given this, is completely different to someone who picks up a controller and plays a game.

Currently, this is an adequate response. But the onset of Virtual Reality, in a vein similar to the new movie Ready Player One, might just lead is to re-think this. Because just as one can lose in a video game, one can also achieve. It’s really hard to complete some of the achievements in a huge RPG like Dark Souls, for example. It takes skill and dedication. And yet, when someone does manage to do it, instead of their achievement being celebrated, often it is at best it is often ignored and at worst, ridiculed. But a fully immersive Virtual Reality experience may lead us to change our tune.

The example I am going to use to illustrate the point, whilst it may seem far-fetched, is not so unlikely if the relevant philosophical literature is to be believed. Firstly, consider this. Why do we idolise and respect those who climb Mount Everest? Obviously, because it’s really hard to climb. It takes years of training, unbelievable levels of endurance, and, I would imagine, really hurts. If I were to ask you, whether me climbing Everest on a computer game compares to the real thing in terms of difficulty, the answer would be no. All I’m doing is sitting on my sofa playing on a console. Therefore, I don’t deserve the reception that a real mountain climber deserves.

But now consider this. You put on a headset that is so realistic if you didn’t know any better you’d swear you were on Everest.

Furthermore, you are wearing a full body suit that can mimic, down to a T, every sensation one might have climbing Everest. Every bite from the freezing wind, all the aches and pains that undoubtedly ravage the bodies of people who climb Everest, perfectly accurately. So to put it simply, it is just as physically demanding for you to climb Everest, in terms of pain, as it would be for someone actually climbing the mountain. Would this be regarded as comparatively impressive?

This is still a video game, one might say, your body hasn’t actually moved anywhere, so one could argue that because of that fact, no it wouldn’t be. But again we come back to the earlier question. What’s so hard about actually moving your limbs in such a way so as to climb Everest? It’s really difficult for a number of reasons. But in the near future, every stress and strain you would expose yourself to on the mountain may be simulated artificially in your brain. After all, our brains tell us when something hurts. For you, it wouldn’t matter that you hadn’t actually been there, your body would hurt just as much as if you had.

This is a specific example, but the same could apply to a virtual experience where you swim the English Channel, or complete a marathon. Now when it comes to how much credit we give someone for doing something, there are things other than physical endurance we take into account. Perhaps you are running the marathon for charity, which is admirable and worthy of praise even if you come last.

But, it seems to us that the experiences would be comparable on a physical level, and thus, effectively, playing a video game where you climb Everest would warrant congratulations in the same realm as those you would give to someone who had actually been and done it.

VR Induction Training Programme successfully launched

Animersion UK | User Interface Development | Virtual reality logo

Our Operations Director, Sam Harrison, has recently unveiled a new virtual reality (VR) induction programme that has been specifically designed by Animmersion for one of Scotland’s leading construction organisations – Morrison Construction.

The VR induction programme – which is a mandatory requirement for any employee or subcontractor at Morrison Construction to undertake prior to entering a new site – is cleverly set in a CGI construction site. Users complete three modules whilst being immersed into an animated environment wearing VR googles and using hand controllers to navigate through the training programme.

In a real-time setting, users will be able to make mistakes and experience where they went wrong first hand, therefore knowing not to repeat this onsite, ultimately helping to minimise risk onsite.

Users will have to demonstrate their competencies and pass the induction programme before being allowed onsite. This provides Morrison Construction with full reassurance that all of their workers have a thorough understanding of the site itself and its potential risks.
Not only does the VR programme provide incredible engagement and stimulation for users, it also enables Morrison Construction to have a consistent training programme that has been developed around HSE policy and procedures meaning all workers will have the same level of training adhering to the same procedures.

We are hoping that our innovative solution will pave the way in helping to improve health and safety training in the construction sector, whilst also help companies to reduce spend on their training requirements in the long run.

If you would like to find out more information about the project, please feel free to email Sam at sharrison@animmersion.co.uk.

Exclusive European Launch of the World’s Largest Mixed Reality Display

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We are hosting an exclusive two-day event to premiere the largest mixed reality display ever designed.

