We live in a marvelous age, a time where technology is driving us forward as a species at a rapid pace, and tech-driven miracles are becoming more and more commonplace. While the human race may not be focused on building the largest wonders of the world, as it once was in history, the current order of wonders are much smaller in scale—even internal.
If anyone has every told you that they see music they listen to, they have synesthesia. It's a fascinating neurological phenomenon where people experience crossed responses to stimuli, and no one knows exactly how common this is. A rough estimate claims that one in every 5,000 to 100,000 people is a synesthete, but it could be far more common or rare. Nobody really knows.
Mimesys, whose core focus has always been about creating holographic representations of humans for virtual and augmented reality, has released a video showing off their holographic communication platform in action. This new communication tool uses a combination of virtual reality, with the HTC Vive and a Kinect, and mixed reality, with the HoloLens, to allow the users to have virtual meetings from anywhere in the world as though they are in the same room.
A few days before Christmas last year, we saw the first glimpse of HoloSuit, a new motion controller by startup Kaaya Tech. This full-body motion controller is designed as a tracksuit with sensors that can be used to control devices such as a computer or Microsoft HoloLens, and now it's getting ready to start production, with an upcoming Kickstarter campaign planned to go live soon.
An interesting new use-case for the Microsoft HoloLens appeared in a YouTube video from Washington-based DataMesh last month. In it, you can see the HoloLens working in conjunction with the Microsoft Surface Studio, Surface Dial, and Surface Pen for 3D model detailing and visualization in real time.
Sky Zhou, also know as Matrix Inception on YouTube, is no stranger here on NextReality. We loved his Pokémon concept game for HoloLens, as well as his D3D Keyboard that lets HoloLens users leave notes around the house. He just can't seem to stop creating cool mixed reality apps, and he's already got another one in the works.
HoloLens developer Michael Peters of In-Vizible has released quite a few videos since receiving his HoloLens last year. Many of his experiments are odd and funny, but some include serious potential approaches to data visualization. In the videos embedded below, you'll specifically see stock market information beautifully rendered in different ways to help understand the data.
If you've played the game Portal by Valve before, you've most likely popped one portal onto the ceiling and another directly below it on the floor, dropped your Companion Cube in, and then watched it fall forever. Well, now it has been done in real life, in an actual hallway, not in a rendered world.
When I first started with HoloLens development last April, one of the first things I created was a window. The purpose of that window was to be attached to a wall and give the illusion of being in a different space—an effect that is often referred to as a "magic window" effect by developers. My goal was to create the feeling of being in the penthouse of a skyscraper, and it's one that I hope to get back to working on soon.
A development team in Silicon Valley is nearing early access release of a new hardware-independent augmented reality platform called Phantom AR.
Crayon, a free 3D drawing application by the mysteriously named arkalian, showed up in the Windows Store recently, so I gave it a try like I do all new apps for Windows Holographic. Truthfully, I loaded it up not expecting much, but wow, was I wrong. It's a simple idea, but it's executed well enough to make it a truly great experience on the HoloLens.
"Necessity, not novelty," is a phrase I use often when it comes to HoloLens development. It would be fair to call it my mantra, or mission statement, as I prototype and explore software creation on this new frontier of mixed reality.
While most people have only begun hearing the term augmented reality in the last year or so, AR has been around in some form since the early '90s. It all started with heads-up displays (HUDs) for pilots to see instant information in their visors, but has graduated to a far more useful and widespread technology thanks to the advancement of computers and, more recently, smartphones.
The largest and arguably most widely known event of its type, especially in the US, the Sundance Film Festival is an annual celebration of independent film—ones made outside the Hollywood system. This year, a new type of experience appeared at the Sundance Film Festival in an installation called "The Journey to the Center of the Natural Machine." This mixed reality presentation offered the user the newest type of storytelling in a long and important line—continuation of the species kind of im...
After what appeared to be an issue with the Windows Store for HoloLens not showing many newer applications, including one that I had released over a month ago, Microsoft finally squashed the bug. So, at first glance, it would seem as if there were lots of new HoloLens projects that just appeared in the store, even though they've likely been hiding out there for a while. HoloTerrain is one of those apps.
A few days ago, there were flying piranha, snakes, and dragons roaming around freely at the Anaheim Convention Center in California, but they weren't real or even hallucinations—they were holograms brought to life with the Microsoft HoloLens.
Welcome back to this series on making physical objects come to life on HoloLens with Vuforia. Now that we've set up Vuforia and readied our ImageTarget and camera system, we can see our work come to life. Because in the end, is that not one of the main driving forces when developing—that Frankenstein-like sensation of bringing something to life that was not there before?
The HoloLens is a natural medium for 3D data visualization, which offers a far more ideal approach over 2D screens to managing multiple resources simultaneously and grasping the bigger picture. We've already seen how management is using holograms to oversee cities, firefighters, and the military, and now training for sports teams is being addressed with VAR Football.
DigiLens, a company specializing in optical waveguide technology, recently announced that they had closed a $22 million round of strategic investment, also known as Series B funding. This round brought in Sony, Foxconn, Continental, and Panasonic, as well as more traditional venture investors such as Alsop Louie Partners, Bold Capital, Nautilus Venture Partners, and Dolby Family Ventures.
Now that we've set up Vuforia in Unity, we can work on the more exciting aspects of making physical objects come to life on the HoloLens. In this guide, we will choose an image (something that you physically have in your home), build our ImageTarget database, and then set up our Unity camera to be able to recognize the chosen image so that it can overlay the 3D holographic effect on top of it.
In this first part of our tutorial series on making physical objects come to life on HoloLens, we are going to set up Vuforia in Unity.
It seems to me you can't swing a dead cat near an augmented reality developer without hearing the word Vuforia escape their lips. PTC's software solution has become the go-to for most developers in the mobile AR space, and since they recently added full support for the HoloLens in Unity, I figured it was about time we learn to make something with it.
Students from Carnegie Mellon University's Entertainment Technology Center have been working on an augmented reality system to help teach music in a project called Music Everywhere.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.