VR and AR in Healthcare

Virtual reality and augmented reality have been increasingly used in healthcare for some time now. Especially in the medical field, this technology is increasingly used to simulate surgeries, to train surgeons or to study the anatomy of the human body in more detail.

War scenario Bravemind

Through VR, veterans can relive fictional war scenarios to confront terrible experiences and overcome post-traumatic stress disorder in a safe environment. As part of their therapy, the veteran is asked to confront their experiences and remember what war was like. The goal of these sessions is to make the remembered scenes more alive and accessible, and to work through them with a therapist. By now it is known that most patients have shown an improvement and reduction of their symptoms.

VR scenario: Bravemind

Training for Surgeries 

The surgeon relying entirely on his AR glasses during surgery is still rather unthinkable these days, as technology is involved and failures can occur. However, there are some other ways of using AR glasses that are of great advantage and are already being used in some clinics. By being able to maintain all sterile conditions, they can be used to livestream and record surgeries or communicate with other people outside the operating room. The technology is most likely to be used for teaching and training medical students.

Company: FundamentalVR

VR for people with visual impairments and those who are completely blind

At a conference in 2019, the SeeingVR toolset was introduced. It is intended to enable people who have poor eyesight or are blind to have virtual reality experiences but without having to create extra newly crafted VR experiences. This tool can be overlaid on top of an existing, traditional VR experience as long as the scenario was created using Unity. The tool works in a flexible way to be able to adapt to as many people as possible and to their needs. The user can adjust brightness, zoom in on elements, change contrast or change text color or size. In addition, objects were given brighter edges to highlight them and contours were given to the scene. A laser can be used to point to a text that is then read aloud.

Company: SeeingVR

Embodied Labs to simulate what its like to live with certain health conditions

One company developed labs that use VR simulations to help people experience what it feels like to have certain health conditions. One example of a simulation is Alfred. Alfred is a 74-year-old African-American man who suffers from both high-frequency hearing loss and macular degeneration (a disease of the retina of the eye). Individuals can put on the headset and perceive their surroundings from Alfred’s perspective. Technology is used to increase the volume when a user leans in the direction where the sound is coming from. After a period of time, the user is given a hearing aid to understand what difference the device is making. It is interesting that during tests, even though people read through the introduction, they immediately reported that something has to be broken or that the volume was too low.

Company: Embodied Labs

Children with autism are taught social and communication skills

Floreo is a company that focuses on teaching social and communication skills to autistic children by combining VR with games or other activities and letting them practice certain scenarios. Through this method, children who are often overwhelmed by their real environment can practice and learn to cope in a virtual environment.

Company: Floreo

Detect visual impairments through AR

Using AR glasses and eye tracking, the company SyncThink can determine whether and to what extent visual impairments are present.

Company: SyncThink

Unlearning the sensation of pain

The company Karuna helps people to exercise more to have less pain in their upper body or back. Learned pain or chronic pain is to be unlearned through a 12-week course. Common everyday scenarios or activities must be completed with the help of a VR headset and a tablet with instructions.

Company: KarunaHOME

Improve physical health through VR therapy

Using VR can help people who have psychological problems. An example is fear of heights. Through therapy, a user can be exposed to heights in a protected, simulated environment and learn how to deal with it or try different things. A virtual couch is there to support and help. 

Company: Oxford VR

Sources

  1. News Feature: Virtual reality therapy set for a real renaissance, M. Mitchell Waldrop (26.9.2017), https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5625944/
  2. Using Google Glass in Surgical Settings: Systematic Review, Nancy J Wie, Bryn Dougherty, Aundria Myers, Sherif M Badawy (6.3.2018), https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5861300/
  3. Microsoft Tools Bring VR Access to Low-Vision, Blind Users, Pamela Hogle (10.6.2019), https://learningsolutionsmag.com/articles/microsoft-tools-bring-vr-access-to-low-vision-blind-users?utm_campaign=lspub&utm_medium=link&utm_source=lspub
  4. Can virtual reality change the way we think about health?, Gordon Gottsegen (29.6.2019), https://builtin.com/healthcare-technology/ar-virtual-reality-healthcare
  5. 18 Healthcare Augmented Reality and Virtual Reality Companies to Watch, Kayla Matthews (29.6.2020), https://hitconsultant.net/2020/06/29/augmented-reality-and-virtual-reality-companies-to-watch/#.YBBhVS337ow
  6. Karuna, (2021), https://karunalabs.com
  7. Oxfordvr, (2021), https://ovrhealth.com

Is Netflix’s ‘Klaus’ 2D or 3D?

The Oscar-nominated Netflix movie ‘Klaus’ was a big surprise and after watching it, a lot of people, including myself, were wondering, if it was 2D, 3D or even a mixture of both. It is in fact 2D. The characters are hand drawn and only a few 3D props and environments for camera animation were used.
This makes it quite the opposite to the movie ‘Spider-man: Into the Spider-verse’, which is a 3D animation film where the environments, props and characters were modeled, rigged and animated using 3D software. The 2D look was achieved by combination of lower keyframe rate, cell shader, color/image enhancement etc.

Before – © The SPA Studios
After – © The SPA Studios


The animation studio responsible for ‘Klaus’ is ‘The SPA Studios’ founded by Sergio Pablos. The studio credits include: Despicable me, RIO, Hunchback of Notre Dame, Hercules, Tarzan, and many more. So some of their clients include Netflix, Universal, Blue Sky, Dream Works, Warner and Disney.

