Big Clown – meetup

We had yet another workshop/hackathon, this time focused on IoT, with moduls from bigclown.cz

#octopusengineClub #hackathon #bigclown #octopusenginelab #iot

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#octopusenginelab #bigclown #diyelectronics #iot #octopusengineClub

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We tested Core module kit (connecting gateway + node), which can bet programmed via USB DFU bootloader located in ROM memory or ARM microcontroller and/or debugged via standard 10 pin SWD connector. Core Module is key element of every BigClown node. On the “motherboard” there is integrated security chip, heat sensor and accelerometer. We also had external I2C modules – hygrometer, thermometer, modul with relay and controlling of RGB LED stripe.

It is professional solution not only for home automatization, and also an introduction to broader IoT usage. We went through basic installation, initialization and couple of simple experiments. After connecting Raspberry Pi3 to Raspbian and installing of control software we were able to use MQTT (widely used protocol for IoT)
mosquitto_sub -v -t ‘#
this command “prints” ID of distant node:
>> node/836d19836043/thermometer/0:1/temperature 22.50
LED demonstration:
mosquitto_pub -t ‘node/836d19836043/led-strip/-/effect/set’ -m ‘{“type”:”rainbow”, “wait”: 5 }’

For future we plan adding Python layer and integration with Cryptomat and advanced data transfer for visualisation and interaction in VR.

https://www.bigclown.cz/

Blockchain of Things

Octopus engine is progressive visionary company which aims to connect modern technologies – IoT, VR, AI and Blockchain (p2p decentralised encrypted databaze).

We started with general IoT – now we integrate it in blockchain in our Simple CryptoMat. 
In addition to that we gradually build VR platform for creating and cooperating, where we use interactive features (Hyperobject) and data from IoT sensors. We also test other complex technologies – from robotic hand to advanced controlling of drones.
 Later on we plan to utilize Machine Learning and AI in relevant technologies, which we vies as revolutionary step for our society.

On hackers congress HCPP17 in Prague, we presented our VR experiment and CryptoMat to public and introduced our vision of Blockchain of Things (BoT):

Imagine modern cities with decentralised network of services and autonomous technologies interconnected with blockchain. 
Self driving cars or smart delivery drones can use solar or wind power chargers and pay for the service n micro-transactions in real time. BoT will integrate not only energy and information streams, but also finance and special “verified” information – information which relies on reputation mechanisms, decentralised voting and complex decision making. Smart contracts will enable scalable and programmable licences or renting of services with benefit of lower costs and efficient price-discovery mechanisms.

hackers congress 2017

#HCPP is organized by czech crypto hub Paralelni Polis and visited by global crypto leaders and enthusiast from all around the world.

Hackers, crypto-anarchy, digital currencies, biohacking… of course we couldn’t miss such event!

Together with Czech Association of VR/AR we decided to show Virtual Reality to visitors. During 3 days, more than 100 people went into our virtual world, most of them for the first time. We showed them our demo, Virtual Liberland and some SteamVR environments.

Here are some of their reactions:

Martinus Urza (Cryptoanarchist – Paralelni Polis):
I extremely enjoyed the experience. Surprising, I did not expect this to tech to be that immersive already. After some time it feels very real.

Tereza Sladkovská (Paralelni Polis):
It was awesome. For the first time in my life I went to space. My favorite VR experience was definitely walking on Mars.

Zdeňka Staňková (svobodauceni.cz)
I think that in few years the graphics will be so real, some people will not want to quit VR. As Arto Bendiken said: “When VR porn hits the mainstream it will be one of the largest  evolutionary selection events in human history.” I personally see huge potential of VR in other fields – like education. Learning by doing is the best way of learning.

Karel Fillner (Cryptocurrency evangelist)
VR skiing – extremely immersive experience. Only closing my eyes during huge jump off the cliff saved me. I felt I am very close to just falling to the ground (I literally almost fell). VR comes much closer to real experience that I would be willing to admit.

