The limitless applications of 3D data visualization will enable a more efficient approach to many of life's problems. Each day, developers exploring this technology are finding new ways to solve these problems in mixed reality; 3D modeling, easier house management, spinal surgery, and forest fire management are just a few recent examples of ways 3D data visualization can benefit us all.
Last month, Dr. Sung-Hoon Hong, Vice President of Samsung Electronics, announced at the Virtual Reality Summit in San Diego that Samsung would be moving into the augmented reality market. According to a recently published patent application, that move has begun.
While all of my previous Have You Seen This? posts have all focused on individual HoloLens apps in the Windows Store, this time I'll be sharing a couple at once. These holographic applications are really simple in scope, so there is not a lot to say about them, yet they are interesting enough for me to want to share them with you.
In addition to trying to give Pokémon a life on the HoloLens, Sky Zhou, a founding member of mixed reality studio Matrix Inception, won Microsoft's Actiongram Fantasy Contest Quest last month for his video concept on slaying dragons. But fantastical creatures aren't the only thing Sky can whip up on the HoloLens.
News: Five Windows Holographic Mixed Reality Headsets Have Now Been Seen, but Most Have Not Been Touched
Some of the products I have been looking forward to seeing the most during CES 2017 has been the upcoming Windows Holographic virtual reality headsets. These are VR headset that will run a version of the Windows Holographic platform, which will allow users to have a similar experience as the HoloLens with a mixed reality environment. Of the six headsets that could have possibly made it to CES, five had shown up. Unfortunately, most of them are behind glass.
DAQRI, a company mostly known for its odd but fun-looking industrial Smart Helmet, unveiled their new Smart Glasses product at CES 2017. Their smartglasses look like a strange attempt to answer the Microsoft HoloLens, and the price tag of $4,995 for the developer's edition reinforces that notion.
Augmented reality software developer Maxst has made the move into hardware with the announcement of Revelio, Maxst's new untethered AR smartglasses.
Merge VR, a company mostly known for its virtual reality experiences, is moving into and creating an augmented reality experience that combines an iPhone or Android smartphone, a set of goggles to put your phone in, and a box about the size of a Rubik's Cube which looks more akin to the Lament Configuration seen in the Hellraiser film series. When used in concert with the smartphone and goggles, the toy cube, called Holo Cube, becomes one of many AR experiences.
If you're in the Windows Holographic community of developers, make sure to mark your calendar and set your alarms for February 8, 2017 because it's Windows Developer Day.
With the Game Developers Conference (GDC) in San Fransisco just a few weeks away, Microsoft Senior Program Manager Vlad Kolesnikov has announced via Channel9 (Microsoft's developer news outlet) that not only will new low-cost virtual reality headsets be coming in March to developers, but that they will be at GDC, too.
We live in a computer world full of file formats. Whether we are talking about images, videos, or text documents, there are dozens of file types for each, and there are new ones added every year to applications. Keeping in mind that many of these formats were created before the internet was widely available (at least, in infant form), the primary reason for this glut of often complex choices is competition.
Any developer working with the HoloLens knows that the fight for polygons is a very real conflict. For all of the magic it creates, the HoloLens is a high-powered mobile device that has all the typical processing limitations of a mobile device.
Meta's long-awaited Meta 2 development kit finally began shipping in late-December last year, after having been delayed about six months. While very few have received a dev kit at this point, some more information about the headset has just been announced; Depth-sensing technology from pmdtechnologies is included in the dev kit headset.
Intel, the company which is mostly known for creating computer processors, once again showed off their Project Alloy "merged reality" experience, this time during their CES 2017 press conference. Intel's Chief Executive Officer, Brian Krzanich, stated that they will be "productizing" this tech with their partners in the fourth quarter of 2017.
These days, if you walk through Best Buy, you will see an entire area designated to smart home technology. Thanks to the interest and growth of the Internet of Things (IoT), this exciting new technology has finally entered the mainstream. Appliances, thermostats, and even the lighting throughout your house can be controlled from your computer or smartphone. You could also use artificial intelligence; Simply tell Amazon's Alexa what you want your house to do, and she will do it.
3D modeling is usually a very long and complicated process. Manipulating the thousands to millions of vertices, faces, and triangles to the correct shape you want is just the first part of the process, and can take a good while depending on the level of detail needed. From there, you need to texture the model by applying the UV coordinates and placing the textures in the correct places. And all of this isn't even including the process of creating normal maps.
For some time now, there has been quite a bit of speculation as to when the selection of augmented and mixed reality head-mounted displays would begin to trickle out to the public. Pricing, availability, and software selection are all issues that will have to be addressed before widespread adoption will start.
And so it begins... CES 2017 is upon us! This is a very exciting time for those who are looking out for the newest innovations and releases from the world of technology. I said this was going to be a fun week, and here we start it with a bang from smartglasses developer Osterhout Design Group (ODG).
Have You Seen This?: HoloChess Is a Great Example of How to Make a HoloLens App Without the Hardware
I am often asked about getting started with HoloLens development and most of the time my answer, in short, is: Install Unity, install Visual Studio, install the HoloLens emulator, and make something.
Every day the young world of mixed reality is creating new ways for people to work with with computers. We are looking for, and finding, new ways for these head-worn computers to understand what we tell them. Sometimes it is with our hands, sometimes it is where we turn our head, sometimes it is what we say. In the case highlighted below, it's where we walk.
