zSpace (company)

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zSpace
Private
IndustryVirtual and augmented reality
Founded2007
HeadquartersSunnyvale, California
Key people
  • Paul Kellenberger, CEO
  • Mike Harper, CMO
  • Dave Chavez, CTO
Websitezspace.com

zSpace is a technology firm based in Sunnyvale, California that combine elements of virtual and augmented reality in a computer. zSpace allows people to interact with simulated objects in virtual environments as if they are real.[1][2][3]

zSpace is known for its progressive developments in human-computer interaction.[4] Paul Kellenberger is the company's current CEO and President.[5]

History[edit]

zSpace 200 display with students studying anatomy.

zSpace was founded as Infinite Z in 2007. Infinite Z's virtual-holographic platform, the zSpace, was created with backing from the Central Intelligence Agency's In-Q-Tel fund, which invests in technology startups.[6] The innovation represented a new approach to problem solving, designing, teaching, and communicating. Infinite Z formally changed its name to zSpace in 2013.

zSpace found its place among relatively untapped "geospatial markets" with users who would make use of 3-D manipulation technologies.[1] Although the initial target markets were enterprise-based,[7] prospective clients began to recognize a nearly limitless potential for zSpace applications in any endeavor where 3-D study and interaction would be beneficial.[1][2][3] Gaming developers and consumers also began to take a keen interest in the budding company.[1][3] zSpace soon found its way into a variety of sectors including government, medicine and education.[1][2][3][8]

zSpace executives have turned their attention to developing partnerships with "active players" in the VR industry, and made their "primary focus" virtual reality for education and, [to get] applications on zSpace."[8] In November 2012, zSpace released an independent software development kit.[2]

zSpace All-in-One for Education

In 2012, zSpace was a featured product for NASA's "TechBriefs".[9] The company collaborated with NASA to be tested as interface technology for future robots, using the program to interact with simulated objects in virtual environments using its imaging displays.[10]

Also in 2012, zSpace was awarded "Best in Show" at the Computer Graphics World Conference.[11] The company also received the Core77 Design Award as "Professional Notable" in Consumer Products.[11] In 2013, zSpace was a finalist in the American Technology Awards in Advanced Manufacturing/Tech Manufacturing.

In 2014, zSpace collaborated with researchers at the University of Tokyo to develop a high speed gesture tracking system. The technology is being used in hospitals by surgeons before procedures.[12][13]

The Los Altos School District began a pilot program using zSpace in STEM classrooms.[14][15] The technology is also used at UCSF and Stanford for research and medical education, and was featured by Intel at CES 2014.[16]

In September 2015, zSpace announced a partnership with Leopoly, a 3D content provider and modeling platform, to create an application that enabled users to create and customize digital objects for 3D printing.[17] That same year, the company released an updated version of its desktop virtual reality solution, zSpace for Education. The new platform allowed users to manipulate an array of virtual, 3D objects including building circuitry and experimenting with gravity. The release included more than 250 STEAM (science, technology, art and math) lesson plans aligned to the Common core, Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS) and other state standards for K-12 education.[18]

In January 2016, zSpace released a virtual reality internet browser it developed in partnership with Google Chrome's WebGL team.[19] zSpace and GeoGebra announced the release of VR Math, a mathematics application designed for all levels of education in February 2016. The software includes subjects like geometry, algebra, spreadsheets, graphing, statistics and calculus.[20][21] At the ISTE conference in June 2016, zSpace announced new Human Anatomy Atlas content as a result of its partnership with Visible Body. The company also announced that it had partnered with Google to combine zSpace's VR technology with the Google Expeditions Pioneer Program.[22] Beginning that same year, zSpace demonstrated its technology to schools across the country via its Mobile Classroom Tour. The tour allows K-12 students around the country to engage with the company's STEAM applications in a lab setting and experience a variety of different simulations.[23][24]

The company partnered with Shenzhen GTA Education Tech Ltd., and Mimbus in 2017 on automotive training and welding applications.[25][26] In 2018, zSpace announced integration with Autodesk Tinkercad as well as a partnership to bring Merriam-Webster's online dictionary.[27][28]

