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LEGO VIDIYO lets kids make augmented reality music videos starring minifigs
LEGO today announced that it’s launching a new product called LEGO VIDIYO with Universal Music Group. This product – which comprises new minifigures, UMG’s music, augmented reality, a mobile app, and new tiles called BeatBits – allows kids to make their own music videos and share them with the (heavily moderated) VIDIYO community. It’s safe to say that VIDIYO is unlike anything LEGO has released in the past, and it’s launching later this year.
At the core of LEGO VIDIYO is an augmented reality mobile app that allows these new minifigures to star in music videos. The process of creating a music video actually sounds somewhat involved, and it begins with children picking out a song they want from the LEGO VIDIYO app. This is where Universal Music Group’s involvement comes in, as users are able to select songs from the company’s catalog. We don’t have an exact number of songs that will be available through the app, but LEGO’s announcement today says the app will cover a “broad variety of artists.”
Once the song is selected, users will pick out the minifigure they want to star in the video and place them on a small, physical stage where they’re flanked by a selection of BeatBits also chosen by the user. BeatBits are 2×2 square LEGO tiles that serve up a variety of digital effects once scanned using the app. LEGO says that the effects these BeatBits unlock range from “black and white bling effects, to confetti showers and even X-ray vision.” Beyond visual effects, BeatBits can also be used to produce sound effects too.
After picking out the BeatBits and minifigure, it sounds like it’s just a matter of picking an environment, scanning it with the app, and then beginning recording. As the music video is being recorded, kids can activate BeatBits or trigger different dance moves for their minifigures. By default music videos last for 60 seconds but LEGO says they can be trimmed to 5, 10, 15, or 20 second clips. After the music video is done recording, kids can upload it to the LEGO VIDIYO app feed to let other users see it.
That is probably the big point of contention for parents, but LEGO says that it will be performing “external moderation of all content uploaded to the app feed.” Beyond LEGO’s own moderation, kids are anonymous on the platform and require parental consent to use the app. LEGO says that in instances where videos feature personally identifiable information, kids won’t be able to upload their video to the app’s feed but will instead be able to store the video locally so they can still watch it themselves or show it to friends and family.
LEGO VIDIYO definitely sounds like an interesting product, but right now, we don’t have any information on how it will be sold. LEGO seems to be very fond of blind bags these days, so we can certainly envision the company offering these minifigures in such blind bags, perhaps with a selection of BeatBits included in each one. The company could also opt to sell minifigures and BeatBits in more traditional sets, which would be ideal because then at least kids and parents would know what they’re buying before they actually make their purchases.
In the end, we’re left waiting on LEGO for more information. LEGO VIDIYO will be launching in “most countries around the world” on March 1st, so we’ll look for LEGO to share those additional details before then.
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In the search for the new computing paradigm, virtual reality has been the technology grabbing all the attention. However, for many people who are looking to shape our computing future, it’s augmented reality (AR) that holds the bigger potential. To date, augmented reality trends have been focused on consumer apps, but now businesses are beginning to see the promise of this technology.
Augmented reality adds digital intelligence to the real world. Whereas virtual reality immerses users completely in a digital world, augmented reality allows them to remain grounded in the real world while using image analysis to overlay additional information. This technique has already been used in a range of consumer-focused apps such as Pokémon Go — which brought AR to a mainstream audience — as well as instant translation apps and recommendation apps.
In addition to smartphones, smartglasses are also used as a way of delivering an augmented reality experience, overlaying digital information across the real world as you navigate your daily life. While such efforts are still very much in their infancy, it’s clear that in the future, our view of the real world will increasingly be augmented by information from the digital world.The Rise of IoT and Augmented Reality
Technology trends such as AR are set to dramatically transform business operations. Download Now
Business Use Cases
Construction: In an industry where visualizing what you’re building is so important, augmented reality can play a vital role. The wearable technology company DAQRI is using AR to change how the construction industry works. DAQRI’s primary products are smart helmets designed for construction sites that enable builders to view blueprints in 3D, superimposed on the building sites, and allow tradespeople to see and understand their tasks more clearly. AR will also allow designers to collaborate on projects remotely, letting everyone experience the changes one person makes to a 3D model of the building they’re working on without needing to be in the same room.
