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IBM Speech Sandbox
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Stuart McIntyre    

On the next WTF Tech podcast episode (to be published this week), Darren, Jesse and I spent a fair amount of time discussing Virtual Reality and our personal experiences with using the new technologies.

[Spoiler: Both Darren and Jesse now own HTC Vive VR headsets.]

One of the apps available for the Vive system via HTC’s VivePort solution marketplace is IBM’s Watson-based IBM Speech Sandbox:

What if you could talk to your environment in VR? With this tech demo showcasing IBM Watson speech services and the Watson Unity SDK, you can. Create, modify and destroy objects in an immersive sandbox world using your voice.

IBM has more details on the application and the background to its development in their Mobile Innovation Lab, and the entire article is worth a read if you’re interested in how IBM believes VR can be used in future applications:

Because the world is immersive and users are fully absorbed in the experience, even slightly unintuitive behaviors can be extremely jarring in unpredictable ways. Therefore, it’s important to test often with real users as you are building your app.

People are affected by VR very differently. Some have used VR before and immediately understand the controls, others might not even know to look around the environment, and many could be easily affected by motion sickness. It is important to test with people that have varying degrees of familiarity with VR systems because they will all react differently.

Our process for user testing involved creating different hypotheses, then implementing simple builds of the app that demonstrated each hypothesis. Creating objects using voice was one of the most difficult things to get right; we had to ensure that every user would be able to successfully create objects with their voice and that objects would materialize in the world where our users expected them to appear. We created 3 different interaction models and tested each one, which is how we arrived on the laser-pointer system present in the current version of the game.

The current ‘tech demo’ available on VivePort is somewhat limited in functionality terms, but still allows for the possibilities of voice control within VR to be experienced first-hand.

This video shows the app in use:

Personally, the demo left me feeling a little cold… It would seem to need more than just the ability to create pre-canned named objects in the 3D space to be even approaching usefulness. What about naming the size, colour and character of the objects? What about changing or animating objects that already exist etc.? However, there’s clearly value in researching, modelling and testing these technologies out, and I applaud IBM’s effort to get Watson-capabilities into the hands of Vive users at this early stage.

Please do add a comment if you’ve tried out the Speech Sandbox, and let us know what you think of the capabilities it offers…



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Recent Blog Posts
7
DJI Spark launches. Seize the moment!
Wed, May 24th 2017 5:49p   Stuart McIntyre
This looks amazing. The new DJI Spark. Smaller than your average smartphone: Meet Spark, DJI’s first ever mini drone. Signature technologies, new gesture control, and unbelievable portability make your aerials more fun and intuitive than ever before. With five different colors, there’s a Spark for everyone. Casey Neistat and Marques Brownlee have already taken a look: The Spark costs just $499 and is available for order today in the US for shipping on 15th June. Whilst other DJI drones ma
6
The 2017 State of Community Management Report has been released
Tue, May 23rd 2017 4:11p   Stuart McIntyre
If you’re in a role that encompasses elements of community management or program strategy, there is no doubt that one of the year’s highlights is the Community Roundtable’s publication of their ‘State of Community Management’ annual report. The Community Roundtable group’s expertise and experience is unrivalled – anyone that’s heard Rachel Happe speak will vouch for that. However, the SOCM report is not just their take on the ‘state of the union’ of the community management d
6
JUMP (OpenMic) Session: Deploying, Securing, Customizing and Extending the IBM Connections Mobile App
Mon, May 22nd 2017 11:03a   Stuart McIntyre
Last week I posted about an upcoming JUMP (Join, Understand, Master and Participate) session on IBM Connections Next which takes place on June 21. The good news is that there is an earlier JUMP webcast scheduled for this Wednesday, 24th May 2017: The IBM Connections applications for iOS and Android provide your users access to Connections from their mobile devices. The apps are highly extensible, provide a customizable user experience and can be securely administered. In this session we will e
6
ESN champion? You’ll want to review these JiveWorld17 sessions
Fri, May 19th 2017 4:20p   Stuart McIntyre
The Value of Conference Content For many years I’ve written and podcasted about IBM’s major worldwide collaboration event each year, formerly called Lotusphere and renamed in recent years as IBM Connect. I’ve even been the member of organised teams that have live-blogged keynotes and other key sessions. Why have I spent so much time and energy sharing content from these events? I realise the value of the insight shared in these sessions, and how powerful it is for all customers and p
6
JUMP (OpenMic) Session: Let’s talk about IBM Connections Next Deployment – The Easy Button
Wed, May 17th 2017 9:55p   Stuart McIntyre
IBM OpenMic webcasts have always been worth attending – the chance to ask questions of product experts that you’d normally only get the chance to meet at major global events is never one to be passed over! These OpenMic sessions have just been renamed JUMP (an acronym for Join, Understand, Master and Participate), but the format appears to remain the same. The good news is that the next scheduled webinar features IBM Connections Next (a.k.a. Pink), with a tagline of ‘The Easy Button’…
7
ICS Community Meeting – Connections Adoption
Wed, May 17th 2017 4:11p   Stuart McIntyre
An interesting topic has been selected for this week’s ICS Community meeting, hosted by Amanda Bauman: This is the regular 3rd Thursday ICS Community meeting where IBMer and Community members present topics of interest to the community. On May 18th, join us and hear Kerry Godbold from Canal Barge Company talk about how they overcame the obstacles of user adoption for IBM Connections. You will take away some ideas for how you can improve user adoption at your own company, or how you can help yo
5
12 steps to success with IBM Connections
Fri, May 5th 2017 2:47p   Stuart McIntyre
This graphic has been around for a while (it was first published by IBM back in November last year), but it is still very useful in terms of giving guidance to end users on how to best use IBM Connections to good effect: It is also available as a PDF to download. Here are the 12 steps in text form: Build your network – Add or follow someone Advertise your skills on your profile Update your status every day – Work out loud Bookmark in Connections – Help yourself and others Stop sending
7
IBM Connections 6.0 at a Glance
Fri, May 5th 2017 1:08p   Stuart McIntyre
IBM business partner Maarga Systems has created a quick one-minute video overview of the new features and enhancements available in IBM Connections 6.0: New Features of IBM Connections 6: – Orient Me – Modern Communities – Enhanced Onboarding – Better than ever Files I’ve been working with Maarga for a number of years and can vouch for their technical skills. If you need assistance with Connections customisation or application development, give them a try. [The post IBM Connections
6
Docusign announced enhanced partnership with IBM, including new eSignature integrations
Fri, May 5th 2017 10:44a   Stuart McIntyre
At their Momentum 2017 event this week, Docusign announced a number of new alliances with industry-leading vendors, including an enhanced partnership with IBM: DocuSign today announced a deeper, strategic partnership with IBM to bring to market new capabilities to three solutions to help organizations of every size and industry advance their digital transformations.   DocuSign’s platform and eSignature service will be available within IBM Watson Workspace, IBM Connections and IBM Enterprise
3
FlightLapse #01 – MilkyWay
Thu, May 4th 2017 6:56a   Stuart McIntyre
A gob-smackingly beautiful timelapse: Flying through the night, while the world beneath us is at sleep, is a pretty common thing as a longhaul pilot. Late evening departures lead to far distant destinations like Singapore, Hong Kong, Sao Paolo or J’burg. Depending on the direction of the flight the crew and the passengers either have a short night up ahead if flying eastbound or almost eternal darkness if headed westwards. More > (Thanks Mike) [The post FlightLapse #01 – MilkyWay appeared




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