Tuesday, 3 January 2023

Valpovo Company SpectreXR Impresses with Innovative OctoXR Tool

January the 3rd, 2023 - The Valpovo company SpectreXR is showing that Eastern Croatia, more specifically Slavonia, can be known for far more than agriculture and demographic issues. Augmented reality is their game, and they've been making waves.

As Poslovni Dnevnik/Josipa Ban writes, augmented reality (XR), which includes VR, AR and MR technologies, is most often associated with video games, but its application, as revealed by Ivan Rajkovic, the founder and director of the Valpovo company SpectreXR, is far wider. This company which was founded six years ago aims at the industrial application of virtual and augmented reality with its OctoXR tool.

It is a tool that they have been working on developing for a couple of years now and in which they have invested an enormous 350 thousand euros. In 2023, they also hope to monetise this highly sophisticated product, with the help of which the user's hands become a management tool in the digital world, as well as in the real world.

The fact that their hopes have a realistic basis has also been well and truly shown by the fact that the quality of their OctoXR, after its presentation at Expo AWE in Lisbon, was recognised by two large and important technology companies - the Swedish Crunchfish and the American Ultraleap. In short, The Valpovo company SpectreXR, which consists of a team of six people, decided to facilitate and improve hand control in XR, and the functionalities they develop through OctoXR make that entirely possible.

"Our product gives physical properties to hands in the digital world. The hardware is in charge of recognising the hands, through sensors or cameras, and the software we develop enables us to use our hands in the digital world as well as we would in the real world," explained Rajkovic, who added that developing such a tool is a very complex job indeed.

"In addition to a higher level of programming knowledge, you must understand physics, maths, linear algebra and work in digital 3D spaces. Every point of contact between the digital hand and the digital object needs to be properly simulated, the rotations made by the bones relative to the position of the real hand need to be exact, and much more. I'm extremely proud of the team that managed to do it, and with a lot of effort," he added. Moreover, the technology they're developing is heading in the direction the whole industry is going, which believes that realistic control with hands instead of controllers will become key in both virtual and augmented reality.

Rajkovic thinks that joysticks, or controllers, will remain important in the video game industry, but the Valpovo company SpectreXR isn't targeting that sector. Instead, they've got their eyes on industries such as healthcare, automotive, aerospace, space, and manufacturing. In them, XR technologies already play a very important role, and they'll come to play an even bigger role in the future.

As one example, Rajkovic singled out DHL, which uses virtual reality in its employee training. This very well known company uses it, as he explained, to teach employees how to store packages on planes and on other means of transportation, thereby reducing overall costs and increasing productivity. The advantages of virtual training are used not only by logistics companies, but also by the automotive, aerospace, military, healthcare, trade, and manufacturing industries. In addition, it's a form of technology that can be used for the creation of prototypes, the visualisation of objects that go into production, immersive communication, and the list goes on and on. While large companies are reaping the benefits, small ones are more or less yet to really start applying it.

The moment is therefore right for positioning such a tool on the market, and the Valpovo company SpectreXR has all the prerequisites for that – their very own OctoXR tool. The fact that they are very much on the right track was confirmed by their participation in the aforementioned AWE conference in Lisbon, which specialises in XR solutions. There, they agreed to cooperate with Crunchfish and Ultraleap and successfully integrated their software with their solutions. The aforementioned collaborations are important to this company for several reasons. In addition to finances, the team from Valpovo should see the doors of large clients opened, and it will also further ensure their recognition.

"We also see it as a path towards numerous manufacturers of XR equipment, considering the contacts of our associates. We have a developed business model and are well on our way to capitalising on these opportunities. We're absolutely counting on that from January onwards," Rajkovic said.

For more, make sure to check out our dedicated business section.

