Why These 30 San Francisco Tech Leaders Are Timmy Award Nominees

On December 8th, Tech in Motion is proud to present their 2nd Annual San Francisco Timmy Awards, which will be held at the Autodesk Gallery (One Market St., 2nd Floor). The “Timmys” are hosted by Tech in Motion in tech hubs across North America, with the goal of acknowledging the local companies and individuals that strive to create the best places for technology professionals to work in. After all the votes are in, the finalists in each city come together for one celebratory evening where the winners are crowned as the best (1) technology manager, (2) technology work culture, and (3) tech startup. Here are San Francisco’s impressive finalists.

 

Best Tech Manager

Ayori SelassieAyori Selassie- Senior Solutions Engineer of Salesforce

“Solve big problems both inside the workplace as it relates to diversity and inclusion and outside the workplace by applying their top professional talent”

Ayori developed a framework to promote Work Life Integrity called the Life Model Canvas® and has been very integral at Salesforce in helping employees understand the difference between Work Life Integrity and Work Life Balance.  She developed and delivers workshops on Work Life Integrity where employees use the Life Model Canvas® and the Work Life Integrity Assessment tool to develop alignment of their personal life, family and career goals. Her workshops have been requested throughout the company and have been delivered to many employee groups at Salesforce beyond her own team including Employee Resource Groups, Lean In Circles, the Women’s Technology Leadership group, Business Development group, as well as external audiences at Dreamforce and the Computer History Museum.

Ayori is a standout thought leader for Work Life Integrity who encourages employees to solve big problems both inside the workplace as it relates to diversity and inclusion and outside the workplace by applying their top professional talent to end violence in America with #ThinkDontSqueeze.

Cassy RoweCassy Rowe- Head of UX of Scoop Technologies

“Ownership over work and support in career building”

At Scoop, career growth is one of Cassy’s main focuses for her team. She collaborates with employees to discover what their strengths are and where they want to grow. She then identifies which projects allow her employees to leverage their strengths and watches out for ones that target their desired areas of growth. Her goal is to set her team up for success while allowing them to try new things, step out of their comfort zone, and learn and grow with the support of her expertise.

Scoop leverages today’s advance technologies to create commute relationships between neighbors and co-workers.

Eva PagneuxEva Pagneux – Product Manager of Hexo+ by Squadrone Systems

“Common values and vision are key to success”

Eva focuses her energy on empowering her team to deliver smart devices that simplify people’s lives, setting product vision and supporting their needs. She recently used the design thinking methodology on a purpose exercise where each of team member listed what defines them, what drives them, what the world needs, and then led the exercise to realign together on key themes for their future developments. She also organizes a lot of events – team games, contests, etc. where they have the opportunity to play together and spark ideas.  Because they’re about creating the intelligent systems that do not exist yet, it’s part of her role to stimulate out of the box thinking.

Hexo+ is the first self-flying camera, following and filming you automatically while you focus your energy on the action. After a very successful Kickstarter raising $1.3million in June 2014, they managed to create and deliver 3000 units within a year.

Joanne PonsJoanne Pons – Senior Director, Software Engineering of MyVest

“All should share their opinions, whether they have been with the company for years or they are on day one.”

At MyVest, all team members are paired with a mentor, so they have the opportunity to learn from more experienced team members and  peers. MyVest provides a very generous professional development budget for all employees, and Joanne strongly encourages her team to take full advantage of outside learning and  development opportunities, such as conferences and technical workshops, to build their domain expertise.

MyVest helped an existing customer take advantage of the emerging robo-advisor trend to quickly build their own automated investing offering through their enterprise software platform.

Karl ThomsenKarl Thomsen – CSO of Infuse

“Discussing career growth openly, both formally and informally”

Karl promotes career growth  by arranging formal and informal check-ins with every Infuser. The room in these conversations for the discussion of career growth is infinite. It is up to the employee to decide how deep into the topic of career growth they want to go into with Karl. Karl is known to be extremely easy to talk to about anything, especially career advice. He wants every team member to succeed in their role and his or her  professional career.

One of the products Karl and his team have created for clover is Charity Checkout: Clover’s first and only charity app. This app enables merchants to accept $1 on top of each transaction to donate any of the 60,000+ charities in our database.

Mark TowfiqMark Towfiq – SVP, Product Engineering of UserTesting

“Always looking for ways to improve”

UserTesting’s Engineering Team is based in many different locations (Mountain View, San Francisco, Atlanta) and yet the team is consistently engaged and productive in the company.  Every week the Product and Engineering squads sit down and talk openly with each other. This fosters a culture of comfortable and candid communication.

UserTesting’s Product and Engineering Team are working on perfecting transcriptions of user behavior analytics videos.