Hacker congress was packed with smart and interesting people. We are glad to be part of it and show them what VR can do.

VR meetups

Did you know you can meet other people in Virtual Reality, talk to them, create stuff together and play games?
Steam released their free platform Steam VR where users upload their own virtual worlds and invite others to join them – and usually make a big mess.

We host our own room based on our Octopus club. Every week we organise a meeting with our friends. Even random people are joining us for the fun.


We play ball games. We fly and shoot drones.

Sometimes we draw pictures.

Or just sit on the roof and have a drink. Possibilities are endless and we are only starting!

Add our octopusengine profile on Steam and be notified everytime, we are hosting our VR space!

Octopus Club

This last couple of weeks were so packed with action we did not have time to write about.
And this is our biggest news:  Octopus engine has a new home!


Almost every great tech company started in a garage or some other shanky setup. We are no exception. The building is very old, and it used to be a horse stable 100 years back. Now we turned it into community club, tech hub, coworking space, geek’s lair and mad scientist’s lab.

It still pretty rough around the edges, but we keep improving it every day. Right now there are two VR stages and hardware workshop with tech equipment. Coffee-machine in the kitchen is a must. Oh and it is heated by a cryptocurrency mining rig – how cool is that?

If you want to visit us, just follow our Facebook page. We already hosted couple of small “hackathons” with our talented friends.

Deloitte – Blockchain

Blockchain – decentralised ledger – is getting more and more recognition. The other day we were invited to join a panel discussion about Blockchain organised by Deloitte. 

First we had the opportunity to learn how Deloitte and big companies think about Blockchain tech and then we, together with other guests answered questions about cryptocurrencies, bitcoin scaling and other more technical topics.

What we learned?

  • we are still in very early stage of development
  • people still don’t fully grasp and appreciate the value of decentralisation
  • enthusiasm in blockchain is high but we can see some disappointment in near future
  • technical details of Blockchain are not so easy to explain to a layman

You may ask – why were you invited to talk about Blockchain, you do VR?

Answer is – we don’t do only VR. Blockchain and cryptocurrencies are one of our core focuses. Very soon we will introduce our new project from this space. 
And it is connected with VR too, what would you use for paying in Digital World if not Digital Money?

Honza interviewed by Forbes!

Honza got some media attention a while back. He was interviewed by Forbes Czech. We cannot let this kind of opportunity for bragging to slip away, so we decided to translate it in English and publish it here.


1) From your point of view what is or how looks like the future with VR?

Today we see only very clumsy baseline of VR, on which we can develop. Most probably we will use it in direct connection with AR, as adoption rate will increase. I think it is just a natural progress of technology, affecting many areas education, communication…

We will see technologies interconnecting together: internet, VR, AR, blockchain (decentralised networks, on which cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin are running), IoT vÏcÌ, and big data, AI. I like to call this general connection of technologies “new reality”. And I believe that VR can be ideal environment which will help people discover better ways how to create, cooperate and interact with technology, as well as have fun, learn and connect.

2) Could virtual reality be better than reality one day? When? Under what conditions?

I wouldn’t say it will be “better”. However I believe, and maybe I am a little bit worried,· that for some people it indeed it may be more appealing. Why am I worried? Just look at differences between last couple of generations. Tech, especially communication channels and devices are widening that gap even further. From first telegraph, telephone call, TV to online chat rooms and social media not much time had past. We have so many new ways of interaction, yet it seems like we understand each other less and less. Such fast progress is good news for futurists and geeks, but might not be such a good news for humanity. But maybe, just maybe, VR can bring humanity closer together in more direct sense.

Honza – true visionary. Do you see the future yet?

3) What is your favourite lifehack linked to VR?

I am fascinated by VR for many years, from the very first sci-fi stories I read. From the very start, I imagined that VR+AR+AI is the killer app of technology. It can help us process and visualise unimaginable quatities of information in new ways, interacting with other people. Being able to easily and playfully work with big data and interact with AI (like neural network) directly in the machine – that is the kind of “lifehack” we are yet to invent, but it is already my favorite.

