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We see this “Is Java out of business?” question pop up year after year. They say that Java is the least feature-rich language of the popular languages on the JVM and the slowest to move on new features in the last decade. There are also people who believe that because so many new JVM languages are being invented is proof that the Java language is lacking and that Java is no longer meeting the needs of many developers. And yet, by all external markers, Java is alive, well, and growing.

Here are several proofs for it:

1. TIOBE ranked Java as its top language of 2015 currently shows it enjoying 5% growth in use since 2014, more than any other programming language.

2. RedMonk has recently published the latest edition of its bi-annual list of the top programming languages. Compiled with the help of data obtained from GitHub and StackOverflow, this list tells us about the usage and discussion of a language on the web. Just like the previous years Java is among the top of the programming languages.

3. Further, the PYPL Index, which ranks languages based on how often language tutorials are searched on Google, shows Java clearly out in front with 23.9% of the total search volume.

Since Java first appeared it has gained enormous popularity. Its rapid ascension and wide acceptance can be traced to its design and programming features, particularly in its promise that you can write a program once, and run it anywhere. Java was chosen as the programming language for network computers (NC) and has been perceived as a universal front end for the enterprise database. As stated in Java language white paper by Sun Microsystems: “Java is a simple, object-oriented, distributed, interpreted, robust, secure, architecture neutral, portable, multithreaded, and dynamic.”

So here are the most common and significant advantages of Java that helped it to take its high position in a quite competitive environment of programming languages:

  • Java is easy to learn.
    Java was designed to be easy to use and is therefore easy to write, compile, debug, and learn than other programming languages.
  • Java is platform-independent.
    One of the most significant advantages of Java is its ability to move easily from one computer system to another. The ability to run the same program on many different systems is crucial to World Wide Web software, and Java succeeds at this by being platform-independent at both the source and binary levels.
  • Java is secure.
    Java considers security as part of its design. The Java language, compiler, interpreter, and runtime environment were each developed with security in mind.
  • Java is robust.
    Robust means reliability. Java puts a lot of emphasis on early checking for possible errors, as Java compilers are able to detect many problems that would first show up during execution time in other languages.
  • Java is multithreaded.
    Multithreaded is the capability for a program to perform several tasks simultaneously within a program. In Java, multithreaded programming has been smoothly integrated into it, while in other languages, operating system-specific procedures have to be called in order to enable multithreading.

Nonetheless things changed since the time when Java was created. In the recent years, many important languages have appeared and left an impact on the technology world. Due to their simplicity and user-friendliness, they have managed to surpass the more established languages. So we tried to make a list of reasons why Java is going to stay on the grind in the nearest future:

1. Java is time-proved.
You generally need a strong reason to switch from a language you’re currently using: it requires time to practice and learn new languages, and you have to be confident that the language you’re considering switching to will be supported in the long term. Nobody wants to build software in a language that will be obsolete in five years’ time.

2. JVM and the Java Ecosystem.
The Java Virtual Machine, or JVM. compiles programs into bytecode, which is then interpreted and run by the JVM. Because the JVM sits above your specific hardware and OS, it allows Java to be run on anything, a Windows machine, a Mac, or an obscure some flavor of Linux.

The big advantage granted by the JVM is in this increased compatibility and the stability it affords. Because your application runs in the VM instead of directly on your hardware, you can program said application once and trust that it is executable on every device with a Java VM implementation. This principle is the basis for Java’s core messaging: “Write once, run everywhere.” And it makes Java applications very resilient to underlying changes in the environment.

3. Java and the Internet of Things.
“I really think Java’s future is in IoT. I’d like to see Oracle and partners focused on a complete end-to-end storage solution for Java, from devices through gateways to enterprise back-ends. Building that story and making a success of it will help cement the next 20 years for Java. Not only is that a massive opportunity for the industry, but also one I think Java can do quite well,” said Mike Milinkovich, Executive Director of the Eclipse Foundation.

Oracle agrees. Per VP of Development Georges Saab, “Java is an excellent tech for IoT. Many of the challenges in IoT are many of the challenges of desktop and client Java helped address in the 1990s. You have many different hardware environments out there. You want to have your developers look at any part of the system, understand it and move on. Java is one of the few technologies out there that lets you do that.”
 
