Website

Im starting on my website now so was looking at getting a domain. I check out some reviews and found that Hostpapa seemed a good bet. Webhosting for less that £2 and a few domain name and email address, yes it was too good to be true. With every thing that you would actually need for a web site it comes to about £65 for a year.

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That seems alot of money so ive decided that running my own server would be more beneficial as not only would it be free I would gain a lot from setting it up my self and also with Junaio and other AR apps you can manage the content from a ftp server. I have an old rig that just needs a cpu and psu that would be fine for it. Ill properly use apache server on ubuntu as there is alot of suport for that. I found this video easily that shows you the basic set up and how to edit the gedit file, ill borrow some books and try and remember what I learnt in dreamweaver to build it. For the design ill ask Chris van or Matt for a layout.

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Nymphomaniac

Nymphomaniac is billed as “groundbreaking” superimposing words and symbols over live action. Thats not the only thing that they are superimposing…. They will be tracking the upper torso’s of the main cast on to “doubles” during the provocative films sex scenes. I couldnt find out which company is stepping up to it.

nymphomaniac_rmlez

Chips

With AR gaining speed quickly and more players arriving on the hardware scene to join the Glass, I thought I would look at what is driving this hardware and recent developments.

Metaio have officially announced that they will be making a chip with ST-Ericsson for mobile devices. This article (http://gigaom.com/2013/02/22/metaios-augmented-reality-chip-will-be-super-useful-just-not-in-phones/) has the same view that smart phones are great for AR in short bursts. And with a big emphasis on battery life it would suggest that it would be more useful in a wearable device. Metaio and Ericsson are reportedly supplying Nokia with the chip who are already fans of AR with City Lens could this mean a pair of AR glasses from Nokia soon?

Noted Rival – Star 1200 XL

A noted rival to the Google Glass is the Star 1200 XL it is a VR/AR system from Vuzix. Although it being considered a rival they both do very different things, the Glass is for constant use and small screen offers updates rather than viewing content. The Star is currently more for short usage with its slightly bulky design but it contains a lot more, it offers 1080 camera and two wide screen displays at 852×480 which is equivalent to a 75″ display viewed from 10 feet. Here is a really good review i found on youtube.

Virtual store

Key Tree is hoping to make there online shopping more “immersive” by allowing you to walk around and view shelfs of a virtual store on your TV. I think this is an interesting idea for online food shopping. As currently Tesco, Sainsburys and Asda all have websites that are difficult to navigate and find the products we want, this is caused by the huge number of similar products the offer and also the average number of items you buy from them is much higher than any other site. Being able to see the products I think will be embraced by the companies making the products such as Hienz, Walls and others which have built up brand loyalty and many customers look for their logo when selecting items.

As well as this Tesco are working very hard in the digital market and are coming up with great inovations. Last year Tesco put up virtual stores on advertising board in gatwick that allowed holiday makers to browse shelfs and order a food shop for your return.

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This idea came from their Korean half Home plus in 2011 they started creating virtual stores.

NFC

After looking at NFC for my FMP i wanted to include it in my business cards so i orderd some light weight ones that i could put inside the card. the first set i order were type 2 and sadly where only 137 bytes in size and could hold a full vCard but can be use for other things like linking to websites. the reason i orderd the smaller physical size ones that they need to be able to fit in 85 by 55 constraints. I found some larger 1k byte nfc tages from nfc direct and they will arrive shortly and they will be the onces i use for my business cards.

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AR Maps

AR is being used alot for navigation, with concepts of car HUD’s and app’s like Wikitude and Layer layering POI’s over a camera feed based on your current gps location. Crossfader a Japanese developer has created a hybrid of these apps and google maps allowing the user to visualise their location and route.

Glass rival CastAR

2 Engineers who were recently let go from Valve, they had been working on it during their last year at Valve and with Gabes backing they began working full time on the CastAR system after they were no longer working at Valve.

I like the idea but im not sure how it will compare to the RIFT as having to use a large physical counter part that would eat up living room space.