Product[edit]

zSpace 200 display
A boy studying with zSpace display

At ISTE 2015, zSpace released the All-in-One for Education in collaboration with Foxconn Technology Group. The system previously consisted of a virtual reality monitor and separate computer. The updated system provides students with a realistic learning environment that aligns to the Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS), Common Core and state standards. The virtual-holographic images can be lifted from the screen and manipulated with the accompanying stylus.[29] The solution allows for group interaction as participants only need 3D glasses as opposed to VR headsets.[30][31]

The zSpace system uses a 1920 x 1080 pixel LCD screen, and the hardware switches between the left and right images through a circularly polarized light that enters the eye.[32] The glasses contain small reflective tabs that the computer uses to track where users are looking.[33] This software prevents nausea and headaches by keeping the image focused.[34][35]

At ISTE 2018, the company launched its first Windows 10 laptop for schools that integrates elements of augmented and virtual reality, to manipulate images from the screen with a stylus.[36][37]

Recognition[edit]

As of 2018, zSpace operates in more than 800 school districts, community colleges and universities to over 1 million students.[38][39] The company's technology was awarded Tech & Learning's "Best in Show" at the ISTE conference from 2015-17 and the magazine's "Award in Excellence" in 2016 and 2017.[40][41] In 2016, zSpace was named one of the 5 most innovative and fast-growing companies in America by Inc. magazine[42] while also ranking 143 on the Inc. 5000 list and second in the Silicon Valley Business Journal.[43][44] In 2017, zSpace ranked on Inc.'s 5000 list.[45]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c d e Knight, Will. "A Display That Makes Interactive 3-D Seem Mind-Bogglingly Real". MIT Technology Review. Retrieved 1 July 2013.
  2. ^ a b c d Wilson, Mark. "zSpace: A Real Holographic Display Worthy Of Iron Man". Fast Company. Retrieved 1 July 2013.
  3. ^ a b c d Johnson, Eric. "heap Mobile Games? Bah! Meet zSpace's $4,000 3-D Monitor". AllThingsD. Retrieved 1 July 2013.
  4. ^ "zSpace, Inc. Partnership With Siemens PLM Software Delivers Enhanced 3D Visualization Solution". Sys-Con Media. Retrieved 1 July 2013.
  5. ^ "Infinite Z's zSpace". upFront.eZine. Retrieved 1 July 2013.
  6. ^ Henn, Steve. "In-Q-Tel: The CIA's Tax-Funded Player In Silicon Valley". NPR. Retrieved 1 July 2013.
  7. ^ "High Speed Gesture UI for Three Dimensional Display zSpace". Ishikawa Watanabe Laboratory. Retrieved 17 August 2014.
  8. ^ a b "zSpace, Inc. Partnership With Siemens PLM Software Delivers Enhanced 3D Visualization Solution". MarketWatch. Retrieved 1 July 2013.
  9. ^ "Real 3D Visualization: The Promise of Virtual Holography". TechBriefs. March 1, 2012. Retrieved March 12, 2017.
  10. ^ Venables, Michael (25 February 2014). "NASA's "New Apollo Moment": Naturally Guiding Robotic Avatars In Space Exploration". Medium. Retrieved 17 August 2014.
  11. ^ a b "Core77 Design Awards 2012: zSpace, Professional Notable for Consumer Products". Core77. Retrieved 1 July 2013.
  12. ^ "Real-Time Touch-Free Gesture Control System for Image Browsing in The OR". medGadget. 27 May 2014. Retrieved 17 August 2014.
  13. ^ Alyssa. "BBC and Dassault Systemes ask: how can technology shape the future?". Dassault Systemes. Retrieved 17 August 2014.
  14. ^ Aguirre, Jessica (2 May 2014). "Los Altos School District Tries Out Virtual Reality in the Classroom". NBC. Retrieved 17 August 2014.
  15. ^ Jessica Aguirre; Barb Kunz (2 May 2014). "Los Altos School District Tries Out Virtual Reality in the Classroom". NBC Bay Area. Retrieved 28 August 2014.