Thus, Java might have its detractors, and some of their arguments might even be reasonable. Nonetheless Java has evolved a lot since its inception, holds the lead in many areas of software development and has more prospects for the future. So, in our opinion, its survivability is not in doubt.

And what do you think? Is Java going to become one of the dead languages? Or it has all chances to survive? Feel free to share your thoughts in comments below!

 

yana-khaidukova

Yana Khaidukova

Business Development Manager

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altabel

Altabel Group

Professional Software Development

E-mail: contact@altabel.com
www.altabel.com

First there existed e-cash, which then grew into Bitcoin. Since then an entire new world of currency has emerged known as crypto currency, which is a virtual, decentralized currency system that actually only exists as a computer file with transactions recorded in a ledger. It’s an Internet-based system of money that goes beyond traditional currency exchange and offers a global system that can be used by everyone for buying products and services here and there and everywhere.

No question Bitcoin has been capturing the world very fast. Still although Bitcoin is the pioneer and beyond all doubt the most popular ‘crypto currency’, it is not the only one. A number of other crypto currencies are appearing thus offering alternatives and are just as valuable and actively traded. Below there are some examples of this crypto currency:

  • Litecoin:
Litecoin

Litecoin is a peer-to-peer Internet currency that enables instant, near-zero cost payments to anyone in the world. It was released via an open-source client on GitHub on October 7, 2011 by Charles Lee, a former Google employee. Litecoin is an open source, global payment network that is fully decentralized without any central authorities. Mathematics secures the network and empowers individuals to control their own finances. Litecoin features faster transaction confirmation times and improved storage efficiency than the leading math-based currency. With substantial industry support, trade volume and liquidity, Litecoin is a proven medium of commerce complementary to Bitcoin.

  • Dogecoin:
Dogecoin

Dogecoin is another currency from the family of crypto currencies. Dogecoin, which has a Shibu Inus (a bread of a Japanese dog) as its logo, was created by Billy Markus and Jackson Palmer. It presents itself broadly based on the Bitcoin protocol, but with modifications and uses scrypt technology as a proof-of-work scheme. It has a block time of 1 minute and the difficulty retarget time is four hours. There is no limit to how many Dogecoin can be produced i.e. the supply of coins would remain uncapped. Dogecoin deals with large numbers of coin that are lesser in value individually, making the currency more accessible with a low entry barrier and fit for carrying out smaller transactions.

  • Peercoin:
Peercoin

Peercoin, also referred to as PPCoin, Peer-to-Peer Coin and P2P Coin, was created by software developers Sunny King (a pseudonym) and Scott Nadal. It was launched in August 2012 and was the first digital currency to use a combination of proof-of-stake and proof-of-work. The coins are initially mined through the commonly-used proof-of-work hashing process but as the hashing difficulty increases over time, users are rewarded with coins by the proof-of-stake algorithm, which requires minimal energy for generating blocks. This means that over time, the network of Peercoin will consume less energy. Peercoin is an inflationary currency since there is no fixed upper limit on the number of coins.

  • Primecoin:
Primecoin

Primecoin is an altcoin with a difference. Developed by Sunny King (who also developed Peercoin), its proof-of-work is based on prime numbers, which is different from the usual system of hashcash used by most crypto currencies based on the Bitcoin framework. It involves finding special long chains of prime numbers (known as Cunningham chains and bi-twin chains) and offers greater security and mining ease to the network. These chains of prime numbers are believed to be of great interest in mathematical research.

  • Dash (Previously known as Darkcoin):
Dash

Offering more anonymity than other crypto currency, Dash uses a decentralized master code network called Darksend that turns the transactions into nearly untraceable ones. Dash can be mined using a CPU or GPU. Its fan following started building soon after its 2014 launch. It was rebranded from “Darkcoin” to “Dash” on March 25, 2015, a blend of “Digital Cash”.

  • Namecoin:
Namecoin

As another offshoot of Bitcoin, this decentralized open source information and transfer system offers an additional option that is focused on continued innovation in the altcoin industry. It is known for being the first to implement a decentralized DNS, which allows it to operate outside of the regular Internet and governance by Icann, and merged mining.