Minnie IngersollMinnie Ingersoll – Founder of Shift Technologies

“Striving to be a  role model”  

Minnie created a “management rotation” program for associates one to two years out of school modeled off of Google’s APM program. She leads both the Shift surf trip to Pacifica before weekly All Hands meetings, and  Shift’s running club (while pushing a stroller).

Her team has made it easy to sell used cars from the press of a button. Shift has a sophisticated pricing algorithm that can instantly price cars simply by scanning a car’s VIN from an iphone app.

Prathibha DeshikacharPrathibha Deshikachar – Director, Engineering of AdRoll

“Dedicated and open to hearing likeminded and different minded contributors”

Prathibha leads career growth for the engineering and product team at AdRoll by encouraging outside activities within the Tech community. She is an active member of the internal Tech Ladies organization.  As the company grows she strives to continue improving and sharing.

Adroll’s platform specializes in retargeting customers and works with 15,000 advertisers around the world.

Sebastian TronSebastian Tron – CEO of Hopsy

“Contagious vision”

Sebastian promotes growth through his ecstatic attitude. He pusheshimself beyond the limits of what a manager does in the workplace, and supports personal growth by taking weekly meetings to develop strategies for each employee’s self-growth within the company. He is very attentive to personal needs. He listens to his employees and takes care of them through rewarding them and letting them take time off at any point.

Hopsy has created an intersection in tech and craft beer. Sebastian has created a company that not only supports fresh product, but one that supports the local community.

Susan MernitSusan Mernit – CEO of Hack the Hood

“A framework of innovation and social justice/racial justice”

Susan and Hack the Hood developed two processes that have been huge in creating a strong team culture: a power-sharing process where an elected member of the staff serves a six month rotation on the lead/senior team which ensures that the perspectives of grassroots staffers are heard, and a program called circling up, or clean talk, where staffers can meet in a safe space to talk openly about conflicts and issues as an entire team, without worrying about retaliation or censure. These processes have helped make Hack the Hood a place where people like coming to work and feel safe, seen, and valued.

Hack the Hood connects low-income young people of color and local small businesses through technology, in order to create opportunities for all the people who live in the Bay Area, and beyond, to take part in and lead the change that is happening around them. In 2016, they worked with 9 partners and served 220 youth around the region.

TechManager

Best Tech Work Culture

AppDynamics

“Promoting creative growth by maintaining skillsets”

AppDynamics offers a mentorship program that allows higher level employees to train and work with newer employees that are eager to gain professional insight. Their WiT (Women in Tech) initiatives  launched a program targeting  women excited about tech positions, allowing for discounted coding classes and promoting cross function from within.

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AppDynamics measures application performance management and IT Operations Analytics  for small to big enterprises.  Some clients include Microsoft, Salesforce, Glassdoor, and more.

Carbon Five

“A supportive, positive work environment which allows underrepresented groups to thrive in the company; namely women, LGBTQ and people of color”

Carbon Five hosts company summits twice a year featuring a “codeo” event.  At these events, team members are presented with a    theme or a set of projects from which to pick and then implement.  There is always a wide range of resulting projects, some of which are turned into real products. When team members are between projects, Carbon Five encourages its employees to make the most of their bench time, such as writing a blog post, working on an internal project, or researching new ideas .

carbon5

Carbon Five is a digital product development consultancy,  partnering with clients to create exceptional products and grow effective teams.

Capital One

“Experiment and try new things”

Capital One has several programs in place that foster innovation and creativity in technology: from a yearly technology wide innovation challenge, to numerous hackathons, and other forums to experiment and display new ideas.

capone

Capital One provides digital banking products that are continuously evolving and based on the latest technologies.  They were the first large national bank to start moving production workloads to the cloud.

Cooper

“Applying design to create innovative and inspiring work cultures and redefining entire industries”

Cooper is a company that fosters technical creativity through a number of outlets, including their commitment to pair design, thought leadership, and overall work culture. Their practice is founded on striking the balance between championing designer autonomy and pushing pair design to foster a truly innovative environment for technical creativity.

cooper

Cooper is a design and business strategy consultancy, with the mission of helping organizations think big, create delight, and achieve success.

CrossInstall

“Embracing a positive work environment and a work to live philosophy”

Each of the developers at CrossInstall get to own and design their projects end to end, bringing their vision to the development, implementation, and design of the product. CrossInstall gives its employees the freedom and they support the need to tackle hard problems.

crossinstall

Offering a holistic ad solution for mobile gaming companies, CrossInstall utilizes  PrePlay ads it creates with its programmatic, performance-based bidder to ensure that the ads hit the right target audience.

Stimulant

“Encouraging participation in a wide variety of emerging and creative technology learning opportunities.”