The real magic of the movie ‘Klaus’ happens within the lighting process. The 3D look was achieved by a combination of M.O.E. (a texturing/rendering software by the french studio ‘Les Films du Poissons Rouge’) and KLaS (Klaus Light and Shadow) a shading and lighting software based on Houdoo (a 2D animation software from ‘Les Films du Poissons Rouge’ ).

Houdoo and MOE software – Les Films Du Poisson Rouge

I found an interview with Sergio Pablos, the director from Klaus explaining the journey behind this movie, which I will summarize here:

The Quest and the Solution

Sergio Pablos wanted to demolish the limitations that traditional 2D animation has. He searched for a solution and one of his employees had an incredible proof of concept, but it was a time consuming process. He reached out to Les Films Du Poisson Rouge, who had been developing tools for 3D and 2D for a long time. Les Films Du Poisson Rouge figured out how to derive a tracking system from drawn lines. Not just vector drawn lines, but even bitmap lines. They created a intuitive tool that works in real-time and allows artist to a great amount of work in less time. They called the tool ‘Klaus Light and Shadow’.

The Process before Lighting

The storyboard was made with Storyboard Pro from Toon Boom, because they could go straight to layout. The layout was done digitally on tablet and they did split it depending on whether it was a 2D or 3D shot. From there the animation was done directly in Toon Boom Harmony. No tricks and no puppet animation. It was all hand-drawn frame by frame.

3D shot – © Sergio Pablo Animation Studios

After that it would go to ink and paint where they would treat the lines. This was a tricky part as they only kept lines where they were required to convey information. A lot of outlines were removed because the information was given through the contrast and the value of the colors, a line wasn’t needed anymore. Some internal lines, for example in hands or face were kept. They were very selective about which lines are needed how many could be replaced with shadows later on.

Progression Shot
Progression shot

The Lighting

They had a color bible for the whole film and also a color script. They needed to have a lighting reference for the characters and background that was very cohesive to the background painters and the lighters on the characters were drawing from the same source.

The lighting process was about breaking down the lighting of a scene in a convincing way. Up to eight layers of lighting were introduced, that could be anything from ambient occlusion, sub-surface scattering, rim light, specular for the eyes, bounce light, etc. Each one of those layers would have a set of shapes that the artist would create underneath the layer for the shot. They went through the layers using a tracking system that was part of the tool from Les Films Du Poisson Rouge. Then the layers are merged together to get the ‘baked’ lighting look.

The next step is the texturing with M.O.E. This tool allows you to pick any painterly style like wash, watercolor or oil, and decide the behavior and size of the strokes and apply it to the image. With this, they added a subtle level of grain that actually travels with the character.

After that, all the elements go to compositing. In this step, the compositor decides for every shot how much texture is applied to each of the shapes.

Lighting time-lapse with process explanation
Lighting time-laps with explanation

3D Elements

The 3D elements were made in Maya. Sometimes elements, like the reindeer, were in 3D and sometimes they were 2D. The team decided whether an element would be rigged or if it would be easier to do in 2D. Sometimes they would animate a reindeer in 2D but the fur would look wrong, so they take the fur out and paint on top of that.

2D-3D integration test

Source:
http://lesfilmsdupoissonrouge.com/logiciels/?lang=en
https://beforesandafters.com/2019/11/14/heres-what-made-the-2d-animation-in-klaus-look-3d/
https://www.insider.com/how-netflixs-klaus-made-2d-animation-look-3d-2020-1
https://www.animatorisland.com/3-reasons-why-klaus-is-a-game-changer-for-animation/?v=3a52f3c22ed6
https://lrmonline.com/news/trailer-klaus-impresses-with-its-2d-like-3d-animation/
https://www.nutscomputergraphics.com/en/klaus-the-birth-of-the-2d-animated-netflix-movie-which-looks-like-3d/

„Erfundene“ Tradition? (6)

Hobsbowm und Ranger schreiben in „The Invention of Tradition“ darüber, wie Traditionen passend zur aktuellen gesellschaftlichen Situation erfunden werden.  “That ‘new’ traditions simply resulted from the inability to use or adapt old ones.”[1] Dies passiert, “When a rapid transformation of society weakens or destroys the social pattern for which ‘old’ traditions had been designed” or “when such old traditions and their institutional carriers and promulgators no longer prove sufficiently adaptable and flexible, or are otherwise eliminated: in short, when there are sufficiently large and rapid changes on the demand or the supply side.”[2]

Auf was basiert die Tradition der Sinti und Roma? Wurden ihnen erfundene Traditionen zugeschrieben?

Dr. phil. Ursula Hemetek untersuchte in ihren Forschungen, „die Frage, inwieweit sie selbst und andere ForscherInnen Tradition und Ethnizität der Roma `miterfunden` haben.“[3] Hemetek fokussierte sich dabei vor allem in den Bereich der Musikethnologie. Sie schreibt:

„Wir ForscherInnen haben einen Anteil daran, wie sich Communities musikalisch identifizieren, wir beeinflussen das `Feld` durch unsere Fragen, Aufnahmen und Publikationen und die Frage, ob wir nicht damals gewissermaßen Tradition und Ethnizität der Roma `miterfunden` haben, ist offen. Was ich inzwischen gelernt habe, ist, den individuellen musikalischen Ausdruck als solchen wahrzunehmen und mir nicht kollektive Interpretationen anzumaßen. […] Aber mein Verstehen verbleibt in einem begrenzten Rahmen und ich maße mir nicht mehr an, `die Roma` verstehen zu wollen.“[4]

Das Unwissen der Sinti und Roma wurde ab Mitte des 17. Jahrhunderts mit vielen Vorurteilen ausgeglichen und als Bedrohung deklariert. Klaus-Michael Bogdal analysiert die Geschichte der Sinti und Roma und erkennt dabei immer wieder eine Zerrissenheit von Verachtung und Faszination.

