December 13, 2017

Augmented Reality – What You See Is… Amazing!

Augmented Reality

Blog post written by: UAT Computer Science Professor Jill Coddington

We started with Virtual Reality (VR), primarily for games but we have come so far since then.

There are very definite differences between VR and Augmented Reality (AR). VR creates its own world that the user can interact with. AR uses the real world and adds to it, still allowing the user to interact.

Today Augmented Reality (AR) is the live augmentation (directly or indirectly) of what you see and possibly what you hear. In other words, as you walk down the street, what you see beyond what is there could include pointers to restaurants, directions, traffic alerts, and just about anything else. Think of it like the Pokémon Search with seeing the Pokémon in 3D.

This is all fine but uses are there for AR? Obviously, schools can use this for teaching. For example, seeing a heart beating in 3D and walking around it would be useful to a medical student. Medical professionals can use AR to create dashboards with many pieces of information about a patient simultaneously and also be able to rotate images to see different aspects. Construction industries have used this to show what a new building would look like on a specific plot of land – while looking at the land. It could be used on a smaller scale to see how a new addition or deck would look on an existing structure. How about a business meeting where everyone appears to be in the same room? You could see facial expressions and engage more genuinely. For products, you could place three different sofas in your living room and see which fit or looked the best. Who needs a tour guide if your AR speaks the history of the Empire State building when you gaze upon it.

What is Augmented Reality

This is what we can already do. What we can do in the future is unknown and will exceed our expectations but here are some of our expectations. The first thing likely to happen is the goggle will look like ordinary glasses. These are known as wearables and they will shrink in size and be less cumbersome as time goes forward. It could be that AR is delivered through a contact lens in the not-too-distant future. Screens and TVs may become obsolete. They are so defined and flat. If we used virtual reality, we wouldn’t need these.

AR has so much potential. Everything it can do has not even been defined or dreamed of yet. At UAT, we are developing these ideas and promoting the development of AR products, uses and software though cutting-edge technology, knowledgeable faculty, and innovative opportunities for experimentation. For example, students have developed and app that touches on AR to be able to show restaurants that accommodate food allergies overlayed on a map that moves as you do. In addition, students have developed multiple games that use AR headsets that change and add to what you see in the world around you. And there is so much more yet to come!

“Instinct” Military Survival Film Wins Two Awards

Instinct Short Film

UAT Digital Video alumni Killian Davies is excited to share updates on his short film, Instinct, a military survival film shot this year.

Since Killian graduated from UAT in May 2017, his film has been busy! He entered Instinct in a couple of film festivals and has been recognized twice for its awesome content.

The film won “Drama Student Short” at the Hollywood International Moving Pictures Film Festival.

In addition, Instinct also just won “Best Drama” at the Los Angeles Film Awards.

Instinct team

Instinct team

“I am very proud of the Instinct team for already winning two separate awards: “Drama Student Short” at HIMPFF, and “Best Drama” at the LA Film Awards. The team worked tirelessly to create something special and it feels amazing to see their hard work is being showcased among industry professionals,” said Director Killian Davies.

HIMPFF Awards

LA Film Awards

Instinct is a military survival short film following Marine helicopter pilot Second Lieutenant Foster, and her treacherous journey through the Hadramawt Mountains of Yemen. Using limited resources and the training provided, she must attempt to keep a cool head in the heat of isolation.

Instinct Trailer

Congratulations to the Instinct team!

 

UAT Game Students Playtest Game for Local Developer E-Line Media

Playtest at ELine Media

On Friday, Game Professors Hue Henry and Jorge Portillo took 10 UAT students to E-Line Media to playtest one of their up-and-coming titles. E-Line Media is a local game developer that creates “Games for Change.”

They are best known for their titles “Never Alone,” “Gamestar Mechanic” and “MINECRAFTEDU.”

Students were able to experience the game testing world by interacting with multiple phases of the game, applying feedback verbally and through surveys.

“It was great to see UAT build a relationship with such and impactful developer that is making games for the greater good of the community,” Professor Portillo said.

Importance of Professional Networking

By: Dr. Mark S. Smith, Business Technology Program Champion

We spend most of our lives gaining knowledge and learning from our experiences. Our wisdom gained is essential for performing a wealth of duties or tasks for various job roles and even entrepreneurship. These skills and abilities are priceless and have been forged by making mistakes, getting educated and experiencing life.

We spend so much time preparing and tooling ourselves for what life may bring hoping for a career that will give us fulfillment and financial security. Having hope is great as it is a positive reinforcement but there is something you can do to give yourself a higher chance of getting where you want to be career wise.

Networking is the key element that every successful person has utilized to get where they want to go. Getting into any company or position it is always more helpful to have someone on the inside of that company advocating for you. Professional networking is something that you should be doing all the time and everywhere you go. Many of these connections and interactions will never be utilized or yield any gain for either party but, the time that it can you have that connection to reach out to. This web of professionals that you build can be utilized for finding a specific job, getting certain information or getting guidance when needed. In general people like to help others and these connections give you and the people in your professional network the ability to do that.

The most successful entrepreneurs and professionals in every industry got where they are from harnessing their network connections. No one is successful on their own they need help and guidance from others to get where they want to be. Successful people recognize this and welcome the aid from their connections. So, get out there on your LinkedIn or any professional networking site and start making connections. The more the merrier as you want the biggest network possible in various industries so you have a wide range of resources to call on when needed.

Along with Business Technology Professor Mark Smith, UAT offers Career Services assistance for students and alumni. Reach out to UAT Career Services Advisor Ashley Murry for help with your resume, interviewing tips and networking skills.

 

EcoDefense, An Art & Animation Student’s Game Concept to Inspire Greener Living

By: Brenda Najera, UAT Game Art & Animation Student

My goal here at UAT is to create a game that will branch out past gamers and reach a broader audience and show everyone how meaningful a game can be while also giving them a thought provoking message that would then hopefully inspire something great in them.

I hope to achieve this goal with the project I am currently working on now. The game project called EcoDefense. The game puts you in the perspective of the main character, a small Martian girl that lives on a planet much like ours.

One significant difference however, is that this home planet of hers is encrusted with garbage. It becomes the duty of the player as the main character to begin a journey of which no others have attempted. The journey to heal the planet to its former state and make it habitable again.

A takeaway from my blog post and the game: I want everyone to learn the importance of caring for our planet and become inspired to make a change towards greener living.

Check out our DevBlog here!