The event has attracted an array of high profile retailers, designers and manufacturers from across Europe and will be co-hosted by RealFiction of Denmark – a leading global manufacturer of mixed reality solutions.

To be held in Central London on the 23rd and 24th of January, the event – a UK and European first – is primarily to launch two products.

The first is the Dreamoc Diamond, a large new 3D holographic display which boasts 360-degree visibility, allowing it to act as focal point and centrepiece for exhibitions and displays.

Designed and developed in collaboration with Danish designer Steffen Schmelling, the Diamond allows real objects and 3D holographic images to be blended together and has been expressly designed for exhibition and event use across a range of industrial sectors including automotive – but to function equally well for point-of-sale promotion efforts in shopping and retail situations.

The second new product is DeepFrame, the world’s largest mixed reality display, newly designed by RealFiction. DeepFrame enables viewers to experience breathtaking images and animations as a virtual layer on top of the real world. Its game-changing capability is the ability to produce visualisations of any size, depth or distance, for example allowing a bridge or a castle to be superimposed on a real cityscape, or dinosaurs to roam across real galleries or gardens.

The US launch took place last week at the global consumer electronics show CES 2018 in Las Vegas with both Animmersion and RealFiction directors present.

Speaking about the launch, Dominic Lusardi, Managing Director of Teesside based Animmersion UK said:

“We are delighted to be hosting this event to show industry professionals how they can use the latest innovative solutions to enhance their business offering. The Diamond offers a real wow-factor. In a retail setting, for example, users can show flowing animations evaporating from a real perfume bottle – or highlight the intricate features of large products like designer furniture or cars, or anything else that takes the imagination.”

To accompany the launch of the holographic and mixed reality products, the event will also feature other digital tools, including Augmented Reality (AR) and Virtual Reality (VR), so that delegates can see the new products at first hand, but also compare them with other digital tools.
Dominic said:

“The ability to compare is important – often these technologies work best in combination – so it is important to us that our clients understand what is new, but also how to combine new tools with existing ones in order to fulfil their individual needs.”

Established in 2006, Animmersion is one of the country’s leading designers and suppliers of digital tools – dashboards, user interfaces, apps and animations – and work across a number of sectors including offshore & subsea, energy, process industries, engineering, construction, defence and retail.

For more information contact:
Ian Robson
Animmersion UK
01642 688091

Is there anything holding VR back from achieving it’s potential?

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Whilst VR headsets, in one form or another, have been around since the 1990’s, only now have we reached a point where we can safely say that the technology is here to stay. And not only that, it is the cutting edge of video game technology, and as a result, the industry is expected to swell massively over the next few years. The reason VR is becoming so successful and popular is because, if done well, it offers a sense of immersion and involvement that is simply unmatched by traditional console systems. As well as this, the applications for VR stretch beyond the video games industry, with medicine touted as being a particular beneficiary.

But whilst there is a spectrum involved when it comes to motion sickness, a not insignificant percentage of users still suffer in one way or another. Some people may find that after an hour of use, they suffer from no ill effects, whilst others may feel sick and have a headache for hours after use.

And there are a number of sticking points that might potentially stop the technology being as widely used as the developers would like, and one of the primary reasons for this is customer expectations.

Gamers demand a certain standard from console and PC games. For between £40 and £60 we expect high quality, AAA graphics and countless hours of gameplay. Whilst this is a very reasonable request on a console, the fact is that it is very expensive to develop this quality content for harder that still lags behind its rivals.

This, combined with comparatively high upfront costs could prove to be a major stumbling block. Given that to buy a capable PC and headset could cost up to £2500, and you can get a console for far cheaper, with better graphics and more games to play, customers may purchase the latter. This is a major problem because without investment, the price f the technology won’t come down to something more affordable. The headsets that are cheaper, such as Sony’s PSVR system, tends to be the ones that are most prolific.

In the near future, dozens of different companies are going to realise their own interpretation of VR headsets, and as competition stiffens, the quality of the headsets will go up, as well as the price going down. This in turn will lead to better content, more akin to what gamers expect from their consoles, being released.