A resurgence of interest in virtual reality (VR) and mixed reality (MR) is transforming the way we work and play. XR has become a top priority for major tech players who see it as an opportunity to grow their businesses. Apple, Facebook, Google, and Microsoft are all investing in AR/VR.
XR has the potential to transform how we create, collaborate, and communicate by changing how we perceive our environment. However, the technology is still in its early stages and will require some time before it becomes widespread and mainstream. For now, the focus is on augmented reality (AR) and mixed reality (MR).
AR uses real-time information to superimpose digital objects or information over the user’s view of the physical world. AR can be accessed through a range of devices including smartphones/tablets and MR headsets like the Hololens.
MR adds immersion to AR by allowing the users to interact with virtual objects that are anchored in the real world and appear to be located physically within the user’s field of view. MR can be accessed through a range of platforms including MR headsets, teleportation systems, and smartglasses.
Both AR and MR will continue to improve over the next few years. As the hardware becomes faster, more capable, and less expensive, we will see more applications for these technologies. We will also see more innovative uses for them such as integrating these technologies with our physical world to enable new ways of working and creating.
This week has seen a number of important developments in the XR world. Two separate studies highlighted the impact of XR on business, and significant project partnerships were announced between big tech firms. In addition, a number of new hardware and software products launched or entered beta this week.
One of the most interesting pieces of news was a report from the Metaverse Industry Association (MIA) which outlines a vision for a post-screen interface based on augmented and virtual reality. This would involve a combination of hand tracking, gaze recognition and natural gestures to control a computer or device. It could be used for everything from navigating through a website to interacting with an object in the physical world.
The report highlights the need for a more holistic approach to human-computer interaction. It describes how VR can feel like wearing a scuba mask, cutting the user off from their surroundings and not being naturally conducive to work or play. It contrasts this with MR which could usher in a new era of perceptual design and provide a more natural user experience.
Omniverse is an XR platform that brings together engineering, design, and creation teams to review, markup, and approve ray-traced high fidelity 3D scenes at human scale. Powered by NVIDIA RTX, it runs in any VR headset or on an ARCore tablet to create and edit a wide range of 3D assets in a seamless augmented reality experience. The platform is built as a set of reference applications that can be easily extended and customized to meet specific requirements. omnivoid xr