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Transcription – a round-up of things we saw this week

By |September 30th, 2016|Syndicated Content|

Transcription - a round-up of things we saw this week

Our blog header image is a sneak peek from our upcoming fresh-n-tasty demo reel.

Welcome to Transcription, a round-up of recent news and points of interest across science, health, technology, and design.

•   •   •

PHARMA

Sanofi has a blog post talking about diversity and inclusion, and how essential they are for business success.

“Sanofi has diversity at its core” – Wema Hoover, our new Head of D&I. Read more from her in our latest blog post: https://t.co/sFZLE8Ejz2

— Sanofi US (@SanofiUS) September 27, 2016

 

Working Mother has named Novartis US a 100 Best Company.

Thank you @_WorkingMother_ for naming our US affiliate a 100 Best Company again this year. See why: https://t.co/SvGF1IhQZk #WM100BEST

— Novartis Pharma (@NovartisPharma) September 27, 2016

•   •   •

MEDICAL DEVICES

Dr Brennan Speigal of the Cedar-Sinai/AppliedVR clinical studies was tweeting about the need for more evidence behind digital health solutions this week. 

$487M in #digitalhealth funding in 2007. $4.5B in 2016. Now we need the evidence to keep pace w funding! #health2con pic.twitter.com/oovZFFDVrG

— Brennan Spiegel, MD (@BrennanSpiegel) September 27, 2016

 

Over on Gizmodo, Maddie Stone reported on the integration of the Thalmic Labs' Myo armband with prosthetics.

A behind-the-scenes look at a man's journey to become the world’s most sophisticated bionic man. https://t.co/WklPCtcbtx pic.twitter.com/2jvkO1XiB8

— Thalmic Labs (@thalmic) September 30, 2016

•   •   •

MIXED REALITY - AR, VR, MIXED, AND MERGED

There Is Only R spoke with Foursquare's Dennis Crowley about augmented reality, and building for right now versus building for the future.

A talk with @dens on @Foursquare's future, the role of "passive #AR" (e.g. audio) & what #PokemonGO's success means https://t.co/qiof91D6B5

— There Is Only R (@thereisonlyr) September 26, 2016

 

At Public Library of Science, Travis Saunders offered suggestions on how Pokémon Go could improve as a health app.

3 things Pokemon Go must do to actually improve public health https://t.co/PwGBRufEKp (thx for spotting typo, @scicurious)

— TravisSaunders (@TravisSaunders) September 27, 2016

•   •   •

MARKETING AND SOCIAL MEDIA

Snapchat’s new Spectacles have people abuzz this week – here’s a good piece by Maddy Myers on The Mary Sue about hurdles faced by of surveillence tech.

Are #Snapchat’s New #Spectacles Going to Make Surveillance Cool, At Last?https://t.co/rZsuLROXjw pic.twitter.com/gV0SekqGBy

— The Mary Sue (@TheMarySue) September 26, 2016

 

The IAB (Interactive Advertising Bureau) is developing guidelines to address adblockers, VR, and use of emoji in advertising.

The @iabcanada has offered new guidelines for marketing using everything from AR and VR to emojis. https://t.co/u8Aj5WnXtz pic.twitter.com/HmXwXqDO9v

— Marketing Magazine (@Marketing_Mag) September 27, 2016

•   •   •

DESIGN

Geometric cakes by Dinara Kasko (via Colossal).

Unusual Geometric Cake Designs by Dinara Kasko https://t.co/pAQxCSZDrz pic.twitter.com/vwoLqHci4Y

— Colossal (@Colossal) September 21, 2016

 

We think we need a projection-mapped, AR-gaming climbing wall, by Augmented Climbing. Yep, pretty sure we need that. Especially after geometric cake.


Follow INVIVO Communications on Twitter @INVIVOcom and don't miss the trailer for our new free VR game for HTC Vive, The Enlightened League of Bone Builders and the Osseous Enigma.

Transcription – a round-up of things we saw this week

By |September 30th, 2016|Syndicated Content|

Transcription - a round-up of things we saw this week

Our blog header image is a sneak peek from our upcoming fresh-n-tasty demo reel.

Welcome to Transcription, a round-up of recent news and points of interest across science, health, technology, and design.

