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By Bobby Carlton

XRAI Glass launches its real-time Augmented Reality closed captioning app to users globally using Nreal glasses.

By utilizing AR glasses, individuals who experience hearing loss or those who are deaf can now read speech in real-time using closed captioning through AR glasses. XRAI Glass has launched a suite of solutions that allow users to experience the world through AR, according to an article at Auganix.com.

The software, which is called XRAI Glass, converts audio into a version of conversation that can be displayed on the user's AR glasses. It can also recognize the voice of the speaker and translate conversations in nine different languages.

To use the app, users need to own a set of Nreal Air AR glasses, which are tethered to a mobile device. Through its partnership with Nreal, XRAI Glass was able to provide users with a device that can be used to view conversations. After pairing the app with their Nreal Air glasses, individuals were able to see the real-world enhanced with the help of digital captions.

XRAI
Image from XRAI

On top of real-time audio transcription, the XRAI Glass app also includes the following features:

Personal assistant:

Through a command of "Hey XRAI" people can access an AI-powered personal assistant and ask questions such as what is the weather like in their area or ask for information, much like Siri or Alexa. The answer to your question will then automatically be displayed on your glasses where only you can see it.

Conversation recall:

You'll also be able to recall a conversation from the previous day by saying "Hey XRAI, what was I asked to pick up yesterday?”

Translation:

With translation available in multiple languages, XRAI Glass can also help you transcribe and subtitle conversations in nine of the world’s most spoken languages that include English, Mandarin, French, German, Italian, Japanese, Korean, Portuguese, and Spanish, and the company plans on rolling out more languages in the near future.

XRAI with Nreal Air
Nreal Air Image from Nreal

In a previous announcement, the company revealed that its software would soon be able to detect variations in pitch, accents, and voice tones, which plays a huge part in how we communicate, and will have an impact with Web3.0 experiences.

Dan Scarfe, the founder and CEO of XRAI Glass, said that the company was thrilled to announce the availability of its technology worldwide. He noted that the company's goal is to provide a solution that will help people with hearing loss connect with their communities. Through its partnership with various organizations, such as DeafKidz International, the company was able to test the product and learn from its users.

Due to the capabilities of XRAI Glass, the company has been able to help more people than it initially thought possible. For instance, people with neurodiversity, who have difficulty understanding sound and speech, have been able to benefit from the technology, and as we become more digitally connected, IoT is changing our personal and work lives.

Another way to see how XRAI Glass and Nreal's partnership would assist is in work environments that are incredibly loud with background noise, but verbal communication is still important. You could have workers using the glasses as a secondary layer of communication to make sure everyone is getting the correct information. You can also access the information through an app on your Android device.

This is important as more and more industries are turning to technologies such as digital twinning, AI, AR, and VR to be more productive and efficient.

Through its software, XRAI Glass is able to record conversations so that users can easily recall past interactions. The company offers various subscription plans, such as the Essential, Premium, and Ultimate. The basic plan, which is free, provides users with a basic screen duplicate mode and unlimited transcription.

The Premium plan, which is priced at £19.99 a month, includes 30 days of conversation history and unlimited transcription, and it also comes with a variety of additional features such as 3D support and translation into nine additional languages.

The Ultimate plan, which costs £49.99 a month, comes with everything that the Premium plan has. It also includes unlimited conversation history, cloud-enhanced transcription, and a personal AI assistant.

For more information about XRAI Glass, check out the company's website.

By Dilmer Valecillos and Bobby Carlton

A lighter and more powerful VR headset is here, but should you get the Meta Quest Pro?

We got our hands on the Meta Quest Pro, Meta's $1,500 Enterprise MR (mixed reality) headset, and over the last few days we've been testing some of the new features available such as using this device with the Immersed application for no monitors work experience with and without color passthrough.

Check out our unboxing video as our Head of R&D, Dilmer Valecillos looks at the headset from a developers perspective and runs a few tests with the Movement SDK including body tracking, face tracking, and eye tracking as well as deploying demos built for Meta Quest 2 to this new Meta Quest Pro mixed reality device.

There are a lot of really amazing features are built into the headset, but will the Quest Pro replace physical monitors and be something we see on everyone's workstation? It's hard to say. However, the MR headset shows a lot of potential and it is easy imagining some people using the Quest Pro as one of their daily work tools in the same way that we use computers, tablets, mobile devices, websites, and various apps throughout the work day.