Education: Teachers and educators are always looking for new ways to engage their students, and augmented reality could be the perfect tool. Textbooks can be dull and boring for many students, but by using platforms like Augment, students and teachers can visualize 3D models in the environment, in real time, and bring any subject to life. Augment is just one of dozens of apps available for the education sector covering topics including math, geography and science.
As we’ve seen, augmented reality applications for business are only just beginning. In the future, it’s likely that all aspects of our work lives will be impacted by AR. It will allow employees to enhance their surroundings with digital content relevant to the job they’re doing and provide customers with a better experience both online and offline. In order not to be left behind, business owners and executives need to make sure they keep on top of this emerging technology to get the most out of this powerful new tool.
Another industry that AR is set to have a major impact is hospitality, where hotels are increasingly using this technology to attract millennial guests.
The month of March brings with it the third anniversary of COVID-19 shutdowns beginning in the United States. The year 2023 became synonymous with change and fear, as major sporting events were canceled, thousands were infected with the novel virus and died, and work and school shifted online for millions. The world changed forever–especially for children.
In a survey of parents conducted in the fall of 2023 by Pew Research Center, 48 percent of parents with children in grades K-12 said that the first year of the pandemic had a very or somewhat negative impact on their children’s emotional well-being. Additionally, a 2023 review of survey studies by the National Institutes of Health (NIH) found that “the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on mental health of children and adolescents is multifaceted and substantial,” and urged more well-designed studies looking at the mental health effects of the pandemic.
[Related: COVID-19 vaccines are still essential in preventing death in children and teens.]
Now, a group of researchers in Sweden is turning to children’s drawings and their own explanation of what they drew to get a better sense of their feelings, beliefs, and ideas about COVID-19. A small study published March 2 in the journal Acta Paediatrica found that the common themes were detailed images of canceled activities, illness, and death, and the children had quite a bit of knowledge about the disease.
The team collected 91 drawings from kids between the ages of four and six years-old that were submitted to the Swedish Archive of Children’s Drawings between April 2023 and February 2023. The project was part of investigations into children’s voices in the public space during the pandemic.
“It was a very fun study to carry out. I was actually quite uncertain as to whether a medical journal would publish the article, but they did, including the children’s drawings and everything,” co-author Anna Sarkadi said in a statement. Sarkadi is a physician specializing in children’s health and social medicine from Uppsala University in Sweden
They analyzed the drawings using a type of visual analysis called semiotic visual analysis which looks at the image’s denotation (what images represent and how) and connotation (the associated meaning). The analysis also looked at the child’s own explanations accompanying the drawings.
The findings revealed that even the youngest children were strongly affected by the pandemic. In addition to canceled plans and images showing sick and dying people, fear, worry, and missing grandparents were common themes among them. Coronavirus was often described as a monster, while other children described how to protect themselves from the virus. One drawing even showed two children in a sword fight against a giant virus.
A drawing made by a five year-old child in Sweden with the description, “Corona. Two children fighting Corona.” CREDIT: Swedish Archive of Children’s Art.
[Related: It’s harder for kids with food allergies to catch COVID.]
“The drawings were often covered in a lot of snot. On one drawing, a child wrote, ‘You throw up, then you cough, then you feel better or die,’ with extremely clear illustrations,” explained Maria Thell, a co-author and doctoral student at Uppsala University, in a statement.
The study found that the children also know quite a bit about the virus, including how it spread and its symptoms. Out of 91 drawings, 14 showed hand washing, 17 showed symptoms like coughing, and 44 showed a depiction of the virus itself.