•   •   •

PHARMA

Sanofi has a blog post talking about diversity and inclusion, and how essential they are for business success.

“Sanofi has diversity at its core” – Wema Hoover, our new Head of D&I. Read more from her in our latest blog post: https://t.co/sFZLE8Ejz2

— Sanofi US (@SanofiUS) September 27, 2016

 

Working Mother has named Novartis US a 100 Best Company.

Thank you @_WorkingMother_ for naming our US affiliate a 100 Best Company again this year. See why: https://t.co/SvGF1IhQZk #WM100BEST

— Novartis Pharma (@NovartisPharma) September 27, 2016

•   •   •

MEDICAL DEVICES

Dr Brennan Speigal of the Cedar-Sinai/AppliedVR clinical studies was tweeting about the need for more evidence behind digital health solutions this week. 

$487M in #digitalhealth funding in 2007. $4.5B in 2016. Now we need the evidence to keep pace w funding! #health2con pic.twitter.com/oovZFFDVrG

— Brennan Spiegel, MD (@BrennanSpiegel) September 27, 2016

 

Over on Gizmodo, Maddie Stone reported on the integration of the Thalmic Labs' Myo armband with prosthetics.

A behind-the-scenes look at a man's journey to become the world’s most sophisticated bionic man. https://t.co/WklPCtcbtx pic.twitter.com/2jvkO1XiB8

— Thalmic Labs (@thalmic) September 30, 2016

•   •   •

MIXED REALITY - AR, VR, MIXED, AND MERGED

There Is Only R spoke with Foursquare's Dennis Crowley about augmented reality, and building for right now versus building for the future.

A talk with @dens on @Foursquare's future, the role of "passive #AR" (e.g. audio) & what #PokemonGO's success means https://t.co/qiof91D6B5

— There Is Only R (@thereisonlyr) September 26, 2016

 

At Public Library of Science, Travis Saunders offered suggestions on how Pokémon Go could improve as a health app.

3 things Pokemon Go must do to actually improve public health https://t.co/PwGBRufEKp (thx for spotting typo, @scicurious)

— TravisSaunders (@TravisSaunders) September 27, 2016

•   •   •

MARKETING AND SOCIAL MEDIA

Snapchat’s new Spectacles have people abuzz this week – here’s a good piece by Maddy Myers on The Mary Sue about hurdles faced by of surveillence tech.

Are #Snapchat’s New #Spectacles Going to Make Surveillance Cool, At Last?https://t.co/rZsuLROXjw pic.twitter.com/gV0SekqGBy

— The Mary Sue (@TheMarySue) September 26, 2016

 

The IAB (Interactive Advertising Bureau) is developing guidelines to address adblockers, VR, and use of emoji in advertising.

The @iabcanada has offered new guidelines for marketing using everything from AR and VR to emojis. https://t.co/u8Aj5WnXtz pic.twitter.com/HmXwXqDO9v

— Marketing Magazine (@Marketing_Mag) September 27, 2016

•   •   •

DESIGN

Geometric cakes by Dinara Kasko (via Colossal).

Unusual Geometric Cake Designs by Dinara Kasko https://t.co/pAQxCSZDrz pic.twitter.com/vwoLqHci4Y

— Colossal (@Colossal) September 21, 2016

 

We think we need a projection-mapped, AR-gaming climbing wall, by Augmented Climbing. Yep, pretty sure we need that. Especially after geometric cake.


Compiled by INVIVO Social Media Manager Glendon Mellow. Follow INVIVO Communications on Twitter @INVIVOcom and don't miss the trailer for our new free VR game for HTC Vive, The Enlightened League of Bone Builders and the Osseous Enigma.

Transcription – a round-up of things we saw this week

By |September 30th, 2016|Syndicated Content|

Transcription - a round-up of things we saw this week

Our blog header image is a sneak peek from our upcoming fresh-n-tasty demo reel.

Welcome to Transcription, a round-up of recent news and points of interest across science, health, technology, and design.

•   •   •

PHARMA

Sanofi has a blog post talking about diversity and inclusion, and how essential they are for business success.

