INITION Tech News Roundup: 17 March


Recently, the trend has been to try to look into the future. We examined what the Future of Retail might hold during our event co-hosted with Handle, “Godmother of VR” Nonny de la Peña discussed the future of ‘immersive journalism’, Wired saw the future of VR (and it’s in our smartphones), talked the ethics of 3D printing humans in the future and NASA announced plans to take the very futuristic augmented reality smart glasses from Osterhout Design Group into space. What does this say about the current state of tech? Well, it’s a very exciting time indeed.

Virtual Reality

As we edge ever closer toward the dawn of consumer virtual reality, enthusiastic fans, developers and industry insiders continue to debate which application might be the ‘big ticket’ for the platform’s success. Gaming is, of course, an obvious choice, though has the potential to alienate those outside of that particular sector and, what’s more, seems a waste considering the hugely diverse (and exciting) potential virtual reality has yielded thus far – even in its relative infancy.

It’s a good sign that VR has taken centre stage at almost every recent convention (tech or other) – the Consumer Electronics Show, Geneva International Motor Show, Gaming Developers Conference, the Mobile World Congress, SXSW the Sundance Film Festival – indicating that the demand (and anticipation) for the technology is at an all-time high.

The oft-repeated point which is likely to determine the success or otherwise of virtual reality is the content, which is why industry leaders like Oculus are holding off on releasing their products until the content offerings are of a high enough quality. But even great content alone isn’t enough – the key to VR’s success lies in the offering of a completely immersive experience. Integrating additional tracking, tactile and/or sensory technologies, such as the Leap Motion or stompz, that has the potential to elevate the content, regardless of genre, to the ‘next level’ will be what will draw consumers in – and keep them there.

What’s known for sure is that, as more developers join the content conga line, more VR head-mounted displays are released (especially those equipped with wireless capability and in-built tracking), and marketplaces like that within the Samsung Gear VR app continue to grow, the group most likely to come out on top in the fight for VR first place is the consumer.




3D Printing

Keeping in line with our 3D Technology Consultant’s predictions for the sector this year, 3D printing continues to innovate on the material and application fronts, with a seemingly endless stream of new and exciting projects arriving from every corner of the Earth.

From multi-material Italian fashion, 3D printed cities in China and, yes,’s ideas for ‘3D printed humans’, there doesn’t seem to be much 3D printing isn’t currently creating or in talks to create in the future. This year, at least, the trend seems to be more in the development of new materials and techniques and less in the release of any new whizz-bang printers. Unless you count this university student’s hybrid LEGO-glue-gun 3D printer creation.

On INITION’s home soil, one of our latest projects – for our neighbours, Defected Records, on behalf of Strictly Rhythm – was to 3D print the recording label’s logo. Read about the project here and see the video of the process below:




Augmented Reality

We recently added the range of augmented reality smart glasses from Osterhout Design Group to our range of tech, just as NASA announced they would be working on integrating the smart glasses into their roster of space-tech. They’re hoping augmented reality could help to cut down the level of training required by those headed to work on board the International Space Station, effectively saving the organisation millions of dollars.