This is Kyohei Nakano, developer for the Atmoph Window 2. Did you catch the presentation on version 4.0?
The development team has been nervously awaiting the release of this update after a long time working on it, so we hope you enjoy what we’ve created.
This post will include some things that did not get touched on during the presentation due to time constraints, as well as a few things that we the developers think are worth presenting! We know that this is a pretty long write-up, but we hope you’ll stick with us until the end.
New Panorama Formations
Let’s start off with the new formations available for Panorama. I think this might be the best part. We have three kinds of new formations – 4 wide, 5 wide and 2 square – that will be supported.
It’s hard to convey through an image, but it’s pretty impressive in person in your home. When I was testing it at home, we had both a 2×2 and a 5×1 set up, and whenever people came over they were always awestruck.
This is not something that can only be accomplished by software alone – the images for the Views also need to have a high resolution and the equipment must be correct, requiring quite a lot of preparation in advance.
Although the field of view alone is impressive, the 6K footage is shot so that you can see every little detail of the street, which is incredible once you see it. Every View I’ve seen makes me feel like I’ve discovered for the first time what these places are really like.
Right now, not every View is supported, but we’ll be gradually adding more supported Views.
The Renewed Views
Atmoph is taking a big step forward with our renewed Views.
When looking at a View, you’ve probably wondered what country it’s in, or what that place is like. Now, whenever you want to learn more, we’ve prepared new text for almost every location over the past few years. We’ve written high-quality explanations that will give you just enough information to understand the location better. You can also find information about the local area, so that you can have a more multidimensional understanding of the area as a whole.
There’s no need for you to go searching through a book for information. Now you can just look at the page for the View you’re curious about and see information about the area and country as you like. We hope that when you stumble across a View, you’ll learn enough about it to make you want to go there yourself.
In addition to these interesting changes, for some countries and areas, we’ve also added links to shops where you can buy some local items. You can buy yourself a little souvenir and feel like you’ve been there yourself. Give it a try if something catches your eye.
The Maps itself has also undergone a massive evolution.
Now it’s possible to search for Views on either a globe or on the world Maps. All the locations where a pin has been placed are locations where Atmoph has Views. Up until now, it’s been difficult to make a connection between the View and its location on the Maps, but now, you can look up Views on the Maps to give you a better understanding of the geography of the area and feel like you’re traveling the world on a whim.
When I look at the map, I always feel moved thinking about how much everyone with Atmoph has worked to get these views filmed all over the world. We’ll soon be filming in 50 different countries, so we’re working hard to add more pins to the map!
I find myself looking at the world map and making all kinds of new discoveries – like how train stations and train lines connect, or the locations of famous mountains. It really is my favorite feature, personally.
A new version of the Atmoph Window 2’s smartphone app, 2.3.0, was released alongside the most recent update for the main unit, which can use to zoom in and out of the map by pinching the control pad.
Using the map on the large screen on the Atmoph Window 2 is a fantastic experience. We hope you enjoy your travels around the globe.
Your Own Playlists
We’ve received many requests for a function that allows you to create your own Playlists, and now you can!
You can make different Playlists for various purposes (as backgrounds for Zoom, for focus, etc.) and set the timing to your liking. Limitless users can make up to 50 different lists. They can be played in order or shuffled, and the interval between transitions can be set as you like with intervals of 30 minutes or more.
It’s also possible to use Daily Routines to control when your Playlists changes.
Alongside adding Playlists, we’ve also added functionality to turn Auto on and off through Daily Routines. Using them in combination, you can set it so that it will turn to Auto mode and change Views automatically at specific times of day. Here’s an example of a routine:
- 8:00 AM: Turn On / Auto On
- 8:00 AM – 8:00 PM: Views change automatically
- 8:00 PM: Change to your self-made “Bonfire/Jellyfish” Playlists
- 11:00 PM: Sleep
It wasn’t possible previously to have particular Views play on a specific schedule, but with Playlists, now you can.
You can even use both your own uploaded Views and ones you bought from an Edition Pass! Try a combination that suits you!
Changes to the MENU Layout
Alongside the Playlists updates, we’ve also changed the layout of the MENU. Some of our users have told us that there are a lot of Edition Pass icons, making it hard to get to the Playlists. But starting with this update, the icons you use often will automatically move to the left side. It’s a simple but user-friendly change that gets you directly where you want to be.