“Sanofi has diversity at its core” – Wema Hoover, our new Head of D&I. Read more from her in our latest blog post: https://t.co/sFZLE8Ejz2

— Sanofi US (@SanofiUS) September 27, 2016

 

Working Mother has named Novartis US a 100 Best Company.

Thank you @_WorkingMother_ for naming our US affiliate a 100 Best Company again this year. See why: https://t.co/SvGF1IhQZk #WM100BEST

— Novartis Pharma (@NovartisPharma) September 27, 2016

•   •   •

MEDICAL DEVICES

Dr Brennan Speigal of the Cedar-Sinai/AppliedVR clinical studies was tweeting about the need for more evidence behind digital health solutions this week. 

$487M in #digitalhealth funding in 2007. $4.5B in 2016. Now we need the evidence to keep pace w funding! #health2con pic.twitter.com/oovZFFDVrG

— Brennan Spiegel, MD (@BrennanSpiegel) September 27, 2016

 

Over on Gizmodo, Maddie Stone reported on the integration of the Thalmic Labs' Myo armband with prosthetics.

A behind-the-scenes look at a man's journey to become the world’s most sophisticated bionic man. https://t.co/WklPCtcbtx pic.twitter.com/2jvkO1XiB8

— Thalmic Labs (@thalmic) September 30, 2016

•   •   •

MIXED REALITY - AR, VR, MIXED, AND MERGED

There Is Only R spoke with Foursquare's Dennis Crowley about augmented reality, and building for right now versus building for the future.

A talk with @dens on @Foursquare's future, the role of "passive #AR" (e.g. audio) & what #PokemonGO's success means https://t.co/qiof91D6B5

— There Is Only R (@thereisonlyr) September 26, 2016

 

At Public Library of Science, Travis Saunders offered suggestions on how Pokémon Go could improve as a health app.

3 things Pokemon Go must do to actually improve public health https://t.co/PwGBRufEKp (thx for spotting typo, @scicurious)

— TravisSaunders (@TravisSaunders) September 27, 2016

•   •   •

MARKETING AND SOCIAL MEDIA

Snapchat’s new Spectacles have people abuzz this week – here’s a good piece by Maddy Myers on The Mary Sue about hurdles faced by surveillence tech.

Are #Snapchat’s New #Spectacles Going to Make Surveillance Cool, At Last?https://t.co/rZsuLROXjw pic.twitter.com/gV0SekqGBy

— The Mary Sue (@TheMarySue) September 26, 2016

 

The IAB (Interactive Advertising Bureau) is developing guidelines to address adblockers, VR, and use of emoji in advertising.

The @iabcanada has offered new guidelines for marketing using everything from AR and VR to emojis. https://t.co/u8Aj5WnXtz pic.twitter.com/HmXwXqDO9v

— Marketing Magazine (@Marketing_Mag) September 27, 2016

•   •   •

DESIGN

Geometric cakes by Dinara Kasko (via Colossal).

Unusual Geometric Cake Designs by Dinara Kasko https://t.co/pAQxCSZDrz pic.twitter.com/vwoLqHci4Y

— Colossal (@Colossal) September 21, 2016

 

We think we need a projection-mapped, AR-gaming climbing wall, by Augmented Climbing. Yep, pretty sure we need that. Especially after geometric cake.


Compiled by INVIVO Social Media Manager Glendon Mellow. Follow INVIVO Communications on Twitter @INVIVOcom and don't miss the trailer for our new free VR game for HTC Vive, The Enlightened League of Bone Builders and the Osseous Enigma.

INVIVO presents…The Enlightened League of Bone Builders & the Osseous Enigma

By |August 30th, 2016|Syndicated Content|

INVIVO presents…The Enlightened League of Bone Builders & the Osseous Enigma

“We mustn't keep poor Yorick waiting,” admonishes a voice from nowhere, yet everywhere.

The small, cluttered room is packed, every flat surface piled high with dusty leather-bound books whose gold leaf catches a soft orange flicker from the fireplace. Beakers, an antique boat, a marble bust, bottles of green and red. Every inch of floral wall paper is blotted out with old maps that don’t seem quite right, wood engravings of unlikely sea creatures, dark portraits of long-dead people, bugs and butterflies by the dozen. The cabinet on the other side of the room is filled with specimen jars containing murky shapes that I’d rather not examine too closely. There’s a cabinet of medieval weaponry and old medical equipment, the kind that makes you cringe. It’s how I would imagine Sherlock Holmes’ study would look, the clutter indicative of an insatiable curiosity.

