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Is virtual reality for business for real? This year could finally be the year virtual reality takes off, after so many failed attempts in the past. There is an abundance of hardware choices on the VR market and VR technology finally seems to be catching up with the concept.

However, VR for business is still on the horizon. VR is overwhelmingly being positioned as a form of entertainment and gaming. As of 2024 Q1, virtual reality for business is something of an afterthought, at least to the hardware vendors like Oculus and Samsung.

But that’s not to say businesses are shunning virtual reality. There are some exceptional examples of VR for business use that are slowly emerging even as people play games. Some are designed to give a virtual experience, while others give an alternate experience.

Virtual reality for business is still in its infancy but is already showing promise to help companies provide customers with information in ways that a 2D monitor simply cannot deliver. And it will only improve as vendors get better at it and more VR firms for business and not games enter the market.

Virtual Reality for Business: Key Uses

1) IKEA’s virtual store

Visiting an IKEA can be akin to torture, with its confusing layout and often chaotic activity. Then when you get to the floor models for room designs, the model might be only in one style and you don’t have the option of seeing other designs.

The app was has its roots in gaming, developed by French game company called Allegorithmic and using the Unreal Engine 4 from Epic Games. The app is sold through Steam, the online store that is to PC game sales what iTunes is to music.

2) Excedrin’s Migraine Experience

Now why would anyone want to experience a migraine headache if they don’t get them? The answer is empathy. Excedrin’s VR Migraine Experience makes a non-sufferer go through at least the visual element of a migraine, even if it can’t simulate the pain (and be glad it doesn’t), so they see that what the migraine sufferer endures is not a minor experience.

Novartis, maker of Excedrin, says 36 million Americans are affected by migraines, about one-tenth of the population, but that “Migraines are still widely misunderstood — largely because those who don’t experience the condition can’t fully understand it.”

The purpose of the VR experience is to show what it’s like to have the visual symptoms, like sensitivity to light and sound, disorientation, and visual disturbances, sometimes manifesting as spots or jagged edges or flashes of light that are blinding.

3) Surgical streaming

In 2014, British oncology surgeon Dr. Shafi Ahmed live streamed the removal of a tumor from the liver and bowel of a patient using Google Glass. It was watched by 13,000 surgical students, healthcare professionals and members of the public in more than 100 countries.

Ahmed told the UK Guardian he he thinks the next step in a few more years would be to add additional components that would allow surgical users to experience touch and feel via a VR type of glove.

4) AOL’s virtual newsroom

AOL just acquired Ryot, the maker of a virtual reality-powered news service, which will be incorporated into a special subdomain of The Huffington Post to create “the world’s largest 360° and VR news network.” Ryot will be expanded to all of AOL’s properties, like Engadget, TechCrunch, and Autoblog.

5) Lowe’s Holoroom

Holoroom uses Marxent’s VisualCommerce to turn its products into 3D objects, which the customer then uses to design a kitchen or bathroom. They can choose from tile, countertops, sinks, faucets, appliances, toilets and other finishes and products. Selections can be swapped out at will to create a final design. Once the design is complete, the customer then can purchase the actual selection of products.

6) Drone Virtual Visuals

Drones have become a popular toy, and often misused. Just ask an airline pilot. But drones also have practical uses and can provide a really great high altitude perspective that would otherwise require renting a plane or helicopter. The problem is you might have to wait for the drone to land to get the video.

Drone maker Parrot has a fix for its quadcopter drone, known as Bebop. It uses Oculus Rift to see what the drone sees through its 180-degree fish-eye lens. This gives a first-person perspective, rather than squinting at a monitor, to give a direct view of something like inspecting a construction site.

7) Virtual home tours

Lowe’s and IKEA are helping with home redesign, but what about shopping for an actual home? That means driving around and doing walkthroughs of homes that might be presently occupied, having to arrange schedules, and so on.

In India it’s an even bigger problem, with home purchases taking six to 12 months and involving a lot of driving. chúng tôi India’s leading online real estate platform, has a fix for that with CommonFloor Retina. The application offers potential buyers the chance to view/review/assess multiple properties from anywhere at any point of time, walk through the home and see how it looks without disturbing the owner or making a pointless drive.

8) Retinad Analytics

9) Mechdyne

Big Data creates data sets that don’t fit onto a 23-inch monitor. So what better way to visualize them than to literally walk through them? Mechdyne uses Cave Automatic Virtual Environment (CAVE), which projects a virtual reality environment on three and six of the walls of a room-sized cube to visualize data in a number of ways, with special focus on modeling and simulation, Big Data, and collaboration.

