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Augmented Reality software solutions with Diota.

We caught up with event supporters and speakers at this year’s event Diota, to find out how they’re providing software solutions centred around Augmented Reality, and to ask how they see Augmented and Virtual Reality technologies developing in the future.

Could you start by telling our readers about Diota Augmenting Industries and the services you provide?

Diota provides software solutions centered around Augmented Reality to enable large scale industrial players to link human and digital to increase their industrial performance. On the one hand, these solutions bring digital data in operational spaces to assist human operations; on the other hand they take data collected in the field to information systems to allow optimizing industrial processes. It creates a real synergy between digital data and human know-how, and this synergy generates performance both in the back office and in operational areas.

From which industries are you currently finding the highest demand for AR products and support?

Augmented reality is relevant in any industrial environment where operators have to carry out complex tasks, at any stage of the product life cycle. However, depending on the industry, augmented reality will be used differently. For example in the heavy industry, particularly aerospace, but also rail and shipbuilding, where operators need assistance to assemble unique products whose configuration varies, AR is for now mainly applied in manufacturing processes.

In the automotive industry, AR proves to be particularly relevant to help to design and configure cars, or else to produce and control prototypes. Another example can be taken in the chemical industry where AR considerably improves the understanding and mastering of complex phenomena or enhances training to risk prevention. We mainly work with these above mentioned industry sectors where not only demand is mature,
but also ROI has been verified.


What is it that makes Diota a leader in the AR field?

Our various collaborations with industrial partners have enabled us to observe that the demands and use cases of industrial companies could interbreed even if they had needs that were their own. We also found that key factors for them to move on to an operational phase with Augmented Reality were the flexibility the solution, and its capability to integrate their existing software and hardware environments, which is synonymous of ROI. So we took an early decision to develop a true generic software solution that would enable them to create with full autonomy Augmented Reality projects in direct connection with standard software solutions like PLM they already use for their 3D models and instruction sheets. Based on breakthrough technological assets, among which a marker less, robust and accurate tracking technology exclusive to us, we have created a multi-use, multi-support and plug-and-play software solution.

In a few clicks, an AR project can be created directly in the PLM and exported via our plugin DiotaConnect. This project can then be immediately played in our software platform DiotaPlayer. Moreover, the same project can be used in the operational space through various devices (tablets, sunglasses, projective systems). Finally, during its use, the user can write comments, take pictures, carry out quality controls the statuses of which are automatically recorded…All the data collected can be transferred directly to the back office, via a pdf reporting or, for some data, a synchronous connection to the information system.

Thanks to this comprehensive offer, and our partnerships with major integrators, our clients are now deploying AR across workstations and industrial sites, with great easiness as no expertise in AR is needed, neither in the back office nor in the operational space. We are no longer talking about proof of concepts in AR, but well about deployments at broad industrial scale, which contributes to a certain leadership of Diota in the field of industrial Augmented Reality.

What are the biggest challenges you face working in the AR space?

One of the biggest challenges is likely to make AR acceptable by operators, who are the diota1main users in the end. We must not forget that not only these new tools involve a change in their habits and work methods, but also that technology has often been opposed to human, and may be received with some reluctance. We do believe that digital technologies, as we see and provide them, are on the contrary to the service of human know-how which is irreplaceable. We now have to step up our education efforts as well as supporting change in collaboration with our industrial partners for this message to be the most audible possible.

Do you feel that VR technology has a future outside of entertainment? For example, could you see any potential for VR to be used to help improve processes and service offerings in B2B industries?

Definitely, VR has potential outside of entertainment, especially but not only for education and training, for industry, the medical field… In this respect we see a true convergence of VR and AR.

Do you have any plans to work with VR technology?

It makes no doubt to us that AR reaches its full potential when it is in synergy with other technologies, especially with VR. So, quite naturally we are working closely with providers of VR solutions to new offers. We will have the opportunity to give a preview of joint solutions at our event “Augmenting Industries Day” by Diota on December 02.

What are you looking forward to the most about this year’s VR & AR World event?

VR and AR are among the technologies that have the wind in their sails. It is of course good for us (laughs), but a drawback can be that this craze, fed by example with games that buzz like Pokemon go, hides aspects a little more down to earth, less sexy but especially important in this period of time where the industry of the future, the digital factory…are not just hot topics but critical issues that shape our future, the way we work as well as the way we live… We count on the VR & AR World event to highlight these aspects and bring together all the best expertise and insights.

