Augmented Reality Now
Augmented Reality, Virtual Reality, Mixed Reality (AR/VR/XR). There are already a slew of devices, headsets, and mobile apps for the niche.
We all know hardware is both labor and capital intensive. You only need to look at the blogosphere spin on Magic Leap and others to know that we haven’t fully arrived at consumer ready, daily wearables to replace our phones or laptops.
Full disclosure: I am a former Magic Leap employee. I don’t agree with all the hot takes in many tech blogs on what went right or wrong at the company.
The New Browser Wars
Today we are probably going to hear and read much more from Apple on this at WWDC and while this is going on, Facebook are pushing hard to launch their AR/XR. Anyone who has been following CVPR (Computer Vision Event) knows that the technology and innovation are flourishing and consumers are only going to benefit from the “new browser/mobile/computer wars”.
— Tim Cook (@tim_cook) June 22, 2020
At #CVPR2020, Facebook AI is pushing the state of the art forward in many important areas of CV, including core segmentation tasks, architecture search, transfer learning, multi-modal learning, 3D reconstruction, & more. Learn more here: https://t.co/h62Xm9kXEO pic.twitter.com/cCjMb0qzkG
— Facebook AI (@facebookai) June 12, 2020
I don’t understand any of this …
For the uninaugurated, Augmented (or Mixed Reality) superimposes digital content, apps etc on our real world thru wearable computing devices or our smartphones. We still see the real world but we are adding layers of data to it.
Virtual Reality takes us into a world entirely constructed in the digital plane and any content or apps we see are there. We do not see the real world or interact with it.
Augmented Reality gets interesting in how we interact with the real world and our AR content. Sensors on these devices allow perception of depth, object, and spatial recognition and that our apps and content (preferably) adhere to the rules of physics.
If our personal computers had webcams, and our smartphones have cameras, accelerometers and gyroscopes then these wearable AR & VR devices have these and other sensors to provide the data needed for our interactions.
The Warptest POV
As I have already said, the form factor of headsets has not delivered a mainstream consumer experience… yet. Google Glass had its own challenges and limitations. When headsets evolve into glasses-like wearables or lighter headsets then we will be ready for primetime.
If you want to get started in seeing Augmented Reality, then if your iOS / Android supports ARCore / ARKit you can Google a slew of animals and then see them in your room alongside your furniture, kids etc. Another alternative is simply go to the App / Play Store and search for AR Tape Measure and try any of the apps with a high rating.
Augmented Reality is here. It is going to change how we view the world and wearable AR may replace our smartphones and laptops.