More Privacy concerns

Google has been questioned again about the privacy of of the Glass. I explored some of the privacy concerns during my dissertation, this time is it a group of 8 US congressmen, Democrats and Republicans. Their concern is that they could infringe on the privacy of the “average american”. Glass is coing under fire because its potential to gather images, video and other data such as locations. Because Glass is the first mass market AR glasses it must break through the privacy stigma. Google is partly under this pressure thanks to its self where last year it was found to be poaching personal data from wi-fi hot spots from its google cars.

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/technology-22567061

3D Tracking

For my large model of a clock I wanted to use a 3D tracking marker because what i learnt from earlier project where if the user wanted to explore the model you would loose tracking from the 2D image, so to get over it I used a 3D tracking marker so that when you looked at it on a level plane it would still track. These would be ideal of an in store kiosk using foam cubes and tracking multiple models to it so it can be picked up and rotated.

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Matching the Font

As I was wanting to keep within the Citizen brand I used my fonts to match the font for when I added text to the pull out and in the app in a GUISkin. They use a varient to Futura light for their main body.

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Paper Watch

I looked at some designs for paper watches I came up with these 2 designs.

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after cutting them out and testing them I found that as simple as the securing system was it was to difficult to assemble with the thin paper. So i went for an even more simple design with a just a slot to feed the paper into and it was held it tight enough to stay on your wrist as also easy to put on and adjust.

UI and UX

Since doing the YCN brief I’ve been trying to develop my ability to asses the UI and UX or and app. So I’ve been looking at existing AR app’s to guide my own. I found a big UI different between the 2 types of AR app. A “AR Browser” App like Junaio or Layar have alot of UI with a menu to search channels and stand-alone apps maybe for a single company tent to have very minimal UI with all instructions on the printed material.

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Texturing the Models

I start off with the intent to use procedural so I started looking to to graph networks in depth to see how you can build them up.

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Here is one of them that I started working on. I built up a bit more than is show in this image. The reason I was I developing my networking because Unity does not support mental ray or v ray when importing fbx’s. After playing with this for a few days I decided against it because the resulting textures with out the rendering plugins in maya. So down the UV root it is. Because these are low poly models I thought the best way to get the most detail in them would to UV map from images of the watch’s and it came out very well i think.

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In my large clock model I used a combination of UV maps and procedural textures with bump maps and texture files.

EveryPlay

This is a free Unity sdk plugin that allows you to share screen video rather than just images, which is great for sharing an AR experience. Downside is iOS only but for future AR projects worth a look. https://everyplay.com/about?

Marker-less Tracking

In this project I am using 3D and 2D image tracking but tracking of biometric points on the body is getting easier and soon enough we will be able to try on cloths in the living room through Kinect like cameras. These would also make great in store attractions. Here are some videos I found that show the use of tracking.

App deployment

I’ve been looking at different ways of deploying an App to the users. The easiest is to use the Play Store and Appstore. I prefer Android because of its simplicity, I have 2 android devices i can test on and not having to keep up with the Apple paper work. So after paying the $25 registration fee on the Android Dev Console it is relatively easy to submit your .apk for the Play store. If you want to sell your game its a 70 30 split of the retail. (Android developer console https://support.google.com/googleplay/android-developer/?hl=en)

Deve console

One of the issues I still have with companies advertising there apps is the use of QR codes. They are well know for being ugly and if your not using a Nokia with built in QR reader on the camera they dont really save you any time on entering an address or searching on the App/Play store. Not every one has NFC in the phones right now but they are on the rise and I think we will see them in all phones soon, If that be for paying wirelessly or linking to a direct download of an app. NFC can be used to make call’s, send texts and go to a direct link that could be an ftp server with your file on. Its been used recently in a Council funded project make by Bolser in beer mats to help combat drink driving, the patron pressed the middle of the mat and holds their phone over it and it will call a local taxi company for them. It is also being used by public transport companies in Leeds for downloading time tables.