Mitte des 19. Jahrhundert lancierte die „Zigeunerromantik“, die unabhängigen, natürlichen und freiheitlichen[5] Zuschreibungen der Sinti und Roma, die im Gegensatz zu der „bürgerlichen Industriegesellschaft“ stand[6]. Die Beschreibungen waren stets ohne „jegliche Referenz zur Lebenswirklichkeit der Romvölker“.[7] In der Literatur um 1800 werden Sinti und Roma als in der Vergangenheit zurückgeblieben[8] dargestellt oder mit „Krisen, Probleme und Tabus“ in Verbindung gebracht. Die Angst vor dem Wahrsagen und Verschwörungen wurde mit den Roma in Verbindung gebracht. [9]

Ende des 19 Jahrhunderts wurden in geisteswissenschaftlicher Forschung „Verbrechens- und Rassentheorien“ aufgestellt, bei denen die europäischen Roma als „`Asoziale` und `Arbeitsscheue`“ deklariert wurden.[10]

„Das Bild des ›Zigeuners‹ ist schillernd, unscharf und ausdeutbar.“[11] Durch diese Unschärfe entsteht ein „gesellschaftliche Konstrukt, dem ein Grundbestand an Wissen, Bildern, Motiven, Handlungsmustern und Legenden zugrunde liegt, durch die ihnen im Reden über sie kollektive Merkmale erst zugeschrieben werden.“[12]

Aber wenn Tradition an die aktuelle Lage angepasst wird, haben wir ja auch in der Hand was mit der Tradition passiert? Dies bedeutet, wir können dabei helfen die Tradition der Sinti und Roma zu einer Tradition gestalten, die von Vorurteilen befreit ist.


[1] Hobsbawm, Ranger: The Invention of Tradition: S.5.

[2] Hobsbawm, Ranger: The Invention of Tradition: S.4.

[3] Beate Eder-Jordan in Roma und Travellers. Identitäten im Wandel; S.62.

[4] Ursula Hemetek in Roma und Travellers. Identitäten im Wandel; S. 189

[5] Vgl. Klaus-Michael Bogdal: Europa erfindet die Zigeuner. Eine Geschichte von Faszination und Verachtung; S.14.

[6] Ebd.; S.14.

[7] Ebd.; S.263.

[8] Ebd.; S.231.

[9] Ebd.; S.232.

[10] Vgl. Klaus-Michael Bogdal: Eine Geschichte von Faszination und Verachtung; S.15.

[11] Ebd.; S.14.

[12] Klaus-Michael Bogdal: Eine Geschichte von Faszination und Verachtung; S.16.

Joyful Design 10

Jeff Koons
An excursion into the art world

Round shapes, colors, nostalgia, beauty in skilled performances—all those terms are indicators for joyful design—and when looking at Jeff Koons art we cannot deny that all those elements synergize in his works of art—making Jeff Koons a perfect example of how to consciously use all those “ingredients” to create joyful experiences.

Jeff Koons finds beauty in the ordinary and overlooked things of our life and is considered the most bankable contemporary artist alive—his stainless steel Rabbit (1986), sold for $91.1 million in 2019, is the most expensive artwork by a living artist to ever be sold at auction. The concept of the readymade—displaying an ordinary object in a new context as a work of art, is the foundation for most of Jeff ’s work. He says the idea that he “could acquire things and let them just display themselves” was a revelation. Knickknacks, comic books, ceramic figurines, and domestic appliances act as a springboard for his imagination. His works are clearly inspired by pop culture, consumer desire, sexual freedom, childhood wonder and self-acceptance. While other artists only stay relevant for a short time, nobody else has stayed so relevant for so long.

His pieces provoke smiles, gasps, cringes, laughs, and, above all else, the individual’s investigation of those reactions. He doesn’t shy away from candy-colored excess. His signature motif, the high-polish surface, reflects our experience of his art back onto us.

“It’s really the quality of his work, interlocking with economic and social trends, that makes him the signal artist of today’s world.”—New Yorker art critic Peter Schjeldahl.

Inflatable Flower and Bunny (Tall White, Pink Bunny), 1979

Nostalgia, Colors, Round Shapes
Inflatable Flower and Bunny was the first piece of art that brought toys and mirrors into Jeff’s artistic vocabulary. He picked the bunny because it reminded Jeff of the Easter decorations in his hometown. Several motifs, namely the cartoon iconography and use of reflective surfaces, are still central to Jeff’s work today.

Three Ball Total Equilibrium Tank, 1985

Skilled Performance, Round Shapes, Nostalgia
“I wanted to keep it a very womb-like situation with water,” Jeff Koons commented in a 1992 Taschen monograph. But this vision proved to be incredibly challenging. To bring his idea to life, Jeff consulted Richard P. Feynman, a Nobel Prize–winning physicist, to devise a method of filling the balls and tank with the correct proportions of distilled water and highly refined salt so the balls would float. Temperature fluctuations and visitors’ footsteps blend the water and sodium, causing the balls to sink; the artwork has built into it an inevitable failure, requiring reinstallation every six months.

“Ideas come from sensations. You don’t have ideas without having sensations.”—Jeff Koons

Play-Doh 1994–2014

Colors, Nostalgia, Skilled Performance
Play-Doh took Jeff Koons 20 years from conception to completion. The piece of art is his memorial to innocent creativity—made up of 27 individual pieces of polychromed aluminum, it re-creates at monumental scale a colorful mound of modeling putty once given to Jeff by his son Ludwig. Play-Doh represents an inflection point of Jeff’s preoccupation with superrealistic, large-scale sculpture.