  16. ^ "Intel's pre-CES 2014 keynote". The Verge. Retrieved 28 August 2014.
  17. ^ Krassenstein, Brian (September 1, 2015). "zSpace and Leopoly Partner to Transform Education with 3D Printing & Virtual Reality". 3D Print. Retrieved December 18, 2016.
  18. ^ Devaney, Laura (November 17, 2015). "3D, Virtual Reality Platform Also Promotes Collaboration". eSchool News. Retrieved December 18, 2016.
  19. ^ Lee, Nicole (January 6, 2016). "zSpace Created a Virtual Reality Browser". engadget. Retrieved December 18, 2016.
  20. ^ Meyer, Leila (February 4, 2016). "zSpace Debuts VR Math". The Journal. Retrieved December 18, 2016.
  21. ^ Hewitt, Brian (February 3, 2016). "zSpace Confirms Release of Virtual Reality Math". VR Journal. Retrieved December 18, 2016.
  22. ^ Stochel, Dillon (June 27, 2016). "zSpace and Google Expeditions Team to Create VR Classroom Experiences". VR Journal. Retrieved December 18, 2016.
  23. ^ Niles, Danielle (May 5, 2016). "Virtual Reality Bus Provides Students With Unique Learning Experience". WBZ Boston. Retrieved March 12, 2017.
  24. ^ Bercik, Julie (April 6, 2016). "Students Tour Mobile Virtual Reality Classroom in Canfield". WKBN. Retrieved March 12, 2017.
  25. ^ "zSpace Expands CTE Offerings with Auto Training Program". Campus Technology. Retrieved 28 August 2018.
  26. ^ "zSpace Teams with Mimbus to Bring Augmented Reality to Welding Students". The Journal. Retrieved 28 August 2018.
  27. ^ "zSpace, Autodesk Make Tinkercad Designs Immersive". FlatPyramid. Retrieved 28 August 2018.
  28. ^ "Increased access to definitions, meanings and pronunciations in AR/VR". District Administration Magazine. 2 July 2018. Retrieved 28 August 2018.
  29. ^ Do, Katrina (July 7, 2015). "3d Technology at ISTE 2015". Cyber Science 3D. Retrieved December 18, 2016.
  30. ^ Maher, William (July 15, 2015). "ASI Solutions, HP Bring Virtual Reality to Australian Schools". CRN. Retrieved December 18, 2016.
  31. ^ Ryan, Kevin (September 20, 2016). "5 of the Most Innovative and Fast-Growing Companies in America". Inc. Retrieved December 18, 2016.
  32. ^ "1400社がアプリ開発 米社のVR装置、教育・医療へ". Nikkei. 7 May 2014. Retrieved 17 August 2014.
  33. ^ Geron, Tomio (24 September 2014). "zSpace Makes Immersive 3D Computing a Reality". Forbes. Retrieved 17 August 2014.
  34. ^ Emspak, Jesse (9 September 2013). "3-D Display Tracks Head for Vomit Free Views". Discovery.com. Retrieved 17 August 2014.
  35. ^ Pierce, Dennis (12 February 2014). "zSpace takes 3D learning to a whole new level". eSchool News. Retrieved 17 August 2014.
  36. ^ "From virtual reality to ebooks, the future of digital media in schools is a total toss-up". GeekWire. 30 June 2018. Retrieved 28 August 2018.
  37. ^ Fink, Charlie. "The Biggest AR Company You've Never Heard Of". Forbes. Retrieved 28 August 2018.
  38. ^ Fink, Charlie. "The Biggest AR Company You've Never Heard Of". Forbes. Retrieved 28 August 2018.
  39. ^ "zSpace Unveils its AR/VR Laptop Designed for Education". VRFocus. Retrieved 28 August 2018.
  40. ^ "ISTE 2015 Best of Show". Tech & Learning. July 30, 2015. Retrieved December 18, 2016.
  41. ^ "Tech & Learning Announces Best of Show Winners". Tech & Learning. July 5, 2016. Retrieved December 18, 2016.
  42. ^ Ryan, Kevin J (September 20, 2016). "5 of the Most Innovative and Fast-Growing Companies in America". Inc. Retrieved March 12, 2017.
  43. ^ "zSpace". Inc. Retrieved December 18, 2016.
  44. ^ Reyes, Lemery (October 20, 2016). "Fast Private: zSpace Ranks No. 2 on the Silicon Valley Business Journal's Fast Private List". Silicon Valley Business Journal. Retrieved December 18, 2016.
  45. ^ "Spread the Word: zSpace Is No. 305 on the Inc. 5000 This Year!". Inc.com. Retrieved 28 August 2018.