  • DevCoin:
DevCoin

Billing itself as ethical crypto currency, this currency was created with the intent of helping to fund any type of open-source project that someone wanted to build. Started in 2011, is based on Bitcoin, but mining is considered to be much easier. It is slowly adding merchants that will accept this type of crypto currency.

  • Feathercoin:
Feathercoin

Based on litecoin, this cryptocurrency offers regular updates with new features, including a mining calculator, QR code generator, button generator and feathercoin API as well as digital wallets for Mac, Linux, Windows and Android. Other features include protections from forking by group mining.

  • Ven:
Ven

San Stalnaker created this digital currency for his business club known as Hub Culture. Launched in 2007, the currency is entirely backed by reserve funds to remove the risk of inflation as much as possible. The digital currency is now focused on socially responsible business segments with the intent of creating a currency that supports the environment versus traditional currencies that do not.

  • Novacoin:
Novacoin

The digital currency bills itself as using hybrid proof-of-work and proof-of-stake block generation methods, differentiating itself from other altcoins. The protection scheme integration aims to deter any abuse by mining groups.

  • Megacoin:
Megacoin

This is one of the few digital currencies to truly focusing on branding itself to make it more mainstream for audiences around the world. Based in New Zealand, it concentrates on a very consumer-friendly approach with the selling point that this is “the people’s currency.”

So there are a number of alternatives to Bitcoin that are competing for attention. Perhaps not all of them could move forward, but the idea is that many people and businesses all over the world are step-by-step becoming accustomed to the concept of a new type of currency. The idea of crypto currency is no doubt catching on as more people to see the potential for how it can be used to the local and global economies.

How do you feel about the concept of crypto currency and what future do you predict for it? Which crypto currency in your opinion does deserve attention except for Bitcoin? I’ll be glad to hear your thoughts in the comments below.

 

Yuliya Tolkach

Yuliya Tolkach

Business Development Manager

E-mail: Yulia.Tolkach@altabel.com
Skype: yuliya_tolkach
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altabel

Altabel Group

Professional Software Development

E-mail: contact@altabel.com
www.altabel.com

The new trend for many medical practices is obtaining an EHR (Electronic Health Record) system. While there are many practitioners still using files and travel cards, EHR provides better efficiencies for billing, reimbursements, audits etc. Admittedly, there are more systems then doctors but acquiring an EHR allows better practice efficiencies and perhaps more money for the practice.
In this post we highlighted the most important EHR trends to see unfold this year. Thus, we expect wearables, telemedicine and mobile medicine to continue to advance. They’ll be joined by cloud computing, patient portals and big data.

Telemedicine and wearables plus EHR

The telemedicine market is forecasted to exceed $30 billion in the next five years, as providers increasingly see the need to reach seniors and patients in rural areas. Telemedicine offers tons of value to seniors. It improves care by getting it to remote patients who live far from hospitals. It also enables homebound patients to get high-quality care. It makes care cheaper, and allows seniors to stay at home longer. It benefits providers by making their jobs more flexible. And it also eliminates picking up new illnesses in a clinical care setting.

Wearables’ mass adoption has made store-and-forward telemedicine much easier. Devices like Fitbits automatically collect valuable health data. Store-and-forward telemedicine just means that data goes to a doctor or medical specialist so they can assess it when they have time.

EHRs are going mobile

More and more providers want to provide medical care from their smartphones, and more patients want to access data through mobile devices. Contributing factors to the popularity of mobile devices include their affordability, ease of use and portability (meaning they are easy to carry between patient exams to access electronic patient information). One of the other drivers of mobile technology in healthcare is the availability of myriad apps for smartphones and tablets. For each of the major smartphone operating systems, there is now an app for almost every conceivable healthcare need, ranging from drug dose calculators to fully functioning electronic medical records. Healthcare apps play a pivotal role in changing the utility of mobile devices. They’re transforming smartphones or tablets to medical instruments that capture blood test results, medication information, glucose readings, medical images, enabling physicians and patients to better manage and monitor health information. Healthcare apps are clearly taking on more mainstream health IT functions and have moved beyond sporadic use by early adopters.
From these facts we may conclude that EHRs will offer better mobile design and functionality.

