New realities – VR, AR, MR

New realities – VR, AR, MR are often subject of technology articles or part of various innovative solutions. We decided to look at them in detail because frankly, they confuse us a little.

The first appearance of the term “virtual reality” is a fruit of science fiction, it comes from the short story “Pygmalion’s Spectacles” written by Stanley Weinbaum in 1935. The story describes the idea of ​​how a pair of glasses transfer a person into a fictional world by sense, smell, and taste.

85 years later, global sales of VR helmets are millions per year (about 14 million for 2019), but they are still a niche market because of their high prices and the specifics of the experience they bring.

Virtual reality (VR) is a simulated experience that can be the same or completely different from the real world. Virtual reality is often used in various entertainment applications such as video games, but it also finds a place in quite serious aspects of life such as education, medicine, military exercises, and training, as well as in transforming archaeological and cultural finds into 3D environments.

Currently, virtual reality simulation systems use helmets (multi-projection media) to recreate realistic images and sounds, and thus realistic sensations, simulating the user’s physical presence in the virtual environment. But that’s not all, a person placed in virtual reality can look around, move and interact in the virtual world.

An unpleasant effect of using simulation systems is nausea and dizziness. The body tells the brain that it is not moving, but in virtual reality the eyes see that it is moving, and the body is confused, leading to a seasickness-like reaction.

This may come to show that our body is not fully ready for this type of experience yet, but it certainly does not place a limit on science and technology, because the next level of reality is even more impressive.

AR – Augmented reality is a combination between our real environment and computer-generated objects (sound, video, graphics, etc.), which is achieved through certain software used on a phone/tablet or special glasses.

According to Azuma, it is an environment that includes virtual reality and elements of the real world. For example, a user may wear transparent glasses to see both the real world and computer-generated images projected onto a picture of the world around them. However, it is important to mention that this superimposition of content (layers) on the real world does not become part of it and they cannot interact with each other.

There are already interesting examples close to our daily lives of using AR, for example, IKEA is developing a table as part of its concept kitchen, which offers recipes based on ingredients on the table, which is a great example of the potential of AR in the real, everyday life. A combination of virtual and augmented reality is also used in the construction of space satellites, in the assembly of the satellite to show the exact place of each component and detail of the device.

And to make it even more confusing, it’s time for the next kind of reality. Mixed reality (MR) – sometimes called hybrid reality – is the merging of the real and virtual worlds to create new environments and visualizations where physical and digital objects coexist and interact in real-time.

It’s amazing, but MR connects people, objects, and places taken from the physical and digital world on one platform at the same time. Allows interaction with the help of holograms, to visualize scenes and processes with digital content as part of the real world, as the holograms respond to the movements and gestures of both the participant and signals from the outside world through gestures and voice commands for navigation. Mixed reality (MR) is the unification of the real and virtual worlds to create new environments and visualizations where physical and digital objects coexist and interact in real-time. Mixed reality does not take place exclusively in either the physical or the virtual world, but is a hybrid that allows us to touch the best of both worlds.

The market for these technologies is constantly growing, and with it, the models themselves are evolving, upgrading their functionality in all aspects.

It is exciting to live in times when we can touch this type of experience, although we may not yet be fully ready to understand and accept them.

Working from home and motivation

For a long period of time working from home was something not so common, some would say privilege even. Some employers were using it as a part of the company’s social benefits. A couple of days home office a month sounded very tempting in job ads but it wasn`t a common practice. This came to an end with the Covid 19 pandemic – working from home became something that we had to adjust quickly so we can adapt and continue working. For some IT companies home office was something familiar with clear existing processes and expectations, but for others was something new with quite many unknowns.

So, how we can work when 50 to 70% of the company’s employees are not in the office?

Let’s be honest – after the happy feeling that you don’t have to waste time in the traffic on your way to the office is gone, it is clear that working from home can affect quality and efficiency and can have a demotivating effect on some people. The comfort of the home atmosphere can make you less productive compared to working in the office.

That is why we have put together some tips on how to keep your productivity level high during the home office.

Make a working space.

A big part of working from home effectively involves making a space where you can feel like being in the office. It is one thing to work from the kitchen table and completely different if you have a desk with a monitor, keyboard, and all other office staff. It is important to recreate a working environment. More and more researches prove that the way you are dressed has its impact as well – if you dress office-like and don’t spend your day in your pajamas (I know, it is very comfortable) it will affect your productivity and your motivation. Try to make yourself feel like you are in the office, even though it kills the charm of the home office, it is important for the course of your working day and you’ll be able even to turn your camera on during online meetings.

