Posts Tagged ‘YLabs’

YVision Closed Beta Testing Steps in after Flyar

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YLabs, our in-house R&D lab is proud to announce the release of its YVision Closed-Beta Version for testing by a number of selected applicants.

A little over a month ago we invited folks interested in testing our proprietary development platform, code-named YVision, to register and apply for a ‘test-drive’. After a thorough selection we narrowed down the list and yesterday the version was officially released for testing.

The YVision SDK is available for download at http://www.ydreams.com/yvision; keep in mind you must be an authorized user in order to download it, but feel free to skim the page for a better understanding of what YVision really is.

Last September YDreams released Flyar, a screensaver, Twitter visualization application that used Augmented Reality and gesture interaction to enable users to see themselves in real time, inside a pc screen, surrounded by virtual birds that fluttered about or flew towards them to deliver incoming tweets. Through simple flicks of the hand, users could play around with the virtual content by “calling” a bird over to deliver a message, or cause leaves to fall from the trees.

The app was downloaded and enjoyed by thousands of curious followers over the past year. As of yesterday, July 21st, YVision Closed-Beta version has stepped in where Flyar left off! We hope you enjoy it just as much!

Techies at play in an augmented world

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The folks over at YLabs (our in-house R&D lab) wanted to show-off what our YVision platform could actually do so they put together this good-natured demo of the many ways people can interact in real-time with virtual elements in most any physical scenario.

Watch as the gang plays with something resembling a runny version of The Blob, has their minds read, volleys soapy bubbles about and oozes what reminds me of a virtual Slinky from both eyes, yet they seem to be genuinely enjoying themselves :)


Playing in an Augmented World from YDreams on Vimeo.

YDreamer Awarded Prestigious Rudolfs Medal

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Besides heading one of the company’s most ambitious projects – the development of new interactive surfaces – Inês Henriques is now also a prized author.

Inês was recently distinguished with the notable Rudolfs Medal from the Water Environment Federation (WEF), an international not-for-profit technical and educational water quality organization, for a paper she co-authored focusing on the effects of shock loads of several organic and inorganic industrial chemicals which could disrupt the operation and performance of biological treatment systems if discharged in shock pulse patterns.

The award will be presented at ceremonies during the WEF’s 81st annual technical exhibition and conference – next month in Chicago, Illinois. For more information, visit www.weftec.org.

Kudos to you Inês!

Flapi featured in Exame Informática

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Flapi, our in-house Augmented Reality mascot, is in the spotlight again. After a high-profile stint at Engadget, this time Flapi stars in an Exame Informática (a Portuguese leading IT magazine) article and video.

You can find the video below, where Ivan Franco, our R&D Director, talks about YDreams’ work with Augmented Reality, and showcases Flapi and the Interactive Bubbles (in portuguese):

Straight From the Lab to the Big Screen

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Recently, Engadget, a web magazine with daily coverage of everything new in gadgets and consumer electronics, picked up on our Flapi YouTube video, which gave viewers a look into what goes on at YLabs, our in-house R&D lab.

There’s more where Flapi came from, so we thought we’d share a clip about an augmented reality experiment involving foamy virtual bubbles. We stumbling upon the technology about a year back and at the time weren’t quite sure what to do with it.


YLabbies try out Virtual Bubbles

Below take a quick peak at how the creative use of an ingenuous lab experiment gave way to a fun interactive experience for movie-goers in São Paulo, Brazil:

Interactive Cinema Experience at São Paulo Movie Theaters

Breeding a Black Swan in our Labs?

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Chance had it that I’d pick up Nassim Taleb’s book, Black Swan*, and read this paragraph regarding causality, randomness and technological discoveries (Taleb was recalling a visit he had made to a biotech company):

This was my first encounter with a firm that lived off Black Swans of the positive kind. I was told that a scientist managed the company and that he had the instinct, as a scientist, to just let scientists look wherever their instinct took them. Commercialization came later. My hosts, scientists at heart, understood that research involves a large element of serendipity, which can pay off big as long as one knows how serendipitous the business can be and structures it around that fact. Viagra, which changed the mental outlook and social mores of retired men, was meant to be a hypertension drug. Another hypertension drug led to a hair-growth medication. My friend Bruce Goldberg, who understands randomness, calls these unintended side applications “corners”. While many worry about unintended consequences, technology adventurers thrive on them.

Nassim Nicholas Taleb, in Black Swan – The Impact of the Highly Improbable


When I started working at YDreams I was excited to discover that YLabs, our Research and Development unit, also functions with a considerable degree of autonomy and our researchers are encouraged to pursue things that at first sight would not be related to the company’s portfolio. At one point, though, a flag would rise in my non-scientist mind, thinking ‘but shouldn’t they be narrowing down to the company’s commercial needs?’. I guess sometimes some of us might confuse narrowness with focus. Because when you come to realize that the Internet, the personal computer or penicillin (and many others), were all inventions that we now associate with something their original creators weren’t looking for in the first place, it becomes easy to understand why it is important that YLabs functions as it does. After all, YDreams was founded by five scientists and who knows what kind of (positive) Black Swans we will be generating next?

More on Taleb.

*”a black swan is a large-impact, hard-to-predict, and rare event beyond the realm of normal expectations. Taleb regards many scientific discoveries as black swans—”undirected” and unpredicted.” (wikipedia)

Serendipity: “an aptitude for making desirable discoveries by accident.” (dictionary.com) Also, a movie starring John Cusack and Kate Beckinsale:

Serendipity
In one of the movie’s most poignant moments, Jonathan tells Sara about
his inability to predict Black Swans.

Neil Gershenfeld at FCT

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YDreams has invited Professor Neil Gershenfeld, Director of MIT’s Center for Bits and Atoms, to give a talk at the Faculty of Science and Technology, at the New Lisbon University, on the 27th of November at 14:30.

Lecturing on “Beyond the Digital Revolution”, Neil Gershenfeld, selected as a Time/CNN/Fortune “Principal Voice” and one of the top 100 public intellectuals around today, will present recent advances and new forms of exploring scientific investigation in areas such as Quantum computation and personal fabrication.

Gershenfeld will also be focusing on work developed through Fab Labs (Fabrication Labs), part of the MIT’s Center for Bits and Atoms (CBA) which broadly explores how the content of information relates to its physical representation. The Fab Lab program has strong connections with the technical outreach activities of a number of partner organizations, around the emerging possibility for ordinary people to not just learn about science and engineering but actually design machines and make measurements that are relevant to improving the quality of their lives. The program is underway in countries that include Costa Rica, Norway, India, Ghana and South Africa.

Below, video of Neil Gershenfeld’s Ted Talk about The beckoning promise of personal fabrication.