Stimulant’s environment is highly collaborative and creative. They hold daily company-wide “scrum” meetings where everyone is encouraged to share their feedback.  Each team member contributes creative ideas or technology solutions for all active projects. Aside from their daily meetings, they continually encourage open communication when it comes to technical creativity throughout the life cycles and in day to day activities in the studio.

stimulant

Stimulant uses emerging technologies to transform static physical spaces into dynamic interactive environments. They craft human-scale, site-specific digital experiences that tell stories in unique ways, drive face-to-face interaction, and create lasting memories.

Treasure Data

“Constantly looking for ways to be more creative”

Treasure Data’s whole company is based on technical creativity. Treasure Data constantly encourages feedback on how processes are being run and management is always available to answer one’s technical questions no matter how small or large.

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Treasure Data a cloud infrastructure for analytics at scale. They are able to collect data from most of a company’s inputs, store that data, and send it to a BI tool using SQL.

Trulia

“Innovation is core of culture”

Employees of Trulia are always working together to create and build the next big thing, and they have a lot of fun along the way. For instance, Trulia hosts a quarterly “Innovation Week” as dedicated time for all employees to experiment with new product ideas or work on projects they’re passionate about. They postpone regularly scheduled meetings and encourage participants to instead work on big ideas and with new technologies and teammates.

trulia

Earlier this year, Trulia rolled out a brand new product for the online real estate industry, called Rent Near Transit. This new feature helps users find rental listings within a 15-minute walk of the transit stops.

WalkMe Inc.

“Fostering out-of-the-box thinking and crowdsourcing ideas”

At WalkMe technical creativity is highly valued. WalkMe has always promoted technical creativity, whether by hosting their annual hackathons or by encouraging collaboration between technical departments globally. They work to develop a customized solution using WalkMe in new ways to help clients improve their UX and reach their business objectives.

walkme

WalkMe’s platform simplifies the online user experienceby driveing users to action with an online experience that is personalized, effortless, and error-free.

Winnie

“The importance of family and work-life balance is built into the culture.”

To get so much information at scale, Winnie engineers have had to be very creative — from building robots to collect some of this information to pulling in massive amounts of data from publicly available (but very inaccessible) data sources. Because Winnie is such a small startup, everyone is encouraged to understand and be involved with the entire stack. For example, the same person who works on the  website also works on infrastructure and backend. Winnie encourages employees to stretch and learn about new areas of the stack.

winnie

With a database of information on over 1 million places, Winnie gives parents the information they need to travel, explore, or even just run errands with their kids.

WC

Best Tech Startup

applovinAppLovin

 “Freedom and flexibility to execute ideas”

The CEO and co-founders of AppLovin employ an open-door policy. Team members can address their concerns or talk about sports with the co-founders. Everyone is trained and stimulated to grow and have a voice in the product.

Applovin’s  marketing platform provides marketing automation and analytics for brands to reach consumers on mobile.

bluecartBlueCart

“An open door to discuss ideas and challenges”

The founders of BlueCart give credit to their strong, intelligent, and supportive team as one of their main reasons for success. In the land of high-tech, forward thinkers are essential to the development of the company. Every year, the three offices (SF, NYC, & DC) gather together to conjure up new strategies and innovative ideas to take BlueCart to the next level.

BlueCart digitizes the back of house process for the hospitality industry. That includes restaurants, hotels, grocery stores, country clubs with cafes, and more.

madefireMadefire

“By nurturing the creativity, employees can  realize their greatest strengths and discover common goals”

Madefire recently announced the launch of its virtual reality comics platform at the 2016 Comic-Con in New York. The revolutionary idea to leap into the third-dimension was born of the late-night musings and tinkering of one of the company’s engineers. Inspired by some of Ben’s panoramic illustrations, Diego Medina engineered a GearVR prototype of comic panels whizzing through the blackness of space. They immediately recognized the potential of VR to propel the medium. Madefire provides an end-to-end digital comics publishing platform that is available free to anyone with a web browser, an Internet connection and a story to tell.

metromileMetromile

“Create fiercely loyal employees”

The Metromile office is open, welcoming, and collaborative. The leadership fosters a work environment that is all about enabling the team. They provide context and coaching, including clear goals, defined roles, and expected metrics. Leaders are sources of knowledge, conduits for effective communication, and great coaches.

Metromile is a car insurance startup that offers pay-per-mile insurance and a driving app.


Monday and Motorbikes 2Monday Motorbike

 “Cross-department brainstorming.”

 Monday Motorbike utilizes open seating to facilitate cross-department brainstorming. This helps to increase the company’s efficiency and the implementation of new solutions across the entire company. Currently, Monday Engineers in collaboration with Intel are developing cloud connectivity that will enable riders to connect their phone directly to their bike to get instant riding metrics, remotely unlock the M-1, locate their M-1, program Geo-fencing, and performance.