In the centre of all this intrigue a jumble of bones is scattered carelessly across the desk, waiting to be unknotted and assembled.

I’m halfway through my task of building Yorick’s skeleton, but the omniscient voice, a cantankerous old Brit, just won't let up. “No point in loitering around like a gossiping simpleton, this isn’t the public bathhouses you know.” Despite the reasonably extensive anatomy training I received in grad school, I can’t figure out how I’ve attached this humerus incorrectly. My self-doubt is exacerbated by the timer on the table, whose numbers flip mercilessly onward. I’m not doing a very good job. At all.

"Quit this buffoonery!"

There’s no way I’m going to get accepted into The League at this rate.

Then I hear another voice, maybe two, distant and seemingly from another world. Annoyed, I take off the headset and I’m immediately startled back to reality, staring at the brick wall in the corner of the INVIVO common area. Alina and Janice don’t look impressed as I weakly wave the hand controllers in defense. Apparently I’m 20 minutes late for our production meeting.
Has it really been that long?

I was, of course, testing INVIVO’s latest virtual reality experience, The Enlightened League of Bone Builders & the Osseous Enigmanow available for free download on the Steam Store. What makes this project particularly exciting is that it’s an INVIVO first for the new HTC Vive VR headset, released earlier this year. We love the Oculus, but the Vive seems like something different altogether.

INVIVO presents…The Enlightened League of Bone Builders & the Osseous Enigma

The idea for the “Bone Builder” app was hatched during our first brainstorming session, only a couple of months ago. We wanted to create a Vive proof-of-concept that would show off what can be done with the new technology, play to its strengths, and present something different from what is currently being developed by other groups.

For starters, we were excited to take advantage of the Vive’s hand controllers, one of its key differentiators with competing headsets. The accuracy of their real-time tracking is remarkable, and the ability to use your hands to interact with virtual objects adds a whole new world of possibilities, beyond the gaze-based interactions of other VR devices. So developing a game that requires objects to be manipulated and assembled seemed like a good start. Building a skeleton sounded like an interesting challenge that anyone could enjoy.

We also wanted to create a rich, immersive and unique virtual environment for this demo. High-tech widgets and futuristic design are all the rage in games these days, and we certainly love them in our 3D animations when explaining cutting-edge medical devices. However, we wanted to do something a little different here. Steampunk was also a little overdone, but we were getting closer.

The Vive also ships with remote sensors and allows you to set up a physical area within your room which the user can actually walk around. This allows the user to explore their VR space in a far more immersive manner.

And so the idea of building a skeleton in a Victorian study filled with scientific curiosities was agreed upon. It was interesting, relatable and full of options for exploration. There was also plenty of room for gamification: levels of difficulty could be controlled by the complexity of the skeleton; a timer could be used to create a gaming experience; and there were many, many ideas involving the various items in the room, most of which are too ridiculous to write here.

Who knows though, so keep an eye out for later builds...

INVIVO presents…The Enlightened League of Bone Builders & the Osseous Enigma

“Try not to dilly dally.”

Vague concepts in place, Vitaly immediately jumped into the task of building the room and preparing low-poly anatomy models. Based on the actual plans of Sherlock Holmes’ study, the scene came together surprisingly quickly in Autodesk 3DSMax. These assets were imported into Unity, our gaming engine of choice, and passed over to Megan, our principal Unity developer on this project.

Within a week or two, a fully functioning prototype had been created. The essentials were all there: a table, a complete set of bones, and a hook upon which to hang them. A fully functioning physics system was also developed: bones could be picked up, examined, bounced off the walls or thrown onto the Big Lebowski-inspired carpet. Even without all the bells and whistles, it was an awesome feeling to experience for the first time. The bones could even be juggled accurately, according to one tester, but I don't pretend to have that skill in either the virtual or real world.