Balloon Dog (Blue), 1994-2000

Skilled Performance, Round Shapes, Shininess
Balloon Dog started as a simple idea for Jeff: create something that would imbue adults with the delight that children feel at birthday parties. The execution proved more complex. In a feat of modern fabrication, Jeff translated this concept into an 11-foot-tall stainless steel sculpture whose dimensions precisely replicate its reallife latex counterpart.

Like many of Jeff’s high-polished works, these pieces engage the spectator and celebrate the surroundings of their installation with the intent of bringing joy to audiences the world over.

Source
Jeff Koons on Masterclass. URL: https://www.masterclass.com

Neurologic Music Therapy (NMT)

It is a treatment based on music as therapy, which emphasizes some specific musical elements (such as rhythm, melody, dynamics, tempo) in the construction of the therapy, to treat people with neurological disorders.

It is based on the neuroscientific research of perception and music production. Furthermore, it also examines how the brain responds to music and affects neuroplasticity to help the brain recover from injury in the areas of movement, language and cognition.

Music and rhythm affect multiple areas of the human brain at a subconscious level, this means that rhythm can be used to build connections in the brain, thereby improving its functions. This leads to a more productive and functional life.

There is however a difference between Music Therapy and NMT.

Music Therapy seeks more to treat aspects of patient need such as emotional, physical and mental.

NMT focuses on the physical effect of music and rhythms on the brain and its connections through NMT intervention, which are specific research-based techniques.

Here is an example of an approach to neurological music therapy from the Spaulding rehabilitation network:

They program focuses on three keys areas:

  • Speech & Language: Aphasia, Apraxia, Dysarthria, Voice Disorders
  • Sensorimotor: Upper Extremity, Lower Extremity, Gait Training
  • Cognition: Attention, Memory, Initiation, Executive Function, Neglect training

Treatment areas include:

  • Traumatic Brain Injury
  • Acquired Brain Injury
  • Stroke
  • Huntington’s Disease
  • Parkinson’s Disease
  • Cerebral Palsy
  • Alzheimer’s Disease
  • Autism

The therapy session varies according to the goal of the patients.

When working on speech, they may practice using their voice while singing along with rhythmic guitar playing or preparing their vocal muscles by playing wind instruments.

When working on attention, they have a musical instrument to play while concentrating on sitting in their chair.

When working on walking or other physical movement, they may move around playing drums in the walking track or in the therapy room.

Many other forms are described in detail here: https://www.nmtsa.org/who-we-serve

References

Neurologic Music Therapy Services of Arizona – Neurologic Music Therapy

Spaulding Rehabilitation Network – Neurologic Music Therapy

Skeuomorphism in digital music production programs | Part 1

Digitalization has not only brought a technical change that has affected almost all areas of life, but also a social and cultural change. Dealing with technology is assumed as a matter of course nowadays, because that’s what modern life consists of. Everything should work as quickly and easily as possible, be intuitive to use, and best of all, everyone can use it themselves without a lot of external tools. But what does intuitive design mean for different industries and at this point in time? 

In view of this question and under the aspect of skeuo- and neumorphism, I had a discussion about the music industry in cooperation with a hobby music producer. Indeed, this very industry is characterized by skeuomorphic design elements in digital music production programs, mainly in plugins. 

Music production is of course a field that is very hardware related. It therefore made sense to take a skeuomorphic design approach in digital music production programs to represent digitally, often almost 1:1, how it works in analog. The target audience for programs, such as FL Studio, Ableton, Cubase, Logic Pro X, are not amateurs who have not handled an instrument or a mixing console before. Musicians and producers, with a passion for music, composition and analog instrument and mixing console knowledge are the ones who (should) use these programs. 

However, this raises a question for me: as has been shown through the research in my previous blog posts, there has of course always been modernization, other design styles, other approaches to design, especially at the level of interaction and intuition. Interfaces that we use every day are constantly changing and trying to adapt more and more to the needs of their target audience. However, I could hardly observe this very change in digital music production programs, especially in plugins. These interfaces adapted to the new technical requirements, but many of them remained almost unchanged in their operation and the design elements used. 

A knob still looks like a knob, a slider like a slider and a deployable instrument can be operated just like in real life only via digital inputs or buttons. Cables provide the right connections and show how the digital elements would be connected to each other in an analog way. Why is that? 

For me, as a layman in this field, it is not really intuitive to use, as I partly feel I have to learn the instrument or mixing console first, to be able to use the interface. Not only through the instruments, but also the design elements that are based on the mixing console, I can not comprehend without a minimum knowledge in this industry or by trying out a lot. In the interview with the hobby music producer we came to talk exactly about this and in some areas he simply could not imagine any other design solution than the one just used, because it is intuitive for musicians and producers, which as a layman can not be understood at first sight. For example, there are still ten elements next to each other, as it is on a real mixing console, rather than making it a flat dropdown menu to select individual wanted elements.

Intuitive does not mean the same thing for all industries and depends on existing prior knowledge. Other types of intuition also require a different type of interface. However, I think it also has a lot to do with Never change a running system, which indicates the little change in the music production programs and their plugins.

There are some changes going on and there are some other approaches, which I will talk about in my next blog entry. I am not interested in showing or telling what is better or more intuitive, because that is subjective. I want to explore how things are and have changed, how they could be different and how other approaches affect people in the music business, but also laymans.