The M-1 is the only e-bike with the feel of riding a motorcycle to create a bridge between bicycle and motorcycle riders. Not only is Monday Motorbikes including the newest technologies, but main parts are made in house and patented.

pagerdutyPagerDuty

“Show don’t tell attitude”

PagerDuty has a collaborative work environment with a “show don’t tell” attitude.  PagerDuty champions customer experience, and emphasizes depth in building markets, driving operational excellence, and cultivating high-performing teams.

PagerDuty is the enterprise incident resolution service that integrates with ITOps and DevOps monitoring stacks to improve operational reliability and agility. From enriching and aggregating events to correlating them into incidents, PagerDuty streamlines the incident management process by reducing alert noise and resolution times.

stitchlabsStitch Labs

“Six core values: be curious, own your impact, act with integrity, love your neighbor, grit – have it, and accelerate as one.”

One of the most important traits the Stitch Labs team looks for when interviewing prospective employees is curiosity. To be forward thinking, a person must be curious about how a product, team, or even industry could be different—and then think creatively and strategically about how to create change. The Stitch Labs team is constantly iterating and expanding their product offerings.  They’ve created an advisory panel from their  product and engineering teams to work with clients  to better understand the problems,  address them , and  drive their  product in the right direction.

By automating, centralizing, and streamlining multichannel inventory and operations into a single platform, Stitch Labs provides retailers with the visibility, control, collaboration, and insight needed to drive profitability and scale growth.

tradeshiftTradeshift

“Creating a foundational change in how business is done”

Tradeshift is  committed to transparency. Traditional all-hands meetings have been kicked to the curb. Instead, they have monthly “Big Syncs” that include a different set of executive speakers and last anywhere from one to two hours. Big Syncs are highly interactive. Forty-eight hours in advance of each one, a sheet is shared with the entire company for employees to post questions principally for the CEO, Christian Lanng, but he opens the floor for others to answer and discuss/debate.

Tradeshift is taking a fresh approach to buyer-supplier processes. They help companies transform their operations and rapidly adapt to the new digital reality that’s changing business worldwide.

uploadvrUploadVR

“Concentration, stimulation, and productivity”

The environment at the Upload Collective has the feel of working at your best friend’s loft – a vibe of relaxed concentration in a stimulating space that’s also extremely productive with access to the most cutting edge equipment available. Upload VR is the product of industry development vision and work that started well before most people were even aware that VR was finally becoming a viable technology.

UploadVR’s  product supports the entrepreneurs of the future with deep emphasis in immersive tech. The unique blend of hardware and software support they offer helps to ensure that the companies in their ecosystem succeed.

voicebaseVoiceBase

“A work environment that fosters the passion”

At VoiceBase, it doesn’t matter whether you work from the office or home, if you travel often or even the number of hours you work. VoiceBase team members are all available when needed and are expected to perform on individual goals as well as team and companywide goals.

VoiceBase is an API solution for speech recognition and speech analytics.

Startup

The Timmy Awards ceremony will celebrate the local technology community and also recognize not only the winners, but the entire San Francisco community for creating a great business environment to thrive in. The event itself will be a great opportunity to network with finalists and other members of the tech community.

RSVP here to attend the SF Timmy Awards and meet all the finalists  in person!

Virtual Reality: More Than A Game for Autistic Individuals

What if your most daunting aspiration was to make a friend?

As a part of the Kickoff Party for Techweek, the Brain Performance Institute™ at the Center for BrainHealth®, at University of Texas at Dallas, is presenting a scientifically-based social cognitive training program with a virtual-learning platform for individuals that face social cognitive defects. Let’s go behind the scenes with the Center for BrainHealth® to see how they’re using virtual reality to change lives.

cta 1

For many on the autism spectrum, with social cognitive deficits, or who struggle socially, reading facial expressions and knowing how to respond are daily challenges that interfere with relationships and career goals. Since 2008, researchers at the Center have been investigating how Virtual Reality skills training provides realistic opportunities for social success.

A research collaboration between the Center for BrainHealth and Yale University led to a scientifically-validated, brain-enhancing therapy that is a fun, high-tech game. It has state-of-the-art graphics, real-time face tracking and personalized avatars that may also have implications for combating bullying.

“If you can succeed in virtual reality, you can do it for real. I wouldn’t have been able to interview and do what I’m doing if it weren’t for the training. I have also made real long-lasting friends. I now truly understand what friendship means and value its importance.” – Carly McCullar, social cognition research participant

How does it work?

  1. In each session, participants are immersed into a live, interactive training session that uses face-tracking technology and is designed to stimulate social-cognitive reasoning skills.
  2. In the virtual world, face-tracking technology allows users to see their own and others’ facial emotions and reactions in real time.
  3. Expert clinicians coach these participants through real-life scenarios in a video game-like environment, providing a safe place to practice social interactions in a VR school, home, playground or coffee shop.
  4. This clinician initiates non-scripted conversations that instill social cognition brain strategies to help these individuals reach their goals.