As more team members were inspired to create their own objects, the room started to take on a complex and amusing personality of its own. Much of this was spearheaded by Jenn, whose devil-may-care approach to Victorian interior decorating was instrumental in fully realizing the richness of the room.  Imagination unleashed, Jenn, Megan and their consortium of 3D co-conspirators amassed an intriguing collection of curios, mostly below the project management radar. Next time you’re in there, make sure you look for the jar with the heart in it (bring it close to your ear to hear it beating), the bone-saw carrying case, the snake in the cage (don’t shake it too hard), and the magnifying glass on the writing table by the window (it actually works). Be sure to click on the phonograph to get some authentically scratchy, and slightly creepy, music from the time period. The song isn’t to your liking? Click again.

Everything that is not locked away in a cabinet can be picked up, examined, and of course, thrown against the wall or into the fire. See how Yorick looks with a Viking helmet on, or the Lennon glasses, or the short sword and shield.

Things break, things burn. Just don’t forget—the timer’s running.

INVIVO presents…The Enlightened League of Bone Builders & the Osseous Enigma

“This is a perversion of science!”

While the rest of the team was working away, Paul and I started working on the script for a tutorial that would guide new users through the experience. We wanted it to be clear, yet also fully integrated into the actual experience: get people playing straight away and let them explore. The extra challenge here was that a large proportion of users may never have had the chance to put on a VR headset before, let alone use hand controllers to hang the femur in its correct orientation on a swaying pelvis. So the game play had to be simple and intuitive.

We also know from experience that, unlike a play-through animation, on-screen text needs to be delicately designed in VR, so we wanted to include as many audio cues as possible. Enter our mysterious ornery narrator, spokesman for the clandestine Enlightened League of Bone Builders, who basically wrote himself into the script. He’s a remarkably contradictory fellow who watches your every move: sometimes charming, sometimes cheeky, sometimes just plain rude. Not one to shy away from what he really thinks, especially after a sherry cobbler or two for breakfast.

With a small amount of convincing, we were able to persuade Russell to lend his voice to the experience. We needed a real Brit for this job, and Russell’s hesitation rapidly dissolved as he unleashed lines like “Stop this atrocity!” and the crowd favourite, “Where’d you learn that, down at the brothel with the other barber surgeons?” Just wait to hear his disappointment if you don’t make it onto the leaderboard. I still don’t know what a ‘timber doodle’ is, but it hurts just the same.

 

The Enlightened League of Bone Builders -our new #VR game for @htcvive: https://t.co/bokaF34qHA #hcsmca #sciart pic.twitter.com/P6SYCypC0z

— INVIVO (@INVIVOcom) August 5, 2016

 

“You could lose an eye with that thing.”

By this point, Jeff, Adora and Andréa were involved, optimizing user interactions, making sure the tutorial was clear, and running a preliminary battery of user testing. It was interesting to see how quickly most users’ experience turned from a didactic anatomy exercise into a frenzy of smashing lab equipment with a rib cage, katar or mandolin. Given the option to either learn and build, or just mindlessly break things, it’s amazing how consistently people pick the latter in the end. But maybe that’s just us.

To add the final polish, Noémi was working on some graphic design elements, including in-game typography, icons, arrows and other visual cues. She also accepted the challenge of creating a crest for the Enlightened League of Bone Builders, a harrowing task considering the shadowy members of The League are not exactly understanding in the face of disappointment.

Lastly, to make the experience even more immersive, Jenn hit the sound effects libraries to provide audio cues and bring all the events to life. Even Mauricio got his hands dirty, creating some appropriately ominous and intriguing sound design. All of these contributions were painstakingly documented, tracked, questioned, clarified, checked, verified, double-checked, re-verified, before being given the green light by Tim, our newest eagle-eyed QA analyst.

 

 

 

“Well isn’t Yorick looking dapper.”

So that brings us back to now, and the launch of the game. In the hands of so many talented people, it's taken on a life of its own. Equal parts anatomy learning tool, escape room and rage room. Even though it started out a simple proof-of-concept, it's the most accomplished VR experience we've created. It shows what a group of talented and inspired artists, developers, writers and designers are capable of when given freedom to collaborate and create on their own terms. Once again, we've taken the newest technology and used it to do what we do best—make science engaging, entertaining, interesting, and unexpected. Teach you something. Tell a good story. Science, technology and art. It's the foundation of everything we do.