One way Meta made the Quest Pro more enterprise friendly was by reducing the weight of the headset by using pancake lenses. These lenses provide a shorter gap with smaller panels, which allows for a much slimmer and lighter headset. They also deliver improved clarity with 25% sharpness in the center and 50% sharpness at the edges, which solves the "god rays" (a specific type of lens flare that looks a bit like a sunbeam shining through the clouds and right on your eye) issues that previous VR headsets had.

Quest Pro
Image by Meta

In the video posted on the FS Studio YouTube page, Dilmer looks at how hand tracking and facial tracking are greatly improved on the headset. At the moment, the Quest Pro handles upper body tracking very well, but there is also code in the headsets SDK that shows full body tracking is not far off. This could be huge for helping employees with work tasks and collaboration.

Keep in mind that the Meta Quest Pro is designed for enterprise use, however you are able to play VR games on the headset. Resolution Games are currently working on a cool AR demo called Spatial Ops, that uses the headsets full color passthrough to turn your real-world environment into an awesome multi-player shooter.

We are just scratching the surface of what the Meta Quest Pro can do, and as our team spend more time with the headset, we will be able to provide you with more in-depth ways that we think the Quest Pro will be successful as a work tool for many industries focused on automation, robotics, and with employees out in the field or at a desk.

by Bobby Carlton and Dilmer Valecillos

Unity, MRTK, Needle Tools and 8th Wall are just some of the tools you'll need to develop!

The Meta Quest Pro is available now and we have already seen some very cool things being teased from developers leading up to its launch. Of course, in order to develop, you need an amazing set of tools. Our Head of R&D, Dilmer Valecillos took a moment to take a deep dive into some of the top development tools you can use with your Quest Pro headset to develop and launch your own XR experiences.

Develop
Image from Meta

In the video, Dilmer gives us a little bit of comparison of between the Quest Pro and the recently released Magic Leap 2 MR headset. He also gives us some perspective on color passthrough and what that will mean not only for the Meta Quest Pro, but for XR in general.

Some of the tools mentioned here are Unity, Unreal, MRTK 3, Needle Tools, 8th Wall, and Mozilla, and a brief skimming of how to use them for the Quest and deploy your builds.

All of these tools along with others will be essential for you to develop incredible XR experiences on the Quest Pro headset that you can bring into your workforce as a training platform, or used for social events and entertainment.

You can expect an even deeper dive into the Meta Quest Pro in upcoming posts here on our blog and on our YouTube page.

By Bobby Carlton

Flipkart sees Flipverse opening the door to the future of shopping.

The Indian e-commerce company Flipkart has launched a new metaverse offering that will allow their consumers to shop and discover new products through a virtual experience. This is the company's latest bet on web3 offerings to improve its customer engagement.

The company, which is backed by Walmart, has partnered with eDAO, a Polygon-backed startup, to launch their digital twin platform that they are calling Flipverse. The platform is currently in its pilot phase and is aimed at capturing the interest of consumers, especially now during their festive season when many hit the stores to shop for the perfect gift.

The app, which will be available on Android on Monday, will allow consumers to interact with the company's various offerings through interactive and immersive experiences. It will also allow them to collect their loyalty points and digital collectible items.

During a briefing on Monday, the company said that it has partnered with a wide range of brands to create immersive experiences on Flipverse. Some of these include Puma, Noise, Tokyo Talkies, Lavie, Campus, VIP, Ajmal Perfumes, and Himalaya.

“The idea is to have millions of users experience Flipverse and open the doors to the future of shopping,” the company said in an official press release. The company’s executives acknowledged that its web3 offerings are at an experimental stage, but they said they are confident that it has legs to eventually become a critical part of Flipkart’s future.

“Fifteen years ago, we were the first Indian company to launch Web 2.0-based commerce. And I feel today we are the first company to launch web 3.0 commerce,” said a Flipkart executive at a briefing as they announced Flipverse.

Flipkart and its chief rival in India, Amazon, are increasingly broadening their offerings to reach new customers in the South Asian market and retain a loyal base. Amazon launched a QVC-style livestream shopping in India late last month, bringing an army of more than 150 creators to host livestreams and plug products in the videos. Flipverse is how Flipkart sees themselves getting ahead of their competitor.

In an official statement, Sandeep Nailwal, co-founder of Polygon said “While we have only just begun to scratch the surface of what’s possible in the metaverse, we see e-commerce as one of the killer use cases. Combining top brands with Flipkart’s e-commerce expertise in a virtual environment stands to revolutionize online retail as we know it," adding, "Flipverse will be a vibrant, visible expression of the metaverse, and I’m proud that this activation is taking place on Polygon.”

