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Disney “nails” wireless power, iPhone 8 camera and more

What We're Reading

Welcome to another edition of What We’re Reading, Marxent’s weekly series featuring staff members highlighting the best articles, videos, music and more they saw over the prior 7 days. This week, those finds included stories from the New Yorker, The Verge, NY Times, Business Insider and many more. Up first, it’s …

The Best Thing We Read This Week …

Wireless charging from a distance is becoming something of a holy grail, with multiple new technologies popping up that hope to solve the problem once and for all. One player is Disney Research, which isn’t kidding around when it comes to demos.

According to a story in Ars Technica, and shared by Marxent Project Engineer Matt Anderson, Disney Research has “created a prototype living room where 10 objects — a smartphone, a lamp, a fan, an RC car, and more — are powered wirelessly, no cables required. Unlike existing wireless power transfer solutions, which mostly require an object to be placed very close to a wireless charging pad, the objects in Disney’s living room can receive power while freely roaming; you can walk into the room with a smartphone in your pocket and it will start charging.”

There are some limitations (the room has to be purpose-built; you’ll cook yourself if you get within 46 centimeters of the copper pole generating the power), but we’re sure they’ll get the kinks worked out real soon. Or, as Matt put it: “Two words: Wireless freaking Power. That is all.”

The Best Book We Read This Week …

Marxent CEO Beck Besecker has been reading, “Good to Great: Why Some Companies Make the Leap… and Others Don’t,” by Jim Collins. Well respected by business professionals, (the book was cited by members of The Wall Street Journal’s CEO Council as “the best management book they’ve read”), “Good to Great” breaks down why some companies become wildly successful when most do not. (Collins conclusion: It’s complicated, but involves doing a few things really well.)

Sales Associate Levi Bruce delved into the reading habits of another CEO, Elon Musk, with a CNBC article on the 8 books the Tesla/SpaceX head cheese credits his success to. Titles include biographies of Einstein and Benjamin Franklin, The “Foundation” trilogy by Isaac Asimov, and even “Lord of the Flies.”

The Best Thing We Wrote This Week …

3D Modeling Q&A

We’ve been hard at work in the Marxent content creation workshop over the last few weeks, churning out pieces that we hope illuminate what we do here. Case in point was this week’s Q&A with Program Manager Shawn Rothery, who talked at length about 3D models — what they are, how we create them, and implementations that blur the line between real and digital.

Shawn’s Q&A came on the heels of an epic two-part conversation with Software Engineer Ken Moser, who went in depth on Marxent’s amazing Markerless Augmented Reality solution. It really should have been subtitled, “Everything You Ever Wanted To Know About Markerless AR (But Were Afraid To Ask).”

In addition, Marxent was on the receiving end of some accolades this week, after a survey conducted by Entrepreneur ranked Marxent in the Top 10 “Company Cultures in America.” Entrepreneur partnered with CultureIQ to survey thousands of companies, narrowing the list down to 50 rankings across three different company sizes — small, medium and large. Marxent came in #8 in the medium division.

Entrepreneur Top 10 Company Cultures

Best Podcast We Recorded This Week …

We’ve got ourselves a podcast! It’s called In Reality, and it will be covering all things Augmented & Virtual Reality. In Reality will feature industry news, commentary, and perspective from AR/VR veterans and experts, and is hosted by Marxent Creative Director Joe Johnson and Senior Content Strategist (and guy typing this right now), Joe Bardi. Check it out:

 

But wait, there’s more …

What We're Reading New Yorker

In addition to checking out “Good to Great” this week, Beck also found himself engrossed by an article in the New Yorker titled, “Why facts don’t change our minds,” By Elizabeth Kolbert. “Super article on how we reason,” he said while recommending it. “Turns out we often draw conclusions based on social acceptance vs. finding the correct answer.” I’m going to agree with the CEO on this one. Hopefully he accepts me.

Sales Director Jeff Morrow almost deserves his own section in What We’re Reading. (Maybe next week, Jeff.) In the last 7 days, Jeff has highlighted stories about the BMWi Augmented Reality visualizer launching on Google Play, Samsung’s incubator lab getting seriously into Virtual and Augmented Reality, and the persistent rumors that the iPhone 8 will feature some sort of “revolutionary” 3D-sensing front camera. All are worth a look.

Amazon, Microsoft, and Facebook are building the future, but your smartphone still isn’t going anywhere.

Holy driving, Batman! A new Batmobile toy gives drivers a stunning view using Augmented Reality.

As heard in the above podcast: Microsoft is reportedly skipping HoloLens 2.0 to develop version 3.0 of its Augmented Reality headset for release in 2019.

Speaking of AR headsets, Samsung may be announcing Augmented Reality glasses at this year’s Mobile World Congress.

And Finally …

As Virtual Reality continues to search for a “killer app” that drives mass adoption, the New York Times thinks it may have already found it. For the article, “Virtual Reality’s Potential for Magic Gets Real,” author Brooks Barnes traveled to Lindon, Utah, for a behind the scenes look at “The Void,” a wireless VR experience that has users donning proton packs and getting down to some serious Ghostbusting in VR. Battling the Stay Puft Marshmallow Man in an HMD? We’re ready to believe you!

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