Tuesday, 1 December 2020

Reality TV Star Jasmin Raises Orphaned Fox as Family Pet

December 1, 2020 – 22-year-old Jasmin Kunišinac, a former contestant on the reality TV show Farma, is raising an orphaned fox in his family home. The pair are local celebrities in Vinogradci, near Valpovo, Slavonia, thanks to their walks around the village, and also quite the hit on social media too

It's not unusual for Slavonian people to feel connected to the land and nature which surrounds them. The rich soils of the Pannonian basin in east Croatia often provide an occupation for at least one family member. Certainly, these soils will put food on the family table. The family of 22-year-old Jasmin Kunišinac, who live in Vinogradci, just west of Belišće and Valpovo, is no different. Jasmin's always felt connected to the land.

You could tell as much from Jasmin's 2018 appearance on the Croatian reality TV show, Farma. Upon entering the show, he was described as not lacking experience of life in a rural village. Viewers were told that, in his free time, Jasmin liked to ride, fish, hang out with friends and help abandoned animals. He said his favourite animals were horses and foxes.

jasmin128330848_967617757097166_1859808997176892631_o.jpgJasmin and Odi

Since early 2020, Jasmin's fondness for foxes has been evident for the 250 or so residents of Vinogradci to see, as he has taken on responsibilities for an orphaned fox. Villagers see him taking the fox, Odi, for walks around Vinogradci on a lead.

Vinogradci is focussed around three small streets, down which Jasmin and Odi walk. The houses are narrow at the front, elongated and stretching back away from the street. Behind them, long gardens stretch even further, often containing vegetables, fruit trees, animals or additional buildings for food production. The name of the settlement itself means 'vineyards'.

VinogradciGradBelišće.jpgThe quiet streets of Vinogradci, where Jasmin takes his fox Odi for walks © Grad Belišće

It is exactly the sort of land where wild foxes like to roam. By those who keep chickens on their land, these foxes are not always welcome.

Jasmin and his cousin found Odi by the side of the road at the beginning of the year. The pair had been cycling to their grandmother's when they came across the fox cub who, at that time, was no more than a couple of months old. They found the remains of Odi's mom not far away. She had been shot.

The pair decided to take Odi home and fed the fox with milk from a bottle, in much the same way you might a baby child. Jasmin's mum was less than thrilled. Her's is a household already quite full. As well as mom and dad, Jasmin has three sisters and a brother at home. And that's without even mentioning the other animals they have.


Thankfully, as Odi has become domesticated, he seems to have fit in with family life. He plays with the Kunišinac's Rottweiler and even their chickens seem to have got used to the sight of him. Jasmin's six-year-old sister particularly loves playing with Odi, who is more lively as the daylight begins to fade - foxes are nocturnal animals.

Odi and Jasmin are not only celebrities thanks to their walks around the quiet streets of Vinogradci. Thanks to folks' familiarity with Jasmin on the reality show, Odi has become quite the hit on social media. In addition to Jasmin acquiring more followers on Facebook thanks to the fox's arrival, Odi has attracted some 18,000 views on TikTok.

This is not the first fox that the Kunišinac family have taken in either. Jasmin's dad found one while he was out fishing, which they cared for before he left to be cared for at the zoo in Nasice. Given the foxes fondness for the fields around Vinogradci, there's no telling if Odi will be the last fox to be taken into their home. Who knows, the Kunišinac family and their foxes might create a long-running rural series as popular as Farma.

All photos taken from Jasmin Kunišinac Facebook

Tuesday, 14 May 2019

Cheese and Wine Festival Held in Valpovo

On Saturday, May 11, the second cheese and wine festival took place in Valpovo. The festival venue, as last year, was Valpovo’s medieval-baroque complex of the Prandau-Normann castle. There are a number of events dedicated to wine being held, but this event is unique because it puts the emphasis on both the wine and the cheese, as well as on how to pair the two. Some of the best wine and cheese producers from Slavonia, Baranja and Srijem took part.

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With the exception of the Podolski winery from Križevci, all the other wineries were from the Danube region, and it can be said that the Danube is the link which connects them all. Although it is not perceived as such by the public, Valpovo could be said to be located in the Danube region. Namely, the only suburb of Valpovo situated on the Drava river is located 42 kilometres from the point when the Drava meets the Danube River.