A researcher can turn data into smart data that they can visualize and interact with. They see trends, patterns, outliers, and unanticipated relationships faster and more effectively in a 3D model than a 2D model on a flat monitor. This allows for more informed reaction and response to that data and more discoveries.

The visualization tools from Mechdyne enable users to see trends and patterns in the data, revealing opportunities to improve processes, strengthen customer understanding and retention, and drive efficiencies both inside and outside of the organization.

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Oculus Reveals A Virtual Reality Headset For Everyone

But the biggest announcement that came from Oculus today was a partnership with Microsoft—the Oculus Rift will ship with a bundled Xbox One controller, and run natively on Windows 10, according to Oculus CEO Brendan Iribe and Phil Spencer, Microsoft’s head of Xbox.

We still don’t know resolution of the new Oculus Rift, but it will feature built-in (yet removable) headphones for 360 degree sound, and require a physical sensor for positional tracking. Luckey Palmer, the founder of Oculus, also debuted Oculus Touch: two handheld controllers that can track hand positions and gestures, so users can interact naturally in a VR space.

Oculus Touch

Oculus Rift will also come with its own software, a home screen for VR applications called Oculus Home, which slightly resembles Xbox’s home screen. From there, users can launch and demo games.

Oculus Home

The Oculus Rift has seen two developer iterations before this consumer model, the original Oculus Rift Developer Kit and then the DevKit2 in 2014, days before they were bought by Facebook for $2 billion.

The original Oculus Developer Kit

Oculus’ original Developer Kit launched with a 1280×800 resolution, which was upgraded to full 1080p (1920×1080) with an OLED panel in DevKit2. DK2 also introduced positional tracking with an included camera, and eliminated the original Developer Kit’s breakout box, a hub that provided power to Oculus and coordinated data output to the computer. Like the DK2, the consumer Oculus Rift will be fully powered via USB and HDMI.

In mid-May, Oculus released their recommended technical specifications for the “full Rift experience.” Recommended specifications are often seen as a baseline for performance, and much to the chagrin of laptop-users, Oculus’ recommendations included one of two high-end graphics cards, (NVIDIA GTX 970 or AMD 290), 8GB+ of RAM, and an Intel i5-4590 processor (or greater).

This announcement comes on the doorstep of E3 (Electronics Entertainment Expo), which starts on June 16, where virtual reality is sure to have a huge presence. AMD and NVIDIA have already announced new flagship graphics cards optimized for virtual reality processing, and Oculus’ “growing” list of partnerships with game companies like Square Enix, Harmonix and Climax Studios will be revealed as time goes on.

Machine Learning (Ml) Business Use Cases

As machine learning (ML) technology improves and uses cases grow, more companies are employing ML to optimize their operations through data.

As a branch of artificial intelligence (AI), ML is helping companies to make data-based predictions and decisions based at scale.

Here are some examples across the globe of how organizations in various industries are working with vendors to implement machine learning solutions:

See more: Machine Learning Market

The AES Corporation is a power generation and distribution company. They generate and sell power used for utilities and industrial work.

They rely on Google Cloud on their road to making renewable energy more efficient. AES uses Google AutoML Vision to review images of wind turbine blades and analyze their maintenance needs.

“On a typical inspection, we’re coming back with 30,000 images,” says Nicholas Osborn, part of the Global AI/ML Project Management Office at AES.

“We’ve built a great ML solution using Google Cloud’s tools and platform. With the AutoML Vision tool, we’ve trained it to detect damage. We’re able to eliminate approximately half of the images from needing human review.”

Industry: Electric power generation and distribution

Machine learning product: Google Cloud AutoML Vision

Outcomes:

Reduced image review time by approximately 50%

Helped reduce prices of renewable energy

More time to invest in identifying wind turbine damage and mending it

Watch the full AES on Google Cloud AutoML Vision case study here.

AIMMO Enterprise is a South Korean web-based platform for self-managing data labeling projects. Their services can be used for autonomous driving, robotics, smart factories, and logistics.

They were able to boost work efficiency and productivity by establishing an MLOps pipeline using the Azure Machine Learning Studio.

“With Azure ML, AIMMO has experienced significant cost savings and increased business efficiency,” says SeungHyun Kim, chief technical officer at AIMMO.

“By leveraging the Azure ML pipeline, we were able to build the entire cycle of AIMMO MLOps workflow quickly and flexibly.”

Industry: Professional services

Machine learning product: Microsoft Azure Machine Learning Studio

Outcomes: 

Improved efficiency and reduced costs

Helped build AIMMO’s entire MLOps workflow

Makes it easier to deploy batch interface pipelines

Works as an all-in-one MLOps solution to process data in 2D and 3D

Read the full AIMMO on Microsoft Azure Machine Learning Studio case study here.