NFC in Leeds

The one above is more robust for out door conditions but there are much thinner ones that I could consider with my magazine supplement. Such as these from a company called RapidNFC they do a HUGE selection of NFC products like Pen’s and Magnets. What interested me was the printed NFC stickers that can me applied and used to direct download the app to the phone for the user. They are slightly costly at 32p each when brought in the 1000’s but could be very effective.

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Logo Tracking

One of the reasons I chose Citizen as a brand to use was because the logo works well as a tracking marker. Now that I’ve been working with AR for over a year im starting to get a good understanding of what is likely to track and what isnt.

Citizen Trtacking points

Posting to Facebook

For this app we wanted to be able to post an image from our app directly from. To do this I used a plug’in for Unity that makes setting it up a bit easier. After I set it up on the FB dev page I did a few tests with it. I could easily post text messages to FB and also images.

Dev FB

No background

After getting it to post I changed the default main camera to the ARcamera but when I did this the image that it published was just a black screen. I did some research into why this was happening. Using the “ReadPixels” method is supported by Vuforia for posting screen shots which is what I was using and the plugin was working as it did post. What I did find on the Vuforia forum that people were having similar problems when using a Samsung Note, the device I am using.

3D Capture testing

Originally for my FMP I wanted to test out 3D capture using images to produce 3D models similar to how they captured for Cyberpunk check out (http://www.behance.net/gallery/Cyberpunk-2077/6573211) to investigate creating content for AR.
I started photographing a shoe and got varied results, The most successful was photographing it on newspaper. It gave a fairly accurate model but the the mesh for it is very messy and not ideal for modeling. But my main goal was to see if a character could be captured for animating. After getting an acceptable model from 123Dcatch, I decided to try with a human model, After getting enough pictures I put them in and the lightest of movements really messes up the mesh its creates. So I decided to try with a mannequin so that it didn’t move. I stuffed the sleeves with newspaper so that they stuck out and didnt move.And used markers to track as the newspaper worked well for the smaller models but the scale of the subject was to big to use news paper with.

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This is the setup I used and It worked ok, I think that the colour and pattern on the jumper may have effected the tracking, the model came out ok I think to improve it I will need to improve the lighting and improve the tracking markers.

Test torso

My App

My App I created for our first module.

Oculus

A great step forward in gaming and potentially AR. As well as being supported by Unity it opens a lot of doors for game development. This got funded through kickstart and with its huge radius of view of view looks to be promising as previous headsets have always felt aware of the 2 tiny tv screens in front of your eyes. The design resembles snow sports goggles and looks as if it will be easy to wear for long periods of time.

Oculus Rift: Step Into the Game from Oculus VR on Vimeo.

Making sure it runs ok.

device performance

Using the Unity Remote to devices performance.

Button UI

When I went about making my ui button I went about it the wrong way at first. I created a black buttonbg to apply as a var Texture2D and then use the String in the GUI.button

one of many scripts

var icon : Texture2D

if(GUI.button (Rect(x.x.x.x), “Button Text” icon))

and just drop the empty background on each one and just change the “Button Text” for the text on the button, but i found it kept giving me errors. I found out that you can only use “Button Text” or icon not both so I made individual buttons and removed the “Button Text” and it all worked.

GUI animation play and rewind

On my App I have an Explode view button that i wanted to play the animation forwards and then backwards on the second press. This is what I have got so far.

one of many scripts

App progress

Ive been working with the Vuforia plugin in Unity. To deploy it to my android device I downloaded the new unity 4 with the 30day trial. Unfortunately Vuforia doesn’t suport Unity 4, The imageTarget tracking still work perfectly with a very smooth tracking. I wanted to experiment with the VB aspect of Vuforia so I looked at their tutorial scene. When I tried it with creating my own VB I didnt manage to get it working so I posted on Vuforia’s forum and got some feed back saying that my code looked ok. (https://ar.qualcomm.at/content/bug-virtual-button) So I put it up to it being in Unity 4 as I need to progress with my app.

