5 Jan 2016
Augmented Reality is a major hit, with financial backing to solidly illuminate it’s future
It is a fast approaching genre in many westernized countries – and it appears to have a growing grasp on the employment strategy. Where creativity used to be purely physical (molding, welding, drawing, acting), or purely digital (Photoshop, CGI, or filming), now we have a exciting new combination transitional field: Augmented Reality, or AR. Unlike virtual reality, this means we are looking at our real life, but with the ability to add digital elements to it. It is difficult to really see a sophisticated immersion, since realistic CGI still requires heavy-duty graphics processing, and even that won’t compare with the CGI we see pre-rendered in recent popular Hollywood movies.
But it is getting a heavy financial backing from some of the biggest names in business. Google came out with their Google glass years back, but its functionality was limited in terms of true VR. But it set the stage for future tech vision to emerge. Now Microsoft has developed tech to work with their new OS (Windows 10) that will allow more collaboration potential. But its only the tip of the iceberg, because now civil engineers are envisioning the benefit of integrating AR-enabled hard hats that would display instructions to workers in real-time. Imagine! Training could be reduced to the learning of the hard hat technology, but then, this could also be done digitally in their augmented view of someone prerecorded! What about education? Gone would be the days of necessitating field trips to the aquarium, museum, or planetarium! Schools could develop HD 360-degree interactive virtual tours that could be done right from the classroom. It could also mean more details while at the museum, with virtual facts displayed through their glasses.
For all the expansive use in-home, there is an equally large amount of application in the entrepreneurial industries… Microsoft seems to be leading the way with their “HoloLens” project. Microsoft has been dabbling with this for a while now. A late addition to the XBOX 360 was the “Kinect” camera – projecting the potential to make YOU the controller. The concept was that the camera could read movements very fast and translate them into inputs in the game. It could also read digital scans of your body, and create a uniquely customized avatar. This creates an exciting “up-off-the-couch” experience for XBOX owners, and really opens up the “game console” to more then the typical gamer.
But Microsoft obviously doesn’t just work with games. There first focus was on desktops, and while their progress with Oculus Rift (VR) for the XBOX is progressing, the HoloLens (AR) for Windows 10 is progressing as well. Netflix can now be watched on a digital big screen as you sit in your living room, instead of having to go and buy a huge physical screen. Consider all the privacy potential, everyone can customize their home/work space! Of course, there would be the concern that Microsoft/Corporate monopoly would hold all digital private settings in some database somewhere, but that is yet to be seen. Clearly some facinating prospects quickly coming down the pipeline…