You can find out more about Diota, including where you can find them at VR & AR World here.

Huawei: VR in Networking Technology


Taking place from 19-20 October 2016 at ExCeL London, VR & AR World 2016 is Europe’s biggest VR and AR event, and is being sponsored and promoted by HUAWEI Network Technology Laboratory Attracting co-participation from leading authentic experts in the VR network industry Huawei come together with the world’s top players, such as Vodafone, British Telecom, Deutsche Telekom and Nokia.

During the event, HUAWEI will release its first VR Ready Network innovative solution and prototype in the industry. VR Ready Network innovative solution, composing of non-congestion network architecture, latency optimized overlay network (Live-MDN), deterministic low latency network (Hard-TCP), and next generation high throughput transport layer. Combined with various business scenarios, they will give solutions, and in-depth discussions with a number of partners about how to co-operate, taking into consideration their own network operation issues.

Huawei’s sessions at VR & AR World 2016



VR & AR World, ExCeL London, 19-20 October 2016

There’s still time! If you’d like to meet other VR and AR professionals and find out more about how both virtual and augmented reality are being used across a wide range of industries, and how companies plan to use them in the future, visit the VR & AR World event website.

Virtual Reality in Education: The Sheffield University Approach to Technology


The Media Team at Sheffield University has recently installed its first ever fully interactive, fully immersive & virtual Sheffield School of Architecture Student Exhibiton.

Available to all for free and accessible on any device anywhere in the world, the exhibition has been several months in the making. Starting with the acquisition of new equipment and technology this concept from verbal pitch to a fully polished, professional product.

The virtual exhibition is a complete, self-contained digital environment based on the concept of the virtual tour, which won’t be new to many (examples include Google street view, museums etc…).  As closely as possible the aim was to re-create the experience of visiting the student exhibition, giving virtual visitors the same sensory cues of sounds, visuals and detailed content that a physical visitor would enjoy. At a basic level the virtual exhibition is made of of many 360 degree photographs, videos, images and documents that make up both the physical space and the students’ exhibition content. This data is then combined into an HTML5 web interface, giving the viewer a resource-light, responsive experience compatible with any device, and on virtually any internet connection (5mbps minimum recommended speed).

The Virtual Exhibiton


What makes this virtual tour different is  the quality of the photography, its uncompromising approach to immersion and most importantly its ability to preserve context.  Each scene within the virtual exhibition has been captured using a panoramic gigapixel robotic mount from Swiss Photographic company Seitz. This rig precisely captures many full-sized photographs for later composition into a single 360×180 degree spherical photograph. The lowest quality scenes are made up of 150 RAW photographs shot at 16 megapixels each, producing a scene of 253 megapixels in size. The highest quality scenes are made up of 935 images and produce an image just over 1 gigapixel in size. These are images over 50,000 pixels across. All scenes are also shot in a +2 bracket for higher dynamic range.  This quality is more than an experiment in possibilities. From the first pitch of this project, Architects and academics alike cast doubt on the ability of digital representations to reveal detail possible to see with the naked eye, and as such any digital version of the exhibition would be a poor neighbour. With these interior gigapixel images, it is possible to resolve incredible detail on zooming in to displays, models and even while looking out of the window at the view! This ability gives the virtual visitor real opportunity to say ‘I’ve been there’ and assess a student’s work equally to those who could visit in person.


The image above shows an actual 100% crop of one of these scenes for context.
Immersion is important. Atmosphere can change mood, and give important context to a display or a exhibition space. What a space sounds like, what it looks like can change minds. That’s why the virtual exhibition focuses equally on the space and the content of the exhibition. The virtual visitor sees the entire space, 360 degrees, worts and all. They hear recorded sound from the opening night and they can access video and image content related to each display, enhancing the physical, preserving it for the future. That is the final key advantage of this approach to documenting the physical. Preservation without cost. The Universtiy faces a a yearly battle to efficiently use its spaces. The pressure to remove old student work is overwhelming, but understanding the hour and hours of hard work that goes into each model, each drawing, to see this work lost can be difficult. The virtual exhibition is a marketing tool, an exhibition tool and an archival tool. Everything you see in the virtual exhibition is self-contained and can be preserved indefinitely.  If this project is repeated for subsequent exhibitions, an archive of past work could be built up, further enriching our student’s craving for newness and difference as they will be fully aware of what has gone before.