Another “lifehack” in development: Education. I’d love to see students in VR – learning and understanding complex subjects easily. I’d love to see scientists on VR conferences, debating and experimenting, visualising data, predicting trends and simulating phenomenons.

This is why we are developing octopus engine. A tool, which will make it happen. Some of it’s features we cannot fully imagine yet, but we will get there. This tool will be “my favourite lifehack”.

Do you think Honza is right? Will his prophecy be fulfilled? Stay tuned 🙂

czech VR fest (part 2)

It is already 2 months since we attended the very first Czech VR Fest (part 1)

There we met all of the high-profile guests and leading brands from the VR/AR industry.

These are the speakers we liked the most:

Jan Horsky – Jan is VR pioneer, developer, journalist, blogger and gamer. He spoke about challenges of designing hardware and optics for VR. His talk went into great technical detail and was the most informative when it comes to hard facts.

Vojta Rocek – As a co-founder of business intelligence startup Stories, Jan introduced his vision about using VR for working with complex data structures. He also put great emphasis on the need of making VR more accessible to non-technical Executives, since these are the ones making decisions. We are planning to cooperate with Stories on their VR mission.

Vit Jedlicka – president of Liberland officially introduced Virtual Liberland .

Amir Ebrahimi – Principal Software Engineer in Unity, he takes care of VR development. Unity is great platform and we were amazed how quickly they are improving their VR support.

Jaroslav Stehlik – Using drones and photogrammetry, he is putting real castle ruins and other historical places in VR. We tried his VR game from Okoř Castle, finding hidden mysteries. His project has a name Bohemia VR.

We also got a chance to present our own ideas during a short speech, we will introduce in part 3.

Next year there will be even more progress in VR space and we at octopus engine will be significant contributors.

company established

It’s official. We are no longer just bunch of geeks, we are bunch of geeks with a company! Why? Because it is convenient and because our plans and activities are becoming too grand to handle them just on the side.

There are many exciting things we will be working on. Our company wants to offer services in Cryptocurrencies, VR and IoT development, Data science, Photogrammetry (creating 3D VR spaces from real photos of environment).
But do not worry, we are not turning into corporate moguls. At least not anytime soon. Our community culture will remain, and in fact it will be even stronger.

Our firm is called Octopus engine s.r.o. (Ltd), it is based in Prague, Czech republic. Mostly because Prague is cool place to be right now. You can find the info on our contact page.
Also we will have our own CL(H)UB where we can organise events, classes, hackathons…


Octopus CLUB | HUB > CL(H)UB – Orelska 542/14 – Prague

Stay tuned, there are more news coming soon!

we are cyborgs

Long time no see… We were busy. With life and the future.

Octopus team always aims to be at the frontier of inovation. That’s why we agreed to get a RFID implant.

RFID implant is a simple little thing, that is injected in between our thumb and trigger finger.

  • xNT tag – 13.56MHz ISO14443A & NFC Type 2 NTAG216 chip
  • ISO14443A – compatible with all ISO14443A RFID systems
  • Fully NFC Type 2 compliant – compatible with all NFC devices
  • 7 byte UID and 880 bytes of user read/write memory
  • 10 year data retention. Rated for 100k writes per memory block.
  • Encased in 2.1mm by 12mm Schott 8625 bioglass with non-toxic epoxy

This RFID is effectively turning us into cyborgs – humans with artificial body enhancements. Just a little pink prick and implant is in. It’s just harmless piece of glass and electronics that can be used for storing information, payments (instead of a card or bitcoin/litecoin payment address). You can also turn it into your private electronic key, which can unlock your electronic lock device.

Contrary to popular belief, it is not possible to track someone via their implant, RFID works only through short distance as a passive device. It is just a first step merging humans with machines. And we can proudly claim we are one of the first people to use it.

And that counts.

 

Links:
http://www.bbc.com/future/story/20140209-why-i-want-a-microchip-implant
xNT / dangerousthings