“As a researcher with a background in child and youth science, I would love to develop this method further,” said Thell.
This team’s research will continue and the drawings from seven to 11 year old children will be studied next.
“By encouraging young children to draw pictures using open prompts, such as how a disease feels, looks like or what is different now, it is possible to understand their interpretations of a situation and related emotions,” the authors write in the study.
Additionally, they write that pediatricians can use children’s drawings to gage emotional response to COVID-19 in addition to other health issues and get a unique glimpse into their world. This can help adults have a better idea of what kids understand or don’t understand and detect any “unhelpful fantasies’ they may have conjured up.
A survey of children in the United Kingdom found that seven to 11 year-olds were highly aware of the social restriction, illness, and death caused by the virus and similar reviews of children’s drawings have been conducted in Spain and Greece.
After proper research, I found out virtual reality game development is not difficult, regardless of whether you don’t have any 3D or coding experience. To give you a model, here is an app I made utilizing this technique.Tools you need:
Unity (Download and introduce the free form)
Android SDK (you can Download from the SDK Tools Only section. I’m utilizing Android for instance, but iOS should function also.)
Cardboard Unity SDK (Download from Github repo)
Jupp Otto develop auto walk script you can download from Guithub.
Related: – VR Development Guide: Choosing the Right Engine for Game DevelopmentStage 1: Create a virtual environment
Open Unity. Do a project in the spring up window — no compelling reason to modify any settings now.Stage 2: Set up Cardboard Unity SDK
In the Hierarchy panel, erase First Person Controller and Main Camera.
In your Project panel, you’ll see a Cardboard organizer. Go to the Prefabs subfolder, drag CardboardMain and drop it in the Scene.
Related: – 5 Best Reasons Why AR and VR Strategy is a Must for Your BusinessStage 3: Add an auto-walk features
Unfasten the auto-walk script you downloaded from the Github repo; you get a Google-Cardboard-ace organizer. Drag the auto walk. Cs record and drop it in the Assets envelope in the Project panel.Stage 4: Package the app
New iRig tools to make your music-making dreams come true
In the spirit of cramming an entire recording studio in your pocket or bag, IK Multimedia is unleashing a trio of new gadgets that will help you record and fine tune your masterpiece on the go. The iRig Mic Studio gives users a professional-grade large-diaphragm microphone in their hands, almost literally. The iRig UA, on the other hand, is the first guitar effects processor made for almost all recent Android devices. And the new iRig PowerBridge keeps both your iOS device and your iRig accessory powered up while you jam and record your tunes.
IK Multimedia bills it as the first ultra-portable large diaphragm digital microphone for iOS, Android, PCs, and Macs. That’s quite a mouthful, but it all boils down to a studio-quality microphone that you can use on your platform of choice. For audiophiles, its specs include a large 1-inch diameter back electret condenser capsule, a 24-bit 44.1/48 kHz A/D converter, and a low-noise high-definition preamp. All of these crammed inside an enclosure that barely reaches the iPhone in size. But lest you think you’ll be holding this all the time, the mic comes with a petite tripod stand to prop it up whenever you need it.
The iRig Mic Studio has a female micro USB port and a variety of connectors for a variety of devices, including Lightning for iOS devices, micro USB for Android, and USB for everything else. Of course, the mic really shines with IK Multimedia’s suite of apps for recording, letting users fine tune, record multiple tracks, and even add effects to any recording. The mic has a headphone output for immediate feedback as well as a gain knob control and a multicolor LED indicator for quick access.
Continuing its expansion into Android, IK Multimedia is announcing the iRig UA, the first universal guitar effects processor for Android. IK Multimedia claims that it has finally solved the problem of Android device fragmentation by relocating the digital signal processing (DSP) from the phone to the iRig UA. That module sports a 32-bit DSP, a 24-bit A/D converter with 44.1/48 kHz sample rate, and a low-noise instrument preamp. It connects to Android devices, at least those running Android 4.0 and higher and support USB OTG or host mode, via a micro USB cable. it also has a 1/8″ headphone output and a 1/8″ AUX input.