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Unity 4 GUI editor

I am experimenting with the VB on Vuforia but I also wanted to look into making GUI’s. And I cant wait for this to come out. Its allows a much easier creation of UI’s using special tools in unity rather than making them in script.

http://blogs.unity3d.com/2012/06/29/the-new-gui/

Metaio to Vufoira

I started off this module planning to use Metaio unity plugin. I completed the first tutorial but after doing lots of reading on forums and Metaio’s tutorials I couldnt changed the tracking image.

So after having a think about if I should carry on with the Metaio plugin or find an alternative. I found a plugin call Vuforia a really nice plugin with out a water mark and the tracking data is worked out on there cloud system then allows a simple Unity package to be downloaded. It also evaluates how well your reference image will be track able.

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Testing AR in Unity

Ive set up my Unity file and created the metaio intro tutorial. Im developing android app because I dont have the time or want to jump through the hoops to become certified.

UI started

Ive started making my GUI today and using a package to allow me to drag and drop buttons, windows etc.



Animating

This is just a quick animation i made to show the part i have made. When I animated them for my app ill do it in one scene file and then export the parts separately and they will keep the animation so I will have individual assets. I can only have a 2 trackable objects with the Metaio trial ill try and aline the other assets with the model rather than attaching them to the same marker.

360 VirtualMob

Ive been looking to to AR companies. VirtualMob looks like a great company that specializes in AR campaigns for clients. There main market seems to be print based retail but have also created some really creative ideas. This Lynx campaign engages the audience and allows them to interact with a 3D model. I hadn’t really thought about using AR in this way rather than the conventional mobile device based app.

This is their pricing for AR app’s and it is less than I thought they would charge but with only a few hours of client interaction and if the apps are already pre laid out I can see them being turned around quickly.

Minimum requirements

What are the minimum hardware requirements?
The mimimun hardware requirement depend on the platform and the mobile phone. We fully support the iPhone 3G S and iPhone 4. For Android and custom platforms we expect an 800 Mhz processor and a dedicated graphics processor.

Minimum:

CPU with about 800 MHz.
CPU with ARMv7
32 MB RAM (without ROM memory).
Integrated GPU with full OpenGL ES 2.0 support (PowerVR MB/MBX).
Integrated camera with about a 3 Megapixel resolution.
Recommended:

CPU with 1Ghz
64 MB RAM
OpenGL 2.0 class GPU

Colour Swatchs

I couldnt decide on what sort of colour I want to use on my apps UI, and because I havnt heard any thing back from Defense Dist. ive decided to go with my own colour pallet. I used Kuler to get some colours from a set of camo’s I downloaded.





After looking at these I think im going to use the blues.

Java research

I read some starter guides and picked out some important parts that I will use.







Modeling

Looking at my P90 in this render it need some adjustments to the stock, I also started on some of the addons to the gun.

Metaio Creator

Metaio also have some software called Creator it is a AR software aimed more at the graphic design and small business. But I thought i would have a quick play just to see how it works and for future uses if it can save time on certain jobs.

It was very easy just add your model and a ref image, you can change where you want the model in references to the source image. If you scan the QR code bellow with the Junaio app and then join it at the source image it will display a P90 model

Design for the UI

An important part of apps is the UX and UI giving the user easy and smooth flow on the interface is important as on nearly every game it is the first thing you see. I did some designs in my note book then quickly mocked them up in Illy. Ive defintaly set on the feature such as the snap scrolling but im going to play with the look of the menus and then get a graphic designs opinion.


The information design handbook

I had a good look through this book to give me a basic understanding of information design for when I lay out my source image. Ive scanned in the most relevant content that will help me with the design.














Funding from a Bank

After setting up my LTD company Barcleys has sent me booklet how how they can help your new business.

Ghost Recon

This a video exploring the Gun Smith feature that is usable with the kinet.

