Intern series: How to land an internship in a tech company

Vivienne Zhu is a Commerce & Law student at Monash University currently interning with Appearition’s head office in Melbourne.

How’d I get land my first internship? By telling Tushar about my lonely yet, solution oriented solo hike on the snow covered Bukhansan Mountain in Korea. This is only half true. My passion for marketing, previous work in a NFP and willingness to step out of my comfort zone shone through against many other candidates.

Landing an internship in a tech company without tech knowledge?

As someone who has never learnt about IT, augmented reality or coding, it’s quite different and interesting to work in this environment. Often others in the office use a lot of technical terms that I don’t necessarily understand, but I’m always free to ask (or Google in my spare time). However, the technical jargon that comes along in a tech space naturally becomes more comprehensible.

As a marketing intern, my first few weeks consisted primarily of competitive analysis and events research. However, I was soon trusted to start my own social media campaigns on Twitter, Facebook, and LinkedIn. I constantly put my hand up to take on opportunities within my capabilities – e.g. filming and editing a video for a client. This allowed my peers to see that I was capable of more than what they initially thought.

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In my first three months, I’ve had opportunities to work on new projects and learn more practical marketing skills (social media analysis, Google Adwords and driving B2B Marketing). Whilst I am not majoring or studying marketing, I am continuously developing my skills in this digital age of marketing. Creating content and following trends is very important. Whilst I’ve learnt so much about marketing, I’ve also learnt about the intricacies of augmented reality.

What is augmented reality?

Before this internship. I had no idea what augmented reality was. Prior to my interview, I was furiously researching about the industry. AR is still quite new and my only touch point was my Snapchat obsession (sorry to disappoint but I never got into the Pokemon Go fad). I’ve experimented with Appearition’s apps, and now understand the solutions they provide for businesses. AR goes far beyond consumer capabilities, but is likely to have a great impact in the workplace in the future.rgea

I look forward to the coming weeks and potential projects I’ll be involved in, and I know this is just the beginning for my personal augmented reality journey.

By the way, I wasn’t completely alone on the mountains. I strategically followed three senior Korean hikers who took me on the hike of a lifetime. At the end of the day, it’s all about strategy, passion and drive.

If you’d like to follow my work – like our Twitter, Facebook, and LinkedIn pages!

 

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Staff Blog: Mucking about with 360 VideoSphere VR Part 1

I looked about Antarctica in all directions. From the snowy landscape rising towards the centre of the continent to the waves breaking against the beach; a beach made of large pebbles, clearly visible at my feet.

VideoSphere (360 video) is real world footage that enables you to look in all directions including up and down even on a regular computer. Use a VR (Virtual Reality) headset and it will fill your field of view and move with your head. This means you are no longer limited to a window predefined by somebody else. I’m a history geek so I used it for Cultural Heritage. However, if it is broadcast live, at your sister’s wedding or a music concert, you can be 1,000 miles away, but see exactly what you would see sitting in the audience.

My first experience was with its sibling, PhotoSphere (which are 360 still images). I was “standing” on the Antarctic beach, while physically located in my kitchen in Australia, thanks to Paul Pichugin[1].

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360 Video in Practice 

If you have not come across VideoSphere it is only a matter of time. Mainstream news organisations, tourism and sporting bodies are already using it as more than a novelty. You can even produce it yourself for family and friends.

At the entry level, you can pick up a decent camera with respectable sound capture, such as the Samsung Gear 360[2], for under US$500 (plus software such as Adobe Premiere[3] and a computer with enough grunt to run it. If you’re a serious professional and have US$45,000 handy, you can pick up Nokia Ozo, a bargain down from its original US$60,000 price tag[4]

Another factor is sound. Capturing ambient noise is not difficult. If you would like to capture directional sound and edit layers of sound (e.g. voice, action, music, and ambient) to a high quality then you may need a sound technician with a directional sound rig, editing desk, and software.

