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The changing face of a workplace

Disruptive technologies like Augmented Reality (AR), Virtual Reality (VR) and Artificial Intelligence (AI) are redefining the workplace. Several jobs’ skill sets are constantly evolving, and several others’ scope has been widening.

Appearition and its team of researchers are always working towards solving tomorrow’s problems, thereby enabling others’ success. One such area of our research includes a project on drawing on immersive games experiences to develop tools for workplace support in the digital economy.

It is a collaborative research project between Appearition Pty Ltd and the Swinburne University of Technology. The project combines AR and AI informed by decades of game design, to develop a support platform for future modes of collaboration, workplace learning, and decision making.

‘Appearition is very committed to this research partnership with Swinburne University. Research and Development is one of the three main arms of our company. All our platforms and services have been developed after years of rigorous research and testing. We are also constantly working towards upgrading them to fit evolving technology and people needs,’ shares Vivek Aiyer, Founder, CEO, Appearition.

A transdisciplinary research team from Games and Interactivity, Immersive Experiences, and Data Visualisation are working with us, and the Swinburne Smart Cities Research Institute, to develop a prototype platform for supporting future workplace models in urban environments rich in IoT technologies.

The why

As technologies reshape our workplace, it will require a new understanding of work to support these changes. Ventures such as Airtasker, Uber, and Airbnb are challenging traditional workplace models. They are predicated on fast-paced real-time interactions between employees, often geographically remote from each other. Although relatively simple, the core concepts of these new business structures can be applied within enterprises and between enterprise and external clients. Network connectivity, rapid exchange of data, and mobile display technologies are some of the well-established characteristics of smart city environments in which this work takes place. New platforms are needed to support these new work models, because they require employees to share and respond to real-time data quickly and collaboratively, in an improvisational construct.

The How

Online multiplayer and location-based AR games provide a readymade platform for investigating how to achieve new interactions between employees. Multiplayer games host complex ecosystems of thousands of players with distinctive attributes and experience levels. Location-based AR games embed information within urban environments ensuring data is ready-to-hand. ‘Our project aims to develop a prototype platform to support the needs of workers in the digital economy using proven methods from these game design platforms. Collaborative task attainment, group formation, decision support, environmental information overlays, role management, inventory and setting of goals are key features that the prototype system will benefit from in drawing on game design to enable smart citizens to respond to change in the workplace,’ explains John McCormick, Lecturer in Interactive Media, Swinburne University.

Games are familiar to a large percentage of next-generation work seekers and therefore do not pose a huge cultural shift. The innovation in this project is to integrate widely understood methods for player organisation and interaction with a new approach to integrating AR and AI. These technologies are changing the nature of smart cities to work beyond data collection and IoT networks to explore how these can be made tangible and relatable to those living and working in urban environments.

AR does this through the real-time integration of data with the user’s environment and context. AI filters and connects the rich data of the IoT environments of smart cities to manage interactions between players, non-player characters, and the urban environment. While integrating AI and AR is not in itself new, our project will address how the relationships between users within a company can be supported and facilitated within this type of platform. However, these technologies can be disruptive in the workplace. Drawing upon game design methodologies this project will generate a new approach to the management of dynamic, timely information displayed fluently in the workspace.

Watch this space to know more on Appearition’s research projects. Get in touch with us to know more on using AR for your business!

Augmented Reality in Console Gaming – The Immersive Experience

There are constant speculations about the future of augmented reality – how and where can it be used? Many brands and businesses are beginning to utilise the technology to engage customers and increase sales. People are catching on to the fact that any company, irrespective of their size, can develop new augmented reality products to change the world as we see it today.

But where’s augmented reality’s place in a world that’s already very different… the realms of gaming

Immediately, it seems apparent that augmented reality and gaming are a perfect fit. Gamers want an immersive, engaging experience that augmented reality is well equipped to provide.
The first console game to feature AR technology was The Eye of Judgment for PS3 back in 2006. The game used the console’s PSEye camera to gather real-world images and read the coded information on small physical trading cards.

What will the future of gaming look like?

If you listen to EverQuest studio Sony Online Entertainment’s development director, virtual reality and augmented reality experiences are it.

“VR and AR are things that I personally am extremely excited about. I honestly think that’s the future of gaming,” David Georgeson told IGN.

Earlier this year Sony officially announced its virtual reality head-mounted display Project Morpheus, which features a 1080p display and a 90 degree field of view. So far details are limited but it is expected to be less expensive than Oculus Rift, and not due to be released in 2014.

Microsoft, makers of the Xbox, are also currently developing an unspecified VR/AR offering.

Aside from a few tech demos, Sony is yet to announce any games that will officially support Project Morpheus. However, Georgeson hinted that we could see Project Morpheus support for future SOE games down the road.

SOE is currently working on EverQuest Next and EverQuest Next Landmark.

Until then…

Until an immersive AR gaming experience arrives, there are gaming apps like DroidShooting to keep you busy. DroidShooting is a simple shooter game which lets you interact with your surroundings in real-time – a demonstration of possibilities for such a gameplay concept.

 

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