How to Approach an Investor

Taken from The Smart Start Up
http://www.antiventurecapital.com/vc_approach.html

Approaching Investors

How Not to Approach Investors

If you are a marketing specialist looking for a marketing job would you send your resume in response to job postings for high school science teachers or airline pilots? You probably wouldn’t. Just imagine what people would think if you did.

Through this site I receive about ten unsolicited pitches each and every week. One call was from someone two thousand miles away who needed to raise tens of millions of dollars to build an amusement park. The fact that he contacted me demonstrates that he didn’t take any time to read this site beyond the words “venture capital” or find out what my background is.

Using this shotgun strategy to look for investors is a complete waste of everyone’s time. It makes a bad first impression. There is no better way to say, “Hey look at me, I can’t be bothered to do my homework first!” The person on the receiving end will automatically conclude that you 1) have no idea what you are doing and, therefore, 2) are a waste of his or her time.

In the interests of helping you to become more effective in your search for venture capital or angel capital, here are three easy rules to remember.

1. Investing is a local face-to-face game. There are two reasons for this fact. First, investors like to know who they are dealing with. This means that a series of in-person meetings usually has to take place before they start to warm up to the entrepreneur. Second, if something starts going wrong at a company, the investor wants to be able to drive to its office in under an hour for a meeting with the person in charge. Investors do not want to have to drive all day or hop aboard an airplane for an emergency meeting. They have better things to do with their time.

2. Both venture capitalist and angel investors specialize by industry. These are industries in which they have in-depth experience. Once you find a local investor do some further digging through their website or with a quick telephone call to see if they invest in your type of project. If an investor’s focus is on software it makes no sense to contact them about funding for your new fishing lure.

3. Finally, both venture capital firms and angel investors have a preferred deal size. For some venture capital firms the minimum investment size may be $3 million and the maximum may be $10 million. Venture capital firms can also be broken down into early stage and later stage investors with the vast majority being in the latter group. This means they do not invest in startups (recall the Funding Catch-22). For angel investors the minimum may be $50,000 and the maximum may be $200,000. So, it’s really important to find out before you send an executive summary.

In most cases, you can find the answers to all three questions on the venture capital firm’s website. With a private investor you will have to ask him or , better, people who know him before proceeding with your pitch.

The man who contacted me about the amusement park ignored all three rules. He offered a deal an airplane ride away, in an industry I know nothing about, and in a size outside of my range

Bessemer Venture Partners

Bessemer Venture Partners was one of the companies that invested in Dekko. They originally started in 1911 to help Henery Phillps reinvest his proceeds from Carnegi Steel. They employ 50 investment professionals and have started huge companies like Skype and Linkedin. They currently have $1.6B of funds to invest currently.

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This is an article from TechCrunch about a new AR platform, including on its funding details.

With $1.9 Million In Funding, Dekko Aims To Be The Platform On Which Good Augmented Reality Is Built

RYAN LAWLERFriday, September 7th, 20129

Augmented reality is one of those things where users will try an app once, and then never open it again. There are a number of reasons for this: For one thing, for it to work users need a specific piece of paper or object to point at, or users need to hold their mobile phones up to their faces to make it work. There’s also the problem of apps not having any awareness of the world, meaning that content or characters “float” in space, which basically breaks the illusion for anyone using an AR app.

Dekko aims to solve all those issues, by providing a context-aware platform for creating AR apps. It built its technology from the ground up, taking into account a user’s location, awareness of his surroundings, and spatial movement of the device to create more true-to-life AR applications. More importantly, though, it helps developers who have never used augmented reality and those who don’t have any specialized knowledge around the technologies to quickly and easily build those types of apps.

At launch, Dekko’s technology works for UNITY 3-D programming language. It allows developers to create augmented reality experiences that take a user’s current environment into context, as well as those that build whole new experiences around imaginary characters that can operate in those surroundings. It can also be used to create digital copies of real-world objects and allow users to interact with them on their devices.

It already has three patents pending, and has been working with a number of both content partners to help them build out great augmented reality experiences, as well as distribution partners to enable those experience to happen on a number of different devices.