Using VideoSphere Yourself 

If you’re interested in producing your own VideoSphere, having one done professionally, or are just curious about the technology, you can read this series. I’ll cover the lessons (and mistakes to avoid) that I learnt by producing this short film aboard an old-fashioned Sailing Ship[5] for the Melbourne Fringe Festival. You can watch the video below on Youtube with a Google Cardboard headset and selecting the google_cardboard_logo symbol. 

A quick aside on the furious debate – VR or not VR

You may encounter an argument that 360 should not be referred to as VR because you can look but not touch. I.e. you can’t interact the way you can with responsive computer generated (CG) content. It’s true, but it’s like arguing that a spider is not an insect. most people just don’t care. So, for the sake of simplicity I am bundling this into the Mixed Reality family.

Next week

Tune in next week for my next article: All Goes Well, Until It Doesn’t: Putting together a production in record time with technology so new it has not yet been released in the country has its risks

Useful Links
    1. Paul Pichugin’s Antarctica: http://immersiveimages.com.au/tours/antarctica/#s=pano10
    2. Samsung Gear 360 Camera: http://www.samsung.com/global/galaxy/gear-360/
    3. Adobe Premiere video editing software: https://helpx.adobe.com/premiere-pro/system-requirements.html
    4. Nokia Ozo 360 Camera: https://ozo.nokia.com/# 
    5. Melbourne’s Tall Ship Enterprize: http://www.enterprize.org.au/

 

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virtual reality to drive social change

Three ways to use virtual reality to drive social change

In this day and age, we can use social media, augmented reality and virtual reality to drive social change by altering the way we campaign for causes. When a potential audience of billions can be reached with content to highlight a social issue, the impact is often swift and significant – think of the Ice Bucket Challenge. Augmented reality (AR), virtual reality (VR) and mixed reality (MR) have major roles to play in an era where change is literally in the palm of anyone’s hand. Here’s why.

It gives people a voice

billgates-booksOne of the best ways to open hearts and minds to a cause is to connect potential contributors with the people who stand to benefit from their con
tributions. No less than Bill Gates has shown how it’s done, allowing readers of his blog
Gates Notes to join him in his efforts to combat AIDS in Africa in a 360-degree VR film. “Meeting” people living with AIDS and the people working towards an AIDS-free future inspires viewers to make a difference.

 

Helping others connect with a situation

 

Now that you’ve met the people who need your help, VR can give you a better understanding of why they need your help. “If you could shuffle all of the homes in the world like a deck of cards so that people in wealthy countries lived side by side with people from poor countries, it would transform the world’s fight against poverty, hunger, and disease,” Gates writes. “It would be impossible for people to look away, impossible for them not to help.”

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It can be difficult to connect with an issue when you don’t see it for what it really is. Even consistent news coverage has the tendency to fade into the background when we only hear one-off stories and see isolated images. Take the Syrian refugee crisis. The Syrian civil war has gone on for so long. Many people are now numb to the suffering of civilians affected by the conflict. With immersive 360-degree VR films, however, you are not able to tune out or multi-task; you focus on the subject. The International Rescue Committee recognised this and used it in a film called Four Walls, made in collaboration with YouVisit. In Four Walls, you experience the living conditions of a refugee camp in Lebanon and witness the claustrophobia first-hand. You also see how their hopes and desires are not far removed from your own.

The results of these campaigns, as reported by Adweek, are promising. From the Syrian refugee crisis to non-profits championing clean water and education, VR films have brought in donations. In a recent UNICEF campaign, a VR film telling the story of a Syrian girl living in a refugee camp in Jordan boosted donations to US$3.8 billion – double what they expected to receive.

Putting benefactors in the shoes of beneficiaries

For organisations fighting diseases and illnesses, one important way to generate donations is to show people what it would be like to have that disease or illness themselves. To do that, Alzheimer’s Research UK and Visyon launched A Walk Through Dementia, a Google Cardboard app. This app recreates everyday situations faced by those who suffer from dementia – grocery shopping, walking around the neighbourhood visyon_-a-walk-through-dementia-1and simply being at home. Improving the public’s knowledge and pushing them to see the difficulty of life with the condition shifts it away from being an abstract concept. Recognising the impact that dementia could have on your own life and the lives of the people you care about, you realise the importance of taking immediate action and supporting organisations doing research to defeat
it.

