Tag Archives: augmented reality

Microsoft demonstrates virtual collaboration with VR/AR unifier Windows Holographic

Microsoft’s making a point with its latest glimpse into the future. Instead of choosing a side in the race to develop virtual and augmented reality technologies, the Windows maker is embracing a mixed reality, and it’s a vision that aims to break down the barriers between our physical world and the endless potential of a virtual space. Powering the company’s mixed reality is Windows Holographic, a platform embedded inside Windows 10 that enables end-users to transform the physical world around them with interactive holograms. In the video demonstration above, Microsoft promotes a collaborative experience where multiple users can virtually meet up, plan, and execute ideas in real time.

Collaboration is the key here. If you look closely, you’ll notice that the gamer featured in this clip is not wearing Microsoft’s HoloLens hardware. In fact, he’s sporting a VR headset designed by HTC called Vive. It’s one of the more popular VR devices out today, a direct competitor of Oculus’s Rift. So what is it doing here, featured in Microsoft’s mixed reality demonstration? Well, MSFT aims to bridge the gap (see a trend here?) between competing VR and AR offerings by opening up the Windows Holographic platform to partners including HTC, ASUS, Intel, Dell, HP, Lenovo and other pioneers in the PC market. Whether or not Microsoft succeeds in becoming the definitive holographic interface is a question for another day, but you must commend its forward-thinking initiative for inclusivity.

The first step in creating this future was taken in March when Microsoft began shipping out the first HoloLens units to developers. The company says that there are already hundreds of Windows Holographic-infused apps in the Windows Store today as developers continue to mine the headset and its underlying, universal platform for its potential across a multitude of industries including entertainment and education.

With the Rift and Vive out in the wild, and Sony’s PS4-powered PSVR device just around the corner, VR is about to blow up and it sure will be interesting to watch Microsoft respond with a decidedly different approach to our VR AR MR future.

[Via Microsoft] READ MORE Microsoft demonstrates virtual collaboration with VR/AR unifier Windows Holographic

Microsoft uses HoloLens tech to turn your living room into the ultimate sports den

While companies like Oculus, Samsung, Sony and Valve are betting big on virtual reality, Microsoft is taking the road less traveled (I’m looking at you, Google) and putting its focus on augmented reality. It’s HoloLens helmet aims to merge the physical world with digital by overlaying holograms on top of the real world around you. From video games to the classroom, Microsoft HoloLens aims to be a dominating force across myriad industries. One that makes just as much sense as the others? Sports.

At a panel called “The Future of Football: How Technology Could Shape the Next 50 Years of the Game,” Microsoft showcased the power of HoloLens and the exciting potential augmented reality and holograms can bring to gameday. Imagine if you had the ability to extend the big game beyond the confines of your existing HDTV, and not just by literally making the screen bigger. I’m talking live, interactive player stats and real-time fantasy football updates. Peer at your coffee table and watch it come to life with 3D instant replays viewable from any angle. This is the future of watching sports, and with it, the so-called “second screen experience” folds back up into one.

Now, I hate to burst your bubble, but this seemingly pie-in-the-sky tech doesn’t exist yet as it’s shown in the visually impressive demonstration above. It’s merely a concept, but you can rest assured Microsoft is considering it very seriously. The HoloLens hardware and software (it runs on Windows 10, believe it or not) is still in the development stages; Microsoft is ramping up production for developers to test and improve the device later this year. Still, this glimpse into the future is nothing short of amazing and it expands the evolving potential for an augmented reality lifestyle.

[Via Microsoft] READ MORE Microsoft uses HoloLens tech to turn your living room into the ultimate sports den

E3 2015: Microsoft kicks Xbox One into high gear with exciting games lineup and backwards compatibility

Microsoft kicked off E3 2015 with a media briefing that mostly included first-looks at anticipated game sequels and new IPs, and also a dash of exciting software and hardware announcements. It’s all for you after the break. READ MORE E3 2015: Microsoft kicks Xbox One into high gear with exciting games lineup and backwards compatibility

Microsoft demonstrates powerful educational capabilities with Windows Holographic

“Imagine a computer that allows you to put your images anywhere and you can interact with things as a combination of the real world and holograms.”