Why Do It In Virtual Reality?

The virtual reality technology used is a promising tool that provides a safe, inviting and effective platform for improving social skills, cognition, and functioning for those on the autism spectrum. (Source: Journal of Autism Developmental Disorders)

Traditional role-play therapy is limited by a lack of realism as the clinician’s appearance and location are fixed. Virtual reality allows for changeable identities and adaptable surroundings, which help create limitless scenarios. Click here to view the virtual world the Center for BrainHealth has built.

brainhealth vr screenshot

What’s the Result?

  • According to Center for BrainHealth research, participants significantly improved the ability to recognize other’s emotions, to understand what someone is thinking or feeling, and to respond.
  • Additional research shows that individuals with autism spectrum disorder who participated in a virtual reality training program improved social cognition skills and reported better real-world relationships.
  • Neurocognitive testing showed significant gains in emotional recognition, understanding the perspective of others and the ability to problem solve.

brain

“We live in a highly social world that puts more emphasis on knowing somebody than work or brainpower. The best thing about this program is that it’s a very low-stakes way to practice interacting in everyday ways with others. It provides five or six years of social training in just a few sessions.” –Clark Thurston, social cognition research participant

Real-World Results from a three-month follow-up show:

  • 71 percent reported improvement in starting a conversation
  • 100 percent reported improvement in maintaining a conversation
  • 86 percent reported improvement in understanding other points of view
  • 86 percent reported improvement in establishing relationships

This article was re-purposed from the original post on http://www.brainhealth.utdallas.edu/.

Recently featured on the TODAY show, The Brain Performance Institute at the Center for BrainHealth demonstrates how the applications of virtual reality go far behind gaming and entertainment. This solution can build social-reasoning skills and real-world confidence to change the lives of participants.

Meet the Center and its Brain Performance Institute™ team at the Techweek Kickoff Party: Behind the Scenes With Immersive Reality, and experience this life-changing tech firsthand.

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eventbrite

7 Virtual Reality Headsets | Behind the Scenes with 900lbs

Techweek is coming to Dallas for the very first time starting on October 31st, and Tech in Motion is hosting the official Kickoff Party. Tech in Motion will take you behind the scenes of immersive reality for the Kickoff Party (RSVP and see details here), but before the event, let’s take you backstage with the companies providing all the action. Meet the experts behind demo company 900lbs as they walk you through the VR headset options on the market – but first, check out this awesome Dallas Cowboys Jumbotron project they worked on recently…

 

VIRTUAL REALITY HEADSETS: WHICH ONE IS FOR YOU?

If we’re talking Chinese Zodiac, 2016 is the year of the Monkey, and if we’re talking wearable technology, 2016 is the year of Virtual and Augmented Reality headsets. If you’re new to the game, check out our old blog post which explains the similarities and differences between virtual and augmented reality.

Because this wearable tech is still in the introduction stage of the product life cycle, there are a lot of options to choose from. So, which headset should you pick? At 900lbs, we’ve found creative uses for many of them. We’ve compiled a list of the coolest, mind-blowing headsets so you can decide for yourself how you can enter a new reality, from the most affordable to the swankiest.

Virtual Reality Headsets


google cardboard VRGoogle Cardboard – $16.99

Google Cardboard, at the low price of $16.99, styles itself as the every man’s virtual reality headset. All you need to do is fold the cardboard, insert your smartphone into the slot, and off you go into another dimension. On top of the low prices and tons of fun Cardboard designs, Google will soon be offering the Daydream platform. Daydream will allow users to bring the applications they already know and love into virtual reality, such as YouTube and Facebook, on top of hundreds of new exciting apps to come.

samsung vrSamsung Gear VR – $99

The Samsung Gear VR works in a similar fashion to the Google Cardboard, you only need to slide your Galaxy phone into the headset. Just like Google Cardboard, the visuals delivered from these two systems will be grainier than some of the options further down this list, because you are essentially just looking at your phone screen really, really close up. Samsung also offers a 360 degree camera for as low as $25, so you can film, edit, and upload your own 360 content all for under $200.

Samsung will be at the event giving you a first-hand look at this, get a ticket for the Kickoff Party here.

sony playstation vrSony Playstation VR – $399

Sony Playstation VR connects to your Playstation for a whole new gaming experience. The headset is designed so you forget you are wearing it, and the 5.7 inch OLED display has a 120 Hz refresh rate, so you definitely are in no danger of any queasiness. The Playstation VR is likely the easiest way for consumers to enter the VR market, as it hooks directly up to the most popular gaming console. This option was JUST released on October 13, 2016.

 

oculus riftOculus Rift – $599

Oculus Rift, developed by Palmer Luckey, funded by Kickstarter, and purchased by Facebook for $2 billion, is the technology that brought virtual reality back to the center stage of the gaming and technology world. The screen has a 2160×1200 resolution and a 90Hz refresh rate, so again, no motion sickness. There are Oculus Touch hand controllers in the making, which will throw users even further into the action.

