31 Mar

WEKIT at DG CONNECT meeting among Horizon 2020 projects on digital learning

On March 27, 2017, representatives of 30 top European Union projects in the field of Digital Learning (managed by the unit G3 ‘Learning, Multilingualism & Accessibility’ in DG CONNECT) met in Luxembourg on invitation of the European Commission in order to take stock of achievements, exchange, and increase coherence. Dr. Fridolin Wild participated in his role as scientific director of the WEKIT project.
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The meeting identified five key areas, among them – prominently – Augmented Reality (AR) and Wearable Enhanced Learning. In this key area, several questions have been discussed and the following have been concluded:

  • AR and wearable learning is happening and it will be a huge market
  • Linking pockets of innovation, collecting evidence, sharing experience with the gazillion sensors available
  • Content is king: digital agenda taken seriously means creating large pools of wearable content; lowering entry barriers through recording and in situ authoring systems; creating large pools of 3D OER
  • Learning from ‘The Best’
  • Standardization and standard platforms: sensor fusion, sensor mapping, IoT, graceful degradation to cheaper delivery platforms
  • Data ownership and privacy: e.g. EEG data of learners?
  • Wearable learning methodologies, compatible with existing ones: upgrading content, transformation methodologies, inventory of competencies it is suitable for
  • Business models: hardware is expensive, but consumer devices are expensive too. If we want wearable solutions, such as smart glasses, to be an essential part of school and work life, we have to come up with financing solutions and business models
  • Business models: creating an ecosystem of content providers, soft- and hardware vendors, buyers

The following research challenges have been identified:

  • Collaborative AR learning experiences: small teams or full classrooms
  • Industry 4.0: working with cyberphysical systems
  • Achieving accuracy in assessment and feedback
  • Objects in learning: working with AR and 3D printing

Read also a report from the meeting by Dr. Fridolin Wild at https://pal.cct.brookes.ac.uk/h2020-projects-on-digital-learning/.

07 Feb

WEKIT integration meeting at the Open University of the Netherlands

Technical partners of WEKIT met for two days to discuss and integrate the components of the platform. The event took place in Heerlen, Netherlands on February 06-07, 2017. Teams from Oxford Brookes University, Open university of the Netherlands, VTT, University of Tromsø, Ravensbourne and MyndPlay demonstrated the status of the components they have been working so far.
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Major updates were presented on all components:
Wearability
The current design of the WEKIT hoodie was presented where several features were considered, such as wearable sensors placement (gesture tracking, microphone, battery, possibility for charging), fabric properties, future considerations.
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Tracking
We discussed tracking, use of combination of holotoolkit environmental model and vuforia markers, and the optimization the tracking in the actual environments for the trials.
Experience recording
The first working version of experience recording has been demonstrated. The application is capable of tracking the expert activity, recording the position of the head, direction of the gaze and gestures. It also captures the sound. The expert activity is placed (attached) in a physical environment, and when a recording is completed, the it can be observed and followed in the same physical environment. In the recording, the expert is currently represented as abstract objects that have correct position, direction of gaze, and position of hands.
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Hardware
Several hardware-related questions were discussed, including the microcomputer, power bank, posture sensor, EEG sensors, heart rate sensors, and gesture tracking.
Architecture
We aligned the vocabulary with ARLEM standard, fined-tuned it, and ensured that all partners have a common understanding of the components.
Several breakout sessions were organized to discuss collaboration in several other areas, including replay and record, user interface components, code sharing, Interactive 3D content, content model and data model, cloud vs local storage, and the Hololens spacial processing unit.
The meeting concluded with planning the remaining technical tasks to be done in the nearest future. Everything is now ready for the final integration of the first prototype.

25 Apr

Success of the WEKIT Augmented Reality Standards Hackathon

The WEKIT project organized an Augmented Reality Standards Hackathon in Aachen, Germany on April 15-17, 2016. The objectives of the event included reaching to important stakeholders, attracting young developers into the WEKIT community, and exploring creative AR solutions. The participants were involved into brainstorming scenarios and applications of AR, identifying challenges, trying several AR hardware devices, learning about AR platforms and standards, and implementing creative solutions.

Three keynote talks have been delivered to inspire the teams and to equip them with operational knowledge of methodologies and technical tools. Bitstars & Holobuilder have presented their online AR and VR tool that can be applied for smart manufacturing and various commercial purposes. The relevant AR standards developed based on the IEEE AR learning experience models were presented by Fridolin Wild, WEKIT Science Director, followed by the presentation of the basic AR tools of the Unity platform by Giuseppe Scavo of the Open University and Mikel Salazar from Augmented Interaction.

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Presentation by Bitstars & Holobuilder

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AR Standards by Fridolin Wild

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AR tools of Unity by Giuseppe Scavo and Mikel Salazar

The 20 participants formed five teams to enter the competition. The ideas selected by the teams for implementation cover a broad range of applications in both entertainment (gaming, arts, sports) and non-leisure contexts (learning and social communication).

After two days of hard work, the teams participating in the AR race have finally presented their demos. The newly developed apps included creative solutions enabling

  • Collaborative creation of digital AR-activated artworks and notes on physical walls (#hackWalls)
  • Social interaction at various events using face recognition and AR status tags (#faceglARss)
  • Two-way interaction in exergames (#cyclops)
  • Gesture tracking experience in exergames (#boxingAR)
  • Interactive browsing of 3D models using leap motion (#explorAR)

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#cyclops demo

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#explorAR demo

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#faceglARss demo

Whilst developing their original solutions, the teams have tested and used the new hardware provided by the supporters of the event: Optinvent, Atheer, Epson, and Vuzix.

The jury selected the winning team based on the criteria of originality, use of originally developed modules and open source solutions, as well as the possibilities to further develop and expand the app in various contexts. The “hackwall” team fully met these criteria and was awarded the first prize. The “faceglARss” team has got the Alcatel prize for the most active social media coverage of the hackathon.

The atmosphere at the RWTH i5 Computer Science Center hosting the event has been full of creative vibes thanks to the great efforts of the organisers and the ideas shared by the participants.

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Hackathon organization team

The AR Standards hackathon provided excellent opportunities for learning, collaboration and exchange of ideas. New AR-focused events are planned by the in the lifetime of the WEKIT project. Stay tuned!

 

26 Mar

WEKIT AR Standards Hackathon in Aachen, Germany, 15-17 April 2016

WEKIT is calling interested developers, ICT experts, and students to participate in the WEKIT Augmented Reality Standards Hackathon. The event will provide an excellent opportunity to try different AR hardware, learn about evolving specifications designed for AR experiences, and develop fully working AR use cases. The hackathon will focus on existing and emerging standards in the field. A unique opportunity for networking, the event will bring together AR experts and junior members of the emerging community.

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The WEKIT AR Standards Hackathon will hold as follows:

  • Dates: 15 -17 April 2016
  • Location: Aachen, Germany
  • Application deadline: 8 April 2016

Visit https://wekit-community.org/hackathon/ for more information and registration.