So, if you are lucky enough to have access to a Vive, go on...head over to the Steam Store, don your headset and step into the room. Let’s see if you’ve got what it takes to join The Enlightened League of Bone Builders.


By Jason Raine, Director of Animation

Watch the trailer on Vimeo or YouTube, and follow INVIVO on Twitter @INVIVOcom

Visit the Steam store to download The Enlightened League of Bone Builders for HTC Vive.

INVIVO presents…The Enlightened League of Bone Builders & the Osseous Enigma

By |August 30th, 2016|Syndicated Content|

INVIVO presents…The Enlightened League of Bone Builders & the Osseous Enigma

“We mustn't keep poor Yorick waiting,” admonishes a voice from nowhere, yet everywhere.

The small, cluttered room is packed, every flat surface piled high with dusty leather-bound books whose gold leaf catches a soft orange flicker from the fireplace. Beakers, an antique boat, a marble bust, bottles of green and red. Every inch of floral wall paper is blotted out with old maps that don’t seem quite right, wood engravings of unlikely sea creatures, dark portraits of long-dead people, bugs and butterflies by the dozen. The cabinet on the other side of the room is filled with specimen jars containing murky shapes that I’d rather not examine too closely. There’s a cabinet of medieval weaponry and old medical equipment, the kind that makes you cringe. It’s how I would imagine Sherlock Holmes’ study would look, the clutter indicative of an insatiable curiosity.

In the centre of all this intrigue a jumble of bones is scattered carelessly across the desk, waiting to be unknotted and assembled.

I’m halfway through my task of building Yorick’s skeleton, but the omniscient voice, a cantankerous old Brit, just won't let up. “No point in loitering around like a gossiping simpleton, this isn’t the public bathhouses you know.” Despite the reasonably extensive anatomy training I received in grad school, I can’t figure out how I’ve attached this humerus incorrectly. My self-doubt is exacerbated by the timer on the table, whose numbers flip mercilessly onward. I’m not doing a very good job. At all.

"Quit this buffoonery!"

There’s no way I’m going to get accepted into The League at this rate.

Then I hear another voice, maybe two, distant and seemingly from another world. Annoyed, I take off the headset and I’m immediately startled back to reality, staring at the brick wall in the corner of the INVIVO common area. Alina and Janice don’t look impressed as I weakly wave the hand controllers in defense. Apparently I’m 20 minutes late for our production meeting.
Has it really been that long?

I was, of course, testing INVIVO’s latest virtual reality experience, The Enlightened League of Bone Builders & the Osseous Enigmanow available for free download on the Steam Store. What makes this project particularly exciting is that it’s an INVIVO first for the new HTC Vive VR headset, released earlier this year. We love the Oculus, but the Vive seems like something different altogether.

INVIVO presents…The Enlightened League of Bone Builders & the Osseous Enigma

The idea for the “Bone Builder” app was hatched during our first brainstorming session, only a couple of months ago. We wanted to create a Vive proof-of-concept that would show off what can be done with the new technology, play to its strengths, and present something different from what is currently being developed by other groups.

For starters, we were excited to take advantage of the Vive’s hand controllers, one of its key differentiators with competing headsets. The accuracy of their real-time tracking is remarkable, and the ability to use your hands to interact with virtual objects adds a whole new world of possibilities, beyond the gaze-based interactions of other VR devices. So developing a game that requires objects to be manipulated and assembled seemed like a good start. Building a skeleton sounded like an interesting challenge that anyone could enjoy.

We also wanted to create a rich, immersive and unique virtual environment for this demo. High-tech widgets and futuristic design are all the rage in games these days, and we certainly love them in our 3D animations when explaining cutting-edge medical devices. However, we wanted to do something a little different here. Steampunk was also a little overdone, but we were getting closer.

The Vive also ships with remote sensors and allows you to set up a physical area within your room which the user can actually walk around. This allows the user to explore their VR space in a far more immersive manner.

