Developer of the Month: David Barry Brings Augmented and Virtual Reality to Education

Wednesday 11/9/16 09:00am
Posted By Mike Roberts
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It’s an exciting time for augmented and virtual reality. David Barry, Qualcomm® Developer of the Month for November, knows this well.

David Barry, QDN Developer of the Month November 2016

The possibilities for augmented and virtual reality in education have big implications. Subjects focusing on physical structures, like engineering, architecture and biology all benefit enormously from the transition from 2d to 3d computer display, and we’re glad to see Qualcomm technologies playing its part in supporting this.

David Barry is currently working for the Florence-Darlington Technical College as part of a Boost Medical Grant from the Department of Labor. Specializing in mixed reality technologies, David is developing Anatomy instruction apps for Certified Nursing Assistant students that can be viewed on Samsung’s GearVR, Google’s Cardboard, and Microsoft’s Hololens.

David says ‘We believe that teaching in 3D is not only a better way to teach, but it is an exciting and engaging way to learn. Student response to learning on our hardware has been amazing.’

Tell us a bit about your work.
Florence-Darlington Technical College is a 2-year technical college that provides high-quality programs and services, utilizing state-of-the-art delivery systems. I am part of a Department of Labor grant for our Health Sciences Campus, and assist with the development of both virtual reality and augmented reality applications for the college and its clients.

How was your company started?
I started my AR/VR/MR consulting and development business in 2010 to help bring these new technologies to my community.

What advice would you give to other developers?
‘Begin with the end in mind’ - Stephen Covey. Designing with a clear objective in mind is essential to keeping a tightly focused project.

What is one thing that makes your company culture unique?
One thing that I believe is a core element of my company culture is giving back. We work with the local Boys and Girls Club to teach game design techniques and concepts to underserved 12-17 year olds in our community. We believe that teaching these kids skills that are in high demand will give them the best opportunity to change not only their lives but our communities as well.

Share with us a fun fact about yourself.
I have been to 49 of the 50 US states and have lived in 9. (A cruise to Alaska is on the bucket list for number 50)

What do you love about embedded and IoT development?
We love the idea of a connected world where information brings opportunity for equality to everyone regardless of where they started in life.

Where do you and your team get inspiration for your work?
Problems in life are just opportunities to discover a solution, and share it with others.

Who is your technology hero?
Jack Tramiel (CEO of Commodore International in 1982 for the release of the Commodore 64- where I got my start in computers as a kid).

When enduring a long day, how do you and your team stay energized? (e.g. energy drinks, chocolate chip cookies, power naps, etc.)
Nerf Gun Wars!

Where do you see the IoT industry in 10 years?
IoT will have saturated the marketplace with connected devices. The QCA401x and QCA4531 Wi-Fi connected processors will change the home, car, health care, smart cities, and wearable industries.

What projects are you and/or your company working on using Qualcomm technologies?
Teaching anatomy in VR on the Snapdragon® 805 processor for the GearVR (Note4).

What Qualcomm technologies are featured in your projects?
We are using:

  1. Snapdragon Mobile Development Platform (MDP)
  2. Snapdragon SDK for Android
  3. Vuforia

How did the Snapdragon SDK assist in the final development of your app?
It allowed us to build VR that doesn’t induce motion sickness, by keeping our frame rates high. When developing for VR on a mobile device at 60fps stereo (which makes it 120fps) you have 11ms to prepare your next frame. Without the tools from Qualcomm Developer Network, we could never have gotten our performance to meet that requirement. We believe that using the SDK allowed us to complete the project much earlier than if we had been working in OpenCV.