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.
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.
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…
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.
We were invited to biggest conference of Virtual and Augmented Reality in CEE region – Czech VR Festival in Prague.
Whole event took place in very artsy building. The hall – former slaughter – was filled with stages of different companies trying to impress visitors with cutting edge VR&AR tech. Most of them were games and visualisations of real world – this is still 90% of VR market right now.
It was great meeting so many people who are making in happen in VR. And we are also proud that octopusengine has much to offer even among such competition – our proposition is still quite unique.
We also found ourselves among speakers – Microsoft, NASA Unity and even couple of venture capitalists. In 2nd part, we will go into more detail – Czech VR Fest was really worth the effort.
President proudly announced Liberland to be the very first virtual nation. We are honored that we could make it happen. Special thanks goes also to Krzysztof Juroszek – it is his 3D model of the city which placed second in the global Liberland architecture competition and which we used for VR.
However there is much more work to be done. Streets of the city are still empty, we will add content, better textures, more models…until our graphic cards will scream and beg for mercy.
The vision is huge – to create first real-Virtual City-state, with multiple users visiting it at once, with animations moving, some mini games being played. We want to add content which will tell the story of Liberland…there may be some product placement to attract sponsors. Last but not least we want to make it all multi-platform, so everyone can enjoy Virtual Liberland at least partially.
Liberland community is huge and we received lot of responses from volunteers willing to help. But…we were quite busy and did not feel like we can manage such enthusiastic and diverse group. That’s why we decided to create the beta ourselves, and once we have something solid in our hands, only then can we really expect others to share our vision and join us.
So right now, we are turning to Liberland community again.
If you are still interested in helping us, stay tuned. We will prepare simple landing page, where you can tell us about you and your skills and join our dev team.
This is second part of our VR data post. Here is the first part.
We are still looking for new ways to visualise and work with data in VR. Small or big. We believe we are on to something with VR, but we can’t verbalise it yet.
So far, even the most complex data are restrained to 2D charts, or 3D visualisations on your screen. VR space provides much bigger scale, and new dimension. But where to start?
Let’s say we have price chart of Bitcoin. We have information like time scale, highest price, lowest price, open and close price, during given time period.
How can we put this piece of information to VR space to be more easily understood by human observer? How can we utilise the added space and dimensions so it is not too overwhelming for human brain? Can we add more information to one data object, using 3rd and 4th dimension?
We have to remember: data are only as useful, as the impact they have on our decisions. So there is no need for irrelevant data pukes (term coined by Avinash Kaushik ).
Here are two examples of inspirative data visualisations in VR:
Common “real world” data tools in VR by Nirvaniq Labs:
Data clusters crunched by Machine Learning algos by Project NEO:
VR space and it’s possibilities are still mostly terra nova – lots of unknown opportunities, but also dead-ends. We embark on a mission to discover this New World. And data visualisations are on the front lines.
When iNFINITE organised second VR hackathon , we couldn’t say no. After the experience from the first one, we wanted to shine again.
This time our team was much bigger, counting 7 people altogether – Honza, Mato, Hans, Ondrej, Brano, Lukas, Simon.
We set up couple of goals for our project:
Connect object zero to Android platform
Run octopus engine on Oculus Rift with Unity
Connect data from BTC exchange to VR via API
Create a demo for octopus engine functions
Have a good time 🙂
Don’t get sick from chips and redbull
After initial troubles with setting up the stage, our team was ready to go.
Thanks to Ondrej, we managed to run Android app, that means we can extend project to Google DayDream (Cardboard). That is important, because this way we can target much larger audience and community.
Hans and Lukas helped us with gathering data about Bitcoin price from the internet, while Brano was able to run Oculus Rift with Unity.
With Honza we also tried Tiltbrush and now we think about using it for creating hyperobjects.
Unfortunately, we did not have time to finish all our goals, but it was still another great time spent in community of like-minded VR geeks and enthusiasts.
We are definitely looking forward to next hackathon!
“VR hackathon is a friendly event with the purpose of creating together, prototyping, diving into something new or trying that project you delayed for so long. All skill levels are welcome, we help beginners out and veteran creators can benefit from sharing experience with others.”
VR is new frontier with many possibilities. We are looking for best ways to work, cooperate and have fun inside our framework. That is why we are using new elements in our octopusengine. One of them we describe as HYPEROBJECT.
HYPEROBJECT is similar to “hypertext” (in HTML – active piece of text, leads to another information when activated). HYPEROBJECT is active object in VR space, which will expand or lead to another action when user interacts with it.
The main difference in VR is interaction – thanks to advanced VR framework, HYPEROBJECT doesn’t only have start and end state (like hypertext), but can also have dynamic properties. These dynamic properties can be used for visual effect, but also as a source of dynamic information. HYPEROBJECT can move, expand, collapse, conduct any kind of action.
Right now we are starting with primitive expansion and collapsing of objects. Next step is to experiment with more complicated shapes and dynamic changes, which can provide user with different kinds of information, static or dynamic. Our end goal is to create complex HYPEROBJECTS, which we cannot imagine from “Real world”. Objects with many different properties, or even their own AI, which can recognise voice and act as artificial personas in VR.
Beauty of VR is that we are not restricted with real world mechanics, gravitation or physics in general.
Following is guest post from our friends from Blockchain Legal. Modern legal advisors for digital and decentralised space:
Honza Čopák introduced us to virtual reality. We could not possibly hope for better introduction! Virtual reality impressed us in many aspects and areas as well as a place for potential utilization of cryptocurrencies and blockchain technology.
Nevertheless, virtual/augmented reality comes with many legal problems, which are not addressed by present legal system – including intellectual property rights to objects used and created in virtual/augmented reality, real persons’ legal acts in virtual world and their liability and personal data protection. As the digital world is very close to us, we will gladly contribute in this area by providing our legal services.
Our first digital footprint in virtual reality is 3D model of Blockchain Legal created by Honza. Thank you, Honza!
Vit Jedlicka is a man with a big dream. Claiming undisputed piece of land on Croatian/Serbian border, he wants to create new country. Country for all libertarians and free-minded people from around the world. With almost zero government regulations and voluntary tax system.
Sounds like an utopia to you? Liberland already has thousands of fans, followers and contributors around the world.
We love the idea of Liberland. It’s bold and promotes one of the most important values – freedom. Since it will take some time to build Liberland, we will create a virtual version of it.
Vit spent couple of hours playing in our VR space (tossing some balls around is fun even for Mr. President). We agreed on basic vision of Virtual Liberland and now with the help of people from Liberland all around the world, we are putting together first draft of VR presentation.