Inspired to take your cause further with mixed reality? We want to be on your team. At Appearition, our goal is simple – tailored solutions that maximise ROI and deliver sustainable stakeholder value. We employ a partnership model driven by principles in change management. We ensure the complex mesh created by our solutions makes sense for our clients. Contact us to find out more.

Sources

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Image Sources

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IndustryAR: Augmented Reality Military Training

For soldiers to be effective, training must resemble real world scenarios as closely as possible. Real life battle conditions are loud, chaotic and dangerous. However augmented reality military training is a safer way to engage soldiers in real life simulations. 

battlefieldmedic2There is the real possibility of death or injury and a soldier can easily be overwhelmed by sensory overload. That is why realistic training is essential to building muscle memory and desentizing a soldier to the unique stimulus of real world battle conditions. This will also help in producing an effective, efficient soldier.

The challenge of augmented reality military training is, it is still fairly new. Thus, like any technology in its relative infancy, expensive and bulky.

Indeed, the UK Ministry of Defence (MoD) cited the “burden on the soldier” as one of the impediments to AR adoption.

The others barriers mentioned towards augmented reality military training were minor. These obstacles can and will be easily addressed over time as the technology evolves and is tweaked and perfected. Barriers such as a lack of accuracy in terms of a digitally generated element in a user’s field of vision; or the pace of the technology evolving.navyvr

Augmented reality has also proved useful in providing support for naval operations. This is done by speeding up an operator’s decision making and helping to reduce mistakes. The technology takes a cognitive load off the operator by interpreting and processing technical information. It then presents it in a more easily understood format.

It also helps engineers and maintenance crews by facilitating repairs, disassembly and general maintenance via interactive technical diagrams, videos and animations.

Augmented reality is picking up where virtual reality left off, providing high-fidelity augmentation to already hyper-realistic military training. It enhances real world training scenarios with essential elements that are cheaper and safer to replicate, while maintaining the verisimilitude of the battlefield.

Furthermore, augmented reality military training reduces the cognitive load on operators. It also provides easily understood information to speed up decision making. All of this not on a separate screen, but on the very reality of the battlefield itself, in the real world, in real time.

 

Image source: (1) (2) (3)

 

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IndustryAR: Augmented Reality Transport Improving Daily Life

Augmented reality transport has helped tourists navigate train lines, assist cyclists in urban traffic and improve logistics transportation optimization. However, there is still significant room to develop in this industry and it will do so over the coming years.

Augmented reality on roads

big_livemap2In the UK, there are similar developments with bicycle helmets. Through augmented reality transport, safety is promoted by ensuring cyclists maintain a head-up stance, as the pertinent information appears in their visor, and not down on a smartphone.

As an added bonus, a feature called blind spot visualization is being explored. If developed and added, this could greatly reduce the incidence of heavy vehicles cutting into to bicycle paths, a major cause of cycling fatalities.

Yet another perk is a feature that could suggest bike routes that are less polluted by heavy traffic. An especially helpful feature for most industrialized, heavily trafficked cities. And of course, navigation would be the backbone of such an app.

Augmented reality in logistics

AR applications can also be a big asset to logistics companies by optimizing transportation. Applications could help drivers by improvingaugmented_reality
navigational efficiency and safety. AR could also help workers identify, at a glance, if a particular shipment is the correct one, or if it meets the required import/export regulations.

These are processes often take a long time to perform manually, and they run up costs. In a nutshell, AR has the potential to take a lot of the ‘grunt’ out of grunt work and help move things along more smoothly and efficiently.

While AR is finding some expression in the transportation industry, it is still early stages. There are plenty of applications still in development. However, this is less of a limitation and more of an indication of a vast future potential.

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