Its 40+ content partners include game developers, toy manufacturers, world-famous characters from the entertainment industry, and some Oscar-winning special effects companies. On the distribution side, it’s working with some of the top smartphone manufacturers and carriers, as well as chipset manufacturers and social, local, and gaming companies to get its tech in as many people’s hands as possible. And it says that it has another 50 developers signed up to test it out pre-launch.

It expects to have commercial apps built on the platform out by the end of the year, but in the meantime has been working on some proof-of-concept apps that show the power of the technology (video below). Those who wish to play with the full-fledged app can download it from the Apple App Store.

Dekko was founded by husband and wife team Matt and Silka Miesnieks, and has an all-star lineup of AR experts on board. The company has eight employees currently, and has received $1.9 million in funding from Echo Ventures, Bessemer Venture Partners, Venture 51, Blumberg Capital, Launch Capital, Thomvest, Eniac Ventures, and Zig Capital, as well as angels like Howard Lindzon, Erik Moore, Dan Conway, and Raymond Tonsing.

I had a look a the Dekko website and there isnt a huge amount of information on it about what they are creating but I read an interesting post called Imaginary friends by Matt Miesnieks their CEO. This is really really hard to do but the experience that emerges is amazing & immersive. “It re-connects us to our imaginary friends, and connects them to our online social networks. Augmented Reality (AR) is the term for this idea, and we’re taking a whole new approach to anything that’s been tried so far.” It seems that they are targeting their use of Dekko towards social media, this is something im starting to see more of with the app Wallit being released soon.

Branding

Because I am treating this as a live brief I want to be in keeping to Defense Distributed brand, I want to use the same font and colour pallet as their website when creating my info-graphics.

OUDF301

Independent Practice – Rationale for Project Proposal

1. Name:
# Response
1 Daniel Holroyd
2. Dissertation Title:
# Response
1 The Evolution of Augmented Reality and Future development and Implementation
3. Project Proposal & Rationale

Your rationale for your self-directed project must include an overview of your area of study, why you are interested in it and an outline of the content you may produce. This is the first stage of the development of your project and you ideas may change as a result of further research and development. This is also where you should identify if you are working in teams.

You should also clearly identify how this relates to you dissertation topics and helps support the further development of your intended specialist practice.

# Response
1 Brief: Design two Augmented info-graphics for Defense Distributed. These will not be based on their “Wiki” guns but on current guns in production. In the APP ill allow the user to see what their gun looks like customized, changing paint colour and add on’s. (Red dot, Suppressor etc.) I propose to research into how AR is being to be used as an educational tool but companies for training and informing the end user. Big firms such as Mitsubishi Electric with meSync and VW use it for their advertising and user manual for the A1. I think that AR’s future use for information is only going to grow, I would like to use this module to develop an APP that demonstrates my ability to implement AR appropriately and consider my audience. One of the key parts of my abilities I want to progress this module is my UI design skills and allowing the user to interact with the 3D module. My client based skill set need to be improved if I want to work self employed or in a small team, so I have contacted Cody Wilson to see if he can give me live feed back on my design and development.
4. Please list a range of books, magazine, journals and web based sources that you anticipate using. Please use the Harvard referencing system.

Also state if you will be undertaking any primary research during this investigation phase.
# Response
1 Primary Research:- insideAR; Talks from VW and ME Research:- Jenn & Kenn Visocky O’Grady (2008). The Information Design Handbook. Switzerland: RotoVision SA. Kim Baer (2008). Information Design Workbook. Massachusetts US: Rockport Publishers. Cody Wilso. (2012). Website. Available: http://defensedistributed.com/. Last accessed 10/10/2012.