More EHRs will move to the cloud

Start-up costs for EHRs can prove burdensome for some institutions, while cloud-based tools offer minimal start-up costs and can make better use of providers’ current resources. The cloud also enables better continuity of care. Cloud-based software means you can access records from outside the office. It makes mobile access possible. It makes transferring records a snap. And it makes updating software seamless for providers.

In the coming year, more and more EHRs will offer cloud services.

More EHRs will provide patient portals

Though patient portal usage got off to a slow start in 2013, in last two years it grew in popularity.

While about half of physicians offer patient portals right now, almost another fifth of them plan to offer one in the next 12 months. In a 2015 survey of more than 11,000 patients, 237 physicians, and nine payer organizations representing 47 million lives, almost a third of patients said they were interested in using a patient portal to engage with their physician, track their medical history and receive educational materials and patient support.

More providers will both offer and promote patient portals. Some may even have patients use the portals during office visits to begin getting their data into the system. And patients will start to see their value. Educating patients on how and why to use portals will be the key to getting them to use it.

Big data will reveal more connections

Personalized medicine enabled by big data is an emerging trend in healthcare. Innovation will continue apace in 2016.

Personalized medicine focuses on analyzing a person’s genome, environmental, social, biometrical, and religious influencers, and determining a treatment for the individual based on that data. It’s about moving from a one-size-fits-all approach to instead creating micro-buckets of patients by analyzing their medical records and genome sequences, and treating patients based on the research and records of how other patients in similar situations have reacted. Big data is working to identify the behaviors, risk factors, and early indicators of disease so doctors can prevent it more effectively.

Big data is only the first step. That data must be cleaned and structured so it can reveal patterns in factors that influence outcomes.

Conclusion

Moving forward, technology will continue to transform the healthcare industry as it plays a key role in new healthcare delivery models. EMR/EHR, mHealth, telemedicine, and many others identified will continue to increase their footprint in this growing industry. Where do you see Healthcare IT over this year? What EHR trends are you most excited about and what trends did I miss? Let me know in the comments!

 

Svetlana Pozdnyakova

Business Development Manager

 

altabel

Altabel Group

Professional Software Development

E-mail: contact@altabel.com
www.altabel.com

node.js

Node.js is an open source runtime environment which is based on Google’s V8 JavaScript engine. Many companies and frameworks had attempted to run JavaScript on the server, but Node.js was the first runtime which was good at doing it at scale.

Node.js was first written in 2009, and since then its popularity has risen immensely. The list of companies using Node.js is big enough and includes such as IBM, LinkedIn, Microsoft, PayPal, and Yahoo!. Here is the link with projects, applications, and companies using node.js https://github.com/nodejs/node-v0.x-archive/wiki/Projects,-Applications,-and-Companies-Using-Node

The node.js package manager npm became the biggest package manager in the software world in 2014, and now has almost twice as many modules as similar package managers from Java and Ruby.

Benefits

JavaScript is everywhere on the web

JavaScript won a number of browser-side languages and technologies to become the “language of the web”. Now JavaScript is on the server-side, in databases, in the internet of things, robotics and more.

Performance

There are two fundamental reasons why Node.js is quick. To begin with, it uses the Chrome V8 JavaScript engine. Second is the event loop. Node.js performs I/O non-blocking and asynchronously. As opposed to blocking parallel threads, a task is sent to the event loop with a callback and proceeds with execution. Once it finishes the async task, the callback is invoked. This approach uses less memory and it is usually simpler to program. It is likewise especially quick for I/O operations.

Npm

Npm is the package manager for Node.js and is one of the reasons for the popularity and growth of Node.js. Npm makes adding libraries and third party modules very easy, handling all of the dependencies for you. Moreover, there are about 225k modules in npm with 2.5B downloads per month.

