ARBA: Augmented Reality Bay Area meetup

On Jan 24, 2017, we joint the first Augmented Reality meetup hosted at the Runway Incubator in San Francisco. This is also the first time I went to the meetup. 

So the above company basically creates a Kinect which can work with VR headset to produce body tracking.

This is an interesting device, a company named ultrahaptics creates a ultrasound matrix (where the green dot is under the palm), which give air pressure based on the computer display. In VR, this makes feeling the virtual object possible. However, a plane only gives force from one direction. To resolve this issue, a cube-shape array can be created with the blocks. This could be a good plugin for automobile control panel where ultrahaptics can provide feeling of real buttons so people don’t need to look at the panel while driving.

Wearing HoloLens in daily life really need a strong mind! All right, the presentation starts. First, Occipital demonstrates a smart mixture of AR/VR. They created a headset for Iphone. The headset also includes a depth camera. In the demo, they showed that how the depth camera can used to scan a room to create a 3D mesh model for that space. Then the texture is created from the iphone camera. After generating the 3D mesh of the space, the model is loaded into the VR set so it becomes a AR environment. In my opinion, this is an offline real world mapping trick that take advantage of the 3D reconstruction functions. As a result, the system may not ready to process real time point cloud data.


Next company Yowza shows a new idea to convert our real living space into digital world. In their idea, the raw mesh of the space is captured and uploaded to their cloud, then the point cloud is segmented and classified to different, completed furnature model in the dataset. Then the 3D models replace the raw mesh and ideally create a completed 3D scene for VR environment. 3D object recognition and 3D segmentation are hot topics in SIGGRAPH and CVPR. This company’s idea will be a very good feature for VR.

The last demo is a Tango based one from Clever Robot Labs. It analyzes the 3D point cloud from Tango phone to recognize the ceiling, floor, table, bed, etc in real time. Then it can replace them with VR contents dynamically. Interestingly, the algorithm can replace the real table based on the point cloud to scale the virtual table. Please see the video for the result.

After that, some new member also introduce themselves and also pop some job information. It is a very nice experience. Focusing more on technical side. And I am also glad that our CEO An Li has a good conversation with Ori Inbar. Hope that we can also join AR meetup in this year!

In memory of the blue fish

Today I saw the blue fish died in the tank, I even haven’t picked up a name for it…

I feel sad due to that it has been just less than a week for it to be in our office. And I am majorly the person who take care of it. And what is important, it dies with white mold cover its body. I actually saw these white mold yesterday when it is still alive but just forgetting to spend 1 minute to google it. I saw the pattern but did not treat it seriously. Then just after one night, it is gone.

Another sad situation is, no one notice it except me. I doubt that no one will ask where the fish goes for the entire week. Let’s see… UPDATE: Yes, so people notice it, not that disappoint. 

This makes me think more about the company at the same time. How should we run a healthy business? First, we need to have a lot of experience in running a successful business. If we do not have a veteran in group who have so many experiences to see the pattern of sickness, we need to learn as much as possible, as soon as possible. Because lacking of knowledge is dangerous, which may leads to catastrophe in one night. However, the problem may be not that hard to fix in the early stage.  You just miss the chance to do the easy thing and then the damage cannot be stopped.

Pay attention to details. Yes, if we do not treat the abnormal case in a company as serious as possible, we lose the chance to fix them.

No body may notice the death of the fish, why? Because no one really take it as his/her responsibility. For me, I feed the fish, but I did not extend the responsibility to keep it alive. I did not take the consequence for its death. So I did not treat it as that serious. So In terms of company, there are two ways in my mind for this situation. One, make very clear responsibility list for everyone so in a whole picture every corner of the company has been taken care of. Another, you have to be self-motive to look after the development of the company in terms of your general duty. Self motivation needs stimuli. For me, I need to prove myself and get what I do not expect from the company to treat it as my own business. To understand what you want from your job is very critical, it is not only good for your development, it is also good for the company since in this case people have direction to motivate themselves to go, once people have the force to go within themselves, the leader understand how to guild the force, even change the force in regarding to the general benefit of the company. If the employee lacks of the force, pushing them will be useless and really won’t go anywhere.

Employee should not ignore abnormal situation of the company. It needs eyes to detect the “white mold” on the body, through study more than just technical and theoretical knowledge. In small company, I feel every employee need to train to acquire this leadership skill. In return, the boss should also take care of the employee to detect the “white mold”. Try to understand where the force of the employee is, help them build the career path and grow in a healthy way. It cost much more if we ignore a small problem we notice in the early stage.

I buried the little blue fish in front of 3150 building, under a bush. I am so sorry for you.

December 14, 2016

China Tech Day Take-away

On December 10, 2016 Santa Clara Convention Center hosts the “China Tech Day” event, which invites a group of CEOs to visit Silicon Valley. There is some interesting information to take home.

I20161210_135051n the opening talk from Chun Li, CTO of Alibaba, I notice that what Ali accomplishes is to build a platform for all people who try to do business but don’t have the power to deal with the technology part. They resolved the problem like create general API for dealing with money with all different banks in China in early 2000.

With some try-out of business, they start to design and develop a general platform which can support the business in China. Majorly with multi-layer design. When they think the problem, they put the question “How does different cases run on this system?” in their mind.

They also think about how to put people to develop the platform together.

They also mentioned about the differences between SV and China.

  • Silicon Valley focuses on tech and product.
  • China is about how to get the business big, so it may involve more on how to get order and enlarge asap since it won’t be that hard to duplicate the similar product in China. The issue is who gonna be the big boss.


20161210_14320220161210_145635The next coming report is from Zhengrong Tang, vipabc’s CTO, but also a veteran who worked 10 years in SV and 10 years back to China. His talk is really informative on how to start business.

Then we have a panel talk on How asian engineers should plan their career path. But I feel that panel is a little out of the topic of “Asian”, it is about the difference between being engineer in SV and China.

  • There basically are two pathway as professional career: Technical and Management. Both of them can go pretty high but seems like Technical path needs a strong research passion to keep thing going, which won’t be very easy.
  • When you choose the job, actually, if you have the power to choose, then try to see the culture-fit, challenging job, fun work, and self-improvment space (such as to work under the supervision of big star).
  • Management is about how to help others from your own perspective.
  • A rating and evaluation system is also critical. Since it provides a objective way to make you see what people thinks about you on the work performance. Normally the rating is about Leadership, Leverage, Result.
  • For people who choose to go to China to start work, the time that the oversea student enjoy much high attention has gone. If people are not very special when they study/work in US, then when he/she comes back to China, it won’t be that different, and he/she also need to avoid using English for the job and work. Some technical words need to be learned in their Chinese form. For these group, they should think what they can do for the job in China with their knowledge learned in US.

20161210_160125 20161210_160536 20161210_160544 20161210_160626Then it is the technical part, AR/VR introduction given by Wanmin Wu. This is a intro level talk about AR/VR, but it is very helpful for me to sort my knowledge.

  • The non-technical challenges for VR: anti-socialism. In its current form, it actually not helping people to communication.
  • The challenging part for AR is eye tracking so the system can dynamically refocus. Interaction is need to be natural and effective. Display is difficult to be small. The content is an issue. Power drain fast. How to reduce the heat. How to increase the FOV and resolution? How to render pure black on transparent surface?

In conclusion, I feel this is a very interesting talk and give me more insight knowledge on how a people become bigger than just one.