Sources:

Links:

FL Studio: (30.01.2021)
https://www.image-line.com

Logic Pro X: (30.01.2021)
https://www.apple.com/de/logic-pro/

Cubase: (30.01.2021)
https://new.steinberg.net/de/cubase/

Ableton:(30.01.2021)
https://www.ableton.com/de/live/


Images:

Featured Image: Logic Pro X
https://www.apple.com/de/logic-pro/

Image01: FL Studio:
https://www.image-line.com

Image02: Plugin – Guitar-Amplifiers – Standalone / VST:
https://www.thomann.de/at/positive_grid_bias_fx_2_professional.htm

Image03:Plugin Sylenth1:
https://lennardigital.com/sylenth1/

Joyful Design 09

Archetypes

An important factor to create joyful experiences is empathy. Speaking of empathy in design we have to consider that there are people (as well as brands) with different archetypes to consider. Those archetypes have very different personalities and priorities. Knowing about their mindset is the key to tailored and hence empathic design which acts as a base for joyful design.

In Branding the wheel of twelve archetypes by Carl Jung is a popular tool to explore and figure out where a brand is positioned—which also helps to find a brands voice. Carl Jung developed this concept because of his conviction that archetypes are universal, archaic patterns and image that derive from our collective unconscious. He interpreted them as our psychic counterpart of instinct, which manifests in behavior on interaction with the physical world. Therefore those archetypes not only can be connected with brands but with characteristics of people in general.

People as well as brands can be classified to one specific archetype but they can also identify with a mixture of archetypes. (such as Apple) However, classifying a brand helps to shape its character and therefore enables the audience to identify with the brand and elicit the emotional response creating a sense of belonging—competing on a more instinctive, deeper level.

Those archetypes clearly show that we not only have to consider (universal) aesthetics only to create joyful experiences, but that the emotional layer which corresponds to the feeling of belonging, identification and self-actualization is an important factor to consider too. Plus, with the help and consideration of those archetypes a personal connection to the consumer can be easier established, which in turn sets the base for creating joyful experiences as well as satisfying consumers expectations of a brand.


The twelve archetypes

The creator

The Creator brand is visionary, non-conformist and authentic. Those brands want to craft something meaningful and special—they love new ideas and to make them happen and are driven by their desire do produce and create—they are afraid of everything mediocre. Most marketing, design and technology brands are creator brands.

Goal: To realise a vision 
Strategy: To Develop artistic control and skill
Greatest Fear: Mediocre vision or execution
Personalities: Artisan, Innovator, Inventor
Key Attributes: Innovative, Imaginative, Creative, Artistic, Experimental, Willing to take risks, Ambitious, Desire to turn ideas into Reality, Inventor, Musician, Writer, or Dreamer.

Successful brands will develop a very loyal fan base, for example, Apple and have great chances to become so called “love brands”.

Creator brands promise Authenticity.

“Creator brands often position themselves as the key to unlocking a creator’s creativity. Their main focus is self-expression. The worst thing that could happen to a Creator archetype would be to be seen as inauthentic or a ‘sell-out’.”—Vision One market research

Examples: Apple, Adobe, Lego, Nintendo


The Jester
The Joker, The Fun, The Comedian

Jesters live in the moment and fear boredom. They life on the wild site and often use outrageous imagery. They are high on energy, vibrant colors, are playful and entertaining.

Goal: To enjoy the journey and to stand out
Strategy: To live in the moment and not be too serious
Greatest Fear: To come across boring
Personalities: Comedian, Practical Joker, The Fool
Key Attributes: Joker, Playful, Carefree, Joyful, Original, Teaser and Foolish

Examples: M&Ms, Doritos, Skittles


The Sage
The Teacher, The Investigator, The Mentor

Sage brands strive for truth and want to find the good and the wisdom in all situations. They will promise learning, teaching, knowledge and an open mind. They find fulfillment in finding answers to the most challenging questions and therefore demonstrate intelligence, knowledge and keen problem-solving skills. Charateristics: positivity, wisdom, truth, knowledge, provides intelligence, solutions.

Goal: To use intelligence and wisdom to understand the world 
Strategy: Seek out information and knowledge 
Greatest Fear: Being misled or ignored 
Personalities: Expert/Guru, Investigator, Mentor
Key Attributes: Expert, Thinker, Philosopher, Reflective, Advisor, Teacher, Confident, In-control, Wisdom, Intelligence, Planner

Examples: Google, TED, BBC


The Innocent
The Honest, The Optimistic, The Pure

Innocent brand have the desire to be free and happy and to keep things simple—they communicate a positive worldview. Because of the optimistic character they are often successful because of moving through barriers, that would stop others. Another characteristic is that those brands aim to motivate others. Brand in health, cleanliness and natural products work with this archetype.

Goal: To be happy
Strategy: To do things right
Greatest Fear: To come across unhappiness
Characteristics: Wholesome, Pure, Forgiving, Trusting, Honest,Happy, Optimistic, Simple.

Innocent brands will promise Simplicity. 

“They will offer a somewhat simple solution to any problem associated with goodness, morality, simplicity, nostalgia, and childhood. Innocent brands will strive to do what is right and positive. Most of the time, their simplistic view of the world can be perceived as a weakness. They fear to do something immoral and to see the world being influenced by something negative or unnatural.”—Vision One market research

Examples: Dove, Ford, Coca Cola, Disney

“Dove aims to make women feel confident by using beauty products. Their recent #ShowUs campaign celebrates women in media and advertising. The result is a gallery of women who shatter stereotypes and redefine the meaning of beauty.”—Faith Lisondra [3]


The Lover
The Idealist, The Sensualist, The Seducer

Lover brands are all about creating relationships and creating emotions. They want to make people feel special to celebrate the physical joys of being human, fostering intimacy and bliss. Those brands are aesthetically pleasing are passionate and represent anything that pleasures the senses.