Start and finish work at the usual time.

We know that sometimes there are unexpected tasks that take longer and you need to start work earlier or finish later. Sometimes we cannot control it. Maybe you have noticed that when working remote you turn on your laptop with the first sip of coffee and you turn it off after the 7 o’clock news. Lunch breaks are also very floating, usually lasting about 15-20 minutes, enough to eat, and still take the usual working position. Since you are not traveling to the office, you may decide to start earlier or continue later, but it is better to stick to your usual work schedule.

Lunch breaks.

Don’t forget that even though you are working from home it is your right to use a lunch break. Rule number one – don’t eat at your desk. If it possible use your break to go eat outside or have some time with your friends or colleagues. If you prefer not to do all the above, just a nice and relaxing lunch at home is enough. Why not even a short, invigorating siesta? You can use your lunch break to sign up for an online course or listen to a lecture. Don’t feel guilty for spending time for something different than work. This will make you more creative and more focused when you continue with your task later.

Keep in touch with your colleagues online.

One of the most difficult things working remotely is communicating with colleagues. Now it is not possible just to go to their desk to ask them something or to check the progress of today’s tasks. Just a few months ago you were coffee buddies every morning, talking about different stuff, playing football together. You were recharging each other’s batteries.  One of the best things about working in the office is now one of the worst things about working remotely. The lack of social contact in such circumstances is by no means beneficial. Luckily today’s technology world allows us to communicate with whoever we want, whenever we want, wherever we want.

When you work in an office, corporate culture and interpersonal relationships occur spontaneously in the physical space. However, when you work remotely you have to find new ways to maintain some informal office practices. The jokes, the greetings, the harmless gossips, sharing personal interests, the attention to your colleague – all these things are now happening in the digital world through communication sources that allow spontaneous and free information sharing. One such source is The Donut app for Slack. It randomly selects a colleague you haven’t heard from in a while and arranges a meeting for both of you. A big plus is that it allows you to choose the people you don’t want to be connected with (your team colleague for example with whom you talk every day, sometimes twice or three times a day to talk about work tasks).

Keep a low social network profile (Reduce social networks).

They are easy to access and are constantly tempting you to open them. But that is not the way work will be done on time. To be productive we advise you to log out from all your social network accounts and remove the shortcuts on your internet browser. If you use Chrome you can go to the “Incognito” mode. This will keep you away from your account for a while and signing in will be slightly more difficult. Your virtual socialization can wait until the end of your working day.

After reading all these super valuable tips on how to be productive when working from home, the most important thing remains – to apply them. Or at least some of them.

How IT Service Management can help your businesses transformation?

Today everyone is talking about digital transformation and how important it is. Digitalization is not a new topic, it has been on the table for a long time, but it is also a fact that social distancing, the home office model, and the quarantine have definitely catalyzed the need for fast changes in different areas in our lives.

Many businesses had and still face difficulties trying to adapt to the new situation, market, and business environment. It is a well-known fact that not the strongest but the most adaptive survive the crisis, so in this complicated situation as the solution to any problems appeared the digitalization. Everyone started talking about the digital transformation of businesses as a float that can help survive.

Regardless of the type of business and its scale – the solution to everything became digitalization. But did the corona crisis actually pushed us in this direction or put also a psychological brake on businesses that are not absolutely ready for this step?

A lot of questions appeared – Is there a way to improve the services and products that our business offers and thus increase our market share? How and where to start, what are the processes that can be digitized in your company, who can do this to make more painless the forthcoming months of crisis?

Probably many of these questions, at first sight, can be simply answered, but the truth is deeper. What exactly does digital transformation mean and why it is so important right now?

Who can help us understand its benefits and how to best apply what we have learned so far to move to a digital environment?

Digital transformation will look different for every business but in general, it is the integration of digital technology into all areas of a business resulting in fundamental changes to how businesses operate and how they deliver value to customers.

Beyond that, the transformation sometimes means distancing from long-standing business processes with which we are really common and start building new from scratch.

If you want to make your company processes easy, traceable, and transparent, ITSM consultants can help you reach your full potential and during all stages of the project, building requirements precisely, planning time and cost, assisting you in improving your business processes.

The key ITSM capabilities include:

ITSM Consultancy Services, implementation services including project management and full-lifecycle implementation, administration services provided either on-premise or as a remote service, Remedy custom applications development, integrations with third-party applications.

