Monday, January 27, 2020

Magellan Voyage Quincentennial Kick-Off, SEA Games Ceremonies Dazzle through Immersive Technology

The opening and closing ceremonies of the recently concluded 30th Southeast Asian Games at the Philippine Arena and Clark City still makes jaws drop whenever the sounds and sights of it come to mind.

The brave and colorful Filipino spirit came to life on stage, providing glimpses of our art and culture, our tribal roots, old society elegance, and modern soul. The impressive, mind-blowing visual images that constantly changed, evolved and defied the imagination, added a new dimension to entertainment. They enhanced the storytelling and delivered the message with both sensitivity and punch.

Last December, another dazzling production kicked off the 500-day countdown to the 500 years of the Victory of Mactan in Cebu. The one-hour cultural show entitled “Mangayaw; The World of Our Ancestors” showcased graceful choreography, original music, and a captivating production of dazzling visuals. The Quincentennial Celebration aimed to highlight the heroism and importance of Lapu Lapu in Philippine history.

What audiences probably do not know is that the unsung hero of both the SEA Games and the Quincentennial kick-off is immersive technology. It can make everything magical and bigger than life. Captivating visual images that were constantly changing, evolving and defying the imagination added a new dimension to the viewing experience. They enhanced the storytelling and delivered the message with both sensitivity and punch.

In the Quincentennial kick-off, Video Mapping Technology by IMMRSV ASIA INC. helped transformed the show from just great to stupendous. Immersive technology was the creative tool that amplified the action to retell and relive early scenes of Philippine history.

Lutgardo Labad, noted composer and multi-awarded director of music and theater who led the presentation, said he was “completely swept away by the innovative technology of projection mapping”. “Before, props were firm and set with some finality in their tones and colors. But in my first-time experience of witnessing video or projection mapping, the texture of the physical backdrop: floors, walls and ceilings, became a new breed of characters themselves. They accentuate the emotions and provide a dynamic engagement with the human characters.”

“Immersive technology is a new tool that can turn any size wall, building fa├žade, blank space or object into a screen that tells stories, teaches lessons, conveys information or evokes all sorts of emotion. It makes audiences act and respond to the events in a positive way because the audience becomes part of the message. That’s why brands, sports and government use immersive technology these days to kick off events, launch products, inaugurate places and promote tourism or mark special occasions. It’s the best storytelling tool,” said Tony Gloria, chairman and co-founder of IMMRSV Asia who also founded and chairs Optima Digital and UxS (Unitel/Straight Shooter).

“Using creative imagination with the help of 360-degree video, virtual reality and the unique application of sound, light and projection creates eye-popping, mesmerizing experiences. This innovative creative execution never fails to wow and send the message across. How can you forget something that you have been part of, or that became a part of you?” he added.

Immrsv Asia worked on the notable 30th SEA Games closing ceremonies -- resulting in tech-driven productions that were perfect in execution, with mind-boggling visual displays and dramatic overhead shots that provided world-class entertainment for all.

Mart Miranda, CEO of Video Sonic and co-founder / president of IMMRSV Asia says immersive technology creates modern day magic. And it has a lot of applications. Museum exhibits, for example, can bring historical figures to life through augmented reality. Julius Caesar can speak and tell his version of the Ides of March to students. Prehistoric animals can roam the premises so guests can measure their height against them. Theme parks can amp up the excitement and overall experience with headsets and touchscreen magic. “In fact, any one and anything can use immersive technology to achieve any desired effect,” said Miranda, whose IMMRSV firm recreated Hogwarts using immersive technology for a Harry Potter-themed party.

Sporting events have been ahead of the curve in embracing immersive technology, Miranda shared. “That’s because sports fans demand high-impact effects so they can better listen, watch and experience the action. New immersive technologies and apps have changed the ways that fans interact with teams, players and brand sponsors. Opening ceremonies of sports events have all benefited from immersive technology.”

“We have the creative vision, the talent, technology and equipment to achieve something local audiences have never seen. We can fuse existing technologies and creative approaches to create amazing, magical effects. Trust the innate art and capability of the Filipino. And trust the forward vision of our creative and production talents,” added Tony Gloria.

Now is the time to embrace these new mediums and let the world know that immersive domes, projection mapping, virtual augmented reality, air scan technology, 3D animation graphics, LED Baton, digital graffiti, holograms, interactive videos, interactive touch walls, dynamic thoughts and laser mapping are all here to help deliver the perfect message, Miranda concluded.