See more: Key Machine Learning (ML) Trends

Bayer AG is a multinational pharmaceutical and life sciences company based in Germany. One of their specializations is in producing insecticides, fungicides, and herbicides for agricultural purposes.

To help farmers monitor their crops, they created their Digital Yellow Trap: an Internet of Things (IoT) device that alerts farmers of pests using image recognition.

The IoT device is powered using AWS’ SageMaker, a fully managed service that allows developers to build, train, and deploy machine learning models at scale.

“We’ve been using Amazon SageMaker for quite some time, and it’s become one of our crucial services for AI development,” says Dr. Alexander Roth, head of engineering at the Crop Protection Innovation Lab, Bayer AG. 

“AWS is constantly improving its services, so we always get new updates.”

Industry: Agriculture and pharmaceuticals

Machine learning product: AWS SageMaker

Outcomes:

Reduced Bayer lab’s architecture costs by 94%

Can be scaled to accommodate for fluctuating demand

Able to handle tens of thousands of requests per second

Community-based, early warning system for pests

Read the full Bayer AG on AWS SageMaker case study here.

The American Cancer Society is a nonprofit dedicated to eliminating cancer. They operate in more than 250 regional offices all over the U.S.

They’re using Google Cloud ML Engine to identify novel patterns in digital pathology images. The aim is to improve breast cancer detection accuracy and reduce the overall diagnosis timeline.

“By leveraging Cloud ML Engine to analyze cancer images, we’re gaining more understanding of the complexity of breast tumor tissues and how known risk factors lead to certain patterns,” says Mia M. Gaudet, scientific director of epidemiology research at the American Cancer Society.

“Applying digital image analysis to human pathology may reveal new insights into the biology of breast cancer, and Google Cloud makes it easier.”

Industry: Nonprofit and medical research

Machine learning Product: Google Cloud ML Engine

Outcomes:

Enhances speed and accuracy of image analysis by removing human limitations

Aids in improving patients’ quality of life and life expectancy

Protects tissue samples by backing up image data to the cloud

Read the full American Cancer Society on Google Cloud ML Engine case study here.

“The new model assesses intersections by risk, not by crashes,” says David Slack-Smith, manager of data and intelligence at the Road Safety Commission of Western Australia.

“Taking out the variability and analyzing by risk is a fundamental shift in how we look at this problem and make recommendations to reduce risk.”

Industry: Government and transportation

Machine learning product: SAS Viya

Outcomes:

Data engineering and visualization time reduced by 80%

An estimated 25% reduction in vehicle crashes

Straightforward and efficient data sharing

Flexibility of data with various coding languages

Read the full Road Safety Commission on SAS Viya case study here.

See more: Top Performing Artificial Intelligence Companies

Create Scalable Video Content For A Virtual Reality Experience

Is it time to begin investing in 360 video content to engage the burgeoning virtual reality (VR) audience? Gauging by the panel of 360 and immersive video content creators who came together at the 2023 Samsung Developer Conference in San Francisco, the answer is a resounding “Yes.”

The dynamic panel brought together experts from Time Inc., Major League Baseball and the New York Times to explore how companies are approaching new consumer behaviors for watching video in VR.

To kick off the discussion, the panel addressed the question of why their organizations decided to invest in 360 video and video for VR. Mia Tramz, managing editor of LIFE VR at Time Inc., noted that the adoption of 360 video gave their video teams “another tool in the toolbox” but was also a strategic brand decision.

“The way we approach 360 video content for People is very different from how we approach it for Time, and Travel & Leisure has its own strategy,” said Tramz. “So it’s been this process of going from brand to brand, and saying, ‘what is it that your audiences would really enjoy in 360?’”

Jamie Leece, VP Games/VR at Major League Baseball (MLB), described the role that 360 video has played in bringing fans closer to the game wherever they are, at all times. The MLB has focused on determining what type of stories they can tell in VR that they can’t tell with traditional 2D content, and found that their fans really engaged with this new type of content.

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Ultimately, investing in new types of interactive content is a way for brands to stay ahead of the curve when it comes to content consumption. Christian Tom, VP Sales and Publisher at NowThis, explained: “We’re always looking for the next new way that people are going to consume, specifically on social. We’ve made a strategic bet that 360 video is going to be on social one of the largest consumption patterns coming up.”