And so the idea of building a skeleton in a Victorian study filled with scientific curiosities was agreed upon. It was interesting, relatable and full of options for exploration. There was also plenty of room for gamification: levels of difficulty could be controlled by the complexity of the skeleton; a timer could be used to create a gaming experience; and there were many, many ideas involving the various items in the room, most of which are too ridiculous to write here.

Who knows though, so keep an eye out for later builds...

INVIVO presents…The Enlightened League of Bone Builders & the Osseous Enigma

“Try not to dilly dally.”

Vague concepts in place, Vitaly immediately jumped into the task of building the room and preparing low-poly anatomy models. Based on the actual plans of Sherlock Holmes’ study, the scene came together surprisingly quickly in Autodesk 3DSMax. These assets were imported into Unity, our gaming engine of choice, and passed over to Megan, our principal Unity developer on this project.

Within a week or two, a fully functioning prototype had been created. The essentials were all there: a table, a complete set of bones, and a hook upon which to hang them. A fully functioning physics system was also developed: bones could be picked up, examined, bounced off the walls or thrown onto the Big Lebowski-inspired carpet. Even without all the bells and whistles, it was an awesome feeling to experience for the first time. The bones could even be juggled accurately, according to one tester, but I don't pretend to have that skill in either the virtual or real world.

As more team members were inspired to create their own objects, the room started to take on a complex and amusing personality of its own. Much of this was spearheaded by Jenn, whose devil-may-care approach to Victorian interior decorating was instrumental in fully realizing the richness of the room.  Imagination unleashed, Jenn, Megan and their consortium of 3D co-conspirators amassed an intriguing collection of curios, mostly below the project management radar. Next time you’re in there, make sure you look for the jar with the heart in it (bring it close to your ear to hear it beating), the bone-saw carrying case, the snake in the cage (don’t shake it too hard), and the magnifying glass on the writing table by the window (it actually works). Be sure to click on the phonograph to get some authentically scratchy, and slightly creepy, music from the time period. The song isn’t to your liking? Click again.

Everything that is not locked away in a cabinet can be picked up, examined, and of course, thrown against the wall or into the fire. See how Yorick looks with a Viking helmet on, or the Lennon glasses, or the short sword and shield.

Things break, things burn. Just don’t forget—the timer’s running.

INVIVO presents…The Enlightened League of Bone Builders & the Osseous Enigma

“This is a perversion of science!”

While the rest of the team was working away, Paul and I started working on the script for a tutorial that would guide new users through the experience. We wanted it to be clear, yet also fully integrated into the actual experience: get people playing straight away and let them explore. The extra challenge here was that a large proportion of users may never have had the chance to put on a VR headset before, let alone use hand controllers to hang the femur in its correct orientation on a swaying pelvis. So the game play had to be simple and intuitive.

We also know from experience that, unlike a play-through animation, on-screen text needs to be delicately designed in VR, so we wanted to include as many audio cues as possible. Enter our mysterious ornery narrator, spokesman for the clandestine Enlightened League of Bone Builders, who basically wrote himself into the script. He’s a remarkably contradictory fellow who watches your every move: sometimes charming, sometimes cheeky, sometimes just plain rude. Not one to shy away from what he really thinks, especially after a sherry cobbler or two for breakfast.

With a small amount of convincing, we were able to persuade Russell to lend his voice to the experience. We needed a real Brit for this job, and Russell’s hesitation rapidly dissolved as he unleashed lines like “Stop this atrocity!” and the crowd favourite, “Where’d you learn that, down at the brothel with the other barber surgeons?” Just wait to hear his disappointment if you don’t make it onto the leaderboard. I still don’t know what a ‘timber doodle’ is, but it hurts just the same.

 

The Enlightened League of Bone Builders -our new #VR game for @htcvive: https://t.co/bokaF34qHA #hcsmca #sciart pic.twitter.com/P6SYCypC0z

— INVIVO (@INVIVOcom) August 5, 2016

 

“You could lose an eye with that thing.”

By this point, Jeff, Adora and Andréa were involved, optimizing user interactions, making sure the tutorial was clear, and running a preliminary battery of user testing. It was interesting to see how quickly most users’ experience turned from a didactic anatomy exercise into a frenzy of smashing lab equipment with a rib cage, katar or mandolin. Given the option to either learn and build, or just mindlessly break things, it’s amazing how consistently people pick the latter in the end. But maybe that’s just us.