 

htc viveHTC Vive – $799

The Vive, a collaboration between HTC and Valve, the makers of the popular PC gaming platform Steam, offers a more immersive experience. Thanks to motion tracking stations and a chaperone guidance system, users can actually walk around while wearing the headset, instead of just chilling on the sofa. The Vive has also a 90Hz refresh rate, so there’s no reason to worry about contracting motion sickness. There are also two wireless hand controllers available, with 24 sensors each, which makes interacting with the virtual world extremely easy.

RSVP for the Kickoff Party and you’ll be able to experience the Vive yourself!

Mixed Reality Headsets

microsoft hololensMicrosoft Hololens – $3000

The Microsoft Hololens allows the wearer to manipulate digital content and the real world simultaneously. Instead of completely immersing the user in a new world, the Hololens presents a mixed reality with interactive “holographic” images (here’s why it’s not actually holograms) layered on top of reality. The Hololens stands out from the others because it is completely wireless. The tech is battery powered; there is a fully operational Windows 10 system in the headset. Sensors on the headset lend to simple control of the device through the direction of your gaze, hand gestures, and voice activation.

meta 2Meta 2 – $949

The Meta 2, while not currently on the market yet, is a huge step up from its predecessor. It offers a 90-degree field of view, and a 2560×1440 display with positional tracking for your hands. These glasses are not wireless like the Hololens, but they do offer a larger field of view.

 

 

Just recently announced, the Intel Project Alloy aims to create a headset that works with merged reality. Similar to augmented reality, but instead of blending virtual objects into reality like the Hololens, Project Alloy mixes real objects into virtual reality. The headset will be cordless, and Intel plans to use an open source model with the hardware in the future, so any third-party can develop headsets of their own. This new take on headsets could change the virtual reality industry completely.

Fove VR, another company taking the technology even further, is creating a headset with super accurate eye tracking. The headset can read the movement of your eyes to an accuracy of 1 degree, which means while wearing this headset, characters in virtual reality will actually react and respond to your eye contact and head movements. Eye tracking could potentially increase the viability of other platforms rendering capability as well. Since we can track where the eye is looking the headset would only have to dedicate resources to a specific portion of the screen, rendering the rest of the screen at a lower resolution while maintaining visual fidelity in the user’s field of view.

This article was originally posted on 900lbs.com and can be seen here.

Come join Tech in Motion on October 31st at the Techweek Kickoff Party: Behind the Scenes With Immersive Reality to meet the 900lbs team and experience some of these headsets for yourself.

Grab a free ticket for both Techweek and the Kickoff Party – see all the information here.

invite 2 VR

The Next Major Tech Convergence: Virtual, Augmented Reality

Written By Captain Philippe Lewicki of HTMLFusion

With so many developments in virtual reality this year, many of us are excited about a coming boom in 2016. I am too — but I am less focused on VR mobile apps or the endless cool hardware and gadgets appearing daily on my screen (though I admit to finding them very enticing.) I am most excited about what these advancements mean for us when everything comes together.

I believe we are on the verge of a major new technical convergence where augmented and virtual reality, artificial intelligence and the Internet of Things will change our world as dramatically as the emergence of smartphones did.

Hear more about the Future of Virtual Reality from the CTO of Juant here.

Phillipe Lewicki talks at the Tech in Motion 50K Celebration in Los Angeles, above.

The last time we saw this happen was in 2007.  A well-timed merging of cellular technology, capacitive screens and UI design — mixed by the legendary Steve Jobs — set the stage for a world craving things like mobile apps and image sharing.

We love all this technology, but it stresses us out. These machines are here to increase our productivity, entertain us and improve our social connections; however, our laptops and phones are cumbersome and not designed for our human bodies. Relying heavily on these physical machines dampens our capacity to connect with others and discourages us from participating in activities where we move around.

This can be resolved. We are in the process of better integrating the machines in our lives. With this next major conflux, we will be connected to our devices in an intuitive way. These physical limitations will begin to disappear.

A combination of factors makes this possible. First, after enduring decades of false promises, we are finally seeing AI deliver results, thanks to new learning machines and neural network technologies. Programs like Siri and Google Now show how our voice can command actions on our screen, and the last few years have proven that they only get smarter.

Add to this the Internet of Things, which emphasizes how the Internet is beginning to transcend our phones and laptops to operate within our watches, glasses, audio speakers and thermostats. These devices are connected and responsive.

Integrate the concept of mixed realities and you can begin to see the possibilities.

In our weekly labs at HTML Fusion, we focus on how this future will look and feel. Our visit to Microsoft’s HoloLens Academy gave us a peek into what was possible. We continue to learn more and more about manipulating augmented reality spaces as we spend our weeks teaching machines to respond to our movements and desires.