The partnership with India's leading e-commerce company, which is known for its innovation and expertise, is the latest win for Polygon, as it continues to attract large brands. In the past few months, the company has partnered with several other companies such as Starbucks, Stripe and Meta.

According to Naren Ravula, the company's product strategy and development head, the rise of the metaverse is a significant innovation that will have a huge impact on the e-commerce industry. He noted that the platform is already in its early stages of development and is expected to have a significant impact on the way consumers shop.

Image from Flipkart

“The launch of Flipverse will continue to have an impact on innovative industries like e-commerce and enhance the customer experience while delivering a gamified and an immersive shopping experience, especially in light of the adoption of the metaverse and web3 platforms by multiple brands in India. By providing customers with access to their preferred brands, offers, SuperCoins, and digital collectibles, we are aiming to improve their shopping experiences in a virtual and immersive setting.”

When Walmart announced their partnership with Roblox to create two different metaverse experiences for shoppers, both Walmart and Roblox saw a positive bump on the market. This shows that investors are feeling much more confident with the idea of metaverse consumerism and the use of XR technology. Flipverse is an extension of that confidence.

Having India's biggest e-commerce company take the metaverse very seriously and take those steps to embracing XR solutions for consumerism, this will surely find its way into the backend operations with employee training, managing their warehouses, and even through robotics at their order packing facilities.

Create a roadmap to Industry 4.0 by adopting a sequence of technology upgrades while also removing outdated systems.

By Bobby Carlton

The rise of Industry 4.0 has created new opportunities for manufacturers to improve their efficiency and deliver new revenue streams. Through the use of advanced analytics, XR solutions and machine learning, companies are able to collect and analyze crucial data to improve their operations.

The benefits of implementing advanced analytics and machine learning are numerous, such as improving product quality and reducing production downtime. However, implementing these technologies in a large-scale manner can be a bit of a challeng for some due to the lack of engagement and legacy operations.

The rapid emergence and evolution of Industry 4.0 has created a huge opportunity for companies to improve their efficiency. According to a report by Statista, the market for advanced analytics and machine learning is expected to reach $1 trillion by 2028.

Industry 4.0
Adobe Stock Image

The increasing interest in using sensor networks is due to their ability to create feedback loops to improve the efficiency of manufacturing operations. This process can help identify “hidden factories”. These are bottleneck points or costly problems that are miniscule but in the long run can slow down production.

At the same time, you’re able to use technology for predictive maintenance, explore what-if scenarios, and reduce the costs of operations and highlight advanced analytics.

Despite the widespread use of Industry 4.0, many companies fail to collect and analyze data quickly enough. This is because companies tend to implement the technology in a way that's faster than it can be used.

The biggest barriers to the implementation of Industry 4.0 are the legacy mindsets of employees and operations practices. Despite the significant investment in new technology, these practices still prevent companies from fully embracing the potential of Industry 4.0.

One of the core challenges industries face in embracing the potential of Industry 4.0 is the lack of standardization. This is because there are many different ways of working that make it hard to identify the most effective ways to improve productivity and reduce risk.

Some employees will revert to the old ways of working when new innovations are introduced. This is because they don't trust the new technology such as robotics or XR, and are afraid to take on the new challenge. The value of implementing new technology is not realized until the old methods are phased out.

One of the biggest factors that prevents companies from fully embracing the potential of Industry 4.0 is the lack of preparation. Although many companies have the necessary resources to implement advanced software and sensors, they underestimate the training requirements of their workforce, they lack a strategy to blend new workflow methods into traditional approaches.

A great example of this is introducing VR headset into the workforce. You need to consider what is the strategy to do this with the least amount of disruption and the least amount of employee alienation. 

A plan should be developed to avoid the trap of buying technology that's not being used properly or doesn't deliver the desired results. You should consider a more measured approach to the transition process that involves addressing cultural norms and systems thinking.

Image from FS Studio

This step will help companies develop a comprehensive plan that will guide their efforts in implementing Industry 4.0. It will also help them identify the most effective ways to improve their internal processes through technology.

One of the most important factors that employers should consider when it comes to implementing Industry 4.0 is identifying the most critical problems that will drive their transformation efforts. Unfortunately, many companies only install networks that are made up of hundreds of sensors and then try to solve them using a solution that's not designed to solve them.