In the end, one thing is sure, each company has more or less room for digitalization, which could lead to an increase in the performance, simplification of processes and supply chains, reduction of costs and staff, improvement of the services in terms of time and quality. But if we don’t know where to start, we can trust ITSM (IT service management) consulting professionals who will help us to see the big picture and the areas of improvement. With the power of IT Service Management, you can transform your business.

If you want, you can contact us for any information regarding our ITSM services and team.

Grafixoft Awarded as Top Developer by Clutch!

Clutch, a ratings and reviews site connects service providers and buyers through data and verified research. Central to this process is client reviews. In this unique process, analysts have spoken directly with many of our clients and learned more about the services we provided.

With an overall 5.0 rating, we’ve seen strong results from Clutch’s extensive research process. We are thrilled to be recognized as a top developer in 2020.

Our client’s participation made this award possible, and we want to thank them for their time and honest feedback. Excerpts from recent reviews can be found below:

“Their attention to detail, responsiveness, and willingness to support our business are all greatly appreciated.” –CEO, Zegami

For Zegami, we conducted QA testing. We integrated with the internal development team and worked to ensure that their product was fully-functional and bug-free.

“The reason that this relationship is so strong is due to their integrity and honesty.” –Global Director for Services, FusionGBS

For FusionGBS, we provide IT consulting on a wide range of subjects.

We are grateful for everyone who has contributed to our success. We look forward to collecting more reviews and continuing to serve clients with the best services possible.

Grafixoft was ranked among the leading tech companies in Bulgaria

ICT Media published the official results of the prestigious ranking – Top 100 Technology Companies in Bulgaria 2020.

We are more than happy to share that our position in the overall ranking is significantly increased – from 77th place in 2018 to 62nd in 2019.
Ranked by revenue we are on the 31st spot among 50 software companies and the excellent 8th position of IT consultancy providers.
Grafixoft is on the leading 5th position in the annual growth ranking with 67.8% growth and 15th spot in the category “Most dynamic IT companies”.
2019 was a good year and we succeed to pass through a lot of challenges and to continue our improvement. 2020 is challenging for now but we hope to keep the right direction with precise steps, stable partnerships, and sustainable development.

All Grafixoft rankings in the ICT Top 100:

5th in Top 50 IT companies with highest growth YoY
8th in Top IT Consultancy providers, by revenue
15th in the 50 most dynamic IT companies
25th in Top 30 Software developers, by revenue
31st in The Top 50 Software companies, by revenue
38th in The Top 50 exporters, by revenue
40th in the Top 50 most profitable companies

*Source – ICT Media. ICT TOP 100. The ranking lists the best-performing companies in the IT sector based on their financial results in different areas.

 

Grafixoft and Scientia will support #GabrovoHackathon

The registration for the annual Innovation Camp organized by the Municipality of Gabrovo, Innovation Starter, and the Regional Information Center – Gabrovo started on June 10.

It is held for the fifth consecutive year and will be organized as #GabrovoHackathon.

The grand prize, which will be awarded to the winning team is 10 000 BGN and is provided by the Municipality of Gabrovo, the companies Grafixoft Ltd., Scientia AD, and Stemo Ltd.

The participants in the hackathon will develop innovative mobile applications addressing a specific problem, shortcoming, or potential of the municipality of Gabrovo. Three thematic

challenges are addressed to them: CODE GREEN, CITIZENS.NET, and TOURISM @ GABROVO.

On September 12, the teams, mentors, partners and sponsors of #GabrovoHackathon will gather for the first time in Gabrovo, for the official presentation of the innovative mobile applications and awarding the winners.

In addition to the financial support, Grafixoft and Scientia assisted in providing one of the mentors to help the teams. Mr. Tsvetan Tsvetanov is a co-founder of Grafixoft until recently was VP, Software Engineering at

VELO3D – the leading SpaceX supplier of Additive Manufacturing Tools and Processes. Before that, his career path went through Apple, where he worked as a senior software engineer.

He has 11 years of experience as a Principal software engineer at Autodesk.

All stages of #GabrovoHackathon will be announced in the official Facebook event of the initiative, you can follow here: https://www.facebook.com/events/1687640741386253/

We can do more together!

In recent weeks, many things have been written and told, about the situation of the crisis and its consequences. We believe that the right thing is less talk and more actions. Anyone can help, according to their possibilities.

On March 25, our companies Grafixoft and Scientia made a donation to support Gabrovo hospital. The donation provides a high-quality technique for the resuscitation beds that are necessary for the needs of severely ill patients.

We hope that our help, not only the financial but also the moral help, gives strength and confidence to the doctors and the management of the hospital, knowing that they are not alone in these difficult times.