We call this work the Holo UI. It is our platform for exploring how we control augmented reality, and it’s a small window into the converging future. You can consider it a seed.

This is a tool for a much more immersive experience. Our machines are integrating into our physical world, learning to interact with us naturally. Our cell phones, laptop, and desktop computers will slowly disappear and be replaced by more human-like interactions. We can still be productive and connected without staring at the screen.

Humans were designed to be moving, not stuck behind a screen and keyboard. This convergence will let us move again.

I am excited to work with my team, and a growing community of inspired entrepreneurs, to actively create this future and the way we use these machines — and make the impossible possible. This convergence is happening now, so the time has come for us to define how we will interact with technology, the Internet and each other. Now is our a chance to make this technology more human.

Follow HTML Fusion’s blog and @htmlfusion on Twitter for a weekly window into their latest tech discoveries.

You can also see innovative speakers in Virtual Reality and beyond at Tech in Motion Events across North America. Check out the event calendar.

team_philippeAbout the Author

Philippe Lewicki, Captain at HTMLFusion

HTMLFusion is a Culver City-based team of veteran developers working with mixed reality environments and creating successful businesses with entrepreneurs who have great ideas. Most recently, they were invited to the HoloLens Academy to share and explore their augmented reality work.

Their current project is a user-friendly virtual reality platform for real estate called OpenHouse VR.

Exploring Reality, Musicality and Beyond in Philadelphia

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It was a dark and stormy night, but for the June event in Philadelphia, the show still went on to both amuse and bemuse the senses of attendees. Several fantastic demo companies came out despite the stormy weather to display the innovations they are working on in music tech and virtual reality. Local techies came down to City CoHo to experience modernizations such as apples that transmit sound and glasses that can virtually take you to the other end of the world. The high energy group buzzed around the exhibits set up around the room to learn more about what is happening in these industries.

Interested in attending a Tech in Motion event? Find a demo, mixer or tech tech IMG_3612on our upcoming events list!

Rob Hardcastle of DYIM came out to exhibit his social music experience. The device lights up in different colors throughout the evening as attendees came by to try it out. This innovation allows people who might not be so musically inclined to create sounds through simply pressing different buttons. The creator, Hardcastle, says that DYIM really “allows people with no musical experience to express their musical thoughts and dreams.”

Below, Edge of Nostalgia founder presented his app to the audience during the lightning round introductions. Throughout the evening, he showed off how to turn ambient noise into interactive sound and eventually a type of music.

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Did you ever think you could make music by squeezing apples? Sam Cusumano of Electricity for Progress showed off his BioData Sonification technology doing just that. Using interactive controllers and headphones you can hear sound in real-time – transmitted through the apples.

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Drexel University’s ExCITe Center came out to show off the research projects being produced in their space by students and beyond. The ExCITe Center specializes in interactive technologies and collaborative projects, with many focused in the music tech space.

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Greenfish Labs demonstrated their Virtual Reality software and applications that they develop for clients. Techies got to not only hear about it, but also try on a pair of goggles and see it in action

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A local meetup group, VR Philly, got to come out and experience the latest and greatest in the VR field. Local tech enthusiast Scott J. Ross said, “The VR scene is still so small and embryonic, we need events like this to meet collaborators face to face”. It was great to see this community come together with Tech in Motion.

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Temple University’s BEEP showed off a few innovations developed with their Electroacoustic Ensemble. One local techie said, “I was extremely impressed by the entrepreneurial ambition of tonight’s event. This is what makes the future”.

Dr. Adam Vidiksis, who leads this group, has a similar mindset with the goal of increasing technological literacy among its participants and audience.

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Dj CUTMAN of GameChops provided the tunes for the evening and kept the audience going. He debuted with Tech in Motion at our Gaming Expo last October and we were excited to have him back to hear what was new in the mix.

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Special thanks to Kurant Cider and Ole Smoky for providing refreshments for the evening.  Guests enjoyed the unique flavors of the cider and moonshine samplings. Dan from Ole Smoky got to try out the Google Cardboard our sponsors, Workbridge Associates and Jobspring Partners, brought out.

Looking for a job? Check out and apply for one of the positions from Workbridge Associates and Jobspring Partners.

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This event showcased several local innovations within the musicality and reality space, an often over looked arena in Philadelphia. VR and Music Tech crowd out at events in the future – join Tech in Motion Philly to be a part of the next event!