DTI Grants P50-M Worth of SSF Lab to Ilocos Norte’s State University

Contributing to the needs and addressing the bottlenecks in the value chain of priority industry clusters, the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI), spearheaded by the Regional Operations Group (ROG) Undersecretary Blesila Lantayona, granted the provision of Shared Service Facility (SSF) laboratory equipment to Mariano Marcos State University (MMSU). The ceremony transpired during the inauguration of the state university’s National Bioenergy Research and Innovation Center (NBERIC) in Brgy. Quiling Sur, Batac, Ilocos Norte last January 23.

The P50-M SSF consists of machineries for Bioenergy Innovation, Incubation Hub and Product Testing Center for Renewable Energy stored in the NBERIC Building.

“We are happy for being part of this project. DTI has already provided the equipment so they can start the activity. Now, DTI still owns the equipment, but if the cooperator, which is MMSU, can operate it optimally and can show us that all the equipment are being used, then, in a span of two years, these equipment will be awarded to the MMSU. During the 2-year period, ano man ang mangyari sa mga makina, sagot ‘yan ng DTI,” said Usec. Lantayona.

As DTI’s cooperator, MMSU will regulate the utilization of the SSF for the beneficiaries, such as the researchers, innovators, teachers and students, stakeholders, and especially, the micro, small, and medium enterprises (MSMEs) where they could tap a better and wider market share, and be integrated into the global supply chain.

“The equipment will serve two purposes: for continuous research to form the innovative ideas of young researchers, scientists, in the development of the technology; and at the same time, this is going to be a training facility for the farmers and even entrepreneurs whom we are developing as scientists in the village,” MMSU President Dr. Shirley Agrupis explained.

The bestowed SSF apparatuses will contribute to the research center’s goal as to capacitate all the key players and stakeholders in bioenergy for countryside development through bioenergy research, training, extension, and techno-preneurship.

Furthermore, aiming to improve the competitiveness of MSMEs, the SSF Project is being implemented nationwide with project partners, which may be any juridical entity such as but not limited to non-government organizations, people’s organizations, cooperatives, industry/trade/business associations, local government units (LGUs), state universities/colleges technical vocational schools and other similar government and training institutions.

To date, DTI has already established 2,528 SSFs nationwide mounting up to P1.6-B expenditure since 2013, and 220 of it were launched in Ilocos Region with 3,225 beneficiaries and 4,539 jobs generated. Most of the SFFs granted are designed for food processing, loomweaving and furniture industry.

DTI Charges Profiteers

Following the series of supply and price monitoring of N95 and surgical masks, DTI caught 18 retail establishments overpricing these essential products. Notices of violations were initially issued to give due process. With insufficient explanations, DTI proceeded with the filing of charges that imposed penalties of up to P300,000 per store.

The recent eruption of Taal Volcano on January 12, 2020 which affected not only CALABARZON but surrounding areas including Metro Manila, the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) received reports on alleged overpricing of face masks such as N95, surgical, and other similar masks by some establishments.

Secretary Ramon M. Lopez ordered the Fair Trade Enforcement Bureau (FTEB) to immediately conduct prices and supply monitoring of the above-mentioned products. The following days, 13-14 January 2020, enforcement activities were conducted in Bambang, Manila covering seventeen (17) establishments, twelve (12) of which were issued Notices of Violation (NOVs) pursuant to the Consumer Act of the Philippines or Republic Act No. 7394.

FTEB conducted another round of enforcement activities on January 15, 2020 and reports showed that another six (6) establishments were issued NOVs for overpricing. FTEB also reported that prices of N95 masks jumped from Php 50.00 up to Php 180.00 per piece and most establishments monitored were claiming that those products were already sold-out due to the increased demand.

All 18 establishments with NOVs were asked to submit their explanation within 48 hours from receipt thereof. Upon finding the explanations to be not acceptable, the NOVs ripened to Formal Charges against the erring establishments citing Article 52 of Consumer Act particularly for selling N95 at an Unfair or Unconscionable price and for taking advantage of the situation.

Trade Secretary Ramon Lopez warns establishments against taking advantage of the high demand by raising their price excess of the true worth of the said products. He also added that the aforementioned establishments will face an administrative penalty of up to Php 300,000.00 depending on the gravity of the offense.

For further inquiries, clarifications, and/or complaints, consumers may immediately connect through Consumer Care hotline at 1-DTI (1-384) or may email at