Goal: To be in a relationship with the people, work and surroundings.
Strategy: To become more and more physically and emotionally attractive
Key Attributes: Seek true love, intimacy, Sensuality, Passionate, Sexy, Seductive, Erotic, Seek Pleasure, To Indulge, Follow Emotions. 
Greatest Fear: Being alone or feeling unwanted
Personalities: Harmoniser, Connector, Partner

“The Lover Archetype are customers who value the aesthetic appearance of goods and services. They are likely to be drawn to premium brands that will make them seem more attractive to others.”—Vision One market research

Lover brands will promise Passion

Examples: Lindt, Chanel, Victoria’s Secret

Perfume and Cosmetic Brands core desires are evoking emotions through their cosmetic products and fragrances—as example Chanels branding itself focuses glamour and experiencing the best things in life and therefore representing a Lover brand archetype perfectly.

Through the combination of perfect storytelling and the power of scent—since smell is one of our senses which is deeply connected with emotions, memories and imagination—perfume brands can be considered to be the most powerful brands evoking feelings of joy.


The Hero
The Warrior, Champion Or Superhero

Hero brands are successful brands at producing consistent results. They are competent and courageous—they are winner and achievers that get things done effectively, in their mission to improve the world and foremost to leave a mark on the world.

Goal: Expert mastery in a way that improves the world
Strategy: To be as strong and competent as possible
Greatest Fear: Vulnerability and weakness
Personalities: Competitor, Achiever, Coach

Key Attributes: Warrior, Competitive, Aggressive, Winner, Principled, Idealist, Challenge, Courageous and Proud

Hero brands will promise Quality

“Hero customers value the quality and trust in their products. They like to think that their consumer choices will put them ahead of everyone else, making them less likely to be drawn in by funny or cute adverts.”—Vision One market research

Examples: BMW, Amazon, Adidas


The Rebel
The Revolutionary, The Powerful, The Liberated

Many Rebel brands are seen as revolutionary. They bring fresh perspectives, new outlooks and inspirational changes—they are anything but mainstream and make an efforts to stand out. Successful Rebel brands have a cult like following of people attracted by their energy.

Goal: To overturn what isn’t working
Strategy: Disrupt, Destroy or Shock
Greatest Fear: To be powerless
Personalities: The Troubleshooter, Game Changer, The Challenger

Key Attributes: Rebellious, Shocking, Outrageous, Disruptive,  Feared, Powerful, Counter-cultural, Liberated, Radical Freedom

The Rebel brand archetype really reflects those who were born to be wild. Rebel customers appreciate the unconventional and forcefully reject the status quo. They are likely to value shocking content or advertisements that are unique with no obvious ‘selling point’.

“The worst thing that could happen to the rebel brand would be to be bought out or for the brand to become too popular. If something isn’t working, the Rebel will destroy it. If they want revenge, they will take it. If they want to start a revolution, they will just do it. […] They won’t stick to industry conventions, they introduce a new attitude and let their customers know that it’s acceptable not to be a sheep in society.”—Vision One market research

Rebel brands will promise Revolution

Examples: Vans, Harley Davidson, Snickers, Jack Daniel’s


The Regular
The Realist, The Everyman, The Friend

Regular brands are empathic, humble and put honesty first. Many people feel a belonging towards those brands.

Goal: To belong 
Strategy: Be down-to-earth and develop solid virtues 
Greatest Fear: To be left out or stand out from the crowd 
Personalities: Realist, Democrat, Comrade

Key Attributes: Everyday functionality , Honesty, Dependable, not pretentious, straight shooter, people-oriented

Regular Guy brands will promise Belonging

“The most effective products or services that a brand can channel the Regular guy archetype are those that give people a sense of belonging with a high degree of practicality, functionality, and low to mid-degree of complexity. The Regular Guy archetype helps customers be OK just as they are.”—Vision One market research

Examples: VW, GAP, Levis


The Magician
The Healer, The Wizard, The Visionary

Magician Brands have a deep impact on the customer and give imagination a reason to go wild. They tend to think out of the box and unexpected. They promise transformative experiences and focus on individuals and motivates people to trust their instincts.

Goal: To make dreams come true
Strategy: Develop a vision and live by it
Greatest Fear: Negative consequences
Personalities: The Envisioner, Healer, Catalyst

Key Attributes: The visionary, Inventor, Spiritual, Values magical moments, Charismatic Leader, Holistic

Example: Redbull, xBox, Tui

“Audi have promoted themselves through this commercial as the magician brand archetype by firstly, the choice of the soundtrack ‘Pure Imagination’ By Willy Wonka, a magical film of mystique and enchantment. The advertisement takes you through the technological processes of building the new A5, but with the idea that it has been created and innovated along the lines of your imagination and therefore magical, making dreams come true.”—Vision One market research


The Explorer
The Explorer, Trailblazer, Pioneer or Adventurer

Explorer brands are restless, independent and self-motivated—they define freedom and are ambitious. Most of us love to travel and discover new things and people. When a brand does that as a person, people love to look forward to what they bring next. Explorer brands create products that promote individuality, excitement, and a way to experience new things.

Goal: To experience a more authentic and fulfilling life
Strategy: To journey, seek and experience new things
Greatest Fear: To be trapped and conform
Personalities: Individualist, seeker, Trailblazer

Key Attributes: Adventurous, Wanderer, Restless, Independent, Self-Directed, Self-sufficient and Values freedom

“The Explorer aims to make people feel free and nonconformist and also helps people express their individuality. Explorer brands are innovative and ambitious. They seek out the new, pushing boundaries and delighting in unexpected discoveries, whilst embracing a “no limit” philosophy.”—Vision One market research

The Explorer brand archetype promise Freedom.