Microsoft’s been hard at work on its physical world meets digital world hologram technology ever since the company unveiled it to much fanfare in January. Windows Holographic, as well as Microsoft’s augmented reality headset that enables it–HoloLens–were on display this week at the company’s developer conference Build 2015. The video embedded above reintroduces the breakthrough technology, and it also peels back the many layers and sensors packed inside.

“We envisioned an all-in-one device this is untethered with built-in batteries, hands-free and floating audio,” says a HoloLens engineer. The hardware is powered by a dedicated Holographic Processing Unit (or HPU) and Windows 10.

Microsoft is collaborating with Case Western Reserve University to advance medical education in incredible ways with Windows Holographic. A professor and student were invited to the stage to demonstrate HoloLens’ real-life capabilities. Harness the headset to visualize three-dimensional representations of the human body. Unlike a solitary cadaver, HoloLens pushes the learning experience further with the ability to instantly separate and focus on separate systems (muscular, skeletal, etc.), as well as parts of the body such as an animated yet lifelike beating heart. Click here to watch the demo.

Using Windows Holographic with Hololens for medical studies is just the beginning. The school is also experimenting with uses across many fields including chemistry and genetics, art, engineering, and paleontology. Additionally, the demo made it clear that HoloLens promotes remote learning, too; if you can’t make it to class, your teacher can see what you see and even view and respond to questions and comments.

Having the ability to plaster Netflix virtually anywhere around you sounds like a neat idea, but the way in which Microsoft’s futuristic foray into holograms will push the medicine, science, and engineering is what should be exciting you most. The possibilities here are truly endless and so exciting.

Elsewhere at Build, Microsoft branded its new web browser for Windows 10. Jump after the break to learn its new name. READ MORE Microsoft demonstrates powerful educational capabilities with Windows Holographic

Microsoft impresses with the renewed power of Windows

On Wednesday, Microsoft held a press event to make some major announcements regarding its next operating system, Windows 10. That’s right–the company that Bill Gates built is skipping the number 9 and gunning straight for the solid number 10 for its next OS release. MSFT demoed many new features found in Win10, many of which highlight the fundamentally cohesive nature of the fresh new OS. With Windows 10, Microsoft aims to bridge the gap between hardware and software to create one unified Windows that stretches across phones, tablets, laptops, desktops, and even the Xbox One. Also, Win10 will power a new product category for the company: augmented reality. For more, jump after the break. READ MORE Microsoft impresses with the renewed power of Windows

Google’s augmented reality glasses bring the future into focus

Those of you who aren’t so content with present tech and are longing for the kind you see in the movies, your time has arrived. Today Google leaked information regarding a super secret and highly advanced technology they’ve been working on for quite some time. It’s a pair of augmented reality glasses and the initiative is called Project Glass. Here’s how the search giant made the announcement:

We think technology should work for you—to be there when you need it and get out of your way when you don’t. 

A group of us from Google[x] started Project Glass to build this kind of technology, one that helps you explore and share your world, putting you back in the moment. We’re sharing this information now because we want to start a conversation and learn from your valuable input. So we took a few design photos to show what this technology could look like and created a video to demonstrate what it might enable you to do.

In essence, this wearable device might be intended to replace the bulky brick in your pocket, your cell phone. It does everything your phone can do but in a more natural (read: human) manner. Reminiscent of a heads-up display you’d find in a first-person shooter video game, the glasses feature a small lens that projects text, images, video, and sound in the space in front of your eyes. The software that’s implemented inside the device allows users to be alerted notifications like text messages and email and respond to these things with simple verbal cues and head gestures. Google Maps is built into the unit, naturally, so planning a route and following it becomes second nature when the precise directions are displayed right in front of you. Though exact specifications have yet to be released, it is confirmed that the smart spectacles feature a built-in camera for snapping photos, shooting video, and initiating video chat. Imagine you’re walking down the street and you see something that catches your eye; speak “take a photo of this” and the camera will snap. Want to share the image with your friends? Say “share it to my Circles” and it’ll be instantly uploaded to your Google+ account. The possibilities are endless, really. And the potential is grand.

You must be thinking something like this is great and all but does Google actually have plans to release this to the general public. Yes, they do. Now go pick up your brains that are scattered on the wall and continue reading… Project Glass is currently in beta mode (er, alpha mode really). Google is testing the prototype device in the field, sending company employees out into the wild wearing these nerdy bad boys to see how they handle real world conditions. Besides making techies around the globe foam at the mouth, Google’s intent with today’s reveal is this: “We’re sharing this information now because we want to start a conversation and learn from your valuable input. Please follow along as we share some of our ideas and stories. We’d love to hear yours, too. What would you like to see from Project Glass?” In other words, they want your input! The conversation is taking place at the Project Glass Google+ page.