Of course as the virtual exhibition becomes more embedded within the school’s yearly cycle, the more it is expected that students come up with new and innovative ideas as to how their work can be best presented and communicated using this unique platform. It is the university’s hope that this will become a truly collaborative process that develops in scale and value with each year, because, just like the exhibition itself, students at Sheffield lead the way.

This article was contributed by the Media Unit Manager for the Sheffield School of Architecture. If you’d like to find out more you can contact the Media Unit here.


VR & AR World, 19-20 October 2016, ExCeL London

Taking place this October,  VR & AR World gives you the opportunity to learn more about the latest in virtual and augmented reality technologies and how they can help you to grow your business. The event will see over 100 expert speakers across two days, exhibitors from leading VR and AR companies, and offers the chance to network with hundreds of VR and AR professionals. You can find out more about the event, and book your tickets on the official VR & AR World website.


What is 360-degree filming and how does it work? Ovum’s Paul Jackson explains…

Ahead of speaking at this year’s VR & AR World event, Paul Jackson of Ovum joins us to look at 360-degree filming including how it works, challenges with the technology and how it’s currently being used. Check it out below!


VR & AR World, 19-20 October 2016, ExCeL London

For more information about this year’s VR and AR World, including speakers, agendas and exhibitor information, visit the official website here.

If you’re considering attending but haven’t got your tickets yet, you can register for a free visitor pass which gives you access to lots of cool stuff including all of the exhibition stands across both days, the content hub, demo stage, the Igloo Tent which offers 360 degree content, and the opportunity to network with hundreds of VR and AR professionals from a wide range of industries.

Area 404: Facebook opens Virtual Reality, drones and infrastructure lab


Facebook has opened a dedicated lab space for its telecoms infrastructure, drones and VR research projects – “Area 404″.

The 22,000 square foot lab unites a previously fragmented array of teams and research projects across its various sites in Palo Alto, California. The lab has been refurbished with a variety of highly technical machines aimed at helping engineers create the hardware they need rapidly while researching elements of its virtual reality, telecoms infrastructure and drone based projects: Oculus, Terragraph and TIP, and Aquila, respectively.

The joint lab is dubbed “Area 404”, with 404 being the term used when a server is unable to find a specific webpage being requested. Facebook engineers Spencer Burns and Mikal Greaves wrote on the social media site’s blog “we call it Area 404 – named for our teams wanting a space just like this one, but one wasn’t found; now it’s found, and we lovingly refer to the space as Area 404.”

“With this new space, we can now handle the majority of our modeling, prototyping, and failure analysis in-house, decreasing each iteration of the development cycle from weeks to days,” Greaves and Burns wrote. “Even more important, the space has room for all teams, with more than 50 workbenches in the main area. Connectivity Lab, Oculus, Building 8, and our Infrastructure teams can now work collaboratively in the same space, learning from one another as they build.”

Area 404 will be built up into two main areas, electrical engineering labs and prototyping workshops. The electrical engineering labs are intended to provide specialist equipment for engineering teams to test and debug their designs on highly customised set ups. The prototyping workshops are built out with a range of industrial machines intended to allow teams to create various pieces of hardware they need for their projects.

Targeted uses for the prototype lab, Facebook says, are:

  • Infrastructure: For example, parts associated with our open rack, top-of-rack switch Wedge, modular switch 6-pack, storage solution Open Vault, modular sleds and shelving for Big Sur, and hardware designs contributed to TIP (Telecom Infra Project), like machined heat sinks, sensors, and the mounting solution for OpenCellular.
  • Connectivity Lab: For example, research and development for Aquila; hardware associated with Terragraph and Project ARIES; and our optical detector.
  • VR: New virtual reality hardware and technology, including Facebook Surround 360’s camera rig and outer shell and Oculus prototypes.

This post was originally posted on


VR & AR World conference, 19-20 October 2016, ExCeL London

This year’s event brings together expert Virtual and Augmented Reality speakers and exhibitors from a wide range of industries, and offers the opportunity for attendees to network and build relationships with peers at the two day event.

If you’d like to find out more about the event, visit the official VR & AR World website.


SubPac – Tactile bass monitor – Product demo for VR & AR World 2016

SubPac’s James Williams visits the VR & AR World studio to give us a demo of their super-cool products! Take a look to find out how SubPac products can be used with a variety of different products including VR headsets, video games, monitors, mobile phones and lots more.


Find out more about SubPac here.

Interested in trying out the SubPac products? They’ll be joining us at this year’s VR & AR World event in London. Find out all about the event here.