Examples: RedBull, Northface, Jeep, GoPro

“As soon as you press play on this advertisement by GOpro, you can already sense through the soundtrack that it is all about discovery and freedom. GOpro brand themselves through nature, outdoor hobbies and exploration and they advertise their products to be an essential of this world in the most extreme environments. They aim to inspire travel in people, to go and find themselves and of course to capture every moment with their products.”—Vision One market research


The Ruler
The Leader, The Powerful, The Role Model

Ruler brands are leaders in their field—they show authority, create order out of the mess and care a legacy.

Goal: To create a prosperous, successful community 
Strategy: To exercise power 
Greatest Fear: Chaos and being overthrown 
Personalities: Peacemaker, Powerbroker, Conductor 

Key Attributes: Manager, Organiser, Productive, Confidence, Responsible, Role Model, The boss, The leader.

Examples: Starbucks, Rolex, Apple


The Caregiver
The Caregiver, Nurturer, Parent, Angel

Caregiver Brands are driven by their need to protect and care for others. Their values are empathy, protection, safety and support.

Goal: To help and care for others
Strategy: Protecting and doing things for others
Greatest Fear: Selfishness and Ingratitude
Personalities: Supporter, Advocate, Nurturer

Key Attributes: Altruistic, Selfless, Nurturing, Compassionate, Empathetic, Supportive and Generous

Examples: Innocent, Nivea


Sources

[1] Medium. 12 Brand Archetypes You Can Use to Effectively Position Your Brand. URL: https://medium.com/better-marketing/12-brand-archetypes-you-can-use-to-effectively-position-your-brand-75e0bce0adc6

[2] Sitebeat. 12 Archetypes Behind the World’s Biggest Brands. URL: https://www.sitebeat.com/learn/archetypes-behind-brands/

[3] Vision One. Brand Archetypes. URL: https://visionone.co.uk/brand-archetypes/

A small insight into a few VR/ AR/ MR headsets, glasses and other things

We still don’t know 100% what effects, specific to VR for example, can have on our health or on our brain in the long term. An MRI of the brain while using it cannot be done with VR because the head has to be kept still and that turns out to be a bit more difficult in this case. Using VR has many good aspects such as overcoming trauma, can bring out a realistic level of empathy, reduce pain or even cure phobias. However, stimulus overload can also, in the worst case scenario, lead to creating a new trauma. The warnings, requests for breaks, age limits, or the need to sign documents before using VR cannot be ignored or accepted as careless under any circumstances. This is precisely why it is important to consider in advance what technology to use for what purpose and whether a positive goal can be achieved with it.

In the process of my research, I was mainly interested in headsets, glasses or other things that are relatively easy to put on, as safe as possible to use and perhaps don’t completely exclude your own real environment or at least are easy to take off. Which technology, headset or glasses will end up being the best fit for my project will become clear over time. So here is a small selection of technologies that are interesting for me at the moment:

The Mixed-Reality-Headset Microsoft Hololens 2

  • This headset is put on and tightened with the help of a knob and a headband
  • Eye tracking
  • The headset does not need to be taken off because the visor can be folded upwards
  • Display does not have to be precisely aligned with the eyes to work due to the technology used (laser, mirror, waveguides) in the glasses
  • Not yet immersive enough for the normal consumer
MR Headset Microsoft Hololens 2

The first standalone mixed reality glasses Lynx-R1

  • Does not require external tracking sensors or other devices
  • Optical hand tracking
  • Digital elements can be added to a real-time filmed environment by two cameras on the display
  • VR and AR at the same time
  • Multiple cameras are used to film the environment
MR glasses Lynx-R1

Small VR glasses from Panasonic

  • Ordinary, commercially available VR glasses are much bigger and bulkier
  • Stereo speakers are integrated
  • Is put on like a normal pair of glasses 
  • Spatial tracking
  • Positional tracking through inside-out tracking cameras by tracking the position of the head mounted display and that of the controller
 Panasonics “VR Glasses”

AR glasses Rokid Vision 2

  • Must be connected with a cable to smartphone, laptop or tablet
  • Is put on like a normal pair of glasses 
  • Has Speakers for stereo sound
  • The glasses will be operated by voice control
  • There are specially developed scenarios, such as a Fantasy World. This is an immersive space in which the user can interact with the world through head-, gesture- or voice control
  • The user can move freely in the virtual space through room tracking
  • No word yet on when it will hit the market
AR glasses Rokid Vision 2

VR Arcade Game from The VOID or Sandbox VR

The VOID and Sandbox VR are actually both on the verge of going out of business. Due to the Corona crisis, all arcades had to close, and at the VOID, Disney withdrew several important licenses, such as Star Wars, because the company could not pay for them due to expensive equipment and associated debts. Still, the concept behind it is very exciting. Here are a few key points from The VOID:

  • Through a headset, motion capture cameras, 3D precision body tracking, haptic suits, props like flashlights or blasters meant to represent a weapon, one can explore the game in the physical environment and interact with a virtual world simultaneously 
  • Fully immersive through VR and at the same time physical in the game by making virtual objects resemble physical objects
  • So you are immersed in the game as the main character, and depending on the virtual world and story, you have to complete certain tasks as a team
The VOID Trailer