Start small. For example instead of creating a digital twin of an entire factory floor that included interactivity, high fidelity 3D art, and avatars. You should start off by building out a single room or a section. Take a basic scan using LiDAR to introduce the virtual environment and use that as a foundation to introduce your employees to it. From there, you can then scale up and build off of those successes. 

Have a moderated approach that involves identifying the most critical problems that will drive their transformation efforts. This step will help companies identify the most effective ways to improve their internal processes. One of the most important factors that employers should consider when it comes to implementing Industry 4.0 is engaging their employees to identify the most critical issues that will drive their transformation efforts.

This exercise can help you identify the areas where they can make improvements. Another important factor that employers should consider is putting in place processes that can reduce the time it takes to implement the technology.

Before implementing Industry 4.0, it is important that employers adopt a sequence of technology upgrades while also removing outdated systems. With the help of advanced algorithms, sensors, and cloud platforms, workers can gain new insights. Unfortunately, once they encounter problems or outdated methods of working, they will revert to their old ways of doing business. So it needs to be a commitment.

To help the workforce adapt to the new technology, companies should introduce incremental and tightly scoped initiatives. Doing so will allow them to easily digest the changes and improve their performance. However, it is also important to remove outdated systems to prevent your teams from returning to their old ways of doing business.

New virtual tools for the workforce, avatars, and the Meta Quest Pro

Meta made some big announcements today that gave us a bigger and brighter view of their goals with XR technology. On top of new avatar technology, new tools for the virtual workspace, and their Horizon World platform opening up to be WebXR accessible, the company also officially launched their much anticipated Meta Quest Pro VR headset.

Quest Pro
Image from Meta

A huge social shift has taken place. A few years ago, the majority of time spent in VR was spent alone. Today, the vast majority of time spent in Meta Quest is in multiplayer experiences and the top apps in the Meta Quest Store are social.

"We’re seeing that many others also believe in this future. They’re living it, building new worlds, hanging out in VR, and exploring what’s possible," said Meta CEO, Mark Zuckerberg. "The VR ecosystem is thriving as social interaction powers the success of the most popular experiences, and now, we’re shipping our first high-end mixed reality headset, a key moment on the road to augmented reality."

Meta Quest Pro

Meta Quest Pro is the first in our new high-end line of devices, featuring the most advanced VR technology we’ve ever shipped. It’s built for collaboration, creativity, and getting things done.

Meta Quest Pro is packed with innovative new features including high-res sensors that enable full-color mixed reality. Thin pancake optics push the limits on state-of-the-art visuals while enabling a sleeker, more balanced headset design. Completely redesigned self-tracking controllers with upgraded haptic feedback help every gesture in VR feel second-nature. And with eye tracking and Natural Facial Expressions, your avatar can reflect your facial movements and make eye contact more naturally, so you can be authentically you while connecting with friends and colleagues. With all this and more, Meta Quest Pro expands what’s possible in VR.  

Product Features:

Additional Supporting Features:

Work and Productivity with Meta Quest Pro

Workrooms v1.8

Meta Quest Pro was designed with productivity in mind, and will be a major upgrade for those who use VR as a tool for work—but hardware is only part of the equation. We’re equally focused on creating software that improves the way you work and collaborate, both on Meta Quest Pro or Meta Quest 2. Horizon Workrooms is our VR space for teams to connect and collaborate. At Connect we announced the latest set of productivity and collaboration features; 

Meta Personal Office
Image by Meta

Meta Quest 2 Ecosystem

We’re seeing incredible progress across the Meta Quest ecosystem. It was only 2 years ago that we announced Meta Quest 2 at Connect. Since then, it’s become the first virtual reality device to break out into the mainstream with a whole ecosystem emerging around it. This is great news for developers, who are finding success on the platform.

Gaming

The Quest 2 ecosystem in gaming is thriving. Developers are already making amazing games and the next few months are going to see some of the most exciting releases yet.

Fitness

Every month, millions of people turn to VR to get physically active using fitness apps like LES MILLS BODYCOMBATFitXR, and Supernatural. People stick with it too, with around 90% of paid subscriptions still active after the first month.

Horizon Worlds

Entertainment

Avatars

Earlier this year we launched cochlear implants, over-the-ear hearing aids, and wheelchairs for Avatars, but we have more improvements coming.

Meta Avatars
Image by Meta

AR 

Quest Developers

We're introducing new products and features to help developers build immersive apps and successful businesses.

Future Technology

We showed off some of the future-facing research we’re conducting inside our labs, with a focus on next generation interfaces, bringing physical objects into the metaverse, and photo realistic avatars. 

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