To add the final polish, Noémi was working on some graphic design elements, including in-game typography, icons, arrows and other visual cues. She also accepted the challenge of creating a crest for the Enlightened League of Bone Builders, a harrowing task considering the shadowy members of The League are not exactly understanding in the face of disappointment.

Lastly, to make the experience even more immersive, Jenn hit the sound effects libraries to provide audio cues and bring all the events to life. Even Mauricio got his hands dirty, creating some appropriately ominous and intriguing sound design.

 

 

 

“Well isn’t Yorick looking dapper.”

So that brings us back to now, and the launch of the game. In the hands of so many talented people, it's taken on a life of its own. Equal parts anatomy learning tool, escape room and rage room. Even though it started out a simple proof-of-concept, it's the most accomplished VR experience we've created. It shows what a group of talented and inspired artists, developers, writers and designers are capable of when given freedom to collaborate and create on their own terms. Once again, we've taken the newest technology and used it to do what we do best—make science engaging, entertaining, interesting, and unexpected. Teach you something. Tell a good story. Science, technology and art. It's the foundation of everything we do.

So, if you are lucky enough to have access to a Vive, go on...head over to the Steam Store, don your headset and step into the room. Let’s see if you’ve got what it takes to join The Enlightened League of Bone Builders.


By Jason Raine, Director of Animation

Watch the trailer on Vimeo or YouTube, and follow INVIVO on Twitter @INVIVOcom

Visit the Steam store to download The Enlightened League of Bone Builders for HTC Vive.

INVIVO Communications named in MM&M Top 100 Agencies for 2016

By |July 29th, 2016|Syndicated Content|

INVIVO Communications named in MM&M Top 100 Agencies for 2016

We’re proud to share that once again, we’ve been named as one of Medical Marketing & Media Magazine’s annual Top 100 Agencies.

Interviewing our President Andrea Bielecki, MM&M reporter Susan Mahoney focused on our expertise working with emerging technologies, such as virtual and augmented reality. “When a brand's communication strategy involves explaining complex anatomy, 3-D animation, and surgical simulations, this approach is very powerful.”

MM&M (Medical Marketing & Media), published by Haymarket Media, is the monthly business magazine directed at pharmaceutical and medical marketers.
Read the whole article at Medical Marketing & Media

INVIVO Communications named in MM&M Top 100 Agencies for 2016


Make sure to subscribe to our RSS feed and follow us on LinkedIn & Twitter to learn more about our exciting work this year.

Unboxing the Microsoft Hololens

By |June 6th, 2016|Syndicated Content|

Unboxing the Microsoft Hololens

INVIVO President Andrea Bielecki trying out the Hololens. 

Developing for mixed reality devices has become an important part of our work here at INVIVO the past few years. Now that we are an official Microsoft Hololens developer, watch as we unbox the augmented reality device for the first time and give it a whirl. Who doesn't love weightlifting holograms? 

 


Social media manager Glendon Mellow unboxing the Hololens

 


INVIVO President Andrea Bielecki having some fun with the Hololens.

Watch our blog and Work page to see what we develop for this exciting new tech. 


Subscribe to us on YouTube and Vimeo, and find our video clips on Vine @INVIVOcom.

Time to Play The Light That Saved Christmas

By |December 22nd, 2015|Syndicated Content|

Time to Play The Light That Saved Christmas

Happy Holidays from all of us at INVIVO!

At INVIVO we believe in the importance of PLAY, so continuing in the tradition of our past games like Winter Sprinter and The Santastic Voyage, we're pleased to bring you a new desktop browser game, The Light That Saved Christmas

To say thank you for taking the time to play and share our game, we are proud to contribute to the Right to Play organization.
Right to Play believes that play can inspire individuals and bring together entire communities. When children play, they develop skills like cooperation, confidence and leadership.
Play provides a retreat from everyday hardships and brings joy and laughter, allowing kids to be kids.

When children play, the world wins.  To contribute, please visit www.righttoplay.com

Get ready to travel a neuron from Rudolph's brain to his light-up nose and save Christmas!

Firefox, Safari, IE: play here
Chrome: play here

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