Sources

  1. Microsoft’s Hololens 2: A $3,500 Mixed Reality Headset for the factory, not the living room, Dieter Bohn (24.2.2019), https://www.theverge.com/2019/2/24/18235460/microsoft-hololens-2-price-specs-mixed-reality-ar-vr-business-work-features-mwc-2019
  2. Lynx-R1: Erste autarke Mixed-Reality-Brille vorgestellt, Tomislav Bezmalinovic (4.2.2020), https://mixed.de/lynx-r1-erste-autarke-mixed-reality-brille-vorgestellt/
  3. CES 2021: Panasonic zeigt extra-schlanke VR-Brille, Tomislav Bezmalinovic (12.1.2021), https://mixed.de/ces-2021-panasonic-zeigt-extra-schlanke-vr-brille/
  4. Rokid Vision 2: AR-Brille kommt in neuem Design, Tomislav Bezmalinovic (15.1.2021), https://mixed.de/rokid-vision-2-ar-brille-kommt-in-neuem-design/
  5. The VOID (2021), http://www.thevoid.com/what-is-the-void/
  6. The Void: Highend-VR-Arcade steht vor dem Aus, Tomislav Bezmalinovic (17.11.2020), https://mixed.de/the-void-highend-vr-arcade-steht-vor-dem-aus/
Haptik - Feedback - Sensitivity skin

Wie nehmen wir Haptik wahr?

Die haptische Wahrnehmung ist ziemlich ähnlich zur auditiven Wahrnehmung. Haptisches Feedback sind Frequenzen die über die Haut wahrgenommen werden. Die menschliche Haut reagiert auf Frequenzen zwischen 0.4 und 1000 Hz. Im Frequenzbereich zwischen 300 und 400 Hz reagiert unsere Haut besonders empfindlich.

» At a location with high sensitivity a vibration can be of lower intensity to get the same perception of intensity. « 

Rovers, A.F., van Essen, H.A., n.d. Using Active Haptic Feedback in Everyday Products.

In dieser Grafik werden die empfindlichsten Körperregionen dargestellt-

https://journals.plos.org/plosone/article/figure?id=10.1371/journal.pone.0031203.g002

https://journals.plos.org/plosone/article?id=10.1371/journal.pone.0031203

Jones, L.A., (2018). Haptics, The MIT Press essential knowledge series. The MIT Press, Cambridge, Massachusetts.

Alexander Moser
https://www.alexander-moser.at/

Analog / Digital – Tricks & Film

Nowadays the movies are full of animations, never mind if it’s a kids movie or a sci-fi blockbuster.

In the fully animated movie Monsters, Inc., released in 2001, all the figures, landscapes and effects were digitally created on the computer. The success of the movie came not only because of the funny story, but was also due to the incredibly high details the characters and the whole “set” showed. The monster Sullivan, for example, was rendered with a fur containing 2.3 million hairs!

Now, twenty years later, the possibilities to trick the audiences of course have increased. For movie studios it’s easy to put real actors into completely animated sceneries. Due to the increase in computing power everybody who’s capable of using a smartphone can easily morph their self portraits into younger or older versions of themselves. With some experience you should even be able to produce deepfake videos – a technique where mostly (famous) peoples’ faces are mapped onto faces in real videos or images. Taking the fact that these deepfakes, generated with help of machine learning and artificial intelligence, seem extremely realistic, the method of deepfake should be handled with care even though really funny things are possible.

Besides highly detailed digital effects, 3D-animations and renderings connecting reality and imagination on a level never reached before, all the movies we watch still make use of pretty easy tricks. Simple cuts and montage do not only create concise coherence but also create specific atmospheres and evoke emotions in the audience.

These methods are nothing new and neither connected to digital processes nor analog techniques – actually they have been used since the very early beginnings of film and movies in the early 20th century.

One of the pioneers of film was Georges Méliès, a French magician and manager-director of the Théâtre Robert-Houdin. Inspired by the Lumiere brothers’ performance of early motion pictures showing real life scenes, Méliès started to film scenes and experimented with the matter, which lead him to develop camera techniques such as stop-motion, slow-motion, superimposition or double exposure.

In a glass studio he built in the surroundings of Paris, Georges Méliès started to create theatrical sceneries, which in combination with film and camera made fictional narratives possible, like his most famous film Le Voyage dans la Lune from 1902. This movie showed the story of a handful of astronomers taking an adventurous journey to the moon via a cannon capsule and returning back to earth and thus can be seen as the first science fiction movie.

However as movies became more and more popular, big commercial film studios entered the market and forced Méliès out of business. In 1923 Georges Méliès burnt his entire life’s work with over 500 films, featuring partially hand colored movies, combining magic tricks, theatrical stage props and a variety of fantastic stories.

Luckily some (master) copies of his films survived around the globe and the genius of Méliès was rediscovered and the importance of his work was acknowledged by critics in the 1930s.

Almost one century after its first release, a colored copy of Méliès’ master piece was restored by Lobster Films. Between 1999 and 2010, up to date digital tools were used to carefully refurbish each of the 13,375 frames of the film, for which missing frames – lost or too damaged – have been taken from the black and white version and colored afterwards.

Taking into account that this movie reel was lost for decades, the digitally restored version partially resembles a hi-resolution short film, using numerous effects to make it look like it’s 100 years old.

Eventually Méliès’ Le Voyage Dans La Lune is a great example for what effects and analog techniques have been used from the beginning of film til nowadays as well as the resilience of analog media. Additionally the carefully restored version shows the possibilties of digital editing and it’s depth and accuracy.

Sources

https://de.wikipedia.org/wiki/Die_Monster_AG
https://disney.fandom.com/wiki/James_P._Sullivan?file=Profile_-_Sully.jpeg
https://www.britannica.com/biography/Georges-Melies
https://www.arte.tv/de/videos/099870-000-A/das-geheimnis-georges-melies/
https://www.arte.tv/de/videos/041651-000-A/die-reise-zum-mond/