Developing a 360 Strategy

With these points in mind, enterprises may want to consider following the lead of these influential media companies. Some ways that businesses across diverse industries can consider leveraging the immersive nature of 360 video to boost their social media marketing power include:

Showcasing products with a “behind the scenes” look into how something works.

Giving consumers a feeling of being part of an event even when they aren’t attending it.

Promoting destinations within the tourism, travel and hospitality industries.

Leece described the MLB’s “behind the scenes” strategy to create scalable content for VR. For example, at last year’s All-Star game, they created a product that allowed people to watch simple 360 video content, and were overwhelmed by the response.

“We found fans just blown away, like most people are who have seen 360 content for the first time,” said Leece. “After seeing that, we decided that for the post-season, we were going to follow the teams around and capture their clinches and celebrations and take fans to places they love to go, like being inside the clubhouse when their team wins.”

Pairing Tech with 360 Video

As the adoption of 360 video and virtual reality experiences continue, brands will need to figure how to integrate it into their overall content strategy. “You need a reason to make 360 video that isn’t just novelty and ‘it’s in 360, you can spin around,’” Tom said. “The biggest challenge is finding the visual hooks and a compelling strategic rationale to do 360, so that it doesn’t just feel like making a 360 video for the sake of using 360.”

Get a look at some of the technology that is making 360 video possible and easy to capture.

Learn The Use Cases For Return Statement

Introduction to MATLAB Return

In computer programming, a return statement is defined to be executed to return the control to the parent sub routine from the invoking subroutine. The flow of execution resumes at the point in the program code immediately after the instruction, which is called its return address, and the running scope of the code can be defined as the called subroutine. In the absence of a parent subroutine, the return statement returns the control of execution to the command prompt. In this topic, we are going to learn about Matlab return.

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Syntax

The return command redirects the control to invoking script or function instead of letting MATLAB execute the rest of the consecutive commands in the called subroutine. MATLAB redirects the control nothing but to the command prompt when a script or a function contains a return, and it is not being called from any invoking program.

Use cases for a return statement

Return command is used in different conditions based on the technical requirement of the program. It can also be used for data validity checking functionality. Some of the important use cases are discussed below.

1. Bringing control to keyboard

If a program needs the user to take action on the occurrence of some specific condition, the current subroutine or function can be called directly without being triggered by any parent sub routine, and the flow of control returns to the command prompt or the keyboard when the command ‘return’ is executed.

Example:

The below code snippet defines a function findindex() where the return command is used with 2 purposes:

Performing validation checking on input data

Returning control to keyboard once the match is found

endfunction

Case 1: The return statement is executed on a negative input being given

findindex(-15,[12 34 54 15 32])

Output:

Case 2: The return statement is executed on match to the input data is found

findindex(15,[12 34 54 15 32])

Output:

2. Redirecting execution flow to the parent (calling) subroutine from the called subroutine

If the program needs to reroute the flow of control to the calling subroutine or the calling function on the occurrence of some specific condition. It can be carried out when its parent subroutine triggers the current in the current subroutine or function, and the command ‘return’ is executed.

Example:

The below code snippet defines a function findindex() within another function callfunction() where the return command is used with 2 purposes:

Performing validation checking on input data of findindex() function

Returning control to callfunction() from findfunction() return command

function resultfunc = callfunction(inputval,referenceArray)result=findindex(inputval,referenceArray); if isnan(result)disp(‘Match is not found.’)    elsedisp([‘Match is found at ‘ num2str(result)])    endendfunction

callfunction(-12, [10 21 14 15 20 12 20])

Case 2: The return statement is executed on match to the input data is found

callfunction(12, [10 21 14 15 20 12 20])

Output:

3. Usage of return and continue statement in a loop

The program can have the flexibility to decide on which condition the flow of control should be rerouted to its calling sub routine or the command prompt and on which condition will force the flow to stay in the current system.

Example:

The below code snippet defines a function findindex() within another function callfunction() where the return command is used with 2 purposes:

Performing validation checking on input data of findindex() function

Returning control to callfunction() from findfunction() return command when the match is found and make the flow stay within the loop using the command ‘continue’ when the matched element is not found.

Example:

endfunction

findindex(-15,[12 34 54 15 32])

 Output:

Case 2: The return and continue statement execution based on finding matched or non-matched element

findindex(15,[12 34 54 15 32])

Output:

Advantages of Matlab return

Using a return statement prevents the execution of unwanted functionalities once the desired condition is satisfied. As a result, it improves code quality and optimizes the code execution. As it reduces the number of instructions to be executed, it also reduces the execution time for the program. Thus it

makes the execution faster and results in improving the performance. Use of return statement in association with ‘continues’ statement provides flexibility to the program to decide whether to reroute the flow of control or keep it running within the current scope of the code.

