A new technological movement without the technology itself is just an idea sitting and waiting. Once the technology is present in the equation, movement forward can begin. This is how many of us see the head-mounted displays (HMDs) and smartglasses that have recently entered the augmented and mixed reality market — or are coming out in the next few months. This is a movement that will sweep over the world, changing everything in its path, and these are some of the people behind it.
While the world is only recently becoming aware of its existence, augmented reality has been around in some form or another since the '90s. In the last decade, with the advancement and miniaturization of computer technology — specifically smartphones and tablets — AR has become far more viable as a usable tool and even more so as a form of entertainment. And these are the people behind mobile AR to keep an eye on.
In order for software developers to do their jobs as new hardware reaches the market, they will need the right tools to get their projects off the ground and into augmented and mixed reality devices. There have been completely new approaches to development when it comes to AR and MR, and these are some of the faces behind them.
When building anything of a social nature, be it a local roller derby or softball team, a club dance night for chiptune, or building new technology markets, the community around those ideas are an important factor in helping these things not only come into existence but to grow into something that enlightens everyone involved. The community around an idea can actually make or break these new ventures — and this applies to augmented and mixed reality as well.
Those of us that work with or around augmented and mixed reality have seen a powerful shift in the last year as the popularity and interest have grown in the field. With Microsoft's HoloLens release, the popularity of Pokémon GO, and the constant rumor mill known as Magic Leap, the terms augmented reality and mixed reality have started to become a part of the modern vernacular more and more each passing day.
The world of investment and finance can be labyrinthine in its very nature — and even more complicated in regards to augmented and mixed reality. While these new emergent technologies are teeming with explosive levels of unrealized potential, there's still a big layer of uncertainty in terms of return — but these investors aren't afraid to take the leap.
There is an Indian story called the Legend of Paal Paysam, and while it doesn't seem like it at first, it has a lot to say about what motivated Paul Travers in the augmented reality space.
From Farmville to selling a company to Google, Amitt Mahajan has been through the startup ringer. Now, as managing partner with Presence Capital, he's funding the future of augmented and mixed reality.
If you're a developer in the augmented and mixed reality space, there's a high probability that you're intimately familiar with the 3D application and game engine Unity. In May, at VisionSummit 2017, Microsoft announced that 91% of all HoloLens applications have been made with the software. But there's a section of Unity that you may not be familiar with, which has become very important to augmented, mixed, and virtual reality (known collectively as XR, for "extended reality") — Unity Labs.
Microsoft has always been pretty good with customer service, especially from the developer's end point. In recent years, since Satya Nadella took over as acting CEO, the level of customer and developer care has become something much more. This software giant has gone out of their way to learn about what works and what doesn't and to adjust.
Throughout this NR50 series, we have talked about the incredible growth the augmented and mixed reality space has seen in the last year. More devices, software, developers, and use-cases seem to arrive daily. For this growth to have occurred, it took the work of many people, from many different backgrounds and skill sets — and Next Reality wants to recognize them for all that they have done and are doing.