A Sense of Presence

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Touch is one of the main ways human beings connect. It's also something Emerge could allow you to do during a video call, in the near future. This is a virtual-reality system that enables users to feel touch, in mid-air! Mauricio Teran is one of the three co-founders of Emerge, Incorporated. Mauricio and partners Sly Lee and Isaac Castro showcased Emerge at Make in LA's second Hardware Demo Day, in June. Investors and media had the opportunity to strap on a headset and experience virtual reality with touch. (We won't ruin it by telling you what you'll see and feel. Let's just say, you're in a welcoming setting. Something interesting happens. And yes, to quote one of the first users on one of their promotional videos, it is "really cool".) Mauricio talked about his background, how he and Sly and Castro created Emerge, and how the technology might be used in the future. On this edition of Over Coffee® you'll hear: How Mauricio's background led him to become an entrepreneur. (He's the first Ecuadorian to attend Singularity University!); How Mauricio, Sly and Isaac first came up with the idea of incorporating touch into communication; The insights Mauricio and his colleagues gained, while creating a prototype and testing it with their first users; What the system allows video callers to do; How Emerge differs from other VR systems; The projected goals, for the system's availability to businesses and consumers; Some of the applications for which the system could be used; The Emerge Inc. team's experiences, at Make in LA; One of Mauricio's favorite team experiences, as a member of Make in LA's second entrepreneurs' class; His advice to fellow makers and entrepreneurs. The Emerge team is currently recruiting beta testers, for their new touch-incorporated VR technology! Here's the link to their website, for an application. Meanwhile, Make in LA, Los Angeles' first hardware accelerator, offers free 30-minute slots to entrepreneurs during their alternate "Retooling Fridays", from 10:00 am to noon, according to their website. Here's the link to sign up. Additional Make in LA exciting news? They'll soon be accepting applications for their intensive four-month "High Touch" program, which starts in Spring, 2017. And, they've partnered with HexLab MakerSpace to offer classes! Check out Make in LA's website for more information and upcoming events.

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