Wednesday, November 29, 2017

Daydream Impact

It’s one thing to read a news report about polar ice caps melting, but it’s another to hear the wind whipping against a towering glacier as you watch huge chunks of ice break off and tumble into the water below. With VR video, it’s possible to experience things that are rare or places that are far away or even impossible to get to. And short of actually being there, there’s no better way to understand the great challenges and opportunities of our world. Virtual reality can help people learn more and feel a part of important but distant problems.

Awareness is the first step toward driving social change, but organizations and changemakers often lack the resources or knowledge to use VR to shine a light on the causes they care about. That’s why we’re launching Daydream Impact to help organizations, creators, and changemakers make their programs even more powerful using virtual reality.

Daydream Impact focuses on three common bottlenecks we have identified: a lack of training on how to create VR video, difficulties accessing camera equipment and tools to showcase their content, and little exposure to how VR has been used creatively to tackle big challenges.

To help provide changemakers with training, we’ve created a VR filmmaking course on Coursera, which anyone can take. The course begins by outlining basic hardware requirements and pre-production checklists, and it shares tips for getting the best VR footage including best practices from other creators. The training also covers all the post-production work required to create the video and concludes with guidance on how to publish and promote the video.

Second, we’re launching a loaner program to give qualified projects access to equipment to capture and showcase VR pieces—this means a Jump Camera, an Expeditions kit, Google Daydream View and a Daydream-ready phone. Similar to our Jump Start program for creators, organization leaders will be able to apply for the program. Successful applicants will have six months to capture and refine their work and showcase it to their stakeholders.
  • Harmony Labs partnered with media makers, researchers, and other experts to create three VR anti-bullying pieces and pilot these experiences in schools, ultimately creating a toolkit to highlight learnings about using VR for social impact.
  • Springbok Cares worked with Daydream Impact to study how VR can reduce anxiety for cancer patients during treatment, and how to integrate large-scale VR programs into hospital environments. At the same time, they also launched a program to provide virtual reality entertainment to hospital patients and staff.
  • Eastern Congo Initiative partnered with Daydream Impact to create a VR film and Expeditions that explore the struggles in the Congo and the resilience of its people. Through these platforms, ECI offers policymakers, donors and students an immersive experience and an emotional connection to the cause. By doing so, ECI believes that these partnerships, education efforts and advocacy will inform and inspire change for the Congolese people.
  • The Rising Seas project and oceanographer Juliette Finzi Hart are leveraging 360 videos, depth maps and VR simulations to let people experience their future coastlines now, believing that allowing people to see the future they want to be will inspire them to take action—today.
We’ll share more on upcoming projects and case studies in 2018 with World Wildlife Fund & Condition One, UNAIDS, the International Committee of the Red Cross, Starlight Children’s Foundation, Protect our Winters, and Novo Media.

It’s our hope that Daydream Impact will help organizations tell their stories more effectively, or even change the way they operate, using VR. In a world full of information, virtual reality can help advocates inspire, connect, and bring change.

Monday, October 30, 2017

Trick-or-treat for Street View Frights!

Trick-or-treat for Street View Frights!

If you’re trick-or-treating on Halloween, you might see a ghost or two. But take this tour of haunted houses and spooky sites on Street View -- and the ghosts are no trick.

Our first stop is the Château Laurier, a 660,000-square-foot hotel that looms above the Ottawa River. Over the past 105 years, this architectural majesty has been graced by the likes of King George VI and Queen Elizabeth. But these dignitaries are not the only ones to walk its halls over the years … the restless spirit of business tycoon Charles Melville Hays has been known to appear. He commissioned the Château Laurier, but died tragically aboard the Titanic just days before the hotel’s grand opening in 1912. It's believed his spirit returned shortly after, and on occasion has been spotted roaming inside and out.
Head over to The French Quarter in New Orleans where both the living and dead are having a blood curdling good time. The soft sounds of jazz and the faint smell of beignets waft through the streets, but the dark side of this city is as rich as its melodies and cuisine—around every corner there are ghosts and vampires to be seen. Venture into Hotel Monteleone, where there have been many spooky sightings. This haunted hotel has a restaurant door that opens almost every evening then closes again (even though it’s locked) and an elevator that stops on the wrong floor, leading down a hallway that grows chilly and reveals the ghostly images of children playing. Stay there if you dare—you won’t know when to expect the next surprise.
Now let’s head to the lush green paradise on Oman Island in the Philippines. Don’t let the beautiful landscape deceive you—this place has its fair share of spirits known to pester passers by. Local lore claims there are travelers who trek in circles, never finding their way out … and travelers have reported suddenly feeling weight on their backs, almost as if local ghosts are hunched on their shoulders.
If iconic horror films are your jam, head on over to Georgetown, Washington, D.C., where the Exorcist was filmed. In “The Exorcist,” the character Father Damien Karras fell to his death down  this flight of stairs (though they were padded with half an inch of rubber). The film crew had to construct a false front to the house from which Karras fell, since the actual house was set back slightly from the steps. When the filming took place, Georgetown University students charged people $5 each to watch the stunt from the school’s rooftops.
“Let the Right One In” is a Swedish film about a bullied 12-year-old boy who befriends a vampire child in Blackeberg, Stockholm, in the early 1980s. Check out the town square of Blackeberg

, where Eli the vampire leaps down on Virginia from a tree.

That completes our tour, but beware of spooky things of which you may not be forewarned— for this is Halloween!

Friday, October 27, 2017

Cat Phone - Tough Design and Massive Battery

Cat Phone - Tough Design and Massive Battery
NEW YORKOctober 26, 2017 /PRNewswire/ --
Cat phones introduces the Cat S41, a rugged and resilient smartphone with a massive and powerful battery, designed to keep users connected no matter what challenges the day presents.
Key Specifications include: 
  1. 5000mAh battery with up to 38 hours of 3G talk time or 44 days standby
  2. Charge other devices and accessories with the Battery Share power bank feature - cable provided
  3. Waterproof/Dust proof (IP68), drop tested to 5 feet 9 inches onto concrete, MIL SPEC 810G, Gorilla Glass 5 protected
  4. Android™ Nougat
  5. 3GB RAM, 32GB ROM. Expandable storage (microSD™ up to 2TB)
  6. MediaTek octa-core 2.3GHz chipset
  7. 13MP rear camera with LED flash, autofocus with PDAF, 8MP front camera - both with underwater mode functionality
  8. LTE Cat 6, VoLTE, VoWiFi
  9. Super bright 5" FHD display, optimized for outdoor use with a touchscreen that can be used with wet fingers or gloves
  10. Textured, extra grip design
  11. Programmable Shortcut Key useful for Push to Talk (PTT), SOS (Lone Worker app), or to easily launch flashlight or camera
  12. Curated apps and content catalog
The Cat S41 smartphone has an MSRP of $449 and is available to order online at, as well as leading retailers including Amazon.comBestBuy.comeBay, The Home Depot and B&H.

Monday, October 16, 2017

Thursday, June 29, 2017