Once mixed reality technology is more widely available and realistically priced for consumers, using the tech to create the illusion of a larger space, will likely be a favorite use for mixed reality in places where real-estate is expensive, people tend to live in smaller homes and work in tighter offices.
The coming year promises to be a good one for those of us watching the augmented and mixed reality world. And the Consumer Electronics Show (CES), starting Jan. 5 in Las Vegas, Nevada, for its 50th year, is bringing 2017 in with a bang—we're expecting a ton of great announcements on the horizon.
Magic Leap, the mysterious Florida-based mixed reality start-up, announced on Wednesday that it would be opening a 260,000 square-foot expansion in Florida, and bringing along with it 725 new jobs over a five-year period. To make this happen, they will be making an $150 million capital investment, with government incentives, of course.
Last week, a new Kickstarter campaign arrived for a completely untethered, augmented reality headset for under $300 called Okularion. While at first glance, this unit looks very much like a Samsung Gear VR, one thing that sets it apart (aside from being untethered from a nearby computer) is that it does not require a smartphone. Well, that and it's an augmented reality headset as well.
A few days ago, I pulled up the Windows Store on my HoloLens and saw a few new applications. One that caught my attention was Oriental Museum, which lets you explore China's Forbidden City, and the other one is very similar free demo app called Secrets of Ancient Egypt by Link Development.
In this episode of Have You Seen This?, we will look at Oriental Museum by 247 Technology Limited, a free application that hit the Windows Store for HoloLens a few days ago. Museum exhibits seem to be a popular theme amongst the demonstrations going up, so let's see how this one looks.
Earlier this week, a mysterious tweet appeared on the HTC Twitter account of a picture containing the letter "U" topped with a tiny "for" and the date "01.12.2017" at the bottom. It is a pretty solid teaser, but for a company that has had a solid year with their Vive virtual reality headset, and all of the other technological appendages they have, it seems a bit ominous for them.
You may remember my post from a couple weeks ago here on NextReality about the magical scaling ratios for typography from Dong Yoon Park, a Principal UX Designer at Microsoft, as well as developer of the Typography Insight app for Hololens. Well, his ideas have been incorporated into the latest version of HoloToolkit, and I'm going to show you how they work.
Here at NextReality, we talk a lot about the many different ways of controlling holograms in the HoloLens and other augmented and mixed reality devices; New and creative ways are coming more and more every day. Most recently is something called the HoloSuit. In the 25-second clip below, you can see a woman moving the arm of a jacket which in turn moves a 3D model of Darth Vader on the screen. It's a simple idea with big potential.
Well, we have some potentially good news for those wanting to experience Magic Leap. The ultra-secretive company seems to be planning a big year in 2017.
Joyce Kuo of Nijie Technology released a video showing a group fighting it out Dragon Ball Z-style in a restaurant, but instead of Goku, Piccolo or Vegeta, we have two horse-headed young ladies shooting fire and other elements at each other.
The Meta 2 developer kit has finally begun shipping! Gary Garcia, the senior director of customer success at Meta, just sent out an email that they are shipping out to the first round of preorder customers. Waves will be building from there, up to far higher manufacturing rates near the end of Q1 of 2017.
Imagine wearing your HoloLens, then reaching out to touch a hologram and actually feeling it. Mind blown, right?! Now imagine that same hologram responding to your touch. I don't mean in the way holograms currently respond to an air tap, but a much more refined and precise touch. Maybe you touch a character on the shoulder and it turns around to see you, or maybe you hit a button in the air and it reacts accordingly.
When the HoloStudy Demo app for HoloLens came out in September, it was a pretty impressive start to what could be a very valuable science tool for education. Now, Moscow-based HoloGroup, makers of HoloStudy, started an Indiegogo campaign to improve their modular teaching app.
This week, Dr. Sung-Hoon Hong, Vice President of Samsung Electronics, announced at the Virtual Reality Summit in San Diego that not only does Samsung have a new virtual reality headset coming, but that Samsung intends to enter the field of augmented reality, too. In fact, Hong talked very little about virtual reality and instead spoke at length about Samsung's move into augmented reality.
We've been hearing some interesting rumors in the last few days that are stirring up all kinds of speculation about the potential upcoming consumer release of the HoloLens. However, MSPoweruser has speculated a bit further past the consumer HoloLens release to a possible HoloLens 2 as soon as Q3 2017.
When developing for the HoloLens, keeping a constant 60 fps (frames per second) while making things look beautiful is a challenge. Balancing the processing power to display complex models and keeping the frame rate where it needs is just a straight up painful process, but a solution seems to be on the horizon.
Unity released the Beta 5.6 on December 13 with a bunch of new upgrades in the works, including support for Vulkan, better instancing options, and more improvements to particles—to name just a few that are potentially relevant to the mixed reality community. And today, December 15, Unity has just released the EditorVR that we reported on a few weeks ago as a part of their "Experimental" builds.
Empea Berlin, a Germany-based company specializing in augmented, mixed, and virtual reality software, has released a video on Facebook showing off their experiments in smart home technology. Using a Raspberry Pi and a HoloLens unit, they were able to make a virtual remote control for an air conditioning unit. The remote is complete with various modes, temperature controls, timers, and other features.