I got feed back after a discussion with Mike about my rational, He liked the idea and that when designing the print sheet that I should consider the branding of Defense Dist. and also my audience. After considering the work load we agreed that I would only create 1 of two as with building and animating the model it may take some time as well as doing the UI. We came to a conclusion on the UX (user experience) about using QR code that they are very pointless as you can type a url quicker than opening up an app to read to then going from there to the website. And they look crap. I need to consider the UX when design the UI and make it as smooth and simple as possible. Larissa Laternser from Ball Packaging shared her learning from some previous projects. You need to keep it simple as you have to consider the “dumb” consumer only have a 5 second attention span.

Some Wiki Info

Wiki clarifying investment in the use and the terminology of rounds

Securities offering
From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
(Redirected from Funding round)

A securities offering (or funding round or investment round) is a discrete round of investment, by which a business or other enterprise raises money to fund operations, expansion, a capital project, an acquisition, or some other business purpose.

Hallmarks of an offering include the following (though none are an absolute requirement in every circumstance):
A prospectus, private placement memorandum, or other document used to advertise the availability and terms of the offering, and to provide disclosure of information investors will need for their due diligence efforts
A securities filing with relevant state and/or federal regulators
Various contracts and documents by which the securities are sold such as a subscription agreement, a stock purchase agreement, and a convertible note (which documents a type of convertible security) or other loan document
Various subsidiary or related agreements such as a buy-sell agreement, investor rights agreement, proxy agreements, and proposed amendments to a company’s articles of incorporation
Underwriters, brokers, finders, and/or agents who help sell and otherwise facilitate the investment transaction.
Financial projections, financial statements, and projections and promises regarding the use of funds.

Types of rounds

Rounds are often described according to the nature of investors, the size of investment, and the stage of the enterprise.
Seed rounds (also called “friends and family” rounds) are used to launch an enterprise
Angel rounds are early investments by angel investors.
Venture rounds are large ($1M-$30M) investments led by venture capital firms. These are often denoted by the series of stock sold, e.g. “A round,” “B round” and so on. The name of the round suggests the stage in the company’s growth. A company that reaches a “D” or “E” round without achieving some success raises concerns; a company that has been through a major restructuring may renumber its series, e.g. an “AA round” or an “A’ round.” Informally, these rounds might be termed a “first round,”second round,” and so on.
A mezzanine round is late stage private funding, meant to carry a company over until a public offering or major merger or acquisition
Because there are no public exchanges listing their securities, private companies meet venture capital firms and other private equity investors in several ways, including warm referrals from the investors’ trusted sources and other business contacts; investor conferences and symposia; and summits where companies pitch directly to investor groups in face-to-face meetings, including a variant known as “Speed Venturing”, which is akin to speed-dating for capital, where the investor decides within 10 minutes whether s/he wants a follow-up meeting.
Some specialized rounds include:
A down round is an investment that is at a lower price per share (or unit) than a previous round. This may trigger the dilution protection provisions, if any, of contracts with earlier investors.
A bridge loan is a relatively small investment, short of a full-scale investment round, to help a company that would otherwise run out of money.
A cram down is an investment in a struggling company by which the company’s earlier investors and other owners are bought out entirely at a discounted price, or the value and terms of their securities are greatly reduced.
Public offerings are rounds of investments sold to the public and listed on a securities exchange rather than sold to a limited group of investors. An initial public offering is the first such offering by which a formerly private company “goes public.”
Offerings may be limited or open-ended. If limited, there is a cap on the number of investors, duration of the round, amount of money raised, number and nature of people to whom the offering is made, and/or the number of shares sold (if it is an equity offering). The offering is ended and the securities are granted at one or more closings. When securities issuances happen from time to time rather than one or several discrete dates, it is sometimes known as a “rolling closing.”
A single round usually involves multiple investors buying a company’s securities in a distinct time period, at the same price and terms, for a single financial purpose. When multiple investments are close in price and terms, they are “merged” according to securities laws (in other words, they are treated as a single round under the law).
Rounds may have one or more lead investors who negotiate and enforce the terms of the agreement. These are usually the parties with the greatest sophistication, resources, reputation, and/or connection to the investment. There may or may not be other follow-on or silent investors who participate in the round. One other distinction is between public offerings for public companies, which are widely advertised and subscribed, and private offerings made by private companies, which have strict limits on the number and nature of the potential investors.
In the United States most offerings are regulated under the Securities Act of 1933.

