Even though we’ve made significant progress in constantly expanding our boundaries between what we thought was possible and what wasn’t, one of the most futuristic aspects of technology that’s filled to the brim with untapped potential would be “VR” or “Virtual Reality”. From retail to video games, Facebook has definitely noticed the potential in the market and has made yet another step towards building a virtual reality empire.
Last Monday, Facebook, acquired Two Big Ears, a small startup specializing in audio technology. Founded in 2013, this Edinburgh based company specializes in immersive and interactive audio applications and tools with a focus on mobile and other emerging technologies. A post from Two Big Ears confirmed the merge:
“At Two Big Ears, we’ve been hard at work creating technology and tools that have defined how immersive audio is crafted and experienced in VR and AR both now and in the future. We’re proud to see the impact our work has had on so many great projects. Now, we’re ready to take the next step on our journey and scale our work from within Facebook. There is so much still to explore. By joining with a company that shares our values and our vision, we will be able to scale our technology even quicker as we continue powering immersive audio experiences.”
Already the proud parent Oculus Rift since 2014, and Gear VR with Samsung, Facebook once again dedicates valuable resources to enhancing audio effects in the virtual reality sphere. While VR products like Samsung’s Gear Headset and Facebook’s Oculus Rift receive positive reviews and the user count being especially high this year with the Gear reaching over one million, the amount of media and software in this field is far below anticipated.
The startup previously owned two audio products created as solutions for cinematic VR/360 video and gaming. With the purchase of Two Big Ears, Facebook transformed one of these products, cinematic VR/360 video into the “Facebook 360 Spatial Workstation. This software is designed to “make VR audio succeed across all devices and platforms” and furthermore is available to the public with no price tag attached. With the release of this new program, it would not only make content creators happy, but also encourage them to develop and enhance their experiences with the audio specifics already readily available to them.
Wearable tech enthusiasts, pizza, beer, what could be better? On Tuesday May 24th , we had the pleasant opportunity to host a Wearable Tech Meetup at one of the most innovative spaces for entrepreneurs, the Samsung Accelerator. For those of you who aren’t familiar with the space, Samsung Accelerator “provides strategic capital, office space, operational and product support to seasoned entrepreneurs so they can build market-driven software and services.” We are thankful to Samsung Accelerator for letting us use their space and look forward to collaborating with them in the future.
This meetup was a panel discussion on The Wearable Future and it focused on the developmental process of the space and how it will develop within the next few years. With a focus towards the fashion/apparel side of things, the panel analyzed several devices including step trackers and smartwatches and their current domination in the market. They explored factors that currently limit the wearability design process including archaic battery technology due to short battery life and bulky attributes and furthermore talked about key marketing strategies behind selling a wearable tech product in its relation to the fashion industry.
Important key factors from the discussion included:
Wearable topics and companies the panelists considered to the be leading the wearable tech industry today included:
The panelists that we invited to the meetup not only have years in relevant experience, but are figures leading successful companies that are currently dominating in the industry. .
Nora Levinson, President & CEO at Caeden
An experienced mechanical engineer and entrepreneur, Nora Levinson has been involved in the in the product design industry for several years.. After spending 5 years in China at several companies including Skullcandy and Jawbone, Levinson joined forces with her co-founder to create ADOPTED Inc and Caeden and still applies her management to both.
Technological pieces like the headphones and earphones have long since been standard within the industry. Although many companies have ventured into improving sound quality while at the same time improving the appearance, most of the time they would have to decrease the other in order to make it completely functional. Caeden however, was able to combine both elements equally delivering impeccable sound quality with a beautiful and refined finish. Their most recent release, the Sona, is a bracelet designed for performance. Connecting to the Caeden App, the Sona is an innovative wearable tech piece that takes performance bracelets to the next level by tracking your physical activity and building your resilience to stress.
Ryan Sherman, Founder & CEO at FUSAR
Ryan Sherman is doing what every little boy has dreamed of: 1: creating his own company, and (2: creating his own company in the exciting field of adventure sports. Note: change) With years of Product Engineering experience in a variety of companies, Sherman has brought with him the expertise and leadership he needed to start his own company, FUSAR, in August 2013.
In regards the actual company, FUSAR is the world’s first technology ecosystem for action sports. By connecting the tech industry to the action sports sphere, FUSAR believes they can encourage more connectivity from users and help with overall safety. The product’s selling point is simple: it provides multiple advantageous features while at the same time providing flexibility in that you can use any helmet with the product. The advanced features in which it provides includes: full action camera, activity tracking, unlimited-range communication*, navigation, music playback, black box, and emergency alert capabilities. There is also an accompanying app with features such as tracking and sharing rides, chatting with friends via their push-to-talk comms, emergency alert system, and real time photo and video sharing, this app really expands the boundaries of creating a holistic social media outlet for fellow junkie riders.
Meisha Brooks, Product Manager/ Mechanical Engineer at The Crated
Engineering and fashion are two categories not usually associated with one another. For Meisha Brooks however, both aspects have remain to this day in her life. Starting off her career at Harvard for mechanical engineering, Brooks would proceed to build an impressive list of experiences covering various industries around mechanical engineering often switching between Japan and the United States. Following her position at Tradecraft as a Product Designer, Brooks then moved to The Crated, where she still works to this day.
About The Crated
Despite wearable technology focusing more on miniaturized computers on wrists these days, The Crated expands their perspective on wearable technology to even the clothes we wear. Positioning themselves as an innovation house, The Crated actively develops products, conducts proprietary research and provides insights to industry leaders with the hopes of making second generation wearable technology mainstream.
The event went over the planned time as the panelists had the audience under their wearable tech industry spell. To be part of our next meetup, join the New York Wearable Tech Meetup at www.meetup.com/WearableTechNYC