Additional note

While using return within conditional blocks, such as if or switch, or within loop control statements, such as, for or while, the programmer needs to be careful. In MATLAB, when the control flow reaches a return statement in a conditional block, it just exits the loop and exits the script or function in which the return command is executed. Hence directly, it returns control to the invoking subroutine or commands prompt.

In MATLAB, it is not supported to return values using the return statement. To send a return value, it is required to set the value of each ‘out’ arg. Functions may return more than one argument as return values.

Recommended Articles

This is a guide to Matlab return. Here we discuss the Use cases for the return statement along with the examples, cases and outputs. You may also have a look at the following articles to learn more –

Shift Key Not Working? Try These 9 Proven Fixes

As there are two shift keys on most of the keyboards, you may have trouble using one of them or both. Or the shift key may stop working intermittently. The Shift key mostly stops working when it is stuck. However, the misconfigured keyboard settings also cause this issue.

If the Shift key on your keyboard is not working, you may have issues using the keyboard in a smart way. You can apply minor fixes like cleaning the Shift keys and updating the keyboard drivers to solve this problem unless there is a hardware damage issue.

Here, we have compiled a list of 9 fixes you can use to fix when your Shift key is not working. Let’s get straight into them without further delay.

Almost every keyboard has two Shift keys, one on the left and another on the right. If you have problems using one of them, you can try another and see if the issue persists. If you only have a problem using one Shift key, the key is probably stuck. The case may be different if you can not use any of them. Please move to further fixes below.

If it has been a long since you last cleaned your keyboards, it is also possible that dust and debris have got inside the Shift key, and the key is stuck. You can use a can of compressed air or a vacuum cleaner to clean the keyboards underneath. If you have mechanical keyboards, you can even use a keycap puller to pull out the keys and look inside to figure out what’s wrong with the key.

You can also take your keyboard to another PC and check if the Shift key works there. If it works there, a software issue is causing trouble.

If you have an RGB keyboard or, say, if you are a gamer, you may be using a keyboard-specific remapper tool like SharpKeys or KeyTweak. The settings on the third-party applications may be configured to use the Shift key in a different way. If you are one of the remapper tool users, check the settings. If you can not figure out the settings, consider uninstalling the application.

If the Shift key still does not work on another PC, a hardware issue is causing it not to work. If possible, you can also get another keyboard, connect to your PC and see. After swapping the keyboards, you can easily figure out whether it is a software or a hardware issue.

The Shift key may not work as desired if you have a different keyboard layout than the English (US). The Shift key may have a different function assigned in other keyboard layouts. So make sure you have English as the preferred language on your keyboard settings.

Here’s how to change the language settings:

Hit Windows + I on your keyboard. It will open Settings.

Set English (US) in Windows display language.

You can use the sticky keys feature for ease if you have problems using a Shift key for any shortcut operation. For instance, you may be trying to permanently delete a file by pressing Shift + Del keys on your keyboard. If you are unable to press those two keys together, the sticky keys feature is for you.

Follow these steps to enable the sticky keys:

Hit Windows + I keys on your keyboard to launch Settings.

Scroll down on the right pane and choose Keyboard.

Filter keys are the accessibility feature provided by Windows that instructs your OS to disregard repeated keystrokes from your keyboard. You can specify time the keyboard has to wait before accepting quick or unintended keystrokes. When enabled, this feature can invalidate the pressing of the Shift key, and you may run into a problem.

Here’s how to disable the filter keys:

Windows has a keyboard troubleshooting tool that is used to find and fix any issues in the keyboard. You can try running it and see if it diagnoses the cause of why your Shift key is not working and probably fixes it.

Here’s how to run the keyboard troubleshooting tool:

Select System from the left section and then choose Troubleshoot in the right pane.

Corrupted or outdated keyboard drivers are another reason certain keys on your keyboard stop working. If your Shift key is not functioning, you can update or reinstall the keyboard and see if the problem persists.

Here’s how we can update the keyboard drivers:

Press Windows + R key simultaneously and open Run.

Type devmgmt.msc and press Enter. It will open Device Manager.

Expand the Keyboards menu.

If updating did not work, try reinstalling the keyboard driver. Uninstalling your keyboard from the system and restarting will install a fresh copy of keyboard driver, thus fixing any issues.

Here’s how to reinstall your keyboard:

Follow the same steps up to step 3 as mentioned above.

Confirm uninstall in the next dialog box that appears, and then restart your PC. Your PC will have a fresh copy of keyboard driver installed after a restart.

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