For the gamers out there, all your excitement probably surrounds the virtual reality headsets, such as Oculus Rift, Project Morpheus and more recently Nokia. However, companies are also researching and expanding into augmented reality.
You saw it for yourself at Microsoft’s E3; HoloLens took centre stage to show off some impressive Minecraft and Halo possibilities. Even Microsoft have revealed, though, that gaming isn’t at the forefront of the market for HoloLens, they’re looking into the real world (sorry fellow gamers) applications, in science, technology and education. Some people, including the founder of Epic Games Tim Sweeney, believe that it’s actually AR and not VR that will be the cause of dramatic change to the everyday lifestyle we know.
At ChinaJoy in a report by VentureBeat, Sweeney talked about the possible effect AR could have to our lives. What gives AR the advantage over VR is that you are still aware and a part of your surroundings, with the headsets allowing you to move and present freely.
‘I believe that augmented reality will be the biggest technological revolution that happens in our lifetimes,’ he said. ‘Once you have an augmented reality display, you don’t need any other form of display… You just take the screen with you on your glasses wherever you go.’
Sweeney continued to say that AR will be more dominant with its features being used for things way past the scope of gaming – there’s a multitude of applications where a simple piece of technology like Microsoft’s HoloLens, for example, would be the driving force behind all kinds advancements to working and living. The mobility factor plays a major role here, as Sweeney points out.
‘Combined with [the] convenience of mobile, and the display is with you everywhere you go and you don’t need anything else. Augmented reality will drive all things like chat, social networking, photos, videos, organizing data, modeling, painting, motion capture, and visual programming.’
We’ve already seen some of what HoloLens can do at Microsoft’s E3 conference, and I for one was blown away by the Minecraft presentation. Imagine that kind of interactivity for doctors and engineers; there’s certainly a greater source of uses for augmented reality.