Tools

Node.js projects range from small and simple libraries to fully blown applications. You can not only run your entire back-end on Node.js but also you can run other aspects of your engineering operations and online presence with Node.js based software. There are basic libraries like Lodash for various utility functions or Async to help with control flow in your asynchronous code. There are drivers for working with all the SQL and NOSQL databases. There are web frameworks like Express or HapiJS. There are two popular tools for build/task runners, Grunt and Gulp. For testing, there are a few great frameworks such as Mocha, Jasmine, and Lab, which includes code coverage. A great tool for managing your Node.js processes is PM2. You can run a message broker with MQTT using Mosca. If you need a continuous integration/delivery server, then there is StriderCD. You can even use HarpJS for static website generation, Ghost for blogging, and NodeBB for community forums.

A large active community

The size and usage of npm makes it clear about the size of the Node.js community. There are various resources to learn Node.js together with approximately 105k questions on StackOverfow. Most Node.js project owners are quite responsive. There are a number of blogs posts, books, open source modules, active IRC channels, several Meetup groups, conferences, and even a few consulting firms dedicated to Node.js.

When to use Node.js

Node.js is built on great non-blocking event driven architecture model. In case your project or module can really make advantage for this model, then go for it. Some of the cases could be the following:

  • Single page applications (web applications in AJAX, mobile web applications)Node.js has ability to process many requests with low response times needed. It is also able to share things like validations between client and server side, which makes it a good choice for modern web applications doing a lot of processing on client side.
  • Real time web applications:Anything that requires real-time feedback from web server such as chat application, messaging applications or other collaboration tools is good with Node.js. It will be the best technology for this type of job. Ruby and Python can do these kind of features however Node.js will do it exceptionally great in terms of performance and simplicity of development.
  • Streaming Data:In case your plan is to build streaming applications then Node.js is what you need. Traditional web technologies frequently treat http requests and responses as atomic events. However, they are streams and not events. And consequently many great Node.js applications can be built to take advantage of this fact.
  • Building APIs:Mobile applications can benefit most out of it because they consume data mostly via web services in form of JSON APIs. It’s as well perfect for taking care of many requests that are I/O driven (e.g. operations on database) and scales nicely.

When not to use Node.js:

    • Heavy CPU utilizing applications:It’s not good using Node.js for applications that are very heavy on CPU usage and very light on actual I/O. Node.js permits to easily write C++ add-ons, so you could certainly use it as a scripting engine on top of your algorithms.
    • Enterprise applications:If you’d like to build an enterprise application which requires complex operations, it’s better to stick to proven technologies like JAVA, Python. Node.js still has a long way to go and is considered to be rather young technology and yet to prove itself.
    • Simple CRUD/HTML apps:While Node.js will eventually be a tool for writing all kinds of web applications, however your application won’t mystically get more traffic just because you write it in Node.js. If large part of your application is basically rendering HTML based on some database, using Node.js will not provide a lot of business benefits yet.

Some suppose that Node.js has a big future ahead and its popularity will be rising. Do you agree with this? Which future do you predict for it? I’ll be glad to hear your thoughts in the comments below 🙂

 

Yuliya Tolkach

Yuliya Tolkach

Business Development Manager

E-mail: Yulia.Tolkach@altabel.com
Skype: yuliya_tolkach
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altabel

Altabel Group

Professional Software Development

E-mail: contact@altabel.com
www.altabel.com

Java brings a lot of popular and user-friendly frameworks, content management systems and servers that help to simplify the application development process, website management process and much more irrespective of the size and complexity of the project. When it comes to CMS, Java possesses a host of CMSs that have been highly recognized in the market, but one CMS that has gained great popularity and attention from the developers and companies across the world is Magnolia.

Magnolia is an open source content management system which delivers exceptional simplicity on an enterprise level, combining user-friendly usage with a standards-based and flexible Java architecture. Companies such as Airbus Group, Al Arabiya, Avis and Virgin America use it as the central hub for their web, mobile and IoT initiatives. Founded in 1997, Magnolia is a privately-held company headquartered in Basel, Switzerland. The company has offices around the globe, and customers in over 100 countries.

Making a good CMS to cater the needs of the clients is never an easy task, and the developers Magnolia knows this thing better. Hence, Magnolia brings some of the much needed features and functionalities for the enterprises.