Storm Ventures

Ive been looking to how to get funding, if I needed it after university, I was looking at a new AR app called Wallit where users can post AR messages to walls that in defined locations all around the world. This app was developed by a post doctorate called Storm Ventures who secured $1.2m private funding. I found it on the website Techcrunch where is gave the new app a review but also has a section of the website call ChrunchBase with loads of great information about the company that made the app including, employees and funding. What is really good for my research I can follow the links and see where the funding came from and who else that company is investing in.

I found the investment company Storm Ventures who helped finance Wallit.

“We focus on incubating and early stage funding of extraordinary entrepreneurs. As former founders, we have operational experience and we work passionately with our founders in making teams and companies successful. We measure ourselves by your success.” – Storm Ventures

This seems like a great type of company that can help with investment as they step in at the early stages when you need the funding the most and seem to work with you rather than just poor money in.

Catch 123D

This is a new bit of software from autodesk. It allows you to turn a number of images from around an object and creates a 3D mesh with it.

About Your Startup

This website seems to be a good idea, show casing new start up companies and to help connect investors. Ive had a look around the site for a bit now and the concept is great, you upload a small synopsis about your product and your contact details. The only problem is that the web page doesn’t appear to have a huge amount of traffic with most products/concept  they only have 1 or 2 likes etc which I imagine are the up-loaders.

Researching funding bodies

As part of my PPP ive been asked to research into professional bodies and alike to see what services they offer and the benefits of becoming part of them or working with them. Ive been looking at JISC. They organized, fund and over see new digital technology for education. They research and give funding to education bodies that wouldn’t normally to be able to get funding. When it comes to funding they have boards of senior managers working in UK further and higher education. These experts determine our strategic direction and priorities to reflect the present and future needs of the education and research communities.They keep up to date with developments in information and digital technology to help the UK education community make the investment decisions that ensure they deliver the learner experience their students demand.

I was having a look around the website to see what kind of things they could offer me and found that they have details of free talk days at universities. I found a set of speakers that are talking at the London Uni on the 19th of this month.

http://www.jisc.ac.uk/events/2012/10/augmentedreality.aspx

I also found Special Collections using Augmented Reality to Enhance Learning and Teaching (SCARLET) this was research they have done into AR in education what is really great is they uploaded there time plan and findings in a detailed report that you can download.

This is great research for my dissertation so ill be adding a few bookmarks I think.

http://www.jisc.ac.uk/whatwedo/programmes/elearning/ltig/scarlet.aspx

They offer two sectors to apply to if you want funding, Invitations to Tender (ITT) they are open to anyone to bid for a defined tender, including private organisations. Grants to UK HE and FE Institutions are only open to educational institutes.

Looking at past tenders in the ITT it is alot about infrastructure I dont think it is the sort of place I could look for funding.

http://www.jisc.ac.uk/fundingopportunities/futurecalls/itt.aspx

Business cards

I wanted to get my business card done before I went to insideAR so I worked on them during freshers and got down to it. Id see some really nice cards with coloured sides and wanted to do something similar.

I already had a logo for my company so it was just a case of working it nicely into cards.

So I made these design with the tm’s laser cut out of thin stock sandwiched around some mount card to make the logos pop out and I like the look and feel of thicker cards.

And this is how they came out, I would do a few things differently on the next batch, including on cutting them with a craft knife but using a drop guillotine. Also because it was the first time I screen printed I picked up alot of “next time” tricks.

Back for the Last Time

I had a good summer off, worked. Alot. But I got some stuff done. I made some business cards, worked out what I want to do with my work life and what direction I want to go. Im excited about this year as its the big year when it matters so im going to go for it. I have got my own work space now in a studio at my flat with two graphic designers. I also registered my company as a LTD so I can start thinking about starting my own company if im in that position at the end of the year.