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The Baranja wine area was presented by wineries Gerštmajer, Josić, Kolar, Kalazić, Svijetli Dvori, Szabo and Zajec. The Gerštmajer winery was represented by Ivan Gerštamjer Zelember, the fifth generation of the Gerštmajer wine dynasty from Baranja. Their wines are already well-known to everyone; for most connoisseurs, they represent the essence of traditional, original Baranja wine-making.

The other winemakers from the Baranja area were represented by the head of the Baranya Julia wine shop from Zmajevac, Gabriella Gerštmajer, who is also the vice-president of the Surduk association, organiser of legendary events in Zmajevac such as the Wine Marathon.

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The Josić winery also comes from the Baranja wine capital Zmajevac. In addition to their wines, also highly acclaimed is the Josić winery’s restaurant, where their wines are served and paired with Baranja delicacies. Recently they decided to rebrand the visual identity of their wines, but the quality has remained at an exceptional level.

The Kolar winery comes from Suza, a town connected to Zmajevac and through which you must pass if you are coming to the wine capital from the direction of Kneževi Vinogradi. The Kalazić winery is on the road that runs from Zmajevac to Batina. Svijetli Dvori and Szabo wineries can be found in the Karanac ethno-village. All Baranja wineries presented at the festival came from the Kneževi Vinogradi municipality, which is just one of nine local self-government units in Baranja.

The Erdut wine area is located to the southeast of Baranja. This area geographically belongs to Slavonia, and it was represented by wineries Danubio, Iuris, Magistra and Siber. The Ilok wine area was represented by the Buhač, Papak and TRS wineries.

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The cheese producers who came to the festival were family farms Geto from Lug, Glavaš from Bizovac, Gašić from Beketinci, Đurković from Marjančaci, Lehki from Gat, Pranjić from Drenovci and Mala Mljekara from Valpovo.

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The Golubov family farm from Draž presented its elderberry juice, while family farms Brkić and Kraljik showed their cured meat products. The Horvat family farm from Duboševica prepared homemade pasta with poppy seeds and walnuts.

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The highlight of the festival was the pairing of cheeses and wines, led by Tomica Đukić, the chef of the Osijek Hotel restaurant and the chief cook of the Croatian national football team.

More wine news can be found in the Lifestyle section.

Sunday, 23 December 2018

Valpovo Offers Cheaper Kindergarten, Higher Payouts for Newborns

As Poslovni Dnevnik writes on the 23rd of December, 2018, upon presenting the most important plan for the Slavonian town of Valpovo, Mayor Matko Šutalo emphasised the fact that the record increase was the result of the joint work of the employees of Valpovo's new administration.

With just one single vote against it, the Slavonian town's council adopted the budget proposal for 2019 on Thursday, without any major objections. The amount is a welcome 124 million kuna, which is otherwise the largest amount proposed for Valpovo so far.

As previously stated, during the presentation of the most important draft plan for this continental Croatian town to date, Mayor Matko Šutalo emphasized that the record increase was the result of the joint work of the employees of the town of Valpovo's new administration, the Valpovo entrepreneurial centre and local development agencies, which, over the last year and half, had projects worth a massive 64.787.451,64 kuna.

The stated value doesn't include the value of the projects that are still waiting for the results of tenders, which amount to a further 23,401,919.59 kuna. In addition, projects in their preparation phase worth 113.7 million kuna are yet to come, and in the very creation of Valpovo's generous 2019 budget, local citizens took part in putting forward their proposals.

In accordance with the proposals put forward by the Council of HDZ, HSU and NL, two new amendments were adopted in the town's budget concerning the decrease of the price of kindergartens by 200 kuna and an increase in the amount given to parents for newborn children.

Namely, as of next year, 3000 kuna will be paid to the parents for their first born child, the birth of their second child will see a payment of 5000 kuna, and for the third, and every next child, they'll receive 7000 kuna for each. The measure intends to work as an incentive, and will be used as Valpovo's contribution to mitigate Croatia's extremely negative demographic trends, which in Valpovo and Slavonia as a whole, continue to be the most bleak.

Make sure to follow our dedicated lifestyle page for much more.

Wednesday, 10 October 2018

German Couple Delighted with Move to Valpovo

“The longer we are here, the more we are sure we made a good decision.”