• Magnolia comes with a smart cache, a built-in clustering capabiliy and distributed deployment architecture that easily decouples authoring from publishing and the possibility to develop load-balanced public servers to bring more throughput and availability.
• It also offer code highlighting for the designers & developers, easy integration of 3rd party frameworks, extendable workflow, J2EE compliance, RSS generation & aggregation and more for the customization.
• When it comes to designing, it brings standard-based templating in JSP and servlets, unlimited page and component design, Freemarker as a template engine, custom tag library to speed up templating and pluggable templating engine for the designers.
• It brings Open APIs, advanced caching strategies, unlimited scalability, clustering & load balancing, transactional activation and tons of other performance related features & functionalities for the enterprises.
• From the security point of view, Magnolia brings flexible user permissions using role-based user management and distributed architecture, which is a need of today’s enterprises.
• It also enables team work through concurrent editing, deletion, address book, workgroup collaboration and some other features.
Apart from all these, Magnolia also enables search engine optimization, content tagging, configurable workflow, content versioning, social media integration, multilingual support, multi-site management, mobile publishing and tons of other enterprise-scale functionalities.

magnolia

However, like any other technology or platform, Magnolia also has some advantages and disadvantages. Let’s take a look at each of them:

The Pros
• It’s an open source.
• User friendly, easy to use for Administrators/Content Editors/Authors
• Good set of standard components in the standard templating kit (STK)
• Very flexible, almost anything can be customized
• Vast set of open modules for many additional features
• Leverage from page-based site or navigation.
• It utilizes installer, but the WAR files can be used to redeploy it to some other place.

The Cons
• Steep learning curve
• Inconsistent or lack of documentation
• Configuration via JCR-Tree can be error-prone and not very transparent
• Versions -4.5, 4.5+ and 5 all have shifts in paradigms
• Versioning and collaboration

All in all, Magnolia is a very promising CMS that integrates well into an enterprise java stack. It is predominantly suited for medium to large businesses where processes need deep integration and customizations. With regards to small businesses, Magnolia might be somewhat of an overkill.

How about you? Did you have a chance to work with Magnolia CMS? What is your attitude to it?

Please feel free to share with us your thoughts and experience here below.

 

Kate Kviatkovskaya

Kate Kviatkovskaya

Business Development Manager

E-mail: Kate.Kviatkovskaya@altabel.com
Skype: kate.kviatkovskaya
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altabel

Altabel Group

Professional Software Development

E-mail: contact@altabel.com
www.altabel.com

Nowadays one can easily become overwhelmed by all the virtual reality news. There was new hardware announced, heaps of games to play and peripherals that will be released for hardware soon. The majority of VR technology is on curve to come out in 2016.

Before going into the details of high-tech world, it’s important to define the difference between virtual and augmented reality. Virtual reality is able to transpose the user and bring him someplace else via closed visors or goggles. Augmented reality takes our current reality and adds something to it. It does not move us elsewhere, it simply “augments” our current state of presence, often with clear visors.

Below you will find a brief breakdown of the most popular virtual reality headsets.

PC/CONSOLE

Oculus Rift is the most famous headset that gave rise to the current boom in VR-technology and HMD.
The latest version of the device promises a resolution of 1080×1200 in both of its OLED screens (2160×1200 total), a 90 Hz refresh rate, and a FOV (field of view) greater than 100°. It has integrated headphones which provide spatialized HRTF audio. The consumer version will be shipped in Q1 2016.

HTC Vive was created in cooperation with the Valve games creator. Valve is one of the biggest names in game publishing and digital distribution, though HTC wants to tap the headset’s potential for immersive education. The Vive lets users walk around a 15-by-15-foot space in VR, complete with two included controllers for interacting with the environment. 90 Hz refresh rate provides a good performance without any delay. Vive is connected to a PC and operates with its own gaming ecosystem.

