I REJECT YOUR REALITY AND AUGMENT IT WITH MY OWN
Just a rock’s throw away from way too many In-N-Out Burger stands in the heart of Silicon Valley, the Augmented World Expo showcased the newest reality changers. ODG, Intel, Daqri, and Microsoft set the stage with their newest offerings for Augmented and Mixed Reality hardware.
Software companies also brought their best solutions to help coders, animators, and creators develop winning experiences.
While you could certainly pick up some state-of-the-art tech for big dollars at this year’s event; there were a few low-cost game changers that shined above the rest. So, let’s recap this year’s event. First, you may need a little assistance, so I’ve built in an acronym key and short definition list.
AR – Augmented Reality
A device assisted encounter that enhances the viewer’s perception of an existing scene or object by supplementing it with computer created content.
VR – Virtual Reality
A single user encounter which immerses the viewer into an alternate reality or world, replacing the existing reality with a computer based one.
MR – Mixed Reality
An overlay device which adds an additional layer of content onto your vision of a space or environment.
XR – Extended Reality
The umbrella term which includes AR, VR, and MR into a single definition. Basically, a way to say all three with one acronym.
BLE – BlueTooth Low Energy
A communication link between mobile devices allowing for data or inputs to exchange in real time.
DOF – Depth of Field
The focus or focal abilities of a lens or device.
LF – Light Field
Improving DOF to add realism to an AR or MR experience.
FOV – Field of View
The width of your overlay within an MR experience.
Devices which are attached to a computer using a cable, the opposite of being untethered.
SDK – Software Development Kit
Beta testers, coders, and software engineers use these tools to design encounters and content for various hardware and software.
Poly – Polygons
LowPoly and HighPoly are common 3D animation terms referencing the smoothness of objects created in 3D programs. The higher the “poly” count, the more realistic it will appear.
APP – Application
You know that. 😀
XR and Everything in Between
Companies like Microsoft, ODG, and Daqri are pumping big dollars into their hardware, promising a future filled with multi-tasking solutions that keep you at attention and remove the face-down-mobile-phone-neck-pains from our lives. Daqri had an impressive untethered, full-helmet solution that offered the widest FOV and highest resolution, while making you feel like RoboCop. This is the ultimate MR device.
The 3D was so crisp, I felt like Luke Skywalker looking at a hologram of the Death Star for the first time. ODG introduced their latest MR goggles, the revised R7, and the new R8 and R9. These devices are going to change the way everyone sees MR. With an approachable price point and crisp visual resolution, ODG has reemerged as a leader in the MR field.
For those who wear glasses, like myself and a large portion of the population, you’ll be happy to know that you can get custom-made RX single vision lenses made for these devices. Finally, right?!
AR Evolution; Best Practices of XR
The AR sector is finding new ways to improve realism with better lock-on tricks that increase reliability. While many solutions still rely on an app-enabled tablet, the future looks to blend in camera-enabled VR headsets for enhancement. Intel’s Project-Alloy was the best example of XR at the event. It starts with a VR headset, which contained a camera-enabled viewer that is untethered. Everything is built right into the headset.
While still in the prototype phase, I was impressed by the blend of AR/MR. Intel has a real winner on its hands here.
We can shift our focus from near to far and everything in-between. So why can’t our augmented experiences do the same? That’s easier said than done, but Avegant has the solution.
By tracking your eye movements within a headset, the user can now shift focus, giving it a more natural look and feel. That is the difference between good AR and stellar AR!
Game Changers at AWE2017
DigiBit is a small family-owned company, which consists of Dad, Mom, and three children. This nuclear family enterprise is about to introduce the world to a cost-effective little device that will turn your Daydream, Google Cardboard, or any VR experience into some next-level schtuff. The DigiBit is a small pair of wristband BLE discs, containing magical accelerometers, so VR can now be coded and controlled through simple movements. Want to fly like a superhero and control how you move through the skies? Now you can. Look for DigiBit on Kickstarter and support this awesome addon.
If you have any questions (or just need help with your acronyms) feel free to reach out to us here! Until the next show, have a stellar day!
BTW: If you find yourself in San Jose, CA, be sure to stop by Lillie Mae’s House of Soul Food. We had dinner in actual reality, and it was awesome.