In the past, to see a pre-constructed state of the house that you would one day live in, you had to be able to read blueprints or hire an artist to sketch it out. Later came the ability to have a 3D rendering of that house on a screen, but you'd still have to work hard to envision it in real life.
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.
If the rumors are right, Microsoft has decided to cancel the second version of the HoloLens, and they will instead move onto version three of their mixed reality headset. In the latest report, Thurrott's Brad Sams states that the expected release date of this new Windows Holographic device wouldn't be until 2019, a long two years away for those of us putting full effort into HoloLens app development.
There are already a few ways to use your home computer on the go, but none of them feel very natural when you're out and about, and are clunky options at best. Samsung wants to change that with Monitorless, their upcoming augmented reality smartglasses, which offer remote desktop viewing capabilities as well as the ability to switch between augmented and virtual reality modes using electrochromic glass.
Late last year, two surgeons from the Instituto de Ortopedia e Traumatologia de Jaraguá do Sul in Brazil started using a combination of 3D printing and the Microsoft HoloLens to help plan spinal surgeries. And now, with the rest of their team, they've successfully performed a surgical procedure on their first international patient using their 3D impression planning and augmented reality process.
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.
Gotta catch 'em all, right? That's easier said than done, considering that Pokémon GO has region-specific characters that you may never get a chance to see. Sure, you can spoof your GPS location to make the augmented reality game think you're at a different spot on the map, but Niantic Labs seems to be catching on to this method, and some users have been soft-banned for a few hours after trying it.
Augmented and mixed reality started as a lofty promise that's just now taking form, but with several companies taking somewhat different approaches, it's hard to understand what's what. Let's take a look at the three big players and what they're doing: HoloLens, Meta, and Magic Leap.
A group of researchers from Stanford University and Princeton University has put together the largest RGB-D video dataset to date with over 1,500 scans of over 700 different locations across the world, for a total of 2.5 million views. This dataset, called ScanNet, has been semantically annotated for use in research projects. The purpose of this type of data, of course, is to teach our future robot overlords to both see and understand what they capture better. In the process, our computer-bas...
If you have a HoloLens, you can now control the lighting throughout your home or office via holographic controls using the free Hue Lights app in the Windows Store. The app, made by California-based AfterNow, works with the Philips Hue colored lighting system, and is much more polished than the prototype we saw last month.
A strange thing is happening: there are people, groups of people even, walking the streets day and night staring wide-eyed at their mobile phones and laughing like manic children. What are these people doing? Are they taking pictures? Are they participating in some new social media craze? Is their activity an omen that the zombie apocalypse is upon us?
In December of last year, UK-based Zappar successfully raise $84,356 for their ZapBox mixed reality headset—over $50,000 more than their goal. Well, they just blew that sum out of the water when they announced this morning that they've closed a Series A round of funding with $3.75 million.
Mixed reality (MR) feels like an amazing, almost mind-blowing futuristic technology—but only once you've experienced it for yourself. Words, images, and even videos simply cannot describe the experience in full. If you want to really peer into the future and experience MR for yourself, you can sign up and just go in many cities.
If you want free Poké Balls and eggs when playing Pokémon GO, you can find them at PokéStops in variation locations around your city, which are marked with towering blue icons on your map. Once you're at Level 5, they'll also grant you Potions and Revives to help you in your battles against other trainers, so they're definitely something you should be visiting whenever you can.
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.
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.
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.
The theme running throughout most of this year's WinHEC keynote in Shenzhen, China was mixed reality. Microsoft's Alex Kipman continues to be a great spokesperson and evangelist for the new medium, and it is apparent that Microsoft is going in deep, if not all in, on this version of the future. I, for one, as a mixed reality or bust developer, am very glad to see it.
Today in Los Angeles, Unity will be at the Loews Hollywood Hotel to host Unite '16, its annual developer conference. Unite is Unity's platform for showing the development community its upcoming direction and roadmap for augmented and virtual reality, game development, 3D technology, and more.
We've got Google Maps to help us out when we need to navigate outdoors, but Google can only map out so many indoor locations without getting creepy. And that's where Stimulant comes in. This "innovation studio" built a HoloLens app that lets you map out an area, define locations, and use the headset to get instant directions to any defined location.
Pokémon Go takes the popular franchise and brings it into the real world through augmented reality, allowing us to play the game while exploring our physical environments at the same time. It doesn't just put pocket monsters into a more realistic context, but it changes the game in some major ways that may delight some players... and upset others.
With most augmented and mixed reality devices, you wear a purchased headset and use it alone, in a place of your choice—but not this one. Ben Sax decided to reinvent the binoculars to create a mixed reality experience that anyone can walk up to and try for free. He calls it the Perceptoscope.
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.
Autodesk offers some of the most popular software for computer-aided design (CAD) projects, which involve all sorts of 3D rendering. Their tools are clearly suited for use with the Microsoft HoloLens, but so far very little supports HoloLens development outside of Unity. Why is that?
Virtual reality is all the rage these days, especially with devices like the Oculus Rift, Gear VR, and HTC Vive hitting shelves lately. But before any of those fancy, expensive headsets ever made it to the market, Google came up with a thrifty and inventive substitute in the form of Google Cardboard.
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.
Tricking your eyes into seeing 3D images isn't all that hard in movies or even in virtual reality, but when you start projecting holograms into the physical world, you run into some difficult problems. Microsoft obviously figured them out with their HoloLens, but how? The process is pretty amazing.
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.
The Microsoft HoloLens has a good amount of content available, but it's fairly limited in terms of what you can customize. You can access a built-in library of holograms, but if you want to create your own you have to do that with code.
Unless you had a master of visual effects for a parent, you had to imagine the floor was actually lava when playing the classic furniture-hopping game. With a Microsoft HoloLens, however, you don't have to imagine anything.
Thanks to Project-Infrared, there's now a pretty straightforward way to add motion tracking to the HoloLens: Connect it to a Kinect.
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.
The Oculus Rift's virtual experiences become a little less immersive when you're barely moving in a chair with a headset on, playing on a gamepad—but you don't have to accept that reality anymore.
The Microsoft HoloLens mixes the digital world with the physical one, allowing you to coexist with holograms of your choosing. But those worlds won't fully blend until we can experience it all together and create for each other. Vuforia could make that possible in the near future.
Gesture Input works hand-in-hand with Gaze Input. If you think of Gaze Input like a mouse cursor, Gesture Input is how you "click" in HoloLens—which Microsoft calls "tapping." It's kind of like a touchpad, only in 3D.
Many new, emerging technologies are coming to our faces. Some are already here, and it's hard to tell what's what. We've taken a deep dive into the three main types (virtual, augmented, and mixed reality), but if you need a quick primer, this infographic will do the trick.
Pokémon GO has had an incredible impact on gamers in a way we've never seen before, but you can only do so much in augmented reality on a smartphone. It's clear we're headed for more immersive experiences, but the Amsterdam-based development studio Capitola VR already created a proof-of-concept version of the game that works on the Microsoft HoloLens.
Another innovative use of augmented reality - we've seen transparent walls, t-shirts that play Rock, Paper, Scissors, an iPhone operated video game drone; and now, a tattoo that comes to life. Just tattoo a simple "barcode", point a webcam at it, and a flying animated dragon will appear, hovering.