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 🙂

data in virtual reality (part 2)

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.
2D price visualisation – candlestick chart (by tradimo.com)
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.

Do you have an idea, how to put data into VR?

Let us know 

data in virtual reality (part 1)

Data are hot goods – everyone wants more of them. We want to visualise and analyse them, the more the better. And why do we need it? To make better decisions.

Our data are always only as good as our ability to make better decision thanks to them. And we believe the visualisation is the key to that.

Right now we are limited to process the data in spreadsheets, more or less complicated dashboards or using mostly 2D charts and lines. Or we can give it to a team of analysts or machine learning algorithm to crunch it for us. But there may be another way.

What if we could see data and interact with them in new way? Imagine that instead of messing around with spreadsheets, you have all the data all around you. Imagine you can move them around, connect them, make them alive in real time using just your hands… now it is possible, thanks to VR.

We in octopus engine are going to make that happen. It’s only the beginning. Frankly, we are not sure yet what the best approach is. But we are determined to figure it out. We are determined to try a lot of crazy stuff, find all the dead ends and have fun along the way.

Our vision is to create data processing tool in VR. It will be intuitive to use for analysts, managers, business owners, engineers and other professionals. It will help you make faster and better decisions and get deeper understanding of data.

– team octopus engine –

“In God we trust. All others bring data.” – W. Edwards Deming

(part 2)

fun in VR – gauss distribution

We work hard on our New Reality project. But sometimes it doesn’t hurt to take a break and just have fun…like with this little demonstration of normal Gauss distribution. You may find it useful if you are teaching math or just want to show someone how it works.

You don’t even need one line of code, just put together this simple scene in Unity3D:

  1. Put pegs on the slope floor (ctrl+C) and prepare several compartments.
  2. Prepare path for balls.
  3. Generate ball objects.
  4. Add laws of physics for your balls (ball is in the gravitational field and has weight…).
  5. Send them down one by one. Balls are rolling around and end up in the compartments as they would in the real world.
  6. Watch balls being distributed into well-known Gauss Curve. Balls are currently too slippy and jumpy. For smoother outcome, we need to optimise elasticity and friction.

There are many concepts you can easily simulate in VR, we can’t wait to show you our next idea!

The noblest pleasure is the joy of understanding. – Leonardo da Vinci
– team octopus engine –