Razer OSVR (Open Source Virtual Reality) is an open VR ecosystem meant to encompass a range of headsets, accessories and software experiences. Creators can download the software and schematics necessary to build their own OSVR headsets, or can register to buy pre-built OSVR Hacker Dev Kits. OSVR has a ton of development support, with major players such as Leap Motion, Ubisoft and Gearbox Entertainment. Razer OSVR is focused on VR developers and enthusiasts. The headset is compatible with additional components from third-party manufacturers.

MOBILE

Gear VR operates from your Samsung smartphone. You just need to insert your phone into the headset body. Co-developed by Oculus, Gear VR is smaller and lighter than its PC-based gadgets, and offers a mix of VR games and entertainment experiences. The Gear VR Innovator Edition is available now for both the Galaxy Note 4 and Galaxy S6. A new version was released in November 2015, and it supports the Galaxy Note 5 as well as all variations of the Galaxy S6, including the S6 Edge Plus.

Google Cardboard is an Android-based platform meant to allow anyone to experience VR cheaply. Users can build their own Cardboard headsets using Google’s schematics or buy inexpensive third-party viewers such as DodoCase or I Am Cardboard. Once you insert your Android phone into your viewer, you’ve got a virtual reality headset.

VR development tools

We reviewed most popular VR platforms for building VR projects. Most of the platforms are famous for their powerful systems which connect range of products from software to solution designs.

Unity is a flexible and powerful development platform for creating multiplatform 3D and 2D games and interactive experiences. It’s a complete ecosystem for anyone who aims to build a business on creating high-end content and connecting to their most loyal and enthusiastic players and customers.

Unreal Engine is a complete suite of game development tools made by and for game developers. From 2D mobile games to console blockbusters and VR, Unreal Engine 4 provides full cycle of tools for the development.

WorldViz is a full range of products and support, including enterprise grade software, complete VR systems, custom solution design, and application development. Its Vizard VR Toolkit provides a powerful platform for creating a new breed of visual simulations. One can build applications that provide users with the good experiences across virtual reality immersive technologies such as displays and sensors.

GameWorks VR is NVIDIA’s set of APIs, libraries, and features that enable both VR headset and game developers. GameWorks VR is aimed at game and application developers, and includes a feature called VR SLI, which provides increased performance for VR applications where multiple GPUs can be assigned a specific eye to accelerate stereo rendering. GameWorks VR also delivers Context Priority for providing control over GPU scheduling to support advanced VR features such as asynchronous time warp. There’s also a Direct Mode for treating VR headsets as head-mounted displays accessible only to VR applications. GameWorks VR is being integrated into leading game engines, such as those from Epic Games, which has announced support for GameWorks VR features in an upcoming version of the popular Unreal Engine 4.3.

OSVR platform is fully open-source, so you can have complete access to all you need (from motion control, to game engines, and stereoscopic video output) whether you’re interested in working with hardware developmental kit designs, or software plugins. Companies such as Unity, Unreal, Intel, Bosch, Razer, Sixense, and Leapmotion are all supporters of the OSVR.

High Fidelity is an open source virtual reality platform for creating a social metaverse. It’s still a work-in-progress. High Fidelity supports Java Script, Oculus Rift, Samsung Gear VR, Unity, Unreal Engine, PrioVR, Sixsense, HTC Vive headset and Razer Hydra. High Fidelity has the potential to be the next Facebook in VR. For now, the majority of development in the space happens in traditional game engines like Unity and Unreal. High Fidelity’s worlds put it somewhere between those professional tools and customizable video games, opening up innovation in the space to those who are willing to get technical but don’t want to build something from the ground up.

Conclusion

VR technology is already right around the corner, and one must admit it’s awesome. Finally VR is becoming accessible, and it’s only the beginning, when you can now put yourself in the action of your favorite digital worlds, instead of simply gaming on a TV.

Nearly every industry will soon use VR for teleconferencing and training. VR in gaming already allows travelling into gaming titles (Rigs: Mechanized Combat League, P.O.L.L.E.N, Eve: Valkyrie, etc). All the Virtual Reality headsets currently in development will make going behind the screens feasible. For some non-gaming professionals, 3-D experiences are already transforming the way they do their jobs:

– Real Estate
Instead of spending hours driving around looking for the perfect house, savvy realtors will give clients VR tours of properties. Matterport (real estate agency in the US) is already selling a 3-D camera system to help agents create these walk-throughs.