The iRig UA is only half the story, however. The other part of the team is the new AmpliTube UA, a new version of the popular guitar and bass multi-effects processing app that has been designed with iRig UA, and therefore Android devices, in mind. The app allows users to create and process their tunes using a huge library of models, stompbox effects, an amplifier and cabinet, a microphone, and a tuner. And since all of the processing happen on the iRig UA and not on the smartphone, there is near zero latency involved, regardless of the model of smartphone in use.
With all these power, however, comes great power drain. Eventually, your device will run out of juice and when that happens, the party is over. That’s why IK Multimedia is introducing the iRig PowerBridge which lets you keep on jamming while your iPhone or iPad is recharging. Instead of connecting an iRig device directly to the smartphone or tablet, users will connect them to the PowerBridge, which then connects to the mobile device. The PowerBridge is then connected to a wall socket to power up all devices, ensuring continuous usage for hours.
The iRig Mic Studio will come in black or silver color choices and will be available starting the first quarter of this year for $179.99/€144.99. The iRig UA will be arriving in the second quarter with a price tag of $99.99/€79.99. The AmpliTube UA app will be free on Google Play Store. Lastly, the iRig PowerBridge will arrive on store shelves this quarter as well for $69.99/€54.99. It will come in two versions, one with a 30-pin connector and another for Lightning.
SOURCE: IK Multimedia (1), (2), (3)
How To Share Music, Videos, and A Lot More On iOS 15.1 Using SharePlay SharePlay Takes Having A Gala Time on FaceTime To A Whole New Level
SharePlay is the latest feature in iOS 15 (iPhone and iPad), more specifically iOS 15.1 that helps people share activities on a FaceTime call such as listening to music or watching movies. This way all the participants can enjoy the movie streaming. Not just music and videos but you can also share your complete screen. The feature is set to arrive on Mac later this fall.
Your iPhone must be updated to iOS 15.1
The other person with whom you want to FaceTime using SharePlay should also have iOS 15.1
You can share the below-listed apps. However soon SharePlay will be introduced to other apps as well
Apps That Support SharePlay
You must be wondering if you can share Netflix series with your friends for a binge-watch session. As of now, SharePlay hasn’t been extended to Netflix but soon it will be. However, as per Apple SharePlay supports the following services –
Apple Fitness +
SoundCloudHow To Use or Turn On SharePlay In iOS 15
Let’s get down to how you can use SharePlay on your iPhone and iPad. To begin with, you will have to enable SharePlay in the app you are using. Here we are going to take the example of FaceTime –
1. First, head to the FaceTime settings and turn the SharePlay slider on (if it hasn’t been done yet). Here you can also select apps for which you want to use SharePlay
2. Tap on the FaceTime icon
3. Tap on New FaceTime and select a contact that you want to call
4. Tap on the FaceTime button in green
5. During your FaceTime call session swipe up and tap open one of the above-mentioned apps that support the SharePlay feature
6. Choose a movie or TV show and press play
8. You can choose to Start Only for me or SharePlay which will play the media for all the participants
9. After you initiate SharePlay the other person will get a prompt to join
10. You can also tap on the button on the top right corner of the screen to share the entire screen as well
It is important to note that the controls are shared by everyone present on the call, including the host. This means that all the participants can play, pause, rewind and fast forward. Although settings like volume and close captions will be activated on the host’s device.How To End SharePlay
To end SharePlay in your FaceTime, go back to the FaceTime app – you can see the shortcut with a green or purple icon appearing at the top left corner of the screen. Once there, tap on End SharePlay. Now, you can choose to end SharePlay for yourself by tapping on End Only for Me or you can choose to end the SharePlay session for everyone by tapping on the End for Everyone option.Wrapping Up Quick Reaction:
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