Now that you’re informed, here’s what you can do. Take a look at the glasses in the gallery below, bearing in mind that these are strictly prototypes and a final product will almost certainly come appearing differently. Then jump after the break to watch a two-and-a-half minute video showing off Google’s vision of how augmented reality glasses could make us more efficient beings. Rumors are flying that the wearable device in its final form will come complete with 4G data capability for always-on Internet functionality with a price tag looming anywhere between $250 and $600 when it comes out later this year. But forget the speculation for now; feast on the video below and shiver in anticipation for more information to leak out surrounding Google’s latest concoction.

[Via Google+; NYT 1, 2] READ MORE Google’s augmented reality glasses bring the future into focus

Mii sprouts to life on man’s arm…but how?

Wow neat is this? A man known only by his Internet handle “cranberryzero” has integrated an augmented reality experience into his arm! If you’ve purchased Nintendo latest handheld the 3DS, you’d know that the system comes bundled with a pack of AR Cards. When you point the 3DS’ outer cameras at the cards an augmented reality game or a bunch of classic Nintendo characters come to life. Here, cranberryzero apparently walked into a tattoo parlor and came out with one of the AR Cards imprinted on his wrist. Now when he points his 3DS at his arm his personalized Mii grows out of it. A little bizarre, but still super cool right? Head over to the source link to watch a video of the magic in action.

[Via IHeartChaos]

Augmented reality-based instant translation? There’s an app for that.

This has to be the coolest app made for the iPhone yet.  Word Lens uses augmented reality to instantly translate printed words from one language to another.  It’s simple: Hold up your phone’s camera to a sign containing foreign words and the app will convert it to your native tongue on-the-fly.  This terse explanation doesn’t do the app justice; you’ve gotta watch the demonstration above to get the full effect.

An app so powerful has to have limits, right?  Word Lens only supports Spanish-to-English and English-to-Spanish translation for now and it cannot read very stylized fonts, handwriting, or cursive.  The demonstration shows the app working quite flawlessly; realistically there will be times when conversions are not 100% accurate so the developer (Quest Visual) allows users to manually type in words to find translations.  But here’s a plus: the app does not rely on network or Internet connectivity to make translations happen.

Word Lens is available now as a free download in the App Store; however you must pay $4.99 for an in-app purchase language pack to get things started.  It’s compatible with iPhone 4, 3GS, and the latest gen iPod touch.

AR-Tee brings augmented reality magic to your chest

The concept is simple, really.  You’ve seen it before.  With the AR-Tee, designed by Sebastian Merchel, you can watch content inside that TV graphic thanks to the trick of augmented reality.  Printed inside the TV graphic is a custom-made QR code that gets read by your webcam.  When you hold up the t-shirt to your webcam you’ll see some old cartoons play on your computer screen.  It may not blow your mind, but it should make you the life of a party.  Look after the break to watch the magic happen.  Click here to find the AR-Tee in your size.

[Via Engadget] READ MORE AR-Tee brings augmented reality magic to your chest

The world’s heath & wealth over 200 years get spectacularly visualized

Using highly effective visuals in augmented reality animation, BBC’s Hans Rosling tells the story of the world in 200 countries over 200 years using 120,000 numbers, in just four minutes.  More specifically, he plots life expectancy against income for every country since 1810, and the visually splendid data reveals interesting rises and drops in correspondence to major historical events such as world wars.  Go on mash play and educate yourself.

[Via Gawker]

LuminAR robot combines projector & camera for gesture-based interactivity, in a lamp

LuminAR, created by Natan Linder and Pattie Maes at MIT, combines a Pico-projector and camera inside a lamp-shaped robotic device to augment reality by beaming computational images onto a surface.  While the projector is there to display information and content from the Internet, the camera enables user-defined gestures.  Theoretically the LuminAR can be “screwed into standard light fixtures everywhere” meaning you might find such technology in a household lamp sometime in the (likely distant) future.  Watch Linder demo it in the video above.  Very Tony Stark/JARVIS-like, am I right?

[Via Engadget; YouTube]