– Mental Health
Doctors at research hospitals have used VR for decades to treat patients with burns and PTSD. But now a company called Psious offers a headset and software bundle to help therapists treat anxiety disorders like arachnophobia and fear of flying with a VR version of exposure therapy.

– Design and Engineering
Ford Motor is using Oculus tech to evaluate virtual versions of vehicles before they’re built, and startups are developing VR design tools for everyone from architects to nanotech engineers.

According to Altabel’s experience in VR development, we believe that VR has the promise to improve every aspect of technology, whether in the medical field, education, or in gaming, and with all of the emerging developers approaching this tech from their own perspective, virtual reality should be a fully realized technology by 2016.

And what do you think of Virtual Reality? Have you ever thought of trying VR in your business? Which VR platform do you prefer and why? Let us know in the comments section below.

 

Svetlana Pozdnyakova

Business Development Manager

 

altabel

Altabel Group

Professional Software Development

E-mail: contact@altabel.com
www.altabel.com

With the end of the year approaching, many experts make predictions for the market directions at least for an upcoming year. Such organizations as Gartner have already announced their visions. So let’s have a closer look at the top tech trends and discuss how it will influence of lives and business strategies.

1. The Device Mesh

The device mesh refers to an expanding set of endpoints people use to access applications and information or interact with people, social communities, governments and businesses.

The device mesh is basically a part of Internet of Things. We all have noticed a tremendous growth in this area this year. Many companies are stating that they’ve got the best platform for internet of things. Still most of them ignore the fact that they all are just fragmented. It’s quite obvious that users would benefit more if there was an ecosystem where data was shared more broadly. This trend is expected to evolve in 2016. The value of the combination is much greater than the sum of the parts, experts say.

2. Ambient User Experience

This trend results from the previous one. It’s expected that sensors will gather more contextual information. Here experts are talking about a long-term future of immersive environments with augmented and virtual reality, but for now it’s mainly about continuity between devices and location.

“Instead of the user having to go and look for something like hotels, the device would already know what kind of hotel they are looking for based on what hotels they have picked in the past.”, experts say.

Context comes from both human and physical elements. The former is emotional state, habits, interests, group dynamics, social interactions and colocation of others, present tasks, and general goals, while the latter is the user’s absolute position, relative position, light, pressure, noise and atmosphere of the area.

3. Information of Everything

According to Gartner, by 2020, 25 billion devices will be generating data of all possible kinds about almost every topic imaginable. Looks like a chaos, doesn’t it? So the most challenging trick is to be able to sort out this data and make sense of it. Hence the need in different semantic tools, classifications and data analysis will only arise. So this is where some companies might consider expanding into.

4. Advanced Machine Learning

Another tech trend for 2016 and beyond – and tied up with the Information of Everything – is advanced machine learning. It basically means that computers are going to automate data processing by learning and adapting. The end result is artificial intelligence. In the process, much of the initial analysis can be done by machines and people will need to engage at a higher level as a result.

5. Virtual assistants

The software virtual assistants are also bringing the change. Google Now, Cortana, Alexa and Siri are just the beginning. Many specialists are exploring how they can use autonomous things and agents to augment human activity and free people for work that only people can do.

6. Adaptive Security Architecture

The majority of CIOs list security as their top priority, especially with an increased number of companies that have experienced breaches. That’s why the development of adaptive security architecture is inevitable. Techniques to avoid detection include frequently checking antivirus results and changing versions and builds on all infected servers when any traces of detection appear. Cloud-based services and open APIs only make the demand for adaptive security higher.

Among other trends, experts mention 3D-printing and bioprinting in particular, bluetooth beacon and others. These trends have already set foot in our lives, they are just going to expand further. So which of them have influenced your life in particular? Do you think one of them will outpace the others? Please share your thoughts and predictions here. Thanks a lot!
 

Aliona Kavalevich

Aliona Kavalevich
Aliona.Kavalevich@altabel.com
Skype ID: aliona_kavalevich
Senior Business Development Manager (LI page)
Altabel Group – Professional Software Development

 


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