Sight and Sound Tech Unveiled: Demos with San Fran

Tech in Motion San Francisco kicked off 2015 by hosting one of their largest attendee and RSVP count to date! Located in the heart of SoMa, tech enthusiasts lined up down the street at SupperClub Lounge. These technology aficionados just couldn’t wait to get their hands on the cutting edge virtual reality and music technologies demoing at Tech in Motion’s Sight and Sound Tech Demo Night. With over 300 attendees this venue was pulsing with energy! Much of this hype was rooted from the high RSVP count on Eventbrite and Meetup totalling just shy of 1,000!

blogSF_demo Companies demoing consisted of Sixense, Wearhaus, Jaunt VR, Leap Motion, and the sponsor for the evening, Postmates. Each booth offered an undefined experience that left members reevaluating what the future holds for technology.

Find a drinks & demos event at a Tech in Motion chapter near you.

First to demo was Sixense, who showed off state of the art VR Lightsabers. The lightsaber or sword is the true test for a one-to-one motion tracking system in VR. A first time attending member, Ali, said Sixense was, “really amazing, everything was so realistic”.

Wearhaus showcased wirelessly syncing multiple headphones that allow for two people to listen together. Wearhaus showed how fast music technology is moving and how they are re-imagining classic pieces of hardware to electrifying levels. Members enjoyed a syncronized music experience unlike anything they’d seen before.

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Next up was Jaunt VR. They demonstrated a comprehensive toolset for creating cinematic VR that allowed users to film, edit and show off live virtual reality content. At the end of the evening one lucky Tech in Motion member was even awarded one of these devices for an Android phone.

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Leap Motion showed technology that uses camera sensors, infrared LEDs and precise mathematical algorithms to translate hand and finger movements into dynamic 3D input. Members were blown away by the sensory tech shown at this booth. At the end of the night Leap Motion raffled off 10 controllers–one Tech in Motion member, Hassan, said “wow, I hope I win one of these! They are too cool!”.

Lastly, Postmates, often described as “everyone’s favorite delivery company” teamed up with Tech in Motion as the social sponsor for the evening. They had an exclusive $100 credit contest for Tech in Motion members at the event–one lucky member walked away with $100 in Postmates deliveries. In addition to the credit contest they gave away t-shirts, swag, buttons and one on one demos of their app.

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As members made their way through the booths the chatter was living up to the event’s hype.

Rubi, a local SF engineer revealed that “I’ve heard about Tech in Motion but have never been. It’s really cool to see how many people come and how easy it is to talk to everyone”. In another corner of the space, Jaimie, a local tech professional said, “After coming to this one I would love to check out another”. The positive energy was flowing as swiftly as the VR experiences.

Figure out what Tech in Motion chapter is closest to you on our location list.

As the event came to a close members began flowing out of the packed venue. One member Kevin, a local Data Analyst Engineer, exclaimed “give it 5 years and this [VR] will be the next way everyone does social networking.”

The proud creators of Tech in Motion;  Workbridge Associates and Jobspring Partners, continue to provide IT Permanent Placement & Contractor Staffing services within nine US cities.

The Future of Virtual Reality

1097723620Written by Arthur van Hoff, CTO at Jaunt

Virtual reality is something many people have heard of, but few have experienced. Yet trying to put it into words is, as one blogger stated, “like trying to take a picture of your favorite song.” Poised to disrupt the way we see, live and engage with the world, the fully immersing experience of VR has the potential to change the face not just of gaming or entertainment, but has implications for education, travel, healthcare, real estate, and more.

Today, you can put on VR goggles and have an immersive experience beyond your imagination – with high-definition 360-degree, 3D video and binaural audio, you can feel as though you’re in the world’s most spectacular places, on stage next to your favorite musician, or on the field cheering on your home team, even when you’re thousands of miles away.

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The truly exciting part about virtual reality is that this is just the beginning. The potential applications for this technology is something that excites us tremendously and we are continuously exploring.

Much of the content that is currently being developed for virtual reality goggles is simulated or digitally produced, along the lines of video games. At Jaunt, we’re building the full-stack technology to create cinematic VR. This includes the camera, software editing, and content production. Instead of exploring a simulated world, you can be transported to other places in the real world.

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This also means exploring new means of storytelling beyond the current capabilities of traditional film-making. We’re discovering new ways to use the technology, and it’s opening up huge new doors for writers, directors, actors, artists, and other content creators.

We shared some of what we’ve discovered and created at the Tech In Motion event this week. We enjoyed sharing the experience of cinematic VR with you and you’ll see some action photos in an event recap posted later in the month.

Tech in Motion Silicon Valley is also proud to announce their September event, Security & Technology: BYOD, Home, & Mobile {Sponsored By Microsoft & Appvance}. You can RSVP here.

arthurAbout the author: Arthur van Hoff is serial entrepreneur and was most recently CTO at Flipboard. He started his career in Silicon Valley at Sun Microsystems where he was an early developer of the Java programming language. Since then he has started several successful companies. Arthur has expertise in machine learning, big data, mobile applications, 3D printing, and computational photography. He is originally from the Netherlands and has a master’s degree in Computer Science from Strathclyde University in Glasgow.