We’ve also moved some of the power options to the MENU, making it easier to sleep or restart the unit.
Since removing the power cord in order to restart the unit can cause damage to the internal storage, we ask that you only use the button to restart it. Also, since the power consumption of the Atmoph Window 2 is low when in sleep mode, we hope you’ll use it when you leave for a short time.
User Views selected by Atmoph
User Views selected by Atmoph is a huge step forward in the history of Atmoph. We’ve made a section where we post particularly amazing Views created and uploaded by our users that Atmoph has specially selected.
The newly added Good button, unlike a normal Like button, can be pressed multiple times. You can tell the videographers thanks by pressing it multiple times!
The videographers for our opening lineup of Views were kind enough to agree when Atmoph asked them if they’d like to participate in a new project (thank you!). For those of you who have uploaded videos, don’t worry – Atmoph won’t make them available to the public without asking.
If you’ve taken a fantastic video on your travels that you’d like to share with other users, you can submit it via the form below. It can be somewhat difficult to film something that looks nice on the Atmoph Window, but we’ve provided some guidelines to help you.
I want to post my Views to ‘User Views’:
As you can probably tell from the opening lineup of Views, Atmoph users are quite skilled videographers. These videos really convey their love of traveling and it’s a lot of fun watching the Views and reading the comments with them.
(If you want to play the User Views, you’ll need a Limitless subscription)
Ask (AI Guide)
Ask is a feature that allows you to freely ask questions of the characters in the Atmoph Window 2, and it’s perhaps one of the most attention-grabbing features of this update.
We’ve spent quite a lot of time overhauling the first half of the Views and prepared some information about the world, which, when combined with Open AI’s large scale language model (ChatGPT) creates a unique experience not unlike talking to someone while viewing some scenery.
You’ve probably looked at a View and thought something like “I wonder what the name of this place is?” or “What is there to see here?”, or “I wonder what people do to pass the time here?”, or maybe “I wonder how long it takes to get there?”. Now you can ask any question you like freely whenever you want. I think it’s pretty fun to ask a ton of questions while looking at a View and connecting the bits and pieces of information I know to finally put together where it is!
Not only does it display the answer in text, but it also automatically determines the language you’re speaking and synthesizes the voice of each character in real time. If you speak to it in English, it will answer in English; if you speak to it in Chinese, it will reply in Chinese. Try asking it a question from the smartphone app. (The speaking volume of the guide is connected to the system sound, which you can change via Settings > General > Sound.)
I myself find it to be just as useful as a friend I can freely speak to in English.
Ask is a little bit of a strange feature for us to add, but I think it fits the Atmoph spirit of wanting to get to know about a different place.
It may occasionally make mistakes, but we’re going to keep making adjustments to it to make the replies as useful as possible based on the information we’ve prepared for it. Please ask a lot of questions! It’s a fun way to surprise visitors! (Exclusive to Limitless)
New Soundscape Themes (Flower/Night/Evening) and Algorithm Improvements
We’ve added 3 new themes to the Soundscape sound experiences for new Views: flower, night and evening.
Soundscape is a new unobtrusive music experience that can be played alongside the Views. One thing many people don’t know about Soundscapes is that the music is actually created by combining small sound clips actually played by musicians specially for Atmoph.
I’m sure you’ll be able to tell the difference in richness between sounds made by professional musicians and computer-generated sounds made by software. You can read this interview (this article written by Japanese) with Toshiyuki Yasuda, the musician who produced the sounds for this feature, to learn more about his background and get his thoughts.
This time around for our new themes we’ve had some amazing musicians participate. Below is a quick introduction to each of them!
Starting at 6 with piano and trumpet at 10, he took up the sax at age 13. In 2006, his CD Swingroove debuted on Universal Music.
He’s the second Japanese saxophonist after Sadao Watanabe to have a CD released on the prestigious jazz record label Verve, known for records from Charlie Parker and Oscar Peterson. In 2020, he began working with pianist Hirotaka Izumi (of T-SQUARE and Pyramid) to release his second work “SONGS FROM THE HEART/Ken Ota with Hirotaka Izumi”. http://www.kenota.net/
K-Ta (MARIMBA & more)
A marimba player who will play anything that adheres to the laws of physics, be it virtual or physical. In addition to being an active member of Shuta Hasunuma’s philharmonic, he plays synth and bass, makes backing tracks and plays keyboard percussion in his band, minimalAcoustics. https://potofu.me/k-ta
A songwriter penning jazz and pop crossovers. Released two singles and two albums. Singer for over 100 commercials. https://maki-ito.com/
Peko, Rie and Hacchan make the scat vocal group Pecombo.
TV With a base of jazz and bossa nova with some international spice, their stylish and splendid sound is a worldwide combo unique to 21st century Tokyo. In addition to their 4 albums, their music has been in a wide range of media, including TV, commercials and radio. http://pecombo.jp/
Having earned a reputation as a masterful harpist who plays everything from a grand harp to an electric harp in a wide range of genres, with unmatched improvisational skills, mastery of the C melody notation and sight-reading – rare abilities for a harpist. She has also played on numerous records as a studio musician, as well as in sessions and on stage.
She is recognized as Japan’s leading expert on the electric harp, and is one of the first to create a totally new world-first revolutionary harp sound combining prog rock, electronic music, pop and more for a novel style and sound all her own. Her style and sound have been highly praised, and she has a following both inside and outside of Japan. https://sanaharp.wixsite.com/sanae-harp
Mami made her major debut in 2017 as part of the woodwind group Colorful, on the CD album “Trip!” released through Universal Music. In 2018, she was responsible for providing the sound for the oboe played by the main character Mizore Yoroizuka in the movie Liz and the Blue Bird, and in the following year, was a part of the recording for Sound! Euphonium: The Movie – Our Promise: A Brand New Day. She was also a guest performer at the Japan Grand Prix International Orchid Festival 2019 – Flower and Green Festival.
On top of recording for classical music, she has also done recordings with a number of artists like Superfly and Kim Hyun Joong, and has appeared in a wide range of performances including a number of Sony concerts and programs such as World Music Hello! Classical, as part of STAND UP! ORCHESTRA. https://mamiokubo.com/home/
Having all of these amazing musicians create music for Soundscape is just extravagant!
We’ve also made some changes to the Soundscape algorithm. We’ve adjusted it so that sounds that overlap will be different each time. We hope you’ll enjoy the new sounds of the existing themes.
You can turn on Soundscapes through MENU > Quick (the first time you use a sound, it will need to be downloaded). You can also use Daily Routines to set the sounds to play only at a specific time. If you haven’t tried this feature yet, now is a great time!
(The additional Soundscape themes are only available with Limitless)
Choose How You Open URLs
Up until now, Views that have links to external sites (such as links from the videographers or to shopping sites) have been displayed as QR codes.
As of v4.0, you can choose between three display methods
- Showing a QR Code
- Opening on your smartphone
- Sending a link to your email
Opening something on your smartphone is often more convenient, and during those many occasions when you want to save a link for later, you can easily send it to your email.
Auto Plays New Views More Easily
Auto normally has two modes: one for new Views and one for previously downloaded Views (in the case of downloaded views, there is no downloading needed so it changes immediately). We’ve made an adjustment to the Auto function to make it easier for new Views to appear.
Control Via Siri
To start, three kinds of commands will be supported.
- “Hey Siri, turn on the Atmoph Window.”
- “Hey Siri, turn off the Atmoph Window.”
- “Hey Siri, change Views on the Atmoph Window.”
Launch the smartphone app with the latest update installed, select the Atmoph Window 2 you want to control and you’re ready to go. (You can control the window from that point on even if the app is not open.)
Since this feature is implemented through App Intents, you can also control it with AirPods or a HomePod connected to your iPhone.
We hope you’ll enjoy the magic of voice commands.
Thank you for reading all the way to the end!
This is a major update that takes the Atmoph Window 2 to a new stage. We’ve also included some minor layout updates and some bug fixes, all the details of which you can find here.
Please take a moment to update to the newest version, and let us know what you think on social media using the hashtag #AtmophUpdate. I’m really interested in how everyone uses their Atmoph Windows.
We’ll keep working to deliver more and more improvements to our content and our software. We hope you’ll look forward to an even greater evolution of the Atmoph Window.