The Swiss ICT Award rewards Swiss companies and individuals from the ICT industry that have distinguished themselves through outstanding achievements during the last 24 months. Artanim was selected among the five finalists for its virtual reality platform Real Virtuality. The jury was impressed by how the technology and software – developed completely in Switzerland – will allow for entirely new forms of storytelling. Aside from the entertainment industry, the VR platform is paving the way for a wide variety of applications, including museum applications, building and city tours, telepresence systems, and medical applications (anxiety therapy, rehabilitation, neurosciences, etc.).
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We are very happy to announce that Dreamscape Immersive, a newly created VR entertainment company based in Los Angeles and Geneva will be commercializing our ground-breaking VR technology, Real Virtuality. As you may remember, this technology gained quite some attention in the last couple years and was showcased at Sundance Film Festival New Frontier 2016 and Cannes Festival 2016. Contrary to other static position VR systems, Real Virtuality allows users to truly feel immersed in a VR scene. They can walk around freely, interact with objects and other players, and truly experience worlds previously accessible only in their dreams!
Dreamscape Immersive will offer location based VR experiences. Its vision of the VR Multiplex is to create unique, irreproducible entertainment experiences that are vivid and compelling enough to bring consumers out of the house and into larger social and retail environments. For motion picture studios and other IP holders, Dreamscape provides another alternative for audiences to enjoy both original experiences and franchised properties. The first flagship VR Multiplex will be launched in Fall 2017 as part of the reopening of Westfield’s Century City Mall in Los Angeles.
Artanim’s Research Director, Caecilia Charbonnier and Technology Director, Sylvain Chagué, both co-founders of Dreamscape Immersive will serve as co-CTO’s of the newly created company. They will be joined by the third co-founder, Ronald Menzel as Chief Strategic Officer and two co-Chairmen: Walter Parkes, film producer on The Men in Black series, Gladiator, Minority Report, Catch Me If You Can and former studio head at DreamWorks Pictures and Kevin Wall, global live entertainment producer/entrepreneur (Madonna, Jay-Z, Rihanna and more). Bruce Vaughn, 25-year veteran of Disney Imagineering, who served as its Co-Executive Leader for seven years, will join as CEO.
Moreover, Dreamscape Immersive announced today the completion of its Series A financing. Initial investors include Bold Capital Partners, Warner Bros., 21st Century Fox, Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer (MGM), IMAX Coorporation, Westfield Coorporation, and Steven Spielberg. The venture also includes a stellar advisory group: Yves Behar, renowned industrial designer, as Brand and Design Advisor; Hans Zimmer, Music Advisor; Dan Fellman, Past President, Domestic Distribution, Warner Bros. Pictures, as Distribution Advisor; and Kevin Ratner, President, Forest City Residential West, Real Estate Advisor.
In July 2016, the federal Commission for Technology and Innovation (CTI) shared our vision that VR/AR technologies will drastically and rapidly transform industrial processes and that Switzerland must adopt a proactive stance to approach these disruptive technologies. They accepted our proposal to create a national thematic network in the domains of immersive technologies and virtual environments simulation, named Virtual Switzerland. The funding has initially been granted for the period 2017-2020 and is renewable.
Virtual Switzerland aims to spark ideas and foster synergies to grasp the full extent of virtual, augmented, and mixed realities. It means bringing together the academic and economic spheres around immersive technologies and linking R&D experts in Swiss universities with those in thriving companies, thereby promoting private as well as academic research laboratories or incubators. Four business sectors are targeted, which together encompass most of the Swiss economic landscape: medtech, architecture and construction, manufacturing, tourism and culture.
The Virtual Switzerland network was launched in January 2017. If you are working in the fields of VR/AR and 3D simulation, you may be interested in joining this network. To know more about the membership, as well as the activities proposed, please check here. You can also contact “info at virtualswitzerland.org” for more information.
We are the winner of the 2016 Laval Virtual award in the category “3D Game and Entertainment” with our VR platform Real Virtuality! The team was at Laval during 5 days to demonstrate the system from March 23-27, 2017. More info here. Again, the VR platform was acclaimed in the newspaper:
« The immersion is so powerful and natural that we are immediately at ease in this virtual universe full of reality. » Jean-Klébert Lauret, Journalist, Les Numériques
Real Virtuality was selected at the 2016 Sundance’s New Frontier Festival that took place on January 21-31 in Park City, Salt Lake City, Utah. The festival is one of the world’s premiere places to debut new independent films and highlights the best in storytelling technology.
With the support of swissnex San Francisco and Pro Helvetia, Artanim showcased there a new VR scenario mixing real and virtual worlds. Users participated in a time machine experience where they were transported into different futuristic environments: a space station, Dark City and a cave.
The VR experience and the technology was incredibly well welcomed, as the following quotes can attest:
« The latest Real Virtuality experience at Sundance is an epic new level of advancement. It is as close as we can get to a holodeck for now. » Jonathan Nafarrete, Journalist, VR Scout
« The mother lode of Sundance. The most daringly original VR presentation I’ve seen, “Real Virtuality” shows how big the medium can be » Steven Zeitchik, Journalist, Los Angeles Times
« What’s cooler than VR? Not much except maybe Real Virtuality by Artanim » James Finn, Executive Vice President, Marketing and Communication, 20th Century Fox
Real Virtuality was presented in Los Angeles at SIGGRAPH 2015, the leading conference on computer graphics and interactive techniques. Real Virtuality is a multi-user immersive platform combining a 3D environment – which can be seen through a VR headset – with a real life stage set. Users are tracked by a motion capture system allowing them to see their own bodies and move physically in the virtual environment.
The experience offered by Real Virtuality brings a once in a lifetime experience. Unlike other static position VR systems, Real Virtuality allows users to become immersed in a VR scene by walking, running, interacting with physical objects and meeting other people. Because user’s movement exactly match their avatars movements in the 3D environment and are streamed to the users with very low latency, there is no discomfort or interface required. The bodies of the users become the interface. The VR platform offers a “matrix-like” degree of immersion over a large area, up to hundreds of square meters:
« Humanity has essentially recreated, on the basest level, The Matrix » G. Clay Whittaker, Journalist, Popular Science
The demo “Walking through a pharaoh’s tomb” created in collaboration with Kenzan was selected as one of the three finalists for the Immersive Realities (AR/VR) contest. Artanim’s team was in Los Angeles from August 9th to 13th to present the project with the support of Pro Helvetia. Watch our live presentation of Real Virtuality in front of thousands of geeks during the Real-time Live show:
Artanim just added a new tool to its motion capture equipment: the Optitrack Insight VCS, a professional virtual camera system. From now on, everyone doing motion capture at Artanim will be able to step into the virtual set, preview or record real camera movement and find the best angles to view the current scene.
The motion capture data captured by our Vicon system is processed in real time in MotionBuilder and displayed on the camera monitor. The position of MotionBuilder’s virtual camera is updated by the position of the reflective markers on the camera rig. In addition, the camera operator can control several parameters such as the camera zoom, horizontal panning, etc. The rig itself is very flexible and can be modified to accommodate different shooting styles (shoulder-mounted, hand-held, etc.).
We can’t wait to use it in future motion capture sessions and show you some results. Meanwhile, you can have a look at our first tests in the following video.
Yesterday, we tested with Tobias Baumann, game designer and freelancer, the Oculus Rift with our Xsens MVN in Unity 3D. The goal was to virtually hit columns of cubes and balloons. Some simple applications to start with, but resulting in a nice full-body immersive VR experience. The first tests were